Current & Coming  |  By ANTIQUES Staff

Current and coming: A Philadelphia sampler

April 16, 2014  |  THE PHILADELPHIA ANTIQUES SHOW's hardworking committee, on the job since 1962, this year welcomes the show's new director Catherine Sweeney Singer. From this pairing expect a fresh take on tradition, the best of the past proffered with invigorated ideas for the present. The ga­la preview is April 25, and the show runs through April 29.

Limning a portrait of a place and its people, Historic Deerfield, orga­nizers of this year's loan show, is exhibiting more than thirty eighteenth- and nineteenth-century objects from its collections of Connecticut River Valley fine and decorative art. Many of the items selected by curator Amanda E. Lange have unbroken histories in Deerfield and nearby com­munities in western Massachusetts. Highlights include Ralph Earl's 1799 portrait of Dr. Ebenezer Hunt of Northampton and a pole stand with a screen embroidered about 1810 by Sarah Leavitt of Greenfield.

Associate chairman Leslie Anne Miller will debut her book Start with a House, Finish with a Collection (Scala Arts Publishers).  With pho­tographs by Gavin Ashworth and a foreword by Ron Bourgeault, it combines the story of Miller and husband Richard B. Worley's col­lecting (see our January/February 2010 is­sue) with scholarly discussion of select works by the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Montgomery-Garvan Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts, Alexandra Alevizatos Kirtley.

Philadelphia Antiques Show, Pennsylvania Con­vention Center • April 25-29 •

Historic German­town

Close to downtown, Historic Germantown promotes sixteen histor­ic properties, among them Stenton, built by James Logan; eighteenth-century Cliveden, site of the Battle of Ger­mantown; and Johnson House, a stop on the Underground Railroad.


Studio furniture at Moderne

A retrospective exhibition of studio furni­ture by master woodworker David N. Ebner opens on April 25 with a reception and book sign­ing at Moderne Gallery from 6 to 9 pm. "Ebner's designs will always be fresh and classic," says gallery founder Robert Aibel. Roughly sixty examples of case and seating furni­ture, mirrors, and occasional pieces made by the Bellport, New York, craftsman between 1965 and 2014 will be on view through June 30.


Preview Pook and Pook

Preview Pook and Pook's April sale of period furniture, fine art, and accessories at its Downingtown, Pennsylvania, salesrooms be­ginning on April 19. Studding the April 25 and 26 auction is property from the RittenhouseSquare estate of Marie Devlin Schwarz as well as Shenandoah Valley pottery and other folk art and some choice museum consignments.


Early Hebrew books

The Rosenbach Museum and Library, which last year merged with the Free Library of Philadelphia, hous­es some of the oldest books printed in Hebrew. Tours of the trove, rarely on public view, are planned for 3 to 4 pm on April 18 and 27, led by curator Judith M. Guston. Visitors are invited to examine such rarities as the first printed Pentateuch (printed in Bologna in 1482 and shown here), along with other ancient and rare objects that contex­tualize these volumes. Tickets $15; reservations requested.


Breakfast at Freeman's

The historic Phil­adelphia auction house Freeman's, just off Rittenhouse Square, is hosting a continental breakfast and a preview of its May 2 sale of American furni­ture and folk and decorative arts on Sunday, April 27 from 8:30 to 10:30 am. To attend, telephone (267) 414-1250. One highlight, estimated at $8,000 to $12,000, is a full-length dressed min­iature of a little girl of about 1790 at­tributed to Mary Way of New London, Connecticut.


Ongoing shows

Native American voices at Penn

Native Amer­ican Voices: The People-Here and Now, a new long-term exhibition at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and An­thro­pology, challenges stereo­types and speaks to the ways in which communities are maintaining religious, political, linguistic, and ar­tistic independence. Nearly three hundred objects rep­resenting eighty-five North American tribes will be ro­tated through the display over the next five years.


Philadelphia design treasures

 "On the Leading Edge: Decorative Arts in Philadelphia, 1720-1880," curator Alexandra Kirtley's reinstallation of Gallery 286 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, reacquaints visitors with such stars of the collection as the celebrated "Fox and the Grapes" high chest of drawers and dressing table of 1765 to 1775, whose carved central drawers illustrate a scene from Aesop's Fables; and an 1816 klismos chair signed by decorator John Philip Fondé. New ac­quisitions include a recently discovered Bonnin and Morris pickle stand, a promised gift to the museum; a 1710 to 1725 spice box on stand; a painted bracket table of about 1810; and a block-printed bedcover made by John Hewson, about 1790 to 1810.


The Gross Clinic returns

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has installed The Gross Clinic (co-owned with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts) in its newly re­furbished Gallery 111. For the next three years Thomas Eakins's masterpiece will be surrounded by paintings and sculp­tures by American artists who trained or exhibited in Europe and by others whose work appeared with The Gross Clinic at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876 and Chicago's World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. Featuring prizewin­ning silver, ceramics, and glass by Tiffany and John La Farge, the salon style instal­lation re-creates the cosmopolitan am­biance of a late nineteenth-century art gallery, according to Kathleen Foster, the museum's Robert L. McNeil Jr. Senior Curator of American Art.


The Athenaeum celebrates 200

Founded in 1814, the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, housed in an 1845 Italianate revival style brown­stone by architect John Notman, collects American ar­chitecture, art, and design ref­erences for the period 1800 to 1945. A bicentennial display, Useful Arts and Useful Know­ledge: The Founding of the Athenaeum, includes portraits of founding members plus books and other items dating to 1814.


Still lifes at PAFA

Through August 23, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts museum is exhibiting From Trompe l'Oeil to Modernism: Still Lifes from the PAFA Collection, featuring approximately twenty paintings from the permanent collection by Arthur B. Carles, Stuart Davis, Alexander Pope, and others.


Philadel­phia and the Civil War

The Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia examines the city's role in America's bloodi­est conflict in a new long-term exhibition titled Broken Bodies, Suffering Spirits: Injury, Death and Healing in Civil War Phila­delphia.


Ceramics and costumes at Winterthur

This year's Ceramics Conference at Winterthur, April 24-25, considers how porcelain and pottery have been acquired, used, and collected over the past four centuries and features speakers from the U.S. and abroad. Henry Francis du Pont's country estate shares more than a passing likeness to the fictional Downton Abbey. View costumes from the hit BBC series at Winterthur through January 4, 2015.

April 27:  Collecting mid-century modern panel

Collecting mid-century modern furniture is the subject of a panel discussion from 2 to 4 PM at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Moderated by Lisa Tremper Hanover, the museum's director and CEO, the panel will include David Rago, Todd Merrill, Robert Aibel, and James Zemaitis. The program coincides with the survey show Paul Evans: Crossing Boundaries and Crafting Modernism, which travels to the Cranbrook Art Museum after closing at the Michener on June 1.


Violet Oakley in Wilmington

Through May 25, an exhibition at the Delaware Art Museum celebrates the genius of illustrator, stained-glass designer, mural painter, and activist Violet Oakley, who completed her wartime altarpiece The Angel of Victory, a recent gift to the museum, one week after the Pearl Harbor bombings.


Wyeth studio tours

With enough stamina, it is possible to visit the Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, studios of N. C. and Andrew Wyeth and the N. C. Wyeth house in a single day. Operated by the Brandywine River Museum, where A Date with Art: The Business of Illustrated Calendars and N.C. Wyeth's America in the Making remains through May 18, the guided tours contrast the work habits of the extroverted N. C. Wyeth and his intensely private son, whose collection of toy soldiers is a tour highlight.


Through May 31: American masters in Greenville, Delaware

Adjacent to the Hagley Museum in Greenville, Delaware, the Somerville Manning Gallery specializes in American art of this century and the last. Through May the firm is hosting its fifth American Masters exhibition, featuring paintings by three generations of Wyeths and their contemporaries, from Maurice Prendergast to Helen Frankenthaler.


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