May 30, 2013 | Buncheong bottle
Bottle, Korean, Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), fifteenth to sixteenth century. Stoneware with iron oxide underglaze decoration; height 11 inches.
Kang Collection, Manhattan specialists in Korean art, sold this pear-shaped wine bottle during New York's Asia Week in March. Priced at $25,000, it is an example of buncheong, a brushed white-slip stoneware mainly made by monks at Mount Kaeryong in southern Chungchong province, says Kang Collection president Keum Ja Kang. The bottle's vigorous freehand decoration in iron oxide underglaze depicts a stylized ginseng plant.
Art Across America, the first-ever survey display of more than two hundred years of American fine and decorative art to travel to South Korea, remains on view at the Daejeon Museum of Art through September 1. It draws from the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Terra Foundatio…» More
February 1, 2013 | The Winter Antiques Show in New York City comes to a close this weekend. Here is an inside look at one booth: Peter Pap of New York, San Francisco, and NewHampshire.
Winter Antiques Show * Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue * To February 3 * winterantiquesshow.com
January 30, 2013 |
© Lucy Dickens / National Portrait Gallery, London
The noted authority on eighteenth-century French furniture and Sèvres porcelain, Sir Geoffrey de Bellaigue, Surveyor Emeritus of the Queen's Works of Art died on January 4, 2013.
The pinnacle of Sir Geoffrey's research and study was the three-volume catalogue, French Porcelain in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, published in 2009. In reviewing it for the Art Newspaper, Aileen Dawson described it as a "sumptuous catalogue which is a pleasure to read and a mine of all sorts of information."
Shortly after Sir Geoffrey's birth in France in 1931, his family moved to England. There he attended Wellington and Trinity College, but after a brief stint as a banker he went to Paris to study at the École du Louvre under Pierre Verlet, the leading authority on royal French furniture and decorative arts.
In 1960 Sir Geoffrey was hired to work at Waddesdon Manor, the Rothschild château in Buckinghamshire, and was ap…» More
December 12, 2012 | December 18 is the last day to visit the Treasured Weavings: The Mae Festa Textile Collection exhibition, housed at 1stdibs@NYDC, located on the 10th floor of the New York Design Center at 200 Lexington Avenue. Watch the video below for more information and beautiful images.
May 9, 2012 | Nine leaders in the field discuss the changing antiques and fine arts market.
Jane Nylander, preservationist
The past speaks to Jane Nylander. She has been translating its messages for decades as curator at Old Sturbridge Village, director of Strawbery Banke, and former president of Historic New England.
Are we currently losing ground in our commitment to preserve and conserve our material culture? I certainly hope not. We may be seeing the editing and refinement of major collections, but we also see considerable expansion in terms of what is considered worthy of preservation and conservation. Collections now reflect a broader range of complex cultures as well as multiple hierarchies and longer time lines. Things in poor condition that lack interpretive potential, historical significance, or strong provenance may be, indeed should be, discarded while objects having rich meaning are added. Discovery is always entertaining. Thoughtful evaluation is more challenging. Preservation requires discipline.
In the marketplace there is less and less interest in the very ordinary pieces that were popular for home furnishing throughout much of the twentieth century, but more recent objects have gained in popularity or been re-purposed. How can we not be entertained by Steampunk? Does it destroy or enhance the value of its components?
Do you think the increasing presence of the digital, which by its nature eliminates the physical and the tangible, plays a role in making the antique less valuable? In some cases perhaps so, but digitization greatly expands the number of people who can enjoy and learn about specific objects and kinds of objects. It may provide a quick contact for some, but for others, it may open the door to richer and deeper exploration of the physical reality. It may stimulate pursuit of the "real thing."
You have always maintained that our cultural values are bound up in the materials of the past (our foodways, fabrics, shelter, and so forth). Is it not also possible that one part of the American cultural value system is equally invested in kicking over the traces of the past? Or are there always unpredictable oscillations in the relative prestige of past and present? Isn't it possible that people may cherish the past without being bound by it? For me tradition and historical consciousness are essential parts of the present. Knowledge of material culture enriches the understanding of historical experience. Over my fifty-year career, I have seen levels of interest in various types of things come and go. As time goes by, new groups of people rediscover things that have gone out of favor. They study them from new perspectives and gain new and different understanding. They apply new methods of conservation and preservation. They share information using new technologies and display techniques.
Perhaps you could be seen as a kind of life coach who is uniquely able to reassure people and institutions that being interested in the past will not consign them to the dustbin of history, that the antique is, in fact, a winner having survived the test of time. Is that how you see yourself? I hope so. Can we agree that an interest in the past can greatly enrich one's life by enhancing our ability to see and enjoy the beautiful, to strengthen significant values, and to identify with things and ideas that characterize common human experience in all ages? All too often I see people who do not recognize the elements of beauty or proportion, who see no value in durable goods or values, who thoughtlessly discard things that are useful and/or beautiful. It makes me very sad; they miss out on considerable pleasure and they often waste their money.
I noticed that you are on Facebook (though not by any means one of its oversharers). Do you think that Facebook, which is about the cultivation of communities, could revive and sustain a community whose priorities lie in the material culture? Let's change "lie in" to "include"- then, yes. As you've noticed I haven't made time for Facebook. I find it provides a fascinating insight into the lives of my grandchildren, but I am still busy studying aspects of New England history and trying to help people understand ways to interpret museum collections and exhibitions. I do worry that the short phrasing, abbreviations, etc. required by text messages will further erode people's ability to communicate richly and deeply in writing. Perhaps the academic thesis, the exhibition label, and the catalogue essay will be replaced by something short and sweet, but I wonder if it will provide the depth of understanding provided in recent times by really good writing, which, as you know, takes practice.
Jane Nylander. Bachrach photograph; Castle in the Clouds, Moultonborough, NewHampshire. Originally known as Lucknow, the house built for Tom and Olive Plant in 1913-1914 is currently undergoing restoration for the Castle Preservation Society. Jane and Richard Nylander serve as advisors. Photograph by John W. Hession, New Millennium Studios.
Pickle Dish, American China Manufactory (Bonnin and Morris), Philadelphia, 1771-72. Soft-paste porcelain with lead glaze; height 4 3/16, width 4 1/2» View All