Celebrating the ‘Decodence’ of the SS Normandie

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

Unlike other major exhibitions of the art deco period, DecoDence: Legendary Interiors and Illustrious Travelers Aboard the SS Normandie, which opens today at the South Street Seaport Museum, isn’t an over-the-top display. Instead, it’s a balanced, and entirely engrossing, collection of furnishings, ephemera, and architectural elements that graced the legendary ocean liner. Among the show’s highlights: photographs that document the …

The taste for Gothic

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

To wealthy American collectors during the Gilded Age, the appeal of medieval and early Renaissance art was considerable. Seeing themselves as the new aristocracy and wanting to re-create for themselves the prestige and trappings of European nobility, they sought objects that they felt embodied the chivalry, piety, luxury, romance, and magnificence of that distant age. Gothic Art in the Gilded …

Watercolors

Editorial Staff Art

Whether a landscape, still life, or figural composition, watercolors appeal to collectors because of their subtlety, translucence, and freshness and also because of their abundance. From the eighteenth century to the early twentieth century, watercolor painting was not only practiced by major artists, but also by legions of trained amateurs. And some of these amateur works can be remarkably fine. …

In conversation with….Clifford Wallach, tramp art expert

Editorial Staff Art, Books

Clifford Wallach is a widely recognized expert in the field of tramp art—a branch of folk art in which objects are constructed from chip carved wood. As an antiques dealer, scholar, and author of two books on the subject, Tramp Art: One Notch at a Time (1998) and most recently Tramp Art: Another Notch, Folk Art From the Heart (2009), …

Old glass for old wine

Editorial Staff

Raising a glass of wine in a toast is among the oldest of dining traditions, and antique wineglasses are among the most appealing objects upon which to build a glass collection. One of the first things you discover, when investigating this field, is that antique wineglasses were often much smaller than the oversized goblets we have become accustomed to. Paintings …

Myfamilysilver.com, a model site for antiques

Editorial Staff

A recent visit to www.myfamilysilver.com shows that this new website, which launched in May, offers a smart business model for antiques dealers: instead of charging a commission from sales there are monthly membership and listing fees. Founded by Martyn Downer, a former head of jewelry at Sotheby’s in London and director of Corfield Morris Fine Art and Antique Advisers, and …

Arts and crafts silver

Editorial Staff

Old silver is a classic collecting field, one that combines the aesthetic pleasures of imaginative design, fine workmanship, and history. In the often hotly competitive field of American silver, the latest area to fire the acquisitive imagination seems to be the arts and crafts style.   Origins and styleThe idealized image of medieval craftsmen lovingly, indeed religiously, producing works of …