Old Plus New: The Winter Antiques Show
The best thing that ever happened to the venerable Winter Antiques Show is that this year the organizers abandoned the 1969 cut off date. Now there is no date limit for an item's creation. Exhibitors are not required to show antiques at all despite the name of the show, ushering in the ability for them to present contemporary art, decorative art and furnishings.
This year's Winter Antiques Antiques show has finally entered the present, quite literally.
The result is a show that has shed its staid reputation for showing exclusively fine, old "brown" furniture. The dealers in this year's Winter Antiques Show do a terrific job combining old plus new items, fully embracing the current trend of mixing periods and eras. While I believe that so-called "brown furniture" is classic and never out of fashion, it sure looks great paired with modern art and furniture in different finishes.
Dealer Apter-Fredericks's booth is another standout. Ingeniously, they "furnished" their booth like an tony Manhattan apartment complete with with New York scenes showing through "windows" at the back. While much of the furniture is traditional, note the lucite base to the tray top coffee table, providing a jolt of fresh air to the grouping.
A c. 1900 Arts and Crafts rug by C.F.A. Voysey with a mid-century burl wood coffee table by George Nakashima topped by a richly hued, hand-hammered copper and enamel bowl made in 1972 by Paolo de Poli, work especially well together because they all celebrate hand-craft. Dealer Geoffrey Diner could not have shown that luscious sea-green and blue bowl last year because it was made after the 1969 cut-off, yet it is the perfect accessory here.
Dealer Elle Shushan always has a jewel box for a booth that typically showcases the finest antique portrait miniatures.
Because she was not bound by the 1969 cut-off date, Shushan was able to add the compelling and tiny (they are only 2 1/4 inches in diameter) photographic portraits by contemporary artist Bettina von Zwehl this year. Von Zwehl is inspired by Hans Holbein and her work is in several museums. She is truly the 21st century interpretation of historic portraiture.
Dealer Todd Merrill took a booth at the Winter Antiques Show for the first time this year, filling it primarily with items post 1969. The mirrored console by Paul Evans in chromed steel from his CityScape collection was made in 1973. The chairs are by Paul Evans too. Above it hangs a 1976 tapestry by Jan Yoors.
Of course there are many glorious booths that focus on antiques and older artists. I especially liked how dealer Kelly Kinzle set off her collection of American folk art and furniture with a green leaf wallpaper (that quilt!). We have seen wallpaper used in this manner before--it can be the perfect foil for antiques.
Didier Ltd.'s fabrication of the Colloseum in Rome is so clever! Their jewels are tucked in the window waiting to be snatched by a gladiator.
Another favorite is the English Arts & Crafts study created by dealer H. Blairman & Sons, in particular the glowing, hand painting lustreware vessels from the Pilkington Tile and Pottery Company.
This year's Winter Antiques Show was JUST. SO. GOOD.
If you are in the New York metro area, you still have time to see it first hand. The show is open though January 31. If you can't make it, scour Instagram for on-site pictures. I found plenty tagged #winterantiquesshow and #winterantiquesshow2016. You also can search the dealers' feeds. Happy eye candy.