This post is about a group outing to New York City’s fairly famous and fantastic WINTER ANTIQUES SHOW at the Park Avenue Armory on Thursday, January 25th at Noon. MWC’ers who would like to go with the group should RSVP on the Reservations/Payment page although ticket purchases will be made individually.
While the WINTER ANTIQUES SHOW is considered by many to be one of the last bastions of old-money WASP-dom in New York, the province of the sensibly-shoed and pearl-clad Muffy-Buffy-Binky set, what it also is ….. is FABULOUS. This is the show with the best of the best in every category of antiques, art and decorative arts and it’s all for sale. Not for the faint of heart, the price tags here easily can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars – although most items are not quite so stratospheric. It’s a great opportunity to see up close and personal museum-quality items and get a chance to talk to incredibly knowledgeable (and friendly) dealers and collectors about their wares. They are smart, charming and happy to tell you all about the items in their booths. But make no mistake, this is a heady trade show with plenty of horse-trading, negotiating and bargaining. Should you want to buy, they’re ready to sell.
The vast array of items stretches from the ancient to mid-century and it has all been carefully, strictly vetted for authenticity and condition by a group of 150 experts from Europe and the United States. Each year’s show features a loan exhibition and this year it’s items from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia. Collecting for the Commonwealth/Preserving for the Nation: Celebrating a Century of Art Patronage, 1919-2018 features exceptional objects made by Tiffany, Lalique, Jean Schlumberger and Paul Storr, as well as important paintings by Robert Henri, George Stubbs, John Singer Sargent, Berthe Morisot, Willem de Kooning, Eastman Johnson, Childe Hassam, Max Pechstein, Vincent van Gogh and Beauford Delaney.
Net proceeds from the Winter Antiques Show (not sales made by exhibitors) from ticket sales, exhibition space rentals, advertising and food and drink concessions benefit the East Side House Settlement, itself an august New York institution. Founded in 1891, the East Side House Settlement is one of New York City’s oldest non-profit social services organizations and was established on the Upper East Side. In 1962-63 it moved to the Mott Haven neighborhood of the South Bronx, within one of the country’s poorest congressional districts, where it currently operates. East Side House’s mission has been to help improve lives and enrich the quality of life in the community.
The settlement movement, which includes the East Side House Settlement, was an early part of the social reform movement in the US and in England. Starting with Jane Addams’ Hull-House in Chicago and the continuing with New York’s East Side House Settlement, the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House and the Henry Street Settlement these institutions continue to be an important part of a larger, integrated social welfare network. So, in that classic high-low mix of New York life, know that while attending the rather rarefied WINTER ANTIQUES SHOW you are also contributing to another of New York’s most important and deserving institutions. While we’re at it, we can also pop in to see some of the gloriously restored historic rooms in the Armory itself.