Early each year collectors, curators, and scholars gather in New York City for what has become an annual pilgrimage now known as Americana Week. Although fewer events are planned for the 2018 schedule, the weekend of January 18 – 21 is a deluge of shows, exhibitions, lectures and social events. Those who attend will gain new insight into American history, fine art, furniture and decorative arts. Should your travels bring you to Manhattan this January – here is what you need to know to make the most of your time and plan for the very active weekend.
WINTER ANTIQUE SHOW
Now in its 47th year, The Winter Antique Show offers the best of historical and contemporary design which speak to each other from the booths of over 70 dealers who will offer a well-rounded spectrum of objects from ancient art, Americana, English, Continental, and Asian art, all vetted by 150 specialists.
Highlights of those exhibiting this year include offerings from: Bernard & S. Dean Levy Inc., Ellie Shushan – purveyor of fine portrait miniatures, Gerald Peter Gallery and Hirschil & Adler Galleries. The 2018 loan exhibition, Collecting for the Commonwealth Preserving for the Nation: Celebrating a Century of Art Patronage, 1919-2018, from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, will commemorate gifts to the museum from the James W. and Frances Gibson McGlothlin collection including French impressionist, modern, and contemporary works from the collections of Paul Mellon and Sydney and Frances Lewis, examples of Art Nouveau and Art Deco designs, collections of Fabergé, and Russian objects from the collection of Lillian Thomas Pratt, jewelry designed by Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany from the collection of Bunny Mellon, and more.
WAS is open from noon to 8:00 P.M. daily except for Sundays, January 21st and 28th with altered hours on Thursday, January 25th (noon to 6:00 P.M.) and Tuesday, January 23rd (noon to 4:30 P.M.) All WAS proceeds go to the East Side House Settlement in the Bronx. A schedule of daily events and lectures can be found on the show’s website.
NEW YORK CERAMICS & GLASS FAIR
Dedicated to ceramics and glass – the show presents almost 30 vetted galleries, private dealers, and artists from the United States, Europe, and Israel, who will offer ceramics and glass made from the 17th century through to contemporary works. The loan exhibit at the New York Ceramics & Glass Fair is sponsored by Ceramics in America, published by the Chipstone Foundation of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia. Archaeologist Deborah Miller will lecture on the significance of a remarkable assemblage of slipware dating to the middle of the 18th century that was found in a brick-lined privy shaft associated with Philadelphia taverns. The fair continues daily from January 18th – 20th from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday, January 21st from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; tickets are $20. The fair’s daily lecture program is free with admission. For the entire schedule please see the fairs website.
Art, Design, & Antiques Show at Wallace Hall
For the fourth year, Brad Reh has assembled 35 well-known dealers to offer a selection of English furniture, American folk art, American Indian art, fine books, silver, pottery and porcelain, Oriental rugs, carpets, jewelry, Asian works of art, paintings, sculpture, and mid-century design in a boutique-like setting. With the loss of Big Flea, the Armory Show and the Pier Show AD&AS at Wallace Hall is a “can’t miss” for those seeking quality decorative pieces from many eras and locations. Highlights will include a dining table and four chairs by Tommi Parzinger offered by Glen Leroux Antiques, Painted Furniture and Country Americana from A Bird in Hand Antiques and a striking mid-century Italian chrome chandelier offered by Andrew Spindler Antiques. Open from Friday, January 19th – January 20th from 10 A.M. – 7 P.M. and Sunday, January 21st from 11 A.M. to 6 P.M. Additionally, throughout the weekend, a shuttle bus will run between Wallace Hall and the Winter Antique Show at the Park Avenue Armory.
OUTSIDER ART FAIR
For the 26th consecutive year the Outsider Art Fair will be offering outsider art from more than 60 national and international exhibitors, nine of which are new to the show. The show is open from January 18th – 21st with daily hours from 11 A.M. to 8 P.M.
Sotheby’s – Americana Week Auction
Sotheby’s will offer nearly 900 lots of American furniture, folk art, silver, China trade porcelain, and prints over a four-day period at their York Avenue location. The star of the week; however, is the Mansfield-Merriam family Pilgrim-century black-painted, joined, and carved oak wainscot armchair, made in the New Haven Colony circa 1650, that will be sold on Saturday, January 20 with an estimate of $300,000-500,000.
On Saturday, January 19th, Sotheby’s will offer a Nathan Lumbard clock in an inlaid case from the Fred and Ann Vogel collection; however, the sale will lead off with furniture from the Dudley and Constance Godfrey Foundation, with the proceeds going to the Milwaukee Art Museum. On Saturday afternoon the collection of Bobbi and Ralph Terkowitz of Washington, D.C., and New York will be offered, which includes five portraits by itinerant painter Ammi Phillips. On Sunday, a collection of federal and classical furniture from the estate of the Michigan collector Patricia M. Sax which was bought in New York from renowned dealers Carswell Rush Berlin and Stuart Feld at Hirschl & Adler Galleries will also be offered.
Christie’s Americana Week Auction
On Friday, January 19, Christie’s will sell Americana and Outsider art, including five works by Alabama artist Bill Traylor. Christie’s will also sell 100 lots of traditional American furniture and silver from a separate catalog. The highlight of Christie’s offerings are two pairs of Philadelphia rococo side chairs made for Richard Edwards that were found in Canada. Three of the chairs have the same descent as a pier table that sold at Christie’s in January 1990 and which set a record price at that time. The chairs will be offered in two lots, estimated between $30,000-50,000 and $20,000-30,000. In addition, a pair of Philadelphia Queen Anne side chairs from the Rawle family hold a $30,000-50,000 estimate. Finally, an Athenaeum-type portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart which was once owned by the hero of Spanish independence Simon Bolivar (1783-1830) of Caracas, Venezuela will be offered and is estimated at $100,000-150,000.
Savy collectors who attend shows and fairs are using art advisors to research artist and markets before jumping into a purchase. Buyers should remain discerning when purchasing via shows and consider the following before purchasing: remove the emotion of purchase, analyze the artist, medium, size, subject matter, rarity, provenance and sales history – it is very important to confirm the sales price at auction as understanding the market of your acquisition is the basis of negotiation. Work with advisors to negotiate the purchase of a new acquisition as advisors can often save clients upwards of 20% on a new purchase. Pall Mall Art Advisors charges $300 for market analytics reports which provides a diagnostic analysis of the quality and market for the acquisition. An additional 5% of the final sales price will be charged for negotiating on the client’s behalf.