Back From Gramercy

The Gramercy Antiques Show provided my first experience at a New York show. The show provided a lot more eclecticism than I am used to. I’m not sure if this is a recent trend in New York, or if it’s always been more diverse in its merchandise. While shows in the Mid-Atlantic Region have been trending to a wider mix of styles, booths with no distinct period or style seemed to outnumber those with a narrower focus. I do suspect that those who decorate a period home with period furnishings, or even decorate exclusively in a specific period are lessening. Ten years ago, I know the shows in the Mid-Atlantic would have far more early-American and classical booths than they do today, and I suspect they started dissapearing from New York shows before then.
The other phenomena is the diverse population at a New York show. While still largely and older white crowd, there was more diversity than would be in an Ohio show. More, because of the diverse nature of the city, New Yorkers are exposed to a variety of cultures and their decorative arts and are more likely to collect a diverse range of objects. I should mention there are more European dealers in New York than would be at a Mid-Atlantic show, although they focus on decorative arts more than furniture.
The economy of course is a bit of a bear right now, and Helaine Fendelman, Hearst Publishing Columnist, Estate Advisor, Author & Collector spoke to that effect during her tour/talk. Fendelman quoted the recent New York Times Editorial by Warren Buffet saying “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” She also referenced the newfound green nature of an antique, and encouraged consumption during the downturn in the hopes that a parian here, a budda there would jumpstart the economy.
I didn’t leave with anything, but I did enjoy pondering a number of items at the show and just might be there again tomorrow.

About Art After X

With the death of President Kennedy in 1963, America changed. As hard as it is to minimize that sentiment, the effect of Dallas was even greater. The same year saw the merging of the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, which had been central to the art scene, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Douglas MacAgy, then the director of DMCA, not only opposed the merger, but also declined to directorship of the combined museum. The regionalist movement which had been strong for decades, was giving way to more of an interest in what was going on nationally, and internationally. Like it or not, Dallas was on the national stage. When the Kennedy’s arrived in Fort Worth, local collectors had decorated a hotel room with internationally-renowned works. While the president and his wife learned a great deal about the ability of Texans to collect major art, there was little they could glean about the local scene in this era-defining city. With this in mind, we have begun a project to look not back at the art scene in Dallas, but foreword from 1963. We are interviewing gallery owners, curators and others involved in the art scene then, but this will be a story told mostly through interviews with artists active in the city from that point into the 1980s. The result will be a book with a video component. We hope you will join us in our journey. The hashtag for the project is #artafterx and the url will point to the latest updates on this weblog.

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