Back from the Pier Show

Full Aisles at the Pier Show
Full Aisles at the Pier Show

We arrived at the Pier Antiques Show today to see a line waiting for cabs to leave the show. While there wasn’t a line to get in the show, it was crowded enough to have to not be able to walk around freely. Like most, we started with the Modernism section. “Modernism is dying fast,” my friend David Sokosh repeated (it’s become a mantra). “If you have anything, sell it now.”

The most crowded area seemed to be the “Americana and Decorative Art” area, which had some fashion booths at the far end. Here we found a mix of items from paintings and furniture, to tiles and perhaps most interestingly three taxidermied squirrels that have been mounted in baseball-playing positions.  It was at a booth by HG Limited full of aluminum trays and roller skates that I mentioned the Chippendale-style chair made of aluminum by Alcoa that’s in the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh. One aisle later a set of metal Windsor chairs appeared.

Booth of HG Limited
Booth of HG Limited

It was in classic and formal where the bulk of our time was spent. Here we met up with our friend David Smernoff, who seems to have sold a large portion of his booth Saturday (I hope he has enough for Sunday!) Easter Hill Antiques has  what I may think of as the most typical look for an American antique booth, and it’s comfortable when you see at least one in a show.

Martin Chasin Fine Arts brought some great looking glass, and there’s an especially handsome tea caddy with Irish glass bottles and mixing bowl in his display case. But the favorite booth–and one that’s likely to launch a learning expedition is that of Joseph Topping, Portrait Miniatures. Not only did these knowledgeable dealers invite us into the world of miniature portraits, but launched a first look into full-length silhouettes. I should also mention that returning home and looking at auctions results for some of the silhouettes, the prices there seem fair.

If you haven’t plans, the Pier could be a great way to spend your Sunday.

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 artafterx.com will point to the latest updates on this weblog.

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