The Winter Antiques Show announces that Historic New England, the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive regional heritage organization in the nation, will display fine, decorative and applied arts from its 36 historically and architecturally significant properties in the featured loan exhibition at this year's Show from January 22 -31, 2010 at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City. Colonial to Modern: A Century of Collecting at Historic New England, which celebrates Historic New England's centennial, showcases some of the finest items from its collection of more than 110,000 objects. The exhibition is sponsored by Chubb Personal Insurance, which has sponsored the loan exhibition for 14 consecutive years.
Arie L. Kopelman, Winter Antiques Show Committee Chairman, notes, "We are honored to showcase these outstanding pieces from Historic New England as this year's loan exhibition. The breadth of the works on display -- from 18th century furniture to Bauhaus design -- complements the variety of great material that our exhibitors bring each year."
Colonial to Modern features objects from the 18th to the 20th centuries, including furniture, paintings by academic and provincial artists, ceramics made in New England and abroad, and personal accessories from diamond brooches to silk brocade shoes. The emphasis is on superb objects with great stories, such as the Quincy family's Boston-made Japanned high chest, tour de force of 18th century furniture, which belonged to one of New England's most influential families.
Jeff Daly, who recently retired as senior design advisor to the director at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and now heads his own design firm, will create the installation for the Winter Antiques Show.
A series of lectures at the Winter Antiques Show will complement the exhibition. Topics explore different aspects of Historic New England, from the architecture of its properties to jewelry in its collection.
Highlights of the exhibition (images are available):
High Chest, decoration possibly by Robert Davis or Stephen Whiting, Boston, 1735-45, red maple, red oak, white pine. This high chest, richly decorated with pagodas and fanciful creatures in a technique known as "japanning," was rescued twice from fires before 1770. It still resides in the Quincy House in Quincy, Massachusetts.
Needlework Picture, Boston, Massachusetts, 1745-1750, wool on linen, silk, glass beads. This exquisite needlework is the largest of a group of remarkable needlework scenes called "Fishing Lady" pictures. It descended in the Lowell family and hung at author James Russell Lowell's house, Elmwood, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the nineteenth century.
Shoes, Jonathan Hose and Son, London, ca. 1770, silk brocade. Buckles, probably Birmingham, England, 1770-78, colorless paste, silver, steel. These brocade shoes, like most shoes of the period, have no right or left but were made to be interchangeable. Buckles could be set with diamonds for the wealthiest wearers, or, like these, made of paste. Prudence Jenkins wore these buckles at her wedding in 1778.
Art Pottery Vase and Bowl, Paul Revere Pottery, Boston, glazed stoneware, Vase: Attributed to Lily Shapiro, 1915, Bowl: Sarah Galner, 1917. This vase and bowl in the Arts and Crafts style are products of a remarkable experiment in social engineering, carried out by and for women. The Paul Revere Pottery was both a literary club for immigrant girls and a pottery studio that taught marketable skills and enabled them to earn a living.
Wallpaper, probably designed by Joseph Laurent Malaine (1745-1809), probably printed by Hartmann, Risler and Cie (1795-1802), Rixhiem, France 1795-1802. Block-printed wove paper. Wallpapers were the wall finish of choice after the American Revolution. This example, from Massachusetts home, displays Medusa heads and Neo-Classical palmettes.
Psyche, Hiram Powers (1805-1873), Florence, Italy, 1849. After he saw this bust in the artist's studio in Italy, Nathaniel Hawthorne rhapsodized: "A light. . .seems to shine from the interior of the marble, and beam forth from the features." Powers' sculpture evoked classical ideals of female beauty and had great appeal in the nineteenth century.
Sewing Kit, England, 1765-90, silver. This silver fish conceals a utilitarian purpose -- a small knife and scissors for sewing. It belonged to Abigail, patriot Josiah Quincy's wife, and reflects both the useful work required of everyone in New England -- in this case an endless round of sewing and mending -- as well as the relative comfort in which Mrs. Quincy lived.
TAC 1 Tea Set, The Architects Collaborative, manufactured by Rosenthal, Selb, Germany, 1969. Porcelain. The tea set, known as TAC 1 and introduced in 1969, was the result of a collaboration between Walter Gropius and modeler Katherine De Sousa. Its simple geometric form and suitability to mass production aptly reflect Bauhaus ideals.
Susan Buttrick, Sade Lowe, Anne Buttrick, Sarah Wilson Oliver, and Elizabeth Lowe, Lorenzo, G. Chase (working 1844-1856), Boston, 1848-49. This is a fine example of an early half-plate daguerreotype taken in Boston, Massachusetts, an early center for the new art of photography. This example appears to commemorate a special occasion.
To complement the exhibition and offer a deeper context for the objects on view, Historic New England staff will present a series of lectures during the show. Lectures are held in the "Tiffany" Room at the Park Avenue Armory. Seating is on a first-come basis and is complimentary with admission:
The Meaning of Things: Historic New England's Collections
Nancy Carlisle, Curator
Sunday, January 24, 2010, 2:30 p.m.
Heritage from the Home: Do House Museums Still Matter?
Carl R. Nold, President and CEO
Monday, January 25, 2010, 2:30 p.m.
Drawing Toward Home: Designs for Domestic Architecture from Historic New
Lorna Condon, Curator of Library and Archives
Tuesday, January 26, 2010, 2:30 p.m.
Glittering Narratives: Jewelry at Historic New England
Sarah Sherman, Collections Cataloguer
Thursday, January 28, 2010, 2:30 p.m.
John Childs, Conservator
Friday, January 29, 2010, 2:30 p.m.
Lecture & book signing
Nancy Carlisle, Curator
Saturday, January 30, 2010, 2:30 p.m.