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Displaying items by tag: Decorative Arts

The Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY announced that it has exceeded its $50 million fundraising goal for its Changing Speed expansion and renovation project by $334,000. The campaign’s success will allow the museum to complete Phase I and II of its plan, which includes building a new North Building, a central utilities building, and an art park and piazza.

The New North Building will span 62,500-square-feet and will double the museum’s overall physical space. The state-of-the-art renovation will include larger spaces for special exhibitions, contemporary art galleries, a family education welcome center, indoor and outdoor cafes, a museum shop, and a multifunctional pavilion for lectures and performances.

A major family gift made by civic leader Christy Brown will allow the Speed Art Museum to complete Phase III of its plan, which includes building a new South Building and extensive renovations to the existing structure. Brown made an $18 million contribution to the project in honor of her late husband, Owsley Brown II. The new 9,500-square-foot South Building will include additional gallery space and a state-of-the-art theater that will be capable of showing 16mm and 35mm films. The South Building will also include a renovated 5,600-square-foot gallery in the Speed’s current structure to house the museum’s significant collection of early Kentucky fine and decorative arts, which includes paintings, sculptures, furniture, silver, and other objects.

Work on Phase III of the Speed’s plan is underway and Phase I and II are expected to start this summer. All construction and renovations are expected to reach completion by the winter of 2015 and a grand re-opening is slated for early 2016.

Louisville philanthropist Hattie Bishop Speed founded the Speed Art Museum in 1925. It is the oldest, largest, and foremost art museum in Kentucky. The Speed is currently closed for the renovations but a temporary exhibition space was established in downtown Louisville’s Nulu district.

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Since 1845 Boston’s New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has been collecting, preserving, and interpreting materials that tell the stories of America’s families. While “doing one’s genealogy” has always been a popular pastime, “who we are and where we’ve come from” has received unprecedented exposure in the past decade. Prime time television programs such as Finding Your Roots (hosted by NEHGS trustee Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and introduced each week on PBS from the society’s headquarters) and websites like and the NEHGS’ award-winning have attracted millions of people, all seeking clues to their past. Long a leader in genealogical research and with more than 65,000 members and registered users of its website throughout the world, NEHGS has been both a catalyst for and a beneficiary of this tremendous surge of interest in family history studies.

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The 2013 Spring Show NYC opened to the public on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan. Organized by the Art and Antique Dealers League of America, this is the third edition of the Spring Show NYC, which features furniture, paintings, drawings, sculpture, ceramics, glass, decorative arts, and much more.

This year’s show includes over 60 international galleries. Highlights from the fair include Ammi Phillips’ (1788-1865) Portrait of a Child from Jeffrey Tillou Antiques, French landscape painter Eugene Louis Boudin’s (1824-1898) Village aux Environs de Dunkerque from Rehs Galleries, and a set of eight George II carved mahogany dining chairs from Clinton Howell Antiques.

The Spring Show NYC will be ongoing at the Armory through May 5, 2013. Tonight, the fair will host Arts Night Out, allowing 30 young patron groups from New York ‘s top cultural institutions to visit the show. Proceeds from the event will benefit the ASPCA.

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Thursday, 04 April 2013 17:57

Shelburne Museum to Stay Open Year-Round

On August 18, 2013 the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, VT will open its new Center for Art and Education. Historically a seasonal museum, the Shelburne will stay open year-round after the Center’s inauguration for the first time in the institution’s 66-year history.

The Center for Art and Education, which was designed by the Boston-based architecture firm, Ann Beha Architects, boasts 18,000-square-feet and will allow the Shelburne Museum to expand their exhibition offerings as well as implement new programming. The Center is part of the $14 million capital campaign “The Campaign for Shelburne Museum.” The campaign includes an endowment to maintain the center as well as the installation of a fiber-optic communications network throughout the Shelburne’s site, which spans 45 acres.

Founded by pioneering American folk art collector Electra Havemeyer Webb (1888-1960) in 1947, the Shelburne Museum holds one of the most remarkable and diverse collections of art and Americana. The museum’s 150,000 holdings include Impressionist paintings, folk art, quilts, textiles, decorative arts, furniture, American paintings, and various artifacts dating from the 17th to 20th century, which are exhibited in 39 different buildings. Webb collected various 18th and 19th century structures including houses, barns, a lighthouse, a jail, and a steamboat to house her collection; 25 of the buildings are historic.

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The Brooklyn Museum, which holds a celebrated decorative arts collection, is currently presenting a selection of rarely seen American and European quilts. In fact, only one of the 30-plus quilts on display has been on public view in the past 30 years.

The exhibition titled Workt by Hand: Hidden Labor and Historical Quilts aims to explore the impact of feminist scholarship on the ways in which historical quilts have been and are currently viewed, contextualized, and interpreted. The exhibition goes beyond the connection of quilting to feminism and explores the medium of quilting as an art form and as an aspect of material culture with meaningful social and political undertones.

The quilts on view at the Brooklyn Museum span two centuries and feature iconic designs and techniques including the log cabin style, the Amish sunshine and shadow style, and crazy quilts, which were fashionable during the late 19th century. A quilt by Mary A. Stinson that is considered one of finest examples of a crazy quilt is included in Workt by Hand.

Workt by Hand aims to shed light on the skill, craftsmanship, thought, and energy that went into quilting; something that was frequently overlooked in a male-dominated society. The exhibition, which is on view through September 15, 2013, includes photographs, newspaper clippings, sample pieces of quilts, and other ephemera relating to the history of quilts.

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The Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. has announced that its Renwick Gallery, which houses the museum’s American craft and decorative arts collection from the 19th to 21st centuries, will undergo a major renovation. The Renwick Gallery, which opened to the public in 1972, will close to accommodate the project in early 2014 and is expected to reopen in 2016.

Project details are still being worked out and an exact cost for the renovations is yet to be determined. The Smithsonian is planning to use public funds to pay for half of the project and the rest will be paid through private partnerships. The project has already received a $335,000 grant from the National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasures initiative, as the Renwick Gallery is located in a National Historic Landmark building. The building’s construction began in 1859 and went on to house the city’s first art museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, upon its completion.

Museum officials plan to convert all of the Renwick Gallery’s lighting to energy efficient LED lights and wireless Internet access will be provided throughout the entire gallery. Heating, plumbing, electrical, air conditioning, and fire safety systems will all be gutted and replaced. This will be the Renwick Gallery’s first renovation in 40 years.

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Tuesday, 22 January 2013 12:58

New York Americana Week Show Happenings

Kicking off New York City’s 2013 “Americana Week” show schedule is The New York Ceramics Fair (January 23–27), with an opening night preview party on January 22. At the Bohemian National Hall (321 East 73rd Street) for the third year in a row, the Ceramics Fair brings together forty galleries from England, Europe, and across the US. Offerings include porcelain, pottery, glass, cloisonné and enamels, as well as an educational lecture series. Visit

The Metro Show NYC opens its second year at the Metropolitan Pavilion (125 W. 18th Street) with a preview reception January 23 and extends through January 27. This year the show recasts the “A” word (antiques) into the now trendy Historical Design. New dealers include Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts and Fred Giampietro Gallery. The Metro Show welcomes Editions | Artists’ Book Fair to the adjoining building. Visit or call 800.563.7632.

Opening on January 25 and running through the 27, Antiques at the Armory, Lexington Avenue at 26th street, 69th Regiment Armory, features one-hundred select exhibitors of American & European antiques, period furniture, Americana, folk art, garden and architectural artifacts, fine art and prints, and much more. Shuttle service is available between the Armory show and the Winter
Antiques Show. Visit or call 973.808.5015.

Opening the evening of January 24 with a gala preview to benefit East Side House Settlement, the Winter Antiques Show, 67th and Park Avenue, marks its 59th year as the most prestigious antiques
show in the country. Through February 1, seventy-five exhibitors will offer works from antiquity through the 1960s with one-third of the show’s exhibitors specializing in Americana with the rest featuring English, European, and Asian fine and decorative arts. This year’s loan exhibit features “Newport: the Glamour of Ornament,” celebrating The Preservation Society of Newport County. Popular lectures relating to the exhibition and the Expert Eye series are held through the duration of the show. Among the new exhibitors is Allan Katz Americana. Visit or call 718.292.7392.

Though after Americana Week, be sure to visit Outsider Art Fair at Center 548, 548 West 22nd Street in Chelsea, from February 1–3 with a preview party January 31. Under new ownership (Wide Open Arts), the fair celebrates its twenty-first year. Visit or call 212.337.3338.

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Thursday, 17 January 2013 17:42

New York City’s Metro Show Kicks Off in One Week

The Metro Show, The New Face of Art & Design, kicks off on January 24, 2013 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea and runs through January 27. Produced by the Art Fair Company, which organizes the Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Fairs as well as the Antique Dealers League Spring Show NYC, the Metro Show brings together a striking mix of historic and contemporary art and design.

The second edition of the Metro Show boasts an impressive roster of exhibitors that includes Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts, Carl Hammer Gallery, Gary Sullivan Antiques, Just Folk, Ricco/Maresca Gallery, M. Finkel & Daughter, Hill Gallery, Samuel Herrup Antiques, Stephen Score, and many more. A broad range of objects will be on view including paintings, furniture, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, folk art, textiles, and decorative arts.

Caroline Kerrigan Lerch, Director of the Metro Show said, “Our vision is to illustrate the intellect, beauty, and vision in American arts and design, while placing it in a more modern and international context. We want to broaden its appeal and reach out to a new and younger audience while renewing the interest of the loyal attendees who flock each January to the Metropolitan Pavilion.”

The Metro Show will hold an invitation-only preview on January 23 from 6-7PM and a public preview from 7-9PM.

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The Art Fair Company, owners of SOFA Chicago, SOFA New York, SOFA Santa Fe, The Metro Show, and the Spring Show NYC, announced that the Metro Show has formed an alliance with Editions/Artists’ Book Fair. Editions/Artists‘ Book Fair was slated to take place November 1-4 of this year, but was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. The show will now run alongside the Metro Show, which is held in New York City’s Metropolitan Pavilion from January 23-27, 2013. Susan Inglett, the founder of Editions/Artists’ Book Fair said, “We are grateful to our colleagues at The Art Fair Company who have provided us this incredible opportunity.”

Now in its fifteenth year, Editions/Artists’ Book Fair showcases contemporary publishers and dealers and presents an array of prints, multiples, and artists’ books from over 60 international exhibitors. The show also includes site-specific installations, lectures, and screenings.

Next door at the Metro Show, which is helmed by Caroline Kerrigan Lerch, historic art will be presented alongside contemporary design. Works include paintings, furniture, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, folk art, textiles, and decorative arts.

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Saturday, 22 December 2012 06:22

American Decorative Arts at the World's Fairs

World’s fairs have served to educate the public in human accomplishments through science and the arts, have forged links between cultures, and have set in motion events that might never otherwise have taken place. After his visit to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, Andrew Carnegie was not only inspired to establish Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh and the museum’s noteworthy cast collections, he also introduced the annual Carnegie International exhibition in 1896. If it were not for the 1933 Chicago fair, James McNeill Whistler’s iconic painting Arrangement in Grey and Black: The Artist’s Mother, also known as Whistler’s Mother, would not have traveled to the Midwest and been the star work at the opening of the William Rockhill Nelson-Gallery of Art (now the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art) in Kansas City, Missouri, in December 1933.

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