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Saturday, 05 March 2011 04:37

After a Rugged Winter, Is Spring in the Air?

Michelle Tillou, senior client manager for Antiques and Fine Art magazine, and League president Clinton Howell. The magazine is a sponsor of the Arts’ Night Out, a young patrons’ party planned for Friday evening, April 29, at Spring Show NYC. Michelle Tillou, senior client manager for Antiques and Fine Art magazine, and League president Clinton Howell. The magazine is a sponsor of the Arts’ Night Out, a young patrons’ party planned for Friday evening, April 29, at Spring Show NYC.

NEW YORK CITY – A recent Thursday saw me racing around Manhattan. Receptions at the Union League Club and Hirschl & Adler Galleries followed a lunch at the Sherry-Netherland Hotel to launch the Spring Show NYC, the latest venture of the Art and Antique Dealers League of America. After a rugged winter, could spring be in the air?
The Spring Show NYC
With baby boomers beginning to retire, 60 prominent dealers in art and antiques are looking to counter one of the industry’s most ominous trends: aging collectors.  An innovative new fair organized by the Art and Antique Dealers League of America may be just the thing to wash away the gray. The Spring Show NYC is set for April 28 to May 2 at New York’s Park Avenue Armory.
“We’re reaching out,” said League president Clinton Howell, describing the fresh presentation that is specifically aimed at younger audiences.
“We want to attract a new generation of collectors,” added the show’s producer, Michael Franks, a dmg world media alum who also mounts the SOFA contemporary design shows in New York, Chicago and Santa Fe. The back-to-back Spring Show NYC and SOFA New York, which closes on April 17 at the Park Avenue Armory, are sharing some of their production costs, a smart move for both ventures. Scandinavian design authority Lars Bolander is advising on the look of the Spring Show NYC, so expect the installation to be anything but stodgy.
The League has put together an outstanding exhibitors’ list. Some of the headliners are Kentshire Galleries, Hyde Park Antiques, Philip Colleck, Ltd., Alfred Bullard, Foster-Gwin, Carlton Hobbs, Schiller & Bodo, Thomas Colville, Robert Simon, Abby M. Taylor, Jack Kilgore, Hill-Stone Inc., Douglas Dawson, Kevin Conru, Arthur Guy Kaplan, Leo Kaplan, Ltd., Jeff R. Bridgman and Peter Pap Oriental Rugs.
The League is working with the edgy New York Observer to reach 50,000 subscribers with a magazine-style catalogue. It is also partnering with nearly a dozen youth-oriented patrons groups, from the American Friends of the Louvre’s Young Patrons Circle and the Metropolitan Opera’s Young Associates to Christie’s and Bard Graduate Center alumni.
Tycoons-in-training Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are honorary co-chairs of Arts Night Out, the show’s Young Collectors Night on Friday, April 29. The event is sponsored by Antiques and Fine Art magazine, Doyle New York and Absolut vodka. Online vendor is hosting the April 27 preview party benefitting ASPCA.
Just to keep things hopping, the lively lecture series will feature Derek Ostergard on French design of the interwar years, Tim Knox on architecture for animals, Ruth Peltason on jewelry, Mario Buatta on decorating with antiques and Robert Thurman – yes, Uma’s dad - on Buddhist art.
Hirschl & Adler’s New Galleries
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, a standard bearer for American fine and decorative arts now approaching its sixtieth year, has moved from its townhouse galleries on East 70th Street to the historic Crown Building at 730 Fifth Avenue in the heart of midtown Manhattan.
We recently caught up with Elizabeth Feld, Hirschl & Adler’s managing director, from the floor of the Armory Show at New York’s Pier 92, where the gallery’s contemporary division was exhibiting through March 6.
“We’re in love,” Feld said of the firm’s new quarters. “The space is very contemporary and gives us the freedom to mount museum-like displays.”
On February 24, Hirschl & Adler had a soft opening in the Crown Building for contemporary artist John Moore, a painter of urban and industrial views.  An inaugural exhibition, “Masterworks: The Best of Hirschl & Adler,” opens on May 5.
“The show will include examples of the best from every area that we specialize in, from the eighteenth century to the present,” said Feld.
Woodbury’s Next Auction
Best known for fine Federal furniture, Woodbury, Ct., dealer Thomas Schwenke briefly escaped Litchfield County’s lingering snow to host a festive reception at the Union League Club on 37th Street.
The gathering provided a sneak preview of Woodbury Auction’s second anniversary sale of antiques and fine art, planned for Saturday, May 21.
Schwenke launched Woodbury Auction as an adjunct to his main business in 2009 in Woodbury, known as the antiques capital of Connecticut.
“The reception provided a venue for our clients to get together.  We have customers who still don’t know that we’ve started an auction house,” Schwenke explained.
Consignments for the May 21 sale, which features three collections plus estate material, are being accepted through April 15. To date, highlights include a New Jersey tall clock by Aaron Lane, a Baltimore Hepplewhite card table and a Charleston Pembroke table.
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