In the New York Times, Benjamin Genocchio tours the Winter Antiques Show. Despite the economic mood surrounding the city, the fair focuses on better times and, possibly, better places:
Aside from the wares, the booths are a hoot. Several are furnished interiors, festooned with intricate and historically accurate decoration or decked out as period shops, parlors, libraries and salons. Yes, they can be gaudy kitsch. But what is undeniable is that the decorations are pleasing to the senses, adding to the overall feeling of overindulgence.
The most lasting impression is the space of Elle Shushan, a perennial exhibitor whose booth of portrait miniatures is a take-off on Empress Josephine’s boudoir at Malmaison, the chateau outside Paris she purchased in 1798. Nearby, the booth of Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs is a re-creation of the 1905 interior of Alfred Stieglitz’s legendary 291 Gallery in New York, with works on view by many of the same photographers who exhibited there.
One of the benefits of an omnibus fair is that it gives viewers a chance to contemplate with relative ease how in different times and places the meaning of beauty was cast in a different light. Compare, for instance, the sensuous 2000-year-old Greek marble figure of Aphrodite at Rupert Wace with the marble female bust by Elie Nadelman from about 1909-10 at Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts. The Aphrodite is absolutely realistic in its depiction of the human form, while the bust is highly stylized.
And Eve Kahn takes a look at some other fairs around the city:
The prices seem relatively sensible, and the dealers especially scholarly, at the New York Ceramics Fair and the American Antiques Show. Trolling the aisles asking about the newest highlights, any rarities fresh to market, you hear just a few figures over $10,000, and there are plenty of conversation pieces available for just a few hundred dollars.
The Ceramics Fair, with 36 dealers, mostly from the United States and focused on American, Asian and British artifacts, has taken up its usual strangely shaped quarters: parts of the second and fourth floors at the National Academy Museum on Fifth Avenue near 90th Street. Vitrines form shallow booths along the snaking corridors; there are no drywall partitions to limit transparency; and the dealers typically mingle with the crowds rather than sequester themselves behind the displays. You’re walking around a giant china shop, sure, but you may feel surprisingly at ease.
A Winter Wonderland of Old and Modern Invites Meandering (New York Times)
Conversation-Piece Buys, Maybe. Intriguing Histories, Definitely. (New York Times)