The tent to the left of the Metropolitan Opera House in Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center was a good venue for the show. It was light and airy and accessible with easy in and out for dealers. This fresh venue on the West Side of New York City attracted a large crowd, some with babies and dogs.
Reform Gallery, Los Angeles, had two stands, and one was devoted to Paul McCobb furniture, lighting, and architectural pottery planters from the 1950's and 1960's. The cabinet with bookshelves, 1964, from McCobb's Executive series, was $14,000; the pair of dressers, $10,000; the round coffee table with a white glass top, $8500; and the chairs were $14,000 the pair. A single chair made for Directional (not shown) was $4500.
1stdibs had a stand with a selection of chairs from dealers who show at the New York Design Center. On Friday the chair on the far right sold for $2800. No one seemed to know who made it.
Vojtech Blau, New York City, asked $68,000 for the tapestry (front and center) by Sonia Delaunay (1885-1978), Helice, manufactured by Ateliers Pinton FrÃ¨res, Felletin (Aubusson), France, circa 1970. It is number one of an edition of six and measures 6'4" x 5'3Â½". The Alexander Calder (1898-1976) tapestry (left), Le Lizard et Le Titard, Ateliers Pinton FrÃ¨res, circa 1971, 5'4" x 8'11", was $75,000 and sold. The Jean Lurcat (1892-1966) tapestry (right), Foret Bleue, Ateliers Pinton FrÃ¨res, 1953, 6'6" x 4'10", was $28,000.
Mark McDonald of Hudson, New York, offered jewelry by Art Smith, Alexander Calder, Sam Kramer, Ed Weiner, Claire Falkenstein, and Margaret De Patta, all jewelers who made art to wear.
New York City
by Lita Solis-Cohen
NYC20 was billed as the first all-1stdibs (www.1stdibs.com) dealers' show and the first design show in the tent at Lincoln Center. In spring 2011 Dolphin Promotions' president Rosemary Krieger saw the tent in Damrosch Park tucked into the space next to the Metropolitan Opera House, and she said her knees buckled. "I asked where the office was, and I signed on the spot for a show a year down the road," she said.
The tent is up for just 60 days a year in April and May. It is used for fashion week, for fund-raising dinners, and now for an antiques show. It is a perfect venue for a small showbright and airy, with light that filters in through the glass front, and it is accessible. Krieger signed up 38 1stdibs dealers from the U.S. and Europe and put together a successful show of 20th-century art, design, fashion, and jewelry, branding it NYC20.
"It exceeded every one of my expectations," Krieger said on the phone from her Chicago office two days after the show closed. "There is no exact science to show promoting, but we got it right. On Sunday there was such a buying frenzy when the show was closing that we kept the show open an hour longer. At six o'clock Patrick Dragonette sold four William Haines chairs [asking price $85,000 for the four] and a chaise and a Pedra lamp to a young couple for their house in the Hamptons. They had to wait for their architect's OK. A couple from Toronto was shopping at Christopher Anthony's at five o'clock, and they stayed until six to make their decisions."
Not everyone sold well, but those who made few sales said they met people they had not seen in years and made new contacts.
The well-attended preview on Thursday, April 12 was a benefit for the Bard Graduate Center. Regular subscribers to 1stdibs got free tickets, so it was crowded. It was mostly a social evening with plenty of mini-burgers with toppings, wine, and spirits. 1stdibs founder Michael Bruno made a cameo appearance; he was also co-chairman of the ASPCA fund-raiser.
There was Italian, Brazilian, Mexican, Scandinavian, and American design at this show. Zesty Meyers and Evan Snyderman of R 20th Century, New York City, offered Brazilian furniture, European lighting, and Korean ceramic garden seats. Robert Willson of Downtown, Los Angeles and New York City, had Mexican furniture and an Austrian chandelier. Converso, Chicago, had a booth of only Dunbar furniture designed by Edward Wormley. Le Lampade, Sag Harbor, New York, offered only Italian lighting, while Il Segno del Tempo, Milan, showed industrial tables and carts, anatomical models, artist's models, articulated figures, and an ostrich from a French carousel.
Art ranged from works by Joan MirÃ³ and Damien Hirst at Trinity House, New York City and London, to Harry Bertoia at Lost City Arts, New York City, and Elizabeth Catlett at Steve Newman Fine Arts, Atlanta. Framont, Greenwich, Connecticut, had a Picasso ceramic owl priced at $15,000.
Neil Marrs, Michael Kanners, Joyce Groussman, Ken Leach of Gallery 47, and Camilla Dietz Bergeron are popular jewelry dealers on 1stdibs. They have a following, and they all did business. "We have one price, for the trade and the public. We sold across the board," said Susan Volk of Camilla Dietz Bergeron, New York City.
Before the weekend was over, Vojtech Blau, New York City, sold a 1970's tapestry by Alexander Calder. It has a bold biomorphic design in red, blue, and black and was made by Ateliers Pinton FrÃ¨res in France and has Calder's signature woven lower left. The asking price was $75,000.
Red and black and blue dominated Katy Kane's stand of vintage fashion. A black dress by Alexander McQueen made of strips of chiffon, bandage style, with black leather zippers from the hem to the arm sold at the preview, as did a black Madame Gres one-shoulder long dress and a 1950's black satin coat by Arthur Falkenstein that could be worn as a dress. "I sold the Elsa Peretti sterling silver snake belt for Halston, handbags, and jewelry, as well as clothes to people who looked at my postings on 1stdibs and came in to try on what they liked. Now that I know their figure I can tell them if what I have will fit when they see it on line," said Kane.
The show was a fresh, bright design show with energy. "With the demise of Modernism and no Stella modern show, we thought the door was open for us to come in with a different kind of modern show," said Krieger. With 400,000 e-mail subscribers to 1stdibs as a base, it was hard to go wrong.
With Dolphin Promotions' media director Gordon Merkle and executive assistant Charlie Walter, Krieger produces ten shows a year in the Midwest, South Florida, and California. She said Los Angeles Modernism, Palm Springs Modernism, and San Francisco 20th Century Art and Design (SF20) gave her experience with dealers who offer 20th-century design.
After NYC20 closed, Krieger was getting ready for LA Modernism at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, which was held May 4-6. In August she will be in Chicago for the Chicago Summer Antiques Show at the airport; in September she'll go back to California for the fifth annual SF20 at the Herbst Pavilion at Fort Mason Center; and then back to the Barker Hangar for the Los Angeles Antiques Art + Design Show.
She said she added design to the Los Angeles title because shows seem to be driven by the design community these days. Krieger has also organized antiques shows in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and West Palm Beach. She said she went to work for Bob Smith at Dolphin Promotions in 1981 as a ticket-taker and bought the company in 2003. Smith died in 2005.
She expects NYC20 will return to the tent at Lincoln Center, April 11-14, 2013, with 1stdibs as the official partner. That means that dealers must be members of 1stdibs to be invited to rent a booth at this show. For more information, call (708) 366-2710 or visit the Web site (www.dolphinfairs.com).
New Hope, Pennsylvania, dealer Katy Kane offered a framed scarf printed in a pattern from a Victor Vasarely "Vega" series painting. From the estate of Lyn Revson, the painting was $1800. The Madame Gres one-shoulder dress (left) sold. Madame Gres designed gowns for the Duchess of Windsor, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The red trench coat by Yves Saint Laurent was $850. Kane sold so quickly on preview night that some of her mannequins stood naked for half an hour before she could redress them.
Lawrence Converso of Chicago devoted his stand to Dunbar. The 1937 sofa was $23,000. The Janus daybed is from the high-end line. The two-door chest was $12,500; the mahogany chairs that are adjustable to three positions were $45,000 the pair. The small chest (right), an Arts and Crafts design, was $8500. He sold the dining table and chairs.
Sally Rosen of Dallas, Texas, asked $135,000 for the large silvered screen by Philolaos Tloupas (Greek, 1923-2010), circa 1970, 73" high x 154" long. The chair by Carlo Bugatti (Italian, 1856-1940), circa 1908, wood, copper, and goatskin parchment, was $16,000. The dining table by Alessandro Mendini (Italian, b. 1931), 1985, lacquered wood and leather, 29" x 65" x 55", was $11,500. A set of eight wood and metal chairs by Ron Arad (Israeli, b. 1951), circa 1990, of which only four are shown, was $15,500.
Christopher Anthony Ltd., Palm Springs, California, asked $7500 for a stained mahogany piece with nickel-plated handles from the Mengel Module series, designed by Morris Sanders for Mengel Furniture, circa 1946. The Mengel Module series was one of the first designs for modular furniture. The case pieces can be set up in a variety of ways with connectors and plugs.
Liz O'Brien of New York City asked $115,000 for the large Samuel Marx secretary bookcase, 1940, painted in a cream craquelure with silver leaf. "It looks like Michael Graves," said O'Brien.