NEW YORK CELEBRATES AMERICANA WEEK
The New York art world celebrates Americana Week in mid-January with a crowded schedule of auctions, art fairs and related events. The "week" is so crowded, in fact, that it stretches from last weekend through the end of the month. A brief roundup of some of the events:
Auctions: Both Sotheby's and Christie's currently have on view presale exhibitions of American antiques, ceramics and folk arts that are not to be missed.
Sotheby's has an especially powerful presentation in the Americana area, with several collections going on the block this week. The action starts with the sale of Americana and property from Colonial Williamsburg on Jan. 17 and American folk art from the collection of Sandy & Julie Palley on Jan. 18.
Highlight of the week is the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Lammot du Pont Copeland, which goes up on Jan. 19. One top lot in this sale is an 18th-century Queen Anne secretary-bookcase attributed to the Philadelphia craftsman Samuel Harding that carries a presale estimate of $400,000-$600,000. Mr. Copeland, a cousin of Henry Francis du Pont, the founder of Winterthur, died in 1983; his widow, Pamela, died last year at age 94. The auction's 368 lots are estimated to sell for between $9 million to $14 million, with proceeds earmarked for an endowment for the Mount Cuba Center for the Study of Piedmont Flora, Mrs. Copeland's 240-acre garden in Greenville, Del.
Sotheby's continues its week of auctions on Jan 20, with a sale of selections from Israel Sack, Inc., which is closing its showroom at 730 Fifth Avenue in New York. Also on the block is property from the collection of Gunston Hall Plantation, the 550-acre national landmark in southern Fairfax County, Va.
At Christie's in Rockefeller Center, the big American auction spans two days, Jan. 18-19, and features furniture, silver and folk art, pottery from the collection of the late Robert J. Kahn and the Lafayette-Washington steel-mounted saddle pistols -- a pair of pistols that were presented by Lafayette to George Washington during the American Revolution. One prize lot is a pair of classical carved and gilt Rosewood card tables, ca. 1815, by Charles Honoré Lannuier, estimated to sell for $500,000-$800,000.
Doyle New York is holding its auction of English and Continental furniture and decorative arts on Jan. 23.
Art fairs: Several art fairs are on tap. Collectors with a taste for Americana also buy British ceramics, or so one might explain the New York Ceramics Fair, mounted by Caskey & Lees at the National Academy of Design on Fifth Avenue, Jan. 17-20. About 50 international exhibitors are on hand, a good number of them from England. Daily admission if $15; a schedule of lectures offered in conjunction with the fair can be found on Caskey & Leeswebsite.
Centerpiece to Americana Week is the 48th annual Winter Antiques Show, which opens Jan 20-27 at the Hilton Exhibition Halls at 1335 Avenue of the Americas (between 53rd and 54th). The loan exhibition is titled "Shells, Scrolls & Cabrioles: American Furniture from Winterthur;" the show's 70 exhibitors include A La Vieille Russie, Donald Ellis, Les Enluminures, Barry Friedman, Richard Green, Hirschl & Adler, Leigh Keno, Mallet, Gerald Peters and Safani. Daily admission is $16, and includes a copy of the show catalogue.
Also coming up this week is the American Antiques Show, Jan. 17-20, a new endeavor organized by the American Folk Art Museum at Metropolitan Pavilion at 125 West 18th Street. Over 40 dealers are on hand. Daily admission if $15, and includes a copy of the catalogue.
Other art fairs include the Park Avenue Antiques Show, Jan. 17-20, located at Wallace Hall on the lower level of St. Ignatius Church at Park Avenue and 84th Street, and the Antiques at the Armory show, Jan. 18-20, at the 69th Regiment Armory at Lexington Avenue and 26th Street -- marking the first time a show has been able to return to a New York armory since the events of Sept. 11. Admission to these shows is $10 and $12, respectively.
Another notable event of the week is the Jan. 19 opening of Leigh Keno's new townhouse at 127 East 69th Street between Park and Lexington avenues. Keno, who is familiar to viewers of the Antiques Roadshow on public television, is moving his operations to the first two floors of the townhouse from its former quarters at 980 Madison.