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May 31, 2007 

British art show organizers Brian and Anna Haughton, who launched a bevy of art and antiques fairs at the Park Avenue Armory and introduced vetting to this country, are taking their show on the road -- heading east. Their newest show, Art and Antiques Dubai, Feb. 21-24, 2008, is an international fair devoted to fine and decorative arts, including 20th century design, located at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, within walking distance of a number of luxury hotels.

Among the galleries signed on is the Manhattan-based 20th-century design specialist Maison Gerard. "Right now, the Middle East is the new frontier," says Benoit Brut, director of Gerard. "We’ve clients in Dubai and Kuwait, so going there is a natural next step," he says. Brut plans to take Art Deco furniture as well as contemporary pieces by Paris designers Hervé van der Straeten and Marc Bankowksy.

The fair setting, the Madinat Jumeirah -- The Arabian Resort of Dubai, resembles an ancient Arabian citadel and is also home to London-based Bonhams newest auction office. With Christie’s already staking out Dubai, that destination is fast becoming the Middle East’s art capital.

In launching what is their fifth fair, the Haughtons and their team worked closely with the Dubai government. "We could not have done this without the support of the government of Dubai," says Brian Haughton, whose team first visited Dubai exactly 18 months ago. "We admire the vision they have for positioning Dubai as the leading destination for international commerce."

While traditional art and antiques, including modern jewelry, are to be showcased, Islamic works of art as well as Middle Eastern, drawings and sculpture are also included. So expect Orientalist paintings. Also on offer will be modern and contemporary Indian art. With Dubai only a short flight away from India, wealthy Indians can be expected to drop in for a weekend of art shopping.

 -- Brook S. Mason

The Museum of Arts & Design has promoted curator Ursula Ilse-Neuman to the new post of curator of contemporary jewelry, a position that is a first for the U.S., according to the museum. Ise-Neuman is to oversee MAD’s new Tiffany & Co. Foundation Jewelry Gallery, underwritten by a $2 million grant from the famed jeweler, once the museum opens at its new home at Columbus Circle in 2008. Designed by Massimo and Lella Vignelli and Kiss+Zwigard Architects, the new gallery houses the museum jewelry collection as well as hosts public programs and artist residencies allowing museum visitors to become actively engaged in jewelry making processes and techniques.

Contemporary art jewelry, conceptual ceramics, glass, textiles and furniture are among the offerings at SOFA New York, Sculpture Objects & Functional Art, unfurling at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, June 1-3, 2007. Among the 58 exhibitors from around the world are seasoned hands Barry Friedman, Galerie Besson and Joan B. Mirviss, plus a younger generation that includes Ornamentum, Sienna Gallery and Dean Project. The opening-night gala -- tonight, May 31, 2007 -- benefits the Museum of Arts & Design. For more details, see

This fall, the School of Visual Arts in New York is launching the country’s first graduate-level degree program dedicated to critical writing about design. SVA’s new MFA Design Criticism Department is co-chaired by writer, critic and educator Alice Twemlow. Faculty includes Studio 360 host Kurt Anderson, Museum of Modern Art design curator Paola Antonelli, Michael Bierut of Pentagram architects, Wolfsonian director Cathy Leff, and design writers Ralph Caplan, Peter Hall, Jessica Helfand, Karrie Jacobs, Julie Lasky and Phil Patton. For more info on the two-year, 64-credit program, contact Michael Grant at

Paul Warwick Thompson, director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, announced the winners of the Cooper-Hewitt’s 2007 National Design Awards. The prizes are to be handed out at a gala dinner at the museum on Oct. 18, 2007, with First Lady Laura Bush serving as honorary patron.

Award recipients include architect Antoine Predock (Lifetime Achievement Award), Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi (Design Mind Award), author and illustrator Frank Ching (Special Jury Commendation), Monica Ponce de Leon and Nadar Tehrani’s Office dA in Boston (Architecture Design Award), book designer Chip Kidd (Communications Design Award), Rick Owens (Fashion Design Award), Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis (Interior Design Award), Peter Walker and Partners (Landscape Design Award), Apple industrial-design chief Jonathan Ive (Product Design Award) and the textile company Maharam (Design Patron Award).

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