The 65th edition of The Winter Show, America’s leading art, antiques, and design fair, closed in New York on Sunday, January 27. This year’s Fair was energized by robust sales, vitalized interest from new and returning collectors, and record attendance at sold-out events and special programming. An annual benefit for East Side House Settlement, a community-based organization serving the Bronx and northern Manhattan, The Winter Show featured 68 of the world’s experts in the fine and decorative arts alongside a series of lectures and panel discussions and this year’s loan exhibition, Collecting Nantucket, Connecting the World, organized by the Nantucket Historical Association. The fair’s Presenting Sponsor Chubb returned for a 23rd year.
Under the leadership of new Executive Director Helen Allen and Associate Executive Director Michael Diaz-Griffith, the 2019 edition continued to build on its long-established foundation of expert exhibitors and expanded its 20th and 21st century offerings, encompassing 5,000 years of art from antiquities to modern design. The Winter Show maintains the highest standards of quality in the art market, and each object is vetted for authenticity, date, and condition by a committee of 130 experts from the United States and Europe.
Exhibitors reported robust sales across the range of offerings, beginning with significant acquisitions made during the Opening Night Party on Thursday, January 17, and continuing throughout the run of the 10-day fair, with reports of sales made during the last minutes of the final day. Exhibitors reported the return of many long-time collectors alongside a new and growing collector base, introduced through highly attended special events including Museum Night on January 18, Chubb Night on January 22 and Young Collectors Night on January 24.
- New exhibitor Charles Ede (London, UK) reported "This is our first time participating in The Winter Show and it has been a success. We established relationships with many new clients, two of which ended in the sale of our Roman torso of Hercules and an Egyptian cartonnage mask. We made consistent sales throughout the fair, from the Opening Night Party when our Roman glass cameo of a Maenad from the esteemed Sangiorgi collection entered a new home, to the last day where our very rare Maeotian mirror sold to an out-of-towner. Prices of our sales ranged from $600 to six figures."
- Joan B Mirviss LTD (New York, USA) commented “Our gallery’s sales are off to a record-pace start, far ahead of any prior year. This is undoubtedly due to the new vetting requirements, which enable us to bring a significant body of important modern and contemporary Japanese clay art to the fair. The public has responded robustly and enthusiastically. As of the third day of the fair, we had sold sixty-five ceramics works by prominent artists as well as younger, emerging talents. In addition, seventeen Japanese woodblock prints from the early 19th to mid 20th centuries have all found new homes.”
- Hirschl & Adler Galleries and Hirschl & Adler Modern (New York, USA) reported “Hirschl & Adler Galleries and Hirschl & Adler Modern are both grateful to have had strong fairs at The Winter Show 2019 edition. We sold examples of American furniture dating to the 18th century, the Neo-Classical era, and Aesthetic period. Sales of modernist pictures included works by George Ault, Hunt Diederich, John Koch, and Charles Sheeler. Our sales of contemporary works of art included a major new sculpture by 2010 MacArthur award recipient Elizabeth Turk. The market for very fine examples by these highly sought after and rare cabinetmakers, painters, and sculptors is strong and collectors are savvy and clearly enjoyed making discoveries at this year’s fair.”
- Hyde Park Antiques, Ltd. (New York, USA) reported successful sales to new collectors including an Irish walnut armchair, a late 18th Century library table and a 18th Century gilt wood marble top console table.
- Olde Hope (New Hope, PA, USA) commented “The attendance on opening day was the best we have seen in years and the attendance overall was good and the quality of the crowd was impressive with lots of interest in the arts. Several of our sales were to new customers, from Millennials to Boomers and the generations in between, including an Americana sale to a young couple. In our 23 years at the show we have never received such positive feedback on our booth presentation.”
- Peter Finer (London, UK) said “We have met and sold to international crowds and most importantly made new clients.” A notable six-figure sale included a Royal Korean Helmut made for a member of the Josean Dynasty, circa 1730.
- Macklowe Gallery Ltd. (New York, USA) said “We sold an exceptional Emile Gallé étagère to one of the great art nouveau collectors who visits the fair every year. We also made more sales to young and emerging collectors then in any years past… More than ever, The Winter Show lives up to its reputation as the Metropolitan Museum with price tags."
- Gerald Peters Gallery (New York, USA) sold multiple works by Karen LaMonte and Logan Maxwell Hagege and reported an “overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to the installation...”
- Erik Thomsen Gallery (New York, USA) said “The eclectic mix of art and the span of time represented seem to be working well for the fair and for our booth as well.” “There has been a constant flow of visitors—of all ages—exhibiting a seriousness about the art.”
- Tambaran (New York, USA) reported "Sales have been strong and we are thrilled with the new clients we have made this year."
- Cohen & Cohen (Reigate, UK) sold a very rare and fine Chinese model of a dragon boat, circa 1720.
- Robert Young Antiques (London, UK) reported “We sold over 30 pieces in total, including a life size primitive cast stone folk art sculpture of a dog, a beguiling Irish primitive portrait of a girl in a red dress, a massive hand carved and painted salmon trophy and a paint decorated Marriage cupboard.”
- Kelly Kinzle (New Oxford, PA, USA) sold a Caroline Map Powder Horn from the French and Indian War, circa 1761 to the Historic Charleston Foundation.
- Spencer Marks (Southampton, MA, USA) placed notable works with institutions including a Tiffany & Co. volcano vase from 1879. Spencer Gordan added: “We sold a wide variety of American silver pieces from both the aesthetic and arts & crafts movement. Several of these were important examples. A couple of these are going to institutional homes while others are going to private collections. One of the wonderful things about The Winter Show is the engaged clientele who attend. It’s always a pleasure to meet and converse with others who share a similar passion about the arts”
- Alexander Gallery (New York, USA) noted that in addition to placing a work with a major institution, roughly 90% of their sales were made to new collectors.
- David A. Schorsch & Eileen M. Smiles American Antiques (Woodbury, CT, USA) sold a rare illuminated bible by Johannes Ernst Spangenberg circa 1785 to a museum. Other sales included a weathervane in the form of an Indian hunter with wagon wheel in its original multi colored paint, circa 1850, a classic painted high back Windsor armchair of Nantucket origin, circa 1790, and many more.
- Les Enluminures (Chicago and New York, USA; Paris, France) commented “We loved The Winter Show and were delighted to return after a brief sabbatical for this year's event. We sold some quite significant pieces including an illuminated manuscript painting by the Renaissance painter Giovanni di Paolo that was once in the collection of Sir Kenneth Clark as well as a pair of 15th century Procession sculptures from a Nativity, including a unique Giraffe. The ‘vibe’ of the show was good, friendly and upbeat, and the quality of the visitors was high. This is such a New York show, but with attendees from far and wide. We definitely hope to return. Hats off to the organizers, the exhibitors, East Side House, and all those who continue to work hard to make this event so special.”
Helen Allen, Executive Director added “The success of the 2019 edition reflects an exciting time of renewed energy and interest in decorative arts and design. We are thrilled by the response from exhibitors and collectors alike and by the enthusiasm shown by record attendance at our special events this year. We are eager to build on this success and look forward to engaging with new and existing audiences through programs and events throughout the year ahead.”
Michael Diaz-Griffith, Associate Executive Director of The Winter Show commented “The Winter Show represents the best in quality and features a dynamic range of works unrivaled by any other fair. In recent years we have expanded the fair’s 20th and 21st century offerings while maintaining what makes The Winter Show truly exceptional, which is our expert dealers and unparalleled vetting committee. Our vision is to showcase the history of art and the evolution of objecthood over thousands of years, and to connect this past with the connoisseurs and collectors of today.”