Faced with familiar (if unseasonal) sub-zero temperatures, we have spent the last couple of frigid days setting up our stand for the Winter Show, here in New York. This year we are in the old Barneys department store building on Madison Avenue.
It would be hard to over-estimate our praise for Helen Allen and her team, who have worked night and day, often literally, to make the Winter Show happen. Under Helen’s leadership, the stand builders have created an exciting ambience, sometimes using the department store’s existing interiors, and on other occasions recreating the atmosphere of the Armory, the Show’s regular home.
We have created a version of our traditional ‘black box’ and, to our amazement, have managed to accommodate all the furniture and works of art that we sent out towards the end of last year, when the Show was planned for January on Park Avenue.
We are featuring furniture from the English Arts and Crafts Movement, including a cabinet, a table and a bookcase designed by Gordon Russell; French ceramics by Pierre-Adrien Dalpayrat, and metalwork by Christopher Dresser and W.A.S. Benson.
A highlight is the embroidered silk portiere designed by J. H. Dearle for Morris & Co, commissioned by the Hon. Mrs Frank Whitbread (see detail). A closely related hanging, worked by Mary Barr Smith (1863-1941) during the 1890s, is in the collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia.