The Beauty of It All! Antiques Take Center Stage at the Winter Antiques Show

Needlework picture (Appliqué quilt center), Sarah Furman Warner Williams, New York, 1800–1820. Bequest of Henry Francis du Pont 1959.1497

Needlework picture (Appliqué quilt center), Sarah Furman Warner Williams, New York, 1800–1820. Bequest of Henry Francis du Pont 1959.1497

 

 

The 61st Annual Winter Antiques Show kicked off on January 23. The show at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City showcases 73 renowned exhibitors specializing in Americana, English, European, and Asian fine and decorative arts, from antiquity through the 1960s.

Not to miss a moment of the action, Winterthur curators as well as members of the Henry Francis du Pont Collectors Circle descended on the opening of the show. Winterthur Senior Curator of Ceramics and Glass Leslie Grigsby, recounted, “As always, there was quite a crowd assembled, to view beautiful objects, from ancient marble sculptures to art deco architectural elements to modern folk art.”

Pastel (Portait), William Joesph Williams, New York, 1781. Bequest of Henry Francis du Pont 1957.1143

Pastel (Portait), William Joesph Williams, New York, 1781. Bequest of Henry Francis du Pont 1957.1143

Linda Eaton, John L. & Marjorie P. McGraw Director of Collections & Senior Curator of Textiles at Winterthur, observed many extraordinary pieces at the show. One such object, an appliqué panel, caught her attention because of the connection to Winterthur. The panel was once the center of a pieced bedcover made by Sarah Furman Warner Williams. It has the same imagery as another one made by her that is in the Winterthur collection. Sarah Furman Warner Williams is known to have made two full appliqué bedcovers—one at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the other at the Henry Ford Museum (sadly it was damaged in a fire in 1970)—as well as the two panels in the Winterthur collection. Winterthur also has a pastel portrait of Sarah Furman Warner Williams when she was a young girl, about ten years old.

“…the appliquéd work made by Sarah Furman Warner Williams are of a quality rarely seen in early nineteenth-century American textiles. The woman who made them possessed a keenly original imagination and was a craftsperson of the highest order.” Amelia Peck: American Quilts & Coverlets in The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Needlework picture (Appliqué quilt center), Sarah Furman Warner Williams, New York, 1800–1820. Bequest of Henry Francis du Pont 1959.1496

Needlework picture (Appliqué quilt center), Sarah Furman Warner Williams, New York, 1800–1820.                         Bequest of Henry Francis du Pont 1959.1496

 

Eaton also noted the beautiful objects on display in this year’s Winter Antiques Show loan exhibition, Ahead of the Curve: The Newark Museum, 1909–2015. The Newark Museum’s collection is vast and diverse, on par with the museum’s mission to be at the forefront of collecting and exhibiting. Ulysses Grant Dietz, chief curator and curator of Decorative Arts, and graduate of the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, commented to Visual Arts Today:

“The Newark Museum was one of the first to acquire an oil painting by Ernest Lawson [1910], the first to exhibit folk art [1930], and the first to give a one-man show to a living American artist, Max Weberin [1913].”

The 2015 Winter Antiques Show runs through February 1. For more information, visit winterantiquesshow.com.

Post by Hilary Seitz, Marketing & Communications Department

Amelia Peck, American Quilts & Coverlets in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Dutton Studio Books, New York, 1990.

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