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The Winter Show returns to New York for its 70th edition

Showcasing everything from rare manuscripts to contemporary furnishings, the longest-running art, antiques and design fair in the United States returns to the Park Avenue Armory with a collection that bridges past and present

New York is awash with art and design happenings throughout the year. Heading up this jam-packed schedule with its particular brand of expertise and tempered eclecticism is the annual The Winter Show. Held every January with a robust roster of international galleries purveying in everything from enlightenment-era realist painting to organic wood furniture sculpted in the present day, this event is an essential resource for well-informed collectors, advisors, interior designers, and discerning enthusiasts alike.

New York Winter Show in Effect Magazine
The Winter Show returns to the iconic Park Avenue Armory for its 70th anniversary on 19 January 2024 (Pictured: the 2019 edition at the Armory, photographed by Matthew Gilbertson)

Celebrating its platinum jubilee edition this year—19 to 28 January—the stalwart fair is, aptly, playing host to a weighty 70 exhibitors. Hailing from across the globe, these industry leaders will take over the Upper East Side’s beloved Park Avenue Armory with a diverse yet carefully curated selection of antiques, artworks, design objects, jewelry, and other ephemera—an offering perfectly tailored to an especially shrewd New York clientele. Long-time participants such as established local gallery A La Vieille Russie are being joined by newcomers like London rare books dealer Peter Harrington. The latter will be displaying a number of first-edition books including Herman Melville’s The Whale.

What sets the Winter Show apart is its strict adherence to a rigorous authentication process. It’s an issue that seems even more critical today given the growing proliferation of counterfeits. “It’s not only important in terms of protecting the value and unity of one’s collection but also as an ethical imperative,” says Helen Allen, Winter Show executive director. “With over 120 experts that help with the authentication process, we maintain a standard that is a model for others in our industry. Luckily, our exhibitors represent the best in their respective fields and do their research so that they can stand behind the provenance of each work.”

In recent years, the fair has welcomed an increasing amount of contemporary works, especially those that reference back to historical movements. “We want to establish connections between our past and the present moment through a diverse offering,” Allen adds. “Rather than sequester objects to respective areas of interest, we want our exhibitors to promote new experiences with unexpected pairings. Not only does this promote inventive curation and design, but it also conjures the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations about our cultural legacies and how both contemporary and antique objects respond to current issues.” The Joan B Mirviss gallery’s survey of Japanese women clay artists, displaying the ingenuity of talents from post-war through the present, is a great example of this thinking. Fujino Sachiko’s Imagery ‘23-1 matte glazed stoneware vessel is a strong example of the country’s long tradition of experimentation in this medium.

1796 portrait of George Washington by James Sharples, presented by Levy Galleries at the 2024 New York Winter Show in Effect Magazine
Americana is one of the themes of this year’s Winter Show – reflected here in a rare 1796 pastel portrait of George Washington by James Sharples, presented by Levy Galleries

“One of our main goals is to promote our relationships with young collectors to establish long-term relationships as they set their interests in connoisseurship,” says Allen; and with a talks program focused on the current state of design, it’s clear that the fair is finding innovative ways to remain relevant and attract new audiences. As part of this line up, Patrick Bringley will speak about his accounts of working at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, as also recounted in his recently released book All the Beauty in The World.

Alongside main floor showcases, the event is commemorating its 70th anniversary with a special exhibition on the legacy of American craft and design; an early focus of the fair that has endured and garnered a renewed interest as of late. Curated by Alexandra Kirtley—the Montgomery-Garvan Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art—The Focus: Americana presentation will include iconic weathervanes, whirligigs, blankets, chests, quilts, and more. Levy Galleries‘ extremely rare James Sharpels pastel portrait of George Washington echoes this theme.  This year’s fair will be topped off by a January 25th Young Collectors Night benefit gala themed after Dresden Castle’s iconic Green Vault. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to support the East Side House Settlement, a community-based organization that brings quality education and resources to residents of the Bronx and Northern Manhattan.

The Winter Show runs from January 19—28 at Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue, New York City

Read more:  Design Fairs | Design | Interior Designers I Interiors | Antiques | Vintage | New York | USA | Mid-Century