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Displaying items by tag: Decorative Arts

After being closed for over 30 years, the Baltimore Museum of Art will reopen its historic Merrick Entrance beginning on November 23, 2014, in honor of the institution’s 100th anniversary. The event also marks the reopening of the renovated Dorothy McIlvain Scott American Wing and a new presentation of the Baltimore Museum’s collection of American fine and decorative arts. A redesigned East Wing Lobby and Zamoiski Entrance will reopen in fall 2014.

The upcoming openings are part of the Baltimore Museum’s multi-year, $28 million renovation. The final phase of the project is expected to reach completion with the reinstallation of the African and Asian art collections and the opening of a new center for learning and creativity in 2015.

Doreen Bolger, the museum’s Director, said, “The reopening of the BMA’s historic Merrick Entrance and the Dorothy McIlvain Scott American Wing will be an extraordinary moment in the museum’s distinguished history—bringing together museum-goers of all ages to experience John Russell Pope’s first vision of a great public art museum. We are looking forward to celebrating the BMA’s 100th anniversary with many new and exciting experiences for our visitors.”

The Baltimore Museum’s Merrick Entrance, which was designed by the American architect John Russell Pope, welcomed generations of visitors into the museum from 1929 to 1982. The entrance’s facade is being conserved and will have improved lighting. The existing doors and vestibule will remain unchanged. A $1 million gift from the France-Merrick Foundation is supporting this portion of the renovation.

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The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hardford, CT announced the appointment of Oliver Tostmann as the institution’s new Susan Morse Hilles Curator of European Art. Tostmann, who previously served as a curator at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, will officially assume his position at the Wadsworth on October 28,2013.

An expert on Renaissance and Baroque artists, Tostmann has lectured extensively throughout the United States and Europe and his writings have been widely published. He will oversee the Wadsworth’s comprehensive European art collection, which includes 900 paintings, 500 sculptures, and 3,500 works on paper. Tostmann said, “I am delighted and honored to work in such a renowned institution. To explore the Wadsworth’s collection of European art is simply irresistible, and I embrace its commitment to scholarship.”

The Wadsworth Atheneum is the oldest free public art museum in the United States and boasts an impressive collection of baroque paintings, French and American Impressionist paintings, Hudson River School landscapes, modernist masterpieces, and extensive holdings in early American furniture and decorative arts.  

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Wednesday, 18 September 2013 17:39

Revered Bayou Bend Curator Passes Away

Michael K. Brown, a longtime curator at Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, passed away on September 8, 2013 following a heart transplant. Brown, a leading scholar in the field of American decorative arts, was 60 years old. He touched many lives as a scholar and as one of the most gracious and kind lights of the decorative arts world.

Bayou Bend, one of the nation’s premier collections of American paintings and decorative arts, welcomed Brown as associate curator in 1980. An authority on American silver and a specialist in the work of 19th-century New York cabinetmaker, Duncan Phyfe, Brown leaves behind an inspiring legacy. During his time at Bayou Bend, Brown worked tirelessly to better the institution and helped lead a renovation and restoration to the room settings that are the museum’s landmark.

In addition to his work at Bayou Bend, Brown published dozens of books and articles on American decorative arts, architecture and history and regularly spoke at forums and symposia. He was also an active board member for Houston’s Heritage Society, Preservation Houston and the Victorian Society in America.

David B. Warren, founding director emeritus of Bayou Bend, said, “Michael Brown was my colleague at Bayou Bend for more than two decades; he was a quiet, intense man, who always pursued excellence. As a curator his work was marked by impeccable scholarship, diligent research and, exercising an extraordinary eye, an intrepid pursuit of acquisitions of the most superb quality, whether large or small.”

Brown is survived by his three brothers and their families along with Bart Truxillo of Houston. The museum will hold a memorial in October. Contributions may be made to the Bayou Bend Collection Accessions Fund in Memory of Michael K. Brown; or, to the Michael K. Brown Metals Endowment Fund, c/o Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, P.O. Box 6826, Houston, Texas, 77265.

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Friday, 13 September 2013 17:05

Museum of Arts and Design Appoints New Director

The Museum of Arts and Design in New York has appointed Dr. Glenn Adamson as the new Nanette L. Laitman Director. Adamson, who previously worked at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, will succeed Holly Hotchner, who stepped down at the end of April. Adamson will assume his role at the Museum of Arts and Design on October 15, 2013.

Adamson helmed the V&A’s Research Department, which oversees, evaluates and supports the development of museum projects. In this role, Adamson helped bring major exhibitions to fruition, managed partnerships with other institutions and led academic fundraising. He also contributed to the museum’s publications, educational programs, media outreach and commercial activities. Before joining the V&A in 2005, Adamson served as Curator for the Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which collects and promotes research within the field of decorative arts.  

An advocate for the reconsideration of craft as an inescapable cultural force rather than an unassuming art classification, Adamson has had a profound effect on makers as well as craft historians and theorists. He has published a number of books on the subject and is founding co-editor of the academic, peer-reviewed Journal of Modern Craft.

Adamson said, “I am honored to have been selected to serve as the next director of MAD…I look forward to building on the museum’s recent successes and to working with the museum’s visionary board and senior leadership to enhance and extend MAD’s potential.”

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Wednesday, 11 September 2013 18:15

Winterthur Establishes Wendell D. Garrett Award

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library in Wilmington, DE has established the Wendell Garrett Award, which honors the memory of Wendell Garrett, an esteemed member of the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture Class of 1957. Garrett, who passed away in 2012, went on to become one of the most distinguished experts on Americana and American-origin decorative arts in the world. He also made frequent appearances on the television series Antiques Roadshow.

The first recipient of the Wendell Garrett Award will be Gerald W.R. Ward, Senior Consulting Curator and Katharine Lane Weems Senior Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture Emeritus at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Like Garrett, Ward has influenced a generation of graduate students and young professionals, most recently as an adjunct faculty member of the Sotheby's Institute Program in American Fine and Decorative Art. Through his work at Yale; Winterthur; Strawbery Banke; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Ward has had an indelible effect on the field of American decorative arts.

Ward will receive the inaugural Wendell D. Garrett Award on November 9, 2013 during the 50th Annual Delaware Antiques Show in Wilmington.

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Jay St. Mark, LLc intends to promote a major, upscale two-day antiques show at the Westport Inn on Saturday, October 26 from 10AM to 7PM and Sunday, October 27 from 11AM to 5PM. The stately Westport Inn is strategically located at 1595 Post Road East (US 1), 1.5 miles from exits 18 and 19 from Interstate 95 in Westport, CT.

"This is going to be a cocktail party of a show reflecting the chic, verve and cachet of Westport" commented Jay St. Mark. American, European and foreign furniture, paintings, fine and decorative arts of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries will be presented in room settings by a distinguished roster of dealers including Tucker Frey, George Subkoff, C.M. Leonard and Barbara Evans, Shaia Oriental Rugs of Williamsburg, VA, Hanes & Ruskin, Saje Americana Antiques, Zane Moss, J. Gallagher, Ed Weissman, Paul and Karen M. Wendhiser, Blue Heron Fine Art, Dona Kemetz, Joseph Chung, Vintage Poster Art, Fritz Rohn and Leonce Antiques among others.

Furthermore the show will be dedicated to one time Westport, CT residents F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald with a lecture scheduled for Sunday, October 27 dealing with the Fitzgeralds' days in Westport. The free lecture will be conducted by show promoter Jay St. Mark, ph.D. A full bar, hors d'oeuvres and restaurant will be available throughout the show's run. Admission is $10 with a discount for show cards and advertisements. Children under 12 are free as is parking.

Verbal appraisals will be available to the public at a cost of $10 per item (no firearms) from 1PM to 5PM Saturday, October 26 and 1PM to 5PM Sunday, October 27.

Jay St. Mark, LLc will also be producing a major New York City antiques show in January 2014.

Jay St. Mark, LLc can be reached at 203-426-4621 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

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The Getty, which includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute and the Getty Conservation Institute, has lifted restrictions on the use of images that the Getty holds the rights to or are in the public domain. Jim Cuno, the president and CEO of the Getty, made the announcement in a post on The Iris, the Getty’s blog.

Approximately 4,600 images of paintings, drawings, manuscripts, photographs, antiquities, sculptures and decorative arts from the J. Paul Getty Museum are now available in high resolution on the Getty’s website. The Getty Research Institute is currently deciding which images from its collections can be made available under the initiative and the Getty Conservation Institute is working to make images from its international projects available to the public.

Timothy Potts, the J. Paul Getty Museum’s director, said, “The Museum is delighted to make these images available as the first step in a Getty-wide move toward open content. The Getty’s collections are greatly in demand for publications, research and a variety of personal uses, and I am please that with this initiative they will be readily available on a global basis to anyone with Internet access.”

Previously, the Getty’s images were only available upon request, for a fee and carried certain terms and conditions. The images will now be available for direct download on the website, free of charge.   

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Historic Deerfield’s President Philip Zea will lead a trip September 6-9, 2013 to view premier collections of antiques and decorative arts in Chicago and Milwaukee.

The trip includes special tours of five outstanding private collections and three remarkable area museums. Private collections include two top American decorative arts collections, an American folk art collection, Crab Tree Farm, and the MacLean Map and Book Collection. Special museum tours include the Art Institute of Chicago, Driehaus Museum, the Milwaukee Art Museum and a presentation and private viewing at the Chipstone Foundation’s Fox Point Georgian mansion of the foundation’s founders Stanley and Polly Stone. You can register by calling 413-775-7176. A few slots are available. See for details.

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Thursday, 25 July 2013 18:28

The Newport Antiques Show Opens to the Public

The Newport Antiques Show, which is organized by the Newport Historical Society, will kick off July 25, 2013 with a gala preview. The show will open to the public on Friday, July 26 and run through Sunday, July 28. Established in 2007, the highly anticipated show presents an impressive selection of Americana, paintings, furniture, folk art, jewelry, and decorative arts.

Exhibitors at this year’s show include William Vareika Fine Arts Ltd., Oriental Rugs Ltd., Roberto Freitas American Antiques & Decorative Arts, The Cooley Gallery, Diana H. Bittel Antiques and Arader Galleries. The 2013 loan exhibit, Windows on the Past: Four Centuries of Historic New England, highlights the artifacts and 36 historic sites that make up the largest, oldest and most comprehensive regional heritage organization in the country.

The Newport Antiques Show, which is held at St. George’s School in Middletown, RI, benefits the Newport Historical Society and the Boys & Girls Club of Newport County.

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The two leading decorative arts institutions in the South are embarking on a new level of collaboration between their organizations. The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg (the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum) and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) at Old Salem Museums & Gardens have entered a five-year agreement for reciprocal extended loans. The museums have already collaborated on the recently opened exhibition, Painters and Paintings in the Early American South (on view through September 7, 2014) at the Arts Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. With nine major paintings MESDA is the largest single lender to the exhibition, while select objects from the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are already on display at MESDA.

Many of MESDA’s forty objects on loan to Colonial Williamsburg will be featured in a new, long-term exhibition opening at Colonial Williamsburg’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum in January 2014. A Rich and Varied Culture: The Material World of the Early South will feature materials made in or imported to the South before 1840. The two museums have already begun discussions on several ways in which they can broaden the collaboration. Ideas include research exchanges, conservation, joint exhibitions and, potentially, joint publications. Further evidence of the collaboration will be seen in Colonial Williamsburg’s 66th annual Antiques Forum, February 14–18, 2014. Tentatively titled “New Findings in the Arts of the Coastal South,” the program will feature multiple speakers from both institutions as well as a number of experts from museums and universities across the nation.

This May MESDA honored Richard Hampton Jenrette with the first ever Frank L. Horton Lifetime Achievement Award for Southern Decorative Arts. A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, during the past forty years Jenrette has owned and restored a dozen historic properties. He has retained six of them and furnished each with period antiques, many original to the houses. Threads of Feeling, on view at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, Colonial Williamsburg, through May 2014, displays the Foundling Hospital of London’s eighteenth century record books that retain textile tokens used to identify babies left in its care. The exhibit and catalogue provide insight into social and textile history and is the only American venue. October 20–22, 2013, Williamsburg will host a symposium to explore the objects in context. For information on the institutions, exhibitions, and symposium, visit and

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