NEW YORK—Attracting a great crowd of art and antique enthusiasts and celebrities requires the right location, a good range of top-quality works, and thoughtful marketing.
Only in its second year, the four-day Spring Show NYC this month did just that, bringing in 63 top-tier international dealers to the historic Park Avenue Amory and gaining a genuine following. At this rate, the event is likely to become an annual mainstay of New York’s art and antiques scene.
Organized by Art and Antique Dealers League of America (AADLA), Spring Show NYC is produced by The Art Fair Company. Two savvy marketing maneuvers helped draw attention to the show: animal charity and a focus on the younger set of buyers and collectors in New York with an Arts Night Out party on the second evening.
“This is the second year for Spring Show, which has truly proven that it is really going places,” said Clinton Howell, president of the AADLA in a release. He noted the high interest generated by the show was evidenced by both attendance and sales. According to Howell, 90 percent of the dealers have already signed on to return next year.
Over 1,300 guests showed up for the show’s Opening Night Preview on May 2, which was sponsored by the online art and antiques marketplace 1stdibs and benefited the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Participating dealers also donated a portion from the sale of animal-themed works during the show.
Among the big names seen perusing the aisles of booths were fashion personalities Carolina Herrera and Allegra Versace.
Praise and optimism flowed from the lips of many participating dealers during the show.
“The fair was particularly well marketed to new collectors, but at the same time, we saw all of New York’s top decorators and many of our important clients who had traveled here from out of town.” said Stefanie Rinza, managing director of Carlton Hobbs in the release.
“Like last year, we were delighted with the quality and variety of objects on offer, as well as the clients who attended,” Rinza added.
Attracting the Younger Crowd
To attract new collectors, young members of 20 prominent cultural organizations were invited to the Arts Night Out, drawing more than 600 attendees.
Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in hand, a fresh audience of upcoming collectors, experts, and art lovers mingled with the established dealers, all of whom enthusiastically shared their expertise and knowledge. Kindling a passion in these new buyers for the beautiful and best art and antiques is an important factor in keeping the industry alive.
“The Spring Show was all the things an antiques fair should be, relaxed and fun,” noted first-time participant Nicholas Grindley in the release. “People seemed genuinely interested as opposed to just walking around and looking.” Grindley saw multiple purchases made during the show, from Indian to Chinese, Japanese, and American antiques.
“The Opening was such great fun, and there was a young crowd sporting good energy. And they loved what I had to sell, the mixture of it all! I had very good sales on Opening Night—pottery, Chinese export porcelain, a French red marble urn from the 1830s,” said Paul Vandekar of Earle Vandekar of Knightsbridge, naming only a few sales he’d had.
“It was a lively crowd, one … [that] clearly loved the show and came with a great collector mentality. We were very busy,” said Mark McHugh of Spencer Marks in the release.
Among the Spencer Marks sales was a silver art deco vase once owned by Andy Warhol; a Tiffany punch bowl with walrus-mask handles; an American silver figurative fish dish from 1884; an 1876 American trompe l’oeil silver plate; an English Regency sterling-silver epergne, circa 1819, by Rebecca Emes and Edward Barnard; and a Tiffany aesthetic movement coffee pot from the late 19th century.
Fine art also sold well, according to Alan Stone of Hill-Stone, who specializes in old masters prints and drawings.
“Even though there was enormous competition because of the Munch sale at Sotheby’s on the night of the opening, people still showed up in droves, and the evening went off very well indeed,” said Hill-Stone.
Hill-Stone sold Camille Pissarro’s “Bord de l’Epte (à Eragny),” from 1890, for $105,000; a Rembrandt etching from 1655 titled “Goldsmith”; a Giovanni-Domenico Tiepolo work titled “Family Setting Out for the Hunt”; and a 17th-century Italian drawing that went for five figures.
Next year’s Spring Show NYC, is set for April 24–28.
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