Published: June 24, 2015
There was a surprise around every corner of the many walking trails on the sizable property, including this figure.
By Andrea Valluzzo
KATONAH, N.Y. — An evening party in the garden was the perfect way to celebrate Barbara Israel’s 30th year in business as Barbara Israel Garden Antiques, and on Friday, June 12, about 50 friends, longtime customers and associates gathered at her home to mark the occasion and reminisce.
At the start of the evening, Barbara greeted guests in her spacious backyard while her husband, Tom, looking fashionable in a Hawaiian shirt and a Panama hat, served drinks. Guests who had never been here before enjoyed strolling the ample grounds, exploring the property’s many garden beds and walking trails, all of which were inset with — and designed to feature — garden statuary, benches, urns and the like. Antiques dealers live with what they sell and Barbara is no exception, although most other dealers don’t need a forklift to move their things around.
Tom Israel kept his speech short, sweet and funny.
The bites and drinks were plentiful, the company gracious and the weather picture-perfect as all seemed to have a good time and enjoy the conversations. Halfway through the evening came a few speeches that were warm, sweet and funny.
Eva Schwartz noted that when Barbara hired her out of grad school, “I never expected that I’d still be here 17½ years later” and thanked her for supporting her love of arts and history. “I’m just so grateful for all the incredible years.”
Tom Israel kept his speech short, sweet and funny, recalling when Barbara bravely drove a truck to a show in Houston and her many accomplishments, from running two marathons to taking up gymnastics and ice skating and getting her certificate from the New York School of Interior Design.
Helen and Scudder Smith were seen chatting with Winter Antiques Show manager Catherine Sweeney-Singer.
Winter Antiques Show manager Catherine Sweeney-Singer and Barbara each started doing the Winter show in the mid-1980s. Noting that a traditional 30th anniversary gift is pearls, she commented on Barbara’s 30 years in business and said, “Barbara lends her luster to everyone around her.”
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