Published: November 21, 2000
Winnetka’s 11th Annual Event Features more than 50 Dealers
WINNETKA, ILL – The Women’s Board of the Winnetka Community House presented the Midwest’s premier Modernism Show for the eleventh year on November 4 and 5 to benefit the programs of the Community House. More than 50 top American, English, and Canadian dealers in Twentieth Century design offered the finest examples from the design periods of Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts, Prairie School, Art Deco, Art Moderne, and the fifties.
For the first time, the Modernism Show kicked off with an Appraisal Clinic conducted by Susanins Auctioneers and Appraisers. Another new addition was the Fashion Show Luncheon entitled “Modern Style with Moderne Accents” moderated by image and wardrobe consultant Barbara Class, fashion editor for NBC/Channel 5.
The Stracks-Zimmerman lecture series addressed three popular trends in Twentieth Century design. David Gartler of Poster Plus in Chicago addressed “Collecting Vintage Posters” where he offered insights on the resurgence of popularity posters are enjoying as well as the definitions and explanations of these colorful works of graphic art.
“Early Twentieth Century German and Austrian Design” was the subject for James Infante of Jersey City, NJ. He provided an overview of a variety of designs including Jugendstil and Wiener Werkstatte and designers like Josef Hoffmann and their impact on the Twentieth Century.
Tom Gibbs of Streamlined Style form Coplay, PA discussed the appeal of furniture from the Fabulous Fifties in “Appeal versus Pedigree: Mid-century in the Twentieth Century” where he took an in-depth look at mid-century/transitional design.
More than 500 showgoers came for the Friday evening preview party to get a first chance at the dealer offerings. During the next two days of the show, approximately 3,200 patrons swarmed through the Community House snatching up furniture, paintings, prints, photographs, jewelry, metalwork, ceramics, textiles, clothing, and other decorative arts. Most exhibitors reported strong sales and lots of interest in the various Modernism periods. Kate Collinson, Interior Designer and Instructor with the Harrington Institute of Design conducted a show tour.
From right in Winnetka, Fern Simon of Arts 220 reported that there was very good attendance and very strong sales. Fern sold a one-of-a-kind Los Castillo silver bowl, jewelry and objects by the French sculptor Line Vautrin, Spratling silver, Higgins glass, a Norman Cherner chair by Paul Goldman for Plycraft, a pair of stainless steel chairs from the Inland Steel Building from 1958, and pieces by Jacques Adnet, Marco Zahuso, jean Prouve, and Mathieu Mategot. Fern related that shoppers were mostly interested in furniture and other pieces for the home. “Japanese, Italian, and German dealers are here shopping the show and looking at American 1950’s furniture,” said Simon, who also felt that “shoppers here had a great awareness and knowledge of designers from this period.”
Michael FitzSimmons Decorative Arts from Chicago related the he “brought a more electric look this year with other cultures and periods but keeping his Arts and Crafts foundation.” Opening night, Fitzsimmons sold a hand hammered CFA Voysey English Arts and Crafts pewter charger designed for Liberty and Company with blue birds across the plate that was a very important piece. He also sold a pair of Chinese chairs, a turned lamp, tables plus other things that had already left for new homes.
Newcomers Out of the Closet from Chicago was very pleased with the show and was selling across the board including dresses, a lot of purses, hats, coats, suits, sweaters, especially cashmere, aprons, and some shoes.
Didier Antiques from London, England was here for the fourth time and reported “my best show ever in Winnetka.” Didier said “it surpassed every expectation, but he also brought his best stock.” Sales included jewelry and accessories form the Arts and Crafts period, 1950’s, sterling silver, Dresser and Liberty silver, Art Nouveau, and Archibald knox necklace, and a Charles Robert Ashbee necklace in the original box. Didier said “we brought the right pieces since we now know what people want.”
New to Modernism was Brown and Son from Columbus, Ind. They were pleased with their reception and sold Mission furniture and small to both dealers and customers. They also had a wonderful display of hand blown Italian art glass that had just been discovered in a shop where it had been for over 30 years.
Sales for White and White Antiques and Interiors from Skaneateles, NY included a large diamond ring, a painting, a rattan set composed of a settee, chair and table, and jewelry by Lea Stein, gold examples, costume, and Mexican silver pieces.
Chicago’s Neri-Dobrick Gallery reported ‘great traffic” and strong sales. Going to new homes were French ceramics by Vallaris, a pair of crystal lamps, a pair of American Empire style lamps, and a late 1940’s hand carved Italian table with glass top.
Paintings by Illinois artists were selling well for New Lyme Gallery from St. Louis, MO. Paintings by Louise Woodrofe and Oak Park artist Frank Perri sold along with a Handel lamp, a Limbert bookcase, a Stickley Brothers lamp table, and good glass by Seguso, Venini, and Barovier.
Praiseworthy from Guilford, NY reported “the best show we ever had here.” They sold so much that there was hardly anything left on the stage where they had their exhibit. Many pairs of lamps, a Tony Parzinger buffet, a sectional set of 50’s furniture, a Dunbar teacart, and a Wrigley’s Spearmint poster that sold to a pair of twins. “We just had a great show,” they concluded.
From nearby Wilmette, Stephen Maras Antiques sold two Josef Hoffmann settees and a table, a French Art Deco table, a Robert Irwin table, hand hammered silver serving pieces by Randall, a Schneider lamp, a piece of Wiener Werkstatte pottery, and Fornasetti trays and dishes.
Dalton’s American Decorative Arts from Syracuse, NY reported selling a Gustav Stickley spindle Morris chair, a Limbert table, a Marblehead vase, prints, and his usual across the board merchandise.
Rita Bucheir, Ltd. Form Chicago was showing at Modernism for the first time. Major sales included a circa 1900 Otto Wagner Vienna table made by Thonet Brothers in mahogany stained beechwood with brass strips, a Vienna Secession table, and manyu Josef Hoffmann examples including nesting tables, side tables, and an Art Deco commode. They were featuring pieces by Thonet Brothers that just came from an exhibit at the Chicago Architectural Foundation.
From Bloomfield Hills, Mich, Full Circle sold lots of jewelry and chrome, vintage sterling, and Bakelite bangles along with several pieces of Czech pottery.
Jewelry was the main seller for Premier Designs from Naples, FLA. Miriam Haskell pieces were selling along with a 1930’s vanity set, and a set of four Art Deco dining chairs.
Sales at John and Nan Sollo form Fort Collins, Colo. Included high end art work, pieces by Angelo Testa, lots of Italian pottery, and furniture by Warren McArthur and George Nelson.
At Collage 20th Century Classics form Dallas, Tex, Paul Kjaerholm chairs, Eames chairs, a Bruno Mathsson dining table, Paul Hennningsen lights, pottery and some art glass all sold to happy collectors.
Arts and Crafts furniture is the specialty of Phil Taylor Antiques of Ottumwa, Iowa. Going to new homes were a Limbert buffet and server set, a library table, chairs, lamp tables, and a pair of Prairie chairs.
“The best show I ever had in 25 years anywhere” is how Art Moderne from Tampa, Fla., described this year’s Modernism show. “It was spectacular. All manor of accessories, lamps, furniture, and Arts and Crafts textiles sold.”
At Parrett/Loch, Inc. from Georgetown, Ind., sales included several tables and chairs, a pair of beds, an Art Deco aluminum grate, paintings, lamps, glass blocks, and wire wastebaskets.
There were lots of red dots on the Heywood Wakfield furniture at Sringdale form Three Oaks, Mich. Going out the door was a pier cabinet, a credenza with triple china top, a nightstand, two three drawer chests, and other examples that had already been delivered.
Newcomer Off the Wall from Los Angeles, Calif., described Modernism as “one of the nicest shows he ahs ever done with sophisticated and pleasant people.” Dennis’s booth was practically empty, and he said he sold “high end sophisticated Art Deco and American Kitsch at the same show.” Multiple couches, Twentieth Century Fox Studios lighting and sconces, a bedroom set, a chrome plated custom made model of an Art Deco streamliner train all sold along with tons of smalls.
Chicago’s Oh My !! was also new to Modernism. Sales included “an incredible amount of bugs,” Lea Stein and Art Deco Jewelry.
From Montreal, Canada, Ray Kisber Moderne sold two torchieres, Hans Wegner chairs, a Fritz Hansen table, and a Hans Oldsen dining set.
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