Antiques and the Arts Online
It Just Keeps Getting Better And Better: Modernism Celebrates 20 Years
By David S. Smith
NEW YORK CITY – Older, wiser and better looking than ever, Modernism: A Century of Style and Design, 1900–2000, opened its doors for a four-day run with a lavish star-studded preview party and awards ceremony on Wednesday evening, November 9. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the show was by far the best looking Modernism to date, the merchandise was stellar, and many of the dealers outdid themselves with sumptuous presentations.
Modernism has become the jewel in the Sanford Smith stable of shows and its importance as a premier Twentieth Century venue has become internationally recognized. Who, however, can forget the fun-filled days of the crazy lunch boxes, the Predicta TVs and the eye-popping colorful displays of Herman Miller’s designer’s furnishings seen in booths across the floor. In Modernism’s humble beginnings, many of the dealers also participated in Smith’s Fall Folk Art show and naturally they were among the first to sign on for the new venue. The show was cliquey, yet its serious side began to show through immediately.
The preview, a benefit for the Brooklyn Museum of Art, boasted one of the largest attendances in the show’s history with more than 900 joining the celebration. The star-studded field included Bette Midler, Candice Bergen, musician David Byrne, Martha Stewart, Ulma Thurman, Michael Richards, David Hyde Pierce and Steve Martin, who reportedly did some buying at the show. There were also top European dealers, big-time American collectors and numerous representatives from museums across the country taking serious looks at items seen all around the floor.
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