On the Upper East Side, Bundling Up for the ‘Grande Dame’ of Art Fairs

The Winter Show kicks off this week at the Upper East Side's Park Avenue Armory. (Photo by Matthew Gilbertson)
The Winter Show kicks off this week at the Upper East Side's Park Avenue Armory. (Photo by Matthew Gilbertson)

Spanning 5,000 years of human history, The Winter Show — which kicks off this week at the Park Avenue Armory — is the most important art and antiques exhibition in the U.S.

If the weather is frigid, it must be time for The Winter Show in New York City. For years, chic shoppers have been bundling up and heading to the Upper East Side’s cavernous Park Avenue Armory for the beloved art and antiques fair, which runs from January 24 to February 2. Now in its 66th year and previously known as The Winter Antiques Show, it is New York’s longest-running design fair and has been refreshed with a new, shorter name and a wider, more eclectic range.

English bureau bookcase (Apter-Fredericks)
English bureau bookcase (Apter-Fredericks)

“In 2018, we updated our name to The Winter Show to embrace the breadth and diversity of our exhibitors and visitors,” says Executive Director Helen Allen, who joined the Show in 2018 with a background in contemporary art. “This year we welcome new exhibitors and expand the offerings, from antique furniture to modern prints and sculpture and collage by contemporary artists.” An app will be available for visitors to tour and search for exhibitors, and the show is partnering with Preview, a new app designed to make it easier to track works.

Seventy-two top dealers in art, decorative arts and antiques from around the world will set up shop. As always, each object is vetted for authenticity, and all ticket proceeds benefit the nonprofit East Side House Settlement, which serves children and families in northern Manhattan and the Bronx.

“The Winter Show is back in the pack because it had been a more traditional show with English and American furniture but now it is more modern and contemporary, which is really interesting,” observes leading decorating Brian McCarthy, who is a Design Co-Chair. “It’s been rejuvenated and is appealing to a younger audience. In January after the holidays, it refreshes your eye. It’s like a reset.”

Rounding out the show will be a loan exhibition in the front of the hall from the Hispanic Society Museum & Library, which is located in upper Manhattan. Co-curated by Philippe de Montebello, Chairman of the Board of the Hispanic Society and previously the Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, along with renowned architect Peter Marino, it will feature more than 40 works including pieces by Diego Velazquez, El Greco, and Francisco de Goya, and a painting by John Singer Sargent during his travels in Spain. That should warm visitors up.

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