Sunday, February 15, 2009

ArtsBuzz: Big early turnout bodes well for jewelry and art show

Alan and Penny Greenberg Murphy of Pioneer Linens
in West Palm Beach were among the 6,000 people
attending opening night at the Palm Beach Jewelry,
Art and Antique Show.
(Photo by Katie Deits)

By Katie Deits

Organizers of the Palm Beach Jewelry, Art and Antique Show are expecting plenty of visitors through the President's Day weekend, and they've got good reasons for doing so.

Despite economic woes in the country at large, Friday night's show opening at the Palm Beach County Convention Center was attended by about 6,000 people, an increase of around 1,000 over last year.

"Last evening was an outstanding opening," Kris Charamonde, co-owner and managing partner of the show, said Saturday. "The show had record attendance ... and many of our exhibitors have reported strong sales. Visitors lined up early today to get into the show and attend the lecture series."

Friday's opening also was a benefit for the Palm Beach County Historical Society. It featured a display honoring the life and work of Palm Beach architect John Volk.

Palm Beach Show Group organizer Judy Oppel with
William Rau, president of M.S. Rau Antiques. Rau's booth features paintings by Utrillo and Pissarro,
as well as antique globes, furniture and silver pieces.
(Photo by Katie De

More than 200 exhibitors are on hand for the show, which runs through Tuesday. Among the kinds of art on display: Fine art, sculpture, furniture, silver, textiles, bronze, antique and fine jewelry, objets d’art, porcelain, ceramics and pottery, watches, clocks, Asian art and antiques, oriental carpets, art glass, other antiquities and 20th-century design.

One of the exhibitors is Michael Borghi, a repeat exhibitor who said when asked that he didn't have a favorite painting at his Michael Borghi Fine Art booth.

"I love them all. They're all different in their own way," he said.

Michael Borghi with a self-portrait by Milton Avery.
(Photo by Katie Deits)

But then he said he was partial to a recent acquisition, a self-portrait by Milton Avery.

Borghi, whose gallery is based in Tenafly, N.J., has three of Avery’s paintings on display. While many artists of Avery's time were making social statements, his paintings spoke of the aesthetic of art; with his saturated color and simplified forms, he lit the path for color-field painters Adolph Gottlieb and Mark Rothko.

Another exhibitor, Steven Beale of Trinity House Fine Art Consultants in Worcestershire, England, also had a booth at last week's American International Fine Arts Fair. Having the shows back to back gives him the chance to make more sales, he said. If someone was enamored with a painting last week, but didn't buy it, that person has a chance to buy it at this show.

Steven Beale with Renoir's Coco au Ruban Rose (1905).
(Photo by Katie Deits)

One of the standout paintings in Beale's booth is a picture by Pierre-Auguste Renoir of his third son, Claude, whom he nicknamed Coco. The painting, Coco au Ruban Rose, painted in 1905, shows a cheery, rosy-skinned child with long blonde hair and a pink bow.

It was customary in the 19th century and into the early 20th century for boys to wear dresses and long hair until they went to school. Renoir was 60 when Coco was born in 1901, and his portraits document the growth of his child to early adulthood, and exude the warmth of the relationship the painter enjoyed with his son.

The Palm Beach Show Group, which operates the Palm Beach Jewelry, Art and Antique Show, was founded in 2001 by Charamonde, Scott Diament and Robert Samuels, each of whom are graduate gemologists and have over 50 years of experience in the art, antique and jewelry industry.

The Palm Beach Jewelry, Art and Antique Show runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and Monday; on Tuesday, it closes at 6 p.m. Tickets: $15. For more information, call 822-5440 or visit the show's Web site at

Mary Anna and Timothy Eaton, owners of Eaton Fine Art
in West Palm Beach
, at the Conner-Rosenkranz booth,
which features American sculpture and works on paper.
(Photo by Katie Deits)

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