Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Woodard Weave in Traditional Home Magazine

Traditional Home Magazine's newest issue (October 2013) features WOODARD WEAVE Runners in some of our most popular stripes.  No, they are not awnings from Venice, although the crisp and colorful stripes do make you feel like you are in a wonderful place.   All of our designs for runners and area rugs are inspired by authentic antique American designs of a Century ago. Please see our website to request a digital catalog or order a hard copy.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Antiques Week 2013: Annual New Hampshire Extravaganza

It's what antiques fans wait for all year: The 56th Annual New Hampshire Antiques Show in Manchester, NH, August 8-10-2013. It is the grand duchess of a week of royal antiques shows in the area, in what is billed as Six Great Events in One Great State!

Ron Bourgeault's Northeast Auctions Summer Americana Auction in Manchester starts the ball rolling with the usual big bang, featuring prime items from important collections. Then, off to Deerfield Monday morning for Nan Gurley's Americana Celebration Antiques Show.  

Next is Frank Gaglio's Mid-Week Antique Show in Concord, followed by a return trip back back to Manchester, just in time for Antiques in Manchester.

Stay put in Manchester for the opening of the long-running event of the jam-packed antiques week, the New Hampshire Antiques Dealers Association Show. Everybody who is anybody gets in line early to find that special treasure or two. Afterwards, everybody gets together to socialize and to catch up on what's new in antiques.

Whew!  Even though everybody was tired, they wouldn't admit it and, of course, could not miss Frank  Gaglio's Pickers Market Antiques Show Friday morning, where one always hopes to find the bargain of the year.

Caught resting amidst the madness are two legends in the antiques world, our good pal Scudder Smith, the famous Editor-in-chief and publisher of the renowned Newtown Bee and The Antiques & The Arts Weekly, looking as dapper as ever in yet another knock-out bow tie. And the esteemed owner of Northeast Auctions in Hampton, New Hampshire, Ron Bourgeault.  Some people never seem to look different than they did three decades ago.

Barbara Pollack of Frank & Barbara Pollack Antiques, Highland Park, IL, as usual, features mouth watering items in vivid colors and forms. Painted chests, theorems, and a stack of rare mid-19th-Century wallpaper hat boxes in rich hues add sparkle to the exhibition. At the right is an unusual departure from the 19th-Century, a store display figure of a glamorous woman wearing a fashionable evening gown with upswept hair in a do typical of the 1930's.

Betty Berdan of Newsom & Berdan Antiques, Thomasville, PA and Hallowell, Maine, displayed a superb textile; a museum quality appliqued mat from the early 1800's. “ A New Hampshire Town Celebration” depicts a colorful gathering of town residents in militia uniforms, top hats, and best clothes, enjoying a memorable day. This wonderful na├»ve work depicts the joy it’s maker felt about the town, it’s inn dated 1744, the town church, children and animals.

Shaker experts and dealers  Suzanne Courcier & Robert Wilkins, Yarmouth Port, MA, somehow make it look easy to come up with rare Shaker and other period American furnishings year after year. It is not easy, and their efforts are always impressive. With a careful eye and tons of knowledge, Suzanne and Bob never fail to make an impact.

One of our favorite Southern belles, dealer and consultant Deanne Levison, is shown in the booth chatting with Bob. 

Olde Hope Antiques, New Hope, PA, can always be counted on to bring an elegant collection of fine Americana. A graduated stack of seven oval Shaker boxes circa 1830-70 shares the spotlight with a House Hooked Rug circa 1900, a Swan Decoy in old paint, a Centre County Pennsylvania Dower Chest Circa 1810-20, and three early folk portraits among other fine wares.

Elliot & Grace Snyder of South Egremont, MA, well known for their knowledge, expertise and wonderful taste, exhibited their usual array of early furniture, fine textiles, folk art, English and American metalwork and related accessories.

"The Fruits of Industry", a charming hooked rug designed by James and Mercedes Hutchinson in excellent condition.  American, Ca. 1925-35. Cotton on burlap. Also displayed in their booth is one of Grace and Elliot's favorite paintings, shown below.

Portrait of a Young Woman. This exceptional oil on canvas is a hauntingly sensitive portrait of a young woman in white, possibly the work of Henry Folsom. American. Circa 1810-20. Oil on canvas.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Architectural Digest "Likes" a Woodard & Greenstein Hooked Rug

Woodard & Greenstein's hooked rug collection has  found its way to the dream-like pages of Architectural Digest Magazine this month.  The magazine, under the innovative leadership of Editor-in-Chief Margaret Russell, is leaving no leaf unturned in what's wonderful in home design.

Speaking of leaves, look for Woodard & Greenstein's hooked rug, Riverton, a traditional leaf pattern on Page 169 of the latest issue (September 2013). Fashion designer Lorry Newhouse's Park Avenue duplex is featured, with mixes of the sublime with the even-more-sublime. Collaborating with designer Rain Phillips, Ms. Newhouse created a sophisticated living space that follows no rules, other than to make certain that everything is "gloriously eccentric" - and elegant.   

Our own hooked rug adds a rich warmth to the entrance hall's exposed floor boards, and feels very comfortable with the old hand-painted doors from Italy that open to treasure filled living and dining rooms. Putting together old and new pieces found in the U.S., England, France, and elsewhere, the designers brought the rooms to life with surprising combinations of styles and colors, daring to do the unexpected. Ingenious.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Big Antiques Events In New Hampshire

Climaxing one of the greatest weeks of the year in American antiques was the 56th Annual New Hampshire Antiques Show in Manchester, NH, August 8-10- 2013. It is the exclamation mark for a week of antiques shows and markets held in the area for which everybody who is anybody in the field show up to sell, buy, and socialize. 

Enthusiasm for antiques shows in recent times may have dimmed somewhat in other places, but not here. Lines start early for every event, with dealers, collectors and antiques aficionados as excited as ever about what treasures they will find.  

An interesting detail, which may not be new this year, is that free admission is offered to anyone under 30. Blanche Greenstein, my partner, tried desperately to convince the ticket takers that she was qualified, but they seemed skeptical and grabbed her $15.00 anyway. Seriously, all of us dealers hope that genuine under-30's will get more excited about collecting, and join us in this colorful and endlessly fascinating world of American antiques.

Amy Finkel, the knowledgeable proprietor of M. Finkel & Daughter, Philadelphia PA, has always added expertise - and glamour - to the antiques world. Her historic samplers and needlework and antique furniture are well known to be first rate. And so is her taste in rugs, as seen in her booth at the recent New Hampshire Antiques Show. WOODARD WEAVE "Hamilton” runners, edged with black binding, serve as the perfect background for exhibiting her outstanding collection.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy Fourth of July!

Centennial Hooked Rug.

The Fourth of July! A time to celebrate the independence of our country, the greatest in the world. A time when everybody can join the celebration.  

Waiting endlessly for the summer to arrive, and now Boom! Suddenly it's here - and here we are, in the land of opportunity, where truly anything is possible. Strike up the band and let the fireworks begin!  

We have so much to celebrate - the Fourth reminds us of how fortunate we are that our forefathers were so incredibly ...well, awesome!

Friday, May 10, 2013

AD re-discovers WOODARD WEAVE®

The new Architectural Digest (June 2013) features WOODARD WEAVE Stair and Hall Runners (Pages 14, 28) in the upstate New York  “period-perfect weekend retreat” of decorator Bruce Shostak.  “A Federal Case”, Mitchell Owens'  eloquently written piece, accompanied by William Waldron’s beautiful photographs, offers an insider’s peek at a remarkable Federal house, circa 1817.  

Mr. Shostak and Craig Fitt renovated the structure with an elegant mixture of respect for the building’s history and an affectionate nod to sublime enjoyment.  For example, the chic, royally austere dining room easily becomes a dance floor when the furniture is pushed back and an iPod provides music!)  

What a wonderful way to have it all – a classic, historic house to live in that also offers warmth and comfort in every room.  And what a thrill to see the vitality and energy that lives on in this extraordinary restored home, every rich detail showing a restraint that seems effortless, truly a magificent labor of love.  AD's Editor in Chief, Margaret Russell, has devoted the entire issue to  saluting "the new country chic".

(Restoration Consulting by Jeremiah Ruscani.  Styled by Howard Christian.)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Annual Warehouse Sale

Our annual warehouse sale is fast approaching! As always, there will be a wide selection of designs and sizes on sale from 40 – 75% off. 

This year the sale will run from Monday, April 29th through Wednesday, May 8th at our warehouse in Long Island City. We will be open weekdays from 10:30 am – 6:00 pm, closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Woodard & Greenstein
37-24 24th Street, Suite 307
Long Island City, NY 11101

If you cannot make it in person, please call the shop at 212-988-2906. We will honor all sale prices for orders by phone during the sale.

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Star Shines

New York City lights shone even brighter on the evening of March 21, 2013, when opera singer Joyce Castle entered the Neue Galerie's Cafe Sabarsky and gave the audience an unforgettable evening of magnificent music and great fun. The distinguished singer happens to be a dear old friend - we were school mates at the University of Kansas (only a few years ago....), and I have been a fan ever since.

Joyce, pictured with another old friend, dynamo producer Joan Schmit, and me, has built an impressive opera career including performances at the Metropolitan Opera, NYCity Opera, and major opera houses across the U.S. and Europe. Writer William V. Madison captured much of the magic in his joyous BILLEVESEES review, "She scooped us up in her arms, and together we followed her bliss." Be sure to read his entire brilliant review for details of this alternately breathtaking and hilariously funny evening with a one-of-a-kind, wildly talented and charismatic world-class star. (http://billmadison.blogspot.com/2013/03/joyce-castle-works-room-at-cafe-sabarsky.html,)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cartagena Inside and Out

The stately exterior walls of the legendary Sofitel Hotel Santa Clara display the meticulous restoration of a centuries old convent which contains all of its original interior architectural details as well.

Palm trees thrive inside the courtyard garden, which is now a romantic restaurant serving an elegant fusion of local and French cuisine.

A voluptuous Botero sculpture seems very relaxed in this lush setting, although the current guests of the Hotel generally dress a bit more modestly.

Colombian flowers, exported throughout the world, add color and warmth to this dream-like setting.

Relaxing here in the tropical rattan lounge chairs with a white martini supplied by the hotel bar is guaranteed, for a while at least, to make one forget just about everything out there in the real world.
Just outside the Santa Clara is the 500-year-old wall that has protected the old city from outside invaders who were particularly intent on seizing the great amounts of gold stored there. Besides walking on top of the wall, visitors enjoy unobstructed views of the nearby Caribbean Sea through arched openings at street level.
Continuing a stroll by the Sea, one can look back and see the Santa Clara's additional accommodations, and a wall hiding the home of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. 
Next door is another restored convent, this one housing nineteen condos considered to be the most luxurious in Cartagena.
With all original architectural details restored, modern amenities, such as private swimming pools and Italian designer kitchens, have been seamlessly added. The classic lines of the old architecture are mirrored in the modern updates as seen from the front entrance looking outward.  
Inside, the beautiful historic colonnades remain surrounding the main lobby, with water flowing in small canals built around palm trees.  
Inside one apartment, even the view from one of four bathrooms is surprising, revealing terra cotta tile roofs, a glimpse of the Sea, and modern Cartagena outside the old city.  

Something in the Cartagena air demands that visitors slow down, relax a bit, and adjust to the local pace. With that in mind, after exploring the wonderful streets of the old city, one tends to find comfortable niches in which to decompress and maybe stretch out on a comfortable sofa.


In this interior, the unfamiliar Middle-Eastern art imported from Dubai adds even more of a feeling of being "away from it all".

More beautiful details recorded by Blanche's unerring photography delight the eyes as one slowly drifts off for a short nap, savoring the reality that our Cartagena truly is an escape to paradise.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Balconies of Cartagena

Cartagena's historic center on Colombia's Caribbean Coast is an enchanting treasure trove of old architecture, preserved and protected by representation on UNESCO's World Heritage list. If McDonald's or Walmart comes to town, it will have to be on Cartagena's own terms, which means none of the beautiful old buildings in the cobblestone streets can be destroyed or even altered. This is one of the big reasons we enjoy the time we spend there at our vacation getaway, where just a simple, relaxing walk around the old city is pure pleasure.

One of the most romantic things about Cartagena is the abundance of Spanish balconies, often framed with year-round blooming flowers. Each "balcon" is unique and offers a perfect place for the residents of the house to relax and enjoy the soothing sea breezes.

The sidewalk vendors and souvenir shops in the old city offer a myriad of items, some of which actually rise well above the usual tourist kitsch.  For instance, we ignore the plethora of Botero-like "masterpieces" readily available for purchase, which are comparable to the plastic models of the Statue of Liberty offered in NYC's Times Square. 
Colorful handcrafted accessories are reasonably priced, and local artisans' works are often fascinating. Our ace photographer, Blanche Greenstein, loves capturing details, like a closeup of a stack of crisp straw hats for sale, and the brightly painted side of a sightseeing bus.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Faces of Cartagena

Besides the colors and old architecture in Cartagena's historic center, there are the wonderful people - the faces of a walled city that, in many ways, seems immune to the ravages of time. The vendors on the old town streets still ply their trades pretty much the same as they did a century ago. Beauty can be seen in the faces of members of the local community, dressed in traditional fashions, who sell mouth watering, home made candy. 

Food carts with fresh coconuts, fruit, and bread are wheeled up and down the cobblestones, with the proprietors shouting out today's specials so people inside their houses will hear them and come out to buy.

Shoulder bags and hats are popular with the tourists.

Cartagena is a legendary wedding and honeymoon destination, so we joined a crowd watching a beautifully dressed high society wedding party exiting the old Cathedral on their way to celebrate.

Two American tourists, our close friends Rebecca Chapman and Jim Duque, could not resist the hat stand. The same pair of travelers joined a  group of local kids for a photo op. 

It is always a joy to see our first and favorite friend in Cartagena, Maria del Socorro Pinzon, pictured to the right of Rebecca.  

Socorro appears regularly in the society pages of the local newspaper, El Universal, as a prominent fixture at all important Cartagena events involving the arts, antiques, and charities. Her energetic warmth epitomizes the vitality and the soul of this magical city.