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V.I.P. 2011 — Excellent!

David Parker of Associated Artists, welcomes Trust members to his booth loaded with interesting 19th and 20th century furniture and paintings.

The V.I.P. Antiques Weekend in New York is always an exciting, energetic time to be in the Big Apple, but this year it seemed better than ever. In spite of the chilly winter weather, we were warmed to see the spring flower sculptures just erected on Park Avenue. The hearty welcomes Trust members received at the Winter Antiques Show, Richard Jenrette’s home on 93rd Street, and at the refurbished private rooms at the Morgan Library made everyone feel at home and part of some good action in New York.

Sarah Donnem, Trust member and Board member of the East Side House Settlement, the recipient of the Winter Antiques Show fundraising, paved the way for Trust members to enjoy an exclusive tour of the renowned show before it opened to the public, followed by lunch in the historic and extremely interesting Stanford White/Tiffany room at the Seventh Regiment Armory. The loan exhibit for this year’s show was Grandeur Preserved: Masterworks Presented by Historic Charleston Foundation.

At the Trust’s early tour of the Winter Antiques Show, David Schorsch, folk art dealer, pulled out all the stops with his amazing connoisseurship round of the show focusing mainly on painted furniture. Here he talks with his group about a very special serpentine front chest of drawers.

At Richard Jenrette’s home, which is also the location of his foundation, Classical American Homes Preservation Trust, Trust members were joined by members of the Georgian Society to hear Lee Manigault speak about her family’s life in the Miles Brewton House in Charleston, South Carolina. Lee is a lovely and lively person who has just completed a redo of the house where she lives with her children. She talked about her choices to keep the house historic, but at the same time making it modern and child-friendly, and showed images of before and after. Afterwards the engaged group, with paint colors, wallpapers, and fabrics in mind, enjoyed drinks and the elegance of the classical New York townhouse of Mr. Jenrette.

Lee Manigault lecturing about life in the Miles Brewton House of Charleston, South Carolina.

On Saturday afternoon, Trust members met at the Morgan Library to see the newly refurbished private rooms of J. P. Morgan. The New York Times, the New Yorker magazine, and others, wrote about the opening of these rooms and praised them highly. Indeed, they are beautiful and extremely interesting as a view into the life and interests of Mr. Morgan. A small entrance rotunda led to his nearly cubic study and his library which was entered through a small ancient door and was a diminutive, almost double cube with hidden stairs leading to the upper stacks and iron railing walkway. Both rooms were filled with his collections of paintings, ironwork, and Egyptian artifacts. Our guides were superb, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic. Many thanks go to our V.I.P. Committee, especially Margize Howell, Mary Jane Pool, and Ralph Harvard, for this excellent weekend.