Must-See Exhibitions: Met & Phoenix Ancient Art

New Yorkers will enjoy many feasts for the eyes and the hearts as the New Year unfolds. Here are a few of the must-see exhibitions.

1. Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Met currently has an exhibition entitled “Korea’s Golden Kingdom. Featured until February 23th, 2014, the exhibition features over 100 objects that were created between AD 400 and 800 which was Silla’s seminal period. As described on the Met page about the exhibit, “The exhibition is the first in the West to focus exclusively on the arts of Silla. Among the highlights are exquisite regalia discovered from the tombs of royalty and the elite; unique treasures made in places between China and the Mediterranean and preserved in Korea; and Buddhist icons and reliquaries reinterpreting pan-Asian styles with native aesthetics.”

2. Phoenix Ancient Art: Owned by Hicham Aboutaam and Ali Aboutaam, Phoenix Ancient Art is currently showcasing an exhibition entitled “Sacred Scents and Flames from the Ancient World.” It is showing at their New York gallery through February 12th, 2014. As Ali Aboutaam explained, “The exhibition gives a fascinating opportunity to see an important selection of ancient lamps and the incense burners and to explore how the ancient civilizations of Pre-Classical and Classical world designed their lighting devices. From the very beginning various religions worshipped the eternal, divine flame, and even the most powerful kings had to pay a tribute to a flame. Incense which is closely linked to fire and flame quickly became the important element in the liturgical ceremonies in various religions. An Islamic bronze censer shaped as a feline, which is dated to the 11th century A.D., is a masterpiece of the bronze cast technique; its surface is an openwork in the shape of floral motifs, which allowed the perfumed smoke to escape and spread.”

Enjoy the year ahead with these, and many other exhibitions.

A Glimpse At Three Exhibitors From The Spring Show NYC

If you have time this week, there are few things happening in New York that are more exciting than the Spring Show NYC. Taking place right now at the Park Avenue Armory, this show includes over 50 of the finest international exhibitors today.

Gail Shields-Miller of Shields & Co. Interiors recently had the opportunity to check out three exhibitors in their own environments before the show. She relished in the romantic and lovely look of the Tiffany Studio pieces on sale at Lillian Nassau. Owned by Arlie Sulka, Lillian Nassau sells unique Louis Comfort Tiffany pieces. She described her visit as she wrote on her blog, “The list goes on with several pieces of studio furniture from such notables as George Nakashima, Phil Powell, Wendell Castle and Paul Evans. I fell in love with an out of this world leather love seat by Fritz Henningsen that I wanted to scoop right off the floor and into my apartment. AND then there was a Viennese wood and glass vitrine of uncertain artistic origin that definitely needed a home with one of my clients.”

Phoenix Ancient Art
Phoenix Ancient Art

As part of her tour, Shields-Miller visited Phoenix Ancient Art, owned by brothers Hicham Aboutaam and Ali Aboutam. They feature precious antiques from 5000 BC until about 14 AD. As she described her visit, “The gallery is a pristine environment of stunning dark bronze metal clad walls elegantly complimenting the stone floors, all very effective for displaying the select pieces on display and conjuring up the sense of ancient times long gone by.  You immediately can ascertain that this is a no nonsense place and that we are going to be delving into a discussion about precious irreplaceable artifacts from ancient civilizations.”

Rare lacquered cabinet on silver gilt stand, circa 1690 at Carlton Hobbs.
Rare lacquered cabinet on silver gilt stand, circa 1690 at Carlton Hobbs.

Finally, she visited the Carlton Hobbs, which felt like entering a small museum in France. As she explained, “Carlton Hobbs occupies a rarefied strata in the antiques business, and primarily seeks out furniture and art which belonged originally to royal families and aristocrats or famous architects of that period in history.”


Should you have the time, I would definitely run (not walk!) to enjoy Lillian Nassau, Phoenix Ancient Art, Carlton Hobbs and many others at the Spring Show NYC right now.