Featuring a whimsical bee-design theme by Ken Fulk, New York Botanical Garden’s (NYBG) Garden Fair runs through the weekend, April 29–May 1, with the country’s leading Exhibitors showcasing the finest garden antiques for purchase. NYBG’s 2016 Antique Garden Furniture Fair: Antiques for the Garden and the Garden Room opens with a Benefit Preview Party and Collectors’ Plant Sale on Thursday, April 28, from 6 to 8 p.m.
This event is the the country’s original, largest, and most important venue for authentic garden antiques, this year’s Fair features playful bee-inspired designs by celebrated interior and event designer Ken Fulk. As Designer Chairman for the 25th Anniversary Fair, Fulk created a showpiece; featuring items from exhibitors that will inspire and enlighten visitors about marrying antiques and modern design with an everyday aesthetic. Adding to the excitement, Elle Decor Interiors Editor and acclaimed stylist Robert Rufino will create a festive outdoor lounge for the Fair in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory Courtyard.
Style maker Ken Fulk has given a makeover to the Antique Garden Furniture Fair that celebrates one of the most important pollinators in the garden: the beloved honeybee. NYBG describes how guests arriving tonight at the Conservatory for the Benefit Preview Party and Collectors’ Plant Sale will be greeted by a swarm of yellow-jacketed valets and led down a gold runway into the Conservatory’s Palms of the World Gallery where a display of fanciful bee skeps and a jazz trio set the stage for enchantment.
Honey of a Cocktail
In the Conservatory Courtyard, honey-themed cocktails will be served — specifically, a Prohibition favorite: “The Colony.” The ingredients for the NYBG party are: Barr Hill Vodka, orange blossom honey water, and grapefruit juice. The original Colony was named for the uptown restaurant where Vanderbilts and Windsors went to dine in a proper manner; and yet, that didn’t prevent them for indulging in a few cocktails despite the ban on alcohol. The bartender would simply shake up a one or two, no questions asked. The original Colony was made with gin, as were very many cocktails of the era, including the Bee’s Knees. The honey – and often lemon – was used to mask the awful taste of the bathtub gin. Not tonight. The Colony sounds like a sweet treat. After getting a cocktail – or two – guests are to be beckoned into the magical garden setting of the renowned Collectors’ Plant Sale, where this year the rare and exotic plant species will be elevated to a new level with elaborate hand-painted backdrops and stage sets designed by Fulk. Catering for the event is the Starr Catering Group, a favorite, go-to choice for cultural institutions, including NYBG.
A warm “golden glow” will draw guests to their final destination, where nearly 30 of the country’s leading exhibitors will showcase the finest garden antiques for purchase. A 10-foot-high beehive installation— a surreal and spiraling assemblage of rope and garden accents and backed by a towering wall of florals—will lead the eye, and anchor the room. Exclusive to the Preview Party, the night’s “queen bee,” DJ Kiss, will rave the hive, spinning favorites from her DJ booth within another Fulk-custom beehive installation.
NYBG describes how ELLE DECOR’s Robert Rufino will create a garden vignette showcasing “ladies in the garden”— that is, mannequins dressed in ball gown skirts made of Chinese newspaper, tops from pages and covers of ELLE DECOR, and Chinese straw hats—to serve as an outdoor lounge. The featured furniture, from the latest Roche Bobois collection—in areas with sofa and chair seating as well as dining—will be colorful and have an Asian influence. Atop the signature table will be a large vase with an explosion of cherry blossoms. Vibrant lanterns will hang from above, enhancing the lounge’s alluring and inviting ambience.
Amid 600 guests from the philanthropic, interior and landscape design, architecture, and art worlds, Preview Party attendees can indulge in a Silent Auction and NYBG’s Collectors’ Plant Sale, which features hard-to-find beauties, beloved varieties, and horticultural treasures propagated from NYBG collections, all chosen for their rarity and charm. Lilacs, Japanese maples, and herbaceous peonies, selected to celebrate the recent expansions of these historic NYBG collections, are among the unique offerings that will be available exclusively to Preview Party guests.
The Preview Party presents enthusiasts and collectors the opportunity to examine the plants, peruse thousands of garden antiques from leading exhibitors from across the United States offering their finest pieces for sale, and to make early purchases, while enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, in advance of the Fair’s opening to the general public. For Preview Party tickets and information, please call 718.817.8773 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
All proceeds benefit NYBG’s Fund for Horticulture, directly supporting the work of the curators and gardeners who are responsible for making The New York Botanical Garden one of the most important horticultural showplaces in the world.
Three Days to Explore Antiques for the Garden and Garden Room
The Antique Garden Furniture Fair continues at NYBG from Friday, April 29 through Sunday, May 1, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Respected as the most distinguished stage for authentic garden antiques and rarities, the Fair is a must-attend event for leading collectors and designers, as well as purchasers seeking advice from professionals. Included are outdoor sculpture, fountains, sundials, bird baths, gates, garden benches, antique wicker, urns and planters, botanical prints, and architectural ornament, displaying centuries of classic design inspiration gathered from America, Europe, and Asia. These antiques are not only great for the garden, but also for the garden room.
Weekend visitors to the Antique Garden Furniture Fair can browse and purchase unique items of the highest quality and provenance and enjoy a program lineup that includes Q&A with dealers, honey sampling, and eclectic live musical sets. There will be exhibitors offering an array of interesting ways to bring the outdoors inside by creating garden rooms in your home.
Experts will be on hand to answer questions on current decorating styles. They will also discuss trends in the acquisition and appreciation of garden ornament, as well as assist buyers looking for the perfect piece to complement a garden, landscape, or interior. On-site shippers are available to facilitate Tri- State New York and New England deliveries during the Fair and other shipping needs in the weeks following.
Some of this year’s highlighted items include a marble bust of Anacreon, the ancient Greek poet, offered by Aileen Minor, and a dolphin and shell centerpiece fountain, circa 1850, from New England Garden Ornaments. Fleur will offer a Scottish cast iron bench by Carron.
At the entrance to the Antique Garden Furniture Fair, a Specialty Plant Sale will feature an extensive selection of unusual, colorful plants representing some of horticulture’s finest growers. A variety of shrubs and trees, perennials, annuals, and Herbs will be available. Visitors may purchase refreshments here as well.
Activities throughout the weekend include live music, featuring the eco-music ensemble The Englewinds on Friday, 1–4 p.m., highlighting the importance and the plight of honeybees, and Sweet Megg & the Wayfarers on Saturday and Sunday, 12–4 p.m., in Conservatory Plaza; and honey sampling with City Island Gold Apiary in the Conservatory Courtyard each day, 12–4 p.m.
About the Designer Chairman
Ken Fulk designs experiences large and small. After 20 years as a San Francisco style maker known for his richly layered interiors and over-the-top parties, Fulk has expanded his firm in recent years to facilitate projects around the globe.
Fulk is far more than a designer. He is the curator of a lifestyle, not only creating custom looks for hotels, restaurants, and private residences, but also developing the entire branding and programming for his clients. His firm, Ken Fulk Inc, is a creative team comprised of architects, stylists, and interior, graphic, and event designers. In recent years, Ken Fulk Inc has received great acclaim for The Battery Club, private social club and Three Sticks Winery in Sonoma as well as the Vegas outpost of Carbone restaurant and the SoHo bagel emporium, Sadelle’s. Next up, Fulk is charged with the design of a Miami hotel and a highly anticipated Hudson Yards high-rise residential tower, which will include a show-stopping flagship restaurant. Fulk recently launched his New York studio and will soon release a book, Mr. Ken Fulk’s Magical World.
The year 2016 marks The New York Botanical Garden’s 125th Anniversary. The Antique Garden Furniture Fair, taking place in a tent amid flowering trees, plants, and shrubs, with the institution’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory as its glorious backdrop, is one of many public celebratory events commemorating this historic milestone. During the Preview Party, Principal Photographer Larry Lederman will sign copies of The New York Botanical Garden (Abrams), the 125th Anniversary edition, which will be available for purchase. At 3 p.m. each day at the Fair, a complimentary toast will salute 125 years of the Garden’s commitment to excellence in plant research and conservation, horticulture, and education.
The Antique Garden Furniture Fair is the ideal venue for learning about garden antiques and building personal collections, and this year’s event will be unlike any other: a perfect cross-pollination of antique and modern. Admission to the Fair on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, April 29 through May 1, is included with the All-Garden Pass, which also provides access to the Botanical Garden grounds, seasonal gardens, attractions such as the Haupt Conservatory, and Tram Tour. Advance tickets for the Fair are available for purchase online at nybg.org.
Antique Garden Furniture Fair: Antiques for the Garden and the Garden Room 2016 Exhibitor Listing
Arader Galleries – New York, N.Y. & Philadelphia, Pa. (www.aradergalleries.com)
Balsamo – New York, N.Y. & Pine Plains, N.Y. (www.balsamoantiques.com)
Blithewold Home, Mount Kisco, N.Y. (www.blithewoldhome.com)
Brennan & Mouilleseaux Antiques – Northfield, Conn. (www.antiqueseclectic.com)
Cherry Gallery – Damariscotta, Maine (www.cherrygallery.com)
The Cooley Gallery – Old Lyme, Conn. (www.Cooleygallery.com)
Cottage + Camp – Philadelphia, Pa. (www.cottagecamp.net)
Fine Antique Prints – Wayne, Pa. (www.fineantiqueprints.com)
Finnegan Gallery – Chicago, Ill. (www.finnegangallery.com)
Firehouse Antiques – Galena, Md. (www.galenaantiquedistrict.com)
Fleur – Mount Kisco, N.Y. (www.fleur-newyork.com)
From Here to Antiquity – Cheshire, Conn. (www.fromheretoantiquity.org)
Garvey Rita Art & Antiques – West Hartford, Conn. (www.garveyrita.com)
Hamptons Antique Galleries – Stamford, Conn. (www.hamptonsantiquegalleries.com) Jeffrey Henkel – Pennington, N.J. (www.jeffreyhenkel.com)
Barbara Israel Garden Antiques – Katonah, N.Y. (www.bi-gardenantiques.com)
Milne’s At Home Antiques – New York, N.Y. & Kingston, N.Y. (www.milneinc.com)
Aileen Minor – Centreville, Md. (www.aileenminor.com)
More & More Antiques – New York, N.Y. (www.moreandmoreantiquesnyc.com)
New England Ornaments – Sudbury, Mass. (www.negarden.com)
Pagoda Red – Chicago, Ill. (www.pagodared.com)
Francis J. Purcell – Philadelphia, Pa. (www.francisjpurcell.com)
Schorr & Dobinsky – Bridgehampton, N.Y. (www.schorranddobinsky.com)
Earle D. Vandekar of Knightsbridge – Maryknoll, N.Y. (www.vandekar.com)
VIllage Braider Antiques – Plymouth, Mass. (www.villagebraider.com)
Withington & Company Antiques – Portsmouth, N.H. (www.withingtonandcompanyantiques.com)
The Antique Garden Furniture Fair is generously supported by Northern Trust.
Support for the Preview Party has been provided by Mr. and Mrs. Coleman P. Burke
Mish New York