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Practice : Fall 2008
for the Art Deco district in Miami Beach, wa s on the host committee. “In my book, he is Mister Art Deco,” sa id Fusco. C onstruction compa ny e xecutives, some of them gal a night sponsors, were in evidenc e, as were the principals of design firms such as Burt, Hill. “I can’t tell you how many interior designers c ame through, including well-known one s,” sa id Fusco, n aming Lindy Lieberman a nd William “Billy” Trifone. Addition ally, de signer Dennis Duffy of Boston’s D Scale was an e xhibitor. He’s known for pairing vintage with contemporary styles and his firm’s own custom furniture. We arrived a bit before the doors opened for the gala and joined a cru sh of people. Once the imaginary ribbon was cut, we all swa rmed in. (The count for the gala alone wa s over 570, sa id Fusco. All told, the gate was close to 3000.) For BIFAS the promoters c over the floor of the Cyclorama with gray c arpeting. This time it was the color of champagne, the better to show up the furniture in the booths. Greg Na namura of New York City had been the first exhibitor to sign up for the show. From him, the list grew to 37 and included s everal others well known for their early commitment to 20th-centur y art and design. Tom Veilleux of Portland, Maine, had a double booth. Bernard Goldb erg Fine Arts, Manhattan, brought museum-quality objects, a s did Didier Antiques, L ondon. There was a little bit of that New York feel in the air and a little bit of Europe. Of course, galas often feel euphoric. What would happen when that feeling was tempered by the realities of the actual sales days, April 4–6? A good sign was that some gala attendees ca me ba ck for a second look. Gloria Lieberma n, director of Skinner’s jewelry department, wa s one. “ There are contemporary buildings going up in Boston, a nd c onsidering that in tandem with the growing interest in Modernism, people are starting to look at the very best of the period,” she said on Sunday. “It was great to see the enthusia sm on opening night, but it’s better to see that people are talking about it around town. There’s definitely a buzz. People are a sk ing each other, ‘Did you go to the show?’” Tom Veilleux is one of the lucky dealers who reported that he had “a very good show,” having sold four items by Sunday af ternoon, with prospects for two others. Even as the gala began, he was pleased. “We made our show by buying something on the floor,” he said that evening. Martha Richardson of Martha Richardson Fine Art, Boston, had a good show. She sold se vera l things, including a George Luks ink and wa sh drawing on paper, Bar Room Brawl, a nd a watercolor and gouache on paper by Mabel Keyes, Daffodils. Just as impor- tant, as she wrote in an e-mail, “I met collectors whom I had not previously known! Dana Kraus of Regalia Estate a nd Fine Je welry, Boston, had what she c alled a “tremendous” show. “We specialize in fine signed one-of-a -kind pieces that are not easily found in the secondary market,” s a id Kraus, who moved to the city in September from feaTURe ] MoDeRnisT RelaTionshiPs by Design PRaCTiCe 61