Changes at the Winter Antiques Show

November 7, 2017

By Lita Solis-Cohen

Arie L. Kopelman, the chairman of the Winter Antiques Show for the last 25 years, was made for the job. As president and CEO of Chanel, Inc. at its New York City headquarters, he is credited with transforming Chanel from a reported $357 million business with two stand-alone boutiques in 1985 to 17 brick-and-mortar boutiques and annual sales of about $7 billion by the time he retired in 2014. Before he took over Chanel, armed with a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School, he was an account executive at a prestigious advertising firm. Over the years he has served on many boards for historic preservation, education, and enrichment, including East Side House Settlement. Moreover, he is a collector. His was the perfect résumé for chairman of the Winter Antiques Show, as successor to the legendary Mario Buatta, who made everyone want to be a collector.

Under Kopelman’s leadership, the Winter Antiques Show raised millions for East Side House Settlement. Kopelman refashioned the show from an American icon into a sophisticated global event, annually attracting 20,000 collectors, museum curators, and interior designers from around the world. He steadied the show through decades of market cycles and decorating trends by introducing a more varied mix of exhibitors. Adding to the show’s traditional strength in American fine and decorative arts, he expanded the show’s commitment to quality across other fields of collecting.

Now Kopelman is stepping aside. Changes in the leadership of the Winter Antiques Show have been announced by the East Side House Settlement board of managers. Kopelman will become chairman emeritus in January 2018. He served as chairman of the show from 1993 to 2014 and as cochair of the show with Lucinda Ballard and Michael Lynch starting in 2015.

“It is impossible to overstate Arie Kopelman’s contribution to the Winter Antiques Show and East Side House Settlement. He put his heart and soul into the show over the course of decades,” said Thomas H. Remien, president of the East Side House Settlement board of managers. In celebration of his service to the Winter Antiques Show and East Side House Settlement, Kopelman will be presented with a leadership award at the show. When the 64th annual show opens with a preview party on Thursday, January 18, Ballard and Lynch will have taken over the helm.

Lucinda Ballard has been on the board of East Side House Settlement since 1986 and has been involved with the Winter Antiques Show for 24 years. She has long been involved with art education at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she has held leadership roles, including overseeing the 1250-member volunteer organization of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She holds an M.S. in museum leadership from Bank Street College.

Michael Lynch, a collector, is vice chairman, investment banking at J.P. Morgan. He had been a managing director at Goldman Sachs and a member of its investment banking division for 30 years, and was elected a partner in 1986. His B.A. is from Rice University, and his M.B.A. is from the University of Texas. A member of the board of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. and a trustee emeritus of Rice University, he is presently a trustee of the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. In addition to serving on the board of East Side House Settlement, Lynch is on the board of Good Shepherd Services and serves as a trustee of the Glyndebourne Arts Trust, which administers the Glyndebourne Festival Opera in East Sussex, England.

One other announced change in Winter Antiques Show leadership is the promotion of Michael Diaz-Griffith to associate executive director of the show. He will continue to serve with Catherine Sweeney Singer, executive director, as he has done for the last three years. He has been responsible for the show’s expanded digital footprint. Committed to introducing art and antiques to a younger generation of collectors, he is focused on expanding the show’s audience. His A.B. is from the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. He received an M.A. from King’s College London and holds a graduate certificate in fine and decorative arts from Sotheby’s. He attended the Winterthur Winter Institute in Delaware and the Victorian Summer School in London. He is a member of the American Young Georgians and of the Victorian Society in America. He said that he is working on the generational shift of interest in collecting across the board.

This year’s loan exhibition is from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), Richmond, Virginia, and underscores the global reach of the show. The VMFA is known by many as a collection of collections. The VMFA’s Sidney and Frances Lewis collection of Art Nouveau and Art Deco is the best outside Paris. The museum has French Impressionist, modern, and contemporary works from the collection of Paul Mellon. Lillian Thomas Pratt bequeathed five Fabergé Imperial eggs and over 500 additional Russian objects. The VMFA recently acquired Bunny Mellon’s collection of over 150 pieces designed by Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. Instead of the usual focus on Americana, the loan exhibit will feature a broad range of paintings by a variety of artists, including Robert Henri, George Stubbs, John Singer Sargent, Berthe Morisot, Willem de Kooning, Eastman Johnson, Childe Hassam, Max Pechstein, and Vincent van Gogh. The loan exhibition, like the show, is about collectors and collections.

The Winter Antiques Show will again run for ten days, from January 19 through 28, 2018, after the preview party on January 18. A final list of dealers and special events will be announced next month.

Originally published in the November 2017 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2017 Maine Antique Digest