The 12 new exhibitors come from France, Italy, the UK and the US. The range of their offerings encompasses anything from antiquities – Cybele (Paris) – to master drawings (London-based Stephen Ongpin Fine Art), Japanese and Korean art (Sebastian Izzard from New York) and the vintage photography supplied by Los Angeles-based dealer Bruce Kapson. To mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Edward S. Curtis, Kapson is presenting the most comprehensive show ever staged of the photogravure printing plates used in the photographer, ethnographer and filmmaker’s epic publishing venture, The North American Indian (1907–30). The medium lends an extraordinary materiality and almost three-dimensional quality to these eloquent images of a proud people and their disappearing way of life, from portraits of Apsaroke chiefs to the dawn river mists enveloping a solitary Kutenai out duck-hunting in his canoe, made in around 1910.
It was J.P. Morgan who, in 1906, gave Curtis $75,000 to cover the expense of this 20-volume series, and it is almost inevitable that this legendary financier, philanthropist and collector should take another bow at the fair. Vanderven Oriental Art, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, presents a Kangxi-period triple gourd vase that once belonged to Morgan (and later to Norton Simon), one of a group of colossal porcelain vases that bear testimony to the technical mastery of the Jingdezhen potters in the late 17th–early 18th century. This piece of blue and white stands just over a metre high.