For the first time this year, the annual garden antiques show at the New York Botanical Garden will include contemporary artists, along with the expected antique urns, limestone lions, wicker chairs and other garden ornaments. The show, which is the largest and most important in the country for authentic garden antiques, is now called “Garden Sculpture and Antiques Fair: 1750-2013.” It opens to the public at 10 a.m. Friday and closes at 5 p.m. Sunday.
Among the hand-picked contemporary artists chosen for the show is Katonah’s Charlie Johnson, who will be bringing seven richly detailed and wonderfully simple sculptures of things you might find in your yard and garden: an apple, turnip, walnut, quince and a delightful shallot with a just-emerging spring shoot.
Actually, Johnson, a classically trained sculptor, has his feet firmly planted at both ends of the garden ornament spectrum. For the last 10 years, he’s been Barbara Israel’s in-house restoration artist for the garden antiques business that she runs out of her Katonah home, a gorgeous 19th-century farmhouse.