Courtesy American Craft Council.

With the many design shows, art fairs, and museum and gallery exhibitions opening each week, the quest to separate the wheat from the chaff can be an exhausting endeavor for even the most astute of art aficionados.  From a major contemporary art fair in Seattle to a jewelry symposium in New York, here's a selection of the best and boldest events worth checking out this week.


Nantucket By Design

August 1-5, 2017

The Oldest House, Nantucket, RI

For more information, visit:

Presented each year by the Nantucket Historical Association—dedicated to preserving the history of Nantucket Island and fostering an appreciation of its historic significance—Nantucket By Design certainly has a lot more to it than your average fundraising affair. A week-long extravaganza of panel discussions, lectures, and more, this year's festival will kickoff with a a VIP cocktail party and luncheon hosted by Keynote Speakers Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch of Roman and Williams. Attendees will see a distinguished lineup of interior designers and editors (Carolyn Englefield and Gary McBournie among them) gather to discuss the latest in design trends for the 7th iteration of the appropriately named "All-Star Design Panel." But the creme de la creme of NBD is easily its show-closing blowout, The New Party at the Oldest House, featuring great food, signature cocktails, and live music from the Lester Lanin Orchestra. Check out a video highlight of last year's party here.


Courtesy Art Aspen

Art Aspen

August 4-6, 2017 (Preview on August 3)

Aspen Ice Garden, Aspen, CO

For more information, visit:

There are few cities in the United States more closely associated with the affluent than Aspen, Colorado, and Art Aspen is making no attempt to hide that fact. Limited to just 30 prominent galleries each year, the fair is an intimate, highly exclusive show where visitors can discover and discuss museum-caliber treasures and groundbreaking new works in contemporary art. Though Aspen may primarily be known as a ski town, it's events like Art Aspen that contribute to the area's soaring summer tourism, and this year's lineup—which includes Vallarino Fine Art, Duane Reed Gallery, and Axiom Contemporary among others—is sure to only add to the town's ever-growing appeal. 

American Craft Show, San Francisco

Last year's "Make Room" entry by Alden Miller Interior Design. Courtesy American Craft Council.

August 4 – 6, 2017 

Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, San Francisco, CA

For more information, visit:

The American Craft Show returns to San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture for a not-to-be-missed weekend showcasing more than 230 of the country’s top contemporary craft artists. Craft collectors and design enthusiasts will also have a chance to engage in four experiential showcases: Make Room: Modern Design Meets Craft, Style Slam, Let’s Make, and Hip Pop, which explore the country's top emerging artists. As the largest juried fine craft show on the West Coast, the 2017 San Francisco show is expected to draw more than 10,000 fine craft collectors and design enthusiasts. It is a truly unique chance to shop fine-quality crafts and engage with the country’s most talented artists.

Galleries, Museum Exhibitions, & More

Courtesy Macklowe Gallery. 

Antique Jewelry Symposium 

August 4-5, 2017

Macklowe Gallery Ltd., New York, NY

For more information, visit:

Formerly known as "Jewelry Camp," the Antique Jewelry Symposium, hosted by Macklowe Gallery Ltd., will see the premier dealer of 20th-century decorative arts gather the world's leading jewelry experts for a series of networking opportunities and educational experiences that date back nearly 40 years. Under its new banner, the symposium will offer a backroom tour of high-style jeweler Oscar Heyman & Brothers and an unparalleled private showing of Art Deco jewelry and objects, with lectures that include "The Wit and Whimsy of Flato & Verdura" with Meriwether McGettigan and "An American Dynasty: The Legacy of the House of Tiffany" led by the gallery's own President, Benjamin Macklowe. “New York City is the center of the jewelry universe for buying, selling  and education, so it’s only natural to host an in-depth experience for the professional and passionate collector,” commented Macklowe. “The  Symposium offers attendees the opportunity to see and touch the jewelry up close, understand why it was made, and how it fits into adornment  history.”

Colorful Impressions 

Charles Ephraim Burchfield (1893-1967), Queen Anne’s Lace at Twilight , 1951-1956. Watercolor and pencil on paper. 22 ¾ x 33 inches. Courtesy Debra Force Fine Art

Through September 22, 2017

Debra Force Fine Art, New York, NY

For more information, visit:

Though not Impressionist by definition, the watercolor-heavy works by artists like Charles E. Burchfield, Gifford Beal, and Edwin Walter Dickinsonoften maintained an impressionistic quality. Whether evocative nature scenes or haunting landscapes, images by Burchfield, Beal, and Dickison often defied the boundaries of genre. In Colorful Impressions, Debra Force Fine Art explores themes and techniques that united artists such as these three—as well as their contemporaries including Philip Evergood, Frederick Carl Frieseke, and more. 

Transient Effects: The Solar Eclipses and Celestial Landscapes of Howard Russell Butler

Through October 8, 2017

Princeton Art Museum, Princeton, NJ

For more information, visit:

"In 1918, Howard Russell Butler (1856–1934) painted a new kind of portrait, of a very unusual sitter: the total solar eclipse. With remarkable accuracy, he captured those rare  seconds when the moon disappears into darkness—crowned by the flames of the sun, whose brilliant colors had eluded photography. 'In so doing,' according to Rachael DeLue, associate professor of American art, Princeton University, 'he joined the ranks of artists and other image-makers who have struggled to translate un-seeable or fleeting natural phenomena into visual form for the purposes of scientific study and the dissemination of knowledge in the public sphere.'"

Howard Russell Butler, American, 1856–1934, Solar Eclipse, 1925. Oil on canvas. Princeton University, gift of H. Russell Butler Jr..

So says the Princeton Art Museum of their latest exhibition on legendary painter and founder of the American Fine Arts Society, Howard Russell Butler. A close friend of Thomas Edison and a graduate of both Princeton's first school of science and Columbia University, Butler brought a knowledge and skill set like few others when he decided to drop everything and pursue a career in art in his late twenties. Influenced by the works of Frederic Edwin Church and James Carroll Beckwith, Howard's wholly unique depictions of solar eclipses and other phenomena quickly earned him international acclaim and the respect of his peers on both sides of the aisle, so to speak. With less than 20 days to go until the next eclipse, Princeton's exhibition on Howard, Transient Effects, is a must-see for those seeking to explore the intersection between art and science. 

DeCordova Awards Rappaport Prize to Sam Durant 

Labyrinth, 2015 steel; 8' x 40' x 40'; photo credit: Steve Steve Weinik; commissioned by Mural Arts, Philadelphia as part of OPEN SOURCE, 2015.

Established in 2000, the DeCordova Sculpture Park & Museum'sRappaport Prize is an annual award of $25,000 given to a contemporary artist with strong connections to New England and a strong record of achievement. One of the most generous contemporary art awards of its kind, the award has been given to multimedia artist Sam Durant, who projects like Labyrinth (above) and Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions, Washington D.C. have tackled a wide variety of political, social, and cultural issues since Durant received a BFA in sculpture from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1986.

“We are delighted to award the 2017 Rappaport Prize to Sam Durant,” says deCordova Executive Director John Ravenal. “He has an impressive record of international and solo exhibitions and a substantial history of scholarly and critical attention. His thoughtful and timely exploration of social justice and civil rights aligns perfectly with the Rappaport Foundations’ commitment to a better society through supporting leadership in public policy, medicine, and the arts. And his Boston roots affirm deCordova’s deep engagement with New England artists.”

Catch It Before It Closes

Courtesy Friedman Benda.

Wendell Castle: Embracing Upheaval 

Through August 11, 2017

Friedman Benda, New York City, NY 

For more information, visit:

Considered by many to be the father of the American studio furniture movement, Wendell Castle has spent more than five decades exploring the boundaries between form and function with his ceaselessly experimental designs. His latest (and fifth) solo exhibition at Friedman Benda gallery, Embracing Upheaval, further showcases Castle's continued dynamism within the world of furniture design. "A fearless exploration, encompassing two groups, Block and Freeform, each can be seen alone or as elements of a larger story, both familiar and a departure. Lyrical and unexpected, the new series continues Castle’s life-long interest in pushing the boundaries," says Benda.