Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Dutch Treats: The George Way Collection

Stepping away from our usual real estate fare, I wanted to share with you a very special cultural event. This Thursday night, "Dutch Treats: Highlights from the collection of George Way" will open at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, giving Staten Island and beyond yet another peek at the impressive collection of furniture, paintings and objects d'art that Mr. Way has gathered over the decades.

Those of you not familiar with Mr. Way can find some interesting background from the article entitled "Seats of Power (The Beds, Too)" from 2003 in the NY Times. In short, Mr. Way, an every day Joe who worked at the deli counter of a local Staten Island Pathmark, has created the largest collection of antique English furniture and objects outside of the United Kingdom, a collection he amassed over the last 40 years. Most of it was bought at bargain basement prices, and carried home on the Staten Island Ferry.

Lest you think that this is just another Staten Island vanity project with a few loose items, most of which are younger than most people in New York City, Mr. Way focuses on objects that come from around the 1600s and they are often of better quality than those found in major international collections. Mr. Way has lectured on his holdings at Sotheby's New York, is a former consultant on early furniture to Christie's, and regularly lends out items from his collection to various notable institutions like the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the William Penn Museum.

Mr. Way's previous exhibitions have been exuberantly received and rather captivating. Certainly, it is not every day that you get to see an exhibition that rivals those in the major New York museums here on Staten Island, so go and show your support for a Staten Islander, and if nothing else, marvel at what an every day Joe can accomplish.

The exhibit is slated to run through September 27th, 2009 and is open from Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am through 5 pm. Admission is $3. The last time Mr. Way had an exhibit up at Snug Harbor, he was often seen roaming the exhibit answering questions and talking with interested visitors.

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