During the four days of the Spring Show NYC – running from May 3 to May 6 at the Park Avenue Armory – not only will fair-goers enjoy feasting their eyes on world-class art and antiques, they’ll also enjoy the chance to get even more up-close-and-intime with those subjects through their lectures. Presented by leading experts in their fields, the diverse topics cover the gamut of fine and decorative arts including Hollywood movie-set design, lady power-decorators Dorothy Draper and Elsie De Wolfe, Chinese art and Empress Eugenie’s outré Oriental Chamber at Chateau Fontainebleau. The lectures, held in the historic Tiffany room, are complimentary with admission to the fair.

Here’s the schedule:
Friday, May 4th
3 – 4 p.m.
Designs On Film: A Century Of Hollywood Art Direction
Cathy Whitlock’s lecture covers a century of cinematic set decoration, featuring highlights from every decade of Hollywood history. A slide presentation will show photographs, behind-the-scene images and designer sketches of sets from Top Hat, The Fountainhead, Gone With the Wind, The Age of Innocence, Something’s Gotta Give-and many more!

Cathy Whitlock’s book Designs on Film: A Century of Hollywood Art Direction (Harper Collins, November, 2010) represents the marriage of her two passions-design and cinema. She is also a contributing writer for Traditional Home magazine and The Huffington Post, and features editor for Array Magazine. Cathy writes the blog Cinema Style, which chronicles trends and inspirations in film, reaches 70 countries, was named one of the Top Ten Best Design Blogs of 2010 by Fox News. A graduate of Parsons School of Design and a member of the American Society of Interior Designers, Cathy has more than 24 years of experience in the interior design industry and has had practices in New York, Chicago, Memphis and Nashville.

Adoption, Absorption, Assimilation: Foreign Influences In Early Chinese Art
Dr. Robert D. Mowry’s slide lecture examines China’s native artistic traditions as they developed during the Great Bronze Age (1600 B.C.- A.D. 220). Attendees will learn about the wealth of materials introduced from foreign lands via the Silk Route trade during the Han through the Tang dynasties and see how Chinese artists absorbed and assimilated these new influences.

Dr. Robert D. Mowry is Alan J. Dworsky Curator of Chinese Art and Head of the Department of Asian Art at the Harvard Art Museum. He is also Senior Lecturer on Chinese and Korean Art in Harvard’s Department of the History of Art and Architecture.

Saturday, May 5th
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Legendary Designing Women:
Inventing A Profession
Emily Eerdmans discusses the history of interior decorating and how it evolved into a billion-dollar profession thanks to the seminal efforts of astute women like Elsie de Wolfe, Dorothy Draper and Madeleine Castaing.
Emily Evans Eerdmans is a noted design historian and expert with Corfield Morris, a private art advisory. She is the author of several books, including The World of Madeleine Castaing and the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of Wendell Castle. She received her master’s degree in fine and decorative arts from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London and is an instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Château De Fontainebleau: 500 Years Of Royal Taste In
Architecture And Design
No French palace holds the living presence-the sweep of 500 years of French royal history-the way that Fontainebleau does. David Garrard Lowe traces its centuries-in-the-making transformation from a forested hunting ground for French kings into a magnificent royal palace in the 16th century. Tour Fontainebleau’s interiors, including Empress Eugenie’s astonishing Oriental Chamber with its rare Chinese porcelain, fine lacquer and jeweled Buddhas. Presented by French Heritage Society.

David Garrard Lowe is a well-known cultural historian whose articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and American Heritage. He is Chairman of Cultural Programs, New York Chapter of French Heritage Society and President of the Beaux Arts Alliance; and has lectured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the Smithsonian Institution, among others.

The Spring Show NYC will open on May 3 and run through May 6 at the Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue at East 67th Street.
Opening N
ight VIP Preview: Wednesday, May 2, 5-7 pm Public Preview: 7-9 pm. Tickets and more information available here.

General Admission: Thursday, May 3: 11 am-7:30 pm. Friday, May 4*: 11 am-9 pm, Saturday, May 5: 11 am-7:30 pm,
Sunday, May 6: 11 am-6 pm. Tickets are $20 for a single day of general admission and $40 for a four-day pass.
*Arts Night Out Friday, 6-9 pm. Bringing together New York’s young arts patrons for cocktails and conversation. $30 tickets available at the door.