By Robert F. Murray, The von Brahler Ltd.
At 1007 King Street is the Antiek Haus, which Steve Young opened in 2003. With an unbelievably rich collection of paintings, sculpture, china, porcelain and many other collectibles abounding, it is obvious he has had the eye, the opportunities and the well-traveled background it takes to assemble everything you’ll see inside.
If you’re a collector like me, this place is a dream come true because the emphasis is on the work itself and not so much the slickness of a popularly-found gallery.This place is like many, very sought-after art destinations in major art cities of the world. There are three connecting rooms, very narrow ( one person at a time can get by) and you won’t see much of the walls for they are stacked with every manner and style of work and fine art, arranged in such a way that only an art lover would understand. You’ll have to look and choose very carefully though and Steve will give you the provenance and suggest a price. The prices I saw, from my longtime gallery business experience, are very reasonable and way below what would be the going retail cost of similar pieces.
The real attraction is the wide choice and styles of paintings in the collection. In fact, it was a great surprise to find so many significant Russian artists available. Since I have a special concern and affinity for Russian art and artists it was wonderful to see vintage and modern paintings, landscapes, waterscapes, portraits and florals. Some of you will know that works coming out of Russia by Russian artists are beginning again, after 20+ years of openness, are becoming scarce as the political gaps tighten again.
Within the collection there are several paintings by Dutch, German and other European known artists. Prominently displayed are a few appealing, realistic landscape and water scenes by Moscow painter, Goluska, as well as another Moscovite, Gusev.
On a table to the left, as you enter, there’s a particularly nice bucolic/pastoral scene with cows, a good-sized, substantially-framed canvas by Cornelius Bershuur. A little farther in is a small gem of a painting by the Dutch painter, Marr. Do not miss the classic, old world like, small canvas of an artist at his easel by Simon Buchbinder. You’ll find also find more impressionistic work: two canvases by Aldo, of Parisian scenes. Towards the back, tucked up towards the ceiling is a typically Russian church scene by Nikolai Bagdanov. And so the rooms go on and on filled with large and small jewels of art objects.
Steve Young says that his major interest rests within mid to late19th century European and American art. He is more than willing to share his gift of quickly familiarizing any art lover the information about the background and value of each item. It’s obvious that he has assembled his entire inventory based on his own educated attractions and affections. In addition to the paintings, the collection offers cabinets full of china, porcelains and rare finds.
As I left Antiek Haus my eye caught the appealing 18” high dark bronze of young boy sitting and picking a thorn from the bottom of his bare foot. It was a great reminder of the coming spring and a good reminder of the pleasures of art for all seasons you’ll find at Antiek Haus. There’s art and value for everybody here.
A short but sincere note to all who knew our “One and Only, Mr. Silverman.” Maurice died in early March at 91. He was greatly admired and will be much missed as a true patriarch of the Metropolitan Washington Art Community and beyond. He leaves his Gallery in the very experienced and knowledgeable hands of his wife, Angela. Like Maurice, Angela has always made a time in the Silverman Gallery on N. Saint Asaph Street a joy.