The Philadelphia Antiques and Art Show just closed with a preview night on April 14th and events from April 15-17. The show is a benefit for Penn Medicine and was chaired by Anne Hamilton and Nancy Kneeland this year. There were 58 dealers showing objects that ranged from $100 to more than a million dollars.
As co-manager Karen DiSaia said, “The show is filled with wonderful objects whose stories and histories help us understand more about ourselves and our collective past. There will be plenty of items at the show which are much less than high end fashion choices or even a fancy dinner at a restaurant, yet will resonate with the buyer for the rest of your life.”
For the first time in the show’s 54 years, dealers displayed contemporary art as well. As Hamilton explained, “We understand that the antiques market is changing. Our goal is to incorporate art into this show by letting the dealers bring 25% contemporary art. We are taking a step beyond the perimeters of a regular antique show and make it a little wider to appeal to a more general audience. Previously, everything literally has to be 100 years. If something was on the floor that the show managers questioned was an antique, it would be their job to question the dealer and remove the item if it didn’t meet the criteria for an antique.”
Describing the show, Hamilton called it a “living, walking talking museum. You can see art when you go into art museum but unless you take a guide you can’t really learn about it. You can go to the antiques show and every booth has a different guide in it. So you can learn so much.”
The show admission was $20 and included a printed catalogue and daily guided tours from 10-11am before the show opened each day. The show also had free panel discussions each day. Ellie Cullman discussed her new book, “A Dialog about Living with Antiques” with Stacey Bewkes, while there was a round-table of collectors moderated by Johanna McBrien.