Published: April 15, 2008
The Antiques Dealers Association of America (ADA) honored Joe Kindig this past Saturday evening, April 12, at a dinner at the Navy Yard, site of the 2008 Philadelphia Antiques Show.
The York, Penn., antiques dealer, author and scholar is the eighth recipient of the ADA’s Award of Merit, bestowed annually to an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the antiques field.
After brief remarks by ADA President John Keith Russell, ADA board member and master of ceremonies Christopher Rebollo stepped to the podium. Rebollo recalled meeting Kindig and his daughter and business partner, Jenifer, for the first time at Philip Bradley Antiques in Downingtown, Penn.
“It was like a royal visit,” said Rebollo, thanking Kindig for all that he subsequently learned from him.
Fellow Philadelphia Antiques Show exhibitor Peter Tillou described his 50-year friendship with Kindig, which began when Tillou, already moonlighting as a dealer, was still in college.
Tillou said that he admired his friend’s integrity and remembered a certain Philadelphia wing chair that Tillou was unable to sell.
“I took it to Joe because he was an expert. Joe said, ‘It’s a grand chair. I’ll take it.’ That is a bit of the elegance of this guy. It really sent me on my way in life,” said Tillou.
“Fifteen years ago, I got into the field,” said Jenifer Kindig, who left Calvin Klein in New York to join her father in business. “He soon told me that we would be studying for a year and a half. It was the most rewarding experience. For those of us who have spent quality time with him, our lives have been blessed.”
“This award is presented to a man who was a scholar-dealer before the term was coined,” said Thomas Hills Cook, chairman of the von Hess Foundation and the Richard von Hess Foundation.
“I met Joe over 30 years ago at the home of Richard and Louise von Hess, who had the insight to realize that he was the right man to help them develop Wright’s Ferry Mansion.”
Joe Kindig said he had many mentors: foremost among them his father Joe Kindig, Jr.; Fiske Kimball, former director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; architect Thomas Waterman, who worked closely with H.F. du Pont at Winterthur; and the architectural scholar G. Edwin Brumbaugh, a close friend. Israel Sack, said Kindig, instructed him as a young man on the importance of humor in dealing with people and did much to encourage the appreciation of American antiques. Last but not least, Kindig acknowledged his family.
Past recipients include Dean F. Failey, Satenig St Marie, R. Scudder Smith, Betty Ring, Wendell Garrett, Elinor Gordon and Albert Sack.
For ADA information, www.adadealers.com .
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