Published: July 17, 2007
The Philadelphia Antiques Show recently cut five of 56 exhibitors from its roster. A sixth exhibitor, The Stradlings, has retired from the show mounted in April for the past 46 years at the 30th Street Armory. The cuts follow the April announcement that the fair, benefiting the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, is moving to Philadelphia’s Navy Pier in 2008.
Hummelstown, Penn., dealer Brant Mackley is the only addition to the Philadelphia Antiques Show lineup. Mackley plans to exhibit Oceanic and African art in addition to Native American specialties.
The smaller venue holds fewer exhibitors, management said.
“We want to keep the booths and aisles about the same size at the Pier as they were at the Armory. That meant that we were unable to bring everyone along,” said Josh Wainwright, who manages the show with his wife, Sandy.
The committee is retaining the annual loan exhibit, one of the Philadelphia Antiques Show’s most ambitious features. The 2008 loan show will highlight Philadelphia maritime art from the Independence Seaport Museum.
“The loan show will be about the same size, maybe slightly pared down, but still very impressive. It will occupy a central position in the show,” Wainwright confirmed.
The cuts were made by an anonymous selections committee. Neither the manager nor exhibitors are on the committee, Wainwright said. “The makeup of the committee is totally confidential,” he noted.
The dismissed dealers †Marcy Burns American Indian Arts of New York City; G.K.S. Bush, Inc, of Nantucket, Mass.; F.J. Carey III of Ambler, Penn.; Charles and Rebekah Clark of Woodbury, Conn.; and Martyn Gregory of London †received letters thanking them for their past participation but offering no explanation for the decision. Several exhibitors said that they were disappointed but hoped to return to the show.
“We look forward to seeing our clients at the Winter Antiques Show in New York,” added Patrick Conner, director of London’s Martyn Gregory Gallery. A premier specialist in China trade paintings, the firm also exhibits at Grosvenor House Antiques Fair and TEFAF Maastricht.
“I received no warning and no criticism of any sort from anyone. I am very upset about what happened and hope that the committee will reconsider its position in the future. Having more than one exhibitor in Native American and tribal material will only attract more collectors to the show,” said Burns.
Plans are still shaping up for Antiques Week in Philadelphia. Barn Star Promotions chief Frank Gaglio and his exhibitors are returning to the 23rd Street Armory next April. “We feel that we have a viable product and that people will support our show,” said Gaglio.
An announcement is pending from Barry Cohen and Jim Burk, who were forced to find another venue for their show when they lost Navy Pier to the Philadelphia Antiques Show.
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