Category Archives: US

Antiquing in Brimfield

BrimfieldThree times a year – in May, July, and September – the small Massachusetts town of Brimfield transforms into a massive antique fair. Running from Tuesday through Sunday, “Brimfield”  is actually an agglomeration of twenty shows that take place in multiple fields and buildings throughout the week.  The shows stretch along about a mile of Route 20, a two-lane road that runs through the center of town.

I’ve been to Brimfield many times over the past dozen years.  Here is my advice on what to expect and how to have the best shopping experience.

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Secret Shopping Days at the Oakland Museum White Elephant Sale

White elephant sale
A Small Portion of the Art Department

The Oakland Museum White Elephant Sale is the mother of all rummage sales in the Bay Area. Now in its 56th year, the sale is a major fundraiser for the Oakland Museum of California and a major vintage shopping destination.  While I first attended the White Elephant Sale about 20 years ago, I only learned about the secret donor shopping days several years ago.  Admittedly it’s not that big a secret since, if you read their website carefully the information is there, but it’s buried several pages in and not broadcast on the home page.  Once you know about donor shopping days you’ll always want to shop during them.  I save items all year to donate to the White Elephant Sale just so that I can shop during donor shopping days.

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Antiquing in the Bay Area: the Alameda Point Antiques Faire

Updated June 2015 to reflect new information 

Alameda Point Antique Fair

Alameda PointIMG_2557While this is no secret to anyone living in the Bay Area, the Alameda Point Antique Faire should be on the must-do list of anyone visiting the Bay Area who has an interest in vintage and antique goods.  Not only is it great for shopping, but this is also a market with a view:  the market takes place on an air strip at the former Alameda Naval Air Station and has a view of San Francisco, the Bay, and the giant cranes of the Port of Oakland as a backdrop.

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Maker and Muse, part 1: Exhibit and Book

Maker and Muse Exhibit
maker and muse
Child and Child tiara
maker and muse
Stained glass dome in the Driehaus Museum

I recently visited the exhibit Maker and Muse, Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry at the Driehaus Museum in Chicago.  Curated by Elyse Zorn Karlin, author of Jewelry and Metalwork in the Arts and Crafts Tradition, the exhibit explores the multiple roles women played in the creation of early 20th century art jewelry as makers, patrons, and subjects.  About half of the 250 pieces in the exhibit are drawn from the collection of Richard H. Driehaus – founder of the museum – and half are on loan from other museums and private collections.  I was in Chicago to attend the annual conference of the Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts (ASJRA) which was focused this year on the subjects covered in the museum exhibition.  For my post on the conference click here.

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Antiquing in Texas: Round Top

Round topI’ve wanted to attend the big antiques fair in Round Top, Texas for many years and finally did so this year. Known as “Antiques Weekend” or “Texas Antiques Week”, both are really misnomers as the shows take place over more than a two week span (March 21-April 5 in 2015, the year I attended).

During this time period over 60 separate shows take place in several towns about midway between Austin and Houston, with the greatest concentration in the towns of Round Top and Warrenton.  I stayed in Austin and it was about an hour and a half drive.  The shows are mostly strung along a 10 mile stretch of highway 37.

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Antiquing in Florida: Summary Post

I’ve written several blog posts about antiquing in Florida and have created this post as a summary with links to all of the posts. I’ve also taken this as an opportunity to update some information in posts that were written last year.

Antiquing in Florida:  Antique Row, West Palm Beach
antique row
D. Brett Benson  Jewelry
Antiquing In Florida:  Palm Beach
Deja Vu
Deja Vu
Antiquing in Florida: Thrift Shops of Palm Beach County
Thrift shop
Palm Beach Gardens Goodwill
Antiquing in Florida:  Lake Worth
BKG Antique Mall
BKG Antique Mall
Antiquing in Florida:  Mount Dora
Mount Dora
Renninger’s Extravaganza
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Antiquing in Florida: Mount Dora

Three times a year Mount Dora, Florida becomes a major destination for antique-lovers.  This is when Renninger’s, the famed Pennsylvania antique show promoter, hold their Extravaganzas.

Renninger’s Extravaganza

Taking place in November, January, and February, Renninger’s Mount Dora Extravaganzas live up to their name with about 800 dealers from all over the country selling vintage and antique wares.  The Extravaganzas go on rain or shine; while not as pleasant in the rain, many of the dealers are set up in indoor spaces and covered sheds making it possible to get some serious antiquing done even when it’s raining (and being Florida, the rain usually passes quickly).  It’s also fairly spread out with some booths climbing a gentle hill, so be prepared for a lot of walking.

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Links from Around the Web: Mourning Jewelry

With the opening of “Death Becomes Her”, an exhibit of mourning attire at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, mourning jewelry is in the news.  Here is a round-up of some articles and exhibits across the country:

I love Lynn Yaeger’s writing and she just published an article on loaning mourning jewelry to the exhibit at the Met:  http://www.vogue.com/3296237/lynn-yaeger-jewelry-met-museum-death-becomes-her/

And here’s a link to the exhibit:  http://www.metmuseum.org/about-the-museum/press-room/exhibitions/2014/death-becomes-her

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Modernism Week in Palm Springs

Modernism Week in Palm Springs is a celebration of mid-century architecture and design and features the Palm Springs Modernism Show and Sale, house tours, films, lectures, social events, and fund raising events that support state and local preservation organizations.   I’ll be selling at the Palm Springs Modernism Show and Sale in February 2015 for the first time and, to prepare, I decided to attend the inaugural “Fall Edition” in October 2014 to scope it out.  Taking place as part of the “Fall Season Kick-off”, this weekend was a mini-Modernism Week and gave me the opportunity to attend tours and other events that I won’t be able to attend in February when I’m working.

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@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz

An important exhibit by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei recently opened on Alcatraz.  Called @Large:  Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz the exhibit is installed throughout the prison; the artworks address themes of freedom and imprisonment using different media and methods of interacting with the viewers.

Ai Weiwei is an internationally renowned artist known for provocative work that often has political themes.  He achieved worldwide fame beyond the art world as part of the design team for the Beijing National Stadium, known popularly as the “Birds Nest”, for the 2008 Summer Olympics.  In 2011 he was arrested and held for 81 days for being a prominent and outspoken critic of the Chinese government.   As of this writing in October 2014, the Chinese government has retained his passport, keeping him from leaving China.

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