From the Colonial to the Contemporary: The Philadelphia Show Expands and Rebrands

  • January 20, 2020 15:55

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Folk Art Cupboard. American South, attributed to North Carolina or South Carolina, 1850 – 1875. Southern yellow pine throughout. H. 72 ½ in., W. 38 in. , D. 19 ¾ in.

Celebrating its 58th edition showcasing America’s preeminent antiques and fine art dealers, The Philadelphia Show has a new look and a new approach. Nearly 60 dealers, featuring works from the 17th to the 21st centuries, will gather from Friday, April 24 through Sunday, April 26 at Philadelphia's historic Navy Yard. The Preview Party (Thursday, April 23) gives guests the first chance to experience the Show and shop a dynamic selection of jewelry, decorative arts, design and fine art before it opens to the public. Proceeds from the Show benefit the Philadelphia Museum of Art's educational programs.

Karl Springer (1931 - 1991) Rare and unusual custom red and black striped table. Circa 1960's. H 23 in. x W 30 in. x D 3 in. One of a kind, with original label and customers name.

Philadelphia is well-known for its place in American history, from the First Continental Congress to the city’s years as our nation’s first capital. Philadelphia also boasts a robust artistic legacy from America’s first art museum and school in 1805 to hosting the 1876 Centennial Exposition to pioneering successful public art programs from Percent for Art to Mural Arts. Notable artists from the region include Edward Hicks, Thomas Eakins, Mary Cassat, Horace Pippin, three generations of Calders, Alice Neel, George Nakashima, Keith Haring and many more. The Philadelphia Show reflects this legacy with a distinguished range of offerings in the fine arts and material culture from the colonial to the contemporary. 

Of the 2020 exhibitors, one-third have been participating in the Show for more than 20 years and 11 are new:

Alexandre Gallery, New York, NY

Childs Gallery, Boston, MA

Dixon Hall Fine Art, Phoenixville, PA

Gratz Gallery and Restoration Studio, Doylestown, PA

William R. & Teresa F. Kurau, Lampeter, PA

Glen Leroux Design, Westport, CT

Questroyal Fine Art, New York, NY

Schillay Fine Art, Inc., New York, NY

Schmidt Dean Gallery, Cherry Hill, NJ

The Tolman Collection, New York, NY

Walker Decorative Arts, New York, NY

“We are excited about the 2020 Show and sharing how antiques and historical works can be incorporated into our contemporary lives. With the broader range of offerings and the new Dealer Talks, visitors can learn by looking and listening to dealers who love the history and provenance behind these works,” shared Lynn Gadsden, Show Chair. “If you've ever been curious about antiques, fine art, design or historical objects, come to the Show to see and learn more.”

Illustrating the breadth of offerings at The Philadelphia Show will be important works including:

Jane Piper (1916 - 1991) Untitled, 1961. Oil on c anvas 37 in. x 31 in.
  • A copper and sterling basket-form tea caddy, made by Gorham in Providence, Rhode Island, c. 1880 at Spencer Marks 
  • A floral still life by Henriette Wyeth at Sommerville Manning Gallery
  • An abstract canvas by Philadelphia native Jane Piper at Dean Gallery 
  • A rare custom red-and-black striped table, c. 1960s, by Berlin-born, New York–based designer Karl Springer from Glen Leroux Design
  • A Winslow Homer etching of heroism at sea, Saved is based on Homer’s iconic painting The Life Line at Avery Galleries
  • A rare and unusual folk art cupboard likely produced in North Carolina or South Carolina,1850-1875, in undisturbed condition with original blue painted surface showing excellent patina and wear from Nathan Liverant and Son.

“The Philadelphia Show has been a part of the fabric of this city and the antiques and fine art scene for over 50 years and is stronger than ever,” commented commented Timothy Rub, George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. “The Philadelphia Museum of Art is honored to be the beneficiary.”

Henriette Wyeth (1907 - 1997) Floral Still Life. Oil on canvas, 16 in. x 16 in . ; Frame: 23 ½ in. x 23 1/2 i n.

A tradition since the Show’s founding in 1962, the curated, museum-quality annual loan exhibition allows visitors a closer look at a different discipline, period, or theme each year. This year’s loan exhibition highlights The Philadelphia Show’s dealers, who will share works of art, some from their personal collections, featuring animals in all their rich diversity. Through a range of works spanning several centuries, All Creatures Great and Small will showcase the various and charming ways our fellow members of the animal kingdom have been depicted and honored by artists and craftspeople. The loan exhibition is curated by Alexandra Kirtley, the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Montgomery-Garvan Curator of American Decorative Arts and long-time supporter of the show, Joan Johnson, with design by Michael Diaz-Griffith of Material Cult.

Tiffany Studios, American, circa 1903. Early dragonfly table l amp, leaded glass and bronze. D. 16 in. H. 19 in.

The Philadelphia Show supports a community of connoisseurship among specialists, nascent collectors, and seasoned collectors alike. This is reflected in the 2020 programming: Museum Day on April 24, offering free entry to card-carrying members of any museum in the United States; family-friendly events on April 26 featuring a scavenger hunt and Make Your Own Masterpiece activity table; and daily meet-and-greet Dealer Talks hosted by exhibitors on topics ranging from the art of fraktur to American Modernism. Additionally, free admission is extended to all visitors 18 and under. The Show's new website, name and programming celebrate diverse interests and encourage participation across all generations of enthusiasts and collectors.

Alfred T. Bricher (1837 - 1908) Lifting Fog. Oil on canvas, 26 in. x 39 in. Signed.

AIG returns as Presenting Sponsor of the 2020 Philadelphia Show. Principal Sponsors include Freeman’s and Justi Group, Inc.

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