WHAT: The Philadelphia Antiques Show is widely considered to be the country’s premier antiques and decorative arts show, with a loan exhibit and more than 50 dealers and galleries on hand to sell furniture, folk and fine art, ceramics, porcelain, silver and textiles.
WHEN: Saturday, April 12 through Tuesday, April 15. The show hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on April 12; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 13; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 14; and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on April 15.
ON THE WATERFRONT: While attendees in past years have perused the show at the 33rd St. Armory, this year, the show moves to a new, less landlocked location—the Philadelphia Cruise Terminal at Pier One in The Navy Yard.
ON LOAN: Each year, the show features a curated exhibit of objects, loaned from both public and private collections. In celebration of the show’s new home (and Philadelphia’s storied maritime history), this year’s exhibit, “Fore & Aft,” is a collection of maritime art and antiques that span the American Revolution to the Civil War. The exhibit is incredibly varied, says Karen Drury, the 2008 show chair, and features wood carvings, porcelain figures, paintings and even a collection of record boxes that that once belonged to prominent Philadelphian (and shipper) Stephen Girard.
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS: Drury says not to miss the carved, painted wood life-size figure of Jack Tar, loaned from the collection of J. Welles Henderson, Independence Seaport Museum founder who passed away last year. Also on hand will be the painting of “Captain James Josiah” (above), painted by Charles Willson Peale in 1787.
FOR A GOOD CAUSE: The show happens to be the major fundraiser for the University of Pennsylvania Health System. Since the show’s inception, in 1962, the show has raised more than $15 million for UPHS. This year’s proceeds will be used to purchase an information and communication system for the Penn Lung Center that will be a part of the soon-to-be-completed Perelman Center. Last year, the show donated nearly $1 million to the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care.
SPECIAL TOUCHES: The Preview Gala, held from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, April 11, includes an elegant dinner buffet and cocktails; tickets run from $125 to $600. Guided Show Tours will take place daily, from 10 to 11 a.m., for a cost of $30.
WHO’S INVITED: They’re expecting a crowd of 9,000 to 10,000 people, some from across the country, others with decorators in tow. “We are encouraging the University to support us with their attendance,” says Drury. Tickets are $15 at the door, but are only $12 if you purchase them online (www.philaantiques.com), if you’re age 65 and up or if you’re a WHYY member. UPHS employees with an ID can spend just $7 at the door for entry.