The Past, Present and Future of Antiques Collecting, A Conversation with Bob James

Jackie Kennedy's efforts to re-decorate the White House set the modern antique industry into motion
Jackie Kennedy's efforts to re-decorate the White House set the modern antique industry into motion

The antiques business has undergone a plethora of change over the past couple decades and we had the opportunity to discuss some of them with Bob James of Armacost Antiques Shows. The discussion starts with the influence of Jacqueline Kennedy on the industry and traces it through the present day when boomers trying to dispose of furniture, and the recession are creating some rough waters. We discuss the changes in what consumers are buying, the preferences of generation X and Y and the fact that a failure to embrace e-commerce and social media has kept a generation (or two) of young consumers from being exposed to the world of antiques. Click and listen to the conversation.

About Art After X

With the death of President Kennedy in 1963, America changed. As hard as it is to minimize that sentiment, the effect of Dallas was even greater. The same year saw the merging of the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, which had been central to the art scene, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Douglas MacAgy, then the director of DMCA, not only opposed the merger, but also declined to directorship of the combined museum. The regionalist movement which had been strong for decades, was giving way to more of an interest in what was going on nationally, and internationally. Like it or not, Dallas was on the national stage.

When the Kennedy’s arrived in Fort Worth, local collectors had decorated a hotel room with internationally-renowned works. While the president and his wife learned a great deal about the ability of Texans to collect major art, there was little they could glean about the local scene in this era-defining city.

With this in mind, we have begun a project to look not back at the art scene in Dallas, but foreword from 1963. We are interviewing gallery owners, curators and others involved in the art scene then, but this will be a story told mostly through interviews with artists active in the city from that point into the 1980s.

The result will be a book with a video component.

We hope you will join us in our journey. The hashtag for the project is #artafterx and the url will point to the latest updates on this weblog.

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