Appreciation of Antiques Can Begin During College Days

When Salem, Massachusetts merchant Elias Hasket Derby, the owner of the first New England vessel to trade directly with China, sent his son John off to college he would send him in style.

Derby hired John Cogswell, one of Boston’s leading cabinetmakers, to build John a chest on chest for his room at Harvard College. That piece of furniture now sits in Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

While not everyone will be sent off to school with a piece of furniture like that, college days are not too early to become engaged in the world of antiques, and antiques can find a place in student apartments.

For University of Virginia students, the opportunity for learning and finding is coming January 22-24 when Antiques in Charlottesville opens its doors at the Holiday Inn University Center.

“We’re hoping many students in Charlottesville will take advantage of this opportunity to discover the world of antiques and fine art,” says show promoter Jay Melrose. “One nice thing about coming to a show is the dealers who are happy to share years of experience in the trade.”

Melrose added that while the antiques are often perceives as not being affordable to college students, there are a number of entry-level items that can find a place in a dorm room. Among them are select artwork, prints, lamps, photos, linens and books.

More importantly, for college students the experience is one of learning as much as it is for acquiring. “The acquiring can come later,” Melrose says. “The most important part is opening the doors to something that can beget years of appreciation and enjoyment.”

Hours for Antiques in Charlottesville are Friday 1 p.m. until 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission is $8, or $4 with a University of Virginia student id. The University Area Holiday Inn is centrally located at 1901 Emmet Street.

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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