Stopping in at the Blue Grass Trust Antiques and Garden Show

Blue Grass Trust 1PHOTOS BY Elizabeth Swartz.

The fourteenth annual Blue Grass Trust Antiques and Garden Show held in Lexington Kentucky March eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth. The show was in the keene barn at historic keeneland race course. Proceeds benefit The Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation, Inc.

The show combined a garden show with over twenty exhibitors in the garden area and lectures from a landscape architect and ornamentation and design experts. This helped draw in more interest and visitors to the antique show. Another unique feature was the setting itself, Keeneland Race Course is celebrating 75 years of existence and a lecture was offered on the history of the race track.

The antique show featured over 50 exhibitors from more than 14 states. There were lectures on how to collect in today’s market, a live broadcast of “Everything Classic Antique and Collectible Show On the Radio,” featuring Mike Gaylord. That broadcast can be found online at www.whls.net. A lunch and lecture with keynote speaker Carleton Varney head of New York based Dorothy Draper and Company, one of the oldest established interior design firms in the country.

The addition of these lectures, garden show and Keeneland interest did indeed help drive more traffic through the antique area. Many exhibitors like Silver Plus of New York have been coming to the show since its inception and felt the attendance was up from previous years. All of the exhibitors I spoke to were pleased with the turn out, however more traffic did not necessarily equal more sales.

Some annual antique shows in nearby Louisville and Cincinnati have been dropped this year opening up fewer opportunities for dealers and buyers. The loss of those shows may have helped attendance and participation in this year’s show.

The show had exhibitors with a broad range of specialties, such as The Philadelphia Print Shop located in historic Chestnut Hill, specializing in rare prints and maps. They boast a collection of over 20,000 antique maps and prints dating from the sixteenth century.

Josephine McDonough of McDonough Fine Art had a wonderful collection of lithographs with a concentration in natural history. Located in Atlanta Georgia they also offer framing, antique paper restoration and appraisal. Longwood Antique Woods, a local Lexington company, has flooring and architectural members salvaged from historic barns cabins and warehouses slated for demolition.

There were traditional exhibitors like Leather Bucket of Philadelphia, you will not find them on the web the owner has been in business for forty seven years and says he doesn’t even own a computer he relies on shows and his store in Chestnut Hill for most of his business. He had a nice collection of authentic early American antiques. Joseph Hayes of Bexley Ohio had a wonderful display of eighteenth and nineteenth century English Furnishings. Trace Mayer of Louisville Kentucky carries a variety of period English, Continental, and American Decorative and Fine Arts. A set of four Louis XVI upholstered walnut arm chairs and a pair of Anglo Indian Regency style console tables as well as a beautiful condition Italian Classical style side table were on display from Trace Mayer.

Silver collectors may have had the most options to browse, as many silver specialists were displaying their items. Atlanta Silver and Antiques, Silver Plus of New York, Sue Robinette Antiques and Fine Silver are just some of the many silver dealers attending the show.

To be sure, more sales will always be the desire of any trade show but when one considers, there are few venues in the world like Kenneland to host an event, the southern spring weather offered a pleasant change from a harsh winter and Blue Grass Trust is certainly a worthy cause, little else was left to desire from the show.

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About Eric Miller

Eric Miller is co-founder and contributor to Urban Art & Antiques. His website is ericmiller.me

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