Earlier this month I headed to Lancaster, Ohio to participate in the first-ever Midwest Antiques Forum, a new annual event intended to “encourage and support scholarship of the understudied area of Midwestern decorative arts and material culture.” I was thrilled to represent Wisconsin in this important gathering of scholars, curators, collectors and dealers from throughout the region and beyond.
The forum was the brainchild of Midwest decorative arts power couple Hollie Davis and Andrew Richmond. Hollie is senior editor at Prices4Antiques.com and Andrew is vice-president at Garth’s Auctions. Andrew also served as curator for the exhibition Equal in Goodness: Ohio Decorative Arts 1788-1860, on view at the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio through June 5.
The exhibit emphasizes the wide variety and high level of craftsmanship of the material goods produced in Ohio from the earliest days of settlement through the mid-nineteenth century. The forum presentations widened this thesis to the Midwest as a whole, highlighting the surprising breadth and range of decorative arts to be found throughout the region.
Aside from getting to see so many amazing objects, the most exciting part of the weekend for me was the chance to be a part of a community of people dedicated to the decorative arts of the Midwest. I think it’s easy for many of us in this far-flung region to feel like we’re toiling away in our own separate corners of the world, so the opportunity to come together with like-minded people was truly inspiring.
–Posted by Emily Pfotenhauer