The Philadelphia Museum of Art has always been a place for those with an artful eye and a curious visual appetite. So, it only makes sense that one of the nation’s leading art, antique and design fairs call it home for the year 2022.
The Philadelphia Show is back this weekend on Friday, April 29, Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1. Originally founded in 1962 as the University Hospital Antiques Show, the showcase—which was organized by Penn Medicine until 2018—summons a crowd every year to peruse through more than 40 of the most outstanding exhibitors in the U.S.
Now in its 60th year, the fair is planned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Women’s Committee and the many volunteers that served the show for years. Proceeds benefit the Museum’s Division of Digital Resources and Content Strategy, which encompasses the work of their staff in interactive technology, website, library and archives, marketing and communications, editorial and graphic design, publishing, and, the creation of a new Content Department.
The Philadelphia Show in 2022 will highlight vendors specializing in Americana, period furniture, folk art, ceramics, porcelain, silver, jewelry, textiles and decorative arts. And some standouts include local galleries, of course.
Arader Galleries, for example, is located right in Center City (although they also have a New York location) and specializes in 16th – 19th century natural history watercolors, engravings and rare maps. Dolan/Maxwell is another Philly gallery located in the Rittenhouse Area, and they will be showcasing their specialized art surrounding WPA, Atelier 17, the New York School and African American Art.
Philadelphia’s surrounding areas will also be in attendance. Avery Galleries hails from Bryn Mawr, and specializes in 19th and 20th century American art, with a particular strength in American Impressionism, including the Pennsylvania Impressionists, and early Modernism. Philip Bradley Antiques from Sumney on the other hand specializes in the “finest examples” of early American furniture, tall clocks, folk art, and related accessories, with an emphasis on the mid-Atlantic region.
There will also be a chance to check out vendors from around the country in The Philadelphia Show. The Clarke Gallery comes from Maine, and will present their 19th and 20th century works of American fine art. Peter Pap Oriental Rugs, INC. will also be in town from San Fransisco, and will be showing off their distinctive antique rugs and textiles from the 17th through 19th centuries. There will also be plenty of vendors from New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and beyond throughout the three day period this weekend as well.
Philadelphians will also have the chance to check out a highlighted tradition every year at The Philadelphia Show. The Loan Exhibit has been with the Show since its inceptions in 1962, and the curated, museum-quality changes happen every year and allow visitors a closer look at a specific genre of antiques.
As the official website states, this year’s Loan Exhibition is officially titled “Zero to Sixty,” and celebrates The Philadelphia Show’s 60th anniversary by highlighting Loan Exhibits throughout the years. This particular showcase is curated by Alexandra Kirtley, the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Montgomery-Garvan Curator of American Decorative Arts, and long time supporter of the show, Joan Johnson.
If you can’t make it out this weekend however, there will also be a preview party on Thursday, April 28 (ticket prices depend on admission time.) The party offers a first look at the finest art and antiques being offered, and party goers will also receive exclusive access to the best selections. The exhibition will also offer pre-show tours everyday from 10 to 11 a.m., and a Treasure Hunt only on May 1 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Titled “It’s About Time,” the Hunt—according to the official website—is designed to encourage guests of all ages to visit dealers in search of solutions to clues, such as: It’s time for breakfast, for art, for music, or to play. Visitors can begin their search with a show floor-plan and clues as to where they can discover various treasures. A similar object-engagement activity can also be explored in the museum (which will be Pay As You Wish on May 1) by using the same clues within the Early American galleries.
The Philadelphia Show will also host “casual conversations” everyday in various dealer booths. These Dealer Talks will range in topics, from early American furniture to Louis Comfort Tiffany glassware to Mid Century Modern Design.
Those who are looking to check out everything this specially curated exhibition has to offer can head to the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s East Terrace (2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy) from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on April 29, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 30, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 1.
For information on The Philadelphia Show and to purchase tickets ($20-$35), visit thephiladelphiashow.com