By Laura Kinter
This April, Chicago’s emblematic Navy Pier will host the first Midwest extension of the Palm Beach Show Group’s Chicago International Art, Antique and Jewelry Show. Over 150 internationally recognized exhibitors will showcase their art and collections of American and European silver, Asian antiquities, sculpture, textiles, furniture, and contemporary art at Navy Pier. An opening night private preview celebration will kick off the event on Thursday, April 24 and the show will run until Monday, April 28.
Palm Beach Show Group offers the most prestigious and highly regarded antique show in the country, and will bring its high caliber collections to Chicago to meet the needs of local art galleries, buyers, designers and antique enthusiasts. The Palm Beach Show Group has booked shows across the country in Los Angeles, New York, Baltimore, Dallas, Naples, and Palm Beach. This will be the group’s first show in the Midwest, and they have very high hopes for Chicago’s sophisticated collector market.
Owner Scott Diament is excited to host a show at Navy Pier and feels the event will connect collectors, buyers, and enthusiasts of all kinds. “Chicago’s a very special place for our show. Because of its influential architects and designers. The city was the precursor for many contemporary shows. Contemporary art can be extremely valuable, and Tony’s (Karman) Navy Pier show is proving that can be brought back to Chicago.” Shows in different locations are curated to cater to each city’s specific collector market. Diament claims Chicago is a great market for furniture, therefore the Chicago show will feature more interior design than, say, antique jewelry.
Navy Pier is known as the most frequently visited tourist location in the Midwest. Diament is hopeful that hosting the show on the city’s coast will encourage easy access and less traffic, as opposed to a clogged, center-city location. “You need logistics. You need high ceilings. It’s the most logical place to hold a high end antique and jewelry show,” says Diament. The high ceilings and expansive indoor space will provide exhibitors with maximum viewership potential and encourage a wide-open browsing experience.
The Palm Group's total collection covers “pretty much the entire fine arts of the last 5,000 years,” claims Diament. The show’s Chicago premiere will host an array of fine items, including one very special 41-piece Gladstone Dinner Set by Paul Storr, exhibited by New Orleans-based M. S. Rau. The set—by far the largest complete set to enter the market—retails at $2.5 million. As for jewelry, there will be a gold necklace originally owned by Elizabeth Taylor (retail: $28,000), a gold Ventura watch owned by Elvis Presley (retail: $30,000), and pair of 1950s style earrings owned by Marilyn Monroe (retail: $20,000).
Select exhibitors have their items highlighted in a design showcase intended to help visitors understand just how their collections can be incorporated into everyday lifestyles. Six designers will have a designated area or room to create beautiful living spaces using items for sale at the show. They will merge their own personal styles with the art, antiques, and jewelry available from the exhibitors participating in the show. This portion of the event is unique to the Chicago show. Diament notes that 40-50 exhibitors are reserving specific items especially for the Chicago collecting public.
Only about ten exhibitors attend every Palm Beach Show Group show across the country. “The total amount of exhibitors is around 1,500, so a low percentage do every event. A lot more would do it if it were easier to schedule because we have some really dedicated fans of the show group,” says Diament. He points out the purpose of the show group is to “provide an economic engine inside this industry that brings the constituents together in a conducive manner to sell all the pieces.” Exhibitors were chosen specifically for their relevance to the Chicago collective market, and hope to meet the unique, design-oriented needs of the city’s many enthusiastic buyers.
For more information about the show or to purchase tickets, visit www.chicagospringshow.com.
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts