Memorial Day antiques show underway

The Brandywine River Museum of Art has, for more than four decades, been the site of the annual Memorial Day Antiques Show and his year’s edition is now underway. The show began with a preview party Friday night and runs through the remainder of this holiday weekend.

Dozens of antiques dealers from up and down the east coast make the trek, some from Maine, while others have made the journey from Alabama. And many have been returning for years.

One long-time vender is Brill’s Antiques, from Newport News, Va. Jerry and Judy Brill have been part of the event for 24 years.

Visitors to the museum eat and shop their way through all three floors of the museum during the show.

Visitors to the museum eat and browse their way through all three floors of the museum during the show.

“We love it,” Jerry Brill said of the show. “The volunteers are great and the visitors are knowledgeable.”

He said he and his wife have always sold well while showing at the museum and he appreciates that old customers keep coming back.

Joe Lodge didn’t have to travel quite as far. His home base for Joseph J. Lodge Antiques is in Lederach, Pa., in Montgomery County. He’s also a relative newbie. Lodge has only been a part of the museum event for five years. Nonetheless, he’s glad to be there.

“It’s a beautiful show,” he said, adding that his first time was a long time in coming. He had been involved with a competing antiques show, and was glad he made the switch.

Another dealer who’s relatively close by is Bill Dubey of Dubey’s Art and Antiques, of Baltimore, Md. This is Dubey’s seventh year. He called the museum committee a “spirited group of people who have a genuine interest in what we’re doing.”

Dennis Raleigh, of Dennis Raleigh Antiques, made the trek down from Wicasset, Maine. It’s his fourth year and he said he felt honored when he was asked to display at the show.

He said it’s a small show, but that buyers are “aggressive” and that leads to good sales.

The museum courtyards always a popular place.

The museum courtyard always a popular place.

The layout of the show differs from the way it used to be when dealers were in the galleries and food was in the hallway. However, that meant the art in the galleries had to be moved.

Now, as it was last year, the galleries remain open for the display of art while the hallways are filled with dealers, their wares, food and visitors. Some dealers don’t like that change, while others were happy with the newer look. However, even those who don’t like the layout plan on returning since “sales are good.”

Dealers and the museum make money on the show and the museum proceeds go toward the purchase of more art. As of last year, the event had brought in nearly $1 million for the museum’s art purchase fund.

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.



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