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SF Fall Antiques Show

 

 

As attendees of the SF Fall Antiques Show Preview Party well know, things change.

From vendors, style, and available objets to even the size of shoppers’ wallets, change (and plus ça change) was in play on Wednesday in the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason Center.

“It’s a fresh, new feeling this year,” enthused designer Christian Huebner. “Not everything is 100 years old. Some of the paintings I’ve seen tonight were created just two years ago.”

However what hasn’t changed is the commitment of Glady Thacher who founded Enterprise for High School Students which is the beneficiary of this favorite Fall fête.

The idea for this organization which provides San Francisco high school students with job training and career workshops was first hatched forty years ago in Thacher’s living room. And her efforts were duly lauded this morning at the show with a breakfast in her honor.

“Originally we held garage sales to raise funds to ensure that our students were finding their first jobs and career experience,” said Thacher, as she observed the stately stalls which comprise the Antiques show. “It sure didn’t look like this!”

“I’ve come to believe that if people are lucky enough to seize the moment and find the right cause,” enthused Thacher, “They’ll soon find others who will join them and assist in that cause.”

Assisting in that cause on opening night? Some 2K-plus swells who delighted in the first-dib shopping opps as well as the show’s re-vamped look which played off the featured loan exhibition, Egypto-mania: Nile Style in the Decorative Arts.

The exhibition -- themed pieces from private collections and curated by Maria Santangelo of the Fine Arts Museums -- was re-vamped, too. Instead of being displayed way in the back of the pavilion, the works were grouped throughout the cavernous hall. And all housed in brand, sparkling new glass vitrines designed, and donated, by Ken Paige.

Featured within one of these cases were two 1810-era Rhodochrosite obelisks, loaned by Fine Arts Museums Board President Dede Wilsey.

“They’ve been sitting on a table at home and, to be honest, I really haven’t paid the slightest bit of attention to them,” laughed Wilsey, of her objets which are the hue of her beloved pink. “But they look pretty good in the case, I have a renewed interest in them!”

Guests were greeted by costumed EHSS students who stood guard over the show’s opening design vignettes which was conceived by architect Andrew Skurman as an homage to the ancient Abu Simbel Temple in Egypt.

So successful was his vision, Director Lisa Podos has dubbed Skurman the show’s Creative Visionary.

“It’s meant to be a modern interpretation of ancient Egyptian life,” explained Skurman, as he gave us a tour. “It’s certainly not literal.”

That point was underscored as we stood in front of Grant Gibson’s Funky Tut vignette --  a modernist Mad Men in Babylonia nod which featured an Egyptian newspaper wall-cover and a tape loop playing on a '50s-era TV of Steve Martin’s Egyptian-inspired video.

“What is so wonderful for me tonight is to feel how much people love Egypt,” enthused Egyptian Consul General Hesham Elnakib, who with his wife, Dalia Elnakib, served as the show’s Honorary Chairman. “I’m a long way from home. So I’m very proud to experience Egyptian culture as a bridge for people who love art and admire civilization.”

Each vignette was separated by soaring columns (and thank you, Ryan Construction) which were decorated with hieroglyphics painted (and donated) by designer Shirley Robinson von Karl.

One thing that hasn’t changed? The show still reigns as one of the best cocktail noshes in town. Especially for deep-pocketed patrons who pony upwards of $5K for early entry and ... the mounds of caviar which await them.

“Fifty pounds to be exact,” said McCall Associates Chef Lucas Schoemaker. “Every year, this party has the largest single-night caviar consumption in the continental United States.”

Also on patron platters? An estimated 4,400 “bones” -- another beloved morsel from this chef who is also known as, Lord of the Lambchop.

Helping to pass those platters were Tammy Zhan and Josefina Lucas, Washington High students and EHSS participants.

“Besides acquiring job skills and jobs, EHSS also helps plan for college with career workshops,” explained Lucas. “It’s really cool!”

The SF Fall Antiques Show runs through Sun., November 1.

David and Suzanne Donlon with EHSS Founder Glady Thacher

Honorary Show co-chairs Dalia Elnakib and her husband, Egyptian Consul General Hesham Elnakib

EHSS student servers Tammy Zahn and Josefina Lucas

EHSS Board President K.C. Lynch and Show Chairwoman Michele Goss

Honorary Committee member architect Andrew Skurman and his wife, Francoise Skurman

Costumed EHSS students

Show director Lisa Podos, Honorary Committee member Michael Barcun and Exhibition curator Maria Santangelo

Matt Paige and his dad, Ken Paige

Honorary Committee members Dede Wilsey and John Traina

Fine Arts Museums Director John Buchanan, his wife, Lucy Buchanan and dealer Benjamin Steinitz of Paris

Collective Chairwomen Kendall Wilkinson Robinson and Shirley Robinson von Karl

Gardner Robinson is captivated by caviar

Trevor and Alexis Traina

Cynthia Gunn with designers Grant Gibson and Suzanna Allen

Grant Gibson's Funky Tut vignette

Dodie Rosekrans and Ed Hardy

Connie Goodyear and her sister, Helen Spalding

Designer Elizabeth Everdell and her husband, Coby Everdell

Everdell's tableau inspires Christie's honcho Ellanor Notides playfully feeds a fig to her husband, Russ Notides

Designer Ray Azoulay and Vanessa Getty

Lauren Lipman and Jennifer Biederbeck of Sothebys

Dr. Seth Matarasso

Jim Ludwig, designer Diane Chapman Kelley, Rhea Friend and Patsy Ludwig

Julie Newhall and EHSS Board member Peter Mueller

Kay Wood, Elaine McKeon and Geri Belling

Jennifer Weiss and her dad, gallerist John Berggruen

Jim Avila and Aficionados Committee Chairwoman Summer Tompkins Walker

Kathryn Lasater with Hedge gallery co-owners Steven Volpe (left) and Roth Martin

Juliet and Andre de Baubigny

Bobby and Adrianna Sullivan with Doug Biederbeck

Chris Bass

Angelique Griepp, Allison Speer and Suzanne Levit

Designer Cheryl DuCote and her intern, Cleopatra (aka Kaitlin Kay)

Harry Holmes, Robert Bradford, Collectors Circle Chairwoman Laura King Pfaff and Tom Kelley

Meg Bertero and Gayle Holmes

Michael Gallagher and his wife, Theo Schwabacher

Designer Christian Huebner and his wife, Tracy Huebner

Rita O'Hara, Craig and Maureen Sullivan and Maureen's daughter, Meagan Levitan

Marion Cope and Carole Norfleet

Designer Jonathan Rachman and Leigh Matthes

Elena Madsen and her mom, Elena Shoch

Vera Carpeneti and Delia Ehrlich

Designer Ken Fulk