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
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