Great news from the Big Apple for Ephemera lovers.
Another example of why we need to support the National Endowment for the Humanities!
New York, NY
The Museum of the City of New York is pleased to announce the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for the project Illuminating New York City History through Material Culture: A Proposal to Process, Catalog, Digitize, and Rehouse the Ephemera Collections of the Museum of the City of New York. The application, submitted to the NEH Humanities Collections and Reference Resources grant opportunity in July 2013, outlines a plan to increase public access to over 6,500 objects of material culture over the course of two years. The materials will eventually be available on the Museum’s online Collections Portal. The Museum was notified of the successful funding of this application in the amount of $125,000 by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s office in March 2014, by instruction of the NEH.
By Lori Stabile | Special to The Republican
It’s almost time for the May installment of the Brimfield Outdoor Antiques Shows, a thrice annual event that draws antique lovers from near and far to the tiny town of Brimfield, Mass. for six days at a time.
The May show – known as the largest antique show of the three – opens Tuesday, May 13 and runs through Sunday, May 18.
What is usually farmland transforms into a giant outdoor antique sale, featuring thousands of dealers on 23 fields selling almost everything imaginable – giant Ronald McDonald heads, garden items, 1950s dishes, postcards from various eras, music equipment, furniture, vintage jewelry and clothing and more.
It was 1959 when Gordon Reid got the idea to hold an outdoor antique show.
His daughters, Judith R. Mathieu and Jill R. Lukesh, continue the tradition their father started, on the J&J Promotions field, which is open only on Friday and Saturday and hosts 400 dealers.
Opening times vary according to field, with most opening Tuesday. Check www.brimfieldshow.com for specific field opening times.
The first “show” featured 67 dealers selling items on tarps in front of their station wagons, Mathieu said, describing the event as “rustic.”
Asked what Reid would think about Brimfield has become, Mathieu replied, “Oh my gosh, he would be thrilled. He would be quite honored, I’m sure.”
She said that she and her sister have maintained the quality that her father wanted on his field, ensuring dealers are selling antiques and not new items.
Because the family has been involved in the shows so long, Mathieu has plenty of advice for first-timers to the shows (the next show is in July, followed by the last one in September).
Dress comfortably, she suggests, and bring cash, as many dealers do not accept credit cards.
And bargain. Dealers expect it, Mathieu said, “but be fair in your offer.”
Even though Brimfield has been around now for many years, Mathieu said they still hear people tell them that this is their first time.
“People are just thrilled to be here,” Mathieu said.
Celebrity sightings are not unusual at Brimfield – home decor maven Martha Stewart, hockey great Terry O’Reilly, singer-actress Barbra Streisand and director-actress Penny Marshall all have been spotted in recent years.
Donald G. Moriarty, co-owner of Heart O’ the Mart with his wife Pamela, predicts that the May show will be “great.” They have been involved in the antiques show for the past 32 years, and he said he’s been seeing more international buyers at the shows.
“Each year seems to get a little bit bigger,” Moriarty said.
His field opens Wednesday at 9 a.m. with approximately 450 dealers. Like Mathieu, he advises people to dress “for comfort, not style” and in layers.
“Bring your wallet . . . Allocate as much time as you possibly can because it’s a huge, huge show,” Moriarty said.
Some fields charge admission. The next shows are July 8 to 13, and September 2 to 7.
(ESA) will be holding its annual three-day conference and fair at Old Greenwich, CT. in mid-March 2014, devoted to sharing and exploring various aspects of ephemera, and to buying ephemera to add to or to start collections. The first day, Friday, is devoted to presentations of papers with a specific theme and to exhibits and book signings by some of our published members and speakers. Saturday and Sunday feature a two-day ephemera fair with dealers from around the world and member forums on Sunday before the fair.
The theme for the conference is “Field to Table: The Ephemera of Food and Drink.”Our essential connection to what the earth produces, and how these sustain us is at the core of our lives. Each step of the process from the field to the table represents a different aspect of our society and its values. The ephemera of food and drink illustrates the different points of view of that story, reflecting how our society has evolved. This narrative includes survival, culinary achievement, hard work, the aesthetics of food and table presentation, balance, culture, health, satisfaction and commerce. What drives us? Our needs and initiatives, the creativity of our inventions and discoveries, our passions and resources are all involved in getting things from the field to the table. Ephemera helps us follow and understand the evolution of these comestibles and potables.
WINTERTHUR, Del. – Winterthur has made the largest single gift purchase in its history with the addition of the John and Carolyn Grossman Collection, one of the most comprehensive archives of period graphic ephemera ever to have been assembled.
On loan to Winterthur since 2008, the Grossman Collection represents approximately 250,000 vividly colored, printed items portraying life in America from 1820 to 1920. Ephemera represents a host of materials designed to circulate in society for only a brief time, including greeting cards, product labels, baseball cards, postcards, scrapbooks, calendars, paper dolls, sheet music, event tickets and more.”
Since printed ephemera typically lasts for such a short time, the Grossmans have performed a heroic task in saving so much of it and making it available to the public through the Winterthur Library,” said E. Richard McKinstry, Winterthur library director and Andrew W. Mellon senior librarian. “Images portrayed on ephemera are sometimes the only ones to have survived that document life in America and other countries a century and more ago.”
The collection documents the methods of lithography and chromolithography and all they represented visually from the early 19th through the early 20th centuries. Images portray the customs, attitudes and ideals of Victorian and Edwardian life: innocent children, garden-fresh flowers, romantic couples, holiday traditions, fashionable women, anthropomorphic animals and cigar-smoking gentlemen.
Among the collection’s treasures is the first commercially produced Christmas card, printed in 1843 in England, along with its printer’s proof. The Grossmans also saved the extraordinary archive of the George Schlegel Lithographic Co., a 19th-and 20th-century business in New York City that specialized in printing cigar box labels.
Winterthur has showcased the collection in its library exhibitions and in the museum’s Yuletide displays. It has been a magnet for students and researchers, especially those interested in Winterthur’s Research Fellowship Program. The graphic materials also have been used successfully in Winterthur’s licensing and marketing efforts.
McKinstry said that having the Grossman Collection permanently housed at Winterthur further solidifies the library’s status as a center for advanced research.
“Winterthur is deeply grateful to John and Carolyn Grossman for making this remarkable collection available not only to scholars, Winterthur staff and our visitors, but also to thousands of researchers, who can now access these materials through the Winterthur Library online,” McKinstry said.
Dr. Katherine C. Grier, a University of Delaware history professor, said the collection enhances Winterthur’s holdings enough to seal its reputation as having “the No. 1 research library in the country for the study of visual culture in America between the 1860s and 1920s.” Grier, a former member of Winterthur’s Academic Programs Department, said the collection gives Winterthur sufficient depth to serve as an unparalleled resource on topics such as the history of printing technology, the history of graphic design, and the history of advertising and marketing.
In relation to social and cultural history, the collection can be mined for information on such topics as: evolving ideals of domestic life, the construction of race and ethnicity, the changing nature of gender identity, the history of sexuality, the history of leisure and sport, the history of childhood, and such topics as foodways, popular medicine and dress.
To learn more about Winterthur’s Grossman Collection, visit winterthur.org.