Two of Manhattan’s largest and best-known antiques shows are now under new management following the acquisition of the ‘Pier Antiques Show’ and the ‘Antiques at the Armory Show’ by GLM from Stella Show Management.
The move signals the continued expansion of GLM's US Antiques Show division, which is based in Naples, Florida. They acquired the Miami National Antiques Show from Dolphin Promotions in January and already run the Original Miami Beach Antiques Show (OMBAS), as well as successful antique jewellery and watch shows in Las Vegas, Miami Beach, New York and Los Angeles.
Dan Darby, GLM vice president, said that the acquisition made US Antique Shows the world's leading producer of indoor antique shows.
The Pier Antiques Show is run twice a year in March and November with 500 exhibitors at Pier 94, one of the former ship-berthing terminals on the Hudson River. Antiques at the Armory runs each year at the same time as the Winter Antiques Show during New York's Americana week in January, with 100 dealers offering a wide range of antiques and decorative items as well as Americana.
The family company, Stella Show Management, will continue to run their established Country Living Fairs and other lifestyle events, but Irene Stella's retirement from the business after more than 40 years as a respected and innovative antiques show organiser has prompted a change of ownership for the antiques fairs. At one time her innovative riverside events spread across three of New York's passenger piers before coming under one roof at the more spacious Pier 94 in 2006.
"Words can't express the extreme admiration I have always had and still feel for the hard work, knowledge and camaraderie of antiques dealers and the love and appreciation I feel for all their faith in Stella Show events over the past 45 years and the great people, characters and amazing friendships this business brought to my life," she said.
The former Stella shows will now come under the watchful eye of Andrea Canady, fairs development director at US Antique Shows, who earned her reputation in building up OMBAS into what is now the largest indoor antiques fair in the world with 800 dealers and a favourite with the UK trade.
"The Pier Antiques Shows and Armory Antique Show are a natural fit for US Antique Shows," she said. "Producing these incredibly unique shows will allow us to develop new, more distinct and comprehensive selling opportunities for dealers, including dealers who have exhibited with US Antique Shows for more than 40 years, while broadening the reach for each of these well-established events."
Meanwhile, from their power base on the West Coast the Palm Beach Show Group (PBSG) are also in expansive mood and have announced the launch of the Chicago International Art, Antiques and Jewelry Show at the Navy Pier in Chicago in April 2014.
Having launched their flagship event in Palm Beach in 2001, the group will now run seven shows annually, with other events in Dallas, Baltimore, Naples (Florida) and two in Los Angeles. PBSG are initially aiming for 100 exhibitors in Chicago and are confident that will be reaching a significant new audience.
"There is a remarkable legacy for trade shows and art fairs that began at Navy Pier," said Laurette Lutiger, the newly appointed managing partner of the Chicago show.
"In recent years, Chicago has established itself as a leading arts and cultural city in the Mid West and represents collectors of every age and level of interest who have been waiting for a show of this calibre to emerge."