Chicago – International Spring Antiques Fair

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>You know I love living in Europe, but sometimes it seems I am on “the wrong side of the pond” at the wrong time! This week, April 25 – 28, Chicago is hosting The Merchandise Mart International Spring Antiques Fair, which is considered to be one of the top antique fairs in the USA and with the dollar weak and euro strong I am certain I could cash in on some genuine treasures if only I were there instead of here! Fortunately Spring has arrived in Holland and the sun has begun to show itself with some regularity, but right now as I write this blog, it’s raining cats & dogs and I’d give anything to be visiting my friend La Reine’s Chicago “pied a terre” right now!

I love Chicago! The lake, the skyscrapers, the shopping, the musical, the music group…. Mere mention of stuffed pizza brings me back to my husband’s corporate apartment his company kept for him on the Gold Coast while we were living in ton/summary/” target=”_blank”>Boston and he was commuting each week to the Midwest for meetings in” target=”_blank”>The Sears Tower. But enough about me, you want to hear about this fantabulous antiques fair going on in Chicago this weekend! More than 130 vendors from around the globe will storm Chicago, bringing with them Asian Antiques, Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Furniture, Jewelry, Paintings, Rare Books, Maps & Silver… Pretty much it’s guaranteed that at The Merchandise Mart Spring International Antiques Fair you’ll find everything but the kitchen sink — and who knows, perhaps you’ll find that there too! Some of the best vendors in Europe (including a few from the torique/Default.htm” target=”_blank”>Puce de Paris as well as a LAPADA) are making the trip and setting up shop for a few days in the USA! If you’re feeling sad, bummed that you’re going to miss out on this event, don’t fear. It’s coming back to Chicago this Fall – October 3 – 6, 2008!

Hmm… I guess I’d best run. All this talk of Chicago has my stomach growling and I think instead of making dinner tonight I might just order takeout pizza and pretend I’m back in the good ole USofA! Before I dash, I’ve one last tip — Just today Country Home magazine sent out their weekly newsletter and they’ve an excellent article packed full of great Chicago addresses of one-of-a-kind antique shops & boutiques. If you’re heading to the fair this weekend, you might want to print & bring along this perfect guide for a weekend away!

Until next time,

The Antiques Diva™

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Author: Toma Clark Haines

Toma Clark Haines is a Global Tastemaker, Speaker, Writer & Entrepreneur; and founder and CEO The Antiques Diva® & Co, Europe, Asia and America's largest Antiques Sourcing & Touring Company.

  • The Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair announces
    line up of high-profile speakers, charitable special events,
    thought-provoking talk series
    Chicago Antiques Community celebrates three days of culture, fine art, one-of-a-kind works

    CHICAGO (August 27, 2008) –In addition to a renowned collection of antiques from the world’s premier dealers, The Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair, Oct. 3-6 on the 12th Floor of The Merchandise Mart, Chicago, delivers premier antiques and fine art, along with industry-leading keynote seminars and special events—all in a first-class environment.

    Keynote address: Country Friday meets American Living by Kathryn M. Ireland
    10 a.m., Friday, Oct. 3
    Merchandise Mart Conference Center, 2nd Floor

    Renowned California designer Kathryn M. Ireland blends English and French sensibilities with a bohemian vibe for A-list clients like David Mamet and Steve Martin. With interiors known as much for homey, family (and dog) friendly elements such as “seat-of-the-pants chic” styling, Ireland is accomplished at mixing antiques throughout various interiors. She was included among House & Garden’s “10 to Watch” which featured architects and designers who are expected to influence 21st-century style, and she was named one of the top 100 designers in the United States by House Beautiful.

    Ireland will hold a book signing after her keynote address.

    Preview Party benefiting the Lincoln Park Zoo
    5:30–8:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 2
    Merchandise Mart, Chicago, 12th Floor
    Tickets are $50 and available at or onsite.

    Attendees to the preview party of The Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair will have the first opportunity to purchase this year’s offerings from dealers around the world, while enjoying cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction. – all before the official opening of the Antiques Fair in its new gallery space on the 12th floor of The Merchandise Mart.

    All proceeds from the preview night will benefit the Lincoln Park Zoo. Considered among the finest urban zoos in the world, the Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the country’s oldest zoos and the only free, privately managed zoo in the country.


    Special Events
    Friday Night at the Fair
    6–8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 3
    Merchandise Mart, Chicago, 12th Floor

    Guests will have the opportunity to celebrate the weekend at the Antiques Fair, while enjoying special entertainment, food and drink.

    Sunday at the Fair
    11 a.m.–1 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 5
    Merchandise Mart, Chicago, 12th Floor

    Live classical music and complimentary mimosas will be available to attendees.

    Panel discussion: Passion vs. Profit: The Art of Collecting Antiques
    1–2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 5
    Merchandise Mart Conference Center, 2nd Floor

    This illustrious panel of antiques and art dealers, including a number of CINOA member, discusses the influence of art collecting on the world of antiques, as well as the trends in popularity of fine antiques versus modern design and the perceived value of fine art versus decorative art. Enjoy the experienced perspectives of top CINOA members. Those interested in attending should R.S.V.P. to or 312.527.6885

    CINOA is a non-profit international federation of associations established more than 75 years ago, now encompassing 30 art and antiques associations from 21 countries, representing more than 5,000 dealers from around the world.

    Booth Talk Series
    Friday, Oct. 3–Sunday, Oct. 5

    Daily one-on-one Booth Talks with dealers participating in the Antiques Fair will be offered each afternoon. Dealers will share their knowledge while describing a few of their favorite things. Both informal and educational, Booth Talks are a benefit to everyone from a beginning collector to a connoisseur.

    About The Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair
    Recognized as one of the premier antiques shows in the country, the Antiques Fair will feature more than 100 of the world’s top dealers of antiques and fine art, in a wide range of categories, including: 20th Century Design, Americana, Architectural Design, Asian Art & Antiquities, Barometers, Books, Ceramics, Clocks, Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Furniture, Glass, Jewelry, Paintings, Posters, Prints, Maps, Sculpture, Silver, Textiles and Tribal Art.

    Attendees can expect exceptional service and amenities throughout the Antiques Fair, including an on-site gourmet café, lounges and bars and professional packaging and shipping services

    The Merchandise Mart International Fall Antiques Fair will be open Friday 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.–5p.m.; Monday 11 a.m.–3 p.m., on the 12th floor of the Merchandise Mart, Chicago.

    Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at or on-site during the event.

    For more information, visit or call 800.677.6278 (MART).