Philadelphia’s spring event is back — the Philadelphia Antiques Show

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For 21st Century Media

What better way to celebrate the start of the spring season than with admiring fine pieces of art at the annual Philadelphia Antiques Show. The show, held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, is sponsored by the Haverford Trust Company and will benefit the Penn Center for Human Performance at Penn Medicine.
The show’s 53rd year kicks off with the annual preview party on April 25. The show continues from April 26 to 29. Check www.thephiladelphiaantiquesshow.org for hours and admission information.
“The Antiques Show just has a wonderful history,” said Richard Rossello of Avery Galleries, located in Bryn Mawr. “It’s always been a very important show, not just in the area, but nationally, for bringing together wonderful examples of antiques and collectables and art.”
In 2001, after suffering a minor heart attack on his 48th birthday, then having double bypass surgery, Rossello, who was already an avid collector, was motivated to open Avery Galleries with Washburn Oberwager.
While recovering from surgery, Rossello realized the importance of art in his life.
“Life’s too short. I better do something I really love … I started Avery Galleries and just pursued something that was always really important to me,” Rossello says.

A Small Bermuda Cedar Sugan Chest. C. 1770.

A Small Bermuda Cedar Sugan Chest. C. 1770. Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Antiques Show.

Avery Galleries specializes in 19th- and 20th-century American art and plans to exhibit 30 to 35 pieces, including a modernist painting by Milton Avery, a John Singer Sargent oil sketch, a Jane Peterson oil on canvas, and a Edward Potthast oil on canvas.
They have been participating in the Philadelphia Antiques Show for about eight years now. Rossello says Avery Galleries joined the Philadelphia Antiques Show because “being a part of that community of dealers, (he) think(s), was important to (them) — it speaks of a general quality of what is at that show — and to be a part of that was something that (they) were looking forward to having join.”
As always, at Avery Galleries they are “looking forward to being there, taking time to visit pretty much (all of the exhibitors).”
Many past show traditions will continue this year with events such as guided show tours which are offered daily and the loan exhibit, which will be displayed throughout the show.
This year, the loan exhibit is named “Historic Deerfield: Art and Life in an Extraordinary New England Village,” which will be presented by Historic Deerfield, located in Deerfield, Mass.
Another lifelong collector who will take part in the Antiques Show and says that the loan exhibit is really fabulous is Diana Bittel of Diana H. Bittel Antiques, also located in Bryn Mawr.
She said her passion for collecting came from her parents.
“My parents collected, so I was around nice things … I figured I needed to be in the business to have them … I always liked collecting so it was a good move on my part,” she says.
Bittel, who will be participating in the Antiques Show for her 33rd year in a row, says that the Philadelphia Antiques Show has always “been fun. It’s been interesting. The people I’ve met have been wonderful. It’s been exciting to be in the Philadelphia show — it’s one of the country’s best.
“There are wonderful things on the floor … the very best dealers and they always save fabulous things for this show that haven’t been out before,” said Bittel.
Bittel specializes mostly in 18th and early 19th American furniture and marine art. She will be exhibiting many pieces, including a small Bermuda cedar sugar chest and a rare pair of watercolors depicting the War of 1812 battles between The Constitution and The Guerriere and The Macedonian and the United States.

WHAT: The Philadelphia Antiques Show: Antiques & Art through the 20th Century  WHERE: Hall F at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 12th and Arch Streets, Philadelphia.
WHEN: Saturday, April 26 to Tuesday, April 29 with the annual preview party on Friday, April 25.
INFO.: For ticket information, check www.thephiladelphiaantiquesshow.org.
CONNECT: On Twitter @PhilaAntiques

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Mike Berman