|By Brett Weiss
FORT WORTH, Texas — For the 50th anniversary of the Dolly Johnson Antique Show, occurring March 8-9 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center, show director Jan Orr-Harter has changed the name of the event to the Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art. In addition, she has added 25 more exhibitors and teamed with the nearby National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame for the show’s Benefit Booth.
Unlike many promoters, Orr-Harter doesn’t simply place a few ads and sit back waiting for the phone to ring, filling booth spaces on a first-come, first-serve basis. Rather, she travels the country, searching for the best mix of antique and art dealers she can find.
“What is unique about the Fort Worth Show is that I look for the freshest, hardest-working, most creative dealers in every category of merchandise,” Orr-Harter said. “And then I push them to bring their very best finds at their very best prices.”
Orr-Harter promises “more than 100 top dealers from California to New York,” offering a wide variety of fine wares, including American, French, English, jewelry, industrial, formal, vintage, Western, repurposed, garden, and mid-century modern.
Founded in 1963, the Dolly Johnson Antique Show was named after the late Dolly Johnson, wife of Will Rogers Memorial Center director Rip Johnson, who is a “pioneer in America’s fervor for antiques.”
The Johnsons’ daughter, J.J. Frambes, managed the show until 2009 when she sold it to Fort Worth native Orr-Harter, an antiques collector, dealer and writer.
Although she changed the name of the event for the golden anniversary, Orr-Harter is proud of the Dolly Johnson heritage.
“Few cities in the world host an antique and art show that is 50 years old,” she said, “especially one whose customers range from former First Lady Laura Bush to Storage Wars: Texas star Moe Prigoff. It’s the oldest antique and art show in the American west and is well-known throughout the nation.”
Orr-Harter also has her eye on the future. “Pushing the cutting edge of antiques forward is what we do best, with design from pre-Columbian to 1980s,” she said. “At fifty years, the Fort Worth Show has the confidence to mix it up and to make it fun. This is the future of antiques.”
The fun includes a Friday – 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. – Happy Hour Party that includes a cash bar, live music, and barbecue from Fort Worth’s own Coburn’s Catering, which will offer food and drinks throughout the duration of the two-day affair.
Van Romans, President of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, has gone to the show for years and has always had a good time. “It’s is most comprehensive show and has the most depth of any antique show in North Texas,” he said. “Plus, it’s fun!”
And isn’t fun one of the main reasons to go antiquing and to gather with other collectors?
CONTACT: (817) 291-3952