While I’m not an Antiques Roadshow addict, I admit that the whole premise underlying the popular PBS production intrigues me. Who doesn’t dream of finding a treasure among all the stuff that inevitably has been collecting around your house for years?
The closest I’ve come is when a friend showed me his uncirculated Mickey Mantle baseball card and told me that this card probably would “pay for a year of college for one of my kids.” I’m not sure whether or not he ever cashed it in, but I know I was envious that he had been fortunate enough to discover such a gold mine among his possessions.
And that’s the feeling I have as I listen to the stories of those who appear on the Roadshow. Some are really lucky and find out that the old chest that has been sitting in an unlit corner of their basement is really a gem, while others learn that their favorite painting from grandma is of sentimental value only.
We began to wonder if any of our readers were among those lucky enough to discover a real treasure. I’ll admit I had my doubts. While it makes for good television, to me it didn’t seem like a real-life scenario. Was I wrong! As writer Bill Slocum found out, people throughout our area have marvelous stories to tell about their own unique finds. You won’t want to miss “Antique Treasure?”
A local jewel that people from all over the globe clearly recognize is the collection of modern houses in New Canaan, the most famous of which is Philip Johnson’s Glass House. These gems span a time period from 1947 through the late 1960s and are familiar to many of us from the art and/or architecture classes we took in college. The problem is that a number of them have been demolished or may be torn down in the not-so-distant future to make way for something their current owners consider more livable in 2006. What, if anything, can be done to preserve a heritage that cannot be re-created? Timothy Dumas looks at this very complex issue in “Modern Love.”
I love it when decisions we make turn out to be right on target. A year ago we learned about the artistic Flora family of Rowayton — especially the work of Jim and Jane Flora and their son Joel. We asked writer Stephen Sawicki to do a story, which we saved for our November Art and Antiques issue. As it turns out, running it this month coincides with something of a revival of interest in the father. At Harbor Gallery in Rowayton, an exhibit of his works opens on November 19 (see this month’s Calendar), and a new book, The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora, by Irwin Chusid will be released in January. How’s that for good timing?
Finally, with Thanksgiving fast approaching, you’ll want to turn to our Food section, where in “Talking Turkey” you’ll find some ideas to add a new twist or two to this most traditional of dinners.
Have a joyous holiday.