Antiques Show Celebrates 60 Years

Oglebay Institute’s Antiques Show and Sale is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. The annual fundraiser for the Museums of Oglebay Institute is not only the largest but also the longest-running antiques show in West Virginia and among the oldest shows nationwide.

Being held in Oglebay Park Friday through Sunday, April 4-6, the show features more than 50 dealers from 10 states and covers two floors of Wilson Lodge, which is transformed into an antiques marketplace. Guests can browse thousands of items including American, English, primitive and period furniture, American art, folk art, western art, pottery, quilts, jewelry, rugs, baskets, pewter, silver, glass, china, books and decorative items for both the period and modern home.

Oglebay Institute museums director Christin Byrum said hallmarks of the OI show, such as quality merchandise, expert dealers and a diverse inventory with items in every price range, are what keep people coming back year after year.

Event co-chairwoman Paula McClure agreed, saying, “One of the perks of shopping a well-established antiques show is that it takes the risk out of buying. Our dealers select their stock carefully and weed out the junk so buyers don’t have to.”

OI show dealers have more than 1,460 years of combined experience in the business, McClure said. “Our dealers are not just antiques sellers; they are antiques educators. They are eager to share what they know with every customer.”

Guests at the show also can participate in educational programing such as guided show tours, a children’s show tour and dealer booth talks.

McClure said providing learning opportunities is another reason the OI show has such a good reputation among dealers and shoppers alike. “In addition to a fabulous shopping event, our show offers a rich learning experience for both avid and beginning collectors.

Many shows don’t provide these services,” she said.

Oglebay Institute’s first Antiques Show and Sale was held in 1954. During the first five years, the show grew into a popular asset of the museums, Byrum explained, providing publicity, visibility, visitors and funds.

Admission in those early years was 60 cents. In 1957, there were 31 dealers and attendance was 1,261. Attendance in 2013 was more than 2,200.

Byrum credits to the show’s success and longevity to the hard-working committee of the Museums of Oglebay Institute This large committee of volunteers works closely with Byrum to present the annual antiques show. It is responsible for hiring and working with a show manager as well as supervising all the activities associated with the aspects of the show – everything from staffing the show to coordinating lectures and tours to overseeing the patron preview events.

“Helping with this show is a months-long affair for these committee members,” Byrum said. “It is through their hard work and dedication that our show has flourished for the past 60 years.”

Antiques dealer Peter Chillingworth of Scenery Hill, Pa., once again manages the 2014 show. He has managed the show since 2000. Byrum said he invites “only the most reputable and knowledgeable dealers, and buyers can rest assured they are getting the cream of the crop.”

Hughes Design and Gift Gallery of Wheeling and Joe R. Pyle Auctions of Mount Morris, Pa., are serving as event sponsors this year.

Oglebay Institute’s 60th annual Antiques Show and Sale opens Friday, April 4, with special patron events, including the popular Dessert with Antiques Preview Party from 7-10 p.m. Tickets are available at the door.

Guests at the Dessert Preview Party are the first to shop the show, enjoy an enticing array of sweets and coffees, mingle and talk with dealers before the show opens to the general public. A cash bar is available, and the ticket price includes repeat admission to the show on Saturday and Sunday.

Other patron packages are available that include a Patron Cocktail Party at the Glass Museum, limousine service to and from Wilson Lodge, a private patron lounge, a patron gift bag and an exclusive dealer’s tour on a topic of one’s choice.

General show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 5, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 6. General admission is charged. For more information on the show or to purchase tickets for the patron events, call 304-242-7272.