SFFAS: An art sleuth, Hollywood’s Golden Era and antiques today


The San Francisco Fall Antiques Show is one of my favorite design events of the year. Not only are fantastic decorative arts on view and for sale, but the lecture series makes the event more than just a pretty face. And if the word “lecture” has negative connotations for you, don’t worry—these presentations are great fun.

On tap today: U.S. vs. Art Thieves. Robert K. Wittman, a former special agent and founder of the FBI’s Art Crime Team, tells real life tales of tracking missing works by Rembrandt, Monet and Picasso around the world. I read his book, Priceless, and his reputation as the FBI’s real Indiana Jones is well earned.

Tomorrow, Cathy Whitlock talks about set design in Hollywood’s Golden Age and Suzanne Tucker moderates a panel on designing with art and antiques that includes the renowned Thomas Jayne. Lectures are $18 after general admission.

The show itself is full of wonderful things from  local and international vendors. I’m not exaggerating when I say that every booth has an intriguing discovery.

San Francisco’s Montgomery Gallery always has a booth at the show, and they have returned with a painting by Otis Oldfield, an artist and teacher who lived and worked in the city during the 1930s. He was one of the painters selected to work on the murals in Coit Tower, and a style similar to those is employed in his painting of a view from Telegraph Hill.

San Francisco’s Almond Hartzog gallery never disappoints with their 20th-century offerings. Their booth contains a pair of amazing candle chandeliers by the Swedish designer Eric Hogland.

One of my personal favorites is American Garage, a pair of Los Angeles-based dealers who specialize in quirky Americana. I really appreciated their carnival games and framed bathing suits, but I was thrilled to see a Heart and Hand staff, which I write about in our current issue.

Another not-to-be-missed booth is Matt Murphy Studio. I love Murphy’s cosmopolitan style, and he has a treasure trove of sophisticated goods.

The SFFAS runs through October 30, and it offers access to a lot of style for a mere $18 ticket.


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