From the serious antique collector and art aficionado to those who simply enjoy beautiful things, a southern tradition continues at the 2020 Antiques & Garden Show of Nashville. Held January 31 through February 2 in the state’s capital, a.k.a. Music City, the show features 150 prominent dealers and exhibitors specializing in antiques and gardening (31 states and five countries to be exact), assuring there is something for everyone.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the nation’s longest-running antiques show was the dream of the legendary interior designer Albert Hadley (a former Nashvillian), who was an enthusiastic supporter since the show’s inception in 1990. Longtime honorary chair and AD100 Hall of Fame designer Bunny Williams tells AD PRO: “Albert Hadley really started this show as a benefit for Cheekwood [Estate & Gardens], which he absolutely adored. It was his concept from the beginning, and it’s been magical. It’s so much fun and not that serious, yet dealers bring really great things. I help support it in Albert’s memory and love Nashville as I have wonderful clients there.”
Standout booths include landscape artist Charlotte Terrell’s foray into wallpaper; Rebecca Vizard’s B. Viz antique pillows and Fortuny belts; Greensboro, North Carolina’s Caroline Faison Antiques; Wild Pearl’s Helli Luck and her handmade gemstone, pearl, and diamond jewelry; and author Julia Reed and Keith Meacham’s pieces from the Reed Smythe collection. From garden statues and oriental rugs to period jewelry and contemporary art, chances are you won’t leave empty-handed. “I have always bought something at the show—there are reasonable prices, great lecturers, and it has grown and grown and grown,” Williams says. “I find people come from all over the country, as it’s a great place to buy and find interesting things that are not off-the-charts, price-wise.”
The A&G show has certainly gained prominence with its international guest lecturers from the worlds of design, entertaining, landscaping, and hospitality. Nina Campbell moderates a panel with the owners and designer of one of Ireland’s finest country houses, known as Ballyfin Demesne, while Mary Celeste Beall and Kreis Beall explore the evolution of the famed Blackberry Farm, a 4,200-acre estate and resort located in the state’s Great Smoky Mountains. “I am excited to tell the Blackberry story,” Mary Celeste tells AD PRO. “There is a wisdom and magic that comes with passing down knowledge, opportunity, and passion to the next generation of caretakers.” Lectures by Bronson van Wyck on entertaining in the 21st century and building architecture into the landscape by Martin Wirtz are also on tap for the show, which will benefit the city’s 1930s-era Cheekwood Estate and Gardens and the Economic Club of Nashville (ECON).