Noonmark Antiques

The ADA 2016 Award of Merit

Charles HammellComment

The Antiques Dealers’ Association of America is composed of professional antiques dealers who are dedicated to integrity, honesty, and ethical conduct in the antiques trade. Noonmark Antiques is a member of this organization and we are pleased to be a part of this outstanding group of dealers.

Each year, the ADA honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the antiques community. The 2016 recipients are Joan and Victor Johnson – collectors, scholars and philanthropists. The Johnson’s promised gift of their extensive fraktur collection to the Philadelphia Museum of Art is extremely generous. The antiques community has benefitted significantly from their kind gesture and we are grateful. See my past post from 3/9/2015 "The Exhibit, Drawn with Spirit, Pennsylvania German Fraktur from the Joan and Victor Johnson Collection."

The awards dinner took place under the tent location of the Philadelphia Antiques Show at the Navy Yard on April 15. This event is open to the public and folks may attend this jovial evening of banter and the latest news. To my left, at our table was Christopher D. Fox, Associate Deputy Director of American Furniture & Decorative Arts at Skinner Auctions. I spent a delightful evening learning about Chris’ interest in early metal ware. Across from Charlie & I was Stephen Fletcher, Executive Vice President of Skinner Auctions and Director of the Americana Department as well as a frequent appraiser on the Antiques Roadshow. The surprise of the evening for me was when our table was called to the buffet line. Ahead of Charlie in line was Brock Jobe – author, curator, past ADA award recipient and Deputy Director for Collections and Interpretation at Winterthur Museum. Brock introduced himself to Charlie, who in turn, whirled around to me and said, “Lisa, it’s Brock Jobe!” I was very excited to meet him and of course, asked for a picture to which he cheerfully obliged.

My interest in Brock Jobe’s work was piqued when Judy Loto, past President of the ADA gave the keynote address at Mr. Jobe’s award ceremony.

Judy mentioned his landmark book, “Portsmouth Furniture – Masterworks from the New Hampshire Seacoast” several times during her remarks and I knew I needed to familiarize myself with this volume.

Since that time, Charlie & I have visited Portsmouth and Strawberry Banke several times to view and study the important discoveries there.

Back to 2016. The keynote speakers for the Johnson’s event were Alexandra Kirtley, Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Linda Johnson, daughter of Joan & Victor Johnson and President and CEO of the Brooklyn Public Library.

Both women shared winsome and endearing stories of the two honorees.

Joan and Victor responded kindly and graciously to the presentation of the award by President James Kilvington and  Director Arthur Liverant. It was a delightful celebration of the lives and work of two dear friends.