ARTS- Antique Rug & Textile Show

ARTS- Antique Rug & Textile Show

The Antique Rug & Textile Show

The San Francisco ARTS show is back with a vengeance! Like the good old days, the near-mythical Motel Capri, a true gem of American 50’s design dominating the corner of Greenwich and Buchanan streets in the Marina district, will host the opening on:

Friday, December 3 at 2.30 pm.

This three-day extravaganza of antique rugs and textiles draws dealers, collectors and cognoscenti from around the globe.

Now in its 12th season, I feel incredibly close to this show as I am one of its founding members. The Capri was the accommodation of choice for most rug dealers exhibiting at the San Francisco Tribal and Textile Arts Show, which still takes place in February at the nearby Fort Mason (although the 2021 event was only virtual). We all used to ship our goods to the Capri, and many of the local collectors would visit us the day before stand dressing and voraciously buy some of the best pieces we had reserved for the exhibition. The motel rooms offered adequate privacy for such swift transactions, and most of us did more business there than during the show itself.

Middle Eastern ‘caravanserai’ in the Marina district of San Francisco

This prompted us to imagine the Capri as the actual venue. An international roster of colleagues covering every facet of antique textile arts enthusiastically embraced this idea. In October 2008, they transformed the entire motel into a variegated bazaar, making its parking lot resemble a contemporary equivalent of a 19th-century Middle Eastern caravanserai. Ancient textiles hanging down mid-century modern balustrades welcomed crowds of passionate rug aficionados who would dare venture into the belly of the Capri through its twisting alleyways and staircases. The motel rooms were each taken up by respectable members of the antique rug trade, where rare masterpieces were hanging from black cardboard panels, carefully lit in the best manner a 50’s motel room could accommodate.

As most of us will still be jet lagged, the show has flexible hours, with many transactions happening well into midnight. Some of us eventually fall asleep on queen-sized beds covered with woven tribal trappings of every stripe. In contrast, others congregate in the corridors and balconies or the ground-floor rooms in a never-ending party of kindred spirits.

The heady camaraderie feeling still distinguishes this show from all others. Even in such dire times, when myriad restrictions beset travelling, many of us are ready to invest in the extra effort necessary to make this event happen. We have achieved an ever-expanding, international and multicultural family that draws valuable sustenance from at least one reunion a year.
We look forward to greeting a plethora of friends ranging from rug collectors and museum curators to people who wish to learn more about antique textile art…all are early welcome!

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