Much has been said in this column about the current state of publishing, reporting and their relationship to the antiques and collecting community. Frequently, there has been a gloomy tone. This week’s entry sings a different song.
Though distant in form, what has happened at The Boston Globe and other daily newspapers resonates for serious collectors. Regardless of frequency of publication, information is the driver for an informed citizenry and an informed collector.
Antiques trade papers come and go. Three persist and each, for different reasons, deserves our readership.
The monthly “Maine Antique Digest” (MAD) stands well above virtually all other trade pubs. The breadth of coverage (national) and the quantity and quality of original content in MAD is astonishing and unrivaled.
Reporters David Hewitt, Lita Solis-Cohen and Jeanne Schinto, among others, offer authoritative and well-written stories on the trade including investigative pieces as well as show and auction reports.
Multi-sectioned and, in recent memory, having added color, MAD is authoritative and engaging. Though slimmer today than in years previous, MAD maintains an active digital presence.
Though much of “Antiques & the Arts Weekly” is advertising and press releases, we collectors need both. Known popularly as the “Bee,” because it is published by the Newtown Bee, it has solid journalistic bones.
The self-promotion of the press release is also an alert to interested readers for auctions and exhibits. Count on a cover story of substantial length, and written, typically, by freelancers, about new (mostly museum) exhibits.
Auction reports tend to be PR written by the auction firm; show coverage almost never mentions prices. Balance the enthusiasm of the weekly Bee with the measured texts in MAD and the following title.
For more than 30 years and across no fewer than three owners, the “New York-Pennsylvania Collector” has delivered original reporting on antiques and collectibles.
Disclosure: I have written for the Collector for almost 30 years.
Freelancer writers fill most of the Collector’s pages and much of its content is original. They cover shows, auctions, books, furniture restoration and, especially, stories of historical interest and associated with NY and PA. Don’t fret, there is advertising and there are press releases published as well.
Like MAD and the Bee, the Collector has gotten slimmer in recent years. Unlike the other two sources, the Collector’s online presence needs, shall we say, enhancement.