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Round Top’s Storied Marburger Farm Acquired by Texas Real Estate and Art Trailblazer

Brook Partners Promises to Build On This Antiques Wonderland's Strong Traditions

BY // 06.14.21
photography Jenny Antill Clifton

Dateline Round Top, Texas. Just in: One of America’s meccas for antique and design shopping, Marburger Farm Antique Show, has been acquired by a group led by Brook Partners. The Dallas-based real estate development firm owns, operates and founded the Dallas Art Fair and Fashion Industry Gallery, the venue where the acclaimed international boutique fair takes place annually in the heart of the Dallas Arts District. 

Established in 1997, Marburger Farm Antique Show is one of the must-shop venues of the Round Top Antiques Show, held the last two weeks of October for the Fall Show and the final two weeks of March for the Spring Show. (A third, smaller show at the end of January serves as a gateway to the Spring Show.)

Marburger Farm is one of the most anticipated destinations — and a designer favorite — of the approximately 80 show venues that comprise the antiques-and-design convergence that draws more than 100,000 visitors each spring and fall to experience the bucolic beauty of Round Top and the thrill of sourcing finds in the fields, tents, barns and other preserved buildings of this historic hamlet and surrounding Texas countryside. Think Hamptons meets Marfa.

Anne Lee Phillips at Marburger Farm (Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton )
Anne Lee Phillips (Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton)

Set amidst 43 rolling acres on Texas Highway 237 (the main thoroughfare for the town of Round Top, population 90), Marburger boasts 11 historic small-town buildings (including the legendary Legler Dance Hall) side by side with spacious tents that dot the neighboring fields. Its five-day event marks one of the pinnacles of the Spring and Fall Shows, as thousands of guests descend upon Marburger Farm to shop 300 vetted dealers that travel in from across the United States and other spots on the globe. 

Julie Dodson at Marburger Farm (Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton )
Julie Dodson (Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton)

Marburger Farm Antique Show’s opening morning is one of the happenings each spring and fall, luring ardent and discerning shoppers who pay to be the first to acquire finds and sleuth treasures that traverse continents, time periods, and aesthetics. 

The cache and character of the Marburger Farm Antique Show draws celebrities, world-class designers and innovators, and buyers for global stores, hotels and restaurants — including Kelly Wearstler and Liz Lambert, who were spotted shopping this spring. 

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Jessica Cooksey, Kelly Wearstler, Sheila Youngblood, Brittany Wiedl (Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton )
Megan Pompan, Kelly Wearstler, Sheila Youngblood, Ryder Chanatry (Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton)

In the acquisition announcement, Brook Partners CEO John Sughrue says, “The Marburger Farm Antique Show is a Texas icon, and we are privileged to be passed the baton as the latest stewards of this storied event. We are fortunate to assume the Show’s ownership and its culture of excellence from the Mebus and Ferguson families. The energy of the Show is electric, and the beauty of the surrounding Round Top community provides an opportunity for antique buyers and sellers to engage profitably while experiencing the majesty and magic of the area. It is simply a lot of fun and as they say, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix-it.’

“We intend to preserve the DNA and heritage of the Marburger experience while building on the success of the Show to add layers of new opportunities. Our team has produced major special events hosting tens of thousands of people, and we look forward to celebrating the 25th edition of the Marburger Farm Antique Show in 2022.”

Jeremy Buonamici, John Sughrue at The Halles, Round Top (Photo by Gabriela Izquierdo)
CEO of Fashion Industry Gallery Jeremy Buonamici, Brook Partners CEO John Sughrue in Round Top (Photo by Gabriela Izquierdo)

Joining John Sughrue on his savvy and experienced team for Marburger are Jeremy Buonamici, CEO of Fashion Industry Gallery, and SMU grad Kelly Cornell, the longtime director of the Dallas Art Fair (which is now in its 12th year), which is set for November 11 to 14 this year. 

Known as the faces of Marburger Farm for more than a decade, Tracy and Brad Blacketer — respectively business manager and director of operations — will remain in senior management positions. The Blacketers will continue as boots in the field when the celebrated Marburger Farm Antique Show begins its next chapter this fall as it heads toward its silver anniversary in 2022.

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