Society / Featured Parties

Legendary Houston Antiques Show’s Swan Song is a Nostalgic Delight — Theta’s Sweet Goodbye

Nearly $8 Million Raised, and a Future of Giving Still Beckons

BY // 11.25.19
photography Jenny Antill Clifton

Bittersweet? No. Nostalgic? Somewhat. Enjoyable? Definitely. The Preview Party for the final Theta Charity Antiques Show proved to be an evening of warm reflection with some 600 cocktail-attired guests pouring into the George R. Brown Convention Center. Sentiments were upbeat despite the fact that the evening marked the end of a 67-year tradition.

“It’s a great night. It’s an exciting night and a little bit nostaglic,” said Courtney Hill Fertitta, who co-chaired the three-day show with Jennifer Donovan O’Donnell and Giggy Martin Thanheiser. That trio and Preview Party  chairs Tricia Blalock, Beth Evans, Judy Ann McCartney, and Brooke Solche insured that this last hurrah was indeed a “Grand Finale.”

Bountiful buffet tables and ample watering stations kept thirsts slaked and appetites sated as guests fueled up for the adventure of exploring the 40 new and returning exhibitors from across the United States and Europe. Returning merchant Paul Vandekar of Knightsbridge Inc., with a beautiful collection of antique botanical prints, recalled that when he first came to America in 1979, Theta was one of his first shows.

Likewise Tricia Blalock recalled when she was in high school, her mother, Carolyn Hamilton, chaired the market. It was the ’80s and volunteers would gather around the dining room table addressing envelopes, sorting programs and the like.

“It’s been such a wonderful show,” Hamilton noted.

While the number of merchants was round 40 (a considerable drop from last year’s 70 dealers), this year’s market had an added touch with stylish home vignettes created by designers including Nicole Zarr and Jennifer and Krissi Reid, as well as Courtney Hill Fertitta, who raided her River Oaks living room for select pieces in her vignette.

DISCOVER

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While all efforts have been focused on this final show, the Houston alumnae chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority fully intends to continue its philanthropic legacy. Stay tuned. In 2020, the organization will announce its future fundraising endeavors. Since founding of the show in 1952, Theta has contributed close to $8 million to the city’s cultural, community, educational and medical causes.

PC Seen: Famed interior designers Charlotte Moss, Thomas Jayne, and Thomas O’Brien; plus Laurie and Reed Morian, Karol Barnhart, Cherie and Jim Flores, Bill Stubbs, Betty and Stephen Newton, Jenny Elkins, Ann Kinder, Pam and Murray Brasseux, Emily Crosswell, Windi Grimes, Mary Kristen and David Valentine, Krissi and Taylor Reid, Lindsay Holstead, Kirby McCool, and Alexandra and Tyler Killion.

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