Whim Museum Celebrates 25 Years of Antiques Auctions

7By Michael Connors
St. Croix This Week

“The Whim Antique and Collectibles Auction and Fair is the one island event not to be missed,” said Gerville Larsen, St. Croix Landmarks Society’s Chairman. “The air is filled with excitement as you find a bargain or that one special piece you can’t live without. Come to the stunning grounds of Whim Museum to learn about our rich decorative arts history on St. Croix or just hang out with family and friends while enjoying the antiques auction and fair and experiencing the wonderful food and drink.”

This year, Whim celebrates 25 years of antiques auctions, one of the several fund-raising events sponsored by the St. Croix Landmarks Society in order to carry out its mission of preserving historical assets for the benefit of the St. Croix community. Proceeds from the auction will be used to support the Whim Museum research library and archives and its educational outreach programs. The auction provides a unique opportunity for the community of art and furniture collectors to see, appreciate, and purchase the remarkable contributions of African-West Indian artists and craftsmen, often overlooked. Island turners, joiners and cabinetmakers gave life to the distinct style of island furniture by integrating authentic European designs with indigenous influences and their own cultural sensibilities to created a genre of furniture that over the past fifteen years has become not only desirable but highly collectible.

8The opportunities in 2011 to own objects of significance is fleeting a bit. As regional importance goes, I’ve seen quite a steady flow through the Whim auction over the years. I’m privileged to be associated with the event and believe in the mission of the museum and share their passion for preservation. It is exciting to work with the antiques and decorative objects that are found in the auction each year….and, really – St. Croix is a great destination in March when you live in Ohio…..!”

This year’s auction Committee Chairman John Edwards commented that he had been involved with the Whim auction since the beginning in the 1980’s, first as a buyer, then as a consignor, and then as a member of the committee searching for and signing-up consignors. He said that “Thanks to the appreciation of West Indian-made mahogany furniture, the Whim auction has grown and transformed from being one of the Caribbean’s best kept secrets to an event that is imitated on other Caribbean islands and one that collectors from other islands look forward to every year.”

9Today Whim’s auction is known as the “major market place for colonial West Indian furniture and decorative arts” and is expected to be the best ever. It is scheduled to take place on Sunday, March 6, and consignments will be accepted between now and then.

Michael Connors is on the Whim Museum’s Board of Trustees and head of collections. He is credited with being the person responsible for bringing the Colonial West Indian furniture genre forward as an independent collecting field.