We are losing a generation of dealers, collectors, and scholars. The obituaries in Maine Antique Digest, for example, are much more numerous than a few years ago. An African proverb tells us that “when an old man dies a library burns to the ground.” How much knowledge are we losing in the American antique community? It is sad to read of their endeavors from years past and present now ended.
Transitions are the nature of life. I can only hope that new generations in the American antique world replace the losses we are incurring. Will young dealers stick at it and flourish? Will new collectors enter our world? Will museums with American antique collections have the budgets and wherewithal to continue to add to their holdings, and more importantly support the scholarship that is the life blood of understanding and documenting our nation’s past?
I can only wonder.