A post that I did on the passing of Richard Wright in early March asked a question that a not-yet 20-year old site visitor named Frank Merante of Francis Clay Antiques answered in an email to me. His note gives me hope that there is a glimmer of a generation coming that is as passionate about collecting as those of the past.
I was browsing your site and read the lines “His passing has made me pause to wonder, like our world’s natural resources, are we losing all our “intellectual resources” in the antique industry at an irreplaceable rate? Who is in today’s generation of emerging experts?”
I am under 20 years old and have always been infatuated with antiques and art. From a young age I have gone to museums, estate sales, antique stores, and auctions every weekend. Often times getting dropped off by parents and spending the entire day until I got a car. People usually do not take me seriously as I am “just a kid” but I have found and successfully corrected mistakes in museums such as the Frick in Manhattan and served as a consultant for auctions. In addition I sell anywhere from 10 to 40 items a week on ebay, work at a local antique store, and as an interior decorator. Next year I am going to Europe to study art history and conservation for the next four to six years. I have turned my passion and knowledge into a more than successful part time job, making enough to buy my self a c-class mercedes at 17 and meeting countless friends along the way, including curators at the MET.
There is a younger generation out there, but unfortunately your words may ring true. I don’t think there are enough people like me to replace all the “intellectual resources” in this field.
Frank is pictured above with the Keno brothers and can be reached at FrancisClayAntiques@gmail.com