Antiques News & Fairs
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ANF Blog

FAIR LADIES - MADELEINE WILLIAMS, THE BADA FAIR

 

In our continuing series Fair Ladies, we talk to Madeleine Williams, Fair Manager of The BADA Fair during the run up to her debut opening on 9 March 2016.


ANF: Do you think your former roles at The Guardian and the V&A have been useful in equipping you to run one of the country’s premier antiques fairs?

MW: Yes, I feel all of my past roles have equipped me with useful skills for taking on this challenge. As one of the world’s leading media organisations, the Guardian was a fast-paced and dynamic working environment where effective marketing was a key element of the role. Whilst the V&A is the world’s greatest museum of art and design therefore creativity and an eye for detail were of paramount importance in everything we did. Early on in my career I also managed events for the CLA, many of which were held at county fairs which prepared me for the weather related difficulties you can experience in temporary events spaces.

ANF: BADA dealers cover a wide range of disciplines at the top of the trade – there must have been as much to learn about the exhibitors as the running of the Fair?

MW: That is the part I have enjoyed most about the job. Being an art history graduate it is brilliant to once again be working in the art and antiques world.

ANF: Having said that, with the Gordon Russell - a Legacy of Design main loan exhibition and 3 other talks Integrity and Reform: the Aesthetic Movement to Arts & Crafts (c.1860 –1890)’ 'A Certain Space: Susan Angharad Williams in Conversation with Jonathan Cooper', 'Parish Church Treasures' with Dr John Goodall, Architectural Editor, Country Life and the Gala Dinner to oversee, you are currently in the eye of the storm – do you find it easy to delegate to your team?

MW: I have a fantastic team supporting me across the Fair, who are all eager to take on their own projects. The events programme at the Fair is something I would like to look at growing. Each year we create a beautifully unique events space in the heart of Chelsea and I want to see it being fully utilised as a space to entertain in, with a brilliant talks programme to attract a varied audience.

ANF: The charity for the Gala dinner is Marie Curie, a hugely popular charity.  Is the choice of a charity for this prestigious event a committee decision – it must be a very hard decision when there are so many to choose from?

MW: Yes, each year the Committee selects the charity they would like to support. It is an incredibly difficult task as we are approached by many brilliant charities doing fantastic work. We try to ensure we support a different cause each year.

ANF: This is the first year that the Fair has partnered with London Design Week – how would you describe the synergy between the two events?

MW: Partnering with London Design Week this year has been a great opportunity for us to highlight the importance of design within the Fair. The objects our dealers showcase have stood the test of time and that is due to the quality of their design and craftsmanship. Both the BADA Fair and London Design Week embody the same values of quality, authenticity and exquisite design, and with both events running concurrently it gives visitors to Chelsea the perfect opportunity to find quality interiors inspiration from trusted sources.

ANF: Are you a collector and what would be your dream object from one of the exhibitors this year?

MW: I love collecting fashion books – when I was about ten my mother brought me a beautiful book on Chanel and I have treasured it ever since. My time at the V&A helped to grow my collection, with so many brilliant speakers from the fashion world, each time there was a book signing I just couldn’t help myself! With that in mind one of my dream objects would be a fashion illustration from Gray M.C.A. One I particularly like which will feature at this year’s Fair is ‘Model with Black Glove’ by Rene Gruau. I think it is so beautiful in its simplicity, it amazes me how he can communicate such grace and elegance with just a few lines.


Gray Modern & Contemporary Art

Gray M.C.A. ‘Model with Black Glove’ by Rene Gruau.


ANF: Gillian Craig organised the BADA Fair for 23 years - what has been the most challenging part of taking over from such a seasoned organiser?

MW: Gillian and I had a great two months working together however it is impossible to transfer 23 years’ experience from one mind to another in any timeframe. Gillian’s wealth of knowledge and experience from running the Fair for that length of time is something that unfortunately will only come with time.

ANF: How much has the Fair been affected by the expansion of the BADA membership into the US?

MW: BADA has allowed a few leading dealers from the US to join the Association. They’ve been attracted by the reputation that BADA and BADA members have for expertise and integrity in the fine art, design and antique industry. I know that some of these members are hoping to join the BADA Fair next year. The BADA Fair attracts a growing community of buyers, collectors and designers from overseas.

The trade is increasingly global which means it is ever more important for BADA to reach new audiences, both for the association and for our members, so expansion has definitely been a very positive development for the Fair.

ANF: Are there any plans are in place yet for the Fair to celebrate the BADA’s imminent centenary anniversary?

MW: We are all very excited about BADA’s centenary in 2018 and preliminary preparations for our celebrations are well underway. My main priority at present is this year’s Fair but once the doors close on March 15 I look forward to getting involved in the planning of the centenary programme.

ANF: Organising a fair and joining the BADA at a time of great excitement and change with the new CEO, Marco Forgione, the move to new headquarters and the centenary on the horizon, how do you manage to unwind and relax – if you do!

MW: Currently all of my time is focused on the Fair, but if I get a free afternoon I love escaping the city for a country walk. Alternatively, if I find myself city bound I’ll visit one of my favourite galleries or an exhibition. I am desperate to try and fit in a visit to the Royal Academy’s Painting the Modern Garden before it closes in April.

BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair



Antiques News Blog

FAIR LADIES - MADELEINE WILLIAMS, THE BADA FAIR

 

In our continuing series Fair Ladies, we talk to Madeleine Williams, Fair Manager of The BADA Fair during the run up to her debut opening on 9 March 2016.


ANF: Do you think your former roles at The Guardian and the V&A have been useful in equipping you to run one of the country’s premier antiques fairs?

MW: Yes, I feel all of my past roles have equipped me with useful skills for taking on this challenge. As one of the world’s leading media organisations, the Guardian was a fast-paced and dynamic working environment where effective marketing was a key element of the role. Whilst the V&A is the world’s greatest museum of art and design therefore creativity and an eye for detail were of paramount importance in everything we did. Early on in my career I also managed events for the CLA, many of which were held at county fairs which prepared me for the weather related difficulties you can experience in temporary events spaces.

ANF: BADA dealers cover a wide range of disciplines at the top of the trade – there must have been as much to learn about the exhibitors as the running of the Fair?

MW: That is the part I have enjoyed most about the job. Being an art history graduate it is brilliant to once again be working in the art and antiques world.

ANF: Having said that, with the Gordon Russell - a Legacy of Design main loan exhibition and 3 other talks Integrity and Reform: the Aesthetic Movement to Arts & Crafts (c.1860 –1890)’ 'A Certain Space: Susan Angharad Williams in Conversation with Jonathan Cooper', 'Parish Church Treasures' with Dr John Goodall, Architectural Editor, Country Life and the Gala Dinner to oversee, you are currently in the eye of the storm – do you find it easy to delegate to your team?

MW: I have a fantastic team supporting me across the Fair, who are all eager to take on their own projects. The events programme at the Fair is something I would like to look at growing. Each year we create a beautifully unique events space in the heart of Chelsea and I want to see it being fully utilised as a space to entertain in, with a brilliant talks programme to attract a varied audience.

ANF: The charity for the Gala dinner is Marie Curie, a hugely popular charity.  Is the choice of a charity for this prestigious event a committee decision – it must be a very hard decision when there are so many to choose from?

MW: Yes, each year the Committee selects the charity they would like to support. It is an incredibly difficult task as we are approached by many brilliant charities doing fantastic work. We try to ensure we support a different cause each year.

ANF: This is the first year that the Fair has partnered with London Design Week – how would you describe the synergy between the two events?

MW: Partnering with London Design Week this year has been a great opportunity for us to highlight the importance of design within the Fair. The objects our dealers showcase have stood the test of time and that is due to the quality of their design and craftsmanship. Both the BADA Fair and London Design Week embody the same values of quality, authenticity and exquisite design, and with both events running concurrently it gives visitors to Chelsea the perfect opportunity to find quality interiors inspiration from trusted sources.

ANF: Are you a collector and what would be your dream object from one of the exhibitors this year?

MW: I love collecting fashion books – when I was about ten my mother brought me a beautiful book on Chanel and I have treasured it ever since. My time at the V&A helped to grow my collection, with so many brilliant speakers from the fashion world, each time there was a book signing I just couldn’t help myself! With that in mind one of my dream objects would be a fashion illustration from Gray M.C.A. One I particularly like which will feature at this year’s Fair is ‘Model with Black Glove’ by Rene Gruau. I think it is so beautiful in its simplicity, it amazes me how he can communicate such grace and elegance with just a few lines.


Gray Modern & Contemporary Art

Gray M.C.A. ‘Model with Black Glove’ by Rene Gruau.


ANF: Gillian Craig organised the BADA Fair for 23 years - what has been the most challenging part of taking over from such a seasoned organiser?

MW: Gillian and I had a great two months working together however it is impossible to transfer 23 years’ experience from one mind to another in any timeframe. Gillian’s wealth of knowledge and experience from running the Fair for that length of time is something that unfortunately will only come with time.

ANF: How much has the Fair been affected by the expansion of the BADA membership into the US?

MW: BADA has allowed a few leading dealers from the US to join the Association. They’ve been attracted by the reputation that BADA and BADA members have for expertise and integrity in the fine art, design and antique industry. I know that some of these members are hoping to join the BADA Fair next year. The BADA Fair attracts a growing community of buyers, collectors and designers from overseas.

The trade is increasingly global which means it is ever more important for BADA to reach new audiences, both for the association and for our members, so expansion has definitely been a very positive development for the Fair.

ANF: Are there any plans are in place yet for the Fair to celebrate the BADA’s imminent centenary anniversary?

MW: We are all very excited about BADA’s centenary in 2018 and preliminary preparations for our celebrations are well underway. My main priority at present is this year’s Fair but once the doors close on March 15 I look forward to getting involved in the planning of the centenary programme.

ANF: Organising a fair and joining the BADA at a time of great excitement and change with the new CEO, Marco Forgione, the move to new headquarters and the centenary on the horizon, how do you manage to unwind and relax – if you do!

MW: Currently all of my time is focused on the Fair, but if I get a free afternoon I love escaping the city for a country walk. Alternatively, if I find myself city bound I’ll visit one of my favourite galleries or an exhibition. I am desperate to try and fit in a visit to the Royal Academy’s Painting the Modern Garden before it closes in April.

BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair