Saturday, December 31, 2016

Mary Emmerling Comes to Town

Book Signing & Special Guest                            
Photo: David Meredith
Mary Emmerling 
Fort Worth Show
    of Antiques & Art
March 3,4,5, 2017

Imagine this: I am sitting my office in New York, planning my very first antique show. It was called “Country Comes to Town.” My idea was to bring in 50 rough and rowdy non-urban dealers into the very urbane upper East Side of Manhattan for great stuff and great prices---and for a great cause.

My mentor, Irene Stella, said: “Jan, call Mary Emmerling. She is doing some new things. Maybe she would come to the show.” In the New York Times I had seen Mary Emmerling’s row of cowboy boots in her high rise apartment. I had even been a fan when she worked at Mademoiselle Magazine. She was running an American antiques store on Lexington Avenue and she understood  “Country Comes to Town” all right.

So I called Mary and she answered, a little sleepily –did I wake her up? I told her about the show. She was so gracious. She couldn’t come then, but she wished me luck and said she would like to come another time.

Fast forward 25+ years, and Mary Emmerling is coming to the Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art on March 3,4,5, 2017. During the years in between she became one of the most successful and loved design leaders, a champion in the world of antiques and a powerful muse for all who would learn the great design gift: Mix it Up! Her career includes helping to shape House Beautiful and Country Home Magazines, as well her own Mary Emmerling’s Country Magazine, an HGTV show –and perhaps a little known venture: Antiques Extra.  I’m a true fan and still have most of these now rare and rarified issues.
Photo: Jeremy Samuelson

What made them special? Her down-to-earth, interesting, light-hearted approach to enjoying your home---her sense of the value and style of a simple country table, alongside an Eames chair with a little leopard fabric thrown in. 

Over 30 top-selling books later, Mary will sign copies of her new book, Eclectic Country, which brings together formal, industrial, Mid-Century Modern with primitives. She will have a booth at the Fort  Worth Show on Friday, Saturday and Sunday March 3,4,5, 2017. Book-signings will start at noon daily. Mary will also offer a selection of her other titles and merchandise she has collected to sell.

The first half of the new book tells Mary’s own story of growing up an east coast Yankee and falling in love with the American West, not to mention her own cowboy. The second half of the book showcases 6 homes in the Round Top, Texas area that span generations and bring Mary’s love of  mixing it up into a fresh look for today. The homes range from The Vintage Round Top to Rachel Ashwell’s The Prairie.

As Mary puts it: “In the late 1990s I was the Creative Director for Country Home Magazine. We started with country, cleaning it up, making it creative to inspire young people to start collecting. Then we started adding in mid-century modern chairs and contemporary accents to liven things up. And then everyone else started copying us. The new book tells that story, plus I wanted to add a fun factor to decorating. Eclectic is fun and it includes a focus on younger shoppers and home-owners.”  

The book features several exhibitors in the Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art: Neck Collections by Polly Hitt, John Petty Antiques, A Wilder Place in Time, Utopia and Lizzie Lou. It also credits Rollen Hills Moving & Delivery, on-site delivery and shipping company for the Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art.
Mary, Wendy Lane & Della Orr-Harter

Over the intervening years, Mary befriended me at antique shows from Santa Fe to Nashville to Marburger Farm. She identified with my goal of traveling in the antiques business with a baby, Miss Della, who traveled with me until she started school. Even now you might find Della starring in an episode of Flea Market Warriors or doing photography and social media for The Fort Worth Show or skipping school to help me at a Country Living Fair. (We only skip a little.)

 So it is with a full heart that my family welcomes Mary and her husband Reg Jackson to Fort Worth, coming full circle, yet staying fresh and fun. Isn’t that the secret to everything?

Meet Mary Emmerling at The Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art on March 3,4,5, 2017. Mary will be in her book signing booth starting at noon each show day. 

Tickets are available at the show at the Will Rogers Memorial Center or in advance at  

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