The SF Fall Art & Antique Show, Fort Mason Center
The Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture plays hosts every year to the San Francisco Fall Art and Antique Show. I’ve been lucky to attend two years in a row now. The event spans a long weekend, including a series of lectures and book signings. Vendors transform Fort Mason’s largest Festival Pavilion into rows of small living rooms and art galleries.
Fort Mason was an Army post for over 100 years. It was established in the 1860s and played an important role in World War II with its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. In the 1970s the National Park Service took over control of the site. The historic site is currently run by a nonprofit that supports Bay Area arts.The upper part of the Fort is a mix of old officer houses and public parks. The lower part, including the Festival Pavilion, is a mix of uses within the old warehouse buildings including galleries, performance spaces, theaters, restaurants and book stores. The setting is hard to top! The old red roofed piers jut out into the bay, with large windows for panoramic views of Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.
We arrived at the Antique Show early Saturday morning to see Maureen Foote’s lecture “Haute Couture and High Design: The Intimate Partnership of Fashion and the Decorative Arts.” The subject seemed too perfect for my own blog and interests to miss! Ms. Foote focused on Christian Dior and his two decorators Victor Grandpierre and George Geffroy, the subject of her new book: Dior and His Decorators. I learned that Dior had himself wanted to be an architect but his parents didn’t think it was an appropriate occupation! He instead created ethereal frocks and gowns over solid, structured underpinnings – a work of architecture in their own way. Grandpierre and Geffroy were central in developing the Dior brand, as we know it today – timeless French elegance. I’m excited to dig further into her book to learn more about the great French Couturier and his influences.
After the lecture we attended the Institute of Classical Art and Architecture luncheon, honoring Charlotte Moss. The luncheon took place in the raised back portion of the pavilion that overlooks the bay. It was a gorgeous Saturday afternoon and picturesque sailboats kept passing by the windows. Happily full with a delicious lunch, Dennis and I had fun window shopping with some of my coworkers and browsing the different displays. We then all headed to the Interval, a fun, funky bar/café/library/museum to grab a drink. Next to the Interval is Greens Restaurant (a vegetarian restaurant that’s been on my bucket list for a while) and Radhaus (a German restaurant) which just opened.
I’m always struck by how adaptive and flexible the Fort Mason Center is. It’s host to formal art installations and antique shows but also craft markets (mark your calendar for next weekend’s West Coast Craft Fair!), as well as weddings! On Friday evenings during the summer Off The Grid (a food truck market) takes over the parking lot. And on Sunday mornings there is a popular farmers market. Dennis has fond memories of summer camp at the children’s theater that is also located in one of the Center’s buildings. It’s an incredible asset to the city and I love seeing what is coming there next! - Rebecca