Our Town’s Newest A-List Social Event . . .

Chicago Antiques + Art + Design Show



Elissa Kovas, Meredith Wood-Prince and Jenny McKinney of The Northwestern Memorial Hospital Woman’s Board were co-chairs of the 2018 Chicago Antiques + Art + Design Show Opening Night party.




 By Megan McKinney



The Chicago Antiques + Art + Design Show has quickly established itself as a major A-List Chicago social event on the spring calendar. Again, for the second year, the force behind the stunning new version of the show was Dolphin Promotions, powered by the energies of President Rosemary Krieger and Media Director Gordon Merkle.


Dolphin Promotions President Rosemary Krieger, right, with Media Director Gordon Merkle.


The 2018 component catapulting the show further over the top was the Opening Night party sponsored by The Woman’s Board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, with Elissa Kovas, Jenny McKinney and Meredith Wood-Prince at the helm. Members of this powerful organization brought both glamour and serious connoisseurship to the event. And lending additional pizzazz and authority to the evening were two of the nation’s leading interior designers: New York’s Nick Olsen and Ruthie Chapman Sommers of Los Angeles. In addition, North Shore interior designer Stephanie McKean is the NMH Woman’s Board president.


National glamour and expertise were brought to the 2018 Chicago Antiques + Art + Design Show from Los Angeles by Ruthie Chapman Sommers and from New York through the talents of Nick Olsen.


The Opening Night party, benefiting programs of the Woman’s Board on behalf of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, afforded more than 375 guests, including serious collectors, the opportunity to shop the show before the public. The formidable field of participants included 80 premier national and international exhibitors presenting fine antique furniture and decorative and fine arts from the 17th through 20th centuries.


An added temptation to acquire some of the show’s treasures was the enviable endorsement of the two design chairs, an inducement understandably coveted by dealers.


Early arrivals gathered at the entrance of the show, which stretched over the vast seventh floor of the Merchandise Mart.


An additional view of the socializing that was a part of the early evening as Woman’s Board members and other guests began arriving and catching up.


  Many guests were well-known experts in fine furniture and the visual arts. John Fornengo, with Catherine Melvin, lives surrounded by exquisite interior design in a notably handsome Gold Coast house.


Another guest with an exceptional eye was River North pioneer Isobel Neal, center. Her Isobel Neal Gallery at Superior and Wells was a trailblazing presence in Chicago’s late 20th century art community. With her are her son, Langdon Neal, and daughter-in-law Jeanette Sublett, a Woman’s Board member.


Real estate broker Tom Gorman and popular writer and TV personality Bill Zwecker were early arrivals. Tom’s interior design background is an immense asset to real estate clients whom he guides in visualizing how a property can be tailored to individual needs.


Beth Hughes and Stuart Dyer Mesires are both Woman’s Board members. Stuart, who has been a popular Classic Chicago columnist, is an expert in mid-20th century fashion. Her distinctive writing on the subject—an area in which she also deals—can be found by “surfing” the Classic Chicago Archives for her column, Vintage Vantage.


Jean and Victor Elting, left, were guests of Charles and Joan Moore. Joan is immediate past president of the Woman’s Board.


Jonathan Beck, Emily Pence, Tyler Neal and Juan Pablo Castillo were another attractive group at the Opening Night party.


MacKenzie Purcell, Caitlin Hough and Caroline Dolan took advantage of the ample accommodations for guests to rest as they made their rounds.


Amy Davidson and Natalie and Scott Rempala were all in from Lake Forest for the evening.


  Tim and Stephanie Knight were another pair of Lake Foresters among the many at the party. 


Meaghan Benjamin, Alexis Ross and Amy Walsh joined co-chair Meredith Wood-Prince for a few minutes of relaxation.


Kim Meardon, Sophie Goodwillie, Sally Brown Thilman, Leslie Martin and Katie Kirkley stopped for a moment to pose for one of the two fig media inc. photographers who documented the party.


Clay Maxfield and Miranda Luce.


Susan Merlin and Kate Kelliher.


Karen McEniry, Jamee Field Kane and Mary Kay Bushonville.


 Cathy Busch, Joan Moore and Whitley Bouma Herbert.


Co-chair Jennifer McKinney, Ashley Fischer, Chrissy Davis and Lacy Storino, all of Lake Forest.


Shawna Owen and Cathy Busch.


Jaala Good and Eileen Murphy.


Lauren Peters, Peter Crowe and Chrissy Davis.


Coco Meers.


  Sarah Schrup and Suzette Bulley are both active Woman’s Board members.



Wrapping up our report on an amazing evening: Above are four of those who made the event possible, Rosemary Krieger, president of Dolphin Promotions, and the evening’s co-chairs Meredith Wood-Prince, Jenny McKinney and Elissa Kovas of The Northwestern Memorial Hospital Woman’s Board.



Photo Credit:

fig media inc.


Author Photo:

Robert F. Carl