Downsizing is one of the major trends in real estate as older Americans have less ability and sometimes little desire to manage large homes.
They quickly discover that too much stuff has collected over too many years. And the younger generations don’t want it. So it gets donated.
Out of that trend is born The Modern Show on May 13-14, presented by the Center for Architecture Sarasota.
“We had a couple of donors say they were downsizing, and, ‘Could we give you a couple pieces of furniture?’ We started hearing that more and more,” said Cindy Peterson, board chairman of CFAS. “We thought, wow, what an opportunity to educate the community on these modern pieces, and at the same time provide access if someone wanted to purchase them.”
To meet that opportunity, Peterson came up with the idea of a showcase of donated modernist furniture and accessories that would double as a fundraiser for the nonprofit CFAS.
“We all love our modern furniture and would like to pass them on to someone else who would like a classic modern piece,” Peterson said. “And it provides us funding. Any good nonprofit needs to have a plan for financial sustainability. The Modern Show is an opportunity for us to provide that necessary funding for the important programs we do year-round.”
The furniture show and sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at CFAS’ McCulloch Pavilion 265 S. Orange Ave., Sarasota. Admission is free and open to the public.
But there is more to The Modern Show. On Saturday, four experts in modern interiors and furnishings will speak in the CFAS lecture hall. A midcentury fashion show ($10) is on the agenda at 11 a.m., and a food truck will sell lunch items.
From 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, The Modern Show will feature two afternoon home tours and an evening cocktail reception featuring keynote speaker Dick Geary. His topic: “Paul Rudolph Interiors: An Overview.”
“With Rudolph and others, we realized there was a lot that could be discussed and studied” about midcentury interiors, and not just the outside of buildings, Peterson said.
From the idea of a used furniture sale, The Modern Show “morphed into exploring what modernism is,” Peterson added. “CFAS is about the exploration of architecture, no matter what era, and about how design is crucial in our everyday lives in how it impacts us in the built environment.”
The event is a coming-full-circle of sorts because the furniture showcase will be held in a modernist building that opened in 1960 as the Berkus furniture store.
“We focused on that historical reference,” Peterson said, “and how could we educate and add to the scholarship of modern interiors. It is a nice parallel that we are bringing it back to its modern roots.”
The event has posed a special challenge for CFAS personnel: verifying the authenticity of the donated furniture.
Many hours of research have been spent on this, said CFAS board member Sandra Timpson Motto. “In many cases, we’re not claiming it; we’re saying, as far as we know, it was either a prototype or a licensed copy. Manufacturers are very sensitive to this, so we are doing everything we can to make sure we are claiming it is what it is, and not what it isn’t.”
“We issued a call for donations, and lo and behold, we got some magnificent pieces that are just stunning, that people have been waiting for a good cause to donate them to,” Peterson said.
For additional information and registration, go online to TheModernShow.com.