Purchase Story

20th Century Cincinnati Show under New Ownership

On February 25 and 26, 20th Century Cincinnati will return to the Sharonville Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Now in its 28th year, the 20th Century Cincinnati show is under new ownership by sisters and entrepreneurs Jess and Jenni Button.

Show founder Bruce Metzger was already producing and managing a schedule of monthly antiques shows at the Reading Road Armory when he decided to add an “Art Deco and 1950s show” to his winter roster. He called his new event the 20th Century Review. By 1998 the show had moved to the Museum Center at the historic Art Deco Union Terminal, where the show’s name was soon changed to 20th Century Cincinnati.

After nearly three decades of single-handedly producing the show, Metzger has decided to retire, and the Buttons have acquired the show.

“My original retirement plans were delayed for nearly two years by COVID,” explained Metzger, “but that timing has turned out to be most fortunate, as the delay brought the Buttons into the picture. After working with Jenni and Jess for the past several months to create a smooth ownership transition, I am convinced that they bring a unique combination of energy, enthusiasm, and managerial know-how that will steward this show through the coming decades.”

The sisters have experience in digital marketing, gallery management, large-scale event planning, and public art, and also have roots in the world of vintage resales, having grown up around their parent’s upscale estate sales business in Dayton, Ohio.

“Bruce has already done an incredible job of creating momentum with this show and building a really solid community and following,” said Jenni. “We’re excited to expand on that with enhanced marketing and outreach efforts.”

Jess Button lives in Cincinnati with her family and comes from a background in hospitality and event management. She has planned and executed corporate and private events of all sizes, including international conferences. Jenni Button recently moved home after 12 years in Chicago, where she worked in several galleries, including serving as gallery director for the mid-century modern furniture gallery Matthew Rachman Gallery. She was also involved in several public art programs in Chicago, including the Wabash Arts Corridor, Arts in the Dark, and the Wabash Lights, and she worked as lead curator and director of communications for AlphaBomber Productions, a mural and art production company.

The show’s tradition of annual special exhibits will continue under the Buttons’s leadership. The 2023 special exhibit will highlight the life and work of interior designer, architect, industrial designer, and artist Edgar Sforzina (1881-1941). In a short but stellar career, Sforzina designed the interiors of several major department stores and homes for celebrities, and he also played a major role in designing the interior at Cincinnati’s Union Terminal.

Admission to 20th Century Cincinnati is $10. Hours are Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be a Java Preview Saturday morning from 9 to 11, a special preview shopping period that includes complimentary coffee, tea, a juice bar, and a full weekend pass. Java Preview tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door.

For more information or to buy tickets, check the website (www.QueenCityShows.com).

Originally published in the February 2023 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2023 Maine Antique Digest

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