Mid-century modern furniture, lighting exhibition this weekend at convention center

Collectors and lovers of all things mid-century modern won’t want to miss the 20th Century Cincinnati show, which will be headed to the Queen City area this weekend.

“We are putting in a lot of effort into marketing the show this year, and we are very excited about the response, and the amount of people who already know about the show or who have attended it for years. It’s exciting to be a part of it,” said Jenni Button, one of the two new owners of the show.

Now in its 28th year, 20th Century Cincinnati will return to the Sharonville Convention Center on from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

There will be a Java Preview event from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday. A Java Preview ticket is required. Java Preview tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door. Those who attend the preview event will get a first look at items and may make purchases during that time.

More than 50 dealers will offer countless vintage items over the course of the two-day event. Attendees can expect to find a wide variety of antique furniture, décor, and lighting as well as paintings, sculptures, pottery, dinnerware, jewelry, clothing, pop culture memorabilia and more.

Founded by Bruce Metzger in the mid-1990s, the show has been described as “one of the best modern design shows in the country.” After three decades of producing the show, Metzger has decided to retire. Sisters and entrepreneurs Jenni Button and her sister, Jess Button, who began as admirers of the event, recently became the new owners.

“It’s been amazing. My background is in global event planning and hospitality, and Jenni managed a Mid-Century gallery in Chicago. Then, we also own Vine Collaborative, which is a boutique marketing agency. So, our skills have just been great to get into this. It’s been really exciting, and it’s something that we both enjoy,” said Jess Button.

Growing up around their parent’s estate sales business in Dayton, the duo has also experienced vintage resales. The Button’s had previously participated in the 20th Century Cincinnati show at various times, and they made it a family event. Under the sister’s ownership, the show will boast an additional title as one of the largest women-owned Modernist trade shows in the country.

“When this opportunity presented itself, like Jess said, with our skill sets being such a perfect marriage, this just made so much sense. I worked in a Mid-Century Modern furniture gallery that also housed contemporary artwork, and I helped to create the art program for the gallery … So, I was familiar with the Mid-Century scene from that. I also worked in several other galleries in Chicago. Then, with Jess and I’s background working with our parents, it almost seemed too perfect,” added Jenni Button.

20th Century Cincinnati’s tradition of featuring a special exhibit each year will continue under the Button’s leadership. The idea for the exhibit is to showcase the different aspects of design. The 2023 exhibit will highlight the life and work of Edgar Sforzina, an artist, architect and designer, who was an innovator of Art Deco

Sforzina designed the interiors of several major department stores and celebrity homes. He also played a major role in designing the interior of Union Terminal. Admission to the special exhibit is free and open to the public and it is made possible through a partnership with the Art Deco Society of Washington D.C.

People from across the country have traveled to Cincinnati to attend the show. Historically, the event has attracted about 3,000 attendees over the course of the two-day event.

How to go

What: 20th Century Cincinnati

When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Road, Sharonville

Admission: $10. Tickets are available for purchase at www.QueenCityShows.com, or at the door during the show.

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