February 10, 2009 | “Follow the money.” What was good advice for Woodward and Bernstein is equally useful guidance for the antiques collector. When Henry Morrison Flagler established Palm Beach as a winter haven for Gilded Age society, important furnishings and art were sure to follow. And so they did.
February sees the annual Palm Beach Jewelry, Art, and Antique Show, and those who attend the exhibition at the area’s convention center should visit local galleries as well. Two areas merit special attention. The first is Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, the city’s luxury shopping strip. Laid out in the 1920s by the architect Addison Mizner, it is still an enclave of opulence, with its arcaded blocks and wide side alleys. Alongside Hermès, Gucci, Armani, and other lavish retailers are a clutch of antiques shops and art galleries that offer works of great interest.
The second area lies inland, across the lagoon of Lake Worth, in the city of West Palm Beach. There, some fifty antiques dealers have set up shop, most of them along a stretch of Route A1A (South Dixie Highway). Lined with strip shopping centers, it is not pretty—at least on the exterior. But inside the stores, antiques lovers will find some of the most exquisite and eclectic inventories around. We mention only a few of our favorite galleries here—most located on a walkable three-block stretch of A1A—but encourage you to explore farther afield in both Palm Beaches.
Map of West Palm Beach (click markers for info)
Map of Worth Avenue (click markers for info)