I started collecting when I was a kid – I would go to the local thrift stores and buy beautiful depression glass, and anything art deco. As a teenager I wore vintage 40s and 50s dresses along with rhinestone hair clips and ankle strap shoes (if only I had kept it all). Thus, my passion for style started as a young girl and endures. My love of the arts started as a young child. My Mother took me to every art museum, historical institute, ballet and stage play that came to town. I can still see the huge stone lions at the entrance of the Art Institute of Chicago waiting for me to come in and see the Van Goghs, Morisots and Monets.
In the 70s my thing was fringe jackets, patchouli oil and ripped jeans. Oh, and lots of beads – beads everywhere…on the jacket, in the hair, around the neck. This evolved into a love for Yves St Laurent’s tunic pant suits and DVF wrap dresses – I lived in them, with Charles Jourdan heels. The late 70s brought Bowie and Glam Rock which precipitated wearing glitter everything – make-up, clothes, platform shoes. My favourite art of this period were the psychedelic posters done for the rock stars and their concerts (the originals go for a fortune at auction today). The Filmore posters were the best , and yes, I had a black light and a Jimi Hendrix poster. I still love the 70s best, as it was the most imaginative and creative period yet. Andy Warhol is still my favourite.
The 80s brought Punk and New Wave – all hail Vivienne Westwood! These were the days of customized leather jackets. We would put badges and buttons of every kind on our jackets, and decorate them with studs and spikes.I used to wear Asian vintage cheongsams or little Asian pant suits with cropped pants (the leather jacket over of course). CBGBs was the place to go, and I was there – every night, with the likes of Blondie and The Ramones. I loved the 80s for the incessant energy it possessed, it was pure excitement. This energy produced punk artists like Basquiat, Haring, Fishl, and the like.
I spent most of the 90s in Asia and Australia, which brought a deep appreciation for Chinese arts and crafts. I love Indonesian Shadow puppets (the work on them is truly astonishing), and Chinese antiques. The patience possessed by an antique Chinese work of art is something to admire (and aspire to). Grunge music and fashion was a poor excuse for punk, and had no vibrance. However, the new romantic look emerged, which I love and will always love. It has a vintage feel, the frock coats in velvets, silk and lace. Thus emerged the techno romantic music (as I call it) and Depeche Mode, the Cure, which I still love.
In the 2000s I moved to Florida, the endless summer. Driving is tedious, as the retiree in front of you is going 25 mph in a 40 mph zone in a huge SUV they cannot really drive. When I first moved here, there wasn’t even a health food store (now there are many), and organic foods were hard to find. All the art fairs have poorly painted pineapples and fishes, and handmade aluminum earrings (ugh). However, for us collector types, it is a heaven, as everybody has too much stuff from all the aforementioned eras. Everybody, period.
I started doing online auctions in 2012. My favorite part of the process is curating an auction. I get to express myself in the things I love. Each has its own aspect of beauty – whether it’s a vintage teapot or a 60s tea dress. Each is an expression of a time and communicates that. I never put things up for auction that I do not find beautiful in some way. That is probably not the greatest business policy – but it works for me. I know if I love it, someone else will, as an aesthetic quality communicates greater than anything else. I truly hope you like my choices, and of course bid like crazy all of them (lol).
Owner of Terri Aronson Auctions