New Project Volunteer Researchers – introducing Graham Panico

I forgot to mention, before I came away on this extended research trip to the USA, that we have a new project volunteer – Graham Panico. I met Graham a few weeks ago at the Dorman Museum in Middlesbrough, and he has enthusiastically stepped forward to help with the research for the project!…Thank you Graham!

By way of introduction, here is a short biography on Graham – (we hope that Graham will compose a blog entry – he mentioned something on the significance of Antique Fairs, which would be fascinating….)


‘Graham, as a young undergraduate, discovered the world of Art Deco and the associated ceramics of its British variation – at a time in the early 1980’s when the style was experiencing a renewed popularity amongst those collectors and dealers ‘in the know’ and aware of its emerging and growing market. He began to collect hand-decorated, but mass-produced, examples of pottery and other Art Deco objects that could be found in shops and at flea markets and fairs all across the North East of England and having graduated in 1985, his growing collection formed the basis of an initial opening stock as he began to deal, like many collectors before him, in 20th Century Decorative Art later that year.

Having opened his first shop within an Antiques Centre in Darlington in 1986 Graham moved to larger premises in 1987. This allowed an expansion into furniture and furnishings and a wider eventual dateline applied to the stock which traversed the Gothic Revival of the 19th Century to the post-modernism of the 1980s and was supported by a varied customer base of private collectors and trade buyers until 2005. From 2006 the skills and knowledge Graham accrued in a retail context have increasingly been applied in academic environments and he has taught on the contextual studies modules of various undergraduate programmes in the North East and in London. He considers the business of dealing in design to be a very flexible one and since the closure of his shop, Graham has continued to sell antiques, art and 20th Century design via specialist fairs, through auction and occasionally online.’

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