Visually vintage modern photography

I’m going to jump ahead a bit and talk about one of our vendors at “Spirit of the Past Antiques”.  So, let me take a couple steps back and get a running start at it.  When Debi and I determined to open an antique mall, we discussed the years of experiences we shared while shopping in antique stores and malls all over Illinois, and frankly often enough beyond this states borders.

There is no cookie cutter pattern to these types of stores.  Some are similar enough, rows and rows of booths and locking cabinets.  Huge places!  Nothing wrong with them.  Others are small, single owner brick and mortar shops battling against time and the Internet to keep a traditional, or eccentric flavor alive to those customers who visit.  Nothing wrong with them.

Merchandise ranges in these stores from a strict adherence to antique and very old vintage objects  (we know of a store where appraisers occasionally patrol the site hunting down reproductions and anything newer than 50 years old..evicting them with passion to keep the store perfectly in tune with the theme…nothing wrong with that)  to some stores which sell anything, everything, including paperback books, used microwaves, who knows but even objects sent from the future might rest shoulder to shoulder with things from the past!  This isn’t my cup of tea…but for others I guess, nothing wrong with that.

So, as we considered our experiences and created a concept for our store, we came up with two distinct ideas.  First, our lease states, “Thirty years old, or older, or with permission.”  And that is true, and also sounds very strict in the sense that “permission” seems like possibly a rare occurrence.  Then again, our second idea became our definition of “permission”.  Of course, antiques and vintage items, but with them artisans and amazing things.  Antiques, Artisans, and Amazing things.

We will strive to sell antiques, with no reproductions, as much as we can possibly enforce.  The occasional piece, and we have one now that I know of, that is a reproduction will be labeled as such.  (A replica of an African Antelope bust…traditional African wood art.  It’s too neat to disallow, too “amazing”.

We will recognize that Artisans serve a purpose in the “Spirit of the Past”, representing skills and abilities both rare and deserved of appreciation.  Not as being old, but being from the “old ways” of individual attention and craftsmanship.  We make no apologies that some of our dealers will be exhibiting products of this type.  We relish it.  Our store is big enough for both antiques and the occasional artisan.

And of course I described the “Amazing thing”, something that just can’t be compared to a paperback book, or a used microwave…something unique..neat…amazing.  Yes, we want items like that in our store.

Antiques, Artisans, and Amazing things…our concept, and in light of the variety of products found in antique stores and malls everywhere…there can’t be anything wrong with this, either.

So, I’d like to introduce a very special vendor in our store.  Sandra Rae art & photography!  Readers can find a link to her website on this website.  Or if tired of my rambling…go to

Her display in “Spirit of the Past Antiques” includes stunning photography done in what she accurately describes as a “visually vintage” modern photography method.  Each amazing photograph is personally signed by her…and in our opinion, she is creating work which will one day be recognized by persons for the quality and alluring artistic creations that they are!  We are excited to have her work on display!

It reminds me of an experience I had once some twenty plus years ago.  I’d traveled alone to Sharpsburg, Maryland to tour the Antietam Battlefield.  Being the kind of guy I am, I wormed my way into a walking tour being given by a high school history teacher who had happened to write a book on the battle, “Antietam, the Soldier’s Battle”.  He was selling his books from the trunk of his car.  I bought one, he signed it, “John M. Priest”.  Some years later I saw him being interviewed on the “History Channel”, not such an unknown writer anymore!

Such as that, I believe people will be surprised when they see Sandra’s work.  I highlight her here as our other dealers stock product expected in an antique mall, her photo’s are unique…surprising.  But I believe someday folk will not only stop in to shop for antiques and find “visually vintage modern photography”…but, some will soon be stopping in to shop for the photos, and find antiques as well!

Sandra is a local artist…just starting out.  Stop in “Spirit of the Past Antiques” and look for her work.  It is…from an Artisan, and amazing!

So, while Debi and I will strive to maintain our idea of a very special store…expect to find among the many antiques and vintage items a very talented artisan, (more than one and more on that later), and some amazing things!




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