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Reviving the Antique Market in Mt. Vernon

By Luca Mochi

I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing the minds behind the Maryland Historical Society (MdHS) Vintage Holiday Market, Margot Kopera and Leila Warshaw. We sat down in one of the many exhibits and chatted about MdHS, vintage goods, and the holiday season. Margot is the Public Programming Manager, and Leila is the Museum Store Manager, together they make an amazing team!

MdHS was founded in 1844, making it Maryland’s oldest operating cultural institution. Specializing in state history, they are preserving and protecting over 350,000 objects and seven million books and documents. MdHS is part of the Baltimore community and serves around 100,000 people through its library, museum, and educational programs.

The Vintage Holiday Market featured 6 vendors as well as the museum store which had an array of vintage antiques and consignment items. There was free entry into the “Spectrum of Fashion” exhibit, and lovely holiday singing provided by the Wilkes School choir paired with some festive drinks and treats. This was their first year putting on the Holiday Market, and I personally thought it was a success. I was able to learn a lot about material culture from the vendors as well as from Margot and Leila, and they have plans to make it even bigger next year!

What is your favorite thing about working for the Maryland Historical Society?

Margot: “We all wear multiple hats here like most museums, and we work really well together as a team. This vintage market event is a great example of that, it takes many people to put on even a small event”

Leila: “ I also love being part of an organization that encourages so much collaboration between staff members. One of my favorite things about working here is getting to see all the behind-the-scenes preparation and work that goes into each exhibition and event we put on.”

How did you come up with this event, and how did you choose your vendors?

Margot: “We are a member of the Mt Vernon community and we like to invite our neighbors in through different events and promotions to help everyone feel welcome and explore the museum. There used to be vintage markets in Mt Vernon a long time ago, and we wanted to revive that tradition while also focusing on the holiday season.”

Leila: “We wanted to make sure the dealers where all regional, and we wanted to have a range of products and price points that would appeal to everyone. To combat the idea of vintage markets being stodgy or intimidating, we gave it the theme of the holidays and allowed free admission to the Museum as well!”

Kopera, Margot; Public Programs Manager, ext. 343 [email protected]

Warshaw, Leila; Museum Store Manager, ext. 377; [email protected]


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