Antiques Roadshow Films in Fargo Area for the First Time
Over two thousand people got tickets after seven thousand people applied
WEST FARGO, N.D. — Long-running PBS show Antiques Roadshow comes to the Fargo area for the first time.
Bonanzaville was transformed into a TV set bustling with camera crews as thousands of people flocked in with their most prized possessions.
Guest Paul (the show asks guests’ last names not be used) brought in a painting of his grandfather from 1947.
“We really treasure it, regardless of what the appraisal was of course we knew we’d never sell it, because it’s my grandfather. So it’s something that will be passed down in the family,” he said.
Appraisers say one thing they’re really looking for is a good story behind the antiques. That’s what Paul has; this portrait was painted by famous American painter Franz Kline.
“A giant of abstract expressionism, but not when he was painting my grandfather,” Paul said.
“Ultimately story is king, you want a great story because that’s what makes you want to watch. It’s nice when it pays off with a good value, but story is king,” executive producer Marsha Bemko said.
It’s not just about the item itself.
“The object has to be either interesting or unusual, but really the guest makes a big difference. It can be the greatest thing but if the guest isn’t enthusiastic about the piece, or maybe knows too much then it isn’t all that fun. It’s a really interesting combination of the object, the story, and the guest,” appraiser Sebastian Clarke said.
Clarke is one of dozens of appraisers, who come in from across the country and do this on a volunteer basis.
“We need to understand what we own, sometimes it’s easy, but when it isn’t, we all need help,” Bemko said.
Clarke says a common misconception is that, “a lot of people think old automatically means rare automatically valuable.”
While this is a chance for many of the show’s viewers to understand what it’s like to be in front of the camera, for the show’s creators, it’s also a chance to get a little taste of the treasures Fargo has to offer.
“You’re some of the nicest people in all 50 states, and you’re even happier than everybody else,” Bemko said.
Three episodes will come out of today’s filming, and they will air sometime in 2020.