Antiques Dealers Association of America


!! Friday, November 5, 2021 at 6 pm at The Delaware Antiques Show, Chase Center on the Riverfront, 815 Justison St, Wilmington, DE 19801 !!

On Friday, November 5th, 2021, from 6pm-8pm, the Antiques Dealers’ Association of America, Inc. will present the 2020/2021 ADA Award of Merit to Karen DiSaia & the late Ralph DiSaia for their constant work to empower antiques dealers to always be at their best, and promote the antiques business at the highest and most professional level to collectors, friends, enthusiasts, museum professionals, and scholars across the country. Karen DiSaia will accept this award on the couple’s behalf. This award recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to the fields of American fine and decorative arts and the business of buying and selling antiques. The DiSaias are among an elite group of awardees who have been honored in the organization’s thirty-seven year history.

Over their nearly 39-year marriage, Karen and Ralph DiSaia developed and operated Oriental Rugs Ltd., a nationally known source for fine antique Oriental rugs and carpets. Active on the antiques show circuit from its inception, Oriental Rugs Ltd. currently exhibits at events in Washington, DC; Hartford, CT; Newport, RI; Manchester, NH; and Wilmington, DE. The DiSaias also maintained shops in Mystic, Old Lyme and Niantic, CT.

A related business, DiSaia Management, grew out of the couple’s sustained experience as exhibitors and deep commitment to volunteerism. DiSaia Management, which along with Oriental Rugs Ltd. is continued by Karen, manages, singly or with partners, the Washington Winter Show, Objects of Desire, the Connecticut Spring Show, the Antique Garden Furniture Fair, the Philadelphia Show, the Newport Show and Antiques in Manchester. A director and former officer of the ADA, Karen, with Ralph’s support, also managed our own ADA/Historic Deerfield Antiques Show, which took a one year hiatus in 2019 with plans to return to Historic Deerfield for the 2020 season.

“I am deeply honored, as Ralph was, to be chosen for this award. Our work made us strong together. Our volunteerism on behalf of the ADA began in the 1980s with the altruistic belief that dealers could collectively manage their affairs for the betterment of the entire industry. We loved what we did and particularly enjoyed putting the ADA shows together.” Karen DiSaia said. The ADA shared its award decision with Ralph before his death on November 22.

“We are proud to finally honor one of our own for this award. Presently I cannot think of any other members more deserving than Karen and Ralph. For decades they promoted the antiques and art business as dealers, as ADA members and as show promoters — and as ambassadors of professionalism, kindness and having a good time while you’re hard at work,” —ADA president Steven Powers

“The DiSaias are generous, kind and compassionate — a truly amazing couple. They are hugely deserving of this award,” —ADA vice president Arthur Liverant

“To me, Karen and Ralph embody all that is good in this field. They conduct their personal antiques business with integrity and honesty, and are experts on their subject matter…and always willing to learn more. And then they take that work ethic, and use it in their antiques show management business to create successful venues where other dealers could succeed in their businesses, too,” —ADA executive director Judith Livingston Loto

The 2020/2021 ADA Award of Merit event will be held in conjunction with The Annual Delawaren Antiques Show at The Chase Center on the Riverfront, which is located at 815 Justison Street, Wilmington, Delaware. The evening will feature dinner and dessert, and include remarks from guest speakers Rachel DiSaia and Adam Demorest. Admission to the antiques show is included in the cost of the ticket. Self-parking is readily available for free.

This event is made possible through the generosity of our sponsors HUB International/Flather and Perkins Insurance, The Magazine ANTIQUES, Jonathan G. Willen & Associates, Nathan Liverant and Son, FREEMAN’S and Arts and Antiques Weekly.

For more information or questions contact ADA Executive Director, Judith Livingston Loto at 603-942-6498 or email

Purchase Tickets On-line:

Tickets are $95.00 each and includes free parking.

or send a check made out to ADA to: PO BOX 218, Northwood, NH 03261

2020/2021 Sponsors:

Antiques & The Arts Weekly

HUB International/Flather & Perkins Insurance

Nathan Liverant and Son

The Magazine ANTIQUES

Jonathan G. Willen and Associates



Past Award of Merit Recipients:

2002 - Albert Sack

2003 - Elinor Gordon

2004 - Wendell Garrett

2005 - Betty Ring

2006 - R. Scudder Smith

2007 - Satenig St. Marie

2007 - Dean F. Failey

2008 - Joe Kindig

2009 - Philip Zea

2010 - Jane & Richard Nylander

2011 - Morrison H. Heckscher

2012 - The American Folk Art Society

2013 - Peter Tillou

2014 - Brock Jobe

2015 - David McCullough

2016 - Victor & Joan Johnson

2017 - Patricia E. Kane

2018 - Peter M. Kenny

2019 - Laura Beach

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