Amy Marver, a former art historian and a new transplant to our fair Minnesota, has opened an understatedly fresh antiques shop called Forêt. Currently only available here, Marver says she’s on the hunt for a bricks and mortar shop in the Twin Cities to complement her warehouse of European furniture and decorative objects from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. She’s trying not to rush the hunt.
“Whatever shop it is, it needs to be light and airy, and help connect people with the beautiful objects,” she says. Though Forêt is Marver’s first solo venture in the antiques business, she previously ran a shop in Washington, D.C. Before that, she earned her PhD in art history, and worked as a fellow at the Smithsonian Institution, and spent many months in Europe studying historic artworks. At one point, Marver says, she thought she would become an academic. But long lonely hours of writing and study seemed less exciting. “I found that I’m not introverted enough to be a good academic,” she says. Instead, she turned to antiques, where she could revel in history and use her vast knowledge of the decorative arts to bring historic pieces more intimately into peoples’ lives. She named her new business Forêt after the French word for forest. “For me, foret isn’t like a thicket of woods, but more a magical, lyrical place, like an enchanted forest. That’s the kind of feeling I wanted to create.” All of Marver’s chosen pieces have a remarkable cohesiveness in soft, dreamy hues. But this is not discount antiques shopping: A tall Swedish case clock with carved scrollwork, circa 1800, is listed for $11,500, while a rustic olive bride’s box with red painted decoration is $950.