“Each day is a unique experience in knowing we are helping members of our community discover something about an item they did not previously know.”
- Jay C. Grutman, owner, Rhinebeck Antique Emporium
Lovers of antiques probably already know that the Hudson Valley holds abundant treasures. If you haven’t happened upon it, though, you absolutely must plan a voyage of discovery to the mother lode: the Rhinebeck Antique Emporium, the region’s largest venue for antiques, appraisals, and auctions.
Proprietor and president Jay C. Grutman grew up in Larchmont on Long Island Sound, immersed in the beauty of fine old things. “Several generations of my family have been avid collectors of 18th-century furniture, and a close family friend owned Astor Galleries in Manhattan and a gallery in Mamaroneck where I worked part time,” he says. “As an undergraduate at Sarah Lawrence, I had an internship working on the Channel 13 auction.”
Jay went to Bard College for grad school, and fell in love with the beauty, history, and character of the Rhinebeck area. “I moved to Newport, Rhode Island after college, but I always hoped to return to Rhinebeck,” he says.
A career in multinational commercial real estate development nurtured the business savvy that would stand him in good stead when he decided to begin his entrepreneurial venture. But the thing that actually led him to purchase the property that would become the Emporium was his passion for antique cars. “After the completion of our home in Rhinebeck I passed a real estate auction sign at what had been a John Deere dealership. I am an avid antique car collector, so I pulled over, looked
Forty-plus expert dealers, several of whom have been involved since the Emporium’s opening nine years ago, curate arrays of all things old and elegant.
over the property, and thought it would make a good location to store some of my cars. At the auction I was the successful bidder. That was in mid-October of 2011; during that winter, while having the property remodeled, I decided it was better suited to a state-of-the-art antique center and auction gallery.”
And what a gallery it is. Forty-plus expert dealers, several of whom have been involved since the Emporium’s opening nine years ago (there’s a waiting list), curate arrays of all things old and elegant: furniture, collectibles of all sorts, antique and costume jewelry, silver, porcelain, paintings, oriental rugs, and tapestries.
“We enjoy meeting like-minded people. Our personal attention to detail, and the knowledge base we can access when required to assist our clients, make the Emporium stand out.” - Jay C. Grutman, owner, Rhinebeck Antique Emporium
“The experience I accumulated growing up played a large part in how I felt things should be operated,” Jay says. “When the Antique Center was designed, I felt it should have the feel of walking through a high-end antique show: no clutter, wide walkways, and a broad spectrum of quality items.” Whether you’re an experienced collector, a novice, or just curious, you’ll be welcome. “We endeavor to offer the best values while maintaining a high level of quality service,” says Jay. “We enjoy meeting like-minded people. Our personal attention to detail, and the knowledge base we can access when required to assist our clients, make the Emporium stand out. Each day is a unique experience in knowing we are helping members of our community discover something about an item they did not previously know.”
Along with retail sales, Jay provides appraisal, repair, and auction services in a spirit informed by the Golden Rule. “Always treat customers the way you hope you are treated when dealing with personal issues such as an estate liquidation or appraisal of family heirlooms,” Jay says. “Some of the larger NYC galleries have a sort of generic feel; you won’t find that here. We take joy in helping you discover a hidden treasure. We have the freedom and time to respond to each client’s individual needs.”
The Emporium’s location, between Rhinebeck and Hyde Park, could hardly be better for those with a reverence for history—an antique-shopping venture pairs well with a visit to the Roosevelt or Vanderbilt mansions and a meal at the Culinary Institute of America in nearby Hyde Park. For Jay, who spends time at his homes in Rhode Island and Florida as well as in Rhinebeck, it’s a special place. “I love the beautiful open space, the Hudson River, and the wonderful, interesting people who call the Hudson Valley home,” he says.
Maybe someday Jay will get his hands on his dream car: a vintage boattail Duesenberg to round out his collection of mostly British classics. For now, he loves time on the water on the 40-foot Alden motorsailer he spent four years restoring. “Stepping aboard is like stepping back in time,” he says. “It has amazing features. The bathroom sink is in the shape of an octopus.”
Rhinebeck Antique Emporium
5229 Albany Post Road (Route 9), Staatsburg