Inspiring, encouraging and always energetic. Three words that describe only one tenth of the kind of lady that was Anne Kidd.
Last week, King’s House Antiques lost its matriarch, founder and fearless leader. My mother-in-law, Anne Kidd, known to her family simply as “Mama Anne” was an amazing southern lady. Not only did she have such a zest for life, but an ever-growing interest in art, antiques and even flying!
Born in Lowndesboro, Alabama in 1921, Anne Dickson Kidd grew up and attended the University of Alabama where she met her future husband James Mallory Kidd. As James became a Captain in the Army Air Corps, that motivated Anne to earn her pilot’s license and fly alongside her husband. After several years of raising five children, Anne and her friend Jane Glasser started King’s House Antiques in Birmingham in 1972. What started as a love and passion for fine furnishings grew into a thriving business, as well as a trusted resource for designers and clients from all over the southeast.
Mama Anne was my inspiration. She encouraged me to join her in the business, learn from her, travel with her and enjoy the journey. While I had a growing interest in antiques, she was the one who encouraged me to go to school and really learn about the pieces that I was seeing in person. Not only was she my trusted mentor, Mama Anne also prayed for me. She was a deeply spiritual lady and that was reflected when she designed the King’s House logo, complete with a cross and crown as a tribute to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Of course, as we traveled together searching for antiques, we never had a dull moment. Mama Anne had an energy that was unstoppable. She once left me on a park bench at Arundel Castle – my head was spinning from visiting all of the shopkeepers and dealers – and she eagerly continued on! On another trip, we took a train from Paris to Nice. Our berths were upper bunks and we had quite a time trying to move around a tiny cabin while the train was in motion – remember Lucy & Ethel?!
Mama Anne really took me under her wing and I learned so much from her. She also taught me to relish the culture of the places that I was visiting. She took me to beautiful old hotels, museums, fabric shops, lovely restaurants, and of course the occasional chocolate shop as Mama Anne always had a weakness for chocolate!
Now forty years later, I am proud to carry on her tradition of bringing Europe’s loveliest pieces to Birmingham. It has also been a pleasure for me to grow with our longstanding clients and designer friends, as well as to meet their families and hear their stories of how a favorite piece was found in our shop. Over time we have worked tirelessly to find just the right pieces and have introduced so many fresh accessories, painted pieces and pillows that have graced our shop with a modern freshness and beauty. After her retirement in 1998, Mama Anne always enjoyed popping over to the shop to see our latest finds!
Mama Anne’s motto was “to never ask someone to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself.” She was never afraid to take a chance or try her hand at something. And more often than not, she excelled at it. She is missed dearly and her strong faith in her family, in her passions, and in King’s House Antiques will always continue on.