When most of us think of a gallery setting, we imagine paintings and other works of art littering the walls in a spacious array of artistic expression. Unbeknownst to many, however, the past few decades have seen a distinct rise in galleries displaying the work of designers from around the globe. Now, more than ever, the world is catching on to the incredible work being produced by artisans and ingenious craftspeople who bridge the gap between what is considered furniture and artwork. New York City has become a hotbed of inventive designers and gallerists, so without further ado, here are five of the best design galleries to explore in New York.
5 of the Best Design Galleries in New York
1. R and Company
R & Company is arguably the OG of the contemporary design gallery format. The gallery has become a global leader in its industry throughout its 20-year life, and founders Zesty Myers and Evan Snyderman have become well known for identifying emerging talents. R & Company has two locations; the inaugural address is 82 Franklin Street, where they offer a rotating exhibition of the company's extensive roster of designers. The newer location, which opened in 2018, is located on 64 White Street and features solo and thematic exhibitions, as well as R & Company's extensive archive of design ephemera from the 1900's and onward.
3. Friedman Benda
Friedman Benda truly embodies the unique space that a design gallery occupies. To be frank, it's hard to even call it a design gallery. Friedman Benda wears many shoes, weaving together narratives in design, art, architecture, and craft, with a distinct attention towards cutting edge technological exploration. Friedman Benda also takes extra care to view design history through a critical lens, opting to highlight artists and designers with perspectives that have been marginalized in the past or are less established. Find their New York location at 515 W 26th Street in Chelsea, or if you're out west look for them in Los Angeles.
4. Salon Design
Salon Design offers a highly curated assortment of artists and designers from around the globe, and takes great pride in the service they provide. Salon's expert staff will assist with anything you could need, and will pair artisans and designers with whatever project you have in mind. They facilitate the selection and customization of pieces, all based on your needs, desires, and budget. Find Salon Design at 435 Broome Street in Manhattan.
5. Les Ateliers Courbet
Les Ateliers Courbet is a celebration of masterful craftsmen and their work. Representing both contemporary artisans and centuries-old manufacturers, Les Ateliers Courbet's exhibitions honor the techniques required to created beautiful objets d'art. If that's not enough, the adjoined salons offer a wide range of timeless designs from the Ateliers' deep archives. Additionally, Les Ateliers Courbet facilitates collaboration between artisans and larger design firms, like Venini's glass blowers and Tadao Ando, or Nepalese weavers and Frank Gehry. Check them out at 134 10th Avenue.