If you have an interest in the decorative arts, your first go-to-place should without doubt be Macklowe Gallery, a space that has been a stalwart of the New York gallery scene for nearly 50 years. Expect beauty and elegance with a smattering of sparkle, which will be heightened during their first collaboration with contemporary jewelry designer Neha Dani.
The gallery was founded in 1971 by Lloyd and Barbara Macklowe, highly respected collectors of 20th century decorative arts, with a particular interest in French Art Noveau furniture, and lamps and glassware by Tiffany.
Macklowe Gallery’s first space on Madison Avenue quickly became an important destination for museum curators, scholars and collectors with an interest in historically important design artifacts. Pieces championed by the gallery have ended up in major public collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art.
Today, the gallery is presided over by Lloyd and Barbara’s son Benjamin, who became managing director of the space in 2002. Having grown up in his parents’ antiques-filled home, Benjamin learned the ropes early on, becoming a respected expert in 20th century design. His leadership has seen an emphasis on education, creating in-house publications, talks and events geared at helping patrons understand the significance of the pieces that pass through the gallery’s hands.
Benjamin sees buying antiques as a way for collectors to celebrate their life by surrounding themselves with things of beauty, through a sustainable process that he sees as recycling at its best. He wants to encourage young collectors to become interested in antiques, suggesting that the market is a flexible place where pieces can be bought and sold with as much rapidity as desired.
In November 2017, Benjamin oversaw the gallery’s move from its longtime Madison Avenue location to a 6,000 square foot custom-designed space on Park Avenue. Macklowe Gallery’s presence has since helped to cement this prestigious location’s reputation as a hub for art and antiques.
Almost a year later, the gallery continues to break new ground through its first-ever collaboration with a contemporary jewelry designer. Feminine and whimsical, Neha Dani’s creations tell rich stories, stemming from a meditative creative process and a determination to perfect every detail.
“The magical world of Neha Dani is expressed in her meticulous craftsmanship, her amazing attention to detail and her flawless sense of color,” explains Benjamin, pointing to the young designer’s “unique materials, style and execution.”
Dani’s jewelry sits particularly well alongside the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany, whose work is a highlight of Macklowe Gallery. Inspired by the natural world, Tiffany designed innovative lamps in the studio’s signature iridescent glass, instigating a new style that would be influential for a whole generation of designers and furniture-makers. Neha Dani’s work is similarly rooted in the beauty of nature, through its forms and colors. Moreover, echoing Tiffany’s philosophy of creating something beautiful that is also functional, Dani’s jewelry is intended to be worn, collected and enjoyed. ■