Viewing Work in Galleries

Last spring, along with my colleague, Sumner Silverman, I visited
Stuart Moore Gallery in Soho. Our experience was a good counter
balance to the recent post which was made about visiting Zyzyx, and
so I feel it is worth mentioning here.

I wanted to show Sumner some of the fabulous jewelry I had seen at
this gallery on a previous visit to Manhattan. The jewelry they
feature is immaculate, impeccably well crafted, and among the finest
examples of goldsmithing and design work I have seen. The work is
predominantly modern and minimalist. Many of the jewelry pieces were
kinetic items with crisp movement. There was a group of hinged rings
we both particularly liked, which expand and contract and transform
into various geometric shapes, like little mechanical puzzles.

The gallery associate who assisted us was a very charming and
knowledgeable young woman. We looked at the first case and I made a
few comments to Sumner and the associate said “You must be jewelers.”
We introduced ourselves and I said that we were in New York for the
MJSA Expo and wanted to come see the work they carried in the
gallery. She then spent 40 minutes with us showing us each designer’s
work, giving us background on the artists as well as the
technique and processes used to make their jewelry. She encouraged
us to handle everything and told us the price points when we asked.
She was very articulate and enjoyed showing us the jewelry as much as
we enjoyed viewing it.

She was entirely professional, engaging, enthusiastic, and
accommodating. She knew that we had come into the gallery to
appreciate the art they display and she treated us accordingly and
appropriately. This level of service is very likely due to the
caliber of the venue, but it is also what I expect from any venue I
visit. If I am there to look at the work on display I expect the
associates to inform me about the work and the artists and to answer
(reasonable) questions, and to represent the jewelry the way I
anticipate my jewelry being shown and represented at the galleries
where it is displayed. If I go into a gallery which is busy and
there are clients who might need assistance with a purchase, I will
certainly let the associates know I am admiring the work but don’t
need any personal attention at the moment.

I think it is all about professionalism, both on the part of the
venue as well as the behavior of the visitor. I often like to look at
the cases without announcing what I do, but I always introduce myself
when appropriate, and have never been made to feel like I was
unwelcome to look at a display because of my chosen profession. I
have, however, been treated dismissively upon occasion when I didn’t
express an immediate interest in purchasing something. I think this
is probably reflective of poor training, or the unprofessional
demeanor of the sales associates, rather than the gallery’s policy.

The designers who were represented at Stuart Moore were primarily
European: Neissing, Carl Dau, Henrich + Denzel, Roland Humphries,
Jorg Kaiser, Georg Spreng, Gunter Wermekes, Erich Zimmermann, to name
just a few. They also show work by Steven Kretchmer.

Michael David Sturlin

check out the Works Gallery on madisom ave its up on 89th 90th or
91st very near the cooper hewitt museum…it a powerhouse for
contemporary designers and they concider themselves a neiborhood
jewelry store. the owners name is Frank and he will be glad to share
his passion with you. And by the way Sumner Silverman is a guy who’s
work is in a league of its own.