News from Pritam & Eames
PRITAM & EAMES, the East Hampton gallery specializing in American studio furniture, will close the “bricks and mortar” part of their business by the end of October, but will create an Internet presence to represent the artist-craftsmen associated with the gallery for sales and commissions.
“Although there is a certain bittersweet quality to leaving our Race Lane location after 34 years of operation there, developing the Internet dimension of our business is intriguing, and helps keep that emotion at bay,” Bebe Pritam Johnson, gallery partner, said. “The gallery’s closing was determined in part,” she continued, “because most of our clients, whose support was crucial in our first three decades, have fulfilled their furniture needs after years of collecting. It was time to re-focus our energies.”
“East Hampton village afforded us a relaxed and beautiful setting,” Warren Johnson, partner, states, “while allowing the gallery contact with a curious and knowledgeable public. It was perfect for us.” Bebe Johnson acknowledges, “It’s been an incredible 34-year run for us, doing what we love and representing the work of those we deeply admire. PRITAM & EAMES has been witness to the emergence of American studio furniture as a major 20th-21st-century decorative arts movement, and we have forged durable friendships with the exemplars of the movement.”
The New York Times called PRITAM & EAMES the “Gallery of Original Furniture” when it opened on May 21, 1981, in a converted 19th-century steam laundry building in East Hampton, NY. In its opening exhibition, the gallery introduced work by those who would go on to shape the American studio furniture movement, artisans like James Krenov, Wendell Castle, Judy Kensley McKie, Jere Osgood, Michael Hurwitz, Thomas Hucker, and David Ebner. In 1990 – 91, the partners interviewed 14 artist-craftsmen whose work was pivotal to the gallery in its first decade. These conversations were turned into a book, Speaking of Furniture: Conversations with 14 American Masters, published by The Artist Book Foundation, [New York: NY. December 2013.] “This book,” Glenn Adamson, Director, Museum of Arts and Design in New York, said, “brings together some of the most intelligent and dedicated voices in American furniture history, and also provides a valuable narrative of the field’s most prominent gallery. It is indispensable reading for anyone who cares about the recent past of furniture, or its near future.”
In June 2014, The Furniture Society, an international non-profit membership organization, presented Bebe and Warren with its Award of Distinction for their outstanding contribution to the studio furniture field. With this award, the partners joined a list of distinguished makers including Wendell Castle, Wendy Maruyama, John Makepeace, and Sam Maloof.
The Johnsons will continue to represent their furniture makers virtually from their home in East Hampton village.