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News from Pritam & Eames

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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.