Member of the Month: Robert Aibel

Center City Proprietor's Association
Friday, 10 December, 2010


Moderne Gallery reflects the passions of its owner/director, Robert Aibel. His abiding interest in visual communication and education as well as an exceptional eye for quality and "the unusual" have built his reputation as a dealer and as a resource to other 20th century experts and to the press. His scholarly approach to the field has established him as an authority, particularly in French Art Deco, Wharton Esherick and George Nakashima.

What began with Aibel's interest in antiques and art as a form of communication grew into a highly respected and successful 20th Century decorative arts gallery with a reputation for enthusiasm and participation in the decorative arts community. Since 1991 Aibel has served on the board of the 20th Century decorative arts and design group (COLLAB) of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, serving as chairperson from 2004-2006. He was one of the founders of the Old City Arts Association and served as President from 1992-94 and as Treasurer from 1994-96.

Moderne Gallery is internationally renowned for its high quality, vintage 20th Century furniture, lighting and accessories. More than 16,000 square feet of its historic building in the Old City section of Philadelphia are filled with an extensive inventory -- from French and American Art Deco and French 1940's -1950's to exclusive Wharton Esherick pieces and the best selection of 1950's-1980's work of George Nakashima.

Robert Aibel holds Ph.D., M.A. and B.A. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. From 1977-92, Aibel was a professor of Aesthetic and Visual Communication at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School and at Drexel University. He is the author of several publications on film and aesthetic communication and producer/director of award-winning documentary films. These include two films that focus on antiques in society, "A Country Auction" and "Can I Get a Quarter?"