Moderne Gallery Brings 20th Century Decorative Arts To 1997 Philadelphia Antiques Show


(April 1997)

Philadelphia, PA (April 1997)...With a new century approaching, 20th century decorative arts are becoming an important element in major antiques shows throughout the world.

This exciting turn of events will be in evidence at this year’s Philadelphia Antiques Show (April 12-17, at the 33rd Street Armory). Now in its 36th year, this prestigious traditional antiques show has invited a major 20th century gallery to exhibit.

In past years some dealers have brought items that crossed into the 20th century, but this is the first time that a dealer who represents exclusively classics of 20th century design has been invited to the Show.

Moderne Gallery, the nationally prominent 20th Century Decorative Arts Gallery located in Old City Philadelphia, will bring an outstanding collection of European and American 20th century antiques to the Philadelphia Antiques Show, which traditionally features 18th and 19th century Americana as well as some European and Asian works.

“We are extremely pleased that Moderne will be participating this year, “said Sanford Smith, Show manager. “It is one of the finest galleries for early 20th century design in the country and will add a forward-looking dimension to the Philadelphia Show.”

According to Smith, the Philadelphia Antiques Show has added new kinds of dealers throughout the years, moving with the times and recognizing the market for classics of our own century. A few years ago, Arts and Crafts, Aesthetic Movement, and Native American antiques were “surprisingly” introduced to the Show, but now are accepted as traditional offerings.

“Important furniture and decorative arts of the early 20th century, always well-made, are often spectacular, even sensationally beautiful,” says Robert Aibel, owner/director of Moderne. “I am very excited to be bringing exceptionally fine pieces — primarily French, but also German, Austrian and American — to the Philadelphia Show. I know they will compare well with the other fine furnishings at the Show, which all speak eloquently of the times in which they were made.”

Aibel is planning to offer furniture and art works by some of the most famous designers of the early 1900’s, including:

Unique cabinet by Maud Goldsmith, American, ca.1930, for her New York City residence. Originally an artist and jewelry designer in New York, Goldsmith moved to Paris to design for Cartier. She designed this cabinet upon her return to the US in the late 1920’s. Japanese ash (Tamo) and South American mahogany.

Extremely important armchair by Josef Maria Olbrich, Austria, ca. 1900. Unusual version of the renowned Olbrich Chair designed for the Villa Friedmann, which is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.*

Very rare, large-scale classic Art Deco painting by Andre David, France, ca. 1934. Depicts a mythological hunt scene in a tropical setting.

Classic Art Deco coffee table by Jules Leleu, France, 1929. Highly figured French walnut two-tiered top on a U-form base. Exhibited at the 19th Salon des Artistes Decorateurs in Paris.*

Rare office suite by Louis Majorelle, France, ca. 1923. Elegant lozenge-shaped desk with matching chair and a dramatic bibliotheque with wrought iron and glass center door. Brazilian rosewood, mahogany and hand wrought iron.

Cabinet designed and exhibited by Louis Majorelle and Alfred Levy at the 1927 Salon d’Automne in Paris. Brazilian rosewood with mother-of-pearl, satinwood and mahogany inlay. Vitrine interior retains its original fabric.

Elegant round end table by Leon and Maurice Jallot, France, ca. 1935. Rosewood sunburst top on a tripod base with gilded bronze sabots.*

Wrought iron console with marble top and base by Raymond Subes, France, 1925. An important design represented in Clouzot’s seminal La Ferronnerie Moderne.

Unusual and rare “Thistle” floor lamp by Louis Majorelle, France, ca. 1910.*

Pair of cubist-inspired armchairs with a matching pair of side chairs, French, ca. 1927. Unusual angular form with spectacular marquetry work of rosewood, burl walnut, maple, macassar ebony and mahogany.

Large bronze charger by Edgar Brandt, France, ca. 1910.

French glass by Daum, Schneider, Luce, etc. France, 1925-35.

Ruba Rombic glass by Reuben Haley, US, 1928.*

The Moderne Gallery is nationally known among designers, architects, collectors and museums for its top quality French and American Art Deco and Moderne decorative arts, and for its special presentations of classic and unusual 20th century design. In the past five years the gallery has received special recognition for its exhibits of Ruba Rombic art glass; French ’40’s and ’50’s furniture; furniture by George Nakashima; furniture, sculpture, and prints by Wharton Esherick; and a presentation illuminating the origins of Modernism in English Arts and Crafts.

Robert Aibel, owner/director of the Moderne Gallery, is also a scholar, art historian and award-winning film-maker. He has been a senior lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and served on the communications faculty at Drexel University. He holds Ph.D, M.A., and B.A. degrees from the University of Pennylvania.

Aibel has been dealing in antiques since 1979. His personal interest in Art Deco led to his current specialization, and a home in Ft. Washington, PA that is completely decorated with period 20th century decorative arts.

Moderne Gallery has exhibited for more than ten years at the annual Modernism show in New York. Aibel is especially pleased to be exhibiting at the Philadelphia Antiques Show, bringing attention to the high quality of design he offers in Philadelphia year-round.

The Moderne Gallery is located at 111 North 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Telephone: 215-923-8536.

The 1997 Philadelphia Antiques Show, a benefit for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, will be held at the 33rd Street Armory, north of Market Street, Philadelphia, from April 12-15 (Preview: April 11).

For information, call 215-387-3500.

Interviews with Robert Aibel may be arranged through Resnick Communications, Inc. 215-893-0204 * Photos available.