Saturday, August 09, 2008

Visit to Pritam & Eames

On Thursday August 7, we escaped the busy city for a day in the East End of Long Island. We had made a date to go meet Bebe Pritam Johnson and Warren Eames Johnson -- of the eponymous East Hampton studio furniture gallery Pritam & Eames -- whom I've been inspired by from afar for years.

I took a bunch of pictures and they're all here in this Flickr set. Click on the pictures to read descriptions.

Bebe and Warren are a husband-and-wife team who decided to open a furniture gallery almost 30 years ago. Today Pritam & Eames is THE place to go to collect very fine furniture by American artisans. And we wanted to go sit at their feet and learn as much as we could from them.

But first, we wanted to explore the Hamptons a bit. Jae wanted to go all the way out to the end of the island (to Montauk) and I just HAD to see if we could track down the fabled Grey Gardens (we found it!! The picture's in the Flickr set.)

We made it to the gallery at about 5:00 where we were greeted by Bebe and Warren, then treated to an in-depth tour of the work on view. There was so much to look at and so much to learn! We took lots of pictures and asked lots of questions.

The gallery tour led to glasses of wine a tour of the Johnson's home which is filled with not only the most incredible examples of late 20th century American furniture, but also cabinetry, flooring, and furniture by Warren who has transformed this cedar-clapboard seaside cottage into a very personal Arts & Crafts-inspired home. Here I took more pictures, but my photography skills simply cannot do justice to the magnificent collection the Johnson's have accumulated over time.

Someone -- American Craft Magazine or a thoughtful interiors magazine -- MUST come and photograph the Johnson's home. It is absolutely wonderful!

After dinner in Sag Harbor, we went back to their home to wait out the torrential rainstorm that had suddenly descended (and run our soaking wet clothes through the dryer...). I think we could have stayed up all night talking about the gallery business, furniture, and the state of craft, but by midnight the rain had stopped and we headed back to Brooklyn.

It was fantastic meeting the Johnson's and we're most grateful for their generosity and hospitality. Looking forward to next time!

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