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HOUSE PROUD

Success Story New York’s largest and finest emporium for antiques recently celebrated its 35th anniversary—and shows no sign of slowing down Above left: Decorative porcelain dinnerware at Hoffman-Gampetro Galleries #37-39 Above right: Duvinage and Maison Alphonse Giroux Decorative Panel at European Decorative Arts #6; ivory, engraved brass, maple, pearwood on laminated wood, gilt bronze frame; signed; French; circa 18771883 Below: Jaguar tea set by William Spratling at Leah Gordon Antiques #18, including a teapot, coffee pot, chocolate pot, creamer and sugar with tray; sterling silver and ebony with cast jaguar surmounting each piece; circa 1960

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n the heart of Midtown, on Second Avenue between 55th and 56th Streets, lies a unique and essential resource specializing in fine furniture, jewelry, clocks, paintings, silver and other objets of art, known as The Manhattan Arts & Antiques Center (MAAC). Spanning the length of a city block, this emporium houses more than 100 galleries on three levels, and features a wide variety of collections from all over the world. Each level of The Center has its own distinctive flare. Boutiques displaying china, silver, jewelry and other objects line the lobby level, while the first concourse (located one floor below) is filled with art deco furniture, clocks, carpets and antique tapestries. A spiral staircase leads downstairs where a water fountain sets a tranquil mood for the second concourse—devoted to European furniture, Asian and African art and architectural antiques. The idea for a street-level indoor mall dedicated to art and antiques first came about when Glenwood Management Corporation was planning to build a luxury high-rise complex and wondered how to utilize the street-level space. At the time,

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small antique stores were being uprooted from their traditional sites along Second and Third Avenues. And so began The Manhattan Art & Antiques Center. The new Center allowed more vendors to participate in this upscale shopping mall. “We helped preserve the original shopping flavor of the area and provided New York City with a unique and revitalizing cultural asset,” explains The Center’s director, Steve Roedler. Fast-forward 35 years and The Center has flourished, even in these tough economic times. It has inspired loyalty and dedication from its tenants, with many galleries having been a part of The Center for more than 20 years. Brian Gaisford of Hemingway African Gallery was the building’s first tenant. Today, Hemingway African Gallery has become one of the most established and largest wholesale importer of fine African art, including sculpture, rugs, masks, pottery and paintings. Last year, one of The Center’s original tenants, Palace Galleries, returned after a 29-year hiatus. Palace is known for providing fine 15th-to19th-century European art objects to collectors,

Profile for AVENUE Magazine

AVENUEinsider September 1, 2010  

Founded in 1976, AVENUE is a must-read among the city’s most discerning, stylish and savvy audiences. As Manhattan’s oldest society magazine...

AVENUEinsider September 1, 2010  

Founded in 1976, AVENUE is a must-read among the city’s most discerning, stylish and savvy audiences. As Manhattan’s oldest society magazine...