Charlotte von Hardenburgh's
Insider Guide to New York Galleries and Museums

Photos by Laura Saur 

Charlotte von Hardenburgh’s world is mesmerizing and magical. I love the lens through which she views the world and how her aesthetic is informed by her research. A curator at Weinberg Modern Gallery and instructor at Parsons School of Design, Charlotte’s work focuses on the underrepresentation of female designers in America, and often comes to life in the dialogue between art and fashion.

“Most of the galleries and exhibitions I gravitate towards have a level of functionality in the pieces on display,” she says. Although she loves paintings, she’s equally compelled by decorative arts. “There’s something exciting about viewing a show all about chairs — or even better, shoes. Retail stores and galleries share a unique quality of fusing commerce with elaborate displays, and I find that intersection especially intriguing.” Last month she gave me a two-day tour of some of her New York museums and galleries — one day uptown, one day downtown. Her itinerary is below.



Weinberg Modern

This space is an experimental gallery with iconic examples of modern design, such as Noguchi’s Rocking Stool, and also boasts a collection of exceedingly scarce artistic creations with extensive academic provenance. I’m currently researching the handmade spiral metal jewelry made by Fran Hosken, and the gallery has the largest collection of her designs. I love bringing visitors here because it’s an intimate experience where they get to see my research, and the gallerist, Larry, is an expert at pulling together books and objects that appeal to each individual's interests.

This spring I’m teaching “a History of Typography” at Parsons and Larry’s collection of rare books is a constant source of typographic inspiration. I plan to bring my students on a field trip to the gallery to see the space and explore his sublime book collection. The gallery is a lovely space to cozy up on a vintage Knoll chair and travel through time and history.

If you’d like to learn more about Fran Hosken or peruse the books and gallery, email to schedule an appointment.

Fran Hosken jewelry

Jacqueline Sullivan Gallery

I love visiting this gallery because it perfectly situates historical pieces with commissions from contemporary artists and designers. I always trust that Jacqueline will curate an assortment of artists, and through the previous show I discovered the divine Conie Vallese’s sterling silver cutlery “JARDÍN,” which marries my two loves—jewelry and dining. Every detail of the space has also been thoughtfully considered; I especially love the bathroom with its fabric skirt around the sink. Emme and I had a first look of the current exhibition, Valentina Cameranesi-Sgroi I Racconti (The Tales), open through April 13, 2024).

To schedule an appointment:

Top image: Conie Vallese’s sterling silver cutlery. Bottom image: Valentina Cameranesi-Sgroi I Racconti exhibition

Yoshimitsu Ishihara, Fill Up Quietly, Forever


Guild Gallery

Guild focuses on emerging and established artists from around the world, with an emphasis on ceramics. While here, Emme and I saw Fill Up Quietly, Forever — the first U.S. solo exhibition of Yoshimitsu Ishihara, a Japanese ceramicist who shapes, fires, and finishes his pieces entirely by hand using natural materials and ancient techniques (open through April 20). The pieces are stunning on their own, but even more powerful when viewed in totality within this space. And you can stop for lunch at La Mercerie afterwards.

No appointment required.


Desert + Coast: Seven Elder Aboriginal Painters


Salon 94

This gallery — an oasis of art, architecture, and design — is my favorite place to visit on the Upper East Side. During our visit, Emme and I viewed Desert + Coast, which features works by seven renowned senior women artists from Australia.

These aboriginal pieces make use of eucalyptus bark rather than canvas, and I loved how the exhibition design allowed us to have a glimpse of the tree bark as part of the installation of the paintings in the work by Dhambit Munuŋgurr. My good friends, Kieran and Miko—who are Australian ex-pats—joined us and it was a special experience walking through the show with them.

Desert + Coast: Seven Elder Aboriginal Painters

In the wood paneled room there was a collection of paintings by Noŋgirrŋa Marawili that featured a prominent pink hue, inspired by a magenta toner from a salvaged printer cartridge. I love contrasting Marawili’s rather neutral paintings she made “pre-printer cartridge” against her vibrant works that are nearly all magenta in tone.

I can’t not mention how truly beautiful Salon 94’s building is. I always tell visitors that it’s my dream home and that I would make the front room of the second floor my bedroom. I can imagine myself peering out of the arched windows every morning to see how long the line is at the neighboring Guggenheim Museum.

On February 29, a new show was mounted that celebrates the works of Max Lamb, who also designed the very cool blue bathroom on the first floor (open through April 20).

No appointment required.

Sonia Delaunay Living Art

Bard Graduate Center

Bard continuously impresses me with their shows. Their work is wonderfully comprehensive and I love that each show takes over the entire building, so there’s a singular focus to your visit. The current show, Sonia Delaunay: Living Art (through July 7), explores the multifaceted work of the French artist. I originally learned about Delaunay through her paintings, however this exhibition traces her creative exploration within the realms of fashion, textiles, interiors, books, mosaics, and tapestries.

Tickets available for purchase.


Women Dressing Women

The Met

My friend who has been working with the Costume Institute for years and was kind enough to give Emme and me a guided tour of its exhibition, Women Dressing Women. I love hearing her insights about each garment, including provenance and context around curatorial choices.

This show highlighted women designers from the 20th and 21st centuries. I was smitten upon seeing the 1930’s gallery—with the caryatid silhouettes and delicious medley of peachy neutrals. I’m also instantly attracted to anything with a pleat, and was drawn to the Fortuny and Rodarte garments. And, it was special to see Ann Lowe’s gown with meticulous floral detail. I had a similar gown with pink roses when I was younger (albeit not Ann Lowe), and I could only imagine how eight-year-old-me would be equally enchanted by this exhibition as 32-year-old-me is.

Designs by Ann Lowe

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