What happens when a handful of ambitious, creative women gather for brunch on a Wednesday afternoon in the middle of Frieze New York? They eat, drink and mingle, and also make new connections. On the morning of May 18, Ashlee Harrison, director of Americas at Carpenters Workshop Gallery and Sarah Harrelson, founder and editor-in-chief of Cultured magazine, hosted powerhouse women in art and design for private tours of the gallery’s current show, “The Female Voice In Modern Design: 1950 to 2000,” curated by Dr. Daniella Ohad. The group then gathered at upscale restaurant Fasano Fifth Avenue for an intimate seated brunch to celebrate their successes and kick off the exciting week ahead.
Throughout history, women have needed to carve out their own spaces to honor the work and accomplishments of their often-overlooked peers, and Dr. Ohad’s ability to do so in the realm of design is monumental. The exhibition features never before seen work by Louise Nevelson, as well as seasoned pieces including Gabriella Crespi’s coffee table, Cubo Magico (1970), Gae Aulenti’s daybed, Locus Solus (1964). It also features a 1966 armchair by Antti and Vuokko Nurmesniemi and Elizabeth Garouste and Mattia Bonetti’s cabinet, Collerettes (1986), all of which have had a profound influence on the contemporary design we see today.
The discovery-based Carpenters Workshop Gallery exhibition examines and sheds light on female designers who have pushed forward in their industry, oftentimes without adequate recognition. Dr. Ohad, a design historian, curated the show to contextualize and share the work of women designers from the 1950s postwar era to our contemporary movements. Visitors walk through decades of work by women that highlights each shift in design trend and how it impacted the larger movement that followed.
Following the tour, guests were invited to a seated brunch at Fasano on Fifth Avenue in the Upper East Side. The exclusive members club allowed for intimate conversations among guests, that naturally led to passionate discussions about women in design over a spread of coffee, tea, pastries, eggs, waffles and fruit. Guests went home with copies of Cultured’s 2022 Feb/March issue, featuring cover star Odessa Young, in signature Cultured tote bags.
Videography by Joshua Geyer.