Which city has the best 20th-century design collection?

James Zemaitis: I would say without a shadow of a doubt it’s a tie between New York and Paris. New York has a long history of collecting 20th century design, because many of the great French designers of the 1920s and 1930s – Rillman, Frank, …– had clients here in New York. And there has . . . New Yorkers have always been Frankofilic. They do not look to Los Angeles to go and acquire work. They look to Paris. And they always look to Paris before they look to London when it comes to acquiring furniture. At the same time Paris isn’t just living off of its reputation. Paris has been at the forefront of the marketing of contemporary design. Many of today’s hybrid contemporary architects/designers – whether it’s someone like Marc …who maintains a resident in Paris, to the great modular architect …maintain residences in Paris. Their galleries are there. Their agents are there. So there are some cutting edge collections by such . . . kind of fashion luminaries in Paris like … who have maintained Parisian relevance in terms of the market.  

Recorded on: 1/30/08

 

 

 

New York and Paris, without a shadow of a doubt.

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