Moderne Gallery Makes Trailblazing Move - Looking to the Future

Renovations in Exciting New Showroom & Warehouse Now Complete -- Plans Underway for 35th Anniversary Celebration on September 27, 2019

(September 2019)

(Philadelphia, PA – September, 2019)
In January 2019 the renowned Moderne Gallery, established in 1984, as one of just five galleries in Old City Philadelphia, opened a new chapter in its history by being the first tenant to move into The Showrooms at 2220 (2220 East Allegheny Avenue, 19134), in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia.

Ever the visionary, Moderne Gallery’s Founder and Co-director Robert Aibel has always been on the leading edge of discoveries and trends in the market for the finest works of vintage and contemporary studio furniture, studio ceramics, turned wood and much more. The move into a large wide-open space at The Showrooms at 2220, a former 19th Century candy factory, increases the Gallery’s presentation opportunities and defines a new marketing approach. Clients will be able to see Moderne Gallery’s full inventory in one location. Now a multi-generational business, it also enlarges the role of Joshua Aibel, Robert’s son, who is both Co-director and Design Director of Moderne Gallery.

Moderne Gallery ( has been operating by appointment during the extensive renovations developed by Michael Gruber, Moderne Gallery’s longtime interior designer. As of July 24 Moderne Gallery returned to regular hours, welcoming visitors with or without an appointment to over 4,500 sq. ft of gallery space and more than 12,000 sq. ft of storage.

“Michael Gruber has created the ideal setting to showcase our specialization in great vintage and contemporary design,” says Robert Aibel. “The final layout has an authentic quality that is far from typical white box galleries, featuring the building's original brick walls and wood flooring in order to create an industrial, yet intimate atmosphere, that subtly highlights the unique characteristics of the pieces on display.’’

Adding to the excitement, this major move coincides with the 35th anniversary of Moderne Gallery. A grand opening celebration of the new gallery space and the 35th anniversary is being planned for Fall 2019. Details will follow as soon as available.

Forward thinking, innovation, education and an eye for fine work have built Robert Aibel’s reputation as a pioneer in the world of studio furniture, art and antiques. In 1985, one year after opening, Moderne Gallery was the first gallery to present George Nakashima’s work and largely contributed to building the secondary market for his furniture. Today Moderne Gallery houses the largest and finest collection of Nakashima’s 1940’s-1980’s designs and is known nationally and internationally as “the” premiere gallery for its superb collection of vintage furniture by George Nakashima.

Moderne Gallery is also renowned as the primary gallery specializing in American Studio Craft Furniture; work by Wharton Esherick, Sam Maloof, Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Tage Frid, David Ebner, Wendell Castle, John Cederquist, Daniel Jackson, John Eric Byers, Miriam Carpenter and others. In addition, Moderne Gallery continually showcases fine and important ceramics and turned wood by artists such as Peter Voulkos, Toshiko Takaezu, Estelle Halper, Ira Winarsky, Edward Moulthrop, William Hunter and Bob Stocksdale.

Joshua Aibel has been fueled with his father’s unique future-looking mindset. He intends to continue the Gallery’s history and extend its presentation of 20th and 21st century design. “We see our move to The Showrooms at 2220 as an opportunity to be a leader in an exciting new setting that will be a comprehensive, easily accessible center for high end design, art, and antiques in our region, just off I-95, “says Joshua Aibel.“ This new location brings a refreshing change that we hope will transform the way collectors and designers scout for their next pieces."

What began with Robert Aibel's interest in antiques and art as a form of communication grew into a highly respected and successful 20th Century decorative arts gallery with a reputation for excellence, enthusiasm and participation in the decorative arts community.

Since 1987, Aibel has served on the board of Collab, the 20th and 21st Century Decorative Arts and Design Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He was a professor at The University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University from 1984-1992, lectured and participated in national design panels, and hosted numerous special exhibitions at Moderne Gallery and elsewhere that were both educational and visually compelling. As president of the Old City Arts Association in 1991, he helped to develop the First Friday gallery crawls and in 2018 was a founding member of the Philadelphia Design District in Old City. He has served as a member of the Nakashima Advisory Board since 2012.