This Creative Director Takes A Roaming Art Exhibit To The Next Level


Abby Bangser portrait

wood-panel wall with art and mosaic wall

In 2019, Abby Bangser, former artistic director of Frieze for the Americas and Asia, launched Object & Thing, a roving exhibition concept where site-specific installations are held at historically significant homes across the country. By curating each event with hand-picked pieces, she created a new gallery model where the physical encounter is critical. Here, she talks about the origins of the concept and future plans.

Origin story: Our first exhibition was at architect Eliot Noyes’ home in New Canaan, Connecticut. His family keeps the residence as a time capsule of sorts and I thought a show with contemporary art and design would introduce the house to a new audience. We were appointment only and had a waitlist of more than a thousand people. When we closed, everyone said, ‘Where’s the next one?’

House party: Historic artists’ and architects’ homes already have a creative presence. When we add thoughtfully considered contemporary pieces, a dialogue between past and present is created.

Giving back: We’ve partnered with nonprofits and given them a percentage of our sales so that the exhibition doubles as a fundraiser.

Shop talk: The forthcoming permanent home of Object & Thing will be at a historic destination and represent multiple artists—including Johnny Ortiz-Concha and Frances Palmer—as a traditional gallery would. We will be able to display their work with greater frequency.