Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Stephen Kelly is either a dealer in Art Deco who is interested in ophthalmology or an ophthalmologist who is interested in dealing in Art Deco. Either way he has combined his medical practice, his gallery and his home in one building—presumably a unique living arrangement and one that must suit him very well. Attracted to the elegance of Art Deco and the ways in which it complements contemporary art, he started collecting some thirty years ago until his collection was so large that dealing seemed the obvious next step. “I didn’t want to become a hoarder,” he says, “so that’s why I started selling things.” The gallery floors display sleek furniture, unusual ceramics and sculpture from the period as well as smaller pieces like walking sticks with handles made from stingray tails and geometric jewelry—all things that bring to mind an era of women in backless satin dresses being offered cigarettes from an enameled cigarette case by men with pencil mustaches ... another world entirely.