The 19th century Realist painter Gustave Courbet was born in 1819 to a prosperous farming family in France, yet often addressed the social issues of poverty and class in his work. At the height of his popularity he was called a genius, a “terrible socialist” and a “savage”. None of these terms seemed to disturb the artist, who encouraged the public’s view of him as an unschooled peasant whose sympathies were with the people and not civilized society. Most recently, Courbet’s work stirred controversy in 2011, when Facebook censored the page of a French Facebook user by disabling his profile for showing Courbet’s 1866 work, “L’Origine du monde” (The Origin of the World) depicting a close-up view of female genitalia. It was not the first time Facebook censored a user for posting the artwork on a page, and the French user ultimately lodged a complaint for “infringement of freedom of expression” against Facebook in a California court.
Courbet’s appreciation and love for those who work with their hands is alive and well in an expansive showroom in downtown Manhattan. Atelier Courbet presents exquisite objects, furniture, textile, lighting collections and home accessories scoured from the world’s most revered workshops established as far back as the 16th century. Opened in 2013 by Melanie Courbet, a great (great great great…) niece of the painter, the Atelier is set inside the Brewster Carriage House, a landmarked building located on Broome Street where SoHo intersects NoLita. Atelier Courbet features an adjacent gallery that spotlights different artists in tightly curated exhibitions encompassing one-of-a-kind and limited edition pieces. Courbet was an independent curator and a consultant specialized in contemporary art and design. Exhibition programs she developed were shown at the MUBE Museum in Sao Paolo, The New Museum in New York and Le Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, among others. She has brought this experience to Atelier Courbet and the team she collaborates with curating the pieces on display.
Currently on view at the Atelier Courbet gallery is the work of two different yet complementary artists; Australian jewelry designer Lisa Black, whose work is a blend of ancient found artifacts and original design, and Maylis de Lacoste Lareymondie, creator behind the House of Lareymondie, the luxury women and men’s bespoke boot maker and shoe designer. Black is a native New Yorker with a background in environmental design and landscape architecture whose wealth of experience in design, art and architecture inspires and motivates her work and artistic endeavors in the design of jewelry. Black has an inherent love of the old and the new combined with a passion for travel to exotic and remote locations around the globe. Many of the precious components of her pieces are sourced during her travels. Black recently completed a trek of India for Steps for Schools in support of The Anganwadi Project, raising funds to help build a pre-school in the Tekra slums of Ahmedabad. Throughout the trip, Black was exposed to some of India’s stunning textile traditions, and was shown intricate and vibrant embroidery hand worked by the women of the different villages visited. It is this type of journey that continues to inform Black’s jewelry design, and elevate the pieces to the level of art.
Exquisite detail and luxurious execution is the cornerstone of de Lacoste Lareymondie’s boot and shoe designs. The former wall street trader was raised from birth around the equestrian world, and developed a love of finely made riding boots at a very young age. The family name belongs to an aristocratic bloodline that can be traced back at least 700 years in France. When de Lacoste Lareymondie launched the House of Lareymondie, the intention was specifically to create bespoke boots for women – custom fit for one, but to be handed down through the ages. She has brought together artisans who build on centuries of tradition, education and dedication to create true masterpieces. Every few weeks a Master Bootmaker journeys from his studio on the outskirts of Paris to a salon here in NYC. Measurements are taken of the legs, ankles and feet of the client, and the rest of the elements of the design are then chosen in accordance with lifestyle, model, color, leatherwear, sole, seam and detail. Laerymondie For Men, developed in partnership with top-tier design house Melinge brings elegance, customization and couture to today’s modern man.
Lisa Black and Maylis de Lacoste Lareymondie are artisans who work with time honored traditions of craftsmanship and design. All of the workshops represented in the showroom of Atelier Courbet bring painstaking savoir-faire to the designs, from the woodcutting of the workshop of Nakagawato to the porcelain of Sévres in France. These are just a few of the master craftsman whose work is displayed on the shelves of Atelier Courbet. A visit to the showroom is like a mini tour of the world’s great traditions in artistic craftsmanship.
175/177 Mott Street
New York, New York 10012
212 226 7378
Tuesday – Friday: 10 am – 7 pm
Saturday: 12 pm – 7 pm