We’ve always been inspired by the work of renowned gallerist, Bernice Steinbaum, and the artists she represents, so we designed a beautiful luncheon to celebrate Bernice and to highlight how food and art correlate.
Bernice gathered some of her friends at her private home and gallery on Tigertail Avenue, what ensued was a celebration of fine art, culinary art and friendship, with a little champagne!
The inspiration for the menu was Bernice’s dining room where most of the art on display is the work of Chinese American contemporary artist, Hung Liu, previously represented by Bernice for over 30 years. Bernice graciously gave us a tour of her home and private collection, and spoke to us about her art, her artists and what motivates her.
As they arrived, guests were offered champagne in crystal glasses and a selection of Thierry Isambert’s signature hors d’oeuvres: Veal Saltimbocca (Parmigiano Polenta, Sage Sauce, Prosciutto Crisp;) Caramelized Peking Duck (Tapioca Chips, Asian Guacamole;) Fresh Cobia (Compressed Green Apple, Spicy Pear Puree & Yuzu Caviar) and Vertical Foie Gras (Mirin Reduction.)
The luncheon closed on a high note with an array of three desserts: Peche Velour (Peach Confit, Almond Cremeux, Caramel Peach & Orange Sorbet,) Fraise Demi Dome (Cheesecake, Strawberry Sorbet, Fresh Strawberry & Gold Leaf,) and a Charlotte’s Reveal (Lady Fingers, Chocolate Mousse Indulgence & Dulce de Leche, revealed with a warm Creme Anglaise.)
Bernice Steinbaum is both a pioneer in the art world and a pioneer in women’s activism, but as she puts it: “What’s curious about all of that, about being a pioneer, is that I don’t want to be a pioneer because usually pioneers have a vision and I didn’t have a vision, I just did the right thing. It’s so simple, and I don’t know that I should be credited and given gold stars and these lovely lunches.”
Before opening her first gallery in New York, in the 1970s, Bernice was teaching at a university where most of her students were getting their MFA. When they went around the galleries in New York, there were almost no women represented. Determined to show women artists, she went on to open her own gallery on 72nd and Madison. She didn’t represent women exclusively, but at least 50% were women, and they were Asian, Latin, Native American, and African American.
“The work was good! If I did not tell you who the artists were, you would say “This is good work!” I would like to come to a point where I don’t have to tell you what the nationality or ethnicity of a person is. Good art is good art, but at the time, I was a pioneer, I was the only dealer in NY that chose to represent women and artists from diverse backgrounds, and 50% women was unheard of, even today, most people would have a hard time mentioning 10 women artists that are household names.”
Bernice represented artists in New York for 23 years before moving to Miami where she opened a gallery and was the first commercial art dealer in Wynwood, making her a leader in the city’s burgeoning local art scene in the early 2000s. After 15 years in Wynwood, Bernice closed the doors to her gallery and moved her private collection to her beautiful home on Tigertail Avenue in Coconut Grove.
Closing her Wynwood Gallery was supposed to mean retirement for Bernice but she continues to represent artists and curate shows, and the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery in her Coconut Grove residence is open by appointment.
Artist: Deborah Simon
ursus maritimus (side view), 2012
polymer clay, faux fur, linen, embroidery floss, acrylic paint, glass, wire and foam
22”h x 25”d x 19”w
Photography: Olga Miljko