Influenced by her French and Tunisian parents, along with her own travels and collaborations, Melanie Courbet founded Les Ateliers Courbet in 2013. She also acts as the New York gallery’s director, with the space focusing on a master-craftsman ethos and the sharing of art that embodies artisanal dexterity and cultural heritage. Melanie credits her mother for helping to form her artistic sensibility, while the inspiration for the gallery comes from her father, who helped to spearhead the organic food movements in Paris in the 1970s.
Les Ateliers Courbet comes with international recognition for its dedication to craftsmanship legacies and techniques that have stood the test of time. Today, the gallery represents a permanent roster of more than 30 ateliers whose works reside in the decorative arts and furniture. Melanie works with private collectors, interior designers, and public institutions to foster and share the work of these sometimes centuries-old manufacturers and international contemporary artisans.
Before making the jump and owning her own gallery space, Melanie worked in Los Angeles advising young collectors, managing design projects, and organizing exhibitions in New York and Paris. She also incubated the Love & Art for Children Foundation and managed design studio Dror’s international communications and business development. All of the pieces were there, she just had to put them together.
Melanie has had the opportunity to collaborate with some established names and brands, among them are LVMH, Cappellini, Christie’s, and Pritzker Prize Architect, Thom Mayne. Institutions include the Muséedes Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Ministry Of Culture in France.
This week, Melanie Courbet joins us for Friday Five!
Sunday nights at home ordering in and playing records. This Miles Davis album has been my favorite since it was gifted to me 17 years ago by an old friend who is a music artist responsible for a great part of my music culture. My mother would play old records at home, too.
2. Shine on Sierra Leone
To different degrees since 2007, I have been involved with my friend’s organization Shine on Sierra Leone that’s located in the northeast village of Kono, Sierra Leone. The organization includes two schools, over 500 students, adult literacy, a health program, and long-standing micro-loan programs for women. We’ve been working with the local community and the teachers at our school to empower both children and parents to support their access to education, health, and small business opportunities.
I am particularly fond of a teenage student, Amadou. I’ve been personally supporting and following from his first years at Muddy Lotus, our elementary school, through to today as he enters college in Freetown. I would adamantly recommend the fulfilling experience of supporting one student’s education somewhere in the world, and being able to see how your minimal contribution impacts the life of another being.
3. Sunday Visits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Fall and winter weekend visits to the Met. I often skip the temporary shows and stroll through the antiques and old masters’ galleries. A breath of inspiration and meditative space.
4. Humanrace Sneakers Shopped Online
My new Humanrace sneakers by Pharrell and Adidas. I’m slightly addicted to spending time shopping on the online auction platforms, with the latest being Pharrell’s Joopiter auction.
5. Helicopter Piloting
I find flying and piloting helicopters to be another meditative space and breath of inspiration.