Corey Daniels Gallery, Wells, Maine

Text by Cheryl and Jeffrey Katz Photography by Cheryl and Jeffrey Katz

It is no mere coincidence that within minutes of meeting Corey Daniels we realize that we are kindred design spirits. When we meet at his contemporary art and antiques gallery (more on the marriage of the two seemingly disparate arenas in a moment), we have already been stalking him for twenty years, ever since we read an article about Daniels’s home in a relatively obscure British design magazine in 1993. Now we are face to face with the man whose sensibility we have long admired. In fact, on the work table of our studio, in a manila folder labeled “Inspiration,” is every tidbit of printed material about him that we have ever found.

It is also no mere coincidence that the gallery shows off Daniels’s talent for assembling objects that, at first glance, may seem incongruous. To wit: a weighty orb sits on a delicate antique chair; a curvy iron base nestles up against a straight, sturdy column; and a vintage metal kitchen stool, its white paint worn, fits inside a perfect glass vitrine. This is not happenstance. There is a reason—proportion, scale, patina, shape—for every design decision.

Daniels started collecting as a teenager and until the early 1980s restricted his purchases to American antiques. Call it an epiphany or just intuition, but he realized he could be much more eclectic in his purchases. No rules kept him from choosing objects from the world at large, from any country and from any time period. It was this same open-minded thinking and eye for the unique that figured into his decision, in 2005, to add contemporary art to the mix.

It is no coincidence, either, that his vision—this marriage of mid-career and emerging artists and an ever-expanding inventory of antiques and decorative objects—keeps his collection strong and constantly evolving. 2208 Post Road, Wells, Maine, (207) 646-5301, coreydanielsgallery.com.

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