Fashion Merchandising Management ’09

Ben Albucker sells American modern furnishings from the ’40s and ’50s in his shop in Lambertville, NJ, an antiques mecca favored by weekending New Yorkers. He adores metalwork, particularly aluminum, and prefers muted colors over the blistering oranges and yellows of late modernism. He buys very selectively, mostly from dealers and at auction, but still stumbles upon the occasional gem at antique shows, flea markets, and estate sales. Though the shop has been open since July 2015, he has yet to name it. “It’s helped because I can’t have any bad Yelp reviews,” he says.

Featured Photo: In his shop, Albucker sells “things imbued with beauty.”

Albucker talked about a few beautiful objects he recently bought.

“I’m not usually drawn to landscapes, but this painting in its original frame, signed illegibly, is very beautiful to me. It feels a little Hopper-ish, and maybe that’s why people often notice it in my shop. Its dry and muddy yet colorful palette, I think, is what gives me a sense of peace and calm, which I rarely have.”

“First off, the early Modernist stuff from France is the best. From refined furnishings to industrial tools, the French just did things right. Since these lamps were designed to be used at work, they came in many different forms with two main shade varieties, but the triangle base table lamps are coveted. The originals are almost always beautifully patinated. There are other pretty French industrial lamps but the gras lamps are the prettiest. Top-to-bottom elegant engineering solutions that I fell for, hard.”

“Often my favorite American Modernist design objects are those that were made in the garage or shed of an American who wasn’t necessarily skilled beyond a basic use of tools–but one who had a great eye for design. This is folk art-meets-modernism, and I love that stuff.”