HABATAT GALLERIES is the oldest gallery to exhibit “Contemporary Glass.”
“Contemporary Glass” began with a seminar at the Toledo Museum in l962. In l971 Linda Boone, Thomas Boone and Ferdinand Hampson opened Habatat Galleries in Dearborn, Michigan. Their degrees/ backgrounds were in art, design and business. Their finances consisted of saving $3,500.00 and receiving a matching SBA loan.
Habatat began as a more traditional Fine Art Gallery; they had no particular interest in glass. Their criteria was that the art they showed was quality, innovative and exciting. The main focus was on painting, prints and sculpture, but also showed art mediums that weren’t as accepted at the time such as photography, clay, fiber, folk art, art furniture and the newly explored material – glass.
In l972, Habatat Galleries hosted the first Annual National (now International) Glass Invitational. This exhibition continues today, and is the oldest, most extensive, consistently documented exhibition of its kind in the World. All of the Worlds important artists in the field of Contemporary Glass have participated.
In l981, Habatat moved and expanded the gallery to Lathrup Village, Michigan and in l982 made the risky decision to narrow the gallery’s focus to Contemporary Glass. The art establishment at the time didn’t take the medium of glass seriously. With this being the prevailing attitude, they felt that it was important for the gallery to build a credibility for the medium by showing its depth, range and consistent quality. It was important to present the glass in a way that it looked important so in addition to running quality exhibitions we put a lot of effort and money into printing and sending out impressive mailers and promotion.
The founder’s interest in photography and glass wasn’t originally about the quality of the work at that time we began showing it, but more a belief in the future possibilities of the mediums. In 2001 Thomas, Ferdinand and Linda were given awards for being Visionary’s by the Museum of Art and Design in New York. “It has been incredibly exciting and a privilege to have been a part of the growth of the Contemporary Glass Movement and see both it and the field of Photography become two of the most exciting art forms today” – Linda Boone.
In l983, Thomas and Linda moved to Florida and opened a gallery in North Miami, Florida. Bay Harbor Island was the home to a number of quality galleries and the location was a good beginning in Florida for them. After a few years they realized that Miami catered to more local or ethnic collectors and artists and that increasingly our collector base was coming from further north. In l988, Thomas and Linda had a concept for the gallery center and found an empty warehouse space in Boca Raton owned by an investment company out of state. They proposed the idea of a gallery complex and designed a layout that would house multiple galleries in a 23,000 square foot space. The ownership realizing what they had to gain from changing the building to retail spaces with a unified concept gave them one year free rent and paid for the build out. They also allowed them say as to the quality of the galleries going in.
In the beginning there was only one other gallery, about eight months later another gallery came in and by the next year the center was filled with seven galleries. The Gallery Center was home to Gallery Camino Real (40 years in Boca Raton), Elaine Baker Gallery (20 year presence in the Center) and galleries such as Marboro Gallery and Ameringer Gallery from NY and Theo Waddington from London, among others. For over twenty years the Gallery Center served as a wonderful resource for collectors and it has become a destination for visitors that the local community can show off with pride. During season 1500-2000 people showed up for an opening event and tens of thousands of people visited
the gallery as a destination site each year. The Gallery Center had been very successful but the time came when it was determined that greater opportunities were awaiting the gallery in West Palm Beach.
Habatat Galleries Florida also had a seasonal gallery in the Berkshires, Great Barrington, MA from 1998 until 2007.
After working for Linda Boone from 1999 until 2006, Jay Scott and Lindsey Scott opened up a Habatat Galleries in Tysons Corner, VA in 2007 and were cultivating a new market up in that area until Lindsey’s mother Linda Boone decided it was time to retire. Having such a long history in Florida and wanting to continue the legacy being built down there, Jay and Lindsey relocated their corporation (Habatat Galleries VA Inc) to West Palm Beach and took over the same location Habatat Galleries Inc occupied. Originally on Clematis Street, the gallery is now located in Northwood Village in West Palm Beach.