Longtime gallery director and curator Miles Manning candidly describes operations at Elizabeth Harris Gallery and gives advice on building contacts, reaching out to critics, and hosting studio visits.
“A lot of artists say that once they get a gallery they’re on easy street, they can just kick back and paint in their studio, etc. [But] the artist can still do a lot: come in on Saturday and hang out if they have the time, interact with collectors and people who are interested in the work, write letters and notes to critics…. Just write a letter, it works.”
Miles Manning is Director of Elizabeth Harris Gallery in New York City. Born in North Dakota, Manning grew up in Philadelphia. He attended Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, graduating with a double major in Art and Biology (with a focus on botany). He returned to Philadelphia and took classes at Tyler University before moving to New York for graduate school at Pratt Institute in 1977. Originally studying environmental design, Manning soon switched to painting and drawing. After graduating, Manning worked briefly in a printmaking “sweatshop,” a frame shop, and as a freelance art installer before taking a position at John Weber Gallery. He moved on to a position at Castelli Graphics, a venue opened by Leo Castelli Gallery, before becoming a curator at Grace Borgenicht Gallery. Manning left the gallery in the early 90s and, after a brief stint as a plumber, became the director of the Danish Contemporary Art Center (DCA). He remained at the DCA for eleven years, until the government-subsidized gallery was closed in 2005. Following the closure Manning became the Director at Elizabeth Harris Gallery, where he remains today.