Abby Bangser.
Photo: Weston Wells

The Collectors: Abby Bangser

The Object & Thing founder displays an extensive grouping of ceramics at her Connecticut home

Abby Bangser. Photo: WESTON WELLS

Object & Thing founder and creative director Abby Bangser’s passion for ceramics is evident to anyone who has attended one of her thoughtful and engaging presentations, such as the recent show “A Summer Arrangement” at the LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton, New York.

“I respond to the obvious handmade quality of ceramics and connection with the natural world through the material,” she says. “I don’t actively intend to collect, but I look at art and objects constantly and I bring home what I like when I can. We live surrounded with works in our home and also actively use the functional ceramics,” Bangser says of the midcentury-modern house by Hugh Smallen in New Canaan, Connecticut, she shares with her husband, Matt, a partner at Blum & Poe.

Yuji Ueda’s Untitled (2015). Photo: PERNILLE LOOF

Greatest gift: “My husband gave me a midcentury piece by the Danish ceramist Arne Bang because we share initials. I love the calm color of the glaze and elegant lines.”

Treasure trove: “I would never part with any of our ceramics—we live with large-scale tsubo vessels by Kazunori Hamana, works by Masaomi Yasunaga, vases by Frances Palmer, face jugs by Jim McDowell,” says Bangser, whose holdings also include works by Yuji Ueda and Doyle Lane.

Rattan- and cane-wrapped rocks by Shizu Okino and her daughter, Karen Okino Butzbach. Photo: PERNILLE LOOF

“I respond to the obvious handmade quality of ceramics and connection with the natural world through the material”

Abby Bangser

Wood fired ceramics by Frances Palmer arranged in the windowsill inspired by other displays at LongHouse as part of "A Summer Arrangement: Object & Thing" at LongHouse. LongHouse, East Hampton, New York. Photo: Adrian Gaut

Wish list: “I would like to commission Johnny Ortiz-Concha for a whole set of micaceous. clay vessels for our lake cabin in Connecticut. I will need to wait for Johnny to have the time—he balances caring for his farm and cooking for his /Shed dinner project.”

A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2023 Late Fall Issue under the headline “The Collectors.” Subscribe to the magazine.

Cover: Abby Bangser.
Photo: Weston Wells


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