Salon Series | Nina Johnson on art & education in Miami

Art + Design from NY to Miami with Principle Elena Frampton and The Director at Nina Johnson Gallery, Nina Johnson

In a not-so-distant (but very different) time, Elena founded Salon Series, our intimate, in-person events program featuring conversations with the creatives, doers, and thinkers that we find the most intriguing. While IRL is still on hold, there’s good news — it’s back, and it’s Short & Sweet.

Introducing Salon Series: Short & Sweet, a snackable, virtual version with same spirit. Hosted by Elena, the six-minute episodes offer moments of revelation, diving into the psyches and stories of our favorite creatives from around the world.

With Design Milk as our media partner, we invited the brilliant Nina Johnson, of her eponymous Miami gallery, to be our first guest.

“I learned to be a dealer from a woman named Bernice Steinbaum,” Johnson tells Elena. “I was growing up in Miami, and nobody knew what to do with me! I was sort of freakish – I started working in her gallery when I was 15.” At that time, Miami was far from the artworld cognoscenti’s haven we know it as today. “This was a time when the art scene here was nascent, to say the least. Through good fortune somebody pointed me in her direction. Bernice really was an educator at heart, she was an art historian.”

That element of art education is part of what drives the Frampton Co journey with clients, too. That and, “Gut instincts!” as Elena says. “You can tell right away how people are drawn into things. I have a natural appreciation for that feeling, because I think sometimes the art world can get a little too heady, too scholarly. There are more visceral reactions to things that I also love to see and explore.”

As conversation bounced between art and design, it naturally came back to sunny Miami. “Now, so many years later, the city is so different,” Johnson says. “More of the general population is interested in contemporary art. With that happening, more of Miami has become increasingly engaged. And it’s important for us to recognize not only artists that live and work here, but artists that push us to continually ask the question, what does it mean to be in Miami? Are we being respectful? Are we raising the bar?”

Art, then, is not just about the art itself. “There’s the lifestyle element of living with art,” Elena says. “And there’s also the being-ness – how do we want to be?

Tune in here for more, including how Elena first discovered Nina Johnson’s gallery, the magic of art matchmaking, and a special BTS peek at the “emerging artists” in Nina’s personal collection.

Art + Design from NY to Miami with Principle Elena Frampton and The Director at Nina Johnson Gallery, Nina Johnson

Exhibition The Barn, Bridgehampton, New York

Artist Judy Chicago & Nina Johnson

Nina Johnson, Little Haiti, Miami

Emmett Moore, The Boat House, installation view

Exhibition Penthouse, NYC

Robert Moreland in Frampton Co's Brooklyn Townhouse project

still from "Short & Sweet" episode 1

Nevine Mahmoud, "Cherry Vicosa (lush cherry)"

Tom Scicluna, "Domain," installation view at Nina Johnson

Frampton Co's Amagansett Dunes project

Nina Johnson & artist Betty Woodman

Betty Woodman "Amphora and Garden"

Gallerist Bernice Steinbaum

Frampton Co's Florida Estate project

Elena with artists Nick Missel and Fernando Mastrangelo

Katie Stout "Sour Tasting Liquid" installation view at Nina Johnson

Exhibition The Barn | Summer ’19 | A BIrd's-Eye View Of Elena Frampton's Party

Emmett Moore "Danica Sunbeam" installation view at Nina Johnson

Emmett Moore "Trees in Oolite" installation view, Nina Johnson, Miami

New York

31 Union Square West #15E
New York, NY 10003


141 Maple Lane
Bridgehampton, NY 11932


212 448 1091