A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 06, 2011
Gallerina (gal + art gallery + ballerina)

A “gallerina” (gal + art gallery + ballerina) or “gallery girl” is a receptionist at an art gallery. A man can also be a “gallerina,” although most gallerinas are young women. The term “gallerina” has been cited in print since at least 1999 amd 2001.


Urban Dictionary
Gallerina
The waif-like girls in opaque tights who rule the art galleries in Chelsea and other art districts. Like ballerinas, they are generally delicate-looking, coiffed, and can come off as cold.
As we perused the art, we tried to avoid the gallerinas.
by ...<@!+Y Mar 19, 2007

gallerina
young woman receptionist in a gallery, essentially a gallery ballerina. essentially a slur indicating her youth, inexperience and lack of justification for having attitude while working a menial job, from ‘sex in the city’
I’m not going to let some little gallerina make me feel like an idiot for not knowing what gaklyd is - look sweetie, you’re just a clerk.
by stendhalismo Mar 4, 2005

Google Books
Vogue
Volume 189
1999
Pg. 234:
Rockman’s tall, lovely wife, Jill Rowe, was working as a “gallerina” at Sperone Westwater in 1992 when Rockman had a show there.

Frieze
Kristin Lucas
Postmasters Gallery

Published on 06/06/01
By Rachel Green
If you hold the work of Valie Export and Adrian Piper dear, you will want to see what Kristin Lucas makes. Perhaps the comparison is premature since ‘Alias’ is her first solo show in New York, but, at the very least, her themes - spirituality, technology and the body politic - and her impressive exploration of complex ideas, put her in a category far apart from the ‘gallerina’ clique currently grabbing the spotlight in the New York art scene.

Village Voice (New York, NY)
Restored
Galleries Space Out on the Lower East Side

By Leslie Camhi
Tuesday, Sep 3 2002
(...)
Maccarone began as an intern at Chelsea’s Luhring Augustine and spent four years there as director. But her gallery, which gets rebuilt for each show, is in many ways the un-Chelsea. “It’s meant to be really unprecious,” she said, as we sat at a table piled with water bottles and papers. “I didn’t want you to walk in and see this high desk, with some really gorgeous gallerina behind it.”

15 February 2003, Newsday (Long Island, NY), “NY Fashion Week—Fall 2003” by Zo Alexander and Francine Parnes, pg. A10:
She took her cue from the young women who run galleries (she calls them “gallerinas") and says they know know just how to mix vintage clothes with newer handmade pieces.

Google Books
New York City
By Beth Greenfield and Robert Reid
Footscray, Vic.: Lonely Planet
2004
Pg. 84:
Soho is mobbed with tourists shopping and gawking on weekends, when it can be annoyingly crowded. Weekdays are more real, when ‘gallerinas’ and other assorted office and gallery workers dominate the traffic flow.

USA Today
Posted 9/20/2004 9:32 PM Updated 9/21/2004 10:28 AM
What’s a party without ‘eye candy’?
By Craig Wilson, USA TODAY
(...)
In party towns such as Las Vegas and Los Angeles, New York and Miami, they’re called “party motivators,” pretty people who add a certain energy to an event. Art galleries even use them to spice up openings and help sell the merchandise, dubbing them “gallerinas.”

New York (NY) Times
Gatekeepers to the Art World
By JAN HOFFMAN
Published: March 30, 2008
(...)
Here, winter is eternal. Brace yourself for the icy blast from the so-called reception desk. The gallerina sitting there will not give you so much as a once-over.
(...)
But in the money-frenzied, celebrity-stoked sprawl that has become the New York gallery world over the last five years, the pittance-paying job of front desk assistant (a k a receptionist, gallerina, gallery girl) has become hungrily sought as an entree into the commercial, rather than creative, side of the business.

Google Books
ART/WORK: Everything You Need to Know (and Do) As You Pursue Your Art Career
By Heather Darcy Bhandari anf Jonathan Melber
New York, NY: Free Press
2009
Pg. 8:
Gallerina: greeting visitors, answering phones, administrative tasks. (Yes, the guys are called “gallerinas,” too.)

Google Books
Secret Society
By Tom Dolby
New York, NY: Katherine Tegen Books
2009
Pg. 140:
A frosty gallerina (the art world’s fancy name for “receptionist”) was sitting behind a desk and talking to a young woman wgo was holdinga large black portfolio.

Metro (New York, NY)
‘Russian Dolls’: Wives, rats star on new NYC reality TV
ALISON BOWEN/METRO
NEW YORK
Published: August 03, 2011 8:57 p.m.
(...)
Bravo to follow gallerinas
On Bravo network, cameras will follow 20-somethings chasing their dream. “Paint the Town,” a tentative title, follows young women — they’ve nicknamed themselves “gallerinas” — working at art galleries in Manhattan. The show is currently in production. In heels on gallery floors by day, and hip clubs by night, the show hopes to portray “a business with so few opportunities to rise up the ranks.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWorkers/People • (0) Comments • Saturday, August 06, 2011 • Permalink