Dealers Cheim and Read List Longtime Chelsea Home for $15 Million

'We are selling as we do not want to be landlords,' John Cheim said. 'I want to travel and be free.'

Cheim and Read gallery, middle, on West 25th Street, is listed for sale at $14.995 million. Photo courtesy of Serhant.

The Cheim and Read gallery, which closed in December after 26 years in business, is selling its home in Manhattan’s West Chelsea neighborhood.

The 6,000-square-foot building at 547 West 25th Street, which was designed by architect Richard Gluckman, is listed at $14.995 million with Serhant, a rapidly growing boutique real estate firm. Gallery owners John Cheim and Howard Read bought the single-story showroom for $1.875 million in 2000, according to New York property records.

Cheim and Read was known for championing female artists long before it became fashionable. Over the years, it showed Joan Mitchell, Louise Bourgeoise, Lynda Benglis, Alice Neel, Louise Fishman, and Jenny Holzer. It also focused on painting, working with Ron Gorchov, Al Held, Bill Jensen, and more recently, Matthew Wong.

Skylights illuminate five showrooms in the building, with ceiling heights ranging from 12 feet to 24 feet. Development air-rights offer about 30,000 square feet of buildable space, according to Serhant.

The gallery was designed to show art in “well lit, good-proportioned space,” Cheim, 71, said in a direct message on Instagram. “We are selling as we do not want to be landlords. I want to travel and be free.”

A color photo shows two gestural, abstract paintings on white walls

Installation view of “Joan Mitchell: Paintings from the Middle of the Last Century, 1953–1962” at Cheim and Read in 2018. Photo courtesy of Cheim & Read

At Sotheby’s in New York this past November, Cheim sold a number of pieces from his private collection, including a 1990–91 Mitchell for $27.9 million. The dealer had received the painting as a gift from the artist, who died in 1992. 

The gallery’s final exhibition, of Kathe Burkhart’s ongoing “Liz Taylor Series,” ended just before Christmas.

Since then, its longtime director, Maria Bueno, has been operating privately in the space, Cheim said.  She’s set to open her own firm, Bueno and Co., at a location on West 26th Street in the fall.

“They still have about $50 million worth of art in there,” said Bernadette Brennan, a listing agent and managing director of Serhant Commercial. “You can see different art coming in and out.”

The building is across the street from Pace Gallery’s headquarters and a block north of Gagosian’s spaces on West 24th Street.

Cheim and Read is Serhant’s second significant listing in Chelsea. The company also represents the sellers of the historic four-story building on West 22nd Street where the Dia Art Foundation presented exhibitions from 1987 to 2004. That structure is listed at $68 million.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics