Jumaane N’Namdi, director of the N’Namdi Contemporary Gallery, grew up immersed in the art world. The second-generation gallerist launched his career in Chicago (1997-2012), expanded to New York (2001-2009), and since has put down roots in the Little Haiti neighborhood of Miami (2012). I recently had the opportunity to sit down with him at the Princeton Club in New York City and learn more about his trajectory.
“I grew up in the gallery,” explains Jumaane N’Namdi.
Pausing for a moment, the gallery director adds, “I played hide-and-seek behind sculptures, and these great master artists—meeting them and just having them around—all this was very normal to me.”
The art dealer’s father, George N’Namdi, a former developmental psychologist, switched gears and launched his own Detroit gallery in 1981. From an early age, N’Namdi spent a great deal of time in the business. He watched his family accrue an expansive art collection and witnessed first-hand the power of the artist-collector relationship.
Yet N’Namdi didn’t always set out to live his father’s legacy. Initially, he was going to be a teacher at Nataki Talibah Schoolhouse of Detroit, the institution founded by his mother,Carmen. He also thought about being a music producer. But after graduating from Morehouse College in 1997, he moved to Chicago and launched a career in the arts.