At the age of 16, I bought my first Alexander Calder at auction. Later that year I was spellbound at The Prado museum having viewed my first few Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Breughel paintings, followed by paintings by El Greco and then Velasquez. The tour guide ushered hundreds of students through the museum, but I remained frozen in front of these amazing works of art.
A participant in a guinea pig program called Art Semester in 1972 at the University of Southern California, I (a mere student of 19) was able to interface with working visual and performing artists of considerable stature. This experience was the fulcrum causing me to switch from business administration to a studio degree in painting and drawing.
Graduate work at SMU led me to pioneer a marketing campaign for Sotheby’s in 1976. While attending SMU’s graduate program I was paid as an art critic for a newspaper and was trained by Donald Vogel as an art appraiser.
Throughout my career in the arts I dated some pretty significant art characters and thankfully learned some of the good stuff from them. There were other mentors who were simply friends like Marty Gordon and Richard Howard (both now deceased).
Floating World Gallery in Chicago is currently offering a woodblock print titled Snow at Zojo Temple by Kawase Hasui. They are offering a nice impression of this print for $6,500. Some years ago I bought a less fresh impression for $75 and sold it for $900 when I needed funds. Had I not needed the funds, it would have been smarter to have kept the print–but need can overrule the “right thing to do”.