Gallerist Name: Louis M. Salerno
903 Park Avenue (at 79th Street), Suite 3A & B
New York, NY 10075
Questroyal Fine Art, LLC, New York, NY
Kendall Galant: What type of art does your gallery focus on?
Louis M. Salerno: Questroyal’s collection is comprised specifically of 19th- and 20th-century American Art. Our inventory is deeply rooted in the tradition of the Hudson River School, and also includes pieces by American Impressionists and Modernists from the 20th century.
Questroyal Fine Art, LLC, New York, NY
KG: How many artists do you represent? Can you tell us about one or two of them?
LS: We have over 400 artists represented in our inventory. My personal favorite is Ralph Albert Blakelock. He was a “mad genius” and was best remembered for his moonlight night scenes, which earned him the reputation as “the painter of darkness.”
John Marin, New York Series: From Weehawken Heights, 1950, at Questroyal Fine Art LLC, New York, NY
KG: How do you select the artists you represent?
LS: Since we don’t represent any living artists, we are on a constant search for the best quality examples of 19th- and 20th-century American Art that have the best values. At Questroyal Fine Art, we own the paintings that we sell, so we only select paintings that are worthy to collect.
Grandma Moses, Home, 1956, at Questroyal Fine Art LLC, New York, NY
KG: Do you have any development plans for your gallery?
LS: We recently expanded at our 903 Park Avenue location and have just opened a new gallery wing. We have also taken on an additional researcher and administrative assistant to ensure that we can efficiently contend with the increasing amount of activity, both at Questroyal and in the American Art market.
KG: What was your biggest sale in the past year?
LS: A major Hudson River School painting worth over seven figures!
KG: Have you noticed a trend in the origin of your buyers?
LS: While most of our buyers are typically over the age of 50, different paintings have the ability to draw interest from various age groups and locations across the country.
KG: What is your next important show? Tell us why we should come.
LS: Our next important sale will be the Hudson River School exhibition, which is a longstanding Questroyal tradition. Our selection will feature some the finest examples of American landscape paintings, and will take place in early March 2013.
KG: Do you think attending art fairs is crucial to gaining exposure? If so, which ones?
LS: Art fairs can be helpful towards gaining exposure, but they are not absolutely crucial. Some of the best client relationships form when a client walks through the doors of the gallery.
KG: Have you noticed any noteworthy changes in the gallery market?
LS: It has become increasingly clear that clients understand the value of experience—they have become adept at listening to the advice given by established dealers and galleries.
KG: Has the Internet dramatically changed the dynamic of your business?
LS: The Internet is a very important and helpful resource. It has given us the opportunity to increase our outreach and develop valuable connections with clients, museums, and art professionals.
KG: What do you use artnet for? How frequently do you use it?
LS: artnet is a very useful tool that helps us determine market value, and also to see if similar works are saturating the market.
KG: What advice can you give to a first-time collector?
LS: Discover what you love, find a dealer you trust, educate yourself, and NEVER stop asking questions.
KG: Are there any current art events that you recommend?
LS: The New-York Historical Society is currently hosting Nature and the American Vision, which features 45 Hudson River School paintings by artists such as Thomas Cole, John F. Kensett, Albert Bierstadt, Jasper F. Cropsey, and Asher B. Durand.
KG: How often do you attend art events?
LS: I go to about six events per year, and they typically focus on art that is relevant to our gallery.
KG: If you could have dinner with any three artists, living or dead, who would you choose?
LS: Ralph Albert Blakelock, Sanford Robinson Gifford, and Albert Bierstadt.