Saturday, July 25, 2009

I LOVE New York!

barter with gallery - painting traded for netsuke figures

Yesterday I arrived in New York for a 1 day family visit and as much as I wanted to spend time visiting museums and galleries this visit was going to be too short to go on any art ventures... at least that's what I thought!

On the way to my hotel I walked past a gallery on Lexington Avenue that had a display of netsukes in the window and I could not resist wanting to find out more about them. I have a small netsuke collection that was my father's and I have wanted to add to the collection but the cost for these antique ivory carvings can run into the thousands of dollars. (I have seen copies made for a fraction of the cost but the authenticity and details of the originals fascinates me). Several years ago when I was in the French Quarter in New Orleans I had started pricing figures and educating myself about netsukes and I found the history behind this art form intriguing.

I decided to go back to the dealer after I checked into my hotel and was overwhelmed by the size of his collection. He spent a good amount of time with me although I admitted I was intimidated by the prices and not in a position to make any purchases. He was a keen salesman and encouraged me to keep looking and to pick out my favorite 3 figures. After he shared with me a story about a Boston artist that did commissioned work for a hospital who ended up accepting a barter as a form of payment I decided to share with the gallery owner that I was in fact an artist who could barter. We ended up looking at my website and he found a painting he wanted! I was able to purchase the netsukes after all!!

On Monday I will be shipping him his painting plus he offered to show additional works of mine in his gallery. My son lives in the city and will be looking at the gallery space for me on Sunday... I love when good things happen unexpectedly.


  1. A great story; it's wonderful that he wants to show your work at his gallery. Your label is correct--good karma in the big city. Perhaps I'll see you and the netsuke collection on Antique Road Show one day.

  2. This is really cool, Robin. Good things happen for those who are open to opportunity and willing to walk thru the door. Congrats on both the trade and the gallery space.