The Art of Marketing the Fine Arts

Regina Kolbe

Regina Kolbe is President of PR To the Trade, a public relations firm for small businesses, particularly those that serve the art world. Clients include auction galleries, appraisers, show promoters, gallerists, antique dealers and museums.

A public relations blog that offers advice on maximizing your marketing opportunities.

The Roland Brothers on the Importance of an Exhibition

  • The Roland Brothers' Bill Roland

    The Roland Brothers' Bill Roland

A few days ago, a Chinese collector came into the gallery to inspect a piece of Orientalia. He brought a black light, a jeweler's loop and a translator. After thoroughly inspecting the item, the collector remarked that the nuances and subtleties were all but missing on the Internet.

That's why Robert and I spend so much time staging the Roland Auction exhibitions. The preview that opens Thursday, October 13 features more than 400 lots in the October 15 sale. Catalog descriptions are, at best, curatorial and academic. We don't editorialize. We don't "sell" in the catalog you view on

If we did, the Roland reputation would quickly erode. Besides, how can you adequately describe or show the emotion conveyed by the dark colors of John Bagaris' abstract painting-particularly when colors differ on each computer screen?

The Samuel J. Herman, Val St. Lambert studio glass bowl we're featuring in the ads is another example. It's hard to grasp the more than 2-foot wide diameter. In person you comprehend its importance and weight. You see the oyster-like inspiration that plays out in patterns formed in the heat of a 1900-degree furnace.

Moments like this inspire appreciation anew for the skill levels of the artists.

The same can be said of Picasso's ceramic plate or the William Spartling silver. Since there can be only one buyer, you owe yourself a "hands on" examination.

As a collector, you're looking for the strength in items. As a dealer, you want to see for yourself anything that will influence resale. As a designer, your creativity will be sparked by viewing so much in one space.

The preview for the October 15 sale runs Thursday and Friday, October 13 through 14. We're open 10 a.m. till 7:00 p.m.

Our gallery in Greenwich Village is easily accessible to everyone in the tri-state  area. For those of you limited by distance, please do the next best thing. Visit the website and then call the gallery, 212-260-2000 for a condition report. Bob and I are always up front about the properties.



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