Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"You can't fire family"
-Mr. S

From what I understand this business was started by Mr. S's grandfather in Vienna.  Slightly after the 2nd World War, Mr. S and his father brought the business here to New Orleans.  Mr. S has a huge family, scattered around the world.  His grand daughter (I'll call her Kiddo, as Mr. S often refers to her as "Kid") does a lot of the work around the gallery.  He has no idea how much she actually does to keep the doors of this place open, because he can't even understand how much is involved in running a business today.  From what I can tell, if anyone of his descendants knows how to oversee and keep this business going once Mr. S retires (or, God forbid, passes away) it would be her.

However, I get the distinct feeling that Mr. S's abrasive attitude does very little to make Kiddo want to keep this gallery running after he is no longer in charge.  As a result the work that she does here is a chore done out of responsibility to family rather than desire to see the place prosper, and all he sees is her attitude as she puts up with him. He seems to think that professionally there isn't much more to her than that.  At the same time I can tell that he loves her as his grand daughter and as the mother of his great grandchildren.  He loves her as family, but can't seem to recognize that she does so much for the business.

I have to say that it would be a shame if Mr. S's family decided that the legacy would end with him and this gallery were to close its doors.  I couldn't blame them if they did, but it would be a shame nonetheless.  In the back we have walls full of photos of what I can only assume were its glory days, attracting the high society of New Orleans.  Openings for artists who, 30, 40, 50 years ago, were the upcoming international stars of the art world, rubbing elbows with the aristocracy of the city.  New Orleans needs this once again, a commingling of class and culture and art.  Not to say that this doesn't exist in this city, but that what happened here at this gallery was something unique, and it deserves to be reborn.

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