Thursday, August 28, 2014

And here is CF3.

Saw CF3 waiting to go in while getting back from lunch.  Wasn't sure, but sounds like another Westbank one.  Interesting that we aren't getting any men applying for this position.  Mr.S talks too much for these interviews, doesn't ask enough questions, and I wonder if these poor women understand what he is talking about... or what they are getting themselves into.

Oh god, he is telling this one that she'll have to drive him home.

She previously worked for Oschner.  Considering that she seems to have some hospital experience maybe she'll be used to the type of stress that this place entails.  Or maybe she is trying to get away from that stress.  Anyway, good luck CF3, you'll need it.  Not for getting the job (believe it or not, you're lucky if you don't) but you'll need the luck in dealing with this old geezer if you get the job.

CF4 is now being interviewed; another Westbank applicant.  She is catching him later in the day which means he is more tired, thus less coherent.  I can tell she is struggling to understand.  And now he is interrupting the interview for his cell phone... she seems not into it.  Wouldn't be surprised if she turns the job down if it is offered.

Interestingly, so far Mr.S seems to be leaning towards CF1, who I though was instantly disqualified due to being Westbank.  However, unlike all the others so far she showed interest in the art on the walls, and that is something that Mr.S liked.  Looks like Mr.S isn't totally out of it yet mentally speaking; just enough to make our lives hell without being so far gone that he would make it easier by not being able to come in.
Finding something else is taking a bit longer than I'd like.  I know the owner of an e-cig shop nearby in the same part of the French Quarter and it seems they'd love to have me, but they just opened up and business needs to pick up before they can start hiring.  The owner there is awesome, laid back, and I know we would get along.  Furthermore, as someone who vapes, I know my way around the product and can relate to the customers.  Its not art, but I'm sure I would enjoy the work, and it would give me enough free time to work on my own projects.  (6 days a week is killing me)

Today I'm sitting here while Mr.S interviews replacements for T.  I'm not giving any of them permanent names until one gets hired; for now they are "cannon fodder/CF1" "CF2" "CF3" you get the idea.  Even then, I might just continue referring to them in here as "cannon fodder."  I'll hopefully find a new job and be out of here before I can form any opinions about their chances of staying on.

CF1 was very friendly with great people skills, both of which wouldn't be too bad to have for someone whose job is greeting people at the front door and answering phones.  However, I think Mr.S has already dismissed her as a candidate; he doesn't want anybody from Westbank as he thinks they won't get to work on time.  That's probably discrimination, but leave it to Mr.S to not even consider that.

CF2 is slightly older and less warm and bubbly, but Mr.S doesn't care for warm and bubbly, even if that's what is needed.  She listed having a degree from University of Phoenix, which doesn't impress me at all as that's an online diploma mill.  He doesn't understand online degrees though (doesn't pay attention to academics, if you remember). He probably doesn't even know that such a thing as earning a degree on the internet exists.  He wouldn't know the difference between the U. of Phoenix and Stanford.

Still waiting on CF3, but for now we have another old friend visiting Mr.S and talking about the good old days.  I'll let them do their thing and get back to this when another CF shows up.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Mr.S just fired T for a mistake that he made.  Its a long story, but basically he handed me something to mail out, I handed it to her, and she mailed it.  He forgot to include something and blamed her.  I believe this man is not fit to run this place any more and hasn't been for some time.  As soon as I find something else he is getting my 2 weeks notice.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I need to keep in mind what I have learned here.  While it is frustrating that Mr.S doesn't recognize or understand the newer aspect of things in the world, I have learned a lot from him about some of the older things.  You might not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but sometimes puppies are so rambunctious and preoccupied with everything that's new that they don't pay attention to learn the old tricks.

I need to keep in mind that its good not to be a rambunctious puppy.

Back to writing ads for newspapers... Because everyone still reads newspapers, yep, no way that could be a dying form of media.  These ads at least make a little sense until Mr.S decides he has to look at it, make changes, and ruin any semblance of correct grammar or usage of English language.  At which point I have to implement his changes and try to return a bit of linguistic cohesion, print up a new draft, run it by him, and the cycle starts over again.

I don't know if anyone in this family has power of attorney at this point, but it might be time to consider moving him to a retirement home.  I know its not my place to say, but lets face it, the man is 92; most people retire at about 60.  He could have been retired for 30 years, enjoying his life, but instead he spends his days in a decaying old gallery watching it slowly deflate.

Mr.S has said that he likes New Orleans because it reminds him of Vienna; Its a city where everyone has a good time, nobody is in a hurry, and there is good food and good music to be enjoyed.  I'd say that lots of things about this man reflects his homeland.  His gallery, for example, reflects the path of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; once great but nobody can really remember when, and since then has been constantly fading into obscurity as those ruling become handicapped by their own mental decline, eccentricity, and unwillingness to accept the changing world around them.

There has been some talk of clearing out the other building next door (which never seems to get shown anyway) and renting it out as a storefront to another business.  I wonder if that would be the equivalent of Hungary splitting away, though I suppose its not quite the same, as they'd still be paying to Mr.S and he'd still technically own the building. Anyway, aside from being incorrect that's also probably taking that comparison a bit too far. If that happens, though, it will be interesting to see how whoever rents out the area next door will react to their landlord.  Then again, dealing with that business might be taken care of by Kiddo, who has more experience with real-estate, and would probably be more agreeable for the tenants to deal with.

Whatever, better get back to writing this stupid ad so I don't get screamed at like yesterday.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Wow, busy day.  After the crises I mentioned earlier, the film folks who called last week stopped by.  Mr.S seems dead-set against the idea of them filming here, but I managed to get the guys aside for a short time to show them around some of the other parts of the gallery such as the 3rd/4th floors and even next door, and talk to them and see if we could work out some way of handling things that would be agreeable to Mr.S.  They really want to film here, and we discussed some ways in which it might be possible to film without taking down the paintings (something Mr.S is adamantly against).  We decided it would be best to tread carefully, keep them in contact with Kiddo, and possibly film up on the 3rd/4th floor to avoid equipment getting in the way for Mr.S.  If this is going to work Kiddo is going to need to do some convincing with Mr.S, but I think we might be able to work things out... if he will listen.

...Big "IF" on that last bit.  As I was finishing up he called me on my cell and was chewing me out for being away from my desk for so long.  I'm trying to help out this gallery, get it noticed, bring in Hollywood money that might be interested in what the gallery has to offer, not to mention publicity from a nationally syndicated tv show... and he is hollering at me for it!  Instead he wants me to write up letters to more newspapers advertising an exhibition that isn't going to happen; letters that I've already mentioned to Kiddo and she has told me not to send in.  AUGH!!!

Note to self-
If I get to his age, and if I can still remember making this note to myself; listen to others.  Even if you don't want total change be open to some compromise.
Just talked to Kiddo.  Minor freakout avoided and she has helped me to put things in perspective.  Kiddo is awesome.

Calming down now; will go to lunch soon, might have a smoke and coffee as well.  Usually I just puff on my e-cig and only smoke real cigarettes when I'm drinking with friends, but after last week and today I think I might need the real thing.

Part of the freakout was about a letter that Mr.S wanted sent to a local newspaper, asking for an advertisement for an exhibition next month of paintings of ballerinas.  The problem though is that we only have one such painting, and while it is a beautiful piece by a wonderful late 19th century German artist, its not enough to make an exhibition, and there is no way that we could magically have a ton more paintings like it magically appear in the next month.

Finally, after trying to explain this to the man, without success, I simply wrote up the letter for him to approve, then never sent it, told him I did, and took the whole issue over to Kiddo, as well as discussing other issues that came up over the weekend while she was gone.  I hate to write about things that point out the man's senility, but the fact of the matter is that at this age at least some senility is going to be a matter of fact.

Anyway, time for lunch.
It's another week, starting week 5.  Having had my day off to think about it I feel a bit bad about some of the things I wrote at the end of last week.  It's easy to get caught up in your own thoughts, and sometimes when you do those thoughts don't always get entirely thought through, instead boiling over with whatever you are feeling right then and there.

Despite what I said last week, this isn't a 1-person nursing home but a gallery, and a good one at that, with a collection the likes of which cannot be found elsewhere.  We just need to attract new customers, and it seems that at Mr.S's age he's a bit set in his ways and it makes changing with the times distinctly difficult.  However, I shouldn't get as worked up as I was.

As always, I'm not going to take the post down, as I feel that doing so would only be an act to save face and if I'm going to write about the shortcomings of another I shouldn't be hiding my own.  I get impatient at times, and I'll admit that I get offended, perhaps a bit too easily.  I'm very good at hiding this, but after a while it wears me down.  I found that venting here on the blog usually helps, and is preferable to snapping at the old man, especially as age has not taken away his ability to snap back.

Edit: 2 hours into the day and I take it back.  I cannot stand this man.  Would someone please strangle him for me.  (No, not really, but he is driving me nuts.)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

What a week; this is the 1st time since Monday that I've had a moment to sit down and write in the blog.  Mr.S seems more worked up than normal this week, and I am about ready to strangle him.  He asks for something, I get it, then he demands to know why it was where it was, or why it has writing on it, or who put it there.  For all I know these files were put where they were a decade ago.

When I took this job I expected to be working in a gallery learning to sell paintings, accepting a (very) modest base paycheck which is acceptable considering the commissions made when selling the paintings.  In reality I'm just being paid that base salary to work in a personal old-folks home disguised so as to let the one old man live out his life thinking that he's still working.

Who are we kidding?  He isn't going to retire; this is his retirement!  He sits at a desk, living out his fantasy of still being an important businessman with a successful art gallery, and grumbles and shouts at people.  All the while the rest of the world leaves him further and further behind.

Yesterday a site scout for a well known television series being filmed in New Orleans called to make an appointment to look around and possibly see about filming in the gallery.  Mr.S showed no interest at all.  I suggested that it would be good publicity for the gallery, that people across the country would see it.  He got angry and shouted that he didn't want all the cameras and film crews getting in the way of him doing his business.

I don't get it.  To me it would be only one day of slight inconvenience.  There is no "business" to be getting in the way of; this place is dead.  I'm sure they could even film on one of the floors where nobody visits, park the vans around the corner where they won't block the gallery.  I'm certain it would bring in customers, but according to Mr.S I'm stupid and don't have any good ideas.

Monday, August 11, 2014

(paraphrasing, as closely as I can remember to what Mr.S originally said)

"When I first came to America I planned to work for my Uncle who lived here.  He had offered me a job.  I thought that he worked furniture but as it turned out he worked in funerals; he was a funeral director!  When I saw that there were corpses laid out for preparation I decided that after being a soldier I had already seen enough of that.  Working there wasn't something I wanted to do.

Then I went to work at a drug store but my English wasn't very good back then.  The boss told me how to make malted shakes.  A customer came in and asked for aspirin, I gave him a malt; that's how I got fired from my first job.

Then I went to work at a theater as an usher.  They told me all I needed to do was ask the people if they wanted to sit at the front, middle, or back of the theater.  I don't know why; its not like the seats cost more or less.  Anyway, after seating the people I sat down and watched the movie too.  That's how I got fired from my second job."

Starting week 4 and Mr.S and I are at our desks.  I hope T and Kiddo show up soon because I still feel quite lost without them here.  However, I am doing better than I would have when I started 3 weeks ago, so that is some improvement.

I started this blog because this place has an odd feel to it, something conducive to stories.  For me it feels like I and my coworkers are trapped in a setting that somehow combines the elements of John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces and the old TV shows of "the Addams Family."  However, these aspects may not be entirely visible to someone who just walks in off the street.  Speaking of which, it looks like we have visitors to the gallery.  I'll be back to write the rest of this after showing them around.

Back to writing again, and thankfully Kiddo is here.

Gave the quick tour to our visitors.  To those just visiting, what you are treated to is a beautiful 1st 2 floors of the building, well lit, with an assortment of quality paintings created over a century ago.  You'll be guided around by a slightly goofy/awkward, young, eager to please salesperson (yours truly) who contrasts with the much older gallery owner.  The salesman teeters between wanting to gush about the historical significance of the paintings and holding back fearing that you might not be interested and wanting to allow you to look and form your own opinions.  The older gallery owner on the other hand will demand your attention so he can tell you about the subject matter of the painting; for example how in the old days people would meet their sweethearts at the town well, as shown in one of the paintings in the gallery.  He doesn't hold back and is certain that what he says is what everyone will find fascinating, without any thought that you might not be interested, or that you might be more interested in spending time looking at a different painting, or that you might have more knowledge of art or interest in the academic aspects than a small child.

What fewer people get to see is the 3rd and 4th floor of the building, and its even rarer to see the entire building next door, also housing a substantial portion of the collection.  And then there is the apartment in the attic.  When you get away from the lighted and cooled 1st couple floors, which are a lesson in history in their own right, you find yourself in a time capsule, surrounded by memories of the past.

Something about these areas sets me on edge; its as if there are ghosts of the past, trapped there, unable to pass over to whatever awaits beyond, and simultaneously unable to come back and enjoy themselves here among the living.  Instead they hide in the dark spacious rooms, alone with the seldom seen masterpieces of centuries past that hang on the walls.

And then, there is the apartment in the attic.

The apartment in the attic looks about the way it did in the late 60's/early 70's when it was used as Mr.S's party pad in his days as a New Orleans playboy.  As I understand, there are a few small changes; the Picasso that hung on the wall up there has since been sold and there is now a painting that had been a "Puck" magazine illustration hanging in its place.  However, the overall feel is still the same.  The walls are covered in odd wallpaper with characters that appear to be from some creepy spinoff of Alice in Wonderland.  There is a card table with matching chairs, with tarot card designs emblazoned on it.  There is a bar/drinking area with a huge lazysusan.  Finally, there is a large jacuzzi tub with a porcelain zebra in it... in the living room area.  I have mentioned before in other posts how some things can only be found in New Orleans; this is one of them, but even in New Orleans this is one of a kind.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

"They couldn't get cold feet!  Nobody gets cold feet around here; its too warm!"

Its Saturday again, and as I work 6 days a week that doesn't really mean much.  What means more is the fact that it is blazing hot and humid out today.  

Of course, Saturday does mean something to everyone who does get a normal weekend.  This Saturday is apparently the 20th annual Red Dress Run.  A prime example of the craziness that is New Orleans, the Red Dress Run is a fundraiser/drinking event/running event where a ton of people show up wearing red dresses (or other red colored garments of feminine clothing) and drink heavily.  Yes, the red dresses are also worn by the men attending the event.  So, on the bus to the french quarter, I was sitting on the bus seat wearing my tie, slacks, dress shirt, and carrying my blazer... surrounded by a bunch of men ranging from frat-boy types to mid-age looking gentlemen, all dressed in red drag.

Another interesting and presumably unrelated example of the things that would seem out of place anywhere but in this city; on my way from the bus to work I pass by a fire station, and today someone was standing in the middle of the garage of the fire station playing the bagpipes.  It was entirely dark inside (compared to the blazing sun outside) so all I could see was the silhouette of the piper against the light of a door leading out the back of the fire station as he played.  I grinned at how seemingly random it was, and then hurried on to work.

Today it is just Mr.S and myself in the gallery.  Kiddo doesn't come in on Saturdays because she has to take care of her own kids (Mr.S's great grandchildren) and T also has Saturdays off.  There is another woman who usually is here on Saturdays to take T's desk, but I guess J couldn't make it in today either.  I wish that I had Saturdays off to work on my art, but that's not the way things work around here.  However, on slow days (as it seems most days in this gallery are) I'm able to get out my sketchbook and do a bit of work.  Its not the work on my prints that I'd like to be doing, but at least its something.  It is a short day, I can carve the linoleum a bit when I get home, though that will distract from being able to spend time with Elsa.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Today my computer timed out and went into sleep mode.  When the screen went to black I saw my reflection in the screen, and couldn't believe how tired I looked.  It's only been a few weeks, and it doesn't seem like that active of a job, but it is draining.  Maybe its because I work 6 days a week, or maybe because the base salary is about minimum wage with promises of commissions on paintings that never sell.  Maybe its because I'm working directly with Mr.S daily.

I'm glad to have a job, I just want to be good at it.  I also wish I could have the time that I previously did to work on my own art.  Its only been 3 weeks though.  If I'm meant to be doing this I'll get better at it, and if I'm meant to succeed with my artwork I will.  Who knows, maybe I'm meant to be doing something else altogether.  I can only trust God/fate to grant that my efforts will someday put me where I'm meant to be.

For now, I'm tired.
This morning, shortly after getting to work:

Me- "Mr.S, I've found where you can buy the book you've been looking for about this German artist.  It looks like you can only get the book in German."

Mr.S- "Well naturally!  They're German; they aren't going to write it in Spanish!"

On the bus ride to work I've had a bit on my mind.  While I'm learning a lot about the art that we have in this gallery, I'm worried that I'm not making enough progress as a salesman and I'm not sure if I can get all the knowledge that I need on that subject from Mr.S.

From what I have gathered, in the past he had an excellent salesman who passed away.  I'm not sure how long ago that was, as it seems like sometimes Mr.S can get more recent times and dates confused.  To give an example, the other day he asked if I remembered something that happened here at the gallery last May, and I had to remind him that I was just starting my 3rd week of employment here.  Anyway, regardless of whether it was 10 months ago or 10 years, this salesman did an excellent job, and Mr.S hasn't had a salesperson that he's been happy with since then.

The woman who was doing the job before me was here for only 6 weeks before he let her go, and as I get closer and closer to that length of employment myself I worry that I can expect to be dismissed in the same way.  Mr.S wields the power to hire and fire around here, and though he may consult Kiddo and T, I'm sure that if he sets his mind to it I'll only be a footnote in the history of the gallery.  If I don't hurry up and start making sales, though, I might deserve it.

On the one hand, I know that I need to learn more about selling.  On the other, Mr.S doesn't make it easy.  Despite Mr.S's flaws, the man can spot someone with money from a block away.  I'll still be welcoming a guest to the gallery when he notices Gucci shoes or Armani handbags, and automatically tries to take over the situation.  He is probably right, of course, about their being wealthy, but what he doesn't seem to notice are their reactions to him.

Rich people are often afraid of whatever doesn't fit into their pretty world, and age scares them.  Here at the gallery you have an old man who, if he sees any sign of wealth, won't leave you alone.  Some will humor him, smile as he describes his gallery (only understanding half his words), but the discomfort is palpable.  On one hand their fear disgusts me, but on the other, this gallery needs to make sales to function and I'm afraid that in that area Mr.S is a liability to himself without realizing it.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

"If you are going to sell paintings you need to learn to calm down."-Mr.S

Good advice from Mr.S this morning.  I suppose I have been a bit high strung, though I think part of that has been because I'm running like a chicken with its head cut off in an effort to keep Mr.S happy.  Regardless, it looks like its time to take things at a slower pace.

Once again, Wednesday is Mr.S's short day.  Sounds like a good day to work on calming down.

It would be awesome if I could line up an amazing sale while Mr.S is out, just to show that I'm capable.  We don't get too many people stopping in on Wednesdays though.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

"Where there is a will, I want to be in it"
-Mr.S (quoting somebody else)

Despite this morning's craziness this afternoon I've had an enjoyable time with Mr.S.  He has been going through some of his drawers looking for old paperwork about the painting that has been giving us trouble, and has been finding old photos, newspaper clippings, and tidbits from the gallery's history.  Its times like this, sharing the past, that I get to see Mr.S put aside his grumpy greedy Ebeneezer Scrooge act, and enjoy himself.  He's even been saying nice things about his family, though of course its when they aren't in the room to hear it.  The man has his redeeming moments.
This week Mr.S has had everyone scrambling to find all the information that we can about a German landscape painting that once hung in the gallery about 10 years ago.  There appears to be some confusion due to a discrepancy between our records and those of disparate auction houses where and when the painting was over the course of its history.  Mr.S is convinced that the auction houses had a forgery of the painting and that this explains how it seems to have been in two different places.

I can't help but think that the records somewhere must have gotten confused, though I suppose that it is possible for there to be a copy of this painting floating around.  Mr.S seems prepared to declare war over this issue, wanting to force the auction houses into admitting that they had a forgery.  What I don't get though, is that if there are two of the piece and whichever was the forgery would have been good enough to fool the experts at the auction houses, then it is just as possible that our gallery had been the ones bamboozled into carrying a fake.  Of course, I can't suggest this to Mr.S, but it is troubling to think about.

What worries me most is that if Mr.S decides to get litigious about all this and there is a fraudulent painting involved, neither he not the auction houses have ownership of the painting any more, and the auction houses do not want their name smeared by having accidentally sold a counterfeit piece than he does.  It would become a matter of his word against theirs, and I can only imagine that in such a situation the triumph goes to those who can afford the best lawyers.  Though he might be rich, he can't afford the lawyers that a major auction house can.

Hopefully this won't go any further than a bit of saber rattling.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

"Rome wasn't built in a day, but it might have been if they were German."

I am preemptively writing this one because, if people start reading this, someone is bound to look at Mr.S's age and area of origin and start asking questions after putting 2 and 2 together.  As I have pointed out, Mr.S is 92 and is from Austria.  That means that he was born in 1922.  Like many who were teenagers in Austria and Germany during the '30s, at the time he embraced the political lines of the NSDAP: the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartai, or National Socialist German Workers Party.  For those of you still scratching your heads: to put it blatantly, he was a Nazi.

To me things like this are something that I would consider private information.  However, there are a few reasons I'm ok with sharing this info:

1: I've been using a pseudonym for Mr.S so I feel I'm not giving away that much about him.
2: As I pointed out above, with a bit of math and common sense most people could figure this bit of info out on their own.
3: Mr.S does not seem shy about sharing this information, and often will make jokes about that era.

Most of the details I know about his involvement has been what he has volunteered: I try not to ask too many questions.  He did enlist and serve on the axis side, though from what it sounds like by the time he was done with his training the tides of the war had turned.  I'm not sure exactly when his unit surrendered, but it sounds like his army career was not that long.

Now days someone with a really tough boss might say "my boss is a total Nazi!"  However, as far as I can tell, those who work here are closest to being able to make that claim, though even there its not quite the case.  My boss was a total Nazi, but Mr.S is no longer a Nazi today, and knows that his choices then were wrong but were the result of being swept up in a political movement.  Despite his total computer illiteracy, he has told me that if, at that time, the world had an internet and people around the world could see what everyone else around the world thought, he doubts there would be so many people making the mistake that he did.  I know I often disagree with him on many things, but on this one I hope he is correct.

edit:  As it turns out, I misunderstood a bit about his service.  When he finished his training the war was NOT almost over.  Rather, he had gotten out of training and was on his way to the Eastern Front when the transport vehicle he was in hit a landmine and he sustained a minor injury.  This injury gained him an iron cross and landed him in a hospital.  By the time he was healed and out of the hospital the war had turned tides, Austria had already been invaded by the allies, and his unit was getting ready to surrender.

Also, in case anyone was wondering about how much he held onto his old National Socialist ideals, his current wife (the one he's been with for over 60 years) is Jewish, he officially converted (though that was probably just so that her family would allow the marriage), and they got married in a synagogue.  I know that doesn't entirely answer the question, but it quiets enough of my doubts about the man in those regards.

Friday, August 1, 2014

In previous entries I've said a bit about myself, Kiddo, and a lot about Mr.S.  I've failed, though, to mention a couple others who are a part of the gallery.  One is our greeter, who, for the purposes of this blog, I will refer to as "T."  I'd have to say that, as with Kiddo, without the help of T I would be totally lost at this job.  While Kiddo manages most of the financial aspects of running this old place, T also a major part of the day-to-day functioning of the gallery.

First and foremost she commandeers the front desk, dealing with everyone who comes in off the street.  In the French Quarter that in and of itself can be quite the task.  She fields incoming phone calls, helps with shutting down and locking everything up in the evening, drives Mr.S home after work, and  handles a major amount of Mr.S's demands for contacting outside auction houses and other outside businesses.  (That last one I'll be handling a bit more as time progresses and I better figure out the job.)

As of writing this, T is the only other person in this gallery who knows about this blog, and she seems to enjoy reading it, though so far has been insisting that I leave her out of it.  I don't know why, as I only have positive things to say about the role that she plays in this place.

The other person who has been left out until now I will call N.  I'm not sure exactly what his job title is, but he assists Mr.S with day-to-day tasks.  He drives Mr.S to work and opens up the gallery in the mornings and handles anything that needs to be taken to the post office or picked up from a store or anything else like that.  He has a wonderful friendly personality and sense of humor, and for someone who has to spend so much around Mr.S and his wife the man has the patience of a saint.

Edit: As it turns out, T tells me that N is the repair and maintenance man.  As you can see from my post, though, he does so much more.
"I don't want all that college stuff."
-Mr. S

The other day, when I was making a write-up for one of the paintings, Mr.S told me to make sure that I included "that thing at the end with all the books."  To which I asked for clarification; "do you mean the bibliography?"  In a huff he retorted, "No, not a bibli-... what is that!? I don't want all that college stuff!  I just want you to list the books at the end."

I think that I already mentioned that Mr. S's approach to art and research is slightly less academic than my own.  Mr. S never went to college himself and is of the opinion that, aside from landing a person their first job, there is little to be gained from a degree, or academic knowledge in general.  I suppose that if I try to view the world from the point of view of someone with his experience that is understandable; he is now a millionaire with a gallery full of priceless works of art.

What he doesn't seem to understand though is how much the work of those in academic fields have contributed directly to his success.  When this gallery was still new in the 60's and 70's, and in the decades before, the academic institutions were singing the praises of the modern artists, post modern artists, expressionists, cubists, and just about everything that was the opposite of the 19th and 18th century Rococo, Belle Epoque, and Preraphaelite painters that were the bread and butter of this gallery.  As a result collectors were more interested in Warhol and Pollack than they were in Bouguereau and Tadema, and Mr. S was able to buy paintings by such artists for a song, at least compared to today's prices.

Mr.S credits his success to his own foresight in buying these types of paintings, and perhaps he was able to correctly figure out that it was only a matter of time until such pieces would regain popularity.  The fact of the matter though is that this rise in popularity can once again be tied to the academic institutions.  It was about at this time that colleges and museums curated by and catering to the academic fields gave these artists a popular comeback, and in so doing drove the prices up through the roof.

So, Mr.S was able to buy low due to academia, and sell high, also due to academia.

The problem now, though, is that prices are still high and all the Bougeureaus and Tademas and paintings by other especially famous artists have already been sold.  The gallery can't buy them for the prices that it once did.  We have other wonderful artists of similar styles, but the name is the thing.  I'm not exactly sure what would give the gallery the same bump that it had through the 80's and 90's; maybe if this gallery was going to start selling like crazy again we should be begging, perhaps bribing, the academic institutions to start pushing the popularity of some of these other artists.