Working in an art gallery without being tempted to buy art is akin to working in a chocolate factory and never getting a sweet tooth. As gallerists develop relationships with artists and travel the world to see and sell art, they often become major collectors in their own right. Their appetites become more voracious as they solidify their places in the industry and their wallets (and wall space) expand. On the whole, gallerists purchase with a unique passion and verve, supporting their art community with their own capital.
Art is pricier than bonbons, of course, and anyone who wants to advance in the art world faces significant structural barriers. It’s no surprise that many of the gallerists below developed a love of art early on, often from relatives and family already deeply immersed in the nuances of selling and collecting art.
Yet no matter their backgrounds, the following gallerists all share a belief that collecting is a lifelong journey, and living with art is an undeniably enriching experience. In recent months, as galleries have shuttered around the world due to COVID-19, personal collections have offered some dealers their only opportunities to experience art in real life.