Albert Sanford began collecting art at the age of sixteen. His passion for collecting art is what got him to where he is today in the business world.
Today, Sanford celebrates 25 years of ownership of Maximilian Gallery in Aspen. Opened in June 1997 in space at 602 E. Cooper Ave. The art gallery has existed for a quarter of a century.
One of the oldest galleries in Aspen (if not the oldest in the city), Sanford said, the Maximilian Gallery is here to stay.
“I’m really proud that we’ve been here for 25 years and we’re not going anywhere—we let out the lease; we just let out the lease; people wonder: what’s Aspen, what’s still there… I think it’s completion.”
In light of its 25th anniversary, Sanford said, Maximilian Gallery is showing work by some of the most celebrated artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, including new acquisitions from Andy Warhol, Peter Doig, Damien Hirst, Ian Davenport, David Hockney, and historical artists. . Purchases. Major prints by Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Henri Matisse.
Works by these artists, among a few other famous names, are currently for sale in the gallery. On Tuesdays from 5:30-8pm, the Maximilian Gallery is hosting a reception to celebrate its anniversary and allow members of the community to browse this recently held historic gallery that will run through the winter.
Then, in mid-February, the gallery will also present an exhibition, Diverse Voices, featuring original works by contemporary artists Leonardo Drew, Nina Chanel Abney, Derek Adams, Jeffrey Gibson, Rashid Johnson, Tuba Kheduri, Julie Mihreto and Winka Shonibare. . Diverse Voices will continue to work throughout the month of April.
Sanford expressed his pride in showcasing the work of a vibrant group of notable artists in commemoration of the exhibition. Note how 25 years ago when Galerie Maximilian was born, the stock of historical French art on the walls was very different from the iconic contemporary pieces we see in the gallery today.
However, Sanford himself was an experienced collector, well versed in the art business from the start, and throughout his years as a gallery owner, he was also known for navigating the development of the ski town and the evolution of the art world. in general. Sanford’s success can be traced back to its original passion.
“I’ve always maintained that to be successful as an art dealer, you have to have passion — you have to be passionate,” he said. “First, I am an art collector. Second, I am an art dealer, and I will never sell anything that I don’t have in my home or in my private collection.”
Sanford and his then-wife Dorothy Wildman decided to move to Aspen from Chicago in 1997 and opened an art gallery together.
Wildman had a home in Aspen, and throughout the 1990s she and Sanford visited the mountain town frequently. On those trips, Sanford said he noticed how restaurants and other businesses seemed to come and go year after year, but the galleries—art galleries seemed to stay put.
“My hunch was: A, this was a market to break into,” Sanford said. And B, it was a place I wanted to live, it was a place Dorothy wanted to live—we had friends here and it was like a place to make friends.”
A former Chicago art dealer, Sanford worked for a series of galleries that were owned by the Pritzker family at the time. He said he had been with the company for 14 years and was the president and CEO when he decided to leave his big-city career to become an independent business owner in Aspen, Colorado.
“To be honest with you, when I came here I knew what I was doing,” Sanford said. “People didn’t really realize it. People knew who my wife was and nobody knew who I was.”
But Sandford knew himself, and despite questionable comments from the city’s realtors and the way foot traffic in Aspen followed a “Z pattern” as Sanford searched for space, he said, he had a hunch that this odd little building in the East Cooper Avenue would be a great place to open an art gallery.
Once a clothing store that didn’t see many pedestrians, the place didn’t feel very lively, said Sanford, who was determined to take over as a tenant and open the Maximilian Gallery. And that’s exactly what he did.
“I had a goal, I had a financial plan…and we executed our plan for three years in the first year,” said the designer. “And that’s when I knew I was in position A, it was a good decision and that I was doing something right.”
Sanford a declaré que la Galerie Maximilian – qui tire son nom du premiere of the galerie de Sanford, a Yorkshire Terrier nommé « Maximilian » – a commencé à vendre principalement de l’art français du XIXe siècle, ainsi que de l’art primitif français contemporary.
In 2003, after six years of Aspen gallery life, Sanford realized it was time to move on, and since the collector was looking to move into contemporary art—noting that he had begun attending tours of the Aspen Museum of Art around that time—he said it was Period, substantial changes in two words: Damien Hirst.
“My curiosity was piqued by Damien Hirst and then I had the opportunity to buy Damien Hirst products in London, so that was the beginning and we were an instant hit with her,” Sanford said. “It was a complete change of direction for the show.”
This contemporary British artist has taken to Sanford, from Hearst to Grayson Perry, Anish Kapoor, Gary Hume, Mark Quinn – the list goes on.
Over the years, Sanford said, Maximilian Gallery has become a specialist in contemporary British works on paper, showing mostly editions and a few anthologies as well, with a price range that applies to everyone from younger, more recent art collectors to established collectors who buy works. It exceeded $75,000.
Today, the Maximilian Gallery continues to cultivate a world-class museum-quality collection of artworks. Sanford noted that the Aspen Gallery has established an international footprint, selling pieces to thousands of people over the past 25 years, and highlighted the influence of customer loyalty on the success of his gallery.
Sanford also credits the longevity of the Maximilian Gallery to his and his ex-wife’s early commitment to supporting the local community. Since the fair’s inception, Sanford and Wildman have been involved “both materially and emotionally,” he said, in most charities in the city and throughout the Valley, supporting the arts in Aspen in particular over the years.
For his own gallery, Sanford said he always hires staff locally and has a very direct relationship with his owner, Tony Mazza. Sanford also mentioned that the gallery has a large inventory—it has “more art than walls,” he said—and the ability to gauge client interest in the examples on display and then pull out more coins that set aside a successful business model.
Sanford went on to explain how, unlike most art galleries, the Maximilian Gallery owns the majority of the art it sells. He said he tends to surprise people.
“We’ve always had a different model; most galleries work on a consignment model or they may partner with artists or guarantee a sale of a certain amount,” Sanford said. “But we always believed that to be successful you had to have an appearance in the game, and so our strategy was to go into the market as an aggregator and buy, as if it were something to start. My personal collection.”
Ultimately, the Maximilian Gallery’s 25-year success owes much to Sanford’s own passion: “I love buying art, you know, I’m really into buying art,” a—declare.
“And at some point, I have to sell this art to buy more,” Sanford continued. “I’m just looking forward to helping people build an art collection.”