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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Fort Thomas Art Collector Buys Premiere Cincinnati Art Gallery

David Hausrath, new owner of Cincinnati Art Galleries
Cincinnati Art Galleries, one of the premiere art galleries in the region, has a new owner - Fort Thomas resident, David Hausrath. But there is an interesting story behind that.

I have enjoyed retirement for four and a half years and now I am jumping back into the work force.  Hausrath worked for 32 years as the general counsel for Ashland Oil and retired four years ago to pursue a life of travel and art collecting.  In retirement I found that much of what I was doing and enjoyed doing was art related. I was spending time with artists, in museums, in galleries, with my own collection, and reading and traveling a good bit. It was a passion. I really enjoyed it. I have been collecting for 20 years or so. This gives an opportunity to delve in ever more deeply into my passion.

 He bought the gallery from Randy Sandler who created the gallery 37 years ago and built it into one of the most respected and important galleries in the region. Sandler will stay on as a consultant for two years. The 4,000 square foot gallery, located on East Sixth street in Cincinnati, is a beautiful oasis of American art. Shows change about every six weeks. The current show has some spectacular pieces.
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Street sign outside of Cincinnati Art Galleries

I was curious about how his interest in art developed. He says, It goes way back, We [his wife Debra] were antiquers back in the 70s and didn’t really start to buy art until the mid-90s. And it was just little things. My interests just kept growing. I read more and I think you learn a lot by owning art and living with it. If you live with a piece of art for a period of time you get to understand it much better and you can judge it much better. It helps refine your eye. As my budget increased over the years and I was able to acquire better works of art.  One thing led to another and when I retired I had more time to dedicate it. 

Deb and I have always enjoyed going to art museums and art galleries. After I retired I was asked to join the board of the Taft Museum of Art - I am the treasurer there. I was also asked to join the board of the Museum Center, and I was already involved with a group called the American Art Society of Cincinnati, a 501(c)3, whose mission is to give its members experiences that they can’t get on their on. 

David Hausrath in the gallery. 
Hausrath says that a function of his gallery is to identify artists and art that is worthy of public appreciation.  A gallery acts as a filter for the public as they get to know the artists
He wants to identify contemporary artists who should be hanging in galleries and homes. There can be a good partnership between the artist and the gallery. 

The gallery’s annual Panorama of Cincinnati Art  event will remain. This will be 31st year.  It celebrates Cincinnati’s significant art history. Back in the 1800s, Cincinnati was perhaps the third most important art center in the country, behind Boston and New York. Our art museum was formed then. The Art Academy started. Frank Duveneck taught there. Many significant artists trained in Cincinnati. And so that work is the core of this Panorama.  Many collectors consign pieces for the exhibit. The event benefits an arts organization in the area. As a result they are able to donate $40,000 to $70,000 per year to one of the organizations. 

Hausrath is enthusiastic about the role of the gallery. Artists, gallery owners, museum staff and volunteers, collectors and those who just appreciate art—we all share a common desire to create or find art that is moving, interesting and engaging.  But everyone has a different view of what moves them, or what is interesting to them, or engages them.  People generally enjoy discussing art with others, and when they do so, they learn more about themselves and about others, and about art.

Playwright Eugene Ionesco observed that A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind. And Hausrath echoes that sentiment. We all know the world is incredibly diverse, and that different cultures express themselves in different ways.  Art can be an important means of expression.  If our minds are open, we can learn a lot.

The Cincinnati Art Galleries is located at 225 E. Sixth Street, Cincinnati.
Visit their website at

1 comment:

  1. I have several original works by Ray Loos (signed).....Do you deal in local Cincinnati artists?