One of the largest art galleries in New England, William Vareika Fine Arts, Ltd. specializes in the purchase and sale of important 18th, 19th, and early 20th century American paintings, watercolors, drawings and prints. For twenty years the gallery has enjoyed a national reputation, numbering among its clients some of the leading museums, corporations and private collectors in the United States, as well as many beginning collectors.
Recently doubled in exhibition space, William Vareika Fine Arts, Ltd. includes the renowned Newport Gallery of American Art, and Newport Gallery of World Art. The gallery inventory of American art includes over 500 artworks including Colonial and Federal portraits, Hudson River School landscapes, seascapes and marines, still-lifes and works of the American Impressionists, Post-Impressionists and Realists. The gallery also handles Old Master works, 19th century European art and paintings of the French Impressionists.
In November 2003, William and Alison Vareika were pleased to open The Newport Gallery of World Art. Precious art objects of beauty and virtue from all historic and contemporary periods and regions of the world, including post-World War II American art, can be found in the new gallery space. The prevailing theme is high quality, and the foremost goal is to educate, entertain, and inspire our visitors and patrons, who will find this new venture to be an interesting complement to our collections of historical American art.
William Vareika Fine Arts is located in historic Newport, Rhode Island, on famous Bellevue Avenue, a few doors from the Newport Casino and the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and two blocks from the Newport Art Museum and the Redwood Library and Athenaeum. In February 2005, the neighborhood in which the gallery is located was declared an Arts District by the State of Rhode Island. Accordingly, sales of original artworks are exempt from Rhode Island Sales Tax. Prices range from around $250 to over $100,000. All major credit cards are accepted.
William Vareika Fine Arts offers art appraisal services, framing and art conservation consultation, purchases art and also accepts artworks on consignment for sale.
ABOUT WILLIAM VAREIKA
Bill Vareika is an art gallery owner, specialist in 19th century American art, writer, lecturer, community activist, preservationist, and philanthropist.
He graduated Magna Cum Laude from BC in 1974 with a degree in political science. One BC art history course and a work study job at the Boston Public Library altered Vareika’s public service career goal — and his life. He abandoned law school plans to volunteer to direct a six-year legal battle to save a historic church in Newport, RI, which had been decorated by the important 19th century American artist John La Farge, whom he had discovered in his BC art history class. Later, because of economic circumstances, Vareika took a leave of absence from graduate studies in American Civilization at Brown University in order to begin a career as an art dealer, starting in very modest circumstances as a “picker” and later opening his Bellevue Avenue Newport gallery in 1987.
For twenty years, Vareika has used his gallery to raise public awareness about a variety of charitable causes and to donate over one million dollars to support these non-profit organizations. His recent summer exhibition, “A Precious Muse: Art of the Narragansett Bay, Then and Now,” raised $200,000 for the environmental organization Save The Bay. In November2007 , Vareika will be honored as a “Partner in Philanthropy” by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Vareika has also donated dozens of artworks to museums and other charitable organizations including the McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, the Newport Art Museum, and the Addison Gallery at Phillips Academy, Andover.
The William Vareika Fine Arts gallery has been recognized as “Best of RI” by Rhode Island Monthly Magazine and “one of the outstanding reasons to visit New England” by Yankee Magazine.
Bill Vareika has served on the boards of the Newport Art Museum, the Redwood Library and Athenaeum, the Newport Music Festival, and Save The Bay. He also serves on a number of advisory committees, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, the New Bedford Whaling Museum, the McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College; the Trinity Boston Preservation Trust, the Hope Funds for Cancer Research, and the Aquidneck Land Trust. He is a former Vice-Chairman of the RI State Council on the Arts.
Bill and Alison Vareika have three children, three dogs, and live in an 1877 National Historic Register home in Newport, which they have been restoring for fifteen years.
Founded in 1930 by Frank S. Schwarz, the Schwarz Gallery opened on Atlantic City’s celebrated boardwalk as specialists in furniture and silver. Relocation to Philadelphia during the Second World War prompted an emphasis on the arts of Philadelphia, and paintings became the Gallery’s focus when Frank Schwarz’s son Robert joined the firm during the 1960s. In the following years, under the direction of the founder’s son Robert D. Schwarz, Sr. and widow Marie D. Schwarz, the Gallery focused on nineteenth- and twentieth-century European and American paintings and became recognized as the nation’s major source for the work of Philadelphia artists from Pennsylvania’s founding through the mid-twentieth century.
Robert D. Schwarz, Sr. earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Dickinson College, and supplemented his studies in the fine arts at the University of Vienna and the Barnes Foundation. As curator of The Stephen Girard Collection from 1970 to 1980, he documented this important Philadelphia collection in a scholarly catalog. Subsequently, his publication of more than seventy informative catalogs in conjunction with the Gallery’s exhibitions has established the firm’s excellence in its field.
Robert D. Schwarz, Jr. joined the firm in 2002 and became the Gallery’s third generation president after the untimely death of Robert Sr. in 2004. As the Gallery looks toward the future, its focus on nineteenth century American art remains the backbone of its renowned collection.
The Gallery is fortunate to have placed works in the following museums
Adirondack Museum, Blue Mt. Lake, NY
Allentown Art Museum, PA
Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, Fort Worth, TX
Art Institute of Chicago, IL
Athenaeum of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD
Biggs Museum of American Art, Dover, DE
Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, PA
Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY
Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA
Cigna Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Columbus Museum of Art, GA
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
Daughters of the American Revolution, Washington, DC
Dayton Art Institute, OH
Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE
Federal Reserve Board, Washington, DC
Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC
Greenville Museum of Art, Greenville, NC
Haggin Museum, Stockton, CA
High Museum, Atlanta, GA
Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, TN
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, MI
Lancaster Museum of Art, Lancaster, PA
LaSalle College Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Library Company of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Ligonier Memorial Foundation, PA
Louisiana State Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA
Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, Manhattan, KS
Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, MD
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Munson Williams Proctor Museum, Utica, NY
Museum of the American China Trade, Salem, MA
National Gallery, Washington, DC
National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC
National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC
National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC
New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ
New York Historical Society, New York, NY
New York State Museum, Albany, NY
Newport News Maritime Museum, VA
Peale Museum, Baltimore, MD
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, PA
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ
San Francisco Museum, San Francisco, CA
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
Strong Museum, Rochester, NY
Timken Museum of Art, San Diego, CA
Trout Gallery, Dickinson College, PA
Virginia Museum of Art, Richmond, VA
Wagner Free Institute of Science, Philadelphia, PA
Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, MD
William Penn Museum, Harrisburg, PA
Winterthur Museum, Winterthur, DE
Woodlawn Foundation, Mount Vernon, VA
Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Lillian Nassau LLC, world-renown specialists in Tiffany Studios lamps, Tiffany Studios favrile glass, Tiffany Studios favrile pottery, Tiffany Studios mosaics, Tiffany Studios windows, Tiffany Studios desk pieces and Louis C. Tiffany paintings celebrates over 65 years in the business. Acquired in October, 2006, by long-time Managing Director, Arlie Sulka, Lillian Nassau LLC continues to dominate the field with its expertise and scholarship in Tiffany Studios, advising the most prestigious museums and collectors world-wide. Under the direction of Arlie Sulka, the gallery has mounted numerous groundbreaking exhibitions and published two definitive books on Tiffany favrile glass and pottery by Dr. Martin Eidelberg.
Adding to Lillian Nassau’s specialization in the work of Tiffany Studios and Louis Comfort Tiffany is Gallery Director Eric Silver’s expertise in American sculpture and Art Nouveau decorative arts, other areas for which Lillian Nassau LLC is known. Both Arlie Sulka and Eric Silver have been seen on the PBS Antiques Roadshow and are looking forward to participating in the upcoming 16th season.
Lillian Nassau opened her antiques shop in 1945 in New York City on Third Avenue between 54th and 55th streets, specializing in 18th and 19th Century porcelain, glass and objets d’art. In the 1950’s she became increasingly interested in the decorative arts of the Art Nouveau period and was especially fascinated by work of Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany Studios. It wasn’t long until her inventory changed and she became recognized as the premier expert in the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany Studios.
Almost single-handedly credited with reviving the interest in the work of Louis C. Tiffany, Mrs. Nassau surrounded herself with trend setting collectors who shared her passion. Among them were Walter Chrysler and Joseph Heil, who gave generously to the Museum of Modern Art, Ed Wormley, the prominent furniture designer, and Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., whose family commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to build their legendary home “Falling Water.” In retrospect, it is difficult to believe that this now popular era of decorative arts had been forgotten.
Since little had been written about this period, Mrs. Nassau compiled a comprehensive research library that contained primary source material and included contemporary magazines, books catalogues and brochures. She shared her library and knowledge with these early collectors and museum curators.
As a willing lender to early museum exhibitions, Mrs. Nassau encouraged her clients to do the same. Her association with curators paved the way for two early exhibitions of Art Nouveau and Tiffany, the first held at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts in 1958 and the second, the seminal show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1960. Upholding that tradition, the gallery has continued to loan to museum exhibitions, most recently to “Tiffany Glass: A Passion for Colour” which opened at the Musée de Luxembourg in Paris, France, traveled to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal, Canada and then closed at the Virginia Museum of Art in Richmond, Virgina. Other recent loans include the Shelburne Museum, New York Historical Society in New York City, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Toledo Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the National Gallery in Washington D.C. Mrs. Nassau was the generous donor of the magnificent Tiffany Studios mosaic fountain that is permanently on view in the Sculpture Garden of the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and she also presented the Metropolitan with a breathtaking necklace by Rene Lalique.
In 1967 the gallery moved to its present location at 220 East 57 Street. Although Mrs. Nassau was approaching the typical age of retirement, she was building momentum as the driving force behind the revival of the works by Tiffany and the decorative arts of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods. Celebrity collectors, including members of the Beatles, as well as Led Zeppelin, Catherine Deneuve, Barbra Streisand, Andy Warhol, and other leading pop culture personalities became clients and seized the opportunity to share in Mrs. Nassau’s expertise while major museums throughout the United States and Europe steadily made major acquisitions from the gallery.
With over thirty years of experience working for Mrs. Nassau and her son, Paul, current owner Arlie Sulka is now considered one of the foremost experts on Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany Studios, maintaining the gallery’s world-renowned status. Ms. Sulka maintains enduring professional relationships with private clients and regularly advises leading museum curators from around the world.
Under Ms. Sulka’s guidance, the gallery has mounted a series of landmark exhibitions concentrating on the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany Studios including the lamps, blown glass and mosaics.
English antique furniture is more than a sum of its parts, but the parts are often varied and different so that the whole seems disconcertingly complex. There is a logic, of sorts, to English furniture, but there are also delightful eccentricities. I revel in them and will, for example, buy a great country piece as readily as a great high style piece, despite the obvious differences in decorative appeal. It is great furniture that appeals to me—it has to be special. I have been in this business in one form or another for thirty-nine years and there has never been a moment when I have wanted to do something else. Please browse, ask questions and, best of all, come and visit. I guarantee that you will find great beauty herein.