A Resume - Kathryn Markel

Born: Richmond, VA, 1946, lives in New York, married with 2 children

Educated: Northwestern University; B.A. University of Illinois, Champaign, Cum Laude

Work History

1968-1971 - Merrill Chase Galleries, Oakbrook, Illinois.
As assistant to Mr. Chase, I was charged with all gallery functions from dusting to bookkeeping to selling art. Merrill Chase was one of the foremost commercial galleries in the country. This experience taught me well about the evils of the commercial art market. I saw worthless Renoir restrike etchings touted as investments that would "Put your kids through college". I saw Dali fakes being sold as the "greatest investment in the world." I saw first-hand how the people in this part of the art business manipulate the truth and just miss committing fraud in sales tactics.

1971 - 1975 - Landfall Press. Chicago, Illinois
As the primary sales person for Landfall Press, one of the first and finest lithography workshops in the country, I was a dedicated, passionate participant in the growth of the contemporary print market which started in the early 70's. Landfall was a publisher and printer of lithographs by important artists of the time, from Philip Pearlstein, to Sol LeWitt, to Christo. My job was to travel around the country and the world, carrying over 50 pounds of artist's proofs, and sell these prints to museums, collectors, and other galleries. All this on a travel budget that allowed me the equivalent of McDonald's three times a day and Motel 6 accommodations. But we werel working for art and not financial windfall. I felt honored to be able to work with artists, and do what I could to support the printmaking revival.

1975-1985 - Kathryn Markel Fine Arts - New York, NY.
For ten years, I owned a public gallery on 57th Street that specialized in works on paper - both original prints and unique works of art on paper such as watercolor, collage, and pastel. However, as overhead went up in the early 80's, I couldn't force a commensurate rise in the prices of my works on paper by emerging artists that I sold, and had to close my public space. The experience taught me that if you wish to sell relatively inexpensive works of art, you must invent another business model that doesn't involve the high overhead of a public New York Gallery, or, if you need to have an expensive gallery, you must sell expensive works.

1985-1999 Markel/Sears Works on Paper
In 1985, Macie Sears, my partner, and I started this new business model based on selling wonderful, but well-priced works on paper by emerging artists with minimal overhead. We were primarily open by appointment, either in our own homes or our small space on Broadway and Prince Street. Since our prices were low and we marketed primarily to corporations, which buy large numbers of works at a time, Markel/Sears proved a success. 

1999 - Kathryn Markel Fine Arts Reopens - 
On the 15th of June, Kathryn Markel Fine Arts reopend at 560 Broadway. Again, specializing in works on paper with the addition of paintings by the young avant-garde.

As you can see, I've been selling art for over 30 years. It's a wonderful life! I count among my best friends my comrades from the early days. We all look at each other in amazement and say, "I remember when that Jasper Johns, Lichtenstein, etc., was only $100, $200." The current rise in prices makes us all feel very old."