Acknowledging the dominance of the internet and rising rents, Joan Whalen, Director of Joan Whalen Fine Art closed her gallery last year after a decade-long run at the New York Gallery Building. She now operates “by appointment only” from her apartment on East 57th Street and continues to specialize in American art: the late nineteenth century -- the Hudson River School; the twentieth century, especially the Ashcan School and early Modernism; and a select group of contemporary artists.
Known for her research, scholarship and professionally-written essays and publications, Joan’s hallmark has been her richly-detailed wall cards next to each painting at her gallery and her tightly-written boxed artist’s biography in her advertisements that have contributed to the art-loving public’s education.
Among so many exhibitions, Joan single handedly revived and enhanced the reputation of American modernist and urban realist Theresa Bernstein, mounting three major exhibitions of her 75-year career that has given Bernstein overdue public, critical and media acclaim. She has also worked tirelessly with museums across the United States helping to co-curate Bernstein solo exhibitions and arranging for select works to be included in other museum exhibitions.
Joan’s creative scholarship was also displayed in her introduction to the three generations of the Wiggins family in an exhibition entitled Wiggins, Wiggins and Wiggins. She assembled the outstanding paintings of (John) Carleton Wiggins (1848-1932), Guy C. Wiggins (1883-1962) and Guy A. Wiggins (1920); the show was heavily attended and successfully reviewed.
Prior to her directorship at Joan Whalen Fine Art, Joan was the director of Art Media International (AMI) that she founded in 1986. She served as a private dealer and consultant, and provided research and search services to private and corporate collectors, arranged exhibition venues and events and offered public/media relations services and marketing strategies to galleries, artists and museums.
Explaining her professional philosophy, Joan Whalen says: “I am not in any sense a traditional dealer. I believe that the art business is a business. Today, a dealer must use the same modern business disciplines, standards, ethics and communication skills as a Fortune 100 multinational corporation.”
Joan’s “business” school was her parent corporation, the Whalen Consulting Group II, Inc., originally founded as Worldwide Information Resources, Ltd. in Washington, D.C. which provided strategic counsel and public/media relations to governments, corporations and financial institutions throughout the world. As President, Joan served as one of the firm’s account executives, supervised the 20+staff’s media relations activities and wrote and edited its political/economic fortnightly newsletter – Wires, Washington.
An experienced art consultant with a proven “eye” for American masters and contemporary art alike, Joan works with collectors, corporations and museums to help locate important, investment quality works of art through extensive market research and aggressive negotiation.