Interview with Beth Swaab, Senior Sales Director at Trinity House Paintings, an international art dealership with branches in the Cotswolds, London, New York, San Francisco and Chicago.
Drummond Read and Trinity House are currently working together with various clients so we put some questions to Beth...
How did you come to work in this industry and what was the attraction?
My interest in art and antiques started when I was at school, where my friends and I would spend far too much time looking at jewellery and vintage clothes in a fantastic antiques centre in Shrewsbury. It grew as I studied History of Art A level, which involved trips to The National Gallery and The Royal Academy in London, and this led to family holidays around Florence, Rome and Venice to see absolutely everything that you could take in, from Fra Angelico’s frescoes to Peggy Guggenheim’s fantastic eclectic collection of American and European artwork. I then found the perfect course at Southampton Institute (now Southampton Solent University) which was an ISVA Fine Art & Auctioneering course, covering everything from Fine Art to scientific instruments and German glass!
What does your role entail?
My job is predominantly about matching the right painting with the right client. We scour the world for paintings, and the skill is in trying to find the right artwork. I also advise clients on valuations, either for sale or for insurance purposes and restoration advice. I also oversee our social media along with a great marketing team.
What is the most memorable object or case that you have encountered through your work, and why?
It has to be a stunning oil painting by Henri Le Sidaner, a French Post Impressionist with a wholly unique style, known for his beautifully intimate paintings of his house in Gerberoy in northern France. The work portrayed the rose pavilion in his beloved home and we found it in a private collection in Europe.
What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
There have been lots of challenging aspects in recent months for all dealers, auction houses and gallerists. However, usually it is managing time and timing - the stars have to align for the right painting for the right client at the right figure and always at the right time
What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?
When the perfect artwork is found for a client who has patiently and loyally waited for you to find the right thing. Myself and one of my fantastic colleagues will go and hang the work in their home, and we have the reward of seeing the joy on the owner’s faces.
Is there a particular artwork or antique that you would like to own?
Of course it has to be an Henri Le Sidaner…however I may have to dream for a while!