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A (Very) Short List of Romney Supporters in New York’s Art World

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Nearly every major art dealer in New York, including Barbara Gladstone, David Zwirner, and Paula Cooper, has donated to Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. But there are at least a few Republicans lurking around the city’s art scene, just not so much in Chelsea. Herewith, a list of these black sheep, according to Federal Election Commission donation data.

1. The bluest of the blue-chip dealers on the secondary market, William Acquavella goes red when it comes to politics. This year the Upper East Side gallerist donated $2,500 to Mitt Romney.

2. It’s been estimated that Larry Gagosian is worth $300 million, and his personal art collection could be more than triple that, so it’s not such a surprise that, to date, he has donated at least $5,000 to Romney.

3. Susan Aberbach, founder of Susan Aberbach Fine Art on the Upper East Side, has old roots in the city’s art scene — her family once donated a Paul Delvaux painting to the Met. She’s given $2,500 to Romney.

4. Upper East Side impressionist and modern art dealer Nathan Bernstein, who more recently branched out into contemporary and Asian art, donated $2,000 to Romney’s campaign in August. Then again, he also gave $1,000 to Obama the week before.

5. Wally Findlay Galleries CEO James Borynack, who splits his time between the Upper East Side and Palm Beach, has written a $2,500 check to Romney.

6. Evelyn Tompkins directs the New York and D.C. branches of Ann Kendall Richards, Inc., and donated $250 to Romney.

7. The staff of the Upper East Side early American art gallery Berry-Hill probably shouldn’t be giving money to anybody right now, given their recent legal and financial troubles. Nevertheless co-owner James Berry Hill has donated $2,500 to Romney, David Hill gave $1,500 and gallery employee Samantha Kanter Steinberg gave $1,250.

— Rachel Corbett

(This post originally appeared on ARTINFO’s Market Watch blog.)

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  1. Good to know the art world isn’t completely liberal. There are many, many of us art lovers and artists out here in the real world that are conservative in our politics. But, clearly instead of just giving the facts, you start the article by calling these dealers “black sheep”, an intentional tact to put them in a negative light. If I lived in New York, I’d be sure to frequent those galleries and dealers.

  2. Actually Larry is smart enough to support BOTH candidates. Journalists should know how to fact check these things as the information is available to the public.

  3. Black Sheep… that comment drives me crazy, why as an art advocate do I feel compelled to hide my conservative “Constitutional” political view from the masses of drones who will turn on me because I don’t walk in a lockstep pattern with them. Are not artist’s and members of the creative community supposed to be individual thinkers creating their own ideas. Liberalism has so overtaken the creative community that they have become sheep in need of following certain political leaders and ideas right off a cliff, instead of being independent questioners of our times.

  4. As cited and linked to above, the data comes from the Federal Election Commission, which lists Mitt Romney as the recipient of Larry Gagosian’s campaign contributions during this election cycle. In 2008, he gave to Christopher Dodd. His employees and his girlfriend, Shala Monroque, may well be another story.

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