Sallie Hirshberg interviewed for Boston Voyager Magazine

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sallie Hirshberg.

Sallie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have always had a passion for art, and I went to Boston University for art history and business. When I graduated, I was fortunate enough to find a position in the art world with Fidelity Investments, where I worked with their subsidiaries for a decade to help build private and public collections throughout the United States. After a while, I realized that what I really wanted was to open up my own gallery to focus on bringing the finest in Masterworks to the Boston area, supporting mid-level career artists, and developing emerging artists. Together with my business partner, we were lucky enough to find this spot on the first block of Newbury Street back in 2000, and we’ve been here ever since, specializing in Masterworks on print from 17th century original Rembrandt etchings to Picasso linocuts and so much more.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
As with any new business, we were low on capital when we first started out, and most of our art was taken in on consignment. Despite this, I knew the importance of insisting on only presenting the best quality artwork, and it didn’t take us long to overcome these obstacles and become established not only in the Boston market but also in the general art world.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Galerie d’Orsay story. Tell us more about the business.
Galerie d’Orsay is a retail gallery that specializes in Masterworks on paper spanning six centuries, and we also represent contemporary artists, like Kathy Buist and Richard Roblin. We’re known for bringing fresh and innovative subject matter to Boston. For example, we were the first gallery in Boston to represent Salvador Dali when we partnered with the Museum of Surrealism in France for a Dali exhibition. We are also constantly on the lookout for new talent – we recently began representing New York City graffiti artist SEN-1, whose work is not something you’d expect to see in galleries on Newbury Street. But it’s important to me that my gallery brings the best of the best to the art world, not just in existing genres of art, but also in terms of emerging artists, and that often involves advocating for new and different art.

I am very proud of the reputation that Galerie d’Orsay has throughout the industry and the relationships that we have built with dealers and collectors around the world. One of the things that sets us apart from other galleries is our knowledge, enthusiasm about art, and willingness to share both with everyone – we welcome anyone who walks into the gallery and have been told time and time again by clients that our friendliness and expertise are what make them want to come back.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I’m a believer in luck – I had the good fortune of getting in the right schools and right company to start me off, and in finding the right location of my business – but more than luck, it was also hard work that paid off in establishing Galerie d’Orsay as one of the most important galleries today.

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