The Alexander Gallery was founded in 1971 by Alexander Acevedo who first entered the trade at the age of twelve when he began dealing in coins, stamps and comic books. He opened his first Madison Avenue Gallery in 1976 with American Paintings, pre-Columbian and American Indian artifacts, as well as Japanese works of art. With landmark exhibitions on the Hudson River School including such artists as Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt, Sanford Gifford and Frederic E. Church, the gallery quickly became known for the high caliber of its inventory and charismatic owner. Beyond his expertise in American Painting, Mr. Acevedo was also regarded as a leader in many collectible fields. He is considered responsible for the heightened popularity of collecting important early toys and American Indian artifacts, as well as French paperweights and pre-Columbian gold. The size and following of the gallery grew each year, assuming additional space in the Mark Hotel on both the street level and above.
In 1986, the gallery moved to the famous Carlyle Galleries at 980 Madison, taking over the former headquarters of Antiques Magazine and the legendary auction rooms of Sotheby’s, where it continued to mount important exhibitions and host blockbuster events. While the gallery maintains its focus on the Hudson River School and the first generation of American painters, it has continued to expand into and lead other genres. The gallery became publicly active in antique jewelry by opening its shop on Madison and purchasing a large portion of the Duchess of Windsor’s collection of ultra-chic jewels.
The early 1990’s were marked by the shows which coordinated top dealers in a communal effort. Such shows included the “Masterworks of Native America benefiting the fundraising efforts for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the Native American”, as well as the trend changing show “American Classicism”, and the startling “Art of the Dealers” featuring works by fellow art dealers who revealed their hidden talents. The surreal holiday of Halloween presented another opportunity to draw attention to another facet of the gallery; its pop culture holdings. The gallery celebrated by mounting the first ever retrospectives for pop-culture icons Frank Frazetta, H.R. Giger and Robert Crumb.
The gallery moved again in 1996 to the magnificent former bank and trust building at 942 Madison Avenue where, in its grand house-like setting, extraordinary and varied genres were showcased together demonstrating the multitude of interests that have become synonymous with the gallery and its owner. As the century neared its close, the gallery hosted two notorious parties aptly titled ‘The Barterer’s Ball’. To procure a ticket to the ball, guests traded offerings that worth in excess of $10,000 during the course of the evening. From seats from the Titanic, houses in the Hamptons, race horse breeding rights to a tomb of pre-Columbian gold, the party’s antics were unrivaled.
In 2008, the gallery, in partnership with colleague Thomas Colville, inaugurated The American Art Fair to wide acclaim. Continuing the longstanding tradition of working with fellow dealers, the show features the top purveyors in the American Art world. It is held during ‘American Paintings Week’ opening the Sunday following Thanksgiving each year. After three years inits first home at the National Academy of Design on Fifth Avenue, the show moved to a larger and more modern venue at BNH (the Bohemian National Hall) conveniently located just blocks from Sotheby’s Auction House. We will celebrate our 5th year with an expanded roster of dealers and a lecture series highlighted by the new curator of American Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Historical Society.
In 2010, the gallery passed its lease onto friends at David Webb and is now enjoying the private setting of its executive offices located just off Park Avenue and 72nd Street and its exhibition space on Madison at 78th Street. The gallery continues to purchase important works in the many genres and place them with museums and collectors throughout the globe. Though available throughout the year at our private office and gallery, we have an active art fair schedule that takes us around the country, and now overseas as well. Each year, we begin with the Winter Antiques Show in New York’s Park Avenue Armory, fly south for The American International Palm Beach Fine Art Fair, return for the Arts of Pacific Asia Show, then overseas for Masterpiece Fair in London, end the summer with the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show, then head to Texas for the Fall Show in Dallas and the Houston Theta Antiques Show and then of course, our own fair, The American Art Fair.