A new year brings a new reason to celebrate!
After a year like 2020, we can all rejoice at starting a new chapter and a new opportunity to begin again.
At National Rarities, we are ready to take this year on head-strong and make 2021 a year of prosperity, dedication, and appreciation for the people and opportunities that got us through 2020.
This new year is for appreciating and acknowledging the people who matter most to us. To start 2021 off with a bang, we are proud to showcase our January Employee Spotlight, Kat Riemer, our Estate Specialist, GIA AJP! Although Kat is a qualified estate specialist and travels on our events, while here in the office, she focuses on all of the fine art and does a fantastic job!
Q1: Describe a brief history of yourself and your relevant training.
Growing up, I always showed an interest in art, and my parents nurtured this from a young age. Most of my free time was spent in art museums, at art camps, or in various art classes.
My father had several friends who were local artists that would mentor me in drawing and sculpting. Once I was in college, I realized I never wanted to survive off my own artwork - I decided to learn about the business of buying and selling art instead! This led me to pursue a degree in Art History with a minor in Fine Arts, which I received from the University of Missouri - St. Louis. While I was a student, I interned with Laumeier Sculpture Park and the St. Louis Art Museum. It was at those institutions that I learned proper museum practices and how to catalog and inventory art, along with archives. A few months before I graduated, I walked into Fine Art Limited in Chesterfield and asked if they would consider hiring me. It was at Fine Art Limited that I was fortunate enough to learn how art galleries and dealers function. For five years, I was able to work with fantastic artists at Fine Art Limited before finally making my way to National Rarities.
Q2: What does a typical day look like for you at National Rarities?
When I am not on the road attending an estate buying event, a typical day involves a little bit of everything! I photograph and inventory any art that was purchased and work with auction houses nationwide to facilitate sales. This process includes researching the artist and their recent auction results, evaluating the condition of the piece itself, and then determining what I believe the artwork is valued at. I also manage the transportation of each piece of artwork. Sometimes I work directly with galleries to sell particular items. In addition to artwork, I work with the inventory department to maintain a unique organization system that can be flexible with all the rare oddities that make their way into our office. I list items such as fine jewelry and rarities. This process can involve cleaning the item, checking to see if it is intact, researching the history of the item, photographing it, and writing an accurate description of it. Once items have sold, I also handle most of the shipping.
Q3: What is your favorite thing about working at National Rarities?
My favorite thing about working here is learning something new every day! We have so many intelligent employees in the office, and I enjoy listening to them share their knowledge from their experience in this field and the education that led them here. While on the road, I always learn something new from our customers; I enjoy getting to know them and finding new homes for their precious items.
Q4: What is your favorite piece that is for sale now?
One of my favorite pieces I was able to buy at an event was a small painting of two horses in a stable. The woman who owned it said her family-owned an antique store, and in 50 years, they were never able to find any information on the artist. I was able to find the artist, Georg Mauckner, and some information on him. She was so pleased to finally know something about the painting that her mother had admired for most of her life. It is a sweet little painting that I enjoy seeing in the office - I will miss it when we find it a new home.
My favorite piece that we currently have for sale is this wonderfully carved shell pictorial cameo brooch, set in 18k two-tone gold with diamond accents. This is a magnificent piece of artwork, and the skill that it took to make this should be admired.
This new year gives us a new opportunity to start fresh. As we begin to tackle our resolutions and get on track for a new season, we appreciate those who got us through 2020 and will help us succeed in 2021. Kat exemplifies hard work, teamwork, and talent, and we are so thankful for her!
We are beyond lucky to have Kat and our team of "rarities" at National Rarities.
Stay tuned for our next National Rarities Employee Spotlight in February! We look forward to embracing 2021!