It was perhaps the most tragic and unsettling art-related news of 2016: The esteemed RJD Gallery located in Sag Harbor, New York, suffered a total loss during a massive fire on December 16. However, the gallery’s adroit owner quoted Mark Twain recently, saying, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”
It was news that sent shockwaves across the contemporary art world on December 17: A massive fire in Sag Harbor, New York, had led to the complete destruction of at least four buildings, including the Sag Harbor Cinema and one of the premier contemporary art galleries in the country, RJD Gallery.
The void left by the catastrophe will likely take years to fill, but it is with great excitement that we report that measures to bring RJD Gallery back to its feet are proceeding with incredible quickness. If there is a silver lining after the loss of numerous fantastic artworks, it is the fact that the gallery had a large storage facility offsite, which has allowed operations to continue despite the destruction of its exhibition space.
RJD is currently breaking ground on a new location, 2385 Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton, New York, between Bobby Vans and the Candy Kitchen. The goal is to open the gallery space by March 2017. Did we mention that the new venue will feature twice the space as well?
In Greek mythology, a phoenix is a long-lived bird that is regenerated or reborn. Associated with the sun, the phoenix rises and obtains new life from the ashes of its predecessor. In historical records, the phoenix symbolizes renewal and resurrection, emerging from its death stronger than before.
The flaming bird of Greek mythology is a perfect metaphor for RJD Gallery: It is sometimes through the most challenging of times that one can emerge stronger and more determined than ever.
Stay tuned to Fine Art Connoisseur and Fine Art Today as we track the rebirth of RJD Gallery.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.