I had a great interview with Carl David on Sunday, December 15.
Carl David is the third generation of a four-generation family art business in Philadelphia which was founded by his Grandfather, David David, circa 1910. The business was later expanded by Samuel David, his son, to incorporate paintings, watercolors and sculptures of both European and American origin. Many exhibitions were mounted over the years, including a major assemblage of Baroque paintings accompanied by a concert by the Philadelphia Baroque Quartet. Samuel David was a force with which to be reckoned in and out of the art world. His legacy lives on long after his untimely passing.
Carl David is the author of Collecting & Care of Fine Art published by Crown in 1981. At a time when art was being wantonly touted as an investment vehicle, Carl felt the obligation to inform the public of how and why the art market really works, divulging facts and dispelling myths of illusory nature. Collectors, both seasoned and novice were thrilled to get a realistic appraisal of the art markets. His earlier article about Martha Walter, an American Impressionist painter (1875-1976), was published in the American Art Review in May 1978 and dramatically expanded the awareness of the well credentialed artist and her work, which Samuel David discovered and promoted in the late 1960’s
Carl David is a philanthropist, and has organized and produced fundraising exhibitions for the Washington DC branch of the National center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Delaware Valley Burn Foundation, The American Red Cross and the Make a Wish Foundation. David gives appraisals and consultations for many museums, universities and the FBI, the State of New York, the White House, the office of the Attorney General, the DuPont Family and many others. David was a charter member of Sothebys.com and a member of the Art and Antique Dealers League. He is also a panel member for The Art News World Art Market in NY Many art journals and financial magazines have called upon David for his angle on the state of the art markets and he is a contributing journalist for www.groundreport.com
Mr. David's latest book, Bader Field, embodies the emotional story of a son's loving relationship with his father—the legendary art dealer whose life is suddenly taken by a massive coronary at the young age of fifty-eight years. His death plunges the twenty-four-year-old man onto the front lines of the family art business, which he had entered a mere three years prior. Battling with his own grief while trying to help his adoring but fragile mother survive, David forges forward with all of the elemental tools his father imparted to him. His journey proves a difficult one, not having yet recovered from the horrific loss of his brother who was found dead on the fourth floor of the Rittenhouse Square townhouse, which was home to the prestigious David David Gallery. His self-imposed obligation was to successfully take the family art business to the next generation and to give his own children, years later, every bit of love, kindness, and wisdom bestowed upon him by the unique man whom they will never know other than the mark he left on everyone who knew him. Bader Field adds significant insight into the mysterious workings and dealings of the art world. David speaks from
experience of having been immersed in it all of his life and having lived it from the inside out. There will be a tremendous crossover interest in this book as it combines the elements of an American family, its goodness and its tragedy interfaced with the multifaceted aspects of the mysterious art business and flying small airplanes. Bader Field in Atlantic City was the oldest airfield in the country. With little sophistication, its two asphalt runways juggled single and twin engine aircraft exuding a character and charm that created memories to last a lifetime. That is where this saga begins and where it ends as life comes full circle.
David’s initial reason for writing this book was for his sons to know the greatness of their extraordinary Grandfather. As the years passed and the book developed, there became an even larger quest; to reach out to those tortured souls on the brink of desperation contemplating taking their lives and show them through the nightmare of his darkest days that there is always a better way, that there is love, hope and help out there and that such a violent act of finality not only ends their life, but also forever scars those of their family and friends. David is on a quest to save lives and prevent anybody from having to endure the horrific tragedy that nearly ripped his family apart. It is his way of paying it forward.
Carl's gallery, The David David Gallery is located at 260 South 18th Street in Philadelphia. You can see it at www.daviddavidgallery.com
Carl David's book, Bader Field: How My Family Survived Suicide was published by Nightengale Press *SBN: 978-1-933449-66-1 and can be purchased at www.amazon.com or at www.carledavid.com