Merritt Miller and Rachel Rubin are sisters and partners of Renaissance Fine Arts and Merritt Galleries. Their galleries’ collection is a diverse mix of unique works from established to emerging artists, from local artists to those halfway around the globe. They invite you to join them on a journey into the world of fine art.
Q: TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR GALLERIES.
A: We kind of “grew up” in the business; our mother started it more than 30 years ago out of our house. During the first four years, she opened our first two gallery locations and frame shop. Five years later, we opened our third gallery. Today, our collection re- sides in three galleries: Renaissance Fine Arts in Baltimore, and Merritt Galleries in Chevy Chase, MD, and Haverford, PA. We are constantly acquiring new works, which keeps our walls ever-changing.
Q: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COLLECTION?
A: Our galleries house one of the largest collections of fine art in the Mid- Atlantic region. The artwork ranges from traditional to contemporary. It includes original works on canvas and paper, as well as sculpture. Our Master Works division includes original works by Picasso, Matisse, Renoir, and Warhol, to name a few.
WHAT IS THE PHILOSOPHY BEHIND WHAT YOU DO?
We truly believe that art can alter your world. To do this, we bring together a cultivated collection of talented artists from near and far. By supporting our artists, we allow them to do what they love: create art. For our clients, our goal is to help them build unique collections or find pieces that reflect their personality.
RACHEL RUBIN, left AND MERRITT MILLER
WHEN A FIRST-TIME CLIENT WALKS INTO ONE OF YOUR GALLERIES, WHAT HAPPENS?
Most importantly, they should enjoy the experience. We are super- welcoming — you can come here with your kids, your mom … for five minutes or five hours. The prices are marked, and yes, we have things for smaller budgets! Our experienced art consultants work with our clients one-on-one to help them find the perfect art for their space or even discover what moves them. Sometimes, a person will just connect with a painting, and we’ll start to talk about it.
HOW OFTEN IS IT ‘LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT’?
It actually happens quite often, but it’s still exciting to watch. It’s a visceral reaction — to a color, to a memory, to an emotion — when it’s the right one, it sings. It should make you smile.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
We encourage people to be open, to look at a lot of possibilities — not to buy on impulse or just to fill up a space. The art consultants at the gallery are really good at helping a client discover what they like, based on what they have expressed an interest in and from talking to them. With art, the connections are not always obvious. Its kind of an intuitive process, really fascinating to be a part of.
SHOULD IT MATTER WHERE ART IS PLACED WITHIN A HOME?
Not necessarily. We will typically bring a number of pieces to a client’s home — to either help them find the right spot for a piece they’ve fallen in love with or to find the right piece for a specific space. Pieces can feel dramatically different in the gallery than in a client’s home.
IS THERE A FEE FOR AN ART CONSULTATION?
No. We feel our in-gallery or in-home consultation is just part of the process of finding the right piece of art.
WHAT DECORATING CLICHÉ DO YOU TRY TO AVOID?
That the art needs to match the furniture!
WHO IS YOUR DREAM CLIENT?
Someone who is decisive and open to the possibilities …
Renaissance Fine Arts in located in the Village at Cross Keys on Falls Road in Roland Park. To learn more about Renaissance Fine Arts Gallery, visit renaissancefinearts.com.