We miss you Herman! 

January 4th, 1920 – May 31st, 2017

 

 

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In March of 2011 the Silverman Gallery opened its doors, fulfilling another one of Herman Silverman’s dreams, just one of many dreams and visions brought to fruition in his long and impactful life.
 
On our last visit with Herman, the week before he passed, Jennifer Hansen Rolli and I sat with him. The half hour we spent with him was magical, he was lucid, smiling and clear-headed, singing a show-tune to illustrate a point! He reminded us to always give back: “What was the use of having money if you didn’t help people.” Jennifer told him just what I was thinking. “The Silverman Gallery has changed my life, Herman, thank you so, so much.”
 
I know that Herman impacted my life forever, too – hiring me to work with gallery director Sharon Kraynak, back in 2012. I cannot thank her enough for asking me to consider doing so. I went from assistant to director in the fall of 2013 and have to say that I thank my lucky stars every day as I walk into the beautiful space that Herman created. Taking over ownership of the gallery in January of 2016, fulfilled for me a lifelong dream.
 
In my home town of Albuquerque, I grew up surrounded by fine art, artists, artisans and craftspeople:  jewelers, potters, weavers, painters and even a few musicians and actors. My brother, sister and I spent many of our weekends  going with my parents in and out of galleries, going to craft fairs and hanging out with creative people. As I grew older, I worked in my dad’s jewelry business, cutting turquoise, polishing silver, working on displays. In high school, my favorite place to be in the world was working in my dad’s art gallery in San Antonio, Texas.
 

Now, 40 years later I feel as though I have come full circle. The Silverman Gallery, has become my favorite place! I work with the most amazing artists and delight in selling their work. The wonderful paintings we sell truly make people happy and make a difference in their enjoyment of life.“The Silverman Gallery has changed my life, Herman, thank you so, so much.” – RHONDA GARLAND

 

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Herman Silverman, patron of the arts, relishes his latest career as gallery owner
by Peter Croatto for the Bucks Co. Herald, February 27, 2014 – Used by Permission

“I want to show you something,” says Herman Silverman in an excited tone, like a best friend about to share a secret. He makes his way to a painting. “This is John Kane,” Silverman says. “I want you to see this under the light. You look at that and you say to yourself, ‘Look at how he got this light that comes out of this window and that window.’ You see how much paint is on there? I mean this is not just splashing, he’s really working hard to get those kinds of strokes. That’s only $1,900 – that’s cheap.”

Silverman, the 94-year-old owner of the Silverman Gallery at Buckingham Green in Buckingham Township, wants to sell you some art. The renowned and retired Bucks County businessman, best known for founding Sylvan Pools, is just the one to do it.

Buyers also need help. And there’s this:  the gallery offers an interest-free payment plan. Just put 25% down on a painting and pay it off over three months. . This payment plan, Silverman explains, is about welcoming more people into the intimidating world of art – specifically the one inhabited by the Bucks County Impressionists Silverman so adores, who capture the county’s bucolic charm. He talks about offering “investment-quality” paintings, which often include handmade frames. Paintings are big-ticket items, so why can’t they be sold like a car or a living room set?

“Nobody does that, so we started it,” Silverman said, Yet if you’re looking to make money, an art gallery is not exactly a lucrative investment. The retired Silverman, who opened his gallery in 2011, knows this. “I’m trying to help the living artists,” he says. “They need wall space and publicity and marketing.” The founder and chairman emeritus of Doylestown’s James A. Michener Art Museum and legendary patron of the arts can do that.

I’m not selling concrete,” Silverman said, referring to his past business endeavor. “I’m not selling a painting, I’m selling the person who’s making it. That’s the whole thing I look for.”

The artists he seeks out, to whom he devotes cherished real estate stir something inside Silverman. The gallery is both sacrosanct and casual, a hangout filled with beautiful work from friends that set him laughing in wonder.

Silverman’s right at home here, which is a nice change of pace from a lifetime of work. You can find him here most afternoons, selling the passion.

“This,” Silverman says, “is fun.”