James Borynack, FINDLAY Galleries

James Borynack

Celebrating 150 Years

Editors’ Note

Eighteen years before acquiring Findlay Galleries International, Inc., in 1998, James Borynack purchased Findlay Galleries in New York, having already been its Director and Senior Vice President. His relationship with the company began in 1972, when he was hired as a salesman after having served as a partner at De Noyer, a boutique specializing in European high-fashion imports. He has also been associated with various government-related positions, including Cultural Attaché and Ambassador for Republicans Abroad International. In addition, he served as North American President of the auction house Phillips Son & Neale. He is an alumnus of New York’s Parsons New School for Design.

Company Brief

As art dealers serving individuals, institutions and corporate collectors, FINDLAY Galleries International, Inc. (findlaygalleries.com), was founded in 1870 in Kansas City, Missouri. With galleries in New York and affiliates in London and Paris in addition to its flagship premises in Palm Beach, Florida, FINDLAY Galleries specializes in impressionism, European Modernism, l’École de Rouen, l’École de Paris, and 20th Century American Art. The gallery currently represents more than 40 contemporary artists worldwide creating more than 50 exhibitions annually within their gallery network.

Findlay Galleries in Palm Beach

Entrance to Findlay Galleries in Palm Beach

Findlay Galleries will be celebrating its 150th anniversary. Will you highlight the history and heritage of Findlay Galleries?

We had several discussions about just how we should highlight our historic achievement. Should we create a media blitz? Should we wrap the buildings in New York and Palm Beach? Should we rent strategic billboards throughout major U.S. cities like art fairs do? We have a few surprises in store for 2020. Publishing a book to celebrate the anniversary was a no-brainer. We hired an established author, who is currently co-authoring our 250-page table-top book with vintage Findlay history and images. The book launch will take place in February.

What have been the keys to Findlay Galleries’ longevity and its ability to stay relevant?

The key has been hard and smart work, followed by unparalleled service to all clients. In addition, having the ability to understand what art was right for us to represent throughout the different art movements over the past 150 years and having the insight to select the artists that would renew our leadership in both period and contemporary art has been critical. It is all about the art and who backs it up. The integrity of our business is dealing with the quality of art we represent. When we acquired the David Findlay Jr. Gallery four years ago, we reunited an iconic American family in art, The Findlay Galleries, established in 1870. David had established himself as a renowned mid-century abstractionist art dealer, which now brought abstract authority to the renewed Findlay Galleries roster.

Will you provide an overview of Findlay Galleries’ business today?

Our business today is steady and is growing on a consistent basis. Our major sales continue in master works from 19th and 20th century Impressionists and modern masters. Our volume grows with our well-known roster of color-field contemporaries along with a few bright and very talented emerging artists in a very affordable category.

How do you define the strengths of Findlay Galleries and what differentiates the brand?

The strength of this company has always been its ability to renew itself on an as needed basis. That comes with awareness and judgement calls regarding the depth of artistic movements and trends. Having a contemporary management team mixed with a seasoned sales team can rocket up great initiatives that keep pace with the development of “now” tactics while advancing our long-term strategic programs for the future. Our websites are renewing daily, and our electronic catalogue hits grow regularly. However, our print media budgets continue to grow as does our clients’ desire to see the image and turn the page when in hand. As a worldwide brand, we are unique. We are one of a few established representational and abstractionist galleries providing full retail services and offering both renowned living and period artists to our roster of over 12,000 active clients globally.

Where do you see the greatest growth opportunities for Findlay Galleries?

Regarding art, we have been noticing a serious growing interest in traditional artists and period paintings of the 20th century. There is a specific generational lean away from conceptual art or works of art that do not offer rewarding aesthetic experiences. We are receiving more requests from museums and institutions for loans from our Post-Impressionist collection and figurative works from the 1960s. Considering growth opportunities, we are focusing on the U.S. We recently bowed out of a joint venture with a substantial Chinese partner to expand our galleries to main hubs in the PRC and the Pacific Rim. That’s still an unknown territory for our 150-year-old reputation. We had a gallery in Tokyo in the mid-1970s and we were the first U.S. gallery to represent contemporary Chinese art from 1979-86 which was way ahead of the pack.

How do you focus your efforts leading Findlay Galleries?

I am most fortunate to have an exceedingly collaborative team. I continue to oversee our contemporary artists group along with most of our art purchases for inventory. Having joined Wally Findlay Galleries 48 years ago, I have an insider understanding of its unique history. I focus through the good counsel of my COO, and life-partner of 20 years, my wise and talented Gallery Directors from Palm Beach and New York, my daughter, currently President of the Findlay Institute, and a very astute and informed circle of art consultants throughout our galleries. I am also enlightened by our coterie of gallery affiliations worldwide.