40 Prominent People | John Geraghty

John Geraghty
Show Organizer • Los Angeles, CA

John Geraghty

Distinction: Geraghty is one of the founders of the Autry National Center’s annual Masters of the American West exhibition and sale, which has become one of the major exhibitions in the West.
What has been the biggest change in the art world during your career in art? Representational art of the American West has spread to the rest of the nation and now has been recognized internationally as a true, credible American art form.
What are you proudest of about the Masters exhibition? The commitment and dedication of the artists and their willingness to continue to challenge themselves.
What is your most memorable moment while working on the exhibition? The presentation of Howard Terpning’s signature painting, THE FORCE OF NATURE HUMBLES ALL MEN, and the acquisition of this masterwork for the permanent collection of the Autry National Center.
How has your show evolved over the years? Since the first exhibition in February 1998, the subject matter has become increasingly diverse.
Describe the show in one word. Progressive.
How has the show contributed to increased appreciation for representational art? The exhibition records 20 to 25 percent of sales from first-time buyers. I am certain the proximity of such a large metropolitan area has influenced this phenomenon. However, my conclusion is that it’s also due to the inclusion of exceptional small works by these artists. That presents the opportunity for new patrons to acquire a comparatively inexpensive work of art by a master artist.
How do you think Southwest Art magazine has contributed to the success of the show and its artists? Southwest Art has been the innovator in publicizing the diversity of western art, and it has helped readers cultivate an understanding of the artists’ interpretations of their subjects.

Featured in “40 Prominent People” in May 2011.