Meet the Proprietors

So many of our friends have suggested
we put a picture of ourselves on the site that we can't refuse.
So here we are.

Susanne on your left and William Ernest -
casually known as "Bill" - on your right.

From time to time we receive testimonials.
Here are a couple we received recently:

"Thank you Very Much, have been a delight
to deal with and I'm sure I will love the painting. All the best" ..

"My Earl Campbell "Walrus Shaman" arrived today,
safe & sound & in excellent condition! Thank you". ...

 Our friends also ask a lot of questions. We thought we'd answer them here:

How did you get started with Tribal Art?

We started collecting in 1977, when we lived in Australia
and became enamored of Aboriginal culture and the art
of these fascinating, talented people. Australian Aboriginal
culture is estimated by anthropologists to go back 26,000
years. The art is almost that old, having its genesis in
paintings on the rocky escarpments of what is now
Australia's Northern Territory

When did African art enter your picture?

A return trip to the United States took us across the
African continent. While there, we sensed a strong connection
between West African and Central African art and that of
Australia's Aborigines. While different from each other, they resonate to the same rhythm. The connection was strong enough
to draw us back to Africa to learn and buy pieces for our personal collection.


And when did you discover Native American art?

When we moved back to the United States, we discovered
the power of the Native American artistic tradition.
It was something we had never experienced in
our earlier years in the United States. We believe
it was our exposure to Australian Aboriginal art that
sensitized us to the whole context of tribal art.

When did you open the Sanibel gallery and when did it close?

Ultimately, collecting material from these areas led to trading. Trading became the gallery. First,, we worked out of our home in Chicago. Aboriginals: Art of the First Person opened as a gallery in 1990. We had been coming to Sanibel for years as we moved elsewhere around the world. Finally, when we decided to open the gallery, Sanibel was the place that felt like home.

We also knew of Sanibel's international reputation as a great place to live and visit. We believed - and it turned out to be true - that many of the people who share our interest in tribal art would be drawn to this part of the world.

Ultimately, our timetable for maintaining the physical gallery ran out. That timing coincided with some other factors - two hurricanes in successive years and a change in ownership of the gallery space. In 2006, we closed the physical gallery and shifted our entire activity to the internet and the web.


What's your vision for Aboriginals: Art of the First Person?

We see ourselves continuing to seek out the finest in authentic tribal art from Africa, Australia and Native America, enjoying it for a while and passing it on to others who will "give it a good home." We will continue to make our regular trips to the source. And we see the World Wide Web making it so much easier to communicate with our clients and resources.


Fort Myers , FL. 33908