Lost Art Salon is a San Francisco-based gallery that specializes in the rediscovery of historically significant artists and the curation of fine art collections reflecting the major styles and movements of the Modern Era. Open to the public, the gallery’s showroom offers over 5,000 paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and objects from the late 19th Century through the present, with a strong emphasis on 20th Century Modernism. They are a client and friend of LightSource SF. We recently caught up with Rob Delamater, who co-owns Lost Art Salon with Gaetan Caron.
How did the concept for Lost Art Salon come about? What were the first years like?
We were both in corporate jobs and we were looking to making a big change and start a design-related business together. After a few months of brainstorming we realized that there didn’t seem to be a real resource for original 20th Century art at affordable prices.
Initially we purchased single pieces at flea markets and auctions, but after a few years with this approach we realized that purchasing a collection by a single artist was far more rewarding. This allowed us to put our energy behind an entire body of work and the legacy of a rediscovered artist.
The first few years we did pop up shows around San Francisco and used our two living rooms (we lived next door to each other at the time) as our “art salons”. People could make appointments to visit the collection. One day we had the creative department from Tommy Hilfiger visit us and buy a collection and we thought… “we might have something here!” Soon after we leased our first brick and mortar space and we’ve now been here for more than thirteen years.
How does LightSource factor into your process?
LightSource is so much more than just a vendor for us. They are true partners and collaborators. We know that they have our best interest in mind and they are excellent communicators.
We use LightSource for all of our important captures and reproductions. We also have LightSource produce a line of limited edition prints that are sold through a very high quality home decor retailer and I just can’t imagine trusting the process and the results to anyone else. I’ll often contact Steve when I am just starting to think about a project to get his insight and feedback before I take the project too far. It’s a relationship of trust.