city home into a museum and a $1 million business
...Richard Rist, 44, is the founder and president of the Large Art Co., a fine art gallery that specializes in larger-scale art.His
collection is held in a 100-year-old Victorian house in Baltimore's Hamilton neighborhood.The house is stocked full of large oil paintings, bronze and marble sculptures and statues.
But why "large" art? The idea goes back to the early 1980s when Rist was serving in the U.S. Navy.
"I would go into museums at every port (Italy, North Africa, France and more) and everything was huge," Rist said.When returning to the states, he
noticed American museums held art that was much smaller in size.He
began to wonder where someone would go if they wanted to buy large art.Thus, the idea of a large-art business was created.
believed it could work.
assumed the majority of sales would come from large paintings and statues but was surprised that the company got its niche in bronze statuary.
"I knew people who needed it and wanted it, but had nowhere to get it."There are roughly 25 companies nationwide that sell large bronze pieces and other large artwork.So Rist
set out to make the Large Art Co.
the number one place to go.
The company's Web site is the most vital piece of Rist's company
, as more than 90 percent of the art is sold electronically.Bronze is especially difficult to photograph, but Rist
knew that putting quality pictures on the Web site would encourage purchases.