Recent Events – November
Kunsthuis Gallery, Amsterdam
This storied city is where our wholesale business first started in 2015 and it consequently holds a very special place in my heart. The Kunsthius gallery has created so many special memories for us and we do have a very strong collector base in Holland. Indeed the country lies third after America and the UK in the geographical distribution of our 400,000 social media followers.
There was one particularly memorable evening in Holland when Henk-Jan and Bart Mulder held a surprise black tie reception for me with a guest list compiled by my dear friend - the Dutch model and national treasure - Kim Feenstra. I was so touched that she did this and it was fun to catch up with Humberto Tan again - what a legend.
We love Holland and I think that there is something very special about having a show in a city that hosts the best art museums in the world. It is humbling and inspiring to spend a morning at the Rijksmuseum.
Samuel Lynne Galleries, Dallas
Samuel Lynne is our flagship gallery in America and Dallas is our flagship city. We have so many advocates and collectors in the city that it is almost a second home. We would like to thank Steve and Anne Stodghill for their hospitality - which is always embarrassingly generous and done with such effortless ease. They open their stunning home in Highland Park to us with a regularity that is undeserved. Meanwhile Phil Romano keeps us entertained with his jokes and his energy and well-nourished in his acclaimed clubs and restaurants. We would also like to thank our friend Al Biernat for yet again hosting an event at his eponymous restaurant.
It was a long week and as always, we left The Big D tired, but also in no doubt that Texas deserves its reputation for setting standards in hospitality and kindness. JD, Lea, Kristin and Asher - you do a grand job and we miss you already.
Dallas was our first collaboration with our US conservation partners - WildAid. Corie Knights, the joint founder of WildAid, joined us for three days of events and it was an opportunity to learn a great deal about the extraordinary impact that WildAid, thanks to her husband Peter’s passion, has had on the demand side of the poaching crisis.
Hilton Asmus Contemporary, Chicago
Our week in Chicago was as busy as expected, with a full schedule of TV and radio appearances, as well as events in the gallery on three consecutive nights. Arica Hilton certainly makes the most of everything in life - which is why we keep returning. A highlight during the week was being invited by the Chicago Blackhawk’s captain, Brent Seabrook, to a home game - my first big ice hockey game since the Olympics in Calgary 32 years ago.
We also want to thank Heather Crist of UBS for hosting a lunch and a dinner during our week in Chicago. UBS are strong partners in America and I look forward to giving a keynote speech in Orlando, Florida on their behalf on 9th January next year.
We always enjoy our time in Chicago whether it be filming or when it's show time and the breadth of our friends in this great city is now quite something.
The Great Scot Awards, London
The St Andrew's Day lunch at the Savoy in London on the last Friday in November is always a fun afternoon - there is never any expectation of leaving before dark. It was a particularly special occasion for me as I was flattered to receive the Great London Scot Award for Outstanding Achievement for 2019. Those that know me well, know me to be a proud Scot before anything else. In receiving this award, I follow in some illustrious footsteps and I recognise that it is a huge honour. I was delighted that so many members of my family could attend the event and celebrate with me and I only hope that I can go on to validate the committee’s very flattering decision in the years ahead.
Ian Poulter Charity Event
In 2019, we have made material progress in developing relationships with professional athletes in Europe and America. They are role models for the next generation and many are leaders not only in their own dressing room, but across a far wider audience. I am always flattered that they are engaged with what I do and see opportunities to collaborate and raise money for charity. Of course, it helps if they own my work - third party advocacy from happy collectors that are also professional sportsmen is invaluable.
In the US, Tom Brady is our lead ambassador and wrote the foreword to the new book. We can’t really do much better than that and Tom is so generous with his time. But we have now also developed relationships with other dressing room captains - Kevin Love on the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA and Brent Seabrook of the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL. In the UK, no one has been more supportive than Mark Noble - the Captain of West Ham United and a truly special person. Philanthropy is at the heart of all these tie ups.
Golf is rarely a team sport, but when it is, the Ryder Cup is a unique spectacle. No British golfer is more associated with the biannual event than Ian Poulter - who has been on the winning European side five times. Ian has so much good energy and I am proud to call him a dear friend. He is a great golfer, but he is a famliy man first and foremost and one with a big heart. His “Dreamflight” golf days have raised over $1m in the last two years. Last Sunday, immediately after Art Basel, I was so pleased to join his fundraiser gala dinner at his beautiful home in Orlando and even more delighted that my work raised $135,000 for a great charity. It was, in many ways, the most memorable night of the year.