Who is Fred Taraba and what does he want?
Fred Taraba is a dealer in original American illustrative artwork… that is, painting and drawings that have been created specifically for reproduction in books, magazines, advertisements and many other media. Most of what he deals in dates from prior to 1990. He has been in the business of caring for, writing about and selling original illustration since 1983. For sixteen years he was the Director of Illustration House, Inc. a New York City gallery and auction house specializing in the artform. Prior to that he spent eight years with The Society of Illustrators in New York as their Assistant Director/ Curator and Librarian.
In 2007, he came to a few realizations:
- That in the previous 8 years, he’d spent one full year commuting to work.
- That after twenty-four years running the rat race; the rats were, indeed, winning.
- That it’s too expensive to live in the New York City area AND still love what you do.
- That he’d reached a point where mid-life burnout was an imminent likelihood.
- That, at 47, if he didn't take steps to realize his dreams soon, he never would.
In 2016, he came to a few more realizations:
* That everything he thought in 2007 is still pretty much true.
* That being one’s own boss, there’s no buck-passing… either in or out.
* That being in business for oneself is a roller coaster ride… but that keeps the synapses firing.
So, [and yes I am “cutting to the chase” here] I went into business for myself in a place where I could both relax and afford to live … Casper, Wyoming.
As a small and independent dealer of original vintage American illustration artwork who's located well off the beaten track, I'm able to remain light on my feet. I do have a lot of goals, both for the business and for myself. That said, becoming fabulously wealthy is not among my goals. I want to use my knowledge, enthusiasm and passion for American illustration art to live a modest, amiable life.
There was a time, that I can remember, when I didn't know E.F. Ward from H.J. Ward from Bill Ward from Ward Brackett. The illustration world is a varied and interesting place. Part of my reason for undertaking this endeavor is to be a guide towards a broader appreciation of what's what and who's who.