Shaping the Future of Fine Art Lithography: [S.Sup.2] Art Group Ltd's Jack and Carolyn Solomon Share a Vision: "Art for the People."

Art Business News, February 2005 | Go to article overview

Shaping the Future of Fine Art Lithography: [S.Sup.2] Art Group Ltd's Jack and Carolyn Solomon Share a Vision: "Art for the People."


Throughout their lengthy careers as fine art dealers, the husband-and-wife team of Jack and Carolyn Solomon have always shared one clear focus: the belief in fine art lithography as the pre-eminent printing method to bring important art and artists to the American art-buying public. By providing established and up-and-coming artists with the publishing resources to achieve their highest artistic potential, and by making a diverse range of high-quality fine art accessible to a rapidly growing audience of beginning and advanced collectors, the Solomons' populist vision of "art for the people" has withstood the test of time.

Jack, a successful attorney specializing in art and entertainment law, started Circle Fine Art in 1964 as "a hobby"--selling art from his home. Circle remained a small, profitable hobby until 1971 when Jack convinced Carolyn to resign from her executive position at Playboy Industries, to join Circle as its president. Under Carolyn's management and Jack's artist contacts, Circle evolved into one of America's foremost art companies, with 36 Circle Galleries nationwide.

Soon after Carolyn's installation, Jack began to act on what he saw as an increasing public desire for affordable artwork by well-known, museum-credentialed artists. This demand eventually became so great that he created a new division within his already thriving local retail-gallery art business strategy that would engage in the publishing, and eventual worldwide distribution, of limited edition original graphics by renowned artists.

One of the first major artists to sign an exclusive contract for the creation of commissioned editions was Norman Rockwell, and with the increased exposure afforded by the printing of graphic multiples, museums and art critics alike echoed Jack Solomon's insight into the artist's unique, lively vision of Americana.

In 1974, the production capabilities of the graphics' division were significantly enhanced when an opportunity arose to acquire two of the rare antique Marinoni Voirin flatbed presses that had been used at the internationally respected Mourlot atelier in Paris, thus allowing the creation of an in-house facility to print exemplary museum-quality fine art graphics. First established at The American Atelier in New York City, the graphics workshop for artists engaged several notable French master printers who had previously worked in Paris with Picasso, Braque and Miro.

Following the sale of Circle Fine Art in 1993 and the subsequent formation in 1996 of [S.sup.2] Art Group, Ltd. in Chicago, Jack and Carolyn moved their namesake company in 2002 into the [S.sup.2] Art Center--a 22,000-square-foot printing facility and corporate headquarters in the burgeoning Las Vegas Arts District (for which Jack Solomon holds the title of president). …

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