Who knew twenty years could be such a short amount of time? At thirty it seems the rest of your useful life, at fifty I’m rather hoping it isn’t. Between us Tiffany and I already had a decade and a half of art world servitude between us by the Millennium. I feel opening our first shop together at the turn of the century was propitious but never some first step towards a grand plan of art world domination. As with most young(ish) gallery staff we felt that we had served our time and naturally now knew everything there was to know about running a London gallery, most of all we held that cast iron conviction that we could manage it all so much better than our existing employers.
I can’t remember if it took a week or a month of opening the door of our Shepherd Market gallery for us to wonder if in fact it all hadn’t been a terrible mistake, and do we think those clever, wise and lovely people we used to work for would give us our salaries back?
Anyway, eleven years of Mayfair – the real bit not the smart bit – and we had quietly built up an impressive artist list and some very lovely and loyal clients. Those who have known us since the beginning often reminisce about the perfectly formed little Georgian shop in Shepherd Market. We have fond memories ourselves but coloured perhaps by the five-people-a-room capacity and no passing space on the stairs, the leak in the upstairs gallery, oh and the complete lack of sales from the window, to be going on with. Mind you, it was equidistant between Le Boudin Blanc and the L’Artiste Muscle.
In 2006 we purchased the Oakham Gallery in Bury Street, the contemporary half of an existing business, and with it a new stable of artists, Susan Ryder and Johan de Fre amongst them. It also introduced us to a new phenomenon – passing trade. We enjoyed our time in Bury Street and It is fair to say that we flourished there, meeting some extraordinary new clients along the way.
At the start of this decade we fell victim to the gentrification of St James’s – apparently it needed it – as our building was all but demolished and re-let to a famous international old master dealer. As luck would have it, we were saved from a Hyde Park railings retail solution by the sudden availability of a rather grand premises on Pall Mall. So here we are today, riding out the current storms of uncertainty in a magnificent ex-bank at the heart of the London art world. We still show the most talented artists and deal with the nicest, most loyal and supportive clients anyone could ask for many of whom have become great friends. Looking back at the journey so far, from a twenty-year perspective, we are champing at the bit to see what happens next!
© Panter & Hall
1 October - 18 October 2019
Panter & Hall
11-12 Pall Mall
Monday to Friday
10.00 AM - 6.00 PM
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
CLOSED BANK HOLIDAYS