About Robert Garren Gallery

About us

We are a Russian art gallery based in Georgetown, Tennessee. We represent over 250 artists from Russia and the former Soviet Union. Many of these artists are quite distinguished and famous throughout Russia but their names have only recently reached the United States. With over 2,500 works currently in our inventory, we have one of the largest collections of Russian art in the nation.

About Bob Garren

Bob Garren is the owner of Robert Garren Gallery. He has an MFA in Fine Art from Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. Formerly a professor and head of the art department at Southern College (now Southern Adventist University), he hosted two visiting Russian artists who had come to Southern College in the early ’90s to exhibit their works in the gallery there. They, in turn, invited him through the Russian Artists’ Union to make a trip to Russia to meet other artists and learn about the Russian academic system. He made his first trip to Russia in 1994, and was so impressed not only by the vast array of art he saw there but by its quality. He bought four paintings his first trip, and the next trip he bought several more, and the next trip, more… Bob stopped teaching in 1997 to deal full-time in Russian art. He now travels to Russia several times a year to buy paintings (sometimes several hundred in one trip) from artists in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Voronezh, and small towns of Russia. He has developed personal relationships with the artists, or, if they are deceased, with their families, friends, or estates. Through the artists he knows he has been able to meet and build relationships with new artists, thus extending his network and building our inventory with the new paintings he buys, adding new names to the list of artists we represent.

About our Staff

Mathew Miller, originally from Knoxville, Tennessee, has been employed at Robert Garren Gallery since 2000. He studied international economics at the University of Manchester, England and received his B.S. in economics from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is a former airline marketing and sales executive. An avid art collector, Mathew changed industries and brought his professional skills to the Robert Garren Gallery. He is involved at the gallery in many different capacities including public relations, marketing, sales, photography and painting restoration. As a vital member of our restoration team, he truly specializes in our art cleaning department . He carefully and meticulously cleans each painting that is in need. Since the cleaning procedure is the step of the restoration process that takes the longest, Mathew’s patience is invaluable in this department. In his years of working at the gallery he has perfected this extensive cleaning process. The results of his applications are dramatic; his diligence and attention to detail result in a painting looking as clean as the day the artist completed it. He enjoys working in our casual atmosphere where he is able to utilize all of his professional skills in a constantly changing and challenging environment.

Chandra Morgan has worked at the Robert Garren Gallery since 2005. A native of Portland, Oregon, she received her BFA in painting from Southern Adventist University in December of 2006. She is a fine painter herself and quickly learned the painting cleaning and restoration process. She has been a wonderful addition to our staff and is now invaluable to us in cleaning the older paintings as well as in our restoration department. After a painting is cleaned, she does the rest of any restoration it might need, including patching holes, lining canvases, and in-painting any missing paint. She uses her eye for color and knowledge of oil paint to match paint for the in-painting process. When she is finished with a painting, you should not be able to tell she was ever there, except that now, there is no missing paint.

Rachel Rivera has worked at the Robert Garren Gallery since the summer of 2006. She received a Bachelor’s in Art with an emphasis in Art Therapy from Southern Adventist University in May of 2006. A multi-talented person, she has learned much of the restoration process in a very short time and now specializes in cleaning and restoring paintings. Her tremendous patience is very advantageous to her work in the cleaning process. She also photographs most of the paintings for our inventory, translates the titles of the works and the artists’ names from Russian, and manages our large database of artworks and artists. She is an enthusiastic learner and is happily willing to undertake any responsibility the gallery offers. She has been a wonderful and talented addition to our staff.

Our Artwork

Although our works are mostly oil paintings on canvas or board, we also sell art in other mediums like watercolors, etchings, graphite drawings, glazed porcelain, and sculpture. Every painting is examined closely upon arrival from Russia, and we clean and restore the painting if it is needed. We have both framed and unframed pieces; our frames are hand carved and gilded.

Our Frames

As the famous Russian artist and academician Andrei Andreevich Mylnikov once said, “A painting without a frame is like a general in a sauna. You don’t know how important he is until you see him decorated with all his medals.” With this in mind, we take great care in selecting frames for the paintings at the Robert Garren Gallery. We believe that only the hightest quality frames that are works of art in themselves are sufficient for such wonderful and important paintings.

The process:

Detail of a frame by PetrosDetail of a frame by Petros

Every frame is handmade specifically for the painting it frames. Each frame is measured and cut from a basic molding. It is then meticulously hand carved. We choose carves that compliment the paintings to be framed. After sealing the wood, the frame is given eight coats of gesso, sanded between each coat, and eight coats of clay, usually blue or red. The frame is hand-gilded with 24 carat gold or white gold, depending on the coloring of the painting and what color frame would complement it best. The frame is then antiqued, a process that tones down the brightness of the gold and gives it a classic look. The finished product is a gorgeous one-of-a-kind frame. We use two framers from southern California: Frame by Petros and Mayén-Olson.

Related Links