What do you do?

James Zemaitis: You have to wear a lot of hats when you’re in the auction house. And it’s tough because in many ways I’m a generalist of 20th century design. I mean if you think . . . If you think about it, I am supposed to be able to talk with equal confidence to my clients about a Tiffany lamp, and about Ron … And you know that completely goes against the gallery world where you have very much specialists in certain areas; or certainly, you know, in the museum world. So I consider myself to be a faux curator who is kind of imitating what curators do at museums, and what museum directors do. You’re working with your patrons, with your clients. You’re helping them shape their collection. You’re twisting their arm trying to get them to sell something with you. And you’re twisting your arm . . . twisting their arm trying to get them to buy with you. At the same time I’m some sort of, I don’t know, kind of odd wholesaler. You know guys in vans drive up from Indiana with this piece that they found in a garage sale. And I look at it, and I look at it and I select it and I say, “This is gonna do great. This is something that really speaks to me, and I think speaks to the clients. This is a forgotten piece of Noguchi that’s quite rare.” And I guess the other aspect to my job is I am really like a faux editor-in-chief. I am taking everything that I find, I’m editing it. I’m always on deadline. You know an auction catalog has to be out, you know, three to four weeks before the sale. You have a very time-sensitive situation. You can’t dawdle. You can’t delay. You can’t get a deadline . . . a deadline extension. You have to get that magazine out. So I’m a little bit of a hybrid.

Recorded on: 1/30/08

 

 

Zemaitis sees himself as a generalist of 20th-century design.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less
Promotional photo of Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones
Surprising Science
  • It's commonly thought that the suppression of female sexuality is perpetuated by either men or women.
  • In a new study, researchers used economics games to observe how both genders treat sexually-available women.
  • The results suggests that both sexes punish female promiscuity, though for different reasons and different levels of intensity.
Keep reading Show less

This 1997 Jeff Bezos interview proves he saw the future coming

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, explains his plan for success.

Technology & Innovation
  • Jeff Bezos had a clear vision for Amazon.com from the start.
  • He was inspired by a statistic he learned while working at a hedge fund: In the '90s, web usage was growing at 2,300% a year.
  • Bezos explains why books, in particular, make for a perfect item to sell on the internet.
Keep reading Show less