Park West Gallery Founder and CEO Albert Scaglione has been called the “Indiana Jones of the art world” in the Huffington Post, and through a recent interview with BOLD, it becomes clear why.
While he may not carry a whip and explore temples, Scaglione is a doctor in his own right thanks to a PhD in mechanical engineering, and travels the world discovering great artists to introduce to the public, such as Autumn de Forest, Yaacov Agam and Peter Max. Scaglione talks about his career and life with LaGrange Green during a November 5 podcast.
Prior to his career in art, Scaglione worked as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, and had a career with NASA figuring out how to send a man to Mars. Instead of continuing with science, Scaglione decided to explore another of his passions: art. He remembered the experiences he had working at his cousin’s art gallery for two summers, and decided art was his future.
“I got to stretch paintings, varnish paintings, frame paintings, meet artists, meet people looking at them, learn about it, and it was so fascinating,” he tells Green.
He did his own research as well as taking art courses to learn about art history. He took out a mortgage on his house and in 1969 opened Park West Gallery. Since then, the gallery has expanded to two locations, is aboard more than 100 cruise ships and has around 1,500 employees.
Nowadays, Scaglione says his vision for the gallery is to continue helping people discover a love of art. Through the non-profit Park West Foundation, the gallery is underwriting four museum exhibitions around the country for 2016.
Scaglione is still exploring to this day. The gallery is seeking the new possibilities available through the Internet, and is experimenting with dye sublimation, a digital printing process that allows artists to print imagery directly onto surfaces like metal.
“Me being a technical guy it’s like the cat’s meow,” he says.