My Experiences With Arader Galleries

My first experience with Arader Galleries, which caused me to place them on my NOT RECOMMENDED list back in 2001 -

In the early summer of 2001, I contacted Arader Galleries via email. I sent them a list of 10 Audubon 1st Royal Octavo Edition Birds of America prints that I wanted to purchase. All 10 prints were very popular upper tier prints, and each would have retailed for well over $1000.00* back in 2001 (*based on my own research at ). Over a 2-3 week period, emails were exchanged, and I called their gallery 3 times.

The first email response that I received from the Arader Gallery was that they had most of the prints in stock, that I wanted, and they could easily get the others. I then responded by email that I would like to see pictures, prices and condition reports for the prints they had in stock. After they emailed me that there would be a delay, because they were not setup to take pictures for emailing, I eventually received one picture each of 3 different prints. The pictures were so dark and tiny that no details could really be clearly seen, and the prints could not be evaluated. The condition reports were simply that all prints were excellent, and no prices were quoted for the 3 prints.

This prompted my first phone call to Arader Galleries. I was able to speak with the woman who was sending me the pictures. She did apologize for the quality of the pictures, and said she would send some more. I also asked for detailed condition reports on the prints they had in stock from my list, and for prices.

I think nearly a week passed by and I had received nothing from the gallery. So, I called again. The same woman told me she would get them out as soon as possible. A few days later pictures arrived via email. Actually, she sent only 2 pictures, no prices, and the same simple "excellent" condition report, with no details. The pictures were not labeled and were so dark that I wasn't sure which prints they were of.

The next day I called Arader Gallery and asked to speak to the owner. I was told that Graham Arader was not available. After explaining my problem with whoever answered the phone, I was connected with a woman who identified herself as gallery manager/director. We discussed the poor pictures and the lack of prices and detailed condition reports for a few minutes. I will never forget the snotty arrogant tone of her voice. Finally, she simply told me that it wasn't worth their time and trouble for such a small sale.

They blew off a $10,000.00-$15,000.00 sale. They NEVER provided me with decent pictures or condition reports, and never quoted a price for any print. This attitude toward customers is why I placed W. Graham Arader III and Arader Galleries on my NOT RECOMMENDED list. More recently, I experienced the following -

On February 15, 2008, I visited Arader Gallery's website. Under "Audubon", prints from the Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America and Birds of America Havell Edition are shown for sale. I do not think these are actual pictures of the prints that someone would theoretically buy from the website. I think they are stock photos from some other picture source. I believe the paper is too white for an original antique Audubon print, and the colors are too dark and saturated for an antique watercolor engraving or lithograph. 

If the pictures are of actual antique Audubon prints, then I think they have been enhanced or manipulated by photo imaging software, or they have been heavily cleaned and bleached and poorly re-colored. I would never spend maybe $10,000.00 up to $250,000.00 to buy an Audubon print from Mr. Arader based on the pictures on his website. More reason to travel to one of his galleries and actually see what you are buying. More importantly, the website does not say or guarantee that what you see is what you get.

And guess what, there are no prices listed for any of the prints that are supposedly for sale. What do you think about condition reports? You're right, there are none, not even a word.

In my opinion the Arader Gallery website is not very customer friendly. It is really not setup to do business over the Internet. Yes, there is a button to click to “contact us to order.” But, it only leads to an email message form. Would anyone actually order anything from that website when there are no condition reports or prices for any of the Audubon prints supposedly for sale? I think their website is a little deceptive.

Based on my experience on this website, I would NOT RECOMMEND W. Graham Arader III or Arader Galleries.

Ron Flynn  3/15/2008

Copyright (C) 2008 by Ron Flynn