Dr. Robert Stefanotti, whose gallery, Stefanotty Gallery, showed works from Malcolm Morley, Lowell Nesbitt, Guy Johnson, and Dennis Oppenheim, among others in 1970’s New York (a time which predated the internet), shared a letter of his experience since Cement created his Wikipedia page in 2017.
As a result, Stefanotti has connected with so many individuals interested in sharing his work, spanning beyond the art world. You can find his letter below.
My galleries in the seventies introduced and promoted over a hundred artists, many of whom have gone on to have important careers; many are now being discovered by scholars and curators. Unfortunately, there is no easily available digital record of much of what went on with Stefanotty/Stefanotti Galleries – not only because this activity predated the Web, but also because I left the scene in the mid-eighties moving to Europe to study, minister, teach, and write extensively on art & spirituality. Making things perhaps worse, I am an intensely private person and have decided, since its inception, not to get on social media. Needless to say, the ways in which I could assist scholars – unless they had my contact information – was limited.
A few years ago, a dealer in Chelsea (NYC), tracked me down as he wanted to show one of my old artists (Jimmy DeSana – who is on Wikipedia). In my helping him with the show, he told me how difficult it was to get information about me on the Web, and suggested I think about having an article about my disperate past on Wikipedia. Since my article appeared on Wikipedia, an amazing amount of important things happened – projects I may have never heard of, by people I had never known.
Just this last month alone, I have been approached by an independent scholar writing an article on a Dennis Oppenheim piece I first showed at my gallery in 1974, and a curator at a museum in LA has interviewed me for an exhibition of yet another one of my artists. I have also recently heard from researchers in the field of Early Modern Spirituality, the subject of much of my labors these last thirty years from The Netherlands and Ireland.
What Wikipedia has done, as the link for the article on me comes up first on any Google search, is to act as a portal for other ways of researching works I’ve shown and articles and books I have written in various disciplines.
Thank you for the work you have done on my behalf, as well as others.
(Dr.) Robert Stefanotti