|Image from the Cafesjian Carousel, St. Paul, Minnesota|
That afternoon, about 30 minutes before the dentist appointment where work would begin on the new crown, (partially paid for my my state fair winnings) the agent called again, and this time he wanted me to talk to the buyer, "Gerry." I think the agent had mentioned the buyers last name, but I did not remember it, so I asked. Being a kind gentleman, the buyer spelled his name, very slowly and carefully, GERARD CAFESJIAN. The name rang a bell, but nothing specific popped into my head. I talked with him and discovered he did indeed own a breathtaking, state-of-the-art gallery, Cafesjian Center for the Arts, in Armenia. He is additionally responsible for the Gerard L. Cafesjina Pavilion at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. He also has another museum project in progress, the Armenian Genocide Museum of America in Washington DC.
He said he had seen "January Dawn" at the Minnesota State Fair, and had to own it for his collection, which contains glass by some of the foremost artists in the world. This was a puzzle for me. I could not imagine a world class art collector snacking on a corn dog and wandering into the Fine Arts building, but there is a connection (the bell that rang in my head) that explains how he came to be there. Mr. Carfesjian is an entrepreneur and philanthropist, and one of his first projects was the restoration and preservation of the historic carousel from the fairgrounds in St. Paul, which now bears his name.
ISGB show, which he also expressed interest in purchasing.
I went off to the dentist in a state of dumb-struck awe, and it did occur to me that perhaps the rest of the crown would now be paid for. I am carefully not counting any chickens yet. "January Dawn" has moved to another exhibit at the Textile Center of Minnesota Library, and can't be released until November. But it was a most amazing day for me, and I am still a bit speechless. The world is a huge and dazzling carousel, and one never knows who or what will be on the next pony that comes around.