Thomas Kearns McCarthey Gallery to close on Main Street |

Thomas Kearns McCarthey Gallery to close on Main Street

Robin Valline, art consultant at the Thomas Kearns McCarthey Gallery and a well-known figure in the Park City art scene, says something will be lost on Main Street when the gallery closes its doors. The gallery is shutting down this month after 14 years on Mai Street and will move its art to a warehouse in Salt Lake City. (Bubba Brown/Park Record)

After 14 years on Main Street, Thomas Kearns McCarthey Gallery, purveyor of Russian impressionistic art, is saying goodbye.

The gallery, which introduced Park City to many Russian artists from the Soviet period, is closing down and moving its art to a warehouse in Salt Lake City. Robin Valline, who has been an art consultant in the gallery for seven years, said the owners — who include Utah state senator Jim Dabakis — are simply moving on to the next phases of their lives.

"Over the past year or so, there’s been more and more talk about retirement and what to do with their remaining inventory and things like that," he said. "They’re going out on a high after 14 years of doing this."

The art housed in the gallery has been priced on sale for some time, and a farewell party was set to be held Friday evening. Valline said the art that is not sold will still be available for purchase, however. The Salt Lake warehouse is not a retail operation, but will allow art enthusiasts to make appointments to buy artwork.

"Over the past 14 years, the owners have developed a great email list and source of communication with their followers and their clients," Valline said. "They feel they can continue that with their newsletters they send out every month. There is some activity they can maintain through the internet, and they will pursue sales through the internet."

Valline, who has long been involved in the Park City art scene, first became familiar with the gallery when he owned his own gallery nearby. He’d sometimes sneak away for hours at a time to visit the McCarthey Gallery and talk with its staff about the art.

When he sold his shop and heard the McCarthey Galley was looking to hire, he was eager to join the staff and learn more about the Russian painters whose art covered the walls.

"The opportunity presented itself, and I’ve really enjoyed it," he said. "It’s been a pleasure."

He added that something will be lost on Main Street with the gallery closing its doors.

"It’s been clear that people are certainly going to miss their yearly visit or their twice a year visit to the gallery to view some of these historic, museum-quality paintings," he said. "I think the gallery, from the first day of operation, brought one more variety of an art gallery to Main Street, something a little different than all the other galleries. It’s a different experience that people have really enjoyed. And they’ll miss it."

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