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Art Authority Museum Opening: The Million Dollar QuARTet

Last weekend was the very successful grand opening of the Art Authority Museum, introduced last February along with Apple Vision Pro. Although virtual in implementation, the grand opening of this full-fledged museum was a physical one, taking place at the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) trade show in Baltimore. Many of our partners in this groundbreaking effort were there: traditional museums, artists and even Apple themselves. The event harkened back to a similar one from another era.

In 1956, a jam session involving Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash was dubbed The Million Dollar Quartet. What took place at our Museum’s grand opening was a modern-day version, The Million Dollar QuARTet.

The Museum opening highlighted five major artist partners, each with their own dedicated gallery: 20th century color field painter Alma Thomas, pioneering sculptor Louise Nevelson, Baltimore artist Herman Maril, renowned photographer Frank Stewart and current-day abstract artist James Little. Mr. Little could not attend, but representatives of the other four made up the new QuARTet.


Million Dollar QuARTet galleries in the Art Authority Museum

Million Dollar QuARTet galleries in the Art Authority Museum


The QuARTet was anchored by Frank Stewart and his family, which included his Emmy-winning daughter Sing Lanthan and her son William. Frank was often seen chatting with Maria Nevelson, granddaughter of Louise, whom Frank had met on a number of occasions. Maria spent a lot of time comparing notes with David Maril, Herman’s son. And they were joined by Lisa Chaplin-Hobbs, one of the heirs of the Alma Thomas estate. As far as ourselves, builders of the Art Authority Museum and curators of these great artists’ galleries, we very much enjoyed our role as flies on the wall and documentarians.

Frank Stewart looking at his self portrait in his Art Authority Museum gallery

Frank Stewart looking at his self portrait in his Art Authority Museum gallery

One of the coolest aspect of the new QuARTet was that, unlike the original, it represented five generations: grandmother Louise Nevelson, father Herman Maril, the man himself Frank Stewart, his daughter Sing and his grandson William! Similar to the original Quartet, it remains to be seen the roll these four (and many others) play in the evolution of a new take on an old art form. With their help, the Art Authority Museum is sure off to a great start!

Frank Stewart and Maria Nevelson

Frank Stewart and Maria Nevelson


Artists talking

David Maril (reviewing his father’s gallery), Maria Nevelson, Sing Lathan, Cheryl (Brandywine Museum), Frank Stewart


Lisa Chaplin-Hobbs

Lisa Chaplin-Hobbs immersed in the Alma Thomas Gallery in the Art Authority Museum


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