Thank you for your interest in Virginia Bader Fine Arts. I am proud to say we are entering our 30th year in the aviation art business, and we value our relationship with our customers, whether they are a prospective one - like you - or if they have been buying from us for many years.
I was actually the first person to sell aviation art commercially in the United States. There were many artists such as Keith Ferris, Frank Wootton, John Young, and others, who were already doing aviation paintings for large companies, both in the U.K. and the U.S. No one was actually selling aviation art to the individual customer, or promoting and showing it at air shows.
Before I came to the United States to start my business, I ran a fine art gallery in the West End of London, selling originals paintings of wildlife, still life, landscapes, and horses. This is how I met the famous Frank Wootton, when one of our big U.S. dealers asked me to get in touch with him. I did so, as he lived near my home in Eastbourne, Sussex - and we sold many of his famous landscape and horse paintings. When I came to the United States in October 1975 with 66 paintings, a six week ticket and $2500 - I had my first show at the Trust Company of Georgia in Atlanta. I had one aviation painting by John Young - and sold it immediately. I did bank shows in Texas and Georgia until I got into aviation art completely by accident. I was having lunch at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. and found The National Aviation Club by mistake. I walked in and asked if they would like an aviation art show - and my life changed forever!
I had my first Aviation Art Show in 1976 at the National Aviation Club and went on to do the Confederate Air Force Show in Harlingen, Texas. People kept asking "Where did these Fabulous paintings come From?" I looked around, and realised that no-one was selling aviation art so I built my business driving all over America in my little blue Pinto station wagon. I sold only originals to start with. I got into prints when Frank Wootton called from England and told me he had published two prints "Achtung Spitfire" and "Bader Bale Out" to be signed by Wing Commander Bob Stanford-Tuck and General Adolf Galland and Sir Douglas Bader (yes, I am related he is my Second Cousin - which is another story!)
I arranged a publicity tour beginning at the National Air & Space Museum - and people came out of the woodwork! It was amazing - and that began my Symposiums and Mail Order business, as we began to ship prints all over the world.
My first big symposium was "Aces High" at The Gathering of Eagles in Las Vegas. We had 1400 people at it - and it was just amazing. (Videos of these symposiums are available for sale, if you are interested).
Unfortunately, most of the Fighter Aces that took part in my symposiums such as Adolf Calland, Peter Townsend, Macky Steinhoff, Walter Krupinski and many other are no longer with us. This makes the collector prints that we specialize in even more valuable. If you are a new collector and need any advice on which are good prints to purchase, we would be happy to help you decide. Just call Virginia or Steven at 1-800-233 0345 - tell us the planes you are interested in. We will send you a catalog or fliers on these planes - then you can call us again, and we will go from there. If you should want a lot of prints, but cannot purchase them all at once, we can evaluate the ones you like and list them for you according to availability, and then buy something every month.
I look forward to hearing from you - our e-mail is email@example.com. or call us at 1-800-233-0345.