GalerieGlobien’s modest beginning was in 1939 when Evelyn Lucille Kielty (“Ad”)—newly divorced, with three young children, became a county social worker.
Educated at St. Scholastica’s College, Duluth, Minnesota, her undergraduate work was likely more finishing school in substance but it served in good stead when it came antique acquisition and being a gracious hostess—a skill set that kept her busy during WWII and the Korean War—being part of a military community.
The family home soon became fashionable despite her low income* through astute purchases and re-finishing skills.
In time, Tiffany lamps, rare coin glass, marble-top furniture, butternut desks, Currier & Ive prints abounded. Farm auctions, estate sales and simple chance purchases kept the family collection growing.
One farm auction purchase came about when she spied a large wooden barrel in a falling-down shed. She asked what was in it and was told it hadn’t been opened since it came from out “East in a Conestoga Wagon . . .” How much for the barrel she asked? “Two bucks it’s yours.” “Put it in my trunk and tie it down and you’ve got a deal.”
Her hunch paid off—later, in her garage—she pried the top off and discovered a complete set of Bavarian game plates, a set of pressed glass goblets and matching decanter. Wrapped in leather was a dis-assembled black powder rifle complete with a leather shot bag—still full of shot. Near the bottom of the barrel was yet another leather bag. This one held a silver tankard with a date of 1747 on it. In it, still another bag and another treasure—a silver snuff box with a French blue cameo cover.
Another purchase—a hutch seen through the window of a long-shuttered barbershop in a small town in her service area proved to be yet another treasure trove. Paying five dollars, she enlisted two husky lads to move the piece. In doing so, as they tipped it to clear the door and hundreds of coins slid onto the floor. Included were several vintage gold coins and an abundance of collector coins—all placed there by the barber who passed on years earlier leaving his haircut & shave profits to gather dust . . .
No doubt some of her acquisitions helped fund two more degrees at St. Scholastica . . .
Not all items passed the ‘close-scrutiny’ test—for years, a black iron paper weight sat on the butternut desk. She claimed it was a portrait of Dante—which may have been true. Fifty years passed by when one of her grandson’s realized the ‘paper weight’ was comprised of clever pornography—as many as eight well defined ‘activities-of-flesh’ . . . this piece has gone MIA.
*$105.00 a month throughout WWII (and a purple priority gas card).
The “Galerie” side of GalerieGlobien took root in 1958 when her son, returning from military service, time-in-Europe, started to buy art from fellow university students. Once in the business world, he became a ‘patron’ of sorts by ‘renting art’ from indigent artists, sometimes buying a favorite work. He also became an ‘enabler’ re drugs and alcohol for some of these artists—unbeknown to him of course.
As the parent company (Vexilar Inc. Est. 1960) grew, his travels became global and over the years he acquired Samurai swords, immigrant furniture, vintage books** and Asian works. Some of the earlier acquisitions have been sold, traded or lost in the fog of time (and divorce) but the basic collection continues to expand—including African Oceanic art forms, Native American works and vintage toys, along with modern art in all forms.
The “Galerie” grew over the years. GalerieGlobien, with the introduction of this website, became a full-fledged division of Globien Inc., in 2013.
**In 2007, he donated over 900 cookbooks to the Minneapolis Library—some of which were quite rare.