Newsmakers: Locals learn about artist Robert Heindel through gallery showWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A local architect contacted Richard Rideout while his gallery of Robert Heindel’s work was on display.
“He didn’t have any idea that Robert Heindel was from Toledo until he read it in the [Toledo] Free Press,” Rideout said. “He was totally familiar with his work and just didn’t know he was from Toledo.”
He is not alone; not many people knew Heindel was from the area. That is why Rideout decided to feature Heindel’s work at Sur-Saint Clair, at the corner of Washington and St. Clair streets.
Heindel was a Central Catholic High School graduate famous for his paintings of ballet dancers. He is internationally known for his work with Andrew Lloyd Webber, who he worked with to paint scenes of “Cats” and “The Phantom of the Opera.” Princess Diana was a fan and collector of Heindel’s work. The artist died in 2005.
His work is permanently on display at the Smithsonian Institution, the Glasgow Museum and The National Portrait Gallery in the U.K. One of his pieces sells for about $130,000.
“I found out about him from a close friend of mine who had a number of his pieces,” Rideout said. “I just felt that his story was just so fantastic, it was important for Toledoans to find more out about what his story was and who he was.”
Rideout said he wanted people of Toledo to take notice of a universal artist. Heindel is already known in the U.K. and Japan, but not as much in his hometown, he said.
“It was totally rewarding,” Rideout said. “And we found out more little things about him as the show was going on.”
Sur-Saint Clair gallery displayed Heindel’s work for three weeks in July. The goal to raise $7,000 to cover shipping costs and fees for the show was definitely met, Rideout said.
Heindel’s widow, Rose, was at the opening.
“She’s a very beautiful, pleasant lady,” Rideout said. “She was thrilled we were able to bring this to Toledo because of the fact that people of Toledo never appreciated his work.”
Rideout said Toledo acquiring Heindel’s work briefly was the real feat.
“Considering his history [and his fame], to be able to have that on a local basis, that was fantastic,” Rideout said. “Not too many people have that opportunity.”