At Kamp Gallery, we are pleased to announce a beautiful, expanded gallery space at our new location in Hubbard Woods as of January 2012. During our Opening Event, one lucky guest received a complimentary original painting.
Nicholas G. Vahlkamp
General Manager, Chief Conservator
Raised in St.Louis, Nick's love affair with art began with his early exposure to wonderful turn-of-the-century architecture in the old neighborhoods, which was to have a profound impact on his future. He earned his bachelor's degree from Washington University as a sociology and political science major with the intent of becoming a lawyer. But he also took as many art history classes as his schedule would allow. By senior year, he knew he wanted to become an art dealer and wrote his thesis on the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright in St. Louis, focusing on how to differentiate between authentic Wright and his imitators.
His road to expertise in connoisseurship – or restoring paintings to their original state – had begun. In 1976, only three years after graduation, he opened his own gallery in St. Louis exhibiting and selling American paintings dating from the Civil War to the early 20th Century. He focused on unsung artists from the Midwest, who provided visual narratives about how people lived by depicting early street scenes, still lifes of the food they ate and landscapes that showed what they most valued. Nick's passion for the Midwest and its history was almost as great as his love for art. He moved to Chicago in 1981 as a newly wed to find his fortune in a city he calls a power center replete with ambitious people.
For the next five years, Nick was a consultant and wholesaler of fine art exhibiting antique paintings at shows. In 1987 he formed a partnership to open Vahlkamp & Probst in the prestigious 620 N. Michigan Avenue building. The year 1989 was pivotal when he moved with his young family to Highland Park and began to realize that much of his clientele lived on the North Shore. For a year, he mounted solo shows of antique paintings and then, as coincidence intervened, a modernism exhibit at the Winnetka Community House on Lincoln Avenue. Down the block, a space perfectly suited for an art gallery had just become available and Kamp Gallery was born in January 1991.
Barbara Vahlkamp brings her own unique attributes and complementary talent to the Kamp Gallery team. Possessing an excellent eye for fine art, she is expert at selecting paintings to buy and then matching an artist or style to an individual customer's space, taste and budget with exceptional sensitivity to their needs. Her empathic people skills enable her to forge long-standing personal relationships with artists, as well as with clients.
Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Barbara attended the University of Kansas where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in education as an English major. Subsequently, she earned her master's degree in education from the University of Missouri - Kansas City. A very spiritual person who teaches meditation, she met her future husband in St. Louis in the 80s where they worked together to establish a French poster business as her first art venture and marked the beginning of more than 25 years in the business.
Emily Jane Dawson
Director, Art and Architecture Historian
Armed with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and a Master of Science degree in historic preservation from the Art Institute of Chicago, Emily brings more than a decade of experience to her primary position as researcher at Kamp Gallery. Before joining the Kamp staff, she honed her historical research skills writing articles for educational publications. Alternating her time between the Chicago and Winnetka galleries, Emily also is a mainstay of the sales staff where her exceptional in-depth knowledge about the fine art she represents is immediately apparent.
Your best source for one of the largest collections of historical and contemporary paintings in the entire Midwest.