Muse Me: Making “Old Art” Cool | Heather Gokhman

Transcript of: Muse Me: Making “Old Art” Cool | Heather Gokhman


Alan Olsen: Can you tell us a little about your background?


Heather Gokhman: I started my art journey at Montgomery gallery in San Francisco where I worked with Peter Fairbanks- who has an amazing mind in the art world. From there I studied at Sotheby’s Institute. I got a master’s in art business and did a variety of things after that and ended up as a fine art appraiser in Orange County.


Alan Olsen: In the world of art what are the trends that we need to be aware of today?


Heather Gokhman: Probably the biggest trend is people trying to figure out ways to engage younger people from diverse backgrounds. The art world is thought of as old and a little bit stodgy and set in its ways and that’s translated to the Art Museums unfortunately and really no matter what they’ve tried between audio tours and trying to make things more accessible- digitizing the works- it’s still thought of as old and inaccessible and only for people who have background knowledge who are our historians & academics. There’s a trend right now of tech companies & younger people really trying to make the art a little bit more accessible by digitizing collections, making it available to anybody who’s has an interest.


Alan Olsen: Now person having a painting sitting on their wall they may not have any idea of value, so do they call you up and say Heather is this worth anything?


Heather Gokhman: Yeah, I get a lot of calls from people who for example, found peace in their grandmother’s garage and they think it’s very valuable because it looks old and looks like it should be worth a lot most of the time it’s unfortunately not, but you know sometimes there are those rare gems.


Alan Olsen: So when a person’s assessing the value and want an appraisal,how do you know where there’s value?


Heather Gokhman: I’m not an art authenticator, I’m an art appraiser so I can’t authenticate something, so if somebody comes to me and says you know this is some old Picasso that nobody knows about, value it for me. I need to make certain of the authenticity so I would need to call an authenticator to do that, but when you’re talking about the people on Antiques Roadshow, my old boss Peter Fairbanks being one of them, he has years and years and years of that background knowledge to be able to look at something and find that diamond that nobody knows is actually there. For me, all the work that I appraise usually comes with authenticity papers or has provenance where I can you know ascertain that it is what it is. So usually those people have a general idea that it’s worth something to begin with.


Alan Olsen: Now you have another business that you’re also involved with the museums, can you go into that?


Heather Gokhman: It’s called Muse Me and what we’re doing is we’re trying to change the museum experience from something that’s boring and old and academic to something that’s fun and exciting and new by offering geo-located tours through museums with themes of interest to people of younger generations with diverse backgrounds. What I really want to do is show people that old art is just as cool as new art. I like to say that Michelangelo was the original graffiti artist tagging the Sistine Chapel ceiling since the age since the 1500’s, so that’s really what we’re doing.


Alan Olsen: How do they find Muse Me?


Heather Gokhman: You can find it at Soon you’ll be able to download it from the App Store it’ll be called Muse Me, but for now for the time being you can check our website for some examples of prototype tours that we’re doing.


Alan Olsen: And a person needing an art appraisal, how would they go about contacting you.


Heather Gokhman:: or


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Alan Olsen, CPA

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    Heather Gokhman on Alan Olsen's American Dreams Radio
    Heather Gokhman

    Heather Gokhman is a member of the International Society of Appraisers, holds a Masters degree in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York City, and a Bachelors degree in Art History from the University of Southern California. Prior to opening State of the Art Appraisals, Heather was a partner at EG Art Brokers, a fine art appraisal and auction brokering company and Assistant Director at a contemporary art gallery, Avran Art, in Laguna Beach. Heather has also worked at Montgomery Gallery in San Francisco and the leading fine art appraisal firm, O’Toole-Ewald, in New York City. In her spare time, Heather raises money for the ABT Gillespie Ballet School as chairwoman of Pas de Deux, a chapter of the Guilds of the Segerstrom Center. Heather lives in Corona Del Mar with her husband, Max, and their German Shepherd, Wallace Balto Gokhman von der Westkuste, (Wally for short). Bio source:

    Alan Olsen on Alan Olsen's American Dreams Radio
    Alan Olsen

    Alan is managing partner at Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen & Co., LLP, (GROCO) and is a respected leader in his field. He is also the radio show host to American Dreams. Alan’s CPA firm resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and serves some of the most influential Venture Capitalist in the world. GROCO’s affluent CPA core competency is advising High Net Worth individual clients in tax and financial strategies. Alan is a current member of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (S.I.E.P.R.) SIEPR’s goal is to improve long-term economic policy. Alan has more than 25 years of experience in public accounting and develops innovative financial strategies for business enterprises. Alan also serves on President Kim Clark’s BYU-Idaho Advancement council. (President Clark lead the Harvard Business School programs for 30 years prior to joining BYU-idaho. As a specialist in income tax, Alan frequently lectures and writes articles about tax issues for professional organizations and community groups. He also teaches accounting as a member of the adjunct faculty at Ohlone College.

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