Marching Together

A Note From Swann Galleries President Nicholas D. Lowry

June 5, 2020

This week in New York City has been punctuated by the sound of chanting, the relentless whir of helicopters overhead and plywood installed in windows up and down the avenues.

The events that are unraveling in cities across America this week are profound, powerful, and, quite frankly, scary and confusing. The level of unrest is palpable, but the cause is just, and I fervently share the hopes and beliefs of all those who are marching peacefully towards a brighter, more equitable future. 

To have all this occur on top of a pandemic makes it even more difficult to fathom. How can we march, stand up for what we believe, protest AND keep social distance? We cannot. And yet we do. Because what is manifesting itself is a fight for human rights. It is important to all of us: morally, philosophically, historically, politically and personally. 

Let me state unequivocally that Swann is against racism, institutionalized racism, and discrimination in all forms, and we believe that black lives matter. We are champions of dignity and respect and advocates for peace. We condemn the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and the many, many other black Americans killed in racist and cowardly acts of violence.

We don’t take lightly our role as an auction industry leader in the fields of African Americana, African American Fine Art and the printed and manuscript history of the LGBTQ+ community. It is of the utmost importance that we earn the trust of our consignors, collectors, clients and neighbors by handling these specialized fields with respect. Have we done all we can in this world to fight discrimination and racism and oppression? Have we worked tirelessly to ensure equality? No. To be sure we haven’t. And can we do more? Certainly. And we will. But we don’t have all the answers. Towards that end, we are closely listening to the national dialogue. We urge everyone to continue this dialogue with their loved ones well into the future.

In the interim, as we work towards bettering ourselves, there are some smaller, immediate steps we can take. We are a company of diverse employees, and while we share a unified belief in equality, it is difficult to speak in a single voice. To accommodate that complex reality, Swann will be making a corporate contribution to an organization chosen by a committee of our employees. We will also be matching personal donations made by our employees to organizations of their choice. We’ve compiled a list of the organizations supported by our employees so far including the ACLU, the Anti-Racist Children’s Books Education Fund, The Bail Project, Be a Blessing Birmingham, The Black Trans Protestors Emergency Fund, Color of Change, The Innocence Project, Let America Vote, The Loveland Foundation, and Higher Heights for America

We are each approaching the state of current events with our own personal concerns and fears, but our desire for a unified outcome remains the same. Some of us are marching. Some of us are praying. I suspect that all of us are concerned, and many of us are scared. I find myself in all four of those categories.


Nicholas D. Lowry
President & Principal Auctioneer

June 5, 2020
Category: Swann