03 Jul Eiteljorg Insider: Five questions with Robert Tate, director of merchandising
By Sara Spieth, Eiteljorg Marketing and Communications Intern
Robert Tate is the Director of Merchandising at the Eiteljorg. He has a long background in retail management and has been an important member of the Eiteljorg team for the past 8 years. During the temporary closure, Robert was one of the few employees still coming into the museum to help with shipping online orders.
Here are 5 questions to help you get to know Robert and get the inside scoop on the Frank and Katrina Basile Museum Store from the expert:
1. What is your favorite artwork in the museum and why?
My favorite artwork in the museum is the Thomas Moran painting, Grand Canyon. He painted it in 1917. It was donated by Bud and Nancy Adams, and it hung in their house. It was one of their favorite paintings as well. The scene is beautiful, but it is the size, 30 x 20 inches so it would fit in anyone’s home rather than being sized for a gallery. His paintings are romanticized images of what he painted, and the colors are beautiful.
2. While the museum was closed and the Museum Store was taking orders online and shipping merchandise, what was the most in-demand item that customers ordered?
During the shutdown, the most in-demand item was puzzles. We also sold jewelry and books, but our number one seller was puzzles.
3. Now that the Museum Store has reopened, what do you expect will be the most popular items for customers this summer?
Jewelry, fine art pieces and books. You can always add to your jewelry collection, or, if you a passionate collector of Native American fine art, you can always add another piece. We have a great selection of books to help you expand your knowledge of Native Americans, the West or answer questions you have always had on Native American arts and crafts or jewelry.
4. When customers have so many options for jewelry, accessories and books, how do you make the Museum Store stand out?
The majority of the jewelry and fine art pieces are individually made and one of a kind pieces. Our books selection is very precisely chosen and located in one spot. It is very easy to find a book for a good read.
5. I heard you have artists come in periodically on the weekends. Do you have something like that planned for the summer?
We have booked artists for Saturdays in July and August to come for the day and sell their merchandise. We are starting with Marcos Batista on Saturday, July 4th. Marcos and his family make Zapotec weavings. The other Saturdays we have photographers, basket weavers, beading artists and potters scheduled. Check out our events page for information about future programs: https://eiteljorg.org/calendar/