The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 1, 2005


Haley and Steele gallery faces troubled times

Many items have been removed from the closed art gallery on River Road. (Photo by Rik Pierce)

Haley and Steele has been a respected name in the region's art world for a century, but both the main gallery on Newbury Street in Boston and the new gallery located at One River Road in Carlisle have closed suddenly. The circumstances precipitating the closures are unclear, and are being investigated by Boston police and by William Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. On Monday, March 28, Secretary Galvin talked about the gallery closure when he appeared on the television program Greater Boston with Emily Rooney. The incident was also the subject of an article "Larceny probe eyes missing art dealer" on the front page of the Tuesday, March 29 Boston Globe.

Secretary Galvin explained that he became interested in the closure because Haley and Steele had been hired to make a limited series of prints from state-owned antique copper engravings by Paul Revere. The prints were to be sold as a way to raise non-tax revenue to improve the state archives. The state has posession of the copper plates, and Galvin believes they retrieved most if not all of the unsold prints from the gallery. According to the Boston Globe, Haley and Steele's primary lender Century Bank, based in Medford, has taken possession of the remaining artwork.

Julien Tavener, president of the gallery, has lived with his wife and three children on Wildwood Drive in Carlisle for nine years. Since Thursday, March 10, the children have not attended school in town. It is believed that the family has gone to England. Tavener is from England originally, and the Globe said Tavener mentioned returning there in an e-mail to officials at Century Bank.

The recent auction fundraiser by the Carlisle School Association (CSA) was to have included a cocktail reception at the art gallery. Auction volunteer Kelly Driscoll, who helped process the donations said auction organizers realized there were "possible issues" with the gallery, and no money was collected for that item. The auction raised approximately $62,000 to benefit the Carlisle Public School.

Hannelore Munson lived next door to the Taveners. She said the Taveners were "great neighbors." She noticed that they had left, though the house remained filled with their belongings. Carlisle Police Chief Dave Galvin said the police stood by on March 15 while the bank changed the locks on the house.

Erik Brockett was the director of the gallery at One River Road. He told the Mosquito that the closure "came as a huge shock."

The manager of the property rented by Haley and Steele in Carlisle, Chip Orcutt, said he had experienced no problems with the gallery, and added, "Julien is a great guy." Last week art material was still in the gallery, but Orcutt noticed that the material has since been cleared out.

Haley and Steele specialized in fine art, including antique and reproduction 18th and 19th century prints, sculpture, restoration work and custom framing. The Carlisle gallery opened in September of 2004, and photos of the opening celebration were printed in the October 1 Mosquito.

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito