About Morris Shapiro

Morris ShapiroPARK WEST GALLERY Director Morris Shapiro is intricately involved in a number of Park West®‘s daily operations, including the training of new and existing art auctioneers; the writing and administration of Park West®‘s high-quality content on its art and artists; the direction and implementation of various marketing initiatives; the production of Park West®‘s videos for use as internal training materials and marketing tools aboard the cruise ships Park West® partners with; the supervision of Park West®‘s research team; interacting with the public to present Park West®‘s extensive collection of artwork; and assisting clients in the acquisition of fine art.

Shapiro’s interest in art was sparked when he was just seven years old, growing up in Chicago. He recalls thumbing through a book on the Holy Land in his parents’ library and coming across an image of Albrecht Dürer’s woodcut of Adam and Eve from the artist’s renowned series, The Small Passion. “I was mesmerized by the contours and lines of the figures, and of Dürer’s use of space,” Shapiro said. “From that moment on, I was smitten.”

Shapiro began drawing as a child, and went on to study at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1975 with an emphasis in art history, aesthetics, art criticism and studio art. After working for more than a year at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Shapiro returned to Chicago to pursue his other passion – music. After playing the drums professionally for a time, Shapiro began working as the gallery director for two of Merrill Chase Galleries’ Chicago locations from 1977-1983.

In 1983 Shapiro joined Park West® as its Gallery Director, having submitted a proposal to Park West® founder and CEO Albert Scaglione to open a retail gallery for Park West®. Today, Park West®‘s 63,000-square-foot facility in Southfield, Mich. includes 23 spacious interior exhibition galleries, each devoted to a particular artist or type of art, with new collections completely filling the gallery on a regular basis.

Shapiro takes pride in playing an important role in a company that has redefined the model of how art is brought to and experienced by the world. “In many ways, art has been taken away from the people, and made less accessible,” Shapiro said. “It is incredibly gratifying to be able to swing the pendulum back, bringing our art collections directly to the public, and allowing them to experience art first-hand.” Shapiro also deeply enjoys his relationships with Park West’s artists, working with them to develop their art and introducing it to the public.

Shapiro enjoys reading and writing about the subject he loves, and sharing his knowledge with the Park West® team, as well as the public. “I’d like our company to be viewed as a great resource in the 21st century art world,” Shapiro said. His relationship with the team at Park West® is a collaborative one, rather than a top-down approach, and many of the staff members he works with view him as their teacher and art mentor. “It is my goal that all of our staff and salespeople be well-versed on their subject, so they can all represent Park West® with integrity and depth,” Shapiro said.

In his spare time, Shapiro enjoys reading, writing, listening to music and participating in jazz sessions, traveling through Europe and the United States  with his wife and children. Shapiro is also a proud grandfather.

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