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Meet the Ronin Team
Chairman | Co-Founder
Herbert Libertson is the chairman and co-founder of the Ronin Gallery. He believes that to master the art of living we must live with art, and to that end he has traveled to over 150 countries on six continents collecting rare and unique works of art. He purchased his first Japanese prints in the early 1960’s from the Frank Lloyd Wright collection and was immediately captivated by their line and composition. In 1975 he established the Ronin Gallery to share his passion with others.
Herbert started his business career in 1962 as the visionary behind such New York real estate developments as the Decorator and Design Building and the Architects and Design Building. During this period he also began partnering in other commercial real estate ventures throughout Manhattan. In addition to his profession both in real estate and art, Herbert is a fellow of the Explorer’s Club of America and the Royal Geographic Society. His accomplishments in this area are vast and include leading four expeditions carrying the Explorer’s Club flag and making a first contact in Indonesian New Guinea. Herbert is also a private pilot, a cross-country horseman, a black belt in karate, and a sculptor with his work in numerous international museums.
David Taro Libertson
David Taro Libertson is the President and second-generation owner of the Ronin Gallery. With a relentless passion for the art, David spent his formative years amongst the thousands of works that make up the gallery’s collection. David received his MBA from Boston University where he graduated with high honors. A graduate of The College of William and Mary, he remains an active alumnus and sits on the Board of Directors of the Muscarelle Museum of Art and received the 2017 Young Alumni Service Award.
Since assuming responsibility for the gallery in 2012, David has stressed three priorities: curatorial excellence, accessibility and education. By combining traditional gallery charm with innovative digital marketing, David aims to create a personal art experience for each and every collector, whether online or in the gallery. He is a member of the Japanese Art Society of America, the John D Rockefeller III Circle at the Japan Society, the Council for Asian Art and Thought and the Asia Circle Young Leaders Program at the Asia Society, and he is one of the youngest western member to be admitted to the Ukiyo-e Dealers Association of Japan. In addition he hosts regular seminars on Japanese art for both NYU and Columbia University.
When not in the gallery, David can be found trekking, scuba diving or traveling around the globe. He has already visited over 60 countries!
Executive Director | Co-Founder
Roni Neuer is one of the foremost experts in 17th through 21st century Japanese prints in the United States. She is the author of over forty exhibition catalogues and Ukiyo-e: 250 Years of Japanese Art, a 500-page history of Japanese prints.
Her interest in the art has spanned a career of 40 years. Growing up in a family of art lovers, her father was one of the original cartoonists for Walt Disney Co. In 1975 she founded the Ronin Gallery in the Explorer’s Club Mansion with Herbert Libertson. Roni has traveled the world on exploratory expeditions documenting indigenous peoples. Her photographs were exhibited at the Nikon House in Rockefeller Center in 1980.
Tomomi Seki was born in Kagoshima, Japan and has been working at the Ronin Gallery since 1975. A fifth generation descendent of Buddhist missionaries, she learned to read the old kanji. To this day, she is one of the few individuals worldwide able to translate ancient Japanese scriptures, calligraphy and texts.
Tomomi’s passion for sharing the beauty of Japanese culture is not limited to art. She is a Japanese culture teacher at the Trinity School in New York. Her life motto stems from a lifelong history as a black belt martial artist: Be strong, be gentle and be beautiful - the judo slogan. She also enjoys running in her free time and trains for ultra-marathons.
Travis joined the Ronin Gallery as a gallery associate in late 2012. From customer and artist relations to graphic design and shipping, Travis is a renaissance man. He manages the gallery’s Facebook, Instagram and Google+ presence. He enjoys sharing his knowledge of Japanese culture with clients.
Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Travis has always been drawn to his Japanese roots. His interest in martial arts and Japanese traditions blossomed while attending the University of Washington and Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo to study International Communication and Japanese. Upon graduation, Travis returned to Japan to teach English in a small town nestled in the foothills near Nikko, where he enjoyed the slower pace of rural Japan. In his free time, Travis studies Japanese calligraphy and nagauta-style shamisen.
Originally from Atlanta, Madison Folks joined the Ronin Gallery in 2014 as a research assistant. From writing catalogue essays to artist biographies, scholarly research to weekly blogs, Madison handles research and produces Ronin’s educational content.
A graduate of Oberlin College, Madison earned her Bachelor of Arts in Art History with a minor in East Asian Studies. During her time there, she focused her private study on the conservation of the Allen Memorial Art Museum’s Ainsworth Collection of Japanese prints, exploring the material nature, history and theory behind these works. With a strong interest in art conservation, Madison trained in Florence, Italy, working with Roman and Etruscan artifacts and Renaissance paintings. She is currently pursuing a dual Master's degree in Art History and Information Science at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Sayaka Ueno joined the Ronin team as a gallery assistant in 2016. Born in Japan and raised in Hawai'i, she graduated from Pratt Institute in 2015 with a BFA in Communications Design. When she's not freelance designing or working on various artistic ventures, you can find her surfing, on a photography adventure, or gallery hopping.