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Meet the Ronin Team
Herbert Libertson is the chairman and co-founder of 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 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 the art form. In 1975 he established Ronin Gallery with Roni Neuer to share their passion with others.
Herbert started his business career in 1962 and was involved with such New York real estate developments as the Decorator and Design Building, the Architects and Design Building, and the Manhattan Art and Antiques Center. In addition to his profession both in real estate and art, Herbert is a fellow of the Explorers Club of America and the Royal Geographic Society. His accomplishments in this area include leading four expeditions carrying the Explorers 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 is the president and second-generation owner of Ronin Gallery. Since assuming responsibility for the gallery in 2012, he has stressed three priorities: curatorial excellence, accessibility and education. By combining traditional gallery charm with innovative digital marketing, he aims to create a personal art experience for each and every collector, whether online or in the gallery.
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. He hosts regular seminars on Japanese art for both NYU and Columbia University. He is a member of the Japanese Art Society of America and Ukiyo-e Dealers Association of Japan. David is also an active investor with a portfolio that ranges from biotech to real estate. When not in the gallery, David can be found skiing, scuba diving or traveling around the globe. He has already visited over 70 countries.
Roni Neuer is a co-founder of Ronin Gallery and an expert in 17th through 21st century Japanese prints. She is the author of over forty exhibition catalogues and Ukiyo-e: 250 Years of Japanese Art, a 500-page history of Japanese prints. As executive director, Roni is enmeshed in nearly every aspect of the gallery, from exhibition curation to consignments. Her interest in the art has spanned a career of over 40 years.
Growing up in a family of art lovers, her father was one of the early cartoonists for Walt Disney Co. Following her graduation from Hofstra University, Roni worked as an art teacher in New York City for more than five years. In 1975, she and Herbert Libertson founded Ronin Gallery in the Explorer’s Club Mansion. Roni has traveled the world on exploratory expeditions connecting with indigenous peoples. In 1980, her photographs from these trips were exhibited at the Nikon House in Rockefeller Center. Outside the gallery, Roni enjoys cooking and traveling.
Born in Kagoshima, Japan, Tomomi Seki has been working at Ronin Gallery since its founding in 1975. She is in charge of print cataloging and translation. Working with clients and artists alike, Tomomi enjoys sharing her knowledge of Japanese culture with gallery visitors. Tomomi’s passion for sharing the beauty of Japanese culture is not limited to art. She worked as a Japanese culture teacher at the Trinity School in New York for twenty years and is a long-term member of New York Token kai, a Japanese art sword preservation study group. Her life motto stems from a lifelong history as a black belt martial artist: Be strong, be gentle and be beautiful - the judo slogan. In her spare time, Tomomi enjoys competing in track and field events at the national level.
Madison joined Ronin Gallery in 2014. She is in charge gallery scholarship, including research and writing of Ronin’s exhibition and educational content, as well as managing the organizational system that houses the collection. Madison earned her BA in Art History with a minor in East Asian Studies from Oberlin College. In 2019, she graduated with dual Master's degrees in Art History and Information Science from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Her art history thesis, “Adaptation and Aspiration: Constructing Modern Japan through Ideological Combat in Satsuma Rebellion Prints,” considered the battle for public opinion waged in woodblock prints in 1877, Her information science thesis, “Assessing Collection Silence: Access to Japanese Woodblock Prints at Twenty-Two American University Museums,” questioned the constructions of value, cultural exclusion, and the unintended narratives that unfold through the organization and accessibility of Japanese print collections. In her free time, Madison enjoys hiking and travel.
Travis joined Ronin Gallery in 2013. He is in charge of graphic design, ranging from catalog layout to digital ad kits, and logistics. Born and raised in Seattle, Travis completed his undergraduate work in International Communication and Japanese at the University of Washington and Aoyama Gakuin University. Upon graduation, Travis returned to Japan to teach English near Nikko. In his free time, Travis studies Japanese calligraphy and nagauta-style shamisen.
Valentina joined Ronin Gallery team in 2018 as a gallery assistant and photographer. She is in charge of all photography for the collection and gallery events, and integral to many aspects of gallery operations. She discovered her interest in gallery operations and art archives during an internship in digital collections at the Brooklyn Museum. Originally from New Jersey, Valentina graduated from New York’s School of Visual Arts with a BFA in photography and video, where she is now a teaching assistant for a video class.