Director of Enterprise Sales, Robert Crumpton has been working for Art Force since May of 2009. Crumpton has a very interesting background in not only art, but a student-athlete in the Big-10.
Crumpton attended The United States Military Academy at West Point and played for the football team his freshman year of college. In his sophomore year, Crumpton was recruited by Gopher Head Coach Lou Holtz and transferred to the U of M to play defensive back while pursuing a degree in Economics. So how did a Big-10 football player become interested in art?
While Crumpton was a student–athlete, his parents launched a wine and art gallery and he became very familiar with both ends of the process – buying and selling art.
“I learned how to diagnose the desires of our customers to determine exactly what they were looking for, and then communicate those needs to artists, such that I could consistently deliver great products to wanting clients,” Crumpton said.
Aside from seeing his parent’s business, Crumpton has always enjoyed drawing and has sold many of his drawings in the past. Though Crumpton was being exposed to creating, buying, and selling art, while he was playing for the Gophers, he didn’t see himself as a future entrepreneur in the institutional art industry. His path included working with several Fortune 500 companies and co-founding a private equity firm that became involved in the early stages of Art Force’s development.
“Life is strange that way,” Crumpton said. “As my friend and mentor Bill Kieger likes to quote Forrest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.”
Crumpton sees himself as much more of an artist than on the surface.
“For as long as I can remember art has been a huge focus in my family life,” Crumpton said. “Even before owning the gallery, my parents were wine and art collectors. My parents surrounded themselves with it,” Crumpton said. “I can remember having so much fun traveling with my mother searching for art and communing with artists. My mother loved to commission classic pieces to hang in the shop and no matter what the price, almost every one of those great pieces sold.”