Weil Art Gallery was founded by Carlos Weil who has been in the art world since the 1980s. With his wife, he opened an art gallery in Panama City called Bernheim Gallery that bore her last name. After the separation, Carlos decided to open another gallery which he called Weil Art Gallery.
This art gallery has three branches in Panama City. The main one is in Bella Vista, which was the first to open in 2002, then Weil Art Casco Antiguo opened in 2010 and finally they opened another location on 50th Street that is more focused on art exhibitions.
Weil Art Gallery opening hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. You can find this art gallery in Casco Viejo on Avenida A between Calle 3 and 4, just 30 meters from the Flat Arch. Its clients are Panamanians, tourists, embassies, banks, hotels in Panama City, museums, government and private companies. They have the capacity to package and send works abroad. They can also frame works of art, clean them and restore them. They carry out appraisals of works and installations of works at home or business.
Relationship with Artists
Carlos is not an artist, but he certainly has the vision for the promotion of art. This gallery believes a lot in supporting national and Latin American talent. I ask David, Carlos’ son, how do they find artists? He laughs and tells me that in every possible way. Sometimes they approach the artists and other times the artists approach them, even people who have recently graduated from school.
Weil Art Gallery is considered a mother gallery that receives talent from artists who are not yet known, opening the door for them to start their careers. Carlos Weil promoted emerging artists from Cuba in the 1980s and 1990s, including Tomas Sanchez who began selling his paintings for a few thousand and now cost hundreds of thousands.
They manage well-known artists such as Alfredo and Olga Sinclair, Brooke Alfaro, Guillermo Trujillo, Al Sprague, Manuel Chong Neto, Alberto Dutary, Julio Zachrisson, among others. They also have artists who already have recognition such as Pascual Rudas, Hidielgo Perez, Jairo Romero, Alexis Benalcazar, Rolando de Sedas, Kansuet, Brian Vergara, among others.
Weil Art Gallery Handles Various Art Forms
When you enter the Weil Art Gallery in Casco Viejo you will see all types of art in every available space. They sell paintings, wooden sculptures, photographs, silkscreens and crafts.
They have a group of artisans who have been working with the gallery for years, they give them ideas to develop things that are a little out of the usual surroundings: nature, flora and fauna. Panamanian crafts are made of wood, tagua, basketry, natural fiber objects and paper. These artisans even won international UNESCO awards in the 1990s.
I asked them about the new Street of Hats in the Casco Viejo, since I needed to write an article about it, and they showed me a work of art with that new attraction.
History of Panama and the Panama Canal
The Weil Art Gallery has objects from the history of Panama and the Panama Canal. The original French Canal bonds were issued in 1888 and 1889 to finance the Panama Canal project. When the company went bankrupt, the bonds became history while the canal was purchased by the United States for a sum that would not exceed 40 million (30 million to the French company and 10 million to Panama) in 1902.
Carlos Weil had the idea of giving original bonds, and then replicas, to some artists so that they could paint over them characters and events from history crossing the Canal. It doesn’t matter if they really came to Panama. With all these works they published a book called “Playful Journey through the Panama Canal” that is sold in the gallery.
The book plays with history and art, telling the story of the Panama Canal. The first work is Noah’s Ark crossing the Channel. Another image you can see is the Mona Lisa and Venus passing together to save on the toll. Paul Gauguin lived in Taboga during the construction of the Canal. One of the bonds shows him urinating on the Canal, as he received a fine for doing this during his residence on the isthmus.
When the Pope came for WYD they gave him a painted bond as a special request from the Presidency of Panama. They also made a painted bond for the British Embassy with the image of Queen Elizabeth when she passed through the Panama Canal.
The kiss of the oceans image is an image that was used for the Panama Pacific Exhibition in San Francisco in 1914. This image was used as a promotional item on a postcard. The same image can also be found in the Panama Interoceanic Canal Museum in Casco Viejo. The Weil Art Gallery asked Panamanian artists to develop their interpretation of this famous image. They have the umbrella kiss, the erotic kiss, among others.
La Galería Weil Art maneja numismática, medallas y filatelia (estampillas) que se pueden solicitar por pedidos especiales. Adicionalmente tienen documentos de historia de Latinoamérica y otros países del mundo.