Olga's Gallery

About Them (and About Us)

December 2000:

            Hi! My name is Yuri, and I'm Olga’s nephew. If you're wondering how this website got started, then know, that nothing would have happened had it not been for me, my younger brother and our cat.
            You see, it was a bid for self-preservation. In the days before the site, my mom and my aunt had nothing better to do then badger us about our education ("I'm going to explain the Pythagoras theorem to you. And after that we'll talk about Leonardo da Vinci. By the way, did you finish your essay on 'the role of zoos in conservation'? And did you start your paper on 'Slavery in the US'? And what about your French verbs?" etc.), and annoy the poor cat with toilet training and other unhelpful things… In an act of desperation I suggested that they start sharing their "educational" experience with other parents. "Hmmm… What a good idea! We could start a whole community of parents anxious about their kids’ future!"
            This last would have been the best solution but, sadly, when the zealous fervor passed and they began thinking rationally again, they realized this would be like building a life sized model of the Titanic from toothpicks… They settled for the easier task of creating an art encyclopedia to help children learn the History of Art… And they're still at it. If our luck holds they'll go on doing it for another decade, and we'll have time to run wild for a while.

Yuri and Sergey Mataev, brothers
Kisco, a cat

             Thank you, boys. Although they'll deny it, Yuri and Sergey help us a lot in creating our online gallery. Although we started the gallery as a project to help children learn the history of painting, religion, and literature it has become a very popular website among college teachers and students, and among art lovers. We do our best to provide quality information. We enjoy this work and hope you'll enjoy looking at the results.

Olga and Helen Mataev, sisters-in-law

 January 2001:

            As it turned out they just couldn't do without us. A year after starting the gallery, they forced us to contribute to its creation by writing reports and doing research. Now we have to hand in a multiple-page researched essay once a month. Of all useless things...

Yuri and Sergey Mataev
Kisco, a cat

 June 2007:

            Wow. This gallery has come an incredibly long way, without us even noticing it. We hadn't updated the "About" page in a while -- we'd completely forgotten about its existence, in fact -- and all four of us suffered quite a shock when we re-read it a few days ago.
            It's close to 8 years since the small, shabby Fine Art-themed webpage "Olga's Gallery" first appeared online under the mismatched domain "abcgallery.com" in the fall of 1999. We feature, today, close to 300 painters with a combined total of over 12,000 works of art. What's more, we receive over 30,000 visitors and 1,000,000 page views daily.
            As you can gather from the December 2000 and January 2001 updates to this page, above, (which we have decided to preserve in full), when we started, we never expected anything close to what we have arrived at today, both in terms of the size of the project and its popularity with web users.
            We would like to thank all the people who visit or have ever visited our website. You gave us the incentive to make Olga's Gallery what it is, and we hope that you continue to enjoy our updates and additions. After all, having gotten this far, we can't very well stop now!

Olga, Helen, Yuri and Sergey Mataev

P.S. Sadly, Kisco the cat, one of this gallery's founders and its visionary leader for many years, passed away in 2004, after a protracted battle with FIV (the feline version of AIDS). He will be remembered, always.

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