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Art appraiser sees success and beauty despite blindness

Vision loss won't stop woman from doing dream job
Posted at 7:04 AM, May 11, 2018

As the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And when it comes to appreciating art, that may be more true than ever. It's so subjective and comes down to true appreciation. One woman understands that more than most.

To Myrna Hayutin the photos on her gallery wall are more than pictures of the past. She points out some of the art on display.  "This is a limited edition signed by Carl Mydans," Hayutin said. "This is Babe Ruth the last time he put on his uniform."

These are works of art.

"It is history," Hayutin said. "It's just knowledge."

And for the last 35 years she's been selling fine art like these pieces, despite the fact that she's legally blind.

"I anticipate doing this for at least another 10 years," Hayutin said. "As long as my eyesight holds."

Hayutin started losing her eyesight when she was eight due to retinitis pigmentosa. And over the years, it's gotten progressively worse.

"It's like an island," Hayutin said. "As the disease progresses the island gets smaller and smaller now I see through two straws. So you may be standing right here but I am not seeing you. Or if were talking and you move I'll lose you."

Still it hasn't affected her love for art or her determination to purse it as a career.

"It never occurred to me to stop me from doing anything that I really wanted to do," Hayutin said.

Hayutin runs a successful international fine art gallery, Gallery M, and recently became an art appraiser.

"I'm looking at the artwork but honestly thank goodness with my devices I can really zoom in and see them much, much better," Hayutin said.

Hayutin said her dog, Gouda, helps her navigate the changes in her eyesight, but what helps most is not focusing on what could happen.

"I would never have opened the gallery if I was fearful of what would be instead of what was at that time," Hayutin said. "I try to live in today and use the eyesight that I have today."

Hayutin said every day is what you make it.

"There are some days where I'm not as positive as I should be, but I try it," Hauytin said. "I try to get back on that positive I mean because I'm surrounded by all of this gorgeous art and that's very uplifting."