Why We Started Testudo

To introduce you to our company, we wanted to share a note from our founders discussing the inspiration behind Testudo. 

Kirby & I grew up collecting. For me, it was Detroit Tigers memorabilia and The Simpsons merchandise. For Kirby, it was Pez Dispensers and Roman coins. We both even had expansive nutcracker collections as kids!

After we settled in our first New York apartment, our passion for collecting shifted focus toward art. We started with works on paper and often discovered artists through Instagram. By following them on social media, we had a small window into their practice, inspirations, and even their daily lives. Understanding this additional context truly enriched our experience as collectors. Although Kirby and I are not artists ourselves, we savored the opportunity to participate in this world and support artists in their careers.

At the same time, we also saw firsthand that the art market can be inefficient, opaque, and inaccessible. We strongly believe that these challenges not only harm artists economically but also exclude many would-be collectors.

We started Testudo to invite more people in, and share our collecting experience with others.

With our respective backgrounds in finance and e-commerce and a passion for collecting, we set out to create an art market grounded in transparency and inclusivity. Testudo establishes a space for artists to share their work and practice with collectors. Those collectors can use Testudo not only for discovery but also to build and manage their collection with a long term view.

In that spirit, we want to share three works by our first three artists and talk a little about why we love them. Stay tuned for more!

John & Kirby