Maria has more than 15 years of experience in the art world. She began her career at The Cloisters in Upper Manhattan before moving on to Reynolda House Museum of American Art (Winston-Salem, NC), the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Hudson River Museum. After leaving the museum field in 2012 she provided scholarly and market research to a private Art Advisory Firm in New York City. Maria established Black Oak in 2017. She holds a BA in Medieval Studies from Fordham University and a MA in Art History from CUNY's Hunter College. Maria earned her Certificate in Appraisal Studies from the Appraisers Association of America, of which she is an Associate Member. She lives in Westchester's Rivertowns with her husband, Anthony, and their children.
Black Oak merges Maria’s maiden and married names: Dembrowsky Nigro. Dembrowsky stems from dąbrowa, which is Polish for oak grove, and Nigro means black in Italian. Black Oak is an homage to her father’s collecting habits and her mother’s antique shop. Together the two names acknowledge the past while looking to the future.
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Activities & Affiliations
• Appraisers Association of America, Associate Member
• Rivertowns Chamber of Commerce, Member
• Estate Sale Liquidators Pro, Member
• Dobbs Ferry Public Library, Trustee
• CITGO Corporate Social Responsibility Advisory Board, Member