What’s in a name? For 107-year-old antiques, fine art and jewelry gallery M.S. Rau, everything. As the historic French Quarter retailer prepares to unveil an additional 19,000 square feet of modern gallery space this fall, its gallery name and logo will also receive a contemporary new look and feel to match its robust progress.
The new name — simply “M.S. Rau” — drops “Antiques” from its classic title. This slight but significant pivot reflects the company’s advancement from a dominating force in the antiques industry for over a century to include its multifaceted focus on fine art and luxury jewelry. M.S. Rau will continue to offer the finest in rare and museum-quality antiques to its sophisticated clientele while maintaining the flexibility to reach fine art collectors and jewelry connoisseurs who are less familiar with the brand’s world-class offerings. To find a name that will undoubtedly grow with the company’s evolving expertise, M.S. Rau’s executive team enlisted the help of MRDG, Inc., a market research firm located in New Orleans with 25 years of experience. In a Company Naming Research Report conducted by the agency in the summer of 2019, the firm surveyed a sample group of existing M.S. Rau clients for feedback on the gallery’s name. According to data presented by MRDG, “M.S. Rau” was among the top names customers closely associated with trust, brand recognition and familiarity. Mendel Simon “Max” Rau, grandfather of CEO and third-generation owner Bill Rau, founded M.S. Rau in 1912 as an antiques shop in the heart of New Orleans’ bustling Vieux Carré district. Since opening its doors on Royal Street more than 100 years ago, M.S. Rau has stood apart from other retailers with a diversified approach, specializing in importing a fine selection of European furniture and antiques into New Orleans’ prominent port.
M.S. Rau began incorporating rare, high-end jewelry and original, museum-quality fine artworks into its repertoire in the second half of the 20th century. For the last 20 years the gallery has exhibited, bought and sold precious works of art by some of the world’s most important American and European artists. In 2019, New Orleans CityBusiness named M.S. Rau the fastest-growing company in New Orleans. With a heritage of growth and industry dexterity, rechristening the 112-year-old gallery with a brand name inclusive to its numerous specialties seemed inevitable. M.S. Rau continues to swiftly expand into the 21st century, and in November 2019 will become the largest gallery in North America offering rare, world-class treasures to its discerning and loyal clientele.