Marsha Ralls is one of Washington, DC's leading art figures, having been entrusted to create some of the top private and corporate collections in the world. Her career in art began when she was awarded a coveted apprenticeship in the studio of noted American Master, Robert Rauschenberg, where she was trained as an archivist. From there she became a business consultant and development advisor with the Fay Gold Gallery in Atlanta and later Sotheby's Auction House in New York. In 1988, she founded The Ralls Collection, Inc., a private art dealership, providing art consulting and curatorial services to individual and corporate collectors. Three years later, in 1991, she opened an art gallery in Georgetown, where today she specializes in contemporary American paintings, photography, prints and sculpture. Ms. Ralls is committed to tailoring the purchase and display of artwork to her clients’ personal needs and is discriminating in terms of the artists she chooses to represent.
Throughout the years, Ms. Ralls has shared her expertise with the Washington arts community and beyond. As a lecture coordinator for the Smithsonian Institution’s Campus on the Mall, Ms. Ralls conceived and organized a special series of presentations on connoisseurship and collecting contemporary art. In 2003-2004, Ms. Ralls worked with National Geographic Society's Caravan Initiative program to curate an international exhibition of work by five renowned explorer/photographers. In the summer of 2004, the show was exhibited at the United Nations in New York. In the fall of 2004, Ms. Ralls was appointed by former Mayor Anthony Williams to serve on the Washington, DC Arts & Humanities Commission Board and continued to hold this position under Mayor Adrian Fenty and Mayor Vincent Grey through 2011. Ralls has taken her art expertise to the Middle East where she has provided advisory services in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The Ralls Collection, Inc. has a leading team of art consultants for creating unique and aesthetically pleasing installations for luxury hotels throughout the world. Every completed project makes an important connection to the community by blending the distinct qualities and sensibilities of the property with local and regional art resources.
Ms. Ralls is an active member of a number of professional organizations and is a committed advocate of several charitable organizations. She is a member of the Economic Club of Washington DC, Georgetown Business and Professional Association, Art Dealers Association of Greater Washington and served on the Board of Directors for NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship) from 2008 - 2011. In 2008, Ms. Ralls was honored by NFTE as “Entrepreneur of the Year.” In addition, as CEO and Publisher of Children’s PressLine, Ralls directed 13 youth reporters and editors covering the 2008 Democratic and Republican conventions where they produced almost 100 articles in audio, radio, print and television from a youth perspective. Ms. Ralls is also a member of the Washington, DC chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and has served in various leadership roles, both in the DC Chapter and with EO Global. More recently in 2010, Ralls launched the EO DC Accelerator program, supporting early stage entrepreneurs in scaling their businesses. In 2011 she was selected to participate in the EO Global Leadership Academy, an advanced learning program designed for entrepreneurs to provide EO’s top leadership with an enhanced philosophical and skills-based orientation of leadership that all members can employ to the benefit of their peers, businesses and communities. Ralls was honored by the Washington Business Journal as one of their top women business leaders in Women Who Mean Business. She has served on the board of directors for Leadership Greater Washington and the Washington Capital Area Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. In 2000, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society named Ms. Ralls “National Woman of the Year.” Ms. Ralls chaired the 25th Anniversary Celebration Year of Leadership Greater Washington,an educational program designed to foster cooperation and leadership among the top community activists in the Washington metropolitan region and was voted in 2011 by LGW as a “Change Agent” in the region. Ms. Ralls was most recently elected to the Kennedy Center Corporate Board Fund in 2012, a three-year term serving America’s leading performing arts center and living memorial to United States President John F. Kennedy.
Ms. Ralls has two sons, Jake 18 and Nathan 17, who both attend Culver Military Academy, a boarding prep school in Indiana USA.