Arlington Heights attorney has eclectic mix of art
Arlington Heights attorney George Drost doesn't always surround himself with legal documents and courtroom drama.
He likes drama that can be found in oil ... or sculpture ... or even in etchings.
Drost, 69, is a collector of fine art as an investment. He has traveled around the world and collected mostly contemporary Czech art for enjoyment and for investing, he said.
"It's not a bad collection," Drost said.
Drost's collection includes about 500 paintings, sculptures, etching and other media. He declined to say what the collection is worth. While some pieces are at his home, others are displayed elsewhere, including at the Czech and Slovak Museum and Library in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, or at his alma mater, Augustana College. He's now planning a special exhibit in 2018, he said.
"Unlike the emotional ups and downs of the stock market, investing in art can add a level of personal fulfillment that traditional investments simply can't provide," said Shankar Iyer, a financial adviser with Merrill Lynch who works with Drost.
Drost's parents were also art collectors and they came to the United States around 1950.
Drost returned to his native country in 1990 for the first time and has made several trips since then, often buying artwork from Czech, Slovak and other artists, Drost said.
Drost's father also was an attorney and the younger George Drost followed in those footsteps. His brother, Rudy, went into the insurance and banking.
Drost has been an attorney since he graduated from DePaul University in 1972. He worked for about three years for the IRS and then for a private company. By the mid-1980s, he helped start the law firm of Drost Kivlahan McMahon & O'Connor LLC in Arlington Heights. The firm now has 11 attorneys who focus on various legal fields, including estate planning and commercial real estate.
Drost also has been involved with various organizations that help strengthen ties between the United States and the Czech Republic, including the American Friends of the Czech Republic in Washington, D.C., and the John Marshall School of Law Czech and Slovak Legal Exchange Program. He also has been honorary consul of the Czech Republic for Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin from 2001 to 2006.
And just as he has an eclectic mix of art, he also has had a variety of kids at his home.
Drost resides in Arlington Heights with his wife, Beth. They have three grown children and 12 grandchildren. He and Beth also have served as foster parents to more than 30 kids. The foster kids were for short periods of time until they were permanently adopted, Drost said.
"We have to learn how to help these families," Drost said. "There's a variety of kids from families who do drugs, need some type of support or have been abused. They are a rainbow of races," he said.
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