First, thanks for the responses, I appreciate it. Here is a little more background.
The site does not have a database and it's really light, no scripts except for the jQuery script I wrote to do the transition between images. Basically, there are 56 images, very very high quality. I've talked to my client about reducing the size/quality and that isn't an option for them. They want the pictures as high quality as humanly possible. They person is a decorative painter so the pictures need to be large to see the detail in their work.
The gallery page itself loads quick, the problem is I'm trying to preload all the images on the page, so the users have a nice experience clicking through all the images. So the problem is the preload of the images. The page just seems to be loading forever because they are so huge.
My thinking right now is having 10 thumbs load and preload those 10 larger pictures with the thumbs. Once the user clicks "more" the next 10 thumbs and large pics load.