Collectors

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Ruth Fine, curator (1972–2012), National Gallery of Art, and Rodney M. Miller, collector. In this conversation recorded on February 9, 2014, as part of The Collecting of African American Art, a series at the National Gallery of Art, Ruth Fine and Rodney M. Miller discuss his collection in all of its aspects—from his early interest in art to the development of his diverse interactions with contemporary artists, curators, and dealers. Miller explains the important effect that art has in chronicling and providing a more complete view of society.

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Margaret and Raymond Horowitz, collectors, in conversation with Nicolai Cikovsky Jr., senior curator of American and British paintings, National Gallery of Art, and Franklin Kelly, curator of American and British paintings, National Gallery of Art. In honor of the exhibition American Impressionism and Realism: The Margaret and Raymond Horowitz Collection, on view at the National Gallery of Art from January 24 to May 9, 1999, the Horowitzes joined Nicolai Cikovsky and Franklin Kelly to discuss the history of their collection and its first exhibition since a 1973 show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Forty-nine American impressionist and realist paintings and works on paper were presented, including works by William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, George Bellows, Maurice Prendergast, and William Glackens. In this conversation recorded on January 24, 1999, the Horowitzes share how their collection started with a few modest gifts, grew with the informal acquisition of drawings and pastels, and became a serious endeavor after their first painting purchase in 1961, a work by Robert Henri. From then on, the Horowitzes have exclusively collected American art. Making the most of their limited resources, the Horowitzes did not want to collect what was fashionable and turned to the work of American artists, which they thought was an overlooked treasure.

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Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, collectors, in conversation with Ruth Fine, curator of modern prints and drawings, National Gallery of Art; and Mark Rosenthal, curator of twentieth-century art, National Gallery of Art. New York collectors Herbert and Dorothy Vogel trace the development of their vast art collection in this podcast recorded on June 12, 1994 at the National Gallery of Art in honor of the exhibition From Minimal to Conceptual: Works from The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection. The Vogels began collecting art in the 1960s, a time that saw a new generation of artists respond to the abstract expressionist movement. These artists questioned the entire practice of art making, the nature of the art object, and how art functioned within society. By forming close personal relationships with the artists, a process that the Vogels describe as invaluable, they assembled one of the country's greatest and most extensive collections of conceptual, minimal, and post-minimal art with limited financial means. From Minimal to Conceptual was the first major showing of their collection at the National Gallery of Art and was on view from May 29 through November 27, 1994.

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Robert and Jane Meyerhoff, collectors, in conversation with Irving Blum, collector and co-founder of the Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles. To celebrate the exhibition opening of The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection: 1945-1995 at the National Gallery of Art on March 31, 1996, the Meyerhoffs joined Irving Blum to discuss the history and practice of their collecting.  On view through July 21, 1996, the exhibition presented 194 works, almost their entire collection of post-World War II art. The Meyerhoffs' acquisitions have been based wholly on their belief in the quality of individual works and not on any preconceived theory or plan. If they were passionate about an artist, they collected his or her work in depth. Their private residence has a room dedicated to each of the following artists: Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, and Frank Stella. The collection is both a tribute to the extraordinarily high level of accomplishment by these artists and to the Meyerhoffs' intuition.

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Darryl Atwell, collector, and Jeffreen M. Hayes, Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow in African American Art, Birmingham Museum of Art. Darryl Atwell, a collector based in Washington, DC, has been acquiring works by artists of the African diaspora for the last eight years. His conversation with curator Jeffreen M. Hayes, recorded on November 18, 2012, as part of the National Gallery of Art lecture series The Collecting of African American Art, provides an overview of Atwell's important collection. They also discussed the collecting of African American art by others and the rise of contemporary African American artists. Hayes is a scholar whose research interests are African American visual culture, contemporary representations of race, and art museums.
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Alvia J. Wardlaw, associate professor, Texas Southern University and curator of modern and contemporary art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. For the inaugural lecture of the National Gallery of Art lecture series The Collecting of African American Art, recorded on February 10, 2008, Alvia J. Wardlaw provides an overview of the substantial history of collecting African American art. She regards the preservation of objects of cultural importance within the African American community as a holistic endeavor. Collecting was not merely about acquiring items for private holdings but also establishing a connection between African Americans and their African past, enabling families and communities to pass on traditions. Wardlaw relates the role of collectibles, including such cherished items as family photographs and Bibles, to the interest in collecting African American artworks, which arose in the 19th century. She also examines this phenomenon within the context of individual artistic careers, intellectual movements, and trends in the patronage of African American art.
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Elliot Perry and Darrell Walker, collectors of African American art and art of the African diaspora and former players for the National Basketball Association, and Michael D. Harris, associate professor of art history and African American studies, Emory University. In this conversation recorded on February 26, 2012, as part of the National Gallery of Art lecture series The Collecting of African American Art, former National Basketball Association players Elliot Perry and Darrell Walker discuss their collections of African American art and art of the African diaspora with Professor Michael D. Harris. Perry and Walker began to collect art during their extensive travels for their professional sports careers, and both have amassed important holdings of modern and contemporary art that have been exhibited throughout the United States. Both have also dedicated themselves to educational and philanthropic causes to preserve and showcase African American culture. Professor Harris is an artist, curator, and scholar of contemporary African and African American art and has contributed to the exhibition catalogue Images of America: African American Voices: Selections from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Walker.
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David C. Driskell, artist, collector, and emeritus professor of art history, University of Maryland at College Park, and Ruth Fine, consulting curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art. Highly respected as an artist, art historian, curator, and teacher, David C. Driskell's life as a collector is less well known. In this event recorded on February 12, 2012, as part of the National Gallery of Art lecture series The Collecting of African American Art, David C. Driskell and Ruth Fine discuss publicly for the first time the expansive range of his art acquisitions, which he started to collect during his years as an art student at Howard University in Washington, DC. Among the treasures in Driskell's collection are old master and modern European prints, antique rugs, African sculpture, and works by African American masters from the 19th century through the present.
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Paul R. Jones, collector, and Amalia K. Amaki, professor of art history, University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. For the third program in the National Gallery of Art lecture series The Collecting of African American Art, recorded on February 24, 2008, Paul R. Jones discusses collecting with Amalia K. Amaki, editor and contributing author of A Century of African American Art: The Paul R. Jones Collection, which features his acquisition of works by nearly 70 artists, most of which he has given to the University of Delaware. Jones discusses his dedication to supporting emerging African-American artists, including his efforts to see that they are better represented in public collections. Jones also reveals how he began collecting art while he was pursuing a career in public service, including working in civil rights, housing and urban development, and the Peace Corps.
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Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, director of Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, and Walter O. Evans, collector. In this conversation recorded on February 17, 2008, as part of the National Gallery of Art lecture series The Collecting of African American Art, retired surgeon Walter O. Evans discusses his extraordinary collection with Andrea Barnwell Brownlee. Brownlee was the primary author of The Walter O. Evans Collection of African American Art, a catalogue that accompanied an international exhibition of mid-19th- to late-20th-century works from Evans' holdings. Their conversation explores how Evans began acquiring African American art, his friendships with artists and writers, and his future plans for the collection.
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Maygene Daniels, chief of Gallery Archives, National Gallery of Art, and Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, collectors. Dorothy and Herbert Vogel have amassed one of the greatest collections of minimal, conceptual, and post-minimal art in the world, acquiring works by some of the most important contemporary artists of our time. Daniels spoke with the Vogels about the 231 artist postcards in their collection—the personalized cards and other items that artists mailed to them, often with drawings, sketches, as well as personal messages.
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Jacqueline Francis, independent scholar. In this presentation recorded on February 8, 2009, as part of the National Gallery of Art lecture series The Collecting of African American Art, Jacqueline Francis traces the origins of collecting African-American art in the United States and the role of American academic institutions, galleries, and specialized museums in supporting these artists. Francis focuses on six distinguished private collections: Barnett-Aden; Camille O. and William H. Cosby Jr.; Walter O. Evans; David C. Driskell; Grant Hill; and Harmon and Harriet Kelley. She also provides an overview of institutional
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Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, collectors, in conversation with Ruth Fine, curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art. New York art collectors Dorothy and Herbert Vogel discuss the genesis of their extraordinary art collection with curator Ruth Fine in this podcast recorded on Sunday, November 16, 2008, at the National Gallery of Art. Over a 45-year period, the Vogels collected 4,782 works of art and stored them in their one-bedroom New York apartment. In 1991, the National Gallery of Art acquired a portion of their collection, through partial purchase and gift from the Vogels, which consists largely of minimal and conceptual art. In 2008, the Vogels and the National Gallery of Art, with assistance from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, launched a national gifts program titled The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States in 2008. The program distributed 2,500 works from the Vogels' collection throughout the nation, with 50 works going to a selected art institution in each of the 50 states.
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Ruth Fine, curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art, and collectors Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Dorothy and Herbert Vogel have amassed one of the greatest collections of minimal, conceptual, and post-minimal art in the world, acquiring works by some of the most important contemporary artists of our time. Curator Ruth Fine spoke with the Vogels two years after they announced The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States project, which distributed their vast collection across the country for all to enjoy. In this podcast, the Vogels relate stories from the recipient museums and their special exhibitions celebrating the gifts.
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Harmon and Harriet Kelley, collectors, and Deborah Willis, professor, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. Since 1987 Harmon and Harriet Kelley have amassed an art collection that represents a kaleidoscopic view of African American life and cultural history from the 19th to 21st centuries. In this conversation recorded on February 22, 2009, as part of the National Gallery of Art lecture series The Collecting of African American Art, Deborah Willis speaks with the Kelleys about their passion and determination to build a collection that advances and preserves the legacy of African American art.
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Ruth Fine, curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art, and Juliette Bethea, collector. In this event recorded on February 15, 2009, as part of the National Gallery of Art lecture series The Collecting of African American Art, Ruth Fine speaks with Washington, DC-based collector Juliette Bethea about her life–long passion for learning and what inspired her to begin acquiring art nearly 40 years ago. Bethea discusses how moving to Washington in 1967 after years of traveling abroad marked a turning point in her engagement with the arts. Through the strong community of artists connected to the Howard University community, Bethea developed a connection with the local art scene.

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Ruth Fine, curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art, and collectors Dorothy and Herbert Vogel. Dorothy and Herbert Vogel have amassed one of the greatest collections of minimal, conceptual, and post-minimal art in the world, acquiring works by some of the most important contemporary artists of our time, including Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Sol LeWitt, Richard Tuttle, and Pat Steir. Curator of special projects in modern art, Ruth Fine, spoke with the Vogels shortly after they announced The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States project, which will distribute their vast collection across the country for all to enjoy. In the final part of this three-part podcast, the Vogels discuss the impact they hope their project will have on the arts nationwide.
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Ruth Fine, curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art, and collectors Dorothy and Herbert Vogel. Dorothy and Herbert Vogel have amassed one of the greatest collections of minimal, conceptual, and post-minimal art in the world, acquiring works by some of the most important contemporary artists of our time, including Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Sol LeWitt, Richard Tuttle, and Pat Steir. Curator of special projects in modern art, Ruth Fine, spoke with the Vogels shortly after they announced The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States Project, which will distribute their vast collection across the country for all to enjoy. In the second part of this three-part podcast, the Vogels discuss their choice of the National Gallery of Art for their collection.
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Ruth Fine, curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art, and collectors Dorothy and Herbert Vogel. Dorothy and Herbert Vogel have amassed one of the greatest collections of minimal, conceptual, and post-minimal art in the world, acquiring works by some of the most important contemporary artists of our time, including Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Sol LeWitt, Richard Tuttle, and Pat Steir. Curator of special projects in modern art, Ruth Fine, spoke with the Vogels shortly after they announced The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States Project, which will distribute their vast collection across the country for all to enjoy. In part one of this three-part podcast, the Vogels discuss how they met, and how they started collecting art.
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New York collectors Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, with the assistance of the National Gallery of Art, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, have launched a national gifts program entitled 'The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States.' It is distributing 2,500 works from the Vogels' collection of contemporary art throughout the nation, with fifty works going to a selected art institution in each of the fifty states.

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Robert E. Jackson, collector, and Sarah Greenough, senior curator of photographs, National Gallery of Art. Robert E. Jackson has been collecting other people's snapshots for more than a decade. Some of the best works in his collection are on display in The Art of the American Snapshot, 1888-1978. In this podcast Jackson and Sarah Greenough, senior curator of photographs, talk about why he collects snapshots and what makes an image capture his attention.
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Robert Leibowits, collector. For years Robert and June Leibowits have been collecting photographs and books. A portion of their impressive collection of eastern European photographs from between the two world wars is featured in the National Gallery of Art exhibition Foto: Modernity in Central Europe, 1918-1945. Exhibition curator Matthew S. Witkovsky chats with Robert Leibowits to find out what drives him to collect in this medium and subject area.