The Passionate Collector
June 22 — August 26, 2011
The Passionate Collector touches on the many aspects of an individual’s passion for collecting art. Bert Gallery has culled down a remarkable lifelong collection of 3,000 works on paper including etchings, steel engravings and watercolors for this exhibit. It is a celebration of a broad spectrum of 19th and 20th century styles exploring a collectors’ eye and the underlying thread that ties the works together.
Why do we collect works of art? What drives us to amass a collection - are we hoarders, are we curators, are we unbalanced? Historically, we know of famous wealthy collectors such as the Getty’s, The Rothschild’s, the Melons, the Holladay’s, the Guggenheim’s and so on who amassed priceless works of art that became the core collection of many major public museums.
Then a collector couple emerges like Herb and Dorothy Vogel, a postman and a librarian, who collected over 4,000 works of art in a 45 year period that brought every major museum knocking at their door in the 1990’s, the National Gallery became the recipient of their prized collection of Minimalist and Conceptual Art.
It transforms the frequently dismissive collector’s reply - “I collect what I love” - to a deeper level. Does our collection reveal some private obsession with works of art? Is a collection a “Rorschach inkblot” psychological test of our likes and dislikes in the visual world? Many of these questions will be explored in the exhibit as well as the aspects of works on paper as an area that attracts collectors.
Helena Gomez, Providence College Art History Intern 2011, assisted in the research, writing and documentation of this exhibit.