• by William Pinney

Thoughts on Collecting Art

In November, The Jonathan Art Foundation produced a webcast entitled the The Story Behind a World-Class Art Collection. This project reminds us that art collecting serves an important role in recording our ever-changing world. It also creates an opportunity for peaceful and calming appreciation of the masterful execution of an extremely difficult curatorial endeavor. The Jonathan Club provides the continuity for its long-term collecting efforts, and the Art Foundation Board’s mission is to provide the expertise to build on its extraordinary legacy.


2020’s stay-at-home requirements gave us the opportunity to look at our own art with fresh eyes. What are the threads that weave through the choices we have made over the years, as we accumulated our own collections?


For those of us who are not serious art collectors but are interested in art, the pictures on the wall probably accumulated in a rather serendipitous way. A memorable vacation abroad, bare walls after moving house, a nice yearend bonus, or meeting an engaging artist at a party, may have made an impact. More recently, if you are active on Instagram, the posts you follow will quickly self-select your preference in imagery. In my humble opinion, the selection comes from the accumulation of your positive memories and your emotional preferences. Color, scale, subject matter, and medium, all play their part. The selection of “our” art lies in the connection between who we are and the material that is presented to us by artists. When the connection is powerful enough, we must buy, no matter what.


Hence, pundits make pronouncements such as:


“Art is a vehicle that lets us (artists) have an impact on the external world and lets the external world have an impact on us.”


“I don’t know much about art, but I know what art I like.”


If you, our readers, have comment or thoughts on art collecting, feel free to send them to inquiries@jonathanart.org.


An opportunity to put your art collecting into practice will be at our annual auction fundraiser on March 14th - 21st, 2021. This will be online and similar in format to our successful event last August. Our curated selection of art will be on offer as well as wines, jewelry, and other fine items. We will also have our tax deductible “Raise the Paddle” program. We are in the planning stages, but “Art Collecting” will be one of the themes incorporated into the program. To support this, we have gone to considerable efforts to broaden our range of art for sale. This includes several new artists and a widened offering of Abstract art.


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