Brooding Brangwyn in Bruge

Recap/throwback to Summer 2018 in Belgium where I visited an exceptional small exhibit by an under-appreciated and misunderstood art world giant: Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956).

Born in Bruge, Brangwyn was an artistic jack of all trades: painter, muralist, ceramist, stain glass artist, lithographer, book illustrator, furniture and interior designer. His paintings are what separates this self-taught artist from the pack. Intense, colorful, moody and insightfully psychological, their impact is undeniable on viewers. Not knowing there was an exhibition when a family trip took us to the delightful, ancient and historically important city, it was an unexpected treat to see work of their native son.

I was one of three persons in the elegant townhouse turned museum Arentshuis – and my short visit provided long rewards. Hats off to you, Mr. Brangwyn. You dazzled my eyes and showed me insights on humanity through yours.

Gabriele Münter (1867-1962)

A Women’s History Month reminiscence from an incredible day and exhibition at the Louisiana Museum of Art in Denmark, July 2018.

My thirty -five years in the art business have brought me to museums across a fairly wide swath of the planet. In the Summer of 2018, the last of five countries on a major family and art viewing trip to Europe was Denmark. Before leaving on the trip, anyone to whom I mentioned Denmark was one of the countries on our itinerary invariably told me, “DO NOT MISS going to the Louisiana!” The museum is about an hour from Copenhagen, situated on a bluff overlooking the ocean with views to Sweden.

We brought our swimming gear, as the museum has a trail and access to ocean swimming, which we had also been told not to miss. Great art, lunch on a terrace, and a bracing ocean swim…what a day! The bonus prize was the first major exhibition of Gabriele Münter’s work in more than 50 years. She’s a giant in the art world, yet still underrated and misunderstood. It was an eye opening experience.

Gabriele Münter was a German expressionist painter who rose to the forefront of the European avant-garde at the beginning of the 20th century. She was a founding member of the expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter, and lived with the Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky. Influenced by the Fauves and Matisse, her spontaneous canvases with vibrant figurative and abstract forms were characterized by high keyed color and free flowing brushwork.

If you are ever in Denmark, I’d like to offer the following suggestion: “DO NOT MISS going to the Louisiana!”

Seeking Balance in a Challenging Year

2020 has been a year none of us could have anticipated. A global pandemic. Business shutdowns. Working and schooling at home. A surreal presidential election. Through it all a we suffered a lack of coherent information and leadership which would allow us to feel confident there was light at the end of the tunnel. Even the vaccines have been politicized. As we get ready to say good-bye to 2020, I’m reflecting on what seems like a surreal dream. And one of the only concrete truths I can come up with is the ability of art to help me feel grounded, inspired, and connected to the human spirit.

Francis Criss painting – Winter Morning.
Continue reading “Seeking Balance in a Challenging Year”

The Art of Buying Art

In a previous post I discussed three core elements of how someone can start an art collection. In this post, I’d like to talk dollars and sense. I’ve broken down the basics into the following streamlined principles of art collecting: Three do’s & don’ts, and three golden rules. It’s easy to spend money on art. I’d hoping to help guide you to spending money on art wisely.

The Do’s & Don’ts:

  • Do buy what you love
  • Don’t buy to impress or to be an art investor
  • Do consider inherent value when buying
Continue reading “The Art of Buying Art”

Centre Pompidou’s and Dont’s

Reminiscing about a fantastic visit in Summer 2019 to one of Paris’ great (and controversial) museums leads to one suggestion – Do go if you can! Plus one don’t –Don’t plan on going from 2023 – 2026 when Centre George Pompidou will be closed for a three-year, quarter of a billion dollar renovation.

Centre George Pompidou

If you’d like some good background information, as well as to get up to speed on the history and controversy of the Centre, read this. During my first ever trip to Paris last summer, the Pompidou was high on my list. And it didn’t disappoint. On top of the world class exhibitions and holdings, there is a great rooftop restaurant with some of the best view of Paris I found during my entire stay.Continue reading “Centre Pompidou’s and Dont’s”

Collector Series – Tips for Novice Collectors

Tips for Novice Art Collectors

Whether you’re an aspiring collector who has yet to purchase your first work of art, or a seasoned collector interested in reminders about the core principles of collecting fine art, our Collector Series: Tips for Novice Collectors videos will be worth your while. Our first video, “Collecting 101” covers the foundational basics of collecting art utilizing three tips.

Tip #1: At its very core, collecting art is about finding your passion. Learning what sort of art makes you feel tingly? What sort of art you find yourself dreaming about. Every collector has a voice inside which will help navigate them to the collection meant for them. This instinct, internal tuning fork, “gut feeling” – call it what you wish – is an inner curator advising you to collect the art which will make your heart sing.Continue reading “Collector Series – Tips for Novice Collectors”

Dartmouth’s Hood Museum 2.0

Hood Art Museum at Dartmouth.
Thank you, Charlie Hood ’51

Dartmouth College…Founded in 1767.

Vintage postcard of Dartmouth Hall at Dartmouth College.

Lots of Big Green blood runs in our family. Starting with my father and gallery founder Joe Caldwell (Class of 1951), myself (’85) and my younger sister (’89). Charlie Hood, of Hood Dairy distinction, was a friend and classmate of Joe’s…and he donated the original Hood Museum of Art which opened Fall 1985. Here’s a pic of what I’ll call Hood 1.0…

Image of the original Hood Museum at Dartmouth College in 1985.

Continue reading “Dartmouth’s Hood Museum 2.0”

The Search for America – A Trip West

Painting from National Museum of Wildlife Art.
Experiencing the Awe-Inspiring Majesty

For three weeks this past June and July, I traveled with my family throughout the American West. From the Great Plains to Yellowstone, the Tetons to Southwest Utah, the Grand Canyon to New Mexico, we searched for the wide open spaces, breathtaking unspoiled beauty, star filled skies…and the sense of awe, purpose and hope which natural beauty can instill in one’s psyche and soul. The following photo sample platter are some of my favorite selections and collages of the more than 2,500 images and movies I took during our 23 day sojourn. Every mile was memorable…Continue reading “The Search for America – A Trip West”

Prague – Summer 2018! Veletržní palác: A Národní Galerie Dream…

Getting ready to enter the National Gallery of Prague in 2018.
About to enter a repurposed Cold War relic…

This sums up an incredible building filled with art, and nearly devoid of people: “At the time of its construction, the Fair Trade Palace (completed in 1928), was the largest building of its kind in the world…and the first Functionalist building in Prague. Today it serves the needs of the National Gallery. A unique collection of Czech and international modern and contemporary art, Continue reading “Prague – Summer 2018! Veletržní palác: A Národní Galerie Dream…”

Oh my? Omi! Social Distance on 300 Acres…

Can going outside help us stay sane inside? Methinks yes! But where? Within fifteen minutes of Hudson there just happens to be an incredible spot for a healthy stretch of the legs, and satiation of the art hungry mind: Art Omi in Ghent, NY.

These uncertain times have made where we can go and what we can do something that must be carefully considered. Thankfully, when it comes to the great outdoors, a place like Art Omi offers a welcome respite from these unprecedented challenges. A month ago, I spent a lovely Spring day at an arts organization who’s mission (from their website) is: “Art Omi believes that exposure to internationally diverse creative voices fosters tolerance and respect, raises awareness, inspires innovation, and ignites change. By forming community with creative expression as its common denominator, Art Omi creates a sanctuary for the artistic community and the public to affirm the transformative quality of art. Continue reading “Oh my? Omi! Social Distance on 300 Acres…”