On Saturday while we ate our V.I.P. cinnamon whirls two New York collectors Susan and Michael Hort talked us through their approach to art collecting.

They keep all the artworks they’ve acquired in their home, but they can only show about fifteen per cent of it at any one time because of space. They’ve thought about opening a museum to house it all, but keep coming back to the conclusion that they want the work to be lived around. To keep the works in circulation they rehang almost everything every four or five years (a handful of works are permanent fixtures; a handful are no longer loved), lend work out to museums and galleries on request, and have big brunch receptions so the work reaches a wider (but still exclusive) audience.

Below is an extract from “If the work is free, is it art?“, an article by Sarah Thornton in the Guardian. I like the way Uprichard describes the need for works to be seen if order for them to be art:

Private collectors are now a fixed point in the cultural landscape, and in artists’ support systems. Young artists such as sculptor Francis Upritchard, 32, who will be representing New Zealand at the Venice Biennale next June, appreciates serious collectors who live with their art. Of collectors who keep their art in storage, she argues: “I’m sure it’s good to get the work out of the sun, but art needs to be used. It needs a thinking gaze. That is what makes it art, rather than just stuff.” Of collectors who acquire work as status symbols, she says: “I think they are wasting their money, because that is not what art is for. It’s a misinterpretation of its intent.”

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