I went to the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, (Rollins College, 1000 Holt Ave Winter Park FL) on Tuesday March 19 at 7pm for the free Cornell Fine Art Museum's, Dialogues with Collectors Series. This series of dialogue will expand on the collecting theme of the museum's 35th anniversary exhibitions by opening a conversation about why, what and how people collect, and the role of the collecting instinct as a vital part of preserving our history. Roberta Green Ahmanson, a philanthropist and the current chair of the board of the Museum of Biblical Art, (MOBIA), New York City, spoke about her private collection of biblical art and the Ahmanson family collecting legacy.
Roberta pointed out that her husband came from a family of collectors, but as a young boy, he lived in a bedroom upstairs from a Rembrandt. His father kept the house the perfect temperature and humidity to preserve the painting. Unfortunately that made the place intolerable for his son's bedroom. Roberta and her husband met because of their shared faith. She began collecting artwork that affirmed that faith. She doesn't tolerate Sunday School biblical illustration. She looks for subtle messages in contemporary artists work as well as old historical pieces.
It was encouraging to know that there are people out there today who are passionate about collecting art. Perhaps the daily struggle to keep creating will one day reap some small reward. Admission the the museum is free all this year to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the institution. I suppose that is a reward in itself to Central Florida. Also Roberta's talk is available on UTube, should you be interested.