Monday, February 3, 2014

R Street in the District of Columbia NW

Over the weekend, while I was leading a painting class at the Washington Studio School on S Street, I met one of the DC art dealers/auctioneers who live on R Street across from Teaism. For the afternoon on Saturday, he was opening his doors to the public, and in the morning he had invited me to come by to see his collection.

I'm glad I went. I arrived after all others had left, and I spent a good hour looking at hundreds and hundreds of pieces on three different floors of his old brownstone. Some of the work was by artists with famous names I recognized (including of course Sam Gilliam); some of it was by local DC artists with names I recognized; and some were works I really liked by artists whose names I didn't recognize.

The collection was international to say the least. It was mostly painting media, with some sculpture and a little photography. Of particular note to me was his collection of traditional African objects -- heads, masks, figures and a few other kinds of pieces. I have an artist friend who lives in Arlington who has a pretty wide African collection; yet I haven't seen so many pieces like these since my days in New York City. He said he has to have his pieces appraised because he doesn't know enough about them. Not a bad problem to have; his house looked like a museum.

I expect to see more of him in the next few months. Perhaps he will help me to expand my own collection a bit more. Below is a piece I acquired in 2001.