For the past few years the Paper Guild, one of the Amon Carter’s collector groups, has traveled to San Antonio to attend the annual print fair hosted there by the McNay Art Museum. We went there this past weekend, and in addition to attending the fair, we visited two remarkable private collections of American art. In the photograph below, we are getting a tour of one of America's most important collections of African-American art: the Harriet and Harmon Kelley collection. Some of you may remember that the museum featured their collection a few years ago. The Kelleys have searched high and low, with the help of curators, peers, and art dealers, for the best works that convey the creative achievements of artists of color.
Collecting art is at the core of what art museums do, and the collectors in any community are vital to that aspect of a museum’s mission. In this way, institutions and individual collectors are part of a symbiotic relationship. The Kelleys, for instance, not only have given important works to the San Antonio Museum of Art but also have inspired others within their community to begin collecting.
The collector groups at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art—the Paper Guild; the Council, which focuses on paintings and sculpture; and the Stieglitz Circle, which focuses on photographs—are filled with a similar spirit of mutual exchange. Trips such as last weekend’s sojourn to South Texas are a part of an education experience, where the example of others becomes a point of inspiration. If you would like to know more about becoming a member of one of these groups, please write to me. It is truly rewarding to participate.