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Jerry Vogel

Jerry Vogel - Tribute

Collector
United States

I met Jerry Vogel in 1973 during my first year of African art studies. It was in his office at Crossroads Africa in downtown New York City, and as we talked, I noticed small, beautiful objects on his desk: a heddle pulley and one or two small bronzes. From the first, it was clear to me that he not only loved beautiful objects but also had deep understanding of those objects. I soon learned Jerry and Susan Vogel were connected to virtually every important contact in the world of African art studies: in the academic world, in the museum world, and in the world of dealers and collectors. Some years later, during my first visit their loft on Prince Street, I was stunned by the quantity and quality of the collection. Hot all of the pieces here were small: monumental sculpted figures and large helmet masks, dramatically lit, sat high on pedestals behind the sofa, providing visual excitement at every turn. Objects in pottery, terracotta, bronze, ivory, and fiber were everywhere. An enormous wall assemblage from the Sudan (now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York) filled one entire wall. Other works of obvious quality and age complemented the African art: Japanese woodblock prints, an etching by Vlaminck, works on paper by Roy Lichtenstein and Iba Ndiaye. The place was a feast for the eyes. Since then, Jerry and I have had many long discussions during visits to that loft, continuing after the late 1980s at his place around the corner on Wooster Street. I have been endlessly thrilled by his good taste and extraordinary connoisseurship. We have shared many delicious meals during which we discussed literature, politics, film, fashion, the state of our discipline, and countless other subjects. Jerry’s grasp of African expressive material culture was truly unequaled and he was always remarkably generous with his time and knowledge. I spoke with Jerry a few days before he died, just after his return from a two-month stay with his adopted Ivoirian family in Abidjan. During his visit, Jerry had led an art study tour of young museum professionals around the country that went wonderfully well, and he had begun discussions with bankers in Abidjan about ways that the art environment in Côte d’Ivoire might be developed and fostered, and the role he might play in helping to bring the commercial world and the art world together to the benefit of both. His work at the Africa Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Brooklyn Museum continued until his dying day. He was an extraordinary mentor, teacher, colleague, and friend, with a fine wit and a deep love of culture in all its manifestations. Though I will always miss him, memories of our many conversations and adventures will sustain me for the rest of my time here on earth.

Kenneth W. Dalke

Kenneth W. Dalke - Tribute

Collector
United States

KEN DALKE and his wife, Rosella, became good friends of ours during their annual trips to Santa Fe for the Ethnographic Art Fairs. We knew them as Native American basket collectors from Santa Cruz, California, but one year when Tad showed Ken a beautiful Maori fl ute he had just acquired, he bought it and his passion to pursue worldwide tribal art was ignited. Although he dabbled in tribal masks for a while, his true passion came from collecting shields from Africa, Oceania, Indonesia, and the Philippines. He also acquired examples of associated tribal weapons and, gradually, Ken and Rosella added some 200 tribal combs from around the world to their collection. He loved the anthropological study of the material culture and was always generous in sharing his knowledge. His face would literally light up with enthusiasm when discussing a new purchase. Perhaps it was his own background as a custom cabinetmaker and woodworker for more than forty years that gave him an appreciation for the artistry and fine detail found in combs and shields crafted from wood, bone, and shell. As young parents and seekers of knowledge, Ken and Rosella took classes in anthropology at their local college and then spent several weekends volunteering at an early man dig site in California’s Mojave Desert that was sponsored by Louis Leakey. A highlight of the dig was meeting Leakey in person. Ken and his family of four children would spend their vacation time taking backpacking trips in California in search of petroglyphs. When the children were grown, Ken and Rosella made trips to Mexico to visit ancient ruins of Monte-Alban, Teotihuacan, and other lesser- known sites. They also visited rock art sites in Hawaii. Upon his retirement, he took up cooking classes and, with his usual passion, he became a fine home chef, and we were lucky to enjoy some of the meals he proudly prepared, which he would then discuss with us. Even though he was in failing health, we were not surprised when Ken appeared at the 2018 San Francisco Tribal & Textile Art Show, escorted by Rosella and two of his children, who have also become collectors of tribal art. Though he will be greatly missed, his passions have been passed along to the next generation. Tad and Sandy Dale

James W. Reid

James W. Reid - Tribute

Scholar
Undisclosed country

Col. James W. Reid, a retired U.S. military offi cer who had been decorated during the Vietnam War with the Legion of Merit for his “outstanding meritorious services” in honor of his key role in General Westmoreland’s clandestine “Operation Vesuvius” in Cambodia in 1967–68, passed away in December of 2016 at the age of eighty-three. Within the scope of his many achievements, he is perhaps best known to the readers of these pages as one of the world’s foremost authorities on Peruvian textiles and a frequent contributor to this magazine. More than just textiles, he specialized in the art, archaeology, history, religion, sociology, and political institutions of Pre-Hispanic South America, and he sought to bring these subjects to the attention of the public, often using the lens of contemporary art to express his perspectives. His academic background included degrees from England’s 600-year-old Winchester College, Princeton University (BA), and Stanford University (MA), as well at studies at the Institute de Sciences Politiques in Paris at L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts and doctoral work at the Universidad de Buenos Aires.

Gérard Wahl-Boyer

Gérard Wahl-Boyer - Tribute

Dealer
France

Gérard Wahl, AKA Boyez, AKA Bébé Rose, AKA Bébé, AKA Gégé ... Our friend, our “Bébé,” left us on a gray day in January, and the fact that we’ve all felt like orphans since then speaks volumes about him. We have lost a friend, a role model, and an inspiration. He was ahead of many of us in years, and in every respect he was our elder and our master. He had an enormous talent for finding treasures in the smallest antique stores or country rummage sales. Just recently he turned up a truly masterful but previously unknown Kota reliquary figure, all the greater because it was a rare small type with fiercely concentrated power and beauty. The depth of his knowledge was matched by his desire to learn ever more about all cultures, not just the so-called primitive ones—about the varied artifacts of the Virgin, the Buddhas of Burma, the secret treasures of the minority cultures of China, as well as the antiquities of Rome and Athens, the Cyclades, and the Congo...

Alain Weill

Alain Weill

Collector
France

Curious, lively, eloquent, and lucid—all words that describe Alain Weill. A specialist in posters and the graphic arts, he is also a collector of all kinds of “uncertainties,” as he refers to them. These include African artworks representative of so-called “colonial art,” that is, figures of missionaries, figures wearing pith helmets, and any number of other carvings that testify to the interaction between African and Western cultures. Alain Weill contributed to the exhibition Homme blanc– Homme noir. Impressions d’Afrique (White Man–Black Man. Impressions of Africa) at the Pierre Arnaud Foundation in Lens, Switzerland, which explores the relationships between Western and African art (on view until October 25, 2015), built primarily around colonial artworks from the his collection.

Faith-dorian Wright

Faith-dorian Wright - Tribute

Collector
United States

Faith-dorian Wright, a devotee of the arts and a woman with great artistic energy, was born in Brooklyn, New York, where she grew up with an appreciation for art that was instilled in her by her mother. Already recognized for her artistic talent in high school, she was accepted into a special New York City program for gifted children, the first of its kind at the time. Inquisitive and curious, she insisted as a young girl that she wanted to study science, an unusual choice for woman in the 1950s, and went on to complete a bachelor of science degree at New York University in 1955. She continued her education, completing a master of arts degree at New York University and going on to post-graduate studies at the Pratt Institute and the Parsons School of Design, followed by a successful career that distinguished her both as an educator and as an exhibiting artist. Her works enhance museum collections in the U.S., Europe, India, and Israel. She married attorney Martin Wright in 1955 and together they raised their two children. Her deep interest in tribal art developed while at New York University, where she was taught by Robert Goldwater, the first director of the Museum of Primitive Art, and Hale Woodruff, the African-American artist, who also was a collector of African art. Tribal art became a source of inspiration for her, and this was the impetus for her and Martin’s deep and shared passion for collecting in this field... Discover the full article by downloading the PDF below!

Martin Wright

Martin Wright - Tribute

Collector
Undisclosed country

BORN IN 1930 into the Great Depression, Martin Wright never took his achievements for granted. A hard worker, he acquired an education in law and business administration and went on to specialize in tax law, which led him to a successful career as an attorney and a certified accountant. Married to Faith-dorian, an artist who loved and collected Native American, African, and Oceanic art, Martin became involved in the acquisition of an art form that at first was not familiar to him, but, in typical fashion, he strove to acquire the very best in these fields, eventually becoming an enamored and knowledgeable collector. Following his sense of adventure and his philosophical interest in art, Martin traveled from Easter Island to Mali, from Alaska to Bali, and to many other destinations throughout the world, but, on principle, his acquisitions were always made in Europe and in the United States. Together, he and Faith became influential members of the collection committees of leading museums, key among them the Israel Museum, for which Martin worked tirelessly and voluntarily to strengthen its holdings of African, Oceanic, and American Northwest Coast art. Martin became the Honorary Acting Senior Curator of the museum’s AOA Department and its galleries were named for him and Faith-dorian, anticipating a future in which, with their help, the Israel Museum would come to be considered one of the world’s important centers for African and Oceanic art. (...) Find the entire article in the Winter Issue of Tribal Art magazine (T90).