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James Caswell

James Caswell - Tribute

Gallery owner
United States

James Caswell passed away on June 10, 2015. James was passionate about many things. After family, his other true love was his business, Historia Antiques, a completely unique Santa Monica emporium brimming with rare, idiosyncratic, one-of-a-kind treasures, mostly from Mexico and the Americas. This itself was something of a family endeavor, since for many years he worked there with his daughter, Sidsie. Late in his career, he also developed a serious interest in antique medical models. In many ways, Historia was a reflection of James’ own colorful personality—rich, vibrant and, most definitely, unique. James' absolute dedication to Spanish colonial and Mexican folk art was a labor of love to which he devoted himself wholeheartedly. James was a true scholar.

Emile Chambon

Emile Chambon

Artist
Switzerland

He called himself "le nègre de Carouge," one of his typically provocative wavs of distinguishing himself from the self-righteous bourgeois circles that, surrounded him while he lived in Geneva—John Calvin's town—where he had his studios. Despite such reservations, painter Emile Chambon (1905-1993) was deeply attached to Carouge, the ancient city on the outskirts of Geneva, and he had hoped that his works would be assembled there one day in a museum bearing his name. In the past, more so then than today, the two towns were in stark contrast to one another by virtue of the history, religion, activities, and lifestyles of their inhabitants. Until recently, the residents of Carouge were mainly artisans, small shop owners, workers, and artistic types of all kinds...

Célestin Clamra

Célestin Clamra

Collector
United States

In the following interview Clamra Célestin tells us about his lifelong involvement with African tribal art, from his boyhood in Chad to his present life in New York and Paris. His early experiences with the art as healing implements offer insights beyond those collectors usually have. And his observations from the perspective of an African collector provide us with food for thought. Clamra’s life as a collector is indeed a case study. From his early years of buying contemporary African sculpture to satisfy a hunger for the art to his advanced connoisseurship of African tribal art, his story contains much to which we can relate. As happens with so many of us, there was a turning point after which he was able to recognize authentic ritually used ancestral art. In his case, this happened during his apprenticeship with famed collector Werner Muensterberger. Clamra’s sense of purpose as a collector and ancestral guardian has freed him from the conflicts often found in the pursuit of collecting tribal art. He is a dedicated collector who continues to learn, trusts his instincts, and remembers his raison d’être. His memoir is scheduled to be published in English at the end of 2017 by Ohio University Press. The French version, titled "Fils du Ciel: De Kindiri à Manhattan", was published by l’Harmattan in Paris in 2011. Discover the full interview by downloading the PDF below or click here : https://youtu.be/Nswxxej4ioA for more info!

J. P.  Cobb

J. P. Cobb - Tribute

Collector
United States

Jonathan “J. P.” Cobb was an indefatigable art collector, art lover, and fun lover. Born and bred in San Francisco, he was proudly old fashioned in a gentlemanly way and enjoyed complaining about the modern world while playing quaint old tunes on a piano in his antiques-filled parlor. He also enjoyed debating and would spice conversations with acerbic asides. He loved to haunt auction houses, shops, and galleries, where he would discover treasures to restore. J. P.’s knowledge of tex- tiles, antiquities, and Asian and ethnic art was vast. His knowledge of Yoruba art and culture was especially deep. He was known to sometimes wear African costumes and actually dance his masks...

Michael D. Coe

Michael D. Coe

Professor
United States

One of the world’s most accomplished scholars of the ancient cultures of Mesoamerica is Michael D. Coe, Charles J. McCurdy Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Yale University. He has had a long and distinguished career. He began his work in Mesoamerica with an archaeological excavation on the Pacific coast of Guatemala, an area rich in Early Formative sites. His great “dirt work,” as he puts it, was at the Olmec site of San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán, on the East Coast of Mexico, near the city of Veracruz. Among other accomplishments, with his bare hands he dug out of the earth one of the most prized Olmec stone sculptures, Monument 34, all the more familiar after its iconic inclusion in Olmec: Colossal Masterworks of Ancient Mexico at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in late 2010...

Joseph Cornet

Joseph Cornet - Tribute

Author
Belgium

I first met Father Cornet about five years ago in his pleasant country house near Liège, where he was enjoying the autumn of his life. It immediately struck me that a man in his late seventies could be so dedicated to a new machine—his computer—with which he could do almost everything that he valued. He used it to study, archive, and write, and he could talk for hours about this great invention that made his life so much easier. This shouldn’t have been so surprising, since his life was devoted to study, teaching, and art. He authored a number of books about African art that today are classics for every professional and collector. As an academic, he was suspicious of art dealers and, as one, I found it difficult to win his trust...

Arnold Crane

Arnold Crane - Tribute

Collector
United States

Any visitors to Arnold Crane’s Chicago apartment realized immediately that they were in the presence of a passionate collector. Whether American Indian jewelry, African bronzes and weapons, European wooden walking canes and staffs, books, or his most beloved cameras, Arnold collected with great enthusiasm and in depth. Trained as a trial attorney, Arnold was a superb photographer first and foremost. His unbridled devotion to photography and his flawless eye for greatness resulted in his amassing an extraordinary collection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century photography that now forms the cornerstone of the Getty Museum’s photographic collection. When the Crane Collection entered the Getty in 1984, it included more than 1,000 Walker Evans images and the world’s largest holdings of the modernists Man Ray and László Moholy-Nagy.

Yves-Bernard Debie

Yves-Bernard Debie

Collector
Belgium

As an attorney specializing in the art trade and in cultural property, who practices in both Brussels and Paris, Yves- Bernard Debie has been well known to this magazine’s readership for a number of years now for the depth of his analysis in the many fi ne articles he has penned for our Art + Law section. These past months, he has been a ubiquitous personality in the many debates, both on radio and television, regarding the question of the restitution of cultural property to Africa, making his oppositional point of view known. The passion and perspicacity we have become accustomed to hearing expressed through his vision of European law is as much a result of his expertise in legal matters as it is of his love for the history of the art forms themselves. This has become increasingly clear on the many occasions we have had the opportunity to converse with this accomplished jurist, who can recite Victor Hugo seconds after having elucidated the charms of the latest acquisition to his collection, doing so while holding a glass of a fi ne vintage in his hand. It was just a matter of time before we would present him in this part of the magazine and invite him to present his views in a more personal light. >>> To read the entire article click on the "PDF" button below.

René & Odette Delenne

René & Odette Delenne

Dealer
Belgium

This past June the Cleveland Museum of Art announced its acquisition of a selection of Congo sculptures from the collection of René and Odette Delenne in Brussels. Comprising thirty-five works of different regional and cultural attributions, the addition of this collection—resulting from a gift/purchase agreement— substantially increases the CMA’s permanent African art holdings. The Delenne Collection elevates the quality of the museum’s Central African collection to the highest echelon and arguably places it on equal footing with some of the best museum collections of this material in North America...

Charles & Valérie Diker

Charles & Valérie Diker

Collector
United States

October 4, 2018, marked a significant milestone at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. On that day, historical Native American art took its place in the museum’s American Wing in a new installation, Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection. The presentation represents the fi rst signifi cant display of Native art ever to be installed in the American Wing, which has been devoted to Euro-American art since it was established in 1924. Driven in large part by New York collectors and philanthropists Charles and Valerie Diker, this initiative is particularly important in that Native art has not been relegated to its own gallery but instead is now presented on an equal footing with Euro-American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts, together forming a complete panorama of the arts from the North American continent. Click on "PDF" to read the full article.