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Murray Frum

Murray Frum - Tribute


The photo of Murray Bernard Frum(September3, 1931–May 27, 2013), inside his beautiful house in Toronto, Canada, surrounded by great works of art from four continents perfectly expresses his passion for collecting. It all started on a trip to New York in the 1950s as a newlywed with his first wife, Barbara Rosberg. Wood as a medium and Africa as a continent soon became two of his most consuming passions. His first purchase was indeed made of wood and technically came from Africa. It was an Egyptian wooden Middle Kingdom standing figure sold as a reproduction by the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s gift shop. He and Barbara quickly became passionate collectors and a presence at all the major auctions and tribal art galleries in London and Paris...

Joseph G. Gerena

Joseph G. Gerena - Tribute

United States

On January 7, 2012, Joe Gerena died from liver disease, ending a singular career as an art dealer distinguished by an astonishing diversity of expertise. He delighted in objects difficult to categorize. When asked to describe what exactly he handled, in typical Joe tongue-in-cheek fashion he would respond, “terrestrial objects,” an answer more forthright than glib. Indeed, for Joe’s unique curiosity there seemed to be no culture too obscure and no artifact too esoteric. He was known as a dealer’s dealer, and his gallery, Joseph G. Gerena Fine Art, a trade hub for finding and placing the unusual and the arcane. After leaving City College in 1969 he set off to find adventure. His travels took him to every continent. He began in Katmandu buying thangkas and objects of Buddhist devotion...

Gustavo Gili

Gustavo Gili - Tribute


The memory of my dear friend Gustavo Gili’s extraordinary personality is so vividly anchored in me that writing a portrait of it would be an easy task for me. But here I prefer to evoke experiences built on our common passion for tribal art. Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, and his beloved Paris were the venues for a tireless quest for objects and unforgettable discussions on a mask’s patina, a Songye fetish’s outrageous expression (of which he was particularly fond), or the pose struck by a Djenne figure. Lengthy research in the books in our respective libraries always ensued after such trips. Our adoration of books was shared, as were our professional lives: one of us was an editor (you, dear Gustavo) and the other a publisher...

John Giltsoff

John Giltsoff - Tribute

United Kingdom

John Giltsoff I first met John Giltsoff in London in 1981. He was having one of his rare sojourns in his country of birth and plying his trade from a well-appointed flat in South Kensington. I had just joined the tribal art department at Christie’s in London, working with Hermione Waterfield and Bill Fagg, thus technically our relationship was of a professional nature. I quickly came to realize, however, that a “professional” relationship with John was going to be like no other. John began his working life at the BBC as a journalist for the World Service. His growing interest in tribal art led him to abandon a promising career there and to take up art dealing. He rapidly became one of the leading dealers of his generation. He had a great eye, which was complemented by a deep knowledge of the works in his field and the cultures that produced them, as well as by an intense passion for the objects themselves...

Marc Ginzberg

Marc Ginzberg - Tribute

United States

Marc Ginzberg was such a large figure in the African art field that it came as a surprise to discover at his memorial he was being celebrated mainly for other qualities—notably as a volunteer teacher. As collectors. Marc and his beloved Denyse formed not one important collection bul two: the first large collection of significant African sculpture, accumulated over twenty years, was dispersed in the early 1990s, whereupon the Ginzbergs formed an original and influential second collection. Focused on African design, it was shown in a touring exhibition and eventually dispersed as well in 2007. The Ginzbergs were so unstintingly open, attractive, and hospitable that they became the magnetic center of a wide community of African art lovers...

Philip  Goldman

Philip Goldman - Tribute

United Kingdom

Philip Goldman is remembered as a notable London-based art dealer who specialized particularly in New Guinea and Asian art. Many of the objects that passed through his hands are today highlights of significant public and private collections in the United States and Europe. In the aftermath of WWII, Philip pursued a career in electronics. He ran a small business with his wife, Rosalind, but was fascinated by exotic art. Some years later, in 1957, the American company for which Philip then worked sent him to New Guinea. This was to be the first of several trips he was to make over the course of the next twelve years. He initially went up the Sepik River to buy from the traders there, but later he explored the Highland region, acquiring some of the finest door panels from the Telefomin region and the distinctive Hunstein Mountain carvings with their curved spikes...

Gillett G. Griffin

Gillett G. Griffin

United States

Gillett G. Griffin is Faculty Curator of Pre- Columbian and Native American Art, Emeritus, at the Princeton University Art Museum. Before joining the museum in 1967, Griffin was Curator of Graphic Arts in the Division of Rare Books and Special Collections at the Princeton University Library from 1952 to 1966. His move from the library to the museum relates to his decision to leave his collection of pre-Columbian artifacts at the Princeton University Art Museum before departing for an extended stay in Mexico. In 1967, the then-director of the museum called him in Mexico and asked him to return to Princeton to serve as curator of the museum’s collection of pre-Columbian art. It was an amusing offer because, as Griffin recounts, “At the time, the collection was basically mine; the museum had only three presentable objects of its own.”...

Philippe  Guimiot

Philippe Guimiot


In 1958 a young Philippe Guimiot first set foot on African soil. Employed by the French Atomic Energy Commission, he was to be responsible for more than 1,5OO African employees working at the uranium mines in Franceville, Gabon. Philippe was born in Marseille in 1927 and raised in Provence in the South of France. His teens coincided with the duress of WWII, which he lived firsthand in Paris. Barely an adult but with the experiences of a man, he returned to school after the war and pursued studies in law. Upon completion, he settled into a life that he quickly found boring and dissatisfying. A newspaper ad for a job in Gabon caught his eye and his dream of Africa as well as the lure of adventure swept him away. He recalls that “even on landing, I realized immediately that I loved the Africans—the innate elegance of their movements and the force of their forms immediately moved me.”...

Roy Hathcock

Roy Hathcock - Tribute

United States

Collectors of Mississippian-era ceramics lost a mentor and friend with the passing of Roy Hathcock. Roy was one of those unpretentious collectors who proved that it was possible to put together a world- class collection using knowledge and patience rather than depending on “deep pockets.” Roy was born in Cherokee County, Oklahoma, and was a registered Cherokee tribal member. He had a master’s degree in education from Northeastern Oklahoma State College in Tahlequah, and he spent thirty years as an art instructor in Missouri at West Plains High School and at the West Plains Campus of Southwestern Missouri State University. During that time he built a superb collection of Mississippian Period ceramics and prehistoric stone artifacts. Many were obtained from famous older collections whose owners had become his friends over the last forty years...

Jacques Hautelet

Jacques Hautelet - Tribute

United States

I first met Jacques Hautelet some twenty-five years ago. Primarily an Asian art dealer at the time, I had become fascinated with African weapons and a generous tip put me in touch with a former Belgian colonial living in San Diego. A few small deals later, I decided to visit Jacques on one of my trips to California. After spending an afternoon looking at pieces and getting to know each other, he respectfully asked his wife, Brigitte, if this Texas traveler could spend the night. She said yes, and thus began one of the most significant friend- ships of my life. Jacques was a private dealer. His first collection had already been published in Traditional Arts and History of Zaire by François Neyt, and now he and Brigitte were enjoying the gentle climate of San Diego. Jacques lived a quiet life. He enjoyed his food, loved his garden, and took pleas- ure in research as well as buying and selling African art from his home office. Never greedy, always correct, Jacques was the quintessential “gentleman art dealer.”...