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The Art of Collecting


An Intimate Tour Inside Private Collections, with Advice on Starting Your Own


By Diane McManus Jensen
With a forward by Wendell Garrett
Edited by Valerie Ann Leeds
Copy editor Deborah Lyons


The Art of the Collecting reveals private collectors’ discoveries of art and artists, and the often fascinating and enchanting journey along the way.


The book offers readers a rare opportunity inside the homes of twenty-three fascinating art collectors and a glimpse, not only into their private collections, but into the thinking and passion behind the decisions they make. Featuring lush photography of the collections by renowned photographer Ralph Toporoff, The Art of the Collecting is like an intimate tour through a fine museum. Interviews by author Diane McManus Jensen with each collector will reveal anecdotes about their ongoing search for beautiful art and reveal secrets of how their collections — and their aesthetic — have evolved.


There are fifteen essays on topics in collecting by experts in their field, with tips and advice in areas such as lighting, composition, placement, framing, and more. The importance of bringing these collectors and their art to the public eye in an intimate and personal setting is two-fold: first to give readers a glimpse of fascinating collections not readily available to the public, and second, to inspire them to embark on the journey of collecting themselves. For those who love and value art, this book de-mystifies collecting and will give practical suggestions and guidance on how to begin the collecting process.

Wendell Garrett was Editor at large for the Magazine Antiques. In 1966, Mr. Garrett joined the staff of The Magazine Antiques where he was ultimately made editor and publisher. He served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation (Monticello) from 1987-1993. Wendell Garrett was the author of Apthorp House: 1790-1960; Thomas Jefferson Redivivus; The Federal Style & Beyond (1992); Victorian America: Classical Romanticism to Gilded Opulence (1993); Colonial America (1995); and Monticello and the Legacy of Thomas Jefferson (1995). In October, 1994, he received the Henry Francis du Pont Award for distinguished contribution to the American Arts.

Ralph Toporoff is a photo-journalist/filmmaker who began his career in the sixties with international magazines including Look, Paris Match, Gente and Der Spiegel. He left photography to become a camera operator on such films as Arthur Penn's "Alice's Restaurant" and John Cassavetes' "Husbands." He became a Director/Cinematographer and later produced and directed his own feature film, "American Blue Note." Recently Toporoff returned to still photography, reimagining his oeuvre in a series of photo-murals drawn from his own archives.

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