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Point of View I

September 21, 2002 ­ February 23, 2003


Visitors to Charlotte's Mint Museum of Craft + Design will have the opportunity to explore and contrast collecting philosophies between public and private collections through the exhibition Point of View I, September 21 through February 23, 2003. Presented with the exhibition Coming of Age, an overview of the formation of the craft museum's permanent collection, Point of View will feature the inspirations behind the formation of three Charlotte collections assembled by Loyd Dillon, Bob and Mindy Jones, and Sonia and Isaac Luski. Point of View II, from March 15 ­ July 27, 2003, will feature three additional collectors throughout North Carolina.

Traditionally, museums build collections in an effort to provide their audience with either a comprehensive art historical overview or an in-depth examination of a particular subject. For a museum, the selection of objects is a collective process over time in which many voices are heard prior to the acquisition of each object. Private collectors assemble art works based on their own desires, often as a personal expression of their own interests and curiosity. Ultimately, both private and public collections are guided by a unified vision or goal.

"Point of View demonstrates how materials, techniques and themes, among other subjects, guide collectors in their quest to shape meaningful collections," stated MMC+D Curator Melissa Post.

"Our favorite piece is the one we don't have yet," remarked Sonia Luski. Sonia and Isaac Luski arrived in America from Cuba nearly 40 years ago, escaping the Castro regime with four suitcases and two paintings by Cuban artist Rene Portocarrero. Widely known throughout the Southeast as glass collectors and for their generous support of regional artists and museums, the Luskis also collect ceramics, fiber, jewelry, metalwork, wood, paintings, prints and sculpture. Superb artistry and craftsmanship, a profound understanding of material and personal relationships with artists link these works. Eclectic and ethnically diverse, the Luski collection exemplifies an all-encompassing approach to art collecting. Examples on display in Point of View include a poncho from Penland weaver Edwina Bringle, a Fertility God pendant from Latin American metal artist Wilfredo Lam, a cubist guitar from French-born artist Arman and a lidded basket by an unnamed Tutsi tribeswoman.

Bibliophile Loyd Dillon's pleasure comes in appreciating the legacies and workmanship of the illustrators, printers and authors he collects among his 4,000 piece book collection. "I love my books both as objects and as intellectual constructs," stated Dillon. "Collecting has influenced my life in several meaningful ways - the rush of pleasure in finding a long-sought-after or desired volume, the gentler pleasure of contemplating the collection, handling the books, admiring them and reading them!"

Dillon's collection reflects his particular interests, including the British Arts & Crafts Movement, American Modern era, works on Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson and publications regarded as masterworks of illustration. For Point of View, Dillon has selected books that trace the history of the illustrated book in America and their English precedents from 1838 ­ 1931. William Morris' Amis & Amile had a profound influence on American Elbert Hubbard and his Roycrofter Press, as well as his colleagues and successors. From the Art Nouveau to American Modern, the work of illustrators such as Alphonse Mucha's In Bohemia, Rockwell Kent's Moby Dick and John Vassos's Ultimo illuminate how the art of illustration paralleled artistic movements in the fine and decorative arts and became a powerful expression in the world of craft and design. (left: Rockwell Kent's Moby Dick, 1930)

The relationship with the well designed and executed object is at the heart of Bob and Mindy Jones' glass collection. An art collector for 30 years, Bob Jones bought his first piece of glass in 1988. The medium is now the focus of their art collection. "My collecting goal has always been to acquire pieces that speak to me," stated Bob Jones. "I find glass to be very powerful and dynamic." His love for learning about the artists, their techniques and the medium shapes his collecting practice. "Collecting is just an extension of the traveling and discovering in my life," said Jones. "Collecting is a journey, not a destination. It is all about growth and discovery." On display in Point of View from the Jones Collection will be provocative and technically spectacular works by Bertil Vallien and Jones' favorite glass artist, William Morris.

"Great collections are built with patience, love, dedication, a desire to learn and a guiding vision." stated Melissa Post. All of those are characteristics the collectors featured in Point of View possess in abundance."

Read more articles and essays concerning this institutional source by visiting the sub-index page for the Mint Museum of Art / Mint Museum of Craft+Design in Resource Library Magazine.

Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

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