Kalamazoo Institute of Arts has A Passion for Collecting

Prints of the 1960s and '70s from the Collins Collection.

Posted: November 5, 2010
Source: Farrell Howe
Job Title: Marketing & PR Coordinator
Department: Development
Phone: (269) 349-7775
Email: farrellh@kiarts.org

Roy Lichtenstein Sunrise

Roy Lichtenstein, Sunrise, 1965, color offset lithograph. Bequest of Charlotte Collins from the Charles and Charlotte Collins Collection, 2009.41

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is pleased to present A Passion for Collecting: Prints of the 1960s and '70s from the Collins Collection. This exhibition opens Saturday, November 13, and closes January 2, 2011.

The works in this exhibition capture the vibrancy of the emerging abstract movements of the 20th century, including Minimalism, Op Art, and Expressionism.

The collection, built piece by piece by a couple of modest means, is in itself a work of art. It is a common misconception that collecting art is an activity reserved for the affluent. Art is meant to be appreciated by everyone and anyone can start a collection, even on a minimal budget.

Case in point is the couple responsible for A Passion for Collecting. Charles and Charlotte Collins, a teacher and librarian respectively, began collecting art in the '40s and continued to do so until their passing. Their focus was mid-20th century graphics on paper and the most spent on a single piece of art was $1,000. The artists that crafted these beautiful works on paper were, at the time, relatively unknown. The Collins selected these works for their collection simply because they appreciated the beauty of them.

Today, the artists represented in the Collins Collection are widely recognized as giants of 20th-century art: Josef Albers, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg and Frank Stella, among others.

Upon her passing in 2008, Charlotte Collins bequeathed the collection to the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts for one reason only - she knew that the KIA would proudly display this collection and not just tuck it away in storage, never to be seen by the public.

This compilation of more than 80 works, (50 of which will be on view), is the most recent collection of art bequeathed to the KIA since Genevieve Gilmore so generously gave works to the KIA in 1990.

The KIA is proud to share these unique works with Southwest Michigan, and we are working on making A Passion for Collecting a traveling exhibition so that these extraordinary pieces may be enjoyed by all.

This exhibition is sponsored by Miller Canfield. For more information about this and other exhibitions at the KIA, please visit our website.