The Gallery Collection

When I was 17, I took my first college art history class.

I had no idea what to expect, but the moment the lights were dimmed in that large lecture hall, and the first two slides bounced on the screen, my life was changed forever.

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I don’t know if it was the effect of being in the “black box” juxtaposed with the huge images in front of me. I don’t know if it was the disembodied voice talking about the Venus of Willendorf and De Kooning’s Woman…so astonishingly disparate from one another…how could any of this EVER make sense?

All I know is that a new part of my brain was electrified all those decades ago… and it abstract-_accordion-shapes_-framehas engaged me beyond measure ever since.

What that moment led to has been a lifetime of collecting and a deep need to preserve, protect and make possible to enjoy, a very eclectic collection of art.

One illustrative story that explains just one subset of the collection:

I took a Renaissance course and the professor started with Cimabue, Giotto, went very slowly through Masaccio, Uccello, Piero. He talked about how everyone had to relearn everything lost during the “Dark Ages.”

About three weeks before the semester ended, I couldn’t understand why he hadn’t said a word about the “big” guys: Raphael, Leonardo and Michelangelo.

I posed the question and he said, basically, that it was the process that all of these artists were going through in searching for perspective, etc., that made it so interesting. Seeing how they figure things out through the painting is so compelling. By the time you get to Raphael, he’s so perfect, the quest is over and there isn’t so much to say.

Of course, people could disagree with that argument, and the professor actually intimated in a conversation I had with him about 15 years ago, that he loved Baroque and the Mannerists, so he might not have approached the course in the same way at a later time.

It had, though, a profound influence on me, and when I suddenly found myself loving folk and naïve art, it made sense what aspect of it most appealed to me: the innocent searching to express yourself in the absence of perfect technique.

Thus, the incredible pull toward Roger Dumont and his world, as one example of what we show here.

This is, I reiterate, a very eclectic collection, which becomes even more so as you search the other sections of the website. A love of design, the excitement of the mid-20th century, vintage photography, the natural world…all of these themes, directions, subsets merge in this section…telling just part of the story of our gallery.

Phyllis Wrynn
Gallery Director

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