Written by Caitlyn Cooney, Curatorial Intern
For collectors, art is a part of their everyday lives. They are surrounded by it in their homes and offices, at social events, museum fundraisers, and even in their personal lives. For many of those featured within Collectors’ Choice, their collection has become a part of their living spaces and transformed their houses into “homes.” Their most beloved pieces are present and shared throughout their everyday lives, serving as staple objects in what makes each of their spaces personal, livable, and enjoyable. For Mary Jane and Jack Uible, the need to fill the naked, white walls of their new home in the early 90’s was the very spark that lit the fire, urging them to continue collecting.
Upon meeting previous Cummer director, Robert Schlageter in 1991, the Uibles developed a passion for the American Impressionist era. As they began to fill their walls with some of the most notable artists of the early 20th century, their passion for collecting grew, as did their passion for the arts. Their interest surpassed that of creating a space in their home that was aesthetically pleasing and well decorated, and developed into a passion for art and its cultural history. Since the start of their collection in association with Schlageter, the Uibles have come “very close” to collecting at least one work by each of the top ten American Impressionists, while maintaining an emphasis on “landscapes and ladies,” says Mr. Uible. Some of the most notable artists of the movement are represented in their exhibited collection, including works by Richard E. Miller and William Merritt Chase.
Louis Ritman’s At the Swimming Pool is one of the most iconic in its impressionist style. Ritman’s loose brush strokes and use of pastels to render the soft, feminine form of the subject references that of many European Impressionists, such as Degas and Renoir. Yet, his more exact and detailed rendering of figural form denotes his American influence, characterizing many of the qualities of the American movement. Each of the artists represent this style in their clearly defined forms, use of color, and effortlessly suggestive brushstrokes, therefore setting apart the American artists from many of their European impressionist counterparts.
The Uibles are passionate about the art they have collected, each piece being major part of their lives. Their efforts to share that passion with the community have allowed the Cummer to exhibit several distinguished artists from a great period in American art. They both agree, “We love sharing our collection with people. Art is something we enjoy, and want everyone else to enjoy it with us. We’ve been a part of The Cummer for a long time, and are thrilled to be included in this exhibition.”
Collectors’ Choice: Inside the Hearts and Minds of Regional Collectors will be on view from May 17th through September 14th, 2014.
For more information, please visit The Cummer’s website.