A Collector’s Tale


In the BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors we tell you where to find the best private yet publicly accessible collections around the world. The Art Guide contains concise information about more than 200 collections. But for this Library Post we let the collections speak for themselves. We have selected two coffee table books for you that detail the lives of two impressive collectors couples: the Maeghts and the Beyelers.

The Maeght Family: A Passion for Modern Art by Isabelle and Yoyo Maeght

Aimé and Marguerite Maeght have been described as the first family of Modern Art. Their namesake gallery, which opened in 1946 in Paris, boasted many of the legendary artists associated with the Modern Art movement: amongst others Henri Matisse, Alexander Calder, Wassily Kandinsky and Alberto Giacometti. This book goes into the family history and the origins of the foundation and is expertly told by two granddaughters: Isabelle and Yoyo Maeght. They provide the authority and in depth knowledge only family members could have. Over 300 documents are included to illustrate this illustrious family of art patrons.

The Other Collection: Homage to Hildy and Ernst Beyeler by Christian Klemm, Annemarie Montell and Fondation Beyeler

Fondation Beyeler is another private yet publicly accessible collection where the collectors started as gallerists. Ernst and Hildy Beyeler took over an antiquarian bookstore in 1945 and converted the space into the must-visit gallery of Switzerland. They worked with Jacques Braque, Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin but also reached out to Mark Rothko and Andy Warhol. As well as being passionate art dealers, they were also avid collectors and when the time came to find a suitable home for their collection Ernst and Hildy Beyeler turned to star-architect Renzo Piano. This book pays homage to the extraordinary collection of the Beyelers which some say rivals with the one of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City.

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