The Art of Collecting

Posted August 03, 2015 by Christina Bryant

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” – Thomas Merton

As a child I was theater-obsessed (read: drama nerd – yes, that kid). One of my favorite plays of all time is Art. If you haven’t seen it, please add to your bucket list. This comedy centers around a group of long-time friends, one of whom has just spent a small fortune on a piece of art: a white canvas.

We all know this scene, or some version of it. Who hasn’t stood in front of a Jackson Pollock and lost themselves following a ghost dancing across the painting while your companion makes an under-the-breath comment about submitting his kindergardener’s finger paint to Sotheby’s… or vise versa?

There’s no right way to look at art. Yet, somehow we know that the way we look at art comments on us – who we are and how we see the world. And that can be intimidating.

Rather than focus on the daunting and somewhat obtuse task of judging art, I like to focus on the fun of collecting. In collecting I stop grading myself (and others) and start to play. What do I find intriguing? What pleases my eye? What story is being told? How does that connect to my story and my values? How does that relate to the rest of my collection?

Collections are a temporary state – always growing or being traded. My collection is ever changing the story that’s told about me, which is appropriate, since I’m ever changing.

When St. Frank launched, we sold one unique art object – framed handmade textiles. The essence of this signature work is a celebration of traditional crafts offering rich cultural stories and supporting artisans around the world. These same values permeate all of St. Frank’s pieces as we’ve expanded our art collection to include archival prints of the textiles, unique handmade curiosities, and beyond.

We aim to provide access to art. More, we hope that our collection supports you building a collection of your own, authentic to your personal story. This month, we’re taking time to dig into the heart of collecting art. We’ll meet avid collectors and explore their homes, hear from designers and other tastemakers on how to curate a collection in a space to wow, and we’ll even get hands-on helping you hunt for pieces that are just your style. Join in the collecting conversation!



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