Thursday, April 12, 2007

The collectors. “My wife and I decided early on that since we made our living in the arts we would plow back all our earnings to the arts and museums and universities...[W]henever we got a few bucks ahead at the end of the year, we spent it on art. And we wanted art to represent what was being done during my lifetime -we were rather strict on that. That figures from 1907 through abstract expressionism and the flowering of New York art.” The Micheners collected very carefully. In fact, even before he bought his first painting for the collection, Michener said he “set aside a three-month period during which [he] read practically everything written on contemporary American painting, cross indexed 163 major books, essays and catalogs, and drew up a chart summarizing the opinions of critics, museum people, the general public and others.” It was a methodical passion. He was ultimately recognized by the White House Arts Program for his financial assistance to artists, assistance that is well-represented in his gift of art to The University of Texas at Austin.

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