Interview with Peter M Brant
The Brant Foundation Art Study Center – Connecticut, USA
What was the first piece of artwork you purchased, and when was this?
The first piece of art that I ever purchased was by an unknown artist. He was a figurative painter named Samson. I liked his work and I bought six or seven. He was a teacher at the University of Colorado where I went to school. Apart from that, the first work I bought was a David Smith. I then started purchasing a few things from different galleries.
Why do you collect?
I started collecting coins with my father when I was very young. We were very close. He would take me to museums and galleries where I became very interested in art. We shared an appreciation for paintings and I think that is where my initial interest came from. Once I started collecting I became hooked, finding something you have a gut reaction to and studying it.
Does your collection follow a concept or a specific theme?
The collection focuses on American art. I like to collect artists that are more radical, who are introducing something new to the art world and I like to collect their work in depth.
Who are the artists you are currently following?
I follow a lot of different artists and I see a lot of different shows. I think it is very important to stay current.
Do you have a personal relationship with the artist you collect?
Yes I am fortunate to be friendly with a lot of the artists whose work I collect.
Why did you decide to make your collection publicly accessible?
After so many years of collecting I wanted to be able to give something back that would be good for this community and the art world at large.
Which publicly accessible private collection would you recommend visiting?
The Frick Collection, New York; The Broad, Los Angeles; Peggy Guggenheim, Venice; Palazzo Grassi, Venice; Rubell Family Collection, Miami; Foundation Louis Vuitton, Paris.
Read more about The Brant Foundation