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Summary: An interview with Clifford Schorer conducted 2018 June 6-7, by Judith Olch Richards, for the Archives of American Art and the Center for the History of Collecting in America at the Frick Art Reference Library of The Frick Collection, at the offices of the Archives of American Art in New York, New York.
Schorer discusses growing up in Massachusetts and Long Island, New York; his family and his Dutch and German heritage, and his grandparents' collecting endeavors, especially in the field of philately; his reluctance to complete a formal high school education and his subsequent enrollment in the University Professors Program at Boston University; his work as a self-taught computer programmer beginning at the age of 16; his first businesses as an entrepreneur; the beginnings of his collection of Chinese export and Imperial ceramics and his self-study in the field; his experiences at a young age at art auctions in the New England area; his travels to Montreal and Europe, especially to Eastern Europe, Paris, and London, and his interest in world history; his decision to exit the world of collecting Chinese porcelain and his subsequent interest in Old Master paintings, especially Italian Baroque. Schorer also describes his discovery of the Worcester Art Museum and his subsequent work there on the Museum's board and as president; his interest in paleontology and his current house by Walter Gropius in Provincetown, MA; his involvement with the purchase and support of Agnew's Gallery based in London, UK, and his work with its director, Anthony Crichton-Stuart; his thoughts on marketing at art shows and adapting Agnew's to the changing market for the collecting of Old Masters; the differences between galleries and auction houses in the art market today; and his expectations for his collection in the future. Schorer also recalls Anna Cunningham; George Abrams; Sydney Lewis; Chris Apostle; Nancy Ward Neilson; Jim Welu, as well as Rita Albertson; Tanya Paul; Maryan Ainsworth; Thomas Leysen; Johnny Van Haeften; Otto Naumann; and Konrad Bernheimer, among others.