Interview with Doug & Dale Anderson
Conducted by Tina Oldknow
At the Collectors' apartment in New York, NY
July 21 and 22, 2005
The following oral history transcript is the result of a tape-recorded interview with Doug & Dale Anderson on July 21 and 22, 2005. The interview took place in New York, New York, and was conducted by Tina Oldknow for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Doug & Dale Anderson and Tina Oldknow have reviewed the transcript and have made corrections and emendations. The reader should bear in mind that he or she is reading a transcript of spoken, rather than written, prose.
TINA OLDKNOW: This is Tina Oldknow interviewing Dale Anderson at Dale's home in New York, New York, on July 21, 2005, for the Archives of American Art, disc number one.
Dale, we'll start with you and talk to Doug a little bit later about his background, but I wanted to get both of your backgrounds. When and where were you born, to start at the beginning?
DALE ANDERSON: I was born in New York, in Brooklyn, in 1944.
MS. OLDKNOW: Describe your childhood and family background.
MRS. ANDERSON: I don't remember very much about it in Brooklyn because we moved to the city when I was about four. And we moved to 68th and 5th Avenue, where my parents bought an apartment. It was one of the first co-ops ever built in New York City. That's where I grew up.
And I have a sister who is eight and a half years older than I am, and the big question was where did "the girls" go to school? And the only place that "the girls" got in the same school was a school called New Lincoln, which was an experimental school on 110th Street between 5th and Lenox Avenue. It was a joint program between the Horace Mann School and Columbia College. And so we both went. I started in kindergarten and she was in high school.
It was a very radical, experimental school, much more so than any of the Montessori schools. It was the kind of place that they would sit-I mean, I didn't learn to read until I was nine, because it just didn't seem-you know, I had no reason because people read to me and I didn't care about it. And the school didn't push it. They figured ultimately you'd learn how to read. And one day my parents very smartly bought a tape recorder and they had me read in it, and they played it back and I said, my God, who's that, and they said, you. Well, the next day obviously I could read.
But it was the kind of place that if you wanted to discover-talk about gorillas and learn about their ecosystems and everything, you'd build environments. You'd learn to eat their food, and you'd make papier mâché masks, and you would do all this in-depth kind of stuff, and it was not a traditional education; it was very much about, sort of, what you wanted to do.
MS. OLDKNOW: Was there someone who founded this school? I'm thinking of the Rudolf Steiner schools. Was there someone whose philosophy it followed, or did it have its own program?
MRS. ANDERSON: I don't know. I don't know. I mean, my parents truly had no idea where they were sending us. [Laughs.] And my sister was much more normal, because she had gone to a regular school and she knew all this stuff. There were a lot of kids on scholarships, there was a lot of ethnic diversity, and the joke was that if you were Chinese and came from the Sudan and your father was a tap dancer, you were in. That was what it was about.
MS. OLDKNOW: Do you think that this kind of education taught you to think differently?
MRS. ANDERSON: Very much so. Very much so. I'm not at all linear; I am absolutely much more about immediacy. And that's how I am, very immediate.
MS. OLDKNOW: Your intuition and your immediate reactions to things, this is something you've been developing your whole life. Do you see a development in that, or has it always felt pretty much the same?
MRS. ANDERSON: I'm very good at seeing relationships between other things. And so, when I look at certain objects, like pieces of art or whatever it happens to be, I see relationships in it that maybe other people don't, but it's just how I happen to see.
And I guess I'm very empathetic, because, for me, it's almost always about the idea, and how something is communicated, but that's how I learned, that's how I went to school; that's the kind of schooling I had.
MS. OLDKNOW: And after you went to school there, did you go on to college?
MRS. ANDERSON: Oh, God. My parents wanted me to go to college and I thought that was the worst thing in the whole world, and I wanted to go to work, although I didn't know what I wanted to do. And my parents said, absolutely not; you're going to college. So I went to college, it felt like, for 15 minutes, and I said, I'll show them, and I got married. [They laugh.] It was just easier to do.
MS. OLDKNOW: When did you start collecting? Did you collect in your marriage with your first husband?
MRS. ANDERSON: No, because I had three children and it was like there was no time to breathe. I mean, they were-the two oldest were 14 months apart, and then the next one came four and a half years later. But there was nothing but children. It was breeding. That was all it was.
MS. OLDKNOW: And how long were you married to your first husband?
MRS. ANDERSON: For 10 years.
MS. OLDKNOW: And so you raised the children, pretty much, all during that time?
MRS. ANDERSON: Yeah, but I was very young. When my husband and I separated, I was 27.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, okay, so you were young.
MRS. ANDERSON: Right, and I had a four year old, a nine year old, and a 10 year old.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh.
MRS. ANDERSON: So it was a time also in the very early '70s, and that was a very major experimental time in everything. And so I did some growing up then, too, because I hadn't really before. It was quite exciting.
MS. OLDKNOW: And when did you meet Doug [Anderson]?
MRS. ANDERSON: In 1976 I was introduced to him by a friend of mine who had seen him at a funeral with his ex-wife and who decided she didn't like the man I was dating, and so she wrote a letter to Doug's mother-[laughs]-and Doug, being the good thing he is, called up and sort of wanted to meet the friend who wrote the letter, but she was happily married, so he called me. I had no idea he was calling. And sometimes it just works, and he was it.
MS. OLDKNOW: Dale, I didn't ask you, what is your maiden name?
MRS. ANDERSON: Leviton.
MS. OLDKNOW: Thanks.
So when you and Doug first got together, you were still pretty much involved with the kids? I guess I want to ask you when you started becoming interested in art-first your own collecting and later on, involvement with art institutions. Or were you a person who always went to museums?
MRS. ANDERSON: No, as a matter of fact, talking about first collections, I think the first thing I ever started collecting were owls, which I haven't thought about in a million years, and they were ceramic. And people would just bring them to me from all over the place.
MS. OLDKNOW: And how old were you when you started that?
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, I was, I guess-well, an adult child. [They laugh.] And they were kind of interesting. And all of sudden it became about amassing something, and then having them look different. It was like really seeing them and saying, God, these are very interesting, and then thinking, what am I going to do with these? It was fun, I liked them. But then I realized that I liked things in series. Then I gave them away to friends who also collected owls, so all the owls went away. I remember looking at prints and paintings-that never did it for me.
I think the first thing I ever really collected, and I didn't realize I was doing it, was with Doug Heller, and Doug Heller was on Madison Avenue across the street from the beauty parlor I went to, which was Vidal Sassoon. And I would walk by this pretty little gallery and I'd kind of stick my head in, and Doug and I-I mean, I met Doug Heller before I met Doug Anderson, all right? [They laugh.] And there would be these little tchotchkes, basically. There were little perfume bottles, there were paperweights, there was little things, and I don't know, I'd buy a couple. I mean, they were very pretty and I really liked Doug Heller. I mean, he was really great. And so one day I realized, gee, I have a whole bunch of these things.
MS. OLDKNOW: Do you remember what some of those things were?
MRS. ANDERSON: I think one of the first things I bought was-what was it? No. Who was the one who did the moon bowls?
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, John Lewis.
MRS. ANDERSON: John Lewis. I bought a Moon bowl and a Moon paperweight.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, uh-huh. [Affirmative.]
MRS. ANDERSON: And one of them was in the '70s and the other one, I think, also was in the '70s. And it was like-that was like the most contemporary of anything that was there. The other stuff really looked like, sort of, knock-offs of other things. And I don't know, I'd go in every week-and also, by the way, Vidal Sassoon was down the block from where my mother lived, so that was, like, my weekly trek. So every week I would go in and they'd say, look at this, and I'd say, oh, look at that. And so it just became a collection of things.
MS. OLDKNOW: But something must have attracted you to the glass more than to something else.
MRS. ANDERSON: It was Doug Heller. [They laugh.]
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, it was Doug. So if he had been selling car parts, do you think you would have been buying those? [They laugh.]
MRS. ANDERSON: Maybe. [They laugh.] He became a friend, and it was fun. We'd sit down, we'd schmooze, we'd look, we'd talk, and then I would go-and then there was a store up here called The Glass Store [New York, NY], run by a guy-I think his name was Bob Fleischer.
MS. OLDKNOW: And was this in the mid-'70s that you were doing this, or the late '70s?
MRS. ANDERSON: Mid- to late '70s.
MS. OLDKNOW: Mid- to late, so '76, '77?
MRS. ANDERSON: '75, '76.
MS. OLDKNOW: Okay.
MRS. ANDERSON: And I remember walking in there and there were these two great guys, and they had this really decorative stuff, but yet there was all kinds of beautiful stuff, and I think that that was the first time I had ever seen anything, or even heard the name [Dale] Chihuly. And then-I guess I must have seen it in a magazine. Doug didn't have it and I don't know why they would know about it. They'd say, you know what? It's bought in a gallery named Charlie Cowles. And I said, a gallery? I mean, like I wasn't even thinking about galleries. These are gift shops.
MS. OLDKNOW: Right.
MRS. ANDERSON: And I went in to Charlie Cowles and I bought my first Chihuly, which was a beautiful green with silver, and three little pieces in it.
MS. OLDKNOW: A Seaform, or maybe it was prior to the Seaform, a basket?
MRS. ANDERSON: I don't know; it's kind of a combination of the two.
MS. OLDKNOW: From '78, '79?
MRS. ANDERSON: Yeah. Maybe a little earlier.
MS. OLDKNOW: That was the baskets [Basket Set].
MRS. ANDERSON: Yeah, I mean they were-
MS. OLDKNOW: Moving toward Seaform.
MRS. ANDERSON: They were thicker.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah, those are the baskets.
MRS. ANDERSON: Right. And they were beautiful. I bought that and I thought, gee, I like that. And then I remember seeing a poster and there was a-
MS. OLDKNOW: I think a lot of people discovered Chihuly through that poster.
MRS. ANDERSON: Okay, but in that poster was a series of baskets-
MS. OLDKNOW: Yes, the Navajo Cylinders.
MRS. ANDERSON: Right. And then there was some individual pieces, but it was all done as an assemblage, and I remember saying to Doug Heller, God, Dougie, look at that; I want that piece. He said, well I don't think you can get that piece, because it's in this whole series of things. I said, you never know. If you ever see it, buy it for me. About two years later he called me, guess what? And I have it.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, do you still have it?
MRS. ANDERSON: Oh, yes. I love-
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, that's wonderful.
MRS. ANDERSON: It's gorgeous. It's lavender inside and it's-oh, and it's thin and it's uneven and it flops around, but it is so gorgeous. So that was the beginning, I guess, of real-
MS. OLDKNOW: And this is prior to your meeting Doug?
MRS. ANDERSON: No, I had met Doug at this point. But now Doug decided one day, God bless him-he went to this glass gallery, and he came home with this box and had this grin on his face.
MS. OLDKNOW: Okay, this is after you'd been going out for some time. Were you married?
MRS. ANDERSON: We married a year after. So I think we were probably married; maybe we weren't. I don't know, but we were married in '77.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, you were married in '77. Okay.
MRS. ANDERSON: And so he brought this box in and he said to me, this is going to change your life. I said, it is? And I opened it up, and it was a Dick Marquis teapot. And I said, you just changed my life. [They laugh.] That was it.
MS. OLDKNOW: One of the Patchworks?
MRS. ANDERSON: Yeah, one of the Patchworks. And it was-I'd never seen anything like that. So all of a sudden there was something really going on there, you know. And Doug and I have very different jobs that we do. I'm the buyer of everything that we see here, anything-whether it's photography, ceramic, or with fiber; it's really what I see. And I was an American Indian art collector at this point, and had a fairly large Northwest Coast American Indian collection.
MS. OLDKNOW: Now, was this contemporary or older work?
MRS. ANDERSON: No, it was from, I'd say, the '40s and '50s on.
MS. OLDKNOW: Okay.
MRS. ANDERSON: I didn't-I'd originally had-when I took up collecting, I guess I was-I had started a Southwestern pottery collection many, many years ago, and I forgot. [They laugh.] And I really liked it, until all of sudden it became popular and everybody needed to know the name and the tribe and who sat next to who and whose thumbprint was in everything. And I really didn't like that. I didn't like the idea that the artists were now, because of their name, influencing the price, and the collecting, and how you work, because it was very pure. It was one of these very idealistic things, and these were just beautiful objects. And they were very traditional, because I like my traditional traditional.
MS. OLDKNOW: What does that mean?
MRS. ANDERSON: I don't like when all of a sudden they become abstract and they became very contemporary. I really like my primitive primitive-and I love primitive art. So we gave away 99 percent-as a matter of fact, we had-Doug Heller-Doug and I and Annie, who he was married to at one point-I had Doug Heller convinced that we had to have an American Indian show, so we went to Arizona-[laughs]-we definitely went to New Mexico, and I think-and Doug and I schlepped up and down mesas; we did all kinds of stuff. We found, I don't know, a frog lady. I mean, we went to places in a million years you'd never go. And we bought all this stuff and then he had a sale, and of course, nothing sold. [Laughs.] But we had such a good time doing it. I mean, it was really great.
But anyway, so that was the end of the Southwest stuff. We got rid of it.
MS. OLDKNOW: Did you sell it-or give it away?
MRS. ANDERSON: I think we gave it away. We gave it to friends, we gave it to whoever. Some of it maybe went-I don't even remember what happened, because Doug's job is the giving away.
MS. OLDKNOW: I see. So I'll ask Doug.
MRS. ANDERSON: Ask Doug, right.
And so then I missed my primitive art, and there is a woman who is a dealer in Portland, Oregon, whose name is Rose Quintana, and she sent me a mask. My sister had been there and had said, I bet you my sister would like something like this, and so she sent it to me. And I loved it. I mean, it was it was just this Eskimo, Northwest Coast, fabulous, ugly, powerful-
MS. OLDKNOW: Was it one of the animal masks, or was it one of those Eskimo masks that have a scary face on one side and nice face on the other? It was maybe an Eskimo mask?
MRS. ANDERSON: It was a face. It had some weird stuff going on it. And I just loved it. It just appealed to me. It had the oldness to it; it had, you know, somebody's spirit in it. It just-it was fabulous. So that began that collection of Northwest Coast totem poles and masks and rattles basically-some kachinas, but different ones, some ivory, some soapstone, some bone.
MS. OLDKNOW: So when do you think that you began that collection?
MRS. ANDERSON: That had to be in the '80s.
MS. OLDKNOW: In the early '80s?
MRS. ANDERSON: Probably in the early '80s.
MS. OLDKNOW: Because I remember when you still had that collection. So you had been working on it for a while.
You're talking about your interest in art that has spirit in it. You just mentioned that. Is that important to you in general?
MRS. ANDERSON: It has to have something beyond what it is, yeah, so a spirit, an idea. It communicates something; it has a strength.
MS. OLDKNOW: Do you think that your interest in craft is primarily the energy of the hand that's traveling through the object, or is it more the theoretical ideas that interest you? Because-and I'll ask you this again later because you have gone on a journey in your collecting from direct, expressive, tribal art and craft, you know, the handmade things, to much more conceptual work that is somewhat removed; it's very different. I mean, you're moving in a very different way. It would be interesting to hear you articulate a little bit about that journey, just talk about that a little bit.
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, Doug and I, when we started collecting glass, which we didn't really realize that we were collecting glass until there were some pieces that were there and somebody said, oh, you have a collection. We said, oh, we do? [They laugh.] And I think it was probably-we were at a dinner with Doug Heller and Dale Chihuly for the American Craft Museum [New York, NY; now the Museum of Arts and Design], and the four of us were sitting at a table, which you can imagine what that was like. It was Doug, Dale, Dale, Doug, you know. And George and Dorothy were there-Saxe. And George Saxe said, you really have to join the Collectors' Circle of the American Craft Museum. And we said to him, what is it? He said, it doesn't matter, you have to join it; it will be the most fabulous thing that you do in your life.
MS. OLDKNOW: Had you already known the Saxes?
MRS. ANDERSON: We had met the Saxes a couple of times, but only to have dinner with them and other people-we collected sort of side by side. The way I've always liked to collect is-it's very easy to buy a roomful of stuff, because in those days it really wasn't very expensive, but it was always the fun of agonizing. I liked the selection of one piece. I mean, that was the hardest thing to do, and it was the most significant. And they would buy a lot of pieces.
So there were times that-and there were other collectors who bought a lot of pieces, too, so there were times that if I wanted a particular artist or something, as I said, Doug Heller would call me up, and that's what he did with Ann Wolff. And he said to me, better come down immediately, because Jerry Frankel is here and he's going to buy the entire show. And I said, oh, dear. So I got in a cab and I ran myself down to Heller, and Jerry Frankel was standing there, and he said to me, oh, I bought-do you want to see everything I bought? I said, no. He said, what do you want to do? I said, I want to look around.
So I looked around and I looked around, and of course, there was kind of one piece I really loved. And he said to me, what do you think you want? And I said, I want that goddess. And he said to me, well, I bought it. I said, okay. He said, well, why don't you buy something else? I said, because I don't want anything else. He said, well, she'll make you something else. I said, I'm sure she will, but that's the piece I wanted and you have it, and congratulations, you picked a great piece; obviously I agree with you.
And I was about to leave and he said to me, well, I also bought this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one, and so if you want that, you can have that. I said, you know, that's really nice. Do you really mean that? And he said, yes. I said, fine, and I took it. And then he left, and then Ann-Ann had been there and she was watching this, and she said to me, oh, I'm so happy you got that piece; it was definitely meant for you. Now, it's going to travel for three years and you're not going to see it. [They laugh.] But that was the kind of stuff.
And so the difference between Doug and I basically is that I didn't have any need to ever meet the artist. It wasn't what it was about for me. It was really about the object.
MS. OLDKNOW: Is it still like that for you?
MRS. ANDERSON: No, because Doug changed that, because Doug really-it was important to him meeting the artist and about how the objects are made. I have not a technical bone in my body. It has never meant-it still doesn't-how something is made. But it's now meeting the artist is almost as important as the piece-not quite, because I still like that separation of what I do with it, and what it does with me. It has a different dialogue. And sometimes when an artist tells you about what they did and what it means-
MS. OLDKNOW: It means nothing to you.
MRS. ANDERSON: No.
MS. OLDKNOW: Okay.
I'm going to switch and go to some of the questions that were given to me, because I think that they're interesting.
How has the market for glass, or other crafts, changed while you've been collecting? What is the biggest surprise, and what is what you expected? For example-go ahead.
MRS. ANDERSON: No, no.
MS. OLDKNOW: Do you think that the market grew larger than you thought it would? Has your overall view of craft as a field changed since you began collecting in the early '80s or late '70s?
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, I have to say I can tell you more about it in glass, although I'm sure it's done it in other areas, too, is that obviously if there is a movement, and this was a movement, there will be-as it is, I guess, in every art movement-a group of artists that raises to the top, and those artists; it may take a few years for everybody to figure out who they are, but they do. And an artist has to continue to grow; the work has to get better, it has to become more accepted, and then obviously the price goes up. And so, I think what happened is that group happened quickly. So it is Tom [Thomas] Patti, and it is Bill [William] Morris, and it is [Dale] Chihuly, and it is-you know, there are a whole group of them. And those were the artists that really became-I don't want to say "masters," because that's a little bit much to say, but those became the important artists in this group.
And then there were an entire group beneath them that were working to find their own voices, and not be so influenced by the greater ones, and I think it's become a real art movement. But I think that as they got more sophisticated, as people began to see it more as contemporary art, people began to respect it more, and all of a sudden you'll go into a home and you'll see a piece of maybe one or two or three of these artists, but in places you'd never expect to see it. That was the beginning, for me.
MS. OLDKNOW: Were you surprised by that, or did you think that this was a natural development? You said something interesting earlier; you said: "Someone told me to go to Charlie Cowles's gallery, and you thought, gallery? I hadn't even been thinking about a gallery; I was thinking about a gift shop."
MRS. ANDERSON: Right.
MS. OLDKNOW: And so I guess what you're saying now is that you began to find things in places you didn't expect them. Is this part of the transition of the things from gift shop to gallery? Would you say that?
MRS. ANDERSON: Yeah, and there still is to some degree. There was very much East Coast art and West Coast art, and when we started-and, again, George Saxe was the one who started us on that. He said, you must go out to Pilchuck [Glass School, Stanwood, WA]. We didn't know what Pilchuck was. And so we made a date with Alice Rooney [director of Pilchuck]-
MS. OLDKNOW: Okay, so that was the mid-'80s or late '80s?
MRS. ANDERSON: Mid-'80s. We went out there and she was sitting in her cabin, and Narcissus Quagliata was out there, and I think Flora [Mace] and Joey [Kirkpatrick] were out there. I mean, they were all there. And we had begun to look at this stuff seriously, and then all of a sudden it was like, oh my God, the East Coast art is cold and it's glassy and it's crystal and it's very precise, and then you go out there and it's all this color and softness and shape and, sort of, sensuousness, and we realized, or at least I realized, I said, ooh, this is for me. I mean, I really like that; I really responded to that.
When I began collecting glass more seriously, I said to Doug Heller, all right, Doug, show me everything that I want to see, let's look at all the stuff, and he did. And then after I had been in Seattle for a while, my whole eye, my whole reference changed totally. So whereas I would have been a major Michael Glancy collector here, which I loved, I got a lot funkier out there. And that appealed much more to who I am.
MS. OLDKNOW: Now, I know you have a very close relationship with Doug Heller, obviously. Have you worked with other dealers closely?
MRS. ANDERSON: Oh, yeah. I think there are some great dealers, fabulous dealers.
MS. OLDKNOW: And can you name some of the people that you think have made a difference in the field?
MRS. ANDERSON: Oh, I think Imago [Imago Galleries, Palm Desert, CA]-I think Imago is an incredible-that's about good taste and good relationships. We had been at Bill's studio, the Barn, a couple of years ago and-
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, Bill Morris's studio.
MRS. ANDERSON: Yeah, Bill Morris.
And there was work on five different tables. And apparently what people do is they select for their shows, and there was one table that was really extraordinary, and I said, whose is that, and they said, Imago. And I think that they're incredibly good dealers, because they see, at least glass, in the context of painting, photography, sculpture, drawing. And so it makes the connection, because I believe that that's the way it should be, too.
So I think they're great. I think Bill Traver is an incredibly good dealer [William Traver Gallery, Seattle, WA]. I think his vision-I mean, he started with Gregory Grenon. I think Gregory Grenon is to die for. He just has it-there's a style about him that he's got. I think Lani McGregor is a terrific dealer [Bullseye Connection Gallery, Portland, OR]. I think she nurtures her artists. I think she has great vision. She allows them to create things. She's great.
MS. OLDKNOW: So Imago, Traver, Heller, Lani, those are the people that you feel are guiding the field. What do you feel about people like Ferd [Ferdinand] Hampson, for example [Habatat Galleries, Royal Oak, MI]?
MRS. ANDERSON: I think that Ferd and Linda [Linda Boone, Habatat Galleries, Boca Raton, FL] were incredibly important in the beginning of this, and I think that Linda has really been a very good dealer. I really do think she has. I have a problem with what Ferd does now; I have a problem with the fact that the trips that he takes people on, he takes them on shopping orgies; there is no differentiation between what's really great and what's really crap. And it's just about buy, buy, buy, buy, buy, and I have a problem with that, because I think if you do that and you bring a group of collectors, you're supposed to be educating them and you're supposed to be showing them-it's not only about buy, buy, buy, or if it's going to be, then buy, buy, buy from the really good ones. And I don't like that; I have a problem with that.
MS. OLDKNOW: Do you find that when you go on collector trips and there is buying, that you educate others? Do people come to you and ask you questions, or do you offer advice to collectors? Do you find that a lot of people approach you?
MRS. ANDERSON: Yes. Always-but I'm very honest and if somebody says to me, what do you think, and if I don't know them well, I'll say, you don't really want to ask me because if you really want to hear what I'm going to tell you, I'm going to tell you, but if you only want to hear yes or good things, don't ask me.
So we were just at palmbeach3 [West Palm Beach, FL] in Florida, and a couple came over to me, and they were glass collectors; they wanted to look at a piece of glass. And I have to tell you, it was a Steve Weinberg golf ball-type thing. Now, I think Steve Weinberg, particularly his old work, is extraordinary. But I thought this golf ball thing was just ridiculous. And it was very expensive. And this is a collector who really would like to upgrade. And I said to her, if you do this, I'll break your arm. I just won't let you buy this thing. You can't buy it.
So the next day she came up and she said, we've never bought a piece of ceramic, but I see something that I think is great; would you come and look at it? So I said, sure. And it was a Viola Frey, and it was the most fabulous-it was a family-Donna Schneier was selling it.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, I saw that. It was fabulous.
MRS. ANDERSON: Oh, was it-they bought it. So, yeah, I get a lot of questions, from a lot of people, about a lot of things.
MS. OLDKNOW: Donna Schneier sells a lot of secondary market items, and I like her for that.
MRS. ANDERSON: Me too.
MS. OLDKNOW: What do you think about that, the secondary market? Do you think it's popular among collectors?
MRS. ANDERSON: I think it's getting to be popular amongst collectors, but I would really like Sotheby's and Christie's to really be able to do it again, because it needs that type of form, and the problem is that they don't know how to handle the material. And Sotheby's had a lock on it and it just didn't work. They didn't do it right. But I think the secondary market is imperative.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah, I do, too.
There's a question on this list that's interesting and I'm not quite sure what it means, but maybe you do. Is there a community that has been important to your development as a collector?
MRS. ANDERSON: Absolutely. Absolutely. Let me go back to the beginning a little bit. When most of us started collecting about 25 years ago, 20 years ago, whenever it was, the American Craft Museum was the place. And as George Saxe said, you join the Collectors' Circle. Well, everybody joined the Collectors' Circle and everybody traveled all over the country and you would go to galleries, you would go to homes, you would go visit the artists. And what it did is it not only educated everybody, it formed relationships that we still have to this day, tremendous relationships all over the country.
And so, in those days you would see everything. Everybody sort of hung out together and you'd look at everything, and then people would go off and buy-they'd form their collections, but it was based on what they saw, a lot of it, when we would all travel together.
And then for years people would still travel together; but they would really specifically join the glass group, or they would join the wood group, or they would join the fiber group, or the clay group, or whatever it was. And it changed the way the American Craft Museum Collectors' Circle worked, because we'd already seen it all, and now we were off doing our own thing. Everybody was off collecting in their own areas, although the relationships that we made together were all there.
And so we would, of course, all be together and we would-you know, we've now all graduated to another level of collecting, and so, somebody would say, well, the museum-of-whatever is coming into town; could they come and see your collection of glass? Or we were going on a trip someplace with another group and we would say that-let's say Linda Schlenger-Linda, who is a ceramic collector, Linda, can I bring the group to come and see your ceramics? And that's how that began happening.
And then maybe eight to 10 years ago, I don't even remember, the Collectors' Circle was really falling apart, and so they asked if I would bring it together again, and I did, and I called all the old friends and they all joined again, and we all started traveling again, but we'd all grown up. So now we were looking at new artists. But then again, I became much more of a voyeur, and I wanted to see more contemporary collections, I wanted to see more homes, and I wanted to see photography. And so we moved it another notch.
MS. OLDKNOW: Did you find that the other collectors in your group, your original group, also wanted to do that?
MRS. ANDERSON: Yes.
MS. OLDKNOW: So do you feel that, through collecting glass and clay, you were brought into contemporary art, or were you always somewhat there?
MRS. ANDERSON: No, I think that what happened, at least for me, there is a journey. And the journey leads you to want to know more, and so you can't live in this isolated little world of only glass or only ceramic; you all of a sudden become exposed to people who are collecting in other areas, and particularly if you have a really good collection of something, they want to see it. You want to see their collections, so therefore you learn, and that's how you broaden your horizons.
And so, the collecting group that we're all friendly with has become even a larger group, because now it's got more dealers in it; it's got more artists. There are artists who, I have to say, are up there with the dearest friends I have.
MS. OLDKNOW: A lot of artists have collections, and do you enjoy seeing their collections?
MRS. ANDERSON: Fabulous-it's fabulous to see what they do, yes. Yes.
MS. OLDKNOW: Have any artists' collections influenced you in a particular way? You mentioned seeing other people's collections and having them help you grow. What do you learn when you look at someone else's collection?
MRS. ANDERSON: You just learn. If you're a real collector, I believe, you will always collect. You can't help yourself. It's a disease. And for me, the way I learn about anything is to own it. So I do petit point, and I've done it for years, and I was in Australia, with an American Craft Museum trip, as a matter of fact, and we went off to antique, would you believe, art deco furniture in Melbourne or Sydney or wherever we were, and we walked into a gallery and there was-they were opening a box of textiles, and I'm looking at this, and they're these rank badges, these Chinese rank badges, and there's the lotus shoes-the teeny little-
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, yeah.
MRS. ANDERSON: All right? Well, needless to say I went out of my mind.
MS. OLDKNOW: I remember your collection of the lotus shoes.
MRS. ANDERSON: Right, of course which Doug hated so they lived in a drawer.
MS. OLDKNOW: And now they're gone, right?
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, they were given-half of them are at the Norton [The Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL] and half of them are at Stanford [The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University, Stanford, CA]. So-
MS. OLDKNOW: Stanford Art Museum?
MRS. ANDERSON: Yeah.
Anyway, so I saw that and I started collecting, and then of course I did my research and I found somebody in-I think her name was Linda Wrigglesworth-who lives in London, who's really a major dealer. And then of course I was just about ready to get into Japanese armor-[they laugh]-and Doug said to me, you've got to be out of your mind; where are you going to put that?
MS. OLDKNOW: I can you see with your shogun swords-
MRS. ANDERSON: [Laughs.]
MS. OLDKNOW: Cleaning them with all the ritual equipment!
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, it's all that beautiful fabric. I mean, it's phenomenal. I see it today at a museum and I still have these pangs of wanting it. But if I'd not met Linda Wrigglesworth, I wouldn't have known what Japanese armor was. So it's that process of wanting to own it.
MS. OLDKNOW: That's a really great example.
So how do you keep yourself focused?
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, okay, so the glass for me has been a wonderful journey, and there were moments in it that it was like every day somebody would say, oh my God, you've got to see what this one did, and, oh my God, you have to see what that one did. And of course I would buy it all, and Doug finally said, this is looking like Collyer brothers in this house; you can't have all these things in here. And I said, why not? He said, because there's no room for us. He was right.
So he says, you know what? We're going to start giving this to museums; it's time that it goes to museums. And this is all happening; it's current, it's good, it's great. He said, it's going.
MS. OLDKNOW: And when was this pronouncement handed down?
MRS. ANDERSON: This was some time in, I guess, the late '80s, when he said, I can't stand this anymore, and I couldn't control myself. I mean, I would see something that really blew my mind; it's a new something; I thought, I have to have it, I have to have it. And I would go to galleries and go to the artists; we would go see everything, and we would go on these trips, and of course everybody bought in bulk; it was unbelievable. So these shipping containers would come home-[laughs]-from Sweden, or from Australia, or whatever. And so finally Doug, who obviously is much more in tune with this part of it, had serious relationships with, at that point, about 14 museums.
MS. OLDKNOW: In what capacity? Was he on their boards or-
MRS. ANDERSON: No, just-he's really the people person, so he knew the curator, he already knew the director, he already knew the whatever, and I was still involved with the objects, which is exactly how we still are. And so he started-we would-Jack and Becky [Rebecca] Benaroya opened a show at the Seattle Art Museum [Seattle, WA], and so we wanted to honor them, so we went-
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, was that just a couple of years ago?
MRS. ANDERSON: No, it was longer than that. When they made the gallery-
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, when they first donated that gallery.
MRS. ANDERSON: Right.
MS. OLDKNOW: Okay.
MRS. ANDERSON: Okay, so we went to, I think it was, Patterson Sims at that point. We said, we'd like to buy something in honor of them; what do you think? And he said, we want a Ginny Ruffner. Now, Doug and I are great commissioners-excuse me, I'm the commissioner. At this point I knew who I liked, and I knew the artists well enough, and they knew us well enough, that we could really do this.
So we did that. And then there was another time when George and Dorothy had that first show at the de Young [Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco: de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA] that Bill Morris-and I think he was married to Diane [Morris] at that point-and Sam and Eleanor Rosenfeld, and us, and Anita and Ron Wornick got an archival piece of Bill Morris's for them, for the show-
MS. OLDKNOW: Yes, it was great.
MRS. ANDERSON: So it was that kind of stuff. And so, because of those relationships we had, I guess, an "in."
MS. OLDKNOW: Of course.
MRS. ANDERSON: And then Bruce Pepich, who is at the Racine Art Museum [Racine, WI]-who I fell madly in love with, he and his wife, Lisa. I mean, we started, I think-
MS. OLDKNOW: What is her last name?
MRS. ANDERSON: Englander.
MS. OLDKNOW: That's right.
MRS. ANDERSON: And they were just the most remarkable-and we met them, by the way, on an American Craft Museum trip, to Wisconsin. We started giving them stuff. They did something-not that this is about that, but they did something that was so incredibly wonderful. We'd given them hundreds of pieces, I mean, just hundreds of pieces. It was a place that I really liked to give the most to, and they needed a glass collection. Karen Johnson Boyd had given them incredible textiles and incredible ceramics, but they didn't have much glass. And we certainly did, and we would just send it to them.
And one night Bruce and Lisa invited us for dinner in the museum; it was before it was the Racine Art Museum; it was still the little Wustum Museum [Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, Racine, WI; now the Racine Art Museum]. And we come in, and this table is set in one of the galleries, and they had brought in a lot of our glass, and they did the entire gallery in all of our glass that we had given them. We had dinner-Lisa made dinner in the gallery.
It was amazing. It was one of the most wonderful nights that Doug and I had ever, ever, ever had, because you have relationships with people, and they with you. So consequently-we loved them, loved them. But then there's Jane Adlin at the Met [Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY]-
MS. OLDKNOW: Yes.
MRS. ANDERSON: Who is divine, and who periodically walks through and says, oh, I'd like this, I'd like this, I'd like this, and that. And then, would you buy; would you do? And then of course there's the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which we love very much, too.
MS. OLDKNOW: I'm going to go back to some of these other questions that are more objective questions that I'm interested in getting your viewpoint on. Where do you think American glass ranks internationally, and do you see that the field is moving in any specific direction?
MRS. ANDERSON: I think American glass is getting more international, or international is getting more American.
MS. OLDKNOW: And what do you mean by that? The American spirit, or the focus on sculptural glass, or-
MRS. ANDERSON: I think Pilchuck is the answer to it, because I think basically everyone has been through that program.
And I think that because of that there are so many techniques that have been shown to one another, and the sense of collaboration is so important, that I think that the division of international and American glass has become a little bit more blurred.
MS. OLDKNOW: Do you think that in glass-do you see a migration of sculptural work going over into contemporary art-
MRS. ANDERSON: Yes.
MS. OLDKNOW: And more vessel-based work going into design? Do you see that kind of movement?
MRS. ANDERSON: I see more of the sculptural work becoming-it's sculpture; they're trying.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yes.
MRS. ANDERSON: I think what's happening is that there are artists who never used the material-and it's a very hard material to use-who would like to be able to use it or incorporate it in their work, and I think you're seeing more of that; I think that's important.
MS. OLDKNOW: People like Kiki Smith or Robert Rauschenberg-
MRS. ANDERSON: Yeah, but then there are these younger artists. I mean, there's one, her name is Carmen Lozar-I love her work. I think she's great.
MS. OLDKNOW: I love her work, too.
MRS. ANDERSON: And then there's Dafna Kaffeman-
MS. OLDKNOW: Yes.
MRS. ANDERSON: Who is phenomenal.
MS. OLDKNOW: I love her work, too.
MRS. ANDERSON: I'm looking around here to see what I have that's in this house as opposed to Florida. Then you look at Karen LaMonte, who does this very Czech but American, and then she does those screens, which are just incredible. And then you look at somebody like Joyce Scott. I don't know what category you'd put her in, but she does glass beading. And look at that green thing over there.
MS. OLDKNOW: It's totally sculptural.
MRS. ANDERSON: Sculptural.
MS. OLDKNOW: What did you think when you went into MoMA [Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY] and saw some artists in the design galleries and someone like Josiah McElheny in the contemporary art gallery?
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, I'm embarrassed to tell you we haven't been to MoMA yet. [Refers to the re-opening of the MoMA in 2004, after closing for major renovations.]
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh. [They laugh.]
MRS. ANDERSON: But Josiah McElheny-I don't consider him-the word "glass artist" sort of makes me a little-
MS. OLDKNOW: Nervous?
MRS. ANDERSON: I don't like the word. He's an artist.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah.
MRS. ANDERSON: He's an artist and he uses glass-I mean, he's a "painting artist"?
MS. OLDKNOW: Right.
MRS. ANDERSON: I mean, what is he-he's an artist. And he's a contemporary, conceptual, fabulous artist, and he just happens to use that material. He's divine. I mean, Tom Patti-
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah.
MRS. ANDERSON: You know, so he's doing all these architectural commissions. Is he a glass artist? What is he, you know? Or Jamie [James] Carpenter.
MS. OLDKNOW: They've all come out of the studio glass movement, and have gone way beyond.
MRS. ANDERSON: Absolutely. And some of them are-if you look at Tom, he's like this mathematical genius, and he creates in such a strange way-and by the way, he never finishes his pieces. He'll go back 10 years later, he's adding, he's finishing, he's doing. We did a commission with him-I did a commission for Doug's 50th birthday. They're these balls, these-whatever he calls them. They're more elegant than that. I think you've seen them; they've been in a lot of shows.
MS. OLDKNOW: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]
MRS. ANDERSON: And I said to Tom, I'd like you to make him something for his birthday. He said, what? I said, you're the artist.
MS. OLDKNOW: Right.
MRS. ANDERSON: He said, no, I need guidance. I said: I'm not giving you guidance. You know Doug, and Doug knows you. We've been friends for 20 years, for God's sake; you figure it out. And he's working and he's agonizing and calling me: what do you think; do you want to see it? I said, nope, I don't want to see it, I don't want to know anything; I want you to bring it the day of his birthday and I want you to be done with it. And he absolutely went berserk doing it, but they are these five perfect spheres that have layers in them, and all the layers have to do with 50-five-
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, so different spheres with layers-
MRS. ANDERSON: And these veils and all these things in them.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, yes, I saw those at the Norton show.
MRS. ANDERSON: You've seen that, right? And so Tom is very square, very rigid-
MS. OLDKNOW: Right.
MRS. ANDERSON: And that's the outside, but Tom, for Doug, was all the mushy inside, all that round-it's a successful commission in an area that he works in, but it moved him to another place because he had to get in touch with something else.
MS. OLDKNOW: Of course that is the ideal situation for commissions, to allow artists to go in a different direction.
MRS. ANDERSON: I love commissioning.
MS. OLDKNOW: I know that you and Doug have been involved with Pilchuck, and also with other educational programs like the curators' program, but what do you think is the place of the university system in the importance of glass? Do you think that glass would be where it is now if it had just been through summer programs like Pilchuck?
MRS. ANDERSON: No.
MS. OLDKNOW: Okay, we were talking about universities. Have you supported the University of Washington [Seattle] ceramics program?
MRS. ANDERSON: Yes.
MS. OLDKNOW: I did not know that.
MRS. ANDERSON: Yes.
MS. OLDKNOW: Why did you choose that program? Why did you decide to go there as opposed to Pilchuck or Haystack or another place?
MRS. ANDERSON: Because I was running a trip for the American Craft Museum to Seattle, and because it was a museum trip, it had to include ceramic, jewelry, glass, architecture, homes, all of that. So I knew Akio Takamori was out there, and I love Akio. So I asked Traver-Bill Traver-if he would help me determine where I wanted to go, and he said that he would arrange for us to go to these artists-he would arrange for us to go and have Jamie Walker, and Akio, and Doug Jeck take us through, discuss, everything. Patti Warashina was there. We had everybody, and we just were so impressed with them. They were just great.
And I think we made a contribution-maybe we gave them $500 or whatever it was. And then for some reason we learned that they didn't have the money for their graduate program that they should have-I think they could afford one scholarship for a graduate student, but they couldn't afford the other ones, and it was a whole money issue. And Doug and I looked at each other, and then we got a phone call from the development department, actually; they came and they wanted to talk to us, and I had this thought; I said, well, why can't you do a raffle and do a commitment of five years, and each year look at your staff, look at the people who teach there.
So every year one of the artists gave us a piece, and then you charge however many hundreds of dollars for these tickets, and you'll make thousands of dollars. And they all thought this was a brilliant idea. I mean, now it's been done. And then it turned out that the university raises huge amounts of money, but they didn't give any of it to this program. So by the time they-I mean, Doug would have all the details, but I really wouldn't. By the time we were done with it, they did the raffle, they made, I don't know, 60, 80, $70,000. The university now gave them more money, and their graduate program is fine. But that's-we loved it. I mean, terrific artists, and I guess we're activists.
MS. OLDKNOW: So you not only gave them money but helped them learn how to make it for themselves.
MRS. ANDERSON: Sure.
MS. OLDKNOW: And it seems to me that you do a lot of that with different institutions, by giving them ideas, or doing your trips. It's very powerful, I think, to share that knowledge with people and to share your ideas with people.
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, I think it can't hurt. [Laughs.] I think the more accessible you make things, and the clearer you can make it-and also focus people's attention on something. And I think that the universities are important; I think they're all teaching art at this point, this kind of art. I'm not quite sure where it all goes. It amazes me when you see some of these children come out of whatever programs they come out of, and they now have decided that they're sculptors, and they can command $3,000 for a piece of glass that is literally something that was dropped on the ground. But, you know, eventually they'll figure it out.
MS. OLDKNOW: Have there been any exhibitions or books that you've read or anything like that, that influenced you? The Saxes talk about Glass 1979 as being the first exhibition catalogue that they saw [New Glass: A Worldwide Survey. Corning, NY: Corning Museum of Glass, 1979]. Has it always been your own desire to get out and look at things?
MRS. ANDERSON: I'm not influenced by an awful lot of stuff. I don't know if that's good or bad.
MS. OLDKNOW: I don't think there's any right answer; I just think that's you.
MRS. ANDERSON: It is me. I'm as intrigued by those masks by Lily Peron, who is from Israel, because of-they look like crusaders. I mean, it goes right back to armor. [They laugh.]
MS. OLDKNOW: Your secret passion for armor.
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, look, here we have two of Ruth Duckworth's little heads sitting next to handmade paper sandals, on which is written part of the Dead Sea Scroll, with Carol Eckert's little sculptural pieces that are in a desert scene with camels, and then a photograph by two men. Their names are Silesnick/Kahn [properly Kahn/Silesnick for the collaboration between Nicholas Kahn and Richard Silesnick], who have invented a world and photographed it and then sort of camped it up. And all of those things have nothing to do with one another, and yet they tell an entire story.
MS. OLDKNOW: I love that; I love the way that you do that.
Now, you curated a show for UrbanGlass [Brooklyn, NY].
MRS. ANDERSON: I did, with-
MS. OLDKNOW: Did you enjoy that?
MRS. ANDERSON: With Marilyn Patti. Yes, enormously. That was fun.
MS. OLDKNOW: I would think that you would, because you love to display. Do you often move objects around after you've placed them?
MRS. ANDERSON: Oh, yeah, if some new thing comes in, it generally means things have got to change. But, again, with photography now you can't do that, because when that comes-and again, I like large photographs. It's funny; I like small objects, but I like my photographs fairly large, and I like them in series, and so that becomes an installation of-
MS. OLDKNOW: Now, wait a second. Okay, this is interesting because you talked before about how you like to pick one thing and that you didn't really do series-
MRS. ANDERSON: Right.
MS. OLDKNOW: And that you liked small objects, and all of a sudden, when you get into contemporary photography, the whole world changes.
MRS. ANDERSON: The whole world changes, because now it's about a thought, and the thought basically isn't able to be understood in one photograph.
MS. OLDKNOW: I see.
MRS. ANDERSON: It's a whole series of ideas; therefore when I want to change that series of ideas, it requires the moving man. People have to come and take it down. People then have to come paint the wall. People then have to put it up. I mean, this is no longer me walking around moving stuff that I always loved to move. And it's different. These are much simpler to see. This stuff is complete. It's not necessarily about an ongoing thought. This stuff is about something that happened. I don't know if that's clear or not.
MS. OLDKNOW: No, it is. Do you remember when you first shifted to this approach? Have you ever collected an artist working in clay or glass that did something similar, where you felt you had to have different works that each told part of a story or thought?
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, there are certain artists that I followed more, different stages of the career, but it's not the same thing. It just really isn't. Like Bill Morris's work, we've gone through an entire period of time with him, and I didn't love it-the minute I loved his work was when he started with the Bones. That was when I focused on his work. And then through the Canopic Jars and through the Rattles-and again, it was very much about all the primitive art that I like-
MS. OLDKNOW: Right.
MRS. ANDERSON: You know, those Canopic Jars were commissioned. But we've owned seven of them, and we only own three now. They are all in the museums.
MS. OLDKNOW: I know.
MRS. ANDERSON: And Chihuly-Chihuly, for me, every time I go there, I always see more I want. It appeals to me on every single level. I can't tell you that they're the greatest things in the world, but I love them.
MS. OLDKNOW: But you don't collect them in the same way as you collect photography.
MRS. ANDERSON: No, because it's not an additional thought. This is only building on techniques. This is not some radical thought that came out that's so different. And it's really-for me this is about-this photographer started out with-
MS. OLDKNOW: Catherine Chalmers?
MRS. ANDERSON: Catherine Chalmers, she started out with three years of work to figure out how worms ate tomatoes, and how the worms were then eaten by a praying mantis, and then came the frog eating the praying mantis, and then came the snake that was eating the mouse. It just had such technology-technique, such watching it, such incredible observance. It was so smart. It was just-the thought process behind this was really something-I mean, anybody can take a photograph; you can take beautiful pictures of lilies and sell them for a thousand dollars, because they're beautiful; but take a picture of garbage on a street every day for a year, in the same place, and that's not a beautiful-but that's a thought. It's about that.
MS. OLDKNOW: It's fascinating to me that this seems to happen more in photography than in glass or other craft materials. Do you think there is a difference between two-dimensional and three-dimensional work?
MRS. ANDERSON: No. No.
MS. OLDKNOW: Do you have any sculpture in non-craft-associated media, like bronze?
MRS. ANDERSON: Yeah, we have a little bit of it.
MS. OLDKNOW: So even sculpture is different.
MRS. ANDERSON: But now, I look at Doug Jeck-talking about sculpture-now, I think that he-I also think Tip Tolland-
MS. OLDKNOW: I don't know Tip Tolland.
MRS. ANDERSON: Yeah, she's quite fabulous. Look at these. This is Lily Peron's stuff. This is a woman who goes in the desert, the Judean desert, and picks up things that are growing there, or that have died, and she uses-happens to use-a shoe, but she, again, used the tape and the dirt and the dust on those masks, and then wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls on those shoes.
MS. OLDKNOW: I know; that's beautiful.
MRS. ANDERSON: That's sculpture, that's ideas, that's-
MS. OLDKNOW: Well, it's true then, idea does come across in craft-associated media.
MRS. ANDERSON: You can have ideas, but it's not normally-it's about-I think with most glass, it's about a technique in producing something that's an idea. You don't see the amount; you don't see the progression of idea the same way. It just isn't. I think it takes a long time to work out the process of doing something, and I think that it has to be worked through, and then if you're lucky, and it's a really good artist, they'll figure out something else they want to say, and then they'll have to work that out.
MS. OLDKNOW: This is Tina Oldknow interviewing Doug Anderson at his home in New York City, New York, on July 21, 2005, for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, disc number two.
Doug, I already debriefed Dale on some of the questions that were given to me, and I think it'll be really interesting to compare how you answer them separately. In the next phase of our interviewing, when we talk together, I think it'll be a nice kind of progression of you separately, then you together, to see how you think.
So, when and where were you born?
MR. ANDERSON: I was born at Women's Hospital in Manhattan on March 30, 1943. And it was an easy birth, and I was a perfectly fabulous child. [They laugh.]
MS. OLDKNOW: Did you grow up in New York City?
MR. ANDERSON: I did.
MS. OLDKNOW: In which part?
MR. ANDERSON: We grew up-my sister and I grew up in a building known as 730 Fort Washington Avenue, which was and is still the last building on Fort Washington Avenue before Fort Tryon Park, where the Cloisters is. And it was a fabulous, wonderful neighborhood.
MS. OLDKNOW: Describe your childhood and family background. You can tell me as much as you want.
MR. ANDERSON: The neighborhood that I grew up in was a very middle class, white, very Jewish-German Jewish neighborhood. And it was part of Washington Heights, and it's been renamed now Hudson Heights.
Fort Washington Avenue was on the top of a cliff, and from 181st Street to the park at 190th Street, the cliff presented a natural barrier to the rest of Manhattan to the east. And then to the west it was really only two blocks to another cliff that dropped off to the Westside Highway and the Hudson River. So there was this little island up there that a lot of German-refugee Jews migrated to, and they were very education-minded people.
So our elementary school class was like any private school in New York, because it was filled with the children of very high-achieving families, and everything they talked about-education-that the parents have to be involved in the process now, and that's part of the problem with a lot of the educational system, because people have two jobs, and can't be there, or they're in jail, or they're wherever they are, or they're single-parent homes. It wasn't happening then. This was absolute Beaver Cleaver-land. And at night, after dinner, we would go outside and there would be a group of kids, and we would go across the street to the playground and play basketball or stickball or football or whatever we would play, and if it snowed we'd go into the park and we'd go sleigh-riding down the hill in the park. It was fabulous. It was just a wonderful neighborhood.
And after school there were after-school programs, and we were taken to Van Cortland Park [Bronx, NY] to play ball or capture the flag or whatever we would play. But also we would go to the Cloisters, and we would go to the Met, and I remember that the Met's education department had treasure hunt programs, so we would divide up into two teams and we would fill out the answers to all the questions, like how many candles are burning in the [Georges de] la Tour painting? And as maybe 10 year olds or eight year olds we would run through the Met terrorizing people, because the team that won would get ice cream sodas, and the team that didn't would not. So, I mean, this was serious stuff.
Whenever I go back to the Met, there's part of me that laughs just thinking about it. Being a little kid doing that. And while I was kind of a "jocky" sort of a guy, I found that I liked the Cloisters, not only to go later on with the girls and neck, and try very hard to do more than that and fail, but just as a place to hang out. I loved the Roger van der Weyden paintings there. I love 14th- and 15th- century Flemish painting. I liked the tapestries, but they were-
MS. OLDKNOW: The Unicorn Tapestries?
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah, but they were almost too obvious. I found that if I was having a bad day, I would go there. It was very quiet and contemplative, and especially during the week, there was almost nobody there. And I remembered that I would go-I remember reading Catcher in the Rye [J.D. Salinger], sitting in the courtyard of the Cloisters. It was kind of like what I did.
And then when I was in law school for a short time years later and hated it, I found the Frick, and did pretty much the same thing at the Frick [The Frick Collection, New York, NY] that I had done at the Cloisters. I remember sitting in one of the rooms at the Frick reading a torts textbook, saying to myself, I absolutely hate this shit; let me go look at some pictures.
MS. OLDKNOW: I love the way that you were always going to the Frick to do your reading.
MR. ANDERSON: I would. It was quiet, it was beautiful, it was comforting.
MS. OLDKNOW: It's kind of a big hint, you know.
MR. ANDERSON: And so I did kindergarten through the sixth grade at P.S. 187, and then, as was the custom in New York City then if you were smart, at some level of how you define smart, they thought it was a good idea to accelerate you through the early years. Retrospectively I think that was a mistake, that they should have enriched the program to keep you from being bored. But the theory was that if you were too smart for the curriculum, you'd get bored; therefore, take the smart kids and move them into what was called the "rapid advance" program, and I, along with a lot of other people, were offered the chance to go to a junior high school and do seventh, eighth, and ninth grade in two years, and my parents thought that was a good idea.
And the junior high school that I went to was called Junior High School 115, which is now the subject of a movie called Mad Hot Ballroom [Paramount Classics, 2005], or something like that, and they've changed it from junior high school to Public School 115. So it's in a terrible neighborhood. It was then, and the neighborhood is worse now. It was on 178th Street between St. Nicholas and Amsterdam Avenue. And at that time-and we're talking now seventh grade, 13 years old, 1955 or thereabouts, the neighborhood was about-and the school was about 50 percent "colored" and 50 percent Puerto Rican, as was the language of the time. Then there were two classes worth of us and we were mostly white with one or two Chinese guys.
The change from the one environment to the other was massive. My mother didn't want me to do it. She wanted me to go to a private high school. My father absolutely insisted that I do it, because he wanted me to get beaten up a little bit, and he thought that was a good idea, and then to go to a private school, and off to college.
And frankly, the first day that I went there, I took the bus-it was the first time I took the bus alone-I haven't thought about this for years-and my mother had packed me lunch in a paper bag, and I got off the bus and started walking to the school, and there were a bunch of Puerto Rican guys on the corner who relieved me of my lunch. And I figured that it was a good idea to just hand it to them and move on rather quickly toward the school.
And in the seventh grade there were 15 classes of seventh grade kids, and 7.1 were the smart ones and 7.15 were 40 years old. [They laugh.] And they were big, you know-big guys. So the second day when they relieved me of my lunch, I figured this can't go on forever. And it was like the movie: the third day I stood up for myself, and we had a fight and I got a little beaten up. And the fourth day they decided that I was okay.
MS. OLDKNOW: Now you know what prison will be like if you ever go there. [Laughs.]
MR. ANDERSON: Oh, yeah, it was kind of a funny thing, because there was a guy named Eddie Torres, who was the leader. I learned a couple of years ago that there is a judge in New York City named Eddie Torres-maybe it's the same guy.
MS. OLDKNOW: No, you're kidding.
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah.
MS. OLDKNOW: That's wild.
MR. ANDERSON: So I guess the point of all this is that there was an impact, an art impact that came out of all this. In the seventh grade, we still had art classes. They were still offered.
MS. OLDKNOW: It's hard to believe they're not now.
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah. Well, in my world and for my experience, which you'll learn in a second, I'm just as happy that they aren't.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh.
MR. ANDERSON: I was asked to, and we were all asked to, paint a boat. And I did the best I could, and my teacher came over to me and she said that is the absolute worst boat she has ever seen painted anywhere, and that I should look for my future in something other than art. And I think I may have cried. [Laughs.] I certainly would never have ever tried to paint anything again, ever.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah, right. I had a similar kind of a thing.
MR. ANDERSON: Really?
MS. OLDKNOW: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]
MR. ANDERSON: So I stuck to basketball, so that was what that was about.
So I guess that's the long-
MS. OLDKNOW: At least they liked you on the basketball team.
MR. ANDERSON: They liked me on the basketball team, even though I was a little white guy.
And then I went to high school, Barnard School for Boys, and then I went to Columbia College-
MS. OLDKNOW: What were you studying?
MR. ANDERSON: Where I majored in art history.
MS. OLDKNOW: Okay, so it was Columbia College?
MR. ANDERSON: Columbia College, part of the university-
MS. OLDKNOW: Okay.
MR. ANDERSON: But it was the liberal arts college of the university.
MS. OLDKNOW: Columbia has a great art history program.
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah, well, it did then, too, and my father was really angry because he-first he went to NYU [New York University, New York, NY], and he didn't understand why I needed to go to an Ivy League school; and second, if I was going to go to an Ivy League school, why on earth I would waste his money studying art history. Fact is, I took 20 percent of my courses in the graduate business school.
But after that, when I graduated I was 19, so I was perfectly equipped to go to law school and went for one semester and found that I hated it and spent all my time at the Frick.
MS. OLDKNOW: And when you studied art history, was it general courses, was it undergraduate, or did you specialize in anything, do you remember?
MR. ANDERSON: That was general-full range of art history, but I concentrated on 15th-century Flemish art.
MS. OLDKNOW: And then you thought, I'll go to law school-
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah.
MS. OLDKNOW: I almost ended up doing that, because my parents were pressuring me.
MR. ANDERSON: Oh, and also I had-I really wanted to go to Yale [Yale University, New Haven, CT], because everyone I knew who had gone to Yale loved Yale. So I applied to and was accepted at Yale and Columbia law schools and NYU, but I graduated half a semester early and my father talked me into going to NYU law school. And I hated everything about the whole experience. I didn't want to be there, I didn't want to be living at home, I didn't want to be a commuter. I was immediately disillusioned by the fact that what lawyers do wasn't what my image of what lawyers ought to be doing, so I just didn't like it, so I stopped. That's the long answer to-you just got up to age 20. [Laughs.]
MS. OLDKNOW: When were you married?
MR. ANDERSON: I was 21 years old, because after all, you had to get married when you were 21 years old then. And I was married for eight years and then divorced with no children, and then I met Dale, and she was divorced and she had three children, and we all liked each other and I was smitten and we got married and lived happily ever after.
And through Dale-while I always was interested in art, and while my first wife's family had a rather interesting collection of mostly sculpture actually-
MS. OLDKNOW: Contemporary or older?
MR. ANDERSON: [Alexander] Archipenko-
MS. OLDKNOW: So early 20th century?
MR. ANDERSON: Hugo Robus, [Ossip] Zadkine-
MS. OLDKNOW: Cool.
MR. ANDERSON: Very good stuff. And to some extent that was the first time that I'd ever really seen that level of art in people's homes. And one of Barbara's mom's close friends was a fellow named Saul Rosen, who had an eye for art, and he was interested in the W.P.A. [Works Progress Administration] guys and the Sawyer Brothers. He actually bought paint for the Sawyer Brothers in exchange for paintings, and [Robert] Gwathney, and [Philip] Evergood, and that whole crowd of people.
It was really the first time that I came to know that art lived in people's homes, and that people really collected art, as opposed to it being in museums. And I thought it was very interesting. I mean, Saul Rosen was a very interesting guy, and his son, A.G. [Rosen] and I were fraternity brothers in college, coincidentally, and A.G. is a great contemporary art collector.
MS. OLDKNOW: Right.
MR. ANDERSON: He's got an approach. I mean, he calls what I'm talking to Dale about now with the photography thing, he calls it "fishing at the bottom of the stream." He says, you know, if a fish gets past me and it goes from $3,000 to $30,000, there's another fish. [Laughs.] So it's a whole different way of looking at this.
MS. OLDKNOW: So when you met Dale, she had been collecting some glass; she had been buying some things from Doug Heller; she had some Southwest pottery already. Do you remember? She claims not to have had collections and then she realizes that, well, yes, she did. She thinks that once you're a collector, you're always a collector; you're always amassing one thing or another: for example, the collection of owls she had that she gave away, and then she went on to other things. Do you remember that about her-when you first met?
MR. ANDERSON: I'll tell you what I remember. I remember there was some stuff. I don't remember as that she had any glass before we knew each other, which was in 1976. I know that when we-
MS. OLDKNOW: It's possible she didn't.
MR. ANDERSON: She had early contemporary glass-scent bottles, paperweights, a few vessels. When we got married, I thought it was preposterous to have a wedding, because we did that already; we should just get married. But Dale's mom wanted to have a wedding. So we did that, and people gave us gifts. And the nicest people gave us gifts of money, and some of them even gave us as much as a thousand dollars-three of them did, and Dale and I decided that we would go and buy some paintings with those three $1,000 gifts.
And I remember going around and looking with her. We were starting to look at art, and we bought something from Andrew Crispo [Andrew Crispo Gallery, New York, NY], and we bought something from Nancy Hoffman [Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, NY], and we bought something from another dealer, who isn't around anymore.
MS. OLDKNOW: Do you still have those paintings?
MR. ANDERSON: The Nancy Hoffman piece was by Carolyn Brady and we gave it to the Smithsonian's Museum of American Art [Washington, DC]. Betsy [Elizabeth] Broun [The Margaret and Terry Stent Director, Smithsonian American Art Museum] really liked it, and wanted it, and we gave it to her. What we bought from Andrew-
MS. OLDKNOW: When did you give it to her?
MR. ANDERSON: I would guess about 10 years ago.
MS. OLDKNOW: Okay, and was that the beginning of your giving to museums, or had you already pretty much started by then?
MR. ANDERSON: We had been doing that.
MS. OLDKNOW: Okay.
MR. ANDERSON: The piece that we bought from Andrew was a Lowell Nesbitt painting, and we eventually gave that to Bruce Pepich over at the Racine Art Museum. And we also bought a painting by someone whose name eludes me at the moment, and we gave that painting to Bruce also, and that one-maybe I'm blocking it because of this. When we got the appraisal from Colleen Pemberton, who does all of our appraisals for us, she told me that the painting was now worth $50,000, and I said, well, how nice. [They laugh.] But what we had done with this is we had given ourselves a limit; we weren't going to spend more than $2,500 on a painting, and we couldn't at that point afford to put down more than a thousand dollars, so the deal we made with each of the galleries was a thousand dollars down and a hundred a month until it was paid for, and all the dealers loved that.
MS. OLDKNOW: Thank God dealers do that. I mean, they allow so many people to collect who otherwise couldn't.
MR. ANDERSON: It's funny because we met Lowell Nesbitt at one point, and he was kind of a-he was his own story; I mean, he was fabulous-and he said that he loved it, first of all because he was such a spendthrift, it was a pleasure to get money every month, but also he said that it's one thing to sell a painting to some guy with a lot of money; it's something else to sell it to someone who's paying for it with his eating money. And he loved that, and I think that's true.
MS. OLDKNOW: I do, too.
MR. ANDERSON: So fortunately, over the years we didn't have to do that very much, but that was-
MS. OLDKNOW: So that was the first thing that you and Dale did together, was buy the painting.
MR. ANDERSON: Yes, and there was one painting that we didn't buy because it was out of our price range, and it was by a fellow-it was a $5,000 painting. It was by a fellow named [Richard] Diebenkorn.
MS. OLDKNOW: [Laughs.]
MR. ANDERSON: And my comment was, well, what do we need that for? This was actually the last words that I've ever spoken to Dale about acquiring art. [They laugh.] How much do you think the Diebenkorn is worth today? It was probably half the size of this wall, and it was a very good picture.
MS. OLDKNOW: You got burned, bad.
MR. ANDERSON: That was a big one. [Laughs.] So that was about when Dale said, I don't really want your opinion, thank you very much. [They laugh.] I said, okay.
MS. OLDKNOW: But then you brought something home.
MR. ANDERSON: Oh, yes.
MS. OLDKNOW: Now, was this before or after the paintings?
MR. ANDERSON: Oh, it was after the paintings. It was after the paintings and it was after I noticed that Dale started to talk about a guy named Doug Heller, and Mina Rosenblatt's son-what was his name? Josh.
MS. OLDKNOW: Josh.
MR. ANDERSON: And she told me that right across the street from her beauty parlor there was this tiny little gallery that they had, and they were showing things that were made out of glass, and they were kind of interesting.
Coincidentally, on Madison Avenue and 89th Street there was a store called The Glass Store, run by Larry and Bob-it was Bob, actually. And Bob had been a buyer at Macy's, I think, and he was very interested in stuff made of glass. And so I was stuck for a birthday present for Dale one year-it had to be in the late '70s, maybe the very early '80s-and I walked in and Bob sold me a piece of glass to bring home to Dale, and it was a teapot by a guy named Richard Marquis, which I kept pronouncing "Mar-kwis."
MS. OLDKNOW: Actually, he pronounces it Marquis [Mar-kwis].
MR. ANDERSON: Well, then I was right and now I'm wrong. [They laugh.]
And it cost $500. And I just could not believe that I was doing this, that I was spending that much money on a piece of glass. But the more I looked at that teapot, it was-like, I was kind of wondering how the hell did he do that?
MS. OLDKNOW: Was it a Patchwork?
MR. ANDERSON: It was a Patchwork Teapot. And it was that big. We still have it.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, okay.
MR. ANDERSON: And it kind of begat a whole change of attitude for Dale, who decided that she liked that a lot. And it was very resolved.
MS. OLDKNOW: She said that you said-when you got the package home-"this is going to change your life."
MR. ANDERSON: If she said that, I did.
MS. OLDKNOW: [Laughs.] What did she mean by that?
MR. ANDERSON: Probably her collecting life. Or not even her collecting life or her days of stopping into Heller and not doing much about it. Because there were a lot of $75 things that did not come home, that she would come home and tell me about. And I never went there. I was never in Doug Heller's gallery, which-talk about unfair. I'm talking about Doug Heller's gallery, and it's Doug and Michael Heller's, and it has always been Doug and Michael Heller's gallery, and I always call it, and everyone always calls it, Doug Heller's gallery.
But I never went into their gallery until it was the one on Madison Avenue-the bigger one that was a fairly good-size gallery.
MS. OLDKNOW: I think it was next to Christie's, wasn't it? Or near there-it was in the 80s or 79th and Madison, or something like that.
MR. ANDERSON: Sort of around there in that area. And then Dale started to bring things home every day that were made by guys who were working in glass. And they were-what was interesting was that it was, like, every day Doug would discover something from somebody who had learned how to do something. And it wasn't about the fact that this was art particularly; it was about the fact that they could actually do that.
And I remember once when she came home with something that Toots had made and just kind of marveled at it. Like, wow. Then there were-the guys who were doing things that were recognizable and you might even be able to have traced them back to an earlier time when people did that routinely. It wasn't as though-like George Thiewes-was that his name?
MS. OLDKNOW: I don't know, but I'll look into it.
MR. ANDERSON: T-H-I-E-W-S? People who were fuming work-none of us knew what the hell they were doing. I mean, for us everything was new. But they were basically two categories of it. There were the guys who were doing things that they obviously had seen somewhere before. And then there were the people who were doing things that, if they had seen it before somewhere, there was no way that any of us would have known that, or they actually made it up. And so for me it was a secondhand collecting, because Dale was doing all of the collecting.
MS. OLDKNOW: So it sounds already from your description-and this may be wrong-you said it was secondhand collecting because Dale was doing the buying, yet you were also doing the living with, and looking at, objects.
MR. ANDERSON: Oh, absolutely. Now, at some point there had come into our life-and I think that it was mostly before we were married-Southwest Native American pottery.
MS. OLDKNOW: Right.
MR. ANDERSON: And at one point-[laughs]-Dale and I and Doug and Heller and his first wife-
MS. OLDKNOW: Annie.
MR. ANDERSON: -Annie-God all mighty, went to the Southwest together. And Annie and I sat on the porch of some inn drinking margaritas, and Dale and Doug went up to the mesas. And Dale decided that Doug Heller should do a Native American pottery show and sell that in his gallery. And so they came back with truckloads of this stuff. And Dale had bought some of it for herself, and Doug had bought some of it for the gallery.
And history will record that this was the only show in the history of the Heller Gallery that sold nothing. [They laugh.] And at one point, Dale said, I'll buy some of this back from you. He said no. And I asked Michael Heller-I had seen a piece on his desk on Greene Street, just before they closed the gallery there. And I said, do you have much of this stuff? He said, no, we're down to about three or four pieces. We use it as wedding gifts. [They laugh.]
And at some point that collection went out of our lives. I think we gave it to people. We gave things to people. But then Dale started collecting glass. And one night-well, actually one day, Doug Heller invited us to come to a dinner at the American Craft Museum. And it had to be in the early '80s. And he said there was a couple he wanted to introduce us to from San Francisco.
There was a table for six, and at our table was Doug Heller and Dale Chihuly, and Doug Anderson and Dale Anderson. So nobody knew which Doug or which Dale anyone was talking to-and George and Dorothy Saxe.
MS. OLDKNOW: What a great group.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, yeah. And we really kind of hit it off. And George said that we needed to join the Craft Museum's Collectors' Circle. And I asked him why. And he said, well, because you are craft collectors. And I said I don't think so. He said, no, you are. So we joined, because I seem to do whatever George tells me to do.
And for 20 years we traveled around the country, and around the world, with other craft collectors and made friends of people from all over the country, and it was really fabulous. But at that point I realized that we really were collecting in this area, whatever you called it. And my call is that between 1980 and the early '90s, we really were craft collectors.
MS. OLDKNOW: Was the field changing during the time that you were collecting? Did you realize that things were changing?
MR. ANDERSON: Well, we realized that there was a wave. Something was happening. People were learning how to do things. They were learning how to manipulate materials. Now, clearly, nobody had to teach sculptors how to manipulate clay. Sculptors had been manipulating clay forever. They were certainly doing different things with glass, which interested us.
And also from that early dinner with Chihuly, we realized that we liked each other, and we became friends. And whenever he would be in a place that we were, we would go off by ourselves and spend time together. And we realized that he was doing something that was interesting.
MS. OLDKNOW: Did you find out about Pilchuck through him?
MR. ANDERSON: No, he may have talked about it, but we found out about Pilchuck in the '80s from George and Dorothy Saxe, when we were in San Francisco. And they said, if you ever get to Seattle, you should go to Pilchuck and meet Alice Rooney. And Dale said, you know, we're not really doing anything this weekend. Maybe we'll go. So we called Alice Rooney and we flew up to Seattle, and we went to Pilchuck and we visited her.
And Narcissus Quagliata was up there. They were living in cabins right next to each other. And Narcissus came down from the shower wearing a towel, and came over to Alice's porch, and we all sat around drinking wine.
And at the end of the afternoon, Dale said to Alice, what can we do to help? And she said give a scholarship. And so we did. And I would guess that was around 1985 or so. And then we did a fund-raiser for them in New York at our house that wasn't very productive. But a lot of people got to know about Pilchuck here who might not have.
And then, by then John Anderson was the president of the board; he came to New York one day and asked us whether we would join the board, and we said we would. And so in 1990 or '91, we joined Pilchuck's board and we stayed on it. I'm still on it.
MS. OLDKNOW: Fifteen years. That's a long time.
MR. ANDERSON: And Dale just went off of the board, because she wanted to make room, and she joined the advisory committee. But she is still running the trips for the auction, which she has done for five or six years.
MS. OLDKNOW: What other boards have you been on, have you served on, in terms of museums and schools?
MR. ANDERSON: The history of this is that while Dale was collecting the art, I was trying to collect people, because I am much more interested in the people. Dale is an experiential learner. She needs to touch, own it. And I am just as satisfied-maybe this is because of my kid growing-up thing-I am just as satisfied to go to a museum, and take everything in, and then come home. She is not.
So we joined-we went to a Glass Weekend event at Millville, the CGCA [Creative Glass Center of America].
MS. OLDKNOW: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.] Wheaton [Village, Millville, NJ].
MR. ANDERSON: The Wheaton Village. And we found that it was terrific. It was fun. It was kind of like a-there were 200 families, all of whom were interested in the same stuff. And that was great. And they were demos and things and-it was a good time. And so we were asked to join that board, and we did. And the next thing I knew, I was the president of the CGCA.
And then there was the New York City Collectors' Group, which we joined.
MS. OLDKNOW: Is that the Metropolitan Glass Group?
MR. ANDERSON: The Metropolitan Glass Group that we joined. But we didn't do anything with them because they didn't do very much anyway at that time. And then there was the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass [AACG], which we joined the board of, and I realized that the same guys on the CGCA board were the guys on the AACG board. And I wound up as the president of the CGCA, and Mike Belkin was the president of the Art Alliance, until he found that it was too much work, and he asked me to be the president of that. So here I am, the president of both boards.
And I realized that each one was doing a very distinct thing. CGCA was raising money for fellowships for artists, three months. They would come down to Wheaton Village. They would live in a house. They wouldn't have any obligations to speak of, and they would work on their art. The Art Alliance was there not only to be a social club but also to raise money to subsidize catalogues for museum shows. Now, there wasn't much call for that, because there wasn't that many museum shows.
And each of the organizations was getting ootzy [sic]. They wanted to raise more money; they wanted to do more things. And Belkin and I made it our business to absolutely limit what each did, because the reality was there was no reason to raise a lot of money, and to have a pile of money for each if you could get what you needed when you needed it. If you could have drawn down because you had the right people, there was no reason to have to manage people's money for them.
So we took the position that we were going to keep both organizations fairly poor. And when there was a reason to raise money, the people were there to ask. And if the reason was a valid reason, they would do it. And that is what happened historically.
So here I am, president of the board of the CGCA, not knowing very much what they were all about.
MS. OLDKNOW: Do you remember when that was?
MR. ANDERSON: You know something, I asked Sue [Susan] Gogan [executive director, Wheaton Village] to find out.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, it will be easy to find out. I just-if you remember off the top of your head.
MR. ANDERSON: She'll send me an e-mail today, to do that. I sort of think it was the-1985 sounds about right.
MS. OLDKNOW: So you were beginning to get very active in the community.
MR. ANDERSON: Immediately.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, okay.
MR. ANDERSON: It was kind of self-defense. First of all, I wanted to meet the artists. It's interesting. George and Dorothy did it the other way. They asked the artists to lead them to other artists. And they met the artists right away. Dale was bringing the material home from Doug Heller, and I was interested in finding the artists, so I was doing it the other way. Ultimately we came out in the same place.
MS. OLDKNOW: Right.
MR. ANDERSON: The CGCA had a problem because it was a subsidiary of Wheaton Village. And Wheaton Village had a problem because Frank Wheaton, who was from Millville, and whose business was in Millville-Wheaton Industries-had built Wheaton Village as a make-believe colonial park for the community. And everyone in town hated him, because he wouldn't support any other philanthropy in town except Wheaton Village. So everybody in Millville boycotted Wheaton Village and wouldn't give them any money because Frank wasn't giving any money to the hospital.
And therefore, Barry Taylor, who was running that, tried to get the CGCA to raise money so that he could fix the infrastructure of Wheaton Village, as opposed to putting it to the programs, which the CGCA wanted.
MS. OLDKNOW: Right, which was the artists' residency.
MR. ANDERSON: Which was the artists' residency. Now the way that all started was that when Frank built the village, his plan was that he would hire glassblowers to work and do glassblowing demonstrations in the hot shop that he built, and pay them to make stuff that they would sell in the stores in Wheaton Village, which was a good concept except nobody came. And he had a huge payroll, and he was building up a huge inventory. So Paul Stankard had the thought to take that hot shop and, instead of paying people to work there, make fellowships and give the facilities to artists so that they could work there.
MS. OLDKNOW: So that was Paul Stankard's idea?
MR. ANDERSON: Oh, absolutely.
MS. OLDKNOW: Interesting.
MR. ANDERSON: And Frank loved it, because while he couldn't control the artists, which he didn't like, he at least cut $150,000 a year from his budget, and that he liked a lot.
When I really understood what was going on, a few of us got together and told Barry Taylor that we were changing the rules of the game, and that CGCA was going to have to have its own bank account, with its money going into that bank account. And the only way money would come out of that bank account is if I co-signed the check. So he couldn't manipulate our money. And it was at that point that we realized what it really cost to run the CGCA program there, which at the time was about $150,000 a year.
And we made it our business to raise what we needed, but not much more, because we didn't-our mission and their mission was so different and we so didn't like their mission-I mean, for instance, there was something missing-
-in the hot shop at Wheaton Village, and I couldn't put my finger on it, until I realized it was music.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh.
MR. ANDERSON: I had never seen glass blown anywhere, other than there, where there was no music. And so I said, why is there no music in the hot shop? And I was told that because in colonial days they didn't do it that way. And I said, but that is ridiculous. And the compromise made was that music could be played in the hot shop at Wheaton Village after 5:00, after guests were no longer coming.
But there was a huge culture clash. And we at one point tried to move the CGCA away from Wheaton Village to UrbanGlass, but UrbanGlass was just moving to Brooklyn, and their board couldn't digest the idea, so it stayed.
MS. OLDKNOW: Now, at the time that you were the president of CGCA and AACG, were you involved at the American Craft Museum, or did that come later?
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah, no, we were.
MS. OLDKNOW: You were involved with the American Craft Museum.
MR. ANDERSON: Absolutely.
MS. OLDKNOW: How about the Met? And how about Racine?
MR. ANDERSON: Well, what happened was-three things happened and they weren't at the same time; they were kind of sequential. We were changing Glass Weekend at Wheaton Village and making it very fabulous. It had been very small-town, and we thought that it was worth building because-my feeling was by now the work was getting better and better. And by this point, Dale and I were collecting not only glass, but we were collecting ceramics, we were collecting fiber, and we had begun a Northwest Coast Native American collection of spirit masks, and totem poles, and rattles, and it was growing-that was growing precipitously. They all were growing.
And it occurred to me that the only people who were coming to Glass Weekend were the same 200 families who already knew about this, and by now I started thinking about this in an advocacy sort of way from the point of view of the artists. And we wanted to expand Glass Weekend, because there was no SOFA [Sculptural Objects and Functional Art Exposition] at that point, to try to get as many people to come as possible.
And we promoted it. We promoted it in Atlantic City, we promoted it in Philadelphia, we promoted it in New York, and we succeeded in getting the same 200 people to come for the whole weekend, but a lot of daytrip people would come. And then we expanded it further. And then the third expansion we did it both on the campus of Wheaton Village and on the campus of one of the neighboring colleges-a New Jersey little college that had great facilities.
MS. OLDKNOW: Is that where Paul [Stankard] is now? Is that Salem Community College [Carney's Point, NJ]?
MR. ANDERSON: You know, I don't remember.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, okay.
MR. ANDERSON: But they had fabulous facilities. And yet people had to jockey back and forth between two campuses to do it, and they were uncomfortable with that. At this point, SOFA was two or three years old, or four years old, and they were doing their show in Chicago and also a counter-seasonal show in Florida, Coral Gables.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah. I remember; I went there once.
MR. ANDERSON: And the Coral Gables show wasn't doing well. And I suggested that we take Glass Weekend and move it New York City. And Rick Snyderman wanted to move it to Philadelphia. The thing we were in agreement about was that having it on Wheaton Village's campus would never really draw a lot of people. But the board-and mostly at Mike Belkin's suggestion-and Mike was in the event business and he knew what it meant to move a show like this to a place like New York. Mike was afraid that we couldn't really do it properly.
And so the board decided to continue doing it at Wheaton Village, and only do it on one campus. And at that point Dale and I said, "Either you are moving forward or you're going backward." And what I did then was call Mark Lyman, who ran SOFA, and I introduced him to Barbara Tober, who was the chairman of the board of the American Craft Museum.
MS. OLDKNOW: Isn't she still?
MR. ANDERSON: And she still is. And I suggested to Mark that he move SOFA to New York from Coral Gables. And theory of it was that, by now, the material that was being made in glass was-a certain amount of it was good contemporary sculpture. A lot of it wasn't, but a lot of it was.
MS. OLDKNOW: Had you seen a huge shift? I mean, do you think that the field has expanded in that direction since you first started collecting?
MR. ANDERSON: Oh, yeah.
MS. OLDKNOW: The whole look of the studio glass movement has changed?
MR. ANDERSON: Yes, no. If you look at an early Chihuly, or a slightly later-than-early Chilhuly, and look at a current Chihuly, you don't see a gigantic change. If you look at the catalogue that was done for the CGCA auction in the '80s, where we needed to raise $200,000 for a matching grant-and we raised it, and CGCA never saw any of the money; it all went to Wheaton Village-you would look at that catalogue and you would kind of laugh and say, you know, a lot of this stuff still looks pretty much the same.
But the time that Dale had begun until this zone, there were changes, and there was a lot of material that I would consider to be pretty good sculpture, very good sculpture. And so what I was concerned about was to introduce-and this is a theme in what we have done for 15, 20 years-to introduce good sculpture made of glass to people who like contemporary art. For some reason-the artists have always been bitching about the fact that they are not taken seriously in the art world, and yet by having this groupie group of glass collectors, artists who never would have made it in the regular art world have made a good living, maybe a better-than-good living.
MS. OLDKNOW: I think that is true in some cases.
MR. ANDERSON: So there is both sides of that yin-and-yang thing. But Mark decided to close the show in Coral Gables, and open it at the armory on Park Avenue in New York, because Barbara and I convinced him that this would be the right thing for him to do for the field. And also Barbara and her husband, Donald, are very social people in New York. There is a whole charity circuit, and Barbara is very much wrapped into that circuit, and she never asked for anything in return, because she never really had the right thing to ask for.
And she agreed that if Mark did SOFA, and if the opening night was for the benefit of the American Craft Museum, this was something that she could get her people to come to. And her people were a rather large group of exactly the people we wanted. And so that deal was struck, and Mark moved SOFA to New York. And some of the guys on the CGCA board who knew that I wanted to move Glass Weekend to New York were a little pissed at me, because they thought that having SOFA in New York was going to hurt Glass Weekend, which it didn't-two different gestalts.
MS. OLDKNOW: Completely.
MR. ANDERSON: But that happened. Now, the other thing you had said about the Met was that at one of the Glass Weekends I met Jane Adlin.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, okay.
MR. ANDERSON: And Jane called after meeting us. And she invited Dale and me to breakfast at the Met. And I told her that Dale doesn't do breakfast, but that I would come. And she had found a film, or the librarian had found a film, on glass called Heart of Glass . And it is the story of a town in Germany where someone had the secret of making a particular red glass, and when he died, the secret died with him and the town shriveled up. And we both watched about 20 minutes of this movie and hated it. We ate all of the doughnuts that she had bought-
MS. OLDKNOW: Why was she showing you this movie?
MR. ANDERSON: Well, she was showing me the movie because she wanted to interest glass collectors in her project. And her project was that Philippe, the director, Philippe de Montebello, had told all the curators at the Met that he wanted them to do shows from their permanent collections. So we then made a lunch date, and Dale and I came back, and we looked at Jane's permanent collection-we are now in the early 1990s. And we told her that she didn't have a collection. She had a few things, but it wasn't a collection. And we volunteered to work with her.
MS. OLDKNOW: Were you working with any other museums at this time, giving away things for their collections?
MR. ANDERSON: Maybe a little bit with Racine and the Craft Museum.
MS. OLDKNOW: Okay. I just wanted to see where you were. But this was the first instance of you approaching someone in a museum and saying, let us help you build a collection.
MR. ANDERSON: Correct. Yes. And what we agreed to do with Jane was-it turned out-to spend the next two years introducing her to glass collectors from around the country and getting them to donate work to the Met. The Met had to own the work for the show.
MS. OLDKNOW: Very good way to build a permanent collection.
MR. ANDERSON: Yes. And we went to people we knew around the country, who we knew from having traveled with the American Craft Museum. And we explained to them the value of a major gong-ringing show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the catalogue with their imprimatur on it. And we told Jane that we would build her a collection and that we would fund the catalogue.
And the deal on the collection was that she would build the collection. It was her collection-that she would have final cut on everything, that we would bring her to the people, and she would do what she did, and she would pick from their collections what she wanted. And she established a very, very good starter collection. But what was interesting is that people from all over the country gave her stuff-Dan and Susan-Dan Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser-gave her a few things.
And basically what we knew was that people around the country had particular interests in particular artists, and they were happy to help those artists in their careers. And they were also happy to donate a piece of work to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And then we had no trouble funding the catalogue. We figured that to the extent we couldn't fund it, that Dale and I would do the end of it ourselves. But we wrote a letter to the Art Alliance mailing list explaining what the project was, asking people to send what they thought was appropriate to them. And we raised every dollar that we needed from that.
MS. OLDKNOW: Now, you also did a similar thing for Martha Lynn's book [Martha Drexler Lynn. Sculpture, Glass, and American Museums. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005]. You had a raffle.
MR. ANDERSON: Oh, yeah. We did that, but there was one before that, which was the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston-
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, yeah, okay. Did you have a raffle for that, or did you have straight fund-raising?
MR. ANDERSON: No, straight fund-raising.
MS. OLDKNOW: So you have been doing a lot of fund-raising for publications?
MR. ANDERSON: Oh, yeah.
MS. OLDKNOW: And why do you do that?
MR. ANDERSON: Well, the shows are interesting, but they go away, and the catalogues don't. And the shows are interesting. And you walk through them, and you may or may not get the intellect that goes behind the show, but the catalogues present that, and it stays with you.
MS. OLDKNOW: Do you think that your art history background-and reading art history-influenced you to be more interested in publications than you might have otherwise been? Because I think that you're much more interested in publications than most collectors I know. Would you say that is true?
MR. ANDERSON: I would say that I'm more interested in the wordsmithing than most people are. I like words. I loved, in Martha's book, her framing essay, because I have always been interested in art historical-look, you could look at any time in history-this is basically chapter and verse out of Janson [H. W. Janson. History of Art, New York: Prentice Hall, 1962]-you can look at any period of history, and you can learn about it from any number of angles. I prefer to look at it through the arts. Now, it could be the musical arts, it could be the plastic arts-how you read history is a very personal thing, but you basically get a tone of the time, whether you're reading economic history or whether you're reading the history of clothing, or if you're reading political history, or you're reading the history of music.
There was just a show at The Jewish Museum [New York, NY]-by the way, talk about people who get it curatorially-they did a Schoenberg-Kandinsky show ["Schoenberg, Kandinsky, and the Blue Rider." October 24, 2003- February 12, 2004].
And because Mike Bloomberg gave them a gift of-I think it was $3 million-they give away their headsets for nothing. So there is no excuse for not really learning what the show is about. Go through this Schoenberg-Kandinsky show and you realize that they lived in the same town at the same time. And here is Kandinsky who went to a Schoenberg atonal music concert and drew sketches of the piano that he was seeing, and then went back to the studio and abstracted it, and then he made a painting that was way abstracted. And the only thing that most normal people ever get to see is the very abstracted painting, the oil painting that he did.
Now, here I am, I'm an art history major at Columbia, but you can't get out of that Jesuit-type education without taking the elementary course of everything. And I remembered one day that I was sitting in an art history class, and they were talking about Kandinsky, and they were talking about Abstract Expressionism. And I'm working at it because I'm still-my head was still in the 14th century, and I think this is total crap, and come on, I wish the guy could paint.
And I leave and I walk across the campus where I'm taking a music class, Music A-1, and now we are up to atonal music and Alban Berg and Schoenberg and all of that stuff, and I'm saying, I hate this shit. This is terrible, and I walk out, but nobody ever linked the two.
MRS. ANDERSON: Excuse me, that is how I learned to go to school. I learned about both of them together.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, so you would learn about music and art at the same time.
MRS. ANDERSON: Everything that happened at the same time-I would learn the entire-all the goings-on. So it was-
MR. ANDERSON: Dale would learn about the 1920s-but everything about the 1920s.
MRS. ANDERSON: And I would learn what was going on-the food, the clothes-which is why I look at what I look at, and this is why he sees what he sees. I mean, it's all about how we were taught to learn.
MS. OLDKNOW: You work really well, and your backgrounds complement each other I think.
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah, we're one person. [They laugh.] Yeah, we're one better person. But the answer is that I very much like the writing and I like the thinking, and I like the part of the book that-using Martha's book as an example, because it's a bifurcated-is that the word, bifurcated?
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah, bifurcated, goes in two directions.
MR. ANDERSON: Two directions. Her framing essay is definitely written for professionals. And the part where she does the analysis of each of the museums is basically done for people who have a lighter take on what is going on and really aren't interested in the other side of it. And I, frankly, am interested in both.
When the MFA Boston wanted to do a glass show-and this was right after Malcolm Rogers came in and was director. Malcolm wanted to do a glass show, because they are very popular. Coincidentally, he had a volunteer curator named Pat Warner, who met a friend of ours. And she said that she was going to be doing this glass show, and our friends Mickey and Joy Rotman, said, hey, we know friends in Florida who have a great glass collection. Do you want to talk to them?
So Pat called us. And it turned out we were redoing our apartment and we were putting the whole glass collection in storage. So we told her that we would be happy to lend her anything that she wanted from there or from here, and also that we would be happy to give her the short course in glass and introduce her to all of the collectors, because she, unlike the Met, didn't have to own it; she just had to borrow it.
And we told that we would raise the money for the catalogue for that, too. And we went through exactly the same drill with them that we had done with Jane, with the same outcome, except that this show turned out to be the seventh-most well-attended show in the country that year ["Glass Today by American Studio Artists." August 13, 1997-January 11, 1998]. They had, I think, 475,000 people who-
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, honey, it also happened to be that there was a Picasso show ["Picasso: The Early Years." September 10, 1997 - January 4, 1998] that was going on at the same time, which didn't hurt.
MR. ANDERSON: It was a lousy Picasso show.
MS. OLDKNOW: But it doesn't matter. Everyone who came to see the Picasso show also came and saw the other show.
MRS. ANDERSON: The glass. Exactly, it was great.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, frankly, I choose to think that everyone who came to see the glass show also saw the lousy Picasso show. [They laugh.]
MS. OLDKNOW: This is Tina Oldknow interviewing Doug and Dale Anderson at their home in New York, New York, on July 21, 2001, for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, disc number three.
Now, that I have both Dale and Doug here-we have been talking separately prior to this-I wanted to ask you a few questions about your involvement with various institutions. And we will talk about the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Racine Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the American Craft Museum, the Norton Museum, and the other museums that you have been involved in.
But I also wanted to ask you: have you had any involvement with Penland [School of Crafts, Penland, NC], or Haystack [Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME], or Arrowmont [School of Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN], or Archie Bray [Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, Helena, MT], or any of the other experimental or summer programs that would fall in Pilchuck's category, but are for different media-have you had any involvement in those organizations?
MRS. ANDERSON: We have been to the Archie Bray. We went for, I think it was, their 25th anniversary because we are members of Friends of Contemporary Ceramics, and there was a trip there. And we spent a weekend having a wonderful time. And we have collected work by some of the artists who have been there. And I think we have given money to the Archie Bray, and we are sort of consultants to them when they have a fund-raising discussion or something like that.
MR. ANDERSON: That weekend was really spectacular, because if you cut away all of the fund-raising stuff that happened, it was-
MS. OLDKNOW: Which weekend?
MRS. ANDERSON: Their anniversary weekend.
MR. ANDERSON: I think it was the 25th anniversary of the Archie Bray. And at one point they had Peter Voulkos at the very end of his life.
MRS. ANDERSON: Rudy Autio.
MR. ANDERSON: Rudy Autio and [Ken] Ferguson.
MRS. ANDERSON: Ken Ferguson. All three of them were working in the same room at the same time.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, how fabulous.
MR. ANDERSON: And the only thing that was missing was The Band playing, "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." [They laugh.] I mean, it was just-it was, like, this was The Last Waltz. [Laughs.]
MRS. ANDERSON: It was great, it was just great.
MR. ANDERSON: And it was terrific.
MRS. ANDERSON: We have been to Penland several times, again, on an American Craft Museum trip was the first time and probably the second time, too. It's a wonderful program. I think other than, again, contributing to it, I don't think our involvement has been there, but we support it and we suggest people.
MS. OLDKNOW: I think that is involvement, you know, that you have been advising them when asked, when available.
MR. ANDERSON: It was interesting. The director-what's her name? Jean McLaughlin.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yes, of Penland.
MR. ANDERSON: Of Penland had called-and this is the kind of thing we wind up doing. She called to find out-she said that Mark Lyman at SOFA Chicago had offered to give them a booth, a not-for-profit booth, so that they could present Penland. And she asked us what we thought about that. And I asked her what she wanted to accomplish, and she said she didn't know. And I said, well, then, when you know, call me again. And she called again and she said-[laughs]-do you think it will help us with our fund-raising? I told her that it is deceptively expensive and difficult to have a "free booth" and to be careful as you measure the effort against the potential return.
MRS. ANDERSON: We have been up to Haystack, which we love, again because of the visiting friends in the area. Sam and Eleanor Rosenfeld, they have taken us there a couple of times and we have enjoyed that enormously. And then we discovered Watershed [Center for the Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, ME], which is a spectacular program in Maine, where I think that is something that I would like to support further.
MS. OLDKNOW: And what do they do?
MRS. ANDERSON: They do residencies and they have programs where they will have, let's say, an artist come in for two weeks and pick five friends that he wants to work with, and they'll sort of have workshops, and they'll hang out, and they will be together, and they'll work. And we just did a project with this Israeli group, which you'll hear about more, where five Israeli women, ceramists, we brought over to Watershed. And Watershed provided, I think, five or six American women, counterparts of them. And they all worked together and hung out together, and met each other, and bonded. And they just spent a two-week session that was to die for. I love what Watershed does.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, what Watershed-I'll take the liberty-
MS. OLDKNOW: Does Watershed do primarily craft-associated media or-
MR. ANDERSON: Only ceramics.
MS. OLDKNOW: Only ceramics, okay.
MR. ANDERSON: Only ceramics. And it's interesting that in Maine, you have a bunch of these summer-program places like Skowhegan [School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME] and then Haystack-but what is interesting is that Stuart Kestenbaum [director, Haystack] at Haystack is such a fabulous guy.
MS. OLDKNOW: Wonderful poet.
MR. ANDERSON: I mean, he is fabulous. And Lynn Thompson, who runs Watershed, is a fabulous woman. They run two completely different kinds of programs.
MRS. ANDERSON: One is more for professional artists, and the other one is for people who don't necessarily have to be a professional artist.
MR. ANDERSON: And also-and they are two completely different-
MRS. ANDERSON: One is a school, one isn't.
MR. ANDERSON: -sort of facilities. You look at Watershed, which is this gorgeous, beautifully architected facility.
MRS. ANDERSON: No, Haystack.
MR. ANDERSON: I meant Haystack, I'm sorry-that is always spiffed up at all times. And then you look at Watershed, which is the schlumpy [sic]-
MRS. ANDERSON: Funky.
MR. ANDERSON: Very, kind of, out there. It is sort of like what Pilchuck must have been like 30 years ago before Pilchuck discovered money. [They laugh.] And we keep saying to Watershed try not to get any money-[laughs]-because you'll blow it. Because what is so nice about it is it's just this left-footed sort of place where 10 or 15 or 20 artists get to hang out together for two weeks, and they get to lose everything else. They forget where they come from; they forget that they have children; they forget that bombs are going off in their neighborhood. And they are there. They are making pots, they are doing-
MRS. ANDERSON: It's a great place.
MR. ANDERSON: They give lectures to each other at night.
MRS. ANDERSON: It has spirit.
MS. OLDKNOW: That is so important.
MRS. ANDERSON: And we have been to Anderson Ranch, which is extraordinary. But those are much more grown-up programs. That is not as experimental; it's not for artists who work together just as artists. It's much more about people wanting to learn how to do it.
MS. OLDKNOW: I think that is part of the aging of an institution. I mean, when an institution is young, they go through that experimental phase and they become, if they survive, more mature, and they become more institutionalized. And it's hard not to do that.
MRS. ANDERSON: Oh, you have to do that to survive.
MS. OLDKNOW: It's just like people. You know, you don't stay young your whole life, you just don't.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, I think Pilchuck had done a great job of staying young, and even when they discovered money-[laughs]-that they didn't lose that hippie streak that they had. I remember the first time that we were up there at a board meeting, I had met a guy named Jack and a guy named Jon, and we took a tour of the campus. And we were with Marge [Marjorie] Levy, who was the director. And she wanted to locate some cottages on campus. And we get to some part on the hill, and she says something to Jack. And Jack says, yeah, this is a good place to put the building. And I look at him. I said, do you know about real estate? And he says, yeah, I know a little bit about it.
And as we are going along, the conversation turns to computers, and Marge asks Jon something about computers. And I look at him and I said, you know about computers? And he said, yeah, I know a little bit about computers. Well, it was Jack Benaroya and Jon Shirley, who was the first president of Microsoft. And that was what was so nice about it.
MS. OLDKNOW: What kind of involvement have you had with national craft organizations like the American Craft Council, the Glass Art Society, NCECA [National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts], SNAG [Society of North American Goldsmiths]. I know the Art Alliance-we've talked about the Art Alliance.
MR. ANDERSON: Nothing with SNAG, nothing with NCECA. Our brush with the Glass Art Society left us feeling that they really weren't interested in collectors.
MRS. ANDERSON: It was for artists.
MR. ANDERSON: That it was for artists. And at some point when they made a push because they wanted to raise some money-
They said that they were going to do better and be more collector-friendly. But frankly, we went to one of the conferences-one in Tampa-and we found that we weren't interested in what they were interested in, and we shouldn't have been there.
MRS. ANDERSON: Yeah, but we wanted to see it, and we went to a couple of the lectures. And it was very interesting, but it was really geared for artists.
MS. OLDKNOW: It is.
MR. ANDERSON: And the [American] Craft Council, until just recently when Carmine Branagan [director, American Craft Council] joined up, is the first person I have ever heard from there that at all got it-
MS. OLDKNOW: Right.
MRS. ANDERSON: She is great.
MS. OLDKNOW: She is very good.
MR. ANDERSON: Except for Lois Moran [editor-in-chief, American Craft, published by the American Craft Council], who I have adored forever. But I think that the Craft Council stopped being relevant 20 years ago. And maybe with Carmine they will find a way of being relevant again.
MS. OLDKNOW: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.] That is what they are aiming to do.
MRS. ANDERSON: I think they want to revive the Young Americans [annual exhibitions at the American Craft Museum]. I think they want to start organizing young talent shows. I think they want to showcase it because there is a new audience for craft or decorative arts, or whatever you want to call it, that there needs to be something that gets behind it that legitimizes it.
MS. OLDKNOW: They are becoming more relevant.
Have craft periodicals like American Craft, or American Ceramics, or Glass, or Surface Design Journal, or Metalsmith-have any of those publications played a part in your collecting?
MRS. ANDERSON: No. I think it's important to look at those things. I think the more that people see, the more it's embedded in their brain, and the more they absorb. But has it played a part in how I collect? No.
MS. OLDKNOW: Okay. Let's talk about your involvement with institutions. We talked a little bit about the Met and the show that you helped Jane Adlin create through acquiring objects for the collection there. Boston-we talked a little bit about you working with Malcolm Rogers.
MR. ANDERSON: And Pat Warner.
MS. OLDKNOW: And Pat Warner too.
MR. ANDERSON: It was really Pat's show.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah, and to get the money together for the catalogue. I think that you have found it is extremely important to fund catalogues, and I think that you are absolutely right. Shows are ephemeral; a catalogue lasts forever. And if you want a record, the best way to do it is to fund the publication.
MR. ANDERSON: Absolutely. And by the way, that is one of the things that is good about the Art Alliance. And there has been a yin-yang in that discussion where a certain number of people want-Irv Borovsky is one of the ones who has always wanted us to raise half-million, a million dollars and have it sitting in a war chest so that the Art Alliance can do things at the spur of the moment. The rest of us feel that if you raise the money and it's sitting there, somebody is going to find a stupid use for it, and when there is something real that comes along, you just send a letter out, because you're holding this wonderful group of people together. And it's not just the art alliance. It is all of the other glass alliances that have sprung up around the country, the local groups.
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, the most organized, I think, of any of the crafts is the glass group. And I think part of it has to do with the fact that there are-that the amount of money that is charged for this stuff makes people feel that they are really holding something more relevant.
And it's interesting to see, because people who have collected-I mean, there are two ways of looking at this. One is, oh my God, aren't they smart? They have got such a bargain. Isn't this great? And now it's worth 20 times more than it was. Or, oh my God, isn't that great, but now I can't buy that stuff anymore. I'm not going to spend that kind of money. But because of all of that, it has kept it together. And they all want to promote the material. So something that is to everyone's benefit stands a very good chance of happening. So this is why I think these catalogues and books and things have come out.
MS. OLDKNOW: You were involved with the American Craft Museum Collectors' Group, and there was a lot of different media there-clay, and fiber, and wood, and glass. So you got an opportunity to check out the communities. Would you say the glass community was stronger than the clay community or the wood community?
MR. ANDERSON: Absolutely.
MRS. ANDERSON: Yes.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yes?
MR. ANDERSON: Well, you know, there were two-there were a couple of conversations about that. One of them-by the way, back to periodicals thing-not the periodicals but the catalogue things-I think that with rare exception, whenever there was a book or a museum catalogue to do and to fund, Dale and I were the ones who put our name on it. And part of what we would do is we would guarantee that if we couldn't raise the money, we would give the money, so the institution would be able to know that it was going to be paid. The good news was we were able to raise the money most of the time.
MS. OLDKNOW: But you told me that all your friends hang up the phone when you call.
MRS. ANDERSON: [Laughs.]
MR. ANDERSON: No, that is why I don't call. I only use e-mail.
MRS. ANDERSON: [Laughs.] He writes.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, good.
MR. ANDERSON: You know, in the world, apparently e-mail is the chicken's way, a proper letter is a little less chicken, a phone call is a little less chicken, and a face-to-face is serious stuff. [They laugh.] People won't make dates with us. [They laugh.] You know, the good news on all of this stuff is we have never asked anybody to do anything significant, I mean, big, significant. We have asked for anywhere between 100 [dollars] and a $1,000, depending on who people are. These aren't monumental sums of money, but we have always included everybody.
MRS. ANDERSON: It has always been inclusive. We have friends who believe that five people giving $20,000 to raise $100,000 is better than 100 people giving $1,000 each-and I don't-Doug and I really don't agree. I mean, it's very much about being inclusive. The more people who have a stake in it, the better it is.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, and the same thing with the show. That was like the Boston show-
MRS. ANDERSON: And the Met.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, the Met show, everyone had to give things that the Met was going to own. The MFA show, Boston, was a loaner show.
MS. OLDKNOW: Like the Norton show.
MR. ANDERSON: Like the Norton show. And in both those shows, without it sounding too conceited, they could have done the show from our collection.
MRS. ANDERSON: Absolutely, both of them. And that is how it all started, that they were going to do the show out of our collection.
MR. ANDERSON: And we wouldn't let them.
MRS. ANDERSON: And then we said no.
MR. ANDERSON: So we wanted to, in both cases, back ourselves down to no more than 10 or 15 percent of the show.
MS. OLDKNOW: Why is that?
MRS. ANDERSON: Because it is about sharing, and including people, and getting them involved.
MS. OLDKNOW: Good. There are not many people who would turn down a show of their collection, because they get that ego gratification of having a show devoted to their collection.
MRS. ANDERSON: Do you know until you just said that, I never thought of it as being a show of our collection. Until you just said those words-it is so not how we think, which is why people look at us and they say, how come you have given so many things to so many places as opposed to people who give collections to one place? I don't know the answer. It's just-
MS. OLDKNOW: Well, I think it comes back to what you were talking about, about being inclusive, and about creating community and bringing people in and getting them involved. I mean, that is something that runs through everything you do. And most people don't do that. I can see it being very typical of your MO [modus operandi] that you're gathering people together and assembling them and getting involved.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, you know, the second part of that is that our collection-that is nice, but if it turns out that it's 25 people's collections, and some of them are well-known people, that is nicer.
MS. OLDKNOW: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.] Right. And one of the things I like that you say to your friends is "give until it hurts."
MR. ANDERSON: And only give the right stuff.
MS. OLDKNOW: And you certainly have done it.
MRS. ANDERSON: Give the good stuff.
MS. OLDKNOW: That is really hard. And I love that part of you.
You said that the glass community was very different than the clay and wood communities. Why do you think that is?
MR. ANDERSON: I'll tell you.
MRS. ANDERSON: [Laughs.]
MR. ANDERSON: When we were at the Archie Bray, Helen Drutt [English] came over to me and for the fourth time asked me the same question, which I have always skirted because I'm always too polite with her. And this time I just lost it, and I did it on video. She said, why do you think glass has become so much more expensive and well collected than clay? And I finally said it: I said, because of people like you.
And Helen said, what do you mean? I have been such a diligent dealer in the ceramic area [Helen Drutt Gallery, Philadelphia, PA]. I have done such wonderful work for my artists. And I said that is absolutely true. But you also do something else which is terrible and it's really held them back. And she said, what is that? I said you sign exclusive contracts with them, and they can't sell their work through other dealers. And there is just so much that you can sell in Philadelphia, and you keep them out of the rest of the country.
I said none of that happened with the glass guys because it was really guerilla warfare. There were artists who didn't know what the hell they were doing, and there were very young dealers who wanted to be dealers, but didn't really know how to be dealers, and they found each other, and they found each other in different places.
So Tom Riley represented kind of the same people in Cleveland [Tom Riley Galleries, Cleveland, OH, and Kirkland, WA] that Heller did in New York and Habatat did in Detroit, and the other Habatat did in Florida, and someone did somewhere else. And all of the sudden, these guys who were glass artists wound up with dealers everywhere, and the dealers had nothing else to sell, and people who have nothing else to sell, sell what they have. So they built collector bases in many cities, as opposed to Helen, who did a great job in Philadelphia, and maybe a sprinkling elsewhere, but not the same way.
And then who is collecting art? Basically, people who have money collect art. And eventually when they have a full collection, they somehow or other find their way onto museum boards, or they start giving away their art. So all of the sudden in Indianapolis, the Glicks gave their collection [Marilyn and Eugene Glick Collection, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN]. In Toledo the Saxes gave part of their collection, now in San Francisco [Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, de Young Museum]. All through the country that was happening in the glass community; it was not happening in any of the other communities.
And also there is something really sexy about blowing glass. And there is something that is very attractive about it. It brings a lot of people. Therefore, because of this kind groundswell base and major support, eventually you wake up and you have got equity in this thing, too. So everybody-there was more equity in the glass world than there is in the other worlds.
MRS. ANDERSON: There is such a difference between gift shop glass and gallery glass. I don't think there is quite as-it's not as easy a differentiation in ceramics. I think people think that ceramic is much easier to do, because they think that they can touch the clay and there is something accessible about it; glass is not. I think that, again, the glass community is a real community all over the country-and you're right-because of all of these different galleries.
MS. OLDKNOW: A lot of it revolves around the market and collecting, because if you don't have that, what do you have?
MRS. ANDERSON: They network.
MS. OLDKNOW: You lose such a vital part of what an active community is. That kind of exchange and purchasing and-
MRS. ANDERSON: And sharing.
MS. OLDKNOW: -because if you just have artists making, then what?
MR. ANDERSON: Then there is this other thing, and that is that there was something that started with a couple of us. It started with George and Dorothy Saxe, who had early on said, look, you have an obligation to open your home to museum groups.
MRS. ANDERSON: Absolutely.
MS. OLDKNOW: And George and Dorothy have been incredible about bringing people in to collecting.
MRS. ANDERSON: The most inclusive. George Saxe said-and it is the truth-that he is our most expensive friend. [They laugh.]
MR. ANDERSON: But we all realized-and we're talking almost 15 years ago-that we needed to open our home to museum collector groups, so that people could see how to live with this material, and also that it really-it is the making of an interesting collection. Now, frankly-
MRS. ANDERSON: It validated people's collections. I have been asked-it's funny-just recently at the MFA if I would talk to a group of young collectors there, because they all have a lot of money to spend, and they are not getting the kind of information that they can have a good time and that they can learn. I mean, it's a serious business, but it really isn't a serious business. There is fun to be had in this. And it's not like buying four Renoirs, and three Rembrandts; it's about meeting the artists, their living. That is part of what is so exciting about all of this stuff.
MS. OLDKNOW: Do you also meet the photographers?
MR. ANDERSON: Oh, absolutely. Well, we are very quirky.
MRS. ANDERSON: [Laughs.]
MR. ANDERSON: We are out there. And what I was just thinking as Dale was talking-the only way I can describe what Dale does in collecting is that she collects in the cracks. If she ever found something to collect that a highly phylumized museum like the Met actually had a department for, she would probably stop collecting it.
MRS. ANDERSON: [Laughs.]
MR. ANDERSON: So Dale is collecting photography. Jane Adlin takes us over to meet the photography curators at the Met. We have lunch with them. Lovely guys.
MRS. ANDERSON: Malcolm Daniels, lovely guy.
MR. ANDERSON: Malcolm-terrific guy. And he said, okay, so what do you collect? And Dale starts telling him. And he said, that is not my department. Nope. Catherine Chalmers-not my department; that is contemporary art. Anthony Goicolea-nah. Constructed photography. That is not my department-contemporary art.
MRS. ANDERSON: Chinese photography-Zhuan Huang.
MR. ANDERSON: Nope.
MRS. ANDERSON: That is performance-
MR. ANDERSON: That is performance art. Sandy Skoglund-nope. That is installation art. None of your stuff, Dale, says Malcolm, fits in my definition of photography, because it wasn't the original intent. So I'm saying, what is this? Judge Bork [Robert Heron Bork]? [They laugh.]
So at the end of the day, the way-the Southwest pottery-sure it had a place in a proper museum department. And the Native American stuff-Northwest Coast-sure it had a museum department. But the glass-where does that go? Does it go into the contemporary decorative arts department, or does it go into the craft department, or does it go into the sculpture department-or design? Where does it go? It depends on the piece, but where does it go? Where does the ceramics stuff go?
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, that is easy. That goes to the ceramic decorative arts department.
MS. OLDKNOW: What about Doug Jeck, though?
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah, where does Doug Jeck go?
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, Doug Jeck-and again, what is her name? Tip Tolland.
MR. ANDERSON: Tip Tolland-where does Tip Tolland go? Or this lady from Israel who makes heads out of bandages.
MRS. ANDERSON: Lily Peron.
MS. OLDKNOW: Right, Lily Peron.
MR. ANDERSON: This is sculpture. This isn't-is there a bandage-art department? [They laugh.] Come on.
MRS. ANDERSON: But what is interesting with the photography, though, is that there are departments that are either photography or, I guess, contemporary art that we have been collecting for them. So I am nutty for Catherine Chalmers-the Norton was wild for her. So they want-
MR. ANDERSON: And so was the MFA Boston.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, I'm sure many museums would be wild for her.
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, we're collecting for us and we are collecting for them. The same thing with Zhuan Huang. We just bought a series.
MRS. ANDERSON: So the Norton showed all 12 of them while Art Basel was going on with the music from the performance. And their curator, Virginia Heckert, was extraordinarily helpful. I mean, she really-
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah, she is very good.
MRS. ANDERSON: She is great. And then the MFA Boston loved them. So they ended up with another four of those photographs. And they are doing the show of the 12 photographs at the end of September, and they have commissioned Zhuan Huang to do a performance.
So here are museums that, for whatever the department they are in, are excited about this stuff. I don't think many collectors are quite there yet, but they will be.
MS. OLDKNOW: This ties in with the conversation about where your collection has gone, because in the early days of the Native American Southwest pottery, you would not be collecting Sandy Skoglund.
MR. ANDERSON: Right.
MRS. ANDERSON: Right.
MS. OLDKNOW: Or Catherine Chalmers. I mean, you would not have been there. So it is very interesting to hear you talking about-oh, this is performance art and-oh, this is this and they are commissioning that. And you're actually moving very much into the contemporary art world and away from the world of glass and ceramics.
MRS. ANDERSON: And yet not, because it's-again our friends are all still our friends who are all in the contemporary craft world. So are the artists. We go to SOFA; we go to the Pilchuck things. We do all of that, so I'm exposed to it. But what I'm looking at now is very different from what I looked at then, and the art is very different.
MS. OLDKNOW: Do you see yourself joining photography collector groups?
MRS. ANDERSON: We have. I am in the contemporary photography group at the Norton. We have been invited to other things.
MS. OLDKNOW: So you're really moving in a new direction.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, yes, no.
MRS. ANDERSON: But you take what you have before with you, because you don't get on that journey without taking the walk.
MS. OLDKNOW: That is a good point.
MRS. ANDERSON: So sometimes when I look at-I mean, it's all about the connections and being-I'm the one who collects in both our homes. People walk in and they see a connection between-whether it's the photography or the bandaged dead people or the glass or the ceramic-[laughs]-or whatever it happens to be. You know, it's true. But there is a connection, and people basically get it. They might not understand exactly what it is, but it's my journey, and that is what they are seeing.
MS. OLDKNOW: And the dead people, Doug, you're okay with that?
MR. ANDERSON: I love the dead people. [They laugh.] But I can't tell that to Dale because she'll return them, because if she brings something in that I like, she'll take it back.
What I want to go back to, though, is something that you guys skipped over very quickly, which is really right on target. Dale wanted to buy some images that were taken by Zhuan Huang, who is the Chinese performance artist whose ultimate product is a photograph. We own a series of nine photographs called The Family Tree, that he did, and they are such that they actually can live on one wall of our apartment in Florida.
MRS. ANDERSON: I mean, they are big. They are about the size of that.
MR. ANDERSON: Dale-the next piece of his that she saw was called The Seeds of Hamburg. This is a performance that he did where he-he is a bald man, and he is very fit.
MRS. ANDERSON: His body is his canvas. This is what he uses.
MR. ANDERSON: And he in this particular performance built a large cage of a wire-a chicken wire cage and put in it a throne that he made out of-
MRS. ANDERSON: Plain wood-unpainted wood.
MR. ANDERSON: Wood boxes. And he put in it a tree that had no leaves.
MRS. ANDERSON: And no bark on it.
MR. ANDERSON: And he then poured honey all over himself and rolled in black birdseed. So this nude man covered with black birdseed-I think he looks like a pastrami.
MRS. ANDERSON: [Laughs.]
MR. ANDERSON: And he put a red ribbon in his mouth.
MRS. ANDERSON: But you don't see the red ribbon. But you see him enter this cage, and then people released 24 doves [into the cage].
MR. ANDERSON: And then they closed the cage.
MRS. ANDERSON: And he is in the cage and he is posing around the cage. He sits, he stands, and he lies down. The birds are eating the birdseed off of his body. And then at some point, whenever it happens-one of the birds gets the red thing in his mouth, and that is the end of the performance.
MR. ANDERSON: The performance took about an hour.
MRS. ANDERSON: And then what he does is he takes-he leaves the cage-he takes two doves, and he releases them. And that was the performance.
MR. ANDERSON: Now, in order to document this performance-out of all of the photographs that were taken, he chose 12, and that became the series, and each picture is 40 by 50 inches-and they are large. And so Dale looked at this, and she said, you know, 12 is great but I can document this performance just as well with four, and four will fit in our bedroom, and I would like to buy four, and the dealer had Zhuan Huang there, and they were talking-absolutely not; must buy all 12.
So she came home to me with this problem, and after talking with the dealer, I called Virginia Heckert, who is the photography curator at the Norton Museum. And I asked her if we bought the 12 would she take four. She knows Zhuan Huang's work and she said absolutely. I would love it.
William Stover is an associate curator at the MFA Boston. When we were there one day, he was very nice to us. He spent an afternoon taking us through the contemporary art department, and he was really very nice-and very knowledgeable. So I called him and I wanted to offer these to him. And he also knows Zhuan Huang's work. And he said, that is fabulous; I love it.
So Virginia [Heckert] curated the three groups of four.
MS. OLDKNOW: Excellent.
MR. ANDERSON: Dale agreed. We had all 12 framed. And we have given four to the Norton, four to the MFA, and we have four, and it is the only time we put a condition on the gift. And the condition was that if either museum wants to show all 12, you won't act like an asshole. You'll just say yes and you'll send it. So everybody has agreed to do that-with much laughter.
MS. OLDKNOW: That is really a creative way to make acquisitions!
MR. ANDERSON: And we have learned a new trick, because now not only can we work by buying things ourselves or by buying things for one museum, but now because the kind of photography Dale is looking at is basically sequential, we can give pieces of the same pie to multiple museums and hook them up, because I think as time goes on, there is going to be more and more creative museum buying, because they can't show all the work all the time anyway. So why not have two or three museums owning the same piece? The market is such that they should be doing that anyway.
MRS. ANDERSON: Some of the museums that show all of this material should be working on shows together.
MS. OLDKNOW: Well, there can be problems about museums with joint ownership. Because it is held in public trust, it is complicated. But certainly more museums are taking advantage of long-term loans from other museums, doing shows with other museums, and organizing shows together. It makes all the sense in the world. So now you have two museums who want to show this work, the whole series, at some time.
MRS. ANDERSON: And they have-and the Norton did it during Art Basel.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah, that is great.
MR. ANDERSON: It was.
MRS. ANDERSON: It was.
MR. ANDERSON: And also what is nice about this, in our own way, we have partnered the Norton and the MFA Boston. And what has come out of those conversations is we asked the MFA Boston to send an Impressionist show to the Norton.
MRS. ANDERSON: And they are.
MR. ANDERSON: And they are going to do it.
MS. OLDKNOW: That is great.
MRS. ANDERSON: Also what has happened is that traditional museums-not craft museums, but museums like the MFA-are making a significant effort to have contemporary decorative arts, crafts, whatever it is, become part of their collections. They are seriously looking. So it's not just the Craft Museum or MAD [Museum of Arts and Design, formerly the American Craft Museum] or whatever-
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah, but I also think that that is collector-driven.
MR. ANDERSON: It is.
MRS. ANDERSON: Totally.
MS. OLDKNOW: Every time I hear that someone is going to have a glass show, it's because a collector brought it to the museum and says to the curator, I think you should have a glass show.
MRS. ANDERSON: But they should be collecting these collections, too. And that is what they are beginning to do.
MS. OLDKNOW: And they are beginning to do that.
MR. ANDERSON: Our friends, the Wornicks [Anita and Ron], from San Francisco, who have a fabulous collection, had talked to us about what they really wanted to do with this collection long-term. They said that they come from Boston, and they would like to donate this collection to the MFA Boston. Their collection spans all the craft media, and it's a fabulous collection. And so we introduced them to Malcolm Rogers [director, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston]. And over the period of a year they negotiated a deal. They announced that they are giving 400 pieces from their collection, and that the curators can choose whatever they like. And they will continue to buy work for the museum. And also they have endowed a 2,600-foot gallery.
MRS. ANDERSON: Wait a minute-and they are doing a show for them in 2007 with a catalogue.
MS. OLDKNOW: Great.
MR. ANDERSON: This gallery sits next to a gallery that Daphne Farago endowed that is about 1,500 square feet, and it is for her jewelry collection.
MRS. ANDERSON: Ron and Anita were concerned that material from the Studio Craft movement be on view at the museum all the time, and people could be certain that they could always go to the Wornick gallery and see it. So that's part of their agreement. Be it stuff from their collection or gifts from others, this material will always be on display-and I think there is another agreement to use this material throughout the museum.
MR. ANDERSON: And so you're right. A lot of this is collector-driven. And yet, here is the MFA Boston, arguably the third-, fourth-, or fifth-best museum in the country. Their director understands that they have to be relevant in terms of what has happened in the last half of the 20th century. I mean, their collections are fabulous, and he is now bringing it current.
What I always found interesting was that the contemporary art collectors and the studio crafts collectors, who were collecting basically side by side-neither of them knew what the hell the others were doing.
MS. OLDKNOW: No.
MR. ANDERSON: So there may be thousands of people who have collected the studio crafts, as we have defined them. They don't know anything about what went on at the same time in the contemporary painting world.
MS. OLDKNOW: I find that very strange.
MR. ANDERSON: Isn't it scary?
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, all right, so wait a second. So we were instrumental in helping to develop the palmbeach3 show, which was done-
MS. OLDKNOW: I love palmbeach3.
MRS. ANDERSON: Okay, now let me tell you something about that one. The man who did it-what was his name-Lorenzo Rudolph-
MS. OLDKNOW: Who used to be the director of Art Basel [Art Basel Miami Beach].
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah.
MRS. ANDERSON: Yes. All right, Lorenzo-very Swiss-was having a problem coming up with the concept for what he needed to do for his Art Palm Beach contemporary show. It had been changed 32 times and had 42 different names. And he needed to keep the show because it was really his protection to keep the time where his antique show was the big thing.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, I see.
MRS. ANDERSON: So we were involved because of another charity called the MDA [Magen David Adom USA, Israeli Ambulance Corps, Skokie, IL], which is a Jewish charity, and we wanted it to be the opening night; there was a whole negotiation, but they had a problem; they didn't know what to do with this show. So finally, I said, well, why couldn't you add-it was just a contemporary art show-why don't you add photography to it? There has never been a photography show in Palm Beach; there has never been any kind of thing like that, and there is a market for it.
So he said, what a good idea. And so then Doug turned around and he said, well, you know, you use decorative arts and stuff, why don't you have SOFA do the show? I'll introduce you to Mark Lyman. Lo and behold, palmbeach3.
MS. OLDKNOW: I think it is the best show so far, because the work in craft media is contexualized. Contemporary painting and sculpture is put in context with photography and other media.
MRS. ANDERSON: So if you could have seen people walk into this show-I didn't agree with the way he did it, but it turned out, it was fine. He had one section of SOFA, one section of contemporary art, one section of photography. Well, to see people walk in, and they who had never seen contemporary craft-well, of course they went right for the glass. It was, Waah [sic]! And they ran. And of course a lot of the craft collectors had never seen the contemporary photography. And they went, Wooh [sic]! And it was the best idea. It was the best. It opened eyes.
MR. ANDERSON: Tina, I see us as a bridge between these worlds.
MS. OLDKNOW: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.] That is an important role.
MR. ANDERSON: And one of the things that-one of the issues-
MS. OLDKNOW: Do you feel that other collectors are trying to serve as bridges or-
MRS. ANDERSON: No.
MS. OLDKNOW: -doing both things for museums?
MR. ANDERSON: The only ones that I know who are-
MRS. ANDERSON: Dan and Susan.
MR. ANDERSON: Doing something like that are Dan Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser. But I think they are doing it differently.
MS. OLDKNOW: With L.A. County [Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA].
MR. ANDERSON: Well, also with the Getty [J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA].
MRS. ANDERSON: The Getty.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, yeah, okay.
MRS. ANDERSON: But that is not the same. They are doing different things. They are doing photography for the Getty and glass for LACMA-but who knows, the way they operate, you might see their photography collection leaking into LACMA.
MR. ANDERSON: But we really learned from each other. And that is one of the things that is great. I mean, Dan and Susan and Dale and I, first, we support each other's things financially and also emotionally. And second, whenever they do something smart, Dan tells me about it, and whenever we do something smart, we tell them about it, and we pick up on each other's smart things. And they are smart. But they are collecting photography with the Getty. Fact is, Dan and I have been talking about how to put a group together to work more formally on museum projects.
MS. OLDKNOW: I love the way that you talk to each other about it.
MR. ANDERSON: Always.
MS. OLDKNOW: You know, many collectors don't talk to each other-certainly about their deals with museums. It's really nice to see that kind of openness.
MR. ANDERSON: We and Dan and Susan, and George and Dorothy Saxe, have lots of strategic conversations. And whenever we can find a way of doing something or finding a way of presenting something to a museum-or whenever we learn something from a museum, we quickly share it with each other.
MS. OLDKNOW: Tell me more about your strategy discussions with some of the other collectors.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, one of the things that has happened-you know, we have all learned in glass boot camp.
MS. OLDKNOW: What is glass boot camp?
MR. ANDERSON: Glass boot camp is where-let me give you the perfect example. The glass community is so together and fairly mobile that when something-an opportunity arrives-we're very opportunistic, in the best sense of the word. I'll tell you the Norton story and this will tell you what I'm talking about.
We had-and also a lot of these opportunities happen because you put yourself in the way of the opportunity. So we have a good relationship with the Norton, but we have a great relationship with the director of the Norton, who is our friend.
MS. OLDKNOW: Tina [Christina] Orr-Cahall.
MR. ANDERSON: Tina Orr-Cahall. And one night-
MRS. ANDERSON: We were doing-Doug and I were doing a dinner in Palm Beach that the Norton had asked us to do for the photography committee. And it was an opening for something. And Tina walks in a half an hour before, and she is green. I said what is the matter? She says, I need a drink; I have to have a drink. What is the matter?
She said, wait till you hear this one. She said, our big show, which is seasonal, was going to be a show from Spain, and it was going to be from, I guess, January through March, and they canceled it and there is nothing we can do. And we have no show-this was at the beginning of May-and we don't know what to do. So do you think you could do a glass show like you did for Boston? Right? [Laughs.]
And Doug and I look at each other. And then about 50 people walk in the apartment. And we have a very nice evening. And Tina has had a drink and she is now feeling better because we said we would think about it. So Doug-[laughs]-and I, everyone leaves, we go into the bedroom, and we look at each other, and I say to him-
MR. ANDERSON: Bill [William] Warmus. [They laugh.] Dale said, call him. I said, it's 11:00 at night.
MRS. ANDERSON: You've got to call him.
MR. ANDERSON: She said, call him.
MRS. ANDERSON: He has been dreaming about doing this for years, and if anyone can do this, he could. And Doug says, well, maybe Marge Levy can do it. I said, no, let's try Bill Warmus first. Let's see what happens.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, the reason I said Marge Levy was because there is a three-hour time difference and it would have been earlier in Seattle. [They laugh.] So I call Warmus up and he's up. And I said, you know, I think this show you have been talking about doing for the last 20 years-how would you like to do it in January at the Norton?
MRS. ANDERSON: With a book.
MR. ANDERSON: With a book.
MS. OLDKNOW: And this is May?
MRS. ANDERSON: This is May. [Laughs.]
MR. ANDERSON: He said sure. I said, Bill, you remember you and I walked downtown in New York once and you said one of the things that is so wonderful about the glass movement is that we've all known each other for 20 years and we know what we can count on from each other? He said yes. I said, can I count on you?
MRS. ANDERSON: [Laughs.]
MR. ANDERSON: He said, yeah.
MRS. ANDERSON: He said, no big deal, right.
MR. ANDERSON: Don't worry about it; I'll do it. Okay. So we call Tina back that night. And it's now-it's a quarter to midnight. And I call her up and she is up-I mean, she is up.
MRS. ANDERSON: She is in a sweat.
MR. ANDERSON: And I said, we have solved the problem. You can go to sleep now. Bill Warmus will do the show for you. But he really, really needs to do the book. I mean, I hope you weren't kidding about the book, because he won't do it without the book. So she said, thank God, fine. Four days later she calls. She says, I have never met Bill Warmus. Will he deliver?
MRS. ANDERSON: [Laughs.]
MR. ANDERSON: I said, of course he'll deliver. She said, you're sure? I said, yeah, he'll deliver-[they laugh]-don't worry about it. And then it happened. Bill-we paired Bill with Ed Marquand [Marquand Books, Seattle, WA], because he didn't know Ed Marquand. And we asked Ed if there was any problem of meeting the deadline, and he just laughed, and he said no. And the whole thing happened, and it was great.
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, wait a minute, also what happened was-
MR. ANDERSON: Oh, then-
MRS. ANDERSON: There was no time to really import stuff and they didn't have a budget to bring it all in. He knew what our collections were, but he needed to see everybody else's in Florida, because they wanted to use Florida stuff. But of course everybody had gone home for the season. There was a problem getting into their house. But of course Doug, who knows everybody, called everybody and said, listen, Bill Warmus had to come and look at your collection to see if there is anything he wants to use. And we happened to have had a guest apartment, which he moved into.
So he commuted back and forth and looked at everybody's apartments and homes and determined what he wanted to use. And I think he basically-the problem-the real problem he had was we had given the Norton a Bill Morris Canopic Jar, and he wanted to use two more. And he could not find anybody who would lend. Doug and I had given two Canopic Jars to the Met. So Jane said-[laughs]-with a little trepidation-oh, sure, they will lend. So that was the hardest part for him to find. But other than that-
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah, so-
MRS. ANDERSON: Everyone was great.
MR. ANDERSON: The good news was that it was the summer, so that when they had to photograph all of these things in people's homes, the people weren't there.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah.
MR. ANDERSON: So that moved much more swiftly. And it all kind of happened.
MRS. ANDERSON: But everybody pitched in.
MR. ANDERSON: And then-and by the way, I completely forgot the best part, which was your part, which was the Corning mobile hot shop ["The Corning Museum of Glass Hot Glass Roadshow"].
MRS. ANDERSON: Oh, my God.
MS. OLDKNOW: That has become incredibly popular.
MRS. ANDERSON: That was the first time.
MR. ANDERSON: And one of the things that we told Tina was that as a condition of this from our point of view, they would have to bring down the hot shop.
MS. OLDKNOW: The Hot Glass Roadshow, and the cost of shuttling the guys back and forth and putting them up and doing all of that stuff-I forgot what the budget was, but they were there for three months.
MRS. ANDERSON: Yeah, they were there a long time.
MR. ANDERSON: But at the end of this story, there was a book, there was a show that had for the Norton a spectacular attendance: 66,000 people came to see that show.
MRS. ANDERSON: Their gift shop-they made more money on that show with what they sold. I mean, it was-
MR. ANDERSON: The gift shop, that normally does $20,000 to $40,000 during that period of time, sold $400,000 worth of stuff, because the woman who ran the shop went up to Corning, and worked with the people who run your shop up there-
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah, the GlassMarket [Corning, NY].
MR. ANDERSON: And they told her what to buy and what not to buy, and she listened. We thought she was crazy. She was right.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah, they know what sells.
MR. ANDERSON: So, again, I think the point is that in order to get this show done with the Hot Glass Roadshow, and the book, and the show, was a budget of about $275,000, which we raised from the glass community.
MS. OLDKNOW: That is amazing.
MRS. ANDERSON: In months, in months.
MR. ANDERSON: And then the show netted the Norton over a million.
MRS. ANDERSON: But because of the community, the glass community, it happened.
MR. ANDERSON: And by the way, the other good news of it was that, because of the way that the show was set up and people had to walk through the whole museum to get to the Hot Glass Roadshow, 66,000 people, many of whom probably wouldn't have seen the permanent collection of the Norton, meandered through the museum and said, hey, this is good stuff.
MS. OLDKNOW: It was perfect the way that was set up.
MR. ANDERSON: It was perfect. It was great.
MRS. ANDERSON: Talk about a win-win.
MS. OLDKNOW: Wonderful all around.
MR. ANDERSON: We just wish that we could get more of those things done.
MS. OLDKNOW: So you do a lot of loaning to museum shows from your collection.
MR. ANDERSON: Yes, and there is a problem.
MS. OLDKNOW: Tell me.
MR. ANDERSON: I'll tell you the problem. We are having a-we're not loaning to a museum show now, and it's not glass; it's ceramic.
MRS. ANDERSON: One of our favorite, favorite artists, who is Akio Takamori-I love him.
MR. ANDERSON: And I'll tell you what this was about. We lend a lot to museum shows, because we think that that is important. And a lot of our fellow collectors, as the value of this material has gotten higher, don't easily do that. We think that it is important, so we want to stay out on the front of doing that. But the normal museum contract, now, has terrible language in it to protect the museum at the expense of the collector, the lender. And the language basically says that by accepting the museum's wall-to-wall insurance coverage, the museum is off the hook for any damage that might happen to the material.
The problem with this is that all the insurance policies have holes in them, for a lot of different reasons. And therefore I take the position that I'm lending to the museum my treasure, and they are accepting the responsibility for keeping it safe. And if something happens to it, they are going to pay for it. And, by the way, they have insurance, and they are going to make me an additional insured. And to the extent the insurance doesn't cover, they will, because they are primarily responsible.
In the case of most museums, if you really batter them, they'll do it. But if you-sometimes you run against a museum-Arizona State University Museum will not. And they tried to tell me that we should take the risk, and if their insurance policy doesn't cover it, then it's our loss. And we told them, that is ridiculous. It is one thing to be generous and to do you a favor; it's something else to take the risk that they won't take, and that is stupid.
MRS. ANDERSON: Garth Clark has the pieces. They were waiting to be shipped. They have been photographed. They are actually in the catalogue. And Linda Schlenger and Doug refused to send it, because they're really not a fair deal. Bruce Pepich at the Racine Art Museum is taking the show. So obviously he will agree, for that venue-probably for us and for Linda, and then we will send our pieces to them and they will be in that show. But they won't go any place else, because no one else will agree to do that.
MR. ANDERSON: So we think it's important-and it's not because-there have been people who told me that it is great that we lend material to shows, because it makes it more valuable. First of all, I don't know if that is true, but the reality is that pretty much everything that we have loaned to other shows we have given away to museums, so whether it's more valuable or not is moot.
MS. OLDKNOW: Right.
MR. ANDERSON: But that is not why we do it.
MRS. ANDERSON: That is not why we do it.
MR. ANDERSON: By the way, if it's true, I would do more of it.
MS. OLDKNOW: Also, there is damage that can occur.
MRS. ANDERSON: It does.
MS. OLDKNOW: Museums are very concerned about that.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, we just had that with the Museum of Glass [International Center for Contemporary Art, Tacoma, WA]. We loaned them five Tom Patti pieces. And I had a whole hoo-ha with Josi [Callan, director, Museum of Glass] about it that. Eventually she said okay, but she didn't to anyone else. Sometimes you feel like a lunatic.
MS. OLDKNOW: We talked about the Norton. Let's talk about Racine. Have you had the longest relationship with them of any museum?
MRS. ANDERSON: Yes, yes.
MR. ANDERSON: No, the American Craft Museum.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, the Craft Museum.
MRS. ANDERSON: We had the most loving relationship with the Racine.
MS. OLDKNOW: Right, do you want to start with the Craft Museum and move to the Racine?
MR. ANDERSON: Sure.
MS. OLDKNOW: We got to the point where you had joined the collectors' group at the American Craft Museum-you had been very involved with them.
MRS. ANDERSON: That was at George Saxe's insistence-
MR. ANDERSON: I told her that whole story.
MRS. ANDERSON: Okay. So then when-they had asked me if I would run the Collectors' Circle.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, back up a little bit. There was a time that you insisted that I join the board.
MRS. ANDERSON: That was because I was going to run-no, it was the other way around, okay.
MR. ANDERSON: We very much liked what they were doing, the Craft Museum, and we liked all of the people that we met through the Collectors' Circle. And they absolutely could not get anything done right. And there was a time when the "excuse du jour" was that they didn't own their building, that the American Craft Council owned the building. So Dale told me that she would like it if I would join their board and make the buying of the building happen.
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, I wanted to know what was going on, and you never got a straight story from everybody. So I figured that if Doug was on the board, and they wanted him on the board, we would find out what was going on.
MR. ANDERSON: So I joined the board.
MS. OLDKNOW: When was that?
MR. ANDERSON: In the '90s. The whole of '95.
MR. ANDERSON: I joined the board, and at the first board meeting Jerry Chazen, who wasn't chairman any more, said to me, I would very much like it now that you're on the board if you would get us a great glass show. And I said, you have curators, have them do a glass show. No, you know how to do this better than the curators. And I said, okay, good. I said, what I would do is I would offer the museum to Dale Chihuly, and let him take the whole thing over and decorate it.
So they said, good idea. I called Chihuly, and he called back later, and he said he didn't want to do it, because he was thinking that he would much rather do the Guggenheim.
MS. OLDKNOW: Right.
MR. ANDERSON: So we called Chihuly, and Bill Morris, and Bertil Vallien, and Pike Powers-four-
MRS. ANDERSON: Yeah, there were four.
MR. ANDERSON: And we asked each of them if they would take care of a gallery.
MRS. ANDERSON: They all do a floor.
MR. ANDERSON: And they-
MS. OLDKNOW: So Morris, Vallien-
MR. ANDERSON: Morris, Vallien, Chihuly, and Pike Powers.
MRS. ANDERSON: Pike had a little gallery. Chihuly did the whole middle-
MS. OLDKNOW: I remember that show. It was a great show.
MRS. ANDERSON: And Bill did one floor, and Bertil did another floor.
MR. ANDERSON: And I'll tell you how that show was curated. We asked each of them to take care of their own space. We told them that no one would interfere-
MRS. ANDERSON: They could do what they want.
MR. ANDERSON: They could do anything that they goddamned well wanted. And they did.
MS. OLDKNOW: Well, you're good at that. You're good at protecting people so that they can do what they need to do.
MR. ANDERSON: And to her credit, Holly Hotchner didn't interfere, which was terrific. She was so relieved not to have to do the show. And she said to me at one point-she said, if this is terrible, I'm going to blame it on you. I said, my pleasure. [Laughs.]
And it was a great show. And Bryan Ohno, who had a gallery in Seattle at that time-
MS. OLDKNOW: I think he still does.
MRS. ANDERSON: He does.
MR. ANDERSON: -paid for the catalogue, the whole catalogue. And I, to this day, don't know why. [They laugh.] He not only paid for the catalogue, he did the catalogue. It was a little catalogue.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah, I remember it.
MR. ANDERSON: And it was called Four Acts in Glass [Holly Hotchner, Ursula Ilse. New York: American Craft Museum, 1997]. I have no idea why he did it, but he did. Thank you, Bryan.
MRS. ANDERSON: Doug was on the board and they needed somebody to run the Collectors' Circle. I ended up doing the Collectors' Circle. And then that became very successful. It went from nobody-it had been doing well, and then all of the sudden everybody seemed-it had no direction. No one wanted to take it over after the people who had run it before.
MS. OLDKNOW: I think there was some shifting going on in the late '80s.
MR. ANDERSON: Yes.
MS. OLDKNOW: A lot of people left the Pilchuck board.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, they lost Paul [J.] Smith as the director of the museum. Janet Kardon-
MRS. ANDERSON: -had a problem with-
MR. ANDERSON: -was not a people person.
MRS. ANDERSON: Right. And then Holly took over. They didn't really know her. There was a lot of stuff going on. And that happened-it had to be in the '90s. It was in the '90s. And so, again, this wonderful community of collectors, who all loved to be together anyway because everyone was friends, and I was the perfect excuse for them to do stuff because, again, I like to look at what I like to look at, and I assumed that anyone else is going to want to do that, too.
And I had a wonderful young woman named Janice Haggerty, who was working for the museum, but who worked for me. And she and I had meetings at night. She didn't like working in the museum, and so I said, don't work in the museum; work at home. She and I would call each other.
MR. ANDERSON: By the way, that was a very radical thought at that time, to have an employee-and she had just had a baby. And so we told Holly that part of the deal was that Janice would work from home and would come into the museum when she needed to-
MS. OLDKNOW: What is her last name?
MR. ANDERSON: Haggerty.
MRS. ANDERSON: Haggerty. She was great. I mean, the museum had a problem with that. But they needed me to do this, so they were-and they didn't expect a whole lot, all right. They just expected to see if it was going to get better. After the first year, I don't think there was any more room to become a member.
MR. ANDERSON: We had 100 families.
MRS. ANDERSON: We had 100 families.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh my goodness.
MR. ANDERSON: After the first year.
MRS. ANDERSON: It was everybody, and we did great trips, and we did them for cost, because we believed that the trips were a thank you for a gift already given. You joined the Collectors' Circle. I think it was a minimum gift of $1,500. And the trips cost whatever the trip cost. There were no add-on charges. And the first trip we did was to Los Angeles-every collector hosted us. And I think the whole trip cost something like $400-and that's all we charged, because that was what it cost. We went to Joan Bornstein's, and we went to Sonny and Gloria Kamm's, and we went-God knows where we went. And people couldn't believe that this was, like, the best bargain in the entire world.
But by the time we were done-by the time I had been running it a year, a year and a half, Holly realized that she had a profit center here, so all of the sudden she wanted to charge a large fee, no matter what it really cost. I wasn't happy with this and, eventually, I said I'll do, I think, one or two more trips, and then I'm finished. I think I did nine trips in two years.
MS. OLDKNOW: Nine trips is a lot.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, one of the trips Dale did kind of became two trips. It was a trip to San Francisco. The plan was to go to San Francisco, and then bring everyone to Los Angeles.
MRS. ANDERSON: But then they wanted to go to Palm Springs.
MR. ANDERSON: But while they were in Los Angeles, they decided that we would go to Palm Springs. And after Palm Springs we went back to Los Angeles. Someone said can we go to Hawaii? [They laugh.]
MS. OLDKNOW: It could just be a continuous trip! [They laugh.]
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, that is what we did. So we had-two different groups came to different parts of it and it was so much fun. I think we were on the road for two weeks.
MR. ANDERSON: So I'm now on the board of the Craft Museum, and at that first meeting when Jerry asked me to put together a glass show for them, I said, you know, I have to tell you that everybody of the entire craft world is very angry at you, Jerry. And it got very silent because Jerry is a terrific guy. And he said, why. He was taken aback. And I said, well, because you bought a building for Columbia's Graduate School of Business, but you didn't buy the Craft Museum building from the Craft Council for us. Silence.
I said, now, I myself am angry at you for a completely different reason. And he said, why? I said, because I have always wanted a red Ferrari and you have never bought me one. [They laugh.] At this point everyone started to laugh, and Jerry said, you know, I guess we really have to buy the building. And over the next 18 months, they negotiated-we all negotiated a deal to buy it. And that was a good.
So what was especially good was that I could now leave the board, because I don't like museum boards. I like doing things for museums. I like things that begin and end. I don't like to be part of a company that is a dark hole into which you keep shoveling money, and that is what museums are. And ninth-tenths of what boards do.
MS. OLDKNOW: You work much better on specific projects.
MR. ANDERSON: I'm a project guy.
MRS. ANDERSON: He would be just as effective.
MS. OLDKNOW: Some people are better board people, and they are not so good at projects.
MR. ANDERSON: Whenever someone says we have to rethink our mission statement, I am like the roadrunner. I am gone.
MS. OLDKNOW: Right.
MRS. ANDERSON: I'm a member of one museum board and I love it, which is Racine.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, Racine. Wonderful museum.
MR. ANDERSON: Tell Tina how we got involved in that.
MRS. ANDERSON: With the whole museum?
MS. OLDKNOW: Yes. Because it's the one you're most involved with, right?
MRS. ANDERSON: I love it, I love it, I love it. They, the American Craft Museum, did a trip to Wisconsin.
MR. ANDERSON: Nineteen eighty-nine.
MRS. ANDERSON: Is that when it was-'88, '89? And one of the stops was the Wustum Museum, the Charles A. Wustum Museum. And it was this little house, and it had a wonderful collection of things, of which some were for sale, which was, like, oh my God, you can go buy all of the jewelry. And they had this wonderful luncheon outside. It was like being in somebody's home. It was these two cute people who had this divine sense of humor and were just sweet and loving and kind and-
MR. ANDERSON: You mean Bruce [Pepich] and Lisa [Englander].
MRS. ANDERSON: Bruce and Lisa. And just made you feel at home. So we go and we meet them and we love them and whatever. A couple of months later, the American Craft Museum is having one of its auctions. And in those days, they used to have great ones. People really gave great stuff. And it was before this apartment had been done. So we were living in a rental apartment, because this apartment had been torn to shreds. And at the auction I see a Jack Earl, and it's this big, fabulous, gorgeous Jack Earl, and I say to Doug, I'm going to buy it.
MS. OLDKNOW: Jack Earl?
MRS. ANDERSON: Ceramicist.
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah, Midwest guy.
MRS. ANDERSON: Right. And this was a Madonna and it had-oh, it had all kinds of stuff, really fabulous stuff. So I say to Doug, I'm going to buy it. And he said where are you going to put it? I said, I don't know; I'll put it in the living room. He said, it's the size of the dining room table. You can't buy this piece.
MR. ANDERSON: The piece was named Giotto Never Lived Here. [They laugh.]
MRS. ANDERSON: So I don't listen to him, and of course I buy the piece. And I think we made a template of how big it was, and Doug made me bring it to the apartment and needless to say, it was half the size of the dining room table. And I said, oh, dear. [Laughs.] This is a problem. What are we going to do with it?
MR. ANDERSON: It was the size of the Jun Kaneko-whatever those things are called.
MS. OLDKNOW: The big stones-
MR. ANDERSON: The big things, yeah [dangos by Jun Kaneko].
MRS. ANDERSON: They are huge. So I said, what are we going to do with this? This is really a problem. So somehow, one way or another, we ended up dealing with Bruce Pepich. And that was, I think, the first piece of stuff that we had ever given him. And it was such a fun experience. And it was like a place where your treasures were going to be treasured. They were like babies to them. And so I said to Doug, I really like this. I think this is really fabulous. Let's give them a lot more stuff. And, of course, Doug's area is the giving.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, what happens is that Dale buys and buys and buys. And I can't-as you can see, I can't stand clutter.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah, you're pretty spare, now I have noticed.
MRS. ANDERSON: Florida needs a cleaning.
MR. ANDERSON: So what we discovered then was that the American tax law was very good for us.
MS. OLDKNOW: This is Tina Oldknow interviewing Doug and Dale Anderson at their home in New York, New York, on July 2, 2005, for the Archives of American Art Smithsonian Institution, disk number four.
We were talking about your relationship with Racine Museum and how you had started your donation policies with the Jack Earl.
MR. ANDERSON: I learned that I needed to get an appraisal of the current value of that, which was much higher than what we paid for it. And that by getting that appraisal, and submitting that appraisal with our tax return, we got a tax deduction-100 percent of the current value. My word, that opened up a big door for me. I immediately told Dale that while she was in charge of buying, I was in charge of giving.
MRS. ANDERSON: [Laughs.]
MR. ANDERSON: She agreed. And went through the house with her, and we started accumulating things to send out to-we used to say, we'll send it to Bruce, which translated into-to make an appreciated property tax deduction gift to the [Charles A.] Wustum Museum.
MS. OLDKNOW: Have you kept any tabs on this bill that is apparently before the House or the Senate-I don't know which. It was part of a larger tax bill that would allow tax deductions for artists.
MR. ANDERSON: They have been talking about that for at least 15 years. No.
MS. OLDKNOW: And it has not happened.
MRS. ANDERSON: It hasn't happened.
MR. ANDERSON: I don't know. I don't track it.
MRS. ANDERSON: No, it hasn't happened.
MR. ANDERSON: So at the end of the day we started doing spring cleaning and fall cleaning in both homes, and sending much of the material to Bruce. We then sat down and figured out where we wanted to send things. And we-there have been museums that have asked us for things that we have given them, and some that we haven't. We have given some stuff to the Renwick [Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC], when Ken Trapp was there and he wanted some stuff. We gave some stuff to the Craft Museum when they were interested in building their collection. We have given stuff to the Mint Museum of Craft and Design to be supportive. We have given-
MS. OLDKNOW: To the Met-
MR. ANDERSON: To the Met, which frankly we love, because that is our childhood museum and we love them, the Met. We have given-
MS. OLDKNOW: -to Corning.
MR. ANDERSON: Yes, we have.
MRS. ANDERSON: Yes, we have given-
MR. ANDERSON: We just started to give to Corning. [Laughs.] We have given to the MFA Boston all kinds of different stuff.
MRS. ANDERSON: Milwaukee.
MR. ANDERSON: Actually we-yeah, Milwaukee.
MS. OLDKNOW: Milwaukee Art Museum [Milwaukee, WI].
MR. ANDERSON: But in Boston, Boston is the only museum that has something from almost every part of Dale's collecting. We just gave them some of the Native American material.
MRS. ANDERSON: Including a totem pole.
MS. OLDKNOW: Good.
MR. ANDERSON: They have got a lot of stuff. We have given stuff to the Stanford Museum that have an Asian collection, and we knew the Asian curator very well. Indeed we met Pat and Darle Maveety as members of the Collectors' Circle at the Craft Museum, and then we were on the Pilchuck board with Darle, and Pat was the Asian curator at Stanford. A lot to the Norton.
MRS. ANDERSON: The Seattle Art Museum. To the de Young.
MR. ANDERSON: We did something for-
MRS. ANDERSON: I think we have mentioned this-
MR. ANDERSON: When the Benaroyas gave a gallery at the Seattle Art Museum, we commissioned Ginny Ruffner to do something there, and when George and Dorothy gave their collection to Toledo [Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH], we had Flora [Mace] and Joey [Kirkpartrick]-
MS. OLDKNOW: You mean San Francisco?
MRS. ANDERSON: No, both.
MR. ANDERSON: Toledo.
MS. OLDKNOW: Toledo.
MRS. ANDERSON: Davira [Taragin, former curator, Toledo Museum of Art] wanted one of Flora and Joey's large platters of fruit, so we did that for them.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, that's great.
MR. ANDERSON: And what was important about that was that she took that and put it at the feet of a [Alberto] Giacometti sculpture, in front of an Anselm Kiefer painting. And that is-again, that is that same theme that we think so important, that people have to see this stuff in the context of the rest of the art world.
And then when George and Dorothy gave the rest of their collection to the de Young, we asked the curator there, Tim Burgard, to choose something for us to buy for the museum. He, having very good taste, found a rather old Bill Morris sculpture that was worth a hundred-and-some-odd thousand dollars at the time. And we told him that he has very good taste.
MRS. ANDERSON: We can't afford him. [Laughs.]
MR. ANDERSON: And actually, the reality of it was that I didn't think that it would look right for us to do something so out of scale with what we were doing with other people. So we got Ron and Anita Wornick, and Sam and Eleanor Rosenfeld, and Bill Morris, to all chip in, and we made it happen; so we made it a joint gift. And the de Young is going to reopen soon, and it's going to be in the lobby.
MS. OLDKNOW: Excellent.
MR. ANDERSON: So that is a good thing.
MS. OLDKNOW: That is fantastic. Have you ever taken the luxury of reviewing your accomplishments? It's pretty impressive.
MRS. ANDERSON: I wonder-I would love to see everything that we gave. I would love to see pictures of it.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, you can. You can look at your old tax returns.
MRS. ANDERSON: Yeah, but those aren't pictures.
MR. ANDERSON: Yes, there are pictures of every single object.
MRS. ANDERSON: You think?
MR. ANDERSON: Absolutely. Every single object. And when you count them up-because I did this for Martha [Drexler Lynn] for her book-we have already given more than 500 works of art to the Racine Art Museum.
MS. OLDKNOW: Wow. And how many works of art do you think that you have donated to museums total?
MR. ANDERSON: Between six and 700.
MS. OLDKNOW: That is amazing.
MR. ANDERSON: Malcolm Rogers asked me to make a list for him of what we have given to the MFA Boston, because he wants to credit us at the appropriate financial line because it occurred to him that they don't do that. Like us, we give them a piece or two this year; a couple of years later we give them something else. This year we gave them-
MRS. ANDERSON: -the four photographs and the Indian stuff.
MR. ANDERSON: The four photographs and eight Indian things. By the time you turn around, you give them a quarter of a million dollars' worth of stuff.
MRS. ANDERSON: But you know what is interesting, we were just in Racine for the RAM [Racine Art Museum] Society Weekend, which is one of the reasons I really like this museum, is it is about the artists. Davira Taragin is their curator-this is the second annual RAM Weekend, and this time they had Judith Leiber, because they had taken the Judith Leiber show ["Fashioning Art: Handbags by Judith Leiber"] from the Corcoran [Gallery of Art, Washington, DC], and then from Newark. They had Michael James, who is the quilt maker. They had Akio Takamori, one of our favorite ceramists. And then they had a woman named Daganeet Schokauer, I think is her last name, and she is one of the Israeli jewelers. And the Racine Art Museum and the Israeli Museum are doing a joint show.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, nice.
MRS. ANDERSON: The weekend was about the artists coming, speaking to the group who were there. And I think there were probably 30 or 40 people who were participants of this event. Akio did the workshop. Then we did a light afternoon. The next day we did-making a pocketbook workshop.
MS. OLDKNOW: That sounds fun.
MRS. ANDERSON: It is fabulous. But that is what the museum does. They bring people together. They have the artists with the collectors. I have never seen anything quite as warm and fuzzy, but sincerely. We get to use Wingspread, which is-
MR. ANDERSON: Do you know what Wingspread is?
MRS. ANDERSON: It is Frank Lloyd Wright-
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, yeah.
MR. ANDERSON: Wingspread is the house that he built for Herbert Johnson.
MS. OLDKNOW: The Johnson Wax Research Center is one of my favorite examples of glass architecture. Of course, it uses Pyrex tubing that Corning made.
MR. ANDERSON: And it leaks.
MRS. ANDERSON: But it's beautiful.
MR. ANDERSON: But they all leak.
MS. OLDKNOW: It is great. Pyrex architecture, that is.
MRS. ANDERSON: But Karen Johnson Boyd is really the patron of the Racine Art Museum. And so part of what we get is-the benefit of it-all of the Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, and the family-and we get to use the Gold Rundell Theater and we get to use-
MR. ANDERSON: And we all lived together at Wingspread for the weekend.
MS. OLDKNOW: I think that is great.
MR. ANDERSON: I mean, it's just cool as could be.
MRS. ANDERSON: And that is another-
MR. ANDERSON: What could be better than having drinks at 11 o'clock at night with Albert Paley and Akio and John McQueen?
MRS. ANDERSON: It is fabulous.
MS. OLDKNOW: That is great.
MR. ANDERSON: And it is great for them, because they get to meet all of us. And it turns out that it is basically the same age-like 50s, 60s, collectors and artists-
MRS. ANDERSON: Forties, 50s, 60s.
MR. ANDERSON: Hanging out together.
MS. OLDKNOW: Do you think about, and are you worried about, cultivating younger collectors?
MRS. ANDERSON: Oh, I love it.
MS. OLDKNOW: Do you think that collecting is really only something you do once you hit your mid-40s, because you have disposable income?
MRS. ANDERSON: I think that you have disposable income, you have time, and you don't have children breaking everything. I think most younger couples don't have any of those things. Well, there are some, and we know a couple who were in their 40s, but they lived a life that is more like their parents. It is not quite as frenetic-it is more separate from their children, or the children are better behaved, or their houses are bigger, or something.
But, no, I think that is why it's important to go out and talk to younger collectors and not make it as serious as it is, or it will be. I mean, there is a beginning and there is a way to enjoy doing this and it's inclusive, although Doug and I don't collect that way. I mean, the agreement is that I do the collecting and he does the giving away, and it doesn't matter if he doesn't like it. I hope he doesn't like it sometimes. [They laugh.] Well, it's true.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, I think you've asked a very interesting question. I think that the answer to that question is, in my point of view, the generation of the media groupies is over, I believe.
MS. OLDKNOW: What does that mean?
MR. ANDERSON: That means that I don't think you're going to find 45-year-old hedge fund managers who are going to become glass collectors. But I think that you are going to find 45-year-old hedge fund managers who have a ton of money, who are going to look at contemporary photography and buy a Candida Höfer large-format photograph to put over their fireplace. They are going to buy a Bill Morris Canopic Jar, and they are going to put it on their table. They are going to buy a Jay Musler City Bowl. They are going to go out and buy a Frank Stella early painting.
MRS. ANDERSON: This is about the secondary market.
MR. ANDERSON: They are going to collect in the round.
MS. OLDKNOW: But I think what Doug is saying is that we're also seeing this with artists; they are not media-specific anymore. There was a show recently in Los Angeles at the Hammer Museum called "Thing," that was new sculpture by young Los Angeles artists, none of whom identified themselves with any craft-associated medium, but who were using all kinds of craft materials, and all kinds of combinations, making things that I have never seen before ["Thing: New Sculpture from Los Angeles." The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA: February 6 - June 5, 2005].
MRS. ANDERSON: Really?
MR. ANDERSON: Well, Tina, for years we have been talking about the fact that we like our art well crafted, right? But I don't think that you're going to see-Danny Perkins, whose glasswork-Danny Perkins had a life-changing experience at Pilchuck. He was charged with being-
MS. OLDKNOW: Among many people.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, no, he had one with Jim Dine. He was tasked with working for Jim Dine when Jim was artist-in-residence.
MRS. ANDERSON: He was his gaffer.
MR. ANDERSON: He was his gaffer. At the end of the session, Danny Perkins kind of walked away-his head was totally screwed up. Dine looked at him and said, you're a very talented man. I have looked at your work. Haven't you finished with that idea yet?
MS. OLDKNOW: Who said that to him?
MR. ANDERSON: Jim Dine. Now, it turns out that Danny Perkins is a fabulous painter.
MRS. ANDERSON: He is a great painter.
MR. ANDERSON: We saw one of his paintings in David Bennett's house. They traded. David wanted a painting and Danny wanted a horse. So they swapped out. The painting is fabulous.
MRS. ANDERSON: Linda Boone has them at SOFA [Sculpture Objects Functional Art Expo].
MR. ANDERSON: He made impasto, luscious expressionist paintings. They are fabulous. I think that they are even better than his glass-and we donated a large piece of his glass to the V&A [Victoria & Albert Museum, London] because Jennifer Opie asked us to-she loves his work in glass. They are fabulous.
MS. OLDKNOW: I love it when people move back and forth between media.
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah, he does, but he doesn't present for sale. Except Linda Boone noticed it, and she has been trying to sell the work, except that her clients are all glass heads, and they don't seem to get flat art.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah, they are not moving over.
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, that is a problem for people who collect 3-D art to get to something that is flat.
MS. OLDKNOW: Why?
MRS. ANDERSON: Because I think that people-
MS. OLDKNOW: Well, you have gone from three dimensions to two. I look at this apartment and it is so different than three years ago, when everything was three-dimensional; there was no flat art. And now all of this photography-who did this?
MRS. ANDERSON: Oh, well, you'll love that. We were at the University of Cincinnati, with friends, and we were being shown their master's graduate project. And out of that, there were, I think, five or six artists who have had a special show, and those were the favorites of favorites. And I walked in and I saw this-there were four pieces by this artist. And one was better than the next. And I said, boy, who is this? I love him. Oh, he's 21 years old. He just graduated. His name is-Flick-Jeremy Flick. And I thought, Jesus, I love it. And what it is, is he used an old, sort of, carpet.
MS. OLDKNOW: That is the mixing of materials I was talking about.
MR. ANDERSON: He picked it up in the street, at night.
MRS. ANDERSON: So I said to the dean-
MS. OLDKNOW: I have never seen things like this before.
MR. ANDERSON: This is good, right.
MRS. ANDERSON: It is great! It is great!
MS. OLDKNOW: I love that combination of textile and painting.
MRS. ANDERSON: And he is a great painter.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, I think that-
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, I said I would like to buy it. He said, what do you mean, you want to buy it. He has never sold anything. I said, well, if he is going to be an artist, he just might one day want to sell something.
MS. OLDKNOW: Right. [They laugh.]
MRS. ANDERSON: So Doug communicated with him, and he agreed to sell it for however much it was. And I loved it. And so now we get little notices, and he is now in a big show here. I think he is extraordinarily good.
MS. OLDKNOW: So why do you think that it is hard to go from three-dimensional to two-dimensional work?
MRS. ANDERSON: Because a lot of the people who collect three-dimensional art have been intimidated by flat art. I think that they feel much more comfortable with 3-D art, particularly with clay, because they could know how to do it and manipulate it. They felt comfortable touching it. It wasn't something that they were, sort of, in awe of. I think it was more common. The hand in this was much more comforting, less a confrontational thing. A lot of people go into a museum or into a painting gallery and they are not quite sure what they're looking at, or they are not comfortable with it; a lot of this stuff is very comfortable.
MR. ANDERSON: The other side of that is that if you look at who the glass collectors are-let's talk about the glass collectors; to a large extent they are people who came to collecting later in life-let's call it the first generation of glass collectors. They didn't come with extreme art history backgrounds. They were fairly intimidated by the real art world, so to speak. They were brought in by friends, and they learned that there was a community and other people like them.
MS. OLDKNOW: I think the community part is very attractive.
MR. ANDERSON: And I think that, because of that, they began collecting, learning, and, I believe-
MRS. ANDERSON: It wasn't threatening.
MR. ANDERSON: I believe that these people, who are now probably between 60 and 90, work on the theory "I know what I like." I call it, "I like what I know." And I think that, to a large extent, a lot of them are afraid to adventure out.
MS. OLDKNOW: Do you think it's an age thing?
MRS. ANDERSON: No, I think it's a comfort zone. By the way, I think photography is much more comfortable than painting. Well, not this piece necessarily.
MS. OLDKNOW: It's also about light-not this photograph necessarily, but photography and glass look very good together because they are mediums about light and they both are technically demanding. So I think that on some level, they work together.
MR. ANDERSON: But also-
MRS. ANDERSON: But also, people can take photographs. So it is almost like with the clay, they are not-
MS. OLDKNOW: It's more personal.
MRS. ANDERSON: They are not as afraid of it.
MR. ANDERSON: Now, we, at the Norton and in Florida, one of the things that we do, we belong to their Contemporary Collectors Group. You support the curator at thus-and-such a level, and therefore you are part of this group. And it is a limited group. And the curator, then, over the course of a year or two or three, travels the group through each other's homes and-
MRS. ANDERSON: And they are incredible tours.
MR. ANDERSON: -talks about the collections. Now, Palm Beach is one of those towns. And when you look at some of these collections, they are just extraordinary. And what we have discovered is that most people who collect big paintings, big expensive paintings-
MRS. ANDERSON: And contemporary.
MR. ANDERSON: -also collect Diane Arbus photographs.
MRS. ANDERSON: Or Gregory Crewdson, or Thomas Struth.
MS. OLDKNOW: Right.
MR. ANDERSON: And one of them actually collects Chihuly's Cylinders because he told us that he sees Chihuly as an Abstract Expressionist. And they at one point had an Abstract Expressionist collection, which they sold. And now they are building a '60s collection.
MRS. ANDERSON: Pop, right? They want Pop, some Pop stuff. But the evolution with contemporary painting and sculpture is the photography. It is all of this contemporary photography. So the craft, really, and the painting all seem to go there.
MS. OLDKNOW: Interestingly, photography used to be a maligned medium. It had a lot of the biases against it that craft had.
MR. ANDERSON: But photography is a funny word.
MRS. ANDERSON: Because it means a lot of different things.
MS. OLDKNOW: Well, so does craft.
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah, but when you look at the history of photography-Abbeville's history of photography book [Naomi Rosenblum. A World History of Photography. New York: Abbeville Press, 1997]-you realize that from the center of that wheel cometh lots of spokes, each one being quite different. And the maligned photography is different from the contemporary photography, which is absolutely contemporary art.
MRS. ANDERSON: It's starter contemporary art.
MS. OLDKNOW: When photography started being about ideas, instead of about something beautiful, or technique, that is when it transferred over to contemporary art.
MR. ANDERSON: Absolutely.
MS. OLDKNOW: And that is the same thing that happens with glass and ceramics.
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, that is photography. Those photographs, documenting 9/11.
MS. OLDKNOW: Who are those by?
MRS. ANDERSON: Jeff Mermelstein. Those are real-that is what happened -
MR. ANDERSON: Jeff Mermelstein on 9/11, when these were taken, just put his camera around his neck, and wandered down there, and started taking pictures. Now, when you take a look at Jeff Mermelstein's picture of the Seward Johnson-
MRS. ANDERSON: J. Seward Johnson.
MR. ANDERSON: -sculpture, which by the way, looks like a black-and-white photograph until you really look at it. They are in color.
MS. OLDKNOW: I know that that is real. That is color.
MR. ANDERSON: When you look at that and juxtapose it to the Sandy Skoglund photograph of the Raining Popcorn installation, it is like they kind of talk to each other.
MS. OLDKNOW: It is a gorgeous juxtaposition.
MRS. ANDERSON: That is contemporary art and that is photography.
MR. ANDERSON: You had asked a question earlier about whether we come to know the photographers and the answer is-the story of how we began this is that we go every year with Tom and Marilyn Patti to MASS MoCA [Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA].
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, well, that is nice.
MR. ANDERSON: Love MASS MoCA.
MS. OLDKNOW: I do, too.
MR. ANDERSON: And one year we were there and in one of the big galleries was an exhibition of Catherine Chalmers's Food Chain. There were 67 very large-scale 40-by-60 photographs of the food chain. We looked at it, and it just blew our minds.
MRS. ANDERSON: I thought I had died and gone to heaven, because, as a collector, all of the Northwest Coast Indian stuff, which I really love, was a collection that just sat there. I wasn't interested in acquiring it anymore. It didn't mean anything to me. But I was always looking. And until I saw those Catherine Chalmers photographs, I didn't have any desire-I didn't know where to go.
MS. OLDKNOW: So you hadn't considered photography before then?
MR. ANDERSON: No.
MRS. ANDERSON: We had a little bit here, a few pieces there.
MR. ANDERSON: We had a couple of [Edward S.] Curtis photographs.
MRS. ANDERSON: Which made a lot of sense with the Indian things.
MS. OLDKNOW: Of course.
MRS. ANDERSON: And I had always liked Sandy Skoglund, but we didn't own them. No, it was that moment where the light went off and I said, oh my God, this is really what I see. This is what I want, not realizing the difference between what this is as contemporary art as opposed to what that is-it's photography art. To me it was all photography. That was the moment.
MR. ANDERSON: So there was a book with it, a little book. And we found out that Catherine Chalmers lived in New York. And we got home, and I picked up the phone and called her, introduced myself. And I said that we had seen her show at the MASS MoCA. Could we come down for a visit? She said, absolutely, that would be great. She was very taken aback. And Dale and Lucy Feller went-
MRS. ANDERSON: My cousin.
MR. ANDERSON: I didn't go.
MRS. ANDERSON: So Lucy and I went down and looked. And she had a few of the prints, but not a lot of them, because she was just really beginning her journey. She was still working on another series. And we realized that it was peculiar in the art world that collectors meet the artists.
MS. OLDKNOW: Very peculiar.
MRS. ANDERSON: But coming from the craft world, you were friendly with all of the artists.
MR. ANDERSON: So she aimed us at her gallery-a gallery called Rare [New York, NY]-
MRS. ANDERSON: Yeah, but I wouldn't work with the gallery. I wanted to work with her. Pay the gallery, or the commission; that was fine, but I wanted to work with her. So then it was a question of going through, and they were-each of these photographs-there must have been 10 other ones on a contact sheet. And so she had made the selection-or MASS MoCA made the selection for them, which didn't necessarily mean that that was what I wanted. So it took hours sitting there and working out with her how to tell the story.
We were so excited about it that Doug called Tina Orr-Cahall [director, Norton Museum of Art] and said, oh my God. And at that point Neil Watson [former curator, Norton Museum of Art] was the curator there. And they got to see this, and they went bananas.
MR. ANDERSON: You know, he [Watson] is at Katonah now [Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY].
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah.
MRS. ANDERSON: They went bananas. And so when we bought them for us, we bought them for them.
MR. ANDERSON: And the MFA Boston.
MS. OLDKNOW: That is great.
MR. ANDERSON: And so hearing-
MS. OLDKNOW: One for us, one for them-
MRS. ANDERSON: Four for them, four for them, and 12 for us.
MR. ANDERSON: So here I am now talking to the gallery. And the gallery owner is a jerk, this particularly gallery.
MRS. ANDERSON: Great taste.
MR. ANDERSON: Great taste. Couldn't sell their way out of a paper bag, and I called the guy up and I said I would like to buy 20. And by the way, I don't like the size that you have chosen, because they had chosen the gigantic ones, the 40-by-60 ones.
MRS. ANDERSON: Or the little ones.
MR. ANDERSON: Or little ones. And I said I wanted an intermediate size. So then we told them what size we wanted. Oh, we can't do that. This guy was, like, no to everything.
MRS. ANDERSON: But excuse me. Again, from the craft world, we didn't know you're not supposed to do that.
MR. ANDERSON: So I called Catherine up there and I said, listen, I want to buy 20 pictures. I mean, how many guys want to buy 20 of your pictures? So she is laughing. And I said, here is the problem, can you-would you consider fixing it? And she said, you know, you're absolutely right. We need to have the intermediate size. So she upped the size, then the gallery wanted to make them $1,000-a-picture more, because they were bigger. I said I would be happy to pay the up charge on what it costs to develop them, to print them. How much is it? Sixty dollars? Well, yeah, but that is not the way we operate. I said, well, that is not the way we operate. So at the end of the day we settled this thing, because they realized that eight of the 20 pictures were going to the two museums.
MRS. ANDERSON: But also what we learned is technically how the photography business works. So now we have a framer, we have a mounter. The mounter, Willy, mounts everything we own. He knows our collections better than I do. If I wanted to know something, I call him up and say, what was that?
MRS. ANDERSON: And also we learned about framing.
MR. ANDERSON: And we discovered that the dealers use a guy in Pennsylvania out on a farm who runs a truck in every week and picks stuff up, frames it, and brings it back. The stuff costs a third of the price.
MRS. ANDERSON: But it is so much more involved in its own way than ceramic, glass, fiber. I just bought a fiber piece. I have the-
MR. ANDERSON: Which one?
MRS. ANDERSON: The Jon Eric Riis.
MR. ANDERSON: Oh, okay.
MRS. ANDERSON: I have been out of my mind for him. I think that this man is a genius.
MS. OLDKNOW: I think fiber is an incredibly exciting field right now.
MRS. ANDERSON: I do, too. But the problem with it is conservation and light. It's bad enough with the photographs, but living in Florida, it is killer.
MS. OLDKNOW: Do you have film on your windows?
MRS. ANDERSON: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.] And in Florida we have a-you should see-it doesn't matter. I have beautiful fabric. One side faces the sun, it's white; the other side is pink. So even with all of the film on it-
MR. ANDERSON: The glazing that we use on the photographs is UV.
MRS. ANDERSON: And so is the glazing of the windows, but it's not enough. But anyway, I have looked at Jon Eric Riis for years. Years ago I had seen those three big pieces that were-all of the coral beading, and they were the children-the African children with the guns. And they were flat; they were museum pieces. Weren't those incredible? And then I have been looking at his kimonos with the pearl.
Last year, I couldn't help myself. Doug, God bless him, sweet thing, went with-we were at SOFA and-now decides-he is with Andy Bronfman and they are going to buy me a present, a Carol Eckert. And so he decides to buy them for me.
MR. ANDERSON: What do mean "they" are going to buy you a present? [They laugh.]
MRS. ANDERSON: Doug is going to buy me something.
MR. ANDERSON: Andy is going to pick them.
MS. OLDKNOW: Andy is going to stand around while Doug buys you a present.
MR. ANDERSON: Andy's going to needle me and I am going to buy you a present. [Laughs.]
MRS. ANDERSON: So he goes and he looks at another Carol Eckert. And it was a beautiful Carole Eckert they had had-it was much more complicated than these. And I had looked at it because I had done a quick run-through to see what she was doing, too. But as they're looking, I notice that there is a black pearl kimono, and in the black pearl kimono are silk, petit-point frogs in green. To die for. I said to Doug, I said, honey-and I think I made sure that somebody was there, too, so he didn't get mad at me. [They laugh.] I said, you know what, honey, thank you, I love the kimono.
MR. ANDERSON: Jane Adlin.
MRS. ANDERSON: I said, could you please-would you be upset if we credited the Carol Eckert and we up'ed it to the John Eric Riis. Well, I'm telling you, I really wanted one. Jane Adlin turns around and she says, oh, good! Now I could have it for the Met. I said, do you think I could have it for a couple of years before you put your hands on it? [They laugh.]
MR. ANDERSON: So I made it a condition of the purchase that Jane would take it.
MS. OLDKNOW: Okay, good. Listen, I'll go shopping with you any time. [They laugh.] Let's talk about the Israeli group.
MRS. ANDERSON: With the Bronfmans?
MS. OLDKNOW: What do you call it?
MR. ANDERSON: AIDA.
MS. OLDKNOW: AIDA.
MR. ANDERSON: As in the opera. The Association of Israel's Decorative Arts.
MS. OLDKNOW: Okay, thank you.
MRS. ANDERSON: So Doug and I have friends named Andy and Charles Bronfman.
MR. ANDERSON: Andrea.
MRS. ANDERSON: Andy. And they are-a quarter of their life is lived in Israel. They are very involved there, as they are in the United States-they live in New York; they used to live in Canada. They live in Palm Beach. Anyway, Charles was being honored-this is right after 9/11-I think it was called the Citizen of Jerusalem, which is a very major award in Israel. Doug and I had never been to Israel. We were having dinner with them and I said, you know, we're coming. They said, what do you mean you're coming? There is a war. I said, you know what-
MR. ANDERSON: It was right after 9/11.
MS. OLDKNOW: It was a bad time to go. I remember when you went to Israel. I was worried.
MRS. ANDERSON: We said, we're coming. So they said, all right. So they were going-I guess it was over New Year's, and they arranged for a guide for us. We were going to go for two weeks.
MS. OLDKNOW: With them.
MR. ANDERSON: Yes.
MS. OLDKNOW: Okay, on their plane.
MRS. ANDERSON: On their plane. So they arranged for us to have a guide, and they were going to live their life there, and we're going to come and go and do all of these things so that we get to see some of it. The guide was very good, very interesting, but, you know what? I want to see the art. Where is the ceramics? Where are the textiles? And we're getting little glimpses of it.
So it turns out that the Eretz Israel Museum, which is in Tel Aviv-a woman who runs the retail operation there is named Aviva Ben-Sira-happens to have the best gallery, basically of contemporary craft, decorative arts.
MS. OLDKNOW: Ben-Sira-S-
MR. ANDERSON: I-R-A. Ben, hyphen, Sira.
MRS. ANDERSON: Anyway, so we go and we now bond with Aviva, and we want to see this. And the next thing I know, this poor guide only wants to show us ruins. We are now in people's houses looking at their tapestries. We're looking at their dishes. We're looking at-it's coming out of the walls. And he is like-but you're supposed to be seeing Zipporah. I kept on saying, no, we want to see the artists and the collectors. [They laugh.]
Anyway, we get to see everything. And we have the best time. And we come back and we say to Andy and Charles, this is phenomenal. We are going to organize a Collectors' Circle-type trip. We are going to bring 30 people, and we're going to come and show everybody this great stuff that is here. Yay! So we're really excited. We start planning the trip. Doug-
MS. OLDKNOW: I love that you're such organizers.
MRS. ANDERSON: So he starts writing the list. Everyone agrees to go; everything is fine. And then the Intifada really goes into overdrive. So there is no way we can do it. So we're sitting at dinner with Andy one night and I'm lamenting. So she says, well, why can't we bring the artists here? Why not? Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Doug says, I'll call Mark Lyman at SOFA. So the next day, Mark Lyman happened to be in New York.
MR. ANDERSON: No.
MRS. ANDERSON: No, two days later?
MR. ANDERSON: No, he flew to New York.
MRS. ANDERSON: He flew to New York, okay. He and Anne come to New York. Charles and Andy, Doug and I, just sit down and have a drink at Andy and Charles' apartment, and Mark says, you know, what a great idea. We'll give you booth one. We will give you everything that you need. We will charge you nothing. We would love you to bring your Israeli artists to the United States to the SOFA show.
MR. ANDERSON: Time out. What was unsaid, but he gave me a look, and the look was, you will please make sure that the entire Jewish community of Chicago that doesn't know about SOFA shows up.
MRS. ANDERSON: Comes.
MR. ANDERSON: Please. [They laugh.] And I said, mm-hmm. [Affirmative.] [They laugh.]
MRS. ANDERSON: So we did that. And we decide that the reason we are going to do this is so that we can bring the artists to the United States. They can meet everybody and see everything. But we are going to get them accepted into the American galleries. We are going to place these artists in American galleries. I promise you, we had no idea what we were doing and how we were going to accomplish this.
MR. ANDERSON: First of all, we don't have a not-for-profit.
MRS. ANDERSON: We don't have anything.
MR. ANDERSON: Second, we have no idea what this is going to cost.
MRS. ANDERSON: We don't know how we're going to do it.
MR. ANDERSON: Third, we have no idea that we're going to be even able to do it. And fourth, Charles Bronfman and Andrea Bronfman and Dale Anderson and Doug Anderson have been retired for a long time and none of us know how to run a gallery. We had no idea what we were going to do.
MRS. ANDERSON: No idea. So we-
MR. ANDERSON: So we thought it was kind of funny.
MRS. ANDERSON: So we have a quick confab and we think, all right, we need a jury. So Aviva Ben-Sira at the Eretz Israel Museum, Rifka Saker, who runs Sotheby's Israel, who is a friend of Andy's, they are going to be the front guys. They are going to start gathering portfolios and stuff and looking through things. And then they are going to send it to me. I asked Jane Adlin from the Met, ran it by Davira Taragin from Racine-would they mind being on a jury with me, and we would look at all of the stuff, and then we'll decide who the artists are, and then we will decide what the pieces are and we'll set it all up. Now, of course none of us know how to do this.
So we have other friends named Norm [Norman] and Elisabeth Sandler, right, an architect and designer in Seattle. So we called them up and we said, you know what, we just got ourselves involved in something. How would you like to join us and design and help set up the booth?
MR. ANDERSON: And I called Jo Mett up and I tell her that we are in deep trouble-
MRS. ANDERSON: We need a project manager.
MR. ANDERSON: Would you be the project manager in America? Jo had over the years in Florida worked for-
MRS. ANDERSON: -every glass gallery-
MR. ANDERSON: Holsten [Galleries, Stockbridge, MA], Bruce Helander [Gallery, New York, NY]-
MRS. ANDERSON: Heller [Gallery, New York, NY].
MR. ANDERSON: Heller and-
MRS. ANDERSON: Habatat [Galleries, Royal Oak, MI].
MR. ANDERSON: Habatat. [Laughs.] And she was, at that moment, at liberty. And she said, you know something, I need a not-for-profit thing to do. I'm on. I'll run the booth.
MRS. ANDERSON: This happened within a week. Now we had to figure out what we're going to-what are we going to look at; what are we going to do?
MR. ANDERSON: Dale is figuring out what she is going to do, and I'm figuring out how the hell are we going to pay for this? [They laugh.]
MRS. ANDERSON: We have got to raise money. [They laugh.]
MR. ANDERSON: By the time we got finished with this, we were going to bring all of the artists, because we wanted to show that Israelis don't only look like soldiers.
MRS. ANDERSON: We had to put them up at a hotel; we had to give them materials to make new work; we had to give them an honorarium to afford to be in Chicago.
MR. ANDERSON: We didn't know that all of these artists really needed to look at this work so they would see what was going on outside their own backyard. And we didn't know that because there was no market for their work in Israel-
MRS. ANDERSON: And that Intifada killed all tourism and the high-tech market had crashed-
MR. ANDERSON: So what we didn't know is that the artists are all teachers. Most of them are making a living teaching.
MRS. ANDERSON: And they are not working as artists. Half of them didn't have enough money for their own-for the material.
MR. ANDERSON: So we did a quick budget on this free booth. And we figured it was about $100,000 to do this deal.
MRS. ANDERSON: So then we have to raise money.
MR. ANDERSON: We figured we would put some money in, and we started to ask for money. But we didn't have a not-for-profit for people to send it to, and we actually didn't want one, because we figured this was a one-off and we don't want to build-America doesn't need another not-for-profit. So we figured out a way of doing it through the Jewish Communal Fund.
MS. OLDKNOW: Great.
MRS. ANDERSON: Anyway, so eventually, the Israeli connection sends the jurors a whole bunch of stuff. And we go through it and we need some more. And we get more, and we get more. And finally we end up with, I think, nine or 10 artists. Now we have to figure out how are we going to disseminate these pictures, because Jane needs it, I needed it, Aviva needs it, and Norm needs it. So there was, like, 10 copies of everything floating around-
MR. ANDERSON: And no one is computer literate.
MRS. ANDERSON: And we have never seen the pieces, right. So we have never seen them; we have never touched them. We have no idea how big they are. We don't know what they really feel like.
MR. ANDERSON: And they are Israelis, so sometimes they switch what they are sending-
MRS. ANDERSON: Oh, it's unbelievable. Anyway, we finally figured out sort of a way to do it. And we had all of the artists- there must have been 15 people in this booth all trying to organize themselves.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, before you did that, you did something that I found horrifying. You went to Kinko's-
MRS. ANDERSON: Yes, we didn't know what else to do.
MR. ANDERSON: Dale decided-
MRS. ANDERSON: Got Jane and went.
MR. ANDERSON: -she would go to Kinko's and make a portfolio of pictures for every artist and for every one of our people to have so that everyone would have the same thing. How about $1,200 worth of Kinko's? [They laugh.] Have you ever had a $1,200 Kinko's bill?
MRS. ANDERSON: Well-
MR. ANDERSON: And Charles was funny. He said, didn't any of you ever hear of the Internet?
MRS. ANDERSON: Right. So we finally get it all done, and we are now assembling this booth, which was designed by Norm and Lis, who were trying to figure out-[laughs]-from these pictures-and things aren't the right shape; they are not the-I mean, finally, we get it done and we were in a sweat. It was wild.
And it's opening night. And what was important-one of the things that was important-to Jane and Davira and to myself was that people wouldn't walk into the booth and feel, because it was Jewish and they were Jewish, that they should buy something. It needed to compete-if it was going to be in the galleries, it needed to compete with everything that was at SOFA.
Everybody who walked into SOFA stopped at our booth because it was the first thing you saw in the hall and because Norm and Lis's design was great. You just never saw anything like this.
But eventually, out of the artists we brought, I think we placed seven in galleries, all right, and we sold a whole bunch of stuff. And people would look and then they would go look at the rest of the show and then come back. And people would come-and one of them, Aviva was so excited, she said, oh my God, we sold something to somebody who isn't Jewish. And she knew that we were a success. Whew!
MS. OLDKNOW: Would you ever run a gallery after this experience?
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, we did it again, and we're doing it this year for the last time.
MR. ANDERSON: And we did it at Collect in London [Victoria & Albert Museum, London].
MS. OLDKNOW: What do you think about Collect?
MRS. ANDERSON: We didn't go last year because that was the opening of palmbeach3.
MR. ANDERSON: They were at the same time.
MRS. ANDERSON: And we were the chairmen of the event. And so Andy went to Collect.
MS. OLDKNOW: Are you going to go this year?
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah, we are. It will be interesting. I'm not sure. So at the end of the day, one of our flock is Dafna, Dafna Kaffeman.
MS. OLDKNOW: That is right. I was eyeing her horse thinking, oh, I would like to have that for the museum.
MR. ANDERSON: You can have it.
MRS. ANDERSON: You can have it.
MS. OLDKNOW: Thank you. [They laugh.]
MR. ANDERSON: And it's not your job.
MRS. ANDERSON: I'm sorry. But you can have it.
MR. ANDERSON: Will you take it home with you?
MS. OLDKNOW: Sure.
MR. ANDERSON: Okay.
MRS. ANDERSON: Okay. It's yours.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah, I would be happy to take it. That would be fabulous.
MRS. ANDERSON: She will love that. And then Mikhail Zahavi, who is a ceramist that Duane Reed [R. Duane Reed Galleries, New York, NY] has taken on. I mean, there are several of them that are really great.
MR. ANDERSON: And also as they are placed, we have learned to tell them to listen to their dealers and to let their dealers guide them. And some of them are, which is really nice.
MS. OLDKNOW: That is excellent. I think it's really important.
MR. ANDERSON: And we don't want to be their parents.
MS. OLDKNOW: To bring artists in, and to let them learn how to survive here, and take advantage of what a wonderful market there is here.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, we just didn't deal with-well, Dale has talked about that earlier for this group, for AIDA, where we did this joint venture with Watershed, and we did it as a test. And the test was so good-it was good on a bunch of levels, including the fact that Lynn Thompson [director of Watershed] found that-she has to raise money for each session to cover the costs of the session, and we found this was a very easy session to fund. The notion was appealing to her supporters.
MS. OLDKNOW: But you know, this is all part of a larger picture for you-constantly supporting artists through raising scholarships.
MR. ANDERSON: Or the CGCA [Contemporary Glass Center of America] thing.
MS. OLDKNOW: You have been involved in that all along.
MR. ANDERSON: The whole Pilchuck story is a whole story of its own.
MRS. ANDERSON: But that is the point. Having played all of the roles in it, with the exception of being the artist, which neither of us can do that, you learn what is needed and you play the part; you support it.
MS. OLDKNOW: What do you think is needed now? What interests you most?
MR. ANDERSON: [Laughs.] Those are two different questions.
MS. OLDKNOW: That is true. I think that one of the big things that is missing is that when craft programs went into universities-into the art programs-they did not go into art history programs. So we are not churning out people who are curatorial types. And it has to happen.
MR. ANDERSON: So you have Bill Carlson, who moved to the University of Miami as chairman of the Art and Art History Department, and who after a while moved away from that, because he found himself into an endowed chair that will allow him to do his work and represent the university. But the university is the loser for that, because he really is very interested in tying art history to art making, and there aren't a lot of people who are.
MS. OLDKNOW: Right.
MRS. ANDERSON: All the critics. There is not enough of that. There are not enough people who do critical-
MR. ANDERSON: Well, you know, it was interesting. Linda Schlenger, who is our friend who started a group called Friends of Contemporary Ceramics, FCC. And to some extent, she was looking at what the glass people were doing, and what Dale and I were doing, and decided that she would start this organization up, and one day she convinced the Met to do a ceramics show.
MRS. ANDERSON: It was after the glass show.
MR. ANDERSON: It was after the glass show, and there were two very amusing-and one of the two amusing things was actually on point. One of the amusing things was that she brought Peter Voulkos to the museum to see the show when it first opened.
MS. OLDKNOW: The ceramics show?
MR. ANDERSON: The ceramics show, and she had donated a piece of Voulkos's, one of his stacks, to the museum. He goes over to his stack that is in the gallery at the museum, and he goes to fondle it, and the guard comes over to him and says, I'm sorry, sir, you can't touch the work. And Linda-he was taken aback-and Linda looked at the guard and said, you know, you're a very wise man. He's the guy who broke it in the first place. [They laugh.]
MS. OLDKNOW: That's classic!
MR. ANDERSON: Now, the other thing was that-
MS. OLDKNOW: Did she have support from her ceramic community, like you have in your glass community?
MR. ANDERSON: Yes.
MRS. ANDERSON: No, it's not. It's different.
MR. ANDERSON: Very junior size.
MRS. ANDERSON: It's much smaller.
Camille Cook has an interesting group with her Friends of Contemporary Fiber, where she had not a huge amount of financial support, but a tremendous amount of artists are members of that group.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, in Linda's case, one of the things they did on the opening day was they had a panel discussion in the Grace Rainey Auditorium, the big auditorium. And it was very celebratory, but on the panel was [J.] Stewart Johnson who was Jane's boss, and Helen Drutt [English] and I forgot who-who is the ceramic artist whose work is now in Marfa, Texas-you like him. You-if you don't know him, you would love him. He makes those-used to make-
MRS. ANDERSON: Ken Price.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, Ken Price, sure.
MR. ANDERSON: And everyone was talking about how wonderful it was to have this fabulous sculpture show in the Met-comma, it's made out of ceramic. And Helen was kvetching about the fact that there was no-there were no signs that talked about how the stuff was made. And Stewart was terrific; what he said was, Helen, you won the war. It's here. It's at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It's acknowledged to be good sculpture because it's here. I would no more expect to see a sign in the Flemish Painting Department saying this was painted with one hair. This is an art show. This is a sculpture show. Take this whole show and move it to the American Craft Museum, you'll have completely different wall panels and that would be appropriate. But this is the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
MS. OLDKNOW: Did you feel that was condescending?
MRS. ANDERSON: Yes.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, you're nicer than I am. [Laughs.]
MRS. ANDERSON: That's true.
MS. OLDKNOW: I remember when I was at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art-I was a curator there-Dan Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser approached the museum and said, we would like to start donating contemporary studio glass to your museum. We said, what's that, you know? And then they said: tell us what you want. That kind of enlightened approach is amazing. There's only a few people who really do that: you, and Dan and Susan, and the Saxes, and maybe the Wornicks now.
MR. ANDERSON: So well, with Dan and Susan, earlier on, I was saying that we all grew up in studio glass boot camp.
MS. OLDKNOW: Glass boot camp. And what was glass boot camp?
MR. ANDERSON: Well, this stuff [glass] is hard to deal with. I mean you've got to move it around.
MS. OLDKNOW: It's fragile.
MR. ANDERSON: It's fragile. It's hard.
MRS. ANDERSON: You've got to light it.
MR. ANDERSON: All these things. So one day, Dan knows-the good part about Dan and Susan, Dale and I, is that we always collect in the same areas, but we don't ever see the same thing. So there isn't the slightest chance for competition. It's just collegial.
MS. OLDKNOW: Do you have competitions with each other?
MR. ANDERSON: Never.
MRS. ANDERSON: That's not so. In the early days, when we all traveled together, there was always a joke. That George and Dorothy Saxe would arrive at the city two days early.
MRS. ANDERSON: Yeah, he would go and look before that. And then Jack and Becky-Jack Benaroya got competitive, too, and then somebody else did, too, and then everybody said, really, what's the big deal? The galleries are going to put-anyway, they know what we collect, and they'll tell us if there's anything we want.
MR. ANDERSON: So one day, we were coming to Los Angeles, and Dan, with a very devilish smile, said in the nicest way, come to lunch with us at the Getty and don't make any plans for the afternoon. So we went to lunch at the Getty, which is lovely, and he said, I'm now going to introduce you to our new best friend-
MRS. ANDERSON: Weston Naef [curator of photography, the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA].
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah, Weston Naef.
MR. ANDERSON: And we said, okay. And Dan said, Dale, put away your collector's eye, because there's nothing here that you would possibly like, and don't discuss what you like with Weston, because he has strong points of view and it's not anything that you like. You won't want to hear it. So we go and we get an insider tour of the photography department at the Getty Museum. And if they could have taken out all 60,000 pictures, they would have.
But we spent a lot of time on Dorothea Lange, which was a very interesting-listening to Weston Naef talk about Dorothea Lange is just fabulous.
MRS. ANDERSON: Wait a minute-I have to interrupt while you're saying this-because vintage photography, there's a whole issue about vintage and the age of it. With contemporary craft, you know when everything was made.
MS. OLDKNOW: That's right.
MRS. ANDERSON: Everything is what it seems to be. The only issue is if there is a piece that is in edition of something, and if it's an edition, it has to be cast. But it's probably different anyway. But photography is a whole other world. Okay.
MS. OLDKNOW: This is Tina Oldknow interviewing Doug and Dale Anderson at their home in New York City, New York, on July 22, 2005, for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, disc number five.
We wanted to talk about some of the commissions that you have organized with artists and about some of your friendships. What was your first commission?
MRS. ANDERSON: Paul Marioni and Ann Troutner were our first commission-we'd been at their studio, again, with an American Craft Museum trip, as we'd been in many studios in Seattle and other places. And I found their work absolutely engrossing, and we were doing our apartment in New York, and I had bought two [Edward] Curtis photographs. And I said to Doug, wouldn't it be fun to call them up and have them reproduce one of the Curtis photographs as a window?
MR. ANDERSON: Especially because the window that we were talking about looks out onto rather ugly courtyard.
MRS. ANDERSON: So I called them up and I said, what do you think of this, and they said, what, are you crazy? And about six weeks later, they called and they said, you know, it might be a great idea. So we sent them one of the photographs, and when the window was done, they bought an old, used Cadillac convertible (it was the same cost as shipping the window), and they ended up driving it across country to install it, because they weren't going to entrust it to any shipper, and they put it in. As a matter of fact, I think we were having a Glass Alliance [Art Alliance of Contemporary Glass] meeting-
MS. OLDKNOW: And this is for your New York apartment?
MRS. ANDERSON: This is for our New York apartment. And they installed it and everything, and we were just, like, in awe, and then what they did is they took the two photographs and they made frames for the photographs, so the whole thing is all like one installation.
MS. OLDKNOW: And what does it show?
MR. ANDERSON: Well, it's-first of all, it's six feet square and it's cast glass, and it is one of the Kwakiutl images from the Northwest Coast, Edward Curtis portfolio. And in addition to it being cast glass, they took a transparency-they made a transparency of the photograph and they embedded it in a part of the window, so at night it glows, and you see it. During the daytime, it picks up the natural sunlight and it glows, and it's spectacular.
MS. OLDKNOW: And this is the only Northwest Coast thing you have left in your collection, is that true?
MRS. ANDERSON: Just about.
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah.
MRS. ANDERSON: But what that led to is when we started to think about how we were going to re-do our apartment in Florida, we had broken two apartments into one actually, and we decided to take a wall, we needed some sort of wall, and so we asked Paul and Ann if they would consider working with our architect and doing all the interior walls in the apartment. So they have, in Florida, nine different installations in there.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, part of the problem-the good news was that in doing this commission with them here in New York, we really got to know them. And they're spectacular. I mean they're just spectacular people. So on the one hand, you do business with them as artists. On the other hand, you discover that you really like each other and you become friends. And now we have this second opportunity to work with them. And what was happening there was when we went to tear the walls down, we would wind up with two caves basically, because the apartments were built that way. And the question was, how do you transmit light through the apartment-
MRS. ANDERSON: Without it being a clear window, because you need to have privacy.
MR. ANDERSON: And a lot of what they do, and you were talking before about Paul's lecture at the GAS [Glass Art Society] conference, a lot of what they do in the way they structure their castings has to do with moving light. And it's really quite unbelievable. Sometimes I'll get up in the morning in Florida, and I'll know that it's too early, not because I'm looking at the clock, but because one of their windows, an internal window, isn't glowing. When it starts to glow, I know it's time to get up. If it's not glowing, I know it's time to roll over. And they're fabulous.
MS. OLDKNOW: That's great.
MR. ANDERSON: And they're not only beautiful works of craftsmanship. They all have some thinking that goes into them. So they were concerned in Florida to do beach grass. They were taken by beach grass in South Florida, so each of the windows has that theme, and butterflies and things built in. And they're free of color. I mean they're all clear.
MRS. ANDERSON: Except in my bathroom, which is a very large window. They wanted to do an African hut. They had never done one, so they said, could they do it? And I said, sure, you do whatever you want. And it is just the most beautiful, intricate piece.
MS. OLDKNOW: I love the way you say, you can do whatever you want. Are you usually that way with your commissions?
MRS. ANDERSON: Yes, I don't believe in telling artists what to do. The fact is that we commission, or I commission, somebody who I know, and who knows me, and knows Doug. And the only thing I will say on occasion, if there's a-like certain shelves are 17 inches high or whatever, it has to-it can be five feet long, but it can't be higher than 17 inches because it won't fit, and I need the ability to be able to move it. But I would say, other than if it's a specific window or door, that's the only requirement that I have. And we will discuss philosophy and, you know-no, nothing.
It's when we discussed Tom Patti's piece for Doug's 50th birthday, which he did these five circles, orbs, balls, whatever they were-I mean, I gave Tom absolutely no direction whatsoever. When it was our 20th anniversary, I commissioned Bill Morris, and Flora and Joey, and there was somebody else-it was, I think, Lucy Feller-to do a piece. And the only thing I gave each of them was the fact that it had to be under 17 inches. And other than that, that was it.
And Flora and Joey did a piece that was a boat, and it had hemp in it, and it had glass in it. And it was the first time that they had ever used all those elements together.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, really? Because now, that's characteristic of their work.
MRS. ANDERSON: But that was the first.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, that's great.
MRS. ANDERSON: And they said-they were very funny-they said this was one of the most difficult things they did, because it was the two of them discussing their work, but it was like Doug and I were at the table, too, and they're not used to doing that. But that was successful.
And then the Bill Morris rattle, that was the first rattle he had ever done. Doug had sent him a postcard from Colorado, just of a rattle. And when we talked about doing his commission, this is what arrived.
MS. OLDKNOW: So it was a Kwakiutl rattle?
MRS. ANDERSON: Kwakiutl rattle.
MR. ANDERSON: It was, but Bill translated it and he-now what does he call that?
MRS. ANDERSON: Bullfrog.
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah, it's a bullfrog.
MRS. ANDERSON: Bullfrog.
MR. ANDERSON: Because there's a frog on the rattle that has bull's horns.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, how funny.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, you know, the funny part about what Dale always says about the Marioni / Troutner commission in Florida is that, because I have a habit of giving things away, she decided that there were certain things that would never, ever be given away, and they're built into the house. I mean, that's the way it is.
MRS. ANDERSON: In Palm Beach also, there are a series of eight chairs that are done by Silas Kopf. And these chairs-I always wanted, if I ever had a second dining room, I always wanted to have chairs of his. And I had seen some of them years ago, I guess, at SOFA. I'd seen a couple of them. So when we were doing that apartment, I said, oh, whoop-dee-do, now it's time to go get the chairs.
So I called up Silas, and I said, Silas-actually we did it through Scott Jacobson-Silas, I'm dying to have chairs. Let's discuss the chairs. And he said, all right, well, you can have two different motifs. You can have four flowers and four trees or four whatever. I said, that's not what I want. He said, what do you mean? I said, no, I want four flying things and four swamp things. He said, why? I said, because it's Florida and that's what I want. He said, well, I don't do that. I said, oh come on, yes, you do. So we went back and forth, and finally he had six of the images, and we needed to have the last two. Scott and I sent notes back and forth. And he ended up doing-I think he had done two before. He had never done the other six.
There was a little problem because the chair was a very, sort of a conservative kind of chair, and that's not how our apartment works. So our architect took one look at this and said, wait a minute, this isn't going to work. So he ended up redesigning the chair, which Silas now made a brand-new chair with these incredibly beautiful inlay pieces in it.
MR. ANDERSON: Now, Silas's work, you should know, is all about marquetry, and he does the best marquetry in the country. Nobody does marquetry the way he does.
And again, Silas lives in Northampton, Massachusetts. And we get up there, so we go visit. And when he comes-actually it's an interesting story. One day, he called us that he was visiting his 80-year-old mom-
MRS. ANDERSON: -in Florida.
MR. ANDERSON: In Florida, and could he come over and look at the chairs, because, said he, he had never seen his chairs installed. He had just seen them in his studio. And we said, sure, come over. And he said, mind if I bring my mother? And we said, of course, bring your mother. So they arrive and here's Silas in his Hawaiian flamboyant shirt, and his mother who was, like, five foot nine, steel gray hair, like a steel rod in her back. And she comes in and her first thing was, can I have a scotch? [Laughs.] And of course, we poured her a scotch and she had three, and walked around the apartment and looked at Silas's work, and she started to cry.
And Dale said, what's the matter? And she said, did you know that Silas went to Princeton [University, Princeton, NJ]? And I laughingly said, what's the matter, you couldn't get into Columbia? And she said, well, no, no, Silas went to Princeton, and his father went to Princeton, and his grandfather went to Princeton, and we never knew why Silas would not come home to western Pennsylvania and run the family newspaper. We did not understand why he just wanted to be a carpenter. And she started to cry again and she said, now I understand.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh.
MRS. ANDERSON: She said, I have never seen work like this. And of course, she was looking at the Bill Morris's and the Chihulys and the Marionis and all the other things and his work in context with that; it blew her mind, just blew her mind. She finally got what her son was about.
MR. ANDERSON: So Silas works up in Northampton, and he works basically by himself, and Tom Patti works in Pittsfield, which is like a seven iron away, and he basically works by himself. They each have occasional help, but it's their work, their hands on everything, and they didn't know each other. So one day, we decided that it would be a good idea to have lunch together, so we brought Tom and Marilyn over to visit with Silas, and we just hung out in Northampton. Now, they've become friends, because they get each other. They use different medium. They do different things. But their head is the same.
MS. OLDKNOW: So what else do you have in your apartment in Florida?
MRS. ANDERSON: In New York, the three Canopic Jars are a commission that we did with Bill-I mean, we wanted small jars, meaning, like, really little.
MR. ANDERSON: Eighteen inches.
MRS. ANDERSON: Which in those days, he couldn't do that. So we get a phone call from him, and we're in Seattle. And he says, you know, I don't know what to say, but I did them as small as I could, and they're really much bigger than you want, and if you don't want them, it's really okay; I understand it.
So we walk into the barn, and there are these three gems sitting there, and he was only upset that he couldn't make them small. So we said, no, no, it's fine. We love them just the way they are. And now he could probably make them 18 inches, but he couldn't then.
And then that piece-
MS. OLDKNOW: The Suspended Artifact.
MRS. ANDERSON: The Suspended Artifact was here because he used to spend a night here on occasion. He would be our sleepover date. And there was an Eskimo piece in there, and he hated the piece there, and I said, so why don't you make-
MS. OLDKNOW: I remember that piece.
MRS. ANDERSON: Okay, bothered him to no end.
MR. ANDERSON: He hated it. [Laughs.]
MRS. ANDERSON: Hated it. So he said, I'll make you something. I'll make you a piece for there. I said, okay. So a couple of months later, the box comes and I open it up and there is this incredible piece, and Doug says, oh wow, isn't this great? Let's stick it on the window. I said, no, no, no. He made it for that niche.
MS. OLDKNOW: And it's a fabulous one. It's really one of the better ones that I've seen.
MR. ANDERSON: It is. And we have one of his first ones, when he first learned how to crackle the glass, and he made a Hanging Artifact, and we have that one in Florida.
MRS. ANDERSON: I had asked him, as a matter of fact, for that; it was one of the first times he had used arrows, because I said, you have the whole pouch, so why don't you make some arrows? He said, okay. [Laughs.]
MR. ANDERSON: Now, the reason why we asked him to make the jars in the first place was because we were trying to think-I was trying to think-of what to do about our ashes when we were dead, and I thought it would be a great idea if we could put a third of mine and a third of Dale's in each of these three jars and then give them to the children. [Laughs.] Now, the children thought that was a hideous idea, but I thought-
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, I think it's pretty good. [Laughs.]
MR. ANDERSON: Now I've got a better idea.
MS. OLDKNOW: After all, in ancient Egypt, those were used to contain organs and things.
MR. ANDERSON: Right, well, what we're going to do instead and I haven't gotten to doing it, there are two things. One, I want to put them into timers-like for minute eggs and something like that. And the other thing is in glasses-in the bottom of the glass so that when one of the kids wants to have a drink with me, they can really have a drink with me. [Laughs.]
MRS. ANDERSON: Oh, stop it. Okay.
MR. ANDERSON: Do you want to talk about Bennett Bean?
MS. OLDKNOW: And where is the Bennett Bean?
MRS. ANDERSON: The Bennett Bean is in with that big, huge thing-
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, yes, that's right.
MRS. ANDERSON: Again, when we were doing this apartment in New York, Doug and I had not been into the flat art market in years, so we thought, oh, there's going to be this great wall behind our bed, which is at least, you know, nine feet, so let's go take a look. So we start looking in the galleries and we started investigating. And by the time we were done, we kind of looked at each other and we said, you know, don't like it. It's nothing that's going on. We weren't looking at photography at that point. I don't think it was even happening really then. And I said, we need to get something. We don't want a quilt. So we were at a SOFA show, and Doug actually turned around to Bennett and said, we have this space that would be over our bed, and have you ever thought about making something in those dimensions?
MR. ANDERSON: Actually, I asked him whether he had any broken pots that he could assemble as a wall piece, and he said, no, I don't break my pots. I said, well, you should. [Laughs.] So he came up here, and we were leaving. We gave him the combination to the door, and we said that it was okay for him to come and go, and he did. And we had this great collection of Northwest Coast carvings in the apartment, and he would sit around for hours, so he told us, because it turned out that when he went to high school, where he lived and grew up, there were a lot of Native American guys, so this place was bringing him back to his childhood. And he called and he said that he wanted to make a mixed-media painting that could go over the bed.
And he said that he heard that I was a pretty tough negotiator and so he was going to tell me right up front that he was taking all the negotiating out of this and he was going to give me the bottom line price and it was a take it or leave it deal. And he gave me the price, and I said, you know, it's one thing to negotiate for something that exists, and it's something else to negotiate for something that does not exist. And in my world, you can't beat a manufacturer, so I'd like to give you $2,500 more than what you're asking, just make it great. And I hung up the phone. And he called me back about an hour later and said, you son of a bitch. [Laughs.] And it's fabulous.
And what came out of this is that he made a series of half-sized ones afterwards. He did a half-dozen of them, which sold like hotcakes. But that was as far as he wanted to go with it.
MRS. ANDERSON: Right, and then Bennett decided he wanted to go into the weaving business, so he wanted to design rugs. And he had a group of people, I think in Katmandu. There was a little problem, though, because what he would design and what they could actually execute were not the same.
In Florida, I wanted a rug, and I really wanted Bennett to do it. This became a four-year production. So Bennett would send me-I would get packages of wool that smelled like the yak was still in them, and the postman would go, phwee [sic]. [Laughs.] They would come, and they were gross. And then, we would open them up and I'd call and he'd say, what do you think of this? What do you think of that? Well, finally we sort of ended up with color. Then he started to do test pieces, and the test pieces just weren't right. I wanted it to look like his work, but I wanted it to look like an old rug at the same time. We knew the background color, because we could figure that out.
Four years this went on and one day-it was in March, as a matter of fact-I get a knock on the door. They're coming to deliver the rug. I said, what rug? [Laughs.] The rug that you-you obviously ordered a rug. I said, well, I did. I forgot about it. So they laid it down, and it was the most beautiful rug. I had absolutely forgotten this rug, but a four-year production to get this. It was great.
And then, in the Florida apartment also, again to make sure that Doug didn't give it away, we wanted Chihuly to do something. And he's a really old dear friend, so I thought, okay, what do you want to do? He was coming to Florida, and we said the apartment was naked basically.
MR. ANDERSON: The reason he was coming to Florida was because he had a show at the Norton Museum. And we offered to do a dinner party for the trustees of the museum when Chihuly was in town.
MRS. ANDERSON: And we had literally-we had to rent tables and chairs because we didn't have any of that, because we had just begun to move into the apartment. I think we had a bed and maybe a sofa, so it was perfect. I mean Paul Marioni's walls were in, and that was it. And so we said to Dale, anything you want to do, with the exception of touching any of Marioni's walls; the apartment is yours.
MR. ANDERSON: Our architect was thrilled, just what he wanted. [Laughs.]
MRS. ANDERSON: He was having a nervous breakdown. So we left. Again, we were going someplace. And Chihuly was in Florida for a couple of days.
MR. ANDERSON: And he was there with his son, Jackson [Chihuly]. Jackson had just been born, and Jackson spent the evening that night laying in our bed with someone who was playing the part of baby-sitter, and everyone was coming up to check and see that he had all his fingers and toes and all that.
MS. OLDKNOW: Lesley [Jackson] wasn't with him?
MRS. ANDERSON: Yes.
MR. ANDERSON: Lesley was with him, yes. And so was-what was that guy?
MRS. ANDERSON: Sheldon.
MR. ANDERSON: Sheldon. Sheldon, the plastic surgeon from Marblehead who was a very old friend of Chihuly's.
MRS. ANDERSON: Anyway, so Chihuly was left in the apartment to his own devices. We went off and did whatever. And again, a while later, he called and said, you know, I want to use the staircase. I want to use that whole area. We said, fine, you can have the top. You can have the bottom. You can have anything you want. He said all right, and he builds mock-ups; so we went out to Seattle to look at it, and it was a two-floor event, but there wasn't a second floor that had been constructed to see, so I couldn't see what the second floor was.
So they made me a second floor, and Dale put a chair up there for himself and one for me, and the two of us would sit up there and he would say, well, what do you think of that piece? I'd say, well, I like that. He'd say, do you want any particular color? I'd say, no, it's your chandelier. Whatever colors you want to do, you do. So we would add and subtract, we would add and subtract. And I realized he wasn't using the bottom of the stairs, so I said, Dale, don't you want it to go all the way down? He said, no this is what I want it to be.
So we were having another event of some sort, I don't remember what it was, and it needed to be installed, and they were very sure that they did not want us there. So John Landon and Parks Anderson came with boxes and trucks and stuff, and they started assembling it.
MR. ANDERSON: But they worked with our architect to be sure that the armature was out of the same look as the staircase-
MS. OLDKNOW: It looks great.
MRS. ANDERSON: And they did-I mean, Chihuly did the lighting. They did all the lighting on this, too. So we come home and there is this incredibly gorgeous, happy ceiling, walls; I don't even know how to describe it.
MR. ANDERSON: It looks like butterflies flying out of a bush or something. It was just spectacular.
MRS. ANDERSON: I mean, it doesn't look like anything else, I don't think. And we were thrilled, and so we were going to continue decorating the apartment; everything was fine. And all of a sudden, about a year later comes a box. I look at the box; it's from Chihuly. I'm thinking what is this? And I open it up and there is-it looked like half of a chandelier, a picture. I can't figure it out, and I realize that there's another piece to this.
What he did is he did a double picture of a chandelier, which only fit on one wall in the entire house. He never bothered to mention this, and it was the wall that you saw from the living room that was really basically where the chandelier was and underneath. So he was not finished with this project. It apparently bothered him. He didn't want to add more glass underneath it, but he made this double painting to go on that wall, and of course, it was then completed.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, so-this was a drawing that he sent you?
MRS. ANDERSON: Right.
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, so he sent you these drawings to install below?
MR. ANDERSON: Below, yeah.
MRS. ANDERSON: And that was for him, that completed-so that they would-
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, that's nice.
MRS. ANDERSON: So he wasn't done with it. It was interesting. So that's how I feel about commissions; it is truly the artist has to be satisfied. Hopefully, it moves somebody to the next place. Hopefully, it allows them to do something somewhat different. That's a commission.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, the part that Dale will never talk about in all these things are the economics of them. And again, Chihuly is a friend of 25 years. And Joanna Sikes is a friend of 15 years, I don't know, long time. And we needed to negotiate a price for this, and friendship aside, it is not easy to negotiate with Chihuly. And I'm told it's not necessarily easy to negotiate with me. So we probably could have bought Unical for what this took, but the end game was really fabulous, because the way we ended it was that we came up with a number that both of us could get our arms around, and the last piece of the deal was that, included in the purchase were-I think it was 21, or it may have been 30-I think it was 21 of Chihuly's paintings that we would give to museums. It was 21-we would give to seven museums at the rate of three per museum, and so we gave three to the Norton, and three to the MFA Boston, three to the Met.
MRS. ANDERSON: Three to Racine, three to the Mint.
MR. ANDERSON: Three to the Renwick, and I think we gave three to the Craft Museum. Seven, I think that's what we did. But that was part of the arrangement, and so, we all kind of felt good about it, and certainly the museums felt good about it, which was nice.
MS. OLDKNOW: That's wonderful that you did all that. Are there any other commissions? You talked about Sandy Skoglund?
MR. ANDERSON: Well, the Tom Patti commission.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, of course.
MR. ANDERSON: Tom and I have a childhood connect, because I was-I must have been horrible-I was sent away to summer camp when I was four. And I was sent to Pittsfield to summer camp and stayed there until I was-I mean, I'd go back every summer-until I was 12 or 13. But when we were eight or nine years old, they would take us to the basement of the Catholic Church in Pittsfield, where they had a bowling alley where you bowled duckpins. Tom Patti and I are exactly the same age. Tom Patti would work-because he grew up in Pittsfield-he would work in the basement of the Catholic Church setting pins for these kids from summer camp. So Tom and I have this connect of knowing everything that happened in Pittsfield in the '40s and the '50s, so we talk about stuff that hasn't been there for more than 50 years.
Dale commissions him to do something, and the only thing that he could get-he couldn't get out of his mind two things apparently, and I'm just thinking that one of them really-I'm just thinking about this for the first time. He wanted something that had the number 50 in it. So he made five balls, each with 10 veils in it, and what I just realized is that the spheres are about the same size as a duckpin bowling ball, so there has to be some kind of subconscious reference to that.
When we did the show at the Boston Museum, Tom's installation of the-he calls it Five Particles for Doug-was in the show, and Sister Wendy [Beckett], the art nun, apparently went to the show and saw it, and she wrote a long letter to Marilyn Patti, saying that she was very taken by these and she would like to buy one for the Carmelite Monastery. Would they object if she did that? And the message that I got on my answering machine when Marilyn called was, "Well you're not going to believe this, but Sister Wendy loves your balls." [Laughs.] So we said, yes, it's fine.
MRS. ANDERSON: Another of the artists that we had a relationship with was Steve Weinburg, who was really quite wild. And Steve Weinberg did these incredibly beautiful cubes that he-you know, all these clear, gorgeous things. And we owned them, and every time he would need money, he would call Doug, and Doug would buy-we would buy another one, and donate it to a museum. And I think that we must have donated about seven or eight of those.
MR. ANDERSON: Absolutely.
MRS. ANDERSON: But one day, when the MFA Boston was doing their show, they had borrowed our Weinberg, and this was the Weinberg that I loved more than any of them in the world. And the MFA decided it wanted it, and Doug, in his infinite wisdom, said yes. But I was ready to kill him. I said, no, can't Steve make another one? I really want that one. So he said, no, that's the one they got. They've accessioned it for the collection, so Steve made another one. But I mean, all of the ones that he gave away, that was the one. The Met, what about with Ginny? Let's go to Ginny.
MR. ANDERSON: Okay, well, Ginny Ruffner, we've had some funny situations with Ginny. One of them was that when the Met was doing its show, they wanted a work of Ginny's. So we asked Ginny to make something for the Metropolitan Museum, and she made a triptych tower piece, those towers that she made for many years--
MRS. ANDERSON: The Ascent of Woman.
MR. ANDERSON: Right, it was called The Ascent of Woman. And the first one had the brain in the bottom of the piece, in the second one it was halfway up, and the third, the brain was up on top. And Ginny, who I think is awfully attractive and who always talks about growing up in the South, and that the Southern men like their women beautiful and stupid, and that she couldn't possibly survive there, so she left. This was perfect. And off it goes to the Met, and it's sent in three cartons, the way everyone in Seattle ships their glass, and it arrives. And the registrar doesn't want to accept it because it's not shipped in a wooden crate the way they like to receive things at the Metropolitan Museum. So we got a phone call from them saying that was a problem and--
MRS. ANDERSON: No, no, no. They finally did it. They opened it up, and then I think it was Stewart Johnson who had final cut in those days, because Jane worked for him. They took it out and they put it outside and they looked at it and they said, nope, don't like it. It's not glassy--enough glass. Can you imagine?
MR. ANDERSON: And Jane [Adlin] had approved it.
MRS. ANDERSON: I mean, they were fabulous.
MR. ANDERSON: So we now have a political problem; so I called Ginny and I asked her if--I told her what happened. And I said that we would like to transport it from the Met to the Racine Art Museum.
MRS. ANDERSON: No, we decided that we were not going to have Ginny go through this again, and the pieces were fabulous and Doug did speak to Bruce Pepich at the museum, which he'll tell you.
But then, the Met still wanted Ginny's work, so they came up to the apartment and, of course, looked at our piece, which was called Such a Pair, which took us years to get Ginny to do; I cannot tell you how much bribery with chocolate it took to get her to do this. But it was a phenomenal piece. It was just phenomenal. And they walked out with it. Stewart Johnson of the Met now carried it under his arm and that was that. So I said to Doug, now wait a minute. This is--talk about give until it hurts. I'm not happy about this, but on the other hand, the Met does deserve the best piece.
MR. ANDERSON: And by the way, they used that as their cover piece for the show, and all their posters were that piece. But we're still not at what happened with the original piece that was at the Met. Racine agreed that they would take it, and the Met insisted on shipping it in their wooden crates and broke one of the pieces in their wooden crates. So Bruce Pepich--but Ginny had it fixed and it was fine, so Bruce has those pieces in Racine, but what he's got, that he has in his house, is one of the crates from the Met. [Laughs.] And he uses it as a sculpture stand, unpainted, just the way it came with the label. [Laughs.]
MRS. ANDERSON: All right, so now we have an empty space from where our Ginny was, and I say to her, you know, I'm heartbroken. And I really would like--she knew what it was that was in the same place. So, a couple of months later comes this piece that is a picture frame. It's got flowers and it's got whatever. And it's really very attractive, and it's really terrific, and I put it up there and I said, no, I can't live with it. It's not the one I want. The one I want is the one they took. So we called Bruce and we said, there's another Ginny coming to you. It's really a wonderful piece, but I can't have it so--
And we call Ginny back and Ginny says, all right, all right, all right. I'll make you one like it; so we have a very similar piece to the one that's at the Met. And that's the piece that we've always wanted.
MR. ANDERSON: And she has an ideogram with us. She's got a language that she uses. She uses a pear to reference us because she thinks of us as a pair. And she uses hibiscus because she thinks of us in Florida.
MRS. ANDERSON: She uses fish.
MR. ANDERSON: And she has an airplane sometimes because we fly around all the time. And there's a whole language that she's created about us.
MRS. ANDERSON: Talk about the other two commissions that we've done.
MR. ANDERSON: Three. The Norton wanted a piece of hers, and so when she was in Florida for a show that she had at Habatat, I brought her over to visit Tina Orr--Cahall, who runs the Norton, and who also has become a very, very, very good friend of ours, and they talked for a while, and Ginny went back to Seattle and shipped a piece to them called Norton Palm Trees, which references a few of the paintings in the Norton's collection and palm trees and it swaying. I mean, it's just spectacular, and the Norton loves it; they use it all the time.
But when we first really got to know our 18--month old grandson, who is our son Michael's son--
MRS. ANDERSON: His name is Nicky.
MR. ANDERSON: Nicky. We took them to Disneyland in Florida. And Nicky had never really spoken.
MRS. ANDERSON: No, this is the first sentence he ever, ever said, and what he said was, "May clean floor." Now, we didn't have a clue what "May clean floor" was, but what it turns out is to him May was a vacuum cleaner. May was the housekeeper, but it was called a vacuum cleaner or a hair dryer or anything that did that was May. So he discovered that "May clean floor," because he saw a maid at the Disneyland hotel pushing a vacuum, so he says, "May clean floor," "May clean floor." He was like he got a sentence. He was so excited he danced around for, like ,the whole day, it was "May clean floor." So Doug says, what a funny idea. I bet you Ginny, who certainly would appreciate language like this, I wonder if she could make a piece about "May clean floor." So he calls her and he says, Ginny--and tells her the whole story.
MR. ANDERSON: And then she sends me an e--mail because she was tired. It was at the end of the day and she couldn't really talk very much. And the e--mail, which I should have kept, said: who would appreciate the moment of cognition better than me?
So she made this fabulous piece that is Nicky's.
MRS. ANDERSON: And it has an N for Nicholas, of course, and a vacuum cleaner. And then it has a string of pearls for me, and then it has the hibiscus, and it says in baby block letters, "May clean floor." [Laughs.]
MR. ANDERSON: And then recently, our daughter Missy has three boys, and the littlest one--I guess when you're the youngest of three boys, when you're two, you really want to be six, so he decided that he was going to school when he was two, and she didn't get a vote, so I'm not sure that he called the school to register, but she's now taking him on the first day to school, and they get there and he looks her dead in the eye and says, You go, I cry. [They laugh.] So I called Ginny and I said, got another one for you. [They laugh.]
MRS. ANDERSON: So she did a "You go, I cry." [They laugh.] So those are the kind of commissions we've done with her--
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, that's great.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, talking about the children, one of the things--
MRS. ANDERSON: What about the Paul Stankard one of Missy's wedding?
MR. ANDERSON: Okay. Let's talk about that later.
MRS. ANDERSON: That's a great one.
MR. ANDERSON: Okay. One of the things that we've tried to do with the kids is to introduce them gently and subtly to the fun of art, and the fact that you can express yourself either in a linear way by writing, or you can express yourself by painting a picture, or there are lots of ways to express your thoughts. And what we want them to be, to the extent that we can get them there, is free to know that anything is fine. So Sandy Skoglund is someone who--Dale discovered Sandy Skoglund probably 20 years ago, when she came home from Janet Borden's gallery--
MRS. ANDERSON: No, it was Brendan Walter [Brendan Walter Gallery, Santa Monica, CA].
MR. ANDERSON: Then you tell the story.
MRS. ANDERSON: I was in Los Angeles, and Brendan Walter had a great gallery out there, and I saw a young photographer. I'd never seen anything quite like it, and there were three photographs I loved. And one in particular, and it was called Revenge of the Goldfish, all right? And I think it was probably all of $600. And I thought, you know, maybe I should buy it, and stick it under the bed. And I thought, you know what? This is in 1988 or 1989, what am I going to do with this? I'm in a heat of passion of glass, and clay, and stuff like that. And what am I going to do with this? But it always stuck in my mind. I always loved it, and I started buying her photographs when I started buying photography, which was probably about six years ago, five, six years ago, but I never found Revenge of the Goldfish.
And then came 9/11, and we were on our way to SOFA, which was about a month or so after 9/11, and either Sotheby's or Christie's, I don't know which one it was.
MR. ANDERSON: Sotheby's.
MRS. ANDERSON: Sotheby's was having an auction and Revenge of the Goldfish was there. And I said to Doug--I mean, now we're talking it was up to like $20,000, which was absurd. And I said to Doug, you know something, if the world is going to end, I would like to end up with Revenge of the Goldfish, so in fact we did buy it. And it's here, but--
MR. ANDERSON: Well, it was a very surreal time. I mean, we landed in Chicago at the airport. We were the only airplane moving at O'Hare Airport. We walked through O'Hare airport alone. We were first off the plane. There wasn't another human being in the airport. It was terrible.
So here I am, sitting in the hotel on the phone bidding--and it wasn't $20,000, darling. It was $25,000. And what I'm saying to myself, because I am a little cheap when it comes to this, this is insane.
MRS. ANDERSON: Tell them about the commission.
MR. ANDERSON: So Sandy over time has become also a friend, and you know, these people are great. So I called her up and I said, look, we had just been to the Metropolitan Museum show. It was a Velasquez to Manet show ["Manet / Velázquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting." Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2003], and it ended with the--oh, who?
MRS. ANDERSON: [John Singer] Sargent.
MR. ANDERSON: The Sargent painting of a bunch of children. It hangs in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Big painting of a home, with children, and I looked at Dale and I said, you know, we don't have a painting; we don't have a photograph of the kids. We have to do something about this; so I call up Sandy Skoglund and I said, you know what I'd like to do? I'd like you to take a family portrait. And she said, I don't do that. I said, okay, let's start again. I'm going to call you right back.
So I call her right back, and I said, Sandy, you do workshops, don't you? And she said, yeah, I do workshops. I said, good, I'd like to commission a workshop. And she said, what kind of workshop? I said, I'd like to bring Dale and four grandsons and their two moms to your studio, and I'd like us to build a set and I'd like you to take a picture of all of them in the set, whatever you want to do. And she said, well, why do you want to do this? I said, well, I'd like them to see what it is to make art, and to be part of it, and have the fun of it, and in the end, I'd like to have a family photo. So she said, okay, and we did this. And nobody behaved.
MRS. ANDERSON: Oh they were horrible! And Sandy said, when she was doing this, she wanted to deal with green paper. So she was crinkling green paper so the walls were covered with it, the floor was covered with it, and she said that the kids should wear whatever they want. And my children happen to like pajamas, so they all came in their pajamas. But they had to come from Westchester and Connecticut. It was like an hour--and--a--half drive and the kids were nudgey, and they wanted to run around and play, and they didn't want to sit and do this, and they were so beyond obnoxious, I can't tell you.
And luckily Sandy's husband was really good at, sort of, occupying their attention for seconds at a time, so that there were a few photographs that really weren't bad and then finally, the kids were so awful that we had to put my daughters in the picture, too, which of course, they didn't want to be in them and no one was prepared for it. And one of the photographs looks like we're all looking off at some weird vision of some alien--something happening. It is such a Sandy Sklogund photo.
MR. ANDERSON: It's because her husband was on a ladder throwing pieces of paper up in the air for the kids to, kind of, make--believe that they were trying to catch. [Laughs.]
MRS. ANDERSON: But it was--and so the photograph turned out to be great, and the experience was horrible. But they'll only remember the photograph.
MR. ANDERSON: So we have four of those photographs wrapped up for the boys and we have one of the photographs, and we printed them large. They're 40 feet by 50 feet, sort of. And when they're old enough, they'll get those. We also had an outtake that we printed for the girls, so that they have something as a memory of the day. But, and I don't think that they even know that we have the big ones for their kids.
MRS. ANDERSON: I think one of the most creative things we ever did was when our daughter Missy and her husband, Stefan, were getting married. We had been in Seattle and we were with Chihuly, and we were talking about the wedding, and he said, well, isn't it true that in Jewish weddings--even though this was a Jewish and a Catholic wedding--don't you break a glass? They said, yes. He said, ah--ha. I am going to give you a piece, and I'm going to sign it, and they're going to break it. So we said, well, why don't you just give it to them as a wedding present? No, no, no, no, no. I want to do this.
So it's this orangey thing, sort of one of those plattery shapes, and he signs it. And we bring it home and we give it to the rabbi and the priest, and the kids are all like, okay, this is what he wants. We're going to do it.
And everybody is, sort of, there, and they talked about it in the ceremony, about what the significance of this is, and that Chihuly did it, and all of a sudden, the wedding happens. They stamp on the glass and everyone goes, ha. They're breaking the Chihuly. Doug, the genius, has it all wrapped up in a napkin and he gives it to Paul Stankard, right, to make paperweights--to make four paperweights out of this. And what he did is it's called, Missy's Wedding Bouquet. And there's one for Dale, he has one for us, one for Missy and Stefan, and one for Stefan's parents. And they're fabulous, it was great.
MR. ANDERSON: Because Chihuly is so generous, sometimes we'll send stuff to Chihuly.
MRS. ANDERSON: We'll send him a present.
MR. ANDERSON: Like we'll send him a totem pole, because we had an extra small totem pole. We sent it to him.
MS. OLDKNOW: And he's a collector.
MR. ANDERSON: Oh, he's a collector. We had a collection, part of the Native American collection were beaded bags. They were Plains bags, and we must have had 30 of them. And for some reason, they weren't selling and we have no idea why. They were well displayed in a wonderful gallery, and so we took ten of them and we shipped them to Chihuly with a note, "Dear Dale, these are fabulous objects that Dale had collected, and they were for sale at Quintana's gallery in Portland, great gallery. They didn't sell for two years. Here they are. Maybe one day, you'll get something fabulous that you made from a great gallery that didn't sell for two years, and you'll send it to us." And he did. [Laughs.]
MRS. ANDERSON: Also, we did the same thing with Dick Marquis, because he collects American flag stuff and I had, I think, five or six bags that all had American flag beading on them. And we sent it to him too, and lo and behold, he sent one of his elephants. And then we sent a bunch of really spooky, weird things to Paul and Anne, Paul Marioni and Anne Troutner, like a ghost shirt and the little dolls, because she has this very--
MR. ANDERSON: She has a dark side.
MS. OLDKNOW: She loves the Day of the Dead and skeletons and things.
MR. ANDERSON: Right.
MRS. ANDERSON: And all of that. So we sent that in May. They loved it.
And we've sent stuff to Bill [Morris], I mean also, American Indian stuff that we thought he would like. It's fun.
MR. ANDERSON: And then there was one day when Catherine Chalmers learned that we were friendly with Sandy Skoglund. And she said, you know, one day I'd love it if you would introduce me to her. So I sent Sandy an e--mail, and she said, you know, I would love to meet Catherine Chalmers, so we set up an afternoon at Catherine's studio. Sandy came into town, and the two of them started to talk and it was like the older--you know, Sandy, how old is Sandy? About 52, 3, 4, and Catherine is like 35, 36, 37, and they really got each other immediately.
And now they were both working on trying to learn to do video, and they were talking about their computers. Now, listening to them talking about computers was like listening in the '50s to teenage boys talking about cars. You know, like, how many rams of giga--somethings they have and then what do you need? And now they've become friends. So I mean, apparently, what we do is kind of like a cross--pollination thing and it's fun, because the friend of my friend is my friend.
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, and then let's talk about Toots, the wonderful thing that she is, who not only had--
MS. OLDKNOW: Toots Zynsky?
MR. ANDERSON: Yes.
MRS. ANDERSON: There is no one like her. I curated a show with Marilyn Patti for UrbanGlass at Steuben Glass. I got to pick pieces of people that you had to have, the winners of the UrbanGlass Awards, but I got to pick whatever pieces I basically wanted. And Toots decided that she didn't like any of the pieces that were available, so she was going to make a piece. And it was this incredibly gorgeous red--and--black thing. It was big, it looked like this big volcanic eruption. It was just gorgeous. It was perfect and the show was beautiful in itself.
And we went to Florida, and Andy and Charles Bronfman were still in New York, and I said, you have to go see the show, and so they did. I said, so what did you think about the red Toots? I thought that they might like that. They said, there wasn't a red Toots there. I said, what are you talking about there wasn't a red Toots; what happened to it? Apparently Barry Friedman sold it, and there was now a blue Toots or something else was there. And I said to Toots, oh my God, I'm so sorry that they never saw it.
Well, for my birthday we had a party in Las Vegas and we invited a group of friends. It was 75 friends who all came out there. And what, in fact, it turns out that there were several artists who were invited, one being Toots, one being Dale, one being Flora and Joey, and the other being Tom and Marilyn. I mean, because those are all really as close friends as we really have. So for my birthday, Toots sent me one of these red pieces. I mean it was just to die for.
Now, let me just tell you a little bit about this birthday, because it's not enough just to have a party. You need to have something interesting. Doug and I were trying to figure out what to do. And all of a sudden I had this momentary thought of genius, and I said, why couldn't we have--and we were doing it at the Bellagio Hotel [Las Vegas, NV]--why couldn't we have the ice people who make ice sculpture at the hotel make Tom Pattis, and why couldn't we have the sugar people who blow sugar, why couldn't they make Tootses and Flora and Joeys? And why couldn't, when they were baking a cake, why couldn't I have a Dale painting on the cake? Right? Sounds easy.
So Doug says, I don't know why not. So he made an appointment to go out there, with pictures and stuff like that, and then met with the young woman who was our banquet manager, I guess, representative. And we met with the ice chef, and we met with the sugar chefs, and they looked at us like we were both stark raving mad, right? They said huh? Anyway, so Doug sent books and videos of all the artists so that they would really understand the work. So what ultimately happened was they did a first course, which everybody got, which was a Tom Patti. And what it was, it was the size of a Tom Patti cube. It had layers of gels, so you had the color. They dug out the bottom of it and they put those light things that break, so it illuminated, and then we put microgreens and crabmeat salad on top, so everybody had an appetizer with a Tom Patti.
MR. ANDERSON: And on the menu, it said "Everyone should have a Tom Patti, at least for a minute or two."
MRS. ANDERSON: And we never told the artists. We never told the artists we were doing this. So when 75 of these things came in, Tom almost had heart failure--
MR. ANDERSON: Tommy is still talking about it. [Laughs.]
MRS. ANDERSON: So then we had--then, the sugar guy had never, ever been able to do this. Well, he probably went off and practiced for a month, called us up and said, I can do it. So we said, fabulous. So I wanted everybody to have a little one. He said, no, he couldn't do it. So what he did was he made a huge Toots, and it was orange and black and red, and then he filled it with chocolate mousse and then made candies of Flora and Joey's fruit that was suspended and entwined around it, so when that dessert came out and every table had one, everyone was nuts. At this point, they roll out the cake, which is a sheet cake, and I had picked out a painting of Dale's, which they scanned on the cake.
MS. OLDKNOW: That was probably the easiest part.
MRS. ANDERSON: But, all of a sudden, the ice chef and the sugar chefs all came out. They wanted to meet the artists. So it was this incredible--it was, and the hotel was really great, because they learned how to do something and now I'm sure they do it for a lot of people. But they were so enthusiastic about it; the artists were excited.
MR. ANDERSON: And Chihuly, who I didn't know has a thing about birthday cakes.
MS. OLDKNOW: I didn't know that.
MR. ANDERSON: And the thing he has about birthday cakes is he has to be the one who is there first, and he's got to stick his thumb in it.
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, me, too. So we took pictures of it. It was quite impressive.
MS. OLDKNOW: Really? [Laughs.]
MR. ANDERSON: It was good. And the other part of it is that we are friends in this group of 75 people, our friends. They all came. But they're from different worlds, so there are some who get this art thing, and there are others who completely don't care about it, some of them who are almost offended that we've developed this new circle of friends--I mean it's only 25 years or so.
MRS. ANDERSON: This was the last commission that we did. And it is--it was for Doug's 60th birthday, and what I did is I called--and I don't even know how many people are in it--and I called a series of friends and I asked them. I have a jeweler who is a wonderful jeweler in Palm Beach, and her name is Tracy Dara Kamenstein. And I asked her if she could do a notebook.
All right and I sent--and of course, I had to do this in secret so Doug didn't know about it, and I don't know how to use e--mail, so we really had an issue about this. But what I wanted was, however many people this is, they're our friends, they're all friends. A lot of them are artists. I wanted a piece of work that we could then engrave on a silver page, which Tracy would get this engraved. It's a ring binder. And there was a size limit; I guess that's, what, four inches, five inches. And each page is a sterling silver page. And so all the artists, all the friends, all wrote things about Doug. And they put--so it's Toots again, and it's Bill, and it's Dale, and it's Catherine, and it's Flora and Joey, it's Jane Adlin, it's Bruce Pepich and Lisa, it's my friend Rosaline, and there were a whole bunch of people who did things, and then Tracy did the last page. And it--there are poems. There are stories. I think this is one of the most spectacular things that I have ever, ever seen, and Tracy did Doug in diamonds. [Laughs.]
MS. OLDKNOW: This is fabulous.
MR. ANDERSON: Isn't it great? Yeah. I can't afford to have another birthday. [They laugh.]
MS. OLDKNOW: I think it's wonderful that art is so integrated into every part of your being and activity. It's not just something that you hang on the wall and give away and then buy new again. You've reached the point of why acquire anything if it's not made by someone with intention, and that's really nice.
MRS. ANDERSON: And it turns out that so much of it is done by friends.
MS. OLDKNOW: And that's really important, too, the people part.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, I mean, it's even like this interview. There's no way that we would let anybody do this other than you.
MS. OLDKNOW: Well, that's nice.
MRS. ANDERSON: That's true.
MR. ANDERSON: Because, I mean, how long have we been friends? How did that begin? When did we first meet each other?
MRS. ANDERSON: Oh God, millions of years ago.
MS. OLDKNOW: Was it the interview for the Pilchuck book?
MRS. ANDERSON: No, it was even before that.
MS. OLDKNOW: No, that's right; we knew each other before, from SOFA.
MRS. ANDERSON: We had dinner with you with Dan and Susan.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, that's right, in Seattle.
MR. ANDERSON: No, how about in Los Angeles?
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, that's right.
MR. ANDERSON: No, but we've known you through a few of your lives.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah, so we've known each other for--
MR. ANDERSON: --since before I had gray hair.
MRS. ANDERSON: Yeah.
MS. OLDKNOW: So probably we met in '88, or something like that?
MRS. ANDERSON: Something like that.
MS. OLDKNOW: So that's a long time.
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah.
MS. OLDKNOW: But then we got to know each other in the '90s.
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah, well, when was the Pilchuck book?
MS. OLDKNOW: I started that in '94.
Now, are there any other commissions that you wanted to talk about?
MR. ANDERSON: The next one.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, what's the next one?
MR. ANDERSON: I don't know. [Laughs.]
MRS. ANDERSON: I'm sure there are, and at the moment I can't think about it, because I'm not remembering everything, which I'm sure I should.
MS. OLDKNOW: That's okay, because I'd like to go on to our next discussion, which is SOFA.
MS. OLDKNOW: In the context of talking about commissions, I have to remark that it is known by many that Dale has a penis collection--[laughs]--and one of my favorite penises is Joyce Scott's beaded--glass penis. It's called Power--
MRS. ANDERSON: Power Pump.
MS. OLDKNOW: Power Pump. How did this collection develop? I'd love to know.
MRS. ANDERSON: I just love penises. I bought Power Pump when it was at SOFA, and it came with a beaded condom. And Doug, for some reason, became infuriated by the beaded condom. He wasn't thrilled with the Power Pump in the first place, so I said, all right, I'll give up the condom, but I'm not giving up the penis. So consequently, she has made me--I'd asked her to make me sperms and eggs. Actually, I just wanted sperms, but she sent me sperms and an egg, to make up for the condom. But anyway, that was one of the first penises I ever got.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, let me talk to you about that penis for a minute, because there was a time that Matthew Kangas was curating a traveling museum show, and I've forgotten the name--
MRS. ANDERSON: "Breaking Barriers" ["Breaking Barriers: Recent American Craft." American Craft Museum. 1995].
MR. ANDERSON: "Breaking Barriers," and he came by and wanted to borrow some material for the show, and we said, sure, he can take whatever he wanted. And the only thing he wanted was Joyce Scott's beaded penis. So we--
MS. OLDKNOW: Looks like I have competition for that.
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah, you and Matthew. So the show winds up at the American Craft Museum, and one day I was--and I think I was on the board then, and I stopped in to see the show and it was in the morning, and there were buses in front of the museum and there were 50 or 60 eight-- or ten-- or twelve--year--old kids, inner--city kids who were being bussed to the museum for their hour of culture. And I think that's a great idea, so I come in and I go see the show, and I figured, this is even better. I can see the show through their eyes, so I'm kind of hanging out behind them and I'm looking and looking and looking, and they're looking Wendell Castle's desk, completely irrelevant. I mean eight--year--old ghetto kids don't get Wendell Castle's desk.
They're looking at Albert Paley, something or other. They're looking at Dale Chihuly something or other. And it occurs to me, hey, wait a second; Joyce Scott's penis is in this. They'll get that. So I'm looking around the room and all this, I can't see it. But then all of a sudden I see that there is something covered with cloth. And what had happened was that the museum, in order not to be risqué, or to do anything that might be tawdry for the children, had covered the one object that they might have related to, and they covered it. And I guess they were right.
MRS. ANDERSON: No, they weren't.
MR. ANDERSON: I don't know. What do you think?
MS. OLDKNOW: I think that is something--
MR. ANDERSON: This was years after Mapplethorpe. There was no--
MS. OLDKNOW: I don't think we can bring this into the discussion here, but you know, it's too bad that museums feel that they have to do that. That's what I'll say, because I think that the voices against that are so--it's just ridiculous.
MR. ANDERSON: Right.
MS. OLDKNOW: Male nudes, in general, aren't as acceptable as female nudes in our culture, and it's too bad.
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, you'd never know it in this house. [Laughs.]
MS. OLDKNOW: So do you have other penises?
MRS. ANDERSON: Oh, I have lots of penises. Steve Weinberg happens to make particularly fabulous penises, which Doug will tell you a story about another penis. But one day, Steve had made me, which I didn't even know it was coming, he made me a present. And we were in Chicago and we were at a--I think it was, an Art Alliance dinner--and he comes in and we're all having cocktails and he hands me this incredibly gorgeous pink penis. And this one has balls on it, not just a plain penis. It is to die for. And I'm thinking, all right, I have a drink, I have my pocketbook, and I have a penis. What am I going to do with this? [Laughs.]
MS. OLDKNOW: Sounds like a party.
MRS. ANDERSON: So we're now going to sit down for dinner and I have to put it down on the table, so I put it where the flowers are sort of in front, and the waiters are kind of looking at me and everybody else at the table is getting hysterical. And eventually no one pays any attention. So the next day, we're leaving for New York and I have to pack it in something. And I figure I might as well pack it in my carry--on, because I don't have, you know, bubble paper and stuff to do this, so I wrap it up in a towel and I stick it in my carry--on, and I realize, oh my God, this is a tremendously high--level lead content and I don't know what's going to happen when it goes off through the machine, the security machine.
So I said, as we got there to the ladies, I said, you know what, ladies? Don't be upset, but in my pocketbook, I happen to have a big penis, and so I don't want you to be upset when it goes through and you see it in the X ray. She says, oh, I want to see it. And okay, so I take it out and I hold it up, and she says, oh, can I touch it? Can I hold it? So she's now standing there in front of the detector holding up the penis, and she says to all the other people, oh, come look at this penis. Look at this gorgeous--and the entire airport is now staring at this penis. [Laughs.] Well, and obviously it got on the plane and it's now living in the powder room here, but I mean, it made quite a scene at O'Hare Airport.
MS. OLDKNOW: That's great.
MR. ANDERSON: And one year, and this is just a final one on this subject, Steve Weinberg agreed at Glass Weekend to do hand castings for everyone, so that people would see how castings are--sand hand castings are made. And I said to Dale, you know, for our anniversary, maybe--we should have Steve cast us holding hands. And in Dale's inimitable way, she said, I'd much rather have a cast of your penis. So I called Weinberg, and I tell him this story, and he gets hysterical. And he said, you know, Dale doesn't get up until 11:00 anyway. There's a 6:00 in the morning flight to Providence. Don't even tell her. Fly up, I'll meet you at the airport. We'll do it.
And I said okay, and I wasn't paying any attention to this at all, to the mechanics of this. And I get on the 6:00 plane and I fly to Providence, Rhode Island, and there is Steve Weinberg with a bucket, a bag of plaster and a Playboy magazine. And I look at him, I say, what's that? He says, oh, got to make a cast. I said, what, are you completely crazy? He says, well, why do you think I asked you to come up here? I said, well, we're not doing that. He says, well, how will we do it? I said, well, let's go. Maybe there's an all--day, all--night porno, store and we'll go and find dildos or something like that, and you can cast that.
So I got back on the next plane and he did whatever he did and he sent this thing. But Dale in the meantime had told our daughter Missy what had happened, and she was around when the package came. She had never told her that I never "sat for the picture," so to speak, and Missy opened the box with Dale and this humongous thing came out.
MRS. ANDERSON: Two of them, two humongous things. [Laughs.]
MR. ANDERSON: And I don't know whether the look that she gave Dale was of terror or great respect.
MRS. ANDERSON: She said to me, what's the expression? Too much information. [They laugh.]
MR. ANDERSON: So we got through that mess, I think, the end of the penis stories. Other than the fact that people come--Bennett Bean had one that he had made years ago. He found, he just brought it over one day.
MRS. ANDERSON: And Doug Jeck made a gorgeous one that happens to be a pipe, and then I have this wonderful African one from Doug Dawson that's really--
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, I love Doug Dawson's gallery [Douglas Dawson Gallery, Chicago, IL].
MRS. ANDERSON: So, yeah, there are a lot of penises in this house.
MR. ANDERSON: And people either see them, or they look dead at them and don't see them at all. Nobody is offended.
MS. OLDKNOW: This is Tina Oldknow interviewing Doug and Dale Anderson at their home in New York City, New York, on July 22, 2005, for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, disc number six.
We want to talk a little bit about SOFA and your involvements. We've discussed already how instrumental you were in bringing SOFA to New York, after your connection with the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass, working with Glass Weekend to bring that to New York, that failing, you having discussions with Mark Lyman, getting this idea out about bringing SOFA to New York.
And SOFA New York, I think has been, if not as successful and big as the Chicago venue, a very important venue for SOFA. And Dale, I think you also worked on getting SOFA to Florida for palmbeach3. And do you want to talk about your relationship with SOFA and Mark Lyman a little bit?
MR. ANDERSON: Well, we've known Mark Lyman since he worked for--I guess it was called the Lakeview or the Lakeside Group in Chicago, and they did the first show of--the first objects show there. And I think that they were the guys who ran the Chicago Art Fair when it was really in its heyday. Tom Blackman?
MS. OLDKNOW: Blackman. Tom Blackman.
MR. ANDERSON: And Mark worked for him, and then that show didn't seem to go anywhere and Mark started SOFA, Sculptural Objects and Functional Art. And we've gone to every single one of them, because we love them. And over the years, we really liked Mark and Anne.
MS. OLDKNOW: Do you think SOFA changed the market?
MR. ANDERSON: SOFA changed the market completely.
MRS. ANDERSON: Totally.
MR. ANDERSON: Changed the game. In Chicago, I think that the number that they use is that they get 35,000 people a year going through the SOFA show. When you think about that, there are museums that would be happy to have 35,000 people a year going through their whole museum. They do it in a long weekend.
You could say that the dealers who show at SOFA have a particular way of showing that only a decorative arts collector can love. You can also say that they are able--because of the way they show, they are able to bring to everyone's attention just an immense amount of material to look at.
MRS. ANDERSON: Part of what SOFA is about is that collectors expect to see the newest work and the best artists, and it's the showcase for them. And what Mark Lyman did that was so smart was that he gave it an international component, and so different countries have been invited every year to participate. So it started with, I think, Australia and New Zealand, and then it went to England. It now has Danish craft in it. There are all kinds of international galleries there and it really is the best of the best.
It's not necessarily all--there's not a whole lot of new, emerging artists, because I think that the booth space is a little bit too expensive for them to have a significant amount of that. I'm sorry that there isn't. But it is where you get to see everything that is going on in the contemporary crafts world.
MR. ANDERSON: It's also where you see everyone who is interested in contemporary crafts world, so go ahead.
MS. OLDKNOW: In terms of being collectors, how did it change the way that you buy?
MR. ANDERSON: It didn't change anything for me because I never buy anything. [Laughs.] And I just go there from dawn until dusk, and I hang out and it's--I mean people have laughed. People have called me the mayor of SOFA, because I don't think that SOFA would be the same without me.
MS. OLDKNOW: I don't think so either.
MR. ANDERSON: But I just love being there, because I get to see all my friends.
MS. OLDKNOW: Everyone.
MR. ANDERSON: From everywhere, be they the artists or the dealers. Well, we know the dealers are there, and we know that a lot of the artists are there. But we get to see all the collectors and catch up.
MS. OLDKNOW: And museum people.
MR. ANDERSON: And the museum people.
MRS. ANDERSON: And all the groups, all the different art groups have meetings there, and then there is a whole lecture series that is really very good, and panel discussions. And it's got everything going for it.
MS. OLDKNOW: Do you think that it's brought people into collecting, or do you think that it just attracts the people who are already collecting anyway?
MR. ANDERSON: I think it's definitely brought people into collecting in this area. And the hope when Mark moved it from Coral Gables, the second show--from Coral Gables to New York--we spent a couple of days in New York City looking at possible venues for the New York show and concluded that even though the Park Avenue Armory was really too small, it was really right, because of what we all wanted to accomplish.
And here's Mark, he's got conflict of agendas. His agenda is to run a business and to make as much money as possible running that business. On the other hand, our agenda has always been to introduce the best of this material to people who are collecting, but in the other side of the contemporary art world, to broaden the base of people who are collecting the stuff that we've been collecting and care about. I guess you could make the case that part of the reason was that if you expand the market, the value of--rising tide lifts all boats. The other side of it is just the fact that sometimes you discover something terrific, and you want everyone else to know about it, or how smart you are for having discovered it first.
But Barbara Tober, and her role as really longtime chairman of the board of the American Craft Museum, was really the hook for making this happen, and she and her husband, Donald, have to get a major credit for this, because certainly in the early years in New York, they were the ones who brought the crowd. And it may not have been the numerical crowd, but it was the right crowd. And she needs to get credit for that. And Mark would not have moved the show had it not been for her commitment and the Craft Museum's commitment to do that opening night thing, which turns out to be great for the Craft Museum but is a ton of work and oftentimes it isn't great for the institution that is doing the opening night thing, so credit to them. Frankly, I think it's the best show that the Craft Museum does every year, even though they don't have to curate it themselves, but it's clearly attached as their show.
MRS. ANDERSON: It's successful. It's very successful. And the timing of it, though, is not good, because the Armory's dates are always well booked, and the ideal time to probably do the show in New York is the beginning of May. And they end up doing it right around Memorial Day weekend, and luckily it starts on Wednesday, because they'll get the Wednesday and Thursday New York group. But then everyone goes to the country, and they just can't--they somehow haven't been able to change the dates. Now, in Chicago, there is no problem, because everyone knows in October, it's that time. You're going to Chicago.
MR. ANDERSON: We were talking about Florida?
MS. OLDKNOW: We're talking about SOFA Palm Beach. Before we start talking about it, I want to say that I think that it is brilliant to pair SOFA with contemporary art and sculpture and photography, and maybe you can talk a little bit about that. I think that it has changed SOFA; I think it's changed the way we look at craft. I think it's absolutely needed to happen. I think it's the best show. Has it been running two years?
MR. ANDERSON: One, this is going to be the second year.
MS. OLDKNOW: That's right; this will be the second year. January 2005 was number one.
MRS. ANDERSON: The year before, and the year before that, they started mixing in some painting and sculpture, but it really wasn't a thought--out show. It just was sort of like who could--who came, who didn't. And when Mark Lyman was suggested to do the SOFA component, it became a commitment, as did the photography portion of it. So there was really a third, a third, and a third, basically.
And the show was laid out that way, and the expectations were once we figured out what this was, that this was sort of a radical idea that you were going to see decorative arts, you were going to see photography, and you were going to see sculpture--you know, and painting. And I think it was easier for the SOFA people to get behind this idea because they've always said they wanted to show in a fine arts context. And the problem was that the painting and sculpture galleries really didn't want that to happen, because they didn't want the competition and they really thought that they were better than the several galleries anyway, and there had never been a photography show. So they sort of were, I think, sort of mezzo--mezzo about it. They were willing to try.
So when some of the decorative arts galleries, or whatever you want to call them, came for the first couple of years, they did phenomenal business, particularly the glass galleries, because the painting and sculpture collectors had never seen anything like this. And so they were very dead--set against having decorative arts there, because it was really eating into their business.
MR. ANDERSON: In other words, you're saying that the people who normally would have been clients of the painting dealers spent their money on glass.
MRS. ANDERSON: Or at least made a major discovery noticing this. And glass really is the most accessible of the decorative arts, because it shines. It's just there. And it was also more expensive, so the price points were more in line with what I think people were used to spending, but not nearly as much as painting. By the introduction of the photography, people didn't know quite what to do, so there were SOFA collectors, there were painting and sculpture collectors, and there were sort of latent photography collectors. So when people walked in, they immediately went towards the glass, and [Doug] Heller was the first--he always gets that first space and people met.
There was a woman there who I had met who collects paintings. And she walked in and she was wildly interested in Karen LaMonte. And she saw Karen LaMonte's [cast glass] dress and she said, oh my God, this is the most fabulous thing I've ever seen. Oh my God, this is so great. How much do you think it is? Well, I could see the price tag, but I wasn't going to tell her. I said, well, why don't you ask Doug Heller? So she goes over. She says, how much is it? And I think he told her it was something like $52,000, and she looked and she said, that's so expensive. And I said, but you've paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for paintings.
I said, "Honey, get used to it." Well, for the whole weekend she circled that piece. You know, I don't think she bought it, but I promise you that the next time she sees it, she'll then want to touch it, and one day she will own it.
MR. ANDERSON: Oh, okay.
MS. OLDKNOW: Do you think there was a lot of that kind of crossover? Do you think that new people did buy glass, for example?
MRS. ANDERSON: Oh, yeah.
MS. OLDKNOW: You do?
MRS. ANDERSON: There were a lot of people who did. But what was interesting was a lot of--
MS. OLDKNOW: Did the craft collectors buy photography?
MRS. ANDERSON: Yes, yes.
MS. OLDKNOW: They did?
MRS. ANDERSON: And then there are people like us, who collect all of it. And they were in heaven, because they could look at it all. And so for me, it was a natural progression to see this kind of a show. And I must say painting doesn't necessarily do it for me, but photography and contemporary craft does.
MR. ANDERSON: So we had conversations with dealers. And I guess we know them for enough time so that they don't get offended if we say something that isn't pandering to the way they do things. And one of the nice things about this whole industry is that, for instance, one night we had dinner at Dan and Linda Silverberg's house, who are collectors who live in Cleveland and Frenchman's Creek about a half hour's drive from Palm Beach.
MRS. ANDERSON: Glass collectors.
MR. ANDERSON: Dan and Linda had invited Lino Tagliapietra and his wife, Lina, to come over for dinner, and Lino said, I would like to make dinner. Invite 50 people. So Lino--[laughs]--and Dan spent the day shopping for the fixings for dinner. And Lino and Lina, and Toots Zynsky, made dinner. And a few of us helped clean up.
But as we were sitting and talking, we were talking with a group of the dealers and making the point to them that the way they show at SOFA, and appeal to collectors who are used to looking at stuff that way, is not the way they need to approach contemporary art collectors who are used to looking at a more reasoned, museum--curated approach to presentation.
MS. OLDKNOW: So, less objects in the booth, more space.
MR. ANDERSON: Less artists.
MS. OLDKNOW: And fewer artists.
MRS. ANDERSON: Or that you're able--as in the painting and photography galleries--bring a piece out. They will bring it out. They won't just have everything lined up on the wall.
MR. ANDERSON: And some of the dealers--first of all, some of the dealers just know that naturally. I mean, Doug Heller and Katya and Michael certainly know that. Barry Friedman [Barry Friedman Ltd., New York, NY] knows it. Tom Grotta [browngrotta arts, Wilton, CT] knows it. Leslie Ferrin [Ferrin Gallery, Lenox, MA] knows it. What is her name from Chicago, dealer from Chicago?
MRS. ANDERSON: Bonnie Marks.
MR. ANDERSON: No, no, the other one, the one that John Krane bought a cabinet from.
MRS. ANDERSON: Ann Nathan [Gallery, Chicago, IL].
MR. ANDERSON: Ann Nathan.
MS. OLDKNOW: I like her booth. It always looks good.
MR. ANDERSON: Presents beautifully. And beautifully in terms of what--if you're looking for crossing over, then you have to feed potential new clients the way they are used to eating. And so we had this whole conversation with a couple of the dealers who don't see it that way. And they were explaining why they don't want to do that. And we were explaining that ultimately this is going to be a very successful show.
And if they don't present the way that the promoters of the show want them to, they simply won't be invited back. Because the promoters now have a vision and their vision--it is one thing for the SOFA dealers to talk about wanting to be part of the so--called real art world or the other part of the contemporary art world, and it's something else for them to behave that way. And we're hoping that, over time and as they see what is going on and they see who is getting people to cross over and look at their material and who is not, they will understand why.
But Dale had a completely other take on it, which had to do with the fact that a lot of the SOFA dealers are trying very hard to find other people to represent--in addition to the ones they now represent. In addition to the ones who are successful for them, they tend to keep trying other things. On the one hand, you're looking for the contemporary art collectors to cross over to you. Why don't you follow your clients around the show, and see what is turning them on, and lead them there. So why don't you kind of tune your head a little bit--
MRS. ANDERSON: Which is what Leslie Ferrin is doing.
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah. And Leslie is doing that. She is doing it with contemporary photography. But I think part of this is the dealers have to understand--the dealers have to ask themselves what business they are in. And if they are in the business of selling glass, then that is fine and they should. If they are in the business of selling good sculpture that is contemporary art that is made out of glass, maybe they should change their mission statement a little bit, and give some thought to it. But it's an opportunity for everyone to see what is happening.
MRS. ANDERSON: A lot of this stuff is stale; it's stagnant. I mean, there are a lot of wonderful artists who have said what they have to say, as in everything. A lot of people don't have another vocabulary. They are satisfied producing what they produce. But eventually the same collectors are going to want more. And hopefully they will be able to find it in the area that they like to collect. But if not, then it has naturally progressed to another type of art.
There is not enough time devoted to finding younger artists who are committed to being artists, not somebody who just slops down a piece of glass and says it's a $3,000 thing, but people who have gone to art school, who learn, who have experience, who have things to say, who are not stuck in one medium.
MS. OLDKNOW: Part of the problem is that if dealers are not going to show emerging artists, and they don't really have a place to sell, it is very hard for them to break into the market.
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, there are all these galleries and it's in every--it's in the painting galleries; it's in the photography gallery. Just because you're an artist doesn't mean you get to be seen by the person in the gallery who makes the choice, because it's still about who you know who can get you in front of the person who makes the decision. And I find that a lot of the galleries are lazy about either going out and looking, or having people submit work to them.
And God knows, looking at enough stuff as you do and I do--most of it is not worth the piece of paper that it is printed on. On the other hand, there is great stuff. And then you look at the all of the painting and the photography people who go to the graduate classes, you know, the graduate--degree things at Yale or NYU or whatever, and they pick these artists up who are much too young and who really need a little seasoning, but this is the new talent, and so they run and they take it. There has to be something in the middle, which is, by the way, what I think we're doing in a sense with Israel.
MS. OLDKNOW: Can we move on to Pilchuck?
MR. ANDERSON: Absolutely.
MS. OLDKNOW: Pilchuck is something you have been involved with in a number of ways. Not only in serving on the board, and being very involved in the school, but also starting specific programs, like the curator program, and the collector program, and then of course working with me on the book [Tina Oldknow. Pilchuck: A Glass School. Seattle: Pilchuck Glass School, in association with the University of Washington Press, 1996].
And then also I want to talk about the tours that Dale develops for Pilchuck auction weekend each year. It's no longer just one night, but it's an entire weekend. You're always sold out; people are lining up to go. It is incredibly successful.
So let's talk about Pilchuck. Let's turn our gaze. We have talked a little bit about when you joined the board. When George and Dorothy told you to go there, did you have an idea of what you wanted to do when you first joined the board? Did you feel that, oh, we'll just be on the board and do this, and the ideas for the programs came later? How did they develop?
MRS. ANDERSON: I think that joining any board, particularly one out of state and one that you don't really know all the players, or the majority of the players, you sort of watch. And Seattle is very much Seattle--centric. And so they were not very used to having out--of--town trustees who actually were activists. So they didn't really know what to do with us and we really didn't know what to do with them.
And so I think we kind of sat around awhile. And Doug is much more of an activist than I am, actually, in this area. And so finally, he likes to participate. Why is he going to be there unless they use him, and no point in having to go and just sit. The book project was the first thing that Doug absolutely aggressively got himself involved in.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, in answer to your question, John Anderson was, at that time, the chairman of the board of Pilchuck. And it was a time when Pilchuck itself was in change mode. Alice Rooney had had her well--known tiff with Dale Chihuly. John as a volunteer, stepped in after Alice left to run the school. He suggested to Chihuly that he take a furlough for a year and just let everything cool off and heal. And at that time we joined the board. John asked us to join the board and we liked him. And we basically said, what can we do? And he said, you can bring an East Coast opinion and your East Coast connections to Pilchuck, and that would be great.
So we started going to Seattle and loved Seattle. And frankly, if we never accomplished anything on the board, and just learned how to fish, that would have been great. [They laugh.] And if we didn't do anything except make a whole bunch of friends out there, that, too, would have been great.
And Dale is right that we performed kind of an unnatural act. We sat quietly. And one day Bob Seidl, who was one of the old--timers at Pilchuck and, I think, their first president after John Hauberg, kind of moved away from it a little bit, said that they have been, for years, wanting to write a book about Pilchuck, but they could never get anybody to run the project. And I said, I'll do it. I mean, that is something that I could do from back East. And also, I didn't know where all of the bodies were and I didn't care if I offended anyone.
I said, I'll do it as long as everybody agrees to leave me alone. And everyone was so happy that someone would do it that they agreed to leave me alone. And we hired a spectacular woman to really run the project, a woman sitting right across the table from me, Tina Oldknow. And we agreed that my job was going to be to protect her from us--and us included me--and it included Marge Levy, who was the relatively new director of Pilchuck, and the board, and John Hauberg [co--founder, Pilchuck], and Dale Chihuly, and everybody. And I felt like I was Rocky Graziano, just prepared to take on all comers.
And--well, why don't you talk about it, because it was your project.
MS. OLDKNOW: It was interesting because there was a committee, and you were the chair of the committee. And I had some doubts about working with the committee on a book because, you know, what was this going to be? After the first committee meeting I realized that the outline didn't go over that well. It didn't go over that well because I didn't explain it enough; I assumed that people would know the book would be entirely illustrated. I had not mentioned how much text there would be versus how many illustrations. I remember John Hauberg was clutching a copy of my draft outline saying this is horseshit and it should be burned. [They laugh.]
MR. ANDERSON: He never expressed himself well.
MS. OLDKNOW: No, he didn't. [They laugh.] And never shy about that, although he was so sweet later. He apologized and he was really adorable about it. But, you know, I had this committee there and they were looking at me. John was saying, we want something that has lots of pictures and not so much text. And I said, well, you know, if you want a National Geographic treatment of this book, I'm not the person to do it. And it's fine. I can be released from this. There are no hard feelings, but it's just not what I think that I want to do.
And I was really encouraged by the fact that the entire committee said no, no, no, we want you to do this; we want you to do it the way you want to do it. And everyone shot John a dirty look. And it worked out great and it turned out to be a great project. But I needed you to be there to do a lot of the hard work: raising the money for the book, keeping people away from me, doing all of the organizational work with Katy Homans and our editor, Suzanne Kotz. It was a lot of involvement on your part. And you were always very efficient about everything, and that was great.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, I am sometimes efficient. I remember Bob Seidl, when Hauberg was talking about wanting it to be a National Geographic and Seidl wanted it to be a scholarly text. I remember saying something that I had heard someone say before, and that was that it would be very easy for you to do. It should be a cross between Johann Sebastian Bach and John Philip Sousa. And you did it. You actually wrote a readable scholarly text, with a lot of pictures. And the book was terrific because it really told the story of Pilchuck.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah, I wanted other people to tell it, rather than me.
MRS. ANDERSON: Yeah, but you did it. It was preserving a history that, a few years later, some of the people were dead.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah, it was disappearing. It was actually hard to get a lot of information out. It shouldn't have been done any later than it was, because I think that a lot of that information, people were just forgetting. And once it was written down, then they could forget and not be so obsessed about keeping it alive, and they could move on.
MRS. ANDERSON: It was the time--Doug was the right person to do it; you were the right person to do it.
MRS. OLDKNOW: You took a big risk on me. I mean, I hadn't written that much.
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, wait a minute, they took a big risk on him, because it was really the first project that he had done and they really wanted to do it. No one would do it. And he finally said, I will. And they said, well, let's go for it.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, the other thing was that--it was a big learning experience for me. First, I had never been involved with doing a book before. So that was one thing. Second, I had never been involved with really doing anything with the folks in Seattle. And Seattle, which John Hauberg used to keep talking about coming of age after being cut off from the rest of the country by the Cascade Mountains, and it wasn't until the airplane routinely was flying in and out of there that they got to be part of the rest of the country. There is a very Seattle way of doing things, and I hadn't a clue.
So when we were sitting around talking about this book, we budgeted it at about $125,000, if I remember.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yes.
MR. ANDERSON: And I said at a board meeting that Dale and I would pledge $10,000 to kick this off, as long as I was going to be running the project--let's get it funded and let's get it funded now. Figuring that the rest of the guys around the table would say, hear, hear; here's mine, and we would pass the hat and there would be $125,000, and we finished with that part. John Hauberg said, I'll see your $10,000, and then the rest of the crowd sat still. [They laugh.] And I'm saying to myself, oh my goodness. Is that the way it goes here? Suckered again.
So Marge Levy [director, Pilchuck] and I sat down and we said we need to raise this money. And we caucused with Chihuly. And through this, because Chihuly has so much experience with books, whenever I would come to Seattle, I would call him and we would make a breakfast meeting. Now, fortunately I had a career before all of this in the processed meat business. So 4:00--in--the--morning meetings were something I was not shocked by. It had been a while, but when Chihuly said that he does his best work at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning, I said, okay, fine, and so I would show up and we would make Irish tea, and eat a muffin, and we would talk about books.
So I got a great education from Dale. And at one point, I said, we're stuck. We have to raise this money. And he said, oh, it's very easy. We'll do a special edition of 500 books. You'll put a separate--a different kind of cover on it--a cover and slipcase--and I'll blow something to add as an incentive, and we'll sell the 500 books. How much should we sell them for? He said $500 a book and we'll make this problem go away. I said, okay, fine, we'll do that, figuring what the hell; if I can't raise any money, we may as well not be able to sell 500 books with Chihuly things in them. [They laugh.]
And I wasn't there and Dale wasn't there when Chihuly designed and the team blew the 500 objects. They were blown at Pilchuck, weren't they?
MS. OLDKNOW: They were blown at Pilchuck.
MR. ANDERSON: Were you there?
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah, I was there.
MR. ANDERSON: Talk about it.
MS. OLDKNOW: It was really wonderful, because one of the things that interviewing all of the artists for the Pilchuck book did was to bring back that sense of community of the earlier days. Because a lot of the artists, many of whom are very successful, don't see each other as much as you think that they would. Even though they all live in Seattle, even though they would show up at Kate Elliott's gallery [Elliott Brown Gallery, Seattle, WA] for openings. They didn't see each other much.
So this blow was great, because a lot of people came together who had spent time together at Pilchuck 20 years previously. It was Dale, Billy Morris, Sonja Blomdahl, Flora Mace, and Joey Kirkpatrick. I think probably Martin [Blank]. Some of the blowers from Chihuly's studio were there. Charlie Parriott. We have a picture that we took of the group. It was a big group, and a lot of the really well--known artists were there.
MR. ANDERSON: And I remember at the end, we were having a problem finishing selling all 500. There was one person from San Francisco who bought 20 of them. We learned that the person was a gallery, and they immediately started selling them for $2,500.
MS. OLDKNOW: Well, they were selling them as affordable Chihulys that came with a book.
MR. ANDERSON: [Laughs.] And at the end--I know Dale and I bought about five of them at the end, and we gave them out as very luxurious Christmas presents to people, and it was fabulous. Maybe that gallery in San Francisco gave Dale and his people from Portland Press the idea of making edition pieces and packaging each with a book.
MRS. ANDERSON: You know what? That was creativity, but that was your first real involvement with that board. And after that, you were accepted.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, they were blown away. I mean, here we were--the reality is that we quickly raised a quarter of a million dollars. There was a cost attached to it, but it wasn't that significant, so we netted--let's call it $200,000. The book may have cost 125 [thousand dollars] to 150 [thousand dollars] so, in addition to getting their book, which they hadn't seen yet, they were 50 [thousand dollars], $75,000 ahead.
MS. OLDKNOW: Well, the book was signed by all of the artists who participated in the blow. Chihuly had a special party at the boathouse and they had all 500 books lined up and all of the artists, armed with pens, went around and signed every single book.
MRS. ANDERSON: Do you know that the regular book, not the edition, is still being given away--everybody who goes on the trip gets a book.
MS. OLDKNOW: That is excellent.
MRS. ANDERSON: Until we run out.
MR. ANDERSON: I don't remember how many we printed. I have to believe it was about 8,000.
MS. OLDKNOW: I think so.
MR. ANDERSON: And the University of Washington--
MS. OLDKNOW: They don't have any more.
MR. ANDERSON: No, I know they don't. And they sold. So Pilchuck continued--it became an ongoing income source for Pilchuck, and, frankly, I really got into the idea of books from that. First, it was fun. Working with you was a treat. Working with Katy Homans [Pilchuck book designer] was a treat.
So that was that story. Then it was also interesting to work with Marge Levy on that level, because Marge--I always think of Marge as being an extraordinary, strong--minded, visionary leader, who, when she wanted something done, because it was her idea, or if you could feed her something that she could make her idea, would be like a tank driver making it happen. And that was perfect for me, because I'm kind of a fountain of these kinds of ideas and she liked some of them and she didn't like some of them, but at least we got things done.
And the first one that we tried was a development idea that started with the thought that Pilchuck is a school. And Pilchuck teaches people about glass. But Pilchuck was focusing on only one part of the community. They were focusing on the artists. And yet it was important, as far as Dale and I were concerned, that Pilchuck have a greater responsibility and focus on collectors, and teach collectors about what they are collecting, and do it in a way that is fun, and also do it in a way that created money for Pilchuck to do what it does.
MRS. ANDERSON: And bonds.
MR. ANDERSON: And bonds as well. So we proposed to Marge that we do a weekend for 10 collector families--
MRS. ANDERSON: It was less than that.
MR. ANDERSON: I thought it was 10. Maybe it was seven. And we offered to the collectors the opportunity to come to Pilchuck for the weekend, live on campus, and work with artists making monoprints and blowing glass.
MRS. ANDERSON: Casting glass.
MR. ANDERSON: Lampworking, casting, and learning about what they were collecting and how it was made. We offered this to a group of collectors and we didn't put a price tag on it. We got a few who wanted to come--seven or 10 couples, I don't remember. And we then went to--Marge went to a group of artists and asked them whether they would be interested in volunteering their time to teach this group of collectors and--
MRS. ANDERSON: And to demonstrate.
MR. ANDERSON: To do demos and to hang out and do slide presentations of their work. And the smart ones realized that this is a very clever opportunity to make relationships with people who buy art, and maybe they would buy some of theirs.
And I remember getting a phone call from Charles Bronfman before this. And he called, and he said, what is this going to cost me? And I said nothing. And he said to me, nothing costs nothing. I said, okay, how much do you want it to cost you? He said, well, tell me what I should do. I said, give a scholarship. So he said, okay, I'll give a scholarship to a Canadian. Oh, wait a second, that is not good enough. I'll give a scholarship to an Israeli, too.
So Charles and Andy decided they would give two scholarships. And Marge and I figured that was for one year. Well, it's 12 years later or so, and they are still giving two scholarships.
MRS. ANDERSON: But even--all right, so at that particular weekend, Dante [Marioni] was there. So was Bill Morris. They all were there.
MS. OLDKNOW: Ginny [Ruffner] was there.
MRS. ANDERSON: Fritz Driesbach and Joey [Kirkpatrick] were there. You name it; the best of the best were all there and, by the way, having the best time. Dante and Andy Bronfman bonded. And we have pictures of them--of him teaching her how to make a goblet. Well, she had an experience--I want you to know that they are one of his major collectors now. But that was all from there. There were a lot of relationships that happened.
MR. ANDERSON: So the second time we did it.
MRS. ANDERSON: Being we did it--we sponsored it.
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah, we covered the cost of--
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, I see.
MR. ANDERSON: This was not a monumental event, because nobody wanted to get paid for doing this, so it was just care and feeding of everybody.
MRS. ANDERSON: And Charles and I didn't sleep there. Charles and I would drive back to Seattle and then we would come back the next day. [Laughs.]
MR. ANDERSON: And we did it a second time because we knew that we could get it righter the second time. And we did and it was fabulous. And at the end of the second one--because everyone was just very low key, at the end of the second one, Marge offered to send a bus with everyone in it to the airport, to Sea--Tac [International Airport], to get everyone to their plane. And the room got a little quiet and we couldn't figure out why, until we realized that most of the people there had come with their own planes. [They laugh.]
So it was kind of, like, oh, yes, all right, fine. Everyone had a great time. And my guess is that pretty much everyone who was there has maintained some kind of financial relationship with Pilchuck. It's a very special place. It sells itself. You don't have to do much of anything.
MRS. ANDERSON: But then, it eventually didn't work out. It wasn't a program that the general artist community wanted to do. But that was the lead--in to the curator's program. That is how that really began.
MR. ANDERSON: Why don't you talk about how that curator program began?
MRS. ANDERSON: I don't really remember. [Laughs.]
MR. ANDERSON: Okay, then I'll talk about it.
MRS. ANDERSON: Yes, excuse me, I do.
MS. OLDKNOW: Martha Lynn?
MRS. ANDERSON: No.
MS. OLDKNOW: Ruth Summers?
MRS. ANDERSON: No, from L.A.
MR. ANDERSON: LACMA [Los Angeles County Museum of Art].
MS. OLDKNOW: Jo Lauria?
MRS. ANDERSON: Jo Lauria. Jo Lauria was sitting with us one day, and we were talking, and she was complaining. And she said, you know, how am I supposed to write about things like graal and all of these technical things if I don't really know what they are? And Doug said, you know, you're really right. So he said, well, maybe what you ought to do is you'll go to Pilchuck and they will show you. And we said, oh, maybe a lot of the curators should go to Pilchuck and see what this is all about, and who knows what is going to happen from that? And that was the beginning.
MR. ANDERSON: So I called up Marge.
MRS. ANDERSON: Marge Levy.
MR. ANDERSON: Marge got to the point where she almost wouldn't take my phone calls. [They laugh.] But I called her up and I tell her the story about Jo Lauria. And without missing a beat, she said, if you'll pay for it, I'll put together a curator's program. I said, if you keep it under $5,000, we'll pay for it. She said, easy, done, deal. And we set up a curator's program. And the point of it was exactly--you know, you learn that if you can get a double bump on a program, that is good. If you can get a triple bump, it's extraordinary.
So the original plan was to teach curators about technique so that they could write about it. The second bump was that we learned that curators are--first, they are underpaid, but they are under--travel--budgeted, and they are overworked.
MRS. ANDERSON: And they are isolated.
MR. ANDERSON: And they are completely isolated. So here we find the backbone of the intellectual community of the museum world not given the resources that they should have, and also they really don't know each other. So in the first time we did this--and we had no idea about any of this--in the first time we did this, I think we had 15 or so curators there. And Marge put on a fabulous program. And it started with 6:00 in the morning walks in the woods, and really enjoying being in the outdoors, and people getting to know each other.
Part of what we did in that session was we wanted to put together people from similar museums, similar kinds of museums. So we put Bruce Pepich and Mark Leach in the same cabin. [They laugh.] Mark Leach had just finished building or finished with the plans for the Mint Museum of Craft and Design. Bruce was just starting with the plans for his new building in Racine. We told Bruce to bring his plans along, and we told Mark that he couldn't leave the cabin until he had critiqued the plans.
We tried to get people together who could work together afterwards where--you know, one of the things that we all find is that there is a potential for a circuit of museums that do craft. Why should the Mint Museum have to curate five shows a year, and the Craft Museum curate five shows a year, and Racine five shows a year, and Bellevue [Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA] now five shows a year, when they could get together and they could either take each other's show up front, or they could co--curate and co--write things? It would be a hell of a lot cheaper and it would be much more efficient. And people from around the country would--everyone would get to see everything and not everyone would have to pay for everything, much more efficient.
So part of the thrust of what we kept talking about in that first curator's program was basically that.
MRS. ANDERSON: Wait, wait. And then they got--all the curators got to do what the collectors had done. So they got to work with all of the artists: they got all of the demonstrations. And the artists were thrilled to come out and do this with the museum people. And then what we did is something that we do with the auction weekend, is arrange collections for them to go to. So they got really treated phenomenally. So this was a win--win on every level, and everybody was dying to do this. I mean, we had what, five years?
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah, we had a five--year run of this and had between 50 and 60 curators--we added some writers to one of them. We always invited George and Dorothy Saxe to come, because they get it and their experiences were as important to this an anything else. And it was a fabulous thing.
And then in the midst of all of this, Marge left and was no longer the director. And Barbara Johns became the director. She did the last one. She wasn't comfortable doing it. Funny, because she had been to one when she was a curator at Tacoma [Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA], but she didn't like being on the other side of it as the host. And Pike Powers was a little burned out and didn't want to do the work. And then there was a whole mishmash amongst the artists, because everyone wanted to be invited to participate, and yet we wanted to participate the artists who were most likely to be the kinds of people who museum curators would want to know, with the thought maybe they would do a museum show with them or something.
MRS. ANDERSON: It became very political, and there were too many personalities, and it was too much, I don't want to say jealousy, but in fact there was. And then after Barbara Johns is no longer there, Patricia Watkinson came. And she didn't see the value of this at all, and it became too much work for the school, and they all of the sudden forgot the benefits and the reasons why we had done it in the first place. And so Doug, thank God, called you, and you, smart thing, said, oh, wow.
MS. OLDKNOW: Well, it's great that we can combine it with SOFA New York. I think it would be hard to get people come to Corning just for the weekend. But if you need to go to New York anyway--and all curators need to go to New York, it's one--stop shopping. For an overworked person, for someone like me to know that I can go to one place for a certain number of days and get all of this information, and that is all I need to do, it is very attractive.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, let me put on the record the fact that you are being very modest. And we did a test last year with you at the Corning Museum, and you and all of your associates at the Corning Museum, and while I was very conflicted about our moving the program from Pilchuck, first Dale and I--I am still a board member at Pilchuck and I love Pilchuck, and the idea of taking away something from Pilchuck was hard, but they didn't want it. So I took away something from Pilchuck that they had taken away first.
And second, I was really kind of worried about losing the magic. And Pilchuck is magical and the folks who are up there are magical. But what we got instead was better. It was better and it was more relevant. And my sense is that the takeout ultimately is much better, and here is why. Corning has more things that curators can learn to use for their best interests later.
MS. OLDKNOW: Because it's a museum.
MR. ANDERSON: It is a museum--it has a complete collection; it has a group of curators who are second to none in all areas of the world of glass. And also it has the Hot Glass Roadshow, and it's got the library, and it's got resources that are just second to none in terms of the archives and things. And in the end, what do we want to accomplish? We want a curator--and it can be an Islamic curator or it could be curator of American art or it could be a contemporary art curator. We want a curator to go back to his museum in, let's call it, Mississippi, and decide that he wants to do a show that includes glass that his museum doesn't have with the work that his museum does have. But that curator doesn't have the material and doesn't have the intellect, the intellectual skills in that area.
One--stop shopping, go to Corning, we can do this. Now, that could never come out of the Pilchuck thing. And then add to that the Hot Glass Roadshow that could go and do demos at the museum. God, when they were at the Norton Museum, the best part of it had nothing to do with the adults. It had to do with--it was like if a grant writer had a dream and wrote the grant, it came true. These guys would sit--they would do shows before the museum opened, and the museum would bring students from the local schools. And this went on for three months.
They would bring 60 kids every morning. The kids would do drawings. The guys from the Hot Glass Roadshow would pick a drawing, they would bring the kid up, and they would make the thing. It was fabulous. It was absolutely fabulous. So the kids would go home and show their parents. The parents would come to the museum. The whole thing worked. It was like total connections.
It is much better doing it in Corning, and we look forward to--
MS. OLDKNOW: Next year is 2006.
MR. ANDERSON: Next year. Two thousand--six. We do this in even years?
MS. OLDKNOW: We do it on the off years of Wheaton Village, because Wheaton also has its curator program. And we agreed with the Parkmans [Paul and Elmerina] that we would stagger them. So we go on opposite years of Wheaton.
MR. ANDERSON: Terrific. And this time Dale will come, because we're going to fly up in the Corning plane.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yes. [Laughs.]
MR. ANDERSON: Rather than on the bus.
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, gee.
MRS. ANDERSON: No bus, no bus.
MS. OLDKNOW: Let's see where we are on here.
MR. ANDERSON: The [Pilchuck] auction tour?
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah, can we talk about the auction tours?
MRS. ANDERSON: When Doug and I first went up to Pilchuck, even before we were on the board--no, I guess we were on the board. Marge Levy used to do the auction tours, and they were wild. She would get you started at, I don't know, 8:00 in the morning, which was not for me. But I would get up and do it, and we would have a full day running. And we would go to studios--not a lot of collections, but it was a lot of studios. It was constantly artists.
Then we would have dinner at 8:00 or 9:00, and she would say, who wants to go see Martin Blank at 11:00 at night? And everyone would get up and say, yay! But there were maybe 15 or 20 people--not even. Sometimes there were minivans. And it was these exhausting, wonderful, exuberant, things that everyone would come home and just lay down and recover for days.
And then eventually they got be a little bit more grown--up. And then eventually they started being less interesting. And the auction was really great, but the tours really weren't so fabulous. Then at one point, there was nothing exciting about the tours. And Fraeda Kopman and Anne Cohen and I, who were the three out--of--state trustees who were assigned to this committee, said, let's do something about it.
And so my job was really to do the trips, because I had done this for the American Craft Museum, so I understood this. And Anne Cohen's job was to bring the people because she is like the pied piper and half of Los Angeles would follow her anywhere. And Fraeda's job was to do some of the selling and marketing of the trips. So between the three of us, we were really pretty good.
But there was a problem because the Seattle people were doing the trips and they did not like the idea that the out--of--towners were now sort of rebelling and saying, you know what, we can do it better. So there was a lot of acrimony. Seriously, it was not a very pretty picture, until we finally worked it out. Finally they just, in exasperation, said, okay. So it was now going to be about what I wanted to see. And there is a wealth of collecting out there--contemporary art, the likes of which--I don't know how many places really have things like that, and huge homes to accommodate it.
So the first year was really good. The second year was terrific. Last year, we were sold out to the point where we were 75 people and had a waiting list of, I think, 20. And we were turning people away from this. And what had happened is that Doug had used the curator's list, and he would talk to the curators at some of the museums and ask them if there were people that they thought would be interested in coming on the trip. And so they would do mailings for us when they realized that we weren't competition, that we were indeed giving them an opportunity to do something good for their collectors. And it was now about attracting a totally different group of people, because why preach to the choir? You want people to come who don't necessarily know much about this.
So the trips now became very heavy--duty art trips. And--
MR. ANDERSON: And eating trips.
MRS. ANDERSON: And eating trips. And, I mean, this is a group of people--
MR. ANDERSON: In people's homes.
MRS. ANDERSON: People like to be treated well. And so these trips were very well priced, because we didn't really charge more than the trip, in fact, was. And on top of it, you got a $500 patron ticket to the auction, which is, of course, the reason why the trips were happening in the first place. So they would start on Wednesday night, and you would have cocktails at--you know, Benaroyas [Jack and Becky] and the Rubinsteins [Sam and Gladys], and whoever, and then you would go to The Ruins [dinner club in Seattle, WA] for dinner.
And then the next day you would go up to Pilchuck, and Bill [Morris] would be blowing. And then you would go and see a few collections. And then the next--that night you would go out for dinner. And the next day you would go to Chihuly and have brunch there. And you would see maybe four or five other artists during the day. We would go to the auction. And then the next day, you would have brunch at the Shirley's--you know Jon and Mary Shirley, or the Brotmans [Susan and Jeff] or the--
MR. ANDERSON: The Trues [Bill and Ruth].
MRS. ANDERSON: The Trues or the Hedreens [Dick and Betty]. And you would meet some of the top hundred collectors in the United States, and you would see the collections, and you would hear what they had to say and be entertained by them in their homes. And you would come home and think, wow, that was quite something.
--no galleries. There was nothing like that, because you could do that for yourself.
MR. ANDERSON: No museums.
MRS. ANDERSON: No museums, unless they were something so extraordinary. Those trips became very much sought--after trips. This year, it sold out again.
MR. ANDERSON: And it is not until October, and it was sold out by July 4.
MRS. ANDERSON: Obviously it's a good formula. [They laugh.]
MR. ANDERSON: That is a good thing.
MRS. ANDERSON: And we have, like, 70, 75 people.
MS. OLDKNOW: That is a big group.
MRS. ANDERSON: We divide them.
MR. ANDERSON: The interesting part of this is that we asked Pilchuck to give us a scan on how much art was bought at the auction, and how much of that art was bought by the 75, which really turns out to be 40 to 45 families, because some people come by themselves and some come as couples. Out of the 800 to 1,000 people who come to the auction, what percent is bought by the people who come on the tour? And typically it's 25 to 35 percent. So 75 people, which is really under 50 couples, are buying 25 percent to a third of the million--plus dollars worth of art being sold at the auction. And that is a number that their development department has just started to comprehend.
And one of the things that we have felt over the years--Dale and I have collected collectors to bring to Seattle. If we retire from the board and from the advisory committee, the one thing they can post on our tombstone is we collected collectors. And we were sitting down to try to figure out, in our own silly way, on an airplane one day an economic impact study of the people, we brought to Seattle for the first time. And Seattle is so attractive to people who come back by themselves for all of the other stuff that they didn't get on these trips.
What possible economic impact did we have on the city of Seattle? And, frankly, someone ought to knight us for what it is. There was one trip that we did when Dale was--
MS. OLDKNOW: I think you deserve a key to the city.
MRS. ANDERSON: [Laughs.]
MR. ANDERSON: We do. And Pilchuck does. And we have a new development director there. And one of the things that she and I started talking about was that Pilchuck needs to do an economic--impact study of it on Seattle, in terms of how it perceives itself and sells itself for state and city funding, because the economic--it's not bullshit. I mean, this is real.
We did a trip for--Dale did a trip, I'm sorry, for the American Craft Museum when she was doing those trips. And she decided to do a trip to Seattle at the time of the Pilchuck auction. And because Marge was so busy doing her trip, Dale hired Katya Garrow, now Katya Heller, to lead the trip with her.
MRS. ANDERSON: I was afraid that--because Marge was doing the trips for the school that our group was going to get short shrift, and I thought, uh--uh, this was not going to happen, because the Collectors' Circle was really great and those trips are normally 30 people. So Katya and I really planned this trip. We did everything. This was where we started with the University of Washington ceramics department, and the glass--the jewelry society out there, and the contemporary art collecting and all of this. I did the trip again that I wanted to do with Janice Haggerty.
Well, the board of the museum got wind of this, and they decided that they were now going to have their board meeting in Seattle, which meant that I was going to have 70 people on the trip.
MR. ANDERSON: No, no, no, it was 52 people.
MRS. ANDERSON: Fifty--two? Okay, 52.
MS. OLDKNOW: So this was the American Craft Museum.
MRS. ANDERSON: The American Craft Museum. They wanted to go on the trip. The whole board wanted to go on the trip. So they joined the other people who were on the trip and we had--it was wild. I mean, just wild.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, at the end of that trip--because the buying was out of sight.
MRS. ANDERSON: Out of hand.
MR. ANDERSON: And at the end of the trip there was a dinner. And I stood up and I said, I'm going to ask you each to do one thing for me, and that is when you go home, just send me a postcard with a number on it and tell me how much money you spent.
MRS. ANDERSON: [Laughs.]
MR. ANDERSON: And everyone laughed. They thought it was very funny, and everyone did. And at the end of the day when we added it up, it was a $1,400,000.
MRS. ANDERSON: But this was all through Seattle.
MS. OLDKNOW: And this was in addition to what was raised at the auction.
MR. ANDERSON: Correct.
MRS. ANDERSON: Oh, yeah, because every--the number--
MR. ANDERSON: This had nothing to do with the auction.
MS. OLDKNOW: At the auction they are raising almost a million dollars.
MR. ANDERSON: Correct.
MRS. ANDERSON: But when Doug gave you the number of the impact at the auction of 25 to 30 percent, that has nothing to do with the shopping that they did at all of the artists' and every place they went.
MS. OLDKNOW: I think that is an important thing to say, that it does not dilute the buying that occurs elsewhere.
MRS. ANDERSON: Not at all, not at all.
MR. ANDERSON: There is a case that I like to make that if you come to Pilchuck to the auction, one of the things that you get is you get to see young artists at the beginning of their career. And a lot of these artists are people who were awarded scholarships to Pilchuck on a competitive basis, and in order to thank Pilchuck, they are giving their work to the auction.
MRS. ANDERSON: And they are giving good pieces.
MR. ANDERSON: And you would--and because Pilchuck--and this is a Chihuly thing completely. We remember the years where there was no catalogue for the auction, and the years where there was a black--and--white catalogue. And Chihuly said that he would tell everybody not to give work unless we did a color catalogue. And Marge started doing a color catalogue. Now, that was tremendously important, because in that catalogue each of these artists has a photograph in color of their work, so that the galleries get to see it.
MS. OLDKNOW: Combine that with New Glass Review and you have got an incredible resource there.
MR. ANDERSON: You know, someone ought to publish all of the auction catalogues as a compendium.
MS. OLDKNOW: Or just put them online.
MR. ANDERSON: Or put them online.
MRS. ANDERSON: Yeah, that would be a good idea.
MR. ANDERSON: Right. All right. I can't--Tina, do me a favor, you recommend that. I can't.
MS. OLDKNOW: No more ideas. No more ideas.
This is Tina Oldknow interviewing Doug and Dale Anderson at their home in New York City, New York, on July 22, 2005, for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, disc number seven.
Doug, Dale has stepped out of the room to get us food, since we have been here for hours and hours and hours.
MR. ANDERSON: Well I've been on intravenous, it's okay. [They laugh.]
MS. OLDKNOW: I wanted to ask you about all of the publications that you have been involved in, because I think that publications are so important. That is what lasts into the future, in addition to interviews like this. This information is incredibly important.
You mentioned that the Pilchuck book was the first publication that you were involved in. And since then you have worked on a catalogue for the Norton Art Museum with Bill Warmus, Fire and Form: The Art of Contemporary Glass [West Palm Beach, FL: The Norton Museum of Art, 2003]. You have worked on Sculpture, Glass, and American Museums, with Martha Lynn [Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005]. Those are the two other publications you worked on, correct?
MR. ANDERSON: And the Metropolitan Museum [Jane Adlin. Studio Glass in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1996].
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, catalogue for the Metropolitan Museum, and--
MR. ANDERSON: And for the Boston [Jonathan L. Fairbanks. Glass Today. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1997].
MS. OLDKNOW: The Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
MR. ANDERSON: Yes. [They laugh.] And, you know, it's interesting that you call the Norton book a catalogue.
MS. OLDKNOW: I'm thinking of the exhibition catalogue.
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And it was interesting, because when we did that, the museum people at the Norton kept calling it a catalogue. And from my limited experience, I was working on a book with Bill Warmus, and they were talking about a catalogue. And one of the things that I asked for, and actually insisted on, was that it be a hardcover book.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yes.
MR. ANDERSON: And they--
MS. OLDKNOW: I just wanted to say that exhibition catalogues usually are books published in association with an exhibition. That is why they call them that. But they are books, and they are usually the leading source on that subject. They become important reference books.
MR. ANDERSON: Yes. So the Met and the MFA catalogues were not expensive. They were $35,000--type soft cover, 60--page catalogues--very nice. And they said everything they needed to say. The Pilchuck book was--the Pilchuck book was actually--I wrote a review of your book. I don't know whether you ever saw it.
MS. OLDKNOW: Of course I did.
MR. ANDERSON: Oh, okay, I wrote a review of your book for Amazon.com and I think of it as a social history. Yes, it is all about Pilchuck, but it really is also a social history of the times, certainly the beginning times of Pilchuck. And that just appealed to me on every level. Yeah, sure, the art appealed to me, the learning, the opportunity that everyone got to learn at Pilchuck, the unique nature of this business, this industry of the glass industry where--you know, I had an experience with David Bennett.
Here is David Bennett. He was a lawyer in Seattle--successful enough so that he could retire as a lawyer; he was on the Pilchuck board, he is hanging out at Pilchuck, and he decides that he is going to take glassblowing lessons. The next thing we know, David Bennett has declared himself an artist and he is making things. And he invites us out to his home where his studio is. Dale is in Seattle, and I get on the ferry, because whenever I go to Seattle I like to do something different.
I get on the ferryboat go to Bainbridge Island. I drive across to--whatever that it's called over there. It is--Hood Canal.
MS. OLDKNOW: Hood Canal.
MR. ANDERSON: And here's David's gorgeous home and studio next to it. And he has got a couple of guys in there trying to make horses. And the horses are breaking. And whenever he--he can't get the horses to not break. So I arrive and he is on a conference call with Pino Signoretto in Murano. And he's got Pino on the speakerphone. And he has had him on the speakerphone for an hour. I walk in; I'm listening, so I'm quiet; I'm just listening to this. And Pino is talking David Bennett through how you make a horse out of glass.
And finally they get to the part--and David is doing everything his way and telling Pino about what he is doing. And Pino says, uh--huh, uh--huh, uh--huh. And finally David says something and he says, stop! And David says, why? He said, no, no, no, and he goes off in Italian. And David says, I don't speak Italian. And it turns out that David was doing one thing that was wrong that was causing these sculptures to break.
Now, Oscar Meyer would not being doing this for a Hebrew National. No way. I don't know any business where you would--competitors would help each other. But that is the history of the studio glass thing, because nobody knew anything. And really, it ties to Pilchuck, where not only did everyone get to meet each other, but everyone became buddies and God knows what else they did. But they certainly talked technical to each other and helped each other. So I think that all comes out in your book, and I loved it.
Here I am predisposed to being an intellectual snob, predisposed to remember the fact that my father told me that I wasted a whole education on art history, predisposed to remembering what Janson kept screaming at us in his book [H.W. Janson. History of Art. New York: Prentice Hall, 1962] about the social history of art, and here it is happening before my eyes, and am now in a position where I am able to actually help this to happen. This has been great fun, and I've loved it.
Now, when the Norton situation that we talked about yesterday happened and Bill Warmus needed to do his book lickety--split, I already knew that Ed Marquand and his people could do the design piece in Seattle, and also that he could find us a publisher. And he again found the University of Washington Press [Seattle, WA]. And the book was very successful.
And Bill had a thesis that he wanted--he has wanted to flesh out this thesis for years, and he was able to in the show, but he was more able to in the book. And the book will be with us for a long time.
MS. OLDKNOW: There was a wonderful bibliography that he hired Beth Hylen from the Rakow [Research] Library [Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY] to compile for him. That was an important chronology of the studio glass movement. It was really good.
MR. ANDERSON: There was one other piece of that. We commissioned Bill right after the book--and he has been too busy to get it accomplished, but he will get it accomplished--to do a DVD of the show, a PowerPoint presentation. He is going to produce a DVD that walks everybody through the show that we can attach to the book. We have reserved 250 copies of the book, and we are going to--the Norton is going to send 250 copies to museums and libraries that we were directed to by Beth Hylen.
MS. OLDKNOW: Excellent.
MR. ANDERSON: Who, as you say, is at Corning, at the Rakow Library, and she is great. So as soon as Bill--and I remind him every couple of months that he owes us this and he says, oh my God, yes, I do. And one day he will actually do it.
MS. OLDKNOW: And so how did you become involved with Martha's book, Martha [Drexler] Lynn?
MR. ANDERSON: Well, the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass has had at the core of its mission, since Hilbert Sosin founded it--or actually I think Jerry Rafael founded it, but after about a year, Hilbert took it over and became its president. And Hilbert had a vision that it was important for museums to do glass shows, and it was important for museums to do catalogues with the glass shows, and nobody had the money to do it. So he thought that the Art Alliance should have as its mission to raise money for those catalogues.
And in fact over the many years--it is probably 20 years--we have financed in part more than 50 museum catalogues. Now, we haven't had anything to do with the catalogues; we have just been a grant source.
MS. OLDKNOW: You mean the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass?
MR. ANDERSON: Correct.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yes.
MR. ANDERSON: At the beginning, we would do lead funding. It wasn't huge amounts of money, but it was lead funding that encouraged museums to actually do it. Now in the last years we have been using more money. It is kind of backwards. We should have been using more money and leading, and less money and being responsive, but it worked that way, so that it is the way it is.
But in 2001, Joan Baxt was the new president of the board. And she had a two--year term, and she wanted to define it by accomplishing something that she could be proud of. And so she convened a long--range planning committee meeting, and at that meeting were John and Colleen Kotelly, and Dale and me, and Bruce and Ann Bachmann, and Joan [Baxt], and Henry Wasserstein, and Stan Epstein--God, I'm going to miss somebody--Phil and Nancy Kotler, and one or two other people, and I'm blowing it. But it's in the book.
And we thought about what we wanted to do that would have some impact. And it came out that what we would love to do would be to encourage a major museum to do a show of their paintings juxtaposed with glass sculpture, and to do a great book of that, and that that show should tour. And then we all woke up from our dream and realized that that was ludicrous, because it was just impractical to get done.
And we decided that we would settle for doing a book, and we would hope to get the museums to allow us to bring out their glass and put it in their galleries, and juxtapose it to the paintings, and have photographers go out and take photographs, and that would be the book.
So we thought about who would write this book. And because I know some of these folks, I called Martha Drexler Lynn. And she said, well, you have got it partly right. First, I don't think the museums would do that for us. Second, the cost of photography would be hideous, and third, I have a thesis that I want to flesh out, too, so would you look at what I have in mind and see whether you would let me do the book?
And we looked at what she had in mind, and we were blown away. It was fabulous. It was basically a book about sculpture and the issues that sculpture causes for museums, the problems of sculpture. These are three--dimensional objects; you have to see them in the round. They are big and they're heavy, and they don't move around too quickly. And there is a prejudice in the scheme of who stands highest on the totem pole. And I mean this was basically the stuff of her doctoral dissertation.
And we said, you know, we don't want you to write your doctoral dissertation again, and we want you to write it so that my mother can read it and not think I'm an idiot. But we like what you're doing. And so we hired her to do her book. And we again paired her with Marquand, who, in addition to everything else, now has a company that is able to take terrible photographs and make them look great, magically, and do color separations.
We put them together, and it took from 2001 until now. And the book, we just saw the advance copy and you just--you were the reader for it to make sure that it fact--checked properly. And now we have both seen the advance copy, and we're both sitting here smiling about it. And Ed Marquand got the University of Pennsylvania Press--
MS. OLDKNOW: Great press.
MR. ANDERSON: --to be the publisher. And we kept the rights to sell this book to the 26 museums who Martha covered and did case studies on. And I take credit for having been able to sell another 2,000 copies to those museums. So we have got a 5,500--copy press run on this book. And it's going to come out in September, and we are very excited about it [Martha Drexler Lynn. Sculpture, Glass and American Museums. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005].
And this is a book--when Phil Kotler, who is an author--well--known author, but in the field of marketing--when Phil and his wife Nancy, who was a legal scholar, read the book, they thought it was perfect. It speaks to two completely different audiences. It speaks to the academics, and those who don't want to be academic can just skip over that part. And it speaks to the people who like coffee table books and informational pieces about museums and good stories. So, hopefully, it will appeal to both audiences, hopefully it will get a good review, and hopefully it will sell like crazy.
And then there were Richard [Wilfred] Yelle's two books. The first one, Glass Art, I helped him get images from artists around the country because he didn't know them well enough nor did he have the time to do it [Glass Art from UrbanGlass. Lancaster, PA: Schiffer Publishing, 2000]. The second one, International Glass Art, I wrote a 10--page essay about collecting [International Glass Art. Lancaster, PA: Schiffer Publishing, 2003].
MS. OLDKNOW: What kind of book would you like to see next? Have you had any fantasies about the kind of publication you would like to see? You didn't really get what you wanted, which was to show contemporary sculpture in glass in context with painting and sculpture.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, you know, part of what Martha did in her essay was she wrote a book about sculpture, or half the book, and simply presumed that it didn't matter what the sculpture was made out of. Yeah, Alfred Barr [director, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY] probably would have cared, and he would have thought that it should be made out of bronze, or maybe out of marble, but he is long gone, and his influence was mighty and very important, and I'm glad that he isn't here to get in the way, because he was pretty influential.
But she has written a book about sculpture and simply presumed that if it is made out of glass and if it is good sculpture, that is just fine, which is a hell of a different place than we were 25 years ago.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yes, absolutely.
MR. ANDERSON: Rick Snyderman [Snyderman Gallery and The Works Gallery, New York, NY] predicted that would happen, by the way, and I will always credit him for doing that, because I remember the day that he said, you're working too hard at this. It is going to happen naturally; it's just going to take 20 years. And he was right. But maybe the work we did helped a little bit.
MS. OLDKNOW: It helps a lot that she presented it that way and that she didn't waste time on biases or prejudices. It was brave of her to come forward and just say, this is it. I'm not going to make any sort of apologies or explanations; it's just sculpture.
MR. ANDERSON: There was a book many years ago, and Tony Wimpfheimer published when he was an editor at Random House, called The Proud Possessors [Aline B. Saarinen. The Proud Possessors: The Lives, Times and Tastes of Some Adventurous American Art Collectors. New York: Random House (Vintage Books), 1968], which was a wonderful study of collectors. When we gave an advance copy of this book to Phil Kotler, he said that he would love to see a book about collectors and the work that is in their homes. And I can see a snake pit in terms of how you go about doing that, and I don't know whether you can sell this to a publisher, because it might appear to be a vanity book. But maybe there is some value in that.
There is a whole area of installation art that has come out of these folks who started by the campfire at Pilchuck 35, 40 years ago, guys who could barely blow a bubble, who now are doing the entire face of the Time Warner building. And I think that there is a fabulous book on installations that somebody could write, and if someone wants to write it and if we can find the money for it, I would be happy to play this role again. Want to do it? [They laugh.]
MS. OLDKNOW: Yeah, I'll do it.
MR. ANDERSON: But I think there is a market for that, and I think that is interesting. I think that is an interesting story about the journey of some of these artists from RISD [Rhode Island School of Design, Providence] to doing the Reichstag or something. I mean, these guys have really come a long way.
MS. OLDKNOW: And of course, one of the leaders of that is Chihuly.
MR. ANDERSON: Yes.
MS. OLDKNOW: Who showed a lot of people the way, and then they took off.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, Dale Chihuly is the engine that powered this whole train. Anybody who has anything negative to say about Dale Chihuly is going to get hit by me with a bat. I mean, this guy made everything possible. There is nobody like Dale Chihuly. I mean, he is a spectacular man, and the most generous man I have ever, ever met.
MS. OLDKNOW: Incredibly generous.
MR. ANDERSON: And has done well by doing good.
MS. OLDKNOW: Good. Just to conclude our interview, and I think we have covered a lot of territory, I wanted to ask you what have been some of your favorite pieces that have come and gone? You said you loved the Ginny Ruffner, even after you gave it away. You had to have another one made that was like it. Now you have got this plan where you install pieces in your apartment so that Doug can't give them away, so that you can keep them.
A lot of collectors say they could never give away a piece, because they love them too much, and they must be with them all of the time. And you are wonderful the way you keep adding and processing through and giving away. What have been some of your all--time favorites?
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, I would say that most of the favorites at the moment are living in this house, or in Florida. But there are artists that I notice after all of these years that we seem to--that I seem to buy in depth, if that is not the right expression for it, whatever. I love Gregory Grenon. I think that he is a phenomenal painter. The fact that he happens to use reverse painting on glass is beside the point. I think he is a German Expressionist. I adore him. I have big pieces in both of my bathrooms. And I would have a hard time getting up in the morning and not seeing him. [Laughs.] It's just how I feel.
There is a--Laura Donefer was the first piece I ever bought of hers many years ago. It is made out of bone, and fur, and hair, and glass, and things, and it is one of the most frightening--looking things I have ever seen, and that is how I feel in the morning when I get up. And then on the outside near my sink, I have a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful little Tom Wesselman nude, and that is how I like to feel the rest of the day. But those are important things to me.
MS. OLDKNOW: What was the hardest thing before the Ginny Ruffner that you have given away?
MRS. ANDERSON: Well, I wasn't particularly happy about the Steve Weinberg that Doug gave away, that I wasn't ready to give away.
MR. ANDERSON: How about the Toots piece that I gave to the Norton that you keep beating me about?
MS. OLDKNOW: Oh, I remember that.
MRS. ANDERSON: Oh, it was the most perfect one, and it had copper inside and I loved that, and she swore--Toots swore that there were three other ones, or two other ones, that were made around the same time. And her mother had one, I think, and she found another one. And she showed them to me. Neither of them were it. It was the one that the Norton took. That was my ultimate favorite of all of them.
I mean, we have given--Louis Sclafani--
MR. ANDERSON: Yeah, sure.
MRS. ANDERSON: All right, he was doing these bottle things. And Doug decided it was time for them to leave. And I loved them. I just loved them.
MS. OLDKNOW: So he decides when it's time to leave.
MRS. ANDERSON: Mm--hmm. [Affirmative.] He is cruel.
MS. OLDKNOW: Your objects.
MR. ANDERSON: Such power. [Laughs.]
MRS. ANDERSON: Sometimes we really discuss it as it's being moved out of the house, but generally--[they laugh]--I'm not really privy to his pattern of what he does. But the Sclafanis were leaving and they were going to Racine. And I said, but I'm not ready for them to go. He said, you'll find another thing to put there. I said, excuse me; I want them. I love them. His work has changed. He said, I'm making pillows. These things were so divine. But they were going to Bruce. So I didn't feel so terrible; I could see them. On the other hand, when they got there, one was broken. And we were--Sclafani could never make another one. So I was really--I was unhappy about that. I felt that if they had stayed here longer, maybe when they were ready to leave, they would have been intact, because they weren't ready to go either.
MR. ANDERSON: I don't remember that about that.
MRS. ANDERSON: Oh, I loved them.
MS. OLDKNOW: Do you have any gag orders on any works of art--that you tell Doug, no way is this ever leaving?
MRS. ANDERSON: No, actually I don't. But we almost came to blows--the first Tom Patti I ever bought was at Holsten in Florida, and it was in the '80s. It was this important piece, because it was right when he was going from one shape to the next, and it was really fabulous. And I said, oh, I have to have it.
MR. ANDERSON: It was a Solar Riser.
MRS. ANDERSON: All right, and it had an indentation. It looked like an eye cup.
MR. ANDERSON: It still is a Solar Riser. [They laugh.]
MRS. ANDERSON: It is still. So I said, we'll buy it. I, of course, didn't bother to ask the price. It is not my area. So when Doug turned purple huffing and puffing, I said, what is the problem? He said, well, it's $12,000, which in those days for a piece of glass, or anything, was a lot of money.
MS. OLDKNOW: Tom has always led the field in price too.
MRS. ANDERSON: On pricing. So I said I have to have it. Doug said absolutely not. I said, oh, do you want to make a bet? So Doug tried to lose it. He tried to negotiate himself out of it with Ken Holsten. They had such carryings on, and finally Tom and Marilyn and I figured we're going to put it in the press. So the Shiny Sheet [Palm Beach, FL], which was a local paper, took a picture of us with the piece in hand like we had bought it. So how could Doug say we weren't buying it? But I'm telling you, for years he razzed me on that. [They laugh.]
MR. ANDERSON: I called Ken Holsten--and Ken razzes me about this--I called him and I said, Ken--it was the next day--and I said, I know that Dale hasn't negotiated the price with you. He said, oh, that's not a problem. I said, oh, good, I'm glad to hear it. So you'll give us our normal 40--percent discount--[they laugh]--and I said it with a straight face, and he got quiet. And he said, no, I don't do that. And I had someone else who would buy it last night. Why don't you call them, I said? He said, well, the moment is gone. Okay, so now let's talk about this moment. [Laughs.] But ultimately I was just fooling with him.
MRS. ANDERSON: Another thing I thoroughly enjoyed. When the Craft Museum did the glass show, Bill Traver had done a Bertil Vallien show. And they were these beautifully spacy heads on wooden bases that were very tall, and he had this really New Age sort of music. And Doug was sitting there absolutely in a trance. And I thought, ooh, I love this!
MR. ANDERSON: There were 50 of them, or 40 of them, in his gallery.
MS. OLDKNOW: I remember that show.
MRS. ANDERSON: You remember that show?
MS. OLDKNOW: Mm--hmm [affirmative], it was incredible.
MRS. ANDERSON: So I knew that when they were going to come back again, I really wanted them. So now Doug Heller had them, and he was the one who was responsible for, I guess, doing Bertil's thing for that show. So I said to Doug [Heller]--and I never do this because I think that this is cheating and it is not fun to outmaneuver somebody else. But I said, you know what, Dougie, I really want to go and I want first crack at them. I want to buy some, and Bill and Fraeda Kopfman want some, too.
MR. ANDERSON: And George and Dorothy.
MRS. ANDERSON: And George and Dorothy. But George and Dorothy had. All right, but Bill and Fraeda didn't have any, and we had had other pieces, but they had all been given away. But I really wanted these things.
So we walked in as Bertil was setting them up, and they were moving heads around the place. I mean, it was just unbelievable. So I walked in and I said, okay--it took me about 15 minutes and I bought six. I bought three for me, and I bought three for Bill and Fraeda. And I said if Bill and Fraeda didn't like them, I would keep them, or Doug could exchange them, or whatever. Bertil looked at me, and then he started really explaining what these were about, which was this dream world with people and all of this kind of stuff. But I love those pieces. They are some of my favorite things.
MR. ANDERSON: When art collectors who don't know anything about glass come into the house, that is the first thing that they are drawn to.
Those--they are tall sculpture, and it's Giacometti meets--I don't know what--Cycladic art.
MRS. ANDERSON: Everybody knows that they are going to see Chihuly, and they all know what it is, and when they see the staircase, that is such a "wow." I mean, it is such an incredible installation. Everybody knows what that is, so you expect that. But, like, Tom's spheres are very subtle, and you wouldn't think that that would get the response it does, but in fact it does. So does Gregory. Gregory Grenon gets a lot of attention, because people who like painting basically like his work. Of course, Bill Morris--what is to be said about Bill?
Jay Musler is a really interesting guy. I like his work, I like his sensibility, I like his sense of humor.
MR. ANDERSON: I like him.
MRS. ANDERSON: I like him enormously. I mean, I love the Akio Takamori. I mean, he is truly one of my all--time favorites, and I like him enormously.
MR. ANDERSON: I like him.
MS. OLDKNOW: You tend to collect more than one object by an artist, which I really like, because a lot of people do it like stamp collecting: I have got one of this, one of that. And you don't do that.
MRS. ANDERSON: Flora and Joey. I think we started collecting when they started doing the heads with the wood.
MS. OLDKNOW: Yes.
MRS. ANDERSON: The Sentinels or whatever they were called. I would say that we have two of those, but we have collected the fruit, we have collected the boat image. We have a pretty good assortment of their work.
MR. ANDERSON: And those little--the early cylinders with the dolls on them.
MRS. ANDERSON: Yeah, we have some of those. Yeah, you're right. I like--the artists that I like, after all is said and done, that is still what I go back to--are those artists. And I have to say, when I always say, uh, I'm not going to buy another whatever, when we walk into Chihulyland, and invariably I see something that I want, it never ceases to amaze me, because there's nothing so revolutionary about it, but they are so beautiful. And if you really know what a good Chihuly is, they are really extraordinary.
MR. ANDERSON: Well, the new best friend in the glass world is Hank [Murta] Adams.
MRS. ANDERSON: Oh, I love him.
MR. ANDERSON: You know, you talk about collecting through an entire art movement, and then getting to the end, because I always say that the glass movement is over. But you go back, you look back at--and I think that we have probably bought something from everyone of any consequence--we have owned something that has passed through our home and is now living in a museum some place. Hank, we never got, never knew him, never got his work, until Bill Warmus's show. And when we--
MRS. ANDERSON: Bill and Fraeda Kopman have two of them. And when I looked at them, I really looked at them. I mean, they were fabulous. I think Hank is fabulous.
MS. OLDKNOW: Dick Marquis?
MRS. ANDERSON: Dick Marquis. He's absolutely sensational. His work is so beautifully done. Now, a lot of these artists, we have given away pieces of theirs. So it's a matter of fact--the capsule, the pill capsule of Dick's with the little thing [American Acid Capsule, c. 1970]. Well, Jane--the Met is getting that.
MR. ANDERSON: Jane laid a claim on it. She had got that one. I'm trying to think. But there is--Bruce and Lisa have some of Flora and Joey's fruit. They have the small fruit bowl. But now we have one still in Florida that is the latticinio fruit. We have that. But I don't know. And then, of course, there is the photography, which is--I don't even know what to say about that. But, like, I love Carol Eckert. These are wonderful, little, miniature, beautiful things.
MRS. ANDERSON: Kind of wonder what kind of movie is going on in her head. [Laughs.]
MS. OLDKNOW: Well, this is good. I think that we are going to wrap now. It has been a wonderful interview. And a wonderful process.
MRS. ANDERSON: This was fabulous.
MS. OLDKNOW: Thank you very much.
MRS. ANDERSON: Yay. [Laughs, clapping.]
[END OF INTERVIEW.]
Last updated...July 11, 2007