If you want to see how the one of the great art collecting families of Texas used to roll, mark next spring on your calendar. On Friday the Kimbell Art Museum announced a major loan and exhibition of 37 incredible works belonging to the first royal family of Fort Worth, the Basses. “The Collection of Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass” opening in March 2015 will feature painting and sculpture by the kinds of artists most people will only ever see in museum collections, yet Nancy and Perry got to eat breakfast with these things in their own house(s): Van Gogh, Pissarro, Renoir, Monet, Miró, Léger, Vuillard, Bonnard, Rothko, Chagall, Matisse, and that slouch Picasso.
The intensely private family of course spearheaded the entire redevelopment of downtown Fort Worth with great success. Despite being known internationally as great art collectors and more than partly responsible for the fine art reputation of Fort Worth and its museum culture, this collection has never before been shown publicly. The couple’s adult children have arranged the loan. The value of the collection must be staggering.
(photo: Van Gogh’s “Street in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer,” collection of Nancy Lee and Perry Bass)