Peer and Patron: Selections from the Private Collection of Dorothy Gillespie
In conjunction with the exhibition of her outdoor sculptures, Peer and Patron: Selections from the Private Collection of Dorothy Gillespie hopes to illustrate Dorothy Gillespie’s work not only as a successful artist, but also as a dedicated patron of the arts.
Living in New York from the 1940s-1980s, Gillespie was at the heart of America’s modern art scene. Many now famous artists on display in this exhibition (Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Keith Haring) where at the time of Gillespie’s collecting unknown in the art world. She simply saw them as her friends who produced terrific work. Her collection can be seen as agglomeration of her artistic influences and tastes—and of her person. Gillespie had a particular interest in supporting female artists, a passion which would lead her to establish two arts organizations for women in New York. This is accurately reflected in her collection, of which almost 50% is work produced by female artists.
Accompanying each artwork is a quote from Gillespie, who comments on her connection to the artist or their piece, making each work personal. However, unlike many of these artists, Gillespie never wanted fame or fortune. Because of this, her work has often gone unrecognized. By displaying Gillespie’s work beside these masters of Pop and Abstract art, this exhibition hopes to rightly establish her as their peer in addition to collector.
This exhibition is curated by Jenna Gilley, Associate Curator of Exhibitions, and made possible by loans from the Dorothy M. Gillespie Foundation. Support for this exhibition is provided by the Edward D. and Ione Auer Foundation. Additional support provided by STAR Bank.