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Continuing a legacy: Selling David Anderson’s print collection


Collector and arts benefactor David Anderson.

courtesy of David Anderson Charitable Trust

Every so often, monumental art sales have captured the attention of the Western New York public and media. The appeal of these events often directly relates to the notoriety of the artworks’ previous owners—which have included such famed local collectors as Seymour Knox and Charles Rand Penney. In art terminology, this is referred to as the provenance of the artwork. This chain of milestone art sales will continue on May 5, when prints from the private collection of renowned art dealer and patron David Anderson are offered for sale to the public in a rare five-hour event at the University at Buffalo (UB) Center for the Arts.

The nearly 400 prints that have been selected for the sale are by some of the world’s most celebrated contemporary artists including Karel Appel, Christo, Jim Dine, Sam Francis, George Segal, and Antoni Tapies, among others. Since the prints are limited edition multiples, some of them are also in the collections of major art museums across the globe. The significance of the artwork being sold is underscored by the fact that announcement of the sale immediately appeared in international news feeds, and inquiries about the event have come in from dealers, collectors, and relatives of the artists from New York to Los Angeles.

Fine art prints by well-established artists are an ideal entry point for beginning collectors and economical options for more experienced collectors. This is something that the late David Anderson understood very well. In fact, he was instrumental in establishing an original print market by commissioning, publishing, and exhibiting prints by many of the artists who were represented by his mother, Martha Jackson, one of the twentieth century’s most important art dealers. The prints that resulted were informed by his astute visual sensitivity for their work, the personal relationships that he developed with the artists, and his critical eye for quality modern art.

Starting in the late 1950s, Anderson’s career included operating galleries in New York and Paris, but, in 1991, he opted to relocate his art business to Buffalo, the place of his family’s roots. His contributions to the culture of the region have been broad reaching and substantial, and his wishes for the dispersal of his personal print collection reflect his affection for the area. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the following organizations: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society, Buffalo History Museum, Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo Prep, Buffalo Zoo, Burchfield Penney Art Center, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Nichols School, The Park School of Buffalo, SPCA Serving Erie County, University at Buffalo Foundation to benefit the Anderson Gallery, and Westminster Presbyterian Church.

The individually signed and numbered prints range in subjects and are priced from fifty dollars to several thousand dollars, though most are in the $150 to $350 range. The sale is managed by Dean Brownrout Modern/Contemporary, which describes this extraordinary opportunity as one in which “people will be able to buy with confidence because these are museum quality works with an impeccable provenance.”

The David Anderson Charitable Trust Collection’s sale of original prints to benefit Western New York community organizations will take place on Sunday, May 5, 1 to 6 p.m. at the UB Center for the Arts. For more information about the sale, visit www.deanbrownrout.com.

Gerald Mead is an artist, educator, noted collector, and independent curator who is a leading authority on Western New York art.

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