William Louis-Dreyfus leads students on a visit to the foundation
William Louis-Dreyfus (1932–2016) was a poet, businessman, and committed art collector whose collection of close to 4,000 works represents over 50 years of discovery and dedication. Shaped by curiosity, an open mind, and a lifelong fascination with the power of visual media, Louis-Dreyfus’s collection remains remarkable today for its depth and diversity.
Get an introduction to this one-of-a-kind collection in a program that begins with a special recorded message by Louis-Dreyfus’s daughter, actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, about her father’s passion for art and his commitment to education. Then, Paul Glenshaw (of the popular Smithsonian Associates Art+History series) hosts a live-streamed illustrated lecture about this extraordinary and fascinating collection by Mary Anne Costello and Christina Kee, the curators at the William Louis-Dreyfus Foundation in Mount Kisco, New York.
Works in the collection were acquired in America and Europe and range from oil paintings, watercolors, and drawings to large-scale and multi-figured sculptures. From Alberto Giacometti, Bill Traylor, and Catherine Murphy to Thornton Dial, Red Grooms, and Nicola Hicks, Louis-Dreyfus’s selections avoided the influence of trends and media favorites and were instead based on the originality, inspiration, and sense of invention he saw in the works of artists he admired.
This eclectic, even contrarian, approach resulted in a truly unique collection that defies easy categorization. He sought works by emerging artists with as much interest as those of more established reputation, collecting in-depth from artists he valued throughout their careers. The result is a rich and varied resource that lends itself to exploration, study, and discovery.
World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*
*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.