Second Annual Collection Crawl

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This past spring, Emerging Collectors, one of BMA’s newest and fastest growing support groups, enjoyed one of their favorite events – the annual Art Collectors Crawl.  Held on a Sunday afternoon, the group visited four of Birmingham’s most distinct collectors, including the BMA’s own Gail Andrews.  

The tour began with a visit to the lovely childhood home of Dr. Julius Linn where the group was given a personal autobiographical history and viewing of works by Dr. Linn’s aunt, well-known Alabama artist Carey Hill.  Of course, while striking colorful scenes adorned several walls, the group also enjoyed viewing Dr. Linn’s array of beautifully arranged collections of decorative arts.  From there, the group then paid a visit to the aristocratic home of Philippa Bainbridge.  Known for her collection of Thorne Rooms, delightful period rooms done in miniature, Mrs. Bainbridge’s home is truly a piece of architectural history.  The home was exclusively built to accommodate 100 year old decorative French panels that once adorned the Fifth Avenue home of Cornelius Vanderbilt and were transported by rail car from New York to Birmingham.  

The next stop on the tour was to the much anticipated private home of Gail Andrews and Richard Marchase.  As most everyone knows, this lovely couple has a passion for traveling, of which includes a bit of collecting, and their home is a well-educated and sentimental nod to their travels and eclectic taste.  From Imari porcelain to contemporary paintings to antique hand-crafted quilts, the group enjoyed hearing the educated perspective and insight from our gracious hosts.

The final stop on the tour was to the infamous Birmingham “Swan House.”  Presently owned by the Coleman family, the group was treated to a “sunset stop” where contemporary art reigned amidst the backdrop of one of Birmingham’s most expansive and historic homes.  From intricate hand carved moldings to an underground pub to an outdoor chess set created by Alabama artist Frank Fleming, it was truly unforgettable and the perfect ending to an art-filled afternoon!

Through Emerging Collectors, we hope to take the mystery out of art collecting by showing our members that it can be accessible and affordable. Whether your interest is in porcelain or paintings, contemporary art or decorative arts, or even if you don’t have an area of interest yet, Emerging Collectors will help you become more familiar with different types of art forms.

By: EC member and patron co-chair Elizabeth Koleszar