Collector’s Eye: an interview with Wallis Annenberg

Wallis Annenberg, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation, has made art curation and preservation a major part of her philanthropic efforts. In a 2019 interview with The Art Newspaper, Annenberg describes what she looks for when acquiring works of art.

The Art Newspaper: What is your preferred way of buying art?

Wallis Annenberg: I believe in buying art with my heart, and not my wallet. So really, my only method is to ask myself: does this work astonish me? Does it say something special to me, something that has never been said before, something that will reveal itself more and more over time? Is it something I want to live with every day? Owning a great work of art is really a conversation that evolves and unfolds. You should look forward to passing it in your own home. You should miss it when you are on vacation, In my humble opinion, that’s the way to buy a piece of art.

If money was no object, what would be your dream purchase?

I would have to say the Mona Lisa. Simply because that smile—that coyly courageous expression, which has been studied and contemplated and admired for five centuries now—says boldly and clearly: I know something that you don’t. It’s what I want out of my art. I suppose praising the Mona Lisa is like saying Shakespeare is the best writer. But some clichés have the virtue of being true. If you know anyone who is selling it, give them my number.

Read the full article here.

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