Martin explains: "When I was younger I thought, am I supposed to have a profound experience looking at a painting? With music, even with books, that comes more naturally. The first painting I ever owned was a simple, antique-store find; a lighthouse, moonlight on the water, that sort of thing. I found that it wasn't until I spent time alone with it that I had any kind of communion with it." Martin's specialty is American art, mostly 20th century—in 2005 he donated $1 million to the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens for the American Art division.