Simon de Pury: Is art collecting strictly for the wealthy?

Even a little Swiss baker can put together an impressive collection.
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TRANSCRIPT

Simon de Pury:  The great thing is that collecting is a disease that has nothing to do with the amount of money that you own. You can be an obsessive collector with very limited means, and you can do great collections with limited means. And equally I have seen people with unlimited money who put lousy collections together. So it is a question linked to identifying what you love, what you truly believe in, and then really going for it. I know a man who is a ticket collector on the train between ... and Paris. And that’s his job, and so he lives on a salary that you can imagine must be, you know, not huge. Well this man is so obsessed with contemporary art. So he’s been buying lithographs, prints – large edition prints; illustrated books by artists. And having done that for the last 25 years, he’s built up a very valuable, valuable collection for himself. Or I know a man who has a .... He does fantastic pastry – the best desserts and best cakes. He is in the Swiss Alps. And so again I mean he does fabulous pastry, but he wouldn’t make that much money with that. Well as a young man he was interested in 18th century pastel. The pastel is a special technique done by artists with color crayons – oil crayons. He over the years has put together one of the worldwide most important collections in that field. Again that collection has become invaluable. Well he didn’t spend a lot of money building that collection. It was just commitment, persistence, obsession and passion. Recorded on: 2/7/08