A Discerning Eye: Selections from the J. Brooks Buxton Collection

February 7 - June 3, 2012
Wolcott Gallery

A seventh-generation Vermonter and University of Vermont alumnus, J. Brooks Buxton '56 lived and worked in the Middle East and London for nearly forty years before returning to Vermont where he presently resides. Over the past fifty years he has built one of the most important private collections in Vermont of fine and decorative arts from his home state, and from around the world, shown for the first time to the public. A Discerning Eye presents a wide-ranging selection of material including fine furniture; 19th-21st century Vermont landscapes by Charles Louis Heyde, James Hope, Thomas Curtin, Paul Sample, and Curtis Hale, among others; antique Chinese blue-and-white porcelain; ancient to modern decorative arts from the Middle East; and European paintings and prints by Eugène Delacroix, Edward Manet, Raoul Dufy, and Howard Hodgkin, among others.

Collecting is an art form that has been practiced within the Buxton family for four generations. Buxton's ancestors collected decorative arts from Vermont, including glass, pottery, and furniture, examples of which are featured in this exhibition. Living abroad expanded Buxton's horizon beyond the vistas of the Green Mountains. When Buxton moved to Saudi Arabia in the 1960s during his tenure in banking, he expanded the parameters of his family's collection to include art and objects from the Middle East. Subsequently, when he began work in the oil industry, Buxton lived in Dubai, Libya, and London, all of which are reflected in the art and objects he collected.

Collecting art can take many forms, with a focus defined by subject, medium, geography, or other criteria. For Buxton, collecting is also highly personal. Everything he collects is acquired with a mind for not only the quality and artistic merit of the object, but also as a reflection of the places he holds most dear. Join us for this rare opportunity to view a private collection assembled with the discerning eye of J. Brooks Buxton.

This exhibition was organized by the Fleming Museum of Art, with generous support from J. Brooks Buxton, and the Kalkin Family Exhibitions Endowment Fund.

IMAGE (above right): Chinese, 18th century. Hookah, c. 1790. Hard-paste porcelain. Collection of J. Brooks Buxton '56