PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas September 2022

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Page 59 of 215

An Aesthetic Life George Shackelford, one of America's foremost museum curators and scholars of late 19th- and early-20th-century French art, exhibits a savant's approach to collecting. By Dani Grande. Portrait Tony Krash. F or Texas art historian and collector George Shackelford, less is not more. His Fort Worth home resembles nothing more than an overflowing private museum — one that does not abide by thematic guidelines or curatorial restrictions. His living room walls bear 19th-century European paintings, contemporary works by noted Texas artists, and bric-a-brac he's found in Paris flea markets. The side chairs that float around may seem unrelated, but they're all late-19th-century ebonized pieces. A common thread unifies every object in his home — even if that thread is razor thin or simply relies on his attraction to the work. "It's the juxtapositions that make things exciting," says Shackelford, who serves as deputy director of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth. "A big abstract painting by my friend [Houston artist] Terrell James hangs across the room from an enigmatic view of Venice painted in the 1930s by Eugène Berman, which is likely to give way soon to a painting I bought by the British artist Emma Jones." With a Ph.D. from Yale and an impressive museum pedigree including plum posts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, followed by the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Shackelford has become an expert at finding the good stuff. He's always looking — whether that be in antiques shops, galleries, auction houses, or online — but he's rarely ever searching for something specific. Instead, he relies "I suppose you could call it collecting, but it might be more accurate to say that I have assembled things I love to live with." — George Shackelford Rudolf Lehmann's Portrait of Marie Oppenheim, 1847 (Continued) 58

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