PaperCity Magazine

April 2017 - Houston

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there one day to get checked out. I was going to New York to see some paintings to sell, and a doctor that I knew said, "Wait a minute, Meredith, you're not going anywhere now. You know that [aneurysm in the aorta] could burst. That could kill you." … So then we walked across the room, and I said, "Who is going to do this damn operation?" He said, "He's standing right there. Denton Cooley." And he did. That was about 20 years ago. I've had a slice of everything that the Heart Institute does. On dogs, hunting, fi shing, and outdoor life. When I got to Houston, shooting was a big thing, and if you wanted to get acquainted, you better get your shotgun out and get to know these people. Which were all great guys. And I got leases, dogs, cars, wagons, everything it takes. I got fi ve of every kind of jacket. Martha will tell you; she grew up in the middle of it. I bought my fi rst English shotgun, then I bought my second, then I bought my third, then I bought my fourth, but it's been a great ride. It's been something I've enjoyed; it's a very precious thing to me. Why sporting art matters. Sporting paintings are depicting a way of life that has disappeared in the state of Texas. It'll be history in another 50 years. You see more and more houses, and this means less and less game. I used to be able to stand in my backyard here, one block over, and hear the geese at night. No more geese, no more anything. The whole thing has begun to change, and these guys who are such good artists, they're documentarians of that way of life. Cowan, Booth, and Barnes. They knew it, and they loved it, and they documented it. On collecting. I had to be very careful that I was not exceeding my clients. You let the clients pick fi rst. Always. You nearly always sell the best things you've got. I don't have the best 19th-century American paintings because I sold them to Bill Kilroy. Art-world relationships. Fayez Sarofi m was one of my fi rst guys. He and I were about the same age and sort of at the same stage. Fayez's fi rm hadn't gotten to be what it is today, and I hadn't gotten to be what we are. We became friends, and we still are. I sold him a Childe Hassum. Fayez has a very distinct personality, and I guess I do too. I've had an account with him for more years than you can think. He started his business, Sarofi m & Company, and he's done a magnifi cent job, a great job. He made a contribution. He became a great collector of American art. Sarofi m is the only businessman of magnate status who has important paintings in his offi ce. Alfred Glassell was a person unto himself. He was a great friend to me. Mr. Glassell wasn't afraid of art, and we went hunting or birding every week after he bought the ranch. We just had a great time, and a lot of that still goes on in Houston. But it's not the same as it used to be. Helen Frankenthaler was considered a very formidable woman. But she was never that way with me, I'll tell you that. She gave me one of the last prints that she did, and somebody said, "I'm sure glad she's married, because I don't think you would last long." Helen was a really nice woman, and she in a way mothered and shepherded those Color Field artists: Jules Olitski, Ken Noland, Stanley Boxer, Dan Christensen, Darryl Hughto. It was a whole school. David Wintermann was an emperor of Eagle Lake, and he had all these rice fi elds. And Pete Bushman, who I got to know, he was an attorney at Vincent & Elkins, and he introduced me to Mr. Wintermann. Mr. Wintermann and I got along fi ne, and so I got plenty of invitations to go shooting with him. Boldest moves. I was audacious enough to start a lecture series, and it was about once a month. Mrs. Blaffer came. I was at Highland Village at the time. I had never seen such a line of cars. Full of Cadillacs. They would all come here to see a whippersnapper talk about some art. And I took a show of three painters from America to Paris in 1959: Jack Boynton, Paul Maxwell, Dan Wingren. The guy from the museum in Paris came to see the show. I don't know what possessed me to think I could take over the Paris market. The whole thing began to mushroom, and at one point, I had three galleries in New York. Yeah, and I did go to L.A. for a short time — one year. On contemporary art. When I started, I thought that I wouldn't handle anything but 19th- and 20th-century American paintings. Then I overheard someone asking one of Texas' best artists, Dan Wingren, "Does Meredith handle your work?" And Wingren said, "No, you got to be dead to be in his gallery." That made me think, 'You (Continued on page 84) RG-08-169-001, PHOTOGRAPHIC COLLECTION, MFAH ARCHIVES COURTESY ALLEY THEATRE RG-08-169-001, PHOTOGRAPHIC COLLECTION, MFAH ARCHIVES Peter Marzio receiving check from Meredith Long of the Houston Art Dealers Association, April 1984. Meredith & Cornelia Long at the Alley Theatre Ball, 2005 80 The gallerist at the Alley Theatre Ball, 2008. Long is chairman emeritus of the Alley board. COURTESY ALLEY THEATRE, KIM COFFMAN

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