[Henri Matisse’s large-scale ceramic La Gerbe (The Sheaf) (1953), installed in the Brody house. Photo is from the archives of Frances L. Brody. The piece is now part of LACMA's permanent collection.]
Thinking about collecting couples, like the Vogels, my mind wandered to Sidney and Frances Brody of L.A. Different in terms of means and lifestyle, both couples enjoyed remarkable journeys as part of the 20th Century art scene. In case you missed this in 2010, LACMA's senior curator and department head of Modern Art, Stephanie Barron, wrote a great blog post about the late Mrs. Brody's gift to the Museum -- Matisse's monumental La Gerbe. Commissioned by the Brodys in the early 1950s for the large patio of their mid-century A. Quincy Jones-designed (and Billy Haines-decorated) house, the piece remained, according to Mrs. Brody, the heart of their home for more than 50 years.
[Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1944, Henri Matisse, Vence, France
from the exhibition, Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century.]
There's a wonderful transcript of Mrs. Brody's detailed recollections of the entire process -- conceptualizing the commission, visiting the octogenarian artist in France, communicating the vision, working out the incredible logistics of shipping and installing the precious ceramic pieces -- made available by LACMA here.
For background on the Brody art collection, check out this Christie's video. Further details can be found here.