The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

 

Private gallery tour to benefit Bedford 2020

By EVE MARX
William Louis-Dreyfus shares his art collection with members of Bedford 2020 during a docent tour on Monday, March 5.
 

Bedford 2020, a community project aiming to protect the local environment and preserve local resources, is holding its first major fundraising event titled “Share the Vision: An afternoon celebrating the artistic vision of collector William Louis-Dreyfus in support of the Bedford 2020 Coalition,” Sunday, April 29, in Mount Kisco.

Mr. Louis-Dreyfus is enthusiastic about opening his gallery to limited members of the public for this fundraiser. “Bedford 2020 is a valiant effort, in effect, to save the world,” said Mr. Louis-Dreyfus, a longtime Bedford resident. “The fact that our air and water are at risk is all the information you should need to react.”

The event is at a private gallery belonging to Mr. Louis-Dreyfus where he is showcasing the Louis-Dreyfus Family Collection, his extraordinary collection of sculpture and fine art. Ticketholding guests are invited to share an afternoon celebrating the collector’s vision, receive a private, guided gallery tour and enjoy a cocktail reception. There will also be a raffle.

For ticketholders, this is a rare opportunity to view an important and very personal collection acquired over the years by the Louis-Dreyfus family. Since he was a boy in Paris, Mr. Louis-Dreyfus has loved and collected art. He said he skipped school at times to visit the Louvre. This love is evident when one wanders through the private gallery in Mount Kisco where he recently moved his vast collection to be better enjoyed by him and  beneficiaries of his generosity.

Last Monday key members of the Bedford 2020 Coalition were joined by approximately 16 docents selected by the coalition for their expertise and acquaintance with fine art. These docents will be working at the fundraiser to explain what’s on the walls to guests at the April event. Mary Anne Costello, who manages the collection, said that the upcoming fundraiser offers a possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view Mr. Louis-Dreyfus’s collection, as it is slated to be sold in the near future, the money earmarked to benefit the Harlem Children’s Center. Docents and members of the local press were given a special private tour by Mr. Louis-Dreyfus, who, for over an hour, spoke about the art, the artists who created it, and his passion for collecting.

When asked how he came to amass such a collection, much of which contains multiple pieces by the same artist, Mr. Louis-Dreyfus smiled and said, “When I like something, I tend to go overboard.”

This incredible display, which includes works by Jean-Baptiste Secheret, Helen Frankenthaler, Raymond Mason, Alberto Giacometti, Matthew Daub, Graham Nickson, Rackstraw Downes, Bill Traylor, Red Grooms, Jean Dubuffet and James Castle, just to mention a few, displays the broad range of Mr. Louis-Dreyfus’s curiosity and passion. The majority of the work is from the 20th century, and includes artists whose works are displayed in major museums around the world. Eclectic in taste and scope, the Louis-Dreyfus Family Collection includes over 3,500 works of art from over 180 artists.

As Mr. Louis-Dreyfus conducted the docent tour, he provided personal anecdotes about the artists and how he discovered them. For example, he talked about the work of James Castle, a deaf artist who worked with soot, saliva on a stick, and found materials that he chose to draw on. He talked about Matthew Daub’s series in charcoal and his series in watercolors. A favorite piece of Mr. Louis-Dreyfus’s is an enormous, three-dimensional work by Raymond Mason (1922-2010) called “The Departure of Fruits and Vegetables from the Heart of Paris,” created because the artist was deeply moved by the loss of local food from Paris when a large outdoor market was closing. Because of Bedford’s renewed interest in sustainable agriculture, an image of this work has been selected by the Bedford 2020 Coalition to promote their fundraiser.

“Any local effort is important.,” said Mr. Louis-Dreyfus. “If there is a chance it will have an impact, it is worth doing. It would be great if there were a groundswell and other communities started what Bedford 2020 is doing.”

All proceeds from the event will support the Bedford 2020 Coalition and its vision for reducing greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by the year 2020 and creating a sustainable community that conserves its natural resources.

Share the Vision takes place on Sunday, April 29, 3 to 6 p.m. in Mount Kisco. Midge Iorio, Bedford 2020’s program director, advises guests buy their tickets soon, as only a limited number are available. For further information, contact Bedford 2020 at www.bedford2020.org.




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March 16, 2012