Most collectors want to be experts in the categories they collect. After all, we want to buy intelligently, but intelligent buying requires expertise. Count Keith Reeves among those who have become actual connoisseurs.
FROM THE EDITOR
Reeves had traveled the world before he was 30, finally settling in Florida in the 1960s. As the Florida Museum of Natural History wrote in a 2014 profile, the Sunshine State was in many ways an alien place for Reeves. “No ancient monuments like the pyramids he climbed in Egypt or mountains like those on South Pacific islands where he lived as a ‘Navy brat,’” the museum noted. Instead, Reeves encountered “a wet-hot, often harsh, environment, devastated every so often by hurricane force winds howling through palms trees and toppling condos.” While adjusting to his new home, Reeves decided to explore what he calls the “subtleties of Florida,” namely its indigenous people.
“Every place has its own beauty,” wife Sara Reeves told the museum. “You just have to find it.”
Since then, Keith and Sara have found impressive amounts of beauty. They have put together one of the finest private collections of American Indian art. Their pieces have been exhibited at the aforementioned Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, Florida’s Maitland Art Center, the Orlando Museum of Art, and the Mennello Museum of American Art, among others.
Along the way, writes contributing editor David Seideman, Reeves has pursued his prized possessions with an impressive intellectual vigor (see Dazzling Achievement). The architect-by-training never hesitates to present papers at conferences or talk to tribal members about the pieces. He speaks about American Indian art with the knowledge of a respected university professor.
So yes, Reeves is a collector. But he’s also a respected expert. It’s a combination intelligent collectors strive to achieve.
DROP ME A line at HectorC@HA.com to share your stories. I remain interested in your discoveries.
Hector Cantú, Editor & Publisher
This article appears in the Spring/Summer 2020 edition of The Intelligent Collector magazine. Click here to subscribe to the print edition.