HERITAGE AUCTIONS EXPERTS TELL US WHAT MAKES THESE ATTRACTIONS SPECIAL FOR COLLECTORS
By Pamela Wiggins Siegel
WALT DISNEY FAMILY MUSEUM
San Francisco | WaltDisney.org
The Walt Disney Family Museum has an amazing collection and presentation relating to the history of Walt Disney, Walt Disney Studio, Walt Disney Animation as well as the legacy of Mr. Disney. The sheer amount of Disney art and artifacts curated by the Walt Disney family makes it a favorite to visit. The ever-changing themed exhibits feature everything from “The Art of Mary Blair,” “History of Mickey Mouse,” “Walt Disney Studio During World War II,” and many other themes.
Director, Animation Art
ART INSTITUTE IN CHICAGO
Chicago | ArtIC.edu
I have so many that I love but my favorite museum is the Art Institute in Chicago. The quality of the museum’s collection is remarkable. It encompasses samples of the best art in existence. It is also the right size so you can visit and see amazing art fairly quickly. The Giacometti walking men sculptures are extraordinary. I also love the spot it’s in, adjacent to Millennium Park.
Executive Vice President of International Numismatics
Los Angeles | TheBroad.org
The Broad is my favorite. Being an L.A. native, the Broad changed the museum landscape in the city and played a part in revitalizing Los Angeles as an art center internationally. The Yayoi Kusama Infiniti Room is always a crowd-pleaser, but I’d say the special exhibitions presented since its opening have kept the museum at the forefront. I love the Broad for the architecture, the collection, the ease of access, and its (pre-covid) programing.
Vice President, Modern & Contemporary Art
Shigaraki, Shiga Prefecture, Japan | Miho.jp
Both the architecture and art collection are drop-dead gorgeous at the Miho Museum. The museum, designed by architect I.M. Pei, expresses the Chinese tale “Cherry Blossom Valley.” The museum also houses Mihoko Koyama’s private collection of Asian and Western antiques, of which approximately 250 are displayed at any one time. The Chinese Song Dynasty “oil spot” Yohen Tenmoku Jian tea bowl is definitely a must-see piece. It is one of the finest examples in the world and is listed as part of Japan’s National Important Cultural Property. If you visit in April, you may get a chance to get the amazing view of the long entrance with Cherry Blossoms. Pei came to call it Shangri-La.
Consignment Director, Asian Art, Beverly Hills
VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM
London | VAM.ac.uk
The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) stands out. My first significant position in the decorative arts was at the V&A. The staff opened my eyes to the wonders of connoisseurship and guided me to pursue the field professionally. The depth and breadth of the collection is brilliant. While I focused on 18th century English furniture, I was introduced to the English Arts and Crafts movement and spent my free time seeking out works by Charles Ashbee and William Burgess. The V&A has a painted cabinet by Burgess that I seek out at every chance. There is so much to see! The furniture and silver collections pull me in, but I am sidetracked by so many other collections from musical instruments to fashion. The V&A has an extensive collection of decorative arts or antiques, or “the arts not so fine” as opposed to fine arts. One can explore areas of interest and discover new areas for consideration, and then spend time looking to hone the eye, considering what makes a piece good, better or the best. I am a devotee of the World’s Fairs, and the V&A was an off shoot of the first World’s Fair – The Crystal Palace held in 1851.
Director, Decorative Arts & Design/Silver & Vertu
METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART
New York City | MetMuseum.org
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) is my favorite. I love the impressionist paintings, Temple of Dendur, Tiffany windows, Petrie Court, and special exhibits throughout the year, including the fashion exhibit, which is a perennial favorite of mine. I love wandering the halls and discovering a special treasure. The Met has something for everyone. Whether you are into medieval arms and armor or modern paintings, there is something to fall in love with and experience the joy of the museum. People come from all over the world to visit the Met. We are incredibly fortunate to have it in our city.
Director, Luxury Accessories, New York
NELSON-ATKINS MUSEUM OF ART
Kansas City | Nelson-Atkins.org
I cannot count how many times I’ve visited the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and it never disappoints. Kansas City is a great town, and this museum is the heart and soul of the city. The building’s grandeur is tremendous as you approach. It is one of the most beautiful American museums. I love the juxtaposition of the original classical building and the uber-modern glass addition – it reminds me a bit of the Louvre in that way. There are so many magnificent objects housed in this institution. But for me, the best part is, hands down, the collection of masterworks by Thomas Hart Benton. A native of Kansas City, it is no surprise that the Nelson-Atkins owns so many unbelievable examples. Other museums would be happy with just one or two Bentons, but the Nelson-Atkins hit the Regionalism jackpot. Aside from the astonishing collection and grand façade, collectors will truly enjoy how the museum exhibits American paintings and American furniture and decorative art side by side. It is an immersive experience.
Vice President & Director of American Art, New York
LA BREA TAR PITS AND MUSEUM
Los Angeles | TarPits.org
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum in Los Angeles is my favorite. The childhood fascination with dinosaurs never goes away, and this museum lets you study them on the very site where they once roamed. I wrongly assumed all of the fossils had been found decades ago, but in fact excavations are still ongoing and visitors can see the paleontologists at work.
Paris | M.Musee-orsay.fr/en
My favorite is Musée d’Orsay. The impressionist art and plein air paintings are highlights for me. The best part of the museum is the Van Gogh portion. I feel Van Gogh was a tortured soul whose outlet was art and how beautiful it is!
Senior Consignment Director, Comics & Comic Art, New York
ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME
Cleveland | RockHall.com
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is my favorite. It has great music, a cool scene and lots of history. For me, the best part is the rotating exhibits. They focus on different artists and genres of music. If you collect music memorabilia or musical instruments, this is the place for you. Not only do they have important items on display, but the history of the bands and individual artists come to live here. It gives you a better understanding of the thoughts and feelings that went into the songs you will never forget.
Director, Vintage Guitars & Musical Instruments
PAMELA WIGGINS SIEGEL is the author of Collecting with Kids: How to Inspire, Intrigue and Guide the Young Collector, a book based on her columns in The Intelligent Collector.