Boca Raton, FL
For more than three decades, South Florida residents Isadore and Kelly Friedman acquired artworks with an unfailing eye for quality. Within the Friedman collection, one can literally trace the development of modern art. Although he never studied art academically, Isadore Friedman developed an affinity for art – which became a sophisticated passion – in the 1960s, after visiting the Art Students League in New York City. As a businessman, Friedman traveled frequently, enabling him to visit galleries and expand his interests. Mr. Friedman said to a reporter about his wide-ranging collecting habits, “I’m all over the board. I have a pretty significant photography collection: I collect Boudin, Dubuffet, and Picasso. To collect all one form of art was not very exciting to me.” Mr. Friedman found the historical connections and life stories of the artist’s he collected fascinating. “It’s so important to look beyond the art to understand the artists. They become alive.”
The Isadore and Kelly Friedman Bequest, received by the Museum in 2006, is the largest gift of American and European art ever presented to the Museum. [....]
One of the Friedman collection's greatest strengths is photography - by Eugène Atget, Bruno Braquehais, Margaret Bourke-White, Brassaï, Gustave Le Gray, Charles Marville, Edward Steichen, and Josef Sudek among others. These works are in addition to significant artists such as Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Robert Frank, Andre Kertesz, Helmut Newton, and Irving Penn.
Throughout the collection's growth, Mr. Friedman maintained a high level of independence in choosing works. He tended to focus on acquiring one piece at a time and knew the history of every work intimately. [....] The images, primarily of Paris at the turn of the century – Batget, Brassai, Doisneau – put him in touch with a world he loved. And the 20th century American photography which he collected transported him to a time and place he was familiar with, while growing up in New York. [....]
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website