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Interview with Martin Margulies

Miami  |  USA  | 

Interview with Martin Margulies

The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse is a nonprofit institution located in a 50,000 square foot retro-fitted warehouse in the Wynwood Arts District of Miami.

The Warehouse presents seasonal exhibitions from the collection of renowned collector Martin Margulies as well as educational programs, special exhibitions and an international loan program. The Warehouse is operated and funded by the Martin Z. Margulies Foundation, a thirty-year resource for the study and enjoyment of the visual arts.

For more information on The Margulies Collection visit the BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors, and this post by Independent Collectors.

IC

How important is having the title of “collector” to you?

Martin Margulies

Titles in the art world are not important. The roll of the collector is to put the art first. It’s important to support young artists when they are vulnerable, educate young people and be respectful to all the gallerists and dealers and journeymen who make the art world possible. The most important title to me is father to my four children.

IC

Does your collection, The Margulies Collection, follow a specific theme or particular artists?

Martin Margulies

No, we don’t follow a specific theme, although in terms of time period, we don’t venture back further than the early 20th century. The most important consideration to follow when acquiring is that new work fit into the established rhythm of the collection. There are some artists that we collect in depth such as Joan Miró, Isamu Noguchi, Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein, George Segal, John Chamberlain, Olafur Eliasson, Anselm Kiefer and Magdalena Abakanowicz.

 

IC

The collection has been overseen by curator Katherine Hinds since the 1980s, how did this come about at that time, when nowadays there is so much value placed on curating?

Martin Margulies

Katherine Hinds has helped the collection grow and has been instrumental in opening the collection to the public. She organizes the exhibitions at the Warehouse and has developed our educational programming.

IC

Pre-pandemic, were you traveling frequently for the purpose of following the art world?

Martin Margulies

Yes, we look forward to traveling again, especially to Europe.

IC

Have you been actively visiting online viewing rooms during this crisis or is your decision to buy a piece of art strongly intertwined with physicality?

Martin Margulies

Yes, we visit all the online viewing rooms to most of the Fairs and we have made some nice acquisitions. We felt it was important to support the galleries through this period. I would strongly urge the designers of these online viewing rooms to simplify the format and not to go overboard with all the technical hype and marketing add-ons. Collectors are interested in one thing, the art. Present the art clearly, quickly and succinctly without a lot of superfluous, unnecessary jargon. Don’t crowd the art.

IC

What would you like to see shift in the Art World post pandemic?

Martin Margulies

As a response to the pandemic, we organized a major gift of contemporary art to national and local non-profit organizations. We selected the organizations to support based on their mission to promote, exhibit and support the work of living artists. We have a long history of philanthropy in the visual arts, but for this gift we focused on arts organizations who offer much needed support to artists in the crucial points in their careers, when the need for support and exposure is so critical.

Anselm Kiefer, Sprache der Vögel, 1989, lead, steel, wood, oil, plaster, resin and acrylic. Collection Martin Z. Margulies
Anselm Kiefer, Sprache der Vögel, 1989, lead, steel, wood, oil, plaster, resin and acrylic. Collection Martin Z. Margulies
Jannis Kounellis, Without Title, 1960, mixed media on paper laid down on canvas. Collection Martin Z. Margulies
Jannis Kounellis, Without Title, 1960, mixed media on paper laid down on canvas. Collection Martin Z. Margulies
IC

What has been the most challenging work of art in your collection, either for yourself or the public?

Martin Margulies

Most challenging for the collection is the annual Art Basel/Miami Beach week in December. We enjoy having the influx of the international art world with all the crowds and events, but it is wonderful when it is finally over.

 

IC

What is a beautiful moment from The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, or your life as a collector that you would like to share with us?

Martin Margulies

The friendships with all the artists we have worked with over the years is what comes to mind. We cherish the working relationships with artists who travel here from all over the world to install their work at the Warehouse. It is an honor to collaborate in the artistic process with the brilliant and creative minds of artists like: Ernesto Neto, Do Ho Suh, Anselm Kiefer, Isamu Noguchi, Susan Philipsz, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Song Dong, Isaac Julien, Olafur Eliasson, and many more.

 

IC

Which publicly accessible private collections would you recommend visiting?

Martin Margulies

In Miami, the De la Cruz Collection is a wonderful experience. In New York, Magazzino Italian Art in Cold Spring is excellent, as is Glenstone Museum in Potomac, Maryland. We also recommend The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum in Long Island City. It houses the artists’ personal holdings in a beautiful setting.

Martin Margulies. Photo: Jon Lowe
Martin Margulies. Photo: Jon Lowe
The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, Photography Study Center Salon Wall featuring 213 works of vintage and contemporary photography hung salon-style, corner to corner and floor to ceiling in the renovated storage area.
The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, Photography Study Center Salon Wall featuring 213 works of vintage and contemporary photography hung salon-style, corner to corner and floor to ceiling in the renovated storage area.

All images courtesy of The Margulies Collection