Kit Smyth Basquin retired after 13 years in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum. She wrote her PhD dissertation on the use of words as form and content in the prints of Pat Steir, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Lynne Allen and Lesley Dill. Previously she was curator of education at the Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, Milwaukee.

Collecting a Life

View of the author’s collection installed in the entrance gallery of her New York apartment. From left to right: Robert Rauschenberg, Silkscreen #3 from The Seat of Authority (1979), screenprint, 30 5/8 x 23 1/8 inches; Jasper Johns, Untitled (Coca Cola) (1971), lithograph, 39 x 29 1/2 inches; Robert Motherwell, Pauillac #3 (1973), lithograph and screenprint, 35 5/8 x 18 1/4 inches; Robert Motherwell, Pauillac #4 (1973), lithograph, screenprint and collage, 35 3/8 x 18 1/4 inches. Below, in acrylic display case: Lynne Allen, Ita ta Win Bag (2003), photolithograph on 19th-century goatskin land document, linen thread, horsehair tassel, collaged square, leather hanger, approximately 6 x 4 x 3 inches. Photo: Elliott Mickleburgh.

Collectors always remember their first purchase. When I was a college senior, I bought a small oil painting, Boat in Harbor, by a sophomore named Barbara Gerson for $30. She needed spending money and I wanted to help her Read More