Bay Area art collector dies at 82 –

Norman Stone, a San Francisco art patron and collector who, along with his wife Norah, was known for renowned contemporary collection and larger-than-life style, passed away on April 2. He was 82 years old. The news was first reported in the Chronicle of San Francisco.

The Stones began collecting works of art in the late 1980s and ranked on the ARTnews List of the 200 best collectors each year between 1995 and 2019, year of Norah’s death. In the Bay Area social circuit, they were known for their flair for bold, complementary outfits that matched their passion for modern and contemporary art.

Under the tutelage of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art curator John Caldwell, the Stones developed a taste for eye-catching art with a solid conceptual foundation. Norman was a psychologist and Norah a lawyer, but collecting quickly became the center of their lives. Approximately 1,000 works of art have been spread across their home in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood and Stonescape, a 17-acre property in Napa Valley dotted with large-scale sculptures, including a Cady Noland cabin and installation by James Turrell, as well as a 5,750 square-foot “art cave” for exhibits.

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Their first acquisition is a painting by Marc Chagall. In 2017, the Stones shared with ARTnews some of their most popular pieces: that of Joseph Beuys Showcase with Central Tray (1962-1980), by Jeff Koons Balloon dog (1996), and a version by Marcel Duchamp LHOOQ, in which the Dadaist drew a mustache and beard on a reproduction of the Mona Lisa. They have also collected sculptures, paintings, photographs, films and videos, adding pieces by Andy Warhol, Bruce Nauman, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince and John Baldessari to their collections over the years.

In an interview in 2000 with SFGate, the couple made it clear their intention to donate the collection to a museum, preferably SFMOMA, where they both served on the board. “We realized that these items were not going to be available for the museum unless some people like us bought things that would end up going to public institutions,” Norman said. “It’s not for sale. It’s not an investment.

Norman has also served on the National Committee of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Tate International Council in London. He left the SFMOMA board of directors in 2020.

“The Stones were incredible ambassadors for our museum and our community,” SFMOMA director Neal Benezra said in a statement to the Chronicle. “They opened their house and their unique collection to the delight of artists, collectors and museum directors around the world.”

Norman Stone was born in Chicago in 1939, the son of an insurance billionaire. After graduating from high school, Norman went to work for his father’s company, before moving on to a position at venture capital firm Draper, Gaither & Anderson, which invested early in Silicon Valley. . But by the mid-1960s, he had become disenfranchised with the company and his family’s conservative morals. While still an investor, he enrolled for a time at the San Francisco Art Institute.

He was pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, while working as a psychotherapist at the Bayview Hunters Point Foundation mental health center, when he met Norah on a blind date in 1984. They met. are married two years later.

Norah was drawn to her extravagant wardrobe (“Don’t you realize that every day is a costume party?” Norman once asked her), and in her he found a spirit to match her. joy of living. Their signature style was common at biennials, fairs, museum openings and galas until Norah’s death. By this time, lung disease had slowed Norman down, but he kept their house open for private visits.

“We find it a special experience to see a good collection,” he said. SFGate in 2000. “If we can offer this opportunity to our friends and the art world, we are happy to participate. It is a transcendent experience for us.

Norma D. Ross