Richie Silverman, Sheriff’s Station volunteer and avid Asian art collector
He was known in West Hollywood as Richie Silverman, one of two dozen West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station volunteers. Silverman, who died Tuesday at the age of 87, had worked at the station’s reception desk since 2001, working more than 3,600 hours. . He worked nights (10 p.m. to 2 a.m.) on Saturdays.
However, in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, and in international art circles, Silverman was best known as a collector and appraiser of Asian art whose donations to the Toledo Museum of Art “created one of the greatest public art collections of these pieces to the world. », Indicates an obituary published in the Toledo Blade.
Silverman was to be honored by the Japanese government next month with the Order of the Rising Sun, a national decoration awarded for the promotion of Japanese culture.
The Blade reported that Silverman died in Cedars-Sinai from a sepsis infection linked to his bout of pneumonia.
Silverman, a graduate of Brandeis University, also studied at the University of Michigan and the University of Toledo and has lived in Bangkok and Tokyo.
“Richard’s first foray into the Far East was as a soldier in 1956,” says a story about him published by the Toledo Museum of Art. “He became fascinated by the customs and art of the region, and although he returned to Toledo after his stint in the army, his love for Asia led him to a possible stay of 15 years. in Tokyo. ”
While in Japan, Silverman developed a particular fascination with netsuke, small ivory or wooden ornaments that are worn like a seesaw attached to a traditional Japanese kimono. Silverman has collected the netsuke for over 40 years. In 2013, the Toledo Museum of Art created a new gallery to house the 500 pieces it donated.
Silverman traveled and lived in Asia in the 1960s and 1970s and was a prominent Asian art consultant. He had lived in West Hollywood for decades and was instrumental in the creation of the netsuke collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Funeral and memorial arrangements for Silverman have yet to be announced.