November 2016

I am always amazed at the quality of art in personal collections here in town. There are Richard Avedons, Damien Hirsts, and a whole variety of top-tier artists hanging quietly in people’s homes. But nothing, and I do mean nothing, prepared us for the magnificence that is the Marlene and Spencer Hays collection. Here, lovingly displayed, are Vuillards and Bonnards, Matisses and Modiglianis, Renoirs and Degas, paintings that I had seen only in books and catalogs.

The sheer joy that Marlene and Spencer shared with me as they walked through their home talking about each piece was infectious. A story here, a quip there, an anecdote along the way. Their enthusiasm was palpable, and I enjoyed every second of it.

The Hays collection focuses heavily on the Nabis artists, and it is deep and comprehensive. It also reflects the couple’s love affair with France, its people, and its art and culture.

By the time you read this, the President of France will have hosted a dinner for the Nashville couple and announced that their collection in whole will be donated to the Musée d’Orsay. President Hollande also named them Commandeurs of the French Legion d’Honneur, the highest order of France.

The impact that this collection will have on the art world is enormous. Hats off to Marlene and Spencer Hays for putting Nashville squarely on the international art map (see page 28).

Paul Polycarpou | Publisher

Pin It on Pinterest