JANE KORMAN HAS MADE the trip to Art Basel Miami Beach, the uÌˆberchic international event and most influential art show in the US, many times in more than 30 years of collecting art. Her husband, Leonard, shares her enthusiasm for the craft. It’s a mutual passion that began with a single wedding present.
“I got married while I was a fine-arts student at Beaver College,” says Korman, a former gallery owner who remains active in the local arts community by lending her time to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, UPenn’s Morris Arboretum and New York’s Museum of Arts and Design. “My professor Benton Spruance, an iconic Philadelphia printmaker, gave me a print as a wedding present.”
In the early years of the Kormans’ marriage, the pair would find the works of an artist they loved—or, as Korman says, “things that we wanted to live with”—and travel to acquire the best of them, mostly prints and drawings because of their affordability. Later on, large-scale works from cutting-edge artists like Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly and Gerhard Richter and photographs from Thomas Struth and Cindy Sherman dominated the walls in their home; today, Korman says they are drawn to a variety of mediums, particularly photography. All of their finds are prominently displayed throughout their suburban home and the homes of each of their three daughters (they never warehouse their work).
While the Philadelphia arts scene boasts wonderful museums, a receptive community and a wide breadth of professionals, Art Basel Miami Beach—sister show to its namesake, Switzerland’s Art Basel—promises charms of its own, according to Korman. “We find it very exciting to be in Miami for a few days in December,” she says. “It’s a chance to reconnect with European and West Coast galleries that we don’t always get to see.
“Everyone brings their best work, and you get a chance to talk with gallerists, artists and old friends. There’s such a great air of excitement.”