Allan Stone, who passed away in 2006, had an unfailing eye that encompassed not only the giants of contemporary twentieth-century art, but tribal and folk art, design, urban architectural artifacts and almost anything else which aroused his visual senses. Stone’s first foray into the art world was in the 1950s, when, in addition to his career as a lawyer on Wall Street, he dispensed free legal advice to artists. By 1960, Stone opened his own gallery on 86th Street, later moving to a carriage house on East 90th, which was celebrated for its imposing exhibitions and corresponding catalogues for artists such as Joseph Cornell, John Graham and Barnett Newman.
“Art World” really is too confining a term to describe his world. His business was “art dealing” but that term, too, doesn’t seem appropriate for someone whose buying outdistanced his selling. He bought artists way before they became famous and easier to sell. He accumulated one of the largest collections of tribal art, Bugatti cars, Gaudi furniture and American folk art. Money never seemed to be the object of his career – collecting was. His home in Westchester, New York, was a seemingly random and chaotic display of the fruits of his passions. However, upon closer inspection, an internal order became apparent, within which the objects were meant to converse with one another.
Christie’s is pleased to offer a curated selection of cigar store figures and other folk art sculpture, from The Allan Stone Collection.