Local oil tycoon and art enthusiast Robert Chaney died Wednesday. He was known locally and nationally for his collection of contemporary Asian and British art which were showcased in the exhibits “Red Hot: Asian Art Today From the Chaney Family Collection” and “End Game: British Contemporary Art From the Chaney Family Collection” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
“He amassed a collection that is not rivaled in this community, there’s just nothing else like it,” Eleanor Williams, an art world insider and friend of the Chaney family, tells Hair Balls. “And [he] did it very systematically and over a relatively short period of time and most generously shared it publicly.”
“In less than a decade, Robert Chaney propelled himself from a virtually unknown collector to one of the Art News top 200 collectors in the world. Whether you agree with all of his collecting choices or tactics, he gave tremendous amounts of money and energy in support of contemporary art,” says Houston Press art critic Kelly Klassmeyer.
Chaney purchased a bulk of his works in the past 10 years and always said it was a family affair. His wife Jereann and daughter Holland (Chaney’s two survivors) were always asked to throw in their two cents about purchases.
No report about the cause of Chaney’s death has been issued.
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