An oral history interview with Peter and Paula Lunder conducted 2017 October 19-20, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art and the Center for the History of Collecting in America at the Frick Art Reference Library of The Frick Collection, at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.
Mr. and Ms. Lunder discuss their time living in Waterville and Dexter, Maine and Mr. Lunder's work as a partner at the Dexter Shoe Company; their exposures to art and culture while growing up in Boston and Chicago; their initial interests in art collecting and the shift of their focus from European art to American art; their associations with Hugh Gourley and other directors and curators at the Colby College Museum of Art; the relationships they made with fellow art collectors, museum curators, art dealers and gallery owners while growing their collection and when working on finding a home for their collection; their relationship with the former director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum Betsy Broun; Mr. Lunder's initial interest in Southwestern art and the development of their collection to include a wide range of American art; and Mr. Lunder's partial ownership of the Boston Red Sox beginning in 1977. Mr. and Ms. Lunder also describe living part-time in Florida and their patronage of the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach; their desire to endow their collection to a Northeast regional museum in Maine; their belief in the importance of art conservation and their focus on having the collection be used for teaching; Ms. Lunder's work as a volunteer docent at the Colby Art Museum; and their work with the Clark Art Institute to support a place for art conservation in the region. Mr. and Ms. Lunder also recall Max Stern; Jere Abbott; Bro Adams; Thomas Colville; Margaret MacDonald; Sharon Corwin; Ann and Gil Maurer; Alice Walton as well as Jay Cantor; Seelye Bixler; Michael Greenbaum; George Gurney; Cy Twombly; Stephen Hannock; Doug Baxter; Christa Gaehde; and Michael Conforti, among others.
Biographical / Historical:
Peter Lunder (1933-) and Paula Lunder (1934- ) are art collectors and philanthropists in Boston, Massachusetts. James McElhinney (1952- ) is a painter and educator of New York, New York.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Interviews Search this
Philanthropists -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Interviews Search this