What makes a person collect art? Perhaps it’s a virus and antibiotics don’t cure the ailment. Perhaps its love of possessions, materialism? I hope this is not the motive. For me, I suspect its a combination of forces. The strongest attraction in collecting is the connection it gives to the past. It becomes a way for to be in conversation with artists that have gone before me and helps continue the rich dialogue that has crossed barriers of time and culture. The art inspires my creative imagination and feeds my soul spiritually. What other reason do I need.
I have always wanted to own art by other artists. My first pieces were pottery or works that I could swap with other artists. Then I began to make a greater commitment to strategically collecting. However, the most important reason for collecting is that it is fun. What a thrill to “find” a piece, recognize its value and take possession of it. I feel like a caretaker, so to speak, of each piece is our collection, preserving it for the future. With each new aquisition comes a world of knowledge, a reservoir of information surrounding the piece which adds to the fascination and enjoyment.
The Bowden Collections focuses on religious art for several reasons: first, it is the subject I am most passionately interested in; second, it is a wonderful time to be collecting work with Christian themes because the art market in general is not interested in religious work. I also feel that religious art needs exposure within the Christian community, and it is my intent to make these pieces available whenever possible for that purpose. I look as my role as collector as a callingsomething that is critically important to do at this particular time.