Designer Roric Tobin on The New Age of Collecting


The lectures at the International Jewelry, Art & Antique Show always draw a crowd interested in the speaker, his topic, and knowledge, and th topic. Roric Tobin,of the International Interior Design firm Bradfield & Tobin, brought the “now” to the show in Palm Beach this spring, with a richly illustrated talk on what defines collecting (and the collector) in our era.

Delineating the five stages of collecting (related to Shakespeare’s “Seven Stages of Man”), as Mr. Tobin  (related to a collector’s position in life) of collecting:  Young and starting out, moving to permanent home, expanding collections, and eventually selling or passing along collections are explored.  Each stage was brilliantly illustrated  by slides of international homes and distinguished dealers who provided the furnishings and art for Bradfield & Tobin’s rooms.

The art examined and showcased was mostly modern, “brown” furniture being out of style with today’s collectors, and old master art being out of reach of some stages.

What is the first stage?  Young people select “paper art” (posters and drawings) much in the forefront, moving to emerging artists.

“Antiques are challenging for the younger collector, who is focusing on the past 10 years to mid-twentieth century,” said Mr. Tobin.   Which ones would appreciate wildly? “it’s educated guess time,” he said

Some of the rooms pictured, many on the Continent and in the Orient and designed by the Bradfield & Tobin firm, highlighted artists and manufacturers, such as Roberto Galetti, Niko Bolia, Kenneth Nola, and galleries like Cy Twombly.

“Classic Chinese” is the new element. he continued. showing a Basquiat from the twentieth century.

How does one collect art, furniture and objets d’art now?  The speaker suggested art fairs, such as Art Basel and Maastricht, in The Netherlands. directly from the artists, auction houses, and online sites such as ArtNet and Incollect.


Mr.Tobin took questions, then was congratulated by members of the audience, many






















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