Collector’s Corner

Gunnel Humphreys

Owner, Edge City

Photo by Tiffany Manning

Gunnel Humphreys, pictured with a piece by James Rosenquist, whom she considers to be “one of the top ten contemporary artists.”


late partner, Tom, and I were the original Herb and Dorothy [Vogel, noted working-class art collectors] — if you haven’t seen the documentary, Herb and Dorothy, you should. When we met, Tom already had a “super elegant” Nude artist’s proof by Salvador Dali, so a very good start to a good art collection. I still have this. We sold it, and we bought it back!

WE started mostly with photography, since that was what we were most comfortable with. Even Warhol is photography if you think about it. We bought our Warhol from Spiller Vincenty Gallery [formerly in San Marco, now closed]. Our first local artist purchases were two photographs by Tom Hager bought at Heartworks Gallery. He is an inspired, buyable artist.

OUR first collection, works by Jason Fort, came about because he came to see us at the shop. He said it was because he thought we were some of the most interesting people in Jacksonville. Our first piece of his was a car door. No IKEA existed (in the US) at that time, so that’s when we started buying his furniture.

WE collected as a couple to support local art. We saw it as an investment in the community. During all the buying trips to New York City for the shop, we didn’t purchase art there. We bought it here. When Southlight Gallery got started, and was located inside of Heartworks Gallery for awhile, they exhibited Christina Hope, Paul Karabinis, Michael Dunlap, Bill McQuaid, Jay Shoots, Jennifer Johnson, and Rick Wagner — all favorites.

IN 2006, we sold 95 percent of our art collection; or, as we put it, we shared it with others. We had enjoyed it, and now it was their turn. We got much needed money to pay for our new condo in return!

Author: Arbus

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