ARTWORK © DAVID HOCKNEY / TYLER GRAPHICS LTD.
Sonia Delaunay (Ukrainian, 1885-1979)
Color Rhythms, 1971
Color and aquatint on Arches vellum paper, ed. 13/75
Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC: Gift of the estate of
THE works in the Belden Collection are
equally instructive from an art-historical
perspective as well as from a technical
standpoint: there are multiple intaglio
techniques on view (etching and aquatint
in particular), along with woodcut reliefs, lithographs
and silkscreen prints.
The collection includes original artworks from the
leading artists, the change-makers, the radicals, the
early modernist European expats, seeking asylum
in this country, who shaped the course of visual art
in the 20th century West (with tremendous influence
from the East); the defining experimenters of the New
York School and the Bay area; the artists courageous
enough to confront and shape the tenets of what is now postmod-ernism,
with a firm embrace on pop culture in their content and
process. Their work embodies both freedom and anxiety of the past
He studied at Harvard, then was drafted to serve in World War
II’s European theater. Returning, he graduated with honors and
then completed his master’s degree in Business Administration at
Stanford University. He moved to New York, ultimately becoming a
partner with Brundage, Story & Rose. Belden became interested in
collecting art while living in New York. The dominant trend at the
time was the free-form aesthetic of the New York
School. The work of several artists associated with
the New York School are represented in his collec-tion.
Becoming a longtime resident of San Francisco,
Belden was equally knowledgeable about art on
both the West and East coasts.
In 1992, he became more serious regarding acqui-sition,
focusing and refining his approach to collecting
art. He chose to concentrate on original American and
European prints, in such mediums as etching, lithog-raphy
and screen printing, and to limit the period
His choice of prints was timely, for the medium was
coming into its own. The traditional notion that held
printmaking as solely “reproductive” and thus secondary to “original”
was now obsolete.
In 2015, Louis Belden shared his journey with young collectors: “The
critical eye, you don’t have it initially. The eye learns from experience
and it takes time. … Art is not stagnant. It grows and grows and grows.
There will be new trends, some of which will be successful, and some
will not be and I have no idea what those trends will be. But it is excit-ing
to wait around and see what does evolve.”
The Eye Learns, 135 modernist prints from the CAM’s Louis Belden col-lection
are on exhibition from Oct. 22, 2019, to April 2020.
ARTWORK © PRACUSA
David Hockney (British, 1937)
Pool Made with Paper and Blue Ink, for Paper Pools Deluxe Book,
Lithograph, Trial Proof II
Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC: Gift of the estate of Louis Belden
LOUIS DE K. BELDEN
ON COLLECTING ART:
“It’s kind of like a
disease. Once you
have it, you are stuck
with it. It doesn’t go
away and that’s just
fine with me.
I enjoy it.”