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The Globe-trotting Rubells

from the Los Angeles Times

For collectors Don and Mera Rubell, a bond with Palm Springs


Robert Gauthier, Los Angeles Times

PARTNERS: Don and Mera Rubell have collected contemporary art for more than four decades, beginning with a $25-a-week budget, and now travel the globe looking for more pieces.

Keith Haring works from their Miami collection furnish a Palm Springs Art Museum exhibition.

By Suzanne Muchnic
November 23, 2008

Reporting from Palm Springs — “The advantage of not being able to produce art is that you can spend all your energy looking at art,” said Don Rubell, whose family of self-confessed contemporary art fanatics is perpetually in search of the next addition to its 5,000-piece collection. Pleased to have uttered a complete sentence without being interrupted by Mera, his wife and collecting partner of nearly 45 years, he eased into a knowing smile as she jumped in to explain how their collecting obsession works.

“To do what we do, we have to go everywhere, with rolling suitcases that we never check and wash-and-wear clothes, usually black,” she said. “Here’s our schedule for about two months: Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, London, Paris, New York, Washington, Los Angeles and here, then New York again and Abu Dhabi. We need to see what’s going on in the world.”

Miami is home to the globe-trotting Rubells, who are on ARTnews magazine’s international list of the top 200 collectors. “Here” is Palm Springs, where they traveled for a special occasion — the launching of a relationship between the Florida-based collection and the Palm Springs Art Museum with the recently opened exhibition, “Against All Odds: Keith Haring in the Rubell Family Collection.”

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Posted on November 24, 2008 by Editor

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