An important collection of approximately eleven thousand art books assembled by Thea Westreich and her husband, Ethan Wagner, is being given to the Brooklyn Museums Library. Collected over the course of several decades, the gift includes key works in the history of art, with emphasis on modern and contemporary material.
Museum Director Arnold L. Lehman comments, We are extremely grateful to Thea Westreich and Ethan Wagner for their extraordinary gift that will enhance the breadth and depth of the impressive holdings of our Library.
The collection is being donated in phases. Many of the books have already been received and listed in Brookmuse, the online catalogue of the Brooklyn Museum Libraries and Archives (http://arcade.nyarc.org/search-S2
Thea Westreich and Ethan Wagner are the principals in Thea Westreich Art Advisory Services, a consulting firm specializing in Impressionist, modern, and contemporary art. They are also publishers of books by artists such as Richard Prince, Mike Kelley, Christopher Wool, Larry Clark, Martin Kippenberger, Keith Tyson, and, more recently, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Jan De Cock, and Pablo Bronstein.
Ms. Westreich states, I started collecting books when I was twenty years old, and it has been a passion ever since. I am sure we will still be buying books when, years from now, our library shelves have been emptied and our books are otherwise all at the Brooklyn Museum.
It thrills us to make our library available to the public through this outstanding institution, especially given our admiration for its director, Arnold Lehman, adds Mr. Wagner.
The Brooklyn Museum Libraries and Archives is a noncirculating collection serving the Museum staff and visiting public that contains more than 300,000 volumes. The research holdings reflect the Museums encyclopedic collections. Special areas of interest include artists books, documentary photographs, fashion and costume sketches, and rare books and manuscripts.