via Artnet, 12/18/06:
ALLAN STONE, 1932-2006
by Oriane Stender
When Allan Stone died at 74 on Dec. 15, 2006, the art world lost a passionate, funny and big-hearted collector, as well as an art dealer with a discerning eye and a long-standing enthusiasm for the work of emerging artists. I know this from personal experience. Allan was the first person to buy my own work, about 10 years ago, purchasing not one but six pieces of mine -- he liked to get in on the ground floor and buy in volume! The support, encouragement and validation that I got from that first sale to a man who was a serious art-world collector have stayed with me to this day.
Many other young artists got their first break thanks to Allan Stone. He was instrumental in the early career of Eva Hesse, showing her drawings in the U.S. for the first time in 1963, and was an early supporter and collector of the work of Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Joseph Cornell and John Graham, among others. Allan's tastes were famously eclectic and wide-ranging. An acknowledged expert on Abstract Expressionism, he also gave Wayne Thiebaud and Richard Estes their first New York shows and represented them for many years.
A grandson of Sam Klein (of the now-defunct landmark Union Square department store "S. Klein's on the Square"), Allan was a collector who entered the gallery business to support his collecting habit. In addition to modern and contemporary art, he was a voracious collector of African, tribal and folk art. Many knew him as a maverick dealer with an unorthodox but unerring eye, but I remember Allan as a warm, down-to-earth, unpretentious and generous man who lived large and had large appetites. He loved playing tennis, meeting interesting people, telling a good story, hearing a good joke, making large informal dinners with friends and family, and seeking out sweets of all kinds.
He was not ill before he died in his sleep last week. On the contrary, he had just returned from Miami, where his gallery participated in Art Basel Miami Beach, full of energy and optimism for the future. He is survived by his wife Clare; daughters Allison, Jeremy, Claudia, Heather, Jessie and Olympia; brother Richard and sister Marilyn Siegel; and many friends in New York, San Francisco and Maine and around the world. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
ORIANE STENDER is a Brooklyn-based artist and writer.
Allan Stone, Noted Art Dealer and Collector, Dies at 74
By ROBERTA SMITH
Published: December 18, 2006
Allan Stone, a New York dealer who combined a broad expertise in Abstract Expressionism with a zeal for junk sculpture and realist painting and was perhaps as well known for amassing art as for selling it, died on Friday at his home in Purchase, N.Y. He was 74.
He died in his sleep, said his daughter Claudia.
Mr. Stone was considered an expert on the work of the Abstract Expressionists Willem de Kooning, Arshile Gorky, Barnett Newman and Franz Kline as well as their contemporaries John Graham and Joseph Cornell. His gallery was especially known for imposing exhibitions of their work, often accompanied by catalogs for which he wrote essays filled with personal reminiscences and unusual insights.
But he was legendary in the New York art world for his obsessive collecting. His gallery (like his home) teemed with primitive and folk art, no matter what exhibition was formally on view. At one point he owned untold numbers of de Koonings and nearly 30 Bugatti automobiles. When the gallery moved in 1991 from its longtime site at 86th and Madison to a carriage house on East 90th Street, Ms. Stone said, long-lost artworks resurfaced.
Sometimes jokingly referred to as Citizen Stone after Orson Welles’s outsize film character, Mr. Stone was attracted to formal density and flamboyance. He was associated with the rise of the junk aesthetic and with realist painters whose canvases bristled with paint and details. [read on...]