What Makes a Great Collection?

A renowned collector reveals the most important rules when buying art

Advertising executive Cliff Einstein and his wife Mandy have amassed one of the country's top collections of contemporary art, including works by James Turrell and Nancy Rubins. Chairman of Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art, Einstein talks to Barbara Isenberg about collecting.

How do you describe an art collector?

They fall into seven categories, which are, in no particular order, the decorator, possessor, scholar, trader, exhibitor, patron and influencer. I think we are all mixtures of those. Many of us start out as decorators and graduate when we buy one more piece of art than we have space for.

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