Santa Barbara

“Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Ames”

It is a genuine relief these days to experience a private collection which is not based upon national or international “name brands.” A native of Santa Barbara, Richard Ames is an individual who has purposely sought out the painters and sculptors of his own area, and it is these works which form the basis of his rather extensive collection. One’s overall impression is that Ames has not only been able to actively encourage the artists of his community, but that he has been remarkably perceptive in his selection, for, on the whole, the artists are represented by some of their most impressive works. The dominant figure, visually and in quantity, is William Dole. The usual lightness and extreme delicacy which one normally associates with Dole’s work has in several of these examples been coupled with a powerful feeling for formal organization. This is especially true in his collages Southwest of Here, and in Diagram for Gem-Cutting.

Also of real substance are William Rohrbach’s Seascape, Howard Warshaw’s Man into Pig, and several of the very fine drawings of Thomas Cornell. In the area of sculpture, Robert Thomas is represented by two examples, his 3 Owls being a highly playful piece, and Oliver Andrews by a piece entitled My City. Probably the weakest examples are those of M. Dvortesak, Forrest Hobbits and Mary Parker; also Gary Chafe’s drawings and paintings, which represent an undigested mixture of Ben Shahnism, American regionalism of the ’30s, and American Folk Art.

David Gebhard