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Jody and Gerald Lippes

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Naples Collects

An exhibition at The Baker Museum


February 14, 2016 –
June 19, 2016

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In the view of Frank Verpoorten, museum director and chief curator at The Baker Museum, Jody and Gerald Lippes hold one of the strongest collections of contemporary art in Southwest Florida. But the couple wouldn’t say they own it.

“You don’t really own art,” Gerald says. “Art is owned by the world. And art is meant to be seen. It’s important for art to be seen.”

Both Gerald and Jody have a long history of working to support arts institutions, which “enhance the quality of life in the community,” Gerald says. Both have served on the boards back in their hometown of Buffalo, New York, including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Gerald joined the Artis—Naples board in 2014 and immediately jumped into the museum committee.

The quality of their collection and their strong belief that art is at its best when it’s on display made the couple natural contributors to this month’s Naples Collects exhibition at The Baker Museum. So when Frank asked to borrow a few pieces, they were thrilled to say “yes.”

“It’s a real honor and privilege to share these pieces with the public,” Jody says. “I think with Naples Collects, the community is going to be really impressed with what people are collecting and the work they are doing. And hopefully it might inspire others to start collecting as well.”

They also hope more people might become interested in contemporary art and artists as well. The couple got interested in collecting work by contemporary artists in part because of the interaction with the artists themselves. “We’re actually bringing one of the artists in Naples Collects, Emilio Perez, to the opening,” Gerald says.



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