The Norman Transcript

N-town Q/A

January 10, 2014

Q&A: Emily Ballew Neff comes to OU inspired

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Q: What is your favorite genre of art?

A: You know what, I like it all. I know that sounds like the easy answer but I really do. And I should. It’s not only that I gravitate in that direction anyway but I should. I want to be open to all forms of art and give everything a chance. My expertise is in painting and sculptures so I feel most confident when I’m around painting and sculptures. And my other expertise is American and British art but I also did African art and I’m also interested in Native American art.

Collecting for museums can be different than collecting personally. I’ve never met anything I didn’t feel very, very strongly about for a museum. That said, some of them might have been more important because of the context in which they were made. They still have to meet the criteria of: Is this a great work of art? Is the condition great? You answer all these different questions, but would I want to take it home and have it on my wall? Not necessarily. I think that’s one of the things that’s different is you have to be as open as a museum curator or director as you can be. You’re not collecting for a museum just the things you like. That makes no sense. There’s a history to it. There’s a tremendous amount you bring to the table when you’re considering bringing in a piece of art.

Q: Do you have a large personal art collection?

A: You know, I don’t. There’s a lot of people that I know, curators who I know, who love to collect. I love to collect, but to tell you the truth, we often have blank walls at home. I get pretty saturated in my work environment, but there’s something to be said about going home and having very little on the walls. Or to have things on the wall that aren’t necessarily great but are more meaningful and we have a personal association with.

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