Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Lane, William H.

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role Collector
dates 1914-1995
city Lunenburg
sex M
historical notes William H. Lane was a plastics manufacturer and an a collector of 20th-century American art and photography.

Lane collected paintings by important American modernists from the Armory Show to the early 1940's, including more than 20 works by Arthur Dove.

According his New York Times obituary, "he began collecting American art in 1951, concentrating on the work of such artists as Georgia O'Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove, Stuart Davis, Franz Kline and Hans Hofmann. He built his collection on regular trips to New York City, where he would fill his station wagon with paintings; if a picture didn't fit, he would not buy it. In 1953, he established the William H. Lane Foundation in Leominster, and in the next 40 years he organized and circulated 30 exhibitions of works from his collection among small museums in New England."

"Mr. Lane began collecting photography in the 1960's. His first major purchase was the Charles Sheeler estate in 1965; he later acquired large collections of the work of Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Brett Weston and others."

"An exhibition of Mr. Lane's paintings was held at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 1983. In 1990, he gave the museum a group of 75 paintings, most of them considered major works, which are displayed in a gallery renamed in his honor."
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updated 02/07/2020 18:21:11
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Archives/Repository Collection Title Collection Details
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Charles Sheeler papers, 1938-1965. see details...
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Downtown Gallery records, 1824-1974 (bulk dates 1926-1969). see details...
The Museum of Modern Art
Library and Archives
Artist file: Lane, William H.; miscellaneous uncataloged material. see details...

see also:
Lane, Saundra