Art collector Jordan Schnitzer bought his first painting as a teenager. Since then, he’s amassed one of the largest private collections in the country: 9000 prints by contemporary artists.
Schnitzer had been collecting for years when a museum asked to borrow a small part of his collection for an exhibition, “and it was so exciting to see the works up in their space and to see how the curator had arranged the work,” he remembers. “And I thought this doesn’t get an better. But it did. And that’s when people came in, and they started oohing and aahing and smiling and frowning and all those things we all do when we look at art. And I thought, my gosh, as much passion as I have for the art, sharing it brought me even greater joy.”
That’s when Schnitzer reimagined his art collection as a lending library. So far, 100 exhibitions have been displayed at 75 museums, including a provocative exhibition by artist Kara Walker. Emancipating the Past: Kara Walker’s Tales of Slavery and Power is on view through May 14 at the University of Wyoming Art Museum. As Schnitzer tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer, he discovered Kara Walker’s art at a gallery in his hometown of Portland.