August 20 2014

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Blasblog: Baby Jane Reveals Her Great Walls


Eight Warhols, a little Elizabeth Peyton drawing, and a Keith Haring sculpture. That’s what I espied within one step into Jane Holzer’s Upper East Side townhouse. It’s clear from the absolute get-go that when it comes to collecting, Jane Holzer—or Baby Jane (seen here in 1967), as Andy Warhol famously nicknamed her, as one of his first Superstars—isn’t messing around. But as the Costume Institute’s Andrew Bolton pointed out, “She doesn’t boast. Which is infuriating.” At a little get-together on Monday night, organized by the Met’s Friends of the Costume Institute, the walls did enough boasting. Up the steps from the stocked foyer was a Richard Prince joke painting made especially for her, with a backdrop of her Warhol portraits. Brace yourself for the second floor, which housed some Christopher Wools, Cindy Shermans, a Jim Hodges spiderweb on the staircase, a few Terrence Kohs and Dan Colens, and an Ed Ruscha. Two giant gold Keith Harings stood across from a couple Jackie O Warhols and an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus.

(Bolton also filled me in on Holzer’s fashion contributions. To the curator’s delight, she has donated more than 200 pieces to the museum, from YSL and Chanel couture to street wear and Norma Kamali swimsuits.) In a little presentation to the group, which included Annette de la Renta and Amy Fine Collins, Holzer divulged her collecting secrets. “I don’t buy anything I don’t like,” she said, adding that it paid off in the case of her Harings, but that she never bought a single Basquiat. “If I have a reaction, I just buy it. It’s not very intellectual, but it’s how I work.” And then, acknowledging the fact that it’s not normal to, say, just pick up a pair of Harings, she added, “I live in my own fantasy world.” Are there any vacancies?

Photo: Pictorial Parade / Daily Express / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Dept. of Culture