Duffy and Tina Oyster
What kind of artwork do you collect? We collect primarily deceased artists: western art and the Taos Founders. Our favorites are Joseph Sharp, E. Irving Couse, E. Martin Hennings, William Robinson Leigh, Frederic Remington, and Charles M. Russell. We also collect living artists, early American artists, and French Impressionists.
How would you describe your approach to collecting? I’m an opportunistic buyer. We collect art we love and that we feel is a good investment. Pieces by well-known artists with a large collector base are more liquid when selling to upgrade the collection, which we are constantly doing. One of the joys of collecting is finding better pieces and different artists. Upgrading gives us an excuse to buy and sell more paintings. Also, we like to learn as much as we can about the artist; it gives more meaning to the works purchased.
How many pieces have you acquired over the years? We have owned over 800 pieces of art and currently have over 300 paintings; 240 of those are hanging in our home.
How long have you been collecting? We started about 10 years ago but really got serious about five years ago. That’s when we made a commitment to increase the collection and add significant works. Our art is the stock market for us. I took the money that I used to put in the stock market and started purchasing art. I also collect rolling art—antique cars.
How did you get started collecting? I was in the bank one day, and my banker was telling me that the bank had foreclosed on some art and that I ought to buy some of it. I purchased a piece by A.D. Greer for around $800. I sold it six months later for double my money, and that is when we knew this was going to be a great hobby. We purchased 15 more Greers afterward.
What’s your most recent acquisition? We purchased eight paintings at the Coeur d’Alene Auction in Reno including a Remington, a Leigh, a Clark Hulings, a Sharp, an Ernest Blumenschein, and a Morgan Weistling.
What piece do visitors comment on the most? We get the most comments on our Edouard Cortès collection, which has many large and rare paintings, including a piece that won a medal in the Paris Salon show in 1905.
Is there a piece that got away? The great thing about art is there is always another piece you will like better. As a wise art dealer once told me, “Your money will run out before the art does.”
Why do you collect? For investment and because we have a passion for art. You can sit in any room in our house and see a lot of nice art, even the bathrooms. Also, we enjoy sharing the art, and we lend it out to exhibits and museums. E
(Photo credit: Phil Bailiff)