Magnificent Obsession | Joyce and Roland Jones

Joyce and Roland Jones

Clifton, TX

Joyce and Roland Jones

What kind of artwork do you collect? Mostly contemporary western painting. We also have quite a bit of sculpture.

How would you describe your approach to collecting? If my heart doesn’t speed up [when I see a certain piece], I just keep walking. Something has to stop you to give it a second look. If I don’t like it the first time I see it, I am never going to like it.

How many pieces have you acquired over the years? About 150.

How long have you been collecting? Since 1971.

How did you get started? My husband has always loved western art. When we moved from Dallas to Clifton, TX, he would go back to Dallas to meet with Merrill Lynch. He had to walk through the Texas Art Gallery to get from the hotel to Merrill Lynch, and he was hooked. Then [artists] Melvin Warren and James Boren talked us into going to the Cowboy Artists of America show, and now we go every year.

What was the first piece you purchased? A Melvin Warren bronze called VIVA ZAPATA after the Mexican revolutionary. Roland’s father had passed away, and Roland laid awake all night saying, “My daddy would kill me if he knew I spent $3,000 on a piece of art.” I said, “Well I am not going to tell him!” Neither of our families collected or appreciated art.

What’s your most recent acquisition? A large Bill Anton night scene called CANYON SPRINGS NOCTURNE.

What’s on your wish list for the future? Oh, I want a David Mann of Indians reflected in the water. One of Daniel Smith’s. Anything John Coleman does, and Martin Grelle. But I don’t know what my next want is until I see it.

Is there a piece that got away? I’ve lost several at auction lately that made me sick. There was a very large Melvin Warren night scene. I don’t typically have a thing for night scenes, but there you go. We got outbid, and I had to leave the room because I was going to cry. Then I saw it out in Eddie Basha’s museum. Eddie Basha owns a string of grocery stores down here. He has an enormous collection of top-quality work and has turned an old Safeway store into a museum. The Warren piece ended up in a good place where a lot of people will see it.

Why do you collect? Can’t not do it. Have to. For the same reason an artist creates, I collect. It brings a dimension to your life that is sadly lacking otherwise. I think you look at nature differently when you’ve learned to appreciate art. You notice things you didn’t notice before. You see colors you didn’t see before.