Richard L. Feigen (August 8, 1930-January 29, 2021) one of the world-leaders in Old Master painting as well as German Expressionism to Francis Bacon, Joseph Cornell, Joseph Beuys, and John Baldessari has died of a COVID related illness at age 90.
His gallery announced, “It is with profound sadness that we inform you of the passing of our founder and chairman, Richard L. Feigen. Richard opened his first space in Chicago in 1957 and operated several galleries for over 60 years until the end of his life. At his last location on 77th Street, Richard L. Feigen continued his daily work schedule and enjoyed seeing colleagues and clients who came by to pay tribute to the legendary elder statesman. He was passionate, he was brilliant, and he was never shy of giving his opinion to the high and mighty, be that about a particular painting, the policy of a museum, or how a collection should grow. We admired his vision, grit, and stamina until the end.
Collectors and museums all over the world have benefited from his vision and he was generous with the institutions that he loved. He started out by collecting modern works and later, the dialogue with art historians such as Sidney Freedberg and Laurence Kanter resulted in one of the finest private collections of Italian pictures in the country. To his alma mater Yale (B.A.’52) he gifted many of his renowned works of the early Italian Renaissance.
In 2019 Richard donated Carlo Saraceni’s magnificent altarpiece, The Dormition of the Virgin, to the Met in honor of Max Hollein and in celebration of the Museum’s 150th anniversary. Keith Christiansen calls it, “a major gift that transforms the Museum’s representation of Baroque painting”. Above all, Richard was a passionate collector. A giant of the art world, he will be fondly remembered for his larger-than-life personality and for all the lives he touched.”
Richard L. Feigen photographed at his apartment in Manhattan in January 2013. Photo: Anna Schori for Apollo