Day 8: Huberman Collection

On our way back to Philadelphia from four days in the Washington area, we stopped to visit Giselle and Ben Huberman and their art collection, at their suburban mansion. The Hubermans focus their collection on DC-area artists and they are very active in the Renwick Alliance, you can learn more about them  and their home in the Fall 2012 issue of American Style magazine. Before we go to the photos I’ll just say that the scope and scale of the collection is truly breathtaking, ranging from objects anyone would recognize as traditional craft to multi-media sculpture that straddles the art-craft boundary, plus many very excellent contemporary paintings.

Our ITE group - from left, Phil Brown our DC host, Ben Carpenter, Malcolm Martin, Gaynor Dowling and Neil Turner, looks flummoxed by the vast scale of the Huberman's art-filled mansion.

Giselle Huberman and two of her dogs welcome the ITE group – from left, Phil Brown our DC host, Ben Carpenter, Malcolm Martin, Gaynor Dowling and Neil Turner. Our team looks somewhat flummoxed by the vast scale of the Huberman’s art-filled mansion.

Ben Huberman displays a wonderful cabinet of curiosities by the California artist Po Shun Leong. Huberman reveals his exacting nature by explaining how he commissioned a mirror to reflect and accompany the cabinet.

Ben Huberman displays a wonderful cabinet of curiosities by the California artist Po Shun Leong. Huberman  commissioned the mirror to reflect and accompany the cabinet.

Collector's issues

When the art movers installed the glass sculpture on the wall, Ben Huberman knew it was going to konk some guest so he measured the space it occupied and went looking for a table to fill it. He found this one in the Wendell Castle collection, the exact right size.

Ben and Giselle Huberman with Ode to Joy by Tim Tate, a cast glass sculpture topped by a bust of Beethoven that plays the Ode to Joy while also displaying the words in sign language (Beethoven had gone deaf when he composed it).

Ben and Giselle Huberman with Ode to Joy by the DC artist Tim Tate, a cast glass sculpture topped by a bust of Beethoven that plays the Ode to Joy while also displaying the words in sign language (Beethoven had gone deaf when he composed it).

Phil Brown and Ben Carpenter take a test sit on a purple bench made from a steel propane tank by the California artist Colin Selig.

Phil Brown and Ben Carpenter take a test sit on a purple bench made from a steel propane tank by the California artist Colin Selig.

Malcolm Martin tries a chair made by one of his mentors back home in England. He is delighted to find it in the Huberman collection.

Malcolm Martin tries a chair made by one of his mentors back home in England. He is delighted to find it in the Huberman collection.

DC artist Rick Wall has been the go-to guy when the Hubermans needed furniture. Many of his pieces grace their home.

DC artist Rick Wall has been the go-to guy when the Hubermans needed furniture. Many of his pieces grace their home.

Sentimental gifts

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