East End Influencers on Their Passion for Collectibles

By Allison Berg | September 4, 2018 | Lifestyle Feature

Local hobbyists share their passion for craft, discernment and commitment to care in their impressive collections.

Adam Miller

adam-miller.jpg

Miller is a real estate attorney with an eclectic modern and contemporary art collection. adammillergroup.com

What was your first acquisition?
ADAM MILLER: My first true piece of art was a Robert Motherwell. It is predominantly red—a color I love living with.

Did you know that was the beginning of a collection?
AM: My interest in art really goes back a long way. I started drawing at a young age. Art is a great way to diversify investments and, more importantly, something you live with and that moves you every day.

What is the foundation of your collection?
AM: It takes years to build and save enough to start a collection. I tapped into some of my friends and clients who were already in the art world.

adam-miller-art.jpg"Make It” (2018) by John Joseph Hanright

Where is the direction of your collection going?
AM: Motherwell’s period excites me on a deep level, but emerging artists’ trends and black-and-white photography are also interesting.

What is the difference between collecting and consuming?
AM: I have always loved collecting. I used to collect rare coins when I was a teenager. Consuming art is just art that infiltrates our lives. Whether it’s through advertising, television or graffiti—art is all around us.

What responsibility do you feel you have as a collector?
AM: We should make sure we acknowledge the necessity of art in culture. Artists are social commentators and creative responders. We who collect are helping to preserve a moment.

Peri Allen

peri-allen.jpg

Allen is a Montauk local who started collecting vintage Emilio Pucci in 1989. She is a fashion designer and the Shark Bites boutique founder. sharkbitesmontauk.com

What was your first acquisition?
PERI ALLEN: A Pucci blue diamond peignoir.

Did you know that was the beginning of a collection?
PA: Yes, it’s a problem I have.

Do you ever feel satiated?
PA: No, never! There is always something. I just found an amazing jumpsuit that I have never seen before. They are asking a lot of money for it and I am deciding if I should offer it to a collector. I can’t stop thinking about it. Pucci is all about what the color and patterns do for me.

peri-allen-pucci.jpgFoulard 70*70 silk twill scarf, $425

How many Pucci pieces do you own?
PA: Far too many. It rotates now that I have the store. I have 10 pieces at home that I wear. When I find a great new piece, one must leave to make money and room for more Pucci in my life. Then, other people get to enjoy them.

What do you think defines a collector versus a random consumer?
PA: Passion. And you are only passionate about a couple of things, not everything. It is usually something with limited availability.

What responsibility do you feel you have as a collector?
PA: I hate to see people not care for their clothing. I keep all my garments clean and repaired. These Puccis have lasted for over 50 years! I treat them carefully with love and respect.

Stuart Parr

stuart-parr.jpg

Parr, a decorative arts and design professional and film producer, has an epic motorcycle collection he houses between his Shelter Island Clearhouse and an East Hampton Airport hangar. stuartparrdesign.com

What was your first acquisition?
STUART PARR: The first bike I ever owned was a 1971 Triumph 750 Bonneville.

Did you know that was the beginning of a collection?
SP: I was fascinated with Italian bikes and they were so expensive I couldn’t afford them. I was actually able to buy a fabulous 1973 MV Agusta. In fact, I even redesigned one recently. The owner of MV Agusta, Giovanni Castiglioni, gave me two contemporary Brutale. I took the engines, threw out the rest of the bike, and made a brand-new, Stuart Parr design, MV Agusta Magni 750 Sport Tributo. I took a contemporary bike and made it look like a vintage bike. I won an award for it in Milan.

Do you ever feel satiated?
SP: No. Motorcycles all have different personalities, so you use them differently all the time—long rides, short rides, straight runs, curvy roads.

stuart-parr-motorcycles.jpgThe Art of the Italian Two Wheel exhibition in Miami

How many bikes do you own?
SP: About 60. I also buy and sell some bikes, but then I have a big collection I won’t sell. And I do ride them.

What is the difference between collecting and consuming?
SP: A consumer has a lack of association with the object—it’s just a moment. A collector has an intimacy with the object. It starts with a pining and it still resonates when you are finally able to acquire. I never tire of looking at any of my collections.

What responsibility do you feel you have as a collector?
SP: To take care of the bikes, keep them alive and ride the hell out of them!

Jay Waldmann

jay-waldmann.jpg

Dividing his time between Waldmann Inc. estate jewelry in Dusseldorf and Southampton, Waldmann has been collecting luxury watches since 1975. waldmanninc.com

What was your first acquisition?
JAY WALDMANN: A Rolex Daytona. It was very sporty, wearable and waterproof.

Did you know that was the beginning of a collection?
JW: I bought it to wear it, but I liked the mechanics and then started to collect mostly Patek Philippe because it is the No. 1 watch in the world—classic design and a great investment.

What makes you keep going?
JW: Mechanics, aesthetics, and you can have the pleasure of it on your wrist all day your whole life! If I die, the one shortly before will be my last acquisition. It’s a never-ending passion. I read everything that is written about watches and I review every auction catalog. It is intense work!

jay-waldmann-jewelry.jpgA selection of vintage fine jewelry by Van Cleef & Arpels

How many watches do you own?
JW: Forty-four. I sell them, too. I am trying to increase the value and aesthetic. Collectors sell things in order to be able to buy the next desirable object.

What is the difference between collecting and consuming?
JW: I think a collector has that wish that makes you fall in love forever. A collector is someone who lives on the edge with his financial possibility, too. There is no end. It could become catastrophic for someone.

What responsibility do you feel you have as a collector?
JW: I have to preserve the collection for the next generations.

Categories: Lifestyle Feature

MOTORCYCLE INSTALLATION PHOTO BY CHI LAM; STUART PARR PHOTO BY BRIAN BUCKLEY; JAY WALDMANN & VAN CLEEF & ARPELS PHOTOS BY DOUG YOUNG

Around the Web