May 27, 2015, St. Louis, MO – For ten days in June, the London art public will see a collection of American regionalist art for the first time outside of the United States at a prestigious art and antique fair. Rex and Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield’s collection of art is highlighted as the guest exhibit at London’s Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair from June 18 to 28. Entitled “No Place Like Home: American Scene Painting (1850 – 1940),” the selection from the Sinquefield Collection focuses on Midwestern artists who depicted the Dust Bowl era, a time of austerity in American life that resonates today.
According to Susan Barrett, president of Barret Barrera Projects and art director for the Sinquefields, “For the first time, this uniquely Midwest American art genre will be exhibited to an international audience. For the Sinquefields, there is no place like home. How lucky it is for us St Louisians that this exhibit will be shown on an international stage at the Olympia Art & Antique Festival. We have based it on the traveling exhibitions at the St. Louis University Museum of Art and the Amon Carter Museum, which were curated by Andrew Walker, director of the Amon Carter. The Sinquefield collection demonstrates an art form from the time between the two World Wars, a form that embodies uniquely American values. It repeatedly shows that the preservation of home requires an ethic of determination and perseverance. It is an ideal that resonates powerfully throughout: home as domestic space, as a region, a city; home as an ideal worth cherishing.”
Fine Art Connoisseur, June 2015 explains: “Best known for its strength in British material, the Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair will add a twist to its 43rd annual edition with an exhibition of masterworks loaned by the St. Louis collector Rex Sinquefeld… Many of these works have never been exhibited in public and all will be a revelation for British viewers, who know little about this phase of American art history.” British author Victoria Schofield calls the Olympia “one of the major exhibition halls in London.”
Two Missouri artists, Thomas Hart Benton and Joe Jones, dominate the collection. Benton along with Grant Wood and John Steuart Curry, who are also included in the Sinquefield’s holdings, are considered the premier twentieth century regionalist artists. Their works depict the love of the love of the land, hard work and sacrifice of that time and place. Jones, a St. Louis artist, represents urban as well as agricultural scenes. These artists rejected European modernism in favor of a monumental, representational style. Later artists in the group, such as John Atherton and Marvin Cone, present a more surrealistic look at the same subject matter.
Rex Sinquefield discusses his art, saying, “The interest in the American countryside and the beauty and mystery of the land is the common thread that ties it all together. When I step back…. I see an affirmation of my belief in America, the American dream. With hard work, anything is possible. The lyricism and beauty of the countryside I live in here in Missouri makes that evident every day, and these artists capture the spirit of possibility.”
Rex Sinquefield was raised in St. Vincent Orphanage in St. Louis, going home to visit his hard-working, widowed mother on weekends. He earned his B.A. at St. Louis University and M.B.A. at the University of Chicago. Sinquefield developed some of the nation’s first index funds. Along with associate David Booth, Sinquefield formed Dimensional Fund Advisors in 1981, which today oversees more than $350 billion in global assets. Dr. Jeanne Cairns Sinquefield earned her M.B.A. as well as her doctorate in demography at the University of Chicago. She played a significant role at Dimensional Fund Advisors, overseeing the Trading Department and serving as executive vice president.
Both retired in 2005 and returned to St. Louis from California. There they have participated in extensive philanthropic activities. Rex co-founded the Show-Me Institute, a free-market think tank. Jeanne created the University of Missouri’s New Music Initiative that is intended to make Missouri a center for composition, performance and recording of new music. Together they founded the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis where newcomers can learn the game and experts can compete in local and national tournaments. One of the key missions of the Center is to promote and grow scholastic chess programs in area schools, especially the Saint Louis Public School System. In September 2011, the Sinquefields moved the World Chess Hall of Fame to a location directly across the street from the Chess Club.
Contact Laura Slay, 314 504 0081, or Carol Shepley, 314 707 9163, for further information. The Olympia International Art & Antique Fair website is olympia-art-antiques.com.