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Collection Development

Lea in Luxe

Art advisor Lea Weingarten, founder of Houston-based Weingarten Art Group, begins every private consultation for a new client with an in-person meeting followed by a walk-through of the individual’s home or office. “There’s no replacement for this personal education to deliver exactly what the client needs,” says Weingarten, who also works with corporate collectors and does public commissions. It’s step one in her personal brand of boot camp that immerses future art aficionados in the world of collecting while unraveling some of its mystery. Step two is looking at as much art as possible. “Attending museums and gallery openings, keeping current on publications, and perusing electronic images are all part of someone’s art education,” says Weingarten, who routinely attends Art Basel and other major fairs. For clients who want to experience the latter firsthand she creates custom itineraries. “Dealing with over 300 galleries can be overwhelming so I do some massive editing ahead of time,” she says. “Ultimately my job is to help people assemble collections that are essentially self-portraits of themselves.”

LX: Tell us how you got started.

LW: Dear friends Jeanne and Mickey Klein, highly respected art collectors, took me under their wing after my fi rst “spiritual” encounter with a work of art—which happened to be their own Agnes Martin painting—in 1994. After that, I was lost to art forever!

LX: Who’s inspiring you now?