by Donna Dodson
Sculptor and Artscope correspondent Donna Dodson “met” Liz Augustine on Facebook one day when she sent her a text asking her if she showed her art in Provincetown at Gallery Ehva. One thing led to another and she invited Liz and her husband Robert Praetorius over for dinner. He arrived wearing one of Jennifer Maestre’s earrings and they became fast friends. Augustine and Praetorius reciprocated by inviting Dodson and husband, fellow sculptor and Myth Maker Andy Moerlein, for hors d’oeuvres and a private tour of their art collection. What follows is a synopsis of Dodson’s conversation along with a sneak peek of the collector couple’s favorite pieces.
DONNA DODSON: WHAT IS THE FIRST PIECE OF ART YOU PURCHASED?
LIZ AUGUSTINE: I grew up with framed art around the house. My mother had collected it from galleries in Manhattan, where she grew up, and from trips to Europe. I commissioned my first piece of art from my stepmother, who was an artist, when I was in high school. I’ve always lived with it. Doesn’t everyone have original artwork hanging in their college dorm room?
TELL ME MORE ABOUT SOME OF THE PIECES YOU HAVE INHERITED FROM YOUR MOTHER’S ART COLLECTION:
AUGUSTINE: My mother has given me several pieces, including a Hogarth print she picked up in London in the 1950s. At first it looks innocuous, but you quickly realize that it’s a pointed cartoon with relevance to today’s political situation. My mother also insisted that Robert take a piece that no one else in the family liked, after he expressed the smallest interest in it. We call it “Darth Vader on a Windsurfer.” Fortunately, he really does like it and I’ve gotten used to living with it, too.
WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH TO COLLECTING ART?
AUGUSTINE: We’ve never talked about it or created a strategy. Robert or I will fall in love with a piece and purchase it. Sometimes we buy from an artist or gallery owner we know. We also like to buy art when we travel abroad. So far we have pieces from Costa Rica, Cuba, Greece, Egypt and Ireland. Looking at this artwork brings back wonderful memories of our trips.