Ed and Nancy Rosenthal haven’t technically opened their home to the public, but the exhibition, Brush, Clay, Wood, on view at downtown’s Taft Museum of Art allows us a peek into their life just the same. The exhibition documents an art collection that began in 1980 with a 3-foot-tall Chinese vase. From there, the Rosenthals — not to be confused with Ed’s brother, Richard Rosenthal, and his wife Lois, the Contemporary Arts Center’s prominent benefactors — ventured on a “collecting odyssey,” as Taft Senior Curator Lynne Ambrosini calls it. The couple traveled throughout China and New York and chose pieces that struck them. As such, their collection runs the gamut of media, size, form, era and technique.
Regardless of intention, history and its oblivious subjects come together here. In Brush, Clay, Wood, we are able to learn about Chinese art, culture and the sometimes haphazardly genius of collecting.
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