I’ve had the privilege of seeing Ray Yoshida’s art collection only twice, the first time in 1994 when I was co-curating a show of bottle-cap art for Chicago’s Intuit. Ray was gracious and loaned some pieces.
His collection was spectacular, but tellingly, it did not seem out of the ordinary. If it was finer than many I had seen (my own included), it was not fundamentally different in style and approach. The mix of Maxwell Street flea-market finds with masterpieces is a hallmark of the Chicago eye. How much of that was Ray’s direct influence on the circle of collectors I knew and was myself influenced by and how much of it a shared influence on all of them I can’t be sure, though I suspect Ray deserves a good deal of credit.
I was fortunate to have also seen the collection exhibited at Kohler, and this catalog is a nice reprise of that show, including a couple of those bottle-cap pieces we borrowed way back when.