In 2007, after many years of collecting, Christine and Andrew Hall (1951) set up the Hall Art Foundation in order to make their collection of some 5000 pieces of post-war and contemporary art, available for the enjoyment and education of the public.
Andrew Hall made his fortune in the oil trading business. After graduating from Oxford University with a degree in chemistry, he started his career with British Petroleum where he served in various posts. In 1982 he left BP to join Philbro Energy and ten years later became CEO of Philbro LLC a commodities trading firm. At the same time, he was head of the hedge fund, Astenbeck Capital Management.
Although both are British, the couple travel between several locations in America; Florida, New York, and Connecticut. In the 1980s, they bought land and property in Reading, Vermont. There, they converted a19th-century stone dairy farm and three barns into a museum where, since 2012, exhibitions are held in the summer months.
The Hall Foundation has set up exhibition partnerships with the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, Massachusetts, the largest contemporary art museum in North America and the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology in Oxford, England, where work is shown regularly. In 2013, on the Mass MoCA campus, an installation of sculpture and paintings by Anselm Kiefer was opened.
Earlier, in 2006, the Halls had bought Schloss Derneberg, originally a fortified castle and then a monastery. In later years, the Schloss served as the home and studio of the artist, George Baselitz. The buildings have now been renovated and converted to a museum showing post-war and contemporary art.
The Halls always buy art based on a gut feeling. Andrew: “I am attracted to great artists who, for whatever reason, are slightly off the radar screen…….and more interested in collecting works by someone who has a solid record of museum shows over many years than chasing the latest fad…..But we have a particular focus on certain artists, and we try and collect the artists that interest us, in-depth. We’re not just buying one work by this guy, and one work by that guy. We try and buy a lot of work by artists that we find interesting, and that means that we can do whole shows that focus on a particular artist”. (From ‘An interview with art collectors Andrew and Christine Hall’ by Sergej Timofejev 14/07/2016 in artterritory.com).
The Foundation lends out several hundred works of art each year for exhibitions worldwide.
Their collection comprises works by several hundred artists, including Richard Artschwager, Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Olafur Eliasson, Eric Fischl, Joerg Immendorff, Anselm Kiefer, Malcolm Morley, A. R. Penck, Julian Schnabel, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol and Franz West.