Vincentennial celebration: Vincent Price’s art insights

As many people know May 2011 marks the 100th birthday of art/food/horror/acting legend Vincent Price. Places all over the world are celebrating this “Vincentennial” with screenings, such as Cinema St. Louis, special websites, and other events. What many people don’t know much about is Price’s visual obsession with art. People are generally surprised to discover there is the Vincent Price Art Museum in Los Angeles, a gallery space to which his collection has been donated and that has given East Los Angeles College unprecedented access to a serious body of work. I even have the most incredible book on Impressionist paintings at the Louvre that includes, in addition to slides, a 45 record with Price narrating art commentary. Because somehow this aspect to his life has gotten lost in his popular historical persona, I am going to celebrate 100 years of Vincent Price by continuing to post his thoughts on art from his “visual autobiography” I Like What I Know.

The real meat of art appreciation and enjoyment is often the undiscovered, the unknown, the newly discovered, or those delectable tidbits we rediscover for ourselves…I will never fail to be impressed (or sometimes unimpressed) by the masterpieces, but it is those things I have made up my mind about, and am willing to make an effort for, that really belong to me. In our collection are objects I consider masterworks, and I don’t care who agrees with me…I have wanted to say only that art is so much a part of my life I would love to have it become a part of the lives of others who perhaps never thought of it as other than an outside experience; who have never let themselves become involved in and with the creative act of other men and women. (p. 143)

Read earlier quotes here.