Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Museum worthy.(Arts & Culture)

Byline: Anthony DellaFlora Journal Staff Writer

Display of couple's personal art collection conveys passion, diversity

First things first. That scratching post in the living room of the home of Jonathan and Fay Abrams really is a scratching post not a post-modern sculpture.

But practically every other item of note in their University-area abode is an objet d'art.

Walls in dining rooms, hallways, offices, bedrooms, bathrooms, even the laundry room are covered with drawings, paintings, photographs and prints. Most are examples of post-World War II contemporary art, much of it by New Mexico artists including Larry Bell, Bruce Nauman and Fritz Scholder.

Then there is the occasional Basquiat, Thiebaud or Diebenkorn popping out like a jack-in-the-box, just behind the next door.

Shelves, nooks, tables and counters hold everything from Picasso ceramics and northern New Mexico folk art to American Indian pottery and whimsical multimedia pieces.

A visitor could strain his or her neck checking out the stunning sculptures hanging from ceilings, or filling up the back yard.

"It's almost literally jaw-dropping," said Peter Walch, director of the University of New Mexico Art Museum. Walch said he discovers new delights on each visit. "It's an astonishing experience."

Albuquerque Museum director James Moore still remembers his initial visit to the Abrams home.

"I don't remember what year it was, but it was just about as crowded as it is now," Moore said. …

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