Mikhail Baryshnikov Talks 40 Years of Art Collecting

Mikhail Baryshnikov likes to cover his walls from top to bottom with pictures, what the Russians call “carpet-style,” he told the online magazine DanceTabs in a recent profile of the former ballet dancer and art collector. A traveling exhibition of about 100 works from Baryshnikov’s collection, “Art I’ve Lived With,” closed last month at ABA Gallery in New York, and is likely on its way to Moscow’s Pushkin Museum next.

Baryshnikov bought his first art in 1975, at Paris’s Galérie Proscenium. “The dollar was strong and I had money in my pocket,” he told DanceTabs about his purchase of a Jean Cocteau drawing of Ballets Russes founder Serge Diaghilev and a Christian Bérard watercolorpainted for George Balanchine’s 1933 production of “Mozartiana.”

He also owns works by Natalia Goncharova, Joseph Brodsky, Merce Cunningham, Trisha Brown, and has apparently tried his own hand at the field. In October, ABA Gallery held an exhibition of Baryshnikov’s own photographs.

— Rachel Corbett

(Photo: Mikhail Baryshnikov at a 2012 exhibition of his own works, Getty Images)