Published: July 13, 2021
George H. Meyer died on July 3, 2021, at the age of 93 after a brief illness. He was born in Detroit in 1928 and lived most of his life in Michigan.
George Meyer was an intrepid collector. He was never happier than when he found a treasure that caught his attention, when he was discussing a find with a dealer friend and learning new things. He built up an impressive collection of American folk art, specializing in canes and face jugs. The results of those passions were two books: the award-winning American Folk Art Canes: Personal Sculpture (1992) and Early American Face Jugs (2018). Earlier, George Meyer edited the Folk Art Biographical Index (1987).
George collected all his life, starting with butterflies and reptiles as a child. As an adult, he first collected modern paintings, soon moved on to American period furniture and then to American folk art. He had a wry sense of humor in his collecting instincts and bought objects which had a personality of their own. He believed that the collector played an important part in the art world, not the least of which was appreciating objects that had been overlooked or undervalued.
His collection of canes was exhibited at several institutions including Williamsburg and the American Folk Art Museum. The face jugs exhibition at the South Carolina State Museum is just closing.
George graduated from Harvard Law School and set up his own law firm in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., where he practiced business, estate and art law. His clients always appreciated his attention to detail and the careful way he approached their concerns.
He served on the Board of the American Folk Art Museum for more than 20 years and was a member of the American Folk Art Society, serving as its president for four years. He was also on the Advisory Board of the Folk Art Society of America for several years.
He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Kay White Meyer, a son, George H. Meyer Jr of Charlotte, N.C., and a daughter, Karen A. Meyer (Bala) and two grandsons, Patrick and Michael.
Contributions in George’s memory may be made to the American Folk Art Museum or the Fenimore Art Museum.
-Submitted by the family
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