Published: February 2, 2021
KATONAH, N.Y. – Richard L. Feigen, notable art collector and dealer, born August 8, 1930, in Chicago, died peacefully in his sleep after a brief illness with Covid-19 pneumonia. He was a resident of Katonah.
Feigen was distinguished by the depth and range of his knowledge and the quality of the works he acquired and sold. He was truly one of the great connoisseurs of his era.
Much of Feigen’s interest in art came from his own early efforts in collecting. He initially began buying stamps, coins and rare books, and then moved on to art, purchasing a watercolor by Isaac Cruikshank that satirized the French Revolution.
“I was really first attracted to things I thought were undervalued or underestimated and that led me into keeping things I felt most attracted to, and that led me to collecting,” he told Christie’s in a 2019 article. But it wasn’t until the 1950s that he “came out of the closet as a dealer,” he told The New York Times in 1987.
Feigen went on to attend Yale University, where he studied art history and English literature as an undergraduate, and then got an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He went into finance, moving to New York in 1954, to work at Lehmann Brothers, and he later purchased a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.
In 2000, Feigen published a memoir called Tales from the Art Crypt: The Painters, the Museums, the Curators, the Collectors, the Auctions, the Art, and he remained active for much of the past decade. In 2010, he showed works from his art collection at Yale’s art museum
He will be greatly missed by his loving family. His wife, Isabelle Harnoncourt Feigen; two children, Philippa Feigen Malkin and Richard W.B. Feigen; three step-children, Stephanie Harnoncourt Wisowaty, Alexander Wisowaty and Leonie Harnoncourt Wisowaty; his sister Brenda Feigen; three grandchildren, Canning Malkin, Emeline Malkin and Griffen Malkin; niece Alexis Feigen Fasteau; grand-nephews Hunter Feigen Fasteau and Holden Feigen Fasteau; son in-law Jonathan Malkin; daughter-in-law Katharina Klein Feigen; and sister-in-law Joanne Parrent.
Gifts in his memory can be made to the Yale Art School, New Haven, Conn., or the Art Students League, New York City (in lieu of flowers). A celebration of his life will be announced at a later date.
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