Many of my friends and viewers of my art collection have asked me when I first became interested in modern paintings, what my first purchase was, and what prompted me to build up a collection. During the few years previous to 1943, I had purchased a few early Italian, French, and American paintings, mostly of the genre school – realistic type. I found them decorative but neither provocative nor moving, and used them more or less as wall coverings. One day in 1945, while passing the American Art – Anderson Galleries in New York (later Parke Bernet), I saw a very colorful painting by Chaïm Soutine, titled Village Square, in blue, yellow, and golden colors slashed on as if by a trowel. When this painting came up for sale, I was the high bidder, and happily carted the painting out to my home in the country. The painting was hung over the mantelpiece, some thirty feet from the entrance hall, and when I came home in the evenings and saw it I would get a lift, similar to the experience of listening to a symphony orchestration of a piece well known and liked. This first pleasant experience with a modern painting started me on a road of adventure that has been both exhilarating and satisfying. I haven’t spent a boring evening since that first purchase.