NPR’s All Things Considered tours the Norton Simon Museum on the occasion of Sara Campbell’s new book. She gave them some insight into Simon’s habits as a buyer:
Simon kept careful track of all the numbers. “He remembered every price he ever paid,” Campbell says, down to the currency and its conversion rate. […]
Simon appreciated the art that he collected, but kept an emotional distance from it — especially when it came to buying and selling.
“There are times when he has been quoted saying, ‘I have to maintain some distance from this or it will consume me,'” says Campbell.
Simon needed to be able to decide when to sell a piece and when to walk away from a difficult dealer.