The Moscow Times has an interesting interview with natural resources investor Thomas Kaplan who has spent a number of years amassing a collection of Dutch old master paintings including the only Vermeer in private hands and the largest collection of Rembrandts in private hands.
Kaplan was first an anonymous collector. Eventually, the collection began to tour under the Leiden name:
Where do the paintings stay between the exhibitions?
We’ve never lived with even one of our paintings. In the very beginning of our collecting we realized that the art was too important to be kept to ourselves. We have lent it out 170 times to more than 40 museums around the world. Until very recently we were “anonymous collectors.” The collection is not named after ourselves — it’s named after Rembrandt’s birthplace. And that’s the way we wanted it.
Have you had cases when people tried to sell you fake Rembrandts?
I’ve actually had cases when people tried to sell me Rembrandts I already owned! They weren’t fake, but they didn’t know that I already bought them. There had been times when people tried to sell us paintings that were not by the artists that they claimed to be. Most of the time I don’t believe that they were being dishonest; they just didn’t understand that what they owned was not by Rembrandt. I actually think that with the old masters it’s easier to buy something that can be confirmed to be real than with modern art. There are more fakes in modern art than there are in old masters.
The Man Behind the Leiden Collection (The Moscow Times)