Forrest L. Merrill on Dirk van Erp
Collector Forrest L. Merrill has a deep appreciation for all manner of hand-wrought vessels of wood, metal, glass, fiber, and clay, as well as for the exceptional artists who create them. But even more important are the personal relationships he forges with these artists and his desire to share his unique collection with a public for whom art education and exposure to art is disappearing. Inspired in 1950 by a high school art teacher, his first purchase was a glass bowl by Glen Lukens, a pioneer in studio crafts. Right then, a collector was born. Merrill’s collection, based in Berkeley, CA, is one of the largest and most important of its kind in the world, containing pieces that span the arcs of entire careers of major artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.