"Funny and whimsical. There are wonderful asides ... It is also poignant."
—The New York Times
An utterly charming book by beloved Parisian artist Pierre Le-Tan, filled with dazzling illustrations and intriguing tales about often eccentric art collectors. Le-Tan, known for designing New Yorker magazine covers and collaborations with fashion houses, summons up memories of inveterate collectors in this lavishly illustrated volume. He evokes fascinating, sometimes troubled figures through insightful and curious portraits. With seventy of his distinctive pen and ink drawings—in vibrant color with meticulous cross-hatching—A Few Collectors opens a window onto the vast or minuscule world created by collectors out of a mix of extravagance and obstinacy. It recounts encounters in Paris, the Côte d’Azur, North Africa, London and New York, where Le-Tan’s subjects have amassed a range of treasures. Some involve famed figures like former Louvre Museum director Pierre Rosenberg. Others are insolvent aristocrats, princes of film and fashion, expatriate dandies, and flat-out obsessive eccentrics. Le-Tan devotes perhaps his finest chapter to himself.
"In his droll, enchanting book 'A Few Collectors,' Le-Tan reflects on 20 obsessive subjects, including himself, and the extraordinary objects they acquired. His elegant profiles ... are subtly comic and rather mournful, illustrated in his distinctive style: fine ink cross-hatching and watercolors the pastel shades of French macaroons. The pictures are whimsical and enigmatic."
—The Wall Street Journal
“Splendidly written, engagingly illustrated memoir about … the eccentricity of those who acquire and a subjective pathology of collecting artful things … An ode to the oddities of collectors … I had forgotten how much I missed my old friend’s voice and was delighted to read Pierre’s perfect diction—soothing and reassuring—come through on the page.”
—Steven Heller, former New York Times art director, in Print Magazine
"These slices of lives illustrate something about the bizarre impulse toward relentless acquisition, even when it comes at a cost ... Funny and whimsical. There are wonderful asides that evoke [Pierre Le-Tan's] colorful social scene ... It is also poignant."
—The New York Times
"I found A Few Collectors, comprising 20 profiles lovingly written and illustrated by Pierre Le-Tan, a complete revelation ... The volume is one of the most charming and haunting I've ever read, a must-have for any collector, dealer or lover of art."
—Ted Loos, Introspective Magazine
"The reader of this jewel of a book will feel a range of emotions from amusement to sorrow ... Through vignettes of collectors he knew, Le-Tan poignantly limns what makes collecting so satisfying, but also so heartbreaking ... The book is garlanded by Le-Tan's own illustrations."
—The New Criterion
"Le-Tan was an admired illustrator, his drawings distinguished by delicate crosshatching and an unwavering line in India ink and watercolour ... This delightful book reveals he was also an indefatigable collector of collectors, and he pens portraits of those similarly and pathologically afflicted ... Le-Tan is the master of epigrammatic understatement."
—The World of Interiors
"Vietnamese French illustrator and author Pierre Le-Tan is utterly brilliant and charming. A Few Collectors reminds me of Paris France by Gertrude Stein: pithy, light of touch, conversational, disarmingly revealing."
—Monique Truong, author of The Book of Salt and Bitter in the Mouth
"Pierre Le-Tan reminds us that once upon a time works of art reflected the deepest feelings of their owners. I longed to stay in his charmed and delightfully wicked world of eccentric collectors intent on finding beauty in both the humblest and grandest of objects."
—Michael Findlay, author of The Value of Art: Money, Power, Beauty
"Pierre Le-Tan was an indefatigable collector who in these pages—as in life—created a dazzling world, profoundly personal, that combined surrealism, romanticism, and his encyclopedic knowledge of the decorative arts."
—Reed and Delphine Krakoff, Tiffany & Co. chief artistic officer and interior designer
"An enthralling testament to the passionate pursuits of true collectors—an entertaining, colorful study of the psychology of collecting and an irresistible peek into a compendium of fascinating lives.”
—Mary Rozell, author of The Art Collector’s Handbook
"So lovely ... Le-Tan's book—which devotes a chapter each to a collector—is so compelling for its text, which offers his memories, some from his childhood, of visiting collectors' homes ... His words, meanwhile, are razor sharp ... marvelous and intoxicating ... magical."
"I savored A Few Collectors with unmitigated pleasure ... Calm narration, soothing atmosphere. Le-Tan's writing has the same throwback sensibility as his immediately recognizable line drawings ... He manages to casually reveal to us that the madness of accumulation, of ownership and of exhibiting can sometimes conceal grace."
—Pierre Assouline, author of An Artful Life: A Biography of D. H. Kahnweiler
“Pierre Le-Tan’s delightful book provides charming impressions of different collections. His very definition of collecting as ‘essential and completely useless’ captures the insouciant spirit in which this volume is written as well as wonderfully illustrated. The book is a collection in itself—of objects amassed by a variety of fascinating people, of intriguing memories, and of the author’s rambles through Paris."
—Victoria Newhouse, author of Art and the Power of Placement and Parks of the 21st Century