Nancy Littlejohn Q&A

June 04, 2021

“Why do the people like the gallery? They believe in our program and appreciate our transparency.” – Nancy Littlejohn

Nancy has been advising clients for 30 years and has put together some of the most important collections in Texas, including her own. Her personal aesthetic is represented in the NLFA stable of artists and programming.

Q: Can you tell us about your personal collection?

NL: My personal collection is based on the Color field school. The reason I appreciate this particular period is because I like the atmospheric quality and I prefer to live with quiet work… soft, serene, and ambient.  

Q: Who are some artists in your collection? 

NL: Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Milton Resnick and Friedel Dzubas to name a few. My collection also includes Stanley Boxer, Adolph Gottlieb, Robert Motherwell, and second-generation abstract expressionist Knox Martin. 

Q: Do you have any Texas artists in your collection? 

NL: My collection also reflects 30 years of supporting and exhibiting regional artists and includes William Anzalone, Cruz Ortiz, McKay Otto, Sara Carter, Margo Sawyer,  Jack Thompson, James Surls, Dorothy Hood, and Dick Wray.  

Q: What is your favorite part about working in an advisory position? 

NL: I enjoy meeting people at their entry point, whatever that may be – new to the art world or a seasoned collector. Over the years I have watched entry-level collectors amass some of the most important works in the world which now reside in museums. 

Q: What was your goal when starting NLFA? 

NL: I think owning a gallery shows a deeper level of commitment to the artists and the community. It’s definitely a deeper dive!

The NLFA program reflects my philosophy: bringing the best national and international artists to Houston; supporting regional artists; cultivating young talent; paying homage to art history by launching historic shows, and I’ve always believed in offering collectors works from the primary and secondary markets. 

Q: Where did you receive your education and what did you study? 

NL: I graduated from the University of St. Thomas; I was fortunate to study what I love: Art History, Theology, and Philosophy.

 Q: Who inspires you? 

NL: You can’t be from Houston without acknowledging Dominique de Menil, whose spiritual impulse is the foundation of the Menil Collection.  

Q: What would you say your mantra is? 

NL: I don’t think I am worth my weight in salt if I don’t champion emerging talent. 

Q: What is something not many people know about you? 

NL: I started collecting art before I owned a sofa. 

Q: Can you tell us about some upcoming things you are excited about? 

NL: I believe in the gallery as a community center and am excited for the events we are having this summer as things are opening up. Stay tuned for open figure drawing, workshops, and performances.

– Nancy Littlejohn,

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