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Chapel Hill North Carolina


Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.    Art is knowing which ones to keep.   - Scott Adams

Highlights from the Collection


Cassilhaus Collector’s Statement

The Cassilhaus Collection is an idiosyncratic and passionately assembled group of more than 400 contemporary images and objects collected by Ellen Cassilly and Frank Konhaus. The collection represents more than 220 artists of 25 different nationalities, over 80% of who are living working artists. More than 85% of the collection is photography or photo-based work with the balance in works on paper and sculpture. With a few notable exceptions, the work was all produced in the last 50 years.

There is an immediacy and simple graphic allure to photography that compels like no other medium for us. Black and white, color, and various alternative processes are well represented. Ours is a collection as much of stories as it is of images and objects. Many of the artists we collect and gallery owners we patronize have become friends and most of our favorite works are tightly bound to a story of discovery or a particularly wonderful art fair or travel adventure. We are not focused on technique or process and there is no identifiable (to us at least) focus or unifying theme, but the group works and evolves well as a collection. We enjoy the role of amateur curator in our home and workplaces discovering new relationships and connections as we make new groupings of artworks. Surrounding ourselves with works of art, particularly photographic portraits, that surprise, engage, and nourish us, has become as essential as food and shelter.

Frank Konhaus | February 2016