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The Goddard Art Center announces exhibition of The James Stephen Dolman Collection

The Daily Ardmoreite
The James Stephen Dolman Collection will be on display from Jan.  23 to March 20.

 The Goddard Center will celebrate the opening of The James Stephen Dolman Collection: Latin American Masters – Post War to Contemporary from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23. Goddard Center exhibits are always free and open to the public. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic,  visitors are asked to abide by social-distancing guidelines. Masks are required in the building. Masks will be provided upon request. Common touch points are sanitized throughout the day and hand-sanitizer is provided in the lobby.

For three decades Ardmore native Steve Dolman, the Senior Managing Director of Hines international real estate firm, has been acquiring work from around the globe. The exhibition, which is open to the public through March 20, 2021, has particular significance for Dolman who, in 2015, at the age of fifty-three, was diagnosed with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. At the time, Dolman, who spent more than a decade living and working in São Paolo, Brazil, before transferring to the Houston office, had already transformed his love of art into a sizeable collection, featuring such Latin American luminaries as Fernando Botero, Vik Muniz, Thomaz Ianelli and Emiliano Di Calvacanti. In subsequent years, despite increasing physical limitations, he’s expanded the body of work, which also includes photographs by Michael Eastman and sweeping landscapes by Alejandro Lloret.

At the time of Dolman’s most recent acquisition, in July 2020, of an untitled portrait of the Beatles by the French-born, Los Angeles-based street artist known as Mr. Brainwash, Dolman had lost the ability to move and to speak. His mind is as sharp as ever; however, he can now only communicate through eye movements, relying on Yes or No questions that he can answer with a glance. It was in this way that, in the months prior to acquiring the piece, Steve repeatedly conveyed the desire to visit the Houston gallery where he first saw the work. “I finally said, you’re going to buy this, aren’t you?” recalls his sister, Kathy Grane, who took it from there.

Not being able to articulate the desire to see and purchase works of art is an unimaginable obstacle, especially considering Dolman is fluent in five languages. The desire itself is a testament to the words of artist Yaacov Agam, who wrote, “There are two distinct languages. There is the verbal, which separates people...and there is the visual that is understood by everybody.” Dolman’s relationship to art is a poignant reminder of its ability to convey, enliven, uplift and connect.

Giving back to his community, sharing the benefits of his successes, has always been an integral part of life for Dolman, an OU alumnus and a longtime benefactor of the university, the Houston Symphony, the Art League of Houston, and the Hermann Park Conservancy, of which he is on the board. The Goddard Art Center, where his mother, Marjorie, has worked for fourteen years, has a special place in his heart. Also included in the show are images of personal memorabilia, allowing viewers to look at the collection as it relates to a humbling and eclectic assortment of interests, accomplishments and expertise. In this way, it is both a first-class exhibition and a visual biography of a truly inspirational life. “We’re just so fortunate to display this remarkable assemblage of fine art and reflect on the life of the man so genuinely moved by each piece," said Executive Director Ken Bohannon.

The Goddard Center is located at 401 1st Ave SW in Ardmore. T For more information on Goddard Center programming please contact us at (580) 226-0909 or visit our website at The Goddard Center is an Adventure Road Partner.