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Arnold and Sylvia Goldman were members of an important generation of Twin Cities art collectors. The post-World War II years saw a boom in both art production and collection, and the center of the Western art world shifted from Paris to New York City. From the late 1940s into the 1960s, a multitude of new art galleries sprung up in the city and record numbers of young Americans studied art, many on G. I. bill support. The postwar years saw record sales, new art stars, and a battalion of new collectors ready and able to snatch up their share of the so-called “New American Art.”

The Goldmans were on the front lines of this new collecting in the Twin Cities, amassing a significant collection over the past thirty years. The collection, a selection of which is on view in the Dayton Gallery, features both American and European artists. As with all collections, the Goldmans’ choices reflect both personal and market-driven tastes. The art on view was curated to elucidate an overall sense of the collection and thereby at least a glimpse of the collectors themselves, whose interests, passions, and tastes were both intensely local and far-reaching in scope and ambition, much like postwar America itself.