Tomilson Hill, in partnership with his wife Janine, hailing from St. Louis, has embarked on a remarkable journey of art collection that transcends epochs and genres. In a 2014 interview with Art + Auction, Tom Hill reflected on their approach, stating, “I don’t think many people 30 years ago were trying to put together works from different periods and mediums. It’s a more recent phenomenon. Can you put bronzes, post–World War II artists, and Old Masters together in a dialogue?” A testament to this approach was the 2014 exhibition at New York’s Frick Collection titled “Renaissance and Baroque Bronzes from the Hill Collection,” showcasing 33 statuettes spanning from the mid-15th to the 18th century, sourced from the Hill couple’s extensive collection.
In the autumn of 2018, Tom Hill realized a long-cherished dream by inaugurating the Hill Art Foundation, housed in a building within New York’s vibrant Chelsea gallery district. In anticipation of the foundation’s launch, he shared, “My primary motivation is that I have this vast art collection, and I want to convey my feelings through it. I want to provide a space for that expression. But, equally, I aspire to make art accessible to young minds. Can you imagine Christopher Wool, within my space, discussing his art with a group of students?” Inside the Hills’ opulent New York residence, art treasures included Peter Paul Rubens’s 1608 “Portrait of a Commander” and Francis Bacon’s 1956 “Pope” painting. In their foyer, a striking presence was Willem de Kooning’s sculpture “The Clam Digger” (1972).
In 2021, Tom Hill ascended to the role of board chair at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, where he had joined the board in 2019. He also holds a position on the board of the esteemed Metropolitan Museum of Art.