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Top 200 Collectors

Gayle Stoffel

Gayle Stoffel

Aspen, Colorado; Dallas


Contemporary art


Gayle Stoffel and her late husband Paul (who died in March 2019) built a collection focused on contemporary art that spanned their homes from Dallas, Texas, to Aspen, Colorado. When they ran out of room for their art, they demolished their Dallas dwelling of 17 years to make way for a new 15,000-square-foot edifice designed specifically for their sizable holdings of paintings, sculptures, and works on paper.  As Gayle told Blouin Artinfo, the couple realized they wanted “to live with the art, not just visit it.” Alumni of the ARTnews Top 200 list since 2005, the Stoffels assembled a collection that covers 60 years of postwar art and includes works by Ellsworth Kelly, Martin Kippenberger, Cy Twombly, Sigmar Polke, Andy Warhol, Luc Tuymans, and John Chamberlain, among many others still.

While they had their favorite works like any collectors do, all of their art has been well-loved—and well-lit, as theirs was the first residence to be outfitted with custom lighting from L’Observatoire International, the same company that has done lighting design for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Louvre. The Stoffels expressed a liking for others kinds of light too: After they acquired an untitled Felix Gonzalez-Torres sculpture composed of a single string of 20 incandescent light bulbs—of a kind that will one day be unavailable for purchase—the couple stockpiled extra bulbs to ensure that the sculpture can long shine like it is supposed to. 

In 2003 the couple  announced the establishment of a $1 million endowment for a distinguished chair at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and the donation created a distinguished chair in cardiology. Gayle is also a member of the board of the Dallas Museum of Art and serves on its executive, art acquisition, and development committees. Paul died at the age of 86 of pancreatic cancer.