In 2004, The Gallery at Windsor presented Heel to Heal: The Collection of Animal Paintings, Drawings and Photographs of Bruce Weber and Nan Bush.
Bruce Weber and Nan Bush have been collectors for more than 30 years. The works in their collection have come to them in a variety of ways: some were gifts from fellow artists, some were discoveries in flea markets, others were found in galleries and studios around the world. The pieces in this exhibition normally hang in teepees in Montana, a lodge in the Adirondack woods, a Manhattan loft, and a cabana on Golden Beach. It is a collection that reflects a lifelong fascination with animals.
Some of the show’s highlights included a pastel portrait by David Bowie of Bruce Weber – given to him when they worked together in South Africa, a drawing by Patti Smith, and portraits by Prudence Whittlesey, a New York artist who was commissioned by Nan and Bruce to paint their dogs. Photographs by Edward Steichen, John Drysdale, Edward Weston, Peter Beard, Imogen Cunningham, and Edward Ponting, among others, present a looking glass through which we see what it is like to have an elephant in your living room.
The exhibition was accompanied by a catalog of the collected works. Designed by Sam Shahid, the book embodies the spirit of the show. It includes a foreword by Alannah Weston, the gallery’s founder, and an essay by Nan Bush and Bruce Weber.
The exhibition opened in association with Delta Society, a national charity devoted to improving human health through service and therapy animals. During the opening, Bruce Weber photographed people and their dogs to raise money for the charity, and all proceeds from the sale of the catalog were donated to Delta Society.