- Frederick R. Brandt
American patrons and collectors. Sydney Lewis (b Richmond, VA, 24 Oct 1919; d Richmond, VA, 12 March 1999) and his wife, Frances Lewis (b Brooklyn, NY, 27 June 1922), began collecting in the early 1960s by acquiring works by leading Pop artists, to which they added major works by other contemporary American and European artists. In the late 1960s they also began to collect turn-of-the-century decorative art, beginning with Art Nouveau and later including Art Deco and products of the Arts and Crafts Movement; these collections were donated in 1985 to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA, together with funds to help build an extensive wing to house them. The Lewises also acted as patrons both as individuals and through their company, Best Products Co., Inc., supporting younger artists, sponsoring museum exhibitions and commissioning innovative architectural projects throughout the USA; among the architects and firms employed to design their striking buildings, which quickly became a trademark of the company, were ...