Mitzi and Mel Dobrin were important members of the Montreal community: part of the family that established and operated the Steinberg’s supermarket chain and other businesses in Quebec and Ontario. They were celebrated art collectors and generous philanthropists. They were also among Walter and Gertrude Klinkhoff’s closest friends.
Collecting the finest Canadian art to their taste was Mitzi and Mel’s shared hobby. As their son, Lewis Dobrin, wrote, “Without question, their greatest collaboration for over 50 years was collecting Canadian art. This was a passion that consumed much of their leisure time and which gave them immense pleasure.”
The Mitzi and Mel Dobrin Collection represents an extraordinary opportunity for fine Canadian art buyers to purchase outstanding and rare works by some of Canada’s leading artists, including Emily Carr, Frank Johnston, Tom Thomson, Lawren S. Harris, James Wilson Morrice, David Milne, A.Y. Jackson, Clarence Gagnon and many more. Alan Klinkhoff Gallery is offering over 90 artworks valued at over $20 million from this prestigious collection. The artworks, available for immediate purchase, are presently online and at Alan Klinkhoff Gallery in Toronto from March 12, 2020 and in Montreal from March 26, 2020.
Mitzi and Mel Dobrin’s process for acquiring fine works is in itself a case study on how to collect. “My father, Walter Klinkhoff, once wrote about a trait he noticed in successful business people, namely, that they delegated well and were able to make efficient decisions,” Alan Klinkhoff recalls.“The intensity of the Dobrins’ interest in acquiring Canadian art of great quality was well known among art dealers, many pursuing them, offering them only their finest paintings.“
In 1994, Walter Klinkhoff wrote: “[The Dobrin’s] enthusiasm, particularly for Canadian art, their energy and capacity for making purchases without hesitation or fear, was truly astonishing.“ This accounts for the extraordinary selection of fine art we are offering.
“This presentation demonstrates that with our two galleries in Canada’s largest art markets and our website, we have the ability to offer entire collections of important, high value fine Canadian art at a cost efficiency, meaning low aggregate commissions and fees that are a fraction of the standard auction formula,” said Gallery president Alan Klinkhoff. “Our family has a long standing relationship with the Dobrin family. It is a pleasure and an honour to bring these fine works of art a full circle to a new generation of stewards. And, as concerns the pictures themselves, these are very much our experience and expertise, much different from the ‘lots,’ as auctioneers tend to describe their offerings,“ Alan continues. “Believe me, each work offered for sale is a work of quality.”