“He had buyers in major auction houses all over the world. He didn't just get art. He got the best of the best art,” Lane said.
But it was all about the hunt for him. He would buy a piece, make sure it arrived to Oklahoma City in good condition, then pack it away in a warehouse, where it stayed until the '90s, Lane said.
When Burbridge died in 1994 and Lane became president of the foundation, she decided to sell the collection of more than 4,000 works in a Sotheby's auction in order to raise funds for the foundation's work. In the wake of the Oklahoma City terrorist bombing in 1995, Lane said she wanted to bring the foundation's charity work from a national and international focus back to the community in which her family had the strongest ties.
She credits Wallace, who writes the Parties Etc. column for The Oklahoman and the related Parties Extra blog for NewsOK.com, with convincing her to hold on to some of the collection for the foundation instead of selling it all in the Sotheby's auction, a move that made the OCU donation possible. Lane kept about 1,000 of the family's favorite items from the collection for the foundation.
The remaining items from the collection reside in the Burbridge family's homes and in a warehouse in central Oklahoma, Lane said.