visit: mimi lipton - collector & dealer

︎Visit, Collector, Art, Painting, Interview
︎ Georgia Kuhn
︎ Andie Cusick

Entering Mimi Lipton’s ground floor flat in Maida Vale, London, there are a streak of tigers. Not real, of course, but of the Tibetan rug variety. As an avid collector, dealer and most recently, jewelry creator, the octogenarian has centered much of her career around Tibet.

Now for the first time, many of her collections have culminated in a striking line of gemstone jewelry. “I had collected people and beautiful things and I had so many objects that I decided to make jewelry out of some of my collections.” Using her own antiques and rare gemstones collected from around the world, Mimi collaborated with several specialized jewelers to create eight one-off pieces. “If you look at the jewelry, it’s all different. I only work with uncut stones, nothing I have is polished or bling.”

Mimi is gleefully nonconformist, radiating an air of youthful excitement whenever she discovers something new. Case in point is the chair she now sits in: a Moroso shell chair by design studio Raw Edges that hugs her petite frame with its enveloping curve. Her move into dealing was sparked by her then partner, now husband, the renowned German art publisher Hansjorg Mayer. “We’ve been together for 50 years. Isn’t that amazing? Because of him I met a lot of artists like Dieter Roth, Mark Boyle and Tom Phillips, Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton—you’ll see a lot of fruits of our associations here at home.” Traveling the world together, Mimi moved away from selling contemporary art and became involved in ethnic jewelry. “That, to me, was much more exciting than pictures,” she says. “I was probably one of the first people in London who collected such pieces. You know, I was quite a big noise in those days,” she says with a wistful smile.

Mimi’s home is a treasure trove of antique finds and contemporary art—telling of her travels, acquaintances and working life. From the large Dieter Roth painting of Piccadilly Circus, baskets full of African bangles and anklets to the Danny Lane glass sculptures dissecting the garden—Mimi has made a lifelong career out of having an eye for lust-worthy objects. “I’m like a truffle pig in a way,” she says, laughing at her own remark. “I’m always open and looking at everything, sniffing out the treasures!”

Further Reading ︎