BY ELINOR J. BRECHER, EBRECHER@MIAMIHERALD.COM
Richard Shack, who began collecting contemporary art when a Jasper Johns could be had for $100, and went on to help establish Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art, died Monday at his Brickell Avenue home.
His wife, former Miami-Dade Commissioner and longtime community activist Ruth Shack, said her husband of 58 years suffered heart problems and succumbed to a second stroke in recent years.
Born Aug. 15, 1926 in Brooklyn, the retired entertainment agent, whose stable of stars included Harry Belafonte, Liberace, George Burns and Anita Bryant, was 85. A gallery at Miami Beach’s Arts Center/South Florida bears his name.
“Dick Shack was the consummate collector of contemporary art,’’ said Dennis Scholl, vice president/arts, for The Knight Foundation. “In 1981 He invited me to his home in [Miami Shores Heights] to see his and Ruth’s collection. When I walked into the bedroom, I saw three works of art by Gene Davis mounted on the ceiling over their bed...He showed me that there were no limits to collecting and that building an art collection was an artistic experience in its own right.’’