‘Dr. Johnson’s Tardy Gallantry’

Artist: William Powell Frith, from the collection of Dr. Howard and Linda Knohl of Anaheim

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“The Queen’s Gallery” runs through Jan. 8 at the Muzeo, 241 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, 714-956-8936, muzeo.org. 

As a boy, Howard collected stamps and coins. Since then he has expanded to antique books, match safes, hand-painted cheroot (small cigar) cases, Torah pointers (yads), and sheet music, among other objects. While Howard, a radiologist, builds the collections, wife Linda, an interior designer, finds the right place for them in their home. About 500 pieces are displayed at the Muzeo.

The couple had bought small works, but it wasn’t until after they had moved into their current home, Fox Pointe Manor, in 1976, that they began collecting in earnest. In the mid-’80s, Linda started their book collection with an 1870s-era medical tome she gave Howard, and the couple bought their first major piece of art, William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s “La Tricoteuse” (1884). 

World history is the common thread throughout all their collections, Howard says. He hopes the Muzeo exhibit will provide insight into what he calls the “elegant age” of the Victorian era, which he feels has been underappreciated. Frith’s 1886 painting, above, is based on James Boswell’s biography of literary lion Samuel Johnson.

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Browse a gallery of Dr. Howard and Linda Knohl Art Collection

This article originally appeared in the December 2011 issue.

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