I rvin Levy was a towering leader in both Dallas-based business and philanthropy. Irvin’s interest in art was spurred in part by the artistic bent of his first wife, Meryl. The couple not only lived with art, but also involved themselves in the growth of their city’s museum, The Dallas Museum of Art, where Irvin served as board member, Chairman, or President from 1978 until 2018. Irvin and Meryl loved France, where they traveled often. The couple befriended one of the most distinguished French art dealers, the late Philippe Brame and his wife Françoise, seeing them often in Paris, spending weekends at their country house, and traveling together.
The couple formed a striking collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. Each work was selected carefully for a specific wall of their beautiful Dallas home, surrounded by gardens and shaded natural light. After Meryl’s death, Irvin married Joan Schnitzer, and the collection migrated to a forthrightly modernist apartment on Turtle Creek. In their new home, Irvin and Joan added contemporary paintings which benefited from large space and ample natural light. The late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century works of art from Mr. Levy’s collection found a surprisingly easy companionship with those newer works.