The Tom and Mary James/Raymond James Financial Art Collection, one of Florida’s largest private art collections, consists of close to 3,000 works of art. It includes original paintings, sculptures and graphics. More than 95% of the collection is owned by Tom James, executive chairman of Raymond James Financial, and his wife, Mary James. Mr. James has selected almost every piece of artwork himself. While some of the artists in the collection are now deceased, he believes buying works from living artists helps to sustain them in their profession. The collection is on display at the firm's corporate headquarters in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Although the collection began in the late 1950s with predominantly American artists, primarily from Florida, it has grown to include a variety of genres. In the mid-1980s, while on trips to Colorado and New Mexico, Mr. James began to collect Western and Southwestern art. More than half of the collection now consists of Western/Southwestern styles of art, including works by Earl Biss, Glenna Goodacre, Allan Houser, Dave McGary, Dan Namingha and many members of the Cowboy Artists of America. Wildlife art is also well represented, including works by Matthew Hillier, John Seerey-Lester and Al Agnew. Other genres include Pop, Contemporary, Figurative, Sports Art and Landscapes.
The James family, as well as Raymond James Financial, has long been a supporter of the arts. Raymond James Financial is the annual title sponsor for the renowned Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of Arts in Tampa. In addition, Mr. James is currently president of the Salvador Dali Museum Board of Trustees.
A significant personal project for Tom and Mary James currently underway is The James Museum of Western + Wildlife Art scheduled to open in downtown St. Petersburg in early 2018.