Founder, JW Collection
Founder, Whitehall Group, LTD
From an early age, Rebecca was drawn to museums founded by extraordinary collectors: The Frick Collection in New York, The Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum in Boston, The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. Reading the biographies of their often-eccentric founders, she became fascinated with the psychology of collecting, captivated by why people collect what they collect.
For four years, she explored this interest through co-authoring the “100 Top Collector’s List” for Art and Antiques magazine. She also wrote more in-depth profiles of important collectors, museum collections and contemporary artists for Art in America, Art on Paper, Art & Auction, Art Review, Flash Art, Frieze, and Sculpture Magazine. Simultaneously, she honed her knowledge of contemporary art while working at the Jack Tilton Gallery in New York, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and the Atlanta College of Art Gallery.
In 2004, Cochran was able to explore the creation of a collection from the inside when she became the curator for Sue and John Wieland. In her fifteen years at the Wieland Collection she handled the acquisition of new work, cataloged and maintained the collection database, researched and provided insurance values for the work, wrote and published a 350-page catalog, oversaw three traveling exhibitions, and designed the installation of the collection in the wareHOUSE, a 21,000 square foot exhibition space.
She launched Cochran Arts to provide similar services to collectors throughout the Southeast. In 2019, she added appraisals to her list of skills with the completion of the CASP Program at the Appraisal Institute of America. Cochran also holds a Masters Degree from the Royal College of Art in London, a Certificate in the Fine and Decorative Arts from Sotheby’s Institute, London and a Bachelors of Fine Art from the Maine College of Art. She has taught courses on Collecting and on Modern and Contemporary Art for the High Museum of Art, the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and the Continuing Education department of the Atlanta College of Art.
Raw Vision, vol. 79, October 2013, pp. 36-41.
Art Papers, January/February 1997, p. 69.
Sculpture, December 2017, pp. 18-23.
Sculpture, June 2017 pp. 30-37.
Guest Lecturer, Professional Practices, Graduate School of Art and Design, Georgia State University, November 12, 2018
“Guest Critic”, Graduate School of Art and Design, Georgia State University, March 22, 2016
“OFF/Center: Art Writing from the Regions,” three day symposium organized in conjunction with the American Association of Art Critics and Emory University, Atlanta, September 20-22, 2013
“Guest Critic, Leap Year Awardees,” The Goat Farm, Atlanta, November 20, 2011
“Contemporary Art Criticism,” Nashville Cultural Arts Project, Nashville, April 13, 2011
“Female Photographers: Is there a gender voice?” Panelist, Hagedorn Foundation, Atlanta, April 7, 2011
“Art and Censorship: A Screening of David Wojnarowicz’s A Fire in My Belly and Panel Discussion,” Panelist, Emory University, Atlanta, February 17, 2011
“The Art of Collecting,” Davis Waldron Fine Art, Atlanta, July 12, 2007
“Collecting Now,” Four-part seminar on collecting contemporary art, taught with Stuart Horodner at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, Jan. 8, 15, 22, and 27, 2007
“Art Criticism,” Guest Lecturer, Kennesaw State University, GA, October 17, 2006
“Local Heros: Public Art from the Private Realm, ” sponsored by Fulton County Arts Council,City of Atlanta Bureau of Cultural Affairs and the Metropolitan Public Art Committee, Hill Auditorium, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, May 18, 2006
“Guest Critic,” Drawing and Painting Graduate Seminar, Georgia State University, Atlanta,November 29, 2004
“Opportunities for Artists in Public Art Programs,” Moderator, Atlanta Center for Contemporary Art, Atlanta, March 2004
“The Art of Collecting,” Trinity School, Atlanta, February 2004; Wesleyan School, Atlanta, May 2004
“Conversation with Ross Bleckner,” Atlanta College of Art, Atlanta, March 2000
“Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Reflections of the Self in Contemporary Art,” Atlanta Center for Contemporary Art, Atlanta, May 1999
“Joseph Beuys,” High Museum of Art, Atlanta, November 1994
“Bridging the Gap: Trends in Post-World War II American and European Art,” High Museum of Art, Atlanta, September-November 1994
“Ray Smith,” High Museum of Art, Atlanta, October 1993
“Studio Artists’ Critique,” Atlanta College of Art, Department of Continuing Education, Atlanta, September-December 1993
“Dennis Oppenheim,” High Museum of Art, Atlanta, March 1993
“Faces and Facets of Multiculturalism,” Atlanta College of Art, Department of Continuing Education, Atlanta, September-December 1992
“The New York Art Market,” Hampshire College, Amherst, MA, December 1991
“David Hammons,” Hampshire College, Amherst, MA, December 1991