James M. (Jim) Collier was born in Bellingham, Washington, in the Pacific Northwest. He was trained as an art historian, having completed his doctorate (Ph.D.) at the University of Michigan and having served as a tenured professor and art department head at Auburn University.


Essentially self taught as a painter, Collier took up painting full time in 1987 when he left his teaching post to join his wife in New York City and to improve his skills at the National Academy of Design. His interest in perspective and its application in the visual arts has deep roots as even as a child in kindergarten his teacher noted that he had “an unusual awareness of perspective compared to his peers.” His doctoral dissertation focused on the linkage between Italian Renaissance and Early Netherlandish perspective.


Having been an American Field Service exchange student in the Netherlands, Jim Collier moved to Amsterdam in 1990 and has since attained dual citizenship. His urban landscapes, portraits and figurative work is represented in private collections in the U.S. as well as the Netherlands, Italy, England, Norway and Thailand. He has shown in solo and group exhibitions in various parts of America, the Netherlands and Italy, and he is one of a select few Americans whose work was represented at the 1986 Biennale in Venice. His work has been published both as an artist and as a scholar.


Collier’s inspiration is the world of visual reality. His work always reflects a selective view of things based upon careful empirical observation, and is never the result of artificial means such as photographic projection, which is a common practice among contemporary realists.