“I had the honor to see the wonderful collection of Fabian and have the opportunity to photograph a number of specimens from it. For a mineral photographer, the collection is a true joy and inspiration. The number and diversity of highly aesthetic, carefully selected, specimens is overwhelming, unlike in any other collection I have ever seen. You could spend weeks shooting the specimens and still you wouldn’t capture everything.”
Pala International, USA
“I have traveled the world extensively for more than 50 years. I love visiting private mineral collections as well as the great natural history museums in most major cities. In late June I had the
happy surprise of visiting the Wildfang collection gallery with my son Will and friend Mark Kaufman.
Fabian was cautiously underplaying what we were about to see but when he opened the vault doors the beauty from within was obvious. In two lovely rooms some 800 minerals are aesthetically arranged in 20 cabinets. The rooms are climate controlled although our pulses were increased. A lovely soundtrack specially composed for quiet contemplation cascaded down upon us. And the well selected and beautifully displayed crystals are stunningly beautiful.
The result is Wildfang museum memory is a highlight; even when comparing to major museum displays, as the British or American museums of natural history.”
Jürgen and Christian Margraf
Margraf Minerals, Germany
"What an explosion of colors! Whoever has the chance to visit this beautiful exhibition will be completely thrilled from the beauty of these treasures of nature. We were lucky to see the museum several times and experience Fabian’s hospitality. Such a selection of world class mineral specimens is very rarely offered in public museums in Europe. Fabian, keep going and follow your great idea, to make this treasury accessible to the general public. You are doing a great and necessary work for our beautiful hobby!"
Fine Art Minerals, Pakistan
"Fabian's fabulous collection! It was in June 2018 when I was supposed to deliver a few of his purchased minerals and he invited me to visit his private collection and I had no idea I'd find this museum so interesting. I have been to many museums around the world and this is by far the best among them all. The beauty in the minerals displayed and the richness of the collection, the info, the visual delight, the ambiance of the set up was fantastic. A truly remarkable museum that is a feast for the eyes. I would highly recommend a visit to this wonderful museum. You will be blown away."
Pala International, USA
"Fabian Wildfang invited me to visit his collection and finally in 2019 I was able to visit him after the Saint Marie Aux Mines Show with my father. Dad and I have been traveling together since I was a very young boy. He’s taken me to many natural history museums all over the world - New York, Austria, England, the list goes on. Not to mention the private collections I’ve also had the privilege to visit as well. The Wildfang collection by far stands up to any collection I have seen. Many of the world class specimens cannot be seen anywhere else. The museum itself showcases over 800 specimens that are well lit and presented very professionally. The collection not only has many aesthetic beautiful specimens but also has depth. There are a great amount of wonderful rarities that are amazing for their species. I would highly recommend visiting this private museum if you love minerals! It is a destination I hope to visit again."
Dr. Rob Lavinsky
The Arkenstone, USA
"I remember when a German friend of mine told me that there was a serious "young collector(!)" he was mentoring in the southern reaches of Germany, who had acquired a much more refined artistic eye very quickly after starting with wanting "one of everything." Helmut Bruckner was somebody I trusted for quality from meeting him at Tucson over decades, an old guard member of the mineral community. He occasionally bought a piece from me to go to this mysterious collector. One year, he told me that the collector had outgrown his ability in his retirement to supply him a few pieces time to time, and suggested I visit Fabian myself after I met at Munich in passing. Little did I know, what to expect! Since that time, I have seen Fabian continually upgrade the collection as a whole in both value and breadth, while retaining his love and clear passion for the actual minerals themselves - he acquires a specimen because he likes a piece, not because of its value or because a dealer or book tells him it is "superb" or "important." He developed his own eye, and stayed the course - and now the breadth of the collection reflects the emphasis on beauty and shape. Suddenly suites emerge from the sum total, and lend ideas and shape to displays of color or species that become informative (which obviously is Fabian's excuse for playing in his rock room and moving pieces from case to case all the time!) However, through the seemingly random accumulation of beauty and diversity, and the emergence of these suites, comes also the inspiration to think about origins and the science of how these formed. Much like we are doing in Dallas with the Perot Musuem of Nature and Science, and what I have done with my own collection of Chinese minerals, I can see that Fabian has drifted down the road of developing a display style that helps teach and inspire people about nature and about this art class. Through the beauty, he can make a resource to open people's eyes, and share what we see in these treasures of nature."
Dr. Paul Rustemeyer
"It is always an absolute pleasure to spend a day studying and photographing Fabian's collection pieces - which are certainly among the best in the world. Of course, I'm especially pleased that you can experience so many color tourmalines from all corners of the world at Fabian's. I definitely have to come again." (translated from German)
Fine Minerals International, USA
"The Fabian Wildfang Collection is spectacular and unlike many other collections being curated in todays modern collecting community. But before I go on and on about the minerals, what seems an important detail that can be overshadowed by the beauty of the minerals themselves is the beauty and intelligence of the man behind them. Fabian is one of those people whom if you have the opportunity to spend time with you immediately realize you are the lucky one. He is incredibly intelligent which can be easily appreciated after a short conversation. He has a wealth of knowledge in both the affairs of life and business which he shares generously. He swims freely in and out of languages like a native and is full of wit and good heartedness. He is always kind, and a true gentleman. So if you find yourself viewing his collection, don’t get blinded alone by the wonderful minerals but give a nod to the man behind them.
Fabian has been a passionate collector since his adolescence and in the last two decades he has really embraced his passion and focused on building a collection that is driven by one overarching characteristic; aesthetics. Viewing his collection is a true joy because it is not built by what so many of today’s trophy collectors are focused on. It has an underlining tone that focuses on character, whimsy, form and unlikely juxtaposition. The minerals he chooses are not the biggest beryls or largest golds, but rather they are objects that are themselves memorable, special in a way that leaves you smiling. If you ever have the chance to see his collection you will understand what I am trying to describe, which is a challenge to do in words. So many of the examples have a certain something, the forces your mind to wonder and your mouth to blurt out wow repeatedly. As a collector it is a challenge to be disciplined enough to form a suite of specimens that come from the world over and generally possess any unifying characteristic. It would be impossible to have a collection as large as the Wildfang Collection where every object reaches the pinnacle of this aesthetic level. But Fabian has quite possibly assembled more of these similar treasures in one place than any other collection. And with keeping his eye on quality, variety, and aesthetics the collection is simply profound. If you ever have the opportunity to visit the collection you will immediately understand what I am trying to describe and similarly know at once that you are lucky to be in such fine company."
"Already some years ago an article in a mineral magazine caught my eye, in which an American dealer explained to the audience on the basis of a criteria catalog, how a specimen would have to look like. Which criteria it would have to fulfill, in order to be "worth collecting" - my first thought was: how boring. If you really took that seriously, every collection would look the same. In addition, I observe the development that people without much relation to mineralogy simply build up a showcase of 50 to 100 pieces with maximum financial effort, there are then the usual suspects: a tourmaline from Brazil, a gold from California, an aquamarine from Pakistan, etc. - investment is called that today. I call it an accumulation. And to say it right away - who visits Fabian Wildfang, experiences a real COLLECTION.
With great enthusiasm Fabian Wildfang collects tourmalines - and far beyond the known localities. But even from these big names like Pederneira or Paprok he was not satisfied with the usual, to be
expected pieces, rather the whole diversity of such localities reveals itself in all its colors, crystal forms and parageneses. One sees things of which one did not know that they were found there,
one sees specimens of breathtaking quality, but also curiosities like etched and scepter-like crystals, one gets to see color varieties that are almost unseen from a certain locality - simply said,
there is no end to the amazement. Tourmalines alone are the best example of what makes a real collection - nature is not subject to man-made criteria and on the shelves of Wildfang's collection, this
infinite variety is already revealed by this one mineral.
But this is not the end of the matter - another mineral, which stands out like almost no other by 7 different crystal forms and inexhaustible combination possibilities with other minerals, as well as by all colors of the rainbow, is the Fluorite - and also this mineral is offered a wide space in the collection. From fantastic Illinois specimens to red octahedrons from the Alps to impressive pieces from China and Russia, an enormous spectrum can be found here as well.
Who is looking for the great European classics will not be disappointed - besides ore specimens from Romania, rarities from Greece and Hungary, pyromorphites from Les Farges and azurites from Chessy can be found. The fan of copper minerals gets his money worth with a rich selection of Tsumeb minerals, a whole layer of Rhodochrosites from South Africa and Colorado is missing as well as an extensive Alpine collection with breathtaking Titanites, Gwindels on Matrix, one of the most beautiful Epidote from the Knappenwand known to me and much more - whoever thought Alpine collections consist mainly of quartz and are colorless, will be disabused here.
It would go beyond the scope of this article to list all the areas of discovery and minerals that can be found in the showcases of the collection - but no part of the collection consists of simple specimens. With an unbelievable care, a distinctive eye for aesthetics, with a lot of patience, experience and expertise, a spectacular collection was put together over decades and also presented in the best possible way. The viewer is presented with diversity at the highest level of quality and in exquisite aesthetics, the contemplation makes you forget the time and the impressions taken away enrich your own perspective and your own collecting activities immensely. Moreover, the collection is so extensive that even after the fifth or tenth visit, new pieces, new details can always be discovered. I can only advise every collector - even if you have a long journey - definitely take a look, the visit to this museum is worth it!" (translated from German)