John Hechinger, Sr. helped pioneer the do-it-yourself industry. From a single hardware store established by his father in 1911, Hechinger grew to a 64-store chain by the time it acquired Virginia Beach, Virginia-based HQ Home Quarters Warehouse in December 1987 for $66 million. In the 1990s it underwent a massive expansion of both HQ and the Hechinger Co. divisions, opening big-box stores to better compete with rivals Home Depot and Lowe’s.
The Hechinger Collection was born in 1978, when Hechinger Sr. found his new company headquarters efficient but sterile. He began collecting art that highlighted the company’s very livelihood and displayed it throughout the building to inspire employees. Today the collection includes over 350 works by 240 leading 20th century masters and emerging artists. Spanning a wide range of media, styles, and themes, the collection celebrates the dignity of common tools and the intrinsic beauty of their design, where form and function are often inextricably linked.