Old Masters, New World: America's Raid on Europe's Great Pictures [NOOK Book]

Overview

A spellbinding account of the rapacious pursuit of the most exquisite paintings in the world

In the Gilded Age, newly wealthy and culturally ambitious Americans began to compete for Europe's extraordinary Old Master pictures, causing a major migration of art across the Atlantic. Old Masters, New World is a backstage look at the cutthroat competition, financial maneuvering, intrigue, and double-dealing often involved in these purchases, not to ...
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Old Masters, New World: America's Raid on Europe's Great Pictures

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Overview

A spellbinding account of the rapacious pursuit of the most exquisite paintings in the world

In the Gilded Age, newly wealthy and culturally ambitious Americans began to compete for Europe's extraordinary Old Master pictures, causing a major migration of art across the Atlantic. Old Masters, New World is a backstage look at the cutthroat competition, financial maneuvering, intrigue, and double-dealing often involved in these purchases, not to mention the seductive power of the ravishing paintings that drove these collectors-including financier J. Pierpont Morgan, sugar king H. O. Havemeyer, Boston aesthete Isabella Stewart Gardner, and industrialist Henry Clay Frick. Packed with stunning reproductions, this is an ideal gift book for art lovers and history buffs alike.


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this vividly narrated and highly informative study, Saltzman (The Portrait of Dr. Gachet), a former reporter for Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, examines American collectors like Henry Clay Frick and J. Pierpont Morgan who developed America's great Old Master collections, like those at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Banker and railroad magnate Henry Marquand gave 50 Old Masters to the Met, among them Vermeer's Young Woman with a Water Pitcher. Marquand believed in the museum's capacity to educate the public, while Gardner and Morgan modeled themselves after Renaissance patrons. A Gainsborough and Raphael were among Morgan's cultural conquests in a "vast, encyclopedic collecting project." Gardner's passion for Italian Renaissance art and her complicated relationship with Renaissance specialist Bernard Berenson, who arranged for the acquisition of the most important work in her collection, Titian's Rape of Europa, is one of the book's highlights. Saltzman deftly demonstrates that the often highly competitive process and volatile acquisition of "cultural capital" by dealers and their eager employers gives fascinating and important insight into the often fraught fusion of culture and commodity that built world-class American collections. Photos. (Aug. 18)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440633959
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/14/2008
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 496,270
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author


A former reporter for Forbes and The Wall Street Journal, Cynthia Saltzman earned degrees in art history at Harvard and Berkeley. She currently resides with her family in Brooklyn, New York.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction 1

Pt. 1 The Collectors

I "American Citizen... Patron of Art": Henry Gurdon Marquand and van Dyck's Portrait of James Stuart 11

II "C'est Mon Plaisir": Isabella Stewart Gardner, Bernard Berenson, Otto Gutekunst, and Titian's Europa 45

III "Mr. Morgan Still Seems to Be Going on His Devouring Way": J. Pierpont Morgan, Raphael's Colonna Madonna, Gainsborough's Georgiana, Reynolds's Lady Elizabeth Deline, and Lawrence's Elizabeth Farren 93

IV "Greco's Merit Is That He Was Two Centuries Ahead of His Time": Mary Cassatt, Harry and Louisine Havemeyer, Spain, and El Greco 109

V "A Picture for a Big Price": Henry Clay Frick, Charles Carstairs, Otto Gutekunst, and the Ilchester Rembrandt 145

Pt. 2 The Painting Boom

VI "Octopus and Wrecker Duveen": Joseph Duveen Enters the Old Master Market 199

VII "Highest Prizes of the Game of Civilization": Holbein's Christina of Denmark, Rembrandt's Polish Rider, Velazquez's Philip IV, Three Vermeers, and Record Prices 213

VIII "Thanks Not in [the] Market at Present": Bellini's St. Francis and Falling Prices 231

Pt. 3 The Great War and the Picture Market

IX "If This War Goes On, Many Things Will Be for Sale": Old Master Spoils 241

X The Feast of the Gods: Bellini and Titian's Masterpiece Comes on the Market 253

Epilogue 261

Acknowledgments 267

Notes 271

Bibliography 309

Index 325

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