The Art of Wealth: The Huntingtons in the Gilded Age

Overview


The Art of Wealth provides a fresh perspective on the complicated mix of public and private motives and models that characterized art collecting and philanthropy in America in the early twentieth-century. The author focuses on four remarkable individuals: Collis Huntington, who started out as a peddler and went on to found a railroad empire; his second wife, Arabella, a woman of great intelligence and taste; her son, Archer, who devoted his life to creating and supporting museums; and Collis's nephew, Henry E. ...
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Overview


The Art of Wealth provides a fresh perspective on the complicated mix of public and private motives and models that characterized art collecting and philanthropy in America in the early twentieth-century. The author focuses on four remarkable individuals: Collis Huntington, who started out as a peddler and went on to found a railroad empire; his second wife, Arabella, a woman of great intelligence and taste; her son, Archer, who devoted his life to creating and supporting museums; and Collis's nephew, Henry E. Huntington, who built up an extraordinary foundation and then gave it to the public as an enduring legacy.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bennett, senior research associate at the Huntington Library, offers an engaging and unusual history of philanthropy in the U.S. The Gilded Age cast of characters is familiar; more surprising is their influence on art and tax laws. Collis P. Huntington was one of the era's “big four” railroad magnates. His nephew, Henry E. Huntington, founded the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gar-dens in San Marino, Calif. Arabella Huntington married both Collis, and, after Collis's death, Henry. Arabella's son, Archer, went on to found the Hispanic Museum. Though the men are better known, Arabella haunts the book. Often ostracized from society because of her first “marriage” to a gaming saloon operator, she survived as best she could given the times. Whether or not Collis fathered Archer while still married to his first wife, he nonetheless gave his mistress, Arabella, enough support for her to successfully invest and build her own wealth before they married. Arabella skillfully oversaw the building and decorating of the numerous Huntington estates, both in the U.S. and in France, and se-cured the family's philanthropic legacy. Filled with photographs of the family's exquisite art collection, the book expertly brings to life a remarkable family of the early 20th-century. 83 color illus., 136 b&w photos. (Aug.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780873282536
  • Publisher: Huntington Library Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2013
  • Pages: 366
  • Sales rank: 595,205
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author


Shelley M. Bennett is Senior Research Associate at the Huntington Library.
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