The figure, the object of passion

The figure, the object of passion

Two collections at the Met and Morgan

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“The artist’s hand – a sign of civilization,” – said Eugene Thaw (Eugene Thaw), whole life collecting patterns and recently submitted this collection – more than 400 sheets – the Library and Museum Morgan, and marks a new exhibition called “Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings From the Thaw Collection”.

Of Mantegna. The three saints. In The Library Of Morgan

150 of the best, exceptionally interesting works, from the Renaissance to the XX century: Mantegna, Carpaccio, Rubens, Rembrandt, Goya, Tiepolo, Canaletto, Watteau, Fragonard, gorgeous collection of French masters of the XIX century (Delacroix, géricault, Daumier, to Victor Hugo and cézanne), Turner, van Gogh (some letters with pictures), twentieth century – from Picasso to Pollock.

It’s not even the names, as literally each sheet. The quality, Tou no money spared.

The most famous new York art dealer, he wanted to donate his collection to the Museum, rightly admiring the fact that there already was (“This is a collection not the biggest but the best”), and hoping this meeting complement. In 1975, noting that at that time the Library’s collection chronologically ended somewhere around the first decade of the nineteenth century, he began consistently to buy the drawings of the romantics, symbolists, and artists of the twentieth century, anticipating that eventually they will be donated to the Library.

Tou was born and grew up in Washington heights and studied at Columbia University, art history (“Parents dreamed that I will become the new Bernard Berenson,” he recalls, referring to the prominent historian of art), but realized that “the work of Professor somewhere in Iowa, where he had to deal with reproductions”, not for him, and engaged in buying and selling of works of art, opening in 1950, a gallery and a bookstore in the hotel “Algonquin”. Those were the years of abstract-expressionist boom, and the young dealer was enthusiastically engaged in contemporary art (later he would become the head of the Foundation Pollock-Krasner and co-author of the catalogue raisonné of Jackson Pollock), gradually moving in their purchases back centuries and honing your knowledge and your taste.

Things went well, the gallery moved Uptown to expensive, and soon was not needed: Tou, renowned for his talent to produce valuable works of art, became a private consultant.

His own collection began with the advice of his wife, Clare eddy (they married in 1954, lived together for over 60 years, she died this summer), not to sell the drawings, which were especially dear to him (and not always found). Finding treasures in different sources, he was especially famous for its acquisitions at the auction, which struggled desperately, pushing up thereby the prices, to the dismay of competitors: in 1980 bought a rare sheet Renaissance master Andrea Mantegna with three figures of saints for the sum, a record for drawings by this artist, and then put other auction records (including in 2001, buying one of the last drawings by Rembrandt in private hands).

“All these collectors want their collection to reflect their taste and accuracy assessment. But the main thing in this quest, collect items, exciting the eye and the mind and organize them, is the art of sharing…” – says the collector. He didn’t want to sell his collection, although many advised him to do it. He aspired to become known to a wider public.

As Robert Lehman, whose collection is known to everyone who comes to the Metropolitan Museum of art: his collection is in a special “wing of léman”, constructed in 1975 with the money collector and according to his desire: Lehman did not want to “spray” your gift in different departments of the Museum, preferring to at least part of it was located in the rooms that reminded him of his apartment.

Unlike Tou, Robert Lehman (1891-1969) and his collection is partially inherited (my parents began to collect works of art in 1905), although it has expanded incredibly. And though the figure is huge (750 sheets), but not the only part of it. Among 2600 of the collection “units” – more than 300 paintings (so valuable that in 1957, the Louvre Museum organized a special exhibition), sculpture, textiles and tapestries, Venetian glass and Renaissance majolica, enamel, and vintage frames. Do not forget more than 20,000 books, mainly dedicated to art…

Banker and grandson of founder of Lehman Brothers Robert Lehman was as Tou, the new Yorker. In 1913, he graduated from Yale University, and in 1925 succeeded his father, leading the family business. He confidently led his company through the great depression and subsequent crises, has expanded it and made one of the pillars of American and international financial life.

Not being a professional critic, Robert Lehman, however, was a true connoisseur of art that demonstrate more than 50 drawings, the exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum. It is not in the Department of figure on the second floor, and in the “Lehman wing” called “From Leonardo to Matisse”. There is also a lot of famous names, but because chronologically it starts before, a lot of pictures of masters anonymous. The exhibitions complement each other, each tracing the history of the genre (although in the Library the Morgan is made better) and, no less importantly, the history of the collection and collector.

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