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Article

American, 19th century, male.

Born 21 February 1791, in New Haven (Connecticut); died 1858, in New Haven.

Sculptor.

Originally an art dealer, Hezekiah Augur did not start sculpting until after a bankruptcy. His work was noted and appreciated from the start and among his works is a bust of Washington. He was a honorary member of the Academy of Fine Arts in New York....

Article

American, 19th century, male.

Born 17 March 1822, in New York; died 11 August 1904, in New York.

Engraver.

When he became a publisher and art dealer in 1865, Samuel Putnam Avery completely gave up wood-engraving and confined himself to burin engraving.

Article

Bonhams  

Molly K. Dorkin

Auction house established in London 1793 by William Charles Bonham, a book dealer (also recorded as Walter Bonham), and George Jones, from a gallery founded by Thomas Dodd (1771–1850), a dealer in antiquarian prints. Bonhams originally specialized in sales of prints in the 18th and 19th centuries, at which time the market was robust. By the 19th century Bonhams was also holding sales of antiques, which were advertised in the London press alongside similar offerings from ...

Article

Simon Pepper

American industrialist and patron of Scottish birth. Aged 11, Andrew Carnegie immigrated with his parents to Allegheny, near Pittsburgh, PA, where he educated himself while working as an office messenger and telegraph operator, before rising to enormous wealth through railroads, oil, and the iron and steel industries. During his lifetime he gave more than $350 million to a variety of social, educational, and cultural causes, the best known being his support for public libraries, which he believed would provide opportunities for self-improvement without ‘any taint of charity’. Here communities had to pay for the building site and the books, and to commit at least 10 per cent of Carnegie’s initial gift in annual support. As Carnegie struggled to give away money—for ‘to die rich was to die disgraced’—music, fine art, archaeology, and technical schools also became beneficiaries, together with programmes for the education of minorities in recognition of civilian heroism and world peace (still a central concern of the Carnegie Foundation)....

Article

Sally Webster

American industrialist, collector, and museum creator. Frick received little formal education and went to work at an early age as a bookkeeper. By the early 1870s he had earnt enough money to buy up coke fields in Western Pennsylvania, processing the coke in his own ovens. In a few short years he was the major supplier of fuel for Pittsburgh’s iron and steel industries and by the time he was 30 had earned his first million. In celebration he travelled to Europe with Andrew Mellon who, in ...

Article

Lillian B. Miller and Margaret Barlow

American patron, collector, and museum founder. The daughter of a wealthy New York merchant and wife of a prominent Boston banker, John L. Gardner jr (1837–98), she bought her first important painting in 1873—a small landscape by the Barbizon painter Charles Jacque. (All works cited are in Boston, Isabella Stewart Gardner Mus.) In the 1870s she also began to collect rare books, manuscripts, autographs, and etchings, under the influence of Charles Eliot Norton. Although she continued to buy such pieces until her death, after the 1880s books took second place to art. During a trip to Europe in ...

Article

Darryl Patrick

American businessman and collector. The successful development of a chain of variety stores in the southern and western states provided the wealth necessary to fund his art collecting, and his frequent business and pleasure trips to Europe gave him access to art and art dealers. He started to acquire works of the Italian Renaissance, relying initially on the advice of the Florentine collector and dealer Conte ...

Article

Pamela H. Simpson

American financier and collector. Born to a wealthy family, Morgan grew up in Hartford and Boston, but moved to London in 1854 when his father, Junius, joined an Anglo-American merchant bank there. Educated in Switzerland and Germany, the younger Morgan, known as Pierpont, also learnt the family business first hand, serving an apprenticeship in New York. Over a period of three decades from the late 19th century to the early 20th, the Morgans provided the capital that a booming American economy needed, and created such a trusted name in banking that they could not only guarantee the stability of corporate investments, they even rescued the US government twice, once in ...

Article

Molly K. Dorkin

Auction house founded in London in 1796 by Harry Phillips (d 1840), formerly senior clerk to James Christie (1730–1803). Phillips’ inaugural sale of household furniture was held on 23 April 1796. The auctioneer soon distinguished himself by combining the skills he had learnt from observing Christie’s methods with a talent for ceremony and showmanship. Many of his innovations, such as holding lavish evening receptions for his clients and translating the business of sales into theatre, are widely employed by auction houses today. In his first year of business Phillips oversaw 12 auctions. He was soon charged with selling some of the most distinguished collections of the era, including those of Marie Antoinette, Stanisław II Poniatowski of Poland, and Napoleon Bonaparte. In ...