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(b Baden, nr Vienna, May 16, 1843; d Vienna, Feb 22, 1927).

Austrian collector. During the late 19th century he assembled an extensive collection of approximately 6000 works of art, primarily from the medieval and Renaissance periods, most of which were in an excellent state of preservation. His collection was considered to be one of the most comprehensive in Austria before World War II. As well as simple but skilfully crafted objects for domestic and ecclesiastical use, there were pieces of higher quality, including metalwork, ivories, tapestries and ecclesiastical objects. The collection was particularly noted for its fine chairs. The paintings represented the major European schools, with the greatest concentration on the period from the 15th century to the early 16th. The most significant painting was Hieronymus Bosch’s Vagabond (c. 1510; Rotterdam, Mus. Boymans–van Beuningen;. After Figdor’s death in 1927, his niece and heiress Margarete Becker-Walz was forbidden by a newly enacted Austrian law to export and sell the collection, except in its entirety. She eventually sold its entire contents to the art dealer ...

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Laurence B. Kanter and Patrick Le Chanu

American family of bankers and collectors. Philip Lehman (b New York, 9 Nov 1861; d New York, 21 March 1947) was director of Lehman Brothers, an investment banking firm, and initially began collecting early Italian Renaissance paintings. His purchases were particularly extensive between 1914 and 1920 when he bought Renaissance ceramics, furniture, tapestries, and such paintings as Memling’s Annunciation (1482; New York, Met.). Bernard Berenson numbered among his friends. Philip’s son Robert Lehman (b New York, 29 Sept 1892; d New York, 9 Aug 1969) was already an enthusiastic collector while a student at Yale University, New Haven, CT (graduated 1913). In 1928 he published a catalogue of the paintings collected by his father and became head of Lehman Brothers investment bankers. He retained this post for over 40 years, turning the firm into one of the pillars of the economy and of American culture. Its headquarters were moved in ...

Article

Jaynie Anderson

(b Dresden, Jan 7, 1847; d Lugano, Aug 25, 1937).

German art historian, collector and dealer. The son of a Lutheran clergyman, he first studied theology at Leipzig but while travelling in Italy in 1869 became interested in early Christian archaeology, in which field he determined to continue. His first publications were on the sources of Byzantine art history and the mosaics of Ravenna. In 1876 he met Giovanni Morelli, whose disciple he became. Their lengthy correspondence constitutes an important source for the early history of connoisseurship. Richter published a short biography of Leonardo in 1880, then a series of articles in the Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst and finally his edition of the Literary Works of Leonardo (1883), the work that established his reputation as a scholar. This was the first scholarly edition of Leonardo’s writings, illustrated, moreover, with a selection of mostly authentic drawings at a time when books on Leonardo were normally illustrated by his pupils’ works....

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b New York, Aug 22, 1913; d New York, May 26, 1987).

American psychiatrist and collector. He began to collect art after graduating from medical school and during the 1940s sought medieval and early Renaissance paintings as well as Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works. He also actively supported contemporary American painters. In 1950 he began to collect Asian art. At first interested in Chinese ceramics, he later turned also to Chinese bronzes, jades and sculptures, as well as to Near Eastern and Indian sculptures and paintings. He bequeathed a vast proportion of his Asian collections to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, where he assisted with funding the construction of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. The Gallery, which contains Sackler’s Chinese, South Asian, South-east Asian and West Asian collections, constitutes the basis of the museum’s holdings of Asian Art. He died a few months before the Gallery was opened to the public.

Obituary, New York Times (27 May 1987)R. W. Bagley: Shang Ritual Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections...