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Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector by…

Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector

by Louisine W. Havemeyer

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Louisine W. Havemeyer's memoir is a rare glimpse into the life of one of the American Gilded Age's greatest art collectors. As a boarding school student in Paris in 1874, she met artist Mary Cassatt, who became her lifelong friend and advisor. By the time she was 22, she had acquired works by Pissarro and Monet, one of the first Americans to take an interest in these artists. After her marriage in 1883 to the "sugar king, " Henry O. Havemeyer, the couple bought Asian art in quantity and Old Master and Barbizon paintings. In the 1890s, they would return to Mrs. Havemeyer's initial enthusiasm: modern French painting. They formed major collections of the works of Corot, Courbet, Manet, Degas, and Monet. Mrs. Havemeyer also describes their passion for El Greco and Goya. She relates encounters with other great collectors such as Henry Clay Frick, Charles Lang Freer, and Isabella Stewart Gardner, as well as her relationship with famed art dealers such as Paul Durand-Ruel and Ambroise Vollard.
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