By Stanley Mazaroff
In 1857, George A. Lucas, a tender Baltimorean who used to be fluent in French and enamored of French paintings, arrived in Paris. There, he confirmed an intensive own community of celebrated artists and paintings purchasers, turning into the fundamental French connection for American creditors. the main awesome factor approximately Lucas was once now not the artwork that he received for his consumers (who integrated William and Henry Walters, the founders of the Walters artwork Museum, and John Taylor Johnston, the founding president of the Metropolitan Museum of paintings) however the titanic choice of 18,000 work, drawings, sculptures, and etchings, in addition to 1,500 books, journals, and different assets approximately French artists, that he got for himself. work via Cabanel, Corot, and Daubigny, prints by means of Whistler, Manet, and Cassatt, and portfolios of knowledge approximately countless numbers of French artists stuffed his condo and spilled into the adjoining flat of his mistress.
Based totally on Lucas’s notes and diaries, in addition to hundreds of thousands of different archival files, Stanley Mazaroff’s A Paris existence, A Baltimore Treasure tells the attention-grabbing tale of ways Lucas introduced jointly the main celebrated French artists with the main in demand and prosperous American creditors of the time. It additionally information how, nearing the tip of his existence, Lucas struggled to discover a destiny domestic for his assortment, ultimately giving it to Baltimore’s Maryland Institute. with no the skill to deal with the gathering, the Institute loaned it to the Baltimore Museum of paintings, the place many of the artwork was once put in garage and disappeared from public view. yet in 1990, whilst the Institute proposed to public sale or differently promote the gathering, it rose from obscurity, reached new glory as an irreplaceable cultural treasure, and have become the topic of an epic conflict fought out and in of court docket that captivated public consciousness and enflamed the passions of paintings enthusiasts and museum officers around the nation.
A Paris lifestyles, A Baltimore Treasure is a richly illustrated portrayal of Lucas's interesting existence as an agent, gourmet, and collector of French mid-nineteenth-century paintings. And, as published within the ebook, following Lucas's demise, his huge, immense assortment persevered to have a colourful lifetime of its personal, proposing new demanding situations to museum officers in learning, keeping, exhibiting, and eventually saving the gathering as a tremendous and intrinsic a part of the tradition of our time.
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A Paris Life, A Baltimore Treasure by Stanley Mazaroff