Lecture: "Europe has a great deal of art, and America has a great deal of money": Joseph Duveen and the Building of The Huntington Art Collections

Catherine Hess, Chief Curator of European Arts, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
February 7, 2015

Art dealer Joseph Duveen’s observation, included in the title to this lecture, reveals the simple truth that was the secret to success. By facilitating the exchange of European art for American money, Duveen became wealthy, Gilded Age patrons accumulated collections of art, and, when this art found its way into the country’s nascent cultural institutions, the American art museum was born. Rather than seeking an overarching plan—which appears to be nonexistent—Hess examines anecdotal data regarding Henry E. Huntington’s purchases from Duveen to illuminate Huntington’s approach to building what was to become one of the first art museums in California.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Lock, Stock and Barrel: Norton Simon’s Purchase of Duveen Brothers Gallery.