This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page . (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)
Joseph Duveen, 1st Baron Duveen (14 October 1869, Hull – 25 May 1939, London), known as Sir Joseph Duveen, Bt., between 1927 and 1933, was a controversial British art dealer, considered one of the most influential art dealers of all time.
Joseph Duveen was British by birth, the eldest of thirteen children of Rosetta (Barnett) and Sir Joseph Joel Duveen, a Dutch Jewish immigrant who had set up a prosperous import business in Hull.[ citation needed ] The Duveen Brothers firm became very successful and became involved in trading antiques. Duveen Senior died in 1908; Joseph took over the business, working in partnership with his late father's brother Henry J. Duveen. He had received a thorough and stimulating education at University College School. He moved the Duveen company into the risky, but lucrative, trade in paintings and quickly became one of the world's leading art dealers due to his good eye, sharpened by his reliance on Bernard Berenson, and skilled salesmanship.
His success is famously attributed to his observation that "Europe has a great deal of art, and America has a great deal of money." He made his fortune by buying works of art from declining European aristocrats and selling them to the millionaires of the United States. Duveen's clients included Henry Clay Frick, William Randolph Hearst, Henry E. Huntington, Samuel H. Kress, Andrew Mellon, J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller Sr., Edward T. Stotesbury, and a Canadian, Frank Porter Wood. The works that Duveen shipped across the Atlantic remain the core collections of many of the United States' most famous museums. Duveen played an important role in selling to self-made industrialists on the notion that buying art was also buying upper-class status. He greatly expanded the market, especially for Renaissance paintings with the help of Bernard Berenson, who certified some questionable attributions, but whose ability to put an artistic personality behind paintings helped market them to purchasers whose dim perception of art history was as a series of biographies of "masters."
Duveen quickly became enormously wealthy and made many philanthropic donations. He donated paintings to British galleries and gave considerable sums to repair and expand several galleries and museums. Amongst other things, he built the Duveen Gallery of the British Museum to house the Elgin Marbles, whose ownership is the subject of international controversy, and funded a major extension of the Tate Gallery. The Duveen Gallery also provides the setting for official Museum receptions over wine and cheese, for which the Marbles provide a nice backdrop. It was in the Duveen Gallery that the Elgin Marbles were damaged in a series of incidents, including one in 1961 when two schoolboys knocked off a part of a centaur's leg.The dark Duveen Gallery is in marked contrast with the natural sunlight characteristic of Athens, and the Gallery's preceived inappropriateness has been advanced as an argument in favour of the restitution of the Marbles to Greece, where they can be reunited with the rest of the monument and displayed in the Acropolis Museum, in the natural sunlight of Athens, aligned with and in full view of the Parthenon.
For his philanthropy, he was knighted in 1919, made a Baronet of Millbank in the City of Westminster in 1927and raised to the peerage as Baron Duveen of Millbank in the City of Westminster on 3 February 1933.
Duveen married Elsie (1881–1963), daughter of Gustav Salomon of New York, on 31 July 1899. They had a daughter, Dorothy Rose (1903–1985). She married, firstly, Sir William Francis Cuthbert Garthwaite, DSC 2nd Bt. (1906–1993), on 23 July 1931 (div. 1937), and secondly, in 1938, Bryan Hartop Burns, B.A., B.Ch., F.R.C.S., Orthopædic Surgeon to St. George's Hospital, of Upper Wimpole Street, London.
In 1921, Duveen was sued by Andrée Hahn for $500,000 after making comments questioning the authenticity of a version of the Leonardo painting La belle ferronnière that she owned and had planned to sell.The case took seven years to come to trial and after the first jury returned an open verdict, Duveen agreed to settle, paying Hahn $60,000 plus court costs.
In recent years, Duveen's reputation has suffered considerably. Restorers working under his guidance damaged Old Master panel paintings by scraping off old varnish and giving the paintings a glossy finish. He was also personally responsible for the damaging restoration work done to the Elgin Marbles. [ citation needed ]A number of the paintings he sold have turned out to be fakes; it is uncertain whether he knew this when they were sold.
Duveen greatly increased the trade in bringing great works of art from Europe to America. He eventually became "the art dealer", through shrewd planning and his insight into human behavior. If a great painting came onto the market, he had to have it no matter what. He always outbid the opposition and eventually acquired the finest collections. He went to great lengths to purchase great works of art and his network went well beyond American millionaires, English royalty, and art critics. He also relied heavily on valets, maids and butlers of his own household and those of his clients. Because he was capable of making potentially generous payments to top-flight servants, he was often rewarded with information to which other art dealers never had access.
One incident from Behrman's biography, Duveen, illustrates this. When Duveen was still a young man in his father's employment, a well-to-do couple came into the store to buy tapestries. As the lady was choosing and picking up pieces generously, Duveen's father discreetly asked him to find out who these people were. Duveen went outside to the horseman and was told that the couple were Mr and Mrs. Guinness. Duveen wrote their names and slipped it on a piece of paper to his father, when the lady was almost finished she innocently asked "We are buying so many tapestries, you must be wondering why?" Duveen's father immediately beamed and said "Of course not, Lady Guinness, you have so many beautiful homes, you will need more than one tapestry to decorate them!" The Guinnesses were subsequently ennobled in the 1890s; Duveen had successfully flattered Mrs Guinness by addressing her as "Lady Guinness".
Duveen played a large part in forming many of the collections that are now in American museums, for example the Frick Collection in New York, the Frank P. Wood collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Huntington Library, and the Mellon and Kress collections now in the National Gallery of Art in Washington and elsewhere. Duveen exploited his American clients' wish for immortality through buying great works of art, an ambition in which they were successful: today only economic historians can name the rich partners of Frick, Mellon or Morgan. One of his later clients was J. Paul Getty, who, though he was less interested in paintings, bought from Duveen the second Ardabil Carpet. Duveen had always kept a stock of grand French furniture and tapestries in stock.
Duveen's portrait was painted by many artists, but his best painter-friend was the Swiss-born American artist Adolfo Müller-Ury (1862–1947), who painted him three times, in 1923, 1929 and 1938. The 1923 portrait was reproduced on the cover of Meryle Secrest's 2004 biography, and later sold at TEFAF Maastricht in 2006 for $95,000. Müller-Ury also painted a full-length standing portrait of his daughter Dorothy as a girl in 1914, and in 1924, at the time of her engagement, a bust-length portrait, which was exhibited the following year at Müller-Ury's exhibition at Duveen Brothers as 'Miss X'.
Lord Duveen died in May 1939 aged 69 and is buried in the Willesden United Synagogue Cemetery in London, UK. The baronetcy and barony became extinct upon his death.
According to The New Yorker , the character played by Adrien Brody in Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch is inspired by Duveen.
A popular Broadway play called Lord Pango starring Charles Boyer was staged in 1962 whose title character was clearly based on Duveen.
The Elgin Marbles, also known as the Parthenon Marbles, are a collection of Classical Greek marble sculptures made under the supervision of the architect and sculptor Phidias and his assistants. They were originally part of the temple of the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis of Athens. The collection is now on display in the British Museum, in the purpose-built Duveen Gallery.
Bernard Berenson was an American art historian specializing in the Renaissance. His book Drawings of the Florentine Painters was an international success. His wife Mary is thought to have had a large hand in some of the writings.
Adolfo Müller-Ury, KSG was a Swiss-born American portrait painter and impressionistic painter of roses and still life.
The Adoration of the Shepherds, sometimes still known as the Allendale Nativity, after a former owner, is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Giorgione, completed in about 1505 to 1510. The attribution is now usual, although not universal; the usual other view is that it is an early Titian. It is certainly a Venetian painting of that period. It is displayed in the National Gallery of Art of Washington, D.C., United States.
Benjamin Altman was a New York City department store owner and art collector who is best known today for his large art collection, which he donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Frank Porter Wood was a Canadian businessman and philanthropist. He is best remembered for his many gifts and bequests of artworks to the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.
Portrait of Isaak Abrahamsz. Massa is a 1626 painting by Frans Hals that is in the collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario. It depicts Isaac Massa, a prosperous merchant and a close friend of Hals. Massa was the subject of an earlier work by Hals – Isaak Abrahamsz Massa and Beatrix van der Lean – which also featured his wife. Massa would commission another portrait by Hals in 1635.
The Harvest Wagon is the name of two oil paintings by the English artist Thomas Gainsborough. The first version was completed around 1767 and is today owned by the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, in Birmingham, England. The second version was painted around 1784 and is now part of the collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario. The Toronto version is the better known of the two. It was donated to the AGO by Frank P Wood in 1941, and is one of the most prominent pieces in the gallery’s collection.
René Albert Gimpel was a prominent French art dealer of Alsatian Jewish descent who died in 1945 in Neuengamme concentration camp, near Hamburg, Germany. Friend and patron of living artists and collectors, he was the son of a picture dealer and the brother-in-law of Sir Joseph Duveen. His witty and acerbic journal, kept for twenty-one years and published posthumously as Journal d'un collectionneur: marchand de tableaux, with a preface by Jean Guéhenno of the Académie française, was translated and published in English as Diary of an Art Dealer (1966), and is a primary source for the history of modern art and of collecting between the World Wars.
Edward Solly was an English merchant living in Berlin, who amassed an unprecedented collection of Italian Trecento and Quattrocento paintings and outstanding examples of Early Netherlandish painting, at a time when those schools were still largely unappreciated. In 1821 Solly sold his collection of about 3000 works to the Prussian king; 677 of them formed a core of the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin. Solly acquired a second collection during his years in London after 1821. Solly is also credited for having undertaken a perilous journey to deliver the first news of Napoleon's defeat at the Battle of Leipzig to the English.
William "Billy" Suhr was an American art conservator who led the conservation department of the Frick Collection from 1935 to 1977.
Giovanni Battista Lusieri (1755–1821) was an Italian landscape painter from Naples. He was court painter to Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies before working for Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin and becoming involved in the removal and shipping of the Elgin Marbles to England.
Colnaghi is an art dealership in St James's, central London, England, which is the oldest commercial art gallery in the world, having been established in 1760.
Thomas Agnew & Sons is a fine arts dealer in London that began life as part of in a print and publishing partnership with Vittore Zanetti in Manchester in 1817 which ended in 1835, when Agnew took full control of the company. The firm opened its London gallery in 1860, where it soon established itself as one of Mayfair's leading dealerships. Since then Agnew's has held a pre-eminent position in the world of Old Master paintings. It also had a major role in the massive growth of a market for contemporary British art in the late 19th century. In 2013, after nearly two centuries of family ownership, Agnew's closed. The name was subsequently purchased privately and the gallery is now run by Lord Anthony Crichton-Stuart, a former head of Christie's Old Master paintings department, New York.
Henry Joseph Duveen was an art dealer who co-founded the firm of Duveen Brothers with his sibling, the first Sir Joseph Joel Duveen.
Kathryn Bache Miller was an American art collector and philanthropist.
Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zúñiga is a large full-length portrait in oil painted in 1787–88 by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya. It depicts a boy three or four years of age, standing in red clothes, with birds and cats. It is also known as Goya's "Red Boy". It was described by art historian Claus Virch in 1967 as "one of the most appealing and successful portraits of children ever painted, and also one of the most famous". The painting has been held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York since 1949.
Charles Carstairs was an American art dealer. Throughout his career, Carstairs encouraged American clients to invest in European Old Master paintings. He worked closely with industrial magnate Henry Clay Frick, and was responsible for Frick's acquisition of the 'Ilchester Rembrandt' in 1906. Carstairs also worked with Joseph Widener, an American art collector and founding benefactor of National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Arthur Joseph Sulley (1853-1930) was a London-based art dealer best known for selling Dutch Old Master paintings, including the record-setting Rembrandt van Rijn's The Mill.
Sir Joseph Joel Duveen was an art dealer and benefactor of art galleries. Born in the Netherlands, he and his brother Henry J. Duveen founded in Britain the firm of Duveen Brothers.