Louisine Havemeyer

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Louisine Havemeyer
Portrait of Havemeyer by Mary Cassatt
Louisine Waldron Elder

(1855-07-28)July 28, 1855
New York, New York
DiedJanuary 6, 1929(1929-01-06) (aged 73)
New York, New York
OccupationPhilanthropist, Suffragist
Henry Osborne Havemeyer
(m. 1883)
Louisine Havemeyer and her Daughter Electra, 1895 pastel on paper by Mary Cassatt. Collection of Shelburne Museum Cassatt Electra Havemeyer and mother.jpg
Louisine Havemeyer and her Daughter Electra, 1895 pastel on paper by Mary Cassatt. Collection of Shelburne Museum

Louisine Waldron Elder Havemeyer (July 28, 1855 – January 6, 1929) was an art collector, feminist, and philanthropist. In addition to being a patron of impressionist art, she was one of the more prominent contributors to the suffrage movement in the United States. The impressionist painter Edgar Degas and feminist Alice Paul were among the renowned recipients of the benefactor's support.



Louisine Waldron Elder was born in New York City on July 28, 1855, to a merchant George W. Elder (1831–1873) and his wife, Matilda Adelaide Waldron (1834–1907). She was the second of four children: Anne Eliza Elder, later Mrs. Henry Norcross Munn (1853–1917), Adaline Deliverance Mapes Elder, later Mrs. Samuel Twyford Peters (1859–1943), and brother George Waldron Elder (1860–1916).

Life in Paris

Shortly after her father's death, Louisine Elder and her family travelled to Europe for a three-year stay. They set sail on May 25, 1873, aboard the S.S. Calabria, accompanied by their extended family, aunt Amanda McCready and family, and cousin Mary Mapes Dodge, the editor of St. Nicholas Magazine and author of Hans Brinker; or the Silver Skates . [1] Mary Mapes Dodge's sister Sophie Mapes Tolles was living in Paris with her friend Emily Sartain, studying art in the atelier of Evariste Luminais and boarding in the pensionnat of Mme. Del Sarte, widow of François Del Sarte, famed teacher of the art of expression. Louisine and her sister Addie joined Sophie Mapes Tolles and Emily Sartain in boarding at Mme. Del Sarte's, and it was during this time that Emily Sartain introduced Louisine to Mary Cassatt. [2] Fellow Philadelphians, Cassatt and Sartain had studied together at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in the early 1860s and travelled to Europe together in the fall of 1871. [3] During this time, Mary Cassatt took Louisine Elder under her wing, becoming a mentor and encouraging her to make her first art acquisition, a pastel by Edgar Degas. [4] As time passed, particularly after Louisine married Henry O. Havemeyer, Cassatt became an advisor to the Havemeyers, helping to build their art collection and facilitating the working relationship which they would have with the Impressionist Artists, including Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Camille Pissarro and Claude Monet. A lifelong friendship developed between Louisine Havemeyer and Mary Cassatt, who later made several pastels of Louisine and her children.

Art collection

Together with her husband, Louisine would build perhaps the finest art collection in America. Her three-story mansion at Fifth Avenue and East 66th Street in New York was filled with the finest possible examples of works by Manet, El Greco, Rembrandt, and Corot. The home was decorated 1889-1890 by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Samuel Colman, who made it an elegant showplace for their patron's varied and important collections. [5] Henry Clay Frick, J.P. Morgan, and Mrs. Isabella Stewart Gardner were among the collectors with which Mr. and Mrs. Havemeyer would have known and competed.

Family life

On August 22, 1883, a decade after her father's death, Louisine married Henry O. Havemeyer of the American Sugar Refining Company.*

Louisine and Henry Osborne had three children:

*(Prior to his marriage to Louisine, Henry had been married to Louisine's aunt Mary Louise Elder (1847–1897), but that marriage ended in divorce.)


In addition to her standing as an early and important collector of Impressionist art, Louisine Havemeyer was an advocate of women's rights.

Policeman in Syracuse welcoming Louisine Havemeyer on the arrival of the Prison Special in 1919. Louisine havemeyer prison special.jpg
Policeman in Syracuse welcoming Louisine Havemeyer on the arrival of the Prison Special in 1919.

Suffrage activist

After her husband's death in 1907, Mrs. Havemeyer focused her attention on the women's suffrage movement. In 1912 she lent her artistic collection to Knoedler's Gallery in New York to raise money for the cause. [6] In 1913, she founded the National Woman's Party with the radical suffragist Alice Paul. (The organization was previously known as the "Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage".) She repeated the money raising art exhibition at Knoedler's in 1915. [6]

With the financial backing of Mrs. Havemeyer and others like her, Ms. Paul launched an increasingly confrontational series of protests that agitated for the right to vote. Paul's most famous efforts were the 1913 National Suffrage Parade, which produced a riot on the eve of President Woodrow Wilson's first inauguration and, as a member of the Silent Sentinels, the wartime picketing of the White House. During the latter, Paul used portions of the President's speeches heralding the defense of democracy in Europe which she masterfully contrasted with the denial of liberty to American women. When jailed for obstructing traffic in 1917, she hunger struck, bringing tremendous pressure to bear on the Congress and Wilson Administration. The Nineteenth Amendment, which extended voting rights to women, was debated by Congress, gained the necessary 2/3 votes in 1919, was sent to the states for ratification, and gained the necessary 3/4 of states ratifying in 1920.

Louisine Havemeyer became a well-known suffragist, publishing two articles about her work for the cause in Scribner's Magazine . The first, entitled "The Prison Special: Memories of a Militant", appeared in May 1922, and the other, "The Suffrage Torch: Memories of a Militant" appeared in June the same year. [7] In 1912 and 1915, Mrs. Havemeyer organized exhibitions of art works from her collection at Knoedler Gallery to raise funds to support suffrage efforts. [8] She participated in marches, much to the dismay of her children [ citation needed ], down New York's famed Fifth Avenue and addressed a standing room only audience at Carnegie Hall upon the completion of a nationwide speaking tour. A famous photograph of Mrs. Havemeyer shows her with an electric torch, similar in design to that of the Statue of Liberty, among other prominent suffragists. Her attempt to burn an effigy of President Wilson outside the White House in 1919 drew national attention.

After a period of failing health, Mrs. Havemeyer died in 1929. Mrs. Havemeyer is interred at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. The terms of her will left a few choice paintings to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The final bequest, made possible by the generosity of her children, included nearly two-thousand works that enrich nearly every segment of the museum's collections.

Many Tiffany pieces from her Fifth Avenue home, including a magnificent peacock mantelpiece decoration, and a chandelier are on permanent display at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. [9] A portion of the Music Room furniture suite is on view at the Shelburne Museum. [10]

Family legacy

Louisine's children would continue to build upon their family's legacy as art collectors. Louisine's daughter Electra Havemeyer Webb collected American fine and folk paintings and sculpture that helped to found the Shelburne Museum. The museum showcases a "collection of collections" in fine examples of early American homes and public buildings; a general store, meeting house, log cabin, and even a steamship dot the grounds. Her great-grandson, John Wilmerding, is a well known professor of art, collector, and curator, and is best known as a prolific author of books on American art. [11] Her daughter Adaline and son Horace Havemeyer, and grandsons Horace Havemeyer, Jr. and Harry W. Havemeyer bequeathed several works from Vermeer, Goya, Corot, Manet, and others to the National Gallery of Art. [12]

Paintings bequeathed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

imagetitlepainterdateaccession numberThe Met url
Rembrandt van Rijn Harmen Doomer circa 1640.jpg
Portrait of Herman Doomer Rembrandt 164029.100.1 MET
Jacob Adriaensz Backer - Portrait of an Old Woman - MET 29.100.2.jpg
Portrait of an Old Woman Jacob Adriaensz Backer 1640s29.100.2 MET
Rembrandt - Portrait of a Man, probably a Member of the Van Beresteyn Family.jpg
Portrait of a Man, probably a Member of the Van Beresteyn Family Rembrandt 163229.100.3 MET
Rembrandt - Portrait of a woman, possibly a member of the Beresteyn family - MET DP145399.jpg
Portrait of a Woman, probably a Member of the Van Beresteyn Family Rembrandt 163229.100.4 MET
Cardinal Fernando Nino de Guevara (1541-1609) MET DT854.jpg
Cardinal Fernando Niño de Guevara El Greco 160029.100.5 MET
View of Toledo MET DP349564.jpg
View of Toledo El Greco 159629.100.6 MET
Pieter de Hooch - The Visit - WGA11684.jpg
The Visit Pieter de Hooch 165729.100.7 MET
Frans Hals - Petrus Scriverius.jpg
Portrait of Petrus Scriverius Frans Hals 162629.100.8 MET
Frans Hals - Anna van der Aar.jpg
Portrait of Anna van der Aar Frans Hals 162629.100.9 MET
Majas on Balcony by follower of Francisco de Goya.jpg
Majas on a Balcony Francisco de Goya 180829.100.10 MET
Maria Luisa of Parma (1751-1819), Queen of Spain MET ep29.100.11.bw.R.jpg
María Luisa of Parma (1751–1819), Queen of SpainCopy after Goya1900s29.100.11 MET
Eugenio Lucas Velazquez - A City on a Rock.jpg
A City on a RockStyle of Goya1900s29.100.12 MET
Saint Cecilia MET ep29.100.14.bw.R.jpg
Saint Cecilia Abraham van Diepenbeeck 1700s29.100.14 MET
Hugo van der Goes 007.jpg
Portrait of a Man Hugo van der Goes 29.100.15 MET
Bronzino (Agnolo di Cosimo di Mariano) - Portrait of a Young Man - The Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg
Portrait of a Young Man with a Book Bronzino 154029.100.16 MET
Madonna and Child with Two Angels MET EP256.jpg
Madonna and Child with Two Angels Botticelli 1500s29.100.17 MET
The Burning of Sodom (formerly "The Destruction of Sodom") MET DT2014.jpg
The Burning of Sodom Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot 1850s29.100.18 MET
Camille Corot - Bacchante by the Sea - 1865.jpg
Bacchante by the Sea Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot 1860
29.100.19 MET
Orpheus and Eurydice MET ep29.100.20.bw.R.jpg
Orpheus and Eurydicepainting in the manner of Nicolas Poussin29.100.20 MET
Mercury and Battus MET DT1985.jpg
Mercury and Battus Francisque Millet 29.100.21 MET
Portrait of a Man MET DP365508.jpg
Portrait of a Man Corneille de Lyon 154029.100.22 MET
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres - Joseph-Antoine Moltedo - Google Art Project.jpg
Joseph-Antoine Moltedo Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres 181029.100.23 MET
Lucas Cranach d.A. - Bildnis eines Mannes mit Rosenkranz.jpg
Portrait of a Man with a Rosary Lucas Cranach the Elder 29.100.24 MET
Degas - Dancers Practicing at the Bar.JPG
Dancers Practicing at the Barre Edgar Degas 187729.100.34 MET
Edgar Germain Hilaire Degas 017.jpg
Woman Having Her Hair Combed Edgar Degas 29.100.35 MET
Woman Drying Her Foot Edgar Degas 29.100.36 MET
Woman with a Towel Edgar Degas 29.100.37 MET
At the Milliner's Edgar Degas 188229.100.38 MET
Edgar Germain Hilaire Degas 009.jpg
The Rehearsal Onstage Edgar Degas 187429.100.39 MET
The Artist's Cousin, Probably Mrs. William Bell (Mathilde Musson, 1841–1878) Edgar Degas 187329.100.40 MET
Woman Bathing in a Shallow Tub Edgar Degas 188529.100.41 MET
Dancers, Pink and Green MET DT1853.jpg
Dancers, Pink and Green Edgar Degas 29.100.42 MET
Sulking MET DT1918.jpg
Sulking Edgar Degas 29.100.43 MET
The Collector of Prints MET DT1920.jpg
The Collector of Prints Edgar Degas 186629.100.44 MET
Edgar Degas - Madame Theodore Gobillard, nee Yves Morisot.jpg
Madame Théodore Gobillard (Yves Morisot, 1838–1893) Edgar Degas 186929.100.45 MET
A Woman Ironing MET DT1910.jpg
A Woman Ironing Edgar Degas 187329.100.46 MET
Mother and Child (The Oval Mirror) Mary Cassatt 29.100.47 MET
Young Mother Sewing MET DP139632.jpg
Young Mother Sewing Mary Cassatt 190029.100.48 MET
Edouard Manet - Le Christ mort et les anges.jpg
The Dead Christ with Angels Édouard Manet 186429.100.51 MET
A Matador MET DT1933.jpg
A Matador Édouard Manet 1866
29.100.52 MET
Mademoiselle V. . . in the Costume of an Espada MET DT859.jpg
Mademoiselle V. . . in the Costume of an Espada Édouard Manet 186229.100.53 MET
Edouard Manet 082.jpg
Young man in Mayo costume Édouard Manet 186329.100.54 MET
Edouard Manet Georges Moore.jpg
George Moore (1852–1933) Édouard Manet 29.100.55 MET
Edouard Manet - Jeune Fille a la Rose.jpg
Mademoiselle Isabelle Lemonnier (1857–1926) Édouard Manet 29.100.56 MET
Woman with a Parrot MET DT43.jpg
Woman with a Parrot Gustave Courbet 186629.100.57 MET
Gustave Courbet - La Font (1862).jpg
The Source Gustave Courbet 186229.100.58 MET
Woman in a Riding Habit (L'Amazone) MET DT2147.jpg
Woman in a Riding Habit (L'Amazone) Gustave Courbet 185629.100.59 MET
Nude with Flowering Branch MET ep29.100.60.bw.R.jpg
Nude with Flowering Branch Gustave Courbet 186329.100.60 MET
After the Hunt MET DT1963.jpg
After the Hunt Gustave Courbet 29.100.61 MET
The Woman in the Waves MET DT887.jpg
The Woman in the Waves Gustave Courbet 186829.100.62 MET
Gustave Courbet - Jo, la belle Irlandaise (MET-Museum).jpg
Jo, La Belle Irlandaise Gustave Courbet 29.100.63 MET
Paul Cezanne - Mont Sainte-Victoire and the Viaduct of the Arc River Valley (Metropolitan Museum of Art).jpg
Mont Sainte-Victoire and the Viaduct of the Arc River Valley Paul Cézanne 188229.100.64 MET
L'Homme au chapeau de paille, par Paul Cezanne.jpg
Gustave Boyer (b. 1840) in a Straw Hat Paul Cézanne 29.100.65 MET
Paul Cezanne - Still Life with Jar, Cup, and Apples.jpg
Still Life with Jar, Cup, and Apples Paul Cézanne 1877s29.100.66 MET
Paul Cezanne, The Gulf of Marseilles Seen from L'Estaque, c1885.jpg
The Gulf of Marseilles Seen from L'Estaque Paul Cézanne 188529.100.67 MET
Rembrandt - Portrait of a man in a gorget holding a plumed hat.jpg
Portrait of a Man with a Breastplate and Plumed Hat Rembrandt 1640s29.100.102 MET
Rembrandt - Portrait of a woman holding a fan and the back of a chair.jpg
Portrait of a Woman Rembrandt
Ferdinand Bol
Jan Victors
1640s29.100.103 MET
Portrait of a Woman MET ep29.100.104.bw.R.jpg
Portrait of a Woman Francesco Montemezzano 29.100.104 MET
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Veronese, Boy with a Greyhound-2.jpg
Boy with a Greyhound Paolo Veronese 29.100.105 MET
Chrysanthemums (Monet).JPG
Chrysanthemums Claude Monet 188229.100.106 MET
Claude Monet 052.jpg
Bouquet of Sunflowers Claude Monet 188129.100.107 MET
Ice Floes MET DT2158.jpg
Ice Floes Claude Monet 189329.100.108 MET
Claude Monet (French, Paris 1840-1926 Giverny) - Haystacks (Effect of Snow and Sun) - Google Art Project.jpg
Haystacks (Effect of Snow and Sun) Claude Monet 189129.100.109 MET
1891 Monet The four trees anagoria.JPG
The Four Trees Claude Monet 189129.100.110 MET
Claude Monet - La Vague Verte.jpg
The Green Wave Claude Monet 29.100.111 MET
La Grenouillere MET DT833.jpg
La Grenouillère Claude Monet 186929.100.112 MET
Bridge Over a Pond of Water Lilies, Claude Monet 1899.jpg
Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies Claude Monet 189929.100.113 MET
Copy after Delacroix's "Bark of Dante" MET DT2005.jpg
Copy after Delacroix's "Bark of Dante" Édouard Manet 29.100.114 MET
Edouard Manet Boating.jpg
Boating Édouard Manet 187429.100.115 MET
The Allegory of the Sorbonne MET ep29.100.117.bw.R.jpg
The Allegory of the Sorbonne Pierre Puvis de Chavannes 188929.100.117 MET
Madame de Brayer MET DT1974.jpg
Madame de Brayer Gustave Courbet 185829.100.118 MET
Portrait of a Woman, Called Heloise Abelard MET ep29.100.119.bw.R.jpg
Portrait of a Woman, Called Héloïse AbélardStyle of Gustave Courbet1900s29.100.119 MET
Gustave Courbet - Monsieur Suisse.jpg
Charles Suisse Gustave Courbet 186129.100.120 MET
Spring Flowers MET ep29.100.121.bw.R.jpg
Spring FlowersCopy after Gustave Courbet185529.100.121 MET
The Source of the Loue MET DT1964.jpg
The Source of the Loue Gustave Courbet 186429.100.122 MET
Apples MET ep29.100.123.bw.R.jpg
Applespainting in the style of Gustave Courbet1900s29.100.123 MET
Gustave Courbet - Young Bather.jpg
The Young Bather Gustave Courbet 186629.100.124 MET
Pierre-Auguste Renoir - By the Seashore.jpg
By the Seashore Pierre-Auguste Renoir 188329.100.125 MET
Pissarro - Bather in the Woods.JPG
Bather in the Woods Camille Pissarro 189529.100.126 MET
Dancers in the Rehearsal Room with a Double Bass MET DP275510.jpg
Dancers in the Rehearsal Room with a Double Bass Edgar Degas 29.100.127 MET
Degas, A Woman Seated beside a Vase of Flowers (Madame Paul Valpincon).jpg
A Woman Seated beside a Vase of Flowers Edgar Degas 186529.100.128 MET
Honore Daumier (French, Marseilles 1808-1879 Valmondois) - The Third-Class Carriage - Google Art Project.jpg
The Third-Class Carriage Honoré Daumier 186229.100.129 MET
Madame Auguste Cuoq (Mathilde Desportes, 1827-1910) MET DT1960.jpg
Madame Auguste Cuoq (Mathilde Desportes, 1827–1910) Gustave Courbet 29.100.130 MET
Eugene Delacroix - Christ Endormi pendant la Tempete.jpg
Christ Asleep during the Tempest Eugène Delacroix 29.100.131 MET
Gustave Courbet - Alphonse Promayet.jpg
Alphonse Promayet (1822–1872) Gustave Courbet 185129.100.132 MET
Portrait of a Man MET ep29.100.179.bw.R.jpg
Portrait of a Man Gaspare Traversi 1800s29.100.179 MET
Portrait of Narcisa Baranana y Goicoechea by Goya.jpg
Narcisa Barañana de Goicoechea Francisco de Goya y Lucientes 181529.100.180 MET
Joseph-Henri Altes (1826-1895) MET DT204709.jpg
Joseph-Henri Altès (1826–1895) Edgar Degas 186829.100.181 MET
Mademoiselle Marie Dihau (1843-1935) MET DT267444.jpg
Marie Dihau (1843–1935) Edgar Degas 29.100.182 MET
Portrait of a Young Woman MET DT297552.jpg
Portrait of a Young Woman Edgar Degas 29.100.183 MET
Edgar Degas - Chasse de danse.jpg
The Dancing Class Edgar Degas 1870s29.100.184 MET
Woman on a Sofa Edgar Degas 187529.100.185 MET
Two Dancers Edgar Degas 187329.100.187 MET
Dancer with a Fan Edgar Degas 29.100.188 MET
Two Dancers Edgar Degas 29.100.189 MET
Bather Stepping into a Tub Edgar Degas 29.100.190 MET
Camille Corot - The Muse History, 1865.jpg
The Muse: History Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot 186529.100.193 MET
Paul Cezanne 062.jpg
Rocks in the Forest Paul Cézanne 29.100.194 MET
The Experts MET DT209332.jpg
The Experts Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps 183729.100.196 MET
Corneille de Lyon - Anne de Pisseleu, duchesse d'Etampes (huile sur bois, 1535-1540).jpg
Anne de Pisseleu (1508–1576), Duchesse d'Étampes Corneille de Lyon 29.100.197 MET
Man with a Tankard MET DP143167.jpg
Man with a TankardStyle of Adriaen van Ostade1700s29.100.198 MET
The Connoisseur MET DP211510.jpg
The Connoisseur Honoré Daumier 1862s29.100.200 MET
Portrait of a Man MET DT1968.jpg
Portrait of a Man Gustave Courbet 29.100.201 MET
The Ballet from "Robert le Diable" MET DT1911.jpg
The Ballet from "Robert le Diable" Edgar Degas 187129.100.552 MET
Woman Drying Her Arm Edgar Degas 29.100.553 MET
Fan Mount: The Ballet Edgar Degas 187929.100.554 MET
Fan Mount: Ballet Girls Edgar Degas 187929.100.555 MET
Russian Dancer Edgar Degas 189929.100.556 MET
Dancer with a Fan Edgar Degas 29.100.557 MET
Three Dancers Preparing for Class Edgar Degas 29.100.558 MET
Edouard Manet - Mademoiselle Lucie Delabigne.jpg
Mademoiselle Lucie Delabigne (1859–1910), Called Valtesse de la Bigne Édouard Manet 187929.100.561 MET
Girl Weaving a Garland MET ep29.100.562.bw.R.jpg
Girl Weaving a Garland Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot 29.100.562 MET
Reverie MET DT2010.jpg
Reverie Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot 29.100.563 MET
Portrait of a Child MET DT872.jpg
Portrait of a Child Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot 29.100.564 MET
Sibylle MET DT883.jpg
Sibylle Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot 1870s29.100.565 MET
The Calm Sea MET DT1973.jpg
The Calm Sea Gustave Courbet 186929.100.566 MET
Bacchante in a Landscape MET ep29.100.598.R.jpg
Bacchante in a Landscape Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot 186529.100.598 MET

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