The Easel

14th March 2023

The great collectors

Art collecting in the late 19th century was an “imperial” activity – more was deemed better. Then, private dealers emerged with collections inspired by connoisseurship. Subsequently, gilded age millionaires assembled collections full of rare and famous pieces.  Nowadays, all romance is gone. Collections are a means for “speculative and headline-grabbing self-aggrandizement. Wealth is… the only protagonist—the ultimate reference of merit, quality, content, and meaning.”