CEEH Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica

What’s Mine Is Yours. Private Collectors and Public Patronage in the United States. Essays in Honor of Inge Reist


Esmée Quodbach (ed.)


416 pages; 139 color illustrations; hardcover with chrome; 21 x 24 cm


English; published by Center for the History of Collecting, Frick Art Reference Library, the CEEH, and the CSA; 2021





This publication is devoted to private collectors and their relationships with and gifts to public institutions in the United States. Thirteen authors bring to life the long tradition of private collecting and public philanthropy in America and reveal new insights into the formation of many of its major art institutions. Public-spirited collectors such as Henry Clay Frick, Andrew Mellon, and Solomon and Irene Guggenheim fulfilled their desires by establishing The Frick Collection, the National Gallery of Art, and the Guggenheim Museum, respectively. John G. Johnson’s collection was first left to Philadelphia as a standalone museum, and later fell under the stewardship of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Eleanor and Edsel Ford were instrumental supporters and contributors to the Detroit Institute of Arts. Samuel Putnam Avery was a civic-minded art dealer, adviser, and collector whose porcelain collection helped shape the Department of Asian Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Some collectors, including Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, Michael Friedsam, Adelaide de Groot, and Martin A. Ryerson, made significant gifts to pre-existing museums such as The Met and the Art Institute of Chicago. Finally, Robert Gilmor, Jr., and arguably Mary Jane Morgan, had aspirations of building public collections, yet they were not successful for various reasons. “What’s Mine is Yours” celebrates Inge Reist, founding Director and now Director Emerita of the Center for the History of Collecting at the Frick Art Reference Library.

Esmée Quodbach is an independent art historian. A specialist in seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish painting as well as the history of Old Master collecting, she was the Assistant Director and Editor-in-Chief of the Center for the History of Collecting at The Frick Collection and Art Reference Library. Prior to coming to the Frick, she held research positions in the Department of Northern Baroque Painting, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and the Department of European Paintings, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. She is the author of The Age of Rembrandt in New York (2007), and has also served as the editor of Holland’s Golden Age in America: Collecting the Art of Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Hals (2014) and America and the Art of Flanders: Collecting the Art of Rubens, Van Dyck, and Their Circles (2020).