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Louisine Havemeyer & Electra H. Webb, Pioneering American Collectors

As part of the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum’s Lecture Series “Defying Expectations: Independent American Women of the Early 1900s,” Curator Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen will present Louisine Havemeyer and Electra H. Webb, Pioneering American Collectors, a lecture on Wednesday, November 14th at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum.

Born in New York in 1855, Louisine Elder went to boarding school in Paris where she eventually met the American Impressionist artist Mary Cassatt and they became lifelong friends. When Louisine Elder came back to America in 1883, she married Henry O. Havemeyer, founder of the American Sugar Refining Company. Together they acquired one of the world’s preeminent art collections. They bequeathed nearly 2,000 items to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, now in numerous galleries, but most notably works in the Impressionist collection. Electra Havemeyer Webb, the third child of Henry O. and Louisine W.E. Havemeyer, became a pioneer collector of American art and founder of the Shelburne Museum in Vermont. Her “Brick House” in Shelburne survives today as a rare and intact example of the Colonial Revival. Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen is the Anthony W. and Lulu C. Wang Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She graduated from Princeton University and received a M.A. from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture.

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Ryan Odinak