National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Samuel Henry Kress Leopold Seyffert (artist)
American, 1887 - 1956
Samuel Henry Kress, 1953
oil on canvas
overall: 127.3 x 102.2 cm (50 1/8 x 40 1/4 in.) framed: 151.1 x 126 x 7.6 cm (59 1/2 x 49 5/8 x 3 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
1953.2.3
On View
From the Tour: Founding Benefactors of the National Gallery of Art
Object 2 of 9

Originally a Pennsylvania schoolteacher, Samuel Kress (1863-1955) opened a stationery and notions shop in 1887, which grew to a nationwide chain, S. H. Kress & Company. His art collecting, which started when he was in his fifties, emphasized painting and sculpture from Italy. In 1929 he established the Kress Foundation to sponsor traveling exhibitions, scholarships in art history, and restorations of monuments in Italy. Abandoning plans to open his own museum of Italian Renaissance art, Samuel Kress was the first to donate his collection in response to Andrew Mellon's call for contributions to create a national art museum. For the Gallery's opening, Kress gave 393 Italian paintings and pieces of sculpture, ranging from the 1200s through the 1700s.

Leopold Gould Seyffert depicted Samuel Kress and his brother Rush Kress seated in armchairs of Italian Renaissance style, indicative of their artistic interests.

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