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Americans Collect Italian Renaissance Art

David Alan Brown, curator of Italian and Spanish paintings, National Gallery of Art. As part of the Works in Progress lecture series on March 2, 2011, at the National Gallery of Art, curator David Alan Brown discusses the formation of great collections of Italian Renaissance art in the United States. Brown emphasizes the important role that Bernard Berenson (1865-1959), American art historian and connoisseur, and Joseph Duveen (1869-1939), British art dealer, played in late 19th-century American collections. Equally important were the wealthy industrialists of America's gilded age, including Henry Clay Frick, Samuel H. Kress, Andrew W. Mellon, and Joseph E. Widener, who sought to revamp the country's cultural landscape by collecting these masterpieces and giving them to museum collections for the public.