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Cynthia Saltzman, Old Masters, New World: America's Raid on Europe's Great Pictures

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - 6:30 PM | Members' Room

In 1870 a group of wealthy and culturally ambitious New Yorkers founded the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a Manhattan brownstone with a lackluster collection and not a single major work of art. Soon, America's new industrial tycoons began to compete for Europe's extraordinary Old Master pictures, laying claim to works by Vermeer, Titian, Rembrandt, and others, and causing a major migration of art across the Atlantic.