THE INCREDIBLE PIERPONT MORGAN: Financier and Art Collector by Cass Canfield

THE INCREDIBLE PIERPONT MORGAN: Financier and Art Collector

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Of the (rich) dead speak only. . . . Canfield finds much--everything--to admire about J. Pierpont Morgan, one of the last titans, who inherited millions and made them work even more--in steel, railroads, international banking--with unquestionable acumen and--never doubted by Canfield --absolute propriety. Thus Morgan is absolved of culpability for his role in selling (at outrageous prices) obsolete guns to the Union, later he's wrapped in the Flag for lending the gold which carried the government through the financial crisis of '95. And no matter what,virtue wasn't Morgan's only reward. As for that final refuge of bored wealth, collecting, Canfield quotes and then seems to forget Roger Fry who for a time served as director of the Metropolitan Museum under Morgan's presidency: ""A crude historical imagination was the only flaw in his otherwise perfect insensibility toward art."" Still, among those treasures Morgan bought by the carloads were masterpieces indeed and after he died (in 1913 at age 76) his collection was valued at approximately 60 million dollars. And compared to, say, Hearst, Morgan's taste could be considered almost Berensonian.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1974
Publisher: Harper & Row