MERCHANTS OF ART: Eighty Years of Professional Collecting: 1880-1960 by Germain Seligman
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MERCHANTS OF ART: Eighty Years of Professional Collecting: 1880-1960

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Not since the Behrman's Duveen has there been so broad-based a review of a firm and the whole range of collecting as this survey of the house of Seligman affords. Perhaps the fact that Germain Seligman is writing with admiration and restraint of his father, the dynamic, colorful Jacques Seligman, mutes the personal aspects in favor of the sublime adventure in the golden age of collecting. But the text is rich with vivid, concise pen portraits of the clients- people like the Rothschilds, Kann, Biron, David-Weill, Edgar Stern, Pelletier- and on this side of the Atlantic, J.P. Morgan, Clarence Mackay, Joseph Widener, William Randolph Hearst. Then there were the museum directors, the experts and specialists. The shuttle shifts back and forth-from the seeking out of art treasures, in wide variety- to the intricate process of selling, an art in the hands of a discerning ""merchant"" such as Seligman. It is a fascinating history, richly knowledgeable- and Germain Seligman has captured that rare quality of integrity that has kept the best of collectors and the best of dealers on a somewhat rarefied plane. 128 pages of reproductions of paintings, sculptures, tapestries, bibelots. A fascinating book.

Publisher: Appleton-Century-Crofts