Louisine W. Havemeyer
Shelburne Museum, Vermont
Mrs. Havemeyer & her daughter Electra
Shelburne Museum, Vermont
Mary Cassatt's pastel portraits from the mid-1890s of her friend Louisine Havemeyer (1855-1929) are hanging today in Vermont's Shelburne Museum. This institution would one day be founded by the little girl sitting in her mother's lap, above.
Electra Havemeyer Webb, her brother and her sister each received paintings from their mother's collection before she donated a substantial part of it to the Metropolitan Museum at the end of the 1920s. The brother Horace and his wife eventually gave important parts of their legacy to the National Gallery in Washington, DC. Sister Adaline's family have added work to the existing Havemeyer collection at the Met.
Adaline Havemeyer in a White Hat
Gift of members of the family of Adaline Havemeyer Frelinghuysen
Electra, the youngest, was the one who decided to create her own museum from the ground up. The Shelburne Museum today boasts of possessing "the largest U.S. museum collection of glass canes, trivets, and food molds." It also incorporates six complete furnished rooms which were dismantled and transported from Electra Havemeyer's Park Avenue residence. Further space in this museum has been allotted to the paintings below, collected by her parents –
pastel & gouache
oil & tempera
|Claude Monet |
I compare the ice floes above, now at the Shelburne Museum, with Mrs. Havemeyer's other Monet painting of ice floes, below, included in her original gift to the Metropolitan Museum.
Electra Havemeyer owned another winter Monet also, the grainstacks under snow, now also in Vermont.
Grainstacks - Snow Effect
The mother-child pictures below by Mary Cassatt and the evanescent females of Degas were included in Louisine Havemeyer's original bequest to the Met, part of the public collection in New York since the 1930s.
Mother & Child (Florentine Madonna)
"Early in our collecting, when Mr. Havemeyer and I were chatting with Miss Cassatt after dinner, she suddenly looked up from her coffee, and holding the little spoon in her hand, she made a convincing gesture and said emphatically: "To make a great collection it is necessary to have the modern note in it, and to be a great painter, you must be classic as well as modern."
"I at once thought of a beautiful painting which M. Durand-Ruel had allowed us to buy out of his own collection. Miss Cassatt had done a mother with her baby's head upon her shoulder, which we had always called her Florentine Madonna. It united the old and the modern just as she said it should be."
The Barefooted Child
Three Dancers preparing for Class
Girl pulling on her stockings