Now seems like the perfect time for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) exhibit Hearst the Collector.
The exhibit brings together about 150 works from the extensive collection of media magnate William Randolph Hearst (1863–1951). Much of Hearst's collection was sold off during a "liquidity crisis" in the late 1930s. As bankruptcy loomed, his huge collection, spread out over his many residences, was divided in half. Half he got to keep, the rest became an asset for his companies and were sold to keep his empire alive (something some of today's tycoons might want to take note of).
The exhibit at the LACMA runs November 9 through February 1, 2009 and shows Hearst's wide range of collecting interests. He had large collections of armor, silver and Renaissance tapestries as well as paintings by Boucher, Copley, van Dyck, Fragonard, Gérôme, Greuze, Lawrence, Lotto, Reynolds, and Vouet, with sculptures by Canova, Clodion, Marin, Sansovino, and Thorvaldsen. His collection of three hundred Native American textiles also showed a collector who was a bit ahead of his time. The pieces in the exhibit came from Hearst Castle as well from museums around the world. A book of the exhibition, shown at right, sells for $50.
[via Art Daily