Today, most American art museums, like the Albright-Knox, are non-profit institutions that collect and exhibit art for the benefit of the public. But this kind of art museum didn’t always exist. In this talk, Assistant Curator Dr. Tina Rivers Ryan will tell the story of how major art collectors—from Emperor Napoleon to the financier Andrew W. Mellon and the socialite Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney—helped create the idea of museums as we know them today. The talk will also touch on how today’s mega-collectors, like Eli and Edythe Broad and Don and Mera Rubell, are creating new models of museums in the 21st century. (This is the first event in a four-part series about collecting art.)
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