By Stanley Mazaroff
In 1857, George A. Lucas, a tender Baltimorean who used to be fluent in French and enamored of French artwork, arrived in Paris. There, he validated an in depth own community of celebrated artists and paintings buyers, turning into the vital French connection for American creditors. the main outstanding factor approximately Lucas was once now not the paintings that he received for his consumers (who incorporated William and Henry Walters, the founders of the Walters artwork Museum, and John Taylor Johnston, the founding president of the Metropolitan Museum of paintings) however the substantial number of 18,000 work, drawings, sculptures, and etchings, in addition to 1,500 books, journals, and different assets approximately French artists, that he received for himself. work by means of Cabanel, Corot, and Daubigny, prints by way of Whistler, Manet, and Cassatt, and portfolios of data approximately countless numbers of French artists crammed his condominium and spilled into the adjoining flat of his mistress.
Based totally on Lucas’s notes and diaries, in addition to millions of alternative archival records, Stanley Mazaroff’s A Paris existence, A Baltimore Treasure tells the interesting tale of the way Lucas introduced jointly the main celebrated French artists with the main in demand and prosperous American creditors of the time. It additionally info how, nearing the top of his existence, Lucas struggled to discover a destiny domestic for his assortment, finally giving it to Baltimore’s Maryland Institute. with out the capacity to take care of the gathering, the Institute loaned it to the Baltimore Museum of artwork, the place lots of the paintings used to be put in garage and disappeared from public view. yet in 1990, whilst the Institute proposed to public sale or another way promote the gathering, it rose from obscurity, reached new glory as an irreplaceable cultural treasure, and have become the topic of an epic conflict fought out and in of court docket that captivated public recognition and enflamed the passions of artwork enthusiasts and museum officers around the nation.
A Paris lifestyles, A Baltimore Treasure is a richly illustrated portrayal of Lucas's interesting lifestyles as an agent, gourmet, and collector of French mid-nineteenth-century artwork. And, as printed within the publication, following Lucas's dying, his huge, immense assortment persisted to have a colourful lifetime of its personal, providing new demanding situations to museum officers in learning, maintaining, exhibiting, and finally saving the gathering as a massive and intrinsic a part of the tradition of our time.
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A Paris Life, A Baltimore Treasure by Stanley Mazaroff