'Wealth Judiciously Expended': Robert Leighton Stuart as collector and patron

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A model of industrial endeavour, Robert Leighton Stuart (1806-82) built his immigrant father's small New York shop into one of the most technologically advanced sugar refineries of the day. Like many of his fellow newlywealthy countrymen, Stuart constructed extravagant homes. He also amassed a huge library and built collections ranging from seashells and geological specimens to fine art. Stuart defined himself through the accumulation and distribution of material wealth and in the collection and patronage of the arts; for him collecting was a means by which he could establish himself among the city's cultured elite, express his patriotism, and assert his religious and moral values. The history of Stuart and his collection reveals intriguing interactions within the art world of nineteenthcentury New York. More than a century after Stuart's death, his collection is still making history as part of the recently resurrected New York Historical Society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-240
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the History of Collections
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Conservation
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Museology


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