Merchants and Masterpieces

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MMA_MAST_Cover createspace.jpg
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Merchants and Masterpieces

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This program introduces the fascinating collectors whose vision and generosity helped build The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Narrator Philippe de Montebello, former director of The Metropolitan Museum, tells the stories of J. Pierpont Morgan, Benjamin Altman and Robert Lehman – passionate collectors in pursuit of magnificent works of art. Personal interviews reveal the stories of other notable collectors, including David Rockefeller, who reminisces about his boyhood enchantment with his father’s Unicorn tapestries; J. Watson Webb, Jr. recalls his grandmother Louisine Havemeyer as an adventurous art collector and suffragette who taught him a true appreciation for art; and Mary Rockefeller Morgan candidly shares memories of twin brother Michael’s quest for art and life among the tribes of New Guinea.

Drawn in part from Calvin Tomkins’ history of The Metropolitan Museum, the program includes rarely seen archival footage, on-location photography, and glimpses into the unequaled collections of The Metropolitan Museum. It offers viewers a rare opportunity to go beyond the art in search of the people who collected and lived with what are now The Metropolitan Museum's masterpieces.

1989 / 87 min. / DVD / Color

© 1989 The Metropolitan Museum of Art / The Educational Broadcasting Corporation

Home or Institutional:

Studios: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, WNET, Channel Thirteen
Executive Producers: Karl Katz, Robert Kotlowitz
Producers: Suzanne Bauman, Carolyn Neipris
Director:  Suzanne Bauman
Narrator: Philippe de Montebello