Monday, December 27, 2010

Sam Salz and Dr.Albert Barnes.

My father's(Sam Salz) early first major collector was Dr.Albert Barnes who's collection of Impressionists and Post-Impressionists became the well known Barnes Foundation in Merion,Pa. that is now in it's new home near the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Sam Salz had met Dr.Barnes indirectly through Soutine and his dealer Zborovsky. Barnes had bought many Soutines and featured his paintings as part of his collection at the Foundation's home in Merion. After the sale, my father introduced Dr.Barnes to the famous Impressionist dealer Ambroise Vollard. In his early days as an art dealer, Vollard would give my father paintings to sell as a way of teaching him the trade. Later Barnes decided to invite Vollard to view his collection when he came to America. According to my father's story, when Vollard entered the main room of the Foundation, he immediately saw a room filled with great masterpieces (Matisse, Cezanne, Seurat etc...). Upon entering the room, Vollard stepped down one of the steps and accidently fell on the floor. Somewhat shaken by the experience, the dealer rose to his feet as Barnes exclaimed: "Just think, you could have died in the company of these great masterpieces". Vollard responded: "This man is crazy!" and he ran out of the room.

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