Between about 1890 and 1940, wealthy individuals in Europe and America founded museums to house their personal collections of art. These collections were amassed with the desire that the objects should stay together forever, as evidence not simply of the collector's wealth or taste but essentially of themselves – both who they were and who they aspired to be. Emerging in London with the Wallace Collection, the ‘collection museum’ quickly caught hold in Gilded Age America. Pre-eminent, ambitious, and perhaps most magnificent among these are the Wallace itself, the Musée Condé near Paris, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the Frick Collection in New York, the Huntington Art Gallery in Pasadena, and Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC. Lesser known but no less intriguing are the Hallwyl Museum in Stockholm, the Benaki Museum in Athens, Maryhill in Washington,...

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