Property from the Collection of Peter H.B. Frelinghuysen
Peter H B Frelinghuysen, Jr (1916-2012), grandson of famed collectors H O and Louisine Havemeyer, was heir not just to an exceptional collecting legacy but also to a long and distinguished tradition of public service. The first Frelinghuysen arrived in New Jersey in 1720, and the family contributions to state and national politics include four United States Senators, two members of the House of Representatives, a Secretary of State and a Vice-Presidential candidate. Peter's own career encompassed ten terms in Congress where he served on the House Foreign Affairs committee and led on conservation issues. This stewardship of the land was echoed by Peter's stewardship of the works of art he inherited. He remembered his grandmother Louisine and his visits to the magnificent Havemeyer house at 1 East 66th Street, where the Louis Comfort Tiffany-designed rooms were rich with works by Goya, Courbet, Corot and Degas while Japanese screens stood in corners and Imperial Chinese monochromes filled book shelves. The Havemeyers' generosity to the Met began with the 1888 gift of a Gilbert Stuart of George Washington and culminated in the incredible bequest of Louisine's will in 1929, their donations across numerous important categories and totaling 4200 works of art. Their daughter, Adaline Havemeyer Frelinghuysen and her husband, Peter, maintained the collecting tradition, buying modern French works like this Buffet in Paris as well as collecting American paintings. And Adaline and Peter's son, Peter HB Frelinghuysen Jr, continued the family's significant support of the Met while also adding important collections of Chinese export porcelain and rare stamps to the incredible legacy of this outstanding family.