THE JOHN W. KLUGE MORVEN COLLECTION
Morven, like many of the lots listed in this catalogue, has a history of distinguished owners and important associations. The site of Morven was a part of the 9350 acres purchased in 1730 by John Carter. His grandson asked Thomas Jefferson to negotiate the sale of the property in 1796 to Col. William Short, Jefferson's "Charge des Affairs" in 1790 in Paris.
John Kluge bought the property in 1988 from Anne M. Stone 1983 Trust. Whitney Stone together with his wife Anne had taken over the property in 1941 from Charles and Mary Stone. Mary had restored the gardens in consultation with Annette Flanders. Whitney concentrated on stud operations and together with his wife Anne founded the United States Equestrian Team. Charles A. Stone was a founder of Stone & Webster.
During the Kluges residency many significant changes were made; adding new gardens, sculpture, and extensive horses and cattle activities. In 2001 he donated Morven Estate, part of his 7,379 acres in Albemarle County, to the University of Virginia. The 749 acre core property of Morven will be held by the UVA Foundation in perpetuity and used to support the University of Virginia Educational Programs.
John Kluge was born with genes that created an intensive and compelling urge to learn. His determination to acquire a college education resulted in his leaving home to live with one of his teachers, when his father insisted he leave high school and go to work. After graduating he first entered Wayne State University but then transferred to Columbia after he was successful in negotiating a scholarship at Columbia for twice the amount originally offered.
After graduating from Columbia University, John Kluge became engaged in an increasing number of successful enterprises. In this way he acquired the means to pursue a lifestyle that may be characterized as representing the epitome of eclecticism, which can also best describe each of his many activities; business, friends, travel and especially his collecting of art which include items which range from Greek and Egyptian antiquities to Henry Moore sculptures, and such diverse categories as Australian Aboriginal Art, Sporting Art and furniture from Baroque to Biedermeier. His collection of paintings represents diverse ages, styles and origin.
Those who know him well never cease to marvel at his ability to accomplish so much, so well, so quickly. The intellectual itinerary of his mind dictates daily agendas far into the future that reflect a Jeffersonian insatiable curiosity to explore and utilize every opportunity that appears in his daily life.
As a result, John has participated to the utmost within the full spectrum of what life has to offer; the satisfaction of success in business, the exhilarating nature of collecting art, and the contentment that comes from his munificent benefaction in carefully chosen areas so as to bring joy and opportunity to literally thousand of appreciative beneficiaries of his philanthropy.
I too have benefited enormously from our ever ripening friendship of more than fifty years. It has resulted in a profound enhancement of my life.
A Gentleman on a Bay Hunter in an Extensive Landscape, unfinished