Just in case you thought the era of super-collectors we now live in is unique in the history of art, the Irish Times offers a short course in the buying habits of the Dales who left their collection to the National Gallery.
Chester and Maud bought paintings with a gusto that bordered on gluttony. “This picture business was really getting under my skin,” Chester said later. “I found that when I was downtown getting the wherewithal to buy pictures, my mind was on pictures. Perhaps all that was good timing, because you could not buy pictures with hay and I wanted more pictures.”
DALE’S FORTUNE FELL from $60 million to $10 million in the 1929 stock market crash, but it didn’t discourage him. On the contrary, he purchased 123 paintings in 1929, his bumper year, and another 100 in 1930. Murdock Pemberton, an art critic who accompanied Dale on a buying spree in Paris, described him snapping up canvases “as you or I would buy neckties”. Continue Reading