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Alice Pike Barney. Photograph by Frances Benjamin Johnston. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-101726).

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Barney, Alice Pike (14 January 1857–12 October 1931), artist and arts patron, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the daughter of Samuel Napthali Pike, an arts patron and successful businessman, and Ursula Muellion “Ellen” Miller. She grew up and was educated at various schools in Cincinnati and New York City, her family having moved there in 1866. Although Barney courted the famous British explorer ...

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Dreier, Katherine Sophie (10 September 1877–29 March 1952), artist and art patron, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Johann Caspar Theodor Dreier, an iron distributor, and Dorothea Adelheid Dreier, his cousin. The youngest of five children, she grew up in a family with strong Germanic ties and a long-standing commitment to social and humanitarian reforms. Until art took precedence in her life, Dreier involved herself in a number of Progressive Era reforms, beginning in 1898 with her service as treasurer of the German Home for Recreation of Women and Children in Brooklyn, an institution cofounded by her mother. In 1903 she helped launch both the Manhattan Trade School for Girls and the Little Italy Neighborhood House in South Brooklyn. Dreier was also active in woman suffrage, serving as a delegate to the Sixth Convention of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance held in Stockholm in 1911 and heading the German-American Committee of the Woman Suffrage party in New York in 1915. In 1918 she spent five months in Argentina surveying that country’s fledgling social reforms....

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Gallatin, Albert Eugene (23 July 1881–15 June 1952), art museum founder, critic, and painter, was born in Villanova, Pennsylvania, the son of Albert Horatio Gallatin, a professor of analytical chemistry at New York University, and Louisa Belford Ewing. He was the proud namesake of his great-grandfather, ...

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Gilder, Helena de Kay (14 January 1846–28 May 1916), painter and cultural reformer, was born Helena de Kay in New York City, the daughter of Commodore George Colman De Kay, a naval officer, and Janet Halleck Drake. As a granddaughter of poet Joseph Rodman Drake...

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Herring, James (12 January 1794–08 October 1867), portraitist and art promoter, was born in London, England, the son of James Herring, a teacher, and Mary Holland. He came to the United States with his parents, arriving and settling in New York City in October 1805. Herring attended Erasmus Hall Academy in Flatbush (now part of Brooklyn), New York, where drawing, he wrote years later, was his best subject. As a young adult he pursued various occupations, working as a teacher, a clerk, and a distiller of alcohol....

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Miller, Charles Henry (20 March 1842–21 January 1922), doctor of medicine, artist, and writer, was born in New York City, the son of Jacob H. Miller, an architect, and Jayne M. Taylor. He attended Mount Washington Collegiate Institute to prepare for a career in law or medicine, although early on he had displayed an interest in painting and drawing. In 1860 Miller exhibited his first painting at the National Academy of Design, and the following year he sent two more paintings for exhibition. His father, unhappy with his son’s interest in art, urged him to enroll in the New York Homeopathic Medical Institute. Miller acquiesced to his father’s wishes and completed his medical studies in 1863, receiving his degree from ...

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Murphy, Gerald Cleary (26 March 1888–17 October 1964), painter, businessman, and friend to artists and writers, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Patrick Francis Murphy, the owner of an upper-scale leather goods store, and Anna Elizabeth Ryan. Patrick Murphy moved his business, the Mark Cross Company, and his family to New York City in 1892. Gerald’s father was a strict disciplinarian who expected his son to receive a sound education and join the family business. His mother was such a devout Catholic that she changed Gerald’s birthdate from 26 March to 25 March, the Feast of the Annunciation. Murphy resisted his parents’ business and religious pressures, although he temporarily joined Mark Cross after graduating from Yale in 1912....

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Sargent, Henry ( November 1770–21 February 1845), painter and art advocate, was baptized 25 November 1770 in Gloucester, Massachusetts, the son of Daniel Sargent, a prominent merchant, and Mary Turner. As a boy he attended Dummer Academy in South Byfield, Massachusetts, where he was taught basic Latin and Greek. Between 1776 and 1779 the family moved from Newburyport to Boston, and Sargent received further instruction (to what extent is unclear) in Boston schools....