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Altman, Benjamin (12 July 1840–07 October 1913), merchant and art collector, was born in New York, New York, the son of Philip Altman, a dry goods merchant, and Cecilia (maiden name unknown). His father, a Jewish immigrant from Bavaria who had come to the United States in 1835, operated a small dry goods store named Altman & Co. on Third Avenue near Tenth Street. Young Altman worked with his brother Morris in his father’s shop in the afternoons. He left school at the age of twelve to work there full time and later held a variety of sales jobs with other dry goods shops in New York City and in Newark, New Jersey. When his father died in 1854, Altman and his brother took over the store, changing its name to Altman Bros. The business prospered, and by 1865 they moved to Third Avenue and Tenth Street; they moved again to a larger building on Sixth Avenue between Eighteenth and Nineteenth Streets in 1870. Morris left the business but remained a partner, and when he died in 1876, Altman became sole owner, later changing the name of the firm to B. Altman & Co....

Article

Karolik, Maxim (1893–20 December 1963), art collector and philanthropist, was born in Bessarabia, Russia (now Rumania), the son of Orthodox Jewish parents. He was trained as an operatic tenor at the Academy in St. Petersburg and performed with the Petrograd Grand Opera Company as well as in opera houses in England and Italy. Karolik came to the United States about 1922 and made his New York debut in 1924 in a recital at Aeolian Hall. He performed to moderate acclaim until the early 1930s, when unspecified health problems caused him to abandon his singing career....

Article

Rosenwald, Lessing Julius (10 February 1891–24 June 1978), art and book collector and philanthropist, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Julius Rosenwald, a businessman, and Augusta Nusbaum. In 1908 he went to Cornell University but left in 1911 to work as a shipping clerk for Sears, Roebuck, of which his father was president. In 1913 Rosenwald married Edith Goodkind; they had five children. He served as a seaman, second class, in the U.S. Navy during World War I; after the war he returned to Sears, Roebuck. In 1920 his father sent him to Philadelphia to start that city’s first Sears store....

Article

Sackler, Arthur Mitchell (22 August 1913–26 May 1987), research psychiatrist, art collector, and philanthropist, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Isaac Sackler and Sophie (maiden name unknown). In the 1930s Sackler simultaneously studied medicine at New York University (NYU) and art history at NYU and the Cooper Union Art Institute. To fund his medical studies, he joined the William Douglas MacAdams medical advertising agency. Sackler earned his B.S. from NYU in 1933 and his M.D. from NYU in 1937. In 1935 he married Else Jorgensen; they had two children....