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Albert C. Barnes Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1940. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LOT 12735, no. 102 P&P).


Barnes, Albert Coombs (02 January 1872–24 July 1951), collector, educator, and entrepreneur, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of John Jesse Barnes, a butcher, and Lydia A. Schafer. Barnes’s father lost his right arm in the Civil War, and his ability to support his family proved sporadic. However, Albert’s mother, to whom he was devoted, was hardworking and resourceful. Among his most vivid childhood memories were the exuberant black religious revivals and camp meetings he attended with his devout Methodist parents. Accepted at the academically demanding Central High School, which awarded bachelor’s degrees, his early interest in art was stimulated by his friendship with the future artist ...


Sachs, Paul Joseph (24 November 1878–17 February 1965), museum director, teacher, and art collector, was born in New York City, the son of Samuel Sachs, a partner in the firm of Goldman, Sachs & Co., and Louisa Goldman. The family was part of the close-knit German-Jewish community in New York City. Paul Sachs attended the Sachs School in New York, a preparatory school operated by his uncle. He was attracted to art from his youth. In his memoirs he recounted how his bedroom became a gallery of prints and photographs and that he secretly harbored artistic aspirations. Although he soon determined that he lacked artistic talent, the study of the fine arts became the driving force of his life. At eighteen he took a trip with his father to Europe, where he saw many works of art. He entered Harvard in 1896, where he studied art under ...