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William Randolph Hearst, The Collector


Sunday, November 17, 2013


02:00 PM–03:30 PM

William Randolph Hearst, The Collector

Of the many marvelous works of art in the Walters Art Museum, about three dozen once belonged to the media magnate William Randolph Hearst, the most prodigious and controversial American collector of all time.  During his lifetime (1863-1951) he was caricatured in Orson Welles’ classic film “Citizen Kane,” and after his death, debates about his reputation continued to exaggerate the pros and cons of his talents. Join us for this enlightening lecture by National Gallery curator Mary Levkoff, author of Hearst the Collector, awarded Sotheby’s Prize for a Distinguished Publication in the History of Collecting, as she sets the story straight. 

Beginning with his father’s adventures following the Gold Rush of 1849 and continuing with his mother’s fascination with Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, the story of Hearst ranges across Europe, South America, Africa and Asia and even includes Baltimore. This lecture will explore the masterpieces Hearst amassed, their acquisition, how they were arrayed throughout Hearst’s six opulent residences and ultimately how they were dispersed in the depths of the Great Depression. A book signing will follow the lecture.  Books are available for purchase in the Museum Store.  

This is the 33rd Annual Theodore L. Low Lecture. This lecture honors the memory of Theodore Low, Director of Education and Public Programs at the Walters for 34 years (1946-1980).