The Evolving House Museum

Art Collectors and Their Residences, Then and Now


This volume explores twelve house museums, created over more than two centuries, and founded across the globe. What motivates collectors to establish independent house museums instead of donating their collections to preexisting institutions? How have collectors’ original intentions manifested themselves in their museums? Have founder mandates aided the survival or caused the demise of their institutions? How have house museums’ collections or buildings evolved over time? Must museums reinterpret their collections to remain relevant to contemporary and diverse audiences? In seeking to answer these questions, the volume’s authors share the unique stories behind the creation and evolution of these fascinating institutions, and the intriguing stories of the exceptional individuals who founded them.

Contributors: Aistė Bimbirytė, Eliza Butler, Chih-En Chen, Enrico Colle, Allegra Davis, Marissa Hershon, Mia Laufer, Ulrike Müller, Nadine Nour el Din, Inge Reist, Anne Nellis Richter, and Georgina S. Walker.

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Margaret Iacono Wertz, (MA, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University; BA, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York) specializes in northern art and the history of collecting. She was formerly Associate Research Curator at The Frick Collection, New York (2000–2019).

Esmée Quodbach (MA, Utrecht University) is a specialist in seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish painting as well as the history of collecting. She was formerly Editor-in-Chief and Assistant Director of the Center for the History of Collecting at The Frick Collection, New York (2007–2020).
This book is aimed at museum professionals and art historians and will also appeal to an educated lay audience with an interest in art and history.
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