Hearst, the collector
William Randolph Hearst (1863–1951) was one of the most famous men in America in the first half of the 20th century. His life as a newspaper magnate and politician was satirized in Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane, and his home in San Simeon, California, is still one of the most visited house museums in the country. Hearst the Collector explores another facet of his extraordinary life and notoriety: his phenomenal art collection.
During the 1920s and 1930s, he amassed the largest private collections of tapestries, antiquities, silver, and arms and armor of his time. His collection furnished six palatial residences. Hearst the Collector takes the reader inside each, illustrating with rarely seen historical prints the most interesting pieces from Hearst’s vast holdings, which were dispersed over the years among many museums throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Rijksmueum.
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