Most collectors who spend a lifetime accumulating works of art prefer to see them set like jewels in the crown of a single, favored museum. Manhattan's Samuel H. Kress, 89-year-old dime-store tycoon, is one big collector who would rather spread his masterpieces around. In 1939 he gave 375 Renaissance paintings to Washington's National Gallery of Art (TIME, July 24, 1939). Since then, museums in Philadelphia, Tucson, Birmingham, Honolulu, Portland (Ore.). Seattle and Kansas City (Kans.) have been quietly handed some 200 masterpieces from the Kress treasure-trove, with no strings attached. Two of the...

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