Art: Dale's Dilemma

"I'm a redhead; I'm liable to do anything," affably croaked Manhattan's No. 1 collector of French art, leather-faced ex-Utilities Tycoon Chester Dale. What Collector Dale was liable to do was a question that worried many a U.S. museum. From 1926 (when his wife switched his ruling passion from fire engines to art) to 1936 Collector Dale bought French paintings as shrewdly as he formerly consolidated power companies. His collection, now valued at $6,000,000 to $15,000,000, outgrew three Manhattan apartments, now fills five floors of a museumlike private mansion on East 79th Street, and is rated by experts as the most comprehensive...

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