The art collection of William H. Stewart (1820–97), an American expatriate who lived in Paris during the second half of the nineteenth century, comprised more than two hundred paintings by contemporary American and European artists and was lauded as the most outstanding compilation of works by artists of the modern Spanish school. Following the collection’s dispersal at auction in 1898, Stewart’s reputation as a patron began to diminish. This essay aims to rehabilitate Stewart, further the appreciation of his contributions, and shed light on the connections he established with some of the most popular artists of the period, especially those of Spanish origin living in Paris. These relationships are highlighted in “The Stewart Album,” now in the collection of the Meadows Museum in Dallas, Texas. This extraordinary compendium of primary sources is a testament to Stewart’s connoisseurship and taste and the important place he occupied in the international art scene during the last four decades of the nineteenth century. By considering the material within the album together with other contemporary sources, a clearer picture of a formidable artistic patron emerges, one who not only developed personal relationships with artists but also promoted Spanish art and culture among his American friends.

You do not currently have access to this content.