Acquired by Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney in 1951, de la Fresnaye’s Nature morte à la cafetière et au melon was a work greatly admired by the couple and played an key role in their exceptional collection, hanging alongside works by Degas, Cézanne, Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec, among other European masters. Though the name Whitney is most significantly linked to American art through John Hay’s aunt Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Mr. Whitney’s profound interest in European Impressionist art was magnified through his intimate association with the Museum of Modern Art in New York, for which he became a trustee in 1930.
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