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Whitney, Betsey Cushing Roosevelt, 1908-1998

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role Collector
dates 1908-1998
city New York City
stateNY
other citiesBaltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Hollywood; Fishers Island, CT; Augusta, GA; Saratoga Springs, NY; Manhasset, NY; Surrey, United Kingdom;
gender F
historical notes Betsey Whitney was a collector, philanthropist, the ex-wife of James Roosevelt (the eldest son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt), and later wife of American millionaire and U.S. Ambassador to the Court of Saint James, John Hay Whitney (married in 1942).

Betsey also made art auction history in 1990 by putting up for sale, by Sotheby's, one of Renoir's most famous paintings, the sun-dappled cafe scene At the Moulin de la Galette. It brought $78.1 million which was then a record auction price for Impressionist art and the second-highest price for any artwork sold at auction.

Betsey died on March 25, 1998, aged 89, with an estimated personal fortune of $700 million in 1990, according to Forbes magazine.

Her estate bequeathed eight major paintings to the National Gallery of Art, including:
Self-Portrait (1889) by Vincent van Gogh
Marcelle Lender Dancing the Bolero in Chilperic (1895/1896) by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Open Window, Collioure (1905) by Henri Matisse
The Harbor of La Ciotat (1907) by Georges Braque
The Beach at Sainte-Adresse (1906) by Raoul Dufy

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The Museum of Modern Art Archives pamphlet file: Whitney, Betsey Cushing Roosevelt, 1908-1998 : miscellaneous uncataloged material. see details...

see also:
Whitney, John Hay
Fosburgh, Minnie Astor