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Meyer, Agnes Elizabeth Ernst, 1887-1970

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role Collector
dates 1887-1970
city New York City
other citiesPelham, NY; Paris, France; Mt. Kisco, NY; Washington, DC;
gender F
historical notes Daughter of German immigrant Frederic H. Ernst and his wife Lucy Schmidt Ernst, Agnes was educated at public schools in New York, and later attended Barnard College, graduating in 1907.

She was hired as a reporter for the New York Sun, reputedly one of the first women to work in the city room of a metropolitan newspaper. In 1907 she went to France to study at the Sorbonne, and in 1911-1912 she attended graduate school at Columbia University. While at the Sun, Agnes first met Alfred Stieglitz, and began her association with the modern art movement in New York.

In February 1910, Agnes married Eugene Meyer (1875-1959), an investment banker who later held government appointments as director of the War Finance Corporation (1918), head of the Federal Farm Loan Board (1927), and the first president of the World Bank (1946). In 1933, Eugene Meyer purchased the Washington Post at auction for $825,000; Agnes was a vice president of the company and also contributed articles. Agnes Ernst Meyers was involved in numerous diverse activities throughout her life. She authored four books, including a scholarly publication on Chinese art, and during World War II wrote a series of widely circulated stories on social conditions in Great Britain during the blitz.

She and her husband founded the Agnes and Eugene Meyer Association, which distributed millions of dollars to worthy causes. Mrs. Meyer was a generous patron and collector; her interests and collection of oriental art lead to the development of a friendship with Charles Lang Freer, serving for a time on the board of the Freer Gallery. [retrieved 4/16/2008,]

Meyer's collection included work by Antoine-Louis Barye, Constantin Brancusi, Paul CĂ©zanne, Charles Despiau, Edouard Manet, John Marin, Auguste Renoir, Diego Rivera, and Auguste Rodin.

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updated 01/28/2019 03:36
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Archive Location Collection Title Links
University of Pennsylvania Correspondence to Van Wyck Brooks, 1949. see details...
The Getty Research Institute Marius de Zayas letters sent to Paul B. Haviland, 1915-1918. see details...
Archives of American Art Artists at Mt. Kisco [graphic].
see details...
The Getty Research Institute Marius de Zayas Research Collection for How, When and Why Modern Art Came to New York, ca. 1910-1936. see details...
Library of Congress Papers of Joseph Pulitzer, 1897-1958 (bulk 1925-1955).
see details...
Library of Congress Agnes Elizabeth Ernst Meyer papers, 1907-1970.
see details...
Archives of American Art Charles Lang Freer selected papers, 1876-1931. see details...
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives Charles Lang Freer Papers 1876-1931 see details...
University of Pennsylvania Correspondence, 1957, from Lewis Mumford. see details...
University of Pennsylvania Letters, 1934-1953, n.d., to Lewis Mumford. see details...

see also:
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946