Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Staempfli, Emily Barclay McFadden

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role Collector Dealer/Gallery
dates 1909-1991
city New York
other citiesCadaquÈs, Spain; Newport, RI;
sex F
historical notes Cotton heiress Emily Barclay McFadden Harrison Staempfli was an art collector, patron, dealer, and gallery owner. Staempfliís father was George H. McFadden (1873-1931), head of an international cotton brokerage firm (George H. McFadden & Brothers).

In 1959, she and her then-husband, George W. Staempfli, established the Staempfli Gallery in New York City. In the summer of 1968, she lent 60 paintings by post-Impressionists and contemporary artists to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Sometime after 1985, two paintings she owned by Picasso and Magritte were stolen and replaced with fakes. In May of 1991, the same year she died, the Picasso 1943, a portrait of one of his girlfriends,†Head of Woman with Golden Earrings†(purchased by Staempfli in 1975), was recovered after it had been offered to Sothebyís for sale. One day later, the Magritte,†Sans Famille†(purchased by Staempfli in 1954), was turned into the Economic Crimes Bureau of the Brooklyn by an unknown person.

The fakes were good, and Staempfli died without knowing that either painting had been missing. Inventories of her collection were completed in 1980 and 1985; the authentic paintings were located in her home for both examinations.

Staempfli had three children with her first husband, John Randolph Harrison (m. 1929, 1904-1997). They were Josephine ìJosyî Harrison Evarts (1930ñ2017, m. 1950, Maxwell Evarts, d. 1986); Robert Carter Harrison, b. 1938 (m. 1967, Nancy Dewey); and Randolph Harrison b. 1932 (m. 1955, Amey Wister).

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Archives/Repository Collection Title Collection Details
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Twentieth Century Art Department Records : I. Exhibition records : F. "The Collection of Emily McFadden Staempfli." May 24, 1968 - September 2, 1968 see details...
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Staempfli Gallery records, 1958-1992 see details...

see also:
Staempfli Gallery (New York, N.Y.)
Staempfli, George W