Dr. Know gives a lesson in art history in this question from the March 2012 issue.
Was all the art in the Taft Museum’s permanent collection originally owned by the Tafts, or has the museum acquired additional items over the years? —Just Curious Dear Curious: Originally? Almost all of the art in the Taft Museum’s permanent collection was originally owned by Flemings, Frenchmen, Italians, Etruscans, Chinese, Indians, Britons, Germans, and Dutchmen whose children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc. realized that there was money to be made from selling off the household decorations to wealthy Americans like Anna Sinton and C.P. Taft, whose collection comprise the great bulk of the art of the Taft Museum of Art. There have been a few acquisitions since the Baum-Longworth-Sinton-Taft home opened to the public. For the record, the administrators of the Taft Museum of Art are reviewing the provenance of anything acquired during the years that the Nazis were looting private collections (1933 to 1945), to be sure that none of the gains were ill-gotten.
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