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Lillie P. Bliss


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American collector and patron, born into a wealthy Boston family. She was a friend of Arthur B. Davies, who stimulated her interest in modern art. At the Armory Show (1913), masterminded by Davies, she bought pictures by Degas, Redon, and Renoir, and later developed a taste for more avant-garde work. In 1929 she was one of the founders of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and when she died two years later she left the bulk of her collection to the Museum. Her bequest included eleven oils and eleven watercolours by Cézanne (her favourite artist) and works by Derain, Gauguin, Modigliani, Picasso, Rousseau, and other major figures. The gift formed the foundation of the permanent collection and, because her will stipulated that certain paintings could be sold or exchanged, it made possible further enhancement of the collection.

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