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Sunday, 3 February 2008

Archives: John H. McFadden Collection

Cites Granddad for Collection at Museum

Jasper Y. Brinton, of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, writes:

Thank you for writing such an interesting digest of the McFadden Collection. (Weekly Press, 22 February 2006)

Permit me a comment:

It was Judge Jasper Yeates Brinton (my grandfather) who drew up McFadden's Will not long before the art collector died.

The judge had married Alice McFadden, McFadden's daughter, and it was Brinton's and McFadden's daughter's mutual intervention that finally persuaded her father to compel the City of Philadelphia to get on with the job of building a proper home for art.

A clause in the Will stipulated that the city had seven years of grace before the collection reverted to the National Gallery in Washington.

My grandfather also told me the Will was drawn up only six months before McFadden died. The inheritors were obviously put out by the bequest. And if my grandfather had not the eminence of his position the proceedings might have been contested.

McFadden also backed the Shackleton Antarctic expedition. Luckily, I have inherited the publication printed there (bound in packing crates) and dedicated copies of the subsequent narrative.

On another note, one can only hope the Barnes' move accomplishes the twin goals of keeping one dream alive for the sake of another.

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