The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Louisine Waldron Elder, 1855-1929

Nationality: American
Date of Birth: 1855
Place of Birth: New York, NY
Date of Death: 1929
Place of Death:


Louisine Elder Havemeyer was an art collector and supporter of suffragist causes. The daughter of the wealthy sugar refiner George Elder, she married Henry Osborne Havemeyer (1847-1907) in 1883 and they lived in New York City.


Widely travelled and highly cultivated, Louisine Elder Havemeyer was an extremely important collector of 19th century, and particularly Impressionist art (she was the friend and patron of Mary Cassatt). She visited JW's studio in 1881 and bought a number of Venice pastels, which she eventually gave to C. L. Freer, the Detroit collector.

She left the great majority of her extensive art collection (which also included works by earlier artists such as El Greco) to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on her death.

After the death of her husband, Louisine Havemeyer devoted herself to the suffragist movement and was a founder of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage (later the National Woman's party) in 1913. In 1915, she organised a suffrage benefit exhibition, at Knoedler's Galleries, in New York which included works by Degas and Cassatt.


Havemeyer, Louisine Elder, Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector, New York, 1993; Frelinghuysen, Alice Cooney, et al, Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection, exhibition catalogue, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993; Weitzenhoffer, Frances, The Havemeyers: Impressionism comes to America, 1986.