A Collector’s Vision: Highlights from the Dietrich American Foundation at Philadelphia Museum of Art
A rare selection of American art from the 1700s and 1800s, including portraits of George Washington, a teapot made by Paul Revere, and silver from colonial Philadelphia. Explore H. Richard Dietrich Jr.’s vision as a collector and his foundation’s mission to share important examples of American art with the public.
H. Richard Dietrich Jr. (1938–2007) began to collect American art and artifacts for himself as a young man and later to furnish his home in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He saw his extensive collection as a tool for understanding American history, often acquiring objects by known makers or with a strong family history.
In 1963 he established the Dietrich American Foundation, to which he contributed much of his wealth, energy, and time. The foundation has lent works from its collection to more than a hundred institutions, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
In addition to pursuing a career in business, Dietrich devoted his time to the museum—as a patron and a member of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the American Art Advisory Committee—as well as to other public institutions in the region. The foundation’s long-term loans to the museum, including objects in this exhibition, began in 1966 and continue to this day.
image: George Washington, 1788, by James Peale (American, 1749–1831) (Dietrich American Foundation)