Henry Osborne Havemeyer
Henry Osborne Havemeyer (1847 – December 4, 1907) was an American entrepreneur who founded and became president of the American Sugar Refining Company in 1891.
Havemeyer, who was born in New York City, inherited sugar refining entities and expanded them with assistance from his brother, Theodore Havemeyer. His companies controlled sugar refining of the United States at the time of his death.
After three years (1865–68) of training in the Havemeyer business of sugar refining in the north-west area of Williamsburgh, Brooklyn, he became a partner in the family firm of Havemeyers and Elder at the age of 22. After a fire destroyed the firm's refinery in Brooklyn in 1882, Henry and his brother Theodore built, on the same site, the largest plant in the country, which became the centerpiece of the Sugar Trust in 1887. In 20 years he became the most expert merchandiser of sugar in the industry's most competitive period. Henry was known as the Sugar King, the country's dean of refiners. In 1891 he was made president of the American Sugar Refining Company serving until his sudden death in 1907 at age sixty. During this time the company controlled 80 percent of the sugar refined in the nation and his name became synonymous with the industry.
In 1897 Havemeyer was brought to trial for contempt of court for refusing to answer the questions put to him by a committee of the United States Senate investigating the amount of donations his company had made to national and state political campaigns in 1892 and 1893. He was found not guilty and the indictment was dismissed. In November 1907, a raid of the docks at the Havemeyer plant in Brooklyn by the U.S. Treasury Department revealed that the scales were not accurate and the firm had significantly underpaid import duties. The case against the American Sugar Refining Company was brought to federal court in New York in 1908, and was won by the government in 1909.
On December 4, 1907, shortly after the raid, Henry Havemeyer died unexpectedly at his home in Commack, Long Island. Funeral services were held at his home at 1 East Sixty-Sixth Street officiated by Rev. Dr. R. Heber Newton, an Episcopalian minister. Havemeyer was buried at Green-Wood Cemetery.
Art collecting 
Henry Havemeyer's first art purchases was made in Philadelphia in 1876 where he bought carved ivory figures, Japanese lacquered boxes, silk, brocades, and sword guards. His purchases were impulsive, numerous, and deeply personal.
Henry Havemeyer divorced his first wife Mary Louise Elder and married her niece Louisine Elder in 1883. Both Henry and Lousine had distinct tastes for art collecting that largely complemented each other. Both Henry and Louisine had to be in agreement as to an objects worth for it to enter their now legendary collection. Louisine focused on collecting modern works by European painters, including the then-unappreciated Impressionists. She was most influenced by her close friend Mary Cassatt, who encouraged her to buy works by Edgar Degas and Claude Monet. Louisine would make 33 transatlantic crossings, returning from each major trip with a bounty of great western art.
The Havemeyers had three children:
- Adaline Havemeyer (1884 - 1963), married to Peter Hood Ballantine Frelinghuysen
- Horace Havemeyer (1886 - 1956), married to Doris Dick Havemeyer
- Electra Havemeyer (1888 - 1960), married to James Watson Webb
Although each of the children collected in their own right, Electra Havemeyer Webb collected on the grand scale of her parents and went on to found a museum to showcase her deep and diverse collections. Louisine identified some 142 works as a bequest to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and empowered her children to give the Met's curators free rein. By the time they had finished an inventory of the Havemeyer's three-story Fifth Avenue manse 1,967 works would be assimilated into the Met's holdings. The Havemeyer collection is represented throughout the galleries, but most notably by the sheer volume of works present in the Impressionist collection. Some choice works from the Havemeyer collection are on view at the Shelburne Museum and the University of Michigan Museum of Art to this day.
See also 
- Frelinghuysen, Alice Cooney, et al. (1993). Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 415. ISBN 978-0-300-08617-1.
- Havemeyer, Harry W. (2010). Henry Osborne Havemeyer: "The Most Independent Mind". New York: Privately Printed. ISBN 978-1-935202-73-8.
- Havemeyer, Louisine W. (1961, 1993). Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. New York: Ursus Press. ISBN 1-883145-00-7.
- Saarinen, Aline B. (1958). The Proud Possessors. New York: Random House.
- Weitzenhoffer, Frances (1986). The Havemeyers: Impressionism Comes to America. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. ISBN 0-8109-1096-9.
- Havemeyer, Harry W. Henry Osborne Havemeyer: "The Most Independent Mind" (Privately Printed), 2010
- Havemeyer, Harry W. Henry Osborne Havemeyer: "The Most Independent Mind" (Privately Printed), 2010, p. 107
- Weitzenhoffer, Frances. The Havemeyers: Impressionism Comes to America (Harry N. Abrams Publishers, New York), 1986, p. 180
- Weitzenhoffer, Frances. The Havemeyers: Impressionism Comes to America (Harry N. Abrams Publishers, New York), 1986, p. 187 - 188
- Havemeyer, Harry W. Henry Osborne Havemeyer: "The Most Independent Mind" (Privately Printed), 2010, p. 128
- Havemeyer, Harry W. Henry Osborne Havemeyer: "The Most Independent Mind" (Privately Printed), 2010, p.129
- Weitzenhoffer, Frances. The Havemeyers: Impressionism Comes to America (Harry N. Abrams Publishers, New York), 1986, p. 180 - 181
- "Henry O. Havemeyer Laid in Greenwood" Dec. 8, 1907 New York Times, http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F60B12FC3C5A17738DDDA10894DA415B878CF1D3
- Weitzenhoffer, Frances. The Havemeyers: Impressionism Comes to America (Harry N. Abrams Publishers, New York), 1986, p. 251 - 252
- Online Biography
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Henry Osborne Havemeyer at Find a Grave
- The Havemeyer Family Papers relating to Art Collecting
- Online edition of Frits Lugt's Les marques de collection de dessins & d'estampes