Charles Bierer Wrightsman

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Charles Bierer Wrightsman
Born(1895-06-13)June 13, 1895
DiedMay 27, 1986(1986-05-27) (aged 90)
Occupationoil executive and arts patron
Irene Stafford
(m. after 1922, divorced)

(m. 1944; his death 1986)
ChildrenIrene Wrightsman
Charlene Stafford Wrightsman
Parent(s)Charles John Wrightsman
Edna Wrightsman

Charles Bierer Wrightsman (June 13, 1895 – May 27, 1986) was an American oil executive and arts patron. His second wife, Jayne was also an arts patron.

Personal life[edit]

Charles Bierer Wrightsman was born on June 13, 1895 in Pawnee, Oklahoma. He was the son of Charles John Wrightsman (1868–1959), an Oklahoma oilman and lawyer, and Edna (née Wrightsman) Wrightsman (1872–1950).[1] He attended Phillips Exeter Academy, Stanford University, and Columbia University.[2] He became president of Standard Oil of Kansas.[3] He married twice, first to Irene Dill Stafford (1896–1960), with whom he had two daughters, Irene Wrightsman and Charlene Stafford Wrightsman (1927–1963) the latter of which, like her father, would also marry twice, first to actor Helmut Dantine and second to newspaper columnist Igor Cassini. His second wife was the above-noted Jayne Kirkman Larkin (1919–2019).[4]

Wrightsman had homes in London and Palm Beach at which he frequently hosted John F Kennedy.[5][6]

Wrightsman died at his home on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on May 27, 1986.[7]

Art collection[edit]

On retirement, he used his money to buy artworks for his private collection and for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, most notably donating Gerard David's Virgin and Child with Four Angels and Vermeer's Portrait of a Young Woman, along with works by El Greco, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Georges de La Tour, Rubens and Jacques-Louis David. He also funded the Museum's eight Wrightsman Rooms, furnished and decorated in the 18th century French style, and three further galleries for objets-d'art and furniture from that period.[7]

In 1961 he successfully bid $392,000 for Goya's Portrait of the Duke of Wellington. However, the UK government blocked the purchase and the painting was instead sold to the National Gallery in London to enable it to stay in the United Kingdom.


  1. ^ Gross, Michael (2010). Rogues' Gallery: The Secret Story of the Lust, Lies, Greed, and Betrayals That Made the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Broadway Books. p. 267. ISBN 9780767924894. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Jayne Wrightsman mentor Jacqueline Kennedy priceless collection of French art Marie Antoinette – Easton Caller". Retrieved 2019-05-14.
  3. ^
  4. ^ McFadden, Robert D. (20 April 2019). "Jayne Wrightsman, Arts Benefactor and Doyenne of High Society, Dies at 99". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Charles Bierer Wrightsman, Art Collector". Los Angeles Times. 29 May 1986. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  6. ^ Shulman, Irving (2000). Jackie: The Exploitation of a First Lady. iUniverse. p. 136. ISBN 9780595091348. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Charles Bierer Wrightsman, Philanthropist, Is Dead at 90". The New York Times. May 28, 1986. Retrieved 22 April 2019.

External links[edit]