Bliss, Lillie (1864–1931)

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Bliss, Lillie (1864–1931)

American philanthropist. Name variations: Lizzie Plummer Bliss. Born Lizzie Plummer Bliss in Boston, Massachusetts, April 11, 1864; died in New York City, Mar 13, 1931; dau. of Cornelius Newton Bliss (textile commission merchant and secretary of the interior under President McKinley) and Elizabeth Mary (Plummer) Bliss; never married; no children.

Co-founder of New York Museum of Modern Art, purchased 2 Renoirs, 1 Degas, and 2 Redons at the Armory Show (1913), initiating a collection of modern French art that would become one of the finest in US; in subsequent years, acquired paintings by Gauguin, Cézanne, Seurat, Matisse, Modigliani and Picasso, as well as by Arthur B. Davies, whose work she continued to collect until her death; with Abby Aldrich Rockefeller and Mary Sullivan, launched Museum of Modern Art (1929); encouraged and supported freedom of expression in the art world, and through her efforts established the modern-art movement in US and guaranteed its continuance.

See also Women in World History.

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