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Marie Christmas

The noted art collector Albert Lasker loved paintings which exuded color, warmth, and drama. He bought for fun. His greatest hope was to wander into a gallery, see something unexpected, and fall in love with it. Then, more likely than not, he would simply declare, "I'll take it."

On one occasion, he astounded Alfred Frankfurter by asking him to help choose half a dozen Marie Laurencins water colors. "Half a dozen?" Frankfurter echoed, aghast. "Yes," Lasker calmly replied. "For Christmas presents."

[Lasker once set out to buy an entire small museum, but the deal fell through. At one point, his collection contained some 170 first rate oils, gouaches, and water colors, among them no fewer than seventeen Picassos (including the classic "Woman in White Mantilla" and "Still Life with Guitar").]

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