…Roger Fry, 42, is worried. He hasn’t been happy with the way his job with New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has been working out. Five years ago, when he first met the Museum’s new president, financier J P Morgan, 72, he was impressed. Two years later, when Morgan chose him over noted art historian Bernard Berenson, 44, to be curator of European painting, he was thrilled.
Initially Fry had enjoyed traveling with the ‘Big Man’ throughout Europe on art-buying excursions, and even the frequent trips to New York. He’d met Mark Twain!
But last year he decided that the travel was wearing him down. His wife, Helen, 45, was ill, and Fry had convinced the museum to reassign him as ‘European adviser’ so he could spend most of his time at home in London.
And now Fry’s suspicions about his wealthy American boss have been confirmed. Fry had negotiated a low price for a fabulous piece of Italian sculpture on the basis that it was going to the Metropolitan Museum. He has just found out that Morgan bought it for his own collection. At the reduced price. Fry suspects this has happened before.
He knows what he has to do. Fry has to tell one of the members of the Museum’s board of trustees. And he knows Morgan will have him fired.
This year, we’ll be telling stories about these groups of ‘such friends,’ before, during and after their times together.