For most visitors over the decades, the central allure of the Metropolitan Museum of Art has been its fabled collection of European paintings. Enthusiasts come repeatedly to see the Old Masters bequeathed to the museum by an array of collectors, including such mighty Manhattan names as Altman and Morgan, Wrightsman and Havemeyer (this last family donated nearly two thousand works to the Met). They come for the magic of the museum’s five Vermeers and...
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