James Stunt Loans Museum Five Paintings
Earlier this year we reported that British billionaire James Stunt withdrew his bid for the coveted van Dyck self-portrait that incited the largest public fundraising art campaign in British history. Many critics of Stunt, including Internet trolls, were quick to call him selfish and accuse him of “flaunting his wealth.” While Stunt’s net worth is indeed in the ballpark of $6 billion, the bid for the painting doesn’t appear to have been an act of flaunting wealth.
Evidence appears to support the contrary, that Stunt is just a genuine fan of art and collecting. His collection is so vast, he even loaned some paintings to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts after inviting the museum’s director to his Los Angeles home in January of this year.
Admittedly, even The Business Rich overlooked this charitable act somehow. Although Stunt is famously private and has never granted an interview, The Boston Globe was able to write about Stunt’s art contributions via Boston Museum Fine Arts Director Malcom Rogers. Stunt loaned five works, including a 17th century van Dyck, a “Portrait of Moll Davis” by Peter Lily and works by Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Lawrence and John Constable.
“It’s an exciting new relationship,” Rogers told the Globe of his visit with Stunt. “Though [the museum has] some beautiful British paintings, it’s not the strongest area of our collections. Can you believe we don’t have a portrait of a beautiful, sexy woman by Lely?”
A good relationship to have, indeed. Stunt’s private collection is reportedly only rivaled by the Royal Collection in Britain. It’s likely one impressive collection to have access to, even if only temporarily.