Why this American cereal heiress amassed a huge Russian art collection

PBS NewsHour | Alison Thoet

It’s the 1930s and there are inklings of a Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The U.S. sends a diplomat who also brings along his wife — the American heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. That encounter would spark a passion that would grow into the largest collection of Russian art outside that country.

Today, Post’s Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens in Washington, D.C., houses her vast and obsessive collection of Imperial Russian collected artworks, including nearly 90 Faberge pieces, 60 Russian porcelain dining services featuring dishes from Empress Catherine the Great, 25 silver religious chalices, two minutely detailed Imperial Easter eggs and the nuptial crown of Empress Alexandra. Hillwood does not release the value of the collection, which it sees as priceless. But a missing Imperial Easter egg found in 2015 in the American Midwest had an estimated worth of $33 million…read more

Image: American Heiress and art collector Marjorie Merriweather Post. Image courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens