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Guide to the James Hazen Hyde Collection of Allegorical Prints of the Four Continents
ca. 1500-ca.1900
 PR 27

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400

© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Louisa Wood Ruby; database migrated to Archivist Toolkit by Jennifer Gargiulo, 2016

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on July 06, 2016
Finding aid written in English.

Biographical Note

Philanthropist and francophile James Hazen Hyde was born June 6, 1876 in New York city. He graduated from Harvard in 1898 with honors in French and German. He then entered the Equitable Life Assurance Society, the business that his father Henry Baldwin Hyde founded, and was vice president of the firm from 1899-1905. To set the scene for a ball he hosted in 1905, Hyde hired Stanford White to "transform Sherry's into a counterpart of the French court of Louis XVI at Versailles." The ball, which was at first reported to have cost $200,000, caused a scandal that led to an investigation into the insurance industry, at the end of which Hyde resigned from all of his business concerns and relocated to Versailles where he lived until 1941. While living in France, Hyde compiled an extensive collection of allegorical prints. Hyde was one of the founders of the Alliance Française and was awarded the Grand Cross of the French Legion of Honor. He died of pneumonia in Saratoga Springs in 1959.