A German immigrant who built his fortune in the hosiery business in Reading, Pa., George D. Horst amassed a fine collection of paintings and sculpture, starting in 1911.
The Horst collection illustrates collecting tastes in the early-to-mid-20th century, and includes prime examples by American Impressionists such as Childe Hassam, Daniel Garber, Edward Willis Redfield, and Frank W. Benson. There are also Barbizon works by the likes of Corot, Boudin and Daubigny. There is a good representation of women artists such as Elizabeth Okie Paxton.
Horst purchased much of the artwork from the annual exhibitions at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and other top venues of the day.
For 88 years, the artwork has been stored in a charming building on a wooded piece of land near Horst’s home. Horst died in 1934, and since then, the artwork was sometimes loaned to exhibitions, but otherwise the collection has been hidden from view. Some estimates value the collection as high as $300,000.