Altman, Benjamin

Altman, Benjamin

(1840–1913) businessman, art collector; born in New York City. Much of his early life is obscure and he had little formal education. By 1865 he owned a dry goods store in New York City, and later founded B. Altman & Company (1906), which became one of the country's most stylish department stores. He collected paintings and sculptures among other art works during his many visits to Europe. He bequeathed his collection to the Metropolitan Museum and a legacy to the National Academy of Design.