U.S. inventor and business magnate Daniel J. Terra once spent his summers in a house next to Claude Monet’s estate in Giverny, France. During the 1980s, Mr. Terra purchased the home along with other estates and buildings in the area of northern France, famous for inspiring many of the Impressionist’s landscape paintings. Mr. Terra, whose parents were Italian immigrants in Philadelphia, loved the French Impressionists. But he was also fond of the work of contemporary American artists, which he discovered upon marrying painter Adeline Evans Richards in 1937. That’s when he first started collecting American works.
Mr. Terra’s story is that of the dishwasher who became a millionaire, eventually turning into a serious patron of the arts. It all started while apprenticing for his father, a lithographer, while studying chemistry.