Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art  
Home Donate Contact Us

 

     
  SAMA Collections
 
 
   
 
   
 
     
 

 

 

 
collections > special collections > charles m. schwab collection
 

The Charles M. Schwab Collection

Charles M. Schwab was one of the twentieth century’s most powerful industrialists.  In 1985, Bethlehem Steel donated to the Museum a collection of presentation silver and other memorabilia associated with Schwab.  Valued for its historical and social as well as artistic interest, the Schwab Collection contains fine examples of early twentieth-century decorative arts.  Chief among these is the massive Commemorative Loving Cup by Tiffany and Company, given to Schwab on April 1, 1901, by officials of the Carnegie Steel Company “as a token of their affection and regard.” 

A native of Loretto, Pennsylvania, Schwab attended St. Francis College before going to work for Carnegie Steel in Pittsburgh.  Sixteen years later, he had risen through the ranks to become the company’s president.  His most important achievement was assisting in the merger of Carnegie Steel with the Federal and National Steel Companies in 1901, resulting in the world’s first billion-dollar business enterprise, the United States Steel Corporation.  After briefly serving as president of this new entity, Schwab became president of Bethlehem Steel, guiding it to a position second only to U.S. Steel in importance.  Schwab built a considerable fortune during his career, but lost much of it due to risktaking and extravagant living.  His Loretto estate, “Immergrun,” was a casualty of the stock market crash of 1929, and is now a community of the Franciscan Order.  Schwab remained fond of Loretto to the end of his days, however, and was buried in his home town in 1939.

 

  Tiffany and Company, Commemorative Silver Box with
Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Charles M. Schwab
, n.d.

Tiffany and Company, Commemorative Silver Loving Cup, 1901