Husband Maxim Karolik
Codman-Davis House, 2145 Decatur Place NW, Washington, DC
Belleveu House, 304 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI 02840
Harmony Grove Cemetery Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Martha Catherine Codman Karolik (July 24, 1858 – April 21, 1948) was a philanthropist and American art collector. She donated three major collections of early American furniture, paintings, and prints and drawings to the Boston Fine Art Museum which built a new wing to host it.
Martha Catherine Codman was born on July 24, 1858, in a family whose wealth came from the Russian and China clipper trade, the only surviving child of John Amory Codman (1824-1886) and Martha Pickman Rogers (1829-1905). She grew up in Newport and Boston. She was the great-great-granddaughter of merchant Elias Hasket Derby, considered America's first millionaire. In 1923 she published the journal of her ancestor, Catherine Willard, as Journal of Mrs. John Amory.
In 1907, Ogden Codman Jr. built what was later to be known at the Codman–Davis House in Washington, D.C. for his cousin Martha Codman. Codman took inspiration from the Château de Voisins, Louveciennes, Seine et Oise. The house is currently the official residence of the Ambassador of Thailand, and one of the few intact homes that Ogden Codman Jr. designed. This included a carriage house which now houses the Apex Night Club. Martha Codman sold the house in 1938.
In 1910 Ogden Codman designed "Berkeley Villa" (now Bellevue House), a Colonial Revival mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, for Martha Codman; later, the house belonged to Jane Pickens Hoving, an American singer on Broadway, radio and television for 20 years, who was married Walter Hoving owner of Tiffany & Company and Bonwit Teller. Ronald Lee Fleming, an urban planner, bought the house in 1999. Bellevue House was Ogden Codman's last project in Newport, and it now house part of the American art collection that Martha Codman, alone at first and then with her husband, amassed.
Codman-Davis House, Washington, DC
On February 2, 1928, Martha Codman, scandalizing Boston society, married Maxim Karolik (1893-1963), an opera singer by profession who was notable as an art collector and donor. He was 35 years younger than she.
Martha Codman was a member of Art Association of Newport, Garden Club, Improvement Association, Newport Historical Society and Redwood Library.
Maxim Karolik bought Expulsion from the Garden of Eden by Thomas Cole in 1944. Martha Codman donated the painting to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 1947. It has been in their collection ever since and can be seen on display in their galleries.
Martha Codman Karolik died on April 21, 1948.
In 1939 the Karoliks donated their 18th-century collection of American paintings, furniture, silver and other examples of art to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, which built a wing for it. At the time it was valued at $400,000 ($7,037,321 in 2017 dollars). The Martha & Mazim Karolik Collection of American Paintings (1815-1865) is considered one of the most important collection of American pictures in public or private hands of that period.
The Karolik-Codman family papers (1714-1964) are hosted at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
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