Saturday, August 1, 2009
Fire Destroys Collection in DC
It took Peggy Cooper Cafritz more than four decades to amass a collection of work by black artists so impressive it attracted the attention of major dealers and even O Magazine, which featured her home in its current issue.
It took only a few hours Wednesday night and Thursday morning for all that to be destroyed, when a fire swept through the house on Chain Bridge Road, the damage exacerbated when the 150 firefighters who responded struggled with low water pressure.
The house was unoccupied at the time and neighbors were able to move pets to safety. The two-alarm blaze was finally extinguished by noon Thursday.
But the significance of the loss of Mrs. Cafritz's collection is "tremendous," said Georgetown art dealer Norman Parish, who runs a gallery specializing in African art. "You can't replace what took her years to collect."
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