For his munificence and his devotion to the Metropolitan Museum and its collections, Judge Untermyer will be remembered as one of the institution's greatest benefactors. By gift and bequest, he gave to the Museum one of the finest and largest collections of English decorative arts, dating from the sixteenth century to the end of the eighteenth, as well as an exceptional collection of Continental porcelain and bronze sculpture. Long known as one of the finest of its kind, the Untermyer Collection has transformed the Metropolitan's collection of English decorative arts into one of the most important outside England.
A superb collector whose discriminating eye was not affected by changing tastes, Judge Untermyer was the first in the United States to collect English needlework, and, beginning in the early 1940s, he was among the first in the country to collect Meissen porcelains. In later years, he continued to acquire outstanding examples of English furniture and rarely missed an opportunity to satisfy his passion for English silver. Since it had always been his intention to bequeath his collection to the Museum, he was careful never to duplicate, but rather to complement, existing Museum holdings.