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Jane Engelhard, 86, philanthropist

NEW YORK -- Jane Engelhard, an art collector whose philanthropic gifts included donations to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the White House Christmas creche, died of pneumonia Sunday at her Nantucket home. She was 86.

As the wife of industrialist Charles Engelhard, she was noted as a New York socialite -- she was the mother-in-law to Oscar de la Renta -- and for helping Jacqueline Kennedy restore the White House.

Active in Democratic Party politics, the Engelhards frequently represented President Kennedy at diplomatic occasions. During the Johnson administration, they served as a bridge between loyalists of the Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson camps.

After her husband's death in 1971, Mrs. Engelhard continued to expand her personal collection by acquiring such rare pieces as the original presidential proclamation of the Louisiana Purchase and several Monet paintings.

In 1980 she donated the Charles Engelhard Court to the Met's American Wing and was a trustee of the museum from 1974 to 1981.

She also made donations to the Newark Museum and the New Jersey Symphony.

She leaves five daughters, Annette de la Renta of Manhattan; Susan O'Connor of Missoula, Mont.; Sophie Craighead of Jackson Hole, Wyo.; Sally Pingree of Washington; and Charlene Engelhard of Concord, Mass.; two sisters, Brigitte de la Rochefoucauld of Paris and Madame Jacque Bemberg of Lausanne, Switzerland; 12 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

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