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Durlacher Bros.

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role Dealer/Gallery
dates 1843-1969
city New York City
gender n/a
historical notes Henry Durlacher founded the Durlacher Brothers firm of art dealers in London in 1843, and was later joined by his brother George.

The firm dealt principally with porcelain and majolica, eventually adding furniture, tapestries, decorative objects, and paintings to their stock. The brothers Durlacher built a clientele that included such significant collectors as Sir Richard Wallace and J. Pierpont Morgan. R. Kirk Askew joined the firm in the 1920s to manage the newly established New York City branch, which quickly became the more influential of the two branches.

George Durlacher, the oldest surviving partner of the originally constituted firm, retired in 1938. Askew became the owner of Durlacher Bros. in 1937 and ran the business from New York until ca. 1969.

R. Kirk Askew (1903-1974) represented a new generation of scholarly dealers. He trained in art history at Harvard. While there he was a student of Arthur McComb, who in 1929 organized the first exhibition of Italian baroque art in the United States.

Askew sold important Old Master drawings and paintings to American museums and collectors between the 1920s and 1960s. The New York branch contributed to such significant collections as the Sachs collection, the Widener collection, the Frick, the Fogg, and the Cleveland Museum, among others. After World War II, however, the gallery increasingly exhibited and handled the work of modern and contemporary artists, including that of Peter Blume, Walter Stuempfig, Florine Stettheimer, and the estate of Pavel Tchelitchew.

Askew and his wife Constance (neé Atwood and the former wife of Arthur McComb) formed part of the New York art scene; friends and colleagues included Julien Levy, Lincoln Kirstein, Peter Blume, Pavel Tchelitchew and Charles Henri Ford, and other artists and dealers. While Levy served in the U.S. Army during World War II, Askew also managed the Julien Levy gallery.

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updated 01/28/2019 03:36
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Archive Location Collection Title Links
Archives of American Art R. Kirk Askew papers, 1928-1967 see details...
The Getty Research Institute Durlacher Bros. Records, 1919-1973. see details...
The Cleveland Museum of Art Records of the Director's Office: Frederic Allen Whiting, 1913-1930 see details...
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Robert Lehman papers, ca. 1880s-1977 see details...
Yale University Library George Dix papers, 1946-1992. see details...
Archives of American Art Gandy Brodie papers, 1954-1983 see details...
Harvard University Art Museum Papers of Edward Waldo Forbes, 1867-2005 see details...
Archives of American Art Robert Isaacson gallery records, 1952-1967. see details...
The Brooklyn Museum of Art Institutional file. see details...
Archives of American Art Hyman Bloom papers, 1936-1980 see details...

see also:
Dix, George