Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Archives related to: Widener, Joseph E. (Joseph Early), 1872-1943

titleJoseph E. Widener letter, 1923.
repositoryArchives of American Art
descriptionA letter to Mrs. Graham Shaw, May 21, 1923, permitting her to chaperone 12 people on a visit to his art collection. He agrees with Mrs. Shaw that "the appreciation of art in Philadelphia is much needed...."
extent1 item (on partial microfilm reel) reel 3482
accessPatrons must use microfilm copy.
record source
acquisition informationProvenance unknown.
updated03/16/2023 10:29:54

titleRembrandt drawings.
repositoryNational Gallery of Art, Library
descriptionSpine title.
Compiled by Joseph E. Widener?
Consists of mounted black and white reproductions of 46 of the artist's drawings with captions in typescript on the verso of each leaf. Some reproductions have "Not in Widener Collection" in ms. next to them.
extent[44] leaves, bound : 46 ill. ; 34 cm.
accessContact repository for restrictions.
record source
acquisition informationGift of Joseph E. Widener.
updated11/12/2014 11:29:54

titleDuveen Brothers Records, 1876-1981, bulk 1909-1964
repositoryThe Getty Research Institute
descriptionThe records provide an detailed view of the Duveen Brothers business activities in London, Paris, and New York. Although the archive extends from 1876-1981, the bulk of the material dates from Joseph Duveen's tenure as president of the firm, 1909-1939, and the period from 1939 to 1964 when Edward Fowles directed the firm (with Armand Lowengard until 1943). The mass of documents, such as cables and letters, invoices, and ledger and stock books, give a day-by-day account of art dealing, business strategy, and the individuals involved

NOTE Series I (ca. 112 linear feet) contains the firm's business records. Stock books indicate where objects were sent for repair, to whom objects were sent on approbation along with the date of sale and the price realized. Invoices include receipts, sales invoices sent to clients, lists of cablegrams and shipment of stock from each branch of the business

Series II (ca. 155 linear feet) consists of papers and correspondence which broadly cover the interaction between the Duveen Brothers firm and its clients, business associates, and the public. The correspondence describes art collecting trends among museums and individuals, the availability and purchase of art, art research and authentication, and the firm's general business practices. Eleven boxes of correspondence with Bernard Berenson detail his business relationship with the firm. Also included are records of lawsuits, correspondence between branches (some written in code), correspondence with museums, papers regarding galleries, Edward Fowles' papers, papers concerning exhibitions and loans, and papers regarding major art collectors and consultants. Some records of Kleinberger Galleries (apparently the papers of Harry G. Sperling, president) form a subseries within this series, and contain correspondence

Series III (c. 127 linear feet) includes some photographs, indices, negatives, and x-rays. This series represents the Duveen Brother's stock of images. Indices are available for the majority of the negatives in cold storage

("X Book" (Berenson transaction) is the only unique Duveen document not transferred to the GRI. It has not yet been photocopied. The "X Book" details, for a limited number (about 250) of Italian paintings in which Berenson had a financial interest, precise dates of purchase and sale, primarily in the years 1910-27. There is no index.) AAM

Watson Library Reference

Microfilm Cabinet
extentCa. 394 linear ft. 584 boxes, glass negative cabinets, and 18 flat file folders. 422 microfilm reels : positive ; 35mm
formatsPhotographs X rays Correspondence Financial Records Inventories
accessMicrofilm of the archive is available for use by qualified researchers. The archive is restricted because of extreme fragility
record link;query=;brand=default
record source
finding aidUnpublished finding aid available in the repository and on the repository's Web site: folder level control. See the following web page digitization information:
acquisition informationEdward Fowles donated the Duveen Brothers records to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1968. The Metropolitan gave the records to the Getty Research Library in 1996.
updated11/12/2014 11:29:54

titlePaintings in the collection of Joseph Widener at Lynnewood Hall.
repositoryThe Historical Society of Pennsylvania
description"This handbook, containing brief descriptive notes of one hundred and five pictures in Mr. Joseph Widener’s collection, is an abbreviated edition of the catalogue de luxe, in three volumes, prepared by B. Berenson, C. Hofstede de Groot, W. Roberts and W. R. Valentiner."
extent1 vol.
formatsPrinted Materials
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record source
acquisition informationPublication Info: Elkins Park, Pa. : Privately printed, 1931.
updated11/12/2014 11:29:54

titleWidener Family History
repositoryWidener University Archives
descriptionBox contents include:
1. Book titled "A Trust in the Blood " by David Lewis Eyson about the grants that were awarded according to the terms of a trust agreement signed by George D. Widener.

2. Viewbook of the Widener Memorial School

3. Clippings, various years including obituaries of:
Peter A. B. Widener, 1948
Joseph E. Widener, 1943
Eleanor Widener Dixon, undated
George D. Widener, 1971
Fitz "Eugene" Dixon, 2006 (also includes Widener University Memorandum announcing his death). Includes information about his ownership of the Philadelphia NBA basketball team the Philadelphia 76ers.
4. Articles on the Widener Family including:
Peter Arrell Brown Widener
George Dunton Widener
Joseph E. Widener
Peter A. B. Widener, 2nd.
Harry Elkins Widener

5. Press release 1972 - Profile: Widener Family

6. List of books in Widener Library at Harvard University about Widener Family 1972

7. Copy of engraving of Harry E. Widener

8. Copy on CD of lecture given on April 22, 2002 by Dr. Joseph Edgette entitled "The Widener Family and the Titanic."
formatsClippings Printed Materials
accessOpen by appointment.
record source
updated11/12/2014 11:29:54

titleAmerican Art Association records, 1853-1924.
repositoryArchives of American Art
descriptionPapers retained by Kirby, 1910-1923, including photograph and price files on more than 100 auctions, 1910-1913, 1915-1918, and 1921-1923, with sections from a typescript of the history of the firm describing many of the sales; a correspondence and clipping file, 1910-1923, containing letters from William Merritt Chase regarding the sale of his collection, David Belasco, Joseph Widener, Lockwood deForest, John P. Morgan, and others; an address on the history of the Association delivered by Kirby; and a small file of material commemorating the death of Francis Davis Millet, drowned in the sinking of the Titanic, 1912.

REELS 4478-4484: 28 v. of record books, including 14 v. recording sales of paintings, 1885-1921; "Disposition of Pictures," 1886-1891 (mostly 1887), (1 v.); "Pictures Rec'd and Delivered," July 1881-May 1891 (1 v.); Submissions to New York Water Color Club, 1890-1892 (1 v); Sales by other galleries and auction houses, 1853-1902 (4 v.), representing sales in Paris and the U.S., apparently compiled from printed catalogs; stock book, 1887-1917, of "Paintings," (1 v.), and a stock book for furniture of the American Art Association offices, 1912 (1 v.); and 4 albums of photographs of Stanford White's house and collection, auctioned November 1907.

UNMICROFILMED (7.7 linear ft.): Thomas Kirby's correspondence, speeches, partnership agreements, memorabilia, and notes and manuscript pages from his autobiography and biography (both unfinished); speeches and press releases related to the 1922 opening of the American Art Galleries; files on auctions and exhibitions, 1884-1910, compiled by Rose H. Lorenz to aid Charles De Kay in the preparation of Kirby's biography "Art Under the Hammer" (unfinished), containing correspondence, clippings, price lists, photographs and manuscript pages; financial records of auctions, 1918-1922; memoranda and legal papers; clippings, exhibition catalogs, 1853-1917; and photographs.

Among the photographs are several of Thomas Kirby and 1 of Gustavus, and a group of 62 cabinet photographs taken by photographers in Paris, all but a few of French artists, probably related to the Association's involvement in the late 1890s to early 1900s of sales of paintings by French artists.

UNMICROFILMED (13 linear ft.): ca. 172 volumes and packages, including account books (75 v.); Bric-a-Brac (4 v.), salary lists (5 v.), sales of books, etchings, etc. (4 v.), catalog distribution (3 v.), and address books (128 v.). Also included are 9 v. of ledgers from the Blakeslee Galleries, presumably acquired in 1914 when gallery owner Theron Blakeslee died, and the Association auctioned off the Gallery's paintings.
extent50 linear ft. (partially microfilmed on 7 reels) reels 422-425 and 4478-4484
formatsCorrespondence Photographs Clippings Financial Records Notes
accessMicrofilmed portion must be consulted on microfilm. Use of unmicrofilmed portion requires an appointment and is limited to Washington, D.C. storage facility.
record source
finding aidUnmicrofilmed (7.7 linear ft.): Box inventory available at AAA offices. Reels 4478-4484: Inventory of record books available at AAA offices.
acquisition informationMaterial on reels 422-425 was donated in 1968 by Kirby's daughter, Mrs. Thomas B. Waller. The unmicrofilmed material and record books on reels 4478-4484 were originally given to the American Antiquarian Society by Gustavas T.Kirby, son of Thomas E. Kirby, in 1936. The Antiquarian Society placed the record books on deposit at the Archives of American Art in 1972 and subsequently donated them along with the Kirby material January 1978. An additional 5 items concerning the opening of the Association's new building were donated 1993 by the American Antiquarian Society.
updated11/12/2014 11:30:00

titleArtist file: Widener, Joseph E. (Joseph Early), 1872-1943.
repositoryThe Brooklyn Museum Libraries and Archives
descriptionThe file may include any of the following materials: announcements, clippings, photographs, press releases, brochures, reviews, invitations, small exhibition catalogs, resumés, other ephemeral material.

Cite as:
Brooklyn Museum Library Collections. Schweitzer Gallery files.

Location: Brooklyn Artist Files
Call Number: AF BMA W
extent1 folder
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record source
acquisition informationFiles compiled by BMA library staff from 1917 to the present.
updated11/29/2022 15:49:50

titleDavid E. Finley Papers, 1915-1977
repositoryNational Gallery of Art, Library
descriptionThe personal papers of David Finley, lawyer, first director of the National Gallery of Art and close associate of Andrew W. Mellon in the planning of the National Gallery, span the period from about 1915, when Finley began to practice law, to the months shortly before his death. They consist of correspondence, speeches, articles, diaries, photographs, recordings, medals, certificates and related materials. Of particular interest are records relating to the construction of the West Building of the National Gallery of Art and files concerning Andrew W. Mellon.

Biographical and Historical Note
Born 1890, York, South Carolina; 1922-27, Member, War Loan Staff, U.S. Dept. of the Treasury; 1927-32, Special assistant to Secretary of the Treasury, Andrew W. Mellon; 1931, Married Margaret Morton Eustis; 1932-33, Honorary counselor to the American Embassy at the Court of St. James; 1938-56, Director, National Gallery of Art; 1950-62, Chairman, National Trust for Historic Preservation; 1950-63, Chairman, U.S. Commission of Fine Arts; 1977, February 1, died, Washington, D.C.
extentca. 73 linear ft.
formatsPersonal Papers Correspondence Writings Ephemera
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record source
updated11/12/2014 11:30:00

titleJohn C. Hemment Photographic collection, 1885-1908.
repositoryKeeneland Association Library
descriptionThis is a collection of over 1,000 black and white photographs by John C. Hemment. The primary subject of the collection is horse racing and racetracks with a strong emphasis on events at New York and Maryland tracks.

Subjects documented in the photographs include thoroughbred horse racing, harness racing, hunt meetings, steeplechase events, and horse sales. The collection is particularly rich in photographs of crowd scenes, and in individual and group shots of jockeys, trainers, bookmakers, horse breeders or owners, and track patrons at a variety of tracks in New York around the turn of the century. Tracks represented include Belmont Park, Empire City, Aqueduct, and Saratoga in New York; Pimlico in Maryland; the Savannah Jockey Club in Georgia; Point Breeze in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Bennings in Washington, D.C.

Sponsors of events pictured include the Coney Island Jockey Club, the Brooklyn Jockey Club, the Brighton Beach Association, the Westchester Racing Association, the Queens County Jockey Club, the Maryland Jockey Club, the Savannah Jockey Club, and the United Hunts Racing Association. Also present are views of horse breeding farms, including the Robert Bonners Stock Farm in Tarrytown, New York; a variety of conformation shots of prominent horses of the period; numerous racing action shots; and views of harness racing on ice at Lake Saranac, New York. Prominent people connected with horse racing, among them August Belmont, Harry Payne Whitney, Foxhall P. Keene, James R. Keene, Joseph E. Widener, and William C. Whitney, are also shown.

Biographical note:
John C. Hemment was particularly active as a turf photographer. He also photographed other sporting events and provided photographic coverage of the Spanish-American War, which resulted in a book, CANNON AND CAMERA, published in 1898. Hemment was reportedly a recognized leader in "instantaneous" photography and photographed the most difficult athletic events with his own specially designed camera.
extent7 v.
accessRestrictions on access: Consultation permitted. Duplication of prints permitted only for use in published magazine articles or books.
record source
acquisition informationThe collection originally belonged to Joseph E. Widener, prominent in the American horse industry and developer of Hialeah Park.
updated11/12/2014 11:30:00

titleOral history interview with Agnes Mongan, 1989 June 21.
repositoryNational Gallery of Art
descriptionAgnes Mongan, a Kress professor at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts(CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., was a long-time observerand associate of the Gallery. Mongan described her education in Paul Sachs's museum course and recalled seeing Andrew Mellon's collection in his Washington apartment and the Widener collection at Lynnewood Hall in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. She described friendships with John Walker and Kenneth Clark and recalled their intellectual and cultural interests and friendships. She especially noted her association with American Defense/Harvard Group, and the impact of the U.S. Army's Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Section and its officers during World War II. She described various National Gallery personalities and her experiences as Kress professor.
extentTranscript : 78 p. 2 sound cassettes (ca. 120 minutes)
formatsTranscript Sound Recording
accessCopyright owned by the National Gallery of Art. Forms part of: National Gallery of Art Oral History Project.
record source
acquisition informationInterview conducted by John Harter on 21 May 1989 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
updated11/12/2014 11:30:00

titleOral history interview with Noel Smith, 1990 August 23.
repositoryNational Gallery of Art
descriptionNoel Smith served as horticulturist at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., from shortly before the Gallery's dedication in March 1941 until his retirement in 1973. Smith recalled the loan of Joseph Widener's acacias for the dedication and their temporary storage in the United States Botanic Garden. He described his work cultivating greenhouse plants and maintaining the garden courts and noted that his duties later expanded to include caring for the Gallery's grounds. He particularly remembered his ongoing struggle with the discourtesies of U.S. Park Police horses. Smith described his particular interest in the readings he performed with the National Gallery orchestra.
extentTranscript : 32 p., 1 sound cassette (ca. 45 minutes)
formatsTranscript Sound Recording
accessCopyright owned by the National Gallery of Art. Forms part of: National Gallery of Art Oral History Project.
record source
acquisition informationInterview conducted by Anne Ritchie on 23 August 1990 in Washington, D.C.
updated11/12/2014 11:30:00

titleOral history interview with Edith Appleton Standen,f1989 Dec. 1.
repositoryNational Gallery of Art
descriptionEdith Appleton Standen was secretary to the Widener art collection from 1929 to 1942. She joined the Women's Army Corps in 1943 and became an officer in the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Section in Europe. She served as a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York until her retirement in 1970. Standen described Paul Sachs's museum course at the Fogg Museum and explained how she was hired by Joseph Widener. She recalled Widener's approach to his art collection, dealers he worked with, and transfer of the collection to the National Gallery of Art.

She explained her work in Europe for the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Section and assessed the impact of the transfer of Berlin paintings to the National Gallery.
extentTranscript : 49 p.; 2 sound cassettes (ca. 100 minutes)
formatsTranscript Sound Recording
accessTapes are not available to researchers.
record source
acquisition informationInterview conducted by A. C. Viebranz on 1 December 1989 in New York, New York. Forms part of: National Gallery of Art Oral History Project.
updated11/12/2014 11:30:00

titlePapers of William J. Collins, 1902-1958.
repositorySterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
descriptionWilliam J. Collins was brought on as the first curator of prints and drawings in 1958. He had been the head, since 1939, of the Department of Prints at Knoedler & Co. in New York City, where the Clarks purchased many of their artworks. Collins passed away unexpectedly in 1960.

This collection consists of a number of different types of items. A three-ring binder documents sales of prints, drawings, and etchings to such major early-20th century collectors as Henry Clay Frick, Andrew W. Mellon, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Joseph Widener, and Blanche Adler. Sales date back as early as 1902, so the binder probably belonged to Collins's predecessor at Knoedler's, Norman F. Wells, or perhaps even Wells's predecessor.

Collins kept a number of loose letters and ephemera stored inside its covers. There is also a small bound leather book divided into alphabetically tabbed sections. Most of the pages are blank, but some contain more lists in the same handwriting as the binder. They may also be prints and drawings bought or sold by Knoedler, but the annotations use abbreviations and numbers that are indecipherable.

An A-Z accordion file contained items relating to both the life and work of Collins, including a letter to his father composed after his brother was killed in battle during World War I; a letter from RSC, along with Collins's responses, regarding some prints RSC was hoping to buy; photographs of works Collins was buying or selling; ephemera relating to art shows; and other correspondence.

A black spring binder contains notebook pages with writing in pencil. There are passages that relate to the Bible and to art history. There is some translation from German. There is nothing conclusively identifying this object with Collins and its purpose remains unclear. The remaining items were found in Collins's room at the Williams Inn after he died. These include catalogs and other publications; several small oil paintings perhaps done by Collins; ephemera such as his credit card and Catholic holy cards; and additional correspondence and documents. One folder of materials is labeled James F. Drake, Inc. and contains correspondence between Collins and the rare book dealer regarding obtaining a number of art books for the Clark.

extent.8 linear ft.
formatsPhotographs Correspondence Ephemera Inventories Financial Records
accessContact the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Library for further details.
record source
finding aidAvailable online and at the repository (Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Library).
acquisition informationThe binder and the book were acquisitioned in early 2007 after being removed from a collection of items that eventually made up the Realia and the Personal series of the Sterling and Francine Clark Papers. The A to Z file and personal items were accessioned in October 2007, along with records pertaining to the Prints and Drawings Collection.
updated11/12/2014 11:30:10

titleThe Fototeca Berenson (Villa I Tatti Photo Archives)
repositoryBiblioteca Berenson, Villa I Tatti
descriptionThe collection contains about 300,000 photographs, many of them collected by Berenson himself from the 1880s until the time of his death in 1959. Many have notes on the back in his handwriting. Many show works of art before restoration, and others show images since destroyed.

An important section, "Homeless paintings", contains photographs of works whose current location is unknown. The photographs are almost exclusively black and white in a variety of photographic media, such as albumen, gelatine, or carbon.

About 3000 large-format photographs are stored separately. In addition, there is a considerable amount of documentary material in the form of clippings, notes and printed reproductions.

The photographs are arranged according to Berenson's original scheme, by school: Florence, Siena, Central Italy, Northern Italy, Lombardy, Venice, Southern Italy. Within each school they are arranged by artist, then by topography, followed by homeless. Paintings and drawings are arranged separately.

The main focus of the collection is on Italian painting and drawing from the mid-thirteenth to the mid-sixteenth centuries. This part of the collection continues to be developed through the acquisition of new materials and through photographic campaigns. Later periods are also represented but in smaller scale, without systematic updating.

There is also material on medieval painting, arranged topographically; manuscript illumination, arranged according to present location; archeology; Byzantine art and architecture, arranged both by artist and by location; and non-Italian art, arranged by country. Finally a section of 8000 photographs is devoted to the art of the Far East, India and Islam.

In addition to the original Berenson nucleus, collections of prints, glass plates, negatives and transparencies have entered the Fototeca.

These include the collections of Emilio Marcucci (nineteenth-century projects for the completion of various Florentine monuments), George Kaftal (representations of saints in Italian painting of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries), Henry Clifford (painting thirtheenth to seventeenth centuries), Giorgio Castelfranco (Italian art thirteenth to twentieth centuries), Giannino Marchig (restoration), Frederick Hartt (Michelangelo, Giulio Romano), Giuseppe Marchini (Italian art and stained glass), and Craig H. Smyth (Renaissance painting and drawing).

There is a small collection of micropublications and microfiche (162,386 frames): L=index photographique de l'art en France (95,648); Sotheby's Pictorial Archive - Old Master Paintings (45,472); Christie's Pictorial Archive Italian School (9,898); Christie's Pictorial Archive - New York 1977-95 Old Master Paintings & Drawings (11,368). The microfilm of the Bartsch Corpus comprises about 42,000 frames.

Most photographers not identified.

extent300,000 + photographs
formatsPhotographs Reproductions Microfilm Artist Files
accessContact Ilaria Della Monica the archivist at the Berenson Library for restrictions and appointments.
record link
record source
finding aidCurrently, there is no catalog of the photographs at Villa I Tatti. In some cases, Artist Files, can be found school (i.e. Venetian, Lombard, Northern Italy, Central Italy, etc. . .) and some are cataloged in Harvard's online catalog, HOLLIS.
acquisition informationOriginally formed by Bernard Berenson the Library continues to add to the file.
updated11/12/2014 11:30:10

titleLangdon Warner Records, 1917-1923
repositoryPhiladelphia Museum of Art
descriptionLangdon Warner, a scholar in Oriental Art and an Archeologist, was the Director of the Museum from 1917 to 1923. He was often away from the Museum working in China. In 1923 he left to accept a position at Harvard. In addition, he was the Curator of the Wilstach Collection, a city-owned collection housed in Memorial Hall.

Warner's correspondence mainly concerns the collection, Memorial Hall, exhibitions and purchases. There is some correspondence with corporate officers including President, John D. McIlhenny.

From December 1917 through January 1919 E. Hamilton Bell was Acting Director while Warner was away in China. Some of Bell's correspondence is in this record group as a separate series. Bell also was the Curator of the John G. Johnson Collection, another city-owned collection, from 1917 until his death in 1929 (3/25/1929). Henri Marceau was his Assistant Curator for the Johnson Collection. Bell was Co-Editor of a journal, Eastern Art, along with Horace H. F. Jayne and Langdon Warner.
extent4.5 linear feet
accessThe collection is open for research
record link
record source
finding aidAvailable online
updated11/12/2014 11:30:15