Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Archives related to: Blumenthal, Florence, -1930

titleJacques-Emile Blanche letters and manuscripts, 1886-1937.
repositoryThe Getty Research Institute
descriptionThe collection comprises nineteen detailed letters concerning his portrait painting, art criticism and other professional activities, three manuscripts of articles on art, and a file of rare newspaper articles by and about Blanche.

Of particular interest are a letter of 1886 to Theodor de Wyzewa commenting on the negative public response to Blanche’s portrait of Robert de Montesquiou and on works by Monet, Cazin, Raffaelli, Renoir, Rodin and Besnard exhibited at the Petit gallery; a letter of 1898 to a female patron discussing at some length his views on techniques in portraiture; two long letters to Florence Meyer Blumenthal criticizing the aims of her committee to aid indigent artists and commenting on the current art market; three letters, 1920-1923, discussing his reading of Fromentin and others and his critical writing; a letter of 1924 addressing the controversy surrounding his portrait of Rodin for the Hotel Biron; three letters (1927-1931) to Robert St. Jean about subjects for articles for the Revue Hebdomadaire; and a letter of 1933 to a hostile critic concerning a misreading of Blanche’s writings.

Other letters give information about his work and health and make significant mention of the dealer Marcel Bernheim, the writers Elemir Bourges and Louis Vauxcelles, and the artists Paul Helleu, Roger Marel, Maurice Guillemot. A letter and inscribed calling card to Alexandre Benois, 1937 May, expostulates against "ces braves types de bourgeois... nos amis de la rue Varenne" and discusses a proposed exhibition of his views of England.

The manuscripts include a 2 p. response to an enquete from "L’Europe nouvelle" on the subject of cultural exchange among nations (1920); a 4 p. review of Joubin’s edition of Delacroix’s journal entitled "L’honnete homme au XIXe siecle" (1932); and a short essay entitled "Bloc-notes parisiens, debuts d’exposants" (n.d.) which suggests that rejection by Salon juries is being put to commercial advantage by enterprising artists and dealers.

Biographical or Historical Notes:
French painter and art critic.
extent22 items.
formatsCorrespondence Writings Manuscript
accessOpen for use by qualified researchers.
record link
record source
updated03/16/2023 10:29:54

titleM. Knoedler & Co. records, approximately 1848-1971
repositoryThe Getty Research Institute
descriptionThe records of M. Knoedler & Co. document the business of the prominent American art dealer from the mid-19th century to 1971, when the Knoedler Gallery was acquired by Armand Hammer. The archive traces the development of the once provincial American art market into one of the world's leading art centers and the formation of the private art collections that would ultimately establish many of the nation's leading art museums, such as the Frick Collection and the National Gallery of Art.

It brings to the foreground the business side of dealing as artworks shuttled back and forth among Knoedler, fellow dealers, and collectors, documenting developments in art connoisseurship, shifting tastes, the changing role of art in American society, and the essential role of private collectors in the formation of public American art collections.

The records provide insight into broader economic, social and cultural histories and the nation's evolving sense of place in the world. The Knoedler Gallery became one of the main suppliers of old master and post-Impressionist paintings in the United States. Financial records of the firm provide crucial provenance information on the large number of artworks in American museums that were sold by the gallery. The archive includes stock books, sales books and commission books; correspondence with collectors, artists, art dealers and other associates; photographs of the artworks sold by the gallery; records from the firm's offices in London, Paris and other cities; exhibition files; framing and restoration records, and records of the firm's Print Department.

Selected portions of the archive have been digitized and made available online. Connect to selected digitized portions of the archive.

Arranged in 14 series:
Series I. Stock books;
Series II. Sales books;
Series III. Commission books;
Series IV. Inventory cards;
Series V. Receiving and shipping records;
Series VI. Correspondence;
Series VII. Photographs;
Series VIII. Exhibition files;
Series IX. American Department records;
Series X. Framing and restoration records;
Series XI. Print Department records;
Series XII. Other financial records;
Series XIII. Library cards, scrapbooks, and research materials;
Series XIV. Knoedler family papers

Biographical/Historical Note:
M. Knoedler & Co. was a successor to the New York branch of Goupil & Co., an extremely dynamic print-publishing house founded in Paris in 1827. Goupil's branches in London, Berlin, Brussels, and The Hague, as well as New York, expanded the firm's market in the sale of reproductive prints.

The firm's office in New York was established in 1848. In 1857, Michael Knoedler, an employee of Goupil and a manager for the firm, bought out the interests in the firm's New York branch, conducted the business under his own name, and diversified its activities to include the sale of paintings. Roland Knoedler, Michael's son, took over the firm in 1878 and with Charles Carstairs opened galleries in Paris and London.

In 1928, the management of the firm passed to Roland's nephew Charles Henschel, Carman Messmore, Charles Carstairs and Carstairs' son Carroll. In 1956 Henschel died, and E. Coe Kerr and Roland Balaÿ, Michael Knoedler's grandson, took over. In 1971 the firm was sold to businessman and collector Armand Hammer. The gallery closed in November 2011.

extent3042.6 linear feet (5550 boxes, 17 flat file folders).
formatsAuction Catalogs Business Records Correspondence Financial Records Ephemera
accessOpen for use by qualified researchers, with the following exceptions. Boxes 77, 262-264, 1308-1512, 1969-1974, 3592-3723 are restricted due to fragility. Box 4468 is restricted until 2075.
record link
record source
contact informationContact gallery's archivist
finding aidAt the Getty Research Institute and over their website.
acquisition informationAcquired in 2012.
updated05/29/2018 14:44:15