Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Archives related to: Hearst, William Randolph, 1863-1951

titleWilliam R. Hearst party photographs [graphic]
repositoryThe Bancroft Library
descriptionTitle supplied by cataloger.
Photographers unknown.
Photographs show parties at San Simeon and Santa Monica: William Randolph Hearst with friends and sons, some in costume.
extent3 photographic prints : b&w ; 27 x 34 cm. or smaller.
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record link
record source
updated03/16/2023 10:29:46

titleWilliam Randolph Hearst papers, 1874-1951 (bulk 1927-1947).
repositoryThe Bancroft Library
descriptionThe William Randolph Hearst Papers, 1874-1951, consist of a portion of Hearst's business and personal office files primarily for the years 1927-29, 1937-38, and 1944-47. The papers present an overview of Hearst's newspaper empire and his management and editorial styles; provide a glimpse into his filmmaking; and provide an incomplete picture of his acquisitions of antiques, art, and property.

The bulk of the collection concerns Hearst's editorial management of his newspapers, syndicated columns, features, and magazines and includes personal notes, correspondence, and telegrams with his publishers, editors, writers, and staff. Although there are only a few drafts of Hearst's articles, editorials, and statements included in the collection, there is a long run of handwritten notes and edited typescripts for his column "In the News" during the 1940s.

Newspaper and magazine staff members often doubled as antique and art agents. Alice Head, head of National Magazine Company Ltd. in London was particularly active in this regard and her files are almost exclusively devoted to purchases and shipping of objects. The International Studio Corporation was the official buying and storage agent purportedly for movie sets.

There is a small amount of material related to the building of the Hearst Castle at San Simeon including correspondence with Julia Morgan, architect, and George Loorz, builder. However, there are no blueprints or drawings and the correspondence deals almost exclusively with the day to day details of construction and workers.
extent14 boxes, 46 cartons, 8 oversize folders, 7 oversize boxes (66 linear ft.)
formatsBusiness Records Correspondence Notes Personal papers Ephemera
accessCOLLECTION STORED, IN PART, OFF-SITE: Advance notice required for use.
record source
finding aidFinding aid available in the library and online.
acquisition informationDonated to The Bancroft Library by William Randolph Hearst, Jr., Austine Hearst, and the Hearst Corporation, 1972.
updated12/04/2017 12:41:40

titleThe William Randolph Hearst Archive
repositoryLong Island University, C. W. Post Campus
descriptionIn 1972, twenty-one years after the death of William Randolph Hearst, Long Island University in Brookville, New York, contracted with the Hearst Corporation to house the Bronx warehouse records as part of a plan to develop an art archival division.

Subsequently in 1975, the entire collection consisting of 160 original albums (rehoused) that record the sheer monumentality and variety of items acquired by Hearst, thousands of his art sales catalogs from as early as 1884, and additional sundry materials in boxes and file cabinets were transferred from the Hearst estate as a gift to the University with the stipulation that over time they would not be sold.

The 160 albums are celebrated and regarded as fundamental to the archive because scholars in the arts often utilize them as research tools. The majority of them contain a table of contents listing the items recorded within. Each piece is recorded with a photograph, a description, and its known provenance, as well as a record of its purchase price, shipping destination, and subsequent sale. Particularly, the albums document
the dizzying array of media amid the eclectic items purchased by Hearst.

Although overlooked in the past, the approximately 10,000 sales catalogs formerly owned by Hearst reveal critical information about his approach to collecting and dealing in the arts.

Art sales catalogs have always been considered a unique tool for several types of research, both art historical and non-art historical, but in this instance, the catalogs not only provide insight into the history of international art collecting, auction houses, trends in artistic taste, and values, but they also provide fascinating clues into a unique world that was to inspire Hearst for the remainder of his life.

Many catalogs contain Hearst’s annotations from orders to buy to political muses. Others contain loose correspondence from Hearst and his associates such as Laurence O’Reilly, Joseph Willicombe and Chris Mac Gregor as well as correspondence between Hearst and art dealers such as Arnold Seligmann and Gerard D’Aquin.

Cite as:
William Randolph Hearst Archive, Long Island University
extent330+ linear ft.
formatsCatalogs Financial Records Photographs Photograph Album Printed Materials
accessDigital Initiatives Department, B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library, Long Island University, C. W. Post Campus. Contact: Dr. Catherine Larkin
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finding aidAlbum indices of WRH sales records are available electronically at: Hearst sales catalog finding aids are available in the library
updated11/12/2014 11:29:49

titleJoseph Willicombe collection of William Randolph Hearst papers, circa 1900-circa 1945.
repositoryThe Bancroft Library
descriptionJoseph Willicombe, "New York American" reporter, was Hearst's personal secretary from the early 1920's through the 1940's

Contains papers of William Randolph Hearst collected by his personal assistant Joseph Willicombe including editorials on a variety of subjects with annotations made by Hearst, copies of outgoing correspondence, memoranda, schedules and notes on various topics written. The documents in this collection were numbered and have been placed in this order, some numbered items are missing and have be noted. These files were used by Edmond Coblentz for his book, "William Randolph Hearst: a Portrait in His Own Words" (1952) Also includes five photographs of Hearst and one of Joseph Willicombe.
extent1 carton and 1 box (1.45 linear ft.)
formatsCorrespondence Notes memoranda Schedules
accessCOLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE: Advance notice required for use.
updated12/04/2017 12:41:40

titleDuveen Brothers Records, 1876-1981, bulk 1909-1964
repositoryThe Metropolitan Museum of Art
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 originals are held at the Getty Institute in CA.
record source
finding aidUnpublished finding aid available in the repository (the Getty Research Library): folder level control. Online finding aid, Watson Online, Metropololitan Art Museum.
acquisition informationThe Metropolitan Museum of Art donated the Duveen archive to the Getty Research Library in 1996. Edward Fowles had donated the archive to the Metropolitan in 1968
updated11/12/2014 11:29:51

titleMattie E. Hewitt and Richard A. Smith photograph collection [graphic], ca. 1910-1960 (bulk 1920-1939)
repositoryThe New-York Historical Society
descriptionThe New-York Historical Society received material for approximately 485 assignments, most of them residences in Manhattan. There are approximately 5,000 photographic prints and 400 film negatives. Approximately three-quarters of the photographs are credited to Hewitt, and the remainder are by Smith.

The bulk of the clients are popular magazines and interior decorators. Views of fashionable apartment interiors, newly built houses, small urban gardens, and other residential settings display the work of decorators and the tastes of well-known people, among them designer Raymond Loewy and photographer Margaret Bourke-White. There are also interiors of hotels, restaurants, clubs, shops, and decorator exhibitions. Miscellaneous images include a 1940 "House of Ideas," a Vanderbilt family yacht, and a radio station. Captions are usually limited to client's name and address and are often dated. The decorator is identified for about half of the assignments.

Historical Note:
Noted garden and architecture photographer Mattie Edwards Hewitt (d. 1956) moved to New York city in 1909 to share a studio with Frances Benjamin Johnston. By the 1920s, she was working independently. When Hewitt retired to Boston, she left her working files to her nephew, Richard Averill Smith, who added to them many of his own prints.

After Smith's death in 1971, the Nassau County Museum received more than 12,000 photographs and distributed many to various historical societies according to their geographic interests.

Cite as
Mattie E. Hewitt and Richard A. Smith Photograph Collection, Dept. of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, The New-York Historical Society.

New-York Historical Society
Print RoomPR-026
extentca. 5,000 photographic prints : b&w ; 8 x 10 in. or smaller.
accessAccess: open to qualified researchers at The New-York Historical Society.
record link
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finding aidIndexes: Finding aid and item level database for this collection available online and at repository. Prints are arranged alphabetically by the name of the resident or business.
acquisition informationGift from the Nassau County Museum in 1971.
updated11/12/2014 11:30:07

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

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