Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America
Archives related to: Taft, Royal C. (Royal Chapin), 1823-1912
|title||M. Knoedler & Co. records, approximately 1848-1971||repository||The Getty Research Institute|
|collection title||The 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
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.
|extent||3042.6 linear feet (5550 boxes, 17 flat file folders).|
|formats||Auction Catalogs Business Records Correspondence Financial Records Ephemera|
|access||Open 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.|
|contact information||Contact gallery's archivist|
|finding aid||At the Getty Research Institute and over their website.|
|acquisition information||Acquired in 2012.|