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Duveen Brothers stock documentation from the dealer's library, 1829-1965

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Duveen Brothers stock documentation from the dealer's library

Scope and Content of Collection

The stock documentation formed part of the library of the Duveen Brothers that was purchased in 1965 by The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. It was not included in the business records that were deeded in 1968 by Edward Fowles to the Metropolitan Museum and in turn donated to the Getty Research Institute in 1996 (Accession No. 960015). After the Clark Institute integrated the published books, sales catalogs and periodicals from the Duveen Brothers' Library into the institute's general collections, there remained a significant archive, comprised of photograph albums, drafts and published catalogs, brochures, clippings arranged in scrapbooks, photographs of the firm's stock, architectural plans, and art expertise documentation. This portion of the art dealer's records documents the firm's exhibition work, cataloging, research, and publication of works of art and collections. It includes collectors' files and authentication records from art experts, notably Bernard Berenson. The archive was placed on deposit in 2006 at the Getty Research Institute for processing, cataloging, conservation and microfilming.

The archive is primarily visual in nature, as its largest series consists of the photographic reference files maintained by Duveen Brothers personnel. Also included are albums of photographs that record the most important works of art in the firm's stock and albums of photographs that illustrate collections of the firm's clients, including Jules Bache, Anna Dodge Dillman, Andrew Mellon and Samuel Kress.

Although the bulk of the firm's correspondence forms part of the related archive at the Getty Research Institute, the Duveen Brothers records (Accession No. 960015), the archive includes some correspondence with Bernard Berenson, R. (Robert) Langton Douglas, Georg Swarzenski, Wilhelm von Bode, W. (Wilhelm Rheinhold Otto) Valentiner and Max Friedländer. Art expertive includes Bernard Berenson's X books and certificates of authenticity in the form of typed statements and signed photographs. Clippings and scrapbooks document advertising campaigns orchestrated by the firm and court trials occasioned by attribution disputes and claims of tax frauds.

Personal aspects of Lord Joseph Duveen's career and benefactions are documented in scrapbooks, drawings, and photographs. The daily activities of the firm appear in callers' books that include notes on customers' visits and on works seen. Plans, drawings, and fabric swatches document the firm's role as decorator for its clients's estates.

Also included are the papers of Italian Renaissance art historian R. (Robert) Langton Douglas (8.0 linear feet (9 boxes)), whose widow later married the firm's last president, Edward Fowles.


Arranged in fourteen series:
Series I. Albums of photographs, 1871-1956;
Series II. Exhibition catalogs, pamphlets and posters, 1907-1964;
Series III. Scrapbooks, 1869-1962;
Series IV. Brochures, 1910-1962;
Series V. Collectors' files, 1877-1956;
Series VI. Articles, 1829-1963;
Series VII. Photographs, 1898-circa 1960;
Series VIII. Business records, 1910-circa 1960;
Series IX. Robert Langton Douglas papers, 1916-1951;
Series X. Lord Joseph Duveen, 1919-1933;
Series XI. Photographs and inventories related to the Duveen Brothers' showrooms, 1920s;
Series XII. Designs and architectural plans, undated;
Series XIII. Library index cards, bibliographies and reference lists, undated;

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