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The French and Company photographic archive of fine and decorative arts.

French & Company (New York, N.Y.)

Available at Special Collections  STORAGE - PHOTO ARCHIVE - CONTACT REFERENCE  (71.P.1 ) and other locations()

  • Title:
    The French and Company photographic archive of fine and decorative arts.
  • Author/Creator: French & Company (New York, N.Y.)
  • Creation Date: 1920-1968
  • Biographical/Historical Note: Mitchell Samuels founded the firm of French and Company in New York in 1907. Over the next fifty years his company became the chief purchasing agent for William Randolph Hearst and J. Paul Getty. They were also agents and decorators for the Huntingtons, Fricks, Mellons, and Astors, among other prominent collectors. Mitchell's son Spencer took over as president in the 1950's and sold the company to City Investing in 1959 after Mitchell's death. In 1968, City Investing sold the firm to Martin Zimet.
  • Arrangement: Negatives are arranged by stock number. Cataloged prints are arranged by subject area. Uncataloged prints are available for browsing.
  • Physical Desc.: 10,000 photographic prints : b&w ; 28 x 36 cm. or smaller..
    ca. 2,500 photonegatives : glass, b&w ; 28 x 36 cm. or smaller..
    ca. 35,000 photonegatives : film, b&w ; 28 x 36 cm. or smaller..
  • Summary: The collection includes photographs of paintings, drawings, tapestries, decorative arts, sculpture, and furniture from the Eastern and Western worlds. Periods represented range from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century. Of particular interest to decorative arts scholars, this archive is one of the few sources of primary documentation for collections assembled in the United States in the early twentieth century.
    Decorative arts material is primarily from eighteenth-century France and England and is particularly strong in cabinets, seating furniture and tables. The Medieval period is represented mainly by sculpture but also includes stained glass.
  • Language: English
  • Cumulative Index/Finding Aid: Online inventory, FRCO, in the repository's STAR system, available for item-level access to the negatives. Online catalog, MEDIEVAL, also in the STAR system, available for item-level access to Medieval material.
  • Notes: Repository also holds corresponding stock sheets and ledgers (Special Collections accn. no. 840027)
    Title devised by cataloger.
  • Form/Genre: Black-and-white prints (photographs)
    Black-and-white negatives
    Glass plate negatives
  • Subjects: French & Company (New York, N.Y.)--Photograph collections Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York Art -- Collectors and collecting Decorative arts -- Collectors and collecting Decorative arts -- France -- History -- 17th century Furniture -- France -- History -- 18th century Furniture -- England -- History -- 18th century Painting Drawing Sculpture Glass painting and staining Tapestry
  • Contributors: Samuels, Mitchell. Samuels, Spencer. Zimet, Martin. City Investing Company.
  • ID/Accession Number: 90-F95
  • Access/Rights: Open for use by qualified researchers.
    Photographs and permission to publish must be obtained from copyright holder(s).
  • OCLC Record Number: 406985128
  • Source: GRI Library Catalog

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