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Study photographs of decorative arts, furniture.

Getty Research Institute

Available at Special Collections  L3 : PHOTO ARCHIVE - DECORATIVE ARTS  (NK2270 ) and other locations()

  • Title:
    Study photographs of decorative arts, furniture.
  • Author/Creator: Getty Research Institute
  • Creation Date: 19--?
  • Biographical/Historical Note: In 1974, the J. Paul Getty Museum began assembling a "photo library" by consolidating the visual resources of each existing curatorial department. By the early 1980s, the Photo Archive was actively acquiring large collections of photographs from commercial and private sources and scholars' archives that contained a photographic component. In 1983, the nearly one million photographs of the Photo Archive were incorporated into the Research Institute's Special Collections and renamed the Photo Study Collection.
  • Arrangement: The collection is organized into two categories, case furniture and joined furniture, representing the basic techniques used by makers (primarily marquetry for case furniture, and carving and turning for joined furniture). Most objects with elaborate metal mounts fall within the case furniture category. Within each category, arrangement is by country of origin, type of object, and style/period. Photographs of French artifacts by known makers are filed separately in a Makers section, again divided between makers of case furniture (ébénistes) and joined furniture (menuisiers); each category is arranged alphabetically by maker name, and voluminous files are further subdivided by type of object.
  • Physical Desc.: 422 boxes (ca. 31,500 photographic prints) : b&w ; 35 cm. and 47 cm..
  • Summary: Initially designed to document French furniture of the 17th-19th centuries, the scope of this collection of photographs assembled by the Getty Research Institute now extends to include European and American artifacts from the late 14th to the early 20th centuries (the latter present mostly through the revival of older styles). A number of credible imitations, sometimes incorporating genuine elements, are illustrated in the French, English, and Italian sections. Approximately 64% of the collection is devoted to French pieces. Other major national styles include Italian (18%), English (13%), and Spanish (3.5%); the remainder of the collection illustrates American, Austrian, Dutch, Flemish, German, Russian, Swedish, and Swiss production.
    The French section is well represented, with photographs of all types of furniture from periods ranging from the Baroque through Restoration and later 19th century. For other countries, the collection covers basic types of case and joined furniture as well as representing object types specific to certain countries, such as carved or painted Italian cassoni from the 14th to 17th centuries, Spanish vargueños, and English break-front and tallboy cabinets, together with their American counterparts.
    Photograph sources differ for France and other countries. About half the photographs of French furniture come from European museums, including the Louvre, Versailles, Fontainebleau, Musée Carnavalet, Musée Nissim de Camondo, Musée Jacquemart-André, and Musée des arts décoratifs in France; Victoria and Albert Museum, Wallace Collection, and other British repositories; museums in Dresden and Munich; Italian museums; Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam; and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. The other half of the photographs of French furniture come from American museums (including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery, Frick Collection, J. Paul Getty Museum, and museums in San Francisco, Boston, San Marino, and Louisville), as well as from major auction houses and dealers in Europe and the U.S.
    A major dealer source is French & Company, New York, with an archive covering over half a century of sales of European objects on the American market. This source accounts for some 60% of the photographs of non-French furniture, with most of the remaining 40% coming from Parke-Bernet, New York.
  • Cumulative Index/Finding Aid: Finding aid for French & Company images only: Stock sheets and ledgers, 1909-1968 (Special Collections accn. no. 840027) and online Photo Archive Database provides photograph level description and provenance information.
  • Notes: Title devised.
    Size of photographs varies; most 8 x 10 in.
  • Form/Genre: Photographic prints
  • Subjects: Furniture -- France Furniture -- Italy Furniture -- England Furniture -- Spain Furniture -- Europe Furniture -- United States
  • Contributors: French & Company (New York, N.Y.)
  • LC Call Number: NK2270
  • ID/Accession Number: 1382-736
  • Access/Rights: Open for use by qualified researchers.
    Photographs and permission to publish must be obtained from copyright holder(s).
  • OCLC Record Number: 77581183
  • Source: GRI Library Catalog

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