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Harry Lunn papers, 1855-1999 (bulk 1965-1999)

Lunn, Harry H. (Harry Hyatt), 1933-

Available at Special Collections  SPECIAL COLLECTIONS - CONTACT REFERENCE  (2004.M.17 ) and other locations()

  • Title:
    Harry Lunn papers, 1855-1999 (bulk 1965-1999)
  • Author/Creator: Lunn, Harry H. (Harry Hyatt), 1933-
  • Creation Date: 1855-1999 (bulk 1965-1999)
  • Biographical/Historical Note: Harry Hayatt Lunn, Jr. was an American fine print and photography dealer active from the mid-1960s until his death in 1998. Based first in Washington, D.C. and then in New York City and Paris, Lunn was influential in the creation of the market for fine photography during the second half of the twentieth century.
  • Arrangement: Organized in eight series: Series I. Artist files, 1901-1999, undated; Series II. Client files and related materials, 1965-1998, undated; Series III. Auctions and art fairs, 1974-1998; Series IV: Business files, 1965-1998; Series V: Gallery operations, 1949-1998; Series VI: Clippings and serials, 1855-1998, undated; Series VII: Professional activities, 1960-1998, undated; Series VIII: Personal papers, circa 1899-1998, undated.
  • Physical Desc.: 88.6 linear feet (190 boxes).
    original. 1 videocassette tape of 1 (VHS) 3/4 in..
    original. 1 sound disc of 1 (CD) sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in..
  • Summary: The Harry Lunn papers document the business dealings of the noted print and photography dealer from the mid-1960s through the late 1990s. The records document Lunn's early dealings as he was beginning to sell fine art prints through the establishment of Lunn Gallery and his firm Graphics International Ltd. (later Lunn Ltd.) and his return to operating as a private dealer. Not incidentally, they also chart the rising popularity of photography as a fine art commodity.
    Lunn was equally passionate about both nineteenth and twentieth century photography, and work by most photographers of note as well as by many lesser-known names passed through his hands. Felice Beato, Julia Margaret Cameron, Désiré Charnay, André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri, Maxime Ducamp, Hill and Adamson, Félix Nadar, Charles Nègre, and William Henry Fox Talbot were just some of the well-known nineteenth century photographers whose work he dealt in. Lunn had extensive holdings of works by early to mid-twentieth century photographers including Lewis Hine, Ansel Adams, Robert Frank, Walker Evans, Berenice Abbott and Eugène Atget. He was the exclusive representative for George Brassaï, and he also represented the Diane Arbus estate. He also championed and published the work of a younger, and often controversial, generation of later twentieth century photographers that included Robert Mapplethorpe, Andres Serrano, McDermott & McGough, Pierre et Giles, Joel-Peter Witkin, and Wouter Deyrutter.
    Series I, Artists files, contains files for artists whose work was sold by Lunn, and whom in certain cases, such as photographers Berenice Abbott, Ansel Adams, Robert Frank, and McDermott & McGough, and printmakers Lars Bo and Jacob Kainen, Lunn represented extensively or for a substantial length of time, and in doing so shaped the market for that artist's work.
    Series II, Client files, contains general files for Lunn's extensive international roster of clients, as well as documentation of appraisals, consignments, and exhibition loans. His clients included major museums and corporations, yet he also dealt with smaller museums, university art galleries, other arts organizations, and commercial galleries of all sizes, and had a large roster of private collectors with modest collections.
    Series III, Auctions and art fairs, is concerned with the business transactions, both buying and selling, that took place through auction houses or at the national and international art fairs at which Lunn exhibited or had a booth, often on a yearly basis.
    The business files in Series IV encompass the history of the firm as it becomes a corporation, raises capital through stock offerings, and ultimately repurchases the shares and operates with Lunn as the sole stockholder. Included are corporate records, financial statements and tax returns, inventory lists, financial statement working papers, bank records, and a large volume of receipts for travel, business promotion, and other business expenses.
    Series V, Gallery operations, contains files that detail the operations of the specific kind of business that was Lunn Ltd. Included are materials related to sales, purchases, and inventory, such as invoices, ledgers, quarterly and monthly sales reports, art purchases, and inventory lists. Operations of a daily nature are documented in files containing advertising, press releases, gallery reviews, exhibition and price lists, office expenses, and employee matters.
    The clippings files in Series VI include topics such as the art market, both in general and photography in particular; collectors and collecting; arts funding; and gallery reviews, openings, and notices. A small number of serials and newsletters are also related to these topics.
    Series VII contains materials relating to Lunn's professional life and covers his work both with student organizations in the 1960s and as an art dealer, with a small amount of material pertaining to his real estate business. Included are files on professional organizations of which he was a member; notes and texts for lectures and articles he delivered or wrote; clippings and articles about his activities as an art dealer; and biographical information.
    Series VIII consists of a small amount of personal papers, many of which overlap with Lunn's professional life as it was intertwined with his private life. Included are materials documenting banking and tax matters and personal gifts of artwork to institutions, and a small amount of mostly personal correspondence. Photographs include copies of portraits of Lunn made by a number of photographers including Michael Howells, Berenice Abbott, Wouter Deruytter, Robert Mapplethorpe, Yousuf Karsh, McDermott & McGough, and Pierre et Giles, and a few family snapshots.
  • Language: English
  • Form/Genre: Color slides -- 20th century
    Color transparencies -- 20th century
    Compact discs
    Photographic prints
    Photographs, Original
  • Subjects: Abbott, Berenice, 1898-1991 Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984 Adamson, Robert, 1821-1848 Arbus, Diane, 1923-1971 Atget, Eugène, 1857-1927 Beato, Felice, 1832-1909 Bo, Lars, 1924- Brassaï, 1899-1984 Cameron, Julia Margaret, 1815-1879 Charnay, Désiré, 1828-1915 Deruytter, Wouter Disdéri, André-Adolphe-Eugène, 1819-1889 Ducamp, Maxime Evans, Walker, 1903-1975 Frank, Robert, 1924- Hill, David Octavius, 1802-1870 Hine, Lewis Wickes, 1874-1940 Howells, Michael Kainen, Jacob Lunn, Harry H. (Harry Hyatt), 1933- Karsh, Yousuf, 1908-2002 Mapplethorpe, Robert Nadar, Félix, 1820-1910 Nègre, Charles, 1820-1880 Serrano, Andres, 1950- Talbot, William Henry Fox, 1800-1877 Witkin, Joel-Peter, 1939- Graphics International Ltd Lunn Gallery Lunn Ltd McDermott & McGough Pierre et Giles Art -- Collectors and collecting -- United States -- 20th century Art Dealers -- United States -- 20th century Art galleries, Commercial -- United States -- 20th century Photographs -- Collectors and collecting Prints -- Collectors and collecting
  • Contributors: Graphics International Ltd.
  • ID/Accession Number: 2642-874
  • Access/Rights: Open for use by qualified researchers. Audio visual material is restricted until reformatting is complete.
  • OCLC Record Number: 810936271
  • Source: GRI Library Catalog

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