Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The records of Milch Gallery document the business transactions of the corporation and the professional and personal relationships of the Milch brothers with the artists they represented, as well as with the larger community of artists and art dealers between 1911 and 1980. Unfortunately, early correspondence is sparse. In a letter responding to a 1951 request for historical information, Milch replied: "Several years ago  we had to give up our gallery at 108 West 57th Street, and move to smaller quarters here. Since we had no room for old records, we had to destroy most of them."
Alphabetical files are comprised mainly of incoming correspondence from 1911 to 1962. Correspondence concerns arrangements for exhibitions, sales and consignments, advice to collectors and executors of estates, and routine business matters. A number of the artists represented in these files were friends of the Milch brothers and some of their letters mention their personal lives as well as their formal business with the Gallery. Collectors who routinely dealt with Milch Galleries included John Gellatly, Mary Blair, Hersey Egginton, Carlton Palmer, and Edward Coykendell; a three volume manuscript catalogue of Coykendell's collection is included. Among the estates handled by Milch were Willard Metcalf, John Twachtman, Abbott H. Thayer, Maurice Fromkes, and Thomas Moran.
Also found are sales records and other financial records such as general ledgers, sales and purchase records, and tax information.
Printed matter consists of gallery exhibition catalogs, checklists, invitations, announcements, publications, and scrapbooks. Many catalogs and checklists are annotated with prices and other information. A complete run of Milch Galleries Art Notes, issued intermittently from 1918-1928/29 is preserved with the gallery records. as is a scrapbook relating to early exhibitions held at the Edward Milch Galleries and E. & A. Milch, Inc., and artists represented by them.
Photographs included with the records are less voluminous than might be expected, and pictures of works of art predominate. There are also a very small number of exterior and interior photographs of Milch Gallery, photographs of people including artists, Edward and Albert Milch, and photographs of groups such as Ten American Artists and the Associated Dealers in American Paintings.
An addition (3 linear feet) donated in 1995 and 2014 includes business correspondence; photographs of the interior of Milch Galleries and works of art, inventory of documents concerning the Armory Show, with related correspondence, found in the Bush-Holley House; and artists' files consisting of correspondence, clippings, photographs, sales records, printed material and holiday cards.
Milch Gallery records, 1911-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The bulk of the collection is microfilmed on reels 4410-4465; earlier loans were filmed on reels D285, N730, and NM1-NM2; microfilm is available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
Milch Gallery is an art gallery in New York, N.Y. Founded in 1912 by Edward Milch (1865-1954), who established a partnership with his brother Albert (1881-1951) in 1916, incorporating as E. & A. Milch but soon after becoming Milch Galleries. In the early years, a large part of the business consisted of framing, cleaning and restoration services, and the sale of prints; by the 1920s the focus had shifted to American paintings, although fine framing remained a side line. Name changed to Milch Gallery in 1967, and the business dissolved upon the death of Albert's son Harold C. Milch (1904-1981).
Milch Gallery gave the Archives of American Art a small selection of correspondence, photographs, and printed matter, and loaned a few other items in 1966-1967; these records were microfilmed on reels D285, N730, and NM1-NM2. Records of the Milch Gallery were purchased from the estate of Harold C. Milch by Elliott Galleries of New York City, and subsequently acquired by Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, which donated them to the Archives in 1986. With the exception of the scrapbook about Thomas Moran (reel N730; present location of the original is unknown), prior loans and gifts from Milch Gallery were incorporated and refilmed with the 1986 gift. Additional material donated 1995 and 2014 by Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001