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World House Galleries records

Creator:
World House Galleries  Search this
Names:
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc.  Search this
Colgate University  Search this
Parke-Bernet Galleries  Search this
Parsons School of Design  Search this
Sotheby's (Firm)  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean, 1901-  Search this
Kirchner, Ernst Ludwig, 1880-1938  Search this
Klee, Paul, 1879-1940  Search this
Mayer, Herbert, 1908-1991  Search this
Morandi, Giorgio, 1890-1964  Search this
Extent:
9.8 Linear feet (11 boxes, 1 OV)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1927-1991
bulk 1953-1980
Summary:
The records of New York City World House Galleries measure 9.8 linear feet and date from 1927 to 1991, with the bulk of them dating from 1953 to 1980. The collection documents the gallery's general business affairs, sales, and relationships with artists from 1953-1968, and later gifts and sales by founder entrepreneur and art collector Herbert Mayer. Artists for which files are found include Jean Dubuffet, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee and Georgio Morandi, among many others. Additional records include correspondence, inventory records, sales and purchase records, records of gifts and auctions, and shipping and consignment records.
Scope and Contents:
The records of New York City World House Galleries measure 9.8 linear feet and date from 1927 to 1991, with the bulk of the records dating from 1953 to 1980. The collection documents the gallery's general business affairs, sales, and relationships with artists from 1953-1968, and later gifts and sales by founder entrepreneur and art collector Herbert Mayer. Artists for which files are found include Jean Dubuffet, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee and Georgio Morandi, among many others. Additional records include correspondence, inventory records, sales and purchase records, records of gifts and auctions, and shipping and consignment records.

Correspondence is somewhat scattered and concerns administrative matters and business with galleries, collectors, museums, and a few artists.

Artist files contain a variety of documents, such as correspondence, artist statements and resumes, sales records, printed materials, and photographs about artists who were either represented by World House Galleries or in whom the gallery was interested. Artists for which files are found include Jean Dubuffet, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee and Georgio Morandi, among many others.

Inventory records include art inventory lists and notes, provenance documentation, and consignment records. Also found are financial records of sales and of purchases made abroad and within the United States.

Documents about Herbert Mayer's donations to Colgate University and other organizations and institutions, including the Art Students League and Parsons School of Design are in the Gifts series. These records include correspondence, printed materials, and copies of agreements and forms.

Auction records are found for sales through Christie's, Sotheby's and Parke-Bernet auction houses of World House Galleries art inventory, and Herbert Mayer's personal art collection. This series contains photographs of art, auction catalogs, correspondence, and other miscellaneous materials.

Shipping files contain documents such as statements, customs forms, and correspondence about shipments of art from around the world, mostly from Europe, to World House Galleries.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as 7 series.

Series 1: Correspondence, 1962-1987 (0.8 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 2: Artist Files, 1927-1991 (4.6 linear feet; Box 1-6, 11, OV 12)

Series 3: Inventory Records, 1953-1986 (0.6 linear feet; Box 6)

Series 4: Sales & Purchases, 1956-1987 (0.4 linear feet; Box 6-7)

Series 5: Gifts, 1970-1987 (0.6 linear feet; Box 7, 11, OV 12)

Series 6: Auctions, 1956-1959, 1968-1988 (1.4 linear feet; Box 7-9, 11)

Series 7: Shipping Statements, 1958, 1968-1986 (1.4 linear feet; Box 9-10)
Biographical / Historical:
World House Galleries was founded by Herbert Mayer, Sr. in 1953 in New York City. The gallery operated until 1968, representing an eclectic group of artists from around the world.

Herbert Mayer (circa 1911-1993) was a lawyer, businessman and owner of the World House Galleries in New York City. He attended Colgate University in Hamilton, New York where he majored in English and graduated in 1929. After graduation, he traveled through Europe with Colgate English Professor Russell Speirs and the four months he spent in Paris studying art at the Louvre was a formative experience for Mayer. He went on to attend law school at the University of Wisconsin. He was lawyer in New York until the early 1940s, then began selling television sets which were more familiar to the U.S. public after the 1939 World's Fair. In 1944, Mayer stopped practicing law and became a television magnate. He founded the Empire Coil Company, which manufactured radiofrequency coils for television sets and stations. From 1949 through 1952, Mayer launched television stations in Cleveland, Ohio; Portland, Oregon; and Kansas City, Missouri.

In 1953, Mayer bid farewell to the world of television and founded the World House Galleries. The gallery was located on Madison Avenue in New York City's Carlyle Hotel, occupying a total of 6,900 square feet on two floors. Architect Frederick Kiesler was commissioned to design the space. Mayer's goal was to attract a wider audience to contemporary international art and, in his words, "express the thinking and feeling of contemporary artists everywhere — wherever unusual talent is discovered." Mayer worked closely with Colgate Professor Alfred Krakusin, who became the gallery advisor, and the two frequently traveled together in search of new art. On his trips abroad, Mayer also purchased art for his personal collection.

World House Galleries represented an eclectic group of European artists such as Jean Dubuffet, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee and Georgio Morandi in addition to lesser known artists. World House Galleries exhibitions included art for sale within the gallery, as well as art loaned from private collections and museums. The gallery represented an eclectic group of artists from Austria, France, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden. Mayer and Krakusin also collaborated on Sculptura, a business which created bronze casts of statues and plaques to be sold at the gallery.

World House Galleries had strong ties with Colgate University and Mayer arranged numerous exhibitions at his alma mater between 1956 and 1962. The exhibitions were held in the basement of Lawrence Hall and showcased art from World House Galleries and Mayer's personal collection. In 1958, Mayer donated the first of many gifts of art to Colgate University. His largest gift of almost 2000 paintings, sculptures, and drawings occurred in 1967 and became the core collection for what is now known as Colgate's Picker Art Gallery.

After World House Galleries closed in 1968 Herbert Mayer continued to sell art through auction houses and galleries as well as make donations to Colgate and various other organizations through the 1980s. In early 1971, Mayer contacted Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc. to arrange an auction of artwork from his personal collection. The bulk of his collection was sold through Parke-Bernet in 1984.

Mayer died in 1991, survived by his wife, Bet, and their five children. Through exhibitions which showcased art from different countries, World House Galleries exposed the New York art world to a more diverse vision of international modernism.
Provenance:
The World House Galleries records were donated in 2002 by Herbert Mayer, Jr., son of gallery founder Herbert Mayer.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
World House Galleries records, 1927-1991, bulk 1953-1980. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.worlhoug
See more items in:
World House Galleries records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-worlhoug
Online Media:

Christie, Manson & Woods International, Inc.

Collection Creator:
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 56
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1989-1993
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
Yasuo Kuniyoshi papers, 1906-2016, bulk 1920-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Yasuo Kuniyoshi papers
Yasuo Kuniyoshi papers / Series 2: Correspondence / Sara Mazo Kuniyoshi, Alphabetical Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-kuniyasu-ref1140

World House Galleries records, 1927-1991, bulk 1953-1980

Creator:
World House Galleries  Search this
World House Galleries  Search this
Subject:
Mayer, Herbert  Search this
Morandi, Giorgio  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean  Search this
Kirchner, Ernst Ludwig  Search this
Klee, Paul  Search this
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc.  Search this
Colgate University  Search this
Parke-Bernet Galleries  Search this
Parsons School of Design  Search this
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Sotheby's (Firm)  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Topic:
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Theme:
The Art Market  Search this
Art Gallery Records  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6036
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)239301
AAA_collcode_worlhoug
Theme:
The Art Market
Art Gallery Records
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_239301
Online Media:

Perry Townsend Rathbone papers, 1929-1985

Creator:
Rathbone, Perry Townsend, 1911-2000  Search this
Rathbone, Perry Townsend, 1911-2000  Search this
Subject:
Wittmann, Otto  Search this
Ritchie, Andrew Carnduff  Search this
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Faison, S. Lane (Samson Lane)  Search this
Howe, Thomas Carr  Search this
Valentiner, Wilhelm Reinhold  Search this
Gonzalez, Xavier  Search this
Willard, Marian  Search this
Swarzenski, Hanns  Search this
Valentin, Curt  Search this
Sabersky, Jane  Search this
Beckmann, Max  Search this
Moore, Lamont  Search this
Parkhurst, Charles  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  Search this
Allied Forces  Search this
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc.  Search this
City Art Museum of St. Louis  Search this
Type:
Transcripts
Photographs
Interviews
Topic:
Museum directors -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Theme:
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)8353
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)210525
AAA_collcode_rathperr
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_210525
Online Media:

W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983, bulk 1920-1976

Creator:
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Subject:
Phillips, Duncan  Search this
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Canaletto  Search this
Perry, Ralph  Search this
Sachs, Paul J. (Paul Joseph)  Search this
Hencken, Hugh O'Neill  Search this
Vasalle, Rudolph  Search this
Brandt, Mortimer  Search this
Links, J. G.  Search this
Ivins, William Mills  Search this
Frick, Helen Clay  Search this
Gluck, Helen  Search this
National Gallery of Canada  Search this
Watts Gallery  Search this
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc.  Search this
Fogg Art Museum  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  Search this
American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas  Search this
Germany (Territory under Allied occupation, 1945-1955 : U.S. Zone)  Search this
Art Gallery of Toronto  Search this
United States  Search this
Allied Forces  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Place:
Germany (Territory under Allied occupation, 1945-1955)
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945 -- Destruction and pillage -- Germany  Search this
Art, European  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
World war, 1939-1945 -- Destruction and pillage -- Italy  Search this
Museum curators -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Cultural property -- conservation and restoration -- Germany  Search this
Cultural property -- Conservation and restoration -- Italy  Search this
Art -- Conservation and restoration  Search this
Museum curators -- England  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Art and the war  Search this
Theme:
Art Theory and Historiography  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9387
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211584
AAA_collcode_conswmgp
Theme:
Art Theory and Historiography
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211584
Online Media:

Fine English and continental silver, objects of vertu and Russian works of art : the properties of Gloria Vanderbilt ... [et al.] : Tuesday, April 29, 1986

Author:
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc  Search this
Vanderbilt, Gloria 1924-  Search this
Physical description:
152 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 26 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Place:
Great Britain
Europe
Russia
Date:
1986
[1986]
Topic:
Silverwork  Search this
Art objects  Search this
Call number:
NK7143 .C555 1986
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_492557

Fine French and continental furniture, objects of art, clocks, carpets and sculpture : properties of Dorothea Tanning ... [et al.], Wednesday, November 5, 1986

Title:
French and continental furniture, objects of art, clocks, carpets and sculpture
Author:
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc  Search this
Physical description:
199 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 26 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Place:
France
Europe
Date:
1986
[1986]
Topic:
Furniture  Search this
Art objects  Search this
Furniture--Europe  Search this
Call number:
NK2547 .F49 1986
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_493436

W.G. Constable papers

Creator:
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Correspondent:
Allied Forces. Supreme Headquarters. Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section  Search this
Art Gallery of Toronto  Search this
Germany (Territory under Allied occupation, 1945-1955 : U.S. Zone). Office of Military Government  Search this
National Gallery of Canada  Search this
Watts Gallery  Search this
Brandt, Mortimer  Search this
Frick, Helen Clay, 1888-1984  Search this
Gluck, Helen  Search this
Hencken, Hugh O'Neill  Search this
Ivins, William Mills, 1881-1961  Search this
Links, J. G.  Search this
Perry, Ralph  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Sachs, Paul J. (Paul Joseph), 1878-1965  Search this
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Vasalle, Rudolph  Search this
Names:
American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas  Search this
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc.  Search this
Fogg Art Museum  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  Search this
United States. Internal Revenue Service  Search this
Canaletto, 1697-1768  Search this
Extent:
25.7 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Place:
Germany (Territory under Allied occupation, 1945-1955)
Date:
1905-1983
bulk 1920-1976
Summary:
The papers of art historian and museum curator W.G. (William George) Constable measure 25.7 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1981, with the bulk of the material from 1920 to 1976. The papers include biographical material; professional and personal correspondence; extensive lectures, writings, and notes; exhibition and book research files; printed materials; and photographs, glass plate negatives, and slides. There is substantive correspondence related to Constable's participation in the American Defense Harvard Group and about the formation of the Roberts Commission, including correspondence with Ralph Perry, Hugh Hencken, Paul Sachs and George L. Stout. There are numerous official reports prepared by Constable after World War II for the U. S. Office of Military Government for Germany.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of art historian and museum curator W.G. (William George) Constable measure 25.7 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1981, with the bulk of the material from 1920 to 1976. The papers include biographical material; professional and personal correspondence; extensive lectures, writings, and notes; exhibition and book research files; printed materials; and photographs, glass plate negatives, and slides. There is substantive correspondence related to Constable's participation in the American Defense Harvard Group and about the formation of the Roberts Commission, including correspondence with Ralph Perry, Hugh Hencken, Paul Sachs and George L. Stout. There are numerous official reports prepared by Constable after World War II for the U. S. Office of Military Government for Germany.

Biographical material includes W.G. Constable's curriculum vitae; club memberships; personal, educational, and military records; three memorial essays and obituaries; five address books; appointment books dating from 1930-1968; and financial records related to personal business travels.

Correspondence is mostly professional and arranged into General, Committee, Condolences, and J.G. Links. General correspondence is with friends, business associates, auction houses, galleries, and museums. The letters cover a wide variety of professional work, such as research projects, letters of inquiry and recommendation, and work done for Christie's and the Internal Revenue Service. Correspondents include Mortimer Brandt, Helen Frick, Helen Gluck, William Ivins, Duncan Phillips, Paul Sachs, and Rudolph Vasalle, among many others.

Committee related correspondence includes letters, memoranda, and reports related to ongoing committee objectives, projects, and routine activities. There is correspondence related to Constable's advisory work with the Art Gallery of Toronto, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Watts Gallery, among other projects. Condolences consists of letters and cards received by Constable's wife, Olivia, after Constable's death. Correspondence with J.G. Links is primarily about the second edition revision of Constable's book Canaletto.

There are over 170 drafts of Constable's notes and outlines for lectures. Topics range from 13th-20th century European and American art to museum conservation, ethics, art education, and art collecting. The series also includes lecture notes from organized touring trips to Canada, Northern Europe, Scandanavia, and Poland.

Writings consist of Constable's published and unpublished articles, articles submitted for the Encyclopedia of World Art, essays, notes, exhibition catalogs, translations, and drafts and research material related to Art Collecting in the United States, Art History and Connoisseurship, and The Painter's Workshop.

Files specifically documenting Constable's advisory role in the World War II American Defense Harvard Group drafting and organizing lists of men with curatorial, museum conservation, or library/archives backgrounds to aid in the protection European most valued cultural artifacts, artwork, and architecture. There are letters documenting the formation of the Harvard Group and its goals and objections. The files also include many of the original lists that were forwarded to the Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in Europe, also known as the Roberts Commission, eventually leading to the formation of the U.S. Army's Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives division. The series also includes the Harvard Group's manual Safeguarding and Conserving Cultural Materials in the Field, committee minutes, and clippings related to their work. Correspondents include Ralph Perry, Paul Sachs, George L. Stout, and Hugh Hencken.

Constable's work after the war for the U.S. Office of Military Government for Germany is documented through numerous reports, memoranda, letters, and other official documents from the U. S. Army to Constable about surveying the state of German and Italian art institutions after World War II. The series also includes Constable's notebook "Visits in Germany" (1949), and a copy of his report Art and Reorientation: Status and Future of Museums and the Teaching of Art in Western Germany.

Exhibition files contain correspondence, notes, lists, research material, and reports related to exhibitions that Constable organized prior to his employment by and after his retirement from the Boston Museum of Art.

Research files contain materials relevant to Constable's interests and include notes, lists, correspondence, and printed and photographic reference material. These subject areas cover artists, including extensive files on Canaletto and other vedute painters, museum conservation, museums and galleries, private and public art collections, and schools of art.

Printed materials include clippings, programs, book excerpts and other miscellaneous printed materials.

Photographic materials include prints of Constable with friends and family, as well as prints, glass negatives and slides of artwork. There are also prints of the Fogg Art Museum's interiors and exterior and interior shots of Tennessee Valley Authority dam projects.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 10 series.

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1905-1983 (1.2 linear feet; Box 1-2, OV 28)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1906-1981 (6.2 linear feet; Box 2-8, OV 28-29)

Series 3: Lectures, 1909-1963 (4.6 linear feet; Box 8-12)

Series 4: Writings and Notes, 1910-1974 (2 linear feet; Box 13-14)

Series 5: American Defense Harvard Group, 1942-1946 (0.6 linear feet; Box 15)

Series 6: Office of Military Government for Germany, 1947-1952 (0.3 linear feet; Box 15)

Series 7: Exhibition Files, 1930-1969 (1 linear foot; Box 15-16, OV 29)

Series 8: Research Files, 1922-1976 (7.5 linear feet; Box 16-24, OV 28-29)

Series 9: Printed Material, 1921-1977 (0.5 linear feet; Box 24)

Series 10: Photographic Materials, circa 1940-1960 (1.4 linear feet; Box 24-27, OV 28-29)
Biographical / Historical:
W. G. (William George) Constable (1887-1976) was a museum curator and art historian who worked in England and Boston.

Born in Derby, England, Constable studied for the bar at Cambridge University, but was encouraged to pursue art over law by the Lord Chancellor who told him that law would be too strenuous after a two year convalescence from gassing during World War I. For three years, he studied at the Slade School and the Bartlett School of Architecture. In 1923, he joined the National Gallery of London where he became the Assistant Director in 1929. In 1930, he accepted the first Director's position at the newly formed Courtauld Institute, where he worked to develop one of the first programs on art history. In 1938, Constable became Curator of Paintings at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and worked there until his retirement in 1957.

Throughout his career as an arts administrator, Constable remained an accomplished lecturer and held appointments as the Slade Professor of Art at Cambridge (1933-1936), Ryerson Lecturer at Yale University (1940), and the Lowell Lecturer at the Lowell Insitute (1958). As a researcher and art historian, he published a steady stream of essays on European and American art connoisseurship, and authored over ten scholarly books, including The Painter's Workshop (1953), Richard Wilson (1953), and Canaletto (1962), the definitive work on the Venetian master.

Constable was a trusted arts advisor and, in this capacity, worked for the Wadsworth Atheneum from 1943-1945. He also worked closely with Lord Beaverbrook to establish the National Gallery of Canada and later consulted for Sotheby's and the U. S. Internal Revenue Service.

In the years leading to World War II, Constable served as an advisor to the American Defense Harvard Group and was later appointed to the Commission for the Protection of Artistic and Historic Monuments in Europe (the Roberts Commission) by President Roosevelt. The Roberts Commission was responsible for the establishment of the U. S. Army's Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section. After the war, Constable served the U.S. government as a member of a commission responsible for the recovery of looted art work and the evaluation of the state of the arts in Germany and Italy.

After his retirement from the Boston Museum, Constable continued to research and write, and also served as president of the International Institute of Conservation (1958-1960) and the Renaissance Society of America (1959-1961). From 1957 to 1966, he worked on behalf of Christie's auction house, where he met with prospective clients and provided preliminary valuations of private art works and collections.

On February 4, 1976, Constable died in Cambridge, Massachusetts from natural causes.
Related Materials:
The Archives also holds additional materials related to W.G. Constable, including an oral history interview with Constable conducted by Robert Brown in 1972-1973, and a photograph and clipping of Constable donated by Eleanor Barton in 1982.

Additional W.G. Constable papers are located at archival materials are also located at St. Johns College in Cambridge,England; the Warburg Institute in London, England; the National Gallery in London, England; and the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning in London, England. Photographs of works art collected by Constable are found at the British Studies Center at Yale University. Records relating to his tenure at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston are housed there.
Provenance:
The papers of W.G. Constable were donated in multiple gifts from 1978 to 1979 and in 1987 to 1988 by his son Giles Constable. Additional material regarding Constable's research on Canaletto was donated by researcher J.G. Links in 1985.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters  Search this
Art historians -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Art historians -- England  Search this
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945 -- Destruction and pillage -- Germany  Search this
Art, European  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Destruction and pillage -- Italy  Search this
Museum curators -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Cultural property -- Conservation and restoration -- Germany  Search this
Cultural property -- Conservation and restoration -- Italy  Search this
Art -- Conservation and restoration  Search this
Museum curators -- England  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Art and the war  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
W.G. Constable papers, 1905-1983, bulk 1920-1976. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.conswmgp
See more items in:
W.G. Constable papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-conswmgp
Online Media:

Perry Townsend Rathbone papers

Creator:
Rathbone, Perry Townsend, 1911-2000  Search this
Names:
Allied Forces. Supreme Headquarters. Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section  Search this
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc.  Search this
City Art Museum of St. Louis  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  Search this
Beckmann, Max, 1884-1950  Search this
Faison, S. Lane (Samson Lane), 1907-2006  Search this
Gonzalez, Xavier, 1898-1993  Search this
Howe, Thomas Carr, 1904-1994  Search this
Moore, Lamont  Search this
Parkhurst, Charles  Search this
Ritchie, Andrew Carnduff  Search this
Sabersky, Jane, 1911-1983  Search this
Stout, George L. (George Leslie)  Search this
Swarzenski, Hanns, 1903-1985  Search this
Valentin, Curt, 1902-1954  Search this
Valentiner, Wilhelm Reinhold, 1880-1958  Search this
Willard, Marian, 1904-  Search this
Wittmann, Otto, 1911-2001  Search this
Extent:
4.3 Linear feet (5 boxes, 1 OV)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Transcripts
Photographs
Interviews
Date:
1929-1985
Summary:
The papers of museum director Perry Townsend Rathbone measure 4.3 linear feet and date from 1929 to 1985. The papers document Rathbone's career as museum director of the City Art Museum of St. Louis and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and his later work with Christie's New York office. Found within the papers are biographical materials, correspondence with friends and colleagues, writings, professional and project files, printed materials, and photographs, mostly of exhibitions.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of museum director Perry Townsend Rathbone measure 4.3 linear feet and date from 1929 to 1985. The papers document Rathbone's career as museum director of the City Art Museum of St. Louis and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and his later work with Christie's New York office. Found within the papers are biographical materials, correspondence with friends and colleagues, writings, professional and project files, printed materials, and photographs, mostly of exhibitions.

Biographical materials contain curriculum vitae, biographical sketches, citations for honorary degrees and for Rathbone's appointment as Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, a passport, a transcript of an interview with Rathbone and articles written by others about Rathbone, including one by S. Lane Faison.

Correspondence is with Rathbone's friends and colleagues. Notable correspondents include Max Beckmann, Xavier Gonzalez, Hanns Swarzenski, Curt Valentin, Jane Sabersky, William R. Valentiner, and Marian Willard, among others. Rathbone knew several art historians and conservators who served in the U.S. Army as members of the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section, also known as the Monuments Men. Correspondence with these colleagues is arranged together as a subseries and includes correspondence with S. Lane Faison, Thomas Carr Howe, Lamont Moore, Charles Parkhurst, Andrew Ritchie, George Leslie Stout, and Otto Wittman. Most of the correspondence with other Monuments Men is post World War II.

Writings by Rathbone consist of student papers, typescript drafts of articles and entries for exhibition catalogs, notes and notebooks from European trips, and lectures.

Professional files encompass a range of documents related to Rathbone's museum directorships, projects, travels and professional affiliations. The folders about his work at the City Art Museum of St. Louis and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston include correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, press releases and notes. There are also folders on specific projects such as the renovation of the historic Dederer-Blodgett House and Rathbone's membership on various art commissions and committees. Also found within this series are correspondence, notebooks, receipts, itineraries and vouchers for Rathbone's business trips to Europe and other locations while working for the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Printed materials include news clippings, articles, press releases, a few art magazines and exhibition catalogues, and invitations to events. There are also black and white photographs of exhibitions, including a Max Beckmann exhibit, and a few images of Rathbone.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 6 series.

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1930-1982 (0.1 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1940-1985 (1.1 linear feet; Box 1-2)

Series 3: Writings, 1929-1967 (0.8 linear feet; Box 2)

Series 4: Professional Files, 1938-1984 (2 linear feet; Box 2-4, OV 6)

Series 5: Printed Materials, 1954-1975 (0.2 linear feet; Box 4-5, OV 6)

Series 6: Photographs, 1936-1972 (0.1 linear feet; Box 5)
Biographical / Historical:
Perry Townsend Rathbone (1911-2000) was a prominent museum director who worked primarily in Boston and New York City. He was an early supporter of German Expressionism in America.

Rathbone was director of the City Art Museum of St. Louis from 1940-1955, moving on to direct the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston from 1954-1972, where he led a period of extensive reform. After retiring from the museum, he worked for one year for the Chase Manhattan Bank as an art consultant. Rathbone worked as director and senior vice president of Christies USA auction house from 1973-1987. After 1987, he continued working at Christies as a consultant.

Rathbone was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania on July 3, 1911 and grew up in New Rochelle, New York. He attended Harvard College, majoring in Art History and graduating in 1933. He then completed the graduate "museum course" taught by Professor Paul Sachs in 1934. The Paul Sachs museum course was famous for cultivating future directors at some of this country's most prestigious museums. After Harvard, Rathbone was appointed as curator of Alger House (later renamed the Grosse Pointe War Memorial), a branch of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Rathbone directed the ''Masterpieces of Art'' exhibit at the 1939 New York World's Fair. The success of the exhibit led to his appointment as director of the City Art Museum of St. Louis, Missouri in 1940 at the age of 29, making him the youngest American museum director at the time.

During World War II, Rathbone served in the U.S. Navy from late 1942-1945. He was a commissioned officer in charge of the Navy Art and Poster Section, Office of Public Relations in Washington, D.C. He supervised five Navy "combat artists," who painted naval battles and depicted the daily lives of soldiers. He also served as an officer in New Calcedonia. He separated from service as a Lieutenant Commander in late 1945. This collection does not contain records directly related to his military service. In 1945 Rathbone married Euretta de Cosson while on leave in Washington, D.C. They had three children together: Peter, Eliza, and Belinda.

Rathbone resumed his position as the director of the City Art Museum of St. Louis after the war. The Detroit Institute of Arts director William R. Valentiner introduced Rathbone to German Expressionism. Rathbone helped the German Expressionist painter Max Beckmann, labeled a ''degenerate artist'' by Hitler, and his wife immigrate to America and then arranged a teaching position for Beckmann at Washington University. Rathbone and Beckmann became close, and in 1948, Rathbone organized a Beckmann retrospective at the City Art Museum. Beckmann made a portrait of Rathbone and one of his wife Euretta. Rathbone gave the eulogy at Beckmann's funeral in 1950.

In 1955 Rathbone became the director of the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston. During his tenure there he expanded the museum by 80,000 square feet, doubled the staff, and oversaw the renovations of 57 of the Museum's 189 galleries. He mounted exhibitions of Rembrandt, Matisse, Modigliani, Cezanne, van Gogh and Courbet. The Boston Museum's first acquisitions of Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, Constantine Brancusi, Paul Klee, Alberto Giacometti and other works by 20th-century artists occurred under Rathbone's directorship. Rathbone also served as curator of paintings and wrote the catalog essays for many of the museum's exhibitions. Working with Frances Weeks Hallowell, he established the first "Ladies Committee" for the museum, which substantially increased membership. He was appointed as Chevalier de Légion d'Honneur by the French government in 1964.

In 1969, the Museum of Fine Arts purchased what was believed to be a Raphael portrait of Eleonora Gonzaga, 1505, from a Genoa art dealer. The work was meant to be the highlight of the museum's centennial celebration. However controversy arose when the Italian government alleged that the work was smuggled out of the country and the museum was forced to return the painting to the Italian government. The situation caused Rathbone to resign in 1972.

At the request of David Rockefeller, Rathbone became an art consultant to Chase Manhattan Bank for one year. In 1973, he became director of Christie's auction house in New York and senior vice president in 1977, working there until 1987, when he retired but still worked as a consultant.

Perry Townsend Rathbone died on January 22, 2000 at the age of 88.
Related Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds an oral history interview of Perry Townsend Rathbone conducted in 1975-1976 by Paul Cummings for the Archives of American Art's oral history program.
Provenance:
Perry Townsend Rathbone donated his paper to the Archives of American Art in 1977 and 1988.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Museum directors -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Genre/Form:
Transcripts
Photographs
Interviews
Citation:
Perry Townsend Rathbone papers, 1929-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.rathperr
See more items in:
Perry Townsend Rathbone papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-rathperr
Online Media:

Fine English and continental pottery and porcelain, Chinese export porcelain and works of art : the property of the estate of Mrs. C.J. Devine, Sr. ... [tobe sold] Wednesday, October 9, 1985 at 2:00 p.m. precisely (lots 1-174) andThursday, October 10, 1985 at 10:00 a.m. precisely (lots 175-294) / [Christie's]

Title:
Devine Collection, part I, fine European ceramics and Chinese export porcelain
Devine Collection, part I, porcelain
Author:
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc  Search this
Subject:
Devine, C.J. Mrs Art collections Catalogs  Search this
Physical description:
107 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 26 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Place:
China
Date:
1985
Topic:
Porcelain, European  Search this
Pottery, European  Search this
China trade porcelain  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Call number:
NK4483 .F495 1985
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_493483

Highly important American arts & crafts and architectural designs and commissions including ceramics : the properties of the collection of Althy Ardman ... Saturday, December 10, 1988 at 10 a.m. precisely (Lots 1-129) / Christie's

Author:
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc  Search this
Subject:
Stickley, Gustav 1858-1942  Search this
Physical description:
113 p. : ill. (mostly col.) ; 26 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Date:
1988
[1988]
Topic:
Furniture, American  Search this
Pottery, American  Search this
Call number:
NK2406 .C555h 1988
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_542324

Important English and continental silver, objects of vertu, Russian works of art and watches : from the collections of Samuel J. Campbell ... [et al.]

Author:
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc  Search this
Physical description:
128 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 26 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Date:
1982
Topic:
Silverwork  Search this
Art objects, Russian  Search this
Art objects  Search this
Clocks and watches  Search this
Call number:
NK7199 .I34 1982
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_484968

Important English and continental silver, objects of vertu and Russian works of art : from the collections of the late John Nicolas Brown ... [et al.]

Title:
English and continental silver, objects of vertu and Russian works of art
Author:
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc  Search this
Physical description:
137 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 26 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Place:
England
Europe
Date:
1986
[1986]
Topic:
Silverwork  Search this
Art objects  Search this
Art objects, Russian  Search this
Call number:
NK7143 .I34 1986
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_493444

Important Chinese works of art from the Arthur M. Sackler collections : auction, Thursday, December 1, 1994 at 10:00 a.m

Title:
Chinese works of art from the Arthur M. Sackler collections
Author:
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc  Search this
Subject:
Sackler, Athur M Art collections Catalogs  Search this
Physical description:
219 p. : col. ill. ; 28 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Place:
China
Date:
1994
Topic:
Art objects, Chinese  Search this
Jade art objects  Search this
Furniture  Search this
Call number:
NK535.S33 I47 1994
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_512142

The Jay Family collection of historical American portraits : the property of the descendants of William Jay Iselin : [exhibition and auction on] Saturday, January 25, 1986 ...

Author:
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc  Search this
Subject:
Jay family Art collections  Search this
Physical description:
25 p. : 14 col. ports. ; 26 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Portraits
Place:
United States
Date:
1986
1986]
Topic:
Portraits, American  Search this
Biography  Search this
Call number:
ND1301.6.J4 C55 1986
ND1301.6.J4C55 1986
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_437306

The pink lotus lamp

Title:
Highly important leaded glass, bronze and mosaic "lotus" lamp, Tiffany Studios, circa 1900-1910
Author:
Tiffany Studios (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc  Search this
Subject:
Tiffany Studios (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Physical description:
58 p. : col. ill. ; 28 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Place:
United States
Date:
1997
[1997]
20th century
Topic:
Lamps--History--Catalogs  Search this
Glass lampshades--History  Search this
Decoration and ornament--Art nouveau  Search this
Call number:
NK5198.T52 P56 1997
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_566745

A magnificent selection of diamond jewelry : the property of Caroline Ryan Foulke : Wednesday, October 22, 1986

Title:
Property of Caroline Ryan Foulke
Author:
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc  Search this
Subject:
Foulke, Caroline Ryan Art collections  Search this
Physical description:
19 p. : col. ill. ; 26 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Date:
1986
[1986]
Topic:
Diamonds--Private collections  Search this
Jewelry--Private collections  Search this
Call number:
NK658.F76 C55 1986
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_492571

The contents of Craig & Tarlton, Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina : which will be sold on the premises, Tuesday, November 5, 1985 ... and Wednesday, November 6, 1985

Author:
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc  Search this
Craig and Tarlton, Inc  Search this
Physical description:
194 p. : ill. (some col.), map ; 26 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Place:
United States
Date:
1985
[1985]
18th century
19th century
Topic:
Furniture  Search this
Furniture--Catalogs  Search this
Painting  Search this
Call number:
NK2406 .C76 1985
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_493433

Important French and continental furniture, sculpture and rugs : the properties of Maria Luisa Guerault ... [et al.] : Thursday, April 26, 1990 ... Christie's ... New York, New York

Author:
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc  Search this
Guerault, Maria Luisa  Search this
Physical description:
154 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 27 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Date:
1990
[1990]
Topic:
Furniture--Europe--Catalogs  Search this
Rugs  Search this
Sculpture  Search this
Call number:
NK2525.A1 C55 1990
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_492552

Important English and continental furniture, clocks and objects of art : the properties of Mrs. James Cromwell ... [et al.] Saturday, October 29, 1983 ..

Title:
English and continental furniture, clocks and objects of art
Author:
Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc  Search this
Physical description:
133 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 26 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Place:
Great Britain
Europe
Date:
1983
[1983]
Topic:
Furniture--Private collections  Search this
Furniture  Search this
Furniture--Private collections--Catalogs  Search this
Furniture--Europe--Catalogs  Search this
Art objects  Search this
Clocks and watches  Search this
Call number:
NK2528 .I342 1983
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_494168

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