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William Mills Ivins papers

Creator:
Ivins, William Mills, 1881-1961  Search this
Names:
Century Association (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Grolier Club  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Pierpont Morgan Library  Search this
Ames, Winslow  Search this
Arensberg, Walter, 1878-1954  Search this
Arms, John Taylor, 1887-1953  Search this
Berenson, Bernard, 1865-1959  Search this
Boas, George, 1891-  Search this
Burroughs, Bryson, 1869-1934  Search this
Carrington, Fitz Roy, 1869-1954  Search this
Cockerell, Sydney Carlyle, Sir, 1867-1962  Search this
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Dodgson, Campbell, 1867-1948  Search this
Frankfurter, Felix, 1882-1965  Search this
Friedländer, Max J., 1867-1958  Search this
Greene, Belle da Costa, 1883-1950  Search this
Holmes, Margaret Ivins, 1882-1954  Search this
Ivins, Barbara  Search this
Ivins, Emma Yard, 1857-1940  Search this
Ivins, Florence Wyman, 1881-1948  Search this
Ivins, Katherine  Search this
Ivins, William Mills, 1851-1915  Search this
Lay, Charles Downing, 1877-1956  Search this
Rogers, Bruce, 1870-1957  Search this
Ruzicka, Rudolph, 1883-  Search this
Sachs, Paul J. (Paul Joseph), 1878-1965  Search this
Sarton, George, 1884-1956  Search this
Simonson, Lee, 1888-  Search this
Sizer, Theodore, 1892-1967  Search this
Webster, Herman A. (Herman Armour), 1878-1970  Search this
Wind, Edgar, 1900-  Search this
Winter, Carl, 1906 Jan. 10-  Search this
Photographer:
Käsebier, Gertrude, 1852-1934  Search this
Extent:
20.5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1878-1964
Summary:
The papers, 1878-1964 (20.5 linear feet) of museum curator, director, and art scholar William Mills Ivins (1881-1961) consist of correspondence, writings, notes, photographs, and Ivins family papers. Ivins was Curator of Prints, 1916-1946, Assistant Director, 1933-1938, and Acting Director, 1938-1940 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The collection contains professional and personal correspondence with art historians, art dealers, museum curators, print and book collectors, and artists concerning the history of print making, book design and illustration, print collectors and collecting, exhibitions, and museum administration. Also found are Ivins' published and unpublished writings and lectures, and notes. The collection contains some Ivins' family papers including family correspondence, genealogies, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers, 1878-1964 (20.5 linear feet) of museum curator, director, and art scholar William Mills Ivins (1881-1961) consist of personal and professional correspondence, writings, notes, photographs, and Ivins family papers. Ivins was Curator of Prints, 1916-1946, Assistant Director, 1933-1938, and Acting Director, 1938-1940 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The collection contains professional and personal correspondence with art historians, art dealers, museum curators, print and book collectors, and artists concerning the history of print making, book design and illustration, print collectors and collecting, exhibitions, and museum administration. Correspondence files appear to be complete, and correspondence is of substantive content. Also found are Ivins' published and unpublished writings and lectures, and notes. Of particular interest are the letters from Bernard Berenson, Paul J. Sachs, and Theodore Sizer, each of whom corresponded with Ivins freqently over extended periods about both personal and professional and matters.

Ivins' family papers include family correspondence, genealogies, and photographs. The papers of Ivin's wife, illustrator Florence Wyman Ivins (1881-1948), and the correspondence of several other relatives, can be found here augmented by family photographs.
Arrangement:
The collection has been arranged into 7 series. The contents and organization are noted in the individual series descriptions.

Series 1: Professional and Personal Papers, circa 1908-1961 (Boxes 1-8; 6.5 linear ft.)

Series 2: Writings, circa 1910-1960 (Boxes 8-12; 4.9 linear ft.)

Series 3: Publications, 1896-1958 (Boxes 13-14; 2.0 linear ft.)

Series 4: Miscellaneous, 1915, undated (Box 15; 1.0 linear ft.)

Series 5: Ivins Family Papers, 1878-1964, undated (Boxes 16-20; 4.5 linear ft.)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1890-1940 (Boxes 20-21; 1.5 linear ft.)

Series 7: Oversized Material, 1897-1950 (1 OV folder)
Biographical Note:
William Mills Ivins, Jr. (1881-1961), a lawyer, first became interested in collecting prints and illustrated books while an undergraduate at Harvard. He studied the history of printmaking through self-directed reading, by looking at prints in the major European libraries and museums, and tried his hand at many of the printmaking processes. While practicing law, he wrote articles and organized some small exhibitions of prints as early as 1908. In 1916, the Metropolitan Museum of Art appointed its first Curator of Prints to organize a Department of Prints and Drawings and to develop its small existing collection. Upon the recommendation of Paul J. Sachs who was unable to accept the position, Ivins was selected. He held the post until his retirement some thirty years later.

During his tenure as Curator of Prints, Ivins became one of the most highly-respected individuals in the profession. Under Ivins the collection grew in scope, size, and quality; he acquired materials by cultivating potential donors, and through systematic purchase of pieces not likely to come into the collection by bequest. The department's active exhibition schedule included some especially noteworthy shows, such as The Arts of the Book in 1924.

Ivins was knowledgeable and shared information by writing several books on prints and the history of printmaking, and by writing large numbers of articles for the educated layman. His articles often highlighted items in the permanent collection, and frequently appeared in the museum's Bulletin. He was interested in perspective, psychology of perception, aesthetics, mathematics and modern philosophy, and wrote on these topics, as well.

He was an accomplished speaker and was in much demand as a lecturer. Of particular note were his series on Illustrated Books of the Renaissance at the Morgan Library in 1936, and the 1950 Lowell Lectures (subsequently published under the title Prints and Visual Communication).

In addition to his curatorial duties, Ivins served as Assistant Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art between 1933 and 1938, and was its Acting Director from 1938 until 1940. Francis Henry Taylor was appointed Director in 1940, and Ivins was named to the newly created post of Counselor; failure to attain the directorship was a bitter disappointment, which many attributed to his lack of tact and generally difficult disposition.

Ivins retired in 1946, and continued to write and publish until the mid-1950's. During this period he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Yale University (1946), made an honorary fellow of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1946), named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1950), and invited to deliver the annual lectures at the Lowell Institute (1950). He died at the age of eighty in 1961, after several years of declining health.

Ivins' private collection of prints and illustrated books, which he had continued to amass through the 1930's, was partially dispersed during his lifetime through gifts to the Metropolitan Museum and to a number of university and special libraries. The portion remaining in his estate was sold at auction by Parke Bernet between 1962 and 1964.

1881 -- born to William Mills Ivins and Emma Yard Ivins, Flatbush, N.Y.

1890-1893 -- attended King's School, Stamford, Conn.

1896 -- trip to South America with father

1897 -- graduation from St. Paul's School, Concord, N.H.

1901 -- graduation from Harvard (A.B.)

1901-1902 -- travelled in Europe with Paul Haviland, and studied economics at University of Munich

1902-1904 -- employed by The World's Work, writing articles on economic and artistic subjects

1907 -- graduation from Columbia School of Law

1907-1916 -- practiced law in New York City: Ivins, Wolff and Houget for New York Public Service Commission, 1907-1908; Strong and Cadwallader, 1908-1909; Cravath, Henderson, and der Gersdorff, 1909-1916

1908 -- arranged first exhibition of prints, Keppel & Co,

1910 -- marriage to Florence Wyman, an illustrator

1916 -- appointed first Curator of Prints, Metropolitan Museum of Art

c. 1927-1935 -- served on editorial board of Metropolitan Museum Studies

1933-1938 -- Assistant Director, Metropolitan Museum of Art

1937 -- Morgan Library Lectures

1938 -- Honorary Curator of Prints and Drawings, Morgan Library

1938-1940 -- Acting Director, Metropolitan Museum of Art (Note: Mr. Ivins continued to act as Curator of Prints during periods when he was assigned other major administrative responsibilities at the museum)

1940 -- Counselor, Metropolitan Museum of Art

1946 -- Honorary Fellow, Metropolitan Museum of Art; retirement from Metropolitan Museum of Art; Honorary Doctorate, Yale University

1950 -- Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Lowell Lectures (published in 1953 under the title Prints and Visual Communication)

1961 -- death

1962-1964 -- Ivins Collection of Prints and Illustrated Books sold at auction by Parke Bernet

1977-1983 -- William M. Ivins, Jr. Papers donated to the Archives of American Art by his daughter, Barbara Ivins
Provenance:
The William Mills Ivins, Jr., papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by his daughter, Barbara Ivins, in several installments between 1977 and 1983.
Restrictions:
Use of unmicrofilmed material in the holdings of the Archives of American Art requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C., facility.
Rights:
The William Mills Ivins papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Illustrators  Search this
Aesthetics  Search this
Art museums  Search this
Book collectors and collecting  Search this
Museum directors  Search this
Perspective  Search this
Designers  Search this
Museums -- Acquisitions  Search this
Art historians  Search this
Prints -- History  Search this
Etching -- History  Search this
Engraving -- History  Search this
Medicine and art -- History  Search this
Illustrated books -- History  Search this
Museum curators  Search this
Citation:
William Mills Ivins papers, 1878-1964. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.ivinwill
See more items in:
William Mills Ivins papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-ivinwill
Online Media:

Pieter Bruegel von Max J. Friedländer

Author:
Friedländer, Max J. 1867-1958  Search this
Subject:
Bruegel Pieter   Search this
Bruegel, Pieter (de Oudere)  Search this
Physical description:
201 pages illustrations 26 cm
Type:
Biographies
Place:
Belgique
Date:
1921
Topic:
Peintres  Search this
Call number:
N40.1.B88 F91
N40.1.B88F91
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_275642

Albrecht Altdorfer Mit drei Abbildungen

Author:
Friedländer, Max J. 1867-1958  Search this
Physical description:
171 pages illustrations 30 cm
Type:
Books
Call number:
N40.1.A453 F91
N40.1.A453F91
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_271025

Max Liebermanns graphische Kunst, herausgegeben von M.J. Friedlander, mit 103 Nachbildungen

Author:
Liebermann, Max 1847-1935  Search this
Editor:
Friedländer, Max J. 1867-1958  Search this
Subject:
Liebermann, Max 1847-1935  Search this
Physical description:
33 pages illustrations 95 plates
Type:
Books
Date:
1922
Call number:
NC1145.L44 1922X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_346836

Echt und unecht : aus den Erfahrungen des Kunstkenners / von Max J. Friedländer

Author:
Friedländer, Max J. 1867-1958  Search this
Physical description:
69 p. ; 22 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1929
Topic:
Art--Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art--Forgeries  Search this
Call number:
N5200 .F75 1929
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_606621

Die niederländischen Maler des 17. Jahrhunderts

Author:
Friedländer, Max J. 1867-1958  Search this
Physical description:
337 p. plates (some col.) 27 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1923
[c1923]
17th century
18th century
Topic:
Painting, Dutch  Search this
Painting, Flemish  Search this
Call number:
ND636 .F915 1923
ND636.F915 1923
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_410088

On art and connoisseurship, by Max J. Friedländer. With 40 illustrations

Author:
Friedländer, Max J. 1867-1958  Search this
Borenius, Tancred 1885-1948  Search this
Physical description:
284 p. 40 pl. (incl. front., ports.) 26 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1942
[1942]
Topic:
Art--Expertising  Search this
Art--Philosophy  Search this
Art appreciation  Search this
Call number:
N7425 .F911 1942
N7425.F911 1942
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_414793

Catalogue of the exhibition of early Flemish paintings, London, June, 1935. Opened by M. Emile Cammaerts, C.B.E., L.L.D. Introduction by Dr. Max J. Friedlander. At the galleries of Tomas Harris, Ltd

Author:
Tomas Harris Ltd. (London, England)  Search this
Friedländer, Max J. 1867-1958  Search this
Cammaerts, Émile  Search this
Physical description:
[26] p. [10] plates incl. col. front. 28 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
1935
Topic:
Painting, Flemish  Search this
Call number:
ND469.F5 T65 1935
ND469.F5T65 1935
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_420704

Reminiscences and reflections. Edited from the literary remains and with a foreword by Rudolf M. Heilbrunn. [Translated from the German by Ruth S. Magurn]

Author:
Friedländer, Max J. 1867-1958  Search this
Heilbrunn, Rudolf M  Search this
Physical description:
109 p. illus., ports. 22 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1969
[1969]
Call number:
N7445.4 .F9115 E1969
N7445.4.F9115 E1969
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_354384

Landscape, portrait, still-life; their origin and development. [Translated from the German original by R. F. C. Hull]

Author:
Friedländer, Max J. 1867-1958  Search this
Physical description:
288 p. 41 plates. 22 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1950
[1950?]
Topic:
Landscape painting  Search this
Portrait painting  Search this
Still-life painting  Search this
Call number:
ND1140.F7X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_276838

Die altniederländische malerei

Author:
Friedländer, Max J. 1867-1958  Search this
Physical description:
14 v. plates, ports. 31 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1924
1937
1924-37
Topic:
Painting, Flemish  Search this
Painting, Dutch  Search this
Call number:
ND631.F7X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_104269

From Van Eyck to Bruegel, early Netherlandish painting. [Translated from the German by Marguerite Kay; edited, with notes, by F. Grossmann

Author:
Friedländer, Max J. 1867-1958  Search this
Physical description:
vii, 425 p. illus. (part col.) 27 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Netherlands
Date:
1965
[1965]
Topic:
Painters  Search this
Painting, Dutch  Search this
Call number:
ND635 .F91 E1965
ND635.F91 E1965
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_117973

From Van Eyck to Bruegel, early Netherlandish painting. [Translated from the German by Marguerite Kay; edited, with notes, by F. Grossmann

Author:
Friedländer, Max J. 1867-1958  Search this
Physical description:
vii, 425 p. illus. (part col.) 27 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Netherlands
Date:
1965
[1965]
Topic:
Painters  Search this
Painting, Dutch  Search this
Call number:
ND635 .F91 E1965
ND635.F91 E1965
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_129685

Albrecht Dürer. Mit 115 Abb

Author:
Friedländer, Max J. 1867-1958  Search this
Physical description:
227 p. incl. front., illus. 27 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1921
Call number:
ND588.D9F74 1921
ND588.D9F74 1921
N40.1.D85F91 1921
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_184095

Max Liebermanns graphische Kunst, hersg. von Max J. Friedländer; mit 98 Abbildungen

Author:
Friedländer, Max J. 1867-1958  Search this
Liebermann, Max 1847-1935  Search this
Physical description:
27 p. illus., 93 pl., port. 26 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1920
Call number:
NC1145 .L44 1920z
N40.1.L71F8
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_184805

Der Holzschnitt, mit 93 Abb. im Text und 2 Taf

Author:
Friedländer, Max J. 1867-1958  Search this
Physical description:
229 p. col. front., illus., pl. 21 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1921
Call number:
NE1030.F75 1921
NE1030.F75 1921
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_184947

Die Lithographie. Mit 18 Abb

Author:
Friedländer, Max J. 1867-1958  Search this
Physical description:
78 p. illus. 20 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1922
Call number:
NE2295 .F74z
NE2295.F74Z
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_185265

Die Radierung. Mit 18 Abb

Author:
Friedländer, Max J. 1867-1958  Search this
Physical description:
96 p. illus. 19 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1922
1921
Call number:
NE1980 .F7z
NE1980.F7Z
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_185278

Early Netherlandish painting. Preface by Erwin Panofsky. Comments and notes by Nicole Veronee-Verhaegen. Translation by Heinz Norden

Author:
Friedländer, Max J. 1867-1958  Search this
Veronee-Verhaegen, Nicole  Search this
Physical description:
v. illus. 27 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Netherlands
Date:
1967
1967-
Topic:
Painting--History  Search this
Call number:
ND631 .F92 E1967
ND631.F92 E1967
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_27035

On art and connoisseurship, by Max J. Friedländer. With 40 illustrations

Author:
Friedländer, Max J. 1867-1958  Search this
Borenius, Tancred 1885-1948  Search this
Physical description:
284 p. 40 pl. (incl. front., ports.) 26 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1943
[1943]
Topic:
Art--Expertising  Search this
Art--Philosophy  Search this
Art appreciation  Search this
Call number:
N7425 .F911 1943
N7425.F911 1943
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_82958

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