Access to the Brooklyn Museum Libraries and Archives has been limited since last summer because of a major renovation of the second floor of the museum and the retirement of a key library staff member. The necessary renovation is allowing for the installation of climate control as well as new galleries devoted to the Museum's Asian and Islamic collections. There will also be a new gallery space devoted to the display of Libraries and Archives collections when the renovation is completed around late 2015.
During World War II, the Frick Art Reference Library played a pivotal role in the international effort to identify and protect monuments and works of art in Europe from damage and destruction by armed forces. Helen Clay Frick, the founder and Director of the Library, invited the Committee of the American Council of Learned Societies on Protection of Cultural Treasures in War Areas to take up residence at the Library from 1943 to 1945.
As a summer intern at the Frick Art Reference Library, I researched several New York auction catalogs in preparation for the New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC) online exhibition Gilding the Gilded Age: Interior Decoration Tastes & Trends in New York City. I found myself drawn to the catalogs with annotations of prices and buyers. This prompted me to reflect on society’s fascination with the money others pay for their belongings.