At the MoMA Library we recently unearthed an intriguing box of ephemera by artist Ad Reinhardt (1913-1967). The material was gifted to the Library by Walter and Nettie Wittman, who were friends of the artist. The letters, photographs, tear sheets, and some original commercial illustrations form a vignette of the artist’s professional and personal life, glimpsed from the perspective of Mr. Wittman, a lawyer residing in New Jersey.
Some say the future of art museum libraries will be the rare or unique research resources we collect. With that in mind at Brooklyn, we have been focusing our collection development policy on “rarer” items that are not readily available in other libraries. One recent acquisition falls into this category with the donation of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake (London: Camden Hotten, 1868).
Marketing is always a challenge for libraries. We want people to know about the treasures contained in our collections, the research services we provide, and, most importantly, that we are open for business. But we don't always have the budgets for targeted advertising or the attention of the media to inspire coverage that will reach potential users.