As an intern at the Frick Art Reference Library, one of my projects was to read Matilda Gay’s diaries which form part of the Walter and Matilda Gay Collection in The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives. While the diaries have been previously excerpted in publications (e.g.
Genius, misguided, obsessed – these are a few of the terms used to describe the Egyptologist Gustavus Seyffarth (1796-1885) – one of many scholars who attempted, but failed, to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs.
As NYARC’s IMLS M-LEAD 2 Project Coordinator stationed at the Brooklyn Museum I see a lot of auction catalogs—and I love them! Auction catalogs from the Brooklyn Museum Library continue to provide fascinating and surprising discoveries. Recently, I found a catalog comprising the collection of Charles Gillot filled with visual treasures! Who was Charles Gillot?
On August 22, 1908, French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson was born. 2014 marks the tenth anniversary of his death. Cartier-Bresson was and still is widely known as a photojournalist and for his street photography.
The MoMA Library recently acquired and made available a collection of materials produced by El Techo de la Ballena, an artistic and literary collective that was active from 1961 to 1969 in Venezuela. El Techo de la Ballena, which translates to The Roof of the Whale, was an organized artistic and literary group that generated material with the goal of challenging social values during a time of political unrest in Venezuela during the 1960s.
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.
More than four years ago, at the end of 2008, MoMA and P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center officially completed their 10-year affiliation process. At that time, The Museum of Modern Art Archives received custody of the organizational records, curatorial documents, exhibition paraphernalia, and other materials of historical importance saved by the institution over four decades of groundbreaking programming.
Libraries can contain unexpected treasures. Who would have guessed that the Frick Art Reference Library possesses a collection of seventy-four photographs of artists in their Paris studios circa 1885 to 1892? The photographs were given to the Library in 1940 by the American polar artist Frank Wilbert Stokes (1858–1955). Stokes had much earlier (1916–19) tried unsuccessfully to persuade Henry Clay Frick (1849–1919) to visit his studio and buy some of his paintings.
Processing the acquisitions on the Special Collections shelf is always a highlight of my week, especially when I know we’re expecting mail from Printed Matter or a book artist has been by to visit recently. I approach the task knowing that strange and beautiful books of all shapes and sizes await me, and that processing will most likely not entail the usual rote click-click-click through, a cog in the wheel of acquisitions procedure, as the majority of the artist’s books we acquire are not in OCLC's WorldCat, a world-wide catalog of library catalogs, and require a unique new record to be generated.