Lost or destroyed paintings are perhaps the most painful reminder of the importance of photoarchives and similar repositories of images and accompanying metadata. An unfortunate example is this portrait of a young bride.
The Photoarchive allows researchers to trace the history of a work of art; the image of St. Lawrence by Niccolò di Buonaccorso of Siena reproduced at left offers an instructive example of this crucial aspect of our collection.
In 1932 Juliana Force, the director of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, commissioned Thomas Hart Benton (1889–1975) to create a series of eight murals for the library of the museum. While six panels from this series survive, two ceiling panels are unlocated. It is feared that they have been destroyed.
This stunning pen and wash drawing of the Coronation of the Virgin signed by the seventeenth-century Spanish master Francisco Herrera the Younger (called "el Mozo") was part of a valuable collection of drawings housed in the Real Instituto de Jovellanos in Gijón, Spain, that was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. This rare photograph is one of the few surviving documents of this dynamic composition, which may have been an early "draft" of an altarpiece submitted for a patron's approval.