Ellen Prokop

Ellen Prokop is the Associate Head of Research at the Frick Art Reference Library. For more information, see her biography.

Lost and Found

A woman holding a young child and a small spaniel on her lap.

The second of a series of blog entries focusing on conservation “interventions” as recorded in the holdings of the Frick Art Reference Library Photoarchive is this problematic portrait of an engaging young woman, her son, and their serene spaniel attributed to Sir William Beechey (1753–1839).

Art and Fashion

Half-length portrait of a young woman dressed in a short-sleeved white dress and a shawl seated in a chair.

The first in a series of blog entries focusing on conservation “interventions” as recorded in the holdings of the Frick Art Reference Library Photoarchive is this elegant portrait of Mrs. William Bedlow Crosby attributed to Eliab Metcalf (1785‒1834), which underwent substantial restoration before 1940.

The Bannard Family Leaves Brooklyn

Group portrait of four young brothers and their young sister seated around a table.

The Photoarchive recently received a gift of three reproductions of portraits of Brooklyn’s Bannard family, including a charming group portrait of the five Bannard children.

Piero della Francesca's St. Julian In Situ

Corner of a room with a section of fresco depicting the head and shoulders of a young blond man.

In 1956, Thomas Hoving, the former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, traveled to Sansepolcro, Italy, to study and photograph works by Piero della Francesca (ca. 1415–1492), including a recently discovered fresco in the church of Santa Chiara (formerly Sant’Agostino).

A St. Ursula by Valentin de Boulogne?

A half-length painting of a young woman wearing a crown and holding an arrow and a standard.

A painting of St. Ursula originally attributed to Jusepe de Ribera (1591–1652) is more likely a work by another Caravaggesque master, the French artist known as Valentin de Boulogne (1591–1632).

The Future of Photoarchives

Group portrait of twenty-four people standing in a garden.

In late January 2013, the representatives of fourteen photoarchives based in Europe and the United States met for two days to discuss future plans for their collections.

St. Lawrence Recovered

Standing young male saint in a panel holding a cross and a book and facing left.

The Photoarchive allows researchers to trace the history of a work of art. The image of St. Lawrence by Niccolò di Buonaccorso of Siena, recovered from a later overpainting, offers an instructive example of this crucial aspect of our collection.

Forgotten Folk Songs

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.

The Parthenon in 1667

Drawing of a cityscape with fortifications and a temple on a hill at right.

This detailed sketch, based on George Wheeler’s topographical drawing of 1667, documents the appearance of the Parthenon just a few years before Venetian forces shelled the Acropolis during the Republic’s struggle to take the city from the Ottomans in 1687.