Scholars celebrate photoarchives for providing access to little-known works of art housed in private collections or in circulation on the art market. A feature of photoarchives that is less often appreciated, however, is how comprehensively they document famous works of art on public view.
Images of Interest
Perhaps one third of Photoarchive reproductions are cut from publications, including catalogs, books, newspapers, and magazines. This advertisement sheet for a painting possibly by Ralph Albert Blakelock (illustrated at left) was printed in 1942. As the sheet describes, the dealer Americana Arts is offering a landscape with teepees that might or might not be a good deal:
Although most of the Photoarchive’s 1.2 million reproductions illustrate art from just eight national schools, works from an additional forty countries and regions classified “minor schools” are also represented. An artist from the Tyrolese School, which encompasses works from the intersection of Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany, is presumed to have painted this representation (left) of a fifteenth-century statue called the Black Madonna of Einsiedeln.
Interior of the Artist's Apartment, made sometime after 1910 by the American painter and watercolorist Walter Gay, shows a narrow view of a sitting area in Walter and his wife Matilda's Paris apartment at 11 Rue de l'Université, where the couple had moved in May 1909.
Dr. Charles A. Ryskamp (1928–2010), Director of The Frick Collection from 1987 to 1997 and, prior to that, of the Morgan Library & Museum, spent more than fifty years developing an extraordinary personal collection of European drawings. Passionate about collecting from a young age, his interest took a serious turn while he was a graduate student at Yale. He avidly collected books and manuscripts related to his studies, then branched into the visual arts when he purchased two Edward Lear drawings while he was a research fellow at Cambridge.
In 1943, Brooklyn artist Esta Cosgrave (née Esther Flack) (ca. 1900–1952) adopted a quirky style of painting modern-day likenesses in 18th- and 19th–century costumes and poses. Her portraits borrowed their contexts from the works of American painters John Singleton Copley, Robert Feke, Jeremiah Theus and their contemporaries, and also from pictures by unknown, itinerant painters.
One of the most popular series completed by the American illustrator Vernon Howe Bailey was his "Intimate Sketches of New York," which records the city during a period of dramatic growth—and change.
Beginning in 1925, Helen Clay Frick hired the Italian photographers Mario Sansoni and Oreste Nesti to traverse Italy documenting in situ sculptures, paintings, and frescoes that other firms such as Anderson, Alinari, and Brogi had neglected to capture. On several occasions, staff of the Frick Art Reference Library requested photography of objects specifically related to works in The Frick Collection. - See more at: http://www.frick.org/photoarchive/discoveries/analog_facial_recognition_technology#sthash.lZxHZipQ.dpuf
The third and final entry in a series of three blog posts focusing on conservation "interventions" as recorded in the holdings of the Frick Art Reference Library Photoarchive is this mysterious devotional image in the church of San Martino in Velletri, Italy.