Photoarchive

Data Discoveries: Completing the Picture of Artists in the Photoarchive

Emma Claire Marvin, a spring/summer 2021 practicum student and content consultant in the Frick Art Reference Library, explains her work on the library’s ongoing Wikidata project. The project enhances the online discoverability of artists represented in the Photoarchive, and Emma Claire describes her research that contributed to the creation of a brand-new Wikidata “item” for lesser-known French artist Marie Perrier (1864–1941).

175,000 New Photoarchive Records Available Digitally

In February 2021, the Frick Art Reference Library announced the completion of a massive, three-year project to digitize the library’s historic Photoarchive collection. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this initiative has made records and images for more than 175,000 works of art available in the Frick Digital Collections, NYARC Discovery, and the library’s online catalog, FRESCO.

Library Debuts Interactive Map of 20th-Century Frick Photo Expeditions

To enhance the discoverability of Photoarchive materials, the library launched a collaboration with the Center for Advanced Research of Spatial Information at Hunter College, City University of New York in 2014 to develop an interactive digital map that traces the movement of library staff and photographers as they traveled across the United States and recorded paintings and sculptures in private homes and little-known public collections.

Ars Longa: Photoarchive Retraces History of Separated Rubens Paintings

Ars Longa is a blog series exploring lost, altered, and destroyed works of art that are preserved in the records of the Frick's Photoarchive. In this post, the Photoarchive helps us uncover the complex history of a painting by the circle of Peter Paul Rubens, two separate panels of which today reside in two different museums.

One Portrait, Two Identifications

Black-and-white image of a portrait of a woman in a hat looking to the left and smiling.
Among the many images reproduced in the collection of the Frick Art Reference Library's Photoarchive is a stunning likeness of a vivacious young woman in a feathered hat. Thanks to the Library's photographic campaigns, the true identity of the sitter as well as the correct attribution of the portrait are part of the art-historical record.

Looking Closely

Black and white photograph of a monumental wall tomb featuring several figures and decorative reliefs.

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.

Mind the Antlers

Sketch of deer antlers.

The story of the "overzealous" restoration of a family portrait as related by the painting's current owner illustrates how crucial this type of personal information is to the documentation of the Photoarchive.

Art and Advertising

An advertisement for a painting of a landscape featuring a settlement of Native Americans.

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:

The Madonna of Einsiedeln

Image depicting the Virgin Mary and Christ Child.

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.

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