Category Archives: Art Properties

Avery Art Properties in 20 and Odd Exhibition

 Fisk Jubilee Singers

Photographer unknown, The Fisk Jubilee Singers, ca. 1885, carbon print, Art Properties, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, Chandler Chemical Museum Collection (C00.1580.77).

Art Properties is pleased to be among the lenders to the current exhibition 20 and Odd: The 400-Year Anniversary of 1619, now on view in the Leroy Neiman Gallery, Dodge Hall, on the Morningside campus until September 30, 2019. This exhibition commemorates the 400-year anniversary of the first documented arrival of Africans landing at the Jamestown settlement in 1619, and serves to explore this history through images, documents, archival materials and contemporary art, recounting the first documented Africans in the British colony.

Art work from the University art collection, based in Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, along with material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, New York Public Library, and the Library of Congress, have been brought together to help rethink the early history of the United States and to provide insight as to what life would have been like for Africans in the conflicted space of the New World. Works on view from Art Properties include: a 1967 oil painting by Charles Mwenze Mungolo, an artist from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; prints by the African-American artist Hale Woodruff; and an enlarged facsimile of the image seen here, a carbon-print photograph of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, taken in the mid-1880s.

For more information about the exhibition and related programs, go to https://arts.columbia.edu/events/20-and-odd-400-year-anniversary-1619.

Animalia

June 17 – September 13, 2019
Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wallach Study Center for Art & Architecture, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library

Vessel in the form of a Dog, Colima culture, Mexico, ca. 200, polychrome earthenware, H. 7 1/4 x W. 5 3/4 x L. 12 1/2 in. (18.4 x 14.6 x 31.8 cm), Art Properties, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, Samuel Kirkland Lothrop Collection, Gift of René A. Wormser (1968.8.22).

Now on view in Avery Library is a new summer exhibition called Animalia, which celebrates the essence of animal life as depicted in sculpture, decorative arts, and cultural heritage objects, all drawn from the Art Properties collection. The works on view date from antiquity to today and present animal forms in various media, including soapstone, wood, ceramic, and watercolor on paper.

For many world cultures, the representation of animals in art has had a spiritual significance, reminding viewers today of the perpetually strong ties humans and animals have always had for survival and companionship. The first two cases include works by indigenous populations from Canada, the southwestern United States, Mexico, and Central America, while the latter two cases showcase works of art from China and Japan. With the exception of two modern sculptures, each of the objects on view was made by an artisan whose identity remains unknown to us. That anonymity arguably forces our attention away from the maker and toward the subject represented, reminding us that humankind, and the animals around us, are all one, united as part of nature.

Hoppner, Beechey, Fisher, Lavery: Researching Columbia’s Portraits.

February 11 – May 10, 2019
Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wallach Study Center for Art & Architecture, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library

John Hoppner, Portrait of Isabella Ricketts, later Mrs. Stanlake Henry Batson (1782-1845), ca. 1800-01, oil on canvas, 39 1/2 x 30 in. (100.2 x 76.2 cm), Art Properties, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, Gift of Loyd H. Langston (C00.762).

Now on view in Avery Library is the exhibition Hoppner, Beechey, Fisher, Lavery: Researching Columbia’s Portraits, curated by Roberto C. Ferrari, Curator of Art Properties, with Mateusz Mayer, Ph.D. student, Department of Art History & Archaeology. This focused exhibition showcases four rarely-seen historical British portraits from the University art collection, painted by these artists between the years 1800 and 1927. The show highlights new discoveries made about each painting, ranging from biography to provenance to political propaganda, but also proposes to question what “British” means both historically and in the age of Brexit.

The Columbia University art collection, stewarded by Art Properties and based in Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, includes nearly 1,000 portrait paintings, as well as hundreds of portrait busts, photographs, and prints. This exhibition encourages students, faculty, and researchers to reconsider the world of portraiture and to encourage the use of the entire University art collection for curricular and educational programs, where new discoveries can be made every day.

 

Looking East: James Justinian Morier and Nineteenth-Century Persia

Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibition, “Looking East: James Justinian Morier and Nineteenth-Century Persia,” in the Wallach Study Center.  This exhibition is the second in a new series called “MA in Art History Presents,” in which the MA students, under the guidance of Dr. Frederique Baumgartner (director of the MA program, Dept. of Art History and Archaeology) and Dr. Roberto C. Ferrari (curator of Art Properties), curate an exhibition drawn from Art Properties and other related Columbia Libraries holdings.  The online exhibition can be viewed by going to http://projects.mcah.columbia.edu/ma/2018/.

“Looking East” focuses on a portrait of J. J. Morier (ca. 1780-1849) wearing Qajar-era Persian clothing, his illustrated travelogues to Persia (published in 1812 and 1818), and his 1824 picaresque novel The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan, all considered from the perspective of Morier’s own documentary eye, and post-colonial readings of Orientalism today.  The exhibition includes material from Art Properties, the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and Burke Library.  Conservation work on the books and their cradles were prepared by the Columbia Libraries Conservation Lab.

Complementing the exhibition is a display of Iranian ceramics from the 10th to 19th centuries from the Art Properties collection, and an illustrated copy of Pascal-Xavier Coste’s Monuments modernes de la Perse (Paris, 1867) from Avery Classics.

The exhibition is open to the public Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm until December 14, 2018.

IMAGE CAPTION:
Attributed to George Henry Harlow, Portrait of James Justinian Morier (ca.1780-1849), 1818, oil on canvas, 28 x 24 in., Art Properties, Avery Library, Columbia University, Gift of Dr. Calvin H. Plimpton and his mother Anne Hastings Plimpton, to the George A. Plimpton Collection (2000.6.32).

Wisdom of the East Exhibition

Yellow Tara (Vajra Tara), Tibet, late 17th to 18th century, gilded copper-zinc alloy (brass) with traces of polychromy, semiprecious stones, and silk
H. 7 3/16 x W. 6 3/8 x D. 3 1/2 in., Art Properties, Avery Library, Columbia University, Gift of J. G. Phelps Stokes (C00.1603.25).

Now on view in Avery Library’s Wallach Study Center for Art and Architecture is an exhibition of Buddhist art from Art Properties. Entitled Wisdom of the East: Buddhist Art from the J. G. Phelps Stokes Collection, the exhibition showcases a selection of works of art from Tibet, Nepal, China, and Japan dating from the 12th to 19th centuries.

This collection of over fifty sculptures and decorative objects was donated to Columbia in 1959 by James Graham Phelps Stokes (1872-1960), an alum of the College of Physicians & Surgeons and a New York City politician. His brother Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes was an architect whose projects included St. Paul’s Chapel on the Morningside campus. J. G. Phelps Stokes seems to have acquired his art collection during his travels abroad, his brother and he having visited Asia for the first time in 1892-93. Most of the art Stokes donated to Columbia represents the rich visual cultures of Mahayana (“Greater Vehicle”) and Vajrayana (“Diamond” or “Thunderbolt”) Buddhism.

In addition to this collection of art, Stokes’s papers and correspondence are deposited in Columbia’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The I. N. Phelps Stokes papers and architectural drawings collection is held in Avery Library Department of Drawings & Archives. The exhibition, curated by Roberto C. Ferrari in Art Properties, is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and will remain on view until September 14, 2018.

 

Art in Life Exhibition: Art Properties & the MA in Art History Program

Robert Nanteuil, Portrait of Louis XIV, King of France (1638-1715), 1666, probably third state of seven, engraving on paper, 15 3/8 x 12 1/16 in. (39.1 x 30.6 cm), Art Properties, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, Gift of Mrs. Frederick Paul Keppel  (C00.802.116)

Currently on view in Avery Library’s Wallach Study Center for Art & Architecture is an exhibition entitled Art in Life: Engravings by Robert Nanteuil (c. 1623-1678) from the Frederick Paul Keppel Collection at Columbia University. This exhibition is the result of a new curricular collaboration between Art Properties and the Department of Art History and Archaeology, in which candidates in the MA in Art History program conceive and implement an exhibition utilizing historic art work from the University’s permanent collection. During the 2016 spring semester, under the guidance of program director Frédérique Baumgartner and curator of Art Properties Roberto C. Ferrari, the students worked with a collection of 184 Nanteuil engravings that were a gift to Avery Library in 1947 by the widow of Frederick Paul Keppel (1875-1943), Dean of Columbia College from 1910 to 1918. The students also worked with the Conservation Lab in Butler Library to conserve one of the prints for this exhibition.

Robert Nanteuil trained as an engraver in his hometown of Reims, settled in Paris in 1646-47, and established himself as a portraitist to the court of the Sun King, Louis XIV, eventually becoming Designer and Engraver to the King. Over the course of his brilliant career, Nanteuil produced more than 230 engravings, the majority of which were portraits of contemporary French dignitaries, including the Queen of France, Anne of Austria, and her son Louis XIV. Most of the portraits that Nanteuil created were originally commissioned by wealthy students to decorate their theses. Today, no longer tied to the books and theses they once illustrated, Nanteuil’s engravings now primarily exist as art objects: the material traces of a master engraver and his practice. Sixteen of the prints in Columbia’s permanent collection have been brought together in this exhibition, both to illuminate Nanteuil’s career and shine a light on the nature of Keppel’s print collecting practice.

The exhibition is available for viewing Monday-Friday 9am-5pm until May 18, 2018, and is accompanied by an online exhibition at http://projects.mcah.columbia.edu/ma/2017/.

Please join us for a special Evening at Avery

Art in Life: Engravings by Robert Nanteuil (c. 1623-1678) from The Frederick Paul Keppel Collection at Columbia University
Lecture & Exhibition reception

Frédérique Baumgartner

Department of Art History and Archaeology
Columbia University
April 25, 2018
6:30 – 8:30 PM

Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Center for the Study of Art and Architecture
Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library


REGISTRATION REQUIRED
Sponsored by Avery Library and Avery Friends 

Dealer’s Choice: The Samuel Kootz Gallery 1945-1966

Adolph Gottlieb, The Sorceress, 1947, oil on canvas, 48 1/16 x 36 in. (122.1 x 91.2 cm), Art Properties, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel M. Kootz (C00.406).

Art Properties has loaned a painting to the exhibition Dealer’s Choice: The Samuel Kootz Gallery 1945-1966, now open at the Fralin Museum of Art, University of Virginia in Charlottesville. This exhibition focuses on gallery owner Samuel Kootz (1898-1982), who was instrumental in showcasing some of the biggest names in mid-century European and American modernism, including the Abstract Expressionists. He had galleries on East 57th St. and Madison Ave. for more than twenty years, and he authored two books on modern American art: Modern American Painters  and New Frontiers in American Painting.

The painting on loan from the Columbia University art collection is The Sorceress by Adolph Gottlieb, painted in 1947 and exhibited that same year in Kootz’s landmark exhibition Women, which also included work by William Baziotes, Robert Motherwell, Pablo Picasso, and others. Gottlieb’s painting was donated to Columbia by Kootz and his wife in 1960.

The exhibition at the Fralin runs from August 25-December 17, 2017, and then travels to the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York from January 21-May 20, 2018.

Avery Art Properties at Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry

Installation view at The Jewish Museum showing the triptych of sister portraits from 1923 by Florine Stettheimer, (left to right): Portrait of Myself, oil on canvas laid on board, 40 3/8 x 26 3/8 in. (102.7 x 67 cm); Portrait of My Sister, Carrie W. Stettheimer, oil on canvas laid on hardboard backing, 37 7/8 x 26 in. (96.2 x 66.2 cm); and Portrait of My Sister, Ettie Stettheimer, oil on canvas laid on hardboard backing, 40 3/8 x 26 1/4 in. (102.2 x 66.8 cm). Art Properties, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University in the City of New York, Gift of the Estate of Ettie Stettheimer, 1967.

Columbia University is the major lender to the current exhibition Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry, which is now open at The Jewish Museum in New York City (May 5-September 24, 2017), and then travels to the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Canada (October 21, 2017-January 28, 2018). Columbia is the largest repository for the art of American modernist Florine Stettheimer (1871-1944). Over 65 paintings, drawings, and decorative arts objects are housed in and stewarded by Art Properties , and the Rare Book and Manuscript Library holds the Florine Stettheimer Papers . Art Properties has fifteen paintings and drawings, and a decorative heart screen, on loan to The Jewish Museum.

In preparation for this exhibition Art Properties received a conservation grant from the frame company Eli Wilner & Co., in which full restoration of one of Stettheimer’s period frames and two historical replicas were made, allowing for a rare opportunity to showcase the artist’s important 1923 ‘sister triptych’ portraits as they originally appeared in silver-leaf frames hanging in her studio and their family home. The three portraits, seen above in an installation view at The Jewish Museum, show the artist’s innovative self-portrait, her older sister Carrie decorating her dollhouse (on permanent view at the Museum of the City of New York), and her younger sister Ettie (an alum of Barnard and Columbia) in a night scene resting beside a flaming Christmas tree. To learn more about this grant and the restoration project, click here

Avery Library Remembers Christopher Gray (1950-2016)

Image Credit: Office for Metropolitan History

Christopher Gray was a major figure in the rising swell of interest in New York City architectural history that began in the aftermath of the demolition of Pennsylvania Station. With a degree in Art History from Columbia in 1975, Chris founded the Office of Metropolitan History that same year to provide research services to historic architectural questions. His research provided historical accuracy to many publications, thereby raising the standards for the field. He became widely known to the public for his column Streetscapes that ran from 1987 to 2014, one of the highlights of the Sunday New York Times Real Estate section. Chris and his staff from the OMH, Suzanne Braley, Melissa Braverman, and Samantha Hightower, were frequently seen at Avery pursuing countless citations, photographs, and drawings.

Avery Library extends its sympathy to his wife, Erin D. Gray, a graduate of Columbia University’s Historic Preservation program, and his family.

 

New York Times Obituary

Architects Newpaper Obituary

Avery Art Properties loans portrait of Da Ponte to NYHS exhibition

da-ponte

Installation view at The New-York Historical Society: Unknown artist, Portrait of Lorenzo Da Ponte (1749-1838), ca. 1820, oil on canvas, frame size: 56 x 44 in. (142.2 x 111.7 cm), Art Properties, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University in the City of New York (C00.37)

Art Properties has loaned a painting to the exhibition The First Jewish Americans: Freedom and Culture in the New World, which is now open at The New-York Historical Society. This exhibition focuses on the historical and cultural lives of Jewish immigrants, forced from their ancestral lands in Europe, South America, and the Caribbean, to newfound freedom in colonial New Amsterdam through early 19th-century New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston.

The painting on loan from the Columbia University art collection is this early 19th-century, three-quarter-length seated portrait of Lorenzo Da Ponte (1749-1838). Born in a Jewish ghetto near Venice, Da Ponte later converted to Catholicism and eventually emigrated to the United States where, at the age of 76, he became the first professor of Italian at Columbia College. Da Ponte is best known around the world as the librettist for three operas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte. (You can read more about Da Ponte’s colorful life here.)

The painting of Da Ponte and its historical frame were in need of conservation in order to be shown at the exhibition. We are very grateful to Mr. Leonard L. Milberg for providing full financial support to have this work completed. Our thanks also to conservator Stephen Kornhauser and Eli Wilner & Co. for all their hard work restoring Da Ponte’s grandeur for this exhibition.

NYHS website