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 Drawings & Archives Checkman archive of architectural model photography was used by Columbia GSAPP for their current exhibition Stagecraft: Models & Photos.
The exhibition will be on display at The Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery from February 9 until March 10, 2017.
Read Kenneth Frampton’s article in Metropolis magazine about the exhibition here.
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.
Sir William Beechey and studio, Portrait of George III, King of Great Britain (1738-1820), early 19th century, oil on canvas, 35 1/2 x 24 5/8 in. (90 x 62.5 cm), Art Properties, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University in the City of New York, Gift of Mrs. Mary Hill Hill, 1943 (C00.771)
Art Properties has loaned a painting to the exhibition The Battle of Brooklyn which is now open at The New-York Historical Society. This exhibition commemorates the decisive first battle that took place between the rebel forces and the British following the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Although the American forces suffered a tremendous defeat, this battle became a decisive moment in the military campaign led by Washington and his troops.
The painting loaned by Art Properties is this whole-length portrait of King George III (1738-1820), the reigning British monarch during the American Revolution. Painted by Sir William Beechey (1753-1839) and his studio, the portrait depicts the monarch wearing the Field-Marshal uniform of a red coat adorned with the Star of the Garter, white breeches, black boots, and a black bicorn hat. In his right hand he holds a cane and in his left a pair of gloves. He stands in a landscape with Windsor Castle in the distance. This portrait is one of a number produced by Beechey’s studio after the success of the original life-size version exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1800.
George III was the grandson of George II, the eponymous founder of King’s College. This portrait was donated to Columbia in 1943 by Mrs. Mary Hill Hill, who claimed to have purchased it in England. Remnants of a label on the stretcher, however, also identify the painting as the same sold at the April 2, 1931 auction by American Art Association of works owned by Ehrich Gallery in New York. The purchaser at that time was recorded as a Miss M. Brown. The description of the painting in the catalogue incorrectly describes it as depicting the king as the Prince of Wales and the building in the background as Hatfield House. George III had been king since 1760, so the painting would not depict him as the Prince of Wales at that time, and a visual comparison of images of Hatfield House clearly shows that they are different buildings and that ours is Windsor Castle. There is other evidence that the same painting was sold at a Christie’s London auction in 1926, but its provenance prior to that date is still undetermined.
Panoramic view of Rome from The Illustrated London News, Vol. 16 (Jan. to June 1850)
City of the Soul: Rome and the Romantics
June 17-September 11, 2016
The Morgan Library, New York
Avery Classics materials feature prominently in a new exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum entitled City of the Soul: Rome and the Romantics. As the curators of the show point out, “Rome exists not only as an intensely physical place, but also as a romantic idea onto which artists, poets, and writers project their own imaginations and longings. City of the Soul examines the evolving image of Rome in art and literature with a display of books, manuscripts, prints, photographs, and drawings.” Among the items loaned by Avery Classics are a panorama of Rome from The Illustrated London News (above), a travel album with hand-colored images of Rome that may have belonged to Friedrich Wilhelm, King of Prussia, and a detailed map of the city produced by Paul-Marie Letarouilly in 1841. Avery Digital Lab prepared a high-resolution digital image of the Letarouilly map, which was used by the Morgan to create a digital walking tour of Rome, allowing visitors to see some of the works on display next to modern-day images of the monuments.
Arthur Wesley Dow, The Enchanted Mesa, 1913, oil on canvas, 32 3/4 x 54 in., Art Properties, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University in the City of New York, Transferred from the Women’s Faculty Club (C00.1371).
Among the great American landscape paintings in the Columbia University art collection, stewarded by Art Properties, is The Enchanted Mesa by Arthur Wesley Dow. Painted in 1913, this painting depicts a Western mesa illuminated by the setting sun while the full moon rises above it. This painting was originally exhibited at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915, and has been loaned to the de Young Museum in San Francisco as part of their centenary exhibition of this groundbreaking exposition. Entitled “Jewel City: Art from San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition,” this exhibition brings together more than 200 works of art by American and European artists that were displayed there a century ago. The exhibition runs from October 17, 2015 to January 10, 2016.
Mill Brook Houses
Affordable New York: A Housing Legacy
Museum of the City of New York
September 18, 2015-February 1, 2016
“Fifteen objects were lent from Drawings and Archives including drawings for Roosevelt Island development by Philip Johnson and John Burgee (preliminary scheme) and John Johansen (final design), sketches and photographs of Carver House by Simon Breines, and other ephemera. Included in the exhibition is a digital image gallery of plans of New York City Housing Authority projects from the Breines collection.”
All images from the Simon Breines papers, circa 1930-1990. Click image to enlarge.
The Power of Pictures: Early Soviet Photography, Early Soviet Film
Jewish Museum, New York
September 25, 2015 – February 7, 2016
From early vanguard constructivist works by Alexander Rodchenko and El Lissitzky, to the modernist images of Arkady Shaikhet and Max Penson, Soviet photographers played a pivotal role in the history of photography. Covering the period from the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution through the 1930s, this exhibition explores how early modernist photography influenced a new Soviet style while energizing and expanding the nature of the medium — and how photography, film, and poster art were later harnessed to disseminate Communist ideology. The Power of Pictures revisits this moment in history when artists acted as engines of social change and radical political engagement, so that art and politics went hand in hand.
Avery Classics has volumes 1, 2 and 4 of El Lissitzky’s Industrii︠a︡ sot︠s︡ializma in the exhibition. Rodchenko & Stepanova’s Moskva rekonstruiruetsi︠a︡ and SSSR stroit sot︠s︡ializm by El Lissitzky will also be on display when the show travels to other venues in 2016.
Giorgio Cavaglieri, Jefferson Market Library elevation, pencil on tracing paper.
Saving Place: Fifty Years of New York City Landmarks
Museum of the City of New York, New York
April 21-September 13, 2015
Many believe New York’s pioneering Landmarks Law, enacted in April 1965, was the key factor in the rebirth of New York in the final quarter of the 20th century. It ensured that huge swaths of the city remain a rich complex of new and old. It also ensured the creative re-use of countless buildings. At the same time, a new body of important architecture has emerged as architects, clients, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission devised innovative solutions for the renovation of landmark buildings and for new buildings in historic districts.
Saving Place is presented to celebrate the law’s 50th anniversary.
Avery Drawings & Archives has 6 drawings and 1 typescript by Talbot Hamlin in the exhibition while Avery Classics has a real estate brochure for 2 Fifth Avenue, NYC, on display
Architect magazine article
Opening Night Symposium video
New York Times review
Sports Palace (Mexico City, Mexico), 1968 from the collection: Félix Candela architectural records and papers; Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library
A never-before exhibited scrapbook documenting Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1931 trip to Rio will be on display in the Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955-1980 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art from March 29-July 19, 2015.
The scrapbook, part of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives, and 2 drawings of the Sports Palace in Mexico City by Felix Candela are on loan to the exhibition from Avery Library’s Drawings & Archives Department.
The show offers a complex overview of the positions, debates, and architectural creativity from Mexico and Cuba to the Southern Cone between 1955 and the early 1980s.
The exhibition features architectural drawings, architectural models, vintage photographs, and film clips alongside newly commissioned models and photographs. While the exhibition focuses on the period of 1955 to 1980 in most of the countries of Latin America, it is introduced by an ample prelude on the preceding three decades of architectural developments in the region, presentations of the development of several key university campuses in cities like Mexico City and Caracas, and a look at the development of the new Brazilian capital at Brasilia.