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
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
Sponsored by Avery Library and Avery Friends
Curator: Teresa Harris
December 18, 2017 – April 4, 2018
Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Avery Classics Reading Room, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library
Panorama is derived from the Greek words meaning ‘all’ and ‘view.’ For centuries, popular entertainment has utilized panoramic composition to transport viewers to far-away places like Athens or Versailles or to the midst of important historical events such as the Battle of Gettysburg. Panoramas have taken many forms from large cylindrical paintings to dioramas to photographic and filmic representations. The items on display in the Avery Classics reading room range in time from approximately 1825 to 1966 demonstrating sustained artistic interest in the genre. Most document urban centers and take the form of long prints that follow streets through cities as various as Tokyo, Leipzig, Paris, London and New York. They capture the built environment at a specific moment in time and record other important elements of society such as modes of transportation and contemporary fashion.
New York : the empire city; fifty colored views. [New York: A. C. Bosselman], 1910. AA735 N4 N477
Avery Classics is pleased to announce its newest online exhibit, Viewbooks : Window into America
. Drawing on last year’s reading room display, Viewbooks : Window into America
features a selection of 50 viewbooks from Avery’s extensive holdings — more than 4,000 titles representing hundreds of American cities and towns. This online exhibit approaches the viewbook genre from two directions – geographic and topical. Subcategories include night views, disaster views and views of the developing West. Through this exhibit we hope to highlight our viewbook collection as an important source of documentation of the built environment in America in the late-19th
centuries and, as such, an important resource for our patrons.
Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library and MoMA are pleased to announce the opening of a co-presented exhibition, Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive, June 12 – October 1, 2017 at the Museum of Modern Art.
Drawing on the expansive Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archive, jointly acquired by Avery and MoMA in 2012, the exhibition comprises approximately 450 works made from the 1890s through the 1950s, including architectural drawings, models, building fragments, films, television broadcasts, print media, furniture, tableware, textiles, paintings, photographs, and scrapbooks, along with a number of works that have rarely or never been publicly exhibited.
Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the most prolific and renowned architects of the 20th century, a radical designer and intellectual who embraced new technologies and materials, pioneered do-it-yourself construction systems as well as avant-garde experimentation, and advanced original theories with regards to nature, urban planning, and social politics. Marking the 150th anniversary of the American architect’s birth on June 8, 1867, Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive, critically engages his multifaceted practice.
Avery Library Frank LLoyd Wright Collection
New York Times review
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
The North American paint & varnish industry, as it expanded, left us with an amazing assortment of colorful vintage objects—cans, sample sets, store displays and advertising signs.
Avery Library in collaboration with private lenders, is pleased to present WET PAINT!! The exhibit displays items dating from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century and is designed to complement the Avery Classics exhibit: “Color Harmony in the Home: American Paint Publications from 1870-1950” which showcases a selection of items from Avery’s extensive trade catalog and brochure collection.
Lenders to WET PAINT!! are: Mary Jablonski, Judith M. Jacob, Norman R. Weiss and Adam Woodward. Exhibit installation was done with the assistance of GSAPP Historic Preservation graduate students Tania Alam, Alex Ray and Katrina Virbitsky.
This exhibition is presented to coincide with the 6th International Architectural Paint Research Conference hosted by Columbia University GSAPP in New York City from March 15 to 17, 2017.
Both exhibitions are on view in Avery Library through April 25th.
For details and information on visiting the exhibits, contact: Avery Classics
Color Harmony in the Home: American Paint Publications from 1870-1950
Guest curator: Judy Jacob
January 17 – April 25, 2017
Monday – Friday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Avery Classics Reading Room, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library
Paint is practical. Paint is beautiful. Paint hides flaws. Paint reflects taste and status. The brochures and samples presented in this exhibition offer an insight to painting practice and color history, and give hints—both subtle and direct—on changing trends in style and advertising.
Avery Library’s collection of trade publications, of which paint catalogs are a substantial subset, features over 4,000 individual items. Never intended for library holdings, these items represent the marketing acumen of paint manufacturers and the decorating aspirations of American homeowners from the 1870s to the 1950s. Avery’s collection was started by Herbert Mitchell (1924-2008), former Curator of Avery Classics, who saw research potential in brochures found on flea-market tables.
Following the Civil War, advances in manufacturing had an enormous impact on the paint industry, as well as on marketing. Publications such as those displayed here arose from the new convenience of ready-mixed paints, provided in cans with re-sealable lids, a major advancement in paint storage. Ready-mixed paints enabled the do-it-yourself painters; homeowners could now easily paint their own homes and furnishings. One could purchase paint, pick-up a free how-to manual, head home to don old clothes and transform one’s surroundings through color.
This exhibition is presented to coincide with the 6th International Architectural Paint Research Conference, hosted by Columbia University in New York City from March 15 to 17, 2017.
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.
As the world’s attention turns to Rio with the beginning of the summer Olympics, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library offers a glimpse into the city’s past. A souvenir album of Rio de Janeiro from the 1920s is included in the Viewbook exhibition, on display through October 31st in the Avery Classics Reading Room.
A cidade do Rio de Janeiro [AA857 R4 C48] features bird’s eye images of the city, along with street and waterfront views, and photographs of important public buildings. The Rio viewbook reveals both the way that the city viewed itself and what appealed to contemporary tourists. The distinctive green-tinted images are collotypes, a common and relatively inexpensive technique for the mechanical reproduction of photographs.