Art History Resource: Database of Knoedler Gallery Stock Books Now Online From Getty Research Institute
The Getty Research Institute has launched an expanded dealer stock book database that provides free online access to almost 24,000 records created from the Knoedler Gallery painting stock books. Books 1 through 6, dating from 1872 to 1920, are available now; stock books 7 through 11 will be added soon. You can explore the records from the Knoedler stock books here.
Knoedler Gallery in New York was a central force in the evolution of an art market in the U.S. This newly enhanced database can be used to reconstruct the itineraries of thousands of paintings that crossed the Atlantic during the Gilded Age—including many that ended up in major American museums.
Records in the database were created by transcribing handwritten entries in the original ledgers preserved at the Getty Research Institute. To facilitate searching, editors of the Project for the Study of Collecting and Provenance (PSCP) then reviewed and enhanced these records by adding subject classifications, and validating artist names against an authority database listing variations of the ones found in the books. More research and standardization work will be done on buyer and seller names toward the end of this two-year project. But it seemed appropriate to respond to the demand of the scholarly community as fast as possible.
Together with over 43,700 records from another prominent gallery, Goupil & Cie and Boussod, Valadon & Cie in Paris (1846–1919), which have been online since 2011, this expanded database forms an important subsection of the Getty Provenance Index. While the Knoedler stock books were being transcribed and edited, Ruth Cuadra, an application systems analyst in the Research Institute’s Information Systems Department, worked to adapt the Goupil database design to accommodate the new Knoedler data. One special feature of the new design allows researchers to link Goupil stock numbers found in Knoedler records with the original Goupil records.
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