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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Organizational History Note
  • Scope and Content of the Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Schaeffer Galleries records
    Dates: 1925-1985
    Collection number: 910148
    Creator: Schaeffer Galleries (New York, N.Y.)
    Extent: 100 linear feet
    Repository: Getty Research Institute
    Research Libary
    Special Collections and Visual Resources
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles, CA 90049-1688
    Abstract: Records document the dealings of the gallery in Berlin from 1925-1933 and the New York gallery from 1933 into the early 1990s. The bulk of the papers dated from 1950-1985. Circa 2,500 photographs of art and 23 photograph albums illustrate the stock, primarily Old Master paintings and drawings, exhibited, bought and sold by the gallery. Letters of expertise and correspondence with clients, dealers, art historians and other experts dates from the years 1933-1985, and document the daily business of the gallery for the years 1950-1985.
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    Language: Collection material is in English and German

    Administrative Information


    Open for use by qualified researchers.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    Schaeffer Galleries records, 1925-1985. Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Accession no. 910148.

    Acquisition Information

    The collection was acquired in 1991 from the Schaeffer family. Additions to the archive have been received in 1991, 1993, 2001 and 2002. Unprocessed additions received in 2001 and 2002 are filed at the end of the archive.

    Processing History

    Vladimira processed the 1991 and 1993 acquisitions in 1996-1997. Additions received in 2001 and 2002 (45 boxes) are unprocessed.

    Organizational History Note

    Hanns and Kate Schaeffer began as art dealers in Berlin in 1925, and moved to New York in 1935 where they became a rallying point for emigré scholars and musicians (W. Stechow, J. Held, R. Wittkower, O. Hagen, among others). The Berlin gallery operated between 1925-1939, the New York gallery from 1935 into the 1990s. The gallery specialized in Old Master Paintings, at first concentrating on Flemish and Dutch masters, later adding Italian paintings and far more drawings from all schools. The gallery was the agent for Benjamin Katz during the war years and had considerable dealings with the Duits family and business. Hanns Schaeffer died in 1967 and Kate Schaeffer carried on the business for almost 20 years with a particular interest in drawings.

    Scope and Content of the Collection

    The records of the Schaeffer Galleries hold circa 2,500 copy photographs of art offered by the galleries in Berlin and New York, (most Old Master paintings and drawings dating between the 16th and 18th century) with provenance, certification, sales and other reference notes; stock sheets and other inventories dating from the 1930s; gallery exhibition catalogs and photographic documentation of exhibitions (1927-1953, scattered years); 15 photograph albums of gallery stock and 8 albums which illustrate the Le Roy Backus collection of drawings. Correspondence, circa 1938-circa 1985, documents relationships with clients, dealers and other experts, sales and the daily workings of the gallery.
    Unprocessed additions are filed at the end of the collection.


    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Names

    Schaeffer, Hans
    Schaeffer Galleries (New York, N.Y.)

    Subjects -- Topics

    Art—Collectors and collecting
    Art dealers--Germany--Berlin
    Art dealers—New York (State)
    Art galleries, Commercial—Germany—Berlin
    Art galleries, Commercial—United States
    Drawing, Dutch
    Drawing, European—Private collections
    Drawing, Flemish—Private collections
    Painting, Dutch
    Painting, European
    Painting, Flemish

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Photographic prints
    Photographs, original


    Backus, Le Roy M.
    Schaeffer, Hanns