Finding aid for the Ludwig Goldscheider papers, 1911-1981 (bulk 1925-1973)

Finding aid prepared by Carl Wuellner.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Ludwig Goldscheider papers
Date (inclusive): 1911-1981 (bulk 1925-1973)
Number: 840066
Creator/Collector: Goldscheider, Ludwig, 1896-1973
Physical Description: 6.0 linear feet (13 boxes)
The Getty Research Institute
Special Collections
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
(310) 440-7390
Abstract: Art historian, poet, and translator, and co-founder, director, designer, and editor of the Phaidon Press. Collection includes letters, drafts, and manuscript revisions of books, photographic materials, annotated books, and personal papers primarily documenting Goldscheider's writings on art and artists.
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Language: Collection material is in English

Biographical/Historical Note

Ludwig Goldscheider (1896-1973) was a notable historian of art, a poet and translator, and one of the most influential art book publishers of the twentieth century. He co-founded the Phaidon Verlag publishing house with his father-in-law, Bela Horowitz, in Vienna in 1923. He wrote or otherwise oversaw production of a number of important art books for Phaidon beginning in the 1930's. These were distinguished by an abundance of high-quality illustrations, many of which were chosen by Goldscheider, as well as the use of large formats. The visual impact and richness of these large-sized editions did much to determine the development and general style of the modern form of the popular art book.
Goldscheider moved to London in 1938, remaining closely associated there with the Phaidon Press, Ltd. as editor, designer, and author, and assumed general management of the company after Horowitz's death in 1955. His monographic and other art historical studies for Phaidon were mostly on Italian Renaissance artists (notably Michelangelo and Leonardo) but topics ranged from ancient (Roman Portraiture) to modern subjects (Oskar Kokoschka), since one of his aims as an art historian was to demonstrate a continuity between Modernism and the art of past epochs. His broad art historical knowledge gained him wide recognition as a connoisseur and advisor, which many European and American scholars, collectors, dealers, and museum specialists readily acknowledge in their letters to him.
He died in London in 1973, only a few months after attending the opening of Phaidon's Golden Jubilee celebrations in honor of the firm's fiftieth anniversary. The Phaidon Press continues to publish.

Administrative Information


Open for use by qualified researchers.

Publication Rights

Preferred Citation

Ludwig Goldscheider Papers, 1911-1981, Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Accession no. 840066.

Acquisition Information

Acquired in 1984.

Processing History

The Ludwig Goldscheider Papers were acquired in 1984 and partially processed by Getty Center staff. Carl Wuellner completed processing the archive in March-April 1996. Four books from the archive were transferred to the Getty Center Library.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Ludwig Goldscheider Papers consist of correspondence, writings on art and artists (including manuscripts for publications, photographs for study and book illustration), published books (many with annotations for revisions) and personal papers.
Correspondence consists mostly of letters and copies of letters to Goldscheider from individuals associated with Phaidon and other publishing houses, as well as art historians, collectors, museum personnel, critics, and dealers. These present evidence of the esteem others held for Goldscheider as a scholar and connoisseur of art and as editor and publisher of scholarly art books. There are also copies of a small number of letters written by Goldscheider. The majority of these are to his wife, Annie Goldscheider, and are of a personal, intimate nature.
The bulk of the archive consists of writings on art. These include scholarly material for a number of Goldscheider's monographs on artists and other books and articles. There are manuscripts and notes, galley sheets and final printed copies for works by Goldscheider on Michelangelo, Leonardo, Velazquez, Vermeer, Botticelli, Roman Portraits, and El Greco. The archive also includes notes for his translations of aphorisms, and original poetry by Goldscheider and other authors in drafts and final published form.
The archive holds photographic material intended for study and for book illustrations. Formats include original photographs and slides, infrared and X-ray exposures, and printed reproductions. The bulk of these are of the Le Brooy collection of Michelangelo wax and terra-cotta models and for his book on Botticelli (see Appendix: Books by Goldscheider for reference).
A number of books are included which are annotated in Goldscheider's hand for revision. These include monographs on artists.
An assortment of personal papers includes family portraits and other personal photographs, immigration and naturalization papers, travel visas and other state documents, bank account papers, and personal address books. There are also publicity materials related to Phaidon's Golden Jubilee celebrations held in London in 1973.

Arrangement note

The papers are organized in 5 series: Series I: Correspondence; Series II: Writings and Poetry; Series III: Book Illustrations and Photographs; Series IV: Books; Series V: Personal Papers

Indexing Terms

Subjects - Names

Botticelli, Sandro, 1444 or 5-1510
Kokoschka, Oskar , 1886-1980
Leonardo, da Vinci, 1452-1519
Michelangelo Buonarroti, 1475-1564
Velázquez, Diego, 1599-1660

Subjects - Topics

Art publishing--History--20th century
Art, Renaissance--Italy
Art, Roman


Beyer, Hubertus von, 1912-1974
Clark, Kenneth, 1903-1983
Douglas, R. Langton (Robert Langton), 1864-1951
Dumont, Reinhold Neven, 1936-
Fegers, Hans, 1911-
Ganz, Paul Leonhard
Hendy, Philip, Sir, 1900-
Klumbies, Heinrich
LeBrooy, Paul James
Novotny, Fritz, 1903-1993
Parker, K. T. (Karl Theodore), 1895-1992
Phaidon Press
Popham, A. E. (Arthur Ewart), 1889-1970
Schimert, Gustav
Stone, Irving, 1903-1989
Ungar, Frederick
Unwin, Stanley, Sir, 1884-1968
Witsch, Joseph Caspar, 1906-1967

Bibliography: Selected Books by Ludwig Goldscheider

Die schönsten deutschen Gedichte (1924)
Ruhe auf der Flucht: Aphorismen und Schlussreime (1924)
El Greco (1938)
Roman Portraits (1940)
Donatello (1941)
Leonardo da Vinci (1943)
The Paintings of Michelangelo (1939)
The Sculptures of Michelangelo (1940)
Michelangelo Drawings (1951)
The Left Arm of Michelangelo's "Notte" (1955)
Johannes Vermeer: Paintings (1958)
Rembrandt: Paintings, Drawings, and Etchings (1960)
A Survey of Michelangelo's Models in Wax and Clay (1962)
Kokoschka (1963)

Container List


Series I. Correspondence, 1925-1981, undated

Physical Description: 1.0 linear feet (2 boxes)

Scope and Content Note

Letters to and by Goldscheider.

Arrangement note

Arranged chronologically.
Box 1, Folder 1

Letters to Goldscheider, 1925-1939

Box 1, Folder 2

Letters to Goldscheider, 1940-1944

Box 1, Folder 3

Letters to Goldscheider, 1945-1949

Box 1, Folder 4

Letters to Goldscheider, 1950-1959

Box 1, Folder 5-6

Letters to Goldscheider, 1960-1964

Box 2, Folder 1-2

Letters to Goldscheider, 1965-1969

Box 2, Folder 3

Letters to Goldscheider, 1970-1973

Box 2, Folder 4

Letters to Goldscheider, undated

Box 2, Folder 5

Letters by Goldscheider, 1939-1966, undated

Box 2, Folder 6

Letters by and to others, 1933-1981, undated

Box 2, Folder 7

Incomplete or fragmentary letters, undated


Series II. Writings: Art and Poetry, undated

Physical Description: 4.0 linear feet (7 boxes)

Scope and Content Note

Notes, drafts of books, miscellaneous notes, poetry, and printed matter.

Arrangement note

Arranged topically.

Notes on Michelangelo

Box 2, Folder 8


Box 2, Folder 9

Michelangelo models from the Le Brooy collection

Box 3, Folder 1

Michelangelo lecture and models from the Le Brooy collection

Box 3, Folder 2

Michelangelo Zeichnungen

Box 3, Folder 3

Michelangelo's Sculptures and Michelangelo Drawings

Box 3, Folder 4-5


Scope and Content Note

Including a copy of Goldscheider's Farewell to the Casa Pietri. (One item with severe water damage.)
Box 3a, Folder 1


Scope and Content Note

items are water-damaged, have stuck pages.

Drafts of books

Box 3a, Folder 2


Box 3a, Folder 3

Venetian painting

Box 3a, Folder 4

"Vorbemerkung" to Roman Portraits


Notes for Donatello

Box 3a, Folder 5


Box 3b*


Box 3a, Folder 6

Notes for Botticelli

Box 3, Folder 6

Manuscript for Rembrandt


Miscellaneous notes

Box 4, Folder 1

Ancient Roman life, early Leonardo, St. Zenobius Chapel, and miscellaneous

Box 4, Folder 2

Veronese, Donatello, Velasquez, and miscellaneous

Box 4, Folder 3

Roman portraiture, Botticelli, Velazquez, Donatello, Veronese

Box 4, Folder 4

Art of antiquity, Botticelli, and miscellaneous

Box 4, Folder 5

El Greco, Botticelli, Bellini, and miscellaneous

Box 4, Folder 6


Box 4, Folder 7

Oskar Kokoschka and miscellaneous

Box 4, Folder 8

Notes on "Vermeers Lehrer"

Box 4, Folder 9

Lecture on holdings in the Berlin print room

Box 4, Folder 10

Essay, Anfänge der Interieur Malerei

Box 4, Folder 11



Miscellaneous notes

Box 5, Folder 1

Dutch art, aphorisms, and miscellaneous

Box 5, Folder 2

Art and life in antiquity, miscellaneous

Box 5, Folder 3-4



Miscellaneous notes and poetry

Box 6, Folder 1

Vermeer, Michelangelo, Brancusi, and miscellaneous

Box 6, Folder 2

The "Sleeping Paris" theme, Titian, Tintoretto, and Vermeer

Box 6, Folder 3


Box 6, Folder 4

Michelangelo and miscellaneous

Box 6, Folder 5

Poems by Ludwig Goldscheider

Box 6, Folder 6

Poems by Hubertus von Beyer and unidentified authors


Printed matter

Box 7, Folder 1

Articles on Kokoschka, Leonardo, and Michelangelo

Box 7, Folder 2

Articles from Encyclopedia Britannica and Geographical Magazine; on Holbein; on Franz von Baader by Carl Linfert; eulogy for Joseph Caspar Witsch

Box 7, Folder 3

Reviews of Goldscheider books

Box 7, Folder 4

Reviews of Goldscheider books


Series III. Book illustrations and photographs, undated

Physical Description: 1.0 linear feet (2 boxes)

Scope and Content Note

Book illustrations and photographs.

Arrangement note

Arranged by type of materials.
Box 8

Book illustrations

Scope and Content Note

Offset reproductions for Botticelli.


Box 9, Folder 1-2

Photographs of wax and terra-cotta models by Michelangelo

Box 9, Folder 3

Photographs and transparencies of wax and terra-cotta models by Michelangelo

Box 9, Folder 4

Photographic, X-ray and infrared exposures of a painting attributed to El Greco; photograph of a portrait attributed to Holbein


Series IV. Books, 1924-1966

Physical Description: 0.5 linear feet (1 box)

Scope and Content Note

Annotated books on art/artists.

Arrangement note

Arranged topically.
Box 10, Folder 1

Die Schönsten deutschen Gedichte (Vienna: Phaidon), 1924

Box 10, Folder 2

A Survey of Michelangelo's Models in Clay and Wax (London: Phaidon), 1962

Box 10, Folder 3

Leonardo da Vinci (London: Phaidon), 1959

Scope and Content Note

Annotated with manuscript revisions.
Box 10, Folder 4

Kokoschka (London: Phaidon), 1963-1966

Scope and Content Note

With manuscript revisions for second edition.
Box 10, Folder 5

Leonardo da Vinci (Cologne: Phaidon), 1960

Scope and Content Note

Proof copy with revisions.
Box 10, Folder 6

De Vries, A.B. Jan Vermeer van Delft (London: B.T. Batsford), 1948


Series V. Personal papers, undated

Physical Description: 0.5 linear feet (1 box)

Scope and Content Note

Printed matter, clippings, photographs, documents, sketches, and other personal items.

Arrangement note

Arranged topically.
Box 11, Folder 1

Personal papers, receipts, business cards

Box 11, Folder 2

Newspaper clippings

Box 11, Folder 3

Personal and family photographs

Box 11, Folder 4

Immigration and naturalization papers, passport, travel visas and related State documents

Box 11, Folder 5

Phaidon Press sales flyers; announcements, news clippings, and photographs of Phaidon Golden Anniversary celebrations

Box 11, Folder 6

Obituaries of Ludwig Goldscheider

Box 11, Folder 7

Bank account passbook and statements, tax receipt, insurance papers, publishing contract

Box 11, Folder 8

Three personal address books

Box 11, Folder 9

Two sheets with sketches