Finding aid for the Ulrich Alexander Middeldorf papers, 1925-1981

Finding aid prepared by J. Gibbs.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Ulrich Alexander Middeldorf papers
Date (inclusive): 1925-1981
Number: 840024
Creator/Collector: Middeldorf, Ulrich Alexander, 1901-1983
Physical Description: 71.72 linear feet (172 boxes)
The Getty Research Institute
Special Collections
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
(310) 440-7390
Abstract: German-American art historian who specialized in the areas of sculpture, bronzes, and the applied arts. The bulk of the collection consists of Middeldorf's research files: clippings and bibliographic notations about the arts, particularly sculpture, drawings, Renaissance medals, and applied arts such as costumes, textiles, furniture, and metalwork.
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Language: Collection material is in English and German.

Biographical/Historical Note

Ulrich Alexander Middeldorf, born in 1901, was a German-American art historian who specialized in the study of sculpture, medals, and the minor and applied arts. He was director of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Longhi Institute, and then served as the director and librarian of the Kusthistorisches Institute until his death in 1983.
In addition to his research specializations, Middeldorf had an abiding interest in Italian art, and a collector's passion for the connection between art and fiction. He assembled a collection of fiction, much of it popular, paperback works, which include characters or plot lines that relate to art (artists, art history, forgery, etc.). This collection of Art in Fiction was acquired by the Getty Research Institute Library in 1984. Middeldorf's correspondence with Sybille Pantazzi about his art in fiction collecting and other interests (1966-1983) may be seen in Special Collections Accession no. 950004.

Administrative Information


Open for use by qualified researchers.

Publication Rights

Preferred Citation

Ulrich Alexander Middeldorf Papers 1925-1981, Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Accession no. 840024.

Acquisition Information

Acquired in 1984.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Ulrich Alexander Middeldorf papers contain some correspondence, many clippings, also photographs, postcards, bibliographic and research notes, as well as articles, offprints and annotated books, dating from ca. 1925 -1981. These papers document his research interests and contacts with other art historians and some students. His interests in Italian art, sculpture, medals and the applied arts are evident in the research files which cover costume, architecture, textiles, graphic arts, Italian artists, decorative arts, as well as sculpture and medals. The collection comprises ca. 55 linear ft.

Arrangement note

The papers are organized in five series: Series I. Clippings files (boxes 1-17); Series II. Letters and bibliographic notes (boxes 18-21); Series III. Journals and offprints (boxes 22-38); Series IV. Annotated books (boxes 39-48, 167-172); Series V. Bibliographic files (boxes 49-166).

Container List


Series I. Clippings files, ca. 1925-1981

Physical Description: 7.09 linear feet

Scope and Content Note

Series contain articles, photographs and other printed images taken from publications, and very occasionally, notes and letters, organized by subject (ca. 9 linear ft.). Subjects include individual costumes, textiles an other minor arts, decorative arts, drawings, sculpture, medals.
Box 1

Costumes: 17th century

Box 2

Costumes: 18th century

Box 3

Ceramics: (pre-history, ancient, antiquity)

Box 4

Ceramics: Italy- 15th and 16th centuries, porcelain, majolica

Box 5

Embroidery: (incl. middle ages, 15th - 17th centuries)

Box 6

Textiles: lace, 15th - 18th centuries

Box 7

Textiles: general, 15th - 18th centuries

Box 8

Furniture: gothic, baroque, rococo, 17th - 18th centuries

Box 9

Drawings and prints: German - 15th - 18th centuries, Durer, prints, drawings - modern

Box 10

Drawings: England, Dutch, Flemish - 17th -18th centuries, France - up to 1600, France - 17th - 18th centuries, Spain

Box 11

Drawings: Italy (by artist A-Z)

Box 12

Drawings: Old Masters, drawings with net, various drawings, drawings - Hamburg, drawings - private

Box 13

African art

Box 14

Various subjects: Pre-columbian and American Indian; Metalwork - ancient and near East; Stained glass; Wall paintings; Seals (primarily middle ages); Ormolu; Greece - 14th century musical instruments

Box 15

Greece: archaic, 4th century, 5th century, Cyclades - Crete - Mykonos, Hellenistic, Italic and Etruscan, Antique small scale, Pre-history, Glass, Roman

Box 16

Various subjects: Bookbinding; International modern art; Scandinavia; Photography; Exotic - various (incl. American Indian, South Seas, Latin America); Egypt; Ancient Middle East

Box 17



Series II. Letters and bibliographic notes, ca. 1925-1981

Physical Description: ca. 2 lin. ft.

Scope and Content Note

Series contains letters from scholars and colleagues and bibliographic notes, most of which were pulled from Middeldorf's books, now in the Getty Research Library. One file of ca. 30 items consists of photocopies of letters between Bernard Berenson and J. Paul Getty, 1956.
Box 18-19

Letters and bibliographic notes

Box 20-21

Bibliographic notes (unsorted)


Series III. Journals and offprints, ca. 1925-1981

Physical Description: 8.5 linear feet

Scope and Content Note

Publications sent to and collected by Middeldorf contain articles by colleagues, reviews of books, and articles of interest to Middeldorf for his research.
Box 22-38



Series IV. Annotated books, ca. 1925-1981

Physical Description: ca. 7.5 lin. ft.

Scope and Content Note

Series includes items from Middeldorf's library which contain significant or extensive annotations. Annotations are by Middeldorf unless otherwise noted. Also includes some notes, mss and printed matter, including scant correspondence, found in the books in his library.
Box 39

Armand. Les Médailleurs Italiens. vol. 1, vol. 2

Box 40

Armand. Les Médailleurs Italiens. vol.3

Box 41

Plates, correspondence, pamphlets relating to Stothard, R.A. Antiken Munzen by H. Grote, 1842, heavily annotated by Grote.

Box 41

German transcription (by Middeldorf) of p.7, Pasional Abatyse Kunhuty by Jan Stenc, 1922.

Box 41

Lavin, Marilyn Aronberg. Art in context: Piero della Francesca

Box 41

Kreytenberg, Gert. Der Dom zu Florenz, 1974.

Box 41

G.F. Hill's autobiographical notes, annotated by Middeldorf

Box 41

Ms. about Bernardo Rosselino by Maryla Tysckiewicz, trans. from Polish by Rosa Rosmaryn.

Box 41

Coxhead, A.C. Thomas Stothard R.A., 1906. With reading notes and some correspondence

Box 42

Origin and development of Porcelain in China, by Hyulton Armond Thomas. Ph.D. diss (University of Chicago, 1943).

Box 42

Book review and notes by Middeldorf for book, Old Master Drawings by Charles de Tolnay, 1943. (Book now in Research library).

Box 42

Famous Foreigners in Florence 1400-1900 by C. L. Dentler (1964). With correspondence, notes and clippings regarding the author.

Box 42

Typescript of a story (based on an analysis of a painting) by Philipp P. Fehl, inscribed to Middeldorf, Christmas 1979.

Box 42

Letter from the Gallerie St. Etienne referring to its continuation despite death of O. Kallir, dated 21 Feb 1979.

Box 42

Creighton Eddy Gilbert mimeograph bibliography for art history.

Box 42

Prel. printed draft of a memoir about Koehler (Koehler Evangelist Portraits) by Prof. David Wright.

Box 42

Copies of letters by Thomas Patch. With publication by Middeldorf Due Inediti di Thomas Patch in offprint, and letter from F. J. B. Watson on Patch.

Box 42

"Rudolf Ebershtadt Neue Shrdren (?) uber Stadtebarn und Wokunngseusen I" in ms. With article "Numismatica e Sfragistica" by Francesco Panvini Rosatti and book review of Justus Bier's Tilmann Riemenschnei der: Die Spaten Werke in Stein by Middeldorf, from the Renaissance Quarterly (v.29, #1, Spring 1976)

Box 42

La Donazione Loeser in Palazzo Vecchio by Alfredo Lensi, 1934). With letter from Charles Loesser.

Box 42

Armand. Les Medailleurs Italiens, 1897.

Box 43

Uncorrected galley proofs of More Memoirs of an Aesthete by Harold Acton, signed by author, 1970.

Box 43

Article: "Der Meister von 1515 und das Bambaja-Skizzenbuch in Berlin" by Peter Dreyer and Matthias Winner, with notes by Middeldorf.

Box 43

Youth of Michelangelo vol.I, The Medici Chapel vol.III, by De Tolmay, 1943.

Box 43

Bronzetti Italiani de Rinascimento (exhibition catalog), with letters and notes.

Box 43

Die Verwendung des Naturbgusses in der Italienishchen Protratplastik der Renaissance by Joseph Pohl, 1938.

Box 43

Middeldorf's review of Le Placchette Italiane Secolo XV - XIX by Eugenio Imbert, offprint from Art Bulletin, with notes and annotations.

Box 44

Die Deutschen Renaissance: Plaketten der Sammlung A. Walcher, 1918.

Gaetano Ballardini: l'uomo, il maestro, lo studioso, il realizzatore by Guiseppe Liverani (report from convention on study of ceramics, Faenza, Italia, 1978)

"Michelange et la France." typescript (not by Middeldorf) 1964.

Typescript of "Storia della Critica su Michelangelo" by Eugenio Battisti, with handwritten corrections.

Box 45

Diderot. Oeuvres Complètes, v. 1, v. 2, v.3.

Box 46

Part printed, part ms book with pasted in illustrations and annotations: Kreis Brilon by Paul Michels, 1952.

Box 46

La Pittura Bizantina by Paolo Muratoff, 1928, not annotated but with anonymous enclosed notes regarding the text.

Box 46

"A Nollekens Bust in the Art Institute of Chicago," typescript by Clifton B. White, 1940.

Box 47

Papers pulled from books:

Box 47

3 letters to C.R. Rudolf re his drawings collection.

Box 47

1 folder of letters, most to Middeldorf, regarding offprints he sent to others to read and material others sent to him. Includes letters from: Irwin Panofsky, Elizabeth Jastrow, John Pope Hennessy, ca. 10 letters, scattered dates, 1936-1962.

Box 47

Clippings, re: Michelangelo.

Box 47

Various offprints, typescripts about Michelangelo.

Box 48*

G. F. Hill. A Corpus of Italian Medals. 2 vol, text and plates.

Box 167

Annotated books

Box 168

Annotated books

Box 169

Annotated books

Box 170

Annotated books, with some correspondence, & studies

Box 171

Annotated books

Box 172

Annotated books


Series V. Bibliographic files, ca. 1925-1981

Physical Description: 117.0 box(es) ca. 25 lin. ft.

Scope and Content Note

Series comprises a bibliography on index cards, small photographs and postcards organized by subject. Topics include: Italian art and artists, Renaissance medals, minor arts (textiles, wood, ceramics, metal), sculpture, drawings, iconography, decorative arts, art in fiction, architecture, painting, and historiography.
Box 49

Postcards, Sculpture: Germany up to 1450

Box 50

Postcards, Sculpture: Germany 1450- 1880

Box 51

Postcards, Sculpture: not German and Italian.

Box 52

Postcards Furniture and Metal

Box 53

Postcards, Dec Arts

Box 54

Postcards, Minor Arts, Costume

Box 55

Postcards, Dwgs. Minor Arts Foreign and Late Copies

Box 56

Postcards Siena, Pavement. Drwgs. Prints

Box 57

Postcards: Painting Classic Middle Ages

Box 58

Postcards Painting Various Countries.

Box 59

Postcards Modern and to be filed

Box 60

Postcards Architecture Town Planning

Box 61

Postcards Architecture Various Countries

Box 62

Postcard Architecture Germany H - Z Austria etc.

Box 63

Related Fields

Box 64

Collecting Dealing

Box 65

Museums Protection Forgery

Box 66

History of Art History Critics A - K

Box 67

Critics L - Z

Box 68

History General Antiquity Countries

Box 69

Art in Fiction

Box 70

Law Artist and Society Academies

Box 71

Bibliographies Dictionaries

Box 72


Box 73

History Aides

Box 74

Method Style Art Theory

Box 75

Dec. Arts Sources Theory Techn. Sources

Box 76

Arch. Theory 'til 18th C.

Box 77

Arch. Theory 1800 ft. Gardens Sources Theory

Box 78

Techn. Treatises Painting

Box 79

Tech. Treatises Painting Special Problems Graphics

Box 80

Hist. Sources France

Box 81

18th C. Napoleon General, Middle Ages, 15th C., 17th C. around 1700's

Box 82

Hist. Sources England

Box 83

Hist. Sources Germany

Box 84

Hist. Sources Italy

Box 85

Est. Sources Collectanea till 17th C.

Box 86

Est. Sources 19th C. Hist. Sources Varia

Box 87

Hist. Est. Topics Est. Sources 20th C. Towns

Box 88

Top Sources General and Outside Italy

Box 89

Top Sources Outside Italy Rome

Box 90

Top Sources Italy (not Rome)

Box 91


Box 92

Iconography General

Box 93

Iconography Portrait

Box 94

Iconography History, Culture, Lit., Book III.

Box 95

Icon. Religion General Hist. Liturgy

Box 96

Icon. Bible Old and New Test

Box 97

Icon. Trinity Christ

Box 98

Icon. Late Cycles Saints

Box 99

Icon. Symbols

Box 100

Iconography Symbols (Nature)

Box 101

Icon. Allegory Astrology, Mythology

Box 102


Box 103

Graphic Arts Paper

Box 104

Minor Arts General

Box 105


Box 106

Goldsmiths Italy

Box 107

Minor Arts Metal General

Box 108

Minor Arts Textiles

Box 109

Minor Arts Textiles II

Box 110

Minor Arts Textiles III

Box 111

Minor Arts Wood

Box 112

Minor Arts Ceramics

Box 113

Minor Arts Ceramic Countries

Box 114

Minor Arts Miscellanea

Box 115

Study of Sculpture

Box 116

Study of Sculpture II

Box 117

Study of Sculpture III

Box 118

Study of Sculpture IV

Box 119

Study of Sculpture Technique

Box 120

Study of Sculpture VI

Box 121

Sculpture Italy General

Box 122

Sculpture Italy Ren.

Box 123

Sculpture Italy Ren. Relation with Antiquity

Box 124

Sculpture Italy Ren. Problems

Box 125


Box 126

Decor. Bronzes

Box 127


Box 128


Box 129


Box 130


Box 131


Box 132


Box 133


Box 134


Box 135


Box 136


Box 137


Box 138


Box 139


Box 140


Box 141


Box 142


Box 143


Box 144


Box 145


Box 146


Box 147


Box 148


Box 149


Box 150


Box 151


Box 152


Box 153


Box 154


Box 155


Box 156


Box 157


Box 158

Topography Veneto

Box 159

Topography South of Apennine

Box 160

Jumbled notes

Box 161

Italy Topography

Box 162

Arch. I

Box 163

Italy Ren. Arch

Box 164

Italy Ren. Arch. II

Box 165

Photos, Medals

Box 166

Jumbled Notes Possibly Sculptors

Box 167-172

Annotated Books -adds (See Series IV.)