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Ann Meselson collection on Chinese snuff bottles and Japanese netsuke MES.001.001
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Collection Details
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  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Scope and Contents note
  • Arrangement note
  • Conditions Governing Access note
  • Conditions Governing Use note
  • Preferred Citation note

  • Title: Ann Meselson collection on Chinese snuff bottles and Japanese netsuke
    Identifier/Call Number: MES.001.001
    Contributing Institution: Los Angeles County Museum of Art Balch Art Research Library
    Language of Material: English
    Container: 1-16
    Physical Description: 21.3 Linear feet . 12 letter size Hollinger boxes 1 legal size Hollinger box 1 standard record box 2 custom size phase boxes
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1960-1990
    Date (inclusive): 1920-2002
    creator: Meselson, Ann, 1905-2007

    Biographical/Historical note

    Ann Meselson (1905-2007) was a collector of Asian art, mostly Chinese snuff bottles, Japanese netsuke and inro. She lived in Los Angeles, CA with her husband, Hyman Meselson. Her brother, David Swedlow, and his wife, Sandy, shared Ann’s interest in collecting Japanese art.
    Mrs. Meselson was an active and knowledgeable member of the collecting community. She was a member of several collecting organizations, including the International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society and the Netsuke Kenkyukai Society. She was also a member of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's East Asian Art Council. Mrs. Meselson studied the types of work she collected as well as the cultures from which they originated, frequently traveling to collectors' conventions and collecting books on the subject. She developed friendships with several other snuff bottle and netsuke collectors and dealers that extended beyond their shared interest in collecting art, most notable was her close friendship with prominent Chinese snuff bottle collector, Lilla Perry. She also frequently corresponded with netsuke collectors Robert Kinsey, Raymond Bushell, Betty Leavitt, Elly Nordskog, Bob Stevens, and Virginia Atchley.
    Generous with her collection, Mrs. Meselson loaned pieces to museums for exhibitions and donated to art institutions including the Honolulu Academy of Arts and Pacific Asia Museum as well as a large gift of Japanese art books given to the Toledo Museum of Art library. Several pieces of art from the Meselson collection are currently owned by LACMA.

    Scope and Contents note

    21.3 linear feet or 16 boxes of material dating from 1920 to 2002 with a bulk of materials dated between 1960 and 1990. Included are correspondence, personal notes, photographs, collectors' convention ephemera, appraisal reports, books, journals, articles, and newspaper clippings documenting Ann Meselson's activities as a collector of Chinese snuff bottles and Japanese netsuke.
    Also included in this collection are letters received by Lilla Perry related to her book, Chinese Snuff Bottles, the Adventures & Studies of a Collector, which were kept by Ann Meselson after Perry's death.

    Arrangement note

    The original order of the collection has been maintained with the following exceptions: Oversized documents were placed in a legal size Hollinger box (Box 7), photo albums were placed in a box together (Box 13), published books have been placed in a standard record box (Box 14), books requiring careful handling have been placed in phase boxes and moved to the end of the collection (Boxes 15 and 16), loose items were grouped together based on subject matter and placed in folders at the end of Box 12. Further details about the arrangement within each folder can be found in the "Scope and Contents" note of the container list for this collection.

    Conditions Governing Access note

    Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment only through the Balch Research Library, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Telephone 323-857-6118 or email library@lacma.org.

    Conditions Governing Use note

    Contact the Balch Research Library at 323-856-6118 or library@lacma.org for information on publishing or reproducing materials included in these records. Permission will be granted by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as the owner of the physical materials, and does not imply permission from the copyright holder. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all necessary permissions from the copyright holder.

    Preferred Citation note

    [Description of item], Ann Meselson collection on Chinese snuff bottles and Japanese netsuke, bulk 1960-1990, Los Angeles County Museum of Art Balch Art Research Library, MES.001.001.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Perry, Lilla S.
    Art donors
    Art, Asian
    Art--Collectors and collecting
    Clippings (information artifacts)
    Snuff boxes and bottles--China