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Komor (Mathias) Photographic Archive
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Mathias Komor photographic archive
    Date (inclusive): 1935-1978
    Number: 89.P.5
    Creator/Collector: Komor, Mathias, 1909-1984
    Physical Description: 10.2 Linear Feet (23 boxes)
    The Getty Research Institute
    Special Collections
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles 90049-1688
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10020/askref
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: Assembled by Mathias Komor, an art dealer in New York City from the 1930s until his death in 1984, the collection documents objects that passed through one of the first New York dealers to handle ancient and ethnographic art.
    Request Materials: Request access to the physical materials described in this inventory through the catalog record   for this collection. Click here for the access policy  .
    Language: Collection material is in English .

    Biographical/Historical Note

    In 1974, the J. Paul Getty Museum began assembling a "photo library" by consolidating the visual resources of each existing curatorial department. By the early 1980s, the Photo Archive was actively acquiring large collections of photographs from commercial and private sources and scholars' archives that contained a photographic component. In 1983, the nearly one million photographs of the Photo Archive were incorporated into the Research Institute's Special Collections.

    Administrative Information


    Open for use by qualified researchers. For further information, consult the Guide to the Photo Archive and Database  .

    Publication Rights

    Photographs and permission to publish must be obtained from copyright holder(s). For further information, contact Library Reproductions and Permissions  .

    Preferred Citation

    Mathias Komor photographic archive, circa 1940-1984, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 89.P.5.

    Processing History

    Jan Bender created the collection inventory in 2012 and Ann Harrison completed the finding aid.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Assembled by Mathias Komor, an art dealer in New York City from the 1930s until his death in 1984, the collection documents objects that passed through one of the first New York dealers to handle ancient and ethnographic art. Much of this material is now in public and private collections in the United States. The Komor archive is comprised of photographs of objects and some miscellaneous archival and ephemeral material. These are the only surviving records of the Komor Gallery and do not include business records.
    The bulk of the archive, Series I, is comprised of photographs of Classical, Near Eastern, and Egyptian antiquities; ethnographic objects from Africa, Meso-America, and Oceania; Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and Southeast Asian art; European sculpture, decorative arts, and drawings. Photographers include Richard Averill Smith, G.D. Hackett, Peter A. Juley & Son, Raymond Fortt Studios, and R.H. Hildyard. Most photographs document objects that went through the Komor Gallery, while others were added for study or comparative purposes. Many of the photographs are not annotated.
    In addition to the photographs, the collection also includes a small quantity of other material forming Series II. Included here are scholarly correspondence; 17 drawings of various subjects; 54 rubbings; two architectural plans of Komor's New York gallery; several manuscript versions and galleys of the printed text of Komor's 1951 exhibition catalog, Imperial porcelains of the Ming dynasty, 1368-1644 A.D.; a manuscript on Chinese ceramics; a manuscript by Alan Priest on a Chinese landscape scroll; and clippings.


    Arranged in two series: Series I. Photographs, 1972, undated; Series II. Miscellaneous papers, 1935-1978, undated.

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Names

    Komor, Mathias, 1909-1984 -- Photograph collections

    Subjects - Topics

    Art, Indic
    Art, African
    Art -- Oceania
    Art, Southeast Asian
    Sculpture, European
    Drawing, European
    Classical antiquities
    Art, Japanese
    Art, Chinese
    Indian art -- Mexico
    Decorative arts -- Europe
    Indian art -- Central America

    Subjects - Places

    Middle East -- Antiquities
    Egypt -- Antiquities

    Subjects - Titles

    Imperial porcelains of the Ming Dynasty

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Slides (photographs)
    Black-and-white prints (photographs)


    Peter A. Juley & Son
    Hildyard, R.H.
    Komor, Mathias, 1909-1984
    Raymond Fortt Studios
    Hackett, G.D.
    Smith, Richard Averill