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Komor (Mathias) Photographic Archive
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Scope and Contents of Collection
  • Processing History
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Publication Rights
  • Access
  • Arrangement
  • Preferred Citation

  • Contributing Institution: Special Collections
    Title: Mathias Komor photographic archive
    Creator: Peter A. Juley & Son
    Creator: Hildyard, R.H.
    Creator: Komor, Mathias, 1909-1984
    Creator: Raymond Fortt Studios
    Creator: Hackett, G.D.
    Creator: Smith, Richard Averill
    Identifier/Call Number: 89.P.5
    Physical Description: 10.2 Linear Feet (23 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1935-1978
    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.
    Physical Location: Request access to the physical materials described in this inventory through the catalog record  for this collection. Click here for the access policy .
    Language of Material: English .

    Scope and Contents 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.

    Processing History

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

    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.

    Publication Rights

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


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


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

    Preferred Citation

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

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Art, Indic
    Art, African
    Imperial porcelains of the Ming Dynasty
    Middle East -- Antiquities
    Art -- Oceania
    Art, Southeast Asian
    Sculpture, European
    Drawing, European
    Classical antiquities
    Egypt -- Antiquities
    Slides (photographs)
    Black-and-white prints (photographs)
    Art, Japanese
    Art, Chinese
    Indian art -- Mexico
    Decorative arts -- Europe
    Indian art -- Central America
    Komor, Mathias, 1909-1984 -- Photograph collections