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Getty Research Institute Strengthens Collections with Three Important Gift Acquisitions

Materials will be available for viewing after cataloguing is complete

May 16, 2002

Los Angeles—The Research Library of the Getty Research Institute announces the acquisition of the Halsted B. VanderPoel Campanian Collection on the history of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the Alexander Liberman Photographic Archive, and the G. Cramer, Oude Kunst Gallery Archive. Recently donated to the Research Library's special collections, the three comprehensive archives complement its extensive holdings and will help expand study in the historiography of art, archaeology, and architecture, and collecting and display. The acquisitions will be available for viewing after cataloguing is complete.

"Such welcome and important donations are a sign of the Getty Research Institute's growing reputation as a study center for the visual arts," said Thomas Crow, director of the Getty Research Institute. "Scholars and students from all over the world will use these materials to deepen and enrich their research, to the benefit of everyone in the art community."

The Research Library's special collections contain primary research materials, consisting of 55,000 rare books, rare and documentary photographs, prints, drawings, manuscripts, and additional archival materials for the study of the visual arts and culture such as artists' journals and sketchbooks, albums, architectural drawings, and art and architectural treatises. The three recent acquisitions are part of the Research Institute's concerted effort to develop its holdings of primary research materials in specific areas of collecting priority: the Historiography of Art, Archaeology, and Architecture (Campanian Collection); Collecting and Display (G. Cramer, Oude Kunst Gallery Archive); and Visual Resources for the History of Art and Architecture (Liberman Archive).

Campanian Collection Enhances Holdings in Classical Archaeology

Since the 1950s, Halsted B. VanderPoel, an accomplished archaeologist, has dedicated significant time, expertise, and private financial resources to amassing a research library and archive devoted to the historiography of archaeological investigations conducted around the Bay of Naples, with particular focus on Pompeii and Herculaneum. The "Campanian Collection," as it is collectively called, contains thousands of rare books, maps, photographs, topographical prints, manuscripts, and drawings, and a wealth of personal correspondence, research notes, and translations. It represents one of the most comprehensive resources for reconstructing the very history of daily life in the ancient cities.

"The history of classical archaeology has been a major focus of collecting over the past decade," said Susan M. Allen, chief librarian of the Getty Research Institute. "The VanderPoel library and archive, which documents one seminal region in such thorough detail, brings a new dimension to our holdings in this area."

The Campanian Collection will also complement other strong areas of the Research Library's collections, such as travel literature, prints of Vesuvius and volcanoes, antiquarianism, and the literature of art history.

Liberman Archive Expands Holdings in 20th-Century Art

The complete photographic archive of photographer and late Conde Nast publications editorial director Alexander Liberman comprises 28,000 color transparencies, 6,000 black-and-white and color prints, 14 books of contact prints, and 24 boxes of negatives. Documenting some of the most important artists and other art world figures of the 20th century, including Paul Cézanne, Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp, Alberto Giacometti, Wassily Kandinsky, Robert Rauschenberg, and Mark Rothko—as well as prominent historical and architectural sites in Greece, France, Italy, and Spain—this major acquisition strengthens the Research Library's extensive Photo Study Collection and the special collections on art and architecture of the ancient world and Renaissance Europe as a visual source.

The largely unpublished photographic resources in the archive, which features Liberman's almost cinematic documentation of artists at work in their studios and valuable visual records of certain monuments, museums, and public collections, will be of special value as primary source material to researchers who rely on the Research Library's holdings in art of the Modern period.

"The sheer breadth of the Liberman Archive offers an invaluable source for the study of the ancient world through the 20th century," Allen noted.

G. Cramer, Oude Kunst Gallery Archive Documents International Art Market in Nazi-Occupied Europe

The G. Cramer, Oude Kunst Gallery Archive may be the only uncensored dealer archive documenting the international art market in Nazi-occupied Europe. Soon to be made publicly accessible, it contains the complete records of this important gallery's activities from 1938 to 1990, and its coverage of the war years makes it a particularly valuable resource for historians and other scholars.

The Cramer Gallery, founded in Berlin in the late 19th century and relocated to The Hague in 1938, specializes to this day in the sale of fine old master paintings. The comprehensive archive contains 645 binders of reciprocal correspondence with museums, art dealers, clients, and art historians, as well as detailed records of the acquisition, shipment, conservation, and sale of paintings. Five hundred glass plate negatives, commission stock books, and Cramer Gallery catalogues complete the collection.

"We are fortunate to have received these three noteworthy gifts," Allen said. "Each archive was acquired based on its far-reaching historical significance, and its unique ability to strengthen our special collections as a whole. We're very excited that we'll soon be able to share these important new resources."

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About the Getty:

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

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The Getty Research Institute is an operating program of the J. Paul Getty Trust. It serves education in the broadest sense by increasing knowledge and understanding about art and its history through advanced research. The Research Institute provides intellectual leadership through its research, exhibition, and publication programs and provides service to a wide range of scholars worldwide through residencies, fellowships, online resources, and a Research Library. The Research Library - housed in the 201,000-square-foot Research Institute building designed by Richard Meier - is one of the largest art and architecture libraries in the world. The general library collections (secondary sources) include almost 900,000 volumes of books, periodicals, and auction catalogues encompassing the history of Western art and related fields in the humanities. The Research Library's special collections include rare books, artists' journals, sketchbooks, architectural drawings and models, photographs, and archival materials.