European Decorative Arts after 1700 Department Records
Held at: Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives [Contact Us]Philadelphia Museum of Art, PO Box 7646, Philadelphia, PA 19101-7646
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The department of European Decorative Arts after 1700 operates as a distinct office within the European Decorative Arts and Sculpture division. The Museum formally administered its collections of decorative arts by time period in 1967, creating separate curatorial offices for decorative arts created after 1700 and for those of the Medieval and Renaissance periods. "Oriental art," as it was called then, had always been treated as its own area of specialization, completely separate from Western art. At the time of the department name change, Calvin S. Hathway served as curator of Decorative Arts after 1700. In 1973, Hathaway became curator emeritus and Kathryn B. Hiesinger joined the Museum staff as the department's Associate Curator. That year the Museum also established a department of American Art, which would oversee American decorative arts and leave post-1700 European objects under the purview of "after 1700." The next year, the department was renamed as European Decorative Arts after 1700, and Ms. Hiesinger was appointed the department's curator, which remains her current position. Donna Corbin is Associate Curator.
While the Museum does not officially identify a curator or curatorial office in charge of European decorative arts crafted before 1700, the designation allows easy differentiation from the formal curatorial position overseeing "European decorative arts after 1700." Each of these categories, along with "Arms and Armor" and "Dutch Ceramics," currently comprise the four curatorial offices that currently operate under the general division of "European Decorative Arts and Sculpture."
Documentation in this record group begins approximately in 1974 when the Museum designated a department of "European Decorative Arts after 1700." Most of the records were created or compiled by Kathryn Hiesinger, who has headed the curatorial department since its inception. The bulk of material pertains to two exhibitions, The Second Empire: Art in France under Napoleon III" (1978), and "Japanese design: a survey since 1950" (1994). There are also files (1976-1993) documenting some of the gallery spaces on the Museum's second floor that house its collection of European art of 1500-1850.
For earlier curatorial records, see Decorative Arts Department Records. This department oversaw all of the Museum's European and American decorative art objects prior to the various curatorial divisions initiated in 1967 and in 1973.
The "Second Empire" exhibition records were previously processed as part of the Decorative Arts Department Records (DEC). The gallery files were housed in those department records as well for future processing. As of May 2007, these records physcially remain in DEC and will be moved at a later date.
These materials were arranged and described by Bertha Adams, Susan Anderson and Leslie O'Neill. Funded by a grant from The Institute of Museum and Library Services and National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
- Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Bertha Adams, Susan Anderson and Leslie O'Neill
- Finding Aid Date
- Funded by a grant from Institute of Museum and Library Services and National Historical Publications and Records Commission
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research. Access to institutional records less than 10 years old is at the discretion of the Archivist.
- Use Restrictions
The European Decorative Arts after 1700 Department Records are the physical property of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives. The Museum holds literary rights only for material created by Museum personnel or given to the Museum with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication and for other purposes where stated.
The amount of documentation for each of the two exhibitions comprising this series is approximately equal.Physical Description
7.5 linear feet
On display in Philadelphia from October 1 to November 26, 1978, "The Second Empire" exhibition exemplified collaboration. Planned with the Musées de France and the Detroit Institute of Arts, it featured 372 objects coming from 137 lenders in Europe and the United States. A combination of objects--enamels, glass, wood, gilt, jewels, wallpaper, and textiles, as well as painting and sculpture--were used to convey the splendor of empire under France's last monarch. In addition to the Museum's curators of European Painting and Sculpture, and Decorative Arts after 1700, outside scholars contributed to the catalogue as well as to the selection of certain objects in the exhibition. Documentation consists of exhibition lists and loan request and papers pertaining to budgets, publicity, personnel, education, and other planning issues. Materials used in preparing the exhibition catalogue include draft manuscripts describing ceramics and glass, printer's proof, photograph lists, and biographies. Many of the records are in French, including drafts, correspondence, and planning documentation. The bulk of the files date from 1977-1978.
Painting and Sculpture Department Records / XI. Exhibition records / C. "The Second Empire: Art in France under Napoleon III." Oct. 1-Nov. 26, 1978
The administration files contain exhibition labels, drafts and correspondence regarding the exhibition chronology chart, and biographies and notices. The files range in date from 1977 to 1978.
The records within this sub-subseries pertain to the architecture section of the exhibition, such as loan forms, bibliographies, notices, correspondence between various individuals/institutions, biographies, and drafts for the catalogue. The bulk of the material is from 1977, however much is undated.
The files within this subseries are comprised of bibliography records for the Second Empire catalogue, as well as correspondence and notes regarding sources and citations.
This sub-subseries contain extensive material relating to the Second Empire catalog. The records include annotated drafts of the manuscript, illustrations, and administrative planning files which consist of documents such as correspondence, memorandums, and object descriptions. The bulk of the records are from 1976-1978.
Within this sub-subseries are the files for the exhibition lists. The records include notes and lists regarding the objects featured in the exhibition, as well as correspondence and planning documentation.
Records pertain to the 1994 exhibition "Japanese design: a survey since 1950," which featured more than 250 objects, from housewares to packaging, to demonstrate Japan's contribution to modern design. The exhibition later traveled to Milan, Dusseldorf, Paris and Osaka. Curators Felice Fischer of East Asian Art and Kathryn B. Hiesinger of European Decorative Arts after 1700 organized the exhibition, and the architect and theorist Dr. Kisho Kurokawa designed its installation. Subjects documented include exhibition catalogue and labels, and related institutions such as the Japanese Information and Culture Center.
For additional records of this exhibition, see East Asian Art Department Records.
East Asian Art Department Records / I. Exhibitions / A. "Japanese Design: A Survey Since 1950." September 25, 1994 - November 20, 1994
The administrative files relate to the planning and administrative tasks of the curatorial department. The records include checklists, installation documentation, travel material, and other related documents.
The catalogue files document the creation, planning, and publication of the exhibition catalogue. Included are essay drafts and entries, contributing author files, and outlines.
Documentation pertains to galleries numbered 2311 to 23115. Those numbers are assigned for facilities purposes, rather than for public identification. The galleries are located on the second floor of the Museum and are part of the wing dedicated to European Art from 1500 to 1800.Physical Description
.5 linear foot