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Medieval Art 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

Francis Henry Taylor came to PMA in 1927 as Assistant Curator of Sculpture. He was soon appointed Curator of Medieval Art, his specialty, a post he held until 1931. At that time he went to Worcestor Art Museum. In 1940 he accepted the Directorship of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

It wasn't until 1968 that Medieval art was again recognized as a separate curatorial designation. This time, however, the department's purview expanded, becoming Medieval and Renaissance Decorative Arts. David DuBon, who had come to PMA in 1958 as an Assistant Curator in the Decorative Arts Department, headed the newly-named department. During the time after Taylor left until DuBon arrived, Medieval Art was part of the Department of Decorative Arts.

Most of these records represent the tenure of Francis Henry Taylor. Material consists of correspondence, drafts of published and unpublished works while he was at PMA, along with photographs of objects. There is considerable correspondence, photographs and reference files regarding the history, purchase and installation of the medieval cloister from the abbey of St. Genis des Fontaines, and of the fountain from St. Michel de Cuxa. There is some correspondence of DuBon's also. Some of the material is in special format, specifically oversize photograph albums.

These materials were arranged and described by Alice Lefton in 1988. Revised 2007. Funded by a grant from The Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation.

Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Alice Lefton (3/1/1988). Revised 2007.
Finding Aid Date
Funded by a grant from The Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

The Medieval Art 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.

Collection Inventory

Taylor correspondence, 1927-1932. 1 linear foot.
Scope and Content Note

This series includes three alphabetical sets arranged in two-year segments: 1927-1928, 1929-1930, 1931-1932, with his Foliophile correspondence, articles and addresses, publications from 1928 to 1929, personal correspondence, notes on objects as well as Taylor's presentation at the Conference of Art Directors and Curators of the American Association of Museums held on May 23, 1929.

Physical Description

1 linear foot

Taylor's research of Abbey of St. Genis des Fontaines, circa 1931. .5 linear foot.
Scope and Content Note

Included here are copies of "Marca Hispanicae" and "Gallia Christiana" (in Latin, 1688), copies of articles from 1851 by Bonnefoy, from 1906 by Brutails and from Cadafalch in 1927-1931, as well as Taylor's articles on medieval architecture. Some material is oversized.

Physical Description

.5 linear foot

Research of Fountain from St. Michel de Cuxa and St. Laurent portal, 1927-1973. 3 linear feet.
Scope and Content Note

Included are copies of correspondence between Taylor, Kimball and Barnard on the installation of the fountain, the Cloisters, and the portal, as well as research articles. Some material is oversized.

Physical Description

3 linear feet

Taylor general research, 1924, undated. 4.25 linear feet.
Scope and Content Note

General research is comprised primarily of scholarly writings arranged alphabetically by author. Files identified by subject or material type follow. There are also photographs of architectural elements, some of which are unidentified. Contemporary design is also part of Taylor's general interest, and represented here by a 1924 oversized drawing by Samuel Yellin of the metal doors to the Packard Building in Philadlephia.

Physical Description

4.25 linear feet

DuBon's research of St. Genis, 1947-1975. 0.25 linear foot.
Scope and Content Note

Here are David Robb's article (1947) on St. Genis, and DuBon correspondence with Walter Cahn in regard to Barnard objects.

Physical Description

0.25 linear foot

Taylor's scrapbooks, circa 1925. 4.5 linear feet.
Scope and Content Note

Original photographs, copies and material from his scrapbooks of research done in Europe during the 1920s are here. Taylor originally assembled material in an oversized scrapbook, making his notations by hand. Original material was transferred to a smaller format, and notations were transcribed and included in this duplicate version. The duplicate version, however, does not include notations made to original mounting pages 66 to 71 nor several loose photostats of architectural details. Because of this inconsistency, original oversized mounting pages have been retained.

Physical Description

4.5 linear feet

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