About: Frances Terpak

I'm a curator at the Getty Research Institute. My areas of focus include early modern optical devices, and 19th-century photography in China, Algeria, Persia, and the Ottoman empire.

Posts by Frances

Posted in Getty Research Institute, J. Paul Getty Museum, Photographs, Film, and Video

Remembering Lewis Baltz

Lewis Baltz, Paris, 1992
Lewis Baltz standing in front of his installation, Ronde de Nuit, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 1992

The influential photographer, writer, and teacher has passed. More»

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Posted in Getty Research Institute, Photographs, Film, and Video

1850s Tehran Revealed in Rare Photographic Album

Tehran, Entrance to Golestan Palace / Luigi Pesce
Tehran, Entrance to Golestān Palace, 1850s, Luigi Pesce. Albumen print in Album fotografico della Persia, 7 1/2 x 9 5/16 in. The Getty Research Institute, 2012.R.18, no. 2

“The album narrates multiple stories that together provide new insights into the rich history of Persia.” More»

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      #ProvenancePeek: July 31

      Every art object has a story—not only of how it was made, but of how it changed hands over time until it found its current home. That story is provenance.

      This small panel by Dutch master Gerrit Dou (photographed only in black and white) is now in the collection of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. It was sold to American collector Robert Sterling Clark, an heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune, in the summer of 1922.

      How do we know this? Archival sleuthing! A peek into the handwritten stock books of M. Knoedler & Co. (book 7, page 10, row 40, to be exact) records the Dou in “July 1922” (right page, margin). Turning to the sales books, which lists dates and prices, we again find the painting under the heading “New York July 1922,” with its inventory number 14892. A tiny “31” in superscript above Clark’s name indicates the date the sale was recorded.

      M. Knoedler was one of the most influential dealers in the history of art, selling European paintings to collectors whose collections formed the genesis of great U.S. museums. The Knoedler stock books have recently been digitized and transformed into a searchable database, which anyone can query for free.

      Girl at a Window, 1623–75, Gerrit Dou. Oil on panel, 10 9/16 x 7 ½ in. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts


      #ProvenancePeek is a monthly series by research assistant Kelly Davis peeking into #onthisday provenance finds from the M. Knoedler & Co. archives at the Getty Research Institute.

      07/31/15

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