About: Kristen Collins

I'm associate curator in the Department of Manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Posts by Kristen

Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Manuscripts and Books

Art and Experience in Canterbury and L.A.

Installation view of Canterbury and St. Albans at the Getty Center
Inside Canterbury and St. Albans at the Getty Center. Pages from the St. Albans Psalter, foreground: Bibliothek Hildesheim. Stained-glass panels from the Ancestors of Christ Windows, Courtesy Dean and Chapter of Canterbury

A medieval prayer book was a personal liturgical space. Small and portable, one needed only to open the book to enter. More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books, Voices

Getty Voices: Living with the St. Albans Psalter

Conservator's hands holding the parchment of the St. Albans Psalter
Artwork: Dombibliothek Hildesheim. Photo: Peter Kidd

Studying a precious manuscript, page by page, illumination by illumination. 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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