About: Meredith L. Clausen

I’m professor of architectural history at the University of Washington and the organizer of a recent session on Ada Louise Huxtable at the Society of Architectural Historians’ annual conference. My research spans 19th- and 20th-century architecture, particularly in postwar U.S. and fin-de-siècle Paris, and is currently focused on Le Corbusier's early years in Paris. My past books and articles have focused on the Pan Am Building, Art Nouveau theory, and women in architecture, among other topics; an article on Michael Graves's Portland Building, power plays, and postmodernism will be out in June 2014 in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians.

Posts by Meredith

Posted in Architecture and Design, Getty Research Institute, Research

The Fiery Career of Architecture Critic Ada Louise Huxtable

Ada Louise Huxtable with Richard Meier in 1996
Photo: Vladimir Lange

“I wanted her attention, but I was scared of it…She was tough, but her words were beautiful.” 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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