Duveen BrothersVariant names
The Duveen Brothers firm, notable art dealers with branches in London, Paris, and New York, were active in the late 19th century through the mid-20th century. Under the guidance of Joseph Duveen, and assisted by art experts, most notably Bernard Berenson, Duveen Brothers monopolized the American art market for five decades. Edward Fowles was president of the firm after Joseph Duveen's death, and served until 1964, when he sold Duveen stock and other property to Norton Simon.
From the description of Duveen Brothers Records, 1876-1981, bulk 1909-1964. (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 79219227
From the description of Duveen Brothers Records, 1876-1981, bulk 1909-1964. (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 222481659
From the description of Duveen Brothers records, 1876-1981, bulk 1909-1964. (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 145863967
Art dealers; New York, N.Y.
From the description of Duveen Brothers records, 1910-1933. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 86122680
The Duveen Brothers firm, notable art and antique dealers with branches in London, Paris, and New York, were active in the late 19th century through the mid-20th century. The New York office was opened in 1886. Under the guidance of Joseph Duveen, and assisted by art experts, most notably Bernard Berenson, Duveen Brothers monopolized the American art market for five decades.
From the description of Duveen Brothers stock book, 1877 October 18 and 1878 January 24. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 612793728
Duveen Brothers, notable art dealers in London, Paris, and New York from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, brought to America high quality old master paintings and decorative arts from the great private collections in Europe. Under the guidance of Joseph Duveen (1869-1939) and assisted by art experts, most notably Bernard Berenson, the Duveen Brothers monopolized the American art market for five decades. Duveen Brothers helped to form the art collections of many extremely wealthy Americans. A number of these collections became the nuclei of U.S. museums such as the Frick Collection, the Huntington Art Collections and the National Gallery of Art.
The Duveen Brothers business began when Joseph Joel Duveen (1843-1908) and his younger brother, Henry J. Duveen (1855-1918), left their home in Meppel, Holland for Hull, England. They specialized in selling delftware from their native Holland and later branched out to include Chinese porcelain, tapestries, furniture, and old master paintings. The Duveens opened a London office in 1879; a New York office followed in 1886. In 1897 the firm closed a temporary shop located on the rue de la Paix in Paris and reopened a grander store on the Place Vendôme, later referred to as the "Little Palace." By this time Duveen Brothers was purchasing important paintings, including acquisitions from the Mulgrave Castle sale of 1890 and the Murrieta sale of 1892.
Shortly after Henry J. Duveen arrived in New York to head the office there, his brother Joseph Joel sent his son Joseph (later Sir Joseph of Millbank, also known as Joe or just Duveen) to assist his uncle Henry. By the 1880s Henry had developed a clientele of American millionaires whose wealth in those years was without precedent. Joseph became more active in the management of the New York house, took over its operations in 1907, and served as president of the firm between 1909 and 1939. One of the first changes Joseph Duveen made was to move the New York house to a more highly visible location on Fifth Avenue. He transformed the Duveen show rooms, displaying art with dramatic lighting in lavish surroundings. He made grand gestures to persuade prospective clients, as, for example, when he had an elaborate plaster model of Senator Clark's Fifth Avenue mansion constructed (at the cost of $20,000) to entice the Senator to hire Duveen Brothers to furnish it.
While in New York Joseph made a number of bold purchases on behalf of Duveen Brothers. In 1906 he acquired three large collections: the Rodolfe Kann collection, the Maurice Kann collection, and the Hainauer collection. In 1927 he bought the Robert H. Benson collection of 114 Italian paintings in England and three years later he purchased the Dreyfus collection of Italian paintings and sculpture in Paris. Joseph sold selections from the Dreyfus collection to Andrew Mellon and Samuel H. Kress; these items formed the core of the National Gallery collections in Washington, D.C. As late as 1939, the year of his death, Joseph was still selling paintings and sculpture from these purchases.
As president of Duveen Brothers, Joseph developed with a number of clients extremely close ties that went beyond influencing their art-buying habits. He arranged travel plans for his important clients, designed their table settings, and stored their preferred cigars in the Duveen Brothers' vaults. Joseph Duveen was actively involved in numerous art organizations and served as a trustee for the National Gallery, London; the Wallace Collection; and the Imperial Gallery of Art, London. He was a member of the Council of the British School at Rome and of the National Art Collections Fund. Joseph founded the British Artists Exhibitions Organization for the encouragement of lesser known British artists. He provided for additions to and extensions of London museums, such as the Tate Gallery (a new building of several galleries for modern foreign art, works by Sargent, and modern foreign sculpture), the National Gallery (a new building), the National Portrait Gallery (a new building of several galleries), London University, and the British Museum (a new building for the housing of the Elgin marbles and Nereid statues). In 1930 he wrote Thirty Years of British Art .
The Duveen Brothers' business began to decline after Joseph's death in 1939, at which time Armand Lowengard (Joseph Duveen's nephew) and Edward Fowles became joint owners of the firm. When Lowengard died in 1943, Edward Fowles assumed the presidency of Duveen Brothers. The Nazi occupation of France forced Duveen Brothers to evacuate Paris. The London office closed shortly thereafter. After the war Duveen Brothers had a number of notable clients, such as Henry Ford II and Robert Lehman, but the business never regained its former vibrancy. In 1964 Edward Fowles sold Duveen Brothers to Norton Simon, including the East 79th Street mansion and all remaining stock (excluding the business records). Edward Fowles served as a consultant to the Norton Simon Foundation and, in 1968, donated his papers and the Duveen Brothers business records to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where they were housed until 1996. In 1969 the Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute purchased the Duveen library of books, periodicals, exhibition catalogues, and sales catalogues, along with a portion of the Duveen Brothers business records that was interfiled with the library and remains at the Clark. In 1996 the Metropolitan Museum of Art donated the Duveen archive to the Research Library at the Getty Research Institute.
From the guide to the Duveen Brothers records, 1876-1981, 1909-1964, (Getty Research Institute)
|referencedIn||Oral history interview with Edward Fowles||Archives of American Art|
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|New York (State)--New York|
|New York (N.Y.)|
|Collectors and collecting|