The Knoedler Gallery Archive illuminates the business relationships and
records of one of America's oldest and most preeminent art galleries.
Founded in 1848 as the New York branch of the French firm Goupil &
Cie before the creation of most museums in this country, the Knoedler
Gallery was able to play a central role as a conduit for the masterworks
that established American collections.
Archives reveal one of the most extraordinary art sales of the 20th century
Karen Meyer-Roux | July 30, 2013 |
4 min read
...........Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Soviet government was
continuously in need of foreign currency, as it faced economic sanctions
on the international market. For years, there were rumors that it might
resort to selling its treasures from the Hermitage Museum, which had
been founded in the 18th century by Empress Catherine the Great.
European dealers monitored the situation and agents took the arduous
train trip to Leningrad to investigate the possibilities of such a sale.
Most came back empty-handed. A newspaper in Germany had announced that
Joseph Duveen, who directed Duveen Brothers, would buy the entire Hermitage in bloc. However, Duveen
did not succeed in purchasing a single painting from the Hermitage.
This unusual feat would be that of Knoedler, with Mellon as client.