ANN: Release of digitized papers of Michel and Irma van Gelder, dealers and collectors (Wildenstein Plattner Institute, online)

The WPI has announced the release of the Michel and Irma van Gelder Papers, a collection of Art Collection and Personal Business records that document the history of the van Gelder collection and their activities as art dealers.

The release of this collection sheds light on the complicated history of Michel van Gelder, who catered to a new class of American patrons such as William Van Horne, John G. Johnson, and Peter A.B. Widener at the turn of the twentieth century. It also provides insights into Irma van Gelder’s business practices and her wartime correspondence with officials of the Third Reich about works of art. Although this archival collection includes few items related to Michel van Gelder’s work as a dealer in the United States, these materials illuminate aspects of the Old Master paintings market during the first half of the twentieth century.

The archives consist of materials about works in their collection, which include inventories of paintings, correspondence, invoices, and photographs of artworks owned by the van Gelders.

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