New Resource at the Bard | Library of Theodore Dell

Posted in resources by Editor on March 17, 2012

From the Bard Graduate Center:

BGC Acquires Unique Research Collection on Eighteenth-Century French Decorative Arts

An extraordinary addition to the BGC’s research capacity will result from the recent acquisition of the private library and archive amassed by Theodore Dell, an art advisor and historian noted for his expertise in eighteenth-century French furniture, porcelain and decorative arts. Beginning in the 1960s while he was based in London, Dell set out to assemble a comprehensive yet highly specialized collection to benefit students and scholars working in the United States. Numbering more than 5,000 volumes, the collection consists of gallery, auction, and museum catalogues; and books, journals, and magazines, all focused on French decorative arts. There are some 1,700 French sales catalogues alone, beginning in 1748, with many rare examples from the eighteenth century. Dell’s own research, particularly in London and Paris, forms the basis for his thorough archives organized by such divisions as makers and their particular types of works. Indeed, the late Charles Ryskamp, former director of the Morgan Library and the Frick Collection, noted that Dell’s library is perhaps the most important of
its type in existence.

The first step in making this invaluable resource accessible for research is to inventory, clean and catalogue each volume. The BGC seeks to raise $60,000 for staff, archival enclosures, and conservation supplies for the initial phase of work commencing this summer. Thanks to the generosity of our lead donors, $13,000 has already been raised. Please consider making a gift to the BGC today in support of this project. Visit www.bgc.bard.edu/about/support-the-bgc/bgc-donation-form.html. Choose Other under Contribute and specify Ted Dell Library in the adjacent box. Your support will help fulfill Ted Dell’s vision of encouraging study in French art and culture and further the BGC’s place as a leading center for research and scholarship. Thank you.

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