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Author/Artist Kirby, Thomas E. (Thomas Ellis), 1846-1924.
Title American Art Association Records, 1877-1924.
Description 4 linear feet (8 boxes).
Arrangement The collection is arranged in three series: Series I: Auction Sales, 1910-1923; Series II: Correspondence and Notes, 1877-1924; and Series III: Clippings, 1881-1924.
Location Call Number Vol./Copy Status Information
 Frick Archives  MS.015    AVAILABLE BY APPT
Access restrictions These records are open for research by appointment under the conditions of The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives Access Policy. For all inquiries or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Archives Department at
Summary Correspondence, approximately 1,000 photographs, handwritten and typed notes, fragments of a manuscript on the American Art Association, and printed material document a selection of auction sales conducted by the American Art Association from 1910 to 1923. The bulk of the records concern specific auction sales. The records also contain correspondence between Thomas Kirby and Arthur B. Emmons regarding several auctions in which works Emmons owned were sold; 16 letters to Charles De Kay from correspondents other than Thomas Kirby; handwritten notes on George Inness; biographical comments on Thomas Kirby; and several letters concerning the controversy over the authenticity of the painting "Blue Boy" at the William H. Fuller Sale of February 25, 1898, including a letter from Francis Davis Millet. A few clippings and letters document Kirby's career prior to his affiliation with the American Art Association.
Biographical/historical note The American Art Association, a New York art gallery and auction house located at 6 East 23rd Street, was founded by James F. Sutton, R. Austin Robertson, and Thomas E. Kirby in 1883. R. Austin Robertson died in 1892. Kirby's son Gustavus joined the firm in 1912 and became half owner in 1915, upon the death of James Sutton. The galleries moved to 30 East 57th Street in 1922. In 1923, Kirby retired and sold the American Art Association to Cortlandt Field Bishop (1870-1935), who contracted Hiram Parke and Otto Bernet to run the auction house. In 1929 it merged with the Anderson Auction Company to form the American Art Association-Anderson Galleries, Inc. In 1938, the firm was taken over by Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., which had been formed a year earlier.
Cite as American Art Association Records. The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives.
Source of acquisition Gift of Mrs. Thomas Waller (Wilhelmina), granddaughter of Thomas E. Kirby, 1956.
Related collections Twelve linear feet of scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings on auction sales require conservation attention and are not available for research due to their fragile condition.
The bulk of the American Art Association Records, an additional 50 linear feet, are held at the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Finding aids Available online and in repository.
LC subject De Kay, Charles, 1848-1935.
Other subject Emmons, Arthur B.
Hood, G. F. W.
LC subject Kirby, Thomas E. (Thomas Ellis), 1846-1924.
Other subject Lorenz, Rose H., d.1934 -- clippings.
LC subject American Art Association.
Other subject Pictures in the Collection of F.A.G. Hood, Esq.
LC subject Art auctions -- New York (State) -- New York.
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York.
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York.
Painting -- Prices.
Genre/Form Clippings, newspaper.
Related corporate bodies American Art Association.
WorldCat no. 604956561

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