A Finding Aid to the René Gimpel Papers, circa 1890-1966, bulk 1902-1930s, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.gimprene
Creators:
Gimpel, René
Dates:
circa 1890-1966
bulk 1902-1930s
Languages:
English
Some of the collection is in French.
Physical Description:
0.4 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of Parisian art dealer, René Gimpel (1881-1945), dating from circa 1890-1966 (bulk 1902-1930s), and measuring 0.4 linear feet, provide a small but significant window into the crucial relationship between American collectors and the art dealers who supplied them, as they amassed some of the most influential art collections of the first half of the twentieth century. Gimpel's work as an art dealer is documented through correspondence with his parents, clients, business associates, and collectors, including Helen Frick and Duveen Brothers, Blake-More Godwin and the Toledo Museum of Art, Florence Libbey, Samuel H. Kress, Silva White, and others, and through printed material, writings by Gimpel, and photographs of René and Ernest Gimpel and others.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of Parisian art dealer, René Gimpel (1881-1945), dating from circa 1890-1966 (bulk 1902-1930s), and measuring 0.4 linear feet, provide a small but significant window into the crucial relationship between American collectors and the art dealers who supplied them, as they amassed some of the most influential art collections of the first half of the twentieth century. Gimpel's work as an art dealer is documented through correspondence with his parents, clients, business associates, and collectors, including Helen Frick and Duveen Brothers, Blake-More Godwin and the Toledo Museum of Art, Florence Libbey, Samuel H. Kress, Silva White, and others, and through printed material, writings by Gimpel, and photographs of René and Ernest Gimpel and others.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as one series.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
René Gimpel (1881-1945) was an influential Jewish Parisian art dealer with galleries in Paris and New York City, who sought to protect art collections from the Nazis in the 1930s and early 1940s, until he was arrested for Resistance activities and imprisoned at the Neuengamme concentration camp in Germany. He died in captivity in January 1945.
Gimpel played an important role in building American art collections between the two World Wars. His father, Ernest Gimpel, operated E. Gimpel & Wildenstein with Nathan Wildenstein in New York, New York, from 1902-1919, and René Gimpel traveled repeatedly to the United States during this time to facilitate sales to collectors in the United States. Gimpel's core business was initially in 18th-century French art, but he later became a key dealer in Impressionist and other 19th-century works by artists including Monet, Cassatt, Degas, Derain, Renoir, and others.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
Portions of the collection and material lent for microfilming are available on 35mm microfilm reels 270, 918, 1817, and 415-419 at the Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of material described in the container inventory does not reflect the arrangement of the collection on microfilm.
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Stephanie Ashley in 2019.
Separated Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming on reels 415-419, including diaries, 1918-1945, 22 volumes; ca. 750 letters, 1908-1945, including correspondence with Bernard Berenson, Mary Cassatt, Walter Gay, Malvina Hoffman, Arthur Lee, the Rockefeller family, Marcel Proust, and others; writings; a stockbook and price lists; and exhibition catalogs. Loaned materials were returned to the donor and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Author
Stephanie Ashley
Immediate Source of Acquisition
A portion of the collection was donated to the Archives of American Art by Lawrence S. Jeppson in 1971, who received it from Jean Gimpel as research for his book on art dealers. Another gift was donated by Jean Gimpel, René Gimpel's son, in 1972. Loaned material on reels 415-419 was microfilmed in London through Jean Gimpel in 1972.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Conditions Governing Use
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Preferred Citation
René Gimpel papers, circa 1890-1966. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art dealers -- France -- Paris Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
E. Gimpel & Wildenstein Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Galerie René Gimpel Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Monet, Claude, 1840-1926 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Godwin, Blake-More Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kress, Samuel H. (Samuel Henry), 1863-1955 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/