Category Archives: Brummer Gallery Records

Top 10 Most Popular Items of 2013

2013 has been a great year for the Digital Collections.  We got a new scanner, were interviewed about out work with Wikipedia, and created new collections like the Brummer Gallery Records. We’ve also seen a significant increase in usage over the last year, jumping from just over 135,000 pageviews in 2012 to over 500,000 in 2013!

To commemorate 2013, we’d like to share a list of the most popular items in the Digital Collections. All ten of the items come from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Publications collection.

#10 – Hatshepsut: from Queen to Pharaoh (2005).  This exhibition catalog had 1,782 pageviews.

High10#9 – Netsuke: masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1981). This collection catalog had 1,807 pageviews.

High9#8 – Painters of reality: the legacy of Leonardo and Caravaggio in Lombardy (2004). This exhibition catalog had 1,839 pageviews.

High8#7 – Pieter Bruegel the Elder: drawings and prints (2001). This exhibition catalog had 2,048 pageviews.

High7#6 – German masters of the nineteenth century: paintings and drawings from the Federal Republic of Germany (1981). This exhibition catalog had 2,713 pageviews.

High6#5 – Age of spirituality: late antique and early Christian art (1979). This exhibition catalog had 3,610 pageviews.

High5#4 – A handbook of Chinese ceramics (1988). This collection catalog had 3,800 pageviews.

High4#3 – Prints & people: a social history of printed pictures (1971). This book had 3,965 pageviews.

High3#2 – Vermeer and the Delft school (2001). This exhibition catalog had 4,562 pageviews.

High2#1 – Leonardo da Vinci: anatomical drawings from the Royal Library, Windsor Castle (1983). This exhibition catalog had 7,286 pageviews (almost 20 pageviews a day!!).

High1Thanks for helping make this such a great year for the Digital Collections, and we’ll see you in 2014!

New Collection: The Brummer Gallery Records

Among the holdings of The Cloisters Archives are records of the Brummer Gallery of New York. It was founded by Joseph Brummer (1883-1947) in 1914 following the earlier establishment of a Paris gallery with his brother Ernest (1891-1964).

Joseph Brummer, 1925

Joseph Brummer, 1925

Until 1940, Ernest continued to run the Paris office and regularly export objects for sale in the New York branch. With the German invasion of Paris, he joined Joseph in New York where they ran the gallery together until Joseph’s death shortly after the war.

Ernest Brummer, (undated)

Ernest Brummer, (undated)

During the forty years that their Paris and New York galleries were operating, the Brummers were important sources of art objects for numerous museums and private collections throughout the U.S. and Europe. They dealt broadly in everything from classical antiquity to Modern Art, with significant focus on works of the Middle Ages, Pre-Columbian America, and Renaissance and Baroque decorative arts.

The digitized material from the collection primarily contains information on objects which were acquired through the New York and Paris galleries and sold in New York.  This includes more than 13,000 object cards—ordered by accession number—for each item purchased, including over 6,000 pieces exported from the Paris office.

N4002: Mexican mask in very hard gray-green stone. Open-baby mouth type. Has 8 holes. Aztec.

N4002: Mexican mask in very hard gray-green stone.

These 4×6” cards feature thumbnail photographs, names of sellers and buyers, purchase and sale prices, and, occasionally, condition information.

Accompanying the cards are four large binders with pages arranged by art era or medium, holding duplicates of the small object photos with accession numbers written below. These albums allow a researcher unequipped with the distinctive Brummer stock number to locate an item by its physical features. As well, the collection includes nearly 3500 address cards for clients, contemporary artists, staff, and service providers, which periodically note the purchase of or inquiries on specific objects.

Additional Brummer material is available for onsite consultation at The Cloisters Archives; please see the Finding Aid for the complete holdings.

Funding for the digitization of the Brummer collection was generously provided by The Kress Foundation.



Summer G.A. Liesel Vink on her work in the Digital Collections

As a Graduate Assistant this summer, I’ve been working on a number of different projects for the Digitization Team at Thomas J. Watson Library. Being a part of the process has given me insight into the various stages a single digitization project goes through, as well as the many staff members involved in each stage. Since beginning at Watson in May, I have helped scan the J. W. Mayer Papers, created page-level metadata for several Met Museum publications, and renamed folder structures for the Brummer Collection. Each task represented a different part of the digitization workflow but all contributed to the same result: free digitized content made fully available to scholars, researchers and the public alike.

As a Pratt SILS graduate student, familiarizing myself with metadata is crucial to my education, so I went into the opportunity to create page-level metadata for the Met Museum publications with an eagerness to learn as much as possible. One item I created metadata for, the 1939 Guide to the Collections Part I and Part II, consists of Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek & Roman, Near Eastern, and Far Eastern artwork, as well as Near Eastern, Indian, and Japanese arms and armor.

Front_Cover (7)

Remarkably, much of what was in this 1939 catalog is still in the permanent collection today. For example, this Bodhisattva sculpture from the 1939 catalog now sits in Gallery 208 (accession number 34.15.1a, b) and is part of the permanent collection to this day.











Not only was I able to learn about metadata creation, but I was also able to connect with The Museum’s past through the material I was helping to digitize.

The summer semester has quickly come to an end, and though I am reluctant to leave the community at Watson to pursue new opportunities in the field, I feel confident that this experience has helped prepare me for my final two classes at Pratt: Metadata and Projects in Digital Archives.