Historic Libraries and the Historiography of Art (II)

Historic Libraries and the Historiography of Art (II)

Friday 14 February 2020, 8:30 am

Hilton Chicago. Room: Lake Huron

Session Chair: Jeanne-Marie Musto



Elena Granuzzo, Independent Scholar, Verona

“The Cicognara Library and Michelangelo Buonarroti: A Historiographical Reading through the Sources”


Katie Lissamore, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen


Jonathan Franklin, National Gallery, London

“Art History Scholarship between the 1820s and 1870s: Contextualising the Eastlake Library at the National Gallery, London”


Claire Dupin De Beyssat, Institut national d’Histoire de l’art, Paris

“Tracing the Public of the First Parisian Library for Art and Archaeology: On the Readership at Doucet’s Library (1910-1914)”


Karolina Labowicz-Dymanus, Institute of Art, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw

“The Library of the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences: Mirroring “Official” and “Unofficial” Distribution of Knowledge, 1949-1970”



Holly Hatheway, Marquand Library of Art and Archaeology, Princeton


Session Description

Historic libraries are coming into their own as resources for interpreting intellectual history. Analyzing those libraries that have informed art historians, art critics and their public has opened new paths for exploring art historiography. Whether book and manuscript collections survive intact, perhaps in their original locations, or are known only through bibliographies or inventories, they yield information that broadens established narratives of the discipline. What is more, such collections are ideally suited to documenting art history’s evolving relationship with social, intellectual and geo-political currents.


This session builds on a theme introduced at CAA 2019 by addressing new questions, incorporating new methodologies, and introducing previously untapped collections. New questions include, for example, the distribution and impact of “official” vs. “unofficial” resources in the Communist-era library of the Polish Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Art. Another investigates interpretations of Michelangelo through the “textual lens” of Leopoldo Cicognara’s early nineteenth-century library. New methodologies include data visualizations of the readership of an art library given to the University of Paris in 1918; the visualizations incorporate quantitative and prosopographical data. Previously untapped libraries include that of Charles Eastlake, which served him in his several roles, including as Director of the National Gallery, London. Comparative analysis of Eastlake’s library with those of precursors and contemporaries underlines how readily analysis of any one library aids and encourages the analysis of others. Taken as a whole, this session highlights how libraries not only inform but also shape the relatively young and still restive discipline of art history.


Jeanne-Marie Musto, PhD, MLS
Reference Services Librarian, Special Collections
Center for Jewish History, NYC
929-294-5870 (cell)

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