American Art Association records, circa 1853-1929, bulk 1885-1922

American Art Association, est. 1883
Auction house
New York, N.Y.

Collection size: 27.8 linear feet

Collection Summary: The American Art Association records measure 27.8 linear feet and date from circa 1853-1929, with the bulk of the material dating from circa 1885-1922. The records include auction and sales files, general financial and legal files, inventory and stock records, client files, printed materials, photographic materials, artwork, and the scattered personal papers of founder Thomas Ellis Kirby.

Biographical/Historical Note: The American Art Association was an art gallery and auction house based in New York City, New York, formed in 1883 by James F. Sutton, R. Austin Robertson, and Thomas E. Kirby. It was the first auction house in the United States.

A portion of the American Art Association records were donated in 1968 by Thomas Ellis Kirby's daughter, Mrs. Thomas B. Waller. The remaining records were donated by the American Antiquarian Society in 1978 and 1993.

Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Care and Preservation Fund.

How to Use this Collection

  • Read the Finding Aid for this collection
  • Portions of this collection are available on 35 mm legacy microfilm reels 422-425 and reels 4478-4484 at the Archives of American Art offices, and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the papers as described in this finding aid does not reflect the order of the collection on microfilm due to reprocessing.
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Also in the Archives

Related Materials

Additional auction catalogs also located in: Archives of American Art, American Art Auction Catalog Collection; chiefly reels N141-N221.