Jacques Seligmann & Co. records, 1904-1978, bulk 1913-1974

Jacques Seligmann & Co.

This site provides access to the records of Jacques Seligmann & Co. in the Archives of American Art, which were were digitized in 2010. The bulk of the collection has been scanned, and totals 330,752 images.

Processing of the collection was funded by the Getty Grant Program; digitization of the collection was funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art


Collection size: 203 linear ft.

Collection Summary: The Jacques Seligmann & Co., Inc., records measure approximately 203 linear feet and date from between 1904 and 1978, with bulk dates of 1913-1974. The records include extensive correspondence files, reference material on American and European collectors and their collections, inventory and stock records, financial records, exhibition files, auction files, and the records of subsidiary companies, including de Hauke & Co., Inc., and Modern Paintings, Inc.

Biographical/Historical Note: Jacques Seligmann & Co. were international art galleries in New York City and Paris, France. Founded in 1880 in Paris, France and closed in 1978. The company's clients included most of the major American and European art collectors of the era, and the art that passed through its galleries often ended up in the collection of prominent American and European museums. Established as Jacques Seligmann & Cie in 1880 on the Rue des Mathurins, Paris. As American clients increased, the firm opened a New York office in 1904. In 1920, Seligmann's son Germain Seligman (who dropped the last 'n' from his name), a writer and scholar, became a partner and appointed president of the New York office. Jacques Seligmann died in 1923, and in 1924, Germain became president of both the New York and Paris offices. In 1937, the company headquarters moved from Paris to New York.
The firm was active in antiquities, decorative arts, Renaissance art, and was among the first to foster contemporary European art, primarily through its subsidiary firm De Hauke & Co. (later Modern Paintings, Inc.), managed by C├ęsar Mange de Hauke. In 1935, its Contemporary American Department was established, headed by longtime gallery employee Theresa D. Parker. During the years following WWII, the firm was involved in the recovery of looted artwork and property, and the sale of several significant collections. The firm ceased operations upon the death of Germain Seligman in 1978.

Donated 1978-1979 by Mrs. Germain Seligman, daughter-in-law of Jacques Seligmann. Additional material was acquired in 1994 through the Estate of Mrs. Seligman. The Paris archives of Jacques Seligmann & Co., Inc., were destroyed by the Seligmann staff in 1940 to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Nazis.

Processing of the collection was funded by the Getty Grant Program; digitization of portions of the collection was funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

How to Use this Collection

  • Read the Finding Aid for this digitized collection
  • Series 1 and Series 2 of the collection were digitized in 2010 and are available via the Archives of American Art's website.
  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
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