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Milch Gallery records, 1911-1995

Historical Note

Between 1911 and 1916, prior to the establishment of the Milch Galleries, Austrian immigrant Edward Milch (1865-1953) operated the Edward Milch Galleries at 939 Madison Avenue 1911, mainly handling prints and providing framing services.
Albert Milch (1881-1951) was employed by a gilder and later a picture framer before becoming the business partner of his older brother. In 1916 they incorporated as E. & A. Milch (with Edward as President and Albert as Secretary of the corporation) and opened the Milch Galleries at 108 West 57th Street, New York City. During their partnership, Edward served as President and Albert as Secretary of the corporation. According to Joseph Gotlieb, a long-time employee, during this period Montross Gallery became inclined toward modern French art and the American artists associated with them began searching for galleries more sympathetic to their interests. "As Albert Milch was a framemaker to several of them, and as he was opening a new gallery in 1916 to specialize in American Art, some artists decided to let the Milch Galleries, and others, handle their work. It turned out to be a good arrangement for both sides, and a successful one" (letter from Joseph S. Gotleib to Susan Hobbs [National Museum of American Art], December 30, 1977).
From the beginning, Milch Galleries dealt in American art almost exclusively, representing living artists, handling the estates of recently deceased artists; in addition they acquired nineteenth century works for resale and accepted pieces on commission. Although framing and restoration services continued to be offered to customers, this aspect of the business soon diminished in importance.
Harold C. Milch (1904-1981), Albert's son, was affiliated with the business, and upon his father's retirement was appointed partner; after Albert died in 1951, Harold was sole proprietor, serving as both President and Secretary.
Milch Galleries moved to smaller quarters at 55 East 57th Street in 1947, and ten years later to 21 East 67th Street. In 1967, the name was changed to Milch Gallery and the business relocated to 1014 Madison Avenue. The gallery dissolved upon the death of Harold Milch. A third brother, David C. Milch, was also an art dealer, but was not associated with Milch Gallery.
1911
Edward Milch Galleries opens at 939 Madison Ave.
1912
First exhibition at Edward Milch Galleries
1916
Incorporation of E. & A. Milch; Edward Milch, President, and Albert Milch, Secretary; change of name to Milch Galleries and relocation to 108 West 57th St.
1918
Milch Galleries Art Notes begins publication
1944
Edward Milch retires; Albert Milch President, and Harold C. Milch [son of Albert], Secretary
1947
Milch Galleries moves to 55 East 57th St.
1951
Death of Albert Milch (1881-1951); Harold C. Milch, President and Secretary
1953
Death of Edward Milch (1865-1953)
1957
Milch Galleries moves to 21 East 67th St.
1966
Archives of American Art begins acquiring records of the Milch Galleries (gifts and loans from Milch Galleries)
1967
Relocation to 1014 Madison Ave., and name change to Milch Gallery
1981
Death of Harold C. Milch (1904-1981)
1986
Archives of American Art receives the bulk of Milch Gallery records (gift of Salander-O'Reilly Galleries)