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René Gimpel papers, circa 1890-1966, bulk 1902-1930s

Gimpel, René, 1881-1945


Collection Information

Size: 0.4 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of Parisian art dealer, René Gimpel (1881-1945), dating from circa 1890-1966 (bulk 1902-1930s), and measuring 0.4 linear feet, provide a small but significant window into the crucial relationship between American collectors and the art dealers who supplied them, as they amassed some of the most influential art collections of the first half of the twentieth century. Gimpel's work as an art dealer is documented through correspondence with his parents, clients, business associates, and collectors, including Helen Frick and Duveen Brothers, Blake-More Godwin and the Toledo Museum of Art, Florence Libbey, Samuel H. Kress, Silva White, and others, and through printed material, writings by Gimpel, and photographs of René and Ernest Gimpel and others.

Biographical/Historical Note

René Gimpel (1881-1945) was an influential Jewish Parisian art dealer with galleries in Paris and New York City, who sought to protect art collections from the Nazis in the 1930s and early 1940s, until he was arrested for Resistance activities and imprisoned at the Neuengamme concentration camp in Germany. He died in captivity in January 1945.


A portion of the collection was donated to the Archives of American Art by Lawrence S. Jeppson in 1971, who received it from Jean Gimpel as research for his book on art dealers. Another gift was donated by Jean Gimpel, René Gimpel's son, in 1972. Loaned material on reels 415-419 was microfilmed in London through Jean Gimpel in 1972.

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Language Note

Some of the collection is in French.