Skip to main content

Richard York Gallery records, circa 1865-2005, bulk 1981-2004

Richard York Gallery records, circa 1865-2005, bulk 1981-2004

Richard York Gallery

Collection Information

Size: 89.5 linear feet

Summary: The records of the Richard York Gallery, a New York gallery specializing in American art from early 1800s to 1950, measure 79.3 linear feet and date from circa 1865-2005, with the bulk of the material dating from 1981 to 2004. Three-fourths of the records are artists' artwork files, documenting the sale and consignment of nearly 6,500 works of art. The gallery's activities are also recorded through correspondence, client files, gallery invoices, inventories, business and financial records, printed materials, scrapbooks, photographic materials of artwork, and estate records for the John Marin estate and Sergio Stella estate (Joseph Stella).

Correspondence includes both incoming and outgoing correspondence with collectors, clients, galleries and museums, primarily regarding appraisals, consignments, exhibitions, general inquiries, loans, and sales. Also found are scattered transactional records, information sheets for artwork, and photographic materials. Correspondence from the mid-late 1980s is poorly represented.

The sale and consignment of nearly 6,500 pieces of artwork at the Richard York Gallery are documented through transactional records, photographic materials, correspondence, and scattered printed materials found in the Artists' Artwork Files. Artists for which there are significant quantities of materials (over 50 folders) include Joseph Goldyne, Ellen Day Hale, John Henry Hill, John William Hill, Lester George Hornby, Louis Lozowick, Luigi Lucioni, Emma Fordyce MacRae, John Marin, Joseph Stella, William Henry Stevens, and Steve Wheeler. Also included are the files of the Richard York photography collection, which contained works by Robert Mapplethorpe.

Similar to the Artists' Artwork Files, Client Files document the sale and consignment of artwork, but are arranged by artist's and client's name. Materials found are primarily from the early 1990s and include correspondence, notes, photographic materials, photocopied client information cards, and printed materials.

The Richard York Gallery represented the John Marin estate and the Sergio Stella estate (Joseph Stella). The records of the John Marin estate are primarily artwork in-take sheets from 1998 and inventory lists from 2001. The Sergio Stella Estate records include correspondence, inventories of artwork by Joseph Stella, and some photographic materials.

Sales and inventory records contain a nearly complete set of gallery invoices from 1995-2000, and 2004. Inventories includes gallery inventory lists, and inventory cards of sold artwork from 1981-1997 (bulk 1981-1991).

The business and financial records include accounting records, bank deposit records, corporate records, index cards for contacts, invoices for gallery expenses, materials related to Richard York's involvement in the ADAA, mailing lists, records of payments to consignors, receipts, shipping records, and tax records. The gallery migrated from paper records to Artbase, an artwork management system, around 2000-2002. Included are two CDs of database data and digital images from Artbase, as well as inventories of the digital file names.

Printed materials contain advertising tear sheets from 1998-2002, exhibition catalogs, magazine and newspaper clippings of reviews and announcements, and other miscellaneous printed materials. Printed materials are also found in eight scrapbooks which document the activities of the Richard York Gallery, Richard York, and the gallery's exhibitions from 1981-2002. Materials in the scrapbooks include clippings, correspondence, photographs, exhibition catalogs, announcements, and invitations.

Photographic materials includes color photographs, transparencies, digital prints, and scattered printed materials, as well as over 600 slides of artwork, primarily works of art which were sold or consigned by the gallery. Artists for which there is significant volume of transparencies include Houghton Cranford Smith and Lockwood de Forest, Sr.

Materials with dates prior to 1981 in this collection are primarily research materials for works of art, such as printed materials, correspondence, and transparencies, as well as some artwork artifacts, such as back labels.

An addition of 10.2 linear feet donated 2015 includes artists' files aranged alphabetically containing printed material, clippings, exhibitions announcements, and scattered correspondence and financial documents.

Biographical/Historical Note

Richard York Gallery (established 1981; closed 2004) was an art gallery, New York, New York. Founded in New York's Upper East Side in 1981 by Richard York. The gallery handled the estates of John Marin and Joseph Stella, among other prominent American artists. Specializes in late 19th and early 20th century American art. York was also an important dealer in the secondary market, and the records testify to the art boom of the 1980s.


The Richard York Gallery records were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2006 by Kevin Scott, the executor of Richard York's estate and in 2015 by Lisa Bush Hankin, former gallery director.


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

A Finding Aid to the Richard York Gallery Records,
circa 1865-2005
bulk 1981-2004
, in the Archives of American Art
Historical Note
Richard T. York (circa 1950-2003) opened his eponymous gallery in the spring of 1981 on East 65th Street in New York City. Specializing in American painting and sculpture from early 1800s to 1950, the Richard York Gallery dealt in the artwork of hundreds of artists including Albert Bierstadt, Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, Lockwood de Forest, John Graham, Georgia O'Keeffe, John Singer Sargent, Charles Sheeler, and Steve Wheeler. It also represented the estates of artists John Marin and Joseph Stella.
Richard York passed away in April 2003, and the gallery closed in May 2004.
The collection is arranged as 9 series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1975-2005 (Boxes 1-7; 6.4 linear feet)
Series 2: Artists' Artwork Files, circa 1865-2004 (Boxes 7-64; 56.85 linear feet)
Series 3: Client Files, 1965, circa 1981-circa 2004 (Box 64; 0.5 linear feet)
Series 4: Estate Records, 1983-circa 2004 (Boxes 64-65; 1.0 linear feet)
Series 5: Sales and Inventory Records, 1977-2004 (Boxes 65-70; 5.0 linear feet)
Series 6: Business and Financial Records, 1974-2005 (Boxes 70-77; 6.25 linear feet)
Series 7: Printed Materials, 1980-2004 (Boxes 77-78; 1.1 linear feet)
Series 8: Scrapbooks, 1981-2002 (Boxes 78, 80; 1.0 linear feet)
Series 9: Photographic Materials, 1977-2004 (Boxes 78-79; 1.2 linear feet)
Series 10: Unprocessed Addition, circa 1865-2005 (Boxes 81-91; 10.2 linear feet)
The Richard York Gallery records were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2006 by Kevin Scott, the executor of Richard York's estate and in 2015 by Lisa Bush Hankin, former gallery director.
Processing Information
The collection was minimally processed by Sarah Haug in 2010-2011 through funding by the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care Fund.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.

How to Cite This Collection

Richard York Gallery records, circa 1865-2005, bulk 1981-2004. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

  • No downloads available