Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives
Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives

European Decorative Arts after 1700 Department Records Edit




  • 1976-1999 (Creation)


  • 8 linear feet (Whole)

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  • Abstract

    None available.

  • Processing Information

    These materials were arranged and described by Bertha Adams, Susan Anderson and Leslie O'Neill. Funded by a grant from The Institute of Museum and Library Services and National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

  • Access Restrictions

    The collection is open for research. Access to institutional records less than 10 years old is at the discretion of the Archivist.

  • Use Restrictions

    The European Decorative Arts after 1700 Department Records are the physical property of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives. The Museum holds literary rights only for material created by Museum personnel or given to the Museum with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication and for other purposes where stated.

  • Preferred Citation

    [Item identification and date], [Series info.], European Decorative Arts after 1700 Department Records, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Library and Archives.

  • Related Material

    Decorative Arts Department Records. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives.

    Dutch Tiles Records. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives.

    European Decorative Arts before 1700 Records. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives.

  • Accruals

    The "Second Empire" exhibition records were previously processed as part of the Decorative Arts Department Records (DEC). The gallery files were housed in those department records as well for future processing. As of May 2007, these records physcially remain in DEC and will be moved at a later date.

  • Historical Note

    The department of European Decorative Arts after 1700 operates as a distinct office within the European Decorative Arts and Sculpture division. The Museum formally administered its collections of decorative arts by time period in 1967, creating separate curatorial offices for decorative arts created after 1700 and for those of the Medieval and Renaissance periods. "Oriental art," as it was called then, had always been treated as its own area of specialization, completely separate from Western art. At the time of the department name change, Calvin S. Hathway served as curator of Decorative Arts after 1700. In 1973, Hathaway became curator emeritus and Kathryn B. Hiesinger joined the Museum staff as the department's Associate Curator. That year the Museum also established a department of American Art, which would oversee American decorative arts and leave post-1700 European objects under the purview of "after 1700." The next year, the department was renamed as European Decorative Arts after 1700, and Ms. Hiesinger was appointed the department's curator, which remains her current position. Donna Corbin is Associate Curator.

    While the Museum does not officially identify a curator or curatorial office in charge of European decorative arts crafted before 1700, the designation allows easy differentiation from the formal curatorial position overseeing "European decorative arts after 1700." Each of these categories, along with "Arms and Armor" and "Dutch Ceramics," currently comprise the four curatorial offices that currently operate under the general division of "European Decorative Arts and Sculpture."

  • Scope and Content Note

    Documentation in this record group begins approximately in 1974 when the Museum designated a department of "European Decorative Arts after 1700." Most of the records were created or compiled by Kathryn Hiesinger, who has headed the curatorial department since its inception. The bulk of material pertains to two exhibitions, The Second Empire: Art in France under Napoleon III" (1978), and "Japanese design: a survey since 1950" (1994). There are also files (1976-1993) documenting some of the gallery spaces on the Museum's second floor that house its collection of European art of 1500-1850.

    For earlier curatorial records, see Decorative Arts Department Records. This department oversaw all of the Museum's European and American decorative art objects prior to the various curatorial divisions initiated in 1967 and in 1973.