Peter H. Davidson & Co., Inc. Records
Peter H. Davidson & Co., Inc. Records, 1951-1991 (bulk 1970-1984)
Peter Hamilton Davidson, son of William F. and Edna Davidson, graduated from Georgetown University in 1960 with a B.A. in English and Philosophy. Upon graduation he followed in his father's footsteps, joining the New York art gallery, M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., as Assistant to the Head of the American Department. In 1968, Davidson succeeded his father as Head of the American Department and was named Vice President of M. Knoedler & Co. In 1969, Davidson joined the firm of Wildenstein & Co. as Head of the American Department, where he was assisted by Nicholas Wyeth. He left Wildenstein in 1971 to form his own art gallery, Peter H. Davidson & Co., Inc. While Davidson's gallery dealt primarily with American art from all periods, it also handled some 19th and 20th century European pieces. Many prominent works were sold through the gallery, including paintings by Albert Bierstadt, Winslow Homer, Marsden Hartley, and Andrew Wyeth.
The Peter H. Davidson & Co., Inc. Records provide a picture of an independent art dealer operating a gallery in New York during the 1970s and 1980s. The Artist Files series forms the bulk of the collection. These files contain information about artwork handled by Peter Davidson's gallery. Each file usually includes a photograph, description, and provenance of the artwork, and in some cases research notes, correspondence or invoices. The stock books are closely related to this series, containing photographs, descriptions, and artwork provenance. The Subject Files, predominantly composed of correspondence, document the business interests of the gallery. The files generally concern attempts to sell or acquire artwork and contain information about appraisals, consignments, sales, and loans. The Edward Sprague Jones Correspondence series contains mainly outgoing correspondence from Jones (1928-1996), Davidson's employee, concerning attempts to find prospective art pieces or purchasers. The final series contains materials originating from M. Knoedler & Co., Inc. It is unclear whether the materials were used by Davidson during his tenure at the firm, or if they belonged to his father, William F. Davidson, or both. The materials include artist files, research files, two account ledgers, and two files regarding personal art collections.
Location of Record
Frick Art Reference Library
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Online finding aid: http://www.frick.org/sites/default/files/FindingAids/PeterDavidsonRecords.html
Online catalog record: http://arcade.nyarc.org/record=b921748~S6
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The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library
Written communication 27 February 2014