Your history books will tell you that the advertising industry as we know it in was born in the 1920s. Your television will tell you that it really took shape in the 1960s. The Brooklyn Museum Libraries and Archives own several scrapbooks which show that some aspects of our modern advertising industry were born much earlier. The current Library display exhibition at the Museum Library includes one of these scrapbooks, a number of loose tradecards advertising various businesses, many of them in Brooklyn, as well as books and postcards.
The recently completed NYARC digitization project “Documenting the Gilded Age: New York City Exhibitions at the Turn of the 20th Century,” was the product of a collaboration between the Frick Art Reference Library and the Brooklyn Museum Libraries and Archive. Like many collaborative digital projects, “Documenting Gilded Age” exposed both the challenges and unique opportunities that come from transforming physical items – in this case rare, ephemeral exhibition catalogs – into digital form.
The art exhibitions of small galleries, society clubs, and associations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries chronicle the emergence of New York City as a metropolis destined to be a global center for the international art market. Ephemeral exhibition catalogs, checklists, and pamphlets from this period document artistic movements, artists of the period, economic markets, and social and cultural history. The materials from eleven galleries, clubs, and associations that have played a pivotal role in the history of art and New York City have been digitized from the collections of the Frick Art Reference Library and the Brooklyn Museum Libraries and Archives and are now available to researchers worldwide. Spanning the period from 1875 to 1922, this initial collection serves as the foundation for a more comprehensive project to document the New York City art scene at the turn of the 20th century.
The Digital Image Archive allows visitors to browse and download images of 15,000 works of art captured during the Frick’s photography expeditions throughout the United States from 1922 to 1967. Researchers can retrieve images by keyword or field searching, display large preview images, download small jpeg image files, and link to the matching Arcade records.
In the Gilded Age, exhibitions at small galleries, society clubs, and associations played a significant role in the art world and are avidly studied by art historians now.
A collaborative project to digitize the exhibition checklists and pamphlets of the Macbeth Gallery, held by the Thomas J.