Searching for Duveen in the USA

As many of those that have knowledge of and undertake research into the history of the art market will know, the art dealer Joseph Duveen (1869-1939) has been the subject of several books and essays. The archives of Duveen are located (predominantly) at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles – they have even been digitized and are available on-line at Duveen Archives and are a fantastic resource.  The ‘House of Duveen’ continues to fascinate researchers and writers – and here is not the place to rehearse those publications – but whilst I was in New York anyway, I thought it would be interesting to find the locations of Duveen Galleries (the Antique Dealer project is not called ‘a Cultural Geography’ for nothing!) Duveen’s original gallery (shown below), was located at 1 East 56th Street, on the junction with 5th Avenue, and was built in c.1913, designed by Horace Trumbauer and Rene Sergent. The gallery was demolished in 1953, and the location remains an open street space, with the stores of Cartier and Apple set back from 5th Avenue, occupying the block.

duveen 1953

Duveen Gallery, 1 East 56th Street, New York, in 1953.



Duveen location of 5th avenue shop

Location of the former Duveen Gallery (photo March 2015)

Duveen chose a very significant location for his New York gallery – right at the southern edge of Central Park, on 5th Avenue, the heart of the power of culture/culture of power in New York at the time that had the gallery constructed.  The art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel (the subject of a major exhibition at the National Gallery in London at present) also located his gallery in this area, at 12 East 57th Street in 1913.

But what is interesting (to me, anyway) is where Duveen relocated the gallery during the following decades….just a 5 minute walk from the location at East 56th Street, to 18 East 79th Street. This new location, was right opposite the Metropolitan Museum.

Duveen 18 east 79 street

Duveen Gallery 18 East 79th Street, 1963,

Duveen 18 East 79th st

Former Duveen Gallery (now Acquauella Gallery). 2015.


Duveen’s new gallery, (shown left, in c.1964), still remains – it was acquired by the art dealers ‘Acquauella Gallery’ in the 1960s – (see image right, taken in March 2015).








I also did a little more research (isn’t the web a fabulous, and fabulously quick, research resource!) on Duveen’s private house in New York. His house was at 15 East 91st Street, further north up from the Metropolitan Museum. Duveen bought the house in 1923 – it was designed by F.J. Sterner in 1916 – and had it enlarged by no less architect than John Russell Pope, who apparently added a 2 storey art gallery to the building – suggesting that the home/business was a synchronic space? duveen's home in New York 15 east 92st St

Duveen Home 15 East 91st st

Former location of the private house of Joseph Duveen at 15 East 91st Street. (March 2015).

Duveen’s home was demolished in 1940 – and a large block of apartments now occupies the site.


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