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Finding aid for the Harald Keller papers, 1929-1990
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Harald Keller papers
    Date (inclusive): 1929-1990
    Number: 920043
    Creator/Collector: Keller, Harald, 1903-1989
    Physical Description: 15.0 linear feet
    The Getty Research Institute
    Special Collections
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: German art historian and teacher (1903-1989). Lecture notes, correspondence, and manuscripts compiled during Keller's 35-year academic career cover major periods and works in the history of art and architecture. Papers include research notes and annotated copies of several Keller publications, including his dissertation. The correspondence documents Keller's relationships with numerous art historians, including Richard Krautheimer, Christoph Frommel, Hans Sedlmayr, L.H. Heydenreich, K. Müller, Ulrich Middeldorf, and Rudolf Wittkower.
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    Language: Collection material is in German

    Biographical/Historical Note

    Harald Keller was trained as an art historian in Leipzig, Heidelberg, and Munich by such influential scholars as Wilhelm Pinder, Heinrich Wölfflin, C. G. Heise at the Lübeck Museum and Hans Jantzen in Frankfurt. Keller served as Assistant Director of the Hertziana in Rome from 1930 - 1935. He wrote 20 books and over 100 articles. In his 35 years as a teacher, Keller helped shape a generation of German art historians, in part by supervising 53 dissertations. The course and lecture notes included among his papers provide a precise record of his teaching methods and document a formative period in the discipline.

    Administrative Information


    Open for use by qualified researchers, except letters from Keller to Elfriede R. Knauer (Philadelphia), 1976-1989, 11 letters. Sealed until 2019.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    Harald Keller papers, 1929-1990, Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Accession no. 920043.

    Acquisition Information

    The Getty purchased the Harald Keller papers in 1992.

    Processing History

    Rose Lachman processed, arranged and described the collection in early 1995. Wherever possible, the collection retains Keller's original order and labeling.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Harald Keller's papers span the years 1929-1990 and comprise extensive lecture and course notes from 35 years of teaching (mostly undated); research notes related to his writings, teachings, and travels (ca. 1930-1987); manuscripts of published and unpublished books and articles, arranged chronologically (ca. 1935-1988); and correspondence with students and colleagues, including some on the versos of lectures and notes. (1930-1989).
    Keller taught widely on art subjects, and his detailed, carefully-composed course and lecture notes deal with aspects of painting, sculpture, architecture, and urbanism from the Early Christian and Byzantine eras to the Impressionist period. His manuscripts likewise cover a broad range of topics, including Baroque staircases (the subject of his dissertation), Renaissance landscape, Italian Gothic sculpture, urbanism in Italy, Central Europe and the Baltic countries, Impressionism, the history of portraiture, a scholarly autobiography, and notes for an historical novel. Many manuscripts included in the collection contain his annotations, as does a printed copy of his dissertation, Das Treppenhaus im deutschen Schloss- und Klosterbau des Barock.
    The reverse side of many of the pages of lecture and course notes contain correspondence between Keller and art historians, primarily from the years 1938 - 1963. Series IV contains significant correspondence with other scholars and includes 50 letters (1943-1989) from Richard Krautheimer, rich in detail about their common scholarly interests and the work of other colleagues, 11 letters (1974-1980) from Christoph Frommel, as well as letters from Hans Sedlmayer, Rudolf Wittkower, L.H. Heydenreich, T. Müller and others.

    Arrangement note

    The Papers are arranged in 4 series: Series I. Lectures and notes, with correspondence on verso, ca. 1939-1987; Series II. Research notes, ca. 1930-1987, n.d.; Series III. Manuscripts, ca. 1929-1988; Series IV. Correspondence, ca. 1930-1989

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Names

    Keller, Harald, 1903-1989

    Subjects - Corporate Bodies

    Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max-Planck-Institut

    Subjects - Topics

    Architecture, Baroque--Germany
    Architecture, Medieval--Germany
    Architecture--History--Study and teaching
    Art, French
    Art, Gothic--France
    Art, Medieval
    Art, Renaissance--Italy
    Art, Romanesque--France
    Art--History--Study and teaching
    Cities and towns--Europe
    Historical fiction
    Impressionism (Art)--France
    Landscape painting, Renaissance--Italy
    Painting, French--19th century
    Painting, Italian
    Sculpture, Italian


    Frommel, Christoph Luitpold
    Heydenreich, Ludwig H. (Ludwig Heinrich), 1903-1978
    Krautheimer, Richard, 1897-1994
    Middeldorf, Ulrich Alexander, 1901-1983
    Müller, Theodor, 1905-
    Schlumberger, Daniel
    Sedlmayr, Hans, 1896-1984
    Wittkower, Rudolf