The French & Company records document some
of the activities of the art dealership and primarily date from the period of
Spencer Samuels's directorship, ca. 1950-1960. Papers relate to legal and
business operations, financial matters, the board of directors, business deals,
artwork sales, exhibitions, and publicity for the firm.
An art dealership based in New York City, French & Company bought
and sold decorative arts, as well as paintings and sculpture. For over half a
century after Mitchell Samuels co-founded the firm in 1907 in New York, French
& Company was considered one of the largest art dealerships in the world.
Under Mitchell Samuels' directorship, French & Company worked with many
wealthy American collectors eager to develop collections in decorative art
objects and paintings of European provenance. Among the firm's clients were J.
Paul Getty, William Randolph Hearst, J.P. Morgan, the Vanderbilts, and the
Rockefellers. During this period, the firm also served as agents and decorators
for the Huntingtons, Fricks, Mellons, and Astors. The French & Company
building on East 57th Street housed more than 50 showrooms, eight fireproof
vaults and a 10,000 volume art reference library.
6 linear ft.
boxes, 3 flat file folders)
Contact Library Rights and Reproductions
Open for use by qualified researchers.