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Using the Collection
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Series I: Research and writing, circa 1930s-1977, bulk 1950s-1971
Series II: Sculpture: Process and Principle and The Collected Essays of Rudolf Wittkower, bulk 1977-1978
At a Glance
The collection is arranged by topic. Boxes 1-32: Series I; Boxes 33-38: Series II; Boxes 39-41: Series III; Boxes 42-55: Series IV; Boxes 56-60: Series V; selected folders in Boxes 45-46, 56, 58-60: Series VI.
Scope and Contents
Working files of the architectural historians Rudolf and Margot Wittkower, dealing with Baroque and Renaissance painting, sculpture, and architecture. Included are manuscripts, notes, drawings, annotated proofs of articles and books, and some correspondence related to his writings and lectures. The majority of the files document his teaching, research, and writing at the University of London, 1934-1955, and at Columbia University. There are also some manuscript notes from his early years in Italy and Germany. Series I has been divided into six parts: Artists, Subjects, Book Manuscripts, Proofs, Notes, and Printed Materials. Some of the major files are Bernini, Bramante, Carracci, Michelangelo, and Raphael (Artists); Baroque Painting, Patronage, Rome, St. Peter's, Slade Lectures on the history of art (Subjects); ART AND ARCHITECTURE IN ITALY, BORN UNDER SATURN, and MATTHEWS LECTURES: GOTHIC VS. CLASSIC (Book Manuscripts). In addition there are proofs of essays and reviews with manuscript corrections and emmendations, copies of several of his own published works with his manuscript corrections, and typescript insertions for new editions. The Notes consist of eight card file boxes with notes chiefly relating to the Baroque period and Bernini. Materials created by or related to Rudolf Wittkower's wife, the architect and interior designer Margot Holzmann Wittkower, can be found primarily in Series II, IV, V, and VI. Material created or maintained solely by Margot Wittkower is located in Series VI; however, material she shared with Rudolf Wittkower is located in Series II, IV, and V.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.
This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
This collection has no restrictions.
Box 47 of this collection is missing as of January 2023.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Rudolf and Margot Wittkower papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Fiametta Olschki Papers relating to Leo S. Olschki (Firm) and Olschki family members, 1904-1994: This collection, created by Rudolf and Margot Wittkower's daughter in law, Fiammetta Olschki, includes personal family correspondence between the Wittkowers and their son, Mario. At Stanford University.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Source of acquisition--Wittkower, Margot. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1974. Accession number--M-74.
Papers: Source of acquisition--Wittkower, Margot. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--05/27/1992. Accession number--M-92-05-27.
Typescript of Art & Architecture.: Source of acquisition--2293B. Method of acquisition--Purchase; Date of acquisition--03/10/1997. Accession number--M-97-03-10.
Gift of Mrs. Margot Wittkower, 1974; 1977; 1979; 1983; 1992.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 09/--/1989.
Papers Processed KM 11/25/1992.
Typescript of Art & Architecture. Processed HR 10/13/2000.
Boxes 45-60 were processed by Celeste Brewer and added to the finding aid in January 2023. Series III through VI were added to the collection in 1992, though boxes 45-60 were not processed until January 2023. Series V and VI were also added to the finding aid and materials were arranged accordingly at that time. Original folders were replaced with acid free folders where necessary, and unfoldered materials were placed in folders, particularly in Box 59. Finally, the collection title was changed from the Rudolf Wittkower papers to the Rudolf and Margot Wittkower papers, to reflect Margot Wittkower's role in creating its contents.
2009-06-26 File created.
2014-03-12 XML document instance created by Catherine C. Ricciardi
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
2023-01-27 Boxes 45-57 added to finding aid by CLB
2023-01-31 Boxes 58-60 added to finding aid by CLB
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Rudolf Wittkower (1901-1971) was professor of art history at Columbia University, 1956-1969. He was born in Berlin and married Margot Holzmann (1902-1995) in 1923. The Wittkowers, who were Jewish, fled Germany in 1933. The couple settled in London, where Rudolf taught at the University of London's Warburg Institute from 1934 to 1956, and University College, London's Slade School of Fine Art from 1949 until 1956. Margot worked as an interior designer and lectured on architectural history. The Wittkowers then moved to the United States, where Rudolf chaired the department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. Rudolf Wittkower died in New York City in 1971. Margot Wittkower continued to research and lecture on architectural history throughout the 1970s and 1980s at Columbia University and elsewhere. She died in New York City in 1995. The Wittkowers had one child, Mario.