Famous Collections2018-08-22T10:14:47+00:00

Famous Collections

A vast number of Daumier collections is held privately as well as in museums and institutions. Naturally (and unfortunately), it will never be possible to trace the whereabouts of certain important collections. But we sincerely hope that this website will make it possible to find more and more collectors willing to share their knowledge.

A vast number of Daumier collections is held privately as well as in museums and institutions. Naturally (and unfortunately), it will never be possible to trace the whereabouts of certain important collections. But we sincerely hope that this website will make it possible to find more and more collectors willing to share their knowledge. The present list thus represents only a small survey of the numerous Daumier collections. We are grateful for any information about collections that have not been mentioned in this list.

We tried to facilitate the access by supplying two files: one is listing the collections by name, the other one by location. For example, if you search in the “locations” file under “Washington” you will find the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington, DC with a remark about the “Rosenwald“ collection. Searching in the “collections” file under “Rosenwald Collection” you will find out that it is located at the NGA in Washington. This system enables you to investigate the whereabouts of certain collections when only the collector’s name is known.

We are sure that this list is far from complete. Some collections, like the famous Dreyfus collection, have been auctioned off to various new owners and is now distributed all over the world. Other collections, like Cognacq, had been liquidated and a large part of it ended up in the Graphik Kabinett in Stuttgart, Germany. Many collections had been donated to institutions and are available to the public and to researchers on request. Because of the sheer number of prints available in the museums, cataloguing to latest standards has sometimes been difficult. Some institutions however, like Brandeis University, are undergoing a major, laudable effort to catalogue the famous Trustman collection and publish it on the internet.

All those institutions who participated in our project have been and will still be mentioned in this list. Some of them have thousands of Daumier lithographs in their collection, some only very few.

Most museums have a hidden treasure of Daumier prints. Consider checking with the curator of your local museum to find out about their Daumier collection. You would probably be surprised about your findings.

Click here to view the list of collections and marks.

It has been customary for collectors to mark their prints with a personalized stamp for easy reference and recognition. These marks are comparable to the “ex libris” signs used by book collectors.

Collectors marks have been registered in a standard reference book: the LUGT catalogue. Unfortunately, it has not been brought up to date and therefore does not mention the more recent marks. The majority of the marks were established between 1900 and 1970. There is very little information available on newer marks.

In this section, we are including some of the important collectors’ marks we were able to identify. You will find them illustrated next to the name of the collection. If you are lucky you might discover the one or the other collectors’ mark on one of your own prints, thus revealing the history of this particular print.

Like in all other sections of this web site we kindly invite our visitors to participate in the “life” of this site by providing their own findings. In case you know about marks not shown here, please contact us and we will gladly add them to this list. Your fellow collectors will appreciate your contribution.

A word of advice: in case you feel you would like to add your own mark to a valuable print or to your collection, try not to damage the print. You will notice that some collectors (even some famous ones) have punched their mark right into the legend below the print. We feel that the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has found the ideal place for their marks: they are placed on the reverse side of the print. You might want to consider this. Also remember to use acid free printer’s ink, instead of the type you use for your regular stamp (the long-term effect would be extremely harmful for your prints).

PLEASE NOTE: At the bottom of the list of Famous Collections and their Marks there are some marks unknown to us. If you know these marks (or one of them) please contact us so we can complete our list. Thank you!

Click here to view the list of collections and marks.

When looking at the people behind the names one can but imagine the dedication and love they had (or still have) for their collections. The time and money that went into their passion must have been enormous. Many public institutions can now profit from their generosity and the work of Daumier is present all over the world thanks to the enthusiasm of great collectors.

One observation is striking when going through this short and still incomplete list of famous collectors: A great deal of research and publications was very often done by dedicated collectors who were not professional art historians. Their love for Daumier’s work was their motivation to ask questions and find answers. The time they spent with their collections made them experts. They allowed themselves the luxury of indulging in one artist only: Honoré Daumier – an “extravagance” professional art historians can only dream of. It is therefore not astonishing that most Daumier work catalogues have been created by collectors.

Our list will obviously never be complete and we invite all Daumier enthusiasts to assist us with additional information about these and other fellow collectors and researchers.

Click here to view the list of famous Daumier collectors.

Collections and Marks
List of locations
List of Famous Collectors