Ancient Art and its Commerce in Early Twentieth-Century Europe

A Collection of Essays Written by the Participants of the John Marshall Archive Project

Edited by Guido Petruccioli

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John Marshall (1862-1928) was an antiquities expert hired by the Metropolitan Museum of New York. An attentive observer of the antiquities trade, Marshall's archive, photographs and annotations on more than 1000 objects, shines light on the secretive world of art dealing and how objects arrived at the largest museums of Europe and North America.



Introduction – Guido Petruccioli ;

Chapter 1 John Marshall – A Biographical Essay – Stephen Dyson ;

Chapter 2 Collectors and the Agents of Ancient Art in Rome – Mette Moltesen ;

Chapter 3 The Photographs in John Marshall’s Archive – Vinnie Nørskov ;

Chapter 4 John Marshall, The Met and the Historiography of ‘Greek Sculpture’ – Guido Petruccioli ;

Chapter 5 Faces in Stone: A Case Study of Marble Portrait Sculptures of Roman Date Purchased by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York via John Marshall – Susan Walker ;

Chapter 6 The Bronzes in the John Marshall Archive – Beryl Barr-Sharrar ;

Chapter 7 ­John Marshall’s Dealings with Vases and Terracottas – Vinnie Nørskov ;

Chapter 8 ‘Non-antique’ Objects in the John Marshall Archive – Roberto Cobianchi ;

Chapter 9 John Marshall’s Trading Network – Guido Petruccioli ;

Chapter 10 Cultural Heritage Preservation during John Marshall’s Time: The Export of Antiquities from the Unification of Italy to the 1909 Law – Francesca de Tomasi ;

Plates ;

Abbreviations and Bibliography


'The more I use the archive, the greater my appreciation for the care that has gone into creating and structuring it. The same is true of the accompanying volume, edited by Guido Petruccioli. The book introduces readers to Marshall, framing him and his activity within social, legal, and scholarly historical contexts. Readers will emerge well-prepared to engage with the Marshall Archive for their own research, but many chapters are valuable stand-alone contributions, including Francesca de Tomasi’s examination of the complex network of laws and regulations that governed the Italian antiquities market at the turn of the century (Chapter 10) and Vinnie Nørskov’s wide-ranging discussion of the use of different types of photography, from casual snapshots to painstakingly staged studio photographs, by collectors and scholars during the period (Chapter 3).' – Erin L. Thompson (2023): Bryn Mawr Classical Review