Research - Photographic Archive - Index
The Khabur River in Syria, 1930 (image from the Detweiler Collection, American Academy in Rome, Photographic Archive)


Angleton Hauser (1966–1967)

Archaeological sites in the Greek Islands. 15 albums, tot. ca. 1,000 prints glued + ca. 500 negatives in film 6 x 6 cm.

Not yet cataloged and not available for consultation. Funding is needed to finance the cataloging and digitization of this collection.

Askew Collection (1931–1932)

Arch of Septimius Severus in the Roman Forum. 296 gelatin plates and prints. The collection is made up of photographs commissioned by Henry Ess Askew (1932 Fellow) for his study of the Arch of Septimius Severus in the Roman Forum. In 1931–32 photographs of the reliefs of the Arch were taken by the photographer Cesare Faraglia, while Askew took most of the detailed photographs himself. In 1938, as Askew was unable to finish his work, the American Academy took over the rights for publication and the glass-plate negatives. The project was taken over by Erling Olsen (1939 Fellow) but was interrupted by World War II, in which he lost his life. Olsen left his notes at the American Academy. The work was finally completed by Richard Brilliant (1962 Fellow) and published in 1967 as The Arch of Septimius Severus in the Roman Forum (Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome, volume 29). The collection is composed of 226 vintage prints and 296 gelatin plate negatives.

A. Beato Collection (second half of the nineteenth century)

Archaeological and landscape views of the architecture of Egypt and other locations in the Mediterranean region. Antonio Beato went to Cairo in 1860, spending two years there before moving to Luxor, where he opened a photographic studio in 1862 and began producing tourist images of the people and architectural sites of the area. The collection is composed of 20 vintage prints.

H. Des Granges Collection (second half of the nineteenth century)

Architecture and monuments in Jerusalem. The 11 album prints show images of El-Aksa and Oman Mosques, Churches and views of the city. The photos are signed “Des Granges.” The collection is composed of 11 vintage prints.

Bini Collection (1970–1980)

Archaeological sites in Rome and in the Roman world. Roman and Etruscan art. Some medieval and Renaissance art and architecture. Barbara Bini came to the American Academy in Rome in 1968 as a photographer for the Academy excavations at Cosa. She continued as an archaeological photographer under the tutelage of Ernst Nash, founder of the Fototeca Unione. In 1969, she worked at Athens for the American archaeological excavations in Agora. She returned to Italy to photograph archaeological sites such as Morgantina, in Sicily, and Pompeii. As a freelance photographer, she collaborated with numerous Fellows and Residents of the Academy on projects in Rome, Southern Italy, and North Africa. The collection is composed of ca. 5,000 negatives on film, ca. 5,000 contact prints, and 1,500 slides.

Blake Collection (1947–1961)

Notes and photographs; studies on Italian and European mosaics. Marion E. Blake collected miscellaneous materials during her research focused on Roman buildings (Republic and early Empire) and Roman mosaics (second century in Italy, Republic, early and late Empire). Working with Esther Van Deman, many notes have been taken during their archaeological surveys and study trips in Italy, Europe, and North Africa. The collection is composed of 134 vintage prints, 251 notes with drawings, and a miscellanea of correspondence and papers.

Brown Collection (ca. 1948–1970)

The photographic prints refer to material from the Cotrone Museum destroyed during the Second World War. This material was probably transferred to the National Archaeological Museum of Magna Graecia in Reggio Calabria and is now preserved in the Archaeological Museums of Crotone and Monasterace. The collection is composed of ca. 50 vintage prints.

Brunn-Arndt Bruckmann Collection (1891–1912)

Greek and Roman Portraits. Prints used for Bruckmann publications: Brunn-Arndt “Griechische und römische Porträts,” Arndt-Bruckmann “Denkmäler griechischer und römischer Sculptur,” Arndt-Amelung “Photographische Einzelaufnahmen antiker Sculpturen.” The collection is composed of 27 albums and ca. 5,100 photographic prints on cardboard.

Not yet cataloged and not available for consultation. Funding is needed to finance the cataloging and digitization of this collection.

Diane Atnally  Conlin (1991) : Work in progress

Prof. Diane Atnally Conlin (Fellow at the AAR in Classical Studies and Archaeology in 1991), while completing an extensive research project on the Ara Pacis Augustae produced an ample collection of photographs of the North and South Frieze. Prof. Atnally Conlin has published a major book with many of her pictures (The Artists of the Ara Pacis.)

Not yet cataloged and not available for consultation. Work in progress.

Cosa Collection (1948–1988)

Photographic documentation of excavations conducted by AAR in the ancient town of Cosa (Etruria/Tuscany), in 1948–88. The collection is composed of ca. 1,260 gelatin plates; ca. 2,500 film negatives; ca. 7,400 in 35mm; ca. 13,000 vintage prints. Part of the Archaeological Archive.

Detweiler Collection (ca. 1930–1939)

Archaeological sites in the Middle East (Iran, Iraq, and Syria). The collection consists of photographs of various sites produced by A. Henry Detweiler during his trips to Italy, Greece, Asia Minor, and the Middle East. The photographs document the ancient architecture, landscape, and the archaeological surveying in these areas. Some of the images represent people and everyday life in the visited countries. The collection is composed of ca. 800 negatives on film and 2,120 vintage prints.

European and Asian Art and Architecture (1874–1878)

The collection contains images from Italy, England, France, Greece, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, Russia, Turkey and Palestine. The main subjects are works of art, antiquities, and architecture. The collection further includes city views, landscapes, and folklore scenes.
For most of the images, the photographer has not been identified.

Fototeca Unione (ca. 1957 to the present)

Architecture and topography of Rome and the Roman world. The Fototeca Unione was created and enlarged by Ernest Nash as a center of visual research in ancient Roman architecture and topography. The original patrimony donated by Nash to the International Union of Institutes of Archaeology, History, and History of Art numbered 3,135 negatives and 1,500 photographic prints. The American Academy in Rome has housed this collection since 1956.

Ernest Nash, born in 1898 near Potsdam, came to Italy in 1936. Here he developed his two great interests: the study of the architecture of ancient Rome and the practice of photography. He set out to record remains in Rome and in other archaeological sites, such as Pompeii, Ostia, and Herculaneum. In 1939 he was forced to emigrate to the United States because of the Italian racial laws. In 1952 Nash moved back to Italy, where he died in 1974. The photographs taken by Nash beginning with his first visit to Italy are still considered an important visual resource for the study of ancient monuments. Over the years, while Nash was the director of the Fototeca, the original nucleus on Rome and ancient Italy was augmented by photos of the Roman Empire (many of them taken by Nash himself) and of medieval monuments, as well as reproductions from other archives and relevant graphic documentation. Nash’s most important pictures were used in his publication Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Rome (1962). After the death of Nash in 1974, Karin Einaudi was named the director of the Fototeca Unione, and she continued the meticulous management of the collection respecting Nash’s intentions and spirit for several years. The Fototeca Unione grew until 1992, from 14,000 to over 30,000 negatives with new photographic campaigns in Italy, North Africa, and the Middle East. In 1979–82 the collection, already internationally well known, was made more accessible through its reproduction in microfiche, which could be consulted in major university libraries. A selection of Roman photographs has been used to create the interactive website named The Urban Legacy of Ancient Rome. The collection is composed of ca. 30,000 negatives and corresponding vintage prints.

Gatteschi Collection (1900–1935)

Architecture and reconstruction drawings of Imperial Rome. 4 portfolios: 300 vintage prints. The Gatteschi Collection in the Photographic Archive of the American Academy in Rome is composed of photographs of Roman architecture compared with reconstructive architectural drawings of imperial Rome. It consists of 346 photographic prints (316 silver salt and 30 albumen prints) that may be dated from the end of the nineteenth century to the 1930s. The reconstruction drawings were signed by various artists, always under the direction of Gatteschi; these include Guido e Augusto Trabacchi, Bellioni, and Angeletti. We do not know the names of the photographers, but there were definitely more than one. In some cases, the work of professional photographers was used, and in others, the photographer was probably Gatteschi himself. He often appears in the photograph to provide a human scale, with the monuments in the background. The two prints were mounted on a single board (10 are singles) to allow comparison between the reconstruction proposed by Gatteschi and the archeological ruins depicted in the photograph. This kind of layout was conceived by Gatteschi himself, as he explained in the preface of his book Restauri della Roma Imperiale (1924). The collection also includes photos of topographical maps annotated by Gatteschi.

Kelsey Museum Collection

Sculptures and Inscriptions from the Kelsey Museum. Ca. 300 photographic prints on cardboard with description.

Not yet cataloged and not available for consultation. Funding is needed to finance the cataloging and digitization of this collection.

Knauer Collection (ca. 1960)

Monumental sites in the Mediterranean area and in Northern Europe. Ca. 13 albums.

Not yet cataloged and not available for consultation. Funding is needed to finance the cataloging and digitization of this collection.

Laidlaw Collection (1960–1980)

Pompeian First Style mural painting in Pompeii. The collection is composed of 2,430 negatives on film. 81 rolls of 35mm and related contacts.

Lantern Slides Collection (1910–1940)

Works of art, antiquities, and archaeology relevant to different sites from around the world. The collection is composed of 1,360 negative glass plates, 1,360 lantern slides including stereoscopic, and 4,500 catalog cards.

Library Collection (1967–1968)

The collection consists of photographs of works of art, archaeology, architecture, and antiquities from around the world. This miscellanea of photographic prints represents the very first nucleus of a photographic archive at the American Academy in Rome. The collection was initially part of the Library, until the creation of the Photographic Archive in 2001. The collection is composed of ca. 3,000 vintage prints.

Ludwig Collection (1967–1968)

The Ludwig Collection is a working-study collection that consists of hundreds of photographs related to the many Renaissance Roman tombs commissioned by the prelates of the fifteenth and early sixteenth-century churches. Ludwig focused his study on a group of Renaissance sculptors that included Mino da Fiesole, Andrea Bregno, Isaia da Pisa, Luigi Capponi, Antonio Pollaiuolo, and Giovanni Dalmata, among others. The collection is composed of ca. 1,000 vintage prints.

McCann Collection (1965–1987)

Photographs documenting the underwater and land archaeological excavations (conducted by Anna Marguerite McCann between 1965 and 1987) of the ancient harbors and fishery at Cosa, Populonia, and Pyrgi. Images show materials, artifacts, discoveries, underwater structures, and snapshots of the teams working on the sites. The collection provides important documentation of underwater archaeological techniques and the use of a balloon for aerial photography. The collection includes ca. 1,300 images on Roman coins (between 2nd-3rd century BC) collected from various sites and select images depicting A.M. McCann’s life at the American Academy in Rome.

Moscioni Collection (1868–1921)

Etruscan sites and art objects of Etruscan provenance. 926 gelatin plates and vintage prints. Romualdo Moscioni was born in Viterbo and came to Rome in 1868 to set up a photographic practice, specializing in archaeology, architecture, and art. He published four editions of his catalog, the last (greatly revised) in 1921. After he died in 1929, his archive of ca. 30,000 glass plates was divided among the American Academy (donated by Prentice Duell), the Photographic Archive of the Vatican Museums, the Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo e la Documentazione, and the Archivio Fotografico Comunale in Rome. The collection is composed of 952 collodion glass plates and corresponding vintage prints.

Parker Collection (1866–1979)

Roman and medieval art and architecture in Italy. 240 collodion glass plates and modern prints, 67 vintage prints. John Henry Parker was born in London in 1806. An English scholar, he was interested in the history of architecture and in restoration. After a period spent in Rome, Parker entered the field of classical archaeology. In 1868 he founded the British and American Archaeological Society of Rome. In 1870 he was elected director of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. He died there in 1884. From 1867 to 1870 he carried out his main project to photograph the principal monuments of Rome, from the classical age to 1600. He employed local photographers De Bonis, Filippo Spina, Carlo Baldassare Simelli, Francesco Sidoli, Filippo Lais, and Giovanni Battista Colamedici, as well as a Canadian one, Charles Smeaton.

The glass plate negatives at the American Academy in Rome are all that survives of the over 3,300 photographs of Roman and medieval architecture and art executed and cataloged under his direction. The collection has a considerable interest, especially as it documents the excavations made in the second half of the nineteenth century. Many of his photographs were used to illustrate his publication Archaeology of Rome (1874–76). In 1893 Parker’s archive of negatives was destroyed in a fire in the Palazzo Negroni-Caffarelli in Via Condotti in Rome. Besides the American Academy and the Archivio Fotografico Comunale in Rome, which have a considerable number of prints, almost complete sets of Parker prints are in the British School and the German Archaeological Institute (Rome), the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology (University of Michigan), and the Ashmolean Museum and the Bodleian Library (Oxford). The collection is composed of 262 collodion glass plates and corresponding vintage prints.

Carole Raddato Collection (2012–  ): Work in progress

Starting in 2017—the 1900th anniversary of Hadrian’s accession as emperor—Carole Raddato began to trace Hadrian’s journeys in chronological order. The project (“Following Hadrian”) provided her with the opportunity to document countless archaeological sites and exhibitions throughout Europe and the Near East and to photograph over 900 sites and museums focusing on the Classical past. These include significant, but less-visited, archaeological sites outside of continental Europe, including Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey (comprising hard-to-access sites in southern and eastern Anatolia), Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Armenia, and Iran. The collection further includes the documentation of numerous ephemeral exhibitions of antiquity, often constituting the only record and form of access to the objects exposed.

Regia Collection (1965–1975)

Photographic documentation of the excavations conducted by AAR in the Regia in the Roman Forum, in 1948–65. The collection is composed of 97 glass plate negatives, ca. 70 contacts, and 7 films 13 x 18. Part of the Archaeological Archive.

J. Kellum Smith Collection (1920–1923)

Archaeology, architecture, and gardens in Italy and Europe. The collection is composed of ca. 900 photomechanical prints and postcards.

Stephens Collection (2005–2009)

Between 2002 and 2005, archaeological photographers Jennifer Stephens and Arthur Stephens developed techniques and equipment to combine high-definition digital photographs and precise geomatic (surveying) control drawings to create accurate, orthographic photomosaics of historical standing structures. This approach is especially appropriate for recording the building facades in ancient Pompeii because of their linear construction. The methodology allows one to view complete city blocks in Pompeii that cannot normally be seen because the streets are too narrow. This collection contains digital and printed orthographic photomosaics of the façades of the thirty-two city blocks along Via dell’Abbondanza, the longest street in ancient Pompeii. There is also a single photomosaic of the façades of the structures of Regio VI, Insula 1 that face via Consolare in Pompeii.

Swain Collection (ca. 1930–1950)

The collection consists of photographs of various archaeological sites produced by George Swain during his trips in Italy. Many photographs by Swain document Francis Kelsey’s expedition to Europe. The collection is composed of 150 vintage prints.

Van Deman Collection (1898–1930)

Archaeology, architecture, and building techniques in the Roman world. Travels in Europe and Africa. The collection is composed of photographs taken by Esther Van Deman during archaeological surveys in the Roman Campagna, excavations in the Roman Forum, and study trips in Europe, Italy, and North Africa between 1898 and 1930. It is a rare specimen of a personal and professional photographic archive, which also provides interesting insights into contemporary life. Esther Van Deman was born in 1862 in Ohio. In 1901–3, she was a student at the American School of Classical Studies in Rome, researching the Vestals, a topic central to Van Deman’s interest. Her close involvement in the contemporary archaeological reality turned her original interest into the study of more specifically archaeological problems. As a Carnegie Fellow from 1906 to 1910 and FASCSR’09, she continued her study of Roman building materials and techniques. Except for brief periods in America for teaching and lectures, she stayed in Rome, where she died in 1937. Van Deman taught herself the art of photography and found a passionate fellow photographer in the British archaeologist Thomas Ashby, with whom she undertook the study of Roman aqueducts. Some of Van Deman’s photographs were used in her important publications on Roman topography and architecture: The Atrium Vestae (1909), The Building of Roman Aqueducts (1934), and particularly Ancient Roman Construction in Italy from the Prehistoric Era to Augustus (1947). This book, on which she was still working at her death, was published posthumously and edited by her colleague and friend, Marion Blake. The collection is composed of 2,727 cellulose nitrate negatives, vintage prints, and modern prints.

Van Deman Archival Collection (1898–1930)

The collection includes selected photographs produced by Esther Van Deman and by other archaeologists and photographers. The 380 vintage prints were not included in the original inventory.

Van Deman Notes Collection (1907–1929)

The collection is composed of the notes taken by Esther Van Deman during all her archaeological surveys in the Roman Forum and travels excavations between 1907 and 1929. It is a rare specimen of a personal and professional archive. This archive is composed of 7,105 handwritten notes, postcards, clippings, and two albums.

Vermeule Collection (1966–1976)

Art from the classical through late antique times: black figures vases, fifth-century statuary, Greek and Roman votive reliefs, fourth-century statuary, Hellenistic statuary and reliefs, neo-Attic and archaistic reliefs, Roman decorative relief, portraits, sarcophagy, Coptic and Palmyrenen sculpture, gems, and jewelry. The collection is composed of ca. 2,000 photographic prints.

Warsher Collection (ca. 1930–1937)

Pompeii: architecture, building techniques, and mural paintings. The collection is composed of 18 albums including ca. 1,500 vintage prints.

Winslow Collection (ca. 1950–1960)

Roman architecture and aqueducts in the Campagna Romana. The collection is composed of 3 albums including ca. 400 vintage prints.

Yegül Collection (1978–1980)

Roman baths in the Mediterranean area. The collection is composed of ca. 870 vintage prints.

Special Collections

American Academy in Rome - Institutional Archive

The collection is composed of photographs of the various seats the American Academy in Rome had from its founding, images on the construction of the McKim, Mead & White Building (1913–14), interior and exterior views of the building, Villa Aurelia (early twentieth century), and other AAR properties. The “Academy Life”  shows all major events of the Academy's activities, the section includes the exhibitions, concerts, conferences, important visits, moments from the Fellows’ life, the AAR staff, and other AAR memories.

Fellows’ Work Collection (1911–1960)

Painting, sculpture, and studies in architecture and landscape. Ca. 2,000 gelatin plates and vintage prints. The photographs in this collection were made between 1911 and 1961. The bulk of the collection consists of record photographs of architectural drawings, landscape drawings, paintings, and sculptures created by ca. 250 Fellows and Visitors, either individually or as part of collaborative projects. The collection has significant archival value for the Academy’s institutional history while presenting, at the same time, a chronological view of artistic trends and tastes over fifty years.

Aronson Collection (1977)

The Aronson photographic collection of aerial views of Rome comes from a portfolio of 300 hundred aerial photographs of buildings, monuments, archaeological ruins, and other well- and lesser-known sites in Rome. The photographs were taken by J. H. Aronson and H. A. Millon during two helicopter flights in May 1977. The collection is composed of 230 photographic prints.

Richard Winston Ayers Collection (1936–1938)

The Collection, donated by Richard Winston Ayers’ son, Richard Allan Ayers, is a visual record of Academy life in pre-war Rome. Mr. Ayers arrived in Naples on 26 September 1936. For the next 21 months, he dedicated himself to fulfilling the Academy’s academic mission by participating in one compulsory project and two three-week interdisciplinary design competitions each year. Between assignments and during the summers, the Fellows were encouraged to travel, sketch, and absorb the country’s unique culture. Mr. Ayers took several multi-day tours through Italian towns as well as a five-week excursion to Greece, Egypt, and Palestine. His experiences, along with those of his colleagues, exploring Rome and its environs and his extensive travels through Europe on his Moto Guzzi form the foundation of this collection.

Berman Collection (ca. 1950)

The collection includes theater, ballet, and opera designs, as well as personal travel albums and portraits (scope: 180 albums; ca. 1,000 negatives and ca. 2,000 loose prints). Eugene Berman (1899–1972) was a painter and designer for the opera, theater, and ballet. He was a Resident at the Academy in 1959. Upon his death, he left the American Academy with his negatives and prints, both personal (travel albums, portraits, etc.) and professional (photographs of his drawings and stage designs). He also donated 1,100 books on art and architecture to the American Academy Library.

The cataloging of this collection is currently in process, generously supported by Snøhetta.

Rome-New York Art Foundation (1957–1962)

Since the death of Frances McCann in the late 1990s, the founder of the Rome-New York Art Foundation—an important gallery space on the Tiber Island, active from 1957 to 1962—Milton Gendel has been the custodian of the archive.

The archive, donated by Gendel’s family, includes a full set of the catalogs published to accompany the exhibitions dedicated to American, British, and Italian avant-garde art and various international currents (curated by, among others, James Johnson Sweeney, Lionello Venturi, Michel Tapiè, and Herbert Read), photo albums, guests books, invitations, and other publicity material in innovative design formats. The photographic albums document the contemporary art scene in Rome and include photographs of Alexander Calder, Palma Bucarelli, Robert Venturi, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Eugene Berman, among others.

It is virtually intact and an exceptional resource for any scholar of contemporary art in Rome in that period.

Not yet cataloged and not available for consultation. Funding is needed to finance the cataloging and digitization of this collection.


Landscape Architecture & Gardens

Aldrich Collection (1930–1950)

Villas and gardens in Italy. The collection is composed of 9 albums.

Landscape Collection (ca. 1918–1920)

The main subjects are villas, gardens, and palaces, but there are also city views and landscapes. The collection contains images from Italy, England, Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, and Japan. The miscellanea contains botanical details, gates, fountains, wall treatments, and iron works. The collection is composed of 2,100 vintage prints.

Masson Collection (ca. 1950–1970)

Italian architecture, villas, and gardens. 5,500 negatives on film. Marion Babs Johnson, who published under the pseudonym of Georgina Masson, lived in Rome from the middle of the 1940s. She wrote various historical studies and biographies, but her greatest interest was the city of Rome and Italian architecture, especially villas and gardens. A specialist on this subject, she used her photographs in her publications Italian Villas and Palaces (1959) and her very famous Companion Guide to Rome (1965). During her lifetime in Rome, she was very close to AAR and upon her death in 1980, she willed to the Academy all her photographic negatives, slides, and color transparencies. The subjects of the collection are mainly Italian architecture, villas and gardens, cityscapes, and landscapes. The negatives are datable from the late 1940s through the 1960s. A part of the collection is also of remarkable anthropological interest, such as those negatives on costumes, local processions, and religious rites. Masson’s negatives and notes on botany, gardens, and horticulture, closely related to the material bequeathed to the American Academy, are conserved in the Camillo Caetani Foundation in Rome. The collection is composed of ca. 5,000 contacts.

Charles T Stifter (1961-1963) : Work in progress

From 1961 to 1963, Charles Thomas Stifter, while a Fellow in Architecture at the American Academy in Rome, produced an ample collection of photographs of the innumerable small towns in Italy and other Mediterranean countries.

Not yet cataloged and not available for consultation. Work in progress.

Contemporary Collections

Paul Warchol Collection

7 photographs depicting a house designed by Toshiko Mori.

Abigail Cohen Collection (2003)

9 photographs from One Cycle of My Journey.

A Question of Time Collection (2014–2015)

Selection of contemporary photographs from exhibitions held at the American Academy in Rome.

Denis Gillingwater (2009)

Set of 39 photographs on Rome.

Jeannette Montgomery Barron (2015)

Set of ca. 70 photographs, including the photographs displayed at the Academy’s exhibition A View of One’s Own.

Lyle Ashton Harris Studio (2016)

Four Roman Strangers works.

Philip Van Keuren (2009)

Set of 10 photogravures Toward What Sun? - Vol. II. The images are 12 x 8 inches, hand-printed on Hahnemuhle Copperplate paper. Platemaking from the artist’s original 35mm negatives began in 2009 and is ongoing.


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