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COLLECTION Identifier: BER-41

Michael Rinehart photograph collection


Photographic prints reproducing paintings, drawings, and sculpture mainly in British and Italian museums and collections.


  • Creation: 1961 - 2014


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright for materials resides with the creators of the items in question, unless otherwise designated.


6 boxes
1042 photographic prints
18 Volumes

The collection comprises Rinehart's study photographs, primarily of Italian painting owned mainly by museums and collectors in England and Italy. The bulk of the reproductions depict artworks by Renaissance masters, especially paintings by florentine and venetian painters at the National Gallery in London and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. A large part of the photos documents the work of Giorgio Vasari and his assistants in Florence (Palazzo Vecchio) and Arezzo. Other holdings include 17 volumes of rare books and the reproduction of Vincenzo Borghini's sketchbook related to the decoration of Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.

Biographical / Historical

Michael Rinehart is a librarian and art historian, who was educated at Harvard University and the Courtauld Institute of Art. After finishing his studies, he moved to Florence in the summer of 1959 assisting Nicky Mariano in the preparation of the new edition of Bernard Berenson’s lists of the Italian painters. After Berenson’s death and the opening of I Tatti as Harvard’s research center for the Italian Renaissance, he became the first librarian of the Biblioteca Berenson (1962). In 1964 he was appointed director of the Witt Photographic Library at the Courtauld, while later he started working as the librarian at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (1966-1987). His research interests include the classification and cataloging of art historical resources as well as the decoration of Palazzo Vecchio in Florence (and the Studiolo of Francesco I) by Giorgio Vasari and his assistants. He has lectured at the Williams College, where he also worked as assistant director of the graduate program in art history.

His major work in art librarianship is The Bibliography of the History of Art, for which he was the editor-in-chief from the inception of the program at the Clark in 1972 until his retirement in 2000, when the BHA was relocated at the Getty Research Institute. During his tenure, the BHA database became the most comprehensive indexing service for literature on the history of Western art from antiquity to the present.


The collection is organized in two series by staff of the Biblioteca Berenson: 1. Photographs, 2. Books, 3. Decoration of Palazzo Vecchio. Materials in series 1 are organized in two subseries: collections and artists. Photographs in series 1 are arranged alphabetically by the artists name. Original order has been retained.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection donated by Michael Rinehart in two accessions. Most materials were donated in 2012, except for the books and photos reproducing the sketchbook of the Soane Museum that were accessioned in April 2014.

Processed by

Spyros Koulouris

Michael Rinehart photograph collection, 1961-2014: A Finding Aid
Biblioteca Berenson
December 17, 2020
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Biblioteca Berenson, I Tatti - The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies Repository

Via di Vincigliata 26
Florence 50135 Italy
+39 055 603 251
+39 055 603 383 (Fax)