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COLLECTION Identifier: BER-33

Nancy Ward Neilson photograph collection


Includes auctions catalogs clippings and photographs reproducing paintings and drawings.


  • 1950 - 2017


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.


30 linear feet (29 boxes)
4,127 photographic prints

The collection includes photographic materials (prints and transparencies) as well as letters, clippings, offprints and exhibition brochures related to Nancy Ward Neilson's research activities. The bulk of the collection is about late 16th - early 17th century paintings and drawings of the Lombard school, and especially the painters Cerano (Giovani Battista Crespi), Daniele Crespi, Giulio Cesare Procaccini, and Camillo Procaccini. Photographs also reproduce paintings of other Italian, French, and Flemish schools. A vast quantity of clippings from auction catalogs document the activity of the Sotheby's branch in Milan and other auction houses and art dealers activity in Italy and the US from the 1970's to 2017.

Biographical / Historical

Nancy Ward Neilson was born in Baltimore, raised in St. Louis and educated in Boston at Wellesley College (A.B. 1963) and Harvard University (M.A. 1964,Ph.D 1975). She was appointed a David E. Finley Fellow by the National Gallery in Washington D.C. (1966-69) and spent the first year as a Fellow at Villa I Tatti in Florence and the second in Milan doing the ground work for her dissertation. From 1969 to 1977 she worked at The St. Louis Art Museum, passing from assistant curator to Curator of Prints and Drawings. In 1978 she married an Italian architect and returned to Italy. There she joined the old master picture department of what was then Sotheby's Italia where she remained until 1993. Her publications include conventional monographs on Camillo Procaccini (1979), Daniele Crespi (1996) and Giulio Cesare Procaccini as a draftsman (2004) as well as notes and reviews in American, English and Italian journals.


Collection organized in two series: 1. Artists files and 2. Wildenstein. Within each series files are arranged alphabetically by artist name.

Original arrangement by collector has been retained.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

BER-2018-001. Gift of Nancy Ward Neilson; received in May 2018.

Processed by

Spyros Koulouris

Nancy Ward Neilson photograph collection, 1950-2017: A Finding Aid
Biblioteca Berenson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
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
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