Roman Bronze Works Archive

The Carter is home to The Roman Bronze Works Archive, a detailed record of one of the premier historic American foundries. Established in Brooklyn, New York, in 1897 by Riccardo Bertelli, the foundry flourished during the first half of the 20th century casting primarily art sculpture. Although a fire in the late 1920s destroyed many of the foundry’s early records, works by almost every important American sculptor who was active between 1900 and 1950 are represented in the archives, including those by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell.

The Roman Bronze Works Archive covers the years 1902 to 1977 and includes many records from the foundry’s most productive period. It is the fullest surviving record of any historic American fine arts foundry. The collection consists of:

  • Ledgers (1902 to 1919) of the foundry’s early years
  • General account books (1926, 1927, 1948, 1977) that record cash disbursements, receipts, sales, and purchases
  • Order books (1928 to 1958) with job numbers, dates, client addresses, descriptions, and methods of casting
  • Client card index (1930s–mid-1970s) and customer index cards (late 1940s–1980) with information about clients
  • Plaster model index (1948) of preprinted index cards with handwritten or typed information including the models’ names, sculptors’ names, descriptions of models, sizes, and storage locations
  • Files of foundry operations including utility companies and suppliers of materials like clay, sand, and metal, etc.; correspondence, invoices, original artists’ sketches and drawings, photographs, small architectural drawings; and miscellaneous items such as job estimates
  • Architectural drawings of sculptures for clients, most notably of the United States Supreme Court Building, the 1932 Chicago Post Office, and the 1931 Cincinnati Union Terminal; drawings of smaller sculpture projects that are currently in museums

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