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Guide to the
Louis Durr Print Collection
1513–1835, undated (bulk, 1660s)
 PR 142

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Jenny Gotwals (2002); updated and migrated to ArchivesSpace by Joseph Ditta (2020).

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on September 11, 2020
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Biographical note

Louis Durr was born in Germany in 1821. His father was a jeweler; the young Durr first learned about art from his father and his wealthy clients. In 1848 Durr moved to the United States with his brother. He worked in Brooklyn and at a gold smeltery in Newark, New Jersey before starting his own business as a gold and silver refiner and assayer in New York City. Durr remained interested in art, and used his growing wealth to build a formidable collection of European paintings, which was particularly strong in the Dutch school. In 1863 he purchased a house on Fourth Street in Manhattan in which to store and display his artwork. It was Durr's intention to leave his collection to the City of New York, but its bulk proved difficult in the quest to secure a willing repository. After his death in 1880, several works of art, including engravings, were auctioned. The majority of the remainder of Durr's art collection was then given to the New-York Historical Society.