The Samuel H. Kress Foundation and ARTstor are pleased to announce the release of approximately 640 images of art works from the Kress Collection. From the mid-1920s to the end of the 1950s, Samuel Henry Kress (1863-1955) and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation amassed one of the most astonishing collections of European Old Master paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts ever assembled through the efforts of a private individual.

The collection’s greatest distinction lies in its extraordinary strength in Italian art. According to Colin Eisler, Robert Lehman Professor of Fine Arts at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts: “The world’s most encyclopedic collection of Italian painting may be that formed by Samuel H. Kress. His original plan was to include works by every artist mentioned by Vasari but the grand design grew to include Italian artists’ works through the late eighteenth century. Had Kress’ gathering remained intact, it would have been the wonder of viewers and scholars alike for its unique, dazzling comprehensiveness.” Many of the greatest Italian artists appear in the Kress Collection, as do numerous significant works by less familiar masters. This initial release of approximately 640 old master works from Kress collections in 34 institutions reflects this strength in Italian art, while also including works from the French, Spanish, Dutch, Flemish, and German schools. The majority are paintings, with some examples of sculpture and decorative arts.
According to Dr. Marilyn Perry, former President of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, “Sharing the artistic patrimony of Europe with the people of America was the philanthropic vision of Samuel Kress and the Kress Foundation.” In reaching an agreement with ARTstor, Dr. Perry expressed her enthusiasm for the use of digital technologies to make the Kress Collection more broadly available for educational and scholarly purposes: “We are deeply gratified that the ARTstor initiative of the Mellon Foundation will make it possible to share these treasures even more widely.”
To browse these new ARTstor images, from ARTstor’s Welcome Page click on “Image Gallery”” and then select “The Samuel H. Kress Collection.” Or search the keywords “kress foundation.”

For more information, please view the collection page online.