Art Properties

Art Properties

Art Properties oversees the art collection owned by Columbia University. Comprised of more than 12,000 works of art in all media, displayed in buildings at each campus and held in storage, the art collection reflects all cultures and time periods.


Image Credits:

All works in Art Properties, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University in the City of New York

Top to bottom:

Cornelius Johnson (1593-1661), Portrait of Sir Kenelm Digby (1603-1665), 1626, oil on panel, Gift of the Estate of Dr. Jerome Webster (Professor Emeritus of Clinical Surgery) to the College of Physicians and Surgeons (C00.1308), Photo: Juan Trujillo

Wolf Dance: The Transformation of the Eagles into Wolves
, Inupiat people of Northwest Alaska, 1890s, pencil, brown and red ink, and wash on paper, The Bush Collection of Religion and Culture (C00.1483.302)

Anna Hyatt Huntington (1876-1973), Cranes Rising, 1934, bronze, Gift of the artist (C00.837), Photo: Mark Ostrader

Arthur Wesley Dow (1857-1922), The Enchanted Mesa, 1913, oil on canvas, Transferred from the Women's Faculty Club (C00.1371)

Altarpiece with Pensive Figure of a Bodhisattva
, from China, dated 556, Northern Qi dynasty (550-577), marble with traces of limestone, Sackler Collections (S3814)

Martin M. Lawrence (1808-1859), Portrait of James Watson Webb (1802-1884), 1850-51, daguerreotype, Chandler Chemical Museum Collection (C00.1580.92)

Florine Stettheimer (1871-1944), Self-Portrait with Paradise Birds (Self-Portrait in Front of Chinese Screen), no date (ca. 1905), oil on canvas, Gift of the Estate of Ettie Stettheimer, 1967 (1967.23.13)


Highlights from the collection include:

  • public outdoor sculpture with works by Auguste Rodin, Daniel Chester French, Henry Moore, Clement Meadmore, and others
  • over 2,000 paintings, including hundreds of portraits of Columbia administrators and faculty since the eighteenth century, and the largest repository of paintings by Florine Stettheimer (1871-1944)
  • about 1,500 works of fine art photography from daguerreotypes to Andy Warhol polaroids
  • the Sackler Collection of over 2,500 Ancient Near Eastern and Asian art works, including Buddhist sculpture in stone, bronze, and polychrome wood, and decorative arts and archaeological artifacts from India, China, Japan, and Korea.
  • thousands of works on paper (drawings, watercolors, prints)
  • hundreds of sculptures and decorative arts (ceramics, tapestries, furniture) from around the globe

Works from the art collections are available for research consultation and curricular use, and also may be requested as external loans for special exhibitions and for on-campus installation in selected  Columbia University department and staff offices. Art Properties also is responsible for the permanent installation of Chinese art in the Sackler Gallery, Low Library 207 (Faculty Room), and for coordinating the rotating exhibitions in the Rotunda of Low Library.

To learn more about Art Properties and aspects of the University art collection, see the following recent articles and blog posts:

Art Properties on the Avery Library blog

ArtDaily Newsletter

Columbia Magazine

Columbia News

The New York Times

Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide

Collection Resources



Consulting the Collection

Avery Library

By appointment only: Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Roberto C. Ferrari, Curator
Lillian Vargas, Administrative Assistant
Eric Reisenger, Art Handler

Image Requests

Digital images of works from the art collections at Columbia may be available for study purposes and/or publication. To request an image, email us at the address above and be as specific as possible regarding the work of art and intended use. Photographic and/or reproduction fees may be charged for an image request. For general terms and conditions, consult Digital Imaging Services. Photography may not be available or possible due to the physical condition of objects. It is the patron's responsibility to clear all rights for works of art protected by copyright.