Art Properties

Art Properties

The department of Art Properties oversees the official art and cultural heritage collection owned by Columbia University and built up over the past 200 years, mostly through gifts and bequests from alumni, faculty, trustees, artists, and unaffiliated donors. Proposed donations are approved by the members of the Provost-appointed Committee on Art Properties.  

Art Properties is committed to consultations with American Indian and Native Alaskan tribal nations as part of its mission to maintain professional standards of ethical stewardship for the University collection. This includes proactively fulfilling the requirements of the federal government’s Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). For more information, consult our Native American Art & Cultural Heritage Objects webpage.



Students, faculty, and external scholars are welcome to view and research objects in the Art Properties collection. All research is by appointment only and conducted in Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library. Regular appointment hours are Monday through Friday, 1pm to 4pm.


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



The Art Properties collection comprises more than 13,000 works of art and cultural heritage objects in all media from all time periods and international locations. Click here for highlights.



Art Properties welcomes class visits coordinated with faculty for art-related curricular assignments and object-centered learning experiences with the collection. Past course-related sessions have included the history of photography, iconographic analysis of international Buddhist art, and close examination of paintings by Florine Stettheimer.



Avery's Digital Imaging Studio creates high-resolution image files representing our special collections materials. Click here for information on how to place an imaging order.

Yellow Tara


For general information on borrowing collection materials for international exhibitions from Columbia University Libraries, please review Guidelines for Borrowing Materials for Exhibition. For Avery-specific deadlines and information for art work and cultural heritage objects from Art Properties, write to the department.

Plaza Hotel, 59th Street and 5th Avenue, 1944,  oil on canvas 23 3/4 x 19 3/4 in., [SLF-129] F


Selective framed works of art and some sculptures may be available to administrators, faculty, and staff for installation in office spaces. Contact to learn about the policies, procedures, and possible fees for this service.

Image credits, top to bottom:

Florine Stettheimer, Self-Portrait with Paradise Birds, no date (ca. 1900), oil on canvas, 39 1/2 x 31 3/4 in. (100.5 x 80.8 cm), Gift of the Estate of Ettie Stettheimer (1967.23.013); Maker unknown, Mexico, Effigy vessel in the form of a dog, 300 B.C.E.-600 C.E., polychromed earthenware, H. 7 1/4 x W. 5 3/4 x L. 12 1/2 in. (18.4 x 14.6 x 31.8 cm), Samuel Kirkland Lothrop Collection, Gift of René A. Wormser (1968.08.022); Suzuki Harunobu, The Salt Water Maidens Matsukaze and Murasame, ca. 1769-70, Edo period, polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper, 10 7/8 x 8 in. (27.6 x 20.3 cm), The Stebbins Memorial Collection (C00.1755.048); Adolph Gottlieb, The Sorceress, 1947, oil on canvas, 48 1/16 x 36 in. (122.1 x 91.2 cm), Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel M. Kootz (C00.0406); Maker unknown, Tibet, Yellow Tara, late 17th-18th century, gilded copper-zinc alloy (brass) with traces of polychromy, semiprecious stones, and silk, H. 7 3/16 x W. 6 3/8 x D. 3 1/2 in. (18.4 x 16.3 x 9 cm), Gift of J. G. Phelps Stokes (C00.1603.025); Ary Stillman, Plaza Hotel, 59th and 5th Avenue, 1944, oil on canvas, 23 3/4 x 19 3/4 in., Gift of the Stillman-Lack Foundation (2010.04.014).

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