Remember “Looter Gulick” — the great man’s own way of poking fun at his collecting mania in vanquished Berlin and wherever else he was posted? We posted on that back in 2014. https://blogs.baruch.cuny.edu/ipaprocessing/wp-admin/post.php?post=1228&action=edit Well, there was more to the story, as we found in three cartons of Gulick files just generously donated to our Newman Library Archives by Luther’s granddaughter Lisa Gulick. The new material was retrieved from his longtime summer home in Greensboro, Vt., that the family recently sold. We’ll be reporting on more fascinating finds as we further excavate this trove.
But here we see: Luther Gulick taketh but he also giveth.
The box with the file we found:
Records in the ART folder showed that even in the middle of his wartime service in Washington, Gulick was acquiring art — here, in 1943, an etching by Albert Durer from 1519 of a peasant couple. It cost Gulick $200 then — about $3,232 in today’s dollars, so hardly a pittance for a working class couple on a bureaucrat’s salary.
But it’s not like Gulick found a Rembrandt. A little research shows that there are multiple prints around and that that one recently sold for $11,250.
By the 1970’s Gulick was continuing his acquisitions, as we see:
But by the 1980’s (he would turn 90 in 1982), he was thinking of how to dispose of his collection.
He ended up giving the tray to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
As far back as 1967 he had loaned artworks (including the Durer) to his alma mater, Oberlin.And by 1980, he again wrote Oberlin with an eye to future bequests.
In 1982 he gifted eight Japanese textiles to the Textile Museum in Washington.
To our astonishment, there were two actual artworks in the file with no further information on their provenance or value.
But one macabre historical treasure continues to elude us. We know that Gulick, rummaging in the ruins of Nazi Berlin after the German surrender, got his hands on Adolf Hitler’s signature stamp.
We were hoping it would be found in the three boxes of new material. So far, no luck.