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La Fayette Database

The works by United States artists from the French national collections, 1620-1940, are now accessible on the FRAME website through the La Fayette database created by the Louvre in 2006 thanks to the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, the Terra Foundation of American Art and of the American Friends of the Louvre.

This operation is part of a common willingness to share the richness and history of Franco-American artistic exchanges.

Among the works listed, many of them are preserved in the French collections of the FRAME museums, now identified by the words “member of the FRAME network.”


The Project This bilingual online catalogue presents more than 1830 works produced by United States artists before 1940 that entered the national collections of France. It includes works of art in all media except prints and photography. These artworks have been drawn from public collections all over France. The title, artist, medium, dimensions, inventory number, history, bibliography, and exhibition history of each piece have been documented. All artworks have been reproduced online when this was feasible under current copyright regulations. All records include photos of the museum or institution where artworks are conserved, as well as links to these institutions’ websites. The catalogue also presents a range of supplementary materials including a French bibliography, a selection of significant works, a timeline, and a range of biographical and historical information.

The database includes artists who were born in the United States and artists who were born abroad to American parents, as well as immigrant artists who resided in the United States for significant amounts of time prior to 1940 or who became naturalized citizens before that date. When possible, names of people and places have been rendered in their language of origin.

The La Fayette database has been created to promote public awareness of a group of artworks that have never before been examined closely in a national context. More generally, it has been designed to promote an appreciation of pre-1945 American art and to foster popular awareness of the richness and diversity of France’s cultural heritage. Itself the result of a successful international cooperation, the site is intended to make the history of Franco-American artistic rapports better known to North American audiences.