Index of Historic Collectors and Dealers of Cubism
Burty Haviland, Frank, also Frank Haviland and Frank Burty
Limoges, France, 1886–Perpignan, France, 1971

A French painter of American descent, Frank Burty Haviland was part of bande à Picasso, an international group of artists, poets, writers, and musicians that congregated around Picasso’s studio in Paris during the early decades of the twentieth century. His art collection, which he amassed during the 1910s included examples by his artist friends, including Picasso and Juan Gris, and an extensive inventory of African and Oceanic art.

Born in 1886, Burty Haviland grew up in Paris in a well-to-do family of porcelain manufacturers. His parental grandfather, David Haviland, established Haviland and Co. after moving from New York to Limoges in the 1840s. The company continued to prosper under his son Charles Edward Haviland Burty Haviland was one of three sons of Charles and his second wife Madeline, née Burty, a daughter of a prominent Parisian art critic and collector Philippe Burty. Frank’s older brother Paul also became an artist who practiced photography. Their strong affinity with their maternal grandparents and strained relationship with their father prompted both Frank and Paul later to add ‘Burty’ to their names.

With both his father and maternal grandfather prominent art collectors, Burty Haviland grew up surrounded by art. Against his father’s wishes, rather than joining the family business, Burty Haviland opted to pursue the arts, initially turning his attention to music but soon after switching to painting. He did not receive formal training. In 1904, at age eighteen, Burty Haviland rented a studio in Montparnasse at 70, rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, and through his piano teacher and mentor Ricard Viñes met the poet Max Jacob, the composer Déodat de Séverac, and artists André Derain, Manolo (Manuel Martinez Hugué), and Picasso. Following a stay in Germany in 1905−6 where Burty Haviland studied German and trained in the porcelain manufacturing business, he spent the next couple of years in New York City. There he joined his brother Paul, who was working for the family business while on the side investing in Alfred Stieglitz’s gallery 291. Through Paul, Burty Haviland became acquainted with the city’s progressive art circles, meeting Stieglitz and Marius de Zayas, among others.

Burty Haviland returned permanently to France in 1908, becoming a fixture in the avant-garde art circles of Paris. Often he served as a link between New York and Paris, assisting with introductions between artists and collectors. In the winter 1909−10, together with Manolo, Burty Haviland traveled to the south of France establishing residence in Céret, a small town near the border with Spain. Together they turned it into an important art center and locus of Cubist activity, particularly from 1911 to 1913 , when both Picasso and Braque spent several months there each year, sometimes as guests of Burty Haviland. His ties to Céret were strong, and he lived there full- or part-time from 1909 to 1924 and again from 1955 until his death. In 1914 he married a local woman, Joséphine Laporta, with whom he had two children.

By 1915, Burty Haviland’s Paris studio was located at 3, rue Schoelcher and at this time, his painting was heavy influenced by Cubism. He exhibited periodically during the early decades of his career. In 1913 he had a solo exhibition at Alfred Stieglitz’s 291 and in 1915 at Galeries Dalmau in Barcelona. He exhibited at Salon des Indépendants in Paris in 1919 and 1920. In 1921, as his style began to move away from Cubism, the New York branch of Joseph Brummer’s gallery presented his paintings.

Despite a wealthy family background, money was tight for Burty Haviland up until 1921, when he received an inheritance following the death of his father. Prior to this, he was temporarily disinherited by his father and received financial aid from his maternal grandmother and occasionally his brother, Paul. To supplement his income, Burty Haviland dabbled in the art market; Brummer’s Parisian gallery was one of the avenues through which he sold artworks, primarily those by Picasso that he owned outright or jointly (one example is The Actor, 1904−5; The Metropolitan Museum of Art), which he sold through Brummer’s gallery in 1912). Other Picasso paintings that feature Burty Haviland in the provenance belong to the artist’s pre-Cubist and Cubist periods: Mother and Child by a Fountain (1901; The Metropolitan Museum of Art); Factory at Horta de Ebro (1909; The State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg); Seated Nude (1910; Tate Gallery, London); and Le Bock (1909−10; Musée d’Art Moderne de Lille Métropole, Villeneuve d’Ascq). In addition, he also owned Amedeo Modigliani’s sculpture Woman’s Head (1912; The Metropolitan Museum of Art) and a drawing by Gris, The Smoker (1913; The Metropolitan Museum of Art), which the artist dedicated to him.

In addition to owning and trading works by his artist friends, Burty Haviland assembled an extensive collection of African and Oceanic art. One of his sources was Brummer’s Parisian gallery. A number of the works from his collection appeared in two early publications on the subject: Carl Einstein’s Negerplastik (1915) and De Zayas’s African Negro Art, its Influence on Modern Art (1916). Burty Haviland sold a selection of these works to Stieglitz during the 1920s, but the bulk of the collection, totaling 90 examples, was auctioned at Hôtel Drouot in Paris in 1936.

From the 1920s on, Burty Haviland lead a peripatetic life and struggled financially again due to the 1929 stock market crash. In 1957 Haviland became the curator of the Musée d’art moderne in Céret. Under his decade-long tenure, he augmented the collection with donations from his artist friends, including Picasso. The museum’s holdings include an extensive collection of paintings by Burty Haviland as well as documentation derived from the artist’s studio.

Contributed by Anna Jozefacka, July 2017
For more information, see:

Collection de Monsieur F. B. H. Arts primitifs Afrique et Océanie. Sale cat. Paris, Hôtel Drouot. June 21−22, 1936.

Duchâteau, Yves. La Mecque du Cubisme, 1900−1950. Le demi-siècle qui a fait entrer Céret dans l’Histoire de l’Art. Céret: Alter Ego Editions, 2011.

Hommage à Frank Burty Haviland, 1886−1971. Exh. cat. Céret: Musée d’art modern, 2009.

Maritch-Haviland, Nicole. Lalique-Haviland-Burty: portraits de famille. Limoges: Ardents éditeurs, 2009.