The Othon Friesz collection is composed of correspondence (sent and received), photographs, illustrated documents, printed books and exhibition catalogues. Acquired progressively since 1948 from booksellers, collectors and at public auctions, these documents provide an overview of the painter's career dating back to his first exhibitions in Le Havre and his Fauvist period. The correspondence comprises some 800 letters, sometimes illustrated, which the painter wrote to his family, to the Le Havre collector Léon Pédron, to Noël Dorville and to his artist friends like Georges Braque and Raoul Dufy. The collection was further added to in autumn 2007 for the exhibition Othon Friesz, illustrateur (24 November 2007 - 26 January 2008).
Friesz remained attached to the town of his birth and is present in other collections conserved at the library, including the archives of the journalist and critic Bernard Esdras-Gosse. Lastly, the collection of rare editions of works illustrated by Friesz is regularly being expanded with original illustrated works (drawings, engravings). The new acquisitions are inventoried in the library catalogue (and can be viewed via the useful link at the bottom of this page).
Raoul Dufy is also very present in the library's collections: illustrated books, drawings and correspondence have been regularly acquired in recent years. They complement the artist's works donated in 1963 to the Musée Malraux by his widow.