The records of New York Byron Gallery measure 16.3 linear feet and date from circa 1950s-1991, with the bulk of the material dating from 1960-1971. The records document the gallery's representation and exhibition of Surrealist and contemporary American artists, as well as the occasional pre-Columbian and Old Masters artwork. Found are over ten linear feet of artists and subject files, fifty-seven exhibition scrapbooks, exhibition catalogs, and sales records. There are also exhibitions catalogs of the Milan Galleria Dell'Arieti.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of New York Byron Gallery measure 16.3 linear feet and date from circa 1950s-1991, with the bulk of the material dating from 1960-1971. The records document the gallery's representation and exhibition of Surrealist and contemporary American artists, as well as the occasional pre-Columbian and Old Masters artwork. Found are extensive artists and subject files, exhibition files and scrapbooks, exhibition catalogs, and sales records. There are also exhibitions catalogs of the Milan Galleria Dell'Arieti.
Artist and subject files comprise over one-half of the records and contain business correspondence, sales information, photographs and transparencies, catalogs, and exhibit reviews for each artist either represented or sold by the gallery, or participated in an exhibition organized by the gallery. Particularly rich files are found for Alcopley, Stephen Antonakos, Alexander Calder, Pietro Consagra, Giorgio De Chirico, Max Ernst, Pedro Friedeberg, Sam Gilliam, Mathias Goeritz, Sarah Grilo, Roberto Sabastiano Matta, Clement Meadmore, Constantino Nivola, Sylvia Sleigh, Paul Talman, and Jack Youngerman.
Fifty-seven exhibition scrapbooks in binder sleeves represent a complete documentary record of Byron Gallery exhibits from 1963-1970. The scrapbook contain a wide variety of materials, including correspondence, catalogs, price lists, installation photographs and slides, printed reproductions of exhibited art work, and newspaper clippings and reviews. Additional printed materials include exhibition catalogs and invitations. There is also a near-complete run of catalogs from the Galleria Dell'Arieti, a contemporary gallery in Milan, Italy, 1961-1970.
Financial and business records are contained in a series of invoices from 1963-1971, and a card file of artwork sold or returned.
The collection is arranged as 5 series:
Series 1: Artist and Subject Files, circa 1950s-1991, undated (Box 1-10, 17; 10.2 linear feet)
Series 2: Exhibition Scrapbooks, 1963-1970 (Box 11-14, 17; 4.1 linear feet)
Series 3: Printed Material, 1961-1970 (Box 15; 0.5 linear foot)
Series 4: Invoices, 1963-1971 (Box 15; 0.5 linear foot)
Series 5: Card Files, circa 1960s-1970s (Box 16; 1 linear foot)
The Byron Gallery was founded in 1961 by Charles Byron (b. 1918) and located on Madison Avenue in New York, New York. The gallery primarily showed Surrealist masters and up-and-coming contemporary American painters and sculptures, as well as an occasional ancient and Old Masters exhibit.
Among the artists represented by the gallery were Alcopley, Herbert Bayer, Albert Kotin, Clement Meadmore, Richard Merkin, Constantino Nivola, Brian O'Doherty, and Hans Richter. Additional artists handled by the gallery or given shows were Max Ernst, Sam Gilliam, Robert Sebastian Matta, Renee Magritte, Sylvia Sleigh, and Jack Youngerman. The gallery also sold work by artists represented by other galleries, or from the secondary market.
Several prescient group shows were organized by the gallery, including the Box Show in 1965, featuring the work of over 100 artists, including Arakawa, Lee Bontecou, Chryssa, Joseph Cornell, Alcopley, Walter De Maria, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Edward Kienholz, Sol Lewitt, Louise Nevelson, Constantino Nivola, Robert Rauschenberg, Michell Stuart, and Andy Warhol. The Paris Review show in 1965 was another stellar event, with contributions from Richard Anuszkiewicz, Allan D'Arcangelo, Jim Dine, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Indiana, Alex Katz, Ellsworth Kelly, Lindner, Richard Robert Motherwell, Louise Nevelson, Estaban Vicente, and Andy Warhol. In 1964, the gallery also organized an exhibition of over 40 American landscape artists, American Landscapes. The gallery also exhibited two shows based on Pre-Columbian objects, and, in the late 1960s, held two major exhibitions, 400 Years of Italian Art: Florentine Relief Fund Art Show (1967) and Greek Gold Exhibition (1967-1968).
The Byron Gallery papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by gallery owner Charles Byron in 1999.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
The Byron Gallery records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.