Alvord Eiseman's research on painter Charles Demuth dates from circa 1914-2005 and measures 10.8 linear feet. The collection is comprised of correspondence, writings, artwork files, printed material, and photographic material that were used in Eiseman's research toward a catalogue raisonné on Demuth.
Scope and Contents:
Alvord Eiseman's research on Charles Demuth dates from circa 1914-2005 and measures 10.8 linear feet. The collection is comprised of authenticating correspondence, unpublished writings, comprehensive artwork files, printed material, and photographic material that were used in Eiseman's research toward a catalogue raisonné on Demuth.
Writings make up a significant portion of the collection and include a manuscript of Eiseman's unpublished "Catalogue Raisonné of the Complete Works of Charles Demuth," which includes five parts, as well as numerous lists, appendices, a bibliography, and multiple drafts of certain sections. Eiseman's dissertation, "The Study of the Development of an Artist: Charles Demuth, Volumes I and II" is also found here, as well as numerous other writings about Demuth. Artwork files include hundreds of index cards organized by artwork date and contain the size, medium, signature location, collection, exhibitions, reproductions, and provenance of each work. Most cards are also accompanied by a reproduction of the artwork.
Eiseman died before his manuscript could be published and his research material was given to the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco by Eiseman's friend Grete Meilman. The catalogue raisonné research continued until 2001, although the project was never completed. Meilman then handed the project over to historian Ulrich Hiesinger in 2003. Despite the additional attempts to complete the project, the catalogue raisonné was never published.
The collection is arranged as six series
Series 1: Correspondence, 1969-1991 (0.9 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 2: Writings, circa 1914-1985 (1.7 linear feet; Box 1-3)
Series 3: Artwork Files, circa 1970-2003 (5.8 linear feet; Box 3-9)
Series 4: Printed and Research Material, circa 1966-1986 (0.3 linear feet; Box 9)
Series 5: Photographic Material, circa 1970-1972, undated (0.6 linear feet; Box 9-10)
Series 6: Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco Catalogue Raisonné Research Material, circa 1970-2005 (1.5 linear feet; Box 10-12)
Biographical / Historical:
Alvord Eiseman (1916-1991) was an art historian and specialist on painter Charles Demuth (1883-1935). Eiseman was born in New York and received his degree from the College of the City of New York in 1936. He also studied at Cooper Union, the Teachers College at Columbia University, the New School for Social Research, the University of Minnesota, and New York University. In 1975, Eiseman completed his dissertation in art history titled, "The Study of the Development of an Artist: Charles Demuth, Volumes I and II." Eiseman spent the next decade and a half continuing his research and writing on Demuth, authoring a draft manuscript of a catalogue raisonné on the artist.
Also found in the Archives of American Art are the papers of Charles Demuth, 1883-1935, available on microfilm reel 2385.
Donated in 2016 by Grete Meilman, a friend of Alvord Eiseman's who received the collection at the time of Eiseman's death.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The Alvord Eiseman research material concerning Charles Demuth is 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.