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Creator:
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Names:
Albright-Knox Art Gallery  Search this
Art Institute of Chicago -- Faculty  Search this
Biennale di Venezia  Search this
Katharine Kuh Gallery (Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Albright, Ivan, 1897-1983  Search this
Archipenko, Alexander, 1887-1964  Search this
Arensberg, Louise S. (Louise Stevenson), 1879-1953  Search this
Arensberg, Walter, 1878-1954  Search this
Arp, Jean, 1887-1966  Search this
Barnet, Will, 1911-  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Biddle, George, 1885-1973  Search this
Breuer, Marcel, 1902-  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Campoli, Cosmo  Search this
Chagall, Marc, 1887-  Search this
Chavez Morado, José, 1909-2002  Search this
Chermayeff, Serge, 1900-  Search this
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Cox, Richard  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
Day, Worden, 1916-1986  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-  Search this
Dickinson, Edwin Walter, 1891-  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean, 1901-  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Elizabeth II, Queen of Great Britain, 1926-  Search this
Ernst, Jimmy, 1920-1984  Search this
Falkenstein, Claire, 1908-1997  Search this
Feitelson, Lorser, 1898-1978  Search this
Friendly, Fred W.  Search this
Giacometti, Alberto, 1901-1966  Search this
Golub, Leon, 1922-2004  Search this
Goto, Joseph, 1920-  Search this
Grabe, Klaus  Search this
Graves, Robert, 1895-1985  Search this
Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898-  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Hare, David, 1917-  Search this
Hare, Denise Browne  Search this
Hayter, Stanley William, 1901-1988  Search this
Hirshhorn, Joseph  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Hélion, Jean, 1904-1987  Search this
Inverarity, Robert Bruce, 1909-1999  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-  Search this
Kandinsky, Wassily, 1866-1944  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
Kepes, Juliet  Search this
Klee, Paul, 1879-1940  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Knox, Seymour H., 1898-1990  Search this
Le Corbusier, 1887-1965  Search this
Lundeberg, Helen, 1908-1999  Search this
Lye, Len, 1901-1980  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, 1886-1969  Search this
Millier, Arthur, 1893-  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Mérida, Carlos, 1891-1984  Search this
Nutting, Muriel Leone Tyler, b. 1892  Search this
Nutting, Myron Chester, 1890-1972  Search this
O'Higgins, Pablo, 1904-  Search this
Orozco, José Clemente, 1883-1949  Search this
Ozbekhan, Hasan, 1921-2007  Search this
Perkins, Frances  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Putnam, Wallace, 1899-1989  Search this
Ray, Man, 1890-1976  Search this
Rich, Daniel Catton, 1904-1976  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Sandberg, Carl  Search this
Seligmann, Kurt, 1900-1962  Search this
Shackelford, Shelby  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Spaeth, Otto, d. 1966  Search this
Sterne, Hedda, 1916-  Search this
Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-  Search this
Tanning, Dorothea, 1910-2012  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Winston, Harry Lewis  Search this
Woolf, Olga  Search this
Young, Victor  Search this
Photographer:
Pollack, Peter, 1909-1978  Search this
Extent:
12 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Illustrated letters
Resumes
Travel diaries
Minutes
Calendars
Visitors' books
Photographs
Paintings
Awards
Drawings
Sound recordings
Collages
Scrapbooks
Lithographs
Prints
Wills
Watercolors
Poetry
Lecture notes
Lectures
Sales records
Date:
1875-1994
bulk 1930-1994
Summary:
The papers of art historian, dealer, critic, and curator Katharine Kuh measure 12 linear feet and date from 1875-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930-1994. The collection documents Kuh's career as a pioneer modernist art historian and as the first woman curator of European Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues; personal business records; artwork by various artists; a travel journal; writings by Kuh and others; scrapbooks; printed material; photographs of Kuh and others; and audio recordings of Kuh's lectures and of Daniel Catton Rich reading poetry.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of art historian, dealer, critic, and curator Katharine Kuh measure 12 linear feet and date from 1875-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930-1994. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues; personal business records; artwork by various artists; a travel journal; writings by Kuh and others; scrapbooks; printed material; photographs of Kuh and others; and audio recordings of Kuh's lectures and of Daniel Catton Rich reading poetry. Biographical material consists of copies of Kuh's birth certificate, resumés, passports, award certificates, honorary diplomas, and address books listing information about several prominent artists and colleagues. Four linear feet of correspondence offers excellent documentation of Kuh's interest in art history, her travels, her career at the Art Institute of Chicago, her work as a corporate art advisor, and as an author. There are letters from her mother Olga Woolf, friends, and colleagues. There is extensive correspondence with various staff members of the Art Institute of Chicago, the First National Bank of Chicago, and The Saturday Review. Also of interest are letters from artists and collectors, several of whom became life-long friends including Walter and Louise Arensberg, Cosmo Campoli, Serge Chermayeff, Richard Cox, Worden Day, Claire Falkenstein, Fred Friendly, Leon Golub, Joseph Goto, David Hare, Denise Brown Hare, Jean Hélion, Ray Johnson, Gyorgy and Juliet Kepes, Len Lye, Wallace Putnam, Kurt Seligmann, Shelby Shackelford, Hedda Sterne, and Clyfford Still. Many letters are illustrated with original artwork in various media. There are also scattered letters from various artists and other prominent individuals including Josef Albers, George Biddle, Marcel Breuer, Joseph Cornell, Stuart Davis, Edwin Dickinson, Joseph Hirshhorn, Daniel Catton Rich, and Dorothea Tanning. Personal business records include a list of artwork, Olga Woolf's will, inventories of Kuh's personal art collection, miscellaneous contracts and deeds of gift, receipts for the sale of artwork, files concerning business-related travel, and miscellaneous receipts. Artwork in the collection represents a wide range of artist friends and media, such as drawings, watercolors, paintings, collages, and prints. Included are works by various artists including lithographs by David Hare and a watercolor set, Technics and Creativity, designed and autographed by Jasper Johns for the Museum of Modern Art, 1970. Notes and writings include annotated engagement calendars, travel journals for Germany, a guest book for the Kuh Memorial gathering, and many writings and notes by Kuh for lectures and articles concerning art history topics. Of interest are minutes/notes from meetings for art festivals, conferences, and the "Conversations with Artists Program (1961). Also found are writings by others about Kuh and other art history topics. Six scrapbooks contain clippings that document the height of Kuh's career as a gallery director and museum curator. Scrapbook 6 contains clippings about Fernand Léger, the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1953. Additional printed material includes clippings about Kuh and her interests, a comprehensive collection of clippings of Kuh's articles for The Saturday Review, exhibition announcements and catalogs, calendars of events, programs, brochures, books including Poems by Kuh as a child, and reproductions of artwork. Of particular interest are the early and exhibition catalogs from the Katharine Kuh Gallery, and rare catalogs for artists including Jean Arp, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Jean Dubuffet, Marcel Duchamp, Stanley William Hayter, Hans Hofmann, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Franz Kline, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Pablo Picasso. Photographs provide important documentation of the life and career of Katharine Kuh and are of Kuh, family members, friends, colleagues, events, residences, and artwork. Several of the photographs of Kuh were taken by Will Barnet and Marcel Breuer and there is a notable pair of photo booth portraits of Kuh and a young Ansel Adams. There are also group photographs showing Angelica Archipenko with Kuh; designer Klaus Grabe; painters José Chavez Morado and Pablo O'Higgins in San Miguel, Mexico; Kuh at the Venice Biennale with friends and colleagues including Peggy Guggenheim, Frances Perkins, Daniel Catton Rich, and Harry Winston; and "The Pre-Depressionists" including Lorser Feitelson, Robert Inverarity, Helen Lundeberg, Arthur Millier, Myron Chester Nutting, and Muriel Tyler Nutting. Photographs of exhibition installations and openings include views of the Katharine Kuh Gallery; Fernand Léger, Man Ray, and László Moholy-Nagy at the Art Institute of Chicago; and Philip Guston, Jimmy Ernst, Seymour H. Knox, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. There are also photographs depicting three men posing as Léger's "Three Musicians" and the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the Art Institute of Chicago. There is a photograph by Peter Pollack of an elk skull used as a model by Georgia O'Keeffe. Additional photographs of friends and colleagues include Ivan Albright, Alfred Barr, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Willem De Kooning, Edwin Dickinson, Marcel Duchamp, Claire Falkenstein, Alberto Giacometti, poet Robert Graves with Len Lye, Philip Johnson, Gyorgy and Juliet Kepes, Carlos Mérida, José Orozco, Hasan Ozbekhan, Pablo Picasso, Carl Sandberg, Ben Shahn, Otto Spaeth, Hedda Sterne, Adlai Stevenson, Clyfford Still, Mark Tobey, and composer Victor Young. Photographs of artwork include totem poles in Alaska; work by various artists including Claire Falkenstein, Paul Klee, and Hedda Sterne; and work donated to the Guggenheim Museum. Four audio recordings on cassette are of Katharine Kuh's lectures, including one about assembling corporate collections, and of Daniel Catton Rich reading his own poetry. There is also a recording of the Second Annual Dialogue between Broadcasters and Museum Educators.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series. Undated correspondence, artwork, and photographs of individual artists are arranged alphabetically. Otherwise, each series is arranged chronologically. Series 1: Biographical Material, 1945-1992 (Box 1; 16 folders) Series 2: Correspondence, 1908-1994 (Boxes 1-5, 13-14, OV 15; 4.0 linear feet) Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1941-1989 (Box 5; 19 folders) Series 4: Artwork, 1931-1986 (Boxes 5, 13-14, OVs 15-23; 1.7 linear feet) Series 5: Notes and Writings, 1914-1994 (Boxes 5-7; 1.7 linear feet) Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1935-1953 (Box 7; 8 folders) Series 7: Printed Material, 1916-1992 (Boxes 7-10, 13, OV 22; 3.0 linear feet) Series 8: Photographs, 1875-1993 (Boxes 10-13; 1.2 linear feet) Series 9: Audio Recordings, 1977 (Box 12; 1 folder)
Biographical Note:
Katharine Kuh (1904-1994) worked primarily in the Chicago area as an modern art historian, dealer, critic, curator, writer, and consultant. She operated the Katharine Kuh Gallery from 1935-1943 and was the first woman curator of European and Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago. Katharine Kuh (née Woolf) was born on July 15, 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri, the youngest of the three daughters of Olga Weiner and Morris Woolf, a silk importer. In 1909, the family moved to Chicago, Illinois. While traveling with her family in Europe in 1914, Katharine contracted polio, causing her to spend the next decade in a body brace. During this time of restricted movement, she developed an interest in art history through the collecting of old master prints. After her recovery, Katharine Woolf attended Vassar College where one of her professors, Alfred Barr, encouraged her to study modern art. She graduated from Vassar in 1925 and received a master's degree in art history from the University of Chicago in 1929. Later that year, she moved to New York to pursue a Ph.D. in Renaissance and medieval art at New York University. In 1930, Katharine Woolf returned to Chicago and married businessman George Kuh and began to teach art history courses in the suburbs of Chicago. After divorcing George Kuh in 1935, she opened the Katharine Kuh Gallery, the first gallery devoted to avant-garde art in Chicago. It was also the first gallery to exhibit photography and typographical design as art forms, and featured the work of Ansel Adams, Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, Wassily Kandinsky, Fernand Léger, and Man Ray, among others. From 1938 to1940, Kuh was the Visiting Professor of Art at the University School of Fine Arts, San Miguel, Mexico. After the Katharine Kuh Gallery closed in 1943, Kuh was hired by museum director Daniel Catton Rich to fill a position in public relations at the Art Institute of Chicago. During the following years, Kuh edited the museum's Quarterly publication, took charge of the museum's Gallery of Interpretive Art, and began a long term relationship with Rich. In 1946, Kuh was sent on a special mission for the U. S. Office of Indian Affairs to make a detailed study of Native American totemic carvings in Alaska. In 1949, Kuh persuaded Mr. and Mrs. Walter Arensberg of Los Angeles to exhibit their collection of modern art, creating the first post-war exhibition of modern art in Chicago. She published her first book Art Has Many Faces in 1951, and in the following year, she began writing art criticism for The Saturday Review. In 1954, Kuh was appointed the first woman curator of European Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute. She assembled the American contribution for the Venice Biennale in 1956 and during these years, Kuh helped acquire many of the works of modern art currently in the museum's collection. A year following Daniel Catton Rich's 1958 resignation from the Art Institute of Chicago, Kuh also resigned and pursued a career in New York as an art collection advisor, most notably for the First National Bank of Chicago. In 1959, Kuh was made art critic for The Saturday Review, and she continued to publish books, including The Artist's Voice in 1962, Break-Up: The Core of Modern Art in 1965, and The Open Eye: In Pursuit of Art in 1971. Katharine Kuh died on January 10, 1994 in New York City.
Provenance:
The Katharine Kuh papers were donated in several installments from 1971 to 1989 by Katharine Kuh and in 1994 by her estate. Artwork was donated in 1995 by Kuh's former employer, the Art Institute of Chicago.
Restrictions:
Authorization to quote, publish or reproduce requires written permission until 2019. Contact the Archives of American Art Reference Services department for additional information.
Rights:
The Katharine Kuh papers 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.
Topic:
Art, Abstract -- United States  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Art festivals  Search this
Women museum curators -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Women art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Women art historians -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Women art dealers -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Women art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women art critics -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Genre/Form:
Illustrated letters
Resumes
Travel diaries
Minutes
Calendars
Visitors' books
Photographs
Paintings
Awards
Drawings
Sound recordings
Collages
Scrapbooks
Lithographs
Prints
Wills
Watercolors
Poetry
Lecture notes
Lectures
Sales records
Citation:
Katharine Kuh papers, 1875-1994, bulk 1930-1994. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kuhkath
See more items in:
Katharine Kuh papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kuhkath