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Catalog Data

Creator:
Messer, Thomas M.  Search this
Names:
Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation  Search this
Bacon, Francis, 1909-1992  Search this
Barnet, Will, 1911-2012  Search this
Bell, Larry, 1939-  Search this
Burri, Alberto, 1915-  Search this
Bury, Pol, 1922-2005  Search this
Chagall, Marc, 1887-  Search this
Chryssa, 1933-  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean, 1901-  Search this
Ernst, Max, 1891-1976  Search this
Flavin, Dan, 1933-  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Giacometti, Alberto, 1901-1966  Search this
Hamilton, Richard, 1922-  Search this
Hélion, Jean, 1904-1987  Search this
Knowlton, Grace, 1932-  Search this
Koczy, Rosemarie, 1939-2007  Search this
Kolář, Jiří, 1914-2002  Search this
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Martin, Agnes, 1912-2004  Search this
Moore, Henry, 1898-1986  Search this
Rickey, George  Search this
Simonds, Charles, 1945-  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Extent:
4.6 Linear Feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Transcripts
Diaries
Date:
1949-2010
Summary:
The papers of New York museum director and independent curator Thomas M. Messer measure 4.6 linear feet and date from 1949-2010. Material includes correspondence, a diary transcript, and printed material that reflect Messer's long career, primarily as director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Correspondence comprises the bulk of the collection and documents the relationships he built with artists, art historians, curators, and others colleagues. Notable correspondents include Francis Bacon, Will Barnet, Larry Bell, Alberto Burri, Pol Bury, Marc Chagall, Chryssa, Jean Dubuffet, Max Ernst, Dan Flavin, Helen Frankenthaler, Alberto Giacometti, Richard Hamilton, Jean Hélion, Grace Knowlton, Rosemarie Koczy, Jirí Kolár, Katharine Kuh, Agnes Martin, Henry Moore, George Rickey, Charles Simonds, Clyfford Still, Jack Tworkov, and many others.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York museum director and independent curator Thomas M. Messer measure 4.6 linear feet and date from 1949-2010. Material includes correspondence, a diary transcript, and printed material that reflect Messer's long career, primarily as director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Correspondence comprises the bulk of the collection and documents the relationships he built with artists, art historians, curators, and others colleagues. Notable correspondents include Francis Bacon, Will Barnet, Larry Bell, Alberto Burri, Pol Bury, Marc Chagall, Chryssa, Jean Dubuffet, Max Ernst, Dan Flavin, Helen Frankenthaler, Alberto Giacometti, Richard Hamilton, Jean Hélion, Grace Knowlton, Rosemarie Koczy, Jirí Kolár, Katharine Kuh, Agnes Martin, Henry Moore, George Rickey, Charles Simonds, Clyfford Still, Jack Tworkov, and many others.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as three series Series 1: Correspondence, 1962-2010 (4 linear feet; Box 1-4) Series 2: Diary Transcript, 2007-2009 (0.02 gigabytes; ER01) Series 3: Printed Material, 1949-1987 (0.6 linear feet; Box 5-6)
Biographical / Historical:
Thomas Messer (1920-2013) was a museum director and independent curator in New York, New York. Born and raised in Czechoslovakia, Messer became a United States citizen in 1944 and served in the United States Army in World War II. He earned his bachelor's degree from Boston University and studied at the Sorbonne in France before returning to the United States to study art history and museology at Harvard University. After obtaining his graduate degree, Messer was the director of the Roswell Museum in Roswell, New Mexico and then of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. In 1961, Messer became the director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which includes the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy. Messer retired from his position there in 1988 and became a freelance curator, teacher, writer, and arts consultant.
Related Materials:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are two oral history interviews with Thomas Messer conducted by Paul Cummings in 1970 and by Andrew Decker in 1994-1995.
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives of American Art in 1995 by Thomas Messer and in 2016 by the Thomas Messer estate via Adam Lehner, executor.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Use of electronic records requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Thomas M. Messer 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.
Occupation:
Art museum directors -- United States  Search this
Topic:
Curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Transcripts
Diaries
Citation:
Thomas M. Messer papers, 1949-2010. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.messthom
See more items in:
Thomas M. Messer papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-messthom