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Catalog Data

Creator:
Roberts, Colette, 1910-  Search this
Names:
British Broadcasting Corporation  Search this
Grand Central Moderns (Gallery)  Search this
Le Point Cardinal (Gallery)  Search this
New York University -- Faculty  Search this
Bauermeister, Mary, 1934-  Search this
Bearden, Romare, 1911-1988  Search this
Chryssa, 1933-  Search this
Dehner, Dorothy, 1901-1994  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Ferren, John, 1905-1970  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-  Search this
Karp, Ivan C., 1926-2012  Search this
Le Prat, Thérèse  Search this
Lindner, Richard, 1901-  Search this
Marisol, 1930-  Search this
Moy, Seong  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
O'Doherty, Brian  Search this
Ray, Man, 1890-1976  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967 -- Photographs  Search this
Schwabacher, Ethel, 1903-1984  Search this
Sterne, Hedda, 1910-  Search this
Vieira da Silva, Maria Helena, 1908-1992  Search this
Extent:
10.2 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Transcripts
Reviews (documents)
Interviews
Articles
Notes
Manuscripts
Photographs
Sound recordings
Date:
1918-1971
Summary:
The papers of New York City and Paris art historian, educator, and gallerist Colette Roberts measure 10.2 linear feet and date from 1918 to 1971. Papers include correspondence, writings, teaching records, project proposals, gallery records from Grand Central Moderns Gallery, clippings, Roberts' printed articles, press releases, exhibition catalogs, posters, photographs, and a few works of art on paper. Also found are 124 interviews with contemporary artists conducted by Roberts.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of New York City and Paris art historian, educator, and gallerist Colette Roberts measure 10.2 linear feet and date from 1918 to 1971. Papers include correspondence, writings, teaching records, project proposals, gallery records from Grand Central Moderns Gallery, clippings, Roberts' printed articles, press releases, exhibition catalogs, posters, photographs, and a few works of art on paper. Also found are 124 interviews with contemporary artists conducted by Roberts. Significant correspondents include Sam Adler, Erwin Barrie, Hubert Damisch, George Deem, Mesdames de Harting and de Tinan, Lamar Dodd, Hélène Drude (Le Point Cardinal gallery), Arne Ekstrom, Albert M. Fine (Fluxus artist), Iqbal Geoffrey, R.G. Gilllet, Adolph Gottlieb, Cleve Gray, Leon Hartl, Jennett Lam, Alberto Cifolelli Lamb, Mike Nevelson, Norman Norotzky, Jacqueline Pavlowsky, Abe Rattner, Ad Reinhardt, H. Sandberg, Philippe Stern, Russell Twiggs, and Zuka. Writings by Roberts include manuscripts and articles about artists, writings about her own art, personal writings, working notes from interviews and classes, reviews, and translations between English and French. Among the personal records are Robert's files relating to teaching, charitable activities, and exhibitions. Also found are gallery records from Grand Central Moderns Gallery, including artist résumés, a card file of artworks with provenance information, exhibition catalogs and announcements, membership records, posters, publicity, and sales records. Printed materials in the collection include clippings, Roberts' printed articles, press releases, and other exhibition catalogs and announcements. Photographs are of Roberts, artists, including Ad Reinhardt, classes, art spaces, and works of art. A small number of artworks on paper are also found, including Fluxus art stamps and a printed picture of Ray Johnson stamped "DOUGHNUT FESTIVAL." Documentation of interviews with artists conducted by Roberts includes a card index file, a few transcripts, and the original sound recordings. Most of the recordings are interviews with artists that Roberts created during a class she taught at New York University between 1957 and 1971 called "Meet the Artist," including Mary Bauermeister, Romare Bearden, Dorothy Dehner, John Ferren, Ray Johnson, Ivan Karp, Thérèse Le Prat, Richard Lindner, Marisol, Seong Moy, Brian O'Doherty, Man Ray, Ethel Schwabacher, Hedda Sterne, Marie Helena Vieira da Silva, and many others. In preparation for magazine articles, Roberts conducted more extensive interviews with Chryssa, Marcel Duchamp, Adolph Gottlieb, and Louise Nevelson. A few of the recordings of Marcel Duchamp were not created by Roberts. In all, over 100 artists are represented in Roberts' interviews. Other recordings found include lectures and interviews conducted by people other than Roberts.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 8 series: Series 1: Correspondence, 1918-1971 (Box 1, 0.5 linear feet) Series 2: Notes and Writings, 1936-1970 (Box 1, 0.3 linear feet) Series 3: Personal Records, 1944-1971 (Box 1-2, 11; 0.7 linear feet) Series 4: Grand Central Moderns Gallery Records, 1952-1970 (Box 2-3, 11; 0.7 linear feet) Series 5: Printed Material, 1938-1971 (Box 3-5, 11-12; 2.0 linear feet) Series 6: Photographs, 1930-1971 (Box 5; 0.2 linear feet) Series 7: Artwork, 1940-1969 (Box 5; 4 folders) Series 8: Interviews with Artists, 1959-1971 (Box 5-10; 5.5 lienar feet)
Biographical Note:
Colette Roberts was a French artist, curator, gallery director, and scholar who emigrated to the United States in 1939, settling in New York City and remaining there until her death in 1971. Roberts was born in Paris, France in 1910. She studied art with Roger Bissière at the Académie Ranson and with Henry Focillon at the Ecole du Louvre, and she later attended the Institut d'Art et Archeologie at the Sorbonne. Roberts came to the United States in 1939, settling in New York City, and became an American citizen three years later. In her early years in the United States, Roberts lectured and wrote on art and literature, and was active in various war-relief organizations, raising money and organizing benefits for organizations such as the American Red Cross and UNICEF. She was the gallery director for the National Association of Women Artists' Argent Galleries from 1947 to 1949, secretary to the curator of Far Eastern Art at New York's Metropolitan Museum from 1950 to 1951, and art editor for "France Amérique," the French-language newspaper in New York, beginning in 1953. Roberts became gallery director of the Grand Central Moderns Gallery (New York, NY) in 1952 and remained in that position until 1968, when the gallery closed. The gallery was opened in 1946 by Erwin S. Barrie of the Grand Central Galleries for the promotion of living American artists. Among the artists represented there were Jennett Lam and Seong Moy. During this period she was also an instructor at New York University and Queens College, teaching art history and contemporary art. In 1957, she began a course at New York University called "Meet the Artist," for which she took her classes to the studios of working artists to see and discuss their work. In the early 1960s, she began to tape record her interviews of artists for this course, a practice which continued until her death in 1971. In 1968, Roberts worked briefly as Gallery Director for the A.M. Sachs Gallery (New York, NY), and as an oral history interviewer for the Archives of American Art. Roberts wrote extensively on contempoary art, including articles and monographs on Mark Tobey (1960, Grove Press), Louise Nevelson (1964, The Pocket Museum), and Marcel Duchamp. She was a regular contributor to Aujourd'hui and Art and Architecture magazines.
Related Material:
Additional papers and recordings of Colette Roberts are held by Syracuse University Library Special Collections Research Center.
Separated Material:
A copy of a 1967 oral history with Adolf Gottlieb conducted by Dorothy Seckler for the Archives of American Art oral history program, which was found in Roberts' papers, has been returned to the Archives' oral history collection.
Provenance:
The sound recordings and transcripts of interviews with artists, were donated by Colette Roberts in 1970. The remaining papers were donated by her son, Richard B. Roberts, in 1973.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Colette Roberts papers and interviews with artists 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 galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Fluxus (Group of artists)  Search this
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Transcripts
Reviews (documents)
Interviews
Articles
Notes
Manuscripts
Photographs
Sound recordings
Citation:
Colette Roberts papers and interviews with artists, circa 1930-1971. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.robecoli
See more items in:
Colette Roberts Papers and Interviews with Artists
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-robecoli