Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 1 digital wav file. Duration is 1 hr.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Harry N. Abrams conducted 1972 March 14, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art. Abrams speaks of his educational background including classes at the National Academy of Design, the Art Students League, and New York University. He recalls his book designs, advertising and mail orders for Schwab and Beatty (1928-1936) and the Book-of-the-Month Club (1936-1950) and his association with Illustrated Modern Library and Illustrated Junior Library.
He discusses the organization and early problems of the Abrams Publishing Company, paperback reprints, translations, foreign publications and successful titles. Abrams speaks of the Abradale Press, the Norman Rockwell series, the Contemporary Painters series; and the characteristics of book club and bookstore customers. The interview concludes with a description of his art collection.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Harry N. Abrams, 1972 March 14. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Harry N. Abrams (1905-1979) was a publisher from New York, New York.
This interview is part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001