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Gyorgy Kepes papers, 1825-1989, (bulk 1909-1989)

view Gyorgy Kepes papers, 1825-1989, (bulk 1909-1989) digital asset number 1
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001
Dreyfuss, Henry
Mead, Margaret
Le Corbusier
Rickey, George
Chermayeff, Serge
Gabo, Naum
Arnheim, Rudolf
Turner, Joseph Mallord William
Breuer, Marcel
Moholy-Nagy, László
Mondrian, Piet
Ernst, Max
Picasso, Pablo
Hélion, Jean
Capp, Al
Motherwell, Robert Burns
Archipenko, Alexander
Read, Herbert Edward
Adams, Ansel Easton
Gropius, Walter
Calder, Alexander
Salk, Jonas Edward
Albers, Josef
Kepes, Juliet
Huxley, Alduous
Steinberg, Saul
Richter, Hans
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster),
Hayter, Stanley William
Eames, Charles
Oppenheimer, J. Robert
Smith, David
Cage, John
Bertoia, Harry
McLuhan, Marshall
Nervi, Pier Luigi
Piene, Otto
Noguchi, Isamu
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Center for Advanced Visual Studies
Chicago School of Design
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
National Institute of Arts and Letters (U.S.)
New Bauhaus (Chicago, Ill.)
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Physical Description:
26.0 linear ft. (microfilmed on 20 reels)
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Biographical material, correspondence, financial records, notes, writings, interview transcripts, exhibition files, a file for book "Art on a Public Scale", a file for the Times Square Project, art work, printed material, photographs, and audio-visual material reflect Kepes' career as a painter, muralist, designer, filmmaker, educator at the New Bauhaus (Chicago School of Design) and at M.I.T., and as founder of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies.
REEL 1211: Ninety-eight letters to Kepes, 1946-1974, are from colleagues including Josef Albers, Marcel Breuer, Alexander Calder, Charles Eames, Buckminster Fuller, Naum Gabo, Walter Gropius, Robert Motherwell, Pier Luigi Nervi, and Hans Richter. One letter each was received from Ansel Adams, Alexander Archipenko, Al Capp, Alduous Huxley, Le Corbusier, Margaret Mead, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Piet Mondrian, Isamu Noguchi, Robert Oppenheimer, Herbert Read, and David Smith.
REELS 5303-5321: Biographical material, 1940-1980, includes biographical sketches, diplomas, membership certificates, and award medals and certificates. General correspondence, 1936-1986, is between Kepes and colleagues including Josef Albers, Rudolf Arnheim, Marcel Breuer, Alexander Calder, Henry Dreyfuss, Walter Gropius, S. W. Hayter, Jean Helion, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, George Rickey, and various colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Correspondence files, 1946-1976, contain letters and printed material concerning six arts organizations, including the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Institute of Arts and Letters.
Financial records, 1963-1974, consist of a record of personal checks and miscellaneous receipts. Notes, 1940-1974, include lists of art work, mailing lists, minutes of meetings, lecture notes, notes concerning exhibitions and publications, and miscellaneous notes. Writings consist of typescripts of lectures, grant proposals, and essays by Kepes and others. Interview transcripts are of the Urban Forum Seminar with John Cage, James T. Farrell, and Andreas Feininger, by Kepes, 1954, and of an interview of Kepes for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1968.
Exhibition files, 1963-1968, contain correspondence, writings, printed material, and photographs concerning the "Light as a Creative Medium" exhibition and the Triennale di Milano. A book file, 1970-1974, contains correspondence, notes, and writings connected with "Art on a Public Scale". The Times Square Project file, 1972-1974, contains correspondence, notes, writings, printed material, and photographs. Art work, 1924-1985, includes 2 sketchbooks, 450 annotated sketches by Kepes and others, caricatures for "The Emperor's New Clothes", 4 undated stencils of numerical and elliptical forms; and posters. Printed material, 1825-1989, includes clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs for Kepes, his wife Juliet, and others, press releases, lecture announcements, prospectuses, calendars of events, programs, brochures, booklets, books, reproductions of art work, blueprints, and miscellaneous printed material.
Photographs, 1909-1988, are of Kepes, his family, students, studio, exhibition installations, art work, and the work of others. Photographs of colleagues include Harry Bertoia, Alexander Calder, Serge Chermayeff, Max Ernst, Buckminster Fuller, Marshall McLuhan, Margaret Mead, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Otto Piene, Herbert Read, Jonas Salk, and Saul Steinberg. One lantern slide shows Picasso creating a design with a light. There are photographs of the works of old masters, cityscapes, architectural details, and mechanical devices, used as teaching tools, and photographic prints of x-rays and photomicrographs showing experiments with light and other natural phenomena. A reel of microfilm from the British Museum contains the notes of J. M. W. Turner.
Audio-visual material, 1953-1972, consists of reel-to-reel audio tapes of interviews, lectures, and symposia, and motion picture film of interviews, art-related programs, and student projects, many of which were transferred to VHS. A few oversize documents have not been microfilmed.
Gyorgy Kepes papers, 1825-1989, (bulk 1909-1989). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Additional Forms:
Microfilm reels 1211 and 5303-5321 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
Location of Originals:
Reel 1211: Originals returned to Gyorgy Kepes after microfilming.
Funding for the preservation and transfer of 4 reels of motion picture film provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee
Use Note:
Authorization to publish, quote or reproduce must be obtained from: Juliet Kepes Stone, 29B Jay St., Cambridge, Mass. 02139, or Imre Kepes, 11 Arnold Road, West Pelham, Mass. 01002-9757
Biography Note:
Painter, muralist, designer, filmmaker, educator; Cambridge, Mass. Born 1906. Died Dec. 29, 2001. Born in Selyp, Hungary, Kepes studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest, working with Moholy-Nagy in Berlin and London before joining him at the New Bauhaus (later the Chicago Institute of Design) in 1937. From1946-1980 he was professor of visual design at MIT, as well as director of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies from 1967-1974.
Language Note:
A typescript is in Braille.
A letter and a clipping are in Dutch.
Nineteen letters, six typescripts, three clippings, and six exhibition catalogs are in French.
Several letters and printed items are in German.
Several letters, a manuscript, and printed items are in Hungarian.
Several letters and printed material are: In Italian.
Ten letters are in Russian.
Several letters, and printed items are in Spanish.
Material on reel 1211 was lent for microfilming 1974 by Gyorgy Kepes. He donated material on reels 5303-5321 in several installments from 1974-1993.
Location Note:
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Art festivals
Design, Industrial
Works of art
Art and technology
Sound recordings
Slides (photographs)
Glass painting and staining
Motion pictures (visual works)
Record number:
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Art Movements and Schools
Architecture & Design
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource
Data Source:
Archives of American Art

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