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Martin Birnbaum papers, 1862-1967

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Birnbaum, Martin, 1878-1970
Beardsley, Aubrey
Beaux, Cecilia
Bruce, Edward
Bufano, Beniamino
CÂdès, George
Chanler, Robert Winthrop
Choate, Mabel
Clark, Stephen C. (Stephen Carlton),
Davis, Edmund
Davis, Reginald
Despiau, Charles
Diederich, William Hunt
Dillingham, Louise
Douglas, Norman
Dulac, Edmund
Fernández, Luis
Haseltine, Herbert
Hoffman, Malvina
Hoowij, Jan
Jacobs, Leonebel
John, Augustus
Jones, Lois Mailou
Kester, Lenard
Manship, Paul Howard
McIlhenny, Henry P. (Henry Plumer)
Melchers, Gari
Nadelman, Elie
Parmelee, James
Parrish, Maxfield
Potterton, Alfred B.
Richter, Gisela Marie Augusta
Ricketts, Charles S.
Rock, Joseph Francis Charles
Rothenstein, William
Sargent, John Singer
Scott, Stevenson
Scudder, Janet
Sinclair, Upton
Sprinchorn, Carl
Stein, Leo
Sterne, Maurice
Sterner, Albert
Werntz, Carl N. (Carl Newland)
Wilson, Stanley
Winthrop, Grenville Lindall
Fogg Art Museum
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Scott & Fowles (Firm)
Place of publication, production, or execution:
United States
Physical Description:
3.2 linear feet
Access Note / Rights:
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 archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
The papers of New York art dealer, critic, and author Martin Birnbaum measure 3.2 linear feet and date from 1862-1967, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920-1967. The papers document Birnbaum's association with the firm of Scott and Fowles, the lives and activities of his friends and colleagues, and his literary work, through biographical material, correspondence, writings and notes, business records, printed material, a scrapbook, scattered artwork, and photographs of Birnbaum, friends and colleagues, and artwork.
Correspondence, primarily letters received by Birnbaum in New York, and throughout Europe from 1917-1960s, reflects Birnbaum's association with Scott and Fowles, particularly Stevenson Scott, and includes many details about the lives and activities of his correspondents, among them: artists Edward Bruce, Cecilia Beaux, Beniamino Bufano, Stephen C. Clark, Louise Dillingham, William Hunt Diedrich, Luis Fernandez, Herbert Haseltine, Jan Hoowij, Malvina Hoffman, Leonebel Jacobs, Lenard Kester, Lois Mailou Jones, Paul Manship, Gari Melchers, Maxfield Parrish, Charles S. Ricketts, William Rothenstein, John Singer Sargent, Janet Scudder, Carl Sprinchorn, Maurice Sterne, Albert Sterner, Carl N. Wertz, and Stanley Wilson. Also found is correspondence with art collectors and patrons including Mabel Choate, Edmund Davis, Reginald Davis, Henry P. McIlhenny, James Parmalee, Edith Wetmore, and Grenville Windall Linthrop, and museums including the Fogg Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and then curator Gisela Marie Augusta Richter, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Correspondence with scholars, writers, and publishers including George Coedes, Edmund Dulac, Joseph Francis Charles Rock, Upton Sinclair and others, documents aspects of Birnbaum's literary and scholarly work.
Writings include drafts of The Last Romantic, including Upton Sinclair's revision, and some of Birnbaum's early published and unpublished writings, as well as notes on Aubrey Beardsley.
Business records include financial records such as bills, receipts, canceled checks and statements for sales of artwork, and scattered legal records.
A small amount of printed material primarily consists of programs for musical events which evidence Birnbaum's early success as a violinist, as well as scattered news clippings, 2 exhibition catalogs, and announcements for the publications of Angkor and the Mandarin Road and The Last Romantic. Additional printed material about Birnbaum can be found in the dismantled scrapbook, 1960-1961.
Artwork includes 2 etchings and a sketch by Birnbaum, bookplates by various artists, circa 10 sketches by other and unidentified artists, and 3 cards with original artwork.
Photographs include snapshots and portraits of Birnbaum and artists and friends, among them: Robert Chanler, Charles Despiau, Norman Douglas, Luis Fernandez, Herbert Haseltine, Augustus John, Paul Manship, Gari Melchers, Elie Nadelman, Albert Sterner, Stevenson Scott, and Grenville Lindall Winthrop. Also found is a photo of Birnbaum with Edward Bruce, Alfred Potterton, Leon Stein, and Maurice Sterne, circa 1915-1916, and photographs proposed for use in The Last Romantic, travel snapshots, and photos of artwork.
Martin Birnbaum papers, 1862-1967. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Additional Forms:
Microfilm reels N698, N698a, N698b, 108, and 1023-1027 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
Location of Originals:
REELS N698-N698A, N698B: Originals returned to lender, Martin Birnbaum, after microfilming.
Biography Note:
New York art dealer, critic, and author Martin Birnbaum (1878-1970) was the manager of the American branch of the Berlin Photographic Company in New York City from 1910-1916, and a longtime partner in the art firm Scott and Fowles.
The collection was donated in an anonymous gift in 1970 and by Martin Birnbaum's great-nephew, Jerome Ziegler, in 1975.
Location Note:
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Art critics
Art dealers
Art galleries, Commercial
Record number:
Lives of American Artists
Government Sponsorship of the Arts
Audio - Visual
The Art Market
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
Additional Online Media:

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