Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
The papers of California painter and teacher Erle Loran measure 12.6 linear feet and date from 1912 to 1991. Found are biographical materials; two linear feet of personal and professional correspondence; personal business records; writings which include extensive drafts and notes for Loran's book "Cezanne's Composition"; over 400 items of artwork that include watercolors, drawings, charcoal, and pastel studies; printed materials; photographs of Loran, family, and friends, and artwork; and one audio recording of a lecture by Loran on Cezanne.
Biographical materials include biographical sketches, curriculum vita, a will, notes and a notebook, and an appointment book for 1987. Also found is an anniversary invitation, a certificate from the University of California, and the Pepsi-Cola award for 1948.
Two linear feet of correspondence is with artists, critics, galleries, and universities. Correspondents inlcude Romare Bearden, Andrew Dasburg, Clement Greenberg, John Haley, Dalzell Hatfield, Hans Hofmann, Harry Levinson (president of Permanent Pigments), Sam Sabean, Bertha Schaefer, Clyfford Still, and Ulfert Wilke. There is also correspondence with the University of California.
Personal business records include exhibition files, price and consignment lists, teaching materials, University of California Press records, and records relating to the publication of his book on Cézanne. Some of these records also document Loran's involvement with the Fine Arts Museum, Friends of Ethnic Arts, and the San Francisco Art Institute. Also found there are records related to Loran's role in a donation of forty-five paintings by Hans Hofmann to the University Art Center. Also found are materials related to Loran's activities as an art collector including sales receipts, auction catalogs, and photographs of artwork owned by Loran.
Writings by Loran include a complete manuscript version of "Cézanne's Composition" along with additional notes and drafts, and numerous other short essays on Cézanne's life and art. Loran's other writings include essays about Hans Hofmann, Marsden Hartley, symbology in abstract art, and contemporary art.
Loran's career as an artist is extensively documented by four linear feet of original artwork, mostly preliminary sketches. The work demonstrates a variety of techniques including watercolor, pastel, pencil, pen, gouache, and oil sketches. Content includes landscapes, portraits, fantasy scenes, urban scenes, and rural scenes.
Printed materials include extensive newsclippings from seven decades, exhibition announcements, and exhibition catalogs. Photographs are of Loran, his second wife Clyta, the Loran family, friends and colleagues, artwork, and source materials. Also found within the papers is an audio recording on cassette of a lecture by Loran on Cézanne.
Erle Loran papers, 1912-1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
A small loaned portion of the collection is also available on microfilm reels reel 906 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
Location of Originals:
Reel 906: Originals returned to Erle Loran after microfilming.
Funding for processing of the Erle Loran papers provided by the Getty Foundation.
Separated materials: Photographs of artwork by Erle Loran and two clippings of reproductions of Erle Loran's artwork were loaned for microfilming in 1975 and are available on 35mm microfilm reel 906 at Archives of American Art offices, and through interlibrary loan. These materials are not described in the container listing of the finding aid.
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Erle Loran conducted by Herschel Chipp, June 18, 1981, and a 1981 interview with Erle and Clyta Loran in the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Interviews With Artists collection; and a letter from Loran to Richard Wattenmaker, 1975.
Painter, writer, and teacher Erle Loran (1905-1999) was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but spent most of his life painting and teaching in California. Loran attended University of Minnesota (1922-1923) and Minneapolis School of Art (1924-1926), where he received the Chaloner Foundation Prize (1926) which enabled him to study in France for three years. Particularly interested in Cézanne, he had the good fortune to live in his studio where he immersed himself in Cézanne's world, an experience that was crucial to the development of his artistic vision. Upon his return to the U.S., he published many articles on Cézanne that developed into his pioneering book, "Cézanne's Composition" (1943). In 1937, he joined the art department of the University of California, Berkeley, retiring emeritus professor of art in 1981.
Material donated 1975 by Erle Loran and in 1999 by Mrs. Ruth Schora-Loran, Loran's widow. Material on reel 906 was lent for microfilming by Loran in 1975.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001