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Howard Wise Gallery records, 1943-1989

view Howard Wise Gallery records, 1943-1989 digital asset number 1
Howard Wise Gallery
MacAgy, Douglas
Wise, Howard
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Physical Description:
11.4 linear feet
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
The records of the Howard Wise Gallery in New York, and its predecessor the Howard Wise Gallery of Present Day Painting and Sculpture in Cleveland, Ohio, measure 11.4 linear feet and date from 1943-1989. Records consist of correspondence, artist files, exhibition files, business records, and miscellaneous records that document the activities of Wise's gallery in Cleveland from 1957-1961 and, to a much lesser extent, his gallery in New York City from 1960-1968. Wise's influential work with video artists is not documented in the collection as it occurred after the period covered by the records donated to the Archives. There is a 3.0 linear foot addition to the collection, dating 1966-1985, containing 40 video recordings primarily created by Wise documenting several artists among other subjects of interest to Wise, a small notebook with notes on the videos, as well as artist correspondence, exhibition files, photographic slides of works of art and exhibition installations, documents relating to the history of the Howard Wise Gallery, records of loans of artworks to museum exhibitions, writings by Wise, and lists of artworks in his personal collection.
Correspondence (2.0 linear feet) documents the operations of Wise's galleries in Cleveland and New York. A few subject files and a small amount of Howard Wise's personal correspondence (some predating the gallery) are also included in this series.
Artist files (3.25 linear feet) contain varying combinations of correspondence, printed material, notes and writings, and photographs. Most artists represented in this series were affiliated with Howard Wise Gallery either in Cleveland or New York City, but some files are for individuals of potential interest to the gallery. A small series of exhibition files (0.75 feet) containing correspondence, printed material, guest lists, and notes is far from complete. The files primarily document shows presented at Howard Wise Gallery of Present Day Painting and Sculpture in Cleveland, although a few are for exhibitions held in New York.
Business records (2.4 linear feet) include records of cash disbursements that are primarily for Howard Wise's travel and entertainment expenses. Business memoranda and correspondence between the Cleveland and New York galleries document sales, inventory, shipments and financial information. Miscellaneous records (3 folders) consist of writings by Howard Wise and Douglas MacAgy, and photographs of the Howard Wise Gallery of Present Day Painting and Sculpture in Cleveland.
Video recordings in the 3.0 linear foot unprocessed addition are mainly by Howard Wise and include video portraits of artists and community figures, home movies, openings, studio visits, social gatherings, performances, panel discussions primarily recorded in Wellfleet, Mass., with subjects including Serge Chermayeff, Ethel Edwards, Marcel Breuer, Isaac Asimov, Jean Dubuffet's Cou Cou Bazaar, Robert Jay Lifton, Juliet Kepes, Sidney Simon, Castle Hill Art School, Left Bank and Cove Galleries, Al Jensen at Pace Galleries, Xavier Gonzalez, Lilli Saarinen, Jack and Marty Hall, Bobby and Priscilla Baker, Castle Hill Pottery, Thomas Messer, Edwin Dickenson, Jack Tworkov, Cherry Stone Gallery, Olaf and Marianne Hammerstein, and Gyorgy Kepes. Also found are a video by Hannah Wilke and a video copy of a film by Len Lye. A small notebook is found documenting video recordings made by Wise. Correspondence in the unprocessed addition includes letters between Wise and Charlotte Moorman and Vassilakis Takis and a letter from Archibald Cox, and exhibition files contain documentation of performances by Moorman.
Howard Wise Gallery records, 1943-1989. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Location of Originals:
Reel N70-77: Originals returned to Howard Wise Gallery after microfilming.
Related Materials:
Materials consisting of publicity, correspondence, exhibition plans, text of an exhibition catalog, and photographs relating to Howard Kiesler were loaned to the Archives for microfilming in 1970 on reels N70-77, and returned to the Howard Wise Gallery. These records are not further described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Howard Wise conducted by Paul Cummings on February 22, 1971. The Harvard Art Museum Archives also holds archival records of the Howard Wise Gallery.
Biography Note:
The Howard Wise Gallery (established 1960, closed 1971) was an art gallery in New York , N.Y. and Cleveland, Ohio. Wise opened the New York gallery in 1960 after several years in Cleveland. The gallery specialized in kinetic art and light sculpture. In 1971, he closed the gallery to concentrate on Electronic Arts Intermix, an arts support group in the New York area, and then moved to Wellfleet, Mass.
The Howard Wise Gallery records were donated to the Archives of American Art in 1971 by Howard Wise and in 2011 by Barbara Wise, Howard Wise's widow via Dana Kasarsky, Wise's daughter-in-law.
Location Note:
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Art galleries, Commercial
Art galleries, Commercial
Art, Modern
Kinetic sculpture
Video art
Record number:
The Art Market
Art Gallery Records
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
Additional Online Media:

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