Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Association of Philadelphia. Arts Council
Beautiful Bag Co. (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Place of publication, production, or execution:
1.4 linear feet
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
The papers of New York City art entrepreneur, curator, and journalist Joan Kron date from 1959 to 1971 and measure 1.4 linear feet. The papers include correspondence, scattered financial records, notes and writings, printed material, photographs, a sound and video recording, and project/exhibition files concerning Kron's involvement in the 1960s with the exhibtions of the Arts Council of the Young Men's/Women's Hebrew Association (YM/YWHA) of Philadelphia and her business, the Beautiful Bag and Box Co.
Papers relating to Kron's volunteer chairmanship of the Arts Council of the Young Men's/Women's Hebrew Association (YM/YWHA) of Philadelphia include general files concerning the administration and operation of the organization, as well as exhibition files for Art 1963/ A New Vocabulary (1962) and Museum of Merchandise (1967). Files generally consist of correspondence, clippings and other printed materials, notes and writings, photographs, and financial documents. The exhibition files for Art 1963/ A New Vocabulary include a typescript "Dictionary Suggestions" by Billy Kluver which contains slang terms with creative definitions, and photographs of Claes Oldenburg, Billy Kluver, Joan Kron, Sam Maitin, Niki de Saint-Phalle, Audrey Sabol, George Segal, Jean Tinguely, and Robert Watts. The files for Museum of Merchandise contain a painting on paper by Geoffrey Hendricks, a drawing by Ray Johnson, a photograph of fabric designer Karl Rosenberg, a photograph of a wedding dress design by Christo, and a 1/2" open reel videotape made by Nam Jun Paik of Kron's appearance on The Tonight Show.
The records of the Beautiful Bag and Box Co., an art entrepreneurial business created by Kron and her colleague Audrey Sabol, include correspondence, a ledger of sales and deposits, income tax records, miscellaneous invoices, notes and writings, clippings, miscellaneous printed material, and photographs. Also found are project/product files for Art Museum Store, Temporary Tattoos, Durable Dishes designed by Roy Lichtenstein, Eat Pin likely designed by Robert Indiana, Art on Billboards, and Stunning Stationery. The file for project Art on Billboards contains postcards from Allan Kaprow and Jim Dine expressing interest in the project, and a photograph of Edwin and Audrey Sabol on a motorcycle posing in front of a billboard designed by Roy Lichtenstein. There is also a 7 inch audio reel tape recording of a radio program, "Hey, Look at That," containing comments about billboards from Kron, Roy Lichtenstein, architect Robert Venturi, and Evan H. Turner, Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Joan Kron papers, 1959-1971. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The bulk of the collection is available on 35 mm microfilm reels 4224-4225 at Archives of American Art offices, and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the collection as described in this finding aid does not reflect the order of the collection on microfilm. Additionally, a reel-to-reel audio tape recording "Hey Look at That" was transferred to CD in 2003.
Additional copies of microfilm reels 4224-4225 are available at the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Also found in the Archives are selected papers of the Young Men's/Women's Hebrew Association Arts Council that were loaned by Judith Golden for microfilming, and are now available only on microfilm reels 3898. Another small collection of printed material from the YM/WHA records was donated by Acey Wolgin and microfilmed on reel 4340, and transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum Library's vertical files.
Joan Kron (circa 1928- ) is a curator from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Kron was an early member of the Arts Council, a volunteer organization within the Young Men's/Women's Hebrew Association. The Council was committed to bringing new and avant-garde programs in dance, theater, poetry, crafts, and the visual arts. With Audrey Sabol, Kron started The Beautiful Bag Co. through which they realized such projects as Roy Lichtenstein's dinnerware. Another less successful project involved putting art on billboards, resulting in one Lichtenstein billboard.
Donated 1987 by Joan Kron.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001