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Dwan Gallery (Dwan, Virginia)

Collection Creator:
Smithson, Robert  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 31
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1966-1971
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers, 1905-1987, bulk 1952-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-smitrobe-ref48

Virginia Dwan, New York, New York letter to town clerk, Tuckerton, New Jersey

Creator:
Dwan, Virginia, 1931-  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1967 April 21
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)11618
See more items in:
Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers, 1905-1987, bulk 1952-1987
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_11618
Additional Online Media:

Virginia Dwan

Subject:
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1969
Topic:
Gallery directors  Search this
Portraits  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)8801
See more items in:
Dwan Gallery (Los Angeles, California and New York, New York) records, 1959-circa 1982, bulk 1959-1971
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_8801

Robert Smithson collecting sand in Pine Barrens, New Jersey

Photographer:
LeWitt, Sol, 1928-2007  Search this
Subject:
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Holt, Nancy  Search this
Peacock, Mary  Search this
Smithson, Robert  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Place:
New Jersey
Date:
1968 January
Topic:
Earthworks (Art)  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)11612
See more items in:
Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers, 1905-1987, bulk 1952-1987
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_11612
Additional Online Media:

Reproduction of Walter De Maria telegram to Virginia Dwan

Photographer:
Russell, Walter  Search this
Subject:
De Maria, Walter  Search this
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Dwan Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1970?
Topic:
Earthworks (Art)  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)18004
See more items in:
Dwan Gallery (Los Angeles, California and New York, New York) records, 1959-circa 1982, bulk 1959-1971
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_18004
Additional Online Media:

Oral history interview with George Herms, 1993 Dec. 8-1994 Mar 10

Interviewee:
Herms, George, 1935-  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J., 1941-  Search this
Subject:
Kienholz, Edward  Search this
Berman, Wallace  Search this
Di Prima, Diane  Search this
Lamantia, Philip  Search this
Hopps, Walter  Search this
McClure, Michael  Search this
Asher, Betty M.  Search this
Parker, Charlie  Search this
Alexander, Robert  Search this
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Ferus Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Topic:
Beat generation  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12275
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215576
AAA_collcode_herms93
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_215576
Additional Online Media:

Oral history interview with Robert Smithson, 1972 July 14-19

Interviewee:
Smithson, Robert, 1938-1973  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul, 1933-  Search this
Subject:
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Topic:
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Sound recordings  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Sculpture, Modern  Search this
Environmental artists  Search this
Art  Search this
Conceptual artists  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Painters  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12013
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212421
AAA_collcode_smiths72
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212421
Additional Online Media:

Oral history interview with Jeffrey Deitch, 2006 May 15

Interviewee:
Deitch, Jeffrey, 1950-  Search this
Interviewer:
McElhinney, James, 1952-  Search this
Subject:
Panza, Giuseppe  Search this
Acconci, Vito Hannibal  Search this
Andre, Carl  Search this
Callahan, Harry M. (Harry Morey)  Search this
Ray, Charles  Search this
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Haring, Keith  Search this
Pretto, Julian  Search this
Beecroft, Vanessa  Search this
Koons, Jeff  Search this
Halley, Peter  Search this
John Weber Gallery  Search this
Wesleyan University (Middletown, Conn.)  Search this
Harvard Business School  Search this
Topic:
Sound recordings  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Art dealers  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13556
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)258750
AAA_collcode_deitch06
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_258750
Additional Online Media:

Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers, 1905-1987, bulk 1952-1987

Creator:
Smithson, Robert, 1938-1973  Search this
Holt, Nancy, 1938-  Search this
Subject:
Valledor, Leo  Search this
Atkinson, Terry  Search this
Johnson, Ray  Search this
Andre, Carl  Search this
Heizer, Michael  Search this
Long, Richard  Search this
Lippard, Lucy R.  Search this
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
LeWitt, Sol  Search this
Jenney, Neil  Search this
Haacke, Hans  Search this
Insley, Will  Search this
Graham, Dan  Search this
Wheeler, Dennis  Search this
Flavin, Dan  Search this
Oppenheim, Dennis  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy  Search this
Dibbets, Jan  Search this
Topic:
Photographs  Search this
Greeting cards  Search this
Earthworks (Art)  Search this
Scrapbooks  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Transcripts  Search this
Sketches  Search this
Filmmakers  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Art  Search this
Motion pictures (visual works)  Search this
Authors  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7105
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209239
AAA_collcode_smitrobe
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209239
Additional Online Media:

Exhibition records of the Contemporary Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art, 1943-1975

Creator:
Finch College. Museum of Art  Search this
Varian, Elayne H. (Elayne Hanley), 1913-1987  Search this
Subject:
Castelli, Leo  Search this
O'Doherty, Brian  Search this
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Feigen, Richard L.  Search this
Brooks, James  Search this
Siegelaub, Seth  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph  Search this
Acconci, Vito Hannibal  Search this
Smith, Tony  Search this
Insley, Will  Search this
Mazur, Michael  Search this
Jackson, Martha Kellogg  Search this
Anderson, David K.  Search this
Kirby, Michael  Search this
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Chase, Doris Totten  Search this
Benglis, Lynda  Search this
Hollander, Irwin  Search this
Janis, Sidney  Search this
Davis, Douglas  Search this
Richter, Hans  Search this
Cross, Lloyd G.  Search this
Graham, Dan  Search this
Benyon, Margaret  Search this
Meyer, Ursula  Search this
Nauman, Bruce  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy  Search this
Sonfist, Alan  Search this
Levine, Les  Search this
Varian, Elayne H. (Elayne Hanley)  Search this
Weiner, Sam  Search this
Wise, Howard  Search this
Glimcher, Arnold B.  Search this
Bochner, Mel  Search this
Topic:
Sculptors  Search this
Painters  Search this
Art, Modern  Search this
Museum administrators  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Museum curators  Search this
Museum records  Search this
Video artists  Search this
Gallery directors  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)8114
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)210285
AAA_collcode_finccoll
Theme:
Communities, Organizations, Museums
Art Gallery Records
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_210285
Additional Online Media:

Dwan Gallery (Los Angeles, California and New York, New York) records, 1959-circa 1982, bulk 1959-1971

Creator:
Dwan Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Subject:
Andre, Carl  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert  Search this
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Weber, John  Search this
Anastasi, William  Search this
Kline, Franz  Search this
Parker, Raymond  Search this
Guston, Philip  Search this
Richenburg, Robert  Search this
Saint-Phalle, Niki de  Search this
LeWitt, Sol  Search this
Rivers, Larry  Search this
Goodnough, Robert  Search this
Arakawa, Shusaku  Search this
Kienholz, Edward  Search this
Klein, Yves  Search this
Mitchell, Joan  Search this
Flavin, Dan  Search this
Snelson, Kenneth  Search this
Raysse, Martial  Search this
Smithson, Robert  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes  Search this
Scarpitta, Salvatore  Search this
Morris, Robert  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad  Search this
Arman  Search this
Dwan Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Topic:
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Minimal art  Search this
Slides (photographs)  Search this
Art  Search this
Photographs  Search this
Artists  Search this
Nouveaux réalistes (Group of artists)  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Earthworks (Art)  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6056
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216037
AAA_collcode_dwangall
Theme:
Art Movements and Schools
Art Gallery Records
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_216037
Additional Online Media:

Virginia Dwan and Dwan Gallery / Germano Celant

Author:
Celant, Germano  Search this
Subject:
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Dwan Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.) History  Search this
Dwan Gallery (New York, N.Y.) History  Search this
Physical description:
403 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm
Type:
Biography
History
Place:
New York (State)
New York
California
Los Angeles
Date:
2016
Topic:
Women art collectors  Search this
Art museums  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1093469

Dwan Gallery records

Creator:
Dwan Gallery  Search this
Names:
Dwan Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Dwan Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Anastasi, William, 1933-  Search this
Andre, Carl, 1935-  Search this
Arakawa, Shusaku, 1936-  Search this
Arman, 1928-2005  Search this
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Flavin, Dan, 1933-  Search this
Goodnough, Robert, 1917-  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Kienholz, Edward, 1927-  Search this
Klein, Yves, 1928-1962  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
LeWitt, Sol, 1928-2007  Search this
Mitchell, Joan, 1926-1992  Search this
Morris, Robert, 1931-  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Parker, Raymond, 1922-  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-  Search this
Raysse, Martial, 1936-  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Richenburg, Robert  Search this
Rivers, Larry, 1925-  Search this
Saint-Phalle, Niki de, 1930-  Search this
Scarpitta, Salvatore, 1919-  Search this
Smithson, Robert  Search this
Snelson, Kenneth, 1927-  Search this
Weber, John, 1932-2008  Search this
Extent:
2.3 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Slides (photographs)
Date:
1959-circa 1982
bulk 1959-1971
Summary:
The Dwan Gallery records measure 2.3 linear feet and consist primarily of files of exhibitions curated by Virginia Dwan at Dwan Galleries in Los Angeles (1959-1967) and New York (1965-1971). Found within this nearly comprehensive set of exhibition files may be lists of exhibited works, price lists, photographs, slides or color transparencies of installations, invitations, full-size posters, magazine and newspaper clippings and exhibition catalogs.
Scope and Contents:
The Dwan Gallery records measure 2.3 linear feet and consist primarily of files of exhibitions curated by Virginia Dwan at Dwan Galleries in Los Angeles (1959-1967) and New York (1965-1971). Found within this nearly comprehensive set of exhibition files may be lists of exhibited works, price lists, photographs, slides or color transparencies of installations, invitations, full-size posters, magazine and newspaper clippings and exhibition catalogs.

Artists that held exhibitions at the Dwan Gallery in New York and Los Angeles include: Robert Goodnough, Robert Richenburg, Larry Rivers, Philip Guston, Yves Klein, Salvatore Scarpitta, Arakawa, Martial Raysse, Ad Reinhardt, Arman, Franz Kline, Edward Kienholz, Claes Oldenburg, Niki de Sainte Phalle, Joan Mitchell, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Morris, Dan Flavin, Raymond Parker, Kenneth Snelson, Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt, Robert Smithson, and Anastasi. Also, the exhibition files are nearly comprehensive and include: Language to be Looked at and/or Things to be Read annual series (1967-1970), Boxes (1964), Earth Works (1968), My Country 'tis of Thee (1962) and 10 (1967 and 1968). Many of the multiple artist shows were created and organized by gallery director John Weber and/or Virginia Dwan. Many of these exhibition files include full-sized posters and panoramic photos showing installations.

Also found are records created by a consulting firm hired by the Dwan Gallery to inventory the exhibition files prior to donation to the Archives of American Art. These guides appear at the beginning of each series and outline a chronology of exhibitions held at each branch.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into two series:

Series 1: Los Angeles Exhibition Files, 1959-1967, after 1981 (Box 1-2, 5, OV6, OV8; 1.3 linear feet)

Series 2: New York Exhibition Files, 1965-1971, after 1982 (Box 2-4, OV7; 1.0 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
In 1959, Virginia Dwan opened her first gallery on 1091 Broxton Avenue in the Westwood Village neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Her independent wealth allowed her to open a gallery without worrying about business and sales. Three years after opening, the Dwan Gallery moved into a new Westwood Village space especially designed to express the gallery's contemporary aesthetic. In 1965, Virginia Dwan moved to New York City and founded an east coast branch of the Dwan Gallery at 29 West 57th Street.

Early exhibitions at the Dwan Gallery showed Abstract Expressionist artists and works of art from New York which Dwan consigned from other galleries. After traveling to New York and France, Virginia Dwan's interests and tastes manifested in exhibitions by 1961 with Yves Klein. Through Klein, Dwan made connections to other Nouveaux Réalistes artists that the gallery featured in solo and group shows. Later exhibitions featured Land and Minimilist artists. Dwan recognized that many of her shows were not considered salable but continued to show the avant-garde. She saw the gallery as an opportunity to expose the public to different styles of art.

Virginia Dwan maintained a close and personal relationship with many of her artists. She allowed large stipends to gallery artists and invited them to spend time at her home in Malibu, California. When working with artists concentrating on found objects, Dwan would accompany them on scavenger hunts and shopping trips. In the case of Robert Smithson and other Land Art artists, she traveled to offsite locations to visit works of art in progress. Dwan relied on her longtime gallery director, John Weber to interact with collectors as she preferred to maintain her connection with the artists.

The Dwan Gallery Los Angeles closed in mid-1967 but the New York branch remained open. By 1971, Virginia Dwan felt pressure to support her thirteen artists through a period of economic insecurity. She decided to close the gallery secretly and only informed her artists at the last minute. The final exhibition at Dwan Gallery New York closed in June of 1971.
Related Materials:
Also found within the Archives of American Art is an interview with Virginia Dwan conducted March 21 through June 1, 1984 by Charles Stuckey.
Separated Materials:
Dwan Gallery exhibition catalogs that were donated to the Archives in 1989 were transferred to the Smithsonian Institution American Art and National Portrait Gallery Library.

Bard College's Center for Curatorial Studies and Art in Contemporary Culture holds Dwan Gallery materials related to exhibitions in the Library and Archives.
Provenance:
The Dwan Gallery records were donated in 1996 by Virginia Dwan, the former owner of the gallery.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Dwan Gallery records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Art -- New York (State) -- New York -- Exhibitions  Search this
Art -- California -- Los Angeles -- Exhibitions  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Earthworks (Art)  Search this
Minimal art  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Artists -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Slides (photographs)
Citation:
Dwan Gallery records, 1959-circa 1982, bulk 1959-1971. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.dwangall
See more items in:
Dwan Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-dwangall
Additional Online Media:

Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers

Creator:
Smithson, Robert  Search this
Names:
Dwan Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art  Search this
Andre, Carl, 1935-  Search this
Atkinson, Terry, 1939-  Search this
Dibbets, Jan, 1941-  Search this
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Flavin, Dan, 1933-  Search this
Graham, Dan, 1942-  Search this
Haacke, Hans, 1936-  Search this
Heizer, Michael, 1944-  Search this
Holt, Nancy, 1938-  Search this
Insley, Will, 1929-2011  Search this
Jenney, Neil, 1945-  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
LeWitt, Sol, 1928-2007  Search this
Lippard, Lucy R.  Search this
Long, Richard, 1945-  Search this
Oppenheim, Dennis, 1938-2011  Search this
Valledor, Leo  Search this
Wheeler, Dennis  Search this
Extent:
15.1 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Interviews
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Greeting cards
Photographs
Transcripts
Motion pictures (visual works)
Date:
1905-1987
bulk 1952-1987
Summary:
The papers of sculptor, writer, and earthworks artist Robert Smithson and his wife, sculptor, filmmaker, and earthworks artist Nancy Holt measure 15.1 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1987, with the bulk of the material dating from 1952 to 1987. The papers consist of Smithson's biographical material; business and personal correspondence, much of it with artists; interview transcripts; extensive writings and project files; financial records; printed material; a scrapbook of clippings; holiday cards with original prints and sketches; photographic material; and artifacts. Also found are project files related to Nancy Holt's motion picture film Pine Barrens and her seminal environmental work of art Sun Tunnels, including a video documentary about Sun Tunnels.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of sculptor, writer, and earthworks artist Robert Smithson and his wife, sculptor, filmmaker, and earthworks artist Nancy Holt measure 15.1 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1987, with the bulk of the material dating from 1952 to 1987. The papers consist of Smithson's biographical material; business and personal correspondence, much of it with artists; interview transcripts; extensive writings and project files; financial records; printed material; a scrapbook of clippings; holiday cards with original prints and sketches; photographic material; and artifacts. Also found are project files related to Nancy Holt's film Pine Barrens and her seminal environmental work of art Sun Tunnels, including a video documentary about Sun Tunnels.

Biographical material includes Robert Smithson's curriculum vitae, personal identification and medical documents, eight engagement/day planners Smithson and Holt maintained from 1966 to 1973, and Smithson's funeral register.

Correspondence is primarily with Smithson's family, friends, fellow artists, and business associates discussing personal relationships, proposed art projects, and exhibitions. Correspondents of note include Carl Andre, the Dwan Gallery (Virginia Dwan), Dan Graham, Will Insley, Ray Johnson, Gyorgy Kepes, Sol Lewitt, Lucy Lippard, and Dennis Wheeler. There is also substantial correspondence received by Holt upon Smithson's death in 1973, and between Holt and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art regarding Smithson's retrospective exhibition in 1982.

There are nine interview transcripts with Smithson discussing his works and his general philosophy on art, and one transcript of the Andrew Dickson White Museum's Earth Art Symposium (1969) featuring the following artists: Mike Hiezer, Dennis Oppenheim, Robert Smithson, Neil Jenney, Gunther Uecker, Jan Dibbets, Richard Long, and Hans Haacke.

Writings are substantial and include 73 drafts of published and unpublished essays by Smithson on art, artists, and works in progress. The series also includes poems by Smithson, six notebooks containing notes and sketches by Smithson, and drafts of writings sent to Smithson and Holt by friends and colleagues, including Carl Andre, Terry Atkinson, Dan Flavin, Dan Graham, and Jack Thibeau.

Project files contain correspondence, project instructions, diagrams and sketches, research materials, photographic material, and maps related to over 50 of Smithson's artworks. These include concepts, proposed projects, sculptures, non-sites, and earthwork projects, including Spiral Jetty, Broken Circle, and Spiral Hill.

Personal business records include gallery related loan arrangements and receipts for miscellaneous art supplies. Financial records include tax forms and preparation documents, including cancelled checks, receipts, statements, and related correspondence.

Printed materials include books, clippings, and periodicals related to Smithson, either containing writings or sketches by him, or containing articles reviewing his work. There are also exhibition announcements and catalogs of Smithson's group and solo shows from 1959 to 1985.

The scrapbook contains clippings of Smithson's published articles from 1966 to 1973 with annotated shorthand notes.

Artwork consists of Christmas cards collaged by Smithson, and sketches by Smithson and Leo Valledor.

Photographic materials include prints and negatives of Smithson with friends, promotional Hollywood movie stills, and original prints and copyprints of other artists' artwork.

Artifacts consist of a paper bag silkscreened with a Campbell's soup can (Warhol), promotional buttons (N.E. Thing Co.), various organic materials, and two art kits.

Nancy Holt's papers consist of correspondence, a grant application, printed materials, and project files and audio visual material related to her motion picture film Pine Barrens (1975) and her seminal environmental work of art Sun Tunnels (1975).
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 13 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1905-1974 (Box 1; 14 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1959-1987 (Boxes 1-2, OV 21; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 3: Interview Transcripts, 1966-1973 (Box 2; 11 folders)

Series 4: Writings, 1959-1975 (Boxes 2-3; 1.1 linear feet)

Series 5: Project Files, circa 1950s-1982 (Boxes 4-5, Boxes 17-18, OV 20, OV 22-26, OV 36, RD 28-30, RD 32-35; 6.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Personal Business Records, circa 1967-1970s (Box 5; 4 folders)

Series 7: Financial Records, 1962-1972 (Box 6; 1 linear foot)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1955-1985 (Boxes 7-11, Box 18, RD 31; 5.6 linear feet)

Series 9: Scrapbook, 1966-1973 (Box 11, Box 16; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 10: Artwork, circa 1950s-1970s (Box 11; 4 folders)

Series 11: Photographs, circa 1950s-1970s (Box 11, Box 18; 5 folders)

Series 12: Artifacts, circa 1950s-1970s (Box 11, Box 14, OV 19; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 13: Nancy Holt Papers, circa 1960s-1980s (Box 12-13, 15, OV 27, FC 37-38; 1.9 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Robert Smithson (1938-1973) was the pioneer of land and earthworks art. He was also a noted sculptor, painter, writer, and lecturer working primarily in New York City. Smithson's wife, Nancy Holt (1938-) was a noted sculptor and filmmaker and also worked as an earthworks artist.

Born in Passaic, New Jersey, Smithson expressed an early interest in art, enrolling in classes at the Brooklyn Museum School and the Art Student's League in New York while still attending high school. Smithson's early works were primarily paintings, drawings, and collages. In 1959, he exhibited his first solo show of paintings at the Artists' Gallery in New York and had his first solo international show in Rome with the Galleria George Lester in 1961.

During the early to mid-1960s, Smithson was perhaps better known as a writer and art critic, writing numerous essays and reviews for Arts Magazine and Artforum. He became affiliated with artists who were identified with the minimalist movement, such as Carl Andre, Donald Judd, Nancy Holt, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris and others. In 1963, Smithson married sculptor and filmmaker Nancy Holt and a year later started to create his first sculptural works. In 1966, Smithson joined the Dwan Gallery, whose owner Virginia Dwan was an enthusiastic supporter of his work.

Smithson's interest in land art began in the late 1960s while exploring industrial and quarry sites and observing the movement of earth and rocks. This resulted in a series of sculptures called "non-sites" consisting of earth and rocks collected from a specific site and installed in gallery space, often combined with photographs, maps, mirrors, or found materials. In September 1968, Smithson published the essay "A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects" in Artforum that promoted the work of the first wave of land art artists. Soon thereafter, he began creating his own large scale land art and earthworks.

From 1967 to 1973, Smithson's productivity was constant as he wrote, lectured, and participated in several solo and group shows a year, both at home and abroad. He explored narrative art as essay in "The Monuments of Passaic" and fully committed to his idea of visiting sites and using them as the basis for creating non-sites, Non-Site, Pine Barrens, (1968); incorporated and documented the use of mirrors at sites in Mirror Displacement, Cayuga Salt Mine Project (1968-1969); and created his first site-specific works through liquid pours of mud, asphalt, and concrete, including Asphalt Rundown (1969). In 1969, he also completed his first earth pour at Kent State University with his project Partially Buried Woodshed. Later that year, he created the sculptural artwork for which he is best known, Spiral Jetty (1969) on the Great Salt Lake in Utah. This was the first of his pieces to require the acquisition of land rights and earthmoving equipment, and would be followed two years later by Broken Circle and Spiral Hill in 1971.

On July 20, 1973, while surveying sites in Texas for the proposed Amarillo Ramp, Smithson died in a plane crash at the age of 35. Despite his early death, Smithson's writings and artwork had a major impact on many contemporary artists.

Nancy Holt began her career as a photographer and video artist. Today, Holt is most widely known for her large-scale environmental works, Sun Tunnels and Dark Star Park. Holt has also made a number of films and videos since the late 1960s, including Mono Lake (1968), East Coast, West Coast (1969), and Swamp (1971) in collaboration with her late husband Robert Smithson. Points of View: Clocktower (1974) features conversations between Lucy Lippard and Richard Serra, Liza Bear and Klaus Kertess, Carl Andre and Ruth Kligman and Bruce Brice and Tina Girouard. In 1978, she produced a film about her seminal work Sun Tunnels.
Related Material:
The Archives also holds several collections related to Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt, including an oral history interview with Robert Smithson conducted by Paul Cummings in 1972; an interview with Robert Smithson conducted by Tony Robbin in 1968; Robert Smithson letters to George B. Lester, 1960-1963; and oral history interviews with Nancy Holt conducted by Scott Gutterman in 1992 and Joyce Pomeroy Schwartz in 1993.
Separated Material:
Non-archival library books, periodicals, and phonographs from Robert Smithson's personal library are currently stored offsite.
Provenance:
The papers of Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt were donated by Nancy Holt in several accretions between 1986 and 2011.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Earthworks (Art)  Search this
Filmmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Greeting cards
Photographs
Transcripts
Motion pictures (visual works)
Citation:
Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers, 1905-1987, bulk 1952-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.smitrobe
See more items in:
Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-smitrobe
Additional Online Media:

Los Angeles to New York : Dwan Gallery, 1959-1971 / James Meyer, with Paige Rozanski and Virginia Dwan

Title:
Dwan Gallery, 1959-1971
Dwan Gallery: Los Angeles to New York, 1959-1971
Author:
Meyer, James Sampson 1962-  Search this
Writer of added commentary:
Rozanski, Paige  Search this
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Publisher:
National Gallery of Art (U.S.) Publishing Office  Search this
University of Chicago Press  Search this
Host institution:
National Gallery of Art (U.S.)  Search this
Los Angeles County Museum of Art  Search this
Subject:
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Dwan Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.) History  Search this
Dwan Gallery (New York, N.Y.) History  Search this
Physical description:
408 pages : illustrations (some color), portraits ; 29 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Exhibition catalogs
History
Place:
California
Los Angeles
New York (State)
New York
Date:
2016
20th century
Topic:
Art, Modern--Exhibitions  Search this
Women art dealers  Search this
Women art patrons  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1067002

Interview with Virginia Dwan

Creator:
Dwan, Virginia, 1931-  Search this
Varian, Elayne H. (Elayne Hanley), 1913-1987  Search this
Subject:
Dwan Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Type:
Sound Recording
Date:
1969 April
Topic:
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Dealers  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)12307
See more items in:
Exhibition records of the Contemporary Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art, 1943-1975
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_12307

Exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art

Creator:
Finch College. Museum of Art  Search this
Varian, Elayne H.  Search this
Names:
Acconci, Vito, 1940-  Search this
Anderson, David K., 1935-  Search this
Benglis, Lynda, 1941-  Search this
Benyon, Margaret, 1940-  Search this
Bochner, Mel, 1940-  Search this
Brooks, James, 1906-1992  Search this
Castelli, Leo  Search this
Chase, Doris, 1923-  Search this
Cross, Lloyd G.  Search this
Davis, Douglas  Search this
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Feigen, Richard L., 1930-  Search this
Glimcher, Arnold B.  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Graham, Dan, 1942-  Search this
Hollander, Irwin  Search this
Insley, Will, 1929-2011  Search this
Jackson, Martha Kellogg  Search this
Janis, Sidney, 1896-1989  Search this
Kirby, Michael  Search this
Levine, Les, 1935-  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-1997  Search this
Mazur, Michael, 1935-2009  Search this
Meyer, Ursula, 1915-  Search this
Nauman, Bruce, 1941-  Search this
O'Doherty, Brian  Search this
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Richter, Hans, 1888-1976  Search this
Siegelaub, Seth, 1941-  Search this
Smith, Tony, 1912-1980  Search this
Sonfist, Alan  Search this
Weiner, Sam  Search this
Wise, Howard  Search this
Extent:
20.9 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Transcripts
Interviews
Photographs
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Museum records
Date:
1943-1975
bulk 1964-1975
Summary:
The exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art measure 20.9 linear feet and date from 1943 to 1975, with the bulk of records dating from the period its galleries were in operation, from 1964 to 1975. Over two-thirds of the collection consists of exhibition files, which contain a wide range of documentation including artist files, checklists, correspondence, writings, photographs, interviews, numerous films and videos, artist statements, printed materials, and other records. Also found within the collection are administrative records of the museum, artist files, and papers of the Contemporary Wing's director and curator, Elayne Varian, which were produced outside of her work at Finch College.
Scope and Contents:
The exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art measure 20.9 linear feet and date from 1943 to 1975, with the bulk of records dating from the period its galleries were in operation, from 1964 to 1975. Over two-thirds of the collection consists of exhibition files, which contain a wide range of documentation including artist files, checklists, correspondence, writings, photographs, interviews, numerous films and videos, artist statements, printed materials, and other records. Also found within the collection are administrative records of the museum, artist files, and papers of the Contemporary Wing's director and curator, Elayne Varian, which were produced outside of her work at Finch College.

Administrative records include records relating to the general operation of the Contemporary Wing concerning fundraising, professional associations, budget, contact information for artists, donors, and lenders to exhibitions. Also found are records of the permanent collection of artworks acquired by the museum between 1964 and 1975 from contemporary artists and collectors of contemporary art.

Artist files contain basic biographical information on over 150 contemporary artists, with scattered correspondence, photographs, technical information about artworks, artist statements, and other writings. Artist files also include an incomplete run of artist questionnaires gathered by the New York Arts Calendar Annual for 1964.

Elayne Varian's personal papers include curatorial records, a course schedule and syllabus related to her teaching activities, and various writings. Curatorial projects documented in Varian's papers include three programs produced outside of Finch College, including a juried show at the New York State Fair in 1967, a film series at Everson Museum of Syracuse University, and an exhibition at Guild Hall in East Hampton in 1973. Several of Varian's writing projects involved interviews, which are also found in this series in the form of sound recordings and transcripts. Interview-based writing projects include individual profiles on Brian O'Doherty and Babette Newberger, and interviews conducted for an article on the artist-dealer relationship published in Art in America (January 1970). Dealers interviewed for the latter project include Leo Castelli, Virginia Dwan, John Gibson, Richard Feigen, Arnold Glimcher, Fred Mueller, Martha Jackson, Sidney Janis, Betty Parsons, Seth Siegelaub, and Howard Wise. Artists interviewed include Roy Lichtenstein, Adolph Gottlieb, and Charles Ross.

Exhibition files, comprising the bulk of the collection, document exhibitions held in the Contemporary Wing during its existence from 1964 to 1975. Types of records found in the series include exhibition catalogs, correspondence, loan agreements, lists, contact information, insurance valuations of artworks, photographs, biographical information on artists, clippings, posters, press releases, and other publicity materials. In addition to the rich textual and photographic records found for exhibitions, numerous audiovisual recordings are also found, some of which were made in preparation for an exhibition, some document mounted exhibitions, and others are artworks themselves or components of artworks exhibited in the galleries. Interviews with artists, dealers, and others involved in exhibitions include Alan Sonfist, Mel Bochner, Hans Richter, Ruth Richards, James Brooks and Janet Katz, Margaret Benyon, Irwin Hollander (transcript only), David Anderson, Doris Chase, Will Insley, Michael Kirby, Les Levine, Ursula Meyer, Brian O'Doherty, Charles Ross, Tony Smith, Douglas Davis, Jane Davis, Russ Connor, Les Levine, Michael Mazur, Paul Gedeohn, and physicists Lloyd G. Cross, Allyn Z. Lite, and Gerald Thomas Bern Pethick. Video artworks, recordings of performances, or components of multimedia artworks are found by artists Vito Acconci, Kathy Dillon, Douglas Davis, Dan Graham, Les Levine, Bruce Nauman, Michael Netter, Eric Siegel, and Robert Whitman. A film of the Art in Process: The Visual Development of a Structure (1966) exhibition is found, and video recordings of artists Lynda Benglis, Michael Singer, and Sam Wiener form as part of the documentation for the Projected Art: Artists at Work (1971) exhibition.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 4 series.

Series 1: Administrative Records, 1950-1975 (2 linear feet; Boxes 1-2, 22, OV 23)

Series 2: Artist Files, 1958-1975 (2.4 linear feet; Boxes 3-4, 22, OV 23, FC 27-28)

Series 3: Elayne Varian Personal Papers, 1965-1970 (1.3 linear feet; Boxes 5-6)

Series 4: Exhibition Files, 1943-1975 (14.9 linear feet; Boxes 6-22, OV 24-25, FC 26)
Biographical / Historical:
The Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art, later called simply the "Contemporary Wing," was established in 1964 by the president of Finch College, Roland De Marco, as an extension the Finch College Museum of Art in New York City.

Its mission was to educate art history students at the Manhattan women's college who were interested in working with contemporary art. DeMarco, himself an art collector, hired Elayne Varian as director and curator of the contemporary wing. DeMarco met Varian in the New York office of the prominent international art dealership Duveen Brothers, where she had worked since the mid-1940s, most recently as an art dealer. Varian received her art education in Chicago, where she studied art history and education at the University of Chicago, and took classes in film at the Bauhaus and in fine art the Art Institute of Chicago. Sensitive to emerging art movements in galleries and studios around the city of New York, as the contemporary wing's curator, Varian quickly established a reputation for thoughtfully conceived, cutting-edge exhibitions which were consistently well-received by the press.

Under Varian, the Contemporary Wing carried out a dual mission of showing work of living artists and educating students and the public about the artwork and museum work in general. Varian used the galleries to provide practical training to students interested in a gallery or museum career throughout its existence. For several years, she also maintained an assistantship position for post-graduate museum professionals to gain experience in the field, many of whom went on to careers in museums across New York State.

The Contemporary Wing's best-known exhibitions formed a series of six shows called Art in Process, held between 1965 and 1972. Each of the Art in Process shows took a different medium, including painting, sculpture, collage, conceptual art, installation art, and serial art, and brought the process of art-making into the gallery with the artworks in various ways. For example, for Art in Process V (1972), the show about installation art, the galleries were open to the public for the entire process of its installation, allowing visitors to watch the works take shape. Another show entitled Documentation (1968) exhibited artworks with documentation such as artist's notes, sales records, and conservation records, bringing to light the value of record-keeping in the visual arts. Two exhibitions entitled Projected Art were also innovative, with the first (1966-1967) bringing experimental films from the cinema to the galleries, and the second (1971) showing artists' processes via footage and slides of artists working. Another show, Artists' Videotape Performances (1971), involved both screening of and creation of works in the gallery using a range of experiments with recent video technology. The museum also participated in an experimental broadcast of an artwork entitled Talk Out! by Douglas Davis, in which a telephone in the gallery allowed visitors to participate in its creation while it was broadcast live from Syracuse, NY. Other exhibitions that showcased experimentation in art included N-Dimensional Space (1970), on holography in art, Destruction Art(1968), on destructive actions being incorporated into contemporary art-making, and Schemata 7 (1967), a show about the use of environments in contemporary art, whose working title was "Walk-in Sculpture."

Other popular exhibitions at the Contemporary Wing included shows on Art Deco (1970) and Art Nouveau (1969). Several shows mined the private collections of prominent contemporary art collectors including Martha Jackson, Betty Parsons, George Rickey, Paul Magriel, Jacques Kaplan, Josephine and Philip Bruno, and Carlo F. Bilotti. A number of exhibitions featured contemporary art from overseas including Art from Belgium (1965), Art from Finland (1973), Seven Swedish Painters (1965), and Art in Jewelry (1966), which featured mainly international jewelry artists. Retrospective exhibitions of Hans Richter, Hugo Weber, and James Brooks were also held.

Hundreds of contemporary artists were shown at the Contemporary Wing in the eleven years of its existence, including many who came to be leading figures in contemporary art, and some who already were, including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Mel Bochner, Eva Hesse, Lynda Benglis, Bruce Nauman, Robert Morris, Lawrence Weiner, Robert Smithson, Sol Le Witt, Dan Flavin, Philip Pearlstein, and Yayoi Kusama, to name just a few.

The Contemporary Wing and the entire Finch College Museum of Art shut its doors in 1975, when Finch College closed due to lack of funds. The permanent collection was sold at that time, and the proceeds were used to pay Finch College employee salaries. Elayne Varian went on to the position of curator of contemporary art at the John and Mabel Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida. She died in 1987.
Related Materials:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with curator Elayne Varian conducted by Paul Cummings, May 2, 1975.
Provenance:
The Archives of American Art acquired these records from the Finch College Museum of Art after it closed permanently in June 1975.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Occupation:
Museum administrators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Museum curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Video artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Gallery directors  Search this
Gallery owners  Search this
Genre/Form:
Transcripts
Interviews
Photographs
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Museum records
Citation:
Exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art, 1943-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.finccoll
See more items in:
Exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-finccoll
Additional Online Media:

Oral history interview with Virginia Dwan, 2010 July 14-2011 March 21

Interviewee:
Dwan, Virginia, 1931-  Search this
Interviewer:
Stuckey, Charles F.  Search this
Subject:
Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project  Search this
Topic:
Sound recordings  Search this
Art  Search this
Gallery owners  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)16109
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)362284
AAA_collcode_dwan10
Theme:
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_362284

Oral history interview with Virginia Dwan, 1984 March 21-June 7

Interviewee:
Dwan, Virginia, 1931-  Search this
Interviewer:
Stuckey, Charles F.  Search this
Subject:
Kienholz, Edward  Search this
LeWitt, Sol  Search this
Snelson, Kenneth  Search this
Klein, Yves  Search this
Arman  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad  Search this
Tinguely, Jean  Search this
Smithson, Robert  Search this
Ryman, Robert  Search this
Kline, Franz  Search this
Guston, Philip  Search this
De Maria, Walter  Search this
Heizer, Michael  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert  Search this
Andre, Carl  Search this
Dwan Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Dwan Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Topic:
Sound recordings  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Art dealers  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12911
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212277
AAA_collcode_dwan84
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212277

Oral history interview with Robert Grosvenor, 1972 Aug. 9

Interviewee:
Grosvenor, Robert, 1937-  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul, 1933-  Search this
Subject:
Bellamy, Richard  Search this
Congdon, William  Search this
Di Suvero, Mark  Search this
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Topic:
Interviews  Search this
Art students  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Sound recordings  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11843
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212482
AAA_collcode_grosve72
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212482

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