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Stanton L. Catlin papers

Creator:
Catlin, Stanton L. , 1915-1997  Search this
Names:
Columbia Records, Inc.  Search this
Hunter College -- Faculty  Search this
Syracuse University -- Faculty  Search this
Universidad de Chile -- Faculty  Search this
Ades, Dawn  Search this
Ashton, Dore  Search this
Boulton, Alfredo  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Obregón, Alejandro, 1920-  Search this
Paternosto, César, 1931-  Search this
Paz, Octavio, 1914-  Search this
Rasmussen, Waldo  Search this
Rockefeller, David, 1915-  Search this
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich), 1908-1979  Search this
Sandoval, Judith Hancock de  Search this
Sebastián, Santiago  Search this
Torruella Leval, Susana  Search this
Williams, Amancio  Search this
Extent:
56.4 Linear Feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Interviews
Transcripts
Diaries
Place:
Czech Republic -- description and travel
Date:
1911-1998
bulk 1930-1994
Summary:
The papers of curator, gallery director, educator, and Latin American art historian Stanton L. Catlin (1915-1997) measure 56.4 linear feet and date from 1911 to 1998 with the bulk of the material dating from 1930 to 1994. The papers are comprised of biographical material, correspondence, writings and notes, teaching and project files, professional files, research files, exhibition and subject files, printed material, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of curator, gallery director, educator, and Latin American art historian Stanton L. Catlin (1915-1997) measure 56.4 linear feet and date from 1911 to 1998 with the bulk of the material dating from 1930 to 1994. The papers are comprised of biographical material, correspondence, writings and notes, teaching and project files, professional files, research files, exhibition and subject files, printed material, and photographs.

Biographical material includes six address books, two annotated calendars, four day books, curriculum vitae, interview transcripts, records of Catlin's personal book collection, and his work as a student. Correspondence is with Catlin's family and prominent artists and colleagues, such as Dawn Ades, Dore Ashton, Alfredo Boulton, Robert Motherwell, Alejandro Obregon, César Paternosto, Octavio Paz, Waldo Rasmussen, David and Nelson Rockefeller, Susana Torruella Leval, Judith Sandoval, Santiago Sebastian, and Amancio Williams. Correspondence with Columbia Records concerns Catlin's Grammy Award for best album.

There are writings and notes by Catlin and others on Latin American art, and three journals kept by Catlin during his time in the Czech Republic and Minnesota.

Teaching files document some of Catlin's work as an art history professor at Hunter College, Syracuse University, and the University of Chile. The project files document his work as a consultant or contributor on various projects abd the professional files include records of Catlin's positions as art gallery curator and director, professional memberships, conference participation, and other professional activities. Research and subject files consist of annotated material related to Latin American art, European art, and various artforms and artists.

Exhibition files are found for Art of Latin America Since Independence (1966) and other exhibitions of Latin American art. Printed materials include books with an inscription, clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, magazines, and publications. There are photographs of Catlin, family and friends, colleagues, and artwork.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 10 series.

Series 1: Biographical material , 1933-1989 (1 linear foot; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1914-1994 (4.5 linear feet; Box 2-6)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1930-1993 (4.5 linear feet; Box 6-10, OV 57)

Series 4: Teaching Files, 1941-1991 (1.5 linear feet; Box 10-12)

Series 5: Project Files, 1940-1993 (3.5 linear feet; Box 12-16)

Series 6: Professional Files, 1939-1994 (13.1 linear feet; Box 16-28, OV 58, 60)

Series 7: Research and Subject Files, 1938-1998 (8.0 linear feet; Box 28-36)

Series 8: Exhibition Files, 1941-1993 (15.6 linear feet; Box 37-51, OV 58-60)

Series 9: Printed Material, 1944-1993 (4.2 linear feet; Box 52-56)

Series 10: Photographs, 1911-1991 (0.5 linear feet; Box 56)
Biographical / Historical:
Stanton L. Catlin (1915-1997) was a curator, gallery director, educator, art historian, and expert on Latin American Art.

Catlin studied art history at Oberlin College and graduated in 1937. After graduation, he studied painting and art history at the Academy of Arts in Prague, Czech Republic for two years. Catlin received a Fogg Museum Fellowship in Modern Art at Harvard University to survey collections of art in Europe. However, the project was canceled because of World War II.

During the war, Catlin served as a Cultural Relations Representative for the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs where he assisted with exhibition arrangements throughout Latin America. In 1942, he also began teaching the history of art in the United States at the University of Chile. After the war, Catlin served in the Field Operations Division of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, working in the Displaced Persons Operation from 1945-1946.

From 1947 to 1950, Catlin served as the executive director of the American Institute of Graphic Arts. He received his graduate degree in art history from New York University in 1952, and shortly thereafter became editor and curator of American art at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. From 1958 to 1967, Catlin was the assistant director of the Yale University Art Gallery. While there, he curated the landmark exhibition Art of Latin America Since Independence in 1966, the first exhibition to include only Latin American art and the accompanying catalog remains a standard reference source. That same year, Catlin won a Grammy Award for best album notes for an essay on Mexican mural painting.

In 1967, Catlin left Yale to take a position as director of the Art Gallery at the Center for Inter-American Relations before joining the faculty of Syracuse University in 1971 and becoming director of the university's Art Gallery. He remained at Syracuse for the rest of his career.

Catlin was a consultant on the major retrospective exhibition of the work of Diego Rivera at the Detroit Institute of Arts in 1986. He also worked on a project to document Mexican murals in the United States. Catlin died in Fayetteville, New York in 1997.
Related Materials:
Also found at the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview conducted by Francis V. O'Connor with Stanton L. Catlin from July 1 to September 14, 1989.

The University of Texas at Austin holds a significant collection of Stanton Loomis Catlin's papers, some of which are duplicates of the papers held by the Archives of American Art.
Provenance:
The collection was donated from 1992 to 1995 to by Stanton L. Catlin.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Rights:
The Stanton L. Catlin 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.
Occupation:
Art historians -- New York  Search this
Minnesota -- Description and travel  Search this
Gallery directors -- New York (State)  Search this
Curators -- New York (State)  Search this
Topic:
Art, European  Search this
Hispanic American artists  Search this
Educators -- New York (State)  Search this
Art, Latin American  Search this
Art -- History -- Study and teaching  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Interviews
Transcripts
Diaries
Citation:
Stanton L. Catlin papers, 1911-1998, bulk 1930-1994. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.catlstan
See more items in:
Stanton L. Catlin papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-catlstan
Additional Online Media:

John Bernard Myers papers

Creator:
Myers, John Bernard  Search this
Names:
Ingram Merrill Foundation  Search this
Southampton Artists' Theatre Festival  Search this
Tibor de Nagy Gallery  Search this
Cady, Arthur  Search this
Canaday, John, 1907-1985  Search this
Davenport, Guy  Search this
Grooms, Red  Search this
Marisol, 1930-  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Interviewee:
Spivy-Anderson, C. Alexandra, 1942-  Search this
Interviewer:
Sturdevant, Alfred  Search this
Extent:
2 Linear Feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Color slides
Photographs
Diaries
Color transparencies
Date:
circa 1940s-1987
bulk 1970-1987
Summary:
The John Bernard Myers papers span the period circa 1940s to 1987, bulk 1970-1987. The collection measures 2.0 linear feet and documents Myers's work as a writer, editor, and gallery director, and includes correspondence, writings, printed material, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The John Bernard Myers papers, which measure 2.0 linear feet, date from circa 1940s to 1987, bulk 1970-1987, and document his work as a writer, editor, and gallery director.

Personal and professional correspondence consist mainly of incoming letters from colleagues, friends, and admirers. Among the correspondence is business and fan mail concerning Tracking the Marvelous and Parenthése, letters from writer and English professor Guy Davenport, and invitations to speak and teach. Also included are letters to The New York Times and Art In America complaining about critic John Canaday's behavior and comments during a visit to the Tibor de Nagy Gallery.

Myers' published and unpublished writings are the collection's most significant series. These consist of manuscripts for his autobiography, Tracking the Marvelous, published in 1984 ; Forward and Backward: A Chronicle, circa 1976, about Mark Rothko's suicide and the subsequent lawsuit brought by his daughter against Marlborough Galleries (a revised version was published later as part three of Myers' autobiography); and Knowing What I Like, 1985, an unpublished collection of his own essays and criticism compiled and edited by Myers. Among his other writings are articles, essays, and reviews. Also included are his diariess dated 1969 and 1974-1983. Entries record daily activities and reactions to his experiences, news of friends, and reflections on his life and relationships. Excerpts from much earlier diaries (not part of the John Bernard Myers Papers) are quoted extensively in Tracking the Marvelous.

Printed Matter consists of writings by Myers - Tracking the Marvelous: A Life in the New York Art World; a selection of articles, essays, and criticism published mainly in art periodicals; and exhibition catalogs. Also included are a few articles about Myers and issues of publications he edited. Other printed matter consists of clippings on art subjects, exhibition catalogs, and miscellaneous publications.

Miscellaneous items are artwork, biographical information, minutes and memoranda of the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and transcripts of interviews conducted by and with Myers. Also included are records of the Southampton Artists' Theatre Festival, produced by John Bernard Myers, consisting of director's notes and notes and music for "Gertrude Stein's 'First Reader.'"

Photographs are of Myers and unidentified friends, interior views of his home in Brewster, N.Y. and one of the back yard. Also included are many photographs of puppets.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 5 series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1960-1986, undated (box 1, 6 folders)

Series 2: Writings, 1959-1987, undated (boxes 1-2, 1.0 linear ft.)

Series 3: Printed Matter, 1951-1987, undated (box 2, 0.5 linear ft.)

Series 4: Miscellaneous, circa 1962-1987, undated (box 2, 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 5: Photographs, circa 1940s-1985, undated (box 2, 6 folders)
Biographical Note:
During his youth in Buffalo, New York, John Bernard Myers developed life-long interests in poetry, puppets, and painting. As a teenager, he wrote poetry and established his own marionette theater. He first learned about modern art and became especially interested in Surrealism through reading European magazines and exhibition catalogs in the library of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Through helping to edit Upstate, an avant garde literary magazine, he met many like-minded friends. Myers was deemed unqualified for military service due to ruptured eardrums, so instead went to work in an airplane factory. But his membership in the Young Communist League and participation in efforts led by a Socialist Workers party colleague to upgrade job assignments and pay for qualified minorities created problems and Myers soon departed. His final two years in Buffalo were spent working in a bookstore.

In 1944, Myers sent issues of Upstate to Parker Tyler, editor of View, whom he had met a few years earlier through mutual friends involved with the Communist party. A few months later Tyler offered him the position of managing editor of View, a magazine devoted to the Neo-Romantics and Surrealists in exile. Myers moved to New York City and remained with the magazine until it ceased publication in 1947. A large portion of his time at View was spent selling advertising space. Since this involved calling on gallery owners each month, he came to know many dealers, had the opportunity to study the exhibitions and meet many of the artists. During this period he began attending art history courses taught by Meyer Schapiro at the New School. His responsibilities at View also included assisting with editing and layout, and he became well-acquainted with Marcel Duchamp and André Breton when special issues devoted to them were published. His association with the magazine resulted in many invitations; Myers enthusiastically attended parties practically every night of the week, enlarging his already impressive circle of friends and acquaintance in the art and literary worlds.

Puppets were another of Myers' special interests. After View ceased publication in1947, he edited poetry and art publications, but to earn his living he resumed puppeteering. Around 1948 Myers met Tibor de Nagy, a cultured Hungarian immigrant with a background in banking and finance, who, for immigration purposes, needed a business that bore his name. The Tibor de Nagy Marionette Company gave performances at schools in and around New York City and staged elaborate productions for both children and adults at fine hotels. After several years of physically exhausting work with the marionette company and falling profits, the two decided to try another business venture.

Over the years, several of Myers' friends and acquaintances had suggested he open an art gallery. Myers was interested and had many appropriate contacts, but lacked sufficient capital and had no business experience. An old friend, Dwight Ripley, offered to back a gallery and in 1951 the Tibor de Nagy Gallery opened at 219 East 53rd Street with John Bernard Myers as the gallery director. Tibor de Nagy was the gallery's business manager, and at the same time pursued a full-time career in banking. Following the good advice of his friends Jackson Pollock,Lee Krasner, and Clement Greenberg, Myers decided to seek out and promote the artists of his own generation. Artists affiliated with the Tibor de Nagy Gallery included Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Goodnough, Red Grooms, Grace Hartigan, Alfred Leslie, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, Fairfield Porter, and Larry Rivers.

Myers and de Nagy remained partners in the Tibor de Nagy Gallery for 19 years. In 1970 Myers left in to open a gallery which he ran for about five years under his own name. After retiring from the gallery, he was a private dealer and lecturer; he also served as a consultant to the Kouros Gallery. He continued to organize exhibitions including a Joseph Cornell exhibiton at A.C.A. Gallery in 1977, and "Tracking the Marvelous" at the Grey Gallery, New York University in 1981.

For more than thirty years after View ceased publication, a number of art and poetry publications benefitted from Myers' editorial skills. Among them were Prospero Pamphlets, a series of chapbooks produced between 1946 and 1948, featuring contemporary poets Wallace Stevens, Charles Henri Ford, Parker Tyler, and Paul Goodman. Brunidor Editions, a portfolio of graphics by Yves Tanguy, Joan Miró, Kurt Seligmann, Max Ernst, Wilfredo Lam, Matta, and William Stanley Hayter was issued in 1948. From 1953 until 1956, Tibor de Nagy Gallery published Semi-Colon, a poets' newsletter edited by Myers. Gallery Editions, a series of pamphlets paired the work of a poet and painter, among them: John Ashbury and Jane Freilicher, Frank O'Hara and Larry Rivers, Kenneth Koch and Nell Blaine, and Barbara Guest and Robert Goodnough. Myers devoted a great deal of time to Parenthése, a magazine of words and pictures, that was published between 1975 and 1979. In addition, he compiled and edited Poets of the New York School, an anthology with photographs by Francesco Scuvullo published by the University of Pennsylvania Art Department in 1968.

For much of his life, John Bernard Myers kept a diary recording daily activities and his reactions to an reflections on his experiences. His autobiography, Tracking the Marvelous: A Life in the New York Art World, published in 1984, quotes extensively from diaries written as early as 1939. He wrote many book reviews, exhibition reviews, and articles about art and art criticism that were published in Art in America, Arts, Artforum, Art and Literature, Art International, Art News, Art/World, Craft Horizons, and Smithsonian. Knowing What I Like, a selection of his own essays and articles that Myers compiled and edited in 1983, remains unpublished. He also wrote poetry and song lyrics.

John Bernard Myers died July 26, 1987.

1919 or 1920 -- Born, Buffalo, New York

circa 1939 -- Began puppeteering and eventually established his own puppet theater

circa 1942-1944 -- Assisted with editing Upstate, an avant garde literary magazine

1942 -- Rejected from military service due to ear problems; employed in airplane factory, and later at Ulbrich's Bookstore in Buffalo

1944-1947 -- Managing Editor, View, a magazine devoted to the Neo-Romantic and Surrealist artists in exile

1946-1948 -- Editor, Prospero Pamphlets, a series of chapbooks featuring Wallace Stevens, Charles Henri Ford, Parker Tyler, and Paul Goodman

1948 -- Editor, Brunidor Editions, portfolios of graphics featuring Yves Tanguy, Joan Miró, Kurt Seligmann, Max Ernst, Wilfredo Lam, Matta, and William Stanley Hayter; started a professional marionette company with Tibor de Nagy as business manager

1951 -- Tibor de Nagy Gallery opens at 219 East 53rd Street, backed by Dwight Ripley, with Myers as gallery director and de Nagy its business manager

1953 -- Tibor de Nagy Gallery moves to 24 East 67th St.

1953-1956 -- Editor, Semi-Colon, a poets' newsletter emphasizing brief prose and verse

1954-1970 -- Producer and Artistic Advisor, The Artists' Theater; during this time 36 plays by poets, with appropriate décors and music by modern painters and composers

1959-1970 -- Editor, Gallery Editions, a series of poetry pamphlets pairing poets and painters (Frank O'Hara and Larry rivers, Kenneth Koch and Nell Blaine, Barbara Guest and Robert Goodnough)

1968-1968 -- Producer, Southampton Artists' Theatre Festival, Long Island University

1970 -- Leaves Tibor de Nagy Gallery and opens John Bernard Myers Gallery at 50 West 57th Street

1974 -- Closes his gallery and in retirement becomes a private dealer

1975-1979 -- Editor, Parenthése, a little magazine of words and pictures

1981 -- Editor, Parenthése Signatures, each deluxe limited edition portfolios paired an artist and poet

1981 -- Tracking the Marvelous, exhibition at Grey Gallery, New York University

1984 -- Publication of Tracking the Marvelous: A Life in the New York Art World

1985-1987 -- Consultant to Kouros Gallery, New York

1987 -- Dies July 26, Danbury, Conn.
Related Material:
Other material relating to John Bernard Myers in the Archives of American Art includes an interview with Myers conducted by Barbara Rose, circa 1969.
Provenance:
The collection was a gift of the Estate of Ricky Dale Horton, 1990.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Rights:
The John Bernard Myers 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:
Art criticism  Search this
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Puppet making  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Puppets  Search this
Genre/Form:
Color slides
Photographs
Diaries
Color transparencies
Citation:
John Bernard Myers papers, circa 1940s-1987, bulk 1970-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.myerjohn
See more items in:
John Bernard Myers papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-myerjohn

Ivan C. Karp papers and OK Harris Works of Art gallery records

Creator:
Karp, Ivan C., 1926-2012  Search this
OK Harris Gallery  Search this
Names:
Baeder, John  Search this
Butterfield, Deborah, 1949-  Search this
Castanis, Muriel, 1926-  Search this
Celender, Don, 1931-2005  Search this
Clarke, John Clem, 1937-  Search this
De Andrea, John, 1941-  Search this
Dufresne, Leonard, 1941-  Search this
Goings, Ralph  Search this
Grinder, Robert  Search this
Hanson, Duane  Search this
Kacere, John C., 1920-1999  Search this
Karp, Marilynn Gelfman  Search this
McLean, Richard Thorpe, 1934-  Search this
Rohm, Robert  Search this
Salt, John, 1937-  Search this
Wesselmann, Tom, 1931-2004  Search this
Extent:
80.3 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Prints
Diaries
Date:
1960-2014
Summary:
The Ivan C. Karp papers and OK Harris Works of Art gallery records measure 80.3 linear feet and are dated 1960-2014. The collection documents the operation and activities of the contemporary art gallery founded by Ivan C. Karp in the SoHo area of Manhattan. Exhibition files, artist files, printed material and photographic materials reveal the wide range of artists represented by OK Harris and the gallery's role in introducing Photo-realism to the public. Aso included are administrative files, prints by OK Harris artists, business and personal correspondence, 39 journals by Karp spanning a period of 62 years, and other personal papers. Material pre-dating the 1969 establishment of OK Harris Works of Art consists of printed items and a few letters.
Scope and Contents:
The Ivan C. Karp papers and OK Harris Works of Art gallery records measure 80.3 linear feet and are dated 1960-2014. The collection documents the operation and activities of the contemporary art gallery founded by Ivan C. Karp in the SoHo area of Manhattan. Exhibition files, artists' files, printed material, and photographic materials reveal the wide range of artists represented by OK Harris and the gallery's role in introducing Photo-realism to the public. Also included are administrative files, prints by OK Harris artists, business and personal correspondence, 39 journals by Karp spanning a period of 62 years, and other personal papers. Material pre-dating the 1969 establishment of OK Harris Works of Art consists of printed items and a few letters.

Correspondence, both professional and personal, is with museums, galleries, art dealers, art collectors, and graduate students. Artists John Baeder, Deborah Butterfield, John Clem Clarke, John DeAndrea, Jim Dine, Leonard Dufresne, Robert Ginder, Ralph Goings, Duane Hanson, Richard McLean and Tom Wesselmann are among the correspondents.

Admininstrative files concern the daily operation of OK Harris Works of Art. Included are instructions regarding administrative functions and forms for routine activities to enable employees to conduct business in Ivan Karp's absence. Along with files about other items occasionally sold at the gallery, there are files about projects of interest to the Karps, sample announcements, invitations, and advertisements.

Exhibition files document group shows, collectibles and antique exhibitions, summer invitationals, and special event exhibitions at OK Harris Works of Art. The files include photographs and slides, schedules, lists of titles and prices, artists' resumes, installation layouts, reviews and publicity materials, and other items.

Artist files constitute the largest series in the collection at 34 linear feet, and document the gallery's relationships with artists throughout its 45 year history. Files are comprised of biographical information, correspondence, notes, publicity and other printed material (including a few items pre-dating the gallery). Among the many transactions recorded are arrangements for and documentation of solo exhibitions at OK Harris. There are photographs, slides and color transparencies of individual works, and some views of exhibition installations. John Baeder, Muriel Castanis, Don Celender, Ralph Goings, John Kacere, Richard McLean, Robert Rohm and John Salt are among the most extensively documented artists.

Printed material produced by OK Harris Works of Art includes exhibition catalogs, exhibition announcements, invitations, checklists, price lists posters, and notices of gallery sponsored events and activities. Printed material from other sources consists of exhibition reviews, articles about Ivan and Marilynn Karp, OK Harris Works of Art, and the gallery's artists. These appeared in art and mainstream periodicals, newspapers, exhibition catalogs, and books. Also found are posters, reproductions of artwork, and miscellaneous printed items. Artwork consists of 40 prints by artists affiliated with OK Harris. Most are signed; 2 are black and white prints, the remainder are color lithographs. Included is Radical Realism I, a set of 6 prints issued by Mother Lode Editions, 1972.

Thirty-two linear feet of photographs, negatives, slides, transparencies and digital images are of artwork by OK Harris artists, exhibition installation views, and miscellaneous subjects. Photographs of artwork by 59 OK Harris artists are found in binders called "Artists' Photo Books." Installation views of exhibitions held at OK Harris Works of Art during its 45 year history fill 61 binders. Miscellaneous subjects include OK Harris office space, galleries and staff. Also found are photographs of group shows, art fairs, and gallery artists' exhibitions at other venues.

The Ivan C. Karp personal papers include obituaries from print and internet sources along with other biographical information, published versions of brief interviews conducted for various purposes, writings, a few materials relating to business and academic activities, and some personal photographs. Journals, 1950-2012 (bulk 1991-2012) record travel, daily activities, and reflections.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged in 8 series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1960-2013 (Boxes 1-2B; 2.4 linear feet)

Series 2: Administrative Files, 1969-2014 (Box 3; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 3: Exhibition Files, 1969-2014 (Boxes 3-4; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 4: Artist Files, 1967-2014 (Boxes 4-38, 80; 34 linear feet)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1963-2014 (Boxes 38-44, 80, OV 88 - OV 90; 5.2 linear feet)

Series 6: Artwork, 1970s-circa 1980 (Box 44, OV 81-OV 87; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 7: Photographic Materials, 1960s-2014, bulk 1969-1999 (Boxes 44-76; 32 linear feet)

Series 8: Ivan C. Karp Personal Papers, 1961-2012 (Boxes 76-79; 4 linear feet)
Historical note:
OK Harris Works of Art specialized in a wide range of contemporary art and was known for its early support of Photo-realism. When it opened in 1969, the gallery was one of the first to operate in the SoHo area of Manhattan and its presence helped shape the neighborhood's development into a vibrant arts district.

Ivan C. Karp (1926-2012), the founder of OK Harris Works of Art, established a reputation in the art world while co-director of Leo Castelli Gallery from 1959-1969. He is credited with launching the careers of Pop artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, John Chamberlain, Tom Wesselmann, and Claes Oldenburg. Karp wrote, published, and lectured extensively on art and the art business. He was the author of a romantic novel about New York life, Doobie Doo (published in 1965, front cover by Roy Lichtenstein, back cover by Andy Warhol) and his short stories were published in literary reviews. Karp was actively involved in architectural preservation efforts in New York City. As President of the Anonymous Arts Recovery Society, he rescued and stored cornices, capitals, portals, columns and other architectural fragments of historical and aesthetic interest from demolition sites. Many are displayed in his Anonymous Arts Museum, Charlotteville, NY and some became part of a sculpture garden that Karp donated to the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

While Leo Castelli Gallery was closed for summer vacations in 1963 and 1964, Karp ran his own contemporary art gallery in Provincetown. He named it OK Harris, a name he thought suggestive of a colorful, very American character. A few years later, Karp opened OK Harris Works of Art in SoHo where a portrait of a bearded man titled "Oscar Klondike Harris" hung in his office. "Mr. Harris" frequently assumed blame for delays, rejections and other unwelcome news or decisions. OK Harris Works of Art (first at 469 West Broadway and later at 383 West Broadway) was a 10,000 square foot ground-floor space where as many as six concurrent solo exhibitions were presented every six weeks. The goal was "to exhibit the broadest spectrum of the most adventuresome art being offered" and the focus was on emerging artists, many of them unknown. In addition to being at the forefront of the Photo-realist movement in 1969, OK Harris Works of Art was the first gallery to exhibit the work of Duane Hanson, Deborah Butterfield, Manny Farber, Richard Pettibone, Robert Cottingham, Robert Bechtle, Marilyn Levine, Nancy Rubins, Malcolm Morley, Luis Jiminez, Jake Berthot, Jack Goldstein, Porfirio DiDonna, and Al Souza.

An approachable, friendly man who enjoyed sharing his knowledge, Karp usually sat at the gallery's front desk and was available to all. Unlike many dealers, he was willing to look at and discuss artists' slides, offered encouragement, and often followed up with studio visits.

At his request, Marilynn Gelfman Karp became gallery director after her husband's death in 2012. She ran the business with gallery staff including Ivan's oldest son, Ethan. Following Ivan's guidelines, OK Harris Works of Art closed with a gala celebration 2014 for all the gallery's artists, collectors and friends.
Related Materials:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are oral history interviews with Ivan C. Karp conducted by Richard Brown Baker, 1963 October 18; by Paul Cummings, 1969 March 12; and by Ronny Cohen, 1986 April 17-1988 October 18. The Marilynn Gelfman Karp Collection of Ephemera owned by the New-York Historical Society includes OK Harris printed material, prints, and posters.
Provenance:
Marilynn Karp, wife of Ivan C. Karp, donated scattered papers in 2011 and 2013, and the bulk of the collection in 2014.
Restrictions:
Use of original material 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.
Rights:
The Ivan C. Karp papers and OK Harris Works of Art 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:
Photo-realism  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Prints
Diaries
Citation:
Ivan C. Karp papers and OK Harris Works of Art gallery records, 1960-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.okharr
See more items in:
Ivan C. Karp papers and OK Harris Works of Art gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-okharr
Additional Online Media:

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