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American Abstract Artists records, 1936-1983

Creator:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Subject:
Billings, Henry  Search this
Hasegawa, Saburo  Search this
Rabkin, Leo  Search this
Mondrian, Piet  Search this
Gurin, Ruth  Search this
Holtzman, Harry  Search this
Archipenko, Alexander  Search this
Feininger, Lyonel  Search this
Calder, Alexander  Search this
Mason, Alice Trumbull  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Rousseau, Irene  Search this
Topic:
Art  Search this
Painters  Search this
Photographs  Search this
Art, Abstract  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9533
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211732
AAA_collcode_amerabst
Theme:
The Art Market
Art Movements and Schools
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211732
Additional Online Media:

American Abstract Artists, 1936-1966. With introd. by Ruth Gurin

Author:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Gurin, Ruth Melamed  Search this
Physical description:
[9] p., 58 illus. 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
1966
1966]
Topic:
Art, Abstract  Search this
Artists  Search this
Call number:
N6512 .A512
N6512.A512
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_68739

American Abstract Artists records

Creator:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Names:
Albers, Josef  Search this
Archipenko, Alexander, 1887-1964  Search this
Billings, Henry, 1901-  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Feininger, Lyonel, 1871-1956  Search this
Gurin, Ruth  Search this
Hasegawa, Saburō, 1906-1957  Search this
Holtzman, Harry  Search this
Mason, Alice Trumbull, 1904-1971  Search this
Mondrian, Piet, 1872-1944  Search this
Rabkin, Leo  Search this
Rousseau, Irene  Search this
Extent:
1.6 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Date:
1936-1983
Summary:
The records of the American Abstract Artists measure 1.6 linear feet and date from 1936 through 1983. The records document the founding of the organization in 1936, membership activities, general administration, and exhibitions via correspondence, member writings, financial and legal records, printed materials, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The records of the American Abstract Artists measure 1.6 linear feet and date from 1936 through 1983. The records document the founding of the organization in 1936, membership activities, general administration, and exhibitions via correspondence, member writings, financial and legal records, printed materials, and photographs.

Correspondence mainly relates to the exhibitions and member activities of the American Abstract Artists. There are letters from Josef Albers, Alexander Archipenko, Alexander Calder, Lyonel Feininger, Harry Holtzman, Piet Mondrian, and Irene Rousseau, President Emeritus of the American Abstract Artists. Official bulletins sent to members are also found among the correspondence.

Administrative records include founding prospectus, meeting minutes, lists of members, and drafts and amendments to the American Abstract Artists constitution.

Member writings are by Saburo Hasegawa, Henry Billings, Leo Rabkin, and Ruth Gurin. Financial and legal records include ledger books, insurance documents, and other financial material. Printed materials include announcements for the American Abstract Artists' annual exhibitions, as well as exhibition posters. Finally, there are two photographs of collage paintings by members.
Arrangement:
The arrangement and description in this finding aid refer to unmicrofilmed portions of the collection. Legacy microfilm arrangement is not reflected.

The collection is arranged as 6 series.

Series 1: Correspondence, 1937-1982 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 2: Administrative Records, 1937-1982 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 3: Member Writings, 1938-1954 (Box 1; 4 folders)

Series 4: Financial and Legal Records, 1942-1983 (Box 1-2; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 5: Printed Materials, 1936-1982 (Box 2-3, OV 4; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographs, 1963 (Box 3; 1 folder)
Biographical / Historical:
The American Abstract Artists group was established in 1936 in New York, New York by a group of painters and sculptors. The American Abstract Artists contributed to the introduction of abstract art to the American public through exhibitions, publications, and lectures.

During the era of the formation of the American Abstract Artists, abstraction was not critically accepted. In 1937, the American Abstract Artists held their first exhibition at the Squibb Galleries in New York City. It received negative reactions from both the press and the public - the exhibition had a high attendance but poor reviews. The American Abstract Artists addressed the role of the critic through their publications, specifically the 1940 pamphlet "The Art Critics! How Do They Serve the Public? What Do They Say? How Much Do They Know?—Let's Look at the Record!"

The group was most active from 1937 to 1942, and supported the critical success of Abstract Expressionism in later decades.
Related Materials:
Among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are the Ruth Bowman Interviews of American Abstract Art members, 1963-1965, and Susan C. Larsen's Interviews of American Abstract Art members, 1973-1978.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming available on 35 mm microfilm reels D539, N59-11, N69-72, N69-96, N69-97, N69-137, and N70-48. Much of this material and the papers on reels N70-48 and N59-11 were included in subsequent gifts, and may have been microfilmed again. Loaned materials not donated later are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The Archives of American Art acquired the American Abstract Artists records in three installments by Presidents Emeriti of the American Abstract Artists. Alice Trumball Mason first lent papers for microfilming in 1959, and she later gifted the majority of this material in 1969. Following, Leo Rabkin donated records in 1969, and Irene Rousseau gave more papers in 1983.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Topic:
Painters  Search this
Art -- Societies, etc. -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Art, Abstract -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
The American Abstract Artists records, 1936-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.amerabst
See more items in:
American Abstract Artists records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-amerabst
Additional Online Media:

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