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Jacob Kainen papers

Creator:
Kainen, Jacob  Search this
Kainen, Ruth Cole.  Search this
Names:
Addison Gallery of American Art  Search this
Australian National Gallery  Search this
Baltimore Museum of Art  Search this
British Museum  Search this
Brooklyn Museum  Search this
Corcoran Gallery of Art  Search this
Corcoran School of Art (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Middendorf Gallery  Search this
National Gallery of Art (U.S.)  Search this
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Acton, David, 1953-  Search this
Agee, William C.  Search this
Berman, Avis  Search this
Broun, Elizabeth  Search this
Butler, Bryce  Search this
Cole, Phoebe  Search this
Fine, Ruth, 1941-  Search this
Fort Wayne Museum of Art  Search this
Frohlich, Newton, 1936-  Search this
Gilkey, Gordon  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Halesz, Piri  Search this
Harrison, Carol  Search this
Holden, Donald  Search this
Holladay, Wilhelmina Cole, 1922-  Search this
Hopps, Walter  Search this
Jackson, John Baptist, 1701-1780?  Search this
Jordon, Jim  Search this
Kalonyme, Louis  Search this
Lunn, Harry, 1933-1998  Search this
Morse, Peter  Search this
Nordland, Gerald  Search this
O'Connor, Francis V.  Search this
Pollack, Jerome  Search this
Powell, Richard J., 1953-  Search this
Purcell, Ann  Search this
Rand, Harry  Search this
Reynolds, Jock  Search this
Ries, Martin, 1926-  Search this
Solman, Joseph, 1909-2008  Search this
Steinberg, Leo  Search this
Taylor, Joshua Charles, 1917-  Search this
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Tejera, V. ((Victorino))  Search this
Thornton, Valerie  Search this
Weber, Joanne  Search this
Extent:
33.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Diaries
Transcripts
Videotapes
Visitors' books
Lectures
Prints
Greeting cards
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Date:
1905-2009
bulk 1940-2001
Summary:
The papers of painter, printmaker, and curator Jacob Kainen measure 33.3 linear feet and date from 1905 to 2009, with the bulk of the material from 1940-2001. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence/subject files including personal correspondence to and from friends and family members and professional correspondence and records concerning Kainen's activities as an artist, curator, teacher, and art collector. The collection also contains biographical material, writings, diaries, calendars, inventories, interview transcripts, printed material, photographs, works of art by other artists, and nine scrapbooks.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter, printmaker, and curator Jacob Kainen measure 33.3 linear feet and date from 1905 to 2009, with the bulk of the material from 1940-2001. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence/subject files including personal correspondence to and from friends and family members and professional correspondence and records concerning Kainen's activities as an artist, curator, teacher, and art collector. The collection also contains biographical material, writings, diary and journal entries, calendars, inventories, interview and "dialog" transcripts, printed material, photographs, works of art by other artists, and nine scrapbooks.

Biographical materials include items concerning Kainen's career as a curator and artist, in addition to a useful bibliography, detailed biographical outline, and a copy of an FBI report compiled on him. Also included are five videocassette recordings of Kainen.

Alphabetical correspondence/subject files comprise the bulk of the collection and include both Jacob's and Ruth's correspondence with family, friends, colleagues, artists, art critics, curators, museums, arts organizations, galleries, and many others. There is a significant amount of correspondence with David Acton, the Addison Gallery of Art and Jock Reynolds, William Agee, Australian National Gallery, Baltimore Museum of Art, Avis Berman, the British Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Elizabeth Broun and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bryce Butler, Pheobe Cole, the Corcoran Gallery and School of Art, Richard Field, Ruth Fine, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Newton Frohlich, Gordon Gilkey and the Pacific Northwest College of Art, Arshile Gorky, Piri Halesz, Carol Harrison, Donald Holden, Wilhelmina Holladay, John Baptist Jackson, Jim Jordon, Lou Kantor, Harry Lunn Jr., Middendorf Gallery, National Gallery of Art, Peter Morse, Gerald Nordland, Francis O'Connor, Jerome Pollack, Richard Powell, Ann Purcell, Harry Rand, Martin Ries, Joseph Solman, Leo Steinberg, Prentiss Taylor, Victorino Tejera, Valerie Thornton, Joanne Weber, and numerous family members.

Writings are by and about Jacob Kainen. Kainen's writings include articles, lectures, exhibition catalog essays, notes, travel notebooks, short stories, poems, and written statements about his artistic motivations and justifications. There are writings about Kainen by Avis Berman, Ruth Cole Kainen, and others. The bulk of the numerous diary entries are from Ruth Cole Kainen's diaries, many of which concern Jacob and their family. There are also annotated and revised diary entries. There is one folder of diary entries and one folder of journal entries by Jacob Kainen and two dismantled journal-like notebooks. The papers include daily calendars and travel itineraries from 1972 through 2001.

The papers include transcripts of formal interviews and informal conversations with Jacob Kainen. Transcripts are of informal dinner, telephone, and general conversations between friends, colleagues, artists, and Ruth Cole Kainen. Included are conversations with Avis Berman, Walter Hopps, Harry Rand, Joshua Taylor, and several others. Many of these transcripts were also annnotated by Jacob and Ruth Kainen. Also found are numerous transcripts of more formal interviews with Kainen by art historians, art critics, and students.

There are inventories, appraisals, and lists of sold and not sold paintings, as well as color photographs of some of Kainen's works of art. Also found are inventories of the Kainens' art collection. Printed materials include Kainen's exhibition catalogs and announcements, clippings of articles by and about Jacob Kainen, and an exhibition guestbook.

Photographs are of Kainen with his family and friends, at exhibition openings, and working in his studios. Works of art by others includes handmade greeting cards, limited edition prints, and portfolios given to Jacob Kainen. Nine scrapbooks containing news clippings and exhibition publications document the entirety of Kainen's career as an artist.
Arrangement:
The Jacob Kainen papers are arranged into 11 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1938-2001 (Boxes 1, 32; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence/Subject Files, 1936-2003 (Boxes 1-12, 32-33; 11.8 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1920s-2002 (Boxes 12-13, 33; 1.6 linear feet)

Series 4: Diaries, circa 1952-2002 (Boxes 13-18, 33-38; 10.0 linear feet)

Series 5: Calendars, 1953-2008 (Boxes 18-20, 38; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 6: Transcripts, circa 1975-1994 (Boxes 20-21, 38; 1.4 linear feet)

Series 7: Inventories, 1927-2001 (Boxes 21-22; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1938-2003 (Box 22, 38, OV 31; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 9: Photographs, 1905-2000 (Boxes 22-25, 38, OV 31; 3.3 linear feet)

Series 10: Works of Art by Others, 1942-2000 (Boxes 25-26, OV 31; 1.2 linear foot)

Series 11: Scrapbooks, 1936-1998 (Boxes 27-30, 38; 1.3 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Jacob Kainen (1909-2001) was a painter, printmaker, and curator who worked primarily in Washington, D.C.

Born on December 7, 1909 in Waterbury, Connecticut, Jacob Kainen moved with his family to New York City in 1918. Kainen studied at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn from 1927 until 1930, and at the Art Student's League. In the early 1930s, Kainen became involved in social causes and formed close friendships with the early abstractionists, including John Graham, Arshile Gorky, and Stuart Davis. He joined the Artists' Union and a contributor to its journal, Art Front, along with Stuart Davis and Harold Rosenberg. Jacob's participation in the Artists' Union was later investigated by the FBI.

From 1935 until 1942, Kainen worked for the Graphic Arts Division of the Works Progress Administration in New York City and began exhibiting with the New York School. It was during this period that he married Bertha Friedman. Jacob and Bertha had two sons together, Dan and Paul, and divorced in 1968.

In 1942, Kainen made a life-changing decision to leave New York City and move to Washington, D.C. to accept what he thought would be a temporary position as a scientific aide in the Division of Graphic Arts at the Smithsonian Institution. Kainen quickly became Assistant Curator and Curator in 1946. He served as Curator for twenty years, completely reshaping the department and building the graphic arts collection. His print exhibitions brought the work of S.W. Hayter, Josef Albers, Adja Yunkers, Louis Lozowick, Karl Schrag, José Guerrero, Louis Schanker, Werner Drewes, and Boris Margo to Washington audiences - graphic work that might not have been shown that early in the area.

1947 marked the opening of the Washington Workshop Center for the Arts, where Kainen served as a teacher and guide to several important artists, helping to make the workshop a magnet for new talent and instrumental in furthering the careers of several artists. Although Kainen taught Gene Davis and Alma Thomas and introduced Morris Louis to Leon Berkowitz, he never considered himself a member of the "Washington Color School."

In 1949, the Corcoran Gallery of Art held a retrospective of Kainen's prints and three years later Kenneth Noland organized Kainen's first painting retrospective at Catholic University. Kainen's paintings from the 1940s illustrated a shift away from social realism toward abstract expressionism. In 1956, Jacob Kainen received a grant from the American Philosophical society to conduct research in Europe for his monograph on the English woodcut artist, John Baptist Jackson. He traveled to Europe again in 1962 to study paintings and prints from the Mannerist Period.

From 1966 until 1970, Kainen worked as the Curator of prints and drawings at the National Collection of Fine Arts (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum). He married Ruth Cole in February of 1969. Kainen retired from the Smithsonian a year later to devote himself full-time to his art, but continued to serve as a special consultant to the Smithsonian American Art Museum for nineteen years. In 1971 and 1972, Kainen taught painting and the history of printmaking at the University of Maryland. A retrospective of Kainen's paintings was held in 1993 at the National Museum of American Art (SAAM).

Throughout his artistic career, Kainen experimented with different mediums and explored different styles, yet he identified himself as a painter. Jacob Kainen participated in at least twenty-five one man shows and several group exhibitions. His works are in collections across the United States and abroad, including the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the British Museum. He worked in his studio up until the time of his death on March 19, 2001 at his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Related Material:
Found among the holdings of the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview of Jacob Kainen conducted by Avis Berman in 1982 for the Archives' "Mark Rothko and His Times" oral history project. Also found are microfilm copies of Bertha Kainen's correspondence with Avis Berman regarding Berman's essay about Jacob Kainen.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reels 565, 2147-2149, and 2200) including correspondence, writings by Kainen, and papers relating to the Smithsonian Institution Loyalty Board's investigation of Jacob Kainen from 1942-1954. Most, but not all, of the loaned materials were included in later gifts. Loaned materials not donated at a later date remain with the lender and are not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Provenance:
Jacob and Ruth Kainen first lent the Archives of American Art material for microfilming from 1973-1981, the bulk of which was included in the later gifts. Papers were then donated in multiple accretions between 1981-2007 by Jacob and Ruth Kainen, and in 2009 from the estate of Ruth Kainen via executor Teresa Covacevich Grana. Also in 2003, eight photographs of Jacob and Ruth Kainen were transferred from the National Portrait Gallery to the Archives of American Art.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Jacob Kainen 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:
Curators -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Topic:
Painters -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Painting, Modern -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Painting, Abstract -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Art teachers -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Printmakers -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Diaries
Transcripts
Videotapes
Visitors' books
Lectures
Prints
Greeting cards
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Jacob Kainen papers, 1905-2008, bulk 1940-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kainjaco
See more items in:
Jacob Kainen papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kainjaco
Additional Online Media:

Addison Gallery of American Art (see also Reynolds, Jock)

Collection Creator:
Kainen, Jacob  Search this
Kainen, Ruth Cole.  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 36-40
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1990-2002
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Jacob Kainen 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:
Jacob Kainen papers, 1905-2008, bulk 1940-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Jacob Kainen papers
Jacob Kainen papers / Series 2: Correspondence/Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-kainjaco-ref33

Jacob Kainen papers, 1905-2009, bulk, 1940-2001

Creator:
Kainen, Jacob, 1909-2001  Search this
Subject:
Nordland, Gerald  Search this
Pollack, Jerome  Search this
Frohlich, Newton  Search this
Weber, Joanne  Search this
Steinberg, Leo  Search this
Butler, Bryce  Search this
Kainen, Ruth Cole  Search this
Acton, David  Search this
Holladay, Wilhelmina Cole  Search this
Taylor, Prentiss  Search this
Purcell, Ann  Search this
Morse, Peter  Search this
Taylor, Joshua C. (Joshua Charles),  Search this
Jordon, Jim  Search this
Halesz, Piri  Search this
Berman, Avis  Search this
Gorky, Arshile  Search this
Thornton, Valerie  Search this
Reynolds, Jock  Search this
Gilkey, Gordon  Search this
Hopps, Walter  Search this
Cole, Phoebe  Search this
Harrison, Carol  Search this
Jackson, John Baptist  Search this
O'Connor, Francis V.  Search this
Kalonyme, Louis  Search this
Lunn, Harry  Search this
Ries, Martin  Search this
Solman, Joseph  Search this
Agee, William C.  Search this
Rand, Harry  Search this
Powell, Richard J.  Search this
Fine, Ruth  Search this
Broun, Elizabeth  Search this
Tejera, V. (Victorino)  Search this
Holden, Donald  Search this
Field, Richard  Search this
National Gallery of Art (U.S.)  Search this
Brooklyn Museum  Search this
Baltimore Museum of Art  Search this
Corcoran Gallery of Art  Search this
Addison Gallery of American Art  Search this
British Museum  Search this
Corcoran School of Art (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Australian National Gallery  Search this
Fort Wayne Museum of Art  Search this
Middendorf Gallery  Search this
Pacific Northwest College of Art  Search this
Topic:
Transcripts  Search this
Art  Search this
Art teachers  Search this
Scrapbooks  Search this
Greeting cards  Search this
Painting, Modern  Search this
Photographs  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Visitors' books  Search this
Diaries  Search this
Prints  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Curators  Search this
Video recordings  Search this
Painting, Abstract  Search this
Printmakers  Search this
Lectures  Search this
Painters  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9025
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211214
AAA_collcode_kainjaco
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211214
Additional Online Media:

Exhibition Records, 1982-1994

Creator:
National Museum of American Art (U.S.) Curatorial Department  Search this
Subject:
Hopps, Walter  Search this
Kainen, Jacob  Search this
Mecklenburg, Virginia M (Virginia McCord) 1946-  Search this
Addison Gallery of American Art  Search this
Equitable Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Physical description:
1 cu. ft. (1 record storage box)
Type:
Clippings
Collection descriptions
Manuscripts
Black-and-white photographs
Date:
1982
1982-1994
Topic:
Museum exhibits  Search this
Traveling exhibitions  Search this
Art museum curators  Search this
Local number:
SIA Acc. 97-102
See more items in:
Exhibition Records 1938-2014 [Smithsonian American Art Museum Curatorial Office]
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_251997

Jacob Kainen / curated by Walter Hopps ; essays by William C. Agee and Avis Berman ; [project coordinators, Virginia Mecklenburg and Janet Altic Flint]

Author:
Kainen, Jacob  Search this
Agee, William C  Search this
Berman, Avis  Search this
Hopps, Walter  Search this
Mecklenburg, Virginia M (Virginia McCord) 1946-  Search this
Flint, Janet A  Search this
National Museum of American Art (U.S.)  Search this
Addison Gallery of American Art  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art at Equitable Center  Search this
Subject:
Kainen, Jacob  Search this
Physical description:
179 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 31 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
1993
C1993
Call number:
N40.1.K1345 H72 1993
N40.1.K1345H72 1993
ND237.K153A4 1993X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_447655

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