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Walter and Louise Arensberg papers, 1912-1982, (bulk 1917-1982)

Creator:
Arensberg, Walter, 1878-1954  Search this
Arensberg, Louise S. (Louise Stevenson), 1879-1953  Search this
Subject:
Sheeler, Charles  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel  Search this
Apollinaire, Guillaume  Search this
Wood, Beatrice  Search this
Topic:
Art  Search this
Art patrons  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)5962
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)208807
AAA_collcode_arenwalt
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_208807

Beatrice Wood papers

Creator:
Wood, Beatrice  Search this
Names:
Garth Clark Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
John Waller, Fine Ceramics (Firm : Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Zachary Waller Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Arensberg, Louise S. (Louise Stevenson), 1879-1953  Search this
Arensberg, Walter, 1878-1954  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Hapgood, Elizabeth Reynolds  Search this
Hoag, Stephen Asa  Search this
Nin, Anaïs, 1903-1977  Search this
Roché, Henri Pierre, 1879-1959  Search this
Rosencrantz, Esther, 1876-1950  Search this
Extent:
26.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drafts (documents)
Interviews
Photographs
Illustrated letters
Notes
Watercolors
Diaries
Transcripts
Lithographs
Short stories
Illustrations
Designs
Drawings
Bookplates
Date:
1894-1998
bulk 1930-1990
Summary:
The papers of California ceramicist Beatrice Wood measure 26.6 linear feet and date from 1906 to 1998, with the bulk dating from 1930-1990. There is extensive correspondence with gallery owners, fellow artists, clients, friends, and family. The collection also contains biograpical materials, personal business records, writings, printed materials, photographs, and works of art. Of particular interest are the 28 diaries that Wood maintained from 1916 until her death in 1998 and 42 glazing formula notebooks dating from 1934-1997. Also found are documents of Steven Hoag and Esther Rosencranz, her husband and aunt respectively, that consist of correspondence, business records, and photographs given to the Archives of American Art as part of the Beatrice Wood papers.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of California ceramicist Beatrice Wood measure 26.6 linear feet and date from 1906 to 1998, with the bulk dating from 1930-1990. There is extensive correspondence with gallery owners, fellow artists, clients, friends, and family. The collection also contains biographical materials, personal business records, writings, printed materials, photographs, and works of art. Of particular interest are the 28 diaries that Wood maintained from 1916 until her death in 1998 and 42 glazing formula notebooks dating from 1934-1997. Also found are documents of Steven Hoag and Esther Rosencranz, her husband and aunt respectively, that consist of correspondence, business records, and photographs given to the Archives of American Art as part of the Beatrice Wood papers.

Biographical material contains certificates, licenses, degrees, legal documents, and extensive interview transcripts, which describe her philosophy on art and her development as a ceramic artist.

Correspondence is particularly rich in documenting Wood's passion and dedication to her work as a writer and artist. The records reflect Wood's close professional and personal relationships with many friends and colleagues, including Henri-Pierre Roche, Marcel Duchamp, Anais Nin, Elizabeth Hapgood, and Walter and Lou Arensberg. Additional correspondence with editors and publishers is also included. Wood enjoyed illustrating her letters, as did many of her correspondents.

Personal business records include financial material, sales and consignment records, and correspondence with gallery owners, including Garth Clark Gallery, John Waller Gallery, and Zachary Waller Gallery.

Notes and writings extensively document Wood's second career as a writer. Edited drafts of her monographs and short stories are available, as well as her journal writings and notes. Drafts of I Shock Myself: The Autobiography of Beatrice Wood, Angel Who Wore Black Tights, 33rd Wife of a Maharajah, among others are included. Also found here are the illustrations that Wood created for her monographs. She often did a series of drawings for each illustration and these copies are included as well.

Twenty-eight detailed diaries contain information about studio sales, clients, and the economic uncertainties of being a self-employed artist. The diaries, arranged in one-year and five-year volumes, begin in 1916 and end just a few days before her death in 1998.

Forty-two glaze books record the formulas for the pottery glazes Wood developed throughout her career.

Printed material includes copies of Wood's published monographs as well as exhibition announcements and brochures. Also found are clippings about Wood, including numerous articles about her trips to India.

Photographic material includes photographs and slides of Wood, her friends, travels, and other events. Many of the photographs are identified by Wood.

Artwork includes original sketches, drawings, watercolors, lithographs and designs by Wood. The original illustrations from her books are included in this series.

The last two series contain records generated by her husband, Stephen Hoag and her maternal aunt, Esther Rosencrantz. Wood was married to Hoag from 1937 until his death in 1960. The bulk of the material contains Hoag's financial records, mostly receipts, from his early years as a engineer in the Pacific Northwest. Esther Rosencranz, a physician in San Francisco, collected book plates that are included in this series.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged as 11 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1924-1993 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1910-1998 (Box 1-8; 7.7 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1909-1988 (Box 9-11, 26, OV 31; 3.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Notes and Writings, circa 1912-1997 (Box 11-16, 27; 5.5 linear feet)

Series 5: Diaries, 1915-1998 (Box 17-20; 4 linear feet)

Series 6: Glaze Books, circa 1930-1997 (Box 21-22, 27-30; 2.5 linear feet)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1940-1997 (Box 23, OV 31; 1.1 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographic Material, 1913-1997 (Box 24, 30; 1 linear foot)

Series 9: Artwork, 1917-1991 (Box 24-25, 30; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 10: Stephen Hoag papers, 1906-1960 (Box 25; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 11: Esther Rosencranz papers, 1894-1959 (Box 25; 0.1 linear feet)
Biographical/Historical note:
Beatrice Wood (1893-1998) was a ceramicist, painter, and writer who relocated to Ojai, California in 1948.

Beatrice Wood was born on March 3, 1893 in San Francisco to socially prominent and wealthy parents. In the late 1890s, the family moved to New York City where Wood was expected to begin the process of "coming out" in New York society. This process included boarding schools, a convent school in Paris, and frequent summer trips to Europe where she was exposed to museums, galleries, and the theater. Wood studied acting and dance in Paris until the outbreak of the war in 1914. She returned to New York and soon joined the company of the French National Repertory Theatre. From 1914 through 1916, Wood played over 60 parts as a stage actress.

In 1917, Wood met the writer Henri Pierre Roche, with whom she had a brief affair and a long friendship. Roche introduced her to the New York world of artists and writers and encouraged her interest in drawing and painting. During a visit to see the composer Edgard Varese in the hospital, Wood met Marcel Duchamp, with whom she had a love affair and who also had a strong influence in her development as an artist. Their long discussions about modern art encouraged Wood to show Duchamp a recent drawing entitled "Marriage of a Friend." Duchamp liked the drawing so much that he published it in Rogue, a magazine partly financed by Walter and Louise Arensberg, friends of Duchamp. The Arensbergs were pioneering collectors of modern art and soon became friends of Wood as well. She became a frequent guest at their evening gatherings, forming friendships with Walter Pach, Francis Picabia, Joseph Stella, Myrna Loy, Galka Scheyer, and others.

Through Duchamp and the Arensbergs, Wood was introduced to the world of the New York Dada. Following the formation of the Society of Independent Artists in 1917, Wood exhibited work in their Independents exhibition. Together with Duchamp and Roche, she published a short-lived avant-garde journal, called Blind Man, in which the Alfred Steiglitz photograph of Duchamp's famous ready-made "Fountain" appeared. She also designed the poster for the Dada event, The Blind Man's Ball.

Throughout the 1920s, Wood continued to draw and paint, especially watercolors. Late in 1927, she moved to California to join the Arensbergs, who had been there since 1921. She also developed an interest in clay and took her first ceramics classes with Glen Lukens at the University of Southern California in the late 1930s. In 1940 Wood studied with Otto and Gertrud Natzler, Austrian potters who were known for their technical mastery and ability to throw almost perfectly formed pots. The Natzlers taught her how to throw pots and calculate glaze formulas.

Museums and galleries began to take an interest in her pottery and she held several shows in New York, San Francisco, and Phoenix. Several department stores, including Nieman Marcus and Gumps, also began to feature her pottery. During the 1940s, Wood began making figurative art in addition to more traditional pots. In 1947, for example, she included a large blue fish with white spots in an exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science, and Art. As her skills developed, Wood moved to a new home and studio in Ojai, California. By 1950, Wood was experimenting with luster surfaces, pottery with a metallic glaze that gives the effect of iridescence. These lusterware plates, in addition to her decorative figures and traditional ceramics, were sold at her studio, advertised with a sign out front that read "Beatrice Wood: Fine Pottery, Reasonable and Unreasonable."

In 1961, Wood visited India as a cultural ambassador, sponsored by the State Department. She toured the country and showed her work in fourteen cities. She became enamoured with Indian decorative arts and began to weave shimmering gold and silver threads into her palatte. Wood returned a second time in 1965 at the invitation of the Indian government. It was during this trip that she decided to adopt the sari as her style of dress, a style she continued until her death in 1998. She made her third and last trip to India in 1971. Her book, 33rd Wife of a Maharajah is about her adventures in India.

Wood always enjoyed writing, recording her daily activities in a diary and creating stories about her experiences with friends and colleagues. She published her first book, Angel Who Wore Black Tights in 1982, followed by her autobiography, I Shock Myself, in 1985.

Wood considered her last 25 years as her most productive. In addition to her literary publications, Wood also had several successful exhibitions, including Intimate Appeal: The Figurative Art of Beatrice Wood at the Oakland Museum in 1990 and Beatrice Wood: A Centennial Tribute at New York's American Craft Museum in 1997. The film, Beatrice Wood: The Mama of Dada, was filmed on the occasion of her 100th birthday in 1993. She died in Ojai, California in 1998, nine days after her 105th birthday.
Related Archival Materials note:
The Archives of American Art holds two oral history interviews with Beatrice Wood completed by Paul Karlstrom in 1976 and 1992.
Provenance:
Beatrice Wood donated her papers in several accretions between 1976 and 2002. Additional material was donated by Francis Naumann in 1993 and the Beatrice Wood Personal Property Trust in 1999. Material from a 1977 loan was included in Wood's later donations.
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.
Rights:
The Beatrice Wood 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 -- Philosophy  Search this
Authors -- California  Search this
Glazes -- Formulae  Search this
Women artists -- California  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Actresses -- United States  Search this
Ceramicists -- California  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- California  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drafts (documents)
Interviews
Photographs
Illustrated letters
Notes
Watercolors
Diaries
Transcripts
Lithographs
Short stories
Illustrations
Designs
Drawings
Bookplates
Citation:
Beatrice Wood papers, 1906-1998, bulk 1930-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.woodbeat
See more items in:
Beatrice Wood papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-woodbeat
Additional Online Media:

Charles Sheeler papers

Creator:
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Names:
Archives of American Art  Search this
Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Arensberg, Louise S. (Louise Stevenson), 1879-1953  Search this
Arensberg, Walter, 1878-1954  Search this
Bacon, Peggy, 1895-1987  Search this
Eidlitz, Dorothy  Search this
Halpert, Edith Gregor, 1900-1970  Search this
Lane, William H.  Search this
Newhall, Beaumont, 1908-1993  Search this
Newhall, Nancy Wynne.  Search this
Rourke, Constance, 1885-1941  Search this
Sheeler, Musya, 1908-1981  Search this
Waters, George  Search this
Weston, Edward, 1886-1958  Search this
Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963  Search this
Photographer:
Sheeler, Musya  Search this
White, Minor  Search this
Extent:
4.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Artifacts
Awards
Photographs
Journals (accounts)
Scrapbooks
Writings
Date:
circa 1840s-1966
bulk 1923-1965
Summary:
The papers of painter, photographer, lithographer and industrial designer Charles Sheeler measure 4.9 linear feet and date from circa 1840s to 1966, with the bulk of the material dating from 1923-1965. The collection documents Sheeler's family, personal life and career through financial and medical records, awards, correspondence, writings, an autobiography, journal and notebooks, scrapbooks, exhibition catalogs and announcements, printed materials, photographs, funeral records and artwork by Sheeler and others. The collection is particularly rich in Sheeler's writings, and also includes Sheeler's industrial designs and manufactured artwork. Notable photographs include Sheeler with Edward Weston, Edward Steichen, and John Marin.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter, photographer, lithographer and industrial designer Charles Sheeler measure 4.9 linear feet and date from circa 1840s to 1966, with the bulk of the material dating from 1923-1965. The collection documents Sheeler's family, personal life and career through financial and medical records, awards, correspondence, writings, an autobiography, journal and notebooks, scrapbooks, exhibition catalogs and announcements, printed materials, photographs, funeral records and artwork by Sheeler and others. The collection is particularly rich in Sheeler's writings, and also includes Sheeler's industrial designs and manufactured artwork. There are photographs of Sheeler with Edward Weston, Edward Steichen, and John Marin.

Biographical materials date from 1875, and 1928-1965, and include funeral records, medical records, insurance, tax, and scattered financial records. There is one folder of records relating to artwork and exhibitions, as well as Sheeler's numerous certificates, prizes and awards, and the condolence book used at his funeral.

Correspondence consists of Sheeler's personal and professional correspondence dating from 1937-1966 with friends, artists, dealers, collectors, photographers, and curators. Notable correspondents include Ansel Adams, Walter and Louise Arensberg, William Lane, Beaumont and Nancy Newhall, George Waters, William Carlos Williams, and Edward Weston. The series also includes correspondence with the Archives of American Art, Sheeler's biographer Constance Rourke, and with publishers, editors, children, and the general public. Lastly, there are condolence letters written to Musya Sheeler following Sheeler's death in May 1965.

Writings include Sheeler's journal dating from the 1950s-1963 and two notebooks containing notes, addresses, recipes, etc. Also found are Sheeler's writings on artists, drafts for articles, and a manuscript and notes for an autobiography that Sheeler wrote for Harcourt Brace. The autobiography became the basis for Constance Rourke's biography Charles Sheeler: Artist in the American Tradition published in 1938. The writing series also includes a short story by Musya Sheeler, and an illustrated short story by friend Dorothy Eidlitz.

The scrapbook series contains two oversize scrapbooks dating from 1930s-1960s that include newspaper and magazine clippings about Sheeler and his artwork, exhibition announcements and brochures, a poem, and a thank you letter from Abby Aldrich Rockefeller.

Additional printed materials date from 1923-1966 and document Sheeler's numerous exhibitions, notably his partnership with Edith Halpert and the Downtown Gallery. Found here are clippings, copies of magazines, exhibition announcements and catalogs, museum bulletings, books, and miscellaneous items.

Photographs date from circa 1840s-1963 and include photographs of Sheeler's family, of Sheeler, and of Sheeler with friends and colleagues. There is one daguerreotype, two ambrotypes, and two tintypes of Sheeler's family and of Sheeler as a child. There are copyprints of these originals. Additional photographs are of Sheeler's mother and father (or possibly Sheeler's grandparent), of Sheeler, of Sheeler with his wife Musya, Sheeler with William Lane, Sheeler with Edward Weston, and Sheeler with Edward Steichen and John Marin. The series also includes photographs of Sheeler's collection of Shaker furniture, and photographs of exhibitions.

Artwork by Sheeler dates from circa 1930s-1960s and includes artifacts of manufactured pieces based on his industrial designs. Found are a glass tumbler, salt and pepper shakers, a tea spoon, fabrics designed by Sheeler, and sketches. The series also includes a drawing by Peggy Bacon and a photograph by Minor White.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into seven series. Materials are arranged by material type and chronologically or alphabetically thereafter:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1875, 1928-1965 (Boxes 1, 5, OV10; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1937-1966 (Box 1; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1930s-1965 (Boxes 1-2 ; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 4: Scrapbooks, 1930s-1960s (Boxes 2, 6; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1923-1966 (Boxes 2-4, 7; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1840s-1963 (Box 4, OV11; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1930s-1960s (Boxes 4-5, 8-9, OV12-OV14; 1.1 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Painter, photographer, lithographer and designer, Charles Rettew Sheeler Jr. was born on July 16, 1883 to Mary Cunningham Sheeler and Charles Rettew Sheeler in Philadelphia. He attended the School of Industrial Art in Philadelphia from 1900-1903 and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he studied under William Merritt Chase. He found early success as a painter and exhibited at the Macbeth Gallery in 1908.

Around 1910 Sheeler took up photography, and by 1912 financially supported himself photographing buildings for local Philadelphia architects. The following year, Sheeler exhibited six paintings at the 1913 Armory Show in New York. In the mid 1910s, Sheeler began to collect American antiques, and by the 1920s was actively acquiring Shaker crafts and furniture.

In 1916, Sheeler was hired by Marius de Zayas of the Modern Gallery in New York to photograph objects and artwork. From 1917-1924, he worked as the staff photographer for the Modern Gallery and moved to New York in 1918. In 1920, Sheeler was hired as a still photographer for The Arts Magazine.

In 1926, Sheeler was hired by Edward Steichen to work as a fashion and celebrity photographer for Conde Nast Publications. His photographs were regularly featured in Vogue and Vanity Fair, but Sheeler also worked as a still life photographer for numerous advertising agencies. The following year, he was commissioned by the advertising firm N.W. Ayer and Son to photograph Ford Motor Company's new plant at River Rouge.

While working as a photographer, Sheeler continued to paint and used the subjects and composition of his photographs as a basis for his painting. His paintings Skyscrapers, 1922; Upper Deck, 1929; and American Landscape, 1930 are examples of Sheeler's technique of merging photographic imagery with painting and his overall precisionist style.

In 1931, upon the advice and guidance of Edith Halpert of the Downtown Gallery, Sheeler began to paint more often and to photograph less. Halpert became Sheeler's primarily dealer, and from 1931-1966 regularly exhibited his paintings and drawings. With Halpert's support, Sheeler produced Classic Landscape, 1931; American Interior, 1934; Silo, 1938; Amoskeag Canal, 1948; and Convolutions, 1952. In addition to Sheeler's partnership with Halpert, his work was exhibited by other galleries and museums throughout the United States and abroad.

In 1939, Sheeler married his second wife, Musya Metas Sokolova (1908-1981) and, in 1942, the couple moved to Irvington-on-Hudson, New York. Sheeler continued to paint and photograph until he suffered a debilitating stroke in 1959. After 1959, Sheeler remained active exhibiting his artwork until his death on May 7, 1965 in Dobbs Ferry, New York.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art holds several collections that are related to Charles Sheeler.

There are two oral history interviews with Sheeler conducted by Mary Bartlett Cowdrey in December 1958, and by Martin Friedman in June 1959. The Archives also has the records of the Macbeth Gallery, which include a substantial amount of correspondence with Sheeler from 1907-1921, and the Downtown Gallery records, which also include correspondence with Sheeler, photographs of Sheeler and his artwork, exhibition publications, clippings, press releases, and audio visual materials dating from 1904-1972.

Also found in the the Archives is a loan of Charles Sheeler letters filmed on reel NY/59-5 containing letters written by Sheeler to his psychologist and art collector, Dr. Helen Boigon, art student George Craven, and friend William Carlos Williams, all dating from 1939-1958. There is a collection of six letters of Sheeler letters addressed to Doris Royce, possibly an art critic, dating from 1949-1957. Miscellaneous manuscript collections include one letter written by Sheeler to E.P. Richardson in 1958, and another letter written to Frank Crowninshield in September, 1939.
Separated Material:
Portions of Sheeler's papers that were originally loaned for microfilming were not included in the later gifts and are available only on microfilm reel NSH-1. A watercolor study microfilmed on reel 1811 was later transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum. These materials are not described in the container list of this finding aid.
Provenance:
Charles Sheeler's wife Musya initially loaned the papers to the Archives of American Art for microfilming in 1958, 1965, and 1966. In June, 1966, she donated most of the earlier loaned materials. In 1964, Sheeler's friend Howard Lipman donated three photographs of Sheeler with Edward Steichen and John Marin. The third accrual was transferred to the Archives by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery Library in June 1979.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Charles Sheeler 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 copyright laws.
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Lithographers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Industrial designers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Artifacts
Awards
Photographs
Journals (accounts)
Scrapbooks
Writings
Citation:
Charles Sheeler papers, circa 1840s-1966, bulk 1923-1965. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.sheechar
See more items in:
Charles Sheeler papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-sheechar
Additional Online Media:

William Mills Ivins papers

Creator:
Ivins, William Mills, 1881-1961  Search this
Names:
Century Association (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Grolier Club  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Pierpont Morgan Library  Search this
Ames, Winslow  Search this
Arensberg, Walter, 1878-1954  Search this
Arms, John Taylor, 1887-1953  Search this
Berenson, Bernard, 1865-1959  Search this
Boas, George, 1891-  Search this
Burroughs, Bryson, 1869-1934  Search this
Carrington, Fitz Roy, 1869-1954  Search this
Cockerell, Sydney Carlyle, Sir, 1867-1962  Search this
Constable, W. G. (William George), 1887-1976  Search this
Dodgson, Campbell, 1867-1948  Search this
Frankfurter, Felix, 1882-1965  Search this
Friedländer, Max J., 1867-1958  Search this
Greene, Belle da Costa, 1883-1950  Search this
Holmes, Margaret Ivins, 1882-1954  Search this
Ivins, Barbara  Search this
Ivins, Emma Yard, 1857-1940  Search this
Ivins, Florence Wyman, 1881-1948  Search this
Ivins, Katherine  Search this
Ivins, William Mills, 1851-1915  Search this
Lay, Charles Downing, 1877-1956  Search this
Rogers, Bruce, 1870-1957  Search this
Ruzicka, Rudolph, 1883-  Search this
Sachs, Paul J. (Paul Joseph), 1878-1965  Search this
Sarton, George, 1884-1956  Search this
Simonson, Lee, 1888-  Search this
Sizer, Theodore, 1892-1967  Search this
Webster, Herman A. (Herman Armour), 1878-1970  Search this
Wind, Edgar, 1900-  Search this
Winter, Carl, 1906 Jan. 10-  Search this
Photographer:
Käsebier, Gertrude, 1852-1934  Search this
Extent:
20.5 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Date:
1878-1964
Summary:
The papers, 1878-1964 (20.5 linear feet) of museum curator, director, and art scholar William Mills Ivins (1881-1961) consist of correspondence, writings, notes, photographs, and Ivins family papers. Ivins was Curator of Prints, 1916-1946, Assistant Director, 1933-1938, and Acting Director, 1938-1940 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The collection contains professional and personal correspondence with art historians, art dealers, museum curators, print and book collectors, and artists concerning the history of print making, book design and illustration, print collectors and collecting, exhibitions, and museum administration. Also found are Ivins' published and unpublished writings and lectures, and notes. The collection contains some Ivins' family papers including family correspondence, genealogies, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers, 1878-1964 (20.5 linear feet) of museum curator, director, and art scholar William Mills Ivins (1881-1961) consist of personal and professional correspondence, writings, notes, photographs, and Ivins family papers. Ivins was Curator of Prints, 1916-1946, Assistant Director, 1933-1938, and Acting Director, 1938-1940 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The collection contains professional and personal correspondence with art historians, art dealers, museum curators, print and book collectors, and artists concerning the history of print making, book design and illustration, print collectors and collecting, exhibitions, and museum administration. Correspondence files appear to be complete, and correspondence is of substantive content. Also found are Ivins' published and unpublished writings and lectures, and notes. Of particular interest are the letters from Bernard Berenson, Paul J. Sachs, and Theodore Sizer, each of whom corresponded with Ivins freqently over extended periods about both personal and professional and matters.

Ivins' family papers include family correspondence, genealogies, and photographs. The papers of Ivin's wife, illustrator Florence Wyman Ivins (1881-1948), and the correspondence of several other relatives, can be found here augmented by family photographs.
Arrangement:
The collection has been arranged into 7 series. The contents and organization are noted in the individual series descriptions.

Series 1: Professional and Personal Papers, circa 1908-1961 (Boxes 1-8; 6.5 linear ft.)

Series 2: Writings, circa 1910-1960 (Boxes 8-12; 4.9 linear ft.)

Series 3: Publications, 1896-1958 (Boxes 13-14; 2.0 linear ft.)

Series 4: Miscellaneous, 1915, undated (Box 15; 1.0 linear ft.)

Series 5: Ivins Family Papers, 1878-1964, undated (Boxes 16-20; 4.5 linear ft.)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1890-1940 (Boxes 20-21; 1.5 linear ft.)

Series 7: Oversized Material, 1897-1950 (1 OV folder)
Biographical Note:
William Mills Ivins, Jr. (1881-1961), a lawyer, first became interested in collecting prints and illustrated books while an undergraduate at Harvard. He studied the history of printmaking through self-directed reading, by looking at prints in the major European libraries and museums, and tried his hand at many of the printmaking processes. While practicing law, he wrote articles and organized some small exhibitions of prints as early as 1908. In 1916, the Metropolitan Museum of Art appointed its first Curator of Prints to organize a Department of Prints and Drawings and to develop its small existing collection. Upon the recommendation of Paul J. Sachs who was unable to accept the position, Ivins was selected. He held the post until his retirement some thirty years later.

During his tenure as Curator of Prints, Ivins became one of the most highly-respected individuals in the profession. Under Ivins the collection grew in scope, size, and quality; he acquired materials by cultivating potential donors, and through systematic purchase of pieces not likely to come into the collection by bequest. The department's active exhibition schedule included some especially noteworthy shows, such as The Arts of the Book in 1924.

Ivins was knowledgeable and shared information by writing several books on prints and the history of printmaking, and by writing large numbers of articles for the educated layman. His articles often highlighted items in the permanent collection, and frequently appeared in the museum's Bulletin. He was interested in perspective, psychology of perception, aesthetics, mathematics and modern philosophy, and wrote on these topics, as well.

He was an accomplished speaker and was in much demand as a lecturer. Of particular note were his series on Illustrated Books of the Renaissance at the Morgan Library in 1936, and the 1950 Lowell Lectures (subsequently published under the title Prints and Visual Communication).

In addition to his curatorial duties, Ivins served as Assistant Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art between 1933 and 1938, and was its Acting Director from 1938 until 1940. Francis Henry Taylor was appointed Director in 1940, and Ivins was named to the newly created post of Counselor; failure to attain the directorship was a bitter disappointment, which many attributed to his lack of tact and generally difficult disposition.

Ivins retired in 1946, and continued to write and publish until the mid-1950's. During this period he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Yale University (1946), made an honorary fellow of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1946), named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1950), and invited to deliver the annual lectures at the Lowell Institute (1950). He died at the age of eighty in 1961, after several years of declining health.

Ivins' private collection of prints and illustrated books, which he had continued to amass through the 1930's, was partially dispersed during his lifetime through gifts to the Metropolitan Museum and to a number of university and special libraries. The portion remaining in his estate was sold at auction by Parke Bernet between 1962 and 1964.

1881 -- born to William Mills Ivins and Emma Yard Ivins, Flatbush, N.Y.

1890-1893 -- attended King's School, Stamford, Conn.

1896 -- trip to South America with father

1897 -- graduation from St. Paul's School, Concord, N.H.

1901 -- graduation from Harvard (A.B.)

1901-1902 -- travelled in Europe with Paul Haviland, and studied economics at University of Munich

1902-1904 -- employed by The World's Work, writing articles on economic and artistic subjects

1907 -- graduation from Columbia School of Law

1907-1916 -- practiced law in New York City: Ivins, Wolff and Houget for New York Public Service Commission, 1907-1908; Strong and Cadwallader, 1908-1909; Cravath, Henderson, and der Gersdorff, 1909-1916

1908 -- arranged first exhibition of prints, Keppel & Co,

1910 -- marriage to Florence Wyman, an illustrator

1916 -- appointed first Curator of Prints, Metropolitan Museum of Art

c. 1927-1935 -- served on editorial board of Metropolitan Museum Studies

1933-1938 -- Assistant Director, Metropolitan Museum of Art

1937 -- Morgan Library Lectures

1938 -- Honorary Curator of Prints and Drawings, Morgan Library

1938-1940 -- Acting Director, Metropolitan Museum of Art (Note: Mr. Ivins continued to act as Curator of Prints during periods when he was assigned other major administrative responsibilities at the museum)

1940 -- Counselor, Metropolitan Museum of Art

1946 -- Honorary Fellow, Metropolitan Museum of Art; retirement from Metropolitan Museum of Art; Honorary Doctorate, Yale University

1950 -- Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Lowell Lectures (published in 1953 under the title Prints and Visual Communication)

1961 -- death

1962-1964 -- Ivins Collection of Prints and Illustrated Books sold at auction by Parke Bernet

1977-1983 -- William M. Ivins, Jr. Papers donated to the Archives of American Art by his daughter, Barbara Ivins
Provenance:
The William Mills Ivins, Jr., papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by his daughter, Barbara Ivins, in several installments between 1977 and 1983.
Restrictions:
Use of unmicrofilmed material in the holdings of the Archives of American Art requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C., facility.
Rights:
The William Mills Ivins 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:
Illustrators  Search this
Aesthetics  Search this
Art museums  Search this
Book collectors and collecting  Search this
Museum directors  Search this
Perspective  Search this
Designers  Search this
Museums -- Acquisitions  Search this
Art historians  Search this
Prints -- History  Search this
Etching -- History  Search this
Engraving -- History  Search this
Medicine and art -- History  Search this
Illustrated books -- History  Search this
Museum curators  Search this
Citation:
William Mills Ivins papers, 1878-1964. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.ivinwill
See more items in:
William Mills Ivins papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-ivinwill
Additional Online Media:

Katharine Kuh papers

Creator:
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Names:
Albright-Knox Art Gallery  Search this
Art Institute of Chicago -- Faculty  Search this
Biennale di Venezia  Search this
Katharine Kuh Gallery (Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Albright, Ivan, 1897-1983  Search this
Archipenko, Alexander, 1887-1964  Search this
Arensberg, Louise S. (Louise Stevenson), 1879-1953  Search this
Arensberg, Walter, 1878-1954  Search this
Arp, Jean, 1887-1966  Search this
Barnet, Will, 1911-  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Biddle, George, 1885-1973  Search this
Breuer, Marcel, 1902-  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Campoli, Cosmo  Search this
Chagall, Marc, 1887-  Search this
Chavez Morado, José, 1909-2002  Search this
Chermayeff, Serge, 1900-  Search this
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Cox, Richard  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
Day, Worden, 1916-1986  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-  Search this
Dickinson, Edwin Walter, 1891-  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean, 1901-  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Elizabeth II, Queen of Great Britain, 1926-  Search this
Ernst, Jimmy, 1920-1984  Search this
Falkenstein, Claire, 1908-1997  Search this
Feitelson, Lorser, 1898-1978  Search this
Friendly, Fred W.  Search this
Giacometti, Alberto, 1901-1966  Search this
Golub, Leon, 1922-2004  Search this
Goto, Joseph, 1920-  Search this
Grabe, Klaus  Search this
Graves, Robert, 1895-1985  Search this
Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898-  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Hare, David, 1917-  Search this
Hare, Denise Browne  Search this
Hayter, Stanley William, 1901-1988  Search this
Hirshhorn, Joseph  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Hélion, Jean, 1904-1987  Search this
Inverarity, Robert Bruce, 1909-1999  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-  Search this
Kandinsky, Wassily, 1866-1944  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
Kepes, Juliet  Search this
Klee, Paul, 1879-1940  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Knox, Seymour H., 1898-1990  Search this
Le Corbusier, 1887-1965  Search this
Lundeberg, Helen, 1908-1999  Search this
Lye, Len, 1901-1980  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, 1886-1969  Search this
Millier, Arthur, 1893-  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Mérida, Carlos, 1891-1984  Search this
Nutting, Muriel Leone Tyler, b. 1892  Search this
Nutting, Myron Chester, 1890-1972  Search this
O'Higgins, Pablo, 1904-  Search this
Orozco, José Clemente, 1883-1949  Search this
Ozbekhan, Hasan, 1921-2007  Search this
Perkins, Frances  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Putnam, Wallace, 1899-1989  Search this
Ray, Man, 1890-1976  Search this
Rich, Daniel Catton, 1904-1976  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Sandberg, Carl  Search this
Seligmann, Kurt, 1900-1962  Search this
Shackelford, Shelby  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Spaeth, Otto, d. 1966  Search this
Sterne, Hedda, 1916-  Search this
Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-  Search this
Tanning, Dorothea, 1910-2012  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Winston, Harry Lewis  Search this
Woolf, Olga  Search this
Young, Victor  Search this
Photographer:
Pollack, Peter, 1909-1978  Search this
Extent:
12 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Illustrated letters
Resumes
Travel diaries
Minutes
Calendars
Visitors' books
Photographs
Paintings
Awards
Drawings
Sound recordings
Collages
Scrapbooks
Lithographs
Prints
Wills
Watercolors
Poetry
Lecture notes
Lectures
Sales records
Date:
1875-1994
bulk 1930-1994
Summary:
The papers of art historian, dealer, critic, and curator Katharine Kuh measure 12 linear feet and date from 1875-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930-1994. The collection documents Kuh's career as a pioneer modernist art historian and as the first woman curator of European Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues; personal business records; artwork by various artists; a travel journal; writings by Kuh and others; scrapbooks; printed material; photographs of Kuh and others; and audio recordings of Kuh's lectures and of Daniel Catton Rich reading poetry.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of art historian, dealer, critic, and curator Katharine Kuh measure 12 linear feet and date from 1875-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930-1994. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues; personal business records; artwork by various artists; a travel journal; writings by Kuh and others; scrapbooks; printed material; photographs of Kuh and others; and audio recordings of Kuh's lectures and of Daniel Catton Rich reading poetry.

Biographical material consists of copies of Kuh's birth certificate, resumés, passports, award certificates, honorary diplomas, and address books listing information about several prominent artists and colleagues.

Four linear feet of correspondence offers excellent documentation of Kuh's interest in art history, her travels, her career at the Art Institute of Chicago, her work as a corporate art advisor, and as an author. There are letters from her mother Olga Woolf, friends, and colleagues. There is extensive correspondence with various staff members of the Art Institute of Chicago, the First National Bank of Chicago, and The Saturday Review. Also of interest are letters from artists and collectors, several of whom became life-long friends including Walter and Louise Arensberg, Cosmo Campoli, Serge Chermayeff, Richard Cox, Worden Day, Claire Falkenstein, Fred Friendly, Leon Golub, Joseph Goto, David Hare, Denise Brown Hare, Jean Hélion, Ray Johnson, Gyorgy and Juliet Kepes, Len Lye, Wallace Putnam, Kurt Seligmann, Shelby Shackelford, Hedda Sterne, and Clyfford Still. Many letters are illustrated with original artwork in various media.

There are also scattered letters from various artists and other prominent individuals including Josef Albers, George Biddle, Marcel Breuer, Joseph Cornell, Stuart Davis, Edwin Dickinson, Joseph Hirshhorn, Daniel Catton Rich, and Dorothea Tanning.

Personal business records include a list of artwork, Olga Woolf's will, inventories of Kuh's personal art collection, miscellaneous contracts and deeds of gift, receipts for the sale of artwork, files concerning business-related travel, and miscellaneous receipts.

Artwork in the collection represents a wide range of artist friends and media, such as drawings, watercolors, paintings, collages, and prints. Included are works by various artists including lithographs by David Hare and a watercolor set, Technics and Creativity, designed and autographed by Jasper Johns for the Museum of Modern Art, 1970.

Notes and writings include annotated engagement calendars, travel journals for Germany, a guest book for the Kuh Memorial gathering, and many writings and notes by Kuh for lectures and articles concerning art history topics. Of interest are minutes/notes from meetings for art festivals, conferences, and the "Conversations with Artists Program (1961). Also found are writings by others about Kuh and other art history topics.

Six scrapbooks contain clippings that document the height of Kuh's career as a gallery director and museum curator. Scrapbook 6 contains clippings about Fernand Léger, the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1953.

Additional printed material includes clippings about Kuh and her interests, a comprehensive collection of clippings of Kuh's articles for The Saturday Review, exhibition announcements and catalogs, calendars of events, programs, brochures, books including Poems by Kuh as a child, and reproductions of artwork. Of particular interest are the early and exhibition catalogs from the Katharine Kuh Gallery, and rare catalogs for artists including Jean Arp, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Jean Dubuffet, Marcel Duchamp, Stanley William Hayter, Hans Hofmann, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Franz Kline, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Pablo Picasso.

Photographs provide important documentation of the life and career of Katharine Kuh and are of Kuh, family members, friends, colleagues, events, residences, and artwork. Several of the photographs of Kuh were taken by Will Barnet and Marcel Breuer and there is a notable pair of photo booth portraits of Kuh and a young Ansel Adams. There are also group photographs showing Angelica Archipenko with Kuh; designer Klaus Grabe; painters José Chavez Morado and Pablo O'Higgins in San Miguel, Mexico; Kuh at the Venice Biennale with friends and colleagues including Peggy Guggenheim, Frances Perkins, Daniel Catton Rich, and Harry Winston; and "The Pre-Depressionists" including Lorser Feitelson, Robert Inverarity, Helen Lundeberg, Arthur Millier, Myron Chester Nutting, and Muriel Tyler Nutting.

Photographs of exhibition installations and openings include views of the Katharine Kuh Gallery; Fernand Léger, Man Ray, and László Moholy-Nagy at the Art Institute of Chicago; and Philip Guston, Jimmy Ernst, Seymour H. Knox, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. There are also photographs depicting three men posing as Léger's "Three Musicians" and the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the Art Institute of Chicago. There is a photograph by Peter Pollack of an elk skull used as a model by Georgia O'Keeffe.

Additional photographs of friends and colleagues include Ivan Albright, Alfred Barr, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Willem De Kooning, Edwin Dickinson, Marcel Duchamp, Claire Falkenstein, Alberto Giacometti, poet Robert Graves with Len Lye, Philip Johnson, Gyorgy and Juliet Kepes, Carlos Mérida, José Orozco, Hasan Ozbekhan, Pablo Picasso, Carl Sandberg, Ben Shahn, Otto Spaeth, Hedda Sterne, Adlai Stevenson, Clyfford Still, Mark Tobey, and composer Victor Young.

Photographs of artwork include totem poles in Alaska; work by various artists including Claire Falkenstein, Paul Klee, and Hedda Sterne; and work donated to the Guggenheim Museum.

Four audio recordings on cassette are of Katharine Kuh's lectures, including one about assembling corporate collections, and of Daniel Catton Rich reading his own poetry. There is also a recording of the Second Annual Dialogue between Broadcasters and Museum Educators.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series. Undated correspondence, artwork, and photographs of individual artists are arranged alphabetically. Otherwise, each series is arranged chronologically.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1945-1992 (Box 1; 16 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1908-1994 (Boxes 1-5, 13-14, OV 15; 4.0 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1941-1989 (Box 5; 19 folders)

Series 4: Artwork, 1931-1986 (Boxes 5, 13-14, OVs 15-23; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 5: Notes and Writings, 1914-1994 (Boxes 5-7; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1935-1953 (Box 7; 8 folders)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1916-1992 (Boxes 7-10, 13, OV 22; 3.0 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, 1875-1993 (Boxes 10-13; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 9: Audio Recordings, 1977 (Box 12; 1 folder)
Biographical Note:
Katharine Kuh (1904-1994) worked primarily in the Chicago area as an modern art historian, dealer, critic, curator, writer, and consultant. She operated the Katharine Kuh Gallery from 1935-1943 and was the first woman curator of European and Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Katharine Kuh (née Woolf) was born on July 15, 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri, the youngest of the three daughters of Olga Weiner and Morris Woolf, a silk importer. In 1909, the family moved to Chicago, Illinois. While traveling with her family in Europe in 1914, Katharine contracted polio, causing her to spend the next decade in a body brace. During this time of restricted movement, she developed an interest in art history through the collecting of old master prints.

After her recovery, Katharine Woolf attended Vassar College where one of her professors, Alfred Barr, encouraged her to study modern art. She graduated from Vassar in 1925 and received a master's degree in art history from the University of Chicago in 1929. Later that year, she moved to New York to pursue a Ph.D. in Renaissance and medieval art at New York University.

In 1930, Katharine Woolf returned to Chicago and married businessman George Kuh and began to teach art history courses in the suburbs of Chicago. After divorcing George Kuh in 1935, she opened the Katharine Kuh Gallery, the first gallery devoted to avant-garde art in Chicago. It was also the first gallery to exhibit photography and typographical design as art forms, and featured the work of Ansel Adams, Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, Wassily Kandinsky, Fernand Léger, and Man Ray, among others. From 1938 to1940, Kuh was the Visiting Professor of Art at the University School of Fine Arts, San Miguel, Mexico.

After the Katharine Kuh Gallery closed in 1943, Kuh was hired by museum director Daniel Catton Rich to fill a position in public relations at the Art Institute of Chicago. During the following years, Kuh edited the museum's Quarterly publication, took charge of the museum's Gallery of Interpretive Art, and began a long term relationship with Rich. In 1946, Kuh was sent on a special mission for the U. S. Office of Indian Affairs to make a detailed study of Native American totemic carvings in Alaska.

In 1949, Kuh persuaded Mr. and Mrs. Walter Arensberg of Los Angeles to exhibit their collection of modern art, creating the first post-war exhibition of modern art in Chicago. She published her first book Art Has Many Faces in 1951, and in the following year, she began writing art criticism for The Saturday Review. In 1954, Kuh was appointed the first woman curator of European Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute. She assembled the American contribution for the Venice Biennale in 1956 and during these years, Kuh helped acquire many of the works of modern art currently in the museum's collection.

A year following Daniel Catton Rich's 1958 resignation from the Art Institute of Chicago, Kuh also resigned and pursued a career in New York as an art collection advisor, most notably for the First National Bank of Chicago. In 1959, Kuh was made art critic for The Saturday Review, and she continued to publish books, including The Artist's Voice in 1962, Break-Up: The Core of Modern Art in 1965, and The Open Eye: In Pursuit of Art in 1971.

Katharine Kuh died on January 10, 1994 in New York City.
Provenance:
The Katharine Kuh papers were donated in several installments from 1971 to 1989 by Katharine Kuh and in 1994 by her estate. Artwork was donated in 1995 by Kuh's former employer, the Art Institute of Chicago.
Restrictions:
Authorization to quote, publish or reproduce requires written permission until 2019. Contact the Archives of American Art Reference Services department for additional information.
Rights:
The Katharine Kuh 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, Abstract -- United States  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Art festivals  Search this
Women museum curators -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Women art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Women art historians -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Women art dealers -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Women art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women art critics -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Genre/Form:
Illustrated letters
Resumes
Travel diaries
Minutes
Calendars
Visitors' books
Photographs
Paintings
Awards
Drawings
Sound recordings
Collages
Scrapbooks
Lithographs
Prints
Wills
Watercolors
Poetry
Lecture notes
Lectures
Sales records
Citation:
Katharine Kuh papers, 1875-1994, bulk 1930-1994. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kuhkath
See more items in:
Katharine Kuh papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kuhkath

Avis Berman research material on Katharine Kuh

Creator:
Berman, Avis  Search this
Names:
Arensberg, Walter, 1878-1954  Search this
Dale, Chester, b. 1883  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Harmon, Lily, 1912-  Search this
Kaufmann, Edgar, 1910-1989  Search this
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Lebrun, Rico, 1900-1964  Search this
Neumann, J. B. (Jsrael Ber)  Search this
Rich, Daniel Catton, 1904-1976  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Extent:
3 Linear Feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Interviews
Date:
1939-2006
Summary:
The Avis Berman research material on art dealer and curator Katharine Kuh measures 3.0 linear feet and dates from 1939 to 2006. The materials were compiled by art historian Avis Berman in preparing Katharine Kuh's memoir, which was published posthumously as My Love Affair with Modern Art: Behind the Scenes with a Legendary Curator. The collection includes Katharine Kuh's files; Kuh's drafts, manuscripts and interviews for her memoir; and Avis Berman's files relating to the book's publication. Also included is memorabilia.
Scope and Content Note:
The Avis Berman research material on art dealer and curator Katharine Kuh measures 3.0 linear feet and dates from 1939 to 2006. The materials were compiled by art historian Avis Berman in preparing Katharine Kuh's memoir, which was published posthumously as My Love Affair with Modern Art: Behind the Scenes with a Legendary Curator. The collection includes Katharine Kuh's files; Kuh's drafts, manuscripts and interviews for her memoir; and Avis Berman's files relating to the book's publication. Also included is memorabilia.

The Katharine Kuh files contain correspondence; exhibition files; writings and notes; and Kuh's interview with Lily Harmon on J. B. Neumann. Correspondents include Walter Arensberg, Marcel Duchamp, and Edgar Kaufmann. Also included is the scattered correspondence of Daniel Catton Rich with Walter Arensberg, Chester Dale, Katharine Kuh, Samuel Marx, and others. Exhibition files pertain to exhibitions curated by Katharine Kuh for the Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection and one-man shows for Rico Lebrun and Mark Tobey, respectively.

Sorting Out and Summing Up: Episodes in An Art Odyssey contains Katharine Kuh's draft versions of book chapters; her manuscripts and interviews; and drafts of chapters that were not incorporated in the published memoir. Also included are manuscripts for the memoir and an annotated version of Avis Berman's interview with Kuh.

The Avis Berman files include correspondence, writings, printed material, clippings, press releases, and miscellaneous printed material. Files document Berman's activities concerning the publication of the memoir.

Memorabilia consists of a monograph and a memorial booklet.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 4 series:

Series 1: Katharine Kuh Files, 1944-2003 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 2: -- Sorting Out and Summing Up: Episodes in an Art Odyssey -- by Katharine Kuh, 1939-2006 (Boxes 1-3; 2.0 linear feet)

Series 3: Avis Berman Files, 1950s-2006 (Box 3; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 4: Memorabilia, 1976, 1977 (0.1 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Writer and art historian, Avis Berman lives and works in New York City. Berman was a close friend of Katharine Kuh's and is Kuh's literary executor. Berman compiled Katharine Kuh's research materials for the memoir that she was working on at the time of her death; the book was subsequently published as My Love Affair with Modern Art: Behind the Scenes with a Legendary Curator in 2006.

Katharine Kuh (1904-1994) was a curator and art dealer born in St. Louis, Missouri. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College in 1925, where she studied art history under Alfred Barr. In 1928, she earned her Master's in Art History at the University of Chicago. As a graduate student, Kuh developed an interest in modern art, particularly the work of European artists.

Kuh married George Kuh, a businessman in 1930. She and Kuh divorced six years later.

In 1935, she established the Katharine Kuh Gallery in Chicago. The gallery was dedicated to featuring the works of contemporary European and American painters and sculptors, such as Alexander Archipenko, Alexei Jawlensky, Wassily Kandinsky, Gyorgy Kepes, Paul Klee, Gaston Lachaise, Fernand Léger, Carlos Mérida, Joan Miro, Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, Pablo Picasso, as well as Charles Biederman, Alexander Calder, Stuart Davis, and Isamu Noguchi, among others. The Katharine Kuh Gallery was one of the first galleries in Chicago to show photography as art. Kuh held exhibitions for Ansel Adams, Eliot Porter, Edward Weston, and she also showed the photographs of Gyorgy Kepes and Man Ray.

At the gallery, Kuh taught classes on an informal basis to individuals interested in modern art. During this period, she spent her summers as a Visiting Professor of Art History at the University School of Fine Arts of San Miguel in Guanajuarto, Mexico (1938-1940). With the onset of America's involvement in World War II, Kuh realized that the war would curtail her contact with many of the European artists whose works she had promoted and in 1942, she decided to close the gallery.

In 1943, Katharine Kuh took a position in the public relations department at the Art Institute of Chicago. The following year, Kuh was asked to take over the Gallery of Art Interpretation at the Art Institute. Later she was appointed the Curator of Painting and Sculpture; in this role, she developed a close collaborative relationship with the Director of the Art Institute, Daniel Catton Rich. From 1946-1953, she served as the Editor of the Art Institute of Chicago Quarterly.

She left the Art Institute in 1959 and settled in New York City. She served as an art editor at the Saturday Review and World Magazine. She was also an art consultant for the First National Bank of Chicago from 1968-1979.

Katharine Kuh traveled extensively and often wrote about the art of the places she visited such as Sicily, Turkey, and the Yucatan. In the 1940s Kuh developed an interest in the wood carvings of the Indian tribes in the Pacific Northwest. The University of Alaska awarderd her an honorary doctorate for her efforts to preserve the indigenous artwork of the region's Native Americans.

Her publications on twentieth-century art included: Art Has Many Faces (1951), The Artist's Voice: Talks with Seventeen Artists (1962), Break-up: The Core of Modern Art (1965), and The Open Eye: In Pursuit of Art (1971). Kuh also wrote the catalog that accompanied the "Fernand Léger Retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago" (1953). At the time of her death, Katharine Kuh had completed a final draft of her memoir, which she had tentatively titled, Sorting Out and Summing Up: Episodes in an Art Odyssey.

In 1994, Katharine Kuh died in New York City.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art holds the Katharine Kuh papers, 1908-1994. Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Katharine Kuh conducted by Avis Berman, March 18, 1982-March 23, 1983. Additional Katharine Kuh material is located at the Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
Provenance:
The Avis Berman Research Material, 1939-2006 was donated to the Archives of American Art by Avis Berman, an art historian and literary executor of Katharine Kuh's estate in 2007.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
Authorization to quote, publish, or reproduce requires written permission from: Avis Berman, 407 East 91st Street, New York, New York 10128.
Topic:
Art, Modern  Search this
Art dealers -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Curators -- Illinois-Chicago  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Citation:
Avis Berman research material on Katharine Kuh, 1939-2006. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.bermavis3
See more items in:
Avis Berman research material on Katharine Kuh
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bermavis3

For the want of a nail : the disposition of the Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection / by Naomi Helene Sawelson-Gorse

Author:
Sawelson-Gorse, Naomi Helene  Search this
Subject:
Arensberg, Walter 1878-1954 Art collections  Search this
Arensberg, Louise Art collections  Search this
Arensberg, Walter 1878-1954  Search this
Arensberg, Louise  Search this
Philadelphia Museum of Art  Search this
Physical description:
xxxiv, 297 leaves : ill., ports ; 28 cm
Type:
Manuscripts
Date:
1987
20th century
Topic:
Art, Modern--Private collections  Search this
Call number:
N5220.A74 S38 1987
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_675249

Mr. Pennell's etchings of London / by Walter Conrad Arensberg. To which is appended Mr. Pennell as a printer / by Frederick Keppel

Author:
Arensberg, Walter 1878-1954  Search this
Keppel, Frederick 1845-1912 Mr. Pennell as a printer  Search this
Frederick Keppel & Co  Search this
Subject:
Pennell, Joseph 1857-1926 Criticism and interpretation  Search this
Physical description:
[41] p. : ill. ; 15 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1906
Call number:
N40.1.P43y A68 1906
N40.1.P43yA68 1906
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_423308

The Keppel booklets : second series

Author:
Curtis, Atherton  Search this
Keppel, Frederick 1845-1912  Search this
Arensberg, Walter 1878-1954  Search this
Bénédite, Léonce 1859-1925  Search this
Sturgis, Russell 1836-1909  Search this
Subject:
Raffet, Denis Auguste Marie 1804-1860  Search this
Méryon, Charles 1821-1868  Search this
Whistler, James McNeill 1834-1903  Search this
Pennell, Joseph 1857-1926  Search this
Buhot, Félix Hilaire 1847-1898  Search this
Piranesi, Giovanni Battista 1720-1778  Search this
Physical description:
6 v. in case : ill. ; 16 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1906
Topic:
Etching  Search this
Call number:
NE1970 .K47Z
NE1970.K47Z
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_347798

The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection

Author:
Philadelphia Museum of Art  Search this
Arensberg, Louise  Search this
Arensberg, Walter 1878-1954  Search this
Physical description:
2 v. illus. (part col.) ports. 27 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Place:
Pennsylvania
Philadelphia
Date:
1954
20th century
Topic:
Art  Search this
Art, Modern  Search this
Antiquities  Search this
Call number:
N685 .A3
N685.A3
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_45544

Paintings from the Arensberg and Gallatin collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Author:
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum  Search this
Philadelphia Museum of Art  Search this
Subject:
Arensberg, Walter 1878-1954 Art collections  Search this
Arensberg, Louise Art collections  Search this
Gallatin, A. E (Albert Eugene) 1881-1952 Art collections  Search this
Physical description:
[40] p. illus. 28 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
Pennsylvania
Philadelphia
Date:
1961
1961]
Topic:
Painting  Search this
Call number:
N685 .A68
N685.A68
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_50432

20th century art, from the Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, [exhibition] October 20 to December 18, 1949

Title:
Twentieth-century art, from the Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection
Arensberg Collection
Author:
Arensberg, Louise  Search this
Arensberg, Walter 1878-1954  Search this
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Rich, Daniel Catton 1904-1976  Search this
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Subject:
Arensberg, Louise Art collections Exhibitions  Search this
Arensberg, Walter 1878-1954 Art collections Exhibitions  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel 1887-1968  Search this
Brancusi, Constantin 1876-1957  Search this
Physical description:
104 p., [70] p. of plates. illus. 26 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
1949
C1949
20th century
Topic:
Art, Modern  Search this
Call number:
N6490 .C53X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_72866

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