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Oral history interview with Deborah Butterfield, 2008 September 13-October 7

Interviewee:
Butterfield, Deborah, 1949-  Search this
Interviewer:
Matteson, Lynn Robert, 1939-  Search this
Subject:
Stoddard-Fleischman History of Rocky Mountain Area Artists project  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Women sculptors  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)15686
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)282759
AAA_collcode_butter09
Theme:
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_282759

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:

Wailana, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Medium:
Bronze
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
University of Rochester Memorial Art Gallery 500 University Avenue Rochester New York 14607 Accession Number: 2000.18
Date:
1999
Topic:
Animal--Horse  Search this
Control number:
IAS 37390178
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_472019

Woodrow, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Medium:
Bronze
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Walker Art Center Vineland Place Minneapolis Minnesota 55403
Date:
1988
Topic:
Animal--Horse  Search this
Control number:
IAS 26040003
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_23321

Untitled, (sculpture)

Title:
Butterfield Horse, (sculpture)
Sculptor:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Medium:
Sculpture: aluminum and wire; Base: mortared brick
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Coadministered by City of Sacramento Art in Public Places Program 800 Tenth Street, Suite 1 Sacramento California 95814
Coadministered by Sammis Company 1451 River Park Drive, Suite 110 Sacramento California 95815
Located Corporate Center 5th & J Streets Sacramento California
Date:
Aug. 1983
Topic:
Animal--Horse  Search this
Control number:
IAS 66060011
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_297469

Paint, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Medium:
Welded sheet copper on cast bronze armature
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Copley Place Dartmouth & Stuart Streets Boston Massachusetts
Date:
1987
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Animal--Horse  Search this
Control number:
IAS 87740058
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_299658

Henry, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Medium:
Welded sheet copper on cast bronze armature
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Copley Place Dartmouth & Stuart Street Boston Massachusetts
Date:
1987
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Animal--Horse  Search this
Control number:
IAS 87740059
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_299659

Riot, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Medium:
Steel
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Delaware Art Museum 2301 Kentmere Parkway Wilmington Delaware 19806 Accession Number: 91-126
Date:
1990
Topic:
Animal--Horse  Search this
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS 08080041
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_308409

Setsuko, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Founder:
Unknown (Walla Walla, Washington)  Search this
Medium:
Sculpture: bronze; Base: rock and gravel
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Summa Corporation Commercial and Industrial Division 1645 Plaza East Village Center Circle Las Vegas Nevada 89128
Date:
Dedicated July 1994
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Animal--Horse  Search this
Homage--Setsuko  Search this
Control number:
IAS NV000062
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_319392

Valentine and Orson, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Founder:
Walla Walla Foundry  Search this
Medium:
Sculpture: silicon bronze with ferric-nitrate/sulfur finish; Recessed foundation: concrete
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Administered by Town of Greenwich Department of Parks & Recreation 101 Field Point Road, Town Hall Greenwich Connecticut 06830
Located Bruce Park Across from 399 Bruce Park Drive Greenwich Connecticut
Date:
Cast Nov. 1989. Dedicated May 19, 1990
Topic:
Animal--Horse  Search this
Control number:
IAS CT000316
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_333979

Bonfire and Meridian, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Medium:
Sculpture: bronze; Base: concrete
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Administered by City of Kansas City, Missouri Planning Services Division 4600 East 63rd Street Kansas City Missouri 64130
Located Kansas City Zoo 6800 Zoo Drive Entrance Kansas City Missouri
Date:
Dec. 1995
Topic:
Animal--Horse  Search this
Control number:
IAS 74870008
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_358457

Hermit, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Medium:
Unique bronze with patina finish
Type:
Sculptures
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Owner/Location:
Columbus Museum 1251 Wynnton Road Columbus Georgia 31906 Accession Number: G.2005.34
Date:
2004
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Animal--Horse  Search this
Control number:
IAS 10640049
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_469722

Duna, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Medium:
Bronze
Type:
Sculptures
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Owner/Location:
Administered by City of Evanston 2100 Ridge Avenue Evanston Illinois 60201
Located Oldberg Park Elgin Road Evanston Illinois 60201
Date:
Installed May 15, 1998
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Animal--Horse  Search this
Control number:
IAS 68840002
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_467333

Deborah Butterfield [videorecording] : dialogue with the artist

Author:
Denver Art Museum  Search this
Knox, Amie C  Search this
Subject:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Physical description:
1 videocassette (18 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in
Type:
Videorecordings
Date:
1998
Topic:
Horses in art  Search this
Call number:
video 000906
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_835327

Deborah Butterfield : sculpture 1980 to 1992 / Madison Art Center

Author:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Fleischman, Stephen 1954-  Search this
Madison Art Center  Search this
Subject:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Physical description:
[6] p. : col. ill. ; 23 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
1994
Call number:
NB237.B87 A4 1994
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_837604

Butterfield/Buck, a collaboration / Yellowstone Art Center

Title:
Collaboration
Author:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Buck, John 1946-  Search this
Tucker, Marcia  Search this
Guenther, Bruce  Search this
Yellowstone Art Center (Billings, Mont.)  Search this
Subject:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Buck, John 1946-  Search this
Physical description:
1 folded sheet (([6] p.) : ill. (some col.), ports. ; 28 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
1988
[1988?]
Topic:
Artistic collaboration  Search this
Artist couples  Search this
Call number:
NB237.B87 A4 1988b
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_839059

Deborah Butterfield / by Robert Gordon ; introduction by Jane Smiley ; essay by John Yau ; poems by Vicki Hearne

Author:
Gordon, Robert  Search this
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Yau, John 1950-  Search this
Subject:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Physical description:
178 p. : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 28 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Date:
2003
Topic:
Horses in art  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_722017

Deborah Butterfield, sculpture / [organized by the Hansen Fuller Goldeen Gallery, San Francisco]

Author:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Hansen Fuller Goldeen Gallery  Search this
ARCO Center for Visual Art  Search this
Subject:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Physical description:
24 p. : ill. ; 22 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
1981
C1981
Call number:
NB237.B87 A4 1981
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_645995

Horses : the art of Deborah Butterfield / essay by Donald Kuspit ; interview by Marcia Tucker

Author:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Kuspit, Donald B (Donald Burton) 1935-  Search this
Tucker, Marcia  Search this
Lowe Art Museum  Search this
Subject:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Physical description:
95 p. : col. ill. ; 26 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
1992
C1992
Topic:
Horses in art  Search this
Call number:
NB237.B87 A4 1992
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_646002

Deborah Butterfield : [Exhibition] The Faith and Charity in Hope Gallery, July, 1988

Author:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Subject:
Butterfield, Deborah 1949-  Search this
Physical description:
[28] p. : ill. ; 20 x 25 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1988
Call number:
NB237.B87 A4 1988
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_653045

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