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Nina Howell Starr papers, 1933-1996

Creator:
Starr, Nina Howell, 1903-2000  Search this
Subject:
Sherwood, Maggie  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Szarwarski, John  Search this
Evans, Walker  Search this
Daitz, Evelyne Z.  Search this
Ringgold, Faith  Search this
Kanaga, Consuelo  Search this
Brandt, Helene  Search this
Kruger, Louise  Search this
Lippard, Lucy R.  Search this
Morgan, Barbara Brooks  Search this
Kernan, Margo  Search this
Macdonald-Wright, Stanton  Search this
Rose, Ruth Starr  Search this
Ghent, Henri  Search this
Cohen, Stephanie  Search this
DiSpirito, Henry  Search this
Putnam, Wallace  Search this
Coke, Van Deren  Search this
Savage, Naomi  Search this
Mainardi, Patricia Madelena  Search this
Evans, Minnie  Search this
Uelsmann, Jerry  Search this
Connor, Linda  Search this
Strand, Paul  Search this
Museum of American Folk Art  Search this
Southern Regional Council  Search this
Photographic Historical Society of New York  Search this
Sharon Arts Center  Search this
Professional Women's Photographers, Inc  Search this
International Women's Art Festival  Search this
Type:
Sketches
Interviews
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Prints
Drawings
Topic:
Folk art  Search this
Art historians  Search this
Civil rights  Search this
Photography  Search this
Art dealers  Search this
Photographers  Search this
African American art  Search this
Women photographers  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6053
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216034
AAA_collcode_starnina
Theme:
African American
The Art Market
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_216034
Additional Online Media:

Nina Howell Starr papers

Creator:
Starr, Nina Howell  Search this
Names:
International Women's Art Festival  Search this
Museum of American Folk Art  Search this
Photographic Historical Society of New York  Search this
Professional Women's Photographers, Inc.  Search this
Sharon Arts Center  Search this
Southern Regional Council  Search this
Brandt, Helene, 1936-  Search this
Cohen, Stephenie  Search this
Coke, Van Deren, 1921-  Search this
Connor, Linda  Search this
Daitz, Evelyne Z.  Search this
DiSpirito, Henry, 1898-1995  Search this
Evans, Minnie, 1892-  Search this
Evans, Walker, 1903-1975  Search this
Ghent, Henri, 1926-  Search this
Kanaga, Consuelo, 1894-  Search this
Kernan, Margo, 1927-  Search this
Kruger, Louise, 1924-  Search this
Lippard, Lucy R.  Search this
Macdonald-Wright, Stanton, 1890-1973  Search this
Mainardi, Patricia  Search this
Morgan, Barbara Brooks, 1900-  Search this
Putnam, Wallace, 1899-1989  Search this
Ringgold, Faith  Search this
Rose, Ruth Starr, 1887-1965  Search this
Savage, Naomi, 1927-2005  Search this
Sherwood, Maggie, 1922-1984  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Strand, Paul, 1890-1976  Search this
Szarwarski, John  Search this
Uelsmann, Jerry, 1934-  Search this
Extent:
21.2 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Interviews
Drawings
Sketches
Transcripts
Sound recordings
Prints
Date:
circa 1933-1996
Summary:
The papers of photographer and art historian Nina Howell Starr measure 21.2 linear feet and date from circa 1933 to 1996. The papers contain research files about various art historical topics, museums and galleries, photography, and artists. There are extensive files documenting Starr's relationship as researcher, dealer, and friend of folk painter Minnie Evans. Additionally, the papers include biographical materials, writings, speeches, project files, printed material collected or authored by Starr, and hundreds of artistic and documentary photographs and negatives created by Starr depicting her travels, Minnie Evans' paintings, roadside folk art, and other topics.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of photographer and art historian Nina Howell Starr measure 21.2 linear feet and date from circa 1933 to 1996. The papers contain research files about various art historical topics, museums and galleries, photography, and artists. There are extensive files documenting Starr's relationship as researcher, dealer, and friend of folk painter Minnie Evans. Additionally, the papers include biographical materials, writings, speeches, project files, printed material collected or authored by Starr, and hundreds of artistic and documentary photographs and negatives created by Starr depicting her travels, Minnie Evans' paintings, roadside folk art, and other topics.

Biographical materials are scattered and include grant and publication applications, curriculum vitae, lists of artwork, and miscellany.

Starr's lectures, writings, and project files are arranged into one series. They include Starr's student writings, a notebook about Civil Rights, files documenting her work on a Florida public housing project, the Southern Regional Council, and the League of Women Voters. A few files of general writings and lectures mostly concern folk artist Minnie Evans and the exhibition Women Photograph Men, held at the International Women's Arts Festival in 1976.

Subject files on artists, art history topics, photographers and photography (including Starr's work), and on folk artist and friend Minne Evans comprise the bulk of the collection. The files are a mix of collated materials and primary sources created by Starr and others and many contain correspondence, notes, photographs, and a few sketches and orginal prints. Also included are materials related to professional and organizational groups in which Starr was involved, including the Professional Women's Photographers, Inc., the Photographic Historical Society of New York, and the Museum of American Folk Art; files on several of Starr's exhibitions; and files on artists that contain printed materials, correspondence, and photographs. The file on Ruth Starr Rose contains prints and drawings. There are also photographs taken by Stephanie Cohen. Particularly rich files are found for Stephanie Cohen; Van Deren Coke, Director of the George Eastman Company; Evelyn Daitz, Director of the Witkin Gallery; Henry DiSpirito; Walker Evans; the Fotofolio printing company; curator Henri Ghent; photographer Consuelo Kanaga and husband Wallace Putnam; Margot Starr Kernan; Lucy Lippard; Stanton Mac-Donald Wright; Sharon Arts Center; photographer Paul Strand; curator John Szarwarski; and photographer Jerry Uelsman.

The collection also documents the friendship between painter Minnie Evans and Starr, and Starr's business dealings on Evans' behalf. There is correspondence about and with Evans, several sound recordings of interviews conducted by Starr and others with Evans, many with transcripts, financial documents, publications about Evans including exhibition catalogs, clippings, journal articles and monographs, two posters, a scrapbook, and one sketch by Evans.

Printed material includes published articles, exhibition catalogs and announcements, and clippings about Starr.

Photographic materials are extensive and include photographs and slides taken by Starr of friends, family, artwork by Minnie Evans, events, exhibition openings, world travels, and folk art, especially roadside. Prominent artists and art historians photographed include: photographers Maggie Sherwood, Naomi Savage, Barbara Morgan, Linda Connor, Aaron Siskind, Consuelo Kanaga, Faith Ringgold, and Walker Evans; sculptors Louise Kruger and Helene Brandt; feminist and art historian Pat Mainardi; and curators Henri Ghent and John Szarkowski. Starr's artistic photographic work is also represented, and includes two silver gelatin prints of Minnie Evans, and subject studies on hands, people, and nature, among others.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 6 series.

Series 1: Biographical material, 1954-circa 1990 (8 folders; Box 1)

Series 2: Writings, Speeches and Projects, 1933-1995 (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)

Series 3: Subject Files, circa 1939-1996 (8.3 linear feet; Boxes 2-10)

Series 4: Minnie Evans, 1962-1996 (3.7 linear feet; Boxes 10-13, 23, OV 24)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1936-1995 (2.7 linear feet; Boxes 13-16, 23)

Series 6: Photographic Material, circa 1939-1993 (5.4 linear feet; Boxes 16-23, OV 24)
Biographical / Historical:
Nina Howell Starr (1903-2000) was a photographer, art dealer, and art historian who worked primarily in New York City. Born in Newark, New Jersey in 1903 as Cornelia Margaret Howell, Starr attended Wellesley College and graduated from Barnard in 1926. Also in 1926, she married Nathan Comfort Starr, an English professor, and, over the years the couple lived in Massachusetts, Maryland, Florida, and New York City.

In 1963, at the age of 60, Starr received the first M.F.A. in photography granted by the University of Florida. Starr exhibited widely in both solo and group exhibitions, including Magic Lantern (Photographer's Gallery, London, 1976), and the Strength of Women (Witken Gallery, 1991), and numerous shows featuring photographs of outsider art. Her "New Yorker" project became an exhibition in 2016. Her work is owned by several prominent museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography.

As art historian, self-proclaimed critic, and civil rights and feminist advocate, Starr lectured widely, wrote articles and letters to editors, and corresponded with many notable art world figures. She became especially interested in outsider and folk art. Starr met outsider artist Minnie Evans in 1962 and became Evans' lifelong friend, advocate, and representative dealer. She wrote about Evans and introduced Evans' works to galleries and other exhibition spaces in New York, including the Whitney Museum, where she guest-curated an exhibition of Evans' work in 1975.

Starr was an active member of professional organizations including the Photographic Historical Society of New York, Professional Women's Photographers, Inc., and the Museum of American Folk Art where she served on the Advisory Committee.

Nina Howell Starr died in 2000 in Connecticut at the age of 97.
Provenance:
The Nina Howell Starr papers were donated by Nina Howell Starr in 1996.
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. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Nina Howell Starr 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:
Folk art -- United States  Search this
Civil rights  Search this
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
African American art  Search this
Folk art -- Photographs  Search this
Women photographers  Search this
Photography  Search this
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Interviews
Drawings
Sketches
Transcripts
Sound recordings
Prints
Citation:
Nina Howell Starr papers, circa 1933-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.starnina
See more items in:
Nina Howell Starr papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-starnina
Additional Online Media:

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