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A Christmas card from Jay DeFeo to Nell Sinton

Creator:
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Sinton, Nell, 1910-1997  Search this
Subject:
DeFeo, Jay  Search this
Sinton, Nell  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1956
Topic:
Christmas cards  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)13992
See more items in:
Nell (Eleanor) and Stanley Sinton papers, [circa 1920]-1993
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_13992
Additional Online Media:

Wallace Berman wearing an earring

Photographer:
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Subject:
Berman, Wallace  Search this
DeFeo, Jay  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1957-1965
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)13982
See more items in:
Patricia Jordan papers, 1870, 1949-1984
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_13982

Wallace Berman holiday card to Jay DeFeo

Creator:
Berman, Wallace, 1926-1976  Search this
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1970 Dec. 22
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)10262
See more items in:
Jay DeFeo papers, circa 1940s-1970s
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_10262
Additional Online Media:

Photograph of Jay DeFeo's cat, Pooh, in her studio

Photographer:
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
196-
Topic:
Animals  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Cats  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)13983
See more items in:
Jay DeFeo papers, circa 1940s-1970s
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_13983
Additional Online Media:

Collage of Joan Brown and Jay DeFeo

Creator:
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Brown, Joan, 1938-1990  Search this
Subject:
Brown, Joan  Search this
DeFeo, Jay  Search this
Type:
Artworks
Date:
ca. 1958
Topic:
Collage  Search this
Photography  Search this
Women  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)13984
See more items in:
Jay DeFeo papers, circa 1940s-1970s
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_13984
Additional Online Media:

Mark Green letter to Jay DeFeo

Creator:
Green, Mark, 1932-  Search this
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1974 December 17
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)19154
See more items in:
Jay DeFeo papers, circa 1940s-1970s
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_19154
Additional Online Media:

Mark Green postcard to Jay DeFeo

Creator:
Green, Mark, 1932-  Search this
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1974 December 19
Topic:
Cats  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)20314
See more items in:
Jay DeFeo papers, circa 1940s-1970s
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_20314
Additional Online Media:

Jay DeFeo mail art to Wallace Berman

Creator:
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Berman, Wallace, 1926-1976  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1965
Topic:
Film posters  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)14001
See more items in:
Wallace Berman papers, 1907-1979, bulk 1955-1979
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_14001
Additional Online Media:

Dorothy C. Miller papers

Creator:
Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003  Search this
Names:
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Chase Manhattan Bank -- Art collections  Search this
Federal Art Project  Search this
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden  Search this
Mark Rothko Foundation  Search this
Municipal Art Exhibition (1st : 1934 : New York, N.Y.)  Search this
PepsiCo, inc  Search this
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey -- Art collections  Search this
Rockefeller University  Search this
Smith College -- Students  Search this
Smith College. Museum of Art  Search this
World Trade Center (New York, N.Y.) -- Art collections  Search this
Asher, Elise, 1914-  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Bontecou, Lee, 1931-  Search this
Byars, James Lee  Search this
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Canady, John  Search this
Charlton, Maryette  Search this
Christo, 1935-  Search this
Chryssa, 1933-  Search this
Coggeshall, Calvert, 1907-1990  Search this
Copley, Alfred L.  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Feininger, Lyonel, 1871-1956  Search this
Feitelson, Lorser, 1898-1978  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898-  Search this
Hartigan, Grace  Search this
Hicks, Edward, 1780-1849  Search this
Horwitt, Will  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Karpel, Bernard, 1911-1986  Search this
Levy, Julien  Search this
Mather, Eleanore Price, 1910-  Search this
Matisse, Pierre, 1900-1989  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia, 1887-1986  Search this
Pereira, I. Rice (Irene Rice), 1902-1971  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich), 1908-1979 -- Art collections  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Sage, Kay  Search this
Scharf, William, 1927-  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Sterne, Hedda, 1910-2011  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Extent:
34.6 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Sketches
Christmas cards
Drawings
Date:
1853-2013
bulk 1920-1996
Summary:
The papers of contemporary and folk art curator, historian, and consultant Dorothy C. Miller measure 34.6 linear feet and date from 1853-2013, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920 to 1996. The papers primarily concern Miller's private art consulting work outside of her curatorial work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Found are scattered biographical materials, extensive correspondence and subject files, and project files for her art consulting work for the Rockefeller family, Rockefeller University, Chase Manhattan Bank, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the World Trade Center, and other miscellaneous corporate and private clients. Miller's work as a trustee and committee member of various public and private boards and commissions is also represented here. Additionally, the papers contain Miller's research files on Edward Hicks and folk art, and a small number of files of her husband Holger Cahill about his work as Director of the Federal Art Project. There is a scattered documentation of Miller's early curatorial work with Holger Cahill on the First Municipal Art Exhibition (1934) held at the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center. Also found is Dorothy Miller's collection of artists' Christmas cards and photographs of Miller and others. An addition to the papers includes biographical material; family papers; correspondence; professional files; art collection and client files; printed material; and photographic material. While a small number professional files are included, the majority of the addition relates to her personal life, including correspondence with her husband Holger Cahill, and files pertaining to her personal art collection.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of contemporary and folk art curator, historian, and consultant Dorothy C. Miller measure 34.6 linear feet and date from 1853-2013, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920 to 1996. The papers primarily concern Miller's art consulting work outside of her curatorial work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York city. Found are scattered biographical materials, extensive correspondence and subject files, and project files for her art consulting work for the Rockefeller family, Rockefeller University, Chase Manhattan Bank, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and other miscellaneous corporate and private clients. Her work as a trustee and committee member of various public and private boards and commissions is also represented here. Additionally, the papers contain Miller's research files on Edward Hicks and folk art, and a small number of files related to Miller's husband Holger Cahill and his work as Director of the Federal Art Project. There is important documentation of Miller's early curatorial work with Holger Cahill on the First Municipal Art Exhibition (1934) held at the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center. Artwork includes scattered sketches and drawings enclosed with correspondence and original Christmas cards sent to Miller by various artists. Photographs of Miller date from 1926 - circa 1950.

Scattered biographical material mostly concerns Miller's education at Smith College and awards and honorary degrees that she received. Extensive correspondence and subject files document her professional and personal relationships with family, friends, colleagues, museums, art dealers and artists, as well as her research interests. Individual files may contain a mix of correspondence with, as well as about, the person or subject, compiled research documents, printed materials, and scattered photographs. Files are found for Lewin Alcopley, Alfred Barr, Betty Parsons Gallery, Cahill family members, Lee Bontecou, James Byars, Holger Cahill, Alexander Calder, Christo, Chryssa, Calvert Coggeshall, John Canaday, Maryette Charlton, Stuart Davis, Jay DeFeo, Lorser Feitelson, Arshile Gorky, Peggy Guggenheim, Grace Hartigan, Will Horwitt, Jasper Johns, Julien Levy, Pierre Matisse, Louise Nevelson, Barnett Newman, Isamu Nauchi, Georgia O'Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Ad Reinhardt, Kay Sage, Charles Sheeler, Hedda Sterne, travel, Clyfford Still, William Scharf, among many others.

Detailed records of Miller's art consulting and advisory work for the Rockefeller family include correspondence with Nelson A. Rockefeller and David Rockefeller about building their personal collections of contemporary and folk art, meeting notes and minutes, research notes and writings, and printed materials. The largest group of records concerns the writing and publication of The Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection: Masterpieces of Modern Art. Miller's curatorial work for David Rockefeller and the Rockefeller University's Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Hall art collection is documented in Series 4 through curatorial files, correspondence, printed materials, photographs and slides, artists files, and design records.

Series 5 contains files relating to Miller's work as the first art consutant to the Chase Manhattan Bank and the building of the corporation's extensive collection of contemporary art. There is a draft of Miller's text for the bank's published catalog, Art At Work: Chase Manhattan Bank Collection. A smaller set of records is found in Series 6 documenting Miller's work on the Art Committee of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, including files about selecting artwork for the World Trade Center during the early 1970s. Files concerning Miller's advisory work with additional public and private clients, boards, and commissions are arranged in Series 7 and 8 and concern the Amstar Corporation, Fidelity International Bank, First National Bank of Tampa, First National City Bank, Inmont Corporation, Pepsico, United Mutual Savings Bank, the Empire State Plaza Art Commission, the Hancock Shaker Village, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Mark Rothko Foundation, the Museum of American Folk Art, and the Smith College Museum of Art.

Miller's papers include a small group of files relating to the WPA Federal Art Project (FAP)created by her husband Holger Cahill when he was director of the FAP, Holger Cahill. A small series is devoted to Miller's work with Eleanore Price Mather researching and writing Edward Hicks: His Peaceable Kingdom and Other Paintings. A series of general research files contain miscellaneous research notes and photographs related to Miller's interests in early American art and folk art. Series 12 contains important documentation of Miller's early curatorial work with Holger Cahill on the First Municipal Art Exhibition (1934) held at the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center.

Works of art are primarily in the form of Christmas cards sent to Miller by various artists including Elise Asher, Lyonel Feininger, Bernard Karpel, and Irene Rice Pereira. A small group of photographs includes photographs of Miller from 1926-circa 1950 and a few photographs of others.

The addition includes biographical material; family papers; correspondence; professional files; art collection and client files; printed material; and photographic material. While a small number of professional files are found here, the majority of material relates to Miller's personal life, including correspondence with her husband Holger Cahill, and files pertaining to her personal art collection. Scattered correspondence, inventories, research, and notes created by curator and donor of the papers, Wendy Jeffers, are found throughout the collection. These materials date from the 1980s-2000s.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 15 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1917-1986 (Box 1; 0.3 linear ft.)

Series 2: Correspondence and Subject Files, circa 1912-1992 (Boxes 1-8, OV 27; 7.2 linear ft.)

Series 3: Rockefeller Family Art Collections, circa 1949-1985 (Boxes 8-12, 25; 3.9 linear ft.)

Series 4: Rockefeller University Collection, 1923-1984 (Boxes 12-13, OV 27; 1.0 linear ft.)

Series 5: Chase Manhattan Bank Collection, 1959-circa 1985 (Boxes 13-14, 26; 1.4 linear ft.)

Series 6: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Art Committee, circa 1965-1987 (Boxes 14-15, OV 27; 0.8 linear ft.)

Series 7: Other Corporate and Private Clients, 1968-1984 (Boxes 15-16; 1.3 linear ft.)

Series 8: Other Boards, Committees and Commissions, 1925, 1949-1985 (Boxes 16-20; 3.6 linear ft.)

Series 9: Works Project Administration Federal Art Project Files, 1935-1979 (Box 20, OV 27; 0.5 linear ft.)

Series 10: Edward Hicks Catalog, 1934-1984 (Boxes 20-22; 1.5 linear ft.)

Series 11: Research Files, 1930s-1980 (Boxes 22-23; 0.8 linear ft.)

Series 12: Exhibition Files, 1932-1986 (Box 23; 0.6 linear ft.)

Series 13: Works of Art, circa 1924-circa 1982 (Boxes 23-25; 1.5 linear ft.)

Series 14: Photographs, 1926-circa 1970s (Boxes 24-25; 0.3 linear ft.)

Series 15: Addition to the Dorothy C. Miller Papers, 1853-2003, bulk 1920-1996 (Boxes 28-38, OVs 39-41; 9.9 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Dorothy Canning Miller (1904-2003) worked in New York City as a highly influential curator of contemporary and folk art at the Museum of Modern Art and as the first curator of the museum. Later, she was the primary art consultant for Nelson A. Rockefeller, the Rockefeller family, Rockefeller University, Chase Manhattan Bank, and the Port Authority of and New Jersey. Dorothy Miller was also married to Holger Cahill, director of the WPA Federal Art Project.

Dorothy C. Miller was born in Hopedale, Massachusetts in 1904 and received her Bachelor of Arts from Smith College in 1925. She was first introduced to modern art through classes at the Newark Museum taught by John Cotton Dana and Holger Cahill. Miller joined the curatorial staff of the Newark Museum in 1926. The museum was one of the first to organize exhibitions of American folk art, American Primitives (1930-1931) and American Folk Sculpture (1931-1932). Miller worked with Cahill and others on the exhibition and developed a life-long interest in folk art.

After four years at the Newark Museum, Miller moved to New York city, hoping to get involved with the newly opened Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and, likely, to be with Holger Cahill, with whom she lived with on 8th Street prior to their marriage in 1938. Between 1930 and 1932 she took odd jobs and worked with Mrs. Henry Lang cataloging, researching and installing Lang's collection of Native American art Lang donated to the Montclair Art Museum. At the same time, Holger Cahill was serving as Acting Director of the Museum of Modern Art during an absence of Director Alfred H. Barr. In 1932, Cahill asked Miller to assist him with curating the American Painting and Sculpture, 1862-1932 exhibition at MoMA, and together they also curated the First Municipal Art Exhibition, 1934 at the Rockefeller Center.

In 1934, Barr hired Miller as his assistant and one year later appointed her as MoMA's first curator. Miller spent the next 35 years organizing many of this country's most important exhibitions of contemporary art and building personal relationships with new artists and photographers, as well as the collections of MoMA. Miller retired from MOMA in 1969 and focused more on her art consulting work begun in the late 1950s.

Dorothy Miller's most notable client was Nelson A. Rockefeller. She assisted and advised Rockefeller as he acquired a vast personal collection of modern art - some of which was later donated to MoMA. Just prior to her retirement, Miller organized a large exhibition of Rockefeller's collection. The exhibition catalog written by Miller was the basis for the book she worked on with Rockefeller up until and following his death in 1979, ultimately published as The Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection: Masterpieces of Modern Art. In the preface, Rockefeller credited Miller with being one of the four people to whom he was indebted "for the understanding and endless joy I have found in the collecting of modern art in all forms."

Miller also served as the primary art consultant for projects to furnish federal spaces, including Henry Kissinger's State Department office suite, and the official Vice-Presidential residence at the Admiral's House in Washington D.C.

In 1959 Miller was invited to join the art collection committee of the Chase Manhattan Bank and served on the committee until the mid-1980s, contributing her expertise to the development of one of this country's oldest and largest corporate collections of modern and contemporary art.

Miller was also an advisor to other members of the Rockefeller family, including David Rockefeller, and assisted with developing the art collections of Rockefeller Institute/University. From 1960 through the late 1980s Miller was a member of the art committee for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANJY) and was responsible for selecting much of the artwork for the World Trade Center in the 1970s. She served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Hancock Shaker Village, the Smithsonian Institution's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Empire State Plaza in Albany, Smith College Museum of Art, and the Museum of American Folk Art. She also became a member of the Mark Rothko Foundation Board of Directors after the litigation following Rothko's death between Rothko's executors and his daughter.

In the mid-1970s Miller assisted the Whitney Museum of American with planning an exhibition and supporting catalog of the work of folk artist Edward Hicks. Although the exhibition and catalog were only partially realized in 1980, Miller and Eleanore Price Mather compiled and published a book on Hicks, Edward Hicks: His Peaceable Kingdoms and Other Paintings, published in 1983.

In 1982-1983 Miller received the Art Dealers Association Special Award, an honorary degree from Williams College, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture governor's award. In 1984 she was named honorary trustee of the Museum of Modern Art. In 1985 the Smith College Museum of Art honored her important contributions to museum connoisseurship with the exhibition Dorothy C. Miller: With An Eye to American Art.

Dorothy Miller died in 2003 at the age of 99 at her home in Greenwich, New York.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art holds two oral history interviews with Dorothy C. Miller. The first was conducted by Paul Cummings between May 26, 1970 and September 28, 1971, and details Miller's life from childhood up to, and including, her years at the Museum of Modern Art. The second was conducted by Avis Berman on May 14, 1981 and covers Miller's relationships with Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still. Also found among the holdings of the Archives are the papers of Holger Cahill, Dorothy Miller's husband and colleague.

The Museum of Modern Art Achives holds Dorothy Miller's papers related to her curatorial work at the museum.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Dorothy C. Miller via Wendy Jeffers between 1986 and 1997, and Reid White, Executor of Miller's estate, in 2004. Two subsequent additions were donated by Wendy Jeffers in 2014 and 2015.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Dorothy C. Miller 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:
Artists -- United States  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Exhibitions  Search this
Art museum curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Corporations -- Private collections  Search this
Art -- Private collections  Search this
Folk art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sketches
Christmas cards
Drawings
Citation:
Dorothy C. Miller papers, 1853-2013, bulk 1920-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.milldoro
See more items in:
Dorothy C. Miller papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-milldoro
Additional Online Media:

Jay DeFeo papers, circa 1940s-1970s

Creator:
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Subject:
Martin, Fred  Search this
McClure, Michael  Search this
Lobdell, Frank  Search this
Remington, Deborah Williams  Search this
Berman, Shirley  Search this
Hedrick, Wally  Search this
Sinton, Nell  Search this
Conner, Bruce Guldner  Search this
Blum, Irving  Search this
Peterson, Margaret  Search this
Berman, Wallace  Search this
Terrill, Ruth  Search this
Topic:
Photographers  Search this
Painters  Search this
Photography  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Photographs  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7417
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209575
AAA_collcode_defejay
Theme:
Women
Lives of American Artists
Photography
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209575
Additional Online Media:

Oral history interview with Jay DeFeo, 1975 June 3-1976 January 23

Interviewee:
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J., 1941-  Search this
Subject:
Gechtoff, Sonia  Search this
Francis, Sam  Search this
Conner, Bruce  Search this
Hopps, Walter  Search this
Martin, Fred  Search this
University of California, Berkeley  Search this
Topic:
Painters  Search this
Sound recordings  Search this
Jewelry making  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13246
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212276
AAA_collcode_defeo75
Theme:
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212276
Additional Online Media:

Wallace Berman

Creator:
Berman, Wallace, 1926-1976  Search this
Names:
Bengston, Billy Al  Search this
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Di Prima, Diane  Search this
Duncan, Robert Edward, 1919-  Search this
Fonda, Peter, 1940-  Search this
Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-  Search this
Heinecken, Robert, 1931-  Search this
Herms, George, 1935-  Search this
Hirschman, Jack, 1933-  Search this
Hopper, Dennis, 1936-  Search this
Jess, 1923-  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-  Search this
Jordan, Patricia M., 1937-1989  Search this
Lamantia, Philip, 1927-  Search this
McClure, Michael  Search this
Meltzer, David  Search this
Miller, Henry, 1891-  Search this
Patchen, Kenneth, 1911-1972  Search this
Perkoff, Stuart Z.  Search this
Ruscha, Edward  Search this
Sherman, Donald  Search this
Wieners, John, 1934-  Search this
Extent:
5 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Drawings
Sound recordings
Photographs
Date:
1907-1979
bulk 1955-1979
Summary:
The Wallace Berman papers date from 1907 to 1979 (bulk 1955-1979). The collection measures 5 linear feet and presents a cursory overview of Berman's career as an assemblage artist and poet. The collection contains business correspondence, letters from other artists and writers of the Beat movement, writings by others, scattered artwork by Berman, photographs by Robert F. Heinecken, and sound recordings of poetry readings.
Scope and Content Note:
The Wallace Berman papers, 1907-1979 (bulk 1955-1979), measure 5 linear feet and present a cursory overview of Berman's career as an assemblage artist and poet. The collection is valuable not only for its documentation of the work of Wallace Berman, but for its documentation of the California beat movement of the late 1950s through the early 1970s.

Found are numerous letters, writings, poems, and other published material which portray the thoughts, attitudes, and trends popular in a prominent underground culture which eventually led to radical changes in America and American art. The collection contains business correspondence, letters from other artists and writers of the beat movement, writings by others, scattered artwork by Berman, and photographs by Robert F. Heinecken. In addition, the collection contains files for Berman's mail art publications Semina and S.M.S. Also of note is the large volume of printed material (2.7 feet), much of it in the form of books and other published material. Sound recordings include poets Michael McClure, Kenneth Patchen, David Melzer, and another unidentified writer performing their work.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into nine series which generally reflect material type.

With the exception of the letters in Series 1, each series is arranged chronologically. The original arrangement of the letters has been maintained, with a chronological arrangement of miscellaneous business letters and an alphabetical arrangement of the letters from Berman's more prominent colleagues.

Series 1: Letters, 1957-1979, undated (box 1, 0.5 linear feet)

Series 2: Notes from Interview, 1967 (box 1, 1 folder)

Series 3: Writings by Others, 1972, undated (box 1, 6 folders)

Series 4: Artwork, 1956-1976 (box 1, 4 folders)

Series 5: Semina, 1955-1967 (boxes 1-2, 26 folders)

Series 6: S. M. S., 1968 (box 2, 1 folders)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1907-1976 (boxes 2-5, 2.7 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, 1956-1976 (box 5, 6 folders)

Series 9: Sound Recordings, 1962-1965 (box 5, 6 folders)
Biographical Note:
Wallace Berman was born in 1926 in Staten Island, New York. In the 1930s, his family moved to the Jewish district in Los Angeles. After being expelled from high school for gambling in the early 1940s, Berman immersed himself in the growing West Coast jazz scene. During this period, he briefly attended the Jepson Art School and Chouinard Art School, but departed when he found the training too academic for his needs.

In 1949, while working in a factory finishing antique furniture, he began to make sculptures from unused scraps and reject materials. By the early 1950s, Berman had become a full-time artist and an active figure in the beat community in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Many art historians consider him to be the "father" of the California assemblage movement. Moving between the two cities, Berman devoted himself to his mail art publication Semina, which contained a sampling of beat poetry and images selected by Berman.

In 1963, permanently settled in Topanga Canyon in the Los Angeles area, Berman began work on verifax collages (printed images, often from magazines and newspapers, mounted in collage fashion onto a flat surface, sometimes with solid bright areas of acrylic paint). He continued creating these works, as well as rock assemblages, until his death in 1976.
Provenance:
The Wallace Berman papers were donated by Tosh Berman, Wallace Berman's son, in 1992.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Patrons must use microfilm copy. Use of audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Wallace Berman 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:
Works of art  Search this
Poets  Search this
Collage  Search this
Art -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area  Search this
Assemblage (Art)  Search this
Assemblage artists  Search this
Beat generation -- California  Search this
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Sound recordings
Photographs
Citation:
Wallace Berman papers, 1907-1979 (bulk 1955-1979). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.bermwall
See more items in:
Wallace Berman
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bermwall
Additional Online Media:

Jay DeFeo papers

Creator:
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Names:
Berman, Shirley  Search this
Berman, Wallace, 1926-1976  Search this
Blum, Irving, 1930-  Search this
Conner, Bruce  Search this
Hedrick, Wally, 1928-2003  Search this
Lobdell, Frank, 1921-  Search this
McClure, Michael  Search this
Peterson, Margaret, 1903-  Search this
Remington, Deborah  Search this
Sinton, Nell, 1910-1997  Search this
Terrill, Ruth  Search this
Extent:
1.3 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Date:
circa 1940s-1970s
Summary:
The papers of artist Jay DeFeo measure 1.3 linear feet and date from circa 1940s to circa 1970s. The collection documents her career through biographical material, correspondence with friends, personal business records, writings, printed material, artwork, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of artist Jay DeFeo measure 1.3 linear feet and date from circa 1940s to circa 1970s. The collection documents her career through biographical material, correspondence with friends, personal business records, writings, printed material, artwork, and photographs.

About half of the collection is made up of correspondence and photographs. DeFeo maintained ongoing communications with many artists, friends, and business associates. Notable correspondence is with Wallace and Shirley Berman, Irving Blum/Ferus Gallery, Bruce Conner, Frank Lobdell, Fred Martin, Michael McClure, Margaret Peterson, Deborah Remington, Ruth Terrill, and Eleanor (Nell) Sinton. The photographs document her adult years, although there are some as a teenager. DeFeo, her artist husband Wally Hedrick, and friends appear in many of the images. The remainder of the collection includes printed materials, exhibition information, some writings and some limited artwork. The collection is particularly rich in documentation on her artwork, The Rose.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series

Series 1: Biographical material, 1948-1969 (1 folder; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1960-1970s (0.3 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1960s (3 folders; Box 1)

Series 4: Personal Business Records, 1964-1974 (2 folders; Box 1)

Series 5: Printed Material, circa 1950s-1970s (2 folders; Box 1, OV 3)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1940s-1970s (0.4 linear feet; Box 1, OV 3)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1950s-1960s (0.2 linear feet; Box 2)
Biographical / Historical:
Jay DeFeo (1929-1989) lived and worked in Northern California where she was a prominent figure in the San Francisco Bay Area art scene as a painter in the progressive art community. She identified her artistic style as expressionist and symbolist.

DeFeo was born in Hanover, New Hampshire, and was three years old when her family moved to the Bay Area. She attended the University of California Berkeley and earned an Associate's Degree in 1948, a B.A. in 1950 and a M.A. in Fine Arts in 1951. After earning the M.A. she took 18 months to travel in France, Spain, northern Africa, and Italy. She spent 6 months in Florence where she painted and produced her first important body of work. DeFeo returned to San Francisco at the end of her trip.

DeFeo married fellow artist Wally Hedrick in 1954. They settled in a large Victorian flat at 2322 Fillmore Street and actively participated in Beat counter culture. DeFeo and Hedrick counted many artists among their friends and colleagues, including musicians, painters, poets, and photographers. They threw large parties with hundreds of guests. DeFeo produced a range of works during her four-decade long career. She began working on her most celebrated and massive painting, The Rose, in the Fillmore flat.

In the mid-1960s, DeFeo began teaching at the San Francisco Art Institute. She and Wally Hedrick divorced in 1969, and she moved to Larkspur in Marin County to regroup from personal set-backs and the draining experience of working on The Rose. In 1980 she joined the art faculty at Mills College. She maintained personal and professional correspondences with many people, and her papers include letters about conservation efforts for The Rose.
Related Materials:
The Archives of American Art has an oral history interview with DeFeo conducted 1975 June 3-1976 January 23 by Paul Karlstrom for the Archives of America Art. An 83 page transcript is available online.

The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley holds some of DeFeo's archival materials.
Provenance:
Donated between 1975-1981 by Jay DeFeo.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Jay DeFeo papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Occupation:
Painters -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area  Search this
Topic:
Photography -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area  Search this
Photographers -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Photography -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Jay DeFeo papers, circa 1940s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.defejay
See more items in:
Jay DeFeo papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-defejay

Outrageous fortune : Jay Defeo and surrealism / essay by Dana Miller

Title:
Jay Defeo and surrealism
Author:
DeFeo, Jay 1929-1989  Search this
Writer of text:
Miller, Dana  Search this
Host institution:
Mitchell-Innes & Nash  Search this
Subject:
DeFeo, Jay 1929-1989  Search this
Physical description:
108 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Exhibition catalogs
Date:
2018
Topic:
Surrealism  Search this
Call number:
N40.1.D2926 M58 2018
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1101015

Biographical Material

Collection Creator:
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Extent:
1 Folder (Box 1)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1948-1969
Scope and Contents:
This series has limited materials about Jay DeFeo's life. These include a passport, her Associates Degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and the start and end dates of her marriage to Wally Hedrick.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Jay DeFeo papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Jay DeFeo papers, circa 1940s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.defejay, Series 1
See more items in:
Jay DeFeo papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-defejay-ref2

Correspondence

Collection Creator:
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Extent:
0.3 Linear feet (Box 1)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1960-1970s
Scope and Contents:
This series makes up a significant portion of the collection. DeFeo maintained correspondence with a range of friends and colleagues. Letters and cards to and from friends include discussions of life in San Francisco, personal difficulties, references to DeFeo's jewelry-making, or supportive comments about DeFeo's artwork. Bruce Conner and DeFeo have an especially extensive set of letters about The Rose. Also included are several photo collage postcards from Wallace Berman, and a photo collage from Dean Stockwell to DeFeo. Letters from galleries or art institutions are also represented in the collection. Other correspondents include Fred Martin, Dorothy Miller, Frank Lobdell, Margaret Peterson, Irving Blum/Ferus Gallery, Michael McClure, Eleanor (Nell) Sinton, Wallace and Shirley Berman, Deborah Remington, and Ruth Terrill.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Jay DeFeo papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Jay DeFeo papers, circa 1940s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.defejay, Series 2
See more items in:
Jay DeFeo papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-defejay-ref3

Personal Business Records

Collection Creator:
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Extent:
2 Folders (Box 1)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1964-1974
Scope and Contents:
The personal and business records series contains various financial information, including receipts for art supplies, a checking account registry, and the lease for 2322 Fillmore Street. Purchase information for her painting Incision is available. A check that DeFeo wrote to the San Francisco Museum of Art Conservation Laboratory to cover initial costs for preservation of The Rose is present. Also found is contract information for teaching at the San Francisco Art Institute.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Jay DeFeo papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Jay DeFeo papers, circa 1940s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.defejay, Series 4
See more items in:
Jay DeFeo papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-defejay-ref42

Printed Material

Collection Creator:
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Extent:
3 Folders (Box 1, OV 3)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1950s-1970s
Scope and Contents:
This series contains catalogs, announcements and posters from galleries and museums for exhibitions of work by Jay DeFeo, Wallace Berman, Wally Hedrick, Weyman Lew, Fred Martin, Michael McClure, and Arthur Richer. Also includes articles about The Rose conservation, and other writings from newspapers and periodicals.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Jay DeFeo papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Jay DeFeo papers, circa 1940s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.defejay, Series 5
See more items in:
Jay DeFeo papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-defejay-ref45

Photographs

Collection Creator:
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Extent:
0.4 Linear feet (Box 1, OV 3)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1940s-1970s
Scope and Contents:
Photographs include an extensive collection of friends, parties, and trips to the beach. DeFeo appears in a large number of the images. Joan Brown and Wally Hedrick are in many pictures, Manuel Neri in some. Linus Pauling is in one large photograph. Photos of the Fillmore Street flat are present, as well as many images of Christmas time. Some photographs were taken by Wallace Berman. Also included are some photographs on contact sheets and some which measure approximately 1 inch by 1 inch. Also included is one folder of negatives.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Jay DeFeo papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Jay DeFeo papers, circa 1940s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.defejay, Series 6
See more items in:
Jay DeFeo papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-defejay-ref48

Artwork

Collection Creator:
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear feet (Box 2)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1950s-1960s
Scope and Contents:
This series contains many collages, some created by DeFeo. A slice of The Rose is included, with note from DeFeo that one year she sent pieces of the work as Christmas cards. Sketches by Al Wong are present.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Jay DeFeo papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Jay DeFeo papers, circa 1940s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.defejay, Series 7
See more items in:
Jay DeFeo papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-defejay-ref58

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