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Martin Birnbaum papers

Creator:
Birnbaum, Martin, 1878-1970  Search this
Names:
Fogg Art Museum  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Philadelphia Museum of Art  Search this
Scott & Fowles (Firm)  Search this
Beardsley, Aubrey, 1872-1898  Search this
Beaux, Cecilia, 1855-1942  Search this
Bruce, Edward, 1879-1943  Search this
Bufano, Beniamino, 1898-1970  Search this
Chanler, Robert Winthrop, 1872-1930  Search this
Choate, Mabel, 1870-1958  Search this
Clark, Stephen C. (Stephen Carlton), b. 1882  Search this
Cœdès, George  Search this
Davis, Edmund  Search this
Davis, Reginald  Search this
Despiau, Charles, 1874-1946  Search this
Diederich, William Hunt, 1884-1953  Search this
Dillingham, Louise  Search this
Douglas, Norman, 1868-1952  Search this
Dulac, Edmund, 1882-1953  Search this
Fernández, Luis, 1900-1973  Search this
Haseltine, Herbert, 1877-1962  Search this
Hoffman, Malvina, 1887-1966  Search this
Hoowij, Jan, 1907-  Search this
Jacobs, Leonebel  Search this
John, Augustus, 1878-1961  Search this
Jones, Lois Mailou, 1905-1998  Search this
Kester, Lenard, 1917-  Search this
Manship, Paul, 1885-1966  Search this
McIlhenny, Henry P.  Search this
Melchers, Gari, 1860-1932  Search this
Nadelman, Elie, 1882-1946  Search this
Parmelee, James  Search this
Parrish, Maxfield, 1870-1966  Search this
Potterton, Alfred B.  Search this
Richter, Gisela Marie Augusta, 1882-1972  Search this
Ricketts, Charles S., 1866-1931  Search this
Rock, Joseph Francis Charles, 1884-1962  Search this
Rothenstein, William, Sir, 1872-1945  Search this
Sargent, John Singer, 1856-1925  Search this
Scott, Stevenson  Search this
Scudder, Janet, b. 1873  Search this
Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968  Search this
Sprinchorn, Carl, 1887-1971  Search this
Stein, Leo, 1872-1947  Search this
Sterne, Maurice, 1878-1957  Search this
Sterner, Albert, 1863-1946  Search this
Werntz, Carl N. (Carl Newland), 1874-1944  Search this
Wilson, Stanley  Search this
Winthrop, Grenville Lindall, 1864-1943  Search this
Extent:
3.2 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Sketches
Etchings
Photographs
Date:
1862-1967
bulk 1920-1967
Summary:
The papers of New York art dealer, critic, and author Martin Birnbaum measure 3.2 linear feet and date from 1862-1967, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920-1967. The papers document Birnbaum's association with the firm of Scott & Fowles, the lives and activities of his friends and colleagues, and his literary work, through biographical material, correspondence, writings and notes, business records, printed material, a scrapbook, scattered artwork, and photographs of Birnbaum, friends and colleagues, and artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York art dealer, critic, and author Martin Birnbaum measure 3.2 linear feet and date from 1862-1967, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920-1967. The papers document Birnbaum's association with the firm of Scott & Fowles, the lives and activities of his friends and colleagues, and his literary work, through biographical material, correspondence, writings and notes, business records, printed material, a scrapbook, scattered artwork, and photographs of Birnbaum, friends and colleagues, and artwork.

Correspondence, primarily letters received by Birnbaum in New York, and throughout Europe from 1917-1960s, reflects Birnbaum's association with Scott & Fowles, particularly Stevenson Scott, and includes many details about the lives and activities of his correspondents, among them: artists Edward Bruce, Cecilia Beaux, Beniamino Bufano, Stephen C. Clark, Louise Dillingham, William Hunt Diedrich, Luis Fernandez, Herbert Haseltine, Jan Hoowij, Malvina Hoffman, Leonebel Jacobs, Lenard Kester, Lois Mailou Jones, Paul Manship, Gari Melchers, Maxfield Parrish, Charles S. Ricketts, William Rothenstein, John Singer Sargent, Janet Scudder, Carl Sprinchorn, Maurice Sterne, Albert Sterner, Carl N. Wertz, and Stanley Wilson. Also found is correspondence with art collectors and patrons including Mabel Choate, Edmund Davis, Reginald Davis, Henry P. McIlhenny, James Parmalee, Edith Wetmore, and Grenville Windall Linthrop, and museums including the Fogg Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and then curator Gisela Marie Augusta Richter, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Correspondence with scholars, writers, and publishers including George Coedes, Edmund Dulac, Joseph Francis Charles Rock, Upton Sinclair and others, documents aspects of Birnbaum's literary and scholarly work.

Writings include drafts of The Last Romantic, including Upton Sinclair's revision, and some of Birnbaum's early published and unpublished writings, as well as notes on Aubrey Beardsley.

Business records include financial records such as bills, receipts, canceled checks and statements for sales of artwork, and scattered legal records.

A small amount of printed material primarily consists of programs for musical events which evidence Birnbaum's early success as a violinist, as well as scattered news clippings, 2 exhibition catalogs, and announcements for the publications of Angkor and the Mandarin Road and The Last Romantic. Additional printed material about Birnbaum can be found in the dismantled scrapbook, 1960-1961.

Artwork includes 2 etchings and a sketch by Birnbaum, bookplates by various artists, circa 10 sketches by other and unidentified artists, and 3 cards with original artwork.

Photographs include snapshots and portraits of Birnbaum and artists and friends, among them: Robert Chanler, Charles Despiau, Norman Douglas, Luis Fernandez, Herbert Haseltine, Augustus John, Paul Manship, Gari Melchers, Elie Nadelman, Albert Sterner, Stevenson Scott, and Grenville Lindall Winthrop. Also found is a photo of Birnbaum with Edward Bruce, Alfred Potterton, Leon Stein, and Maurice Sterne, circa 1915-1916, and photographs proposed for use in The Last Romantic, travel snapshots, and photos of artwork.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged as 8 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1890-1950s (0.3 linear feet; Box 1, OVs 4-5)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1862-1967 (1.7 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1890-circa 1960 (0.45 linear feet; Box 2)

Series 4: Business Records, 1918-1967 (0.15 linear feet; Box 2)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1895-circa 1960 (0.15 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 6: Scrapbook, 1960-1961 (1 folder; Box 3)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1890-circa 1960 (0.15 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1900-circa 1960s (0.3 linear feet; Box 3)
Biographical / Historical:
New York art dealer, critic, and author Martin Birmbaum (1878-1970) was the manager of the American branch of the Berlin Photographic Company in New York City from 1910–1916, and a longtime partner in the art firm Scott & Fowles. He spent the later part of his career building the Grenville Lindall Winthrop Collection, now at the Fogg Museum.

Birnbaum immigrated to the United States from Hungary as a child. He was an accomplished violinist who studied at City College of New York, and graduated with a law degree from Columbia University in 1901, but developed a life-long interest in art during visits to Europe. As manager of the Berlin Photographic Company he had great success in staging art exhibitions at the company's New York galleries, which led him to a junior partnership in the Fifth Avenue firm of art dealers, Scott & Fowles. Birnbaum traveled widely and built relationships with many of the prominent artists and art collectors of his day and, in addition to the Grenville Lindall Winthrop collection, was influential in developing other important art collections including those of Edward Davis, Reginald Davis, and Henry P. McIlhenny.

Birnbaum wrote widely about his experiences and encounters in the world of wealthy socialites, literary salons, artists, art patrons, and collectors in publications such as Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (Berlin Photographic Co., 1911), Oscar Wilde: Fragments and Memories (J.F. Drake, Incorporated, 1914) , Vanishing Eden:Wanderings in the Tropics (New York: William E. Rudge's Sons, 1942), Angkor and the Mandarin Road (Vantage Press, 1952), and The Last Romantic (Twayne Publishers, 1961). He died in 1970 at the age of 92.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reels N698, N698A-N698B) including correspondence, bookplates, sketches, newspaper clippings, and a list of books containing ornamental drawings and illustrations. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Material on reels N698, N698A-N698B were lent for microfilming by Martin Birnbaum in 1967. The rest of the collection was donated in an anonymous gift in 1970 and by Martin Birnbaum's great-nephew, Jerome Ziegler, in 1975.
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.

Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Martin Birnbaum 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 critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketches
Etchings
Photographs
Citation:
Martin Birnbaum papers, 1962-1967, bulk 1920-1967. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.birnmart
See more items in:
Martin Birnbaum papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-birnmart

Old Calabria, by Norman Douglas ..

Author:
Douglas, Norman 1868-1952  Search this
Physical description:
x, 498 p. 16 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Calabria (Italy)
Date:
1938
[1938]
Topic:
Description and travel  Search this
Call number:
DG975.C15 D6 1938X
DG975.C15D6 1938X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_14748

Birds and beasts of the Greek anthology, by Norman Douglas ..

Author:
Douglas, Norman 1868-1952  Search this
Physical description:
vii, 215 p. 20 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1928
[1928]
Topic:
Birds in literature  Search this
Animals in literature  Search this
Call number:
PA3459 .D6X
PA3459.D6X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_62156

A letter about Arusha

Author:
Douglas, Norman 1868-1952  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Type:
Articles
Place:
Tanzania
Date:
1969
1934
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Call number:
HT1581 .C97 1969
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_900468

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