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Adolf Dehn papers

Creator:
Dehn, Adolf, 1895-1968  Search this
Names:
American Artists Group  Search this
Associated American Artists  Search this
Atelier Desjobert  Search this
Kennedy Galleries  Search this
University of Missouri Press  Search this
Bohrod, Aaron  Search this
Castellón, Federico, 1914-1971  Search this
Christ-Janer, Albert, 1910-1973  Search this
Dehn, Mura  Search this
Dehn, Virginia E. (Virginia Engleman), 1922-2005  Search this
Eastman, Max, 1883-1969  Search this
Freeman, Joseph  Search this
Gag, Wanda, 1893-1946  Search this
Goetsch, Gustav F. (Gustav Frederick), 1877-1969  Search this
Grosz, George, 1893-1959  Search this
Hayter, Stanley William, 1901-1988  Search this
Kuh, Frederick, 1895-1978  Search this
Lake, Eileen Hall  Search this
Marsh, Reginald, 1898-1954  Search this
Mitchell, Olivia Dehn  Search this
Olds, Elizabeth, 1896-1991  Search this
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Robinson, Boardman, 1876-1952  Search this
Shane, Fred, 1906-  Search this
Smith, William Arthur, 1918-1989  Search this
Spruance, Benton, 1904-1967  Search this
Thayer, Scofield, b. 1889  Search this
Zigrosser, Carl, 1891-  Search this
Photographer:
Kertész, André  Search this
Extent:
6.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Manuscripts
Sketches
Etchings
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Poems
Date:
1912-1987
Summary:
The papers of printmaker and painter Adolf Dehn measure 6.6 linear feet and date from 1912-1987. The collection contains extensive correspondence, as well as writings, exhibition announcements, catalogs, clippings, invoices, receipts, legal documents, scrapbooks, artwork, and photographs. There is also scattered correspondence of Virginia Dehn, mostly concerning her husband Adolf Dehn.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of printmaker and painter Adolf Dehn measure 6.6 linear feet and date from 1912-1987. The collection contains extensive correspondence, as well as writings, exhibition announcements, catalogs, clippings, invoices, receipts, legal documents, scrapbooks, artwork, and photographs. There is also scattered correspondence of Virginia Dehn, mostly concerning her husband Adolf Dehn.

Found within the biographical materials are several address books, official travel documents, exhibition price lists, and a biographical sketch.

Correspondence, both personal and business, makes up the bulk of this collection. Dehn maintained long friendships with many fellow artists and his correspondence includes letters from Aaron Bohrod, Federico Castellon, Albert Christ-Janer, Wanda Gág, Gustav Goetsch, George Grosz, Reginald Marsh, Elizabeth Olds, Abraham Rattner, Boardman Robinson, Frederick Shane, William Smith, and Benton Spruance. Additional notable correspondents include print dealer and curator Carl Zigrosser; journalists Max Eastman, Joseph Freeman, Frederick Kuh; editor Scofield Thayer, and his former wife, the Russian dancer Mura Dehn (neé Tsiperovitch). Business correspondence includes letters from art schools, associations, museums, and galleries affiliated with Dehn, including the Weyhe Gallery; Associated American Artists, a gallery that promoted American art to the middle classes; and the Kennedy Gallery, which represented the Dehn estate upon the artist's death. There is also correspondence from companies and organizations that commissioned commercial work from Dehn, such as greeting card publisher, American Artists Group . Finally the correspondence of Virginia Dehn includes letters to and from the University of Missouri Press related to the publication of Adolf Dehn Drawings and condolence cards and letters from friends and associates after the Adolf Dehn's death in May 1968.

Writings include manuscripts for Adolf Dehn's manual on painting technique, Watercolor, Gouache, and Casein Painting (Studio Publications, 1955), as well as his entries on technique and watercolor painting for Encyclopedia Britannica. Writings by others includes the catalog Adolf Dehn Drawings, prepared by his wife Virginia Dehn, and published in 1971 by the University of Missouri Press. There is also a journal with handwritten poems attributed to Eileen Hall Lake.

Printed materials consists of exhibition announcements and catalogs from galleries featuring Dehn's work including the Weyhe Gallery and Associated American Artists; art school brochures and newsletters from programs which Dehn attended or taught; and newspaper and magazine clippings including examples of his editorial cartoons, which appeared in The Liberator, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair, among other publications as well as clippings of news items related to the artist. This series also includes examples of Dehn's commercial work, such as book covers, calendars, and Christmas cards. Additional similar printed materials can be found in the scrapbooks. Artwork consists of only a few sketches attributed to Dehn, others to Eileen Lake Hall, and an etching by S.W. Hayter.

Dehn is well documented through numerous photographs, both alone and with others, including a portrait by the renowned photographer André Kertész. Additional vintage photographs include Dehn with family members, friends, and a series of photographs taken with his wife, Virginia Dehn at Atelier Desjobert, where he had been making lithographs since the 1920s.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 8 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1920-1968 (Box 1; 10 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1919-1982 (Boxes 1-4; 3.75 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1920-1971 (Boxes 4-5; 0.25 linear feet)

Series 4: Financial Records, 1936-1965 (Box 5; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 5: Printed Materials, circa 1915-1987 (Boxes 5-6; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1912-1968(Boxes 6-7; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1920-1945 (Box 6; 3 folders)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1912-1961 (Boxes 6 and 8; 7 folders)
Biographical Note:
Adolf Dehn (1895-1968) was well-known for his drawings, lithographs and watercolors which satirically chronicled the social and political milieu of his times, as well as poetic landscapes, many of which depicted the rolling hills and farmlands of his native Midwest. Although he worked mostly in New York, Dehn also spent substantial time traveling and working in Europe, the Middle East, South America, and the American mid-west.

Dehn was born on a farm in Waterville, Minnesota on November 22, 1895, he began his formal art education in 1914 at the Minneapolis School of Art (currently known as the Minneapolis College of Art and Design). As a student, his drawings were featured in the school's humor journal, The Minne-Ha-Ha and by 1917 he had published his first drawing in one of his favorite political journals, The Masses. Later that year he and fellow Minneapolis School of Art student Wanda Gág were among a select group of art students nationwide who won scholarships to the Art Students League of New York. After only eight months in New York, however, Dehn was drafted into the Army to serve in the final months of World War I, but he proclaimed himself as a conscientious objector and was sent to Camp Wadsworth in South Carolina for several months.

Dehn returned to New York, where his friend and mentor Boardman Robinson introduced him to lithography through the master printer George Miller and brought him to the Weyhe Gallery to meet Carl Zigrosser, an avid supporter of American printmakers. However, he soon left New York for Europe in September 1921 where he spent most of the following eight years. There he traveled with his sketchbooks to the cafes and opera houses of Berlin, Paris, and Vienna, as well as on hiking trips in the Alps. He became friends with the poet E.E. Cummings, Scofield Thayer, editor of The Dial, who published many of his drawings, and met the German artist, George Grosz, whose work he so admired. In addition to The Dial, his satirical drawings of jazz-age entertainments and European cafe life also appeared in , The Liberator, Jugend, Vanity Fair, and Simplicissimus. Finally during his stint in Europe, Dehn met and married the Russian dancer Mura Tsiperovitch. They were married in Vienna in 1926, but divorced sometime in the early 1930s.

Unfortunately Dehn's return to the United States coincided with the Great Depression of 1929 and sales of his work were slim. However in the 1930s, The New Yorker and Vogue began to publish his work. He continued to work in lithography and returned to Paris to work at the Atelier Desjobert, the print studio with whom he worked most closely throughout his life. In the late 1930s, Dehn began working in watercolors, mostly rural landscapes, and had a one man show of works in his new medium at Weyhe Gallery in 1938. In 1939 Dehn traveled through the Southwest and Mexico on his first Guggenheim Fellowship (he was awarded his second in 1951).

By the 1940s Dehn was an active member of both the American Artists Group and Associated American Artists; both organizations sought to popularize contemporary American Art, primarily through reproductions of fine art prints and commercial use of artists' designs on greeting card, calendars, and even wall paper. Appreciation for his lithographs and watercolors grew, and along with it his recognition. He also taught art classes a few summers; in the late 1930s at Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri where his friend Albert Janner-Christ was head of the art department and in the early 1940s at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, where friend and mentor Boardman Robinson was the director. In 1955 he published Watercolor, Gouache, and Casein Painting, a manual on technique. Throughout the rest of his life he continued to travel, not only returning to Europe, but also visiting Afganistan, Cuba, Haiti, and a trip to Venuzuala on assignment from Standard Oil to document the oil industry there. On many of his later trips, he was accompanied by his wife, fellow artist, Virginia Engleman Dehn, whom he had married in November 1947.

Near the end of his long career, Dehn was elected in 1961 to the National Academy of Design as a full academician. He was later elected to the National Academy of Arts and Letters. After his death in 1968, his wife Virginia worked with the University of Missouri Press on the catalog Adolf Dehn Drawings (Columbia: University of Missouri, 1971).
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming. Reel 287 contains printed materials, including exhibition announcements, catalogs, magazines, and newspaper and magazine clippings. After filming, these materials were transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library. Reels 2938-2939 include 750 letters from Adolf Dehn to various family members. This material was returned to the lender and is not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The Adolf Dehn papers were donated in several installments from 1966 to 1985 by Adolf Dehn and his wife Virginia. Dehn's sisters, Viola Dehn Tiala and Olivia Dehn Mitchell, separately donated additional materials in 1971 and 1972. Olivia Dehn Mitchell also loaned the Archives letters from Adolf in 1983 for microfilming. Finally in 1989, Lillian Morrison, a friend and editor, donated a published book of Mura Dehn's poetry and a four page draft of a letter signed by Adolf Dehn.
Restrictions:
Use of originals requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Adolf Dehn 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:
Painting -- Technique  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Graphic arts -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Sketches
Etchings
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Poems
Citation:
Adolf Dehn papers, 1912-1981. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.dehnadop
See more items in:
Adolf Dehn papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-dehnadop

John Henry Bradley Storrs papers

Creator:
Storrs, John Henry Bradley, 1885-1956  Search this
Names:
Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Andersen, Hendrik Christian, 1872-1940  Search this
Anderson, Sherwood, 1876-1941  Search this
Bennett, Edward H.  Search this
Biddle, George, 1885-1973  Search this
Blum, Jerome, 1884-1956  Search this
Braque, Georges, 1882-1963  Search this
Bryant, Louise, 1885-1936  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Cole, Walter, b. 1891  Search this
Cret, Paul Philippe, 1876-1945  Search this
Dismorr, Jessica Stewart, 1885-1939  Search this
Dreier, Katherine Sophie, 1877-1952  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Eastman, Max, 1883-1969  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-  Search this
Halpert, Edith Gregor, 1900-1970  Search this
Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943  Search this
Heap, Jane  Search this
Hecht, Zoltan, 1890-1968  Search this
Hélion, Jean, 1904-1987  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques, 1891-1973  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Ray, Man, 1890-1976  Search this
Raynal, Maurice  Search this
Rodin, Auguste, 1840-1917  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Stella, Joseph, 1877-1946  Search this
Sterne, Maurice  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Storrs, Marguerite Deville Chabrol  Search this
Survage, Leopold  Search this
Zorach, Marguerite, 1887-1968  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
20.44 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Poems
Diaries
Sketches
Video recordings
Sketchbooks
Prints
Portfolios (groups of works)
Date:
1790-2007
bulk 1900-1956
Summary:
The papers of sculptor, painter, and printmaker John Henry Bradley Storrs measure 20.44 linear feet and date from 1790-2007, with the bulk of the papers dating from 1900 to 1956. The collection contains biographical material, correspondence, personal business records, forty-eight diaries of John Storrs, a few diaries of other family members, additional writings, printed material, photographs of Storrs and his family and friends, artwork, scrapbooks, estate records, and video recordings. Correspondence includes that of John Storrs, Marguerite Storrs, and the Storrs family.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of sculptor, painter, and printmaker John Henry Bradley Storrs measure 20.44 linear feet and date from 1790 to 2007, with the bulk of the papers dating from 1900 to 1956. The collection documents Storrs' career as an artist and his personal life through biographical material, correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues, personal business records, forty-eight diaries and other writings, printed material, photographs of Storrs and his family and friends, artwork, scrapbooks, estate records, and video recordings. There is also a substantial amount of Marguerite Storr's correspondence as well as scattered correspondence of other members of the Storr's family.

Biographical material consists of chronologies detailing the life of John Storrs, identification records, certificates, Storrs family documents, and records of John and Monique Storrs' French resistance activities during World War II.

Correspondence within this collection is divided into John Storrs Correspondence, Marguerite Storrs Correspondence, and Storrs Family Correspondence. The bulk of correspondence is John Storrs with friends, colleagues, art critics, patrons, art organizations and galleries. Correspondents of note include artists, architects, and writers such as Hendrick Andersen, Sherwood Anderson, Edward Bennett, George Biddle, Jerome Blum, Georges Braque, Louise Bryant, William Bullitt, Alexander Calder, Walter Cole, Paul Phillippe Cret, Katherine Dreier, Marcel Duchamp, Max Eastman, R. Buckminster Fuller, Marsden Hartley, Jane Heap, Jean Helion, Fernand Leger, Jacques Lipchitz, Man Ray, Charles Sheeler, Gertrude Stein, Joseph Stella, Maurice Sterne, Alfred Stieglitz, Leopold Survage, and William and Marguerite Zorach. There are also many letters to his wife Marguerite.

Marguerite Storrs' correspondence is with friends, family, colleagues, and others, including many letters to her husband. The letters are about general and family news, social activities and invitations, her work as a writer, and her husband's career. Storrs' family correspondence includes John and Marguerite's extensive correspondence with their daughter Monique as well as Monique's correspondence with others. Additional family correspondence is between John, his sister Mary ("Mae") and their parents David William and Hannah Storrs, much of it dating from 1900 to 1913.

Personal business records include address books, records regarding the sale and loan of Storrs' artwork, commission files regarding major public sculptures by Storrs, contracts, appraisals, financial records, and other documents regarding his professional activities. Of note are several files documenting Downtown Gallery's representation of Storrs' work during the 1960s, including correspondence between Edith Halpert and Monique Storrs. Various other documents include records of the Ecole de la Loire artists group (all in French.) Additionally there are records relating to Chateau de Chantecaille, an estate purchased by Storrs in the early 1920s as his primary residence and studio.

Forty-eight diaries contain scattered documentation of John Storrs' daily activities. Other writings by Storrs include four volumes of his memoirs that detail family history and his life from birth to 1906, notebooks, poetry, and personal accounts including the death of Auguste Rodin. Writings by others include poetry by Jessie Dismorr, essays by Zoltan Hecht and Maurice Raynal, and notebooks belonging to Storrs family members.

Printed material consists of books, art bulletins, brochures, invitations, announcements, and programs for art and social events. Also found are catalogs for exhibitions of Storrs' work and work by other artists; magazines, including a bound volume of the first ten issues of The Liberator; and clippings which include news about Storrs, his family, and friends.

Photographs depict John Storrs, his family, friends such as Arthur Bock and Gertrude Lambert, travels, and residences. Included are photographs of Storrs in his studio and in art classes. Also found are four photograph albums, primarily documenting his time in Europe from 1905 to 1907, exhibition photographs, and numerous photographs of his artwork.

Original artwork includes a portfolio of artwork created by Storrs as a youth, loose sketches, one sketchbook, 31 lithographs, and drawings for mural projects.

Four scrapbooks and a portfolio kept by John and Marguerite Storrs contain newspaper and magazine clippings of articles and illustrations as well as printed material from exhibitions, social events, and professional activities. Also found is a portfolio containing scattered items regarding the publication of Song of Myself with original wood engravings by John Storrs. One additional scrapbook was created by John Storrs around 1945 for his daughter, Monique Storrs, to document her service as a nurse in World War II.

This collection also includes records of John Storrs' estate immediately following his death in 1956, as well as records of several galleries that represented the estate in managing Storrs' artwork from the 1970s to 2002.

Three videocassettes, transferred from an unknown reel format, contain footage of Storrs' family life at Chantecaille and in Chicago, Illinois, in the 1930s.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 11 series.

Some box and folder numbers in the container listing intentionally display out of sequence. An accretion was added in 2012 and integrated into the intellectual order, but not into the physical container order. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1837, 1860-1984 (Box 1, 20, 25, OV 23; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1857-2007 (Box 1-7, 25; 5.8 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1790, 1855-1987 (Box 7-9, 25, OV 24, 28; 2.9 linear feet)

Series 4: Diaries, 1874-1955 (Box 9-10; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 5: Writings, 1888-1989 (Box 10-11, 25; 1.1 linear foot)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1867-1987, 2005 (Box 11-14, 25, OV 24; 3.6 linear feet)

Series 7: Photographs, circa 1885-1980 (Box 14-16, 18, 20-22, 25, MGP 1, MGP 2, MGP 5, MGP 6; 3.2 linear feet)

Series 8: Artwork, 1895-1935 (Box 18, 20, OV 23; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 9: Scrapbooks, 1895-1963 (Box 18-21, 25; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 10: Estate Records, 1956-2002 (Box 26; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 11: Video Recordings, circa 1980s (Box 26-27; 0.2 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
John Henry Bradley Storrs (1885-1956) worked primarily in Chicago, Illinois, and Mer, France, as a sculptor, painter, and printmaker.

John Storrs was born in 1885 in Chicago, Illinois, to David William Storrs, an architect, and Hannah Bradley Storrs. Upon completing his schooling in 1905 he went to Berlin with the intention of studying music, but instead chose to study sculpture with the Arthur Bock in Hamburg, Germany. He also spent time in Paris and traveled throughout Europe, Turkey, and Egypt, returning to the US in late 1907. Storrs took night classes at the Art Institute of Chicago, followed by periods of study at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, with Bela Pratt, and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts with Charles Grafly. In 1912 he returned to Paris where he studied at the Académie Julian and with the famous sculptor Auguste Rodin. During this period his work was greatly influenced by cubism and futurism. In 1914 he married French writer Marguerite Deville-Chabrol. After briefly returning to the US to exhibit his work, Storrs worked at a hospital in Paris throughout World War I and in 1918 his daughter Monique was born. He and his family settled in Mer, France, at the Chateau de Chantecaille in 1921.

The following two decades were very productive for Storrs and he frequently travelled between the US and France to exhibit and create work. He showed in many notable exhibits such as the Société Anonyme's International Exhibition of Modern Art in New York in 1926, and he completed several commissions such as a statue for the Chicago Board of Trade in 1929. During this time Storrs completely moved away from representational work and refined his non-objective, machine-like sculpture. Besides sculpture, he also produced many paintings, woodcuts, lithographs, and other works on paper. He created works for the Century of Progress International Exposition in 1933 and also worked for the Public Works of Art Project in 1934.

During World War II Storrs was twice arrested and imprisoned by the German occupation forces, once for six months from 1941 to 1942 and again in 1944 along with his daughter Monique who was part of the French Resistance. These events greatly impacted his health and he produced very little work in the late 1940s and 1950s. He continued to exhibit his work and was also president in 1954 of the Ecole de la Loire, a group of 75 artists working in the Loire Valley. John Storrs died in 1956.
Related Materials:
Also available at the Archives of American Art is the Noel Frackman research material on John Henry Bradley Storrs, 1972-2003. In addition, Archives of American Art microfilm reels 1463 and ND/S-1 contain the John Henry Bradley Storrs scrapbook and studio book, 1909-1972.
Separated Materials:
The Booz family also loaned approximately 1,000 drawings by John Storrs and select family photographs for microfilming. Loaned material is available for viewing on reel 1555, but is not described in this container listing of this finding aid.
Provenance:
The John Henry Bradley Storrs papers were donated in several installments from 1979 to 1987 by Storrs' daughter, Monique Storrs Booz, and her daughter, Michelle Storrs Booz. A portion of these papers were loaned for microfilming in 1977 and subsequently donated in 1980. Additional papers were donated by Michelle Storrs Booz in 2011.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.
Rights:
The John Henry Bradley Storrs 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:
Expatriate artists -- France  Search this
Artists' studios -- France -- Paris -- Photographs  Search this
Painters -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Painters -- France -- Paris  Search this
Printmakers -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Printmakers -- France -- Paris  Search this
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Sculptors -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Sculptors -- France -- Paris  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- France  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Underground movements  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Poems
Diaries
Sketches
Video recordings
Sketchbooks
Prints
Portfolios (groups of works)
Citation:
John Henry Bradley Storrs papers, 1890-2007, bulk 1900-1956. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.storjohn
See more items in:
John Henry Bradley Storrs papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-storjohn
Additional Online Media:

Helen DeMott papers

Creator:
DeMott, Helen, 1920-1997  Search this
Names:
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) -- Photographs  Search this
Bland, Celia  Search this
Burkhardt, Rudy  Search this
Chester, Alfred, 1928-1971  Search this
Eastman, Max, 1883-1969  Search this
Finkelstein, Miriam  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-  Search this
Ponsot, Marie  Search this
Rolick, Esther G., b. 1922  Search this
Schloss, Edith, 1919-  Search this
Wright, Clifford, 1919-  Search this
Extent:
7.9 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Notes
Sketches
Photographs
Poems
Sound recordings
Watercolors
Video recordings
Scrapbooks
Manuscripts
Drawings
Travel diaries
Date:
1896-1997
Summary:
The papers of painter Helen DeMott measure 7.9 linear feet and date from 1896-1997. DeMott's painting career from 1940-1996 is documented through her numerous sketchbooks and original artwork. Also found is biographical material, correspondence, writings and poems, scrapbooks, printed material, photographic material, audio and video recordings, and scattered material from collagist Ray Johnson.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter Helen DeMott measure 7.9 linear feet and date from 1896-1997. DeMott's painting career from 1940-1996 is documented through her numerous sketchbooks and original artwork. Also found is biographical material, correspondence, writings and poems, scrapbooks, printed material, photographic material, audio and video recordings, and scattered material from collagist Ray Johnson.

The scattered biographical material contains official documents, DeMott's resume, circulars and receipts from the Art School of the National Academy of Design, and two obituaries. Correspondence includes letters from publishers regarding DeMott's book proposal "Geography into Landscape," correspondence with universities and scientific institutions regarding her Wave series, and personal correspondence including letters from photographer, filmmaker, and painter Rudy Burckhardt, writer Alfred Chester, painter Clifford Wright, and collagist Edith Schloss.

The bulk of the writings is DeMott's poetry, as well as some artist's statements, loose notes, a speech, travel diaries, and handwritten, typed, and edited manuscripts, including a typed manuscript of "Geography into Landscape." Writings by others include poetry by Celia Bland, Miriam Finkelstein, and Marie Ponsot. Scrapbooks document DeMott's research and artwork related to waves and includes clippings, photographs of artwork, sketches and notations, and typed notes on painting waves. Printed material includes magazine and newspaper articles about Helen DeMott and various other artists, and many articles related to water waves.

Photographic material includes black and white photographs of DeMott's artwork and personal photographs. Of interest is a 1943 photograph of a group at the Art Students League which includes Ester Rolick, Edith Schloss, Max Eastman, and Helen DeMott. Also found are slides and transparencies of artwork and slides for lectures on waves. Audiovisual Recordings include one reel-to-reel tape and five videotapes, some related to DeMott's study of waves.

There is one folder of material from collagist Ray Johnson containing scattered letters and mail art, exhibition fliers, and collages. Measuring 4.2 linear feet, the bulk of DeMott's papers are sketchbooks and original artwork spanning her artistic career. There are numerous loose sketches, notes, sketchbooks, holiday cards, watercolors, and oversized drawings in pencil, ink, and oil pastels, much of which is related to waves. Original artwork by others includes Esther Rolick and Edith Schloss.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1911-1997 (Boxes 1, 9; 7 folders)

Series 2: Letters and Correspondence, 1896, 1930-1995 (Boxes 1-2; 1.1 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, 1950-circa 1996 (Boxes 2-3; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 4: Scrapbooks, 1967-1989 (Box 3; 2 folders)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1961-1996 (Boxes 3, 9; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographic Material, circa 1920s-1996 (Boxes 3-4, 9; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 7: Audiovisual Recordings, 1975, 1978, undated (Box 4; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 8: Ray Johnson, 1947, 1963, undated (Box 4; 1 folder)

Series 9: Artwork, 1941-1996 (Boxes 4-9, OV 10-13; 4.2 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Helen DeMott (1920-1997) was a New York City based painter and poet and well-known East Village community activist.

In the 1940s, DeMott attended the National Academy of Design and Art Students League. In the late 1960s, DeMott began focusing her work on the scientific study of waves, specifically the structure of water wave surfaces, a theme that remained in her work for the rest of her career. In 1974-1975, DeMott completed two building murals of water wave structures in New York City: Wave Spill, located at 155 First Avenue and 10th Street; and River Wave, at 509 Amsterdam Avenue. She had a solo exhibition at the Green Mountain Gallery in 1969, and exhibited at the ground-breaking alternative space, 112 Workshop/112 Greene Street in 1979. DeMott was received a number of grants and awards throughout her career including National Community Arts Competition winner in 1974, a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts (CAPS) in 1976, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1978, and a Gottleib Foundation grant in 1983. She passed away in 1997.
Provenance:
The Helen DeMott papers were a bequest to the Archives of American Art in 2003 by James Goldiner, executive for the estate of Helen DeMott.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Helen DeMott 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:
Women artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Notes
Sketches
Photographs
Poems
Sound recordings
Watercolors
Video recordings
Scrapbooks
Manuscripts
Drawings
Travel diaries
Citation:
Helen DeMott papers, 1896-1997. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.demohele
See more items in:
Helen DeMott papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-demohele
Additional Online Media:

Max Eastman : a life / Christoph Irmscher

Author:
Irmscher, Christoph  Search this
Subject:
Eastman, Max 1883-1969  Search this
Physical description:
434 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Type:
Biography
Biographies
History
Place:
United States
Date:
2017
20th century
Topic:
Authors, American  Search this
Editors  Search this
Socialism--History  Search this
Communism--History  Search this
Radicalism--History  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1082354

Enjoyment of laughter, by Max Eastman

Author:
Eastman, Max 1883-1969  Search this
Physical description:
xviii, 367, [1] p. incl. front., illus. plates, ports. 24 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1936
Topic:
Laughter  Search this
Wit and humor, Pictorial  Search this
Call number:
NC1355 .E13 1936
NC1355.E13 1936
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_378073

The last romantic : a life of Max Eastman / William L. O'Neill

Author:
O'Neill, William L  Search this
Subject:
Eastman, Max 1883-1969 Biography  Search this
Physical description:
xix, 339 p., [4] leaves of plates : ill. ; 24 cm
Type:
Biography
Place:
United States
Date:
1978
20th century
Topic:
Authors, American  Search this
Editors  Search this
Call number:
CT275.E133O5
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_104472

The Liberator

Author:
Eastman, Max 1883-1969  Search this
Eastman, Crystal 1881-1928  Search this
Physical description:
7 v. : ill. ; 28 cm
Type:
Periodicals
Place:
United States
Date:
1918
1924
1918-1924
1901-1953
Topic:
Socialism  Search this
Politics and government  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1059812

Art and the life of action : with other essays / by Max Eastman

Author:
Eastman, Max 1883-1969  Search this
Physical description:
3-226, [1], iii, [1] p ; 20 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1934
Topic:
Art  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_906333

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