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Oral history interview with Helen Frankenthaler, 1968

Interviewee:
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Interviewer:
Rose, Barbara, 1938-  Search this
Subject:
Feeley, Paul  Search this
Pollock, Jackson  Search this
Hofmann, Hans  Search this
Picasso, Pablo  Search this
Tamayo, Rufino  Search this
Kandinsky, Wassily  Search this
De Kooning, Willem  Search this
Motherwell, Robert Burns  Search this
Greenberg, Clement  Search this
Hartigan, Grace  Search this
Dzubas, Friedel  Search this
Bennington College  Search this
Topic:
Interviews  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Painting  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Painters  Search this
Sound recordings  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12171
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212046
AAA_collcode_franke69
Theme:
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212046
Additional Online Media:

Clement Greenberg papers

Creator:
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Names:
American Committee for Cultural Freedom  Search this
Avedisian, Edward, 1936-2007  Search this
Bannard, Walter Darby, 1934-  Search this
Baziotes, Ethel  Search this
Bush, Jack, 1909-  Search this
Caro, Anthony, 1924-  Search this
Connolly, Cyril, 1903-1974  Search this
Davis, Gene, 1920-1985  Search this
Diebenkorn, Richard, 1922-1993  Search this
Dorazio, Piero, 1927-  Search this
Dzubas, Friedel, 1915-  Search this
Emmerich, André  Search this
Feeley, Paul, 1910-1966  Search this
Francis, Sam, 1923-1994  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Fuller, Peter, 1947-1990  Search this
Goodnough, Robert, 1917-  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Hosaisson, Philippe  Search this
Kainen, Jacob  Search this
Krauss, Rosalind E.  Search this
Moffett, Kenworth  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Noland, Kenneth, 1924-  Search this
O'Faolin, Nuala  Search this
Olitski, Jules, 1922-2007  Search this
Pepper, Beverly  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Sander, Ludwig, 1906-  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Smith, Kimber, 1922-1981  Search this
Solomon, Deborah  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-  Search this
Truitt, Anne, 1921-2004  Search this
Waddington, Leslie  Search this
Wisenski, Kurt  Search this
Extent:
8.6 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Transcripts
Interviews
Etchings
Photographs
Reports
Date:
1937-1983
Summary:
The papers of art critic, author, and lecturer Clement Greenberg measure 8.6 linear feet and date from 1937 to 1983. The bulk of the collection consists of letters from art critics, artists, family, friends, galleries, and museums. Notable correspondents include Jack Bush, Anthony Caro, Richard Diebenkorn, Friedel Dzubas, Helen Frankenthaler, Adolph Gottlieb, Hans Hofmann, Morris Louis, Robert Motherwell, Charles Pollock, Jules Olitski, David Smith, and Anne Truitt among others. Also found are biograpical materials, personal business and financial records, an etching by Kurt Wisneski, printed materials, and two reports by Greenberg concerning his travels.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of influential New York art critic Clement Greenberg measure 8.6 linear feet and date from 1937 to 1983. The bulk of the papers (7 feet) consists of letters from art critics, artists, family, friends, galleries, and museums, with some letters from Greenberg. Correspondents include Edward Avedisian, Darby Bannard, Ethel Baziotes, Jack Bush, Anthony Caro, Gene Davis, Richard Diebenkorn, Piero Dorazio, Friedel Dzubas, Andre Emmerich, Paul Feeley, Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Goodnough, Adolf Gottleib, Hans Hofmann, Philippe Hosiasson, Jacob Kainen, Rosalind Krauss, Robert Motherwell, Ken Moffett, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Beverly Pepper, Ludwig Sander, David Smith, Kimber Smith, Clyfford Still, Anne Truitt, and Leslie Waddington.

Biographical materials include a transcript of an interview with Greenberg conducted by Deborah Solomon in 1983. Greenberg's personal business and financial records include correspondence regarding his lectures and seminars, requests for his writings, student queries, documents regarding his television and radio appearances, royalty statements, and receipts for gifts of works of art. Also found within business records are documents relating to Greenberg's testimony at the Mark Rothko Trial in 1974.

Artwork consists of one etching by Kurt Wisenski entitled "Spring." The papers contain very few of Greenberg's writings about art. Found are lists of artists, and reports written by Greenberg on the state of art in Japan and India in 1967, likely related to his membership in the American Committee for Cultural Freedom. Printed material includes scattered clippings concerning art and exhibition announcements.

One series of ACCESS RESTRICTED papers contains documents relating to Greenberg's role as a trustee in the David Smith estate; correspondence between Greenberg with Andre Emmerich and Peter Fuller, Nuala O'Faolain, and the Greenberg family; and some financial materials regarding the sale and loan of Greenberg's art collection.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series:

Series 1: Biographical Information, circa 1950s-1983 (Box 1; 2 folders)

Series 2: Business and Financial Records, 1940-1983 (Box 1; 12 folders)

Series 3: Correspondence, 1937-1983 (Boxes 1-8; 7 linear feet)

Series 4: Artwork, 1973 (Box 8; 1 folder)

Series 5: Writings and Notes, 1967-1983 (Box 8; 3 folders)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1950-1982 (Box 8; 2 folders)

Series 7: Restricted Material, 1963-1983 (Boxes 9-11; 1.2 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Clement Greenberg was a highly influential art critic working in New York City from the 1940s through the 1960s. He was an advocate of modern art, particulary the abstract expressionist movement, and one of the first critics to recognize the significance of Jackson Pollock's work.

Greenberg was born in 1909 to Russian immigrants in Bronx, New York. After graduating from Syracuse University in 1930, he married and had a child, David. He settled in New York City while working at the United States Customs Department as an appraiser.

In the late 1930s, Clement Greenberg attended a meeting of the U.S. Works Progress Administration and heard Hans Hofmann speak of avant-garde art. In 1939, he wrote one of his first important critical pieces "Avant-Garde and Kitsch" for the Partisan Review. Greenberg argued that the avant-garde art movement rose out of the need to defend and maintain high art standards against the decline in taste brought about by America's consumerism and capitalist culture.

In 1940, Greenberg joined Partisan Review as an editor. He became art critic for the Nation in 1942, and was associate editor of Commentary from 1945 until 1957. In December 1950, he joined the CIA-fronted American Committee for Cultural Freedom.

Throughout the 1940s through the 1960s Greenberg continued to write and, in his essays and articles, he promoted the work of Abstract Expressionists, among them Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Hans Hofmann, Barnett Newman, and Clyfford Still. He particularly championed Jackson Pollock. Greenberg wrote several seminal essays that defined his views on art history in the 20th century. "Greenberg on Collage" was one one of his most important.

Greenberg's views on pop art were mixed. He also became less enamored with Abstract Impressionism, particularly the second generation. However, he became very interested in the Color-Field and Hard-Edge painters.

Through the 1960s Greenberg's views informed a younger generation of art critics including Michael Fried and Rosalind E. Krauss. Some writers maintain that Greenberg's views were so well-respected that he had too much of an influence on the world of art. In time, Greenberg's antagonism to Postmodernist theories and other modern art movements caused him to lose much of his credibility among both artists and art critics.

Greenberg died at the age of eighty-five in 1994.

Since his death, letters edited by his widow, Janice Van Horne and a re-evaluation of his writings have helped to restore his reputation within the art world.
Related Material:
The Portland Art Museum holds Clement Greenberg's private art collection as well as a library of exhibition catalogs.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reels N69-91, N70-7, and N737). Most, but not all, of these papers were later donated by Greenberg. Loaned materials not donated at a later date remain with the lender and are not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Provenance:
Clement Greenberg initally lent material for microfilming in 1968-1969. He donated most of this material with additional papers in several accretions between 1984 to 1991.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Some of the collection is ACCESS RESTRICTED: documents relating to the estate of David Smith; some correspondence with Peter Fuller, Nuala O'Faolain, and the Greenberg family; and sale and loan agreements. Contact the reference staff for more information about permission to use this portion of the collection.
Rights:
The Clement Greenberg 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 criticism -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Japan  Search this
Art -- India  Search this
Modernism (Art) -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Transcripts
Interviews
Etchings
Photographs
Reports
Citation:
The Clement Greenberg papers, 1937-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.greeclep
See more items in:
Clement Greenberg papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-greeclep
Additional Online Media:

Brooklyn Museum interviews of artists

Creator:
Brooklyn Museum  Search this
Names:
Listening to pictures (1968-1973: Brooklyn Museum)  Search this
Anderson, Lennart, 1928-  Search this
Antonakos, Stephen, 1926-2013  Search this
Arisman, Marshall  Search this
Barker, Walter  Search this
Baskin, Leonard, 1922-2000  Search this
Bauermeister, Mary, 1934-  Search this
Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889-1975  Search this
Bishop, Isabel, 1902-1988  Search this
Brackman, Robert, 1898-  Search this
Butchkes, Sydney, 1922-  Search this
Casarella, Edmond, 1920-1996  Search this
Constant, George  Search this
Dash, Robert  Search this
De Creeft, José, 1884-1982  Search this
Dombek, Blanche, 1914-  Search this
Doyle, Tom, 1928-  Search this
Ernst, Jimmy, 1920-1984  Search this
Estern, Neil, 1926-  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Freilicher, Jane, 1924-  Search this
Goldin, Leon, 1923-  Search this
Goodman, Sidney  Search this
Graziani, Sante, 1920-  Search this
Greene, Balcomb, 1904-1990  Search this
Grillo, John, 1917-  Search this
Gropper, William, 1897-1977  Search this
Gross, Chaim, 1904-1991  Search this
Gussow, Roy, 1918-2011  Search this
Gwathmey, Robert, 1903-1988  Search this
Hartigan, Grace  Search this
Hopper, Edward, 1882-1967  Search this
Jaffe, Nora  Search this
Jenkins, Paul, 1923-2012  Search this
Kawabata, Minoru, 1911-  Search this
Kienbusch, William, 1914-1980  Search this
Knaths, Karl, 1891-1971  Search this
Koch, John, 1909-1978  Search this
Kosama, Yayoi  Search this
Lam, Jennett, 1911-  Search this
Lang, Steven, 1944-1971  Search this
Laurent, Robert, 1890-1970  Search this
Lawrence, Jacob, 1917-2000  Search this
Levine, Jack, 1915-2010  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques, 1891-1973  Search this
Lipton, Seymour, 1903-1986  Search this
Margo, Boris, 1902-1995  Search this
Meyer, Ursula, 1915-  Search this
Moller, Hans, 1905-  Search this
Murch, Walter  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Odate, Toshio  Search this
Offner, Elliot  Search this
Ohlson, Douglas Dean, 1936-  Search this
Okada, Kenzo, 1902-1982  Search this
Palmer, Amanda, 1931-  Search this
Pereira, I. Rice (Irene Rice), 1902-1971  Search this
Peterdi, Gabor  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Richards, Bill, 1936-  Search this
Rivers, Larry, 1925-2002  Search this
Sanchez, Emilio, 1921-1999  Search this
Schrag, Karl  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Sopher, Aaron, 1905-1972  Search this
Soyer, Moses, 1899-1974  Search this
Soyer, Raphael, 1899-1987  Search this
Thon, William, 1906-2000  Search this
Weinberg, Albert  Search this
Zorach, Marguerite, 1887-1968  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Interviewer:
Jacobowitz, Arlene  Search this
Extent:
7 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Transcripts
Interviews
Date:
1965-1968
Summary:
Interviews of 72 artists, and transcripts for all but five, conducted by Arlene Jacobowitz, the Associate Curator for the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Brooklyn Museum, between 1965 and 1968. The artists discuss their work in the museum collection. Also included are 38 edited excerpts of the interviews, approximately 2-3 min. in length, used as "audio-labels" in the 1968 "Listening to Pictures" installation at the museum.
Scope and Content Note:
Interviews of 72 artists, and transcripts for all but five, conducted by Arlene Jacobowitz, the Associate Curator for the Department of Painting and Sculpture, between 1965 and 1968. The artists discuss their work in the museum collection. Also included are 38 edited excerpts of the interviews, approximately 2-3 min. in length, used as "audio-labels" in the 1968 "Listening to Pictures" installation.

The artists interviewed are: Lennart Anderson, Stephen B. Antonakos, Marshall Arisman, Walter Barker, Leonard Baskin, Mary Bauermeister, Thomas Hart Benton, Isabel Bishop, Robert Brackman, Sydney Butchkes, Edmund Casarella, George Constant, Robert Warren Dash, Jose DeCreeft, Blanche Dombek, Tom Doyle, Jimmy Ernst, Neil Estern, Philip Evergood, Helen Frankenthaler, Jane Freilicher, Leon Goldin, Sidney Goodman, Sante Graziani, Balcomb Greene, John Grillo, William Gropper, Chaim Gross, Roy Gussow, Robert Gwathmey, Grace Hartigan, Edward Hopper, Nora Jaffe, Paul Jenkins, Minoru Kawabata, William Kienbusch, Karl Knaths, John Koch, Yayoi Kosama, Jennett Lam, Steven Lang, Robert Laurent, Jacob Lawrence, Jack Levine, Jacques Lipchitz, Seymour Lipton, Boris Margo, Ursula Meyer, Hans Moller, Walter Murch, Louise Nevelson, Toshio Odate, Elliot Offner, Douglas Ohlson, Kenzo Okada, Amanda Palmer, Irene Rice Pereira, Gabor Peterdi, Ad Reinhardt, Bill Richards, Larry Rivers, Emilio Sanchez, Karl Schrag, Ben Shahn, Charles Sheeler, Aaron Sopher, Moses Soyer, Raphael Soyer, William Thon, Albert Weinberg, and William and Marguerite Zorach.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as a single series:

Series 1: Interviews, 1965-1968 (Box 1-7; 7 lin. ft.)
Historical Note:
The interview program at the Brooklyn Museum was begun by Arlene Jacobowitz in the spring of 1965 with artists whose works were on exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. In 1968, excerpts from the interviews were incorporated into an exhibition entitled "Listening to Pictures," in which visitors could access the sound recordings using headphones while standing before the painting being discussed. The exhibition opened April 28, 1968, and was gradually disassembled, 1971-1973.
Related Material:
The Brooklyn Museum Archives houses the records of the Departments of European Painting and Sculpture, American Painting and Sculpture, Contemporary Art (1897-2005), which contain records relating to the work of Arlene Jacobowitz.
Provenance:
This collection was donated to the Archives of American Art by Dierdre Lawrence of the Brooklyn Museum in 1989.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Researchers may view the original reels for the archival notations on them, but original reels are not available for playback due to fragility.
Rights:
Authorization to quote or reproduce for purposes of publication requires written permission from the interviewee.
Topic:
Artists -- United States -- Interviews  Search this
Art, American -- Exhibitions  Search this
Genre/Form:
Transcripts
Interviews
Citation:
Interview between [artist's name] and [interviewer's name] from the "Listening to Pictures" program of the Brooklyn Museum. Gift of the Brooklyn Museum. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.broomuse
See more items in:
Brooklyn Museum interviews of artists
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-broomuse

Gloria Ross papers

Creator:
Ross, Gloria F.  Search this
Names:
Atelier Raymond Picaud  Search this
Denver Art Museum  Search this
Dovecot Studios  Search this
Pace Editions (Firm)  Search this
Pinton Atelier  Search this
Temple Emanu-El (Bayonne, N.J.)  Search this
Avery, Milton, 1885-1965  Search this
Bearden, Romare, 1911-1988  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Noland, Kenneth, 1924-  Search this
Extent:
14.5 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Interviews
Paintings
Video recordings
Photographs
Date:
circa 1924-1998
Summary:
The papers of New York tapestry éditeur Gloria Ross measure 14.5 linear feet and date from circa 1924-1998. The bulk of the papers consist of project files that document her collaborations with artists to make tapestries of their paintings and collages. Also found are scattered biographical material, professional correspondence, exhibition files, professional activity files, personal business records, printed material, photographs, and artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York tapestry éditeur Gloria Ross measure 14.5 linear feet and date from circa 1924-1998. The bulk of the papers consist of project files that document her collaborations with artists to make tapestries of their paintings and collages. Also found are scattered biographical material, professional correspondence, exhibition files, professional activity files, personal business records, printed material, photographs, and artwork.

Biographical material includes resumes and career summaries, as well as an interview of Ross on one videocassette, and a few Frankenthaler family documents. Correspondence is with artists, weavers, workshops, publications, and galleries and is of a professional nature.

Project files document Ross's collaborations with prominent artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Motherwell, Romare Bearden, Louise Nevelson, Milton Avery, Stuart Davis, and others. Project files may include correspondence, contracts, invoices, notes, photographs, yarn samples, and a few maquettes and cartoons. Also of note are extensive files regarding her collaborations with Navajo weavers to create tapestries based on geometric paintings by Kenneth Noland. Other project files include a commissioned tapestry for Temple Emanu-El in New York.

Exhibition files document various solo and group exhibitions of Gloria Ross tapestries and includes one videocassette from a 1978 exhibition. Records of her professional activities include her participation in symposia, lectures, and public events. Files may include correspondence, draft lectures, programs, and event publicity. Two short documentaries found on two videocassettes were produced for the Denver Art Museum. Personal business records document Ross's business relationships with weaving workshops and art galleries, most notably Atelier Raymond Picaud, Pinton atelier, Edinburgh Tapestry Company (Dovecot Studios), and Pace Editions, the major sales agent of Gloria Ross tapestries.

Printed material consists of catalogs, announcements, press releases, and other publications regarding exhibitions of Gloria Ross tapestries and Navajo tapestries. Photographs depict Ross, the Frankenthaler family, Ross's tapestries, weaving studios, and Navajo weavers. Artwork includes one painting by Paul Jenkins and unidentified textile and yarn samples.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as 9 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1926-1998 (5 folders; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1965-1998 (0.7 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 3: Project Files, 1960-1998 (7.3 linear feet; Boxes 1-7, 14-15, 17-19, OVs 20, 22-24, Artifact)

Series 4: Exhibition Files, 1967-1994 (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 7-8, 17)

Series 5: Professional Activities, 1955-1997 (0.7 linear feet; Box 8)

Series 6: Personal Business Records, 1964-1998 (1.8 linear feet; Boxes 8-10, OV 21)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1970s-1990s (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 10-11, 14)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1924-1990s (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 11, 16)

Series 9: Artwork, circa 1970s-1990s (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 11-14, 17, 19)
Biographical / Historical:
Gloria F. Ross (1923-1998) was a tapestry éditeur in New York, New York.

Ross was born Gloria Frankenthaler in New York in 1923. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1943 and married Alfred Ross. They had three children: Alfred, Beverly, and Clifford. In 1954, Gloria Ross made her first needlepoint work from a design by her sister, abstract painter Helen Frankenthaler, and by the mid-1960s, she was exhibiting her tapestries and hooked rugs in New York. She established Gloria F. Ross Studio in 1966 and began regularly collaborating with artists such as Robert Motherwell, Louise Nevelson, Jack Youngerman, and Jean Dubuffet to make their works into tapestries. She created business partnerships with weaving workshops in Scotland and France to produce the works. In 1973 she had her first exhibition at Pace Editions, Inc., beginning a long relationship with the gallery as her main sales agent.

In 1979, Ross first traveled to the Navajo Nation to find weavers for a collaborative project with artist Kenneth Noland. She continued to visit the Southwest at least once a year until 1994, and she donated her collection of Navajo rugs and other textiles to the Denver Art Museum. Throughout the 1980s Ross traveled extensively for projects, exhibitions, and symposia. Her final commissioned project, completed in 1997, was a tapestry designed by artist Mark Podwol for Temple Emanu-El in New York. That same year she established the Gloria F. Ross Center for Tapestry Studies in Tucson, Arizona.
Provenance:
Donated in 2013 by the Gloria Ross estate via Michael I. Katz, executor, with assistance from the Gloria F. Ross Tapestry Program, University of Arizona, via Ann Lane Hedlund, director.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Gloria Ross 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:
Tapestry -- Design  Search this
Tapestry -- Production control  Search this
Tapestry -- Technique  Search this
Women artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Designers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Navajo weavers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Paintings
Video recordings
Photographs
Citation:
Gloria Ross papers, circa 1924-1998. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.rossglor
See more items in:
Gloria Ross papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-rossglor

Gertrude Kasle Gallery records

Creator:
Gertrude Kasle Gallery (Detroit, Mich.)  Search this
Names:
Universal Limited Art Editions (Firm)  Search this
Bontecou, Lee, 1931-  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-  Search this
Dine, Jim, 1935-  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Goodman, Brenda Joyce, 1943-  Search this
Goodnough, Robert, 1917-  Search this
Goodyear, John L., 1930-  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Grosman, Tatyana, 1904-1982  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Hartigan, Grace  Search this
Jenkins, Paul, 1923-2012  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-  Search this
Kasle, Gertrude, 1917-  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Natkin, Robert, 1930-  Search this
Nesbitt, Lowell, 1933-1993  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Pollock, Charles C.  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-  Search this
Schmidt, Julius, 1923-  Search this
Shapiro, Babe  Search this
Tall, Bill  Search this
Todd, Mike, 1935-  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Extent:
8.1 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Interviews
Photographs
Sound recordings
Date:
1949-1999
bulk 1964-1983
Summary:
The records of the Gertrude Kasle Gallery of Detroit measure 8.1 linear feet and date from 1949-1999, with the bulk of records dating from 1964-1983. The collection documents the establishment and operations of this contemporary American art gallery and consists of artists files, business and administrative files, exhibition files, photographic materials, and interviews and lectures in the form of sound recordings.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of the Gertrude Kasle Gallery of Detroit measure 8.1 linear feet and date from 1949-1999, with the bulk of the records dating from 1964-1983. The collection documents the establishment and operations of this contemporary American art gallery and consists of artists files, business and administrative files, exhibition files, photographic materials, and interviews and lectures in the form of sound recordings.

The bulk of the records consist of Artists' Files that document the professional and personal relationships Kasle fostered with the artists represented by the gallery, including sales and exhibitions. The files contain a wide variety of materials and the amount of documentation for each artist also varies. Typically the files contain personal and business correspondence, sales documentation, exhibition photographs, photographs of works of art, family photographs, photographs of the artist, exhibition announcements and catalogs, other printed materials, greeting cards, and other documents. Some of the artists well-represented in the files include Lee Bontecou, Wilhem De Kooning, Jim Dine, Helen Frankenthaler, Brenda Goodman, Robert Goodnaugh, John Goodyear, Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Guston, Grace Hartigan, Ray Johnson, Robert Motherwell, Robert Natkin, Lowell Nesbitt, Claes Oldenburg, Charles Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Julius Schmidt, Babe Shapiro, Michael Todd, and Jack Tworkov. Additional general information about exhibitions is found in Series 3, Exhibition Files and additional photographs are filed in Series 4, Photographic Material.

Gallery and personal business and administrative files house documents relating to the founding and incorporation of the gallery and general operations, as well as some of Gertrude Kasle personal business files. Also found in this series are files related to fine art prints and the gallery's business relationship with Universal Limited Art Editions.

Scattered exhibition files are found for a few of the gallery's exhibitions and also include general exhibition related files, such as clippings, announcements, guest lists, and schedules. Most of the information about the gallery's exhibitions is found in the Artists Files. Photographs and slides are found throughout the collection, particularly in the Artists Files, but Series 4, Photographic Materials houses an extensive collection of slides documenting art work by artists represented by the gallery. There is also an autographed photograph portrait of Lowell Nesbitt.

Sound recordings are of interviews and lectures. Interviews are with Tatyana Grosman, Lowell Nesbitt, Paul Jenkins, and Bill Tall. There are recorded lectures by Paul Jenkins and Jack Tworkov. The sound recordings are on both audio cassette reel to reel tapes. Transcripts are not available.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 5 series:

Series 1: Artists Files, 1949-1999 (Boxes 1-5, OV 11; 5.1 linear feet)

Series 2: Gallery and Personal Business and Administrative Files, 1961-1995 (Boxes 6-7, OV 12; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 3: Exhibition Files, 1963-1976 (Box 7; 7 folders)

Series 4: Photographic Materials, 1953-1985 (Boxes 7, 10; 18 folders)

Series 5: Sound Recordings, 1966-1971 (Boxes 7-9; 7 folders)
Historical Note:
Gertrude Kasle was born in New York City on December 2, 1917, and began her life-long career in the art world very early, taking art classes in high school and Saturday classes at the Art Students League. She began her formal studies in art education at New York University (NYU) and later transfered to the University of Michigan. Kasle interrupted her studies during World War II to devote herself to family work while her husband served as a military chaplain. The family returned to Detroit in 1947 and she began classes at the Society of Arts and Crafts. After raising her three children, she enrolled in Wayne State University in 1955, completing her degree in 1962.

While a student in Detroit, Kasle was active in the Friends of Modern Art group at the Detroit Institute of Art, and became Vice President. In 1962, she was approached by Detroit businessman Franklin Siden to help him open a gallery where she would have a one-third partnership. During the first year of Siden Gallery's operations, Kasle introduced Detroit to the work of many notable contemporay American artists, such as Larry Rivers, Grace Hartigan, Robert Goodnough, and Robert Natkin.

Her tenure with the Siden Gallery was short-lived and by 1964 she left and began to contemplate her next move. Several of the artists she had represented at Siden Gallery encouraged her to open her own gallery. Local art critic Joy Hakanson Colby who worked for the Detroit News interviewed Kasle and claimed that Kasle was "looking for gallery space". Responding to the article, the Fischer Building offered Kasle a very attractive lease in the "New Center" area of downtown Detroit that would later become known as the city's gallery center, housing several prominent galleries.

With the help of her husband and son, she opened the doors of the Gertrude Kasle Gallery on April 10, 1965. The opening exhibition featured Larry Rivers, Grace Hartigan, Robert Goodnough, Irving Kreisberg, and Manousher Yektai. Kasle's goal was to introduce the city of Detroit to the foremost contemporary artists in the country, some already well-established such as Wilhelm De Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Philip Guston, Grace Hartigan, Robert Motherwell, Lowell Nesbitt, Claes Oldenburg, Charles Pollock, Larry Rivers, and Jack Tworkov, as well as others just becoming known, such as Jim Dine. Through group and one-man shows, the Gertrude Kasle Gallery represented contemporary painting, mixed media, and sculpture, focusing primarily on the Abstract Expressionist movement. The gallery also fostered many local Detroit artists, giving them their first shows, including Al Loving and Brenda Goodman.

During her earlier tenure with the Siden Gallery Kasle had worked with Tatyana Grosman of Universal Limited Art Editions which produced original prints of contemporary artists including Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jim Dine. In her own gallery, Kasle continued her business relationship with Grosman and fine art print publishers, allowing the gallery access to many artists that were previously unattainable.

For eleven years the Gertrude Kasle Gallery operated as a thriving contemporary art gallery, forming the nucleus for the growing Detroit modern and avant garde art scene during the sixties and seventies. Although financially the gallery was not as successful as hoped, it provided a cultural forum for artists and Detroit art enthusiasts to convene, learn, and celebrate. In April, 1976 the gallery closed. When asked why she was closing the gallery, Gertrude Kasle said, "Because the need for a gallery like mine isn't as great as it was in the 1960's. Today the public respects and understands more about creative innovation in contemporary art." (Hakanson Colby, March, 1976) Although the gallery formally closed, Kasle continues to work as a art consultant and live in Detroit.

This historical note relies heavily on the essays written by Gertrude Kasle's son, Stephen available on the Gertrude Kasle Gallery website.
Related Material:
Also available at the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Gertrude Kasle conducted by Dennis Barrie on July 24, 1975.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art in 1976 and 1982 by Mrs. Gertrude Kasle. A third accession was donated by the Cincinnati Art Museum in 2002.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Gertrude Kasle Gallery records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Art galleries, Commercial -- Michigan -- Detroit  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Photographs
Sound recordings
Citation:
The Gertrude Kasle Gallery records, 1949-1999 (bulk 1964-1983). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.gertkasl
See more items in:
Gertrude Kasle Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-gertkasl
Additional Online Media:

Alexander Liberman papers

Creator:
Liberman, Alexander, 1912-1999  Search this
Names:
André Emmerich Gallery  Search this
Bennington College  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Beaton, Cecil Walter Hardy, Sir, 1904-  Search this
Cartier-Bresson, Henri, 1908-  Search this
Chernow, Burt  Search this
Dalí, Salvador, 1904-  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-  Search this
Dietrich, Marlene  Search this
Emmerich, André  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Hopps, Walter  Search this
Klein, William  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Leibovitz, Annie, 1949-  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Mulas, Ugo  Search this
Namuth, Hans  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Newton, Helmut, 1920-  Search this
Parks, Gordon, 1912-2006  Search this
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Penn, Irving  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Ritts, Herb  Search this
Snowdon, Antony Armstrong-Jones, Earl of, 1930-  Search this
Steichen, Edward, 1879-1973  Search this
Vogel, Lucien  Search this
Vreeland, Diana  Search this
Extent:
59 Linear Feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Drafts (documents)
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Interviews
Photographs
Sketches
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Video recordings
Date:
circa 1912-2003
Summary:
The papers of sculptor, painter, and publishing executive Alexander Semeonovitch Liberman date from circa 1913-2003 and measure 59 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical materials; correspondence with family, galleries, museums, and many artists; numerous recorded interviews and transcripts with and by Liberman, including one of Walter Hopps; writings and writing project files; extensive subject files maintained by Liberman; exhibition files; printed materials; scattered drawings; and extensive photographs of Liberman's artwork, exhibitions, Liberman, and of Liberman with notable artists, dealers, collectors, and critics. Many of the photographs were taken by noted photograhers. Also found within the papers are unidentified sound and video recordings. Additional sound and video recordings have been integrated into other series.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of sculptor, painter, and publishing executive Alexander Semeonovitch Liberman date from circa 1913-2003 and measure 59 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical materials; correspondence with family, galleries, museums, and many artists; numerous recorded interviews and transcripts with and by Liberman, including one of Walter Hopps; writings and writing project files; extensive subject files maintained by Liberman; exhibition files; printed materials; scattered drawings; and extensive photographs of Liberman's artwork, exhibitions, Liberman, and of Liberman with notable artists, dealers, collectors, and critics. Many of the photographs were taken by noted photograhers. Also found within the papers are unidentified sound and video recordings. Additional sound and video recordings have been integrated into other series.

Biographical materials include awards, biographies and chronologies, family history materials, membership cards, writings by Liberman's mother, and a scrapbook about his father.

Correspondence is extensive and concerns both personal and professional affairs. It is with artists and photographers, art magazines, organizations and museums, art collectors, businesses, and family. Notable correspondents include Cecil Beaton, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Burt Chernow, Salvador Dali, Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Barnett and Annalee Newman, Additional correspondence is found within the subject files compiled and organized by Liberman (series 6).

There are sound and video recordings and transcripts of interviews with and by Liberman, most completed for broadcast television and radio shows. Of particular interest are sound cassettes, a sound tape reel, and a transcript of an interview with Walter Hopps by Liberman.

Writings by Liberman include essays, short stories, and a play entitled 2+1. Writing project files were organized by Liberman for writing projects for which he was the author, collaborator, or subject. There are numerous files concerning Barbara Rose's book about Liberman Alexander Liberman that also include recorded interviews with Liberman and transcripts. Other books for which there are files include The Art and Technique of Color Photography, The Artist in His Studio, Vogue: The First 100 Years, Vogue History of Fashion Photography, and others.

Subject files were organized by Liberman for a wide variety of work projects, activities, topics, and entities of interest. Files cover commissions, the filming and distribution of the 1981 documentary film Alexander Liberman: A Lifetime Burning, Liberman's personal collection of art, gifts of artwork, and his relationship with galleries and dealers, particularly André Emmerich Gallery.

Exhibition files document exhibitions of Liberman's artwork, and include those held at André Emmerich Gallery, Bennington College, the Guggenheim, Museum of Modern Art, among other venues. Files contain correspondence, contracts, photographs, plans and drawings, notes, etc. Also found are inventory records of Liberman's artwork in the form of lists, index cards, bound registers, and notes.

Ten linear feet of printed materials include exhibition announcements and catalogs, books and book flyers, brochures, calendars, clippings, postcards, posters, press releases, and other materials.

There are scattered drawings and sketches found within the papers, some of which are sketches of sculpture pieces.

Nearly one-half of the collection is comprised of photographs of Liberman and his artwork, and of artists and colleagues, many of which were taken by noted photographers, including Cecil Beaton, Henri Cartier-Bresson, William Klein, Henri Lartique, Annie Leibowitz, Inge Morath, Ugo Mulas, Hans Namuth, Helmut Newton, Gordon Parks, Irving Penn, Herb Ritts, and Lord Snowden, among others. Subjects of note found in the photographs include Alfred Barr, Salvador Dali, Marlene Dietrich, Willem de Kooning, Andre Emmerich, Helen Frankenthaler, Clement Greenberg, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Betty Parsons, Pablo Piccaso, Edward Steichen, Lucien Vogel, and Diana Vreeland, among many others.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into twelve series. Photographs retain Liberman's original numerical and alpha schemas and the corresponding indexes are found in the Inventory Records in Series 8.

Series 1: Biographical Materials, circa 1930s-1999 (1 linear foot; Box 1, 56)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1944-1997 (4 linear feet; Boxes 1-5, 56, OV 65)

Series 3: Interviews, 1946-1996 (1.4 linear feet; Boxes 5-7, 56)

Series 4: Writings, 1948-1995 (0.9 linear feet; Boxes 7-8)

Series 5: Writing Project Files, 1951-1997 (1.8 linear feet; Boxes 8-9, 56)

Series 6: Subject Files, 1946-2000 (6 linear feet; Boxes 9-15, 56, OV 66-67)

Series 7: Exhibition Files, 1954-1991 (0.7 linear feet; Boxes 15-16, 56, OV 68)

Series 8: Inventory Records, 1938-1998 (6 linear feet; Boxes 16-22)

Series 9: Printed Materials, 1932-2003 (10 linear feet; Boxes 22-31, 56-57, OV 69)

Series 10: Artwork, circa 1940s-1990s (0.4 linear feet; Boxes 32, 57, OV 70)

Series 11: Photographic Materials, circa 1912-1999 (26 linear feet; Boxes 32-55, 57-64, OVs 71-77)

Series 12: Unidentified Sound and Video Recordings, circa 1941-1999 (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 55, 64)
Biographical / Historical:
Alexander S. Liberman (1912-1999) was a sculptor, painter, photographer, graphic designer, writer, and publishing executive who worked primarily in New York City. He held senior positions at Condé Nast Publications for 32 years.

Alexander Semeonovitch Liberman was born in 1912 in Kiev Russia. He was educated in London and the École des Beaux Art in Paris. He began his journalistic career in Paris at VU magazine owned by Lucien Vogel and there he befriended photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brassai, Robert Capa, and André Kértesz. He served in the French army for a short time in 1940, but he and his family fled Paris in 1941 to New York City. Condé Nast hired Liberman in 1941 as an assistant to the art director of Vogue magazine. Liberman became art director in 1943 and editorial director of Condé Nast Publications in 1962, a position he held until his retirement in 1994.

Liberman was also a photographer whose subjects included Georges Braque, Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Marlene Dietrich, among others, many represented in his 1960 book entitled The Artist in his Studio and Marlene: An Intimate Photographic Memoir (1992). He was also the subject of the work of noted photographers Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Gordon Parks, Lord Snowden, Jill Krementz, Henri Lartique, Annie Leibovitz, and Hans Namuth.

Liberman took up painting and sculpting in the 1950s. Although his first exhibition was at the Betty Parsons Gallery, he was primarily associated with the André Emmerich Gallery in New York City. His monumental sculptures were mostly assembled from industrial parts and painted and can be seen in museums and public sites worldwide.

Liberman was briefly married to Hildegarde Sturm. He married his second wife Tatiana Yacovleff du Plessix in 1942. Before their marriage, they fled occupied France together. She was a noted hat designer, working for Henri Bendel and Saks, where she became known as Tatiania of Saks. She died in 1991 and, in 1992, Liberman married Melinda Pechangco, a nurse who had earlier cared for Tatiania. Alexander Liberman died in 1999 in Miami, Florida.
Related Materials:
Related collections found at the Archives of American Art include the Dodie Kazanjian and Calvin Tomkins research materials on Alexander Liberman and numerous collections of gallery records.
Provenance:
The Alexander Liberman papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Liberman Art Partners in 2010 via Dodie Kazanjian.
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 Alexander S. Liberman 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:
Publishers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Graphic designers  Search this
Topic:
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Photography  Search this
Sculptors -- France -- Paris  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Fashion photography  Search this
Painters -- France -- Paris  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Photographers -- France -- Paris  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drafts (documents)
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Interviews
Photographs
Sketches
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Video recordings
Citation:
Alexander Liberman Papers, circa 1912-2003. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.libealex
See more items in:
Alexander Liberman papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-libealex
Additional Online Media:

Morris Louis and Morris Louis Estate papers

Artist:
Louis, Morris, 1912-1962  Search this
Names:
André Emmerich Gallery  Search this
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden  Search this
Robert Pierce/Films, Inc  Search this
Bocour, Leonard, 1910-1993  Search this
Brenner, Marcella, 1912-2007  Search this
Faatz, Anita J. (Anita Josephine)  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Noland, Kenneth, 1924-2010  Search this
Truitt, Anne, 1921-2004  Search this
Extent:
17.8 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Photographs
Date:
circa 1910s-2007
bulk 1965-2000
Summary:
The Morris Louis and Morris Louis Estate papers measure 17.8 linear feet and date from circa 1912-2007, with the bulk of the material dating from 1965-2000. The collection documents Morris Louis' career as a Color Field painter and founding participant in the Washington Color School, as well as the subsequent administration of his estate by his wife Marcella Brenner. Found within Morris Louis' papers are biographical materials, correspondence, photographs, scattered financial records, notes, writings, printed materials, and a canvas sample. The Morris Louis Estate papers include records of gallery exhibitions, mostly André Emmerich Gallery; artwork inventories; legal records concerning the lawsuit Bernstein v. Brenner; financial records of the sale of Louis' artwork; printed materials; writings about Louis; photographs of exhibition installations and artwork; and project files which include documentation of film projects by Robert Pierce Productions, a catalog raisonne, documentation of PBS documentaries, video recordings of the exhibition "Morris Louis Now", and numerous sound recordings of interviews with artists discussing Morris Louis conducted by Anita Faatz.
Scope and Contents:
The Morris Louis and Morris Louis Estate papers measure 17.8 linear feet and date from circa 1912-2007, with the bulk of the material dating from 1965-2000. The collection documents Morris Louis' career as a Color Field painter and founding participant in the Washington Color School, as well as the subsequent administration of his estate by his wife Marcella Brenner. Found within Morris Louis' papers are biographical materials, correspondence, photographs, scattered financial records, notes, writings, printed materials, and a canvas sample. The Morris Louis Estate papers include records of gallery exhibitions, mostly André Emmerich Gallery; artwork inventories; legal records concerning the lawsuit Bernstein v. Brenner; financial records of the sale of Louis' artwork; printed materials; writings about Louis; photographs of exhibition installations and artwork; and posthumous project files which include documentation of film projects by Robert Pierce Productions, a catalog raisonne, PBS documentaries, video recordings of the exhibition "Morris Louis Now", and numerous sound recordings of interviews with artists, many with transcripts, discussing Morris Louis and conducted by Anita Faatz.

Within the Morris Louis papers (circa 3 linear feet) are scattered biographical materials for Morris Louis and Marcella Brenner. Correspondence is with family friends, artists, and galleries, the bulk of which consists of photocopies. Of note are letters from Helen Frankenthaler, Clement Greenberg, Leonard Bocour, Kenneth Noland, and Anne Truitt. Business records include lists of artwork, receipts for art supplies, and scattered tax records. Six notebooks belonging to Morris Louis contain miscellaneous notes about students, studio rental payments, addresses, travel expenses, and a short list of paintings. There is one notebook of Marcella Brenner's containing notes about expenses and addresses. Also found are printed materials, one canvas sample, and one embossing stamp. Photographs are of Morris Louis, Marcella Brenner, and the Bernstein family.

The majority of the collection (circa 15 linear feet) consists of records created and maintained by Marcella Brenner in the course of managing Louis' estate and posthumous exhibitions and projects. There are numerous gallery exhibition records for many posthumous and retrospective exhibitions between 1965 through 2002, including those held at the Andre Emmerich Gallery, the Hirshhorn Museum, and numerous other U.S. and international galleries and museums. Louis' artwork is documented in highly detailed inventory lists and cards. Legal records document the lawsuit brought by the Bernstein family against Marcella Brenner which began in 1964 and ended in 1970 in favor of Brenner. Financial records document sales.

Printed materials include clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, and other miscellaneous materials. Writings include essays about Louis and manuscript copies of the book Trustee for the Human Race: Litigation over the Morris Louis Paintings written by Ruth S. Blau under contract for Marcella Brenner. Photographs are primarily of artwork depicted in exhibition installations. Project files are found for several posthumous documentary film projects and a catalog raisonne, and include a series of audio recordings of interviews of 27 artists conducted by Anita Faatz in 1970-1971. Artists interviewed include Clement Greenberg, Leonard Bocour, Andre Emmerich, Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Noland, and many others.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as 2 series.

Series 1: Morris Louis Papers, circa 1910s-1998 (2.9 linear feet; Boxes 1-3)

Series 2: Morris Louis Estate Papers, 1947-2007 (14.9 linear feet; Boxes 3-19, OV 20)
Biographical / Historical:
Morris Louis (1912-1962) was one of the earliest American Color Field painters, and, along with other Washington, D.C., painters, formed the movement known as the Washington Color School.

Born in Baltimore, M.D., to Russian immigrants Louis Bernstein and Cecelia Luckman, Morris Louis attended the Maryland Institute of Fine and Applied Arts from 1927-1932 and served as president of the Baltimore Artists' Association in 1935. During the Depression, he worked in New York City on the steering committee of the Easel Division of the Federal Arts Projects of the Works Project Administration (WPA). He exhibited Broken Bridge at the WPA Pavilion of the New York World's Fair in 1939.

In 1947, Louis married Marcella (Siegel) Brenner, and moved to Silver Spring, Maryland, a close suburb of Washington, D.C., where he taught private art classes and continued painting, using his apartment bedroom as a studio. In 1948, Louis participated in the Maryland Artists, 16th Annual Exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art, and began using Leonard Bocour's Magna acrylic paint, which he would use exclusively for the rest of his painting career.

In 1952, Morris Louis and Marcella Brenner moved to Washington, D.C. and set up a studio in his home where he would complete his most notable canvases. He began teaching at the Washington Workshop Center for the Arts and met artist Kenneth Noland who was also exploring Color Field painting. Through Noland, Louis met art critic Clement Greenberg in 1953, and they visited artist studios in New York City to study abstract expressionist works, including those by Helen Frankenthaler, Jackson Pollock, and Franz Kline. Louis and Noland were greatly influenced by Frankenthaler's staining technique, and Louis began experimenting with staining methods upon his return to Washington. Clement Greenberg became a life-long advocate for Louis and, in 1954, included Louis in the seminal group exhibition, "Emerging Talent," organized by Greenberg for the Kootz Gallery. In 1960, Andre Emmerich became his dealer in the United States and Lawrence Rubin represented him in Paris.

Using thinned Magna paint and unstretched, unprimed canvases, Louis created his works by rotating the canvas as the paint moved across and soaked in. Between 1958 and 1962 Louis produced three major series of paintings—the Veils, the Unfurleds, and the Stripes. Each series numbered more than one hundred canvases. Louis never documented his exact painting methods and would not allow anyone to watch him work, including his wife. His own worst critic, Louis destroyed many of his paintings that did meet his standards, including a large number of his earliest works and many created between 1954 and 1957. He also designated numerous surviving works for destruction prior to his death.

Louis was diagnosed with lung cancer on July 1, 1962 and died a few months later. The Andre Emmerich Gallery held a previously scheduled exhibition as planned, a month following Louis' death, as a memorial exhibition.
Related Materials:
Also found at the Archives of American Art are the Marcella Brenner journals, 1962-2000. The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) also holds papers of Morris Louis and the Morris Louis Estate in their Morris Louis Study Collection.
Provenance:
The Morris Louis and Morris Louis Estate papers were donated by Marcella Brenner in several installments in 1976, 1986, and 1988. Subsequent donations in 2009 and 2012 were donated by Marcella Brenner via Ann M. Garfinkle, Executor. The Anita Faatz interviews were donated in 1976 by Marcella Brenner.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. Research Center. Many of the audio recordings and transcripts of interviews with 26 artists conducted by Anita Faatz in 1970-1971 are access restricted and written permission is required from the person interviewed. Please contact reference services for more information. Any use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Morris Louis and Morris Louis Estate 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:
Transcripts  Search this
Washington Color School (Group of artists)  Search this
Painters -- United States  Search this
Law and art -- United States  Search this
Color-field painting  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Abstract expressionism -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Photographs
Citation:
Morris Louis and Morris Louis Estate Papers, circa 1910s-2007, bulk 1965-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.louimorr
See more items in:
Morris Louis and Morris Louis Estate papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-louimorr
Additional Online Media:

Dorothy Gees Seckler Collection of Sound Recordings Relating to Art and Artists

Creator:
Seckler, Dorothy Gees, 1910-1994  Search this
Names:
Art in America  Search this
Velvet Underground (Musical group)  Search this
Asher, Elise, 1914-  Search this
Avery, Sally  Search this
Beck, Margit, 1915-1997  Search this
Bellow, Saul  Search this
Bultman, Fritz, 1919-1985  Search this
Cale, John  Search this
Cavallon, Giorgio, 1904-1989  Search this
Cohen, Jean  Search this
Cunningham, Merce  Search this
De Diego, Julio, 1900-  Search this
Drexler, Rosalyn  Search this
Flexner, James Thomas, 1908-2003  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Freed, William, 1904-  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-  Search this
Gelb, Jan, 1906-1978  Search this
Gorelick, Shirley, 1924-2000  Search this
Greenwood, Marion, 1909-1970  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Jones, John  Search this
Kahn, Wolf, 1927-  Search this
Karolik, Maxim  Search this
Katz, Alex, 1927-  Search this
Marcus, Marcia, 1928-  Search this
Margo, Boris, 1902-1995  Search this
Martin, Fletcher, 1904-1979  Search this
McLuhan, Marshall, 1911-1980  Search this
Middleman, Raoul F., 1935-  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Nico, 1938-1988  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Orlowsky, Lillian, 1914-2004  Search this
Pearlstein, Philip, 1924-  Search this
Refregier, Anton, 1905-  Search this
Rivers, Larry, 1925-2002  Search this
Ross, Alvin, 1920-1975  Search this
Rothschild, Judith  Search this
Saint-Phalle, Niki de, 1930-  Search this
Segal, George, 1924-2000  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Tinguely, Jean, 1925-  Search this
Ustinov, Peter  Search this
Warhol, Andy, 1928-  Search this
Whyte, William Hollingsworth  Search this
Wyeth, Andrew, 1917-2009  Search this
Extent:
1.6 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1962-1976
Summary:
The Dorothy Gees Seckler collection of sound recordings relating to art and artists measures 1.6 linear feet and dates from 1962 to 1976. Recordings include 17 interviews conducted by Seckler, one interview by John Jones, and 17 additional recordings of mostly contemporary art-related programs and interviews taped from radio and television broadcasts. Recordings are on 26 sound cassettes and 25 sound tape reels.
Scope and Contents:
The Dorothy Gees Seckler collection of sound recordings relating to art and artists measures 1.6 linear feet and dates from 1962 to 1976. Recordings include 20 interviews conducted by Seckler, one interview by John Jones, and 17 additional recordings of mostly contemporary art-related programs and interviews taped from radio and television broadcasts. Recordings are on 26 sound cassettes and 25 sound tape reels.

Interviews with Artists consist of 17 interviews by Dorothy Seckler with artists including Elise Asher, Fritz Bultman, Judith Rothschild, Giorgio Cavallon, Marcia Marcus, Jean Cohen, William Freed, Lillian Orlowsky, Shirley Gorelick, Hans Hofmann, Wolf Kahn, Raoul Middleman, Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Olin Orr, Larry Rivers, Alvin Ross, George Segal, Jean Tinguely, and Niki de Saint Phalle. Several interviews are with two subjects at once. Many of these interviews were conducted in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and are referenced in her introduction to the catalog for the exhibition Provincetown Painters, 1890's – 1970's held at the Everson Museum and the Provincetown Art Association in 1977, and several interviews were conducted as research for articles Seckler wrote and published in Art in America. Also found are group interviews on specific subjects, including an interview with Julio de Diego, Marion Greenwood, Fletcher Martin, and Anton Refregier on the Woodstock art colony, and with Sally Avery, Boris Margo, Jan Gelb, Margit Beck and others on Op Art. In September of 1966, Seckler recorded some of Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable in Provincetown, which includes a performance by Nico and the Velvet Underground, as well as an interview with one of the band's members, John Cale. A single interview conducted by John Jones of George Segal appears to have been copied by Seckler to prepare for her April 1966 interview of Segal.

Broadcast materials include sound recordings of television and radio broadcast programs taped off the air presumably by Seckler. Most programs are interviews, with subjects including Maxim Karolik, James Thomas Flexner, R. Buckminster Fuller, Merce Cunningham, Alex Katz, Phillip Pearlstein, Roslyn Drexler, Barnet Newman, Saul Bellow, Ben Shahn, Marshall McLuhan, Isamu Noguchi, Andrew Wyeth, and William H Whyte. Other recordings include documentary programs related to contemporary art, book reviews, and a comedy performance with actor Peter Ustinov.

Photographs include 12 color slides from October of 1967 that appear to have been shot in Provincetown, Mass. Subjects include Dorothy Seckler and two other unidentified women.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged in 3 series.

Series 1: Interviews with Artists, 1962-1976 (1 linear foot; Box 1)

Series 2: Broadcast Materials, 1962-1972 (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 2-3)

Series 3: Photographs, 1967 (1 folder; Box 3)
Biographical / Historical:
Dorothy Gees Seckler was an art historian, critic, journalist, and artist active in New York City and Provincetown, Mass. Born Dorothy Elizabeth Gees in Baltimore, MD in 1910, she completed the program in Advertising Design at Maryland Institute College of Art in 1931 and was awarded a traveling scholarship upon graduation, which she used to study in Europe. She later received a masters degree from Columbia University in Art History and Art Education, and worked during World War II as head of an illustration unit in the Army's Judge Advocate General's office.

After the war, she worked at the Museum of Modern Art as an art historian in the education office until 1950, when she began writing for ARTnews magazine, reviewing New York gallery shows for its "Gallery Notes" section, and exploring painters' processes in the "Paints a Picture" series. She later served as contributing editor for Art in America from the late 1950s through the late 1960s, where her published work included features on Robert Rauschenberg and Louise Nevelson, as well as broad surveys of contemporary art such as "A Folklore of the Banal" (Winter 1962) and "Audience is His Medium" (February 1963). She taught at New York University and City College of New York, and wrote a long essay on the history of the Provincetown's art colony, published in Art in America in 1959, and later updated for the catalog for the 1977 exhibition Provincetown Painters, 1890's - 1970's. Between 1962 and 1968, she conducted thirty oral history interviews for the Archives of American Art and served as one of its manuscript collectors.

Throughout her career as a writer and critic, Seckler painted and worked in collage, and her work was shown in several Provincetown galleries, and in the Provincetown Art Center and Museum. She married Jerome Seckler in 1937 and they had one son. Seckler received the American Federation of Arts Award for outstanding writing in the field of American Art in 1952. She died in 1994.
Related Materials:
Other related materials in the Archives' collections include several additional interviews conducted by Seckler for its oral history program, a full recording and transcript of the August 28, 1963 symposium on pop art, for which brief sound notes are found in this collection, and a transcript of the John Jones interview with George Segal in the John Jones interviews with artists collection, 1965 Oct. 5-1965 Nov. 12.
Separated Materials:
In 2012, several duplicates of recordings Seckler made for the Archives of American Art's oral history program were removed from the collection including: Peter and Riva Dechar (1965 and 1967), David von Schlegell (1967), Joan Mitchell (1965), Theresa Schwartz (1965), Paul Burlin (1962), Ibram Lassaw (1964), Jack Tworkov (1962), Allan Kaprow (1968), Edwin Dickinson (1962), Nathan Halper (1963), Louise Nevelson (1964-1965), Karl Knaths (1962), and Stephen Greene (1968). Joan Mitchell's 1965 oral history interview remains with the Seckler collection because reel 2 of this recording also contains a discussion of optical art that belongs in the Seckler collection. The oral history interview has been digitized and is available through the Archives' oral history program.
Provenance:
The bulk of the collection, including the interviews with the Provincetown artists, was donated 1995 by Don Seckler, son of Dorothy Seckler. The source of acquisition for the Seckler interviews with the Woodstock artists is unknown.
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.
Rights:
The Dorothy Gees Seckler collection of sound recordings relating to art and artists 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:
Optical art  Search this
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Dorothy Gees Seckler collection of sound recordings relating to art and artists, 1962-1976. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.seckdoro
See more items in:
Dorothy Gees Seckler Collection of Sound Recordings Relating to Art and Artists
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-seckdoro
Additional Online Media:

Bernard Harper Friedman papers

Creator:
Friedman, B. H. (Bernard Harper), 1926-2011  Search this
Names:
Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
Asher, Elise, 1914-  Search this
Baur, John I. H. (John Ireland Howe), 1909-1987  Search this
Bertoia, Harry  Search this
Biddle, Flora Miller  Search this
Bluhm, Norman, 1921-1999  Search this
Brooks, James, 1906-1992  Search this
Bultman, Fritz, 1919-1985  Search this
Castelli, Leo  Search this
Copley, William Nelson, 1919-1996  Search this
Dine, Jim, 1935-  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Gill, Brendan, 1914-1997  Search this
Goodnough, Robert, 1917-  Search this
Gray, Cleve  Search this
Gray, Francine du Plessix  Search this
Hall, Joellen  Search this
Huebler, Douglas  Search this
Kanovitz, Howard  Search this
Knowlton, Grace, 1932-  Search this
Krasner, Lee, 1908-1984  Search this
Kunitz, Stanley, 1905-2006  Search this
Marca-Relli, Conrad, 1913-2000  Search this
Matter, Mercedes  Search this
McDarrah, Fred W., 1926-2007  Search this
McEwen, Rory, 1932-  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Newman, Arnold, 1918-2006  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Norman, Dorothy, 1905-1997  Search this
Ossorio, Alfonso, 1916-1990  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Richenburg, Robert  Search this
Rosset, Barney  Search this
Roth, Philip  Search this
Rothschild, Judith  Search this
Salvesen, Magda  Search this
Sandler, Irving, 1925-  Search this
Scarpitta, Salvatore, 1919-2007  Search this
Schueler, Jon, 1916-  Search this
Simon, Sidney, 1917-1997  Search this
Slivka, David, 1913-  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Stout, Myron, 1908-1987  Search this
Interviewee:
Cage, John, 1912-1992  Search this
Correspondent:
Leary, Timothy Francis, 1920-  Search this
Extent:
30.6 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Diaries
Transcripts
Sound recordings
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Date:
1926-2011
bulk 1943-2010
Summary:
The papers of writer, art critic and collector Bernard Harper Friedman, 1926-2011, bulk 1943-2010, measure 30.6 linear feet. Extensive professional and personal correspondence, 41 diaries, a large number of his published and unpublished writings, and subject files document Friedman's career as a writer, relationships with cultural institutions and art world figures, and his personal life. Also included are biographical materials, interviews, printed material, 5 scrapbooks and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of writer, art critic and collector Bernard Harper Friedman, 1926-2011, bulk 1943-2010, measure 30.6 linear feet. Extensive professional and personal correspondence, 41 diaries, a large number of his published and unpublished writings, and subject files document Friedman's career as a writer, relationships with cultural institutions and art world figures, and his personal life. Also included are biographical materials, interviews, 5 scrapbooks, and photographs.

Biographical materials include educational records, documentation of Friedman's World War II service in the U.S. Navy, and birth, marriage, and death certificates.

Correspondence is with friends, family, artists, art world figures and institutions, writers, publishers, and literary agents. Among the correspondents are: John I. H. Baur, Harry Bertoia, Flora Biddle, Norman Bluhm, James Brooks, Fritz Bultman, Leo Castelli, William N. Copley, Jim Dine, Helen Frankenthaler, Brendan Gill, Robert Goodnough, Cleve and Francine Gray, Howard Kanovitz, Grace Knowlton, Stanley Kunitz, Conrad Marca-Relli, Mercedes Matter, Fred W. McDarrah, Rory McEwen, Robert Motherwell, Arnold Newman, Barnett Newman, Dorothy Norman, Alfonso Ossorio, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Robert Richenburg, Barney Rosset, Philip Roth, Judith Rothschild, Irving Sandler, Salvatore Scarpitta, Jon Schueler, Sidney Simon, David Slivka, Clyfford Still, Myron Stout, Calvin Tompkins, and David Windham.

There are transcripts of interviews with B. H. Friedman, his daughter and wife conducted by the Yale University School of Medicine's "Adult Development Study," and 2 recordings of interviews with Friedman for radio broadcast.

Writings by Friedman include manuscripts of novels, short stories, plays, articles, monographs, and art criticism, some published versions of his work, and a variety of notes. Also found are recordings of lectures by B. H. Friedman and panel discussions in which he participated. Other authors represented are John Cage, W. B. Henry, and Jon Schueler. Friedman's diaries, 1948-1993 (41 volumes) record activities, thoughts, and events.

Subject files compiled by Friedman reflect professional and personal interests, activities, and projects. Many concern publicity for published writings or efforts to find publishers. Especially well documented is his interest in Jackson Pollock, Timothy Leary, and Alfonso Ossorio, and his affiliation with the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The majority of printed material is about or mentions Friedman. Five scrapbooks consist mainly of printed material.

Most photographs are of B. H. and Abby Friedman, their family, and friends. Among the individuals pictured are: Elise Asher, Cary and Norman Bluhm, Sandy Friedman, Joellen Hall, Doug Huebler, Howard Kanowitz, Stanley Kunitz, Lee Krasner, Sheridan Lloyd, Barnett and Annalee Newman, Alfonso Ossorio, Magda Salvesen, Salvatore Scarpitta, John Schueler, and Myron Stout. A photograph album records scenes from a 1979 performance of Whispers, a stage adaptation by Alan Wynroth from Friedman's novel of the same title.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1926-2011 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1946-2011 (Boxes 1-15; 14.7 linear feet)

Series 3: Interviews, 1969-2001 (Box 15; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings, 1940s-2010 (Boxes 16-23; 8 linear feet)

Series 5: Diaries, 1948-1993 (Boxes 24-25; 1.75 linear feet)

Series 6: Subject Files, 1940-2010 (Boxes 25-30; 4.45 linear feet)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1954-2010 (Box 30-31; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 8: Scrapbooks, 1960-2006 (Boxes 30-32; 0.8 lilnear feet)

Series 9: Photographs, circa 1950s-2008 (Box 30; 0.4 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Bernard Harper Friedman (1926-2011), a writer best known as the author of the first biography of Jackson Pollock, was also an art critic and art collector involved in the cultural life of New York City.

Bernard Harper Friedman, known professionally as B. H. Friedman, was called Bob by family and friends. After interrupting his studies at Cornell University to serve in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he graduated in 1948 with a degree in English. Friedman and his new bride, fellow student Abby G. Noselson (1926-2003), returned home to New York City and he began a real estate career in his uncles' firm, Uris Buildings Corporation. While a businessman, Friedman spent much of his spare time writing. He produced fiction, plays, and criticism; Friedman's articles on art, literature and music appeared in a wide variety of periodicals. During this period, Friedman also pursued his interests in jazz, collecting abstract art, and psychedelic drug experiences with Timothy Leary.

His first published novel, Circles, about the Abstract Expressionist milieu, appeared in 1962. A year later, B. H. Friedman became a full-time writer. For nearly 20 years, he divided his time between New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts, where he was affiliated with the Fine Arts Work Center as a director and consultant. During this period, he published several novels and two biographies: Jackson Pollock: Energy Made Visible and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, written with Flora Biddle. More novels and short story collections were published, and staged readings of seven plays were presented between 1987 and 2007. Tripping, a memoir of using psychedlics with Timothy Leary, appeared in 2006.

A founding member of Fiction Collective, a nonprofit publishing group run by and for writers, Friedman was also a member of several national writers' organizations. He served as a trustee of the Whitney Musuem of American Art, 1961-1968, and then as honorary trustee. B. H. Friedman died from complications of pneumonia on January 4, 2011 in New York City.
Related Materials:
Also available is an oral history interview with Bernard Harper Friedman, 1972 November 10, conducted by Paul Cummings for the Archives of American Art.
Provenance:
The Bernard Harper Friedman papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2012 by his daughter, Daisy Friedman.
Restrictions:
The collection is ACCESS RESTRICTED; written permission is required. Use of original materials requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Bernard Harper Friedman papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. They may be used for research, study, and scholarship. Access requires written permission.
Topic:
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Transcripts
Sound recordings
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Bernard Harper Friedman papers, 1926-2011, bulk 1943-2010. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.friebern
See more items in:
Bernard Harper Friedman papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-friebern

Alan R. Solomon papers

Creator:
Solomon, Alan R., 1920-1970  Search this
Names:
Albright-Knox Art Gallery  Search this
Amsterdam (Netherlands). Stedelijk Museum  Search this
Art Gallery of Ontario  Search this
Artforum  Search this
Biennale di Venezia  Search this
Centro de Artes Visuales (Asunción, Paraguay)  Search this
Cornell University. -- Faculty  Search this
Expo 67 (Montréal, Québec)  Search this
Harvard University -- Students  Search this
Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Jewish Museum (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Leo Castelli Gallery  Search this
Los Once (Artists' group)  Search this
Pasadena Art Museum  Search this
San Francisco Art Institute  Search this
University of California (System)  Search this
Velvet Underground (Musical group)  Search this
Bontecou, Lee, 1931-  Search this
Castelli, Leo  Search this
Chamberlain, John, 1927-2011  Search this
Childs, Lucinda  Search this
Dine, Jim, 1935-  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Dunn, Judith  Search this
Fahlström, Öyvind, 1928-1976  Search this
Finkelstein, Nat  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Greenberg, Jeanine  Search this
Grisi, Laura  Search this
Hay, Alex  Search this
Hay, Deborah  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Kron, Joan  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-1997  Search this
Louis, Morris, 1912-1962  Search this
MacElroy, Robert R.  Search this
Moore, Peter  Search this
Morris, Robert  Search this
Mulas, Ugo  Search this
Namuth, Hans  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Noland, Kenneth, 1924-2010  Search this
Novick, Elizabeth  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Oldenburg, Patty  Search this
Paxton, Steve  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Poons, Larry  Search this
Provinciali, Michele  Search this
Rainier, Yvonne  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Redon, Odilon, 1840-1916  Search this
Reed, Lou  Search this
Rosenquist, James, 1933-  Search this
Sabol, Audrey, 1922-  Search this
Schute, Terry  Search this
Scull, Ethel  Search this
Scull, Robert C.  Search this
Segal, George, 1924-2000  Search this
Sisler, Mary  Search this
Sonnabend, Ileana  Search this
Stella, Frank  Search this
Warhol, Andy, 1928-  Search this
Whitman, Robert  Search this
Extent:
9.9 Linear Feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Drawings
Transcripts
Photographs
Interviews
Lithographs
Place:
Italy -- Venice
Date:
1907-1970
bulk 1944-1970
Summary:
The papers of New York art historian, museum director, curator, writer, and educator, Alan R. Solomon, measure 9.9 linear feet and date from 1907-1970, with the bulk of the material dating from 1944-1970. Through biographical material, correspondence, interview transcripts, writings and notes, teaching and study files, subject files, exhibition files, business records, printed material, and photographs, the collection documents Solomon's education, his early teaching appointments at Cornell University, and his subsequent direction of many diverse curatorial and research projects relating to contemporary American art, particularly the transition from Abstract Expressionism to later modern movements, and the thriving New York City art scene.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York art historian, museum director, curator, writer, and educator, Alan R. Solomon, measure 9.9 linear feet and date from 1907-1970, with the bulk of the material dating from 1944-1970. Through biographical material, correspondence, interview transcripts, writings and notes, teaching and study files, subject files, exhibition files, business records, printed material, and photographs, the collection documents Solomon's education, his early teaching appointments at Cornell University, and his subsequent direction of many diverse curatorial and research projects relating to contemporary American art, particularly the transition from Abstract Expressionism to later modern movements, and the thriving New York City art scene.

Biographical material includes résumés, an engagement book, and a monthly planning book from 1965, identification cards, and educational transcripts.

Correspondence documents Solomon's education at Harvard College and Harvard University, and his teaching appointments at Cornell University. Correspondence also provides some documentation of his involvement with museums and arts organizations, including the Jewish Museum, Stedlijk Museum, the San Francisco Art Institute, the University of California, and Centro de Artes Visuales; his submission of writings for publications including Artforum, Art International, and Konstrevy; and his relationships with artists and colleagues including Jim Dine, Joan Kron, Audrey Sabol, and Ileana Sonnabend. Also found is correspondence related to Solomon's work for Mary Sisler, who employed Solomon to sell her collection of artwork by Marcel Duchamp in the late 1960s.

One series comprises transcripts of interviews with many of the artists who were central to the transition from Abstract Expressionism to later modern movements that occurred in the 1950s and 1960s, such as Neo-Dada and Pop art. Artists represented in the interviews include Jim Dine, Helen Frankenthaler, Jasper Johns, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol.

Solomon's writings include many of his essays for exhibition catalogs, magazines, and journals, and are in a combination of annotated manuscript and published formats. There are writings on Jim Dine, Barnett Newman, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns, and on the new movements in theater and performance art of the 1960s. His writings also document the art history education which informed all of his later work, with the inclusion of papers written as a student and teacher, his honors thesis on Odilon Redon, and his dissertation on Pablo Picasso. This material is supplemented by notes, and teaching and study files, documenting courses taken and taught at Harvard and Cornell universities. Also found is the manuscript of the text for New York: The New Art Scene, accompanied by a partial published copy of the book and photographs by Ugo Mulas.

Solomon's subject files augment several of the other series, comprising material on various art related subjects and individual painters and sculptors, arranged alphabetically. Material found here includes printed matter documenting exhibitions and other events, scattered letters from artists, related writings, and photographs.

One series documents Solomon's involvement with the First New York Theater Rally, which he co-produced with Steve Paxton in 1965. This material includes a drawing each by Jim Dine and Alex Hay, pieces of a combine by Robert Rauschenberg, and photographs of the group including Dine, Hay, and Rauschenberg, as well as Lucinda Childs, Judith Dunn, Deborah Hay, Robert Morris, Claes Oldenburg, the Once Group, Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainier, Alan Solomon, and Robert Whitman. The series includes multiple contact sheets of photos of First New York Theater Rally events, by Peter Moore, Elizabeth Novick, and Terry Schute.

Exhibition files document Solomon's role as an organizer and curator for some of his most well-known exhibitions, including American Painting Now (1967) for Expo '67 in Montreal; Andy Warhol (1966) at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston; Dine-Oldenburg-Segal (1967) at the Art Gallery of Ontario and Albright-Knox Gallery; the American exhibition at the 1964 Venice Biennale; Young Italians (1968) at the Institute of Contemporary Art; and Painting in New York 1944-1969, a major retrospective installed for the opening of the new Pasadena Art Museum in fall, 1969. Records include correspondence, lists and notes, financial records, printed material, and photographs of artists and installations, including a series by Ugo Mulas taken at the Venice Biennale.

Solomon's business records include lists, notes, contracts, expense forms, vouchers, purchase orders, and receipts. They provide scattered documentation of exhibition-related expenses and purchases of artwork, as well as Solomon's income from teaching appointments, lectures, honorariums, and writings. Amongst Solomon's general business records is an American Federation of Musicians agreement between the Institute of Contemporary Art and "Louis Reed," with booking agent Andy Warhol, for a performance by the Velvet Underground and Nico, performing as The Exploding Plastic Inevitable on October 29, 1966. This seemingly mundane item documents an event that accompanied Solomon's landmark Warhol exhibition of nearly forty iconic works, and the accompanying show by The Exploding Plastic Inevitable was hailed by the Boston Phoenix newspaper as one of the greatest concerts in Boston history.

Printed material includes announcements, catalogs, and posters for exhibitions and art related events, including two Jasper Johns lithographs for a 1960 exhibition at Galerie Rive Droite, and a 1963 exhibition at Leo Castelli Gallery. Also found are news clippings, press releases, and other publications.

Photographs are of Solomon, artists, friends and colleagues, exhibitions and other events, and artwork. They include snapshots of Solomon, and a series of photographs of him at various events and parties, many taken by Ugo Mulas, as well as a photo taken by Robert Rauschenberg of Ugo Mulas, Michele Provinciali, and Solomon. Additional photos by Ugo Mulas include some which were probably taken for New York: The New Art Scene, and a series of photos of Robert Rauschenberg and others at the Venice Biennale. Photos of artists include Lee Bontecou, John Chamberlain, Jim Dine, Marcel Duchamp, Öyvind Fahlström, Laura Grisi, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Morris Louis, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, Claes and Patty Oldenburg, Larry Poons, James Rosenquist, George Segal, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol and The Factory. Photos of others include Leo Castelli, Clement and Jeanine Greenberg, and Ethel and Robert Scull. Also found are photos of the exhibition Toward a New Abstraction (1963), at The Jewish Museum, photos of Venice, and photos of artwork by many of the above named, and other, artists. In addition to Ugo Mulas, photographers represented in this series include Nat Finkelstein, Robert R. McElroy, and Hans Namuth.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as eleven series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1938-1968 (5 folders; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1930-1970 (0.66 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 3: Interviews, 1965-1969 (0.25 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 4: Writings and Notes, 1945-1969 (1.35 linear feet; Boxes 1-3, 11)

Series 5: Teaching and Study Files, 1944-1958 (0.25 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 6: Subject Files, 1907-1969 (2.92 linear feet; Boxes 3-6, 1, OV 12)

Series 7: First New York Theater Rally, 1963-1965 (0.15 linear feet; Boxes 6, 11)

Series 8: Exhibition Files, 1954-1969 (1.42 linear feet; Boxes 6-7, 11, OV 12)

Series 9: Business Records, 1945-1970 (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 7-8)

Series 10: Printed Material, 1914-1970 (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 8-9, OV 12)

Series 11: Photographs, circa 1951-circa 1970 (1.7 linear feet; Boxes 9-11, OV 13)
Biographical / Historical:
New York art historian, museum director, art consultant, educator, writer, and curator, Alan R. Solomon (1920-1970), organized over two hundred exhibitions in the course of his career. He was known for his skill in exhibition design, and for bringing the perception and understanding of an art historian to the field of contemporary art.

Solomon was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, and educated at Harvard College and Harvard Graduate School. In 1953, during his 1952-1962 tenure with the Cornell University department of art history, he established the Andrew Dickson White Museum of art. Solomon served as the museum's first director until 1961, whilst simultaneously pursuing his doctorate, which he received from Harvard University in 1962.

In 1962 Solomon was hired by the Jewish Museum in New York, New York, and immediately began to take the institution in a more contemporary direction, mounting Robert Rauschenberg's first retrospective in 1963, and a major Jasper Johns retrospective in 1964. Also, in 1963, Solomon was appointed the United States Commissioner for the 1964 Venice Biennale. He was determined to show "the major new indigenous tendencies, the peculiarly America spirt of the art" in works by two consecutive generations of artists, including Jasper Johns, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, and Robert Rauschenberg. With this in mind, and given the inadequacy of the existing space to house the installation he envisaged, Solomon secured a verbal agreement from Biennale officials to approve additional space for the American exhibition in an annex at the former American Consulate. The agreement was never formalized, however, and a series of administrative problems and controversies over the eligibility of the American submissions threatened to undermine Solomon's efforts. Nevertheless, Robert Rauschenberg became the first American to take the Grand Prize for foreign artist, and the attention garnered by the American exhibition monopolized press coverage of the Biennale. In response, Solomon stated publicly that "it is acknowledged on every hand that New York has replaced Paris as the world art capital."

Solomon subsequently left the Jewish Museum, having engendered resistance to leading the museum in a more experimental direction, away from the traditional Jewish educational aspects of its mission. In the mid-sixties he worked as a consultant and writer for a National Educational Television series entitled "U. S. A. Artists," which drew on artist interviews, many conducted by Solomon. He also wrote the text for Ugo Mulas's classic photographic study, New York: The New Art Scene (1967: Holt Rinehart and Winston).

In 1966 Solomon was hired by the United States Information Agency to organize the United States contribution to the Canadian World Exhibition in Montreal, known as Expo '67. His stunning American Painting Now installation placed large scale paintings by twenty-three artists, including Jim Dine, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Barnett Newman, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, and James Rosenquist, inside Buckminster Fuller's twenty-story Biosphere of Montreal.

Other important exhibitions organized by Solomon included Andy Warhol (1966) at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, which was only the second of two exhibitions dedicated to the artist; Dine-Oldenburg-Segal (1967) at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; and Young Italians (1968) at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Solomon was also interested in contemporary theater and organized the First New York Theater Rally with Steve Paxton in 1965, a series of performances which combined new dance and a revival of the Happenings of the early 1960s, in which Claes Oldenburg, Jim Dine and others were involved.

Following a six-week appointment as a senior lecturer at the University of California, Irvine, in spring 1968, Solomon became chairman of the University's art department and director of the art gallery. His last exhibition, Painting in New York, 1944-1969 (1969-1970), was held at the Pasadena Art Museum and closed in January 1970, just a few weeks before Solomon's sudden death at the age of forty-nine.
Provenance:
The Leo Castelli Gallery served as executor of Solomon's estate, and donated his papers to the Archives of American Art in 1974 and 2007.
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.
Rights:
The Alan R. Solomon 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:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Art -- History -- Study and teaching  Search this
Painters  Search this
Performance art  Search this
Art, Abstract -- United States  Search this
Art -- Exhibitions  Search this
Art -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Theater  Search this
Pop art  Search this
Museum directors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Transcripts
Photographs
Interviews
Lithographs
Citation:
Alan R. Solomon papers, 1907-1970, bulk 1944-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.soloalan
See more items in:
Alan R. Solomon papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-soloalan
Additional Online Media:

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