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Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948

Collection Creator:
Rosenblum, Walter, 1919-2006  Search this
Extent:
4 photographs
Container:
Binder 19
Type:
Archival materials
Photos
photographs
Collection Restrictions:
Researcher may use study prints on file in the Photograph Archives, Smithsonian American Art Museum. Advance appointments are required. Original negatives are stored off-site in cold storage and are not accessible to the public.
Collection Rights:
Copyright to photographs from the Walter Rosenblum Collection is held by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Requests for permission to reproduce photographs from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Photograph Archives. Certain works of art, as well as photographs of those works of art, may be protected by copyright, trademark, privacy or publicity rights, or other interests not owned by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. It is the applicant's responsibility to ascertain whether any such rights exist, and to obtain any other permission necessary to reproduce and publish the image.
Collection Citation:
Walter Rosenblum Collection, Photograph Archives, Smithsonian American Art Museum
See more items in:
Walter Rosenblum photographs
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-saam-photo-ros-ref250

John Graham papers

Creator:
Graham, John, 1887-1961  Search this
Names:
Burliuk, David, 1882-1967  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
Gilot, Francoise, 1921-  Search this
Gorchov, Ron  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948 -- Photographs  Search this
Kitaj, R. B.  Search this
Mayer, Jack  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973 -- Photographs  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Ultra Violet  Search this
Extent:
11.2 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Date:
1799-1988
bulk 1890-1961
Summary:
The papers of painter, collector, and writer John Graham measure 11.2 linear feet and date from 1799 to 1988, with the bulk of materials dating from 1890 to 1961. Papers document the life of John Graham, born Ivan Dombrowsky, through personal documents related to military service and family history, passports, artifacts, correspondence, appointment books, financial records, inventories, wills, extensive writings and notes, books, clippings, exhibition catalogs, photographs of Graham and his family and friends, and artwork created and collected by Graham.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of painter, collector, and writer John Graham measure 11.2 linear feet and date from 1799 to 1988, with the bulk of materials dating from 1890 to 1961. Papers document the life of John Graham, born Ivan Dombrowsky, through personal documents related to military service and family history, passports, artifacts, correspondence, appointment books, financial records, inventories, wills, extensive writings and notes, books, clippings, exhibition catalogs, photographs of Graham and his family and friends, and artwork created and collected by Graham.

Biographical Materials and Artifacts include passports and other official documents, as well as records related to Graham's family, military service, and medical history. Among the artifacts are paint pots and a palette. Correspondence is with art and antique dealers and collectors, and includes significant correspondence and related documents of Jack Mayer, Graham's agent from the late 1950s. Several artists and famous friends are represented in Graham's correspondence including David Burliuk, Stuart Davis, Ultra Violet, Francoise Gilot, R.B. Kitaj, Marc Tobey, and Ron Gorchov.

Personal Business Records contain appointment books spanning 1931 to 1961 which record appointments but were also used as notebooks and sketchbooks. Other Business Records include inventories of Graham's books and antiques made by Graham, records of antique-related transactions, wills of Graham and his last wife, Marianne Strate, and extensive personal financial records from the last few years of his life.

Graham's writings are found scattered throughout the collection, as is his artwork. The Writings series is dominated by Graham's lengthy book projects, found in multiple drafts. The author's annotated published works are also found, as well as typescripts of several published essays by and about Graham. Lists, notes, and writings on a wide range of subjects are found on loose pages and in notebooks dated from 1931 to 1961. Among the Printed Materials are many annotated books from Graham's library, some of which contain drawings, and clippings and exhibition catalogs related to Graham's career going back to the 1920s. Reference files of printed ephemera and clippings collected by Graham are found on a variety of subjects, some of which contain pictorial subjects used in Graham's paintings.

Photographs depict Graham from childhood through his last years in cabinet card portraits, passport photographs, and snapshots. Photographs are also found of his parents, his five wives and four children, and a number of famous friends including Pablo Picasso, Françoise Gilot, their children, and Arshile Gorky. Artwork includes Graham's sketchbooks of 1934, 1960, and 1961, loose sketches, and a collection of file folders with many symbols and illustrations. Also found among the artwork are antique and contemporary prints and drawings collected by Graham.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged into 7 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials and Artifacts, 1799, 1822, 1891-1961 (Boxes 1, 11-12, 17; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1932-1988 (Box 1; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, circa 1931-1962 (Boxes 1-3; 1.4 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings, 1839, circa 1923-1986 (Boxes 3-5, OV 13; 2.9 linear feet)

Series 5: Printed Materials, circa 1885-1961 (Boxes 6-9, OV 14; 3.7 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1860-1985 (Box 9-10, 17, OV 15; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1852-1961 (Box 10, OV 16; 1 linear foot)
Biographical/Historical note:
The Russian émigré painter and writer John Graham, born Ivan Dombrowsky, was born in Kiev in 1886, 1887, or 1888. All three conflicting dates are found on various legal papers, licences, and passports. His parents were of minor nobility but with little means. He attended law school and served in the Circassian Regiment of the Russian army, earned the Saint George's Cross during World War I, and was imprisoned as a counterrevolutionary by the Bolsheviks after the assassination of Czar Nicholas II and his family in 1918. He fled for a time to his mother's native Poland, and finally in 1920, he emigrated with his second wife Vera and their son Nicholas to the United States. He began calling himself John in the US, and had his name officially changed to John Graham upon becoming a United States citizen in 1927. The name Graham may have been a transliteration of his father's name, Gratian. Graham is often described as a quixotic figure who cultivated a larger-than-life persona in the artistic circles of New York in the first half of the twentieth century through his authoritative philosophical and aesthetic arguments on the one hand, and his often fabulous tales of his early life on the other, including a story he wrote of his origins in which he was dropped as an infant onto a rock in the Caspian Sea by an enormous eagle.

In New York, Graham studied at the Art Students League, taking classes with John Sloan, William von Schlegell, and Allen Tucker. Among his fellow students were Dorothy Dehner and David Smith, Adolph Gottlieb, Alexander Calder, and Elinor Gibson, who married Graham in 1924. The couple lived briefly in Elinor's native Baltimore, Maryland, where he met Etta and Claribel Cone, collectors of modern European paintings. It may have been the Cone sisters who introduced Graham to their circle of avant-garde artists and art collectors in Paris in the late 1920s. Whatever its origin, Graham's early style has been compared to Cezanne, Braque, Derain, and Chirico, and his frequent trips to Europe made him a conduit for current art ideas and trends for the American artists who knew him.

Graham exhibited his paintings steadily in the late 1920s and early 1930s, including shows at the Society of Independent Arists (New York) in 1925, the Modernist Galleries (Baltimore) in 1926, Galerie Zaborowski (Paris) in 1928 and 1929, at Dudensing Galleries (New York) and Phillips Memorial Gallery (Washington) in 1929, the First Biennial at the Whitney Museum in 1932, and at 8th Street Gallery (New York) in 1933. During this period Graham and his wife Elinor lived in Paris, New York City, New Jersey, and upstate New York. He spent a year teaching at Wells College in Aurora, New York, where he also executed a series of wall panels in 1932. Graham's friendships with other artists during this period included Arshile Gorky, Stuart Davis, and Willem de Kooning. De Kooning is said to have called Davis, Gorky, and Graham the "three smartest guys on the scene."

Graham's European travels also enabled him to earn a living by buying primitive sculpture and antiques for collectors and dealers. In the 1930s he bought African Art for Vanity Fair editor and art collector Frank Crowninshield, and in 1936, Graham arranged an exhibition of Crowninshield's collection at Jacques Seligmann gallery. Graham and Elinor Gibson divorced in 1934 and he married Constance Wellman in Paris in 1936. They lived in Brooklyn Heights near Adolph Gottlieb, David Smith, and Dorothy Dehner, and worked for Hilla Rebay in her formation of the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, which became the Guggenheim Museum. Suffering financial hardship in the late years of the Depression, Constance and Graham lived in Mexico for several stretches of time, and Graham published several articles on Mexico and Mexican Art, and an essay entitled "Primitive Art and Picasso" in Magazine of Art.

Graham was a prolific writer, but only a few of his written works found their way into print. Aside from his essays, published works include a small book of poetry, Have It!, published in 1923, and a book which presented Graham's personal theories of art entitled System and Dialectics of Art, published in 1937 by Delphic Studios, an eclectic New York gallery and small press run by Alma Reed. The book was influential for a younger generation of American artists; Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner in particular both expressed appreciation for Graham's ideas. For decades, Graham worked on several other major written works which were not published, including a highly stylized, symbolist work about his childhood and an encyclopedic collection of short, didactic essays on a wide range Grahamiam themes, a work which Graham usually referred to as Orifizio Mundi.

In 1942, Graham organized the exhibition "French and American Painters" at McMillen Gallery (New York) which showed Modigliani, Picasso, Braque, Rouault, and Matisse, alongside the Americans Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Stuart Davis, David Burliuk, and Walt Kuhn, among others. The show was well-received critically and, as it was Jackson Pollock's first public exhibition and Willem de Kooning's second, and the occasion of Pollock and Lee Krasner's meeting, could be considered a watershed event in contemporary American art.

Graham's own style made a pronounced shift away from abstraction in the 1940s. He began referencing renaissance art in his paintings, incorporating occult symbols, and signing them "Ioannus Magus," or "Ioannus San Germanus." His marriage to Constance ended acrimoniously around this time. He met Marianne Strate, a bookbinder, through her daughter Ileana Sonnabend and son-in-law Leo Castelli. They lived in Southampton, New York, where Graham was close to the Castellis, Paul Brach, Miriam Schapiro, and where he renewed his friendship with Willem de Kooning, who had a studio in Castelli's East Hampton home in the early 1950s. Marianne died in 1955.

Graham exhibited at the Stable Gallery in 1954, and at the newly-opened, uptown Whitney Museum of American Art in 1955. Jack Mayer became Graham's dealer in the late 1950s, held exhibitions at his Madison Avenue gallery, Gallery Mayer, in 1960, and arranged for an exhibition at the Tennessee Fine Arts Center in 1961, shortly before Graham's death. Graham left the United States for the last time in 1959, lived in Paris for two years, and died in June 1961 in a hospital in London. Gallery Mayer held a memorial exhibition at the end of 1961. Retrospective exhibitions of Graham's work have been held at the Art Institute of Chicago (1963), the Museum of Modern Art (1968), the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (1969), and the Phillips Collection (1987).
Separated Materials note:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reel 5049) including six volumes of notebooks and several loose sketches. Loaned materials were returned to MoMA and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The papers of John Graham were given to the Archives of American Art in five separate accessions between 1985 and 1988. The bulk of papers were donated by Graham's son, John David Graham, in 1985, with later additions from Patricia Graham, the widow of John David Graham, in 1986, 1987, and 1988, via the Andre Emmerich Gallery, Inc. The Department of Prints and Drawings of the Museum of Modern Art donated more papers and loaned additional materials for microfilming in 1986.
Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Rights:
The John Graham 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 -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists as authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Antiques  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Citation:
John Graham Papers, 1799-1988. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.grahjohn
See more items in:
John Graham papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-grahjohn
Additional Online Media:

Guild Art Gallery records

Creator:
Guild Art Gallery  Search this
Names:
Cincinnati Art Museum  Search this
Corcoran Gallery of Art  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
Baizerman, Saul, 1889-1957  Search this
Barnes, Albert C. (Albert Coombs), 1872-1951  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Feeley, Paul, 1910-1966  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Gross, Chaim, 1904-1991  Search this
Lefranc, Margaret  Search this
Liberte, Jean, 1896-1965  Search this
Ney, Lloyd Raymond, 1893-1964 or 5  Search this
Reisman, Philip, 1904-  Search this
Roszak, Theodore, 1907-1981  Search this
Walinska, Anna  Search this
Extent:
1.2 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Drawings
Date:
circa 1933-1937
Summary:
The records of the Guild Art Gallery measure 1.2 linear feet and date from circa 1933-1937. Operating in New York City between 1935-1937, the gallery was founded by artists Margaret Lefranc (also known as Margaret Schoonover) and Anna Walinska. Scattered records of the gallery include correspondence, including some with artists, exhibition files, financial records, a scrapbook and other printed materials, a drawing by Anna Walinska, and photographs of artwork and the gallery.
Scope and Contents:
The records of the Guild Art Gallery measure 1.2 linear feet and date from circa 1933-1937. Operating in New York City between 1935-1937, the gallery was founded by artists Margaret Lefranc (also known as Margaret Schoonover) and Anna Walinska. Scattered records of the gallery include correspondence, including some with artists, exhibition files, financial records, a scrapbook and other printed materials, a drawing by Anna Walinska, and photographs of artwork and the gallery.

Correspondence is with artists, business associates, and museums. Correspondents include Alfred H. Barr, Alfred C. Barnes, Saul Baizerman, Cincinnati Art Museum, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Paul Feeley, Arshile Gorky, Chaim Gross, Jean Liberte, Museum of Modern Art, Lloyd Raymond Ney, Philip Reisman, Theodore Roszak, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. The collection also contains financial materials such as account ledgers, receipt journals, bank records, sales invoices, and insurance forms, as well as printed material consisting of a scrapbook, newspaper and magazine clippings, calendars of art events, and journals. Additionally, there is a pen and ink drawing by Anna Walinska and black and white copy prints of artwork and orignal snphotos of the gallery.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 6 series.

Series 1: Correspondence, 1935-1937 (11 folders; Box 1)

Series 2: Exhibition records (2 folders; Box 1)

Series 3: Financial records, 1935-1937 (6 folders; Box 1)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1935-1937 (15 folders, Boxes 1-2)

Series 5: Artwork, circa 1935 (1 folder, Box 2)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1933-1937 (3 folders; Box 2)
Biographical / Historical:
The Guild Art Gallery was founded in 1935 by artists Anna Walinska and Margaret Lefranc (also known as Margaret Schoonover) and operated at 37 West 57th Street in New York City until 1937. Arshile Gorky held his first New York solo exhibition there. In 1935, the founders were quoted in Art Digest as stating that the new gallery "plans to exhibit, without charge, the work of contemporary artists, whether known or unknown; to develop, through a receptive audience, a better understanding of the creative expression and the problems of creative expression and the problems of contemporary society; and to illustrate the relationship of painting with the other arts." The gallery's opening exhibition featured both Walinska and Lefranc, as well as Boris Aronson, Don Forbes, Henry Major, Rosa Newman, Philip Reisman, Ben-Shmuel, Ary Stillman, and, notably, Arshile Gorky.
Related Materials:
Also found among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are the Anna Walinska papers.
Provenance:
Margaret Lefranc (also known as Margaret Schoonover), co-founder of the Guild Art Gallery, donated the gallery records to the Archives of American Art in 1981.
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 Guild Art 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:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Drawings
Citation:
Guild Art Gallery records, circa 1933-1937. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.guilart
See more items in:
Guild Art Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-guilart

William Chapin Seitz papers

Creator:
Seitz, William Chapin  Search this
Names:
University of Virginia -- Faculty  Search this
Ashton, Dore  Search this
Banks-Woodson, Ellen  Search this
Barr, Alfred Hamilton, 1902-  Search this
Baziotes, William, 1912-1963  Search this
Conner, Bruce  Search this
D'Harnoncourt, Rene, 1901-1968  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Elliott, Philip Clarkson, 1903-1985  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Krebs, Rockne, 1938-2011  Search this
Monet, Claude, 1840-1926  Search this
Rosati, James, 1912-1988  Search this
Segal, George, 1924-2000  Search this
Seitz, Irma  Search this
Stella, Frank  Search this
Extent:
32.5 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Resumes
Poems
Photographs
Awards
Sound recordings
Interviews
Sketches
Notebooks
Drafts (documents)
Lectures
Date:
circa 1930-1995
Summary:
The papers of educator, painter, and art historian William Chapin Seitz measure 32.5 linear feet and date from circa 1930-1995. The collection includes biographical information, correspondence, notebooks, subject and people files, thesis research files, interviews and lecture recordings, teaching files, personal business records, scattered printed materials, photographs, and artwork. The bulk of the papers focus on Seitz's research and teaching career.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of educator, painter, and art historian William Chapin Seitz measure 32.5 linear feet and date from circa 1930-1995. The collection includes biographical information, correspondence, notebooks, subject and people files, thesis research files, interviews and lecture recordings, teaching files, personal business records, scattered printed materials, photographs, and artwork. The bulk of the papers focus on Seitz's research and teaching career.

Biographical materials consist of resumes and CV's, identification cards including one from the WPA, documents from the memorial held at the University of Virginia for Seitz, poetry written by Irma for William on their wedding anniversaries, and x-rays.

The majority of Seitz's correspondence is professional and concerns job offers and opportunities, lectures requests, recommendation letters for Seitz and for others by Seitz, the Kress Fellowship, exhibitions, awards, and organizations. Also found are posthumus materials to Irma Seitz concerning book royalites. Personal correspondence is scattered and includes condolence letters sent to Irma.

Personal business records focus on Seitz's personal art collection, copyright information, publishing records including royalty statements, reports, scholarship and fellowship information, and professional organization membership records.

The bulk of the collection consists of research and writing files which include notebooks, subject and people files, thesis research files and drafts, general research which include writings by Seitz, card files, and recordings of lectures and interviews. Subject and people files may include correspondence, printed materials, research notes, photographs, works of art, and writings concerning and by artists, art historians, curators, subjects, and art movements. Research files are found for Dore Ashton, Alfred H. Barr Jr., William Baziotes, Bruce Conner, Rene D'Harnoncourt, Marcel Duchamp, Arshile Gorky, Adolph Gottlieb, Rockne Krebs, George Segal, James Rosati, and Frank Stella among many others. Also found are research materials on Claude Monet, some of which are written in French.

Teaching files contains extensive reference material likely used by Seitz during his career as well as correspondence, exams, and lecture materials used in specific classes.

Printed material is scattered and includes clippings, exhibition announcements, and articles. Exhibition announcements and catalogs are for Seitz's personal works and for exhibitions he curated.

The bulk of the photographs are of works of art by William Seitz, Irma Seitz, and others which were likely owned by Seitz. Also found are phtographs of exhibition installations at the Univeristy of Virginia and scattered photographs of Seitz with others.

Artwork include several pencil sketches by Seitz, two works by Ellen Banks-Woodson, and a sketch by Phil Elliott.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged as 8 series:

Series 1: Biographical Information, 1930s-1974 (Box 1; 7 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1945-1995 (Boxes 1-2; 1.6 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, circa 1947-1990 (Boxes 2-3; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 4: Research and Writing Files, 1940s-1970s (Boxes 4-26; 23.5 linear feet)

Series 5: Teaching Files, 1945-1970s (Boxes 27-31, OV 34-35; 5 linear feet)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1937-1984 (Boxes 31-2; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 7: Photographs, 1940s-1981 (Box 32, 33; 11 folders)

Series 8: Artwork, circa 1950s-1972 (Box 32, 33; 6 folders)
Biographical/Historical note:
William Chapin Seitz (1914-1974) was an art historian and scholar, painter, educator, and museum curator who worked primarily in New York and Virginia. He completed the first dissertation on Abstract Expressionism while a student at Princeton University in 1955.

Born in 1914 in Buffalo, New York, William Chapin Seitz studied at the Albright Art School at the University of Buffalo and the Art Institute of Buffalo. Seitz met artist Irma J. Siegelman, whom he married in 1938. Due to the Depression, he left school and worked with the Federal Arts Project in New York City in the 1930s and worked as an aircraft fuel cell deigner for the Hewitt Rubber Company during World War II. Returning to the University of Buffalo after the war, Seitz completed his undergraduate degree and remained by accepting a teaching job.

Although he saw success as a painter and exhibited in one-man shows, Seitz focused his career in academia and enrolled at Princeton University for a graduate degree in Art History. Princeton faculty held divided views on Seitz's desire to write a dissertation on the Abstract Expressionist movement and debated the subject for over a year. Seitz's dissertation topic was eventually approved and in addition to writing the first dissertation on Abstract Expressionism, Seitz received the first PhD in Modern Art from Princeton. Seitz remained at Princeton as an assistant professor and advised students such as Frank Stella.

In 1960, he accepted a job as a curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. At MOMA, Seitz curated The Art of Assemblage (1961), The Responsive Eye (1965), and an exhibition on Monet (1960). Other MOMA exhibitions focused on artists Mark Tobey, Arshile Gorky, and Hans Hofmann. Additionally, he served as director of the Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University from 1965-1970. During that time, Seitz organized the United States exhibition at the Ninth Biennial in Sao Paulo (1967) and the Seventh Biennial of Canadian Painting (1968). In 1971, Seitz returned to teaching at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia and was the Visiting Kress Professor at the National Gallery of Art from 1972-1973.

In addition to his successes in painting, education, and the curatorial field, Seitz was an accomplished writer. He published many articles, essays, and books on art and artists including Art in the Age of Aquarius, on which he worked until his death.

William Seitz died of cancer in 1974.
Related Archival Materials note:
The Museum of Modern Art Archives in New York City holds the William C. Seitz papers which contain exhibition files and records relating to an interview with Marcel Duchamp. Correspondence relating to the debate concerning the viability of Seitz's dissertation are found in the Alfred H. Barr, Jr. papers also at the Museum of Modern Art Archives.
Provenance:
The William Chapin Seitz papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Seitz's widow, Irma Seitz, in 1975 and 2003. A transcript of an interview with Mark Tobey by Seitz was donated by Rebecca Massie Lane in 1988. Seitz gave these transcripts to Lane for her graduate work and they remined in her possession after his death.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The William Chapin Seitz 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:
Painters -- Virginia -- Charlottesville  Search this
Educators -- Virginia  Search this
Art historians -- Virginia -- Charlottesville  Search this
Genre/Form:
Resumes
Poems
Photographs
Awards
Sound recordings
Interviews
Sketches
Notebooks
Drafts (documents)
Lectures
Citation:
William Chapin Seitz papers, circa 1930-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.seitwill
See more items in:
William Chapin Seitz papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-seitwill

Jacob Kainen papers

Creator:
Kainen, Jacob  Search this
Kainen, Ruth Cole.  Search this
Names:
Addison Gallery of American Art  Search this
Australian National Gallery  Search this
Baltimore Museum of Art  Search this
British Museum  Search this
Brooklyn Museum  Search this
Corcoran Gallery of Art  Search this
Corcoran School of Art (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Middendorf Gallery  Search this
National Gallery of Art (U.S.)  Search this
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Acton, David, 1953-  Search this
Agee, William C.  Search this
Berman, Avis  Search this
Broun, Elizabeth  Search this
Butler, Bryce  Search this
Cole, Phoebe  Search this
Fine, Ruth, 1941-  Search this
Fort Wayne Museum of Art  Search this
Frohlich, Newton, 1936-  Search this
Gilkey, Gordon  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Halesz, Piri  Search this
Harrison, Carol  Search this
Holden, Donald  Search this
Holladay, Wilhelmina Cole, 1922-  Search this
Hopps, Walter  Search this
Jackson, John Baptist, 1701-1780?  Search this
Jordon, Jim  Search this
Kalonyme, Louis  Search this
Lunn, Harry, 1933-1998  Search this
Morse, Peter  Search this
Nordland, Gerald  Search this
O'Connor, Francis V.  Search this
Pollack, Jerome  Search this
Powell, Richard J., 1953-  Search this
Purcell, Ann  Search this
Rand, Harry  Search this
Reynolds, Jock  Search this
Ries, Martin, 1926-  Search this
Solman, Joseph, 1909-2008  Search this
Steinberg, Leo  Search this
Taylor, Joshua Charles, 1917-  Search this
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Tejera, V. ((Victorino))  Search this
Thornton, Valerie  Search this
Weber, Joanne  Search this
Extent:
33.3 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Diaries
Transcripts
Videotapes
Visitors' books
Lectures
Prints
Greeting cards
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Date:
1905-2009
bulk 1940-2001
Summary:
The papers of painter, printmaker, and curator Jacob Kainen measure 33.3 linear feet and date from 1905 to 2009, with the bulk of the material from 1940-2001. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence/subject files including personal correspondence to and from friends and family members and professional correspondence and records concerning Kainen's activities as an artist, curator, teacher, and art collector. The collection also contains biographical material, writings, diaries, calendars, inventories, interview transcripts, printed material, photographs, works of art by other artists, and nine scrapbooks.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter, printmaker, and curator Jacob Kainen measure 33.3 linear feet and date from 1905 to 2009, with the bulk of the material from 1940-2001. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence/subject files including personal correspondence to and from friends and family members and professional correspondence and records concerning Kainen's activities as an artist, curator, teacher, and art collector. The collection also contains biographical material, writings, diary and journal entries, calendars, inventories, interview and "dialog" transcripts, printed material, photographs, works of art by other artists, and nine scrapbooks.

Biographical materials include items concerning Kainen's career as a curator and artist, in addition to a useful bibliography, detailed biographical outline, and a copy of an FBI report compiled on him. Also included are five videocassette recordings of Kainen.

Alphabetical correspondence/subject files comprise the bulk of the collection and include both Jacob's and Ruth's correspondence with family, friends, colleagues, artists, art critics, curators, museums, arts organizations, galleries, and many others. There is a significant amount of correspondence with David Acton, the Addison Gallery of Art and Jock Reynolds, William Agee, Australian National Gallery, Baltimore Museum of Art, Avis Berman, the British Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Elizabeth Broun and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bryce Butler, Pheobe Cole, the Corcoran Gallery and School of Art, Richard Field, Ruth Fine, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Newton Frohlich, Gordon Gilkey and the Pacific Northwest College of Art, Arshile Gorky, Piri Halesz, Carol Harrison, Donald Holden, Wilhelmina Holladay, John Baptist Jackson, Jim Jordon, Lou Kantor, Harry Lunn Jr., Middendorf Gallery, National Gallery of Art, Peter Morse, Gerald Nordland, Francis O'Connor, Jerome Pollack, Richard Powell, Ann Purcell, Harry Rand, Martin Ries, Joseph Solman, Leo Steinberg, Prentiss Taylor, Victorino Tejera, Valerie Thornton, Joanne Weber, and numerous family members.

Writings are by and about Jacob Kainen. Kainen's writings include articles, lectures, exhibition catalog essays, notes, travel notebooks, short stories, poems, and written statements about his artistic motivations and justifications. There are writings about Kainen by Avis Berman, Ruth Cole Kainen, and others. The bulk of the numerous diary entries are from Ruth Cole Kainen's diaries, many of which concern Jacob and their family. There are also annotated and revised diary entries. There is one folder of diary entries and one folder of journal entries by Jacob Kainen and two dismantled journal-like notebooks. The papers include daily calendars and travel itineraries from 1972 through 2001.

The papers include transcripts of formal interviews and informal conversations with Jacob Kainen. Transcripts are of informal dinner, telephone, and general conversations between friends, colleagues, artists, and Ruth Cole Kainen. Included are conversations with Avis Berman, Walter Hopps, Harry Rand, Joshua Taylor, and several others. Many of these transcripts were also annnotated by Jacob and Ruth Kainen. Also found are numerous transcripts of more formal interviews with Kainen by art historians, art critics, and students.

There are inventories, appraisals, and lists of sold and not sold paintings, as well as color photographs of some of Kainen's works of art. Also found are inventories of the Kainens' art collection. Printed materials include Kainen's exhibition catalogs and announcements, clippings of articles by and about Jacob Kainen, and an exhibition guestbook.

Photographs are of Kainen with his family and friends, at exhibition openings, and working in his studios. Works of art by others includes handmade greeting cards, limited edition prints, and portfolios given to Jacob Kainen. Nine scrapbooks containing news clippings and exhibition publications document the entirety of Kainen's career as an artist.
Arrangement:
The Jacob Kainen papers are arranged into 11 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1938-2001 (Boxes 1, 32; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence/Subject Files, 1936-2003 (Boxes 1-12, 32-33; 11.8 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1920s-2002 (Boxes 12-13, 33; 1.6 linear feet)

Series 4: Diaries, circa 1952-2002 (Boxes 13-18, 33-38; 10.0 linear feet)

Series 5: Calendars, 1953-2008 (Boxes 18-20, 38; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 6: Transcripts, circa 1975-1994 (Boxes 20-21, 38; 1.4 linear feet)

Series 7: Inventories, 1927-2001 (Boxes 21-22; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1938-2003 (Box 22, 38, OV 31; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 9: Photographs, 1905-2000 (Boxes 22-25, 38, OV 31; 3.3 linear feet)

Series 10: Works of Art by Others, 1942-2000 (Boxes 25-26, OV 31; 1.2 linear foot)

Series 11: Scrapbooks, 1936-1998 (Boxes 27-30, 38; 1.3 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Jacob Kainen (1909-2001) was a painter, printmaker, and curator who worked primarily in Washington, D.C.

Born on December 7, 1909 in Waterbury, Connecticut, Jacob Kainen moved with his family to New York City in 1918. Kainen studied at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn from 1927 until 1930, and at the Art Student's League. In the early 1930s, Kainen became involved in social causes and formed close friendships with the early abstractionists, including John Graham, Arshile Gorky, and Stuart Davis. He joined the Artists' Union and a contributor to its journal, Art Front, along with Stuart Davis and Harold Rosenberg. Jacob's participation in the Artists' Union was later investigated by the FBI.

From 1935 until 1942, Kainen worked for the Graphic Arts Division of the Works Progress Administration in New York City and began exhibiting with the New York School. It was during this period that he married Bertha Friedman. Jacob and Bertha had two sons together, Dan and Paul, and divorced in 1968.

In 1942, Kainen made a life-changing decision to leave New York City and move to Washington, D.C. to accept what he thought would be a temporary position as a scientific aide in the Division of Graphic Arts at the Smithsonian Institution. Kainen quickly became Assistant Curator and Curator in 1946. He served as Curator for twenty years, completely reshaping the department and building the graphic arts collection. His print exhibitions brought the work of S.W. Hayter, Josef Albers, Adja Yunkers, Louis Lozowick, Karl Schrag, José Guerrero, Louis Schanker, Werner Drewes, and Boris Margo to Washington audiences - graphic work that might not have been shown that early in the area.

1947 marked the opening of the Washington Workshop Center for the Arts, where Kainen served as a teacher and guide to several important artists, helping to make the workshop a magnet for new talent and instrumental in furthering the careers of several artists. Although Kainen taught Gene Davis and Alma Thomas and introduced Morris Louis to Leon Berkowitz, he never considered himself a member of the "Washington Color School."

In 1949, the Corcoran Gallery of Art held a retrospective of Kainen's prints and three years later Kenneth Noland organized Kainen's first painting retrospective at Catholic University. Kainen's paintings from the 1940s illustrated a shift away from social realism toward abstract expressionism. In 1956, Jacob Kainen received a grant from the American Philosophical society to conduct research in Europe for his monograph on the English woodcut artist, John Baptist Jackson. He traveled to Europe again in 1962 to study paintings and prints from the Mannerist Period.

From 1966 until 1970, Kainen worked as the Curator of prints and drawings at the National Collection of Fine Arts (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum). He married Ruth Cole in February of 1969. Kainen retired from the Smithsonian a year later to devote himself full-time to his art, but continued to serve as a special consultant to the Smithsonian American Art Museum for nineteen years. In 1971 and 1972, Kainen taught painting and the history of printmaking at the University of Maryland. A retrospective of Kainen's paintings was held in 1993 at the National Museum of American Art (SAAM).

Throughout his artistic career, Kainen experimented with different mediums and explored different styles, yet he identified himself as a painter. Jacob Kainen participated in at least twenty-five one man shows and several group exhibitions. His works are in collections across the United States and abroad, including the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the British Museum. He worked in his studio up until the time of his death on March 19, 2001 at his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Related Material:
Found among the holdings of the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview of Jacob Kainen conducted by Avis Berman in 1982 for the Archives' "Mark Rothko and His Times" oral history project. Also found are microfilm copies of Bertha Kainen's correspondence with Avis Berman regarding Berman's essay about Jacob Kainen.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reels 565, 2147-2149, and 2200) including correspondence, writings by Kainen, and papers relating to the Smithsonian Institution Loyalty Board's investigation of Jacob Kainen from 1942-1954. Most, but not all, of the loaned materials were included in later gifts. 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:
Jacob and Ruth Kainen first lent the Archives of American Art material for microfilming from 1973-1981, the bulk of which was included in the later gifts. Papers were then donated in multiple accretions between 1981-2007 by Jacob and Ruth Kainen, and in 2009 from the estate of Ruth Kainen via executor Teresa Covacevich Grana. Also in 2003, eight photographs of Jacob and Ruth Kainen were transferred from the National Portrait Gallery to the Archives of American Art.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Jacob Kainen 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:
Curators -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Topic:
Painters -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Painting, Modern -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Painting, Abstract -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Art teachers -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Printmakers -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Diaries
Transcripts
Videotapes
Visitors' books
Lectures
Prints
Greeting cards
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Jacob Kainen papers, 1905-2008, bulk 1940-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kainjaco
See more items in:
Jacob Kainen papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kainjaco
Additional Online Media:

Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection

Creator:
Federal Art Project. Photographic Division  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project (N.Y.)  Search this
Federal Art Project (Wash.)  Search this
Federal Art Project -- Photographs  Search this
Federal Art Project. Easel Division  Search this
Federal Art Project. Graphic Arts Division  Search this
Federal Art Project. Poster Division  Search this
Federal Music Project (U.S.) -- Photographs  Search this
Federal Theatre Project (U.S.) -- Photographs  Search this
Federal Writers' Project U.S. -- Photographs  Search this
Harlem Art Center  Search this
United States. Work Projects Administration  Search this
United States. Works Progress Administration  Search this
Abbott, Berenice, 1898-1991  Search this
Alston, Charles Henry, 1907-1977  Search this
Arenal, Luis  Search this
Barthé, Richmond, 1901-1989  Search this
Benson, John Howard, 1901-1956  Search this
Berger, Andrew  Search this
Blanch, Lucile, 1895-1981  Search this
Bloch, Lucienne, 1909-1999  Search this
Bolotowsky, Ilya, 1907-1981  Search this
Brann, Louise, 1906-  Search this
Burke, Selma, 1900-  Search this
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Calapai, Letterio, 1902-1993  Search this
Chodorow, Eugene, 1910-2000  Search this
Criss, Francis, 1901-1973  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
De Rivera, José Ruiz, 1904-1985  Search this
Dehn, Adolf, 1895-1968  Search this
Dehn, Virginia E. (Virginia Engleman), 1922-2005  Search this
Ennis, George Pearse, d. 1936  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Gershoy, Eugenie, 1901?-1983 or 6  Search this
Goodman, Bertram, 1904-1988  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Greenwood, Marion, 1909-1970  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Herman, Andrew  Search this
Hord, Donal, 1902-1966  Search this
Horn, Sol  Search this
Hovell, Joseph, 1897-  Search this
Karp, William, 1905-  Search this
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Laning, Edward, 1906-  Search this
Levi, Julian E. (Julian Edwin), 1900-1982  Search this
McMahon, Audrey, 1900?-1981  Search this
Olds, Elizabeth, 1896-1991  Search this
Refregier, Anton, 1905-  Search this
Robbins, David  Search this
Seltzer, Leo, 1916-  Search this
Shuster, Will  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
12.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
circa 1920-1965
bulk 1935-1942
Summary:
The Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection dates from circa 1920-1965, with the bulk of the records spanning the active years of the Federal Art Project (FAP), 1935-1942. The collection comprises 12.4 linear feet of mostly photographic prints and negatives that document primarily artwork produced by artists employed by the FAP. A smaller number of photographs also document other programs of the FAP, such as art classes and community centers, exhibitions by children and adults, artwork installed in public buildings, project divisions, and demonstrations of art processes by FAP artists.
Scope and Content Note:
The Federal Art Project (FAP), Photographic Division collection dates from circa 1920-1965, with the bulk of the records spanning the active years of the FAP: 1935-1942. The collection comprises 12.4 linear feet of photographic prints and negatives, including photos of FAP artists and the artwork created by them, and other activities of the FAP in communities throughout New York City and other states. Photographers include Andrew Herman, Sol Horn, David Robbins, Leo Seltzer, and others.

Artist files comprise three-quarters of the collection and consist primarily of photographs of artwork, as well as scattered photos of artists at work, including: Charles Alston, Luis Arenal, Richmond Barthe, John Benson, Andrew Berger, Lucille Blanch, Lucienne Bloch, Ilya Bolotowsky, Luise Brann, Selma Burke, Letterio Calapai, Eugene Chodorow, Francis Criss, Stuart Davis, Adolf Dehn, Virginia Dehn, Jose de Rivera, George Pearse Ennis, Philip Evergood, Eugenie Gershoy, Bertram Goodman, Arshile Gorky, Marion Greenwood, Philip Guston, Donal Hord, Joseph Hovell, William Karp, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Edward Laning, Julian Levi, Audrey McMahon, Elizabeth Olds, Anton Refregier, Will Shuster, William Zorach, and others.

The remainder of the collection consists of files documenting related activities and programs of the FAP, arranged by subject. The bulk of these files document the activities of the New York City FAP, including free art classes and art exhibitions for adults and children, exhibitions at the Harlem Art Center, and the work of FAP branches including the Easel Division, the Graphic Arts Division, and the Poster Division.

Other subjects documented include federal and community art centers in eleven states, most extensively Washington State; other WPA projects such as the Federal Theater Project, the Federal Music Project, and the Federal Writers' Project; buildings decorated with FAP artwork; art processes as demonstrated by FAP artists; special events; and people involved with the FAP, including director Holger Cahill.

One folder contains images that appear to have been taken by Berenice Abbott for the exhibition Changing New York (1935), for the Museum of the City of New York in collaboration with the WPA.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 2 series:

Series 1: Artist Files, circa 1920-1965 (Boxes 1-24; 9.6 linear feet)

Series 2: Subject Files, 1934-1956 (Boxes 25-32; 2.8 linear feet)
Historical Note:
The Federal Art Project (FAP) was one of the Depression-era work-relief programs of the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA). The program was founded in August 1935 to provide employment for artists and to implement visual arts programs in local communities across the country.

Together with the Federal Music Project, the Federal Theater Project, and the Federal Writers' Project, the FAP formed part of the WPA's Federal Project No. 1. The WPA became the Work Projects Administration in 1939 when it fell under the administrative hand of the newly created Federal Works Agency; concurrently the Federal Art Project was officially re-named the Federal Art Program.

Under the direction of Holger Cahill, the goals of the FAP fell into three main areas: production of artwork, art education through art classes and community centers, and art research through the Index of American Design. During the course of the program, artists created murals and other works of art for many non-Federal government buildings such as schools, hospitals, and libraries. Separate photographic divisions were set up in several states, most notably in New York City, to document the work of artists employed by the program, activities in art education such as classes for children and adults, community center outreach programs, and other "Federal 1" projects, including the Federal Theater and Music Projects. Employees of the photographic division were also involved in other assignments, such as creating exhibitions and photo murals.

The Federal Art Project ended in 1943.
Related Material:
Among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are related collections, including the Federal Art Project of the Work Projects Administration records, 1935-1948. Additional FAP records are held by the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington D.C.
Provenance:
The collection was anonymously donated to the Archives of American Art in the late 1950s.
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 Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection is 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:
African American artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Photographs  Search this
Children's art -- United States -- Photographs  Search this
Photography  Search this
Art -- United States -- Exhibitions -- Photographs  Search this
Art -- United States -- Study and teaching -- Photographs  Search this
Art centers  Search this
Federal aid to the public welfare -- Photographs  Search this
Theater and state -- United States -- Photographs  Search this
Music and state -- United States -- Photographs  Search this
Federal aid to the arts -- Photographs  Search this
Art and state -- United States -- Photographs  Search this
Art -- Technique  Search this
Artists -- United States -- Photographs  Search this
Art -- Exhibitions  Search this
Hispanic American artists  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection, circa 1920-1965, bulk 1935-1942. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.fedeartp14
See more items in:
Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-fedeartp14
Additional Online Media:

Dorothy C. Miller papers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arshile Gorky 1904-1948 / Fondazione Musei Civici Venezia

Author:
Belli, Gabriella  Search this
Devaney, Edith  Search this
Spender, Saskia  Search this
Author:
Container of (work): Gorky, Arshile 1904-1948 Works Selections  Search this
Organizer:
Fondazione Musei civici di Venezia  Search this
Host institution:
Museo d'arte moderna Ca' Pesaro  Search this
Subject:
Gorky, Arshile 1904-1948  Search this
Physical description:
239 pages ; 26 x 29 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Exhibition catalogs
Date:
2019
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1106754

The Liver is the Cock's Comb, (painting)

Painter:
Gorky, Arshile 1904-1948  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Type:
Paintings
Owner/Location:
Albright-Knox Art Gallery 1285 Elmwood Avenue Buffalo New York 14222 Accession Number: K56:4
Date:
1944
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Animal--Bird--Chicken  Search this
Control number:
IAP 33660098
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_466422

Good Afternoon, Mrs. Lincoln, (painting)

Painter:
Gorky, Arshile 1904-1948  Search this
Type:
Paintings
Date:
1944
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAP 9F680011
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_471598

Arshile Gorky : the plow and the song : a life in letters and documents / edited by Matthew Spender

Author:
Gorky, Arshile 1904-1948  Search this
Editor:
Spender, Matthew  Search this
Subject:
Gorky, Arshile 1904-1948  Search this
Gorky, Arshile 1904-1948  Search this
Physical description:
583 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
Type:
Correspondence
Archives
Biography
Records and correspondence
Place:
United States
Date:
2018
Topic:
Painters  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1095503

Arshile Gorky: paintings, drawings, studies. With a foreword by Julien Levy

Author:
Seitz, William Chapin  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Subject:
Gorky, Arshile 1904-1948  Search this
Physical description:
56 pages illustrations (some color) portraits 24 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1962
[©1962]
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_49550

Abstract Figure with Beak [drawing] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Gorky, Arshile 1904-1948  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Topic:
Contemporaries (New York, NY)  Search this
Abstract  Search this
Figure  Search this
Image number:
ROS R0002156
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_131608

Abstract Figure [drawing] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Gorky, Arshile 1904-1948  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Topic:
Contemporaries (New York, NY)  Search this
Abstract  Search this
Figure  Search this
Image number:
ROS R0002157
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_131609

Plumage Landscape [painting] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Gorky, Arshile 1904-1948  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1947
Topic:
New Gallery  Search this
Abstract  Search this
Landscape  Search this
Image number:
ROS R0004649
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_134085

Untitled (Study for the Calendar) [painting] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Gorky, Arshile 1904-1948  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
Ca. 1946
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Image number:
ROS R0005667
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_135093

Arshile Gorky: artist file, [photographs]

Artist:
Gorky, Arshile 1904-1948  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Artist files
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Image number:
VFM VF001249
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_139608

Gorky, Mrs., Portrait of [art work] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Gorky, Arshile 1904-1948  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Image number:
JUL J0094849
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_94850

Ardent nature : Arshile Gorky landscapes 1943-47 / [texts] Saskia Spender, Edith Devaney

Title:
Arshile Gorky landscapes 1943-47
Author:
Gorky, Arshile 1904-1948 Works Selections  Search this
Spender, Saskia Ardent nature  Search this
Devaney, Edith Repossessing nature  Search this
Host institution:
Hauser & Wirth New York  Search this
Subject:
Gorky, Arshile 1904-1948  Search this
Physical description:
[140] pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 30 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Exhibition catalogs
Date:
2017
20th century
Topic:
Landscapes in art  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1089555

Arcadia Americana : landscape in American art during World War II / by Tatsiana Zhurauliova

Author:
Zhurauliova, Tatsiana  Search this
Subject:
Gorky, Arshile 1904-1948  Search this
Tchelitchew, Pavel 1898-1957  Search this
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo 1889-1953  Search this
Physical description:
xi, 239 leaves : illustrations (some color) ; 29 cm
Type:
Art and the war
Date:
2014
20th century
Topic:
Landscape painting, American  Search this
Landscapes in art  Search this
Art, American  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Call number:
N8214.5.U6 Z48 2014
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1028372

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