The papers of abstract painter and art instructor Vaclav Vytlacil date from 1885-1990 and measure 5.2 linear feet. Found within the papers are scattered biographical materials, correspondence primarily discussing art school-related matters and the exhibition and sale of Vytlacil's work, scattered business and financial records, and notes and writings including lecture notes. The papers also contain audio recordings of interviews of Vytlacil and his associates, artwork by Vytlacil and others, four scrapbooks, printed material including clippings and exhibition catalogs, and photographs of Vytlacil, his colleagues, and his artwork.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of abstract painter and art instructor Vaclav Vytlacil date from 1885-1990 and measure 5.2 linear feet. Found within the papers are scattered biographical materials, correspondence, scattered business and financial records, and notes and writings including lecture notes. The papers also contain audio recordings of interviews of Vytlacil and his associates, artwork by Vytlacil and others, four scrapbooks, printed material including clippings and exhibition catalogs, and photographs of Vytlacil, his colleagues, and his artwork.
Scattered biographical materials include documents relating to family history and biographical accounts for Vytlacil. Correspondence consists of letters exchanged between Vytlacil and his wife and colleagues including Josef Albers, Worden Day, Hugo Feigl, John Haley, Alfred Jensen, Irving Manoir, Mercedes Matter, Worth Ryder, Ernest Thurn, and Glenn Wessels.
Scattered business and financial records consist of teaching contracts and scattered financial records. Notes and writings include lecture notes, notebooks concerning teaching, minutes of meetings, essays, and writings by others. Three untranscribed sound recordings on cassette contain an interview of Vytlacil by Susan Larsen and interviews of Vytlacil's students and associates.
Artwork consists of drawings and prints by Vytlacil and others, etchings by Betty Vytlacil, and a color woodcut by Zalmar. Four scrapbooks contain printed materials and artwork by students compiled as a get-well gift to Vytlacil. Additional printed materials include numerous clippings, exhibition catalogs, and art school catalogs. Photographs in the collection are of Vytlacil, family members, his artwork, and his colleagues including Blanche Lazzell and Irving Manoir with Diego Rivera. One small motion picture film reel, 8mm, shows views of Manhattan and a family outing.
The collection is arranged as 10 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1885, 1933-1981 (Box 1; 3 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1911-1985 (Boxes 1-2, 7; 2.0 linear feet)
Series 3: Business Records, 1912-1982 (Box 3; 11 folders)
Series 4: Notes and Writings, 1928-1978 (Boxes 3, 7; 0.9 linear feet)
Series 6: Artwork, 1921-1952 (Boxes 4, 7; 5 folders)
Series 7: Scrapbooks, 1927-1979 (Boxes 4, 7; 4 folders)
Series 8: Printed Material, 1912-1990 (Boxes 4-5, 7; 1.3 linear feet)
Series 9: Photographs, 1906-1976 (Boxes 6-7; 27 folders)
Series 10: Motion Picture Film, circa 1938-1968 (Box FC 8; 1 film reel)
Vaclav Vytlacil (1892-1984) was an abstract painter and art instructor who worked primarily in the New York city area. He was also one of the co-founders of the American Abstract Artists group.
Born in New York City of Czech parentage, Vytlacil moved at an early age with his family to Chicago. Beginning in 1906 he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago under Antonin Sterba for approximately 3 years. In 1912 he graduated as William Vytlacil from Crane Technical and English High School. After receiving a scholarship in 1913, Vytlacil returned to New York to study at the Art Students League with John C. Johansen for three years. From 1917 to 1921 Vytlacil was employed as an instructor at the Minneapolis School of Art.
Beginning in 1921 Vytlacil traveled to Paris, Prague, and Munich, deciding to remain in the latter city indefinitely. He enrolled as a student at the Royal Academy of Art in Munich with fellow American art students Worth Ryder and Ernest Thurn. Vytlacil first studied under Karl Kaspar and, a year later, he and Ernest Thurn enrolled at the Hans Hofmann School in Munich. Vytlacil studied with Hofmann sporadically over the next seven years.
On August 18, 1927, Vytlacil married Elizabeth Foster of St. Paul, Minnesota at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy. In the following year, he accepted an invitation to teach at the Art Students League and became an invited lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley during the summer terms of 1928 to 1929. Vytlacil urged Hans Hofmann, with his assistance, to come to the United States to teach at the Art Students League during the 1931-1932 term. Also during the early 1930s, Vytlacil and his wife spent summers in Positano, Italy, and winters in Paris.
In 1935 the Vytlacils returned permanently from Europe to live at 8 West 13th Street in New York City, where they stayed for three years. Vytlacil resumed teaching at the Art Students League, spending the summer sessions teaching at the California College of Arts and Crafts. In the following year he accepted an invitation to teach at the Florence Cane School at Rockefeller Center and continued teaching during the summer session at the California College of Arts and Crafts. It was also during 1936 that Vytlacil co-founded the American Abstract Artists with thirteen other artists.
While continuing to teach at the Art Students League and at the Florence Cane School, Vytlacil began conducting art classes at the Dalton School, where he taught until 1941. In 1938, he moved from New York City to South Mountain Road in New City. Two years later, Vytlacil established his residence and studio in Sparkill, New York, and in 1941, he acquired property in Martha's Vineyard which provided a place to work during the summers.
In 1942, Vytlacil left the Art Students League to become Chairman of the Art Department of Queens College in Flushing, New York. He held this position until 1945, when he accepted an invitation to teach at Black Mountain College. From 1946 to 1951, he returned as instructor at the Art Students League and began selling his artwork through the Feigl Gallery in New York. He also taught at the Minneapolis School of Art in 1947, and at Columbia University in 1950.
From 1952 to 1954, Vytlacil traveled to Colorado to paint and teach at the summer sessions of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. After a summer spent on Monhegan Island, Maine, Vytlacil and his wife spent 1955 in Europe. Upon his return in 1956, he became a guest instructor at the Art Institute of Chicago and, in the following year, he taught a summer session at Boston College.
During the winter months of 1960 and 1961, Vytlacil lived in Oaxaca, Mexico. In 1964, he was a guest instructor at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia.
Vytlacil was a member of the Art Students League of New York, the American Abstract Artists, the Federation of American Painters and Sculptors, and the Audubon Artists.
Vaclav Vytlacil died at his home in Sparkill, New York on January 5, 1984.
Also found in the Archives of American Art are oral history interviews with Vaclav Vytlacil, March 2, 1966 and January 10, 1974, and 19 items microfilmed on reel 2016 relating to a 1975 Montclair Art Museum exhibition organized by Worden Day.
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (D295) including correspondence, lecture notes, general notes, clippings, notebooks concerning paintings, photographs of paintings, photographs titled "Vineyard Boats," and two of Mrs. Vytacil's Paris journals. Two dozen of these letters were later donated. All other lent materials remain with the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Vaclav Vytlacil lent the Archives of American Art materials for microfilming in 1966. Vaclav Vytlacil's daughter, Anne Vytlacil, donated the Vaclav Vytlacil papers in several installments from 1989 to 1993.
Use of the original papers requires an appointment.
The Vaclav Vytlacil 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.
Art teachers -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
The papers of California painter, writer, and teacher Erle Loran measure 12.6 linear feet and date from 1912 to 1991. Found are biographical materials; two linear feet of personal and professional correspondence; personal business records; writings which include extensive drafts and notes for Loran's book Cezanne's Composition; over 400 items of artwork that include watercolors, drawings, charcoal, and pastel studies; printed materials; photographs of Loran, family, and friends, and artwork; and one audio recording of a lecture by Loran on Cezanne.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of California painter and teacher Erle Loran measure 12.6 linear feet and date from 1912 to 1991. Found are biographical materials; two linear feet of personal and professional correspondence; personal business records; writings which include extensive drafts and notes for Loran's book Cezanne's Composition; over 400 items of artwork that include watercolors, drawings, charcoal, and pastel studies; printed materials; photographs of Loran, family, and friends, and artwork; and one audio recording of a lecture by Loran on Cezanne.
Biographical materials include biographical sketches, curriculum vita, a will, notes and a notebook, and an appointment book for 1987. Also found is an anniversary invitation, a certificate from the University of California, and the Pepsi-Cola award for 1948.
Two linear feet of correspondence is with artists, critics, galleries, and universities. Correspondents inlcude Romare Bearden, Andrew Dasburg, Clement Greenberg, John Haley, Dalzell Hatfield, Hans Hofmann, Harry Levinson (president of Permanent Pigments), Sam Sabean, Bertha Schaefer, Clyfford Still, and Ulfert Wilke. There is also correspondence with the University of California.
Personal business records include exhibition files, price and consignment lists, teaching materials, University of California Press records, and records relating to the publication of his book on Cézanne. Some of these records also document Loran's involvement with the Fine Arts Museum, Friends of Ethnic Arts, and the San Francisco Art Institute. In addition, there are records related to Loran's role in a donation of forty-five paintings by Hans Hofmann to the University Art Center. Also found are materials related to Loran's activities as an art collector including sales receipts, auction catalogs, and photographs of artwork owned by Loran.
Writings by Loran include a complete manuscript version of Cézanne's Composition along with additional notes and drafts, and numerous other short essays on Cézanne's life and art. Loran's other writings include essays about Hans Hofmann, Marsden Hartley, symbology in abstract art, and contemporary art.
Loran's career as an artist is extensively documented by four linear feet of original artwork, mostly preliminary sketches. The work demonstrates a variety of techniques including watercolor, pastel, pencil, pen, gouache, and oil sketches. Content includes landscapes, portraits, fantasy scenes, urban scenes, and rural scenes.
Printed materials include extensive newsclippings from seven decades, exhibition announcements, and exhibition catalogs. Photographs are of Loran, his second wife Clyta, the Loran family, friends and colleagues, artwork, and source materials. Also found within the papers is an audio recording on cassette of a lecture by Loran on Cézanne.
The collection is arranged into 8 series:
Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1930s-1990s (Box 1; 0.25 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1912-1992 (Boxes 1-3; 2.0 linear feet)
Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1930s-1992 (Box 3; 0.25 linear feet)
Series 4: Writings, 1921-1999 (Boxes 3-4; 1.25 linear feet)
Series 5: Artwork, 1920s-1980s (Boxes 4-8, 13-14; 4.3 linear feet)
Series 6: Printed Material, 1925-1999 (Boxes 8-10, 14; 2.3 linear feet)
Series 7: Photographs, 1910s-1990s (Boxes 10-12, 14; 2.5 linear feet)
Series 8: Audio Recording, 1982 (Box 12; 1 folder)
California painter, writer, and teacher Erle Loran was born on October 2, 1905 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He attended the Minneapolis School of Art and graduated in 1926. That same year, Loran won the Paris Prize from the Chaloner Foundation which enabled him to study in France for the next three years. Here, he immersed himself into the world of Paul Cezanne. He lived for two years in Cézanne's studio, meeting many who knew Cezanne, including painter Emile Bernard, and art dealer Ambroise Vollard. This experience was critical to the development of Loran's artistic vision and his later writings and lectures about Cézanne.
In 1929, Loran returned to the United States, and published the article "Cézanne's Country" in The Arts in 1930. He then spent the early 1930s in Minnesota, after returning to Minneapolis to be treated for tuberculosis. There, Loran began to paint in a regionalist style, producing landscapes and scenes of life in rural Minnesota. In 1931, Loran was given his first one-man show at the Kraushaar Gallery in New York. During the depression, Loran began teaching art and was given painting commissions as part of the federal arts programs of the WPA.
Loran moved to California in 1937 and accepted a position as professor in the art department at the University of California, Berkeley. There he taught until retiring in 1973, serving as the department's chair in the 1950s. He established a program to invite east coast artists to teach at the university, and participants included Conrad Marca-Relli and Milton Resnick. Loran's students included Jay DeFeo, Richard Diebenkorn, and Sam Francis. In 1941 Loran began to write the synthesis of his research and interpretations about Cézanne's work, culminating in his pioneering book Cézanne's Composition published in 1943 by the University of California Press.
During this period Loran associated himself with modernist Hans Hofmann. Loran's early paintings were lyrical abstractions in primary colors; however, his style constantly changed with the times. Watercolor was Loran's medium of choice because it lent itself to his often-remote plein air locations, such as the ghost towns of California and Nevada. With John Haley and Worth Ryder he formed the "Berkeley Group," whose paintings consisted of scenes of the California and southwestern landscape painted in flat, open areas of color. During the war, painting in the open became increasingly difficult and Loran transitioned from plein-air painting to studio work. Shortly thereafter he began to focus his painting on abstraction.
Loran's artwork during the 1950s consisted primarily of abstractions based on natural forms like crystal and driftwood. In 1955, he spent six weeks studying with Hans Hofmann, whom he later called, along with Cézanne, a second "great father figure." In 1960, he was instrumental in securing a gift of forty-five paintings by Hans Hofmann for Berkeley's University Art Center. In the late 1960s, his work became a fusing of Op, Pop, and Hard Edge. From this he moved to figurative painting and later to geometric designs and symbols.
Loran continued to paint throughout the rest of his life in a variety of styles, including nudes, abstractions, and landscapes. Besides being an artist and a teacher, Loran was also a lifelong collector of ethnic art who specialized in African, Asian, Native American, and pre-Columbian tribal art. Many works from his collection are presently housed at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Loran died in 1999 in Berkeley, at the age of 93.
Found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Erle Loran conducted by Herschel Chipp, June 18, 1981, and a 1981 interview with Erle and Clyta Loran in the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Interviews With Artists collection. Also found is a letter from Loran to Richard Wattenmaker, 1975.
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reel 906) including photographs of artwork by Erle Loran and two clippings of reproductions of Loran's artwork. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Erle Loran lent the Archives of American Art materials for microfilming and donated papers in 1975. In 1999 Mrs. Ruth Schora-Loran, Loran's widow, donated additional material, including artworks.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
The Erle Loran 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.