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David Novros papers

Creator:
Novros, David, 1941-  Search this
Names:
Bui, Phong, 1964-  Search this
Colpitt, Frances  Search this
Graham, Robert, 1938-  Search this
Hope, Charles  Search this
Humblet, Claudine, 1946-  Search this
Judd, Donald, 1928-  Search this
McEwen, Rory, 1932-  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Price, Kenneth, 1935-2012  Search this
Extent:
1 Linear Feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Poems
Transcripts
Interviews
Illustrated letters
Diaries
Date:
1963-2008
Summary:
The papers of abstract painter David Novros are dated 1963 to 2008, and measure 1.0 linear foot. Correspondence, records relating to the Liaunig Boat House commission (Middleburgh, NY), interview transcripts, printed material, and photographs document the painter's professional career.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of abstract painter David Novros are dated 1963 to 2008, and measure 1.0 linear foot. Correspondence, records relating to the Liaunig Boat House commission (Middleburgh, NY), interview transcripts, printed material, and photographs document the painter's professional career.

The vast majority of correspondence consists of incoming letters. The only reciprocal exchanges preserved are with art historian Charles Hope and the Menil Collection. Letters are from artists Rory McEwen, Paul Mogensen, and Ken Price; writers Frances Colpitt and Claudine Humblet; and from other colleagues and friends. The letters David Novros wrote to his family between 1963 and 1979 recount his travels and describe in some detail - many with accompanying illustrations and diagrams - work in progress, exhibitions, and commissions. Also preserved are copies of his letters to the Trustees of the Donald Judd Estate and Ranier Judd concerning the Marfa, Texas properties and projects, his Spring Street studio in New York City, and the Judd Foundation. Novros's letters to editors concern art-related articles that appeared in The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and other publications.

Peter Liaunig's commission for a boat house with three fresco paintings in Middleburgh, New York, is documented by correspondence, plans, and designs. The "Boat House Diary, Middleburgh, NY," kept by Novros August 10-15, 2003, describes the process of painting the frescoes with the assistance of Jason, and notes materials and techniques used.

Interview transcripts are of Phong Bui's conversation with David Novros, published June 2008 in The Brooklyn Rail, and an unpublished interview Novros conducted with sculptor Robert Graham in 2008.

Printed material about or mentioning David Novros consists of articles and reviews, exhibition announcements and posters. Items written by Novros are a review of Jackson Pollock and two poems.

Photographs are of David Novros with his family and friends. There are also views of the Novros family's home in Van Nuys, California, and Indian-painted rocks at Sears Point, Arizona that influenced Novros' art.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 5 series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1963-2008 (Boxes 1-2; 0.4 linear ft.)

Series 2: Liaunig Boat House, 1998-2004 (Box 2, OV3; 0.2 linear ft.)

Series 3: Interview Transcripts, 2008 (Box 2; 0.1 linear ft.)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1966-2008 (Box 2, OV 4; 0.2 linear ft.)

Series 5: Photographs, 1976-1999 (Box 2; 0.1 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
David Novros (1941-) is an abstract painter in New York, NY.

Abstract painter David Novros was born in Los Angeles in 1941 and lived with his family in Van Nuys, California. His father, Lester Novros, was an artist whose interest in movement eventually led him to the Walt Disney Company, where he worked on animation projects. In 1941 he established his own production company, Graphic Films, and began teaching in the Cinema Department of the University of Southern California. Both David and his brother Paul were enamored with film; David turned to painting, but Paul followed in their father's line of work and became an award-winning film producer.

David entered the University of Southern California and studied painting with James Jervaisee. He made a few student films and sometimes worked with his father, but before long he turned to painting. During the summer of 1961, Novros attended courses at Yale and met Chuck Close, Brice Marden, and Vija Celmins.

After earning a B.F.A. in 1963, Novros completed his Army Reserve obligations and travelled in Europe. He moved to New York City in 1964 and met many Minimalist artists. Over the next several years, Novros's rectangular paintings gave way to multi-panel paintings and then to shaped panels. From the late 1960s through the 1970s, Novros developed a reputation as a geometric abstractionist. He showed at Park Place Gallery and had a solo exhibition at Virginia Dwan Gallery (Los Angeles) in 1966; the next year, his work was again presented at Park Place Gallery and at the Virginia Dwan Gallery (New York). Several solo exhibitions followed at Klaus Kertess's influential Bykert Gallery, as well as at other venues.

Novros participated in important exhibitions of abstraction, among them "Systemic Painting" (Guggenheim Museum, 1966), "Color and Structure" (Whitney Museum of American Art, 1971), and "Abstract-Geometry-Painting: Selected Geometric Abstract Painting in America since 1945" (Albright-Knox Gallery, 1989). In 1970, he was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.

In the 1970s, Novros turned to fresco painting, and his eventual decision to focus on murals effectively removed him from the commercial gallery scene. One of his earliest commissions was a fresco painted in 1970 for the second floor of Donald Judd's studio/home. Other commissions include: Solar Triptych, a radial triptych that opens and closes throughout the day, for the lobby of Union Station, Newark, NJ (1984); a fresco in the Old Court House, Miami (1984); a painted-glass and copper fresco in the Gross Building, Winslow, Arizona (1994-1996); and the Liaunig Boat House with fresco paintings, Middleburgh, NY (1996-2003). A number of museums in the United States and Europe include Novros's work in their permanent collections, among them: Menil Collection, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum Liaunig (Austria), and Daimler contemporary (Berlin).

Mr. Novros lives and works in New York City.
Related Material:
An oral history interview with David Novros was conducted by Michael Brennan for the Archives of American Art in 2008.
Provenance:
Gift of David Novros, 2009
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The David Novros 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 -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting -- Technique  Search this
Genre/Form:
Poems
Transcripts
Interviews
Illustrated letters
Diaries
Citation:
David Novros papers, 1963-2008. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.novrdavi
See more items in:
David Novros papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-novrdavi
Additional Online Media:

Leon Polk Smith papers

Creator:
Smith, Leon Polk, 1906-1996  Search this
Names:
Brooklyn Museum  Search this
Butler Institute of American Art  Search this
East Central Oklahoma State University  Search this
Galerie Denise René  Search this
Meyers/Bloom Gallery  Search this
Washburn Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Wilhelm-Hack-Museum  Search this
Buck, Robert T.  Search this
Danto, Arthur Coleman, 1924-  Search this
Galloway, David D.  Search this
Gego  Search this
Humblet, Claudine, 1946-  Search this
Jamieson, Robert  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-  Search this
Extent:
7.2 Linear Feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Transcripts
Video recordings
Scrapbooks
Essays
Interviews
Date:
1938-1997
Summary:
The papers of New York abstract painter Leon Polk Smith measure 7.2 linear feet and date from 1938 to 1997. The papers consist of biographical material, business and personal correspondence, interview transcripts and an interview video recording, writings, financial records for the corporate entity Leon Polk Smith, Inc., printed material, photographic material, and a scrapbook of newspaper clippings.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of New York abstract painter Leon Polk Smith measure 7.2 linear feet and date from 1938 to 1997. The papers consist of biographical material, business and personal correspondence, interview transcripts and an interview video recording, writings, financial records for the corporate entity Leon Polk Smith, Inc., printed material, photographic material, and a scrapbook of newspaper clippings.

Biographical material includes official affidavits, certificates, passports, expense receipts, and a travel expense notebook. A curriculum vitae, family history, and medical records are also included in the series.

Correspondence, both business and personal, comprises the bulk of the collection. This includes correspondence between Smith and his life companion, Robert Jamieson; art critics Arthur C. Danto, Claudine Humblet, and David Galloway; and artists Gego (Gertrude Goldschmidt) and Ray Johnson. Business correspondence relates to Smith's various gallery and museum exhibitions, loans, and sales. There is extensive correspondence between Smith and the Brooklyn Museum, Butler Institute of American Art, Di Laurenti Gallery, Edition and Galerie Hoffmann, Galerie Denise Rene, Meyers/Bloom Gallery, Washburn Gallery, and the Wilhelm-Hack Museum. The business subseries also includes correspondence between Smith and his alma mater, East Central University, formerly known as Oklahoma State University.

Interviews consist of six typewritten transcripts of interviews conducted with Smith over the course of his professional career from 1950 to 1993, a 1995 video interview of museum director Robert T. Buck discussing the Brooklyn Museum's exhibition of Leon Polk Smith for the television program National Arts, and a 1965 interview transcript with gallery owner Lucile Horsley.

Writings include sixteen published and unpublished scholarly essays on Smith and his work. The series also includes notes and a brief artist's statement by Smith regarding the pros and cons of modern art galleries.

Financial records are 1978-1989 federal income tax filings and routine tax preparation and payment receipts for the corporate entity Leon Polk Smith, Inc. Smith's personal filing records from 1987-1989 are also included in this series.

Printed material consists of two books, including the Brooklyn Museum's monograph Leon Polk Smith: American Painter, newspaper clippings reviewing Smith's work, and exhibition announcements and catalogs of Smith's museum and gallery shows from 1941 to 1997.

A scrapbook contains newspaper clippings documenting Smith's years as an educator and artist in Oklahoma in the 1930s and 1940s.

Photographs are of Smith and his acquaintances circa 1930-1960, and a representative selection of photographs and color slides of Smith's artwork from 1939 to 1960.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged as 8 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1938-1994 (Box 1, OV 10; 11 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1939-1997 (Boxes 1-5, 9, OV 10; 5 linear feet)

Series 3: Interviews, 1950-1995 (Boxes 5-6; 8 folders)

Series 4: Writings, 1963-1996 (Box 6; 13 folders)

Series 5: Financial Records, 1979-1990 (Box 6; 15 folders)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1941-1997 (Boxes 6-7, 9; .5 linear feet)

Series 7: Scrapbook, 1930-1940 (Box 8; 1 folder)

Series 8: Photographic Material, 1930-1990 (Box 8; 8 folders)
Biographical/Historical note:
Leon Polk Smith (1906-1996) worked primarily in New York City as a painter, educator, and lecturer. He is considered one of the founders of the hard edge style of minimalist abstract art.

Smith was born in Chickasha, Indian Territory one year before its formal incorporation into the Oklahoma Territory. Both of his parents were of Cherokee ancestry and he was raised in a small farming community that included Cherokee and Choctaw Indians. After receiving his teaching degree in 1934, Smith worked as an educator in rural Oklahoma communities and, at the same time, took the opportunity to introduce arts programs to local schools. In 1936, he enrolled in Columbia University's Teachers College to pursue a graduate degree in arts education and began painting full time. That summer, he visited the Albert E. Gallatin Gallery of Living Art at New York University, where he was first introduced to the work of the European modernists Constantin Brancusi, Jean Arp, and most importantly, Piet Mondrian.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Smith accepted university teaching positions at Rollins College in Florida, and New York University and Mills College of Education in New York. During this time, Smith moved beyond his early explorations of neo-plasticism and began to paint in a more hard edge style, typified by geometric lines, curving shapes of color, and the use of tondo (disk shaped) canvases. In 1958, Betty Parson's Section Eleven Gallery showcased his new work in two one-man exhibitions, which introduced him to a wider audience of museum curators and art collectors. In the 1960s, Smith's work was included in two of his most important group exhibitions, The Responsive Eye at the Museum of Modern Art (1965) and Systemic Painting at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1966). In 1995, the Brooklyn Museum curated Leon Polk Smith: American Painter, a retrospective exhibition of Smith's career.

Smith produced works exploring shapes and lines, minimalist use of color, and modularity well into the 1990s and exhibited at a number of affiliated galleries, including the Stable Gallery, Galerie Chalette, Galerie Denise Rene, Washburn Gallery, and ACA Galleries. Smith died in 1996 in his home in Manhattan, at the age of 91.
Provenance:
The papers of Leon Polk Smith were donated by the artist's partner, Robert Jamieson, in 1998 and 2002.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Leon Polk Smith 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 -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting, Abstract -- United States  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Transcripts
Video recordings
Scrapbooks
Essays
Interviews
Citation:
Leon Polk Smith papers, 1938-1997. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.smitleon
See more items in:
Leon Polk Smith papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-smitleon
Additional Online Media:

La nouvelle abstraction américaine, 1950-1970 / Claudine Humblet

Author:
Humblet, Claudine 1946-  Search this
Physical description:
3 v. (viii, 2069 p.) : col. ill., ports. ; 29 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
2003
C2003
20th century
Topic:
Art, Abstract  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_726598

The new American abstraction, 1950-1970 / Claudine Humblet ; [translations, Paul Metcalfe and Felicity Lutz, from French into English]

Author:
Humblet, Claudine 1946-  Search this
Physical description:
3 v. (viii, 2,072 p.) : ill. (mostly col.), ports. ; 29 cm
Type:
Biography
Place:
United States
Date:
2007
20th century
Topic:
Art, Abstract  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Artists--History and criticism  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_928167

L'art minimal, ou une aventure structurelle aux multiples visages / Claudine Humblet

Title:
Aventure structurelle aux multiples visages
Author:
Humblet, Claudine 1946-  Search this
Physical description:
440 p. : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 29 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
2008
C2008
20th century
Topic:
Minimal art  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Call number:
N6494.M5 H86 2008
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_959154

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