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Nicholas Wilder Gallery records

Creator:
Nicholas Wilder Gallery  Search this
Names:
James Corcoran Gallery  Search this
Altoon, John, 1925-  Search this
Avedisian, Edward, 1936-2007  Search this
Bengston, Billy Al  Search this
Davis, Ron, 1937-  Search this
Francis, Sam, 1923-  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Goode, Joe, 1937-  Search this
Graham, Robert, 1938-  Search this
Hockney, David  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Holland, Tom, 1936-  Search this
Martin, Agnes, 1912-2004  Search this
McCracken, John, 1934-2011  Search this
Moses, Ed, 1926-  Search this
Nauman, Bruce, 1941-  Search this
Noland, Kenneth, 1924-  Search this
Olitski, Jules, 1922-  Search this
Price, Kenneth, 1935-2012  Search this
Twombly, Cy, 1928-  Search this
Wilder, Nicholas  Search this
Yokomi, Richard  Search this
Extent:
2.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1944-1984
bulk 1968-1979
Summary:
The records of the Nicholas Wilder Gallery of Los Angeles measure 2.4 linear feet and date from 1944 through 1984, with the bulk of materials dating from 1968-1979. Scattered documentation of the contemporary art gallery's fourteen years of operation include artists' inventory cards, photographic transparencies, letters and correspondence, invitations, notes, business and financial documents, and printed materials.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of the Nicholas Wilder Gallery of Los Angeles measure 2.4 linear feet and date from 1944 through 1984, with the bulk of materials dating from 1968 to 1979. Scattered documentation of the contemporary art gallery's fourteen years of operation include artists' inventory cards (the bulk of the collection), photographic transparencies, letters and correspondence, invitations, notes, business and financial documents, and printed materials.

The majority of records date from the period after the gallery moved to La Cienega Boulevard to Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. Very few records pertaining to specific exhibitions or openings are included in this collection. However, there is one exhibition catalog and scattered gallery invitations which were used as scrap paper. Other materials include business records that contain financial materials and notes. Printed Materials contain popular newspapers and magazines that reflect Wilder's interests, invitations to other galleries, auction catalogs, and business cards. Correspondence includes scattered gallery correspondence, Wilder's personal correspondence and documents, and holiday cards.

The bulk of the collection consists of artist files which include inventory cards and transparencies of works of art. Information on the inventory cards and transparencies may specify: date of creation, date of accession, potential collectors, purchase records, and titles. Notable artists include: Joe Goode, Tom Holland, Robert Graham, Billy Al Bengston, Cy Twombly, Ken Price, Ed Moses, Ron Davis, John McCracken, Kenneth Noland, Helen Frankenthaler, Jules Olitski, Agnes Martin, Edward Avedisian, John Altoon, Richard Yokomi, Sam Francis, Bruce Nauman, Hans Hofmann, and David Hockney. The majority of inventory cards reflect business at the gallery in the mid-late 1970s.

Financial records originating from the James Corcoran Gallery are included in this collection. The relationship between the two establishments is unclear although it seems that the James Corcoran Gallery moved into the space previously occupied by the Nicholas Wilder Gallery.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into four series:

Series 1: Business Records, 1968-1978, 1980-1984, circa 1970s (Box 1; 5 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1974-1981, circa 1970s (Box 1; 4 folders)

Series 3: Printed Material, 1976-1980, circa 1970s (Box 1; 9 folders)

Series 4: Artist Files, 1944-1984, circa 1960s-1970s (Box 1-3; 2 linear feet)
Historical Note:
In April 1965, Nicholas Wilder (1937-1989) founded his contemporary art gallery at 814 North La Cienega Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. His interest in art started at Amherst College where he worked for the art department as a slide technician. While in graduate school at Stanford University, he worked at the Lanyon Gallery in Palo Alto, California. An initial offer of financial backing to open a gallery inspired a move to Los Angeles. Although that offer fell through, Wilder remained determined. In late 1964, Wilder sold shares of his future gallery to friends in order to secure funds. He bought the shares back shortly after opening.

The Nicholas Wilder Gallery's first show featured Edward Avedisian. The gallery expanded and featured artists from New York and California, including: Joe Goode, John McCracken, Kenneth Noland, Helen Frankenthaler, Jules Olitski, Cy Twombly, Ed Moses, Ken Price, Agnes Martin, John Altoon, Sam Francis, Billy Al Bengston, and Hans Hofmann. The gallery helped start the careers of American artists such as Robert Graham, Tom Holland, Ron Davis, and Bruce Nauman. In 1970, the gallery moved to 8225 ½ Santa Monica Boulevard. Through its fourteen years of operation, the gallery held a new show every month. Wilder's openings represented a large source of pride and he ensured that every opening reception included a stocked bar for his clients.

Initially, the gallery succeeded through Wilder's talents and passion for art. At its peak, the Nicholas Wilder Gallery sold two million dollars worth of art per year. However, in the mid-1970s a change in attitude within the art world affected sales. According to Wilder, many artists no longer painted for expression but as a viable business venture. Furthermore, he claimed that buyers would not risk collecting works from a younger or less well-known artist. In addition to these factors, Wilder attributed the decline of his gallery to his extravagance and lack of business sensibilities. Eventually, the gallery faced financial problems and Wilder recognized the need to leave the business.

The Nicholas Wilder Gallery closed on December 31, 1979. Wilder informed his employees that he would close a year in advance and ensured that all of his artists found a new gallery for representation. He moved to New York after leaving his gallery and became an artist. Nicholas Wilder passed away in 1989 from AIDS-related causes.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Nicholas Wilder conducted by Ruth Bowman on July 18, 1988.

Nicholas Wilder Gallery records, 1927-1980, are also located at the Getty Research Institute.
Provenance:
The Nicholas Wilder Gallery records were donated to the Archives of American Art in 1998 by Matthew Curtis Klebaum, a friend of Wilder's and a former employee of the James Corcoran Gallery.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Nicholas Wilder Gallery records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Art galleries, Commercial -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Art dealers -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Artists -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Citation:
Nicholas Wilder Gallery records, 1944-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.nichwild
See more items in:
Nicholas Wilder Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-nichwild
Additional Online Media:

Financial Material -- James Corcoran Gallery

Collection Creator:
Nicholas Wilder Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1980-1984
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Nicholas Wilder 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.
Collection Citation:
Nicholas Wilder Gallery records, 1944-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Nicholas Wilder Gallery records
Nicholas Wilder Gallery records / Series 1: Business Records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nichwild-ref15

Nicholas Wilder Gallery records, 1944-1984, (bulk 1968-1979)

Creator:
Nicholas Wilder Gallery  Search this
Subject:
Wilder, Nicholas  Search this
Davis, Ronald  Search this
Goode, Joe  Search this
Altoon, John  Search this
Nauman, Bruce  Search this
Graham, Robert  Search this
Price, Kenneth Martin  Search this
Francis, Sam  Search this
Olitski, Jules  Search this
Holland, Tom  Search this
Hofmann, Hans  Search this
Twombly, Cy  Search this
Hockney, David  Search this
Noland, Kenneth  Search this
McCracken, John  Search this
Yokomi, Richard  Search this
Moses, Ed  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen  Search this
Avedisian, Edward  Search this
Bengston, Billy Al  Search this
Martin, Agnes Bernice  Search this
James Corcoran Gallery  Search this
Topic:
Art dealers  Search this
Artists  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6190
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216434
AAA_collcode_nichwild
Theme:
The Art Market
Art Gallery Records
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_216434
Additional Online Media:

Perls Galleries records, 1937-1997

Creator:
Perls Galleries  Search this
Subject:
Miró, Joan  Search this
Picasso, Pablo  Search this
Dudensing, F. Valentine  Search this
Streisand, Barbra  Search this
Calder, Alexander  Search this
Priebe, Karl J.  Search this
Canaday, John Edwin  Search this
Luce, Claire  Search this
Ford, Henry  Search this
Hitchcock, Alfred  Search this
Garbo, Greta  Search this
Cafritz, Gwendolyn  Search this
de Menil, Adelaide  Search this
Cafritz, Morris  Search this
Luce, Henry  Search this
Austin, Darrel  Search this
Perls, Klaus G.  Search this
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Pierre Matisse Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
National Gallery of Art (U.S.)  Search this
James Corcoran Gallery  Search this
Fujikawa Gallery  Search this
Galerie Maeght  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Drawings
Illustrated letters
Topic:
Art, Modern  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6120
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216333
AAA_collcode_perlgall
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_216333
Additional Online Media:

Billy Al Bengston papers, circa 1940s-1989, (bulk 1968-1988)

Creator:
Bengston, Billy Al, 1934-  Search this
Subject:
Chamberlain, John Angus  Search this
Ruscha, Edward  Search this
Andre, Carl  Search this
Motherwell, Robert Burns  Search this
Alexander, Peter  Search this
Goode, Joe  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy  Search this
Altoon, John  Search this
Flavin, Dan  Search this
Diebenkorn, Richard  Search this
Plagens, Peter  Search this
Martha Jackson Gallery  Search this
Ferus Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
James Corcoran Gallery  Search this
John Berggruen Gallery (San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Photographs
Works of art
Topic:
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Painters  Search this
Art  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10220
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213296
AAA_collcode_bengbill
Theme:
The Art Market
Lives of American Artists
Audio - Visual
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_213296
Additional Online Media:

Perls Galleries records

Creator:
Perls Galleries  Search this
Names:
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Fujikawa Gallery  Search this
Galerie Maeght  Search this
James Corcoran Gallery  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
National Gallery of Art (U.S.)  Search this
Pierre Matisse Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
Austin, Darrel, 1907-  Search this
Cafritz, Gwendolyn  Search this
Cafritz, Morris, 1886?-1964  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Canaday, John, 1907-1985  Search this
De Menil, Adelaide  Search this
Dudensing, F. Valentine, 1892-1967  Search this
Ford, Henry, 1917-1987  Search this
Garbo, Greta, 1905-1990  Search this
Hitchcock, Alfred, 1899-  Search this
Luce, Claire  Search this
Luce, Henry, III, 1925-2005  Search this
Miró, Joan, 1893-  Search this
Perls, Klaus  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Priebe, Karl J., 1914-1976  Search this
Streisand, Barbra  Search this
Extent:
79.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Illustrated letters
Drawings
Photographs
Date:
1937-1997
Summary:
The records of the Perls Galleries measure 79.6 linear feet and date from 1937 to 1997. Founded by Klaus Perls in 1937 and operating until 1997, the gallery dealt primarily in modern French art and the artwork of Alexander Calder. Found within the records are extensive correspondence (circa 44 linear feet) with artists, dealers, galleries, museums, and collectors; photographs and negatives of inventory and other artwork; exhibition files, scattered financial records; and exhibition catalogs and clippings.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of the Perls Galleries measure 79.6 linear feet and date from 1937 to 1997. Founded by Klaus Perls in 1937 and operating until 1997, the gallery dealt primarily in modern French art and the artwork of Alexander Calder. Found within the records are extensive correspondence (circa 44 linear feet) with artists, dealers, galleries, museums, and collectors; photographs and negatives of inventory and other artwork; exhibition files, scattered financial records; and exhibition catalogs and clippings.

Correspondence primarily discusses sales (and includes invoices), loans, and exhibitions, as well as more routine activities such as gallery maintenance, the printing of exhibition catalogs and letterhead, and the shipment, framing, or restoration of artwork. Many letters enclose photographs, negatives, or slides of artwork, and clippings. A few letters contain oversize architectural or engineering drawings, and a small handful of letters are illustrated.

Correspondents include artists such as Darrell Austin, Joan Mir, Pablo Picasso, and Karl Priebe; galleries such as the Corcoran Gallery, Fujikawa Galleries, Galerie Maeght, and the Pierre Matisse Gallery; museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, and the Whitney Museum of Modern Art; collectors such as Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz, Adelaide de Mnil, Valentine Dudensing, and Henry Ford, II; and celebrity clients such as Greta Garbo, Alfred Hitchcock, Henry and Clare Booth Luce, and Barbra Streisand.

The records contain nearly thirty-two linear feet of photographs and negatives. Photographs are of artists and the inventory of the gallery's artwork. Additional photographs represent artwork either by artists not represented by the gallery or not included in the gallery's inventory. Most of the photographs are black and white. Over fifteen linear feet of negatives are of gallery stock. Photographs are also found in the exhibition files.

There is a relatively small amount of records relating to exhibitions, loans, and sales. Found are exhibition lists, schedules, invitations and announcements, photographs of exhibition installations, press releases, and records of loans to other institutions and galleries. Sales records include artist lists, inventory lists, invoices, pick up and delivery receipts, and price lists.

Printed materials include a large number of clippings and an incomplete run of catalogs from Perls Galleries exhibitions between 1939 and 1980.

The collection also includes ten original pencil drawings from John Canaday's series entitled My Beautiful Girls and a reproduction of eight drawings from the same series
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1937-1995 (Boxes 1-44, OV 81-83; 43.6 linear feet)

Series 2: Negatives, circa 1937-1995 (Boxes 44-59; 15.7 linear feet)

Series 3: Photographs, circa 1937-1995 (Boxes 60-75, OV 84; 16.1 linear feet)

Series 4: Exhibition, Loan, and Sales Records, 1937-1995 (Boxes 76-78; 2.1 linear feet)

Series 5: Clippings Files, 1943-1989 (Box 78; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Exhibition Catalogs, 1939-1980 (Boxes 78-79; 1.4 linear feet)

Series 7: Drawings by John Canaday, circa 1967-1972 (Box 80; 0.3 linear feet)
Historical Note:
Klaus Perls (b. 1912, d. 2008) formally opened Perls Galleries in New York in 1937, and ran it with his wife Amelia until its closing in 1997. The gallery dealt in contemporary French artists of the School of Paris, such as Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso, but also acted as the primary representative of Alexander Calder beginning in 1954. In the 1970s Mr. Perls developed an interest in art from Benin and built an important collection of African sculpture, some of which was later donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Amelia Perls died in 2002, and Klaus Perls died in 2008.

Klaus Perls was born in 1912 in Berlin in a house Mies van der Rohe designed for his parents, who owned an art gallery specializing in Impressionists, post-Impressionists, Old Master paintings, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and African sculpture. Perls studied Art History in Hamburg and Munich but completed his PhD in Basel, Switzerland in 1933 after the Nazi government stopped awarding degrees to Jews. His dissertation covered the complete works of 15th-century French painter Jean Fouquet.

Before moving to New York in 1935, Perls worked for his mother, Kaethe Perls, in her Paris gallery that she opened in 1932 after splitting up with Klaus' father Hugo. He spent his first two years in New York selling paintings through other art dealers, primarily paintings shipped or recommended to him by his mother from Paris that were not selling well in the Depression-era French art market. These were primarily the work of Maurice Utrillo, Marie Laurencin, Raoul Dufy and Maurice de Vlaminck. In 1937 he formally established his own gallery, the Perls Galleries, on East 58th Street and continued to specialize in French and European contemporary art. Around the same time, his older brother Frank opened a gallery in Beverly Hills, California.

Klaus Perls was familiar with other New York dealers specializing in modern European art such as Valentine Dudensing and Pierre Matisse, but he tried to distinguish himself by catering to young collectors. When the war restricted the international art trade and his mother was forced to flee France during the Occupation, Perls began dealing in contemporary American artists such as Darrel Austin and Karl Priebe.

Perls married Amelia Blumenthal, fondly known as "Dolly," in 1940, and she became his business partner.

After the war, the international art market exploded, and the Perls made frequent buying trips to Europe. The Perls Galleries continued to sell primarily contemporary French art and gained an early reputation as a staunch defender of modern art by European artists such as Picasso, Modigliani, Braque, Lger, Soutine and Pascin. Perls prepared catalogues raisonns on Soutine and Pascin.

Klaus Perls was one of the founding members of the Art Dealer's Association, whose initial mission was to clean up the reputation of the art market following a series scandals involving fake antiquities that flourished in the 1960's. Perls was the Association's second president, after Pierre Matisse.

In 1954 Perls Galleries moved to 1016 Madison Avenue, a building that served as both gallery and home for the Perls. The same year Perls became Alexander Calder's dealer after the death of Calder's previous dealer, Curt Valentin. Perls explained his inclusion of Calder, a rare American among his stable of European artists, by saying that Calder's roots lay in France and that Calder bridged Europe and America the way Perls felt he did himself. In 1970, Calder designed the terrazzo sidewalk in front of the gallery and often resided in the Perls' home during long visits to New York City. Perls Galleries later handled Calder's estate and functioned as a quasi-archives of Calder's works, holding more than 7,000 negatives depicting Calder's art and preparing a Calder catalogue raisonn.

Klaus was named as a third-party defendant in the 1969 World War II looted art case Menzel v. List. When Erna Menzel sued Albert List for ownership of a Chagall painting confiscated from Menzel by the Nazis, List in turn sued Perls, who had sold him the painting in 1955, having purchased it himself from a Paris art dealer. The court awarded the Chagall painting to Menzel and ordered Perls to pay List the appreciated value of the painting.

Perls began building an important collection of African artwork and fell in love with art from Benin in the 1970's. In 1991 he donated more than 150 pieces of royal art from Benin to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Perls closed their gallery in 1997; Amelia Perls died in 2002, and Klaus Perls died in 2008.
Related Material:
Among the resources relating to the Perls Galleries in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Klaus Perls done by Mona Hadler on January 19, 1993.
Provenance:
The records were donated in 1997 by Douglas Mayhew, associate and legal representive of Klaus G. and Amelia B. Perls.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Perls Galleries records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Art, Modern  Search this
Genre/Form:
Illustrated letters
Drawings
Photographs
Citation:
Perls Galleries records, 1937-1997. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.perlgall
See more items in:
Perls Galleries records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-perlgall
Additional Online Media:

James Corcoran Gallery

Collection Creator:
Stella, Frank  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 34
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1988
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Frank Stella 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.
Collection Citation:
Frank Stella papers, 1941-1993, bulk 1978-1989. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Frank Stella papers
Frank Stella papers / Series 1: Correspondence / 1.2: Dealers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-stelfran-ref72

McLaughlin, John: Selected Paintings, James Corcoran Gallery, 1982 January 29-February 27

Collection Creator:
André Emmerich Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 223, Folder 14
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1982
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Access of diaries required written permission.
Collection Rights:
The André Emmerich Gallery records and André Emmerich 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.
Collection Citation:
André Emmerich Gallery records and André Emmerich papers, circa 1929-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
André Emmerich Gallery records
André Emmerich Gallery records / Series 16: Photographic Materials / 16.3: Installations
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-andremmg-ref7792

James Corcoran Gallery

Collection Creator:
Penney, Charles Rand, 1923-2010  Search this
Container:
Box 18, Folder 51
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1989
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Collection Rights:
The Charles Rand Penney 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.
Collection Citation:
Charles Rand Penney Papers, 1923-1994, bulk 1945-1994. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Charles Rand Penney papers
Charles Rand Penney papers / Series 1: Art Collection Files / Pepper, Beverly
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-pennchar-ref925

Corcoran, James (James Corcoran Gallery)

Collection Creator:
Leo Castelli Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 7, Folder 56
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1974-1978, 1990-1997
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original records requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Leo Castelli 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.
Collection Citation:
Leo Castelli Gallery records, circa 1880-2000, bulk 1957-1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Leo Castelli Gallery records
Leo Castelli Gallery records / Series 1: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-leocast-ref8403

Ed Moses papers, 1954-1980

Creator:
Moses, Ed, 1926-  Search this
Topic:
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Art museums  Search this
Art teachers  Search this
Painters  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)8019
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)210189
AAA_collcode_moseed
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_210189

Business Records

Collection Creator:
Nicholas Wilder Gallery  Search this
Extent:
(Box 1; 5 folders)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1968-1978, 1980-1984, circa 1970s
Scope and Contents note:
This series includes financial materials, lists of works of art and notes and memoranda. Although these materials are scattered, one may find information concerning the financial problems facing the gallery in the late 1970s. Financial documents from the James Corcoran Gallery are included although they post-date the Nicholas Wilder Gallery. Many documents from the James Corcoran Gallery still refer to that of Wilder. Also found are receipts and bills from various vendors and businesses. Notes and Memoranda folders include phone messages, hand-written notes, and unidentified sketches which probably represent gallery plans. One folder of notes are found on the backs of invitations to openings at the Nicholas Wilder Gallery.
Arrangement note:
Materials are arranged by date with undated materials at the end.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Nicholas Wilder 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.
Collection Citation:
Nicholas Wilder Gallery records, 1944-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.nichwild, Series 1
See more items in:
Nicholas Wilder Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nichwild-ref13

Billy Al Bengston papers

Creator:
Bengston, Billy Al  Search this
Names:
Ferus Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
James Corcoran Gallery  Search this
John Berggruen Gallery (San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Martha Jackson Gallery  Search this
Alexander, Peter, 1939-  Search this
Altoon, John, 1925-  Search this
Andre, Carl, 1935-  Search this
Chamberlain, John, 1927-2011  Search this
Diebenkorn, Richard, 1922-1993  Search this
Flavin, Dan, 1933-  Search this
Goode, Joe, 1937-  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-1997  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Plagens, Peter  Search this
Ruscha, Edward  Search this
Extent:
10.4 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Interviews
Photographs
Date:
circa 1940s-1989
bulk 1960-1988
Summary:
The papers of southern California Pop artist Billy Al Bengston measure 10.4 linear feet and date from circa 1940s to 1989, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1960 to 1988. The collection documents the life and work of the artist through biographical materials, correspondence, personal business records, gallery and museum files, teaching files, project and commission files, scattered artwork, printed materials, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Billy Al Bengston measure 10.4 linear feet and date from circa 1940s to 1989, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1960 to 1988. The collection documents the life and work of the southern California artist through biographical materials, correspondence, personal business records, gallery and museum files, teaching files, project and commission files, scattered artwork, printed materials, and photographs.

Found within the biographical materials series are three feet of calendars which extensively document Bengston's personal and professional activities for fourteen years, and include ephemera related to these activities. This series also includes health records, wills, and passports.

Correspondence is with galleries, museums, universities, businesses, friends, and colleagues, and primarily concerns exhibitions, sales, consignments, commissions, and Bengston's personal finances. Bengston's relationship with the James Corcoran Gallery, Janie C. Lee Gallery, John Berggruen Gallery, Martha Jackson Gallery, and Texas Gallery are well-documented here, as well as in the Museum and Gallery Files series. Also found is a limited amount of personal correspondence with collectors, researchers, and friends. A few letters from other artists, including Peter Plagens and a letter from Richard Diebenkorn are interfiled here.

Bengston's professional relationships with galleries, museums, and universities are well-documented in the gallery and museum files, including the galleries mentioned above, Ferus Gallery, and others. Lists of consignments and prices, invoices, records of sales, loan agreement forms, shipping receipts, exhibition checklists, and exhibition floor plans provide information about sales, exhibitions, and loans. A few files provide further information about Bengston teaching activities. His personal business records include art sales records, price lists, lists of purchases, records of investment, and personal finance records. Project files include correspondence, notes, and printed materials related to Bengston's commissions for artwork and personal projects, including a book he worked on with Ed Ruscha, Business Cards.

Writings by Bengston include responses to exhibitions of West Coast art and his thoughts on his career, art, the artistic community, motorcycles, as well as a recollection of John Altoon. Also found are questionnaires sent out by Bengston for an art survey, with responses from Peter Alexander, Carl Andre, John Chamberlain, Dan Flavin, Joe Goode, Robert Graham, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Motherwell, Ed Ruscha, and others. Writings by others consist primarily of exhibition catalog essays, manuscripts of interviews with Bengston, and other writings about Bengston. Also found is an essay by Walter Hopps. Photographs of Bengston include a family picture from the 1940s, Bengston at work on projects in Los Angeles and Syracuse, New York, and Bengston at social events. Other photographs consist of pictures of friends and artists, Bengston's artwork, documentary evidence of damaged artwork, and of commission sites.

Printed materials from the 1960s - 1980s include clippings, full articles, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and posters. They document exhibitions, art in southern California, and society and art events. The collection houses limited amounts of artwork including sketches, cut-outs, doodles and drawings.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 10 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1958-1987 (Boxes 1-4, 11; 3.7 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1966-1989 (Boxes 4-6; 1.75 linear feet)

Series 3: Gallery and Museum Files, 1961-1989 (Boxes 6-7; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Teaching Records, 1968-1982 (Box 7; 7 folders)

Series 5: Personal Business Records, circa 1960-1987 (Boxes 7-8; 1.0 linear foot)

Series 6: Project Files, 1968-1987 (Boxes 8-9; 0.25 linear feet)

Series 7: Writings, 1967-circa 1988 (Box 9, OV 1; 0.25 linear feet)

Series 8: Artwork, 1960s-1987 (Box 9; 7 folders)

Series 9: Printed Materials, 1958-1988 (Boxes 9-10, OV 1-2; 1.25 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographs, circa 1940s-1987 (Box 10; 0.5 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Billy Al Bengston was born in Dodge City, Kansas on June 7, 1934. After moving back and forth from Kansas to California multiple times, he and his family settled in Los Angeles in 1948. While attending the Manual Arts High School, Bengston became interested in art, especially ceramics. After a brief stint at Los Angeles Junior College, Bengston worked as a beach attendant at Doheny State Beach. While working there he met fellow surfer and future ceramicist Kenneth Price, who became one of Bengston's closest friends. In 1953, he reenrolled in Los Angeles Junior College to study ceramics. For the next four years he attended both the California College of Arts and Crafts and the Los Angeles County Art Institute (now the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design). At these institutions he studied with Richard Diebenkorn, Sabro Hasegawa, Nathan Oliveira, and Peter Voulkos.

Around 1957, Bengston shifted his emphasis from ceramics to painting, and became affiliated with the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, founded that same year by Edward Kienholz and Walter Hopps. Bengston's first solo exhibition was held at the Ferus Gallery in 1958, and a second followed in 1960. At this time Bengston began to work with Pop icons combined with Color Field abstractions. His early bold paintings often featured symmetrical strong color compositions with a central image of a valentine, star, cross, chevron, or iris. The irises he called "draculas," after Kenneth Price remarked that they resembled Dracula flying through a window. He first showed his chevron paintings in 1962 at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York. In the early 1960s, Bengston extended his imagery to the California subculture and created paintings of leisure time activities, focusing on motorcycles, racing, and scuba diving - his own interests as well.

Throughout his career, Bengston experimented with technique and materials. He experimented with automobile lacquer and spray painting techniques associated with car customization. He also used non-traditional surfaces, such as masonite and aluminum. In 1965, Bengston began creating paintings on sheets of aluminum into which he hammered dents and sometimes bent and buckled; these subsequently came to be known as "dentos." Along with painting, Bengston has also created watercolors, ceramics, and furniture. He was also one of the artists selected by Carol and Roy Doumani to design their home.

Bengston first visited Hawaii in 1974, and after several subsequent trips, established a second studio there in 1979. The work Bengston created in the following years was characterized by the use of tropical colors and representational images of running figures, airplanes, and the moon. In 1988, the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston organized a retrospective entitled "Billy Al Bengston: Paintings of Three Decades," which traveled to the Oakland Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Contemporary Museum of Art, Honolulu. Bengston also completed several years as an art instructor and lecturer at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and The University of California at Los Angeles. Bengston continues to create and exhibit new work.
Related Material:
Found in the Archives of American Art are oral history interviews with Bengston conducted by Susan Larsen, September 9, 1980, and Susan Ford Morgan, August 2-October 7, 2002. Also found are portraits of Bengston in the Photographs of artists taken by Mimi Jacobs collection, and a rare copy of the book Business Cards by Bengston and Ed Ruscha in the Wallace Berman papers.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art by Billy Al Bengston in 1990.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Billy Al Bengston 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:
Works of art  Search this
Painters -- California  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Photographs
Citation:
Billy Al Bengston papers, circa 1940s-1989 (bulk 1960-1988). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.bengbill
See more items in:
Billy Al Bengston papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bengbill

Lender: James Corcoran Gallery

Collection Creator::
National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Container:
Box 10 of 29
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Boxes 16-22 contain materials restricted indefinitely; see finding aid. Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 458, National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture, Records
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0458-refidd1e6765

James Corcoran Gallery [Folder]

Additional name:
Corcoran Gallery  Search this
Contents:
Folder(s) may include exhibition announcements, newspaper and/or magazine clippings, press releases, brochures, reviews, invitations, illustrations, resumes, artist's statements, exhibition catalogs.
Place:
(Calif.)
Topic:
Art Organizations  Search this
Location:
Art & Artist files at the Smithsonian American Art Museum/ National Portrait Gallery Library
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILAF_97632

Gallery and Museum Files

Collection Creator:
Bengston, Billy Al  Search this
Extent:
1.5 Linear feet (Boxes 6-7)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1961-1989
Scope and Contents note:
This series consists of a wide variety of materials documenting Bengston's business with galleries, museums, and universities, such as sales, exhibitions, and loans. Files may include consignment lists, price lists, invoices, pages from ledgers, shipping receipts, legal agreements, exhibition checklists, lists of catalog reproductions, floor plans, and mailing lists. Galleries represented in the files include the Ferus Gallery, James Corcoran Gallery, Janie C. Lee Gallery, John Berggruen Gallery, Martha Jackson Gallery, Texas Gallery, and Thomas Babeor Gallery. Extensive documentation exists for Bengston's 1968 retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, his 1981 exhibition of watercolors at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and his 1988 retrospective organized by the Contemporary Arts Museum.
Arrangement note:
Note that the bulk of the correspondence with museums and galleries is found in Series 2 above. Folders relating to university galleries have been titled by the name of the university rather than the name of the gallery.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Billy Al Bengston 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.
Collection Citation:
Billy Al Bengston papers, circa 1940s-1989 (bulk 1960-1988). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.bengbill, Series 3
See more items in:
Billy Al Bengston papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-bengbill-ref190

Correspondence

Collection Creator:
Bengston, Billy Al  Search this
Extent:
1.75 Linear feet (Boxes 4-6)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1966-1989
Scope and Contents note:
The bulk of this series consists of Bengston's business correspondence, mostly to and from galleries and museums discussing exhibitions, sales, consignments, projects, and agreements. Bengston's relationship with the James Corcoran Gallery, Janie C. Lee Gallery, John Berggruen Gallery, Martha Jackson Gallery, and Texas Gallery are well-documented. Many business letters are written by Penny Little and Gretchen Corners in Bengston's name.

The series also includes a limited amount of personal correspondence including letters with collectors, researchers, and friends. In addition, personal correspondence is often interfiled with the professional correspondence, particularly with gallery owners James Corcoran, Janie C. Lee, and Fredericka Hunter of the Texas Gallery. Also found are a few letters from other artists, including Peter Plagens and a letter from Richard Diebenkorn.
Arrangement note:
Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by surname or business name. Correspondence related to Bengston's commissions can be found in Series 6, Project Files, and correspondence related to loans of artwork can be found in Series 5, Personal Business Records.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Billy Al Bengston 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.
Collection Citation:
Billy Al Bengston papers, circa 1940s-1989 (bulk 1960-1988). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.bengbill, Series 2
See more items in:
Billy Al Bengston papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-bengbill-ref45

James Corcoran Gallery

Collection Creator:
Bengston, Billy Al  Search this
Extent:
(12 folders)
Container:
Box 6, Folder 81-92
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1976-1983
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Billy Al Bengston 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.
Collection Citation:
Billy Al Bengston papers, circa 1940s-1989 (bulk 1960-1988). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Billy Al Bengston papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-bengbill-ref223

James Corcoran Gallery

Collection Creator:
Bengston, Billy Al  Search this
Extent:
(3 folders)
Container:
Box 7, Folder 1-3
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1984-1986
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Billy Al Bengston 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.
Collection Citation:
Billy Al Bengston papers, circa 1940s-1989 (bulk 1960-1988). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Billy Al Bengston papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-bengbill-ref224

James Corcoran Gallery

Collection Creator:
Bengston, Billy Al  Search this
Extent:
(6 folders)
Container:
Box 5, Folder 41-46
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1971-1986
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Billy Al Bengston 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.
Collection Citation:
Billy Al Bengston papers, circa 1940s-1989 (bulk 1960-1988). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Billy Al Bengston papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-bengbill-ref99

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