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Karl Knaths papers

Creator:
Knaths, Karl, 1891-1971  Search this
Names:
Roseberg, Paul and Company  Search this
Einstein, Carl, 1885-1940  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Knaths, Karl, 1891-1971  Search this
Malevich, Kazimir Severinovich, 1878-1935  Search this
Mehler, F. A.  Search this
Meierhans, Joseph, b. 1890  Search this
Mocsanyi, Paul  Search this
Mondrian, Piet, 1872-1944  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Phillips, Marjorie, 1895-1985  Search this
Extent:
8.9 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Diaries
Sketchbooks
Paintings
Manuscripts
Prints
Sketches
Transcripts
Date:
1890-1973
bulk 1922-1971
Summary:
The papers of cubist painter Karl Knaths measure 8.9 linear feet and date from 1890 to 1973, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1922 to 1971. The collection includes biographical material, personal and professional correspondence, four diaries, 22 notebooks and notes on theoretical color and compositional approaches to painting, published and draft copies of essays on art, miscellaneous printed material, 132 sketchbooks and other artwork.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of cubist painter Karl Knaths measure 8.9 linear feet and date from 1890 to 1973, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1922 to 1971. The collection includes biographical material, personal and professional correspondence, four diaries, 22 notebooks and notes on theoretical color and compositional approaches to painting, published and draft copies of essays on art, miscellaneous printed material, and 132 sketchbooks and additional artwork.

Biographical material consists of a copy of Knaths's curriculum vitae, a press release, and miscellaneous personal financial records.

Correspondence in the collection documents Knaths's relationships with family, friends, and business associates after his move to Provincetown, Massachusetts in 1919. Notable correspondents include Duncan and Marjorie Phillips, artist Joseph Meierhans, and the gallery Paul Rosenberg and Co.

The papers include three of Knaths's personal diaries (1916-1919, 1948) and a diary written by F.A. Mehler in 1890. Additional writings include lecture notes from classes that Knaths both attended and taught; 22 notebooks that explore his interest in articulating a color and compositional theory of painting; loose notes on various artists, projects, and facets of painting; several of his completed essays on art, including "Decorative Material" and "Pictorial Analysis;" and a draft of his unpublished manuscript "Ornament and Glory." Writings by others include 15 lecture transcripts from courses taught by Hans Hofmann during the 1930s, Knaths's translations of essays by Piet Mondrian, Kazimir Malevitch, and Carl Einstein, and a biographical essay on Karl Knaths by Paul Mocsanyi.

Printed materials in the collection include clippings, exhibition catalogs, and programs related to Knaths's one-man exhibitions and group shows, and the books Syracuse University Centennial Collection of Art (1970) and Karl Knaths: Five Decades of Painting (1973).

The bulk of the collection consists of 132 sketchbooks and additional artwork. Sketchbooks date from the 1920s to the 1970s and document Knaths's early figurative and landscape studies and later explorations of cubist style and compositional experiments with color, line, and form. Additional artwork includes numerous color charts and diagrams that Knaths kept to inform his painting color palette; outlines of compositional works on both graphed and regular paper; loose pencil sketches and pastels of figures, landscapes, and compositional experiments; and finished paintings and prints.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged as 6 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1950s-1971 (Box 1, 8; 6 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1923-1971 (Box 1; .5 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, 1890, 1916-1968 (Boxes 1-3, 8, OV 14, OV 19; 2 linear feet)

Series 4: Printed Material, circa 1920s-1973 (Box 3, OV 19; 10 folders)

Series 5: Sketchbooks, circa 1920s-1970s (Boxes 3-6, 9-13; 4.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Artwork, circa 1920s-1970s (Box 6, 13, OV 15-18, OV 20-22; 1.8 linear feet)
Biographical/Historical note:
Karl Knaths (1891-1971), born Otto G. Knaths, lived and worked in Provincetown, Massachusetts and was known for his cubist style of painting.

Knaths was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago in his early twenties. The 1913 Armory Show provided his first major encounter with modernist art styles and the works of Paul Cezanne and Vincent Van Gogh. In 1919, Knaths moved to Provincetown and began to explore cubist perspectives in his own work, which drew much of its inspiration from the fishing culture and landscapes of his Cape Cod environs. Intellectually curious and drawn to art theory, Knaths recorded his thoughts on composition rules, color classifications, and the potential intersections between music, space, and color theory in notebooks, notes, and sketchbooks throughout his career.

The patronage of art collector Duncan Phillips led to Knaths's first one-man show at the Phillips Collection in 1929. The following year, he landed a solo show at New York's Daniel Gallery. Knaths joined the Works Progress Administration in 1934 and painted murals and other works for a year and a half. From 1938 to 1950, he also taught painting and art theory during a six week course held at the Phillips Art School, and was a guest lecturer at Black Mountain College, North Carolina (1944) and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine (1948). From 1945 to 1971, he was represented by the art gallery Paul Rosenberg and Co. Knaths died in 1971 in his home in Provincetown, at the age of 80.
Related Archival Materials note:
The Archives of American Art holds one oral history interview with Karl Knaths conducted by Dorothy Seckler in 1962; a transcript of a 1968 lecture delivered by Knaths at the Provincetown Art Association in Provincetown, Massachusetts; and a 1955 video recording documenting Knaths's Cape Cod influenced artwork, directed by Jack Calderwood.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reel D81) including one sketchbook. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
In 1962, Karl Knaths lent the Archives of American Art a sketchbook and a selection of papers for microfilming. Upon Knath's death in 1972, these papers, excluding the sketchbook, along with additional materials, were willed to the Archives. His executor, Kenneth Desmarais, donated additional material from Knaths's estate in 1977 and 1980.
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 Karl Knaths 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:
Painting -- Study and teaching  Search this
Painting -- Technique  Search this
Cubism  Search this
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Cape Cod  Search this
Art -- Technique  Search this
Color in art  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Sketchbooks
Paintings
Manuscripts
Prints
Sketches
Transcripts
Citation:
Karl Knaths papers, 1890-1973, bulk 1922-1971. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.knatkarp
See more items in:
Karl Knaths papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-knatkarp
Additional Online Media:

Jack Tworkov papers

Creator:
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Names:
Egan Gallery  Search this
Leo Castelli Gallery  Search this
Nancy Hoffman Gallery  Search this
Poindexter Gallery  Search this
Stable Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Zabriskie Gallery  Search this
Ashbury, John  Search this
Ashton, Dore  Search this
Bartlett, Jennifer, 1941-  Search this
Blinken, Donald M., 1925-  Search this
Calfee, William H. (William Howard), 1909-1995  Search this
Cavallon, Giorgio, 1904-1989  Search this
Cézanne, Paul, 1839-1906  Search this
Demarco, Ricky  Search this
Dickinson, Edwin Walter, 1891-1978  Search this
Forge, Andrew  Search this
Hartigan, Grace  Search this
Herzbrun, Helene  Search this
Katz, Paul  Search this
Knaths, Karl, 1891-1971  Search this
Lindeberg, Linda, 1915-1973  Search this
Matter, Herbert, 1907-1984  Search this
Newman, Arnold, 1918-2006  Search this
Newman, Michael  Search this
Osborn, Robert Chesley, 1904-1994  Search this
Ponsold, Renate  Search this
Praeger, David A.  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Summerford, Joe  Search this
Thorne, Joan, 1943-  Search this
Westenberger, Theo  Search this
Wheeler, Dennis  Search this
Wise, Howard  Search this
Yunkers, Adja, 1900-1983  Search this
Extent:
9.7 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Video recordings
Interviews
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sound recordings
Sketches
Diaries
Date:
1926-1993
Summary:
The Jack Tworkov papers measure 9.7 linear feet and are dated 1926-1993. Tworkov's work as a painter and influential teacher, as well as his personal life, are documented by extensive journals and substantive correspondence that record his ideas about art and teaching, and illuminate his relationships with friends, colleagues, and students. Many sketchbooks, writings, interviews, photographs, and moving images are also included.
Scope and Content Note:
The Jack Tworkov papers measure 9.7 linear feet and are dated 1926-1993, with the bulk from the period 1931-1982. Tworkov's work as a painter and influential teacher, as well as his personal life, are documented by extensive journals and substantive correspondence that record his ideas about art and teaching, and illuminate his relationships with friends, colleagues, and students. Many sketchbooks, writings, interviews, photographs, and moving images are also included.

Biographical material includes Tworkov's citizenship certificate, awards, diplomas, a copy of Jack Tworkov: Video Portrait, produced by Electronic Arts Intermix, and a motion picture film, USA Artists: Jack Tworkov, produced by National Education Television.

Correspondence consists largely of incoming letters. It is both professional and personal in nature and often combines both spheres. Correspondents include artists Jennifer Bartlett, William H. Calfee, Giorgio Cavallon and Linda Lindeberg, Grace Hartigan, Helene Herzbrun (also named Helene McKinsey), Karl Knaths, Joe Summerford, Joan Thorne, and Adja Yunkers; cartoonist Robert C. Osborn; collectors Donald M. Blinken and David A. Praeger (who was also Tworkov's lawyer); illustrator Roger Dovoisin; critics Dore Ashton and Andrew Forge; critic and poet John Ashbury; galleries that represented Tworkov: Egan Gallery, Leo Castelli, Nancy Hoffman Gallery, Poindexter Gallery, Stable Gallery and Zabriskie Gallery; and many museums, arts organizations, colleges and universities.

Interviews with Tworkov include one with Ricky Demarco videotaped in 1979 and two conducted on video by Twokov's daughter Helen in 1975. The remaining interviews are sound recordings, one conducted by Grace Alexander for the show Artists in New York in 1967, one conducted by Michael Newman in 1980, and the remainder by unidentified interviewers. None have transcripts.

All writings are by Tworkov and include poems, an artist's statement, and documentation for two children's books by Tworkov illustrated by Roger Duvoisin. Two additional notebooks contain miscellaneous notes, teaching notes, and some specific to identified courses. Lectures exist as untranscribed sound recordings.

Tworkov's journals (33 volumes) span a period of 35 years, from 1947 until 1982, with the final entry dated a few weeks before his death. They record his reflections on painting, his challenges as a painter, aesthetics, the role of the artist in society, Jewish identity, painters he admired (especially Cézanne and Edwin Dickinson), politics, and teaching. They also recount everyday life: the comings and goings of friends and family members, social engagements, professional activities, illness, and travel.

The lone subject file concerns Mark Rothko and includes a photograph of Rothko and the guest list for the dedication of the Rothko Chapel in Houston.

Artwork consists of a small number of sketches by Tworkov in pencil and ink. Tworkov's sketchbooks (28 volumes) contain sketches and some finished drawings. Most are in pencil, but scattered throughout are a few pencil sketches embellished with colored marker or pastel, and a small number in ink.

Photographs are of people, places and events. Most photographs are of Tworkov alone and with others including Giogio Cavallon, though most friends and students are unidentified. Of note are views of Tworkov producing a series of prints at Tamarind Institute. Also found is an informal portrait of Wally Tworkov. Events recorded include the jurying of "Exhibition Momentum" in Chicago, 1956. Among the places shown are Tworkov's studios at Black Mountain College and in Provincetown. When known, photographers are noted; among them are Paul Katz, Herbert Matter, Arnold Newman, Renate Ponsold, Theo Westenberger, Dennis Wheeler, and Howard Wise.

A separate series of audiovisual recordings was established for those recordings that could not be readily identified to be arranged in other series. They consist of three videocassettes (2 VHS and 1 miniDV).
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 11 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1933-1981 (Boxes 1, 9, 11, FC 13; 0.7 linear ft.)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1926-1993 (Boxes 1-5; 3.8 linear ft.)

Series 3: Interviews, 1978-1982 (Boxes 5, 9-10; 1 linear ft.)

Series 4: Writings, Notes, and Lectures, 1955-1982 (Boxes 5, 9; 0.5 linear ft.)

Series 5: Journals, 1947-1982 (Boxes 5-7; 2.0 linear ft.)

Series 6: Subject File, 1961-1977 (Box 7; 1 folder)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1952-1981 (Box 7, OV 12; 0.1 linear ft.)

Series 8: Artwork, circa 1950s-1960s (Box 7: 3 folders)

Series 9: Sketchbooks, circa 1950s-1960s (Boxes 7-8, 11; 1.0 linear ft.)

Series 10: Photographic Materials, 1941-1981 (Boxes 8-9; 0.5 linear ft.)

Series 11: Audiovisual Recordings, 1961-1975 (Box 9; 0.1 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
New York School painter Jack Tworkov (1900-1982), best known for his Abstract Expressionist paintings and as a highly regarded teacher, lived and worked in New York City and Provincetown, MA.

At age 13, Tworkov (born Yakov Tworkovsky) emigrated from Poland with his mother and sister to join his father already in the United States. In America, they chose to use the name of distant relatives, the Bernsteins, who were their sponsors. Eventually, Jack and his sister, Janice, reclaimed and shortened their name to Tworkov; later, she adopted the name of their hometown in Poland and became the painter Janice Biala.

As a high school student in New York City, Tworkov attended drawing classes. After graduating from Columbia University, where he had been an English major and considered becoming a writer, Tworkov instead turned to art. He studied with Ivan Olinsky at the National Academy of Design between 1923 and 1925, and from 1925 to 1926 attended painting classes taught by Guy Péne Du Bois and Boardman Robinson at the Art Students League. During his college years, Tworkov began visiting museums and became a great admirer of Cézanne. Tworkov's early paintings - still life, landscapes, and portraits - showed the influence of European modernism and Cézanne.

Tworkov spent his first summer in Provincetown while still a student and subsequently returned to study with Ross Moffet. In Provincetown he met and was greatly influenced by Karl Knaths and developed a lifelong friendship with Edwin Dickinson. By 1929, Tworkov was painting there year round. Over the years, Tworkov and his family continued to return for long stretches, and in 1958 he purchased a house in Provincetown.

During the Great Depression, Tworkov participated in the Treasury Department's Public Works of Art Project until 1934, and then moved to the easel division of the WPA Federal Art Project. He felt uncomfortable with the growing ideological and political influences on art and found it depressing to paint for the WPA rather than for himself, so he left the WPA in 1941. Tworkov, who had studied mechanical drawing while in high school, spent most of the War years employed as a tool designer and draftsman at an engineering firm with government contracts.

By the 1940s, Tworkov was painting in the Abstract Expressionist style. Between 1948 and 1953, he leased a studio on Fourth Avenue that adjoined that of his friend Willem de Kooning. During this time, they mutually influenced each other as they developed into mature Abstract Expressionists. At Yale in the 1960s, Tworkov became close friends with fellow student Josef Albers. Alber's influence on Tworkov resulted in a turn to geometric compositions of small, systematic, and repetitive strokes defined by a grid. He experimented with diagonal compositions, and later geometric work that featured large areas of color and soft texture.

Tworkov's first teaching experience was during 1930-1931 when he served as a part-time painting instructor at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. His teaching career began in earnest when he joined the faculties of Queens College, 1948-1955, and Pratt Institute, 1955-1958. During the summers he taught at various schools, most notably Black Mountain College's 1952 summer session. Tworkov was a visiting artist at the Yale University School of Art and Architecture, 1961-1963, and became chairman of its Art Department from 1963 until his retirement in 1969. In retirement he lived in Provincetown and was a visiting artist for both short and extended periods at various universities and art schools.

An avid reader of literature and poetry, Tworkov also wrote poems and essays. He published essays in It Is, Art Digest, and Art In America; his most notable piece, "The Wandering Soutine," appeared in Art News, November 1950. Tworkov also kept a journal for 35 years (1947-1982) that recorded his thoughts on a wide range of subjects concerning professional, personal, and philosophical issues, as well as details of everyday life.

Tworkov was among the founders of the Artists' Club or The Club in 1949, and for a decade actively participated in the stimulating discussions for which the group was known. In 1968 he helped to establish the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Its residency program enabled younger artists and writers to advance their careers and kept Provincetown's historic artists' colony active year round.

He was the recipient of the William A. Clark Award and Corcoran Gold Medal from the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1963; Skowhegan School of Art's Painter of the Year Award, 1974; and Distinguished Teaching of Art Award from College Art Association, 1976. Tworkov was appointed to serve on the Massachusetts Art Commission, 1970-1971, and in 1981 was named a Fellow of The Cleveland Museum of Art and of the Rhode Island School of Design.

Following his second divorce in 1935, Rachel (Wally) Wolodarsky became Tworkov's third wife and their marriage endured. They had two daughters. Hermine Ford (b. 1939) is an artist married to fellow painter Robert Moskowitz. Helen Tworkov (b. 1943) is the founder of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review and the author of a book about yoga.

Tworkov remained physically and intellectually active after a diagnosis of bone cancer around 1980, and continued to paint until shortly before his death in Provincetown on September 4, 1982.
Related Material:
Among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are two oral history interviews with Jack Tworkov, one conducted by Dorothy Seckler, Aug. 17, 1962, and another by Gerald Silk, May 22, 1981. There is also a small collection of three letters written by Jack Tworkov to friend Troy-Jjohn Bramberger.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reel N70-38 and 62) including writings by Tworkov, notebooks, notes for teaching and talks, notes on art and miscellaneous subjects, poems, artist's statements, biographical data, the transcript of a 1970 interview with Tworkov conducted by Phyllis Tuchman, and a few letters and drafts of letters, 1950-1963. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Jack Tworkov lent the Archives of American Art papers for microfilming in 1970-1971. Jack Tworkov's daughters, Hermine Ford and Helen Tworkov, donated the rest of the collection in 2009, which included some of the material from the original loan.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Jack Tworkov 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:
Painting -- New York (State)  Search this
Painters -- Massachusetts  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Video recordings
Interviews
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sound recordings
Sketches
Diaries
Citation:
Jack Tworkov papers, 1926-1993. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.tworjack2
See more items in:
Jack Tworkov papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-tworjack2
Additional Online Media:

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