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Karl Knaths papers, 1890-1973, bulk 1922-1971

Creator:
Knaths, Karl, 1891-1971  Search this
Subject:
Mehler, F. A.  Search this
Mocsanyi, Paul  Search this
Malevich, Kazimir Severinovich  Search this
Phillips, Duncan  Search this
Einstein, Carl  Search this
Hofmann, Hans  Search this
Meierhans, Joseph  Search this
Knaths, Karl  Search this
Thiel, Philip  Search this
Mondrian, Piet  Search this
Phillips, Marjorie  Search this
Roseberg, Paul and Company  Search this
Topic:
Painting  Search this
Painters  Search this
Transcripts  Search this
Cubism  Search this
Prints  Search this
Color in art  Search this
Sketchbooks  Search this
Manuscripts  Search this
Sketches  Search this
Art  Search this
Diaries  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7754
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209919
AAA_collcode_knatkarp
Theme:
Diaries
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209919
Additional Online Media:

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:

Holger Cahill papers

Creator:
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Names:
American Artists' Congress  Search this
American Council of Learned Societies  Search this
American Federation of Arts  Search this
Artists' Union (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Cartoonists Guild  Search this
Federal Art Project (U.S.)  Search this
Federal Music Project (U.S.)  Search this
Federal Theatre Project (U.S.)  Search this
Index of American Design  Search this
New York World's Fair (1939-1940)  Search this
Shakers  Search this
The Design Laboratory (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Treasury Relief Art Project  Search this
United States. Work Projects Administration  Search this
United States. Works Progress Administration  Search this
Abbott, Berenice, 1898-1991  Search this
Brown, Samuel Joseph, 1907-  Search this
De Rivera, José Ruiz, 1904-1985  Search this
Halpert, Edith Gregor, 1900-1970  Search this
Hopkins, Harry Lloyd, 1890-1946  Search this
Knaths, Karl, 1891-1971  Search this
Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003  Search this
Morris, Carl, 1911-1993  Search this
Olds, Elizabeth, 1896-1991  Search this
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962  Search this
Rowan, Edward Beatty, 1898-1946  Search this
Scaravaglione, Concetta, 1900-1975  Search this
Segal, George, 1924-2000  Search this
Speck, Walter, 1895-  Search this
Ward, Lynd, 1905-1985  Search this
Weisenborn, Rudolph, b. 1881  Search this
Extent:
15.8 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Prints
Government records
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Slides (photographs)
Photograph albums
Drawings
Place:
United States -- Economic conditions -- 1918-1945
United States -- Social conditions -- 1933-1945
Date:
1910-1993
bulk 1910-1960
Summary:
The papers of Holger Cahill (1887-1960) date from 1910 to 1993, with the bulk of the material dating from 1910-1960, and measure 15.8 linear feet. The collection offers researchers fairly comprehensive documentation of Cahill's directorship of the Works Progress/Projects Administration's (WPA) Federal Art Project (FAP) in addition to series documenting his work as a writer and art critic. Material includes correspondence, reports, artist files, scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Holger Cahill (1887-1960) date from 1910 to 1993, bulk 1910-1960, and measure 15.8 linear feet. The collection offers researchers fairly comprehensive documentation of Cahill's directorship of the FAP in addition to series documenting his work as a writer and art critic. FAP records include national and state administrative reports, records of community art centers, photographic documentation of state activities, artist files, divisional records about teaching, crafts, murals, and poster work, files concerning the Index of American Design, scrapbooks, and printed material.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into nine series:

Series 1: Biographical Material and Personal Papers, 1931-1988 (Box 1; 19 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence Files, 1922-1979, 1993 (Boxes 1-2; 1.5 linear ft.)

Series 3: Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project, 1934-1970 (Boxes 2-14, 18, MMs009; 10.75 linear ft.)

Series 4: Writings, Lectures and Speeches, 1916-1960 (Boxes 14-15, 18; 1.0 linear ft.)

Series 5: Minutes of Meetings and Panel Discussions, Non-FAP, 1939-1947 (Box 15; 5 folders)

Series 6: Notes and Research Material, 1935-1970 (Boxes 15-16; 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 7: Artwork, undated (Boxes 16, 18; 2 folders)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1910-1985 (Boxes 16-17; 1.8 linear ft.)

Series 9: Photographs, circa 1917-1960 (Box 17; 6 folders)
Biographical Note:
Holger Cahill was born Sveinn Kristjan Bjarnarson in Iceland in a small valley near the Arctic Circle, on January 13, 1887. His parents, Bjorn Jonson and Vigdis Bjarnadottir, immigrated to the United States from Iceland sometime later in the 1880s. In 1904, his father deserted the family, forcing Sveinn to be separated from his mother and sister to work on a farm in North Dakota. He ran away and wandered from job to job until settling in an orphanage in western Canada, where he attended school and became a voracious reader.

As a young man, he worked at many different jobs and attended night school. While working on a freighter, he visited Hong Kong, beginning his life-long interest in the Orient. Returning to New York City, he eventually became a newspaper reporter, continued his studies at New York University, and changed his name to Edgar Holger Cahill. In 1919 he married Katherine Gridley of Detroit. Their daughter, Jane Ann, was born in 1922, but the couple divorced in 1927.

Cahill met John Sloan circa 1920, and they shared a residence. Cahill also wrote publicity (until 1928) for the Society of Independent Artists, through which he made many friends in the arts. From 1922 to 1931, he worked under John Cotton Dana at the Newark Museum, where he received his basic experience in museum work, organizing the first large exhibitions of folk art.

From 1932 to 1935, he was the director of exhibitions for the Museum of Modern Art. In 1935, Cahill was appointed director of the Works Progress/Projects Administration (WPA) Federal Art Project (FAP), until its end in June 1943. In 1938, Cahill organized a countrywide exhibition "American Art Today" for the New York World's Fair. He also married MoMa curator Dorothy Canning Miller in that year.

Profane Earth, Cahill's first novel, was published in 1927, followed by monographs on Pop Hart and Max Weber, miscellaneous short stories, and a biography of Frederick Townsend Ward, entitled A Yankee Adventurer: The Story of Ward and the Taiping Rebellion. Following the end of the Federal Art Project, Cahill wrote two novels, Look South to the Polar Star (1947) and The Shadow of My Hand (1956).

Holger Cahill died in Stockbridge, Massachusetts in July 1960.
Provenance:
The Holger Cahill papers were donated to the Archives of American Art through a series of gifts by Cahill's widow, Dorothy C. Miller, between 1964 and 1995.
Restrictions:
The microfilm of this collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Rights:
The Holger Cahill 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:
Federal aid to the public welfare  Search this
Art and state  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
New Deal, 1933-1939  Search this
Arts administrators  Search this
Public officers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Prints
Government records
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Slides (photographs)
Photograph albums
Drawings
Citation:
Holger Cahill papers, 1910-1993, bulk 1910-1960. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.cahiholg
See more items in:
Holger Cahill papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cahiholg
Additional Online Media:

Jane Wade papers regarding Curt Valentin

Creator:
Wade, Jane, 1925-  Search this
Names:
Buchholz Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Curt Valentin Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Fine Arts Associates  Search this
Universität Hamburg  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Ben-Zion  Search this
Butler, Reg, 1913-1981  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Cox, Jan, 1919-1980  Search this
Feininger, Lyonel, 1871-1956  Search this
Flannagan, John Bernard, 1895?-1942  Search this
Gerson, Otto  Search this
Hepworth, Barbara, Dame, 1903-1975  Search this
Kahnweiler, Daniel Henry, 1884-  Search this
Knaths, Karl, 1891-1971  Search this
Kolbe, Georg, 1877-1947  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques, 1891-1973  Search this
Marcks, Gerhard  Search this
Marini, Marino, 1901-1980  Search this
Masson, André, 1896-1987  Search this
Moore, Henry, 1898-1986  Search this
Odets, Clifford, 1906-1963  Search this
Osborn, Robert Chesley, 1904-1994  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Pickens, Alton  Search this
Pickhardt, Carl E.  Search this
Piper, John, 1903-  Search this
Roesch, Kurt, 1905-  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Sutherland, Graham Vivian, 1903-  Search this
Valentin, Curt, 1902-1954  Search this
Extent:
0.6 linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Prints
Sketches
Date:
1903-1971
Summary:
The Jane Wade papers regarding art dealer and New York gallery owner Curt Valentin, measure 0.6 linear feet and date from 1903-1971. This small collection consists of papers donated by former Curt Valentin Gallery employee Jane Wade, which provide scattered documentation of Valentin's life and exhibitions at the Buchholz Gallery (renamed Curt Valentin Gallery in 1951) including biographical material, correspondence from artists Valentin represented, writings and notes, lists documenting clients, exhibitions held, and artwork by Picasso sold by the gallery, clippings of obituaries for Valentin, and a complete set of Buchholz Gallery exhibition catalogs from 1937-1948.
Scope and Contents:
The Jane Wade papers regarding art dealer and New York gallery owner Curt Valentin, measure 0.6 linear feet and date from 1903-1971. This small collection consists of papers donated by former Curt Valentin Gallery employee Jane Wade, which provide scattered documentation of Valentin's life and exhibitions at the Buchholz Gallery (renamed Curt Valentin Gallery in 1951) including biographical material, correspondence from artists Valentin represented, writings and notes, lists documenting clients, exhibitions held, and artwork by Picasso sold by the gallery, clippings of obituaries for Valentin, and a complete set of Buchholz Gallery exhibition catalogs from 1937-1948.

Valentin's biographical material is in German and includes his baptismal certificate, a report book from Hamburg University, a letter of recommendation from Commetersche Kunsthandlung, a 1937 permit authorizing Valentin to buy and sell the work of German artists outside Germany, and his 1950 passport.

Valentin's correspondence is primarily with artists and includes letters from Ben-Zion, Reg Butler, Alexander Calder, Jan Cox, Lyonel Feininger, John Flannagan, Barbara Hepworth, Karl Knaths, Gerhard Marcks, André Masson, Henry Moore, Clifford Odets, Carl Pickhardt, Alton Pickens, John Piper, Kurt Roesch, and Graham Sutherland. There are also photocopies of three letters in German from Georg Kolbe. Many of the letters are substantial and provide details about the artists and their work. Also found are a letter vouching for Valentin's loyalty to the United States from Alfred Barr, and two 1942 letters from France from art dealer Henry Kahnweiler, containing news of European artists including Picasso and André Masson.

Jane Wade's correspondence extends to her time working for Otto Gerson at Fine Arts Associates, and includes letters from some of the artists whose work was handled by Curt Valentin, including Alexander Calder, Lois Dailey, and Henry Moore. There are also thirteen letters and telegrams from David Smith, with some responses from Jane Wade and Otto Gerson, which document exhibitions and details of his artist-dealer relationship with Gerson and include sketches of his sculpture with information about prices. Also found in Wade's correspondence are letters from Gertrude Lennart and Marino Marini. Lennart describes the last days of Valentin's life as she accompanied him on a visit to Marini in Italy in August 1954.

There are three folders of condolence letters written upon Valentin's death, from artists, museum and gallery professionals, and other colleagues and friends.

Writings and notes include two appreciations of Valentin written after his death by André Masson and Henry Moore, and a sheet of notes written by John Flannagan with an accompanying note entitled "Some of Johns' thoughts...."

Printed material is comprised of news clippings of obituaries and reviews of a memorial exhibition for Valentin, in addition to a complete set of bound exhibition catalogs for Buchholz Gallery from 1937-1948. Also found is a bound collection of 1929 exhibition catalogs for Galerie Alfred Flechtheim.

Artwork includes a Christmas card from Valentin designed by an artist whose name is illegible; a print by Gerhard Marcks; and a colored pencil sketch of "127 Evil Eye II" on Curt Valentin letter head, with an address on the Rue de Seine written beside it.

Photographs include two of Valentin in his gallery and two of an unidentified woman, possibly Jane Wade, in the gallery; a folder of photographs of Valentin's apartment showing his art collection; a photo of a Robert Osborn cartoon about Valentin; and a photo of "Portrait of Curt Valentin" by Jacques Lipchitz.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as a single series.

Series 1: Jane Wade Papers Regarding Curt Valentin, 1903-1971 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)
Biographical / Historical:
Born in Germany in 1902, modern art dealer Curt Valentin immigrated to the United States in 1937 where he opened the Buchholz Gallery on West Forty-sixth Street in New York city. After two years he moved the gallery to West Fifty-seventh Street and in 1951 it was renamed the Curt Valentin Gallery.

Valentin's first job was with Alfred Flechtheim, the leading dealer in modern art in Berlin at that time. In 1934 he began working with Karl Buchholz in Hamburg, selling modern art classified as degenerate by the Nazi government from the rear of Buchholz's bookstore. In 1937 Valentin was granted a permit from the Reichskammer der bildenden Kunste in Berlin to purchase and sell German artwork outside of Germany. He left Germany that same year with a number of pictures and came to the United States.

Valentin was a widely respected dealer who specialized in modern paintings, sculpture, and prints, and handled the work of major artists including Alexander Calder, John Flannagan, Gerhard Marcks, Marino Marini, and Henry Moore.

Valentin died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 52, while visiting Mario Marini in Italy in 1954.

Jane Wade was employed as Valentin's assistant and continued to help run the Curt Valentin Gallery after his death, until it closed in 1955. She then worked for Otto Gerson at Fine Arts Associates, where she helped to handle the works of some of the artists previously represented by Valentin.
Related Materials:
The bulk of Curt Valentin's papers are held by the Museum of Modern Art Archives.
Provenance:
The Jane Wade papers were donated by Jane Wade in 1976. The catalogs of exhibitions organized by Curt Valentin were donated in 1977 by Jane Wade. In 2018 the two collections were merged and named the Jane Wade papers regarding Curt Valentin.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Rights:
The Jane Wade papers regarding Curt Valentin 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 dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Gallery owners -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Prints
Sketches
Citation:
Jane Wade papers regarding Curt Valentin, 1903-1971. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.wadejane
See more items in:
Jane Wade papers regarding Curt Valentin
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-wadejane
Additional Online Media:

Lena Gurr papers

Creator:
Gurr, Lena, 1897-1992  Search this
Names:
ACA Galleries  Search this
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
John Reed Club  Search this
New York World's Fair (1939-1940)  Search this
Allen, Mary Cecil, 1893-1962  Search this
Ascher, Mary G. (Mary Goldman), b. 1900  Search this
Baron, Herman, 1892-1961  Search this
Biel, Joseph, 1891-1943  Search this
Block, Dorothy, 1904-1984  Search this
Ehrenreich, Emma, 1906-  Search this
Fabri, Ralph, 1894-  Search this
Force, Juliana, 1876-1948  Search this
Grosz, George, 1893-1959  Search this
Harkavy, Minna, b. 1895  Search this
Jones, Joe, 1909-1963  Search this
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971  Search this
Knaths, Karl, 1891-1971  Search this
Lawrence, Jacob, 1917-2000  Search this
Lozowick, Louis, 1892-1973  Search this
Model, Elisabeth D. (Elisabeth Dittmann), 1897-1993  Search this
Norman, Maria  Search this
Soyer, Raphael, 1899-1987  Search this
Von Wicht, John, 1888-1970  Search this
Ward, Lynd, 1905-1985  Search this
Extent:
7 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Prints
Photographs
Christmas cards
Interviews
Phonograph records
Sketchbooks
Place:
New York (N.Y.) -- Pictorial works
Date:
1908-1979
Summary:
The Lena Gurr (1897-1992) papers date from 1908 to 1979 and measure 7.0 linear feet. Gurr was a painter and printmaker who studied under John sloan and Maurice Sterne at the Art Students League between 1920-1922. She also studied in France and married painter and photographer Joseph Biel in 1931. The papers document both Gurr and Biel's careers through correspondence, notes, art work, printed material, scrapbooks, and photographs. The collection offers researchers a valuable resource for studying the New York art community of the pre-war era.
Scope and Content Note:
The Lena Gurr papers date from 1908 to 1979 and measure 7.0 linear feet. The collection presents a good overview of Gurr's career as a painter and printmaker, and her relationship with her husband, painter Joseph Biel. Through biographical material, correspondence, notes, an interview with Lena Gurr, original artwork by Gurr and others, scrapbooks, printed material, photographs of Gurr, family, and friends, and photographs of artwork by Gurr and others, the collection offers researchers a valuable resource for studying the New York art community of the pre-war era.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into eight series. Material within each series is arranged chronologically.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1968, undated (box 1; 1 folder)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1921-1979, undated (boxes 1-4; 3.1 linear ft.)

Series 3: Notes, 1926-1972 (box 4; 4 folders)

Series 4: Interview, 1950 (box 4; 1 folder)

Series 5: Artwork, circa 1908-1951 (box 4; 36 folders)

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1912-1948 (boxes 4-5, 8-11; 1.45 linear ft.)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1926-1978 (box 5; 21 folders)

Series 8: Photographs, 1912-1978 (boxes 5-7; 1.05 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Born October 27, 1897, in Brooklyn, New York, Lena Gurr was the daughter of Hyman and Ida (Gorodnick) Gurr. She attended the Maxwell Training School for Teachers from 1915 to 1917, then turned her energies toward art. She studied painting and printmaking at the Educational Alliance Art School in 1919, and at the Art Students League (1920-1922), where she was a student of John Sloan and Maurice Stern. She also studied art in Paris, Nice, and Mentone, France. Her first solo exhibition was in 1932 at the Brooklyn Museum.

On November 24, 1931, Gurr married painter and photographer Joseph Biel. He was born October 27, 1891 in Russia, studied at the Russian Academy in Paris, and at the Workman's College, Melbourne, Australia. He also established the first Jewish Library in Melbourne. Upon his arrival in the United States, he studied under George Grosz at the Art Students League. Biel died in April 1943 of a heart ailment.
Provenance:
The Lena Gurr papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Lena Gurr from 1966 to 1979.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Rights:
The Lena Gurr 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
Photographers  Search this
Artists' studios -- France -- Paris -- Photographs  Search this
Women artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting, American -- Massachusetts -- Provincetown  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Printmakers  Search this
Painters  Search this
Genre/Form:
Prints
Photographs
Christmas cards
Interviews
Phonograph records
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Lena Gurr papers, 1908-1979. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.gurrlena
See more items in:
Lena Gurr papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-gurrlena

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