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Ruth Bowman papers

Creator:
Bowman, Ruth, 1923-  Search this
Names:
American Association of Museums  Search this
American Federation of Arts  Search this
Brooklyn Museum  Search this
Canadian Museums Association  Search this
Craft and Folk Art Museum  Search this
KUSC (Radio station : Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Long Beach Museum of Art  Search this
Los Angeles County Museum of Art  Search this
Massachusetts Institute of Technology  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
New York University  Search this
Newark Museum  Search this
WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Anshutz, Thomas Pollock, 1851-1912  Search this
Bengelsdorf, Rosalind, 1916-1979  Search this
Bolotowsky, Ilya, 1907-1981  Search this
Burkhardt, Hans Gustav, 1904-1994  Search this
Cézanne, Paul, 1839-1906  Search this
Diller, Burgoyne, 1906-1965  Search this
Eakins, Thomas, 1844-1916  Search this
Ferren, John, 1905-1970  Search this
Holty, Carl, 1900-1973  Search this
Holtzman, Harry  Search this
Lassaw, Ibram, 1913-2003  Search this
Levine, Les, 1935-  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques, 1891-1973  Search this
MacDonald, Duncan (Broadcaster)  Search this
Mason, Alice Trumbull, 1904-1971  Search this
McNeil, George, 1908-1995  Search this
Morris, George L. K., 1905-1975  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Sloan, Helen Farr, 1911-2005  Search this
Wilfred, Thomas, 1889-1968  Search this
Extent:
26.7 Linear feet
21.99 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Photographs
Interviews
Sound recordings
Scripts (documents)
Date:
1936-2006
bulk 1963-1999
Summary:
The papers of art historian and museum educator Ruth Bowman are dated 1936-2006, bulk 1963-1999, and measure 26.7 linear feet and 21.99 GB. Professional correspondence and subject files document Bowman's relationships with colleagues and reflect her interests, activities including curatorial work, and accomplishments as a museum educator. Writings and related research materials include her thesis,"Thomas Pollock Anshutz, 1851-1912" (M.A., Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 1971), and unfinished projects. Also found are interviews conducted by Bowman with a wide range of individuals for a variety of purposes.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of art historian and museum educator Ruth Bowman are dated 1936-2006, bulk 1963-1999, and measure 26.7 linear feet and 21.99 GB. Professional correspondence and subject files document Bowman's relationships with colleagues and reflect her interests, activities including curatorial work, and accomplishments as a museum educator. Writing and related research materials include her thesis, "Thomas Pollock Anshutz, 1851-1912" (M.A., Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 1971), and unfinished projects. Also found are interviews conducted by Bowman with a wide range of individuals for a variety of purposes.

Biographical materials consist of certificates, resumes, and a few photographs of Ruth Bowman. Correspondence concerns Bowman's professional activities and interests. Among the most frequent correspondents are: American Association of Museums, Craft and Folk Art Museum (Los Angeles), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Museum of Modern Art.

Writings by Ruth Bowman, published and unpublished, include a thesis and articles about Thomas Pollock Anshutz, catalogs for American Federation of Arts and The Newark Museum exhibitions, lectures, as well as articles about museum education and visual arts programs. Research relates to her writings about Anshutz, and to unrealized projects concerning Anshutz, Cézanne, Eakins, Picasso, and other subjects. Also found are two brief writings about Bowman.

Subject files--general subjects, artists' files, Ruth Bowman activities, and "Sunrise Semester"--contain the majority of Bowman's professional correspondence along with printed material, writings, photographs, and sound recordings. Among the most thoroughly documented general subjects are: The Brooklyn Museum's Trustees Retreat, Canadian Museums Association, a 1981 Craft Symposium, International Network for the Arts, Long Beach Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, "Museum Directors' Forum", New York University Art Collection, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Council for the Arts. Artists' files are comprised mainly of printed material with a small amount of correspondence and some photographs. The Les Levine file consists of the first issue of Art-Rite featuring a brief article about Levine on its cover; Thomas Wilfred's file includes information about Lumia. Ruth Bowman activities include lectures, radio and television appearances, and participation in professional events. "Sunrise Semester," a collaboration between CBS television and New York University, offered early morning courses for college credit. Ruth Bowman was the instructor for "20th Century American Art," which is documented by general information, scripts, and sound recordings of all 46 classes.

Interviews conducted by Bowman are with English museum administrators and educators; people knowledgeable about a controversial proposal for an Annenberg Fine Arts Center at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; guests on KUSC radio shows "Sounds of Seeing" and "Live from Trump's"; and guests on the WNYC radio program "Views on Art." Interviews with miscellaneous individuals include Josef Albers, Hans Burkhardt, Carl Holty, Isamu Noguchi, and Helen Farr Sloan. Bowman interviewed a dozen American abstract artists, including Ilya Bolotowsky, Rosalind Bengelsdorf Browne, Burgoyne Diller, John Ferren, Carl Holty, Harry Holtzman, Ibram Lassaw, Jacques Lipchitz, Alice Mason, George McNeil, George L. K. Morris, and Ad Reinhardt for a thesis on the subject, but eventually wrote on a different topic. Two interviews with Bowman were conducted by Duncan MacDonald and an unidentified interviewer.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as 5 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1964-1984 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1963-1996 (Box 1; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings and Related Research, 1942-1999 (Boxes 1-3; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Subject Files, 1936-2006 (Boxes 3-12, 26; 9.6 linear feet)

Series 5: Interviews, 1963-1989 (Boxes 12-25; 9.2 linear feet, ER01-ER70; 21.99 GB)
Biographical / Historical:
Ruth Bowman (b. 1923) is an art historian and museum educator who worked in New York City and Los Angeles. She is known for her interest in using new communications technology for museum education, discovering Arshile Gorky's long forgotten murals at Newark Airport, and expertise in the work of Thomas Anshutz.

A graduate of Bryn Mawr College (B.A. 1944), where she had studied art history and classical archaeology, Ruth Bowman began a museum career in New York as an assistant curator at the Jewish Museum in the early 1960s. From 1963-1974 Ruth Bowman served as curator of the York University Art Collection and was involved in its transition to the Grey Art Gallery and Study Center. Bowman wrote her master's thesis on Philadelphia artist Thomas Pollock Anshutz and received a degree from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University in 1971. During this same period, she was a staff lecturer at The Museum of Modern Art and taught art history in divisions of New York University. She was the instructor for a "Sunrise Semester" 20th century American art course broadcast nationally on CBS.

In 1974 Bowman and her family moved to California and she began an association with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as Director of Education. She attended summer courses in arts administration at Harvard University (1975) and similar training provided by the British Arts Council (1976). She taught at University of California Santa Barbara, as well as at California State University at Fullerton and Long Beach. Bowman was active in the Council of the American Association of Museums (vice president), the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles (vice president), and has served as a consultant to several museums and a corporate collection.

Ruth Bowman with her friend Harry Kahn (1916-1999) developed a collection of self-portraits by 20th century American artists, which she donated to the National Portrait Gallery in 2002. Mrs. Bowman is the widow of R. Wallace Bowman and currently resides in New York City.
Provenance:
Donated by Ruth Bowman in 2004.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Ruth Bowman papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. They may be used for research, study, and scholarship. Authorization to quote, publish or reproduce her unpublished writings and related research materials requires written permission from Ruth Bowman, 200 East 66th Street, Apt. B-2101, New York, New York 10021.
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art historians -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Art, American -- 20th century  Search this
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Interviews
Sound recordings
Scripts (documents)
Citation:
Ruth Bowman papers, 1936-2006, bulk 1963-1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.bowmruth2
See more items in:
Ruth Bowman papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bowmruth2
Additional Online Media:

Fischbach Gallery records

Creator:
Fischbach Gallery  Search this
Names:
Thiabaut Galley  Search this
Altoon, John, 1925-  Search this
Antonakos, Stephen, 1926-2013  Search this
Bladen, Ronald, 1918-1988  Search this
Chamberlain, Wynn  Search this
D'Arcangelo, Allan, 1930-  Search this
Davis, Gene, 1920-1985  Search this
Dunn, Anne  Search this
Gilardi, Piero, 1942-  Search this
Hesse, Eva, 1936-1970  Search this
Katz, Alex, 1927-  Search this
Krushenick, Nicholas, 1929-1999  Search this
Levine, Les, 1935-  Search this
Mangold, Robert, 1937-  Search this
Ohlson, Douglas Dean, 1936-  Search this
Ryan, Anne, 1889-1954  Search this
Ryman, Robert, 1930-  Search this
Slavin, Arlene, 1942-  Search this
Smith, Tony, 1912-  Search this
Sugarman, George, 1912-1999  Search this
Swain, Robert, 1940-  Search this
Extent:
39.5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gallery records
Photographs
Date:
1937-2015
bulk 1963-1977
Summary:
The records of New York City Fischbach Gallery measure 39.5 linear feet and date from 1937 to 2015, with the bulk of materials dating from 1963 to 1977. The majority of the collection consists of artists files containing a wide variety of materials documenting the gallery's relationship with its stable of modern and avant garde artists, as well as gallery exhibitions. Files include biographical materials, correspondence, printed materials, and photographs. Gallery records also include general business correspondence, access-restricted financial records; and additional printed materials. The 2015 addition of 14 linear feet consists of inventory and client sales records in the form of card indexes. The 2019 addition consists of material related to Marilyn Fischbach's art collection.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of New York City Fischbach Gallery measure 39.5 linear feet and date from 1937 to 2015, with the bulk of materials dating from 1963 to 1977. The majority of the collection consists of artists files containing a wide variety of materials documenting the gallery's relationship with its stable of modern and avant garde artists, as well as gallery exhibitions. Files include biographical materials, correspondence, printed materials, and photographs. Gallery records also include general business correspondence, access-restricted financial records; and additional printed materials.

Artists and Exhibition Files contain information on over one hundred Fischbach Gallery artists and measure 18 linear feet. The contents of each file varies, but typically may include biographical information; correspondence between the artist, museums, and other galleries; scattered consignment information; printed materials including articles, clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and press releases; photographs of the artist, installations, constructions, and works of art; and negatives, slides, and transparencies. Substantial files are found for John Altoon, Stephen Antonakos, Ronald Bladen, Wynn Chamberlain, Allan D'Arcangelo, Gene Davis, Anne Dunn, Piero Gilardi, Eva Hesse, Alex Katz, Nicholas Krushenick, Les Levine, Robert Mangold, Doug Ohlson, Anne Ryan, Robert Ryman, Arlene Slavin, Tony Smith, George Sugarman, and Robert Swain, among others. Also included are files pertaining to group exhibitions including "According to the Letter" (1963), "Hard Center" (1963), "Six Women" (1965), "Game Without Rules" (1966), "Direct Representation" (1969), and "Eccentric Abstraction" (1966) which was organized by Lucy Lippard.

General gallery correspondence is business correspondence between the gallery and companies, individuals, museums, galleries, dealers, new or non-Fischbach artists, and institutions. Additional business records consist of an address book, lists of Fischbach artists, gallery plans, a notebook, as well as guest lists, mailing lists, and press lists.

Financial records are access restricted and require written permission from the donor's representative for use. The files document financial transactions for many of the artists represented in the artists files and includes sales records, invoices, artists' payments, and correspondence about sales and possible sales. The alphabetical financial files document routine gallery business, such as framing, shipping, insurance, messenger, publicity, etc. and are organized by name of business. General financial files consist of accounting ledgers, banking documents, insurance claims, and travel accounts.

Printed materials consist of various business cards, clippings concerning the Fischbach Gallery, and a pamphlet by Ron Williams as a guide to New York galleries. The bulk of printed materials are found in the Artists and Exhibition Files.

A small series of photographs include those from the Thiabaut Gallery, and unidentified photos of landscapes. It is likely that Fischbach Gallery occupied the space previously used by the Thiabaut Gallery and some materials were included in the collection for that reason. The bulk of photographic materials are found in the Artists and Exhibition Files.

In 2015, 14 feet of records were added to the collection. The addition consists of inventory and client sales records in the form of card indexes. The addition is access-restricted until 2065.

A 2019 addition of 0.2 linear feet, consisting of material related to Marilyn Fischbach's art collection, was processed in 2020.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series.

Series 1: Artists and Exhibitions Files, 1937-1977 (Boxes 1-18, 28; 18 linear feet)

Series 2: Gallery Correspondence, 1962-1974 (Boxes 18-19; 1.75 linear feet)

Series 3: Business Records, 1969-1971 (Box 27; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 4: Financial Records, 1963-1975 (Boxes 20-25; 4.5 linear feet)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1963-1972 (Box 26; 6 folders)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1960s (Box 26; 2 folders)

Series 7: Inventory Card Indexes, circa 1960s-2015 (12.1 linear feet; Box 29-41)

Series 8: Client Sales Card Index, circa 1970s-2000s (1.9 linear feet; Box 41-42)

Series 9: Marilyn Fischbach Collection Records, circa 1975-2000 (0.2 linear feet; Box 43)
Historical Note:
The Fischbach Gallery was founded in 1960 by Marilyn Cole Fischbach at 799 Madison Avenue in New York City. The gallery was noted for its stable of minimalist young artists in the 1960s, and the work of the painterly realists in the 1970s. The gallery remains open today.

During its early years, the gallery was among the first to focus on 1960s avant-garde and minimalist artists. Marilyn possessed a talent for discovering young artists and for helping them advance their careers. Many of these young artists became well-known, including Ronald Bladen, Eva Hesse, and Alex Katz. Other artists represented by the gallery include Allan D'Arcangelo, Les Levine, Robert Mangold, Robert Ryman, George Sugarman, and Robert Swain.

The gallery also had an active exhibition schedule and organized and hosted group exhibitions of modern art, including "According to the Letter" (1963), "Hard Center" (1963), and "Direct Representation" (1969). Additionally, the Fishbach Gallery hosted "Eccentric Abstraction" in 1966, an exhibition organized by Lucy Lippard.

Later, the gallery moved to W. 57th Street in Manhattan. Fischbach hired A. Aladar Marberger as director of the gallery. Under his direction, the Fischbach Gallery shifted from the avant-garde to contemporary American realism and minimalist sculpture. In the 1980s, Marilyn Fischbach brought three investors into the gallery. She remined a co-owner, but lived in Paris, France for many years prior to her death at the age of seventy-two. The Fischbach Gallery remains open at 210 West 11th Street at 25th Street in New York City.
Provenance:
Gallery founder Marilyn C. Fischbach and director A. Aladar Marberger donated the majority of the Fischbach Gallery records in 1978. Additional records were donated in 2001 by Maureen Dawley on behalf of the Carnegie Mellon University and in 2015 and in 2019 by John Fischbach, Marilyn C. Fischbach's son.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Written permission from the donor is also required to view the series of financial records and the 2015 addition of card indexes. Contact the Reference Services Department for more information.
Rights:
The Fischbach 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 -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Minimal art -- United States  Search this
Artists -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Gallery records
Photographs
Citation:
The Fischbach Gallery records, 1937-2015, bulk 1963-1977. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.fiscgall
See more items in:
Fischbach Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-fiscgall
Additional Online Media:

Oral history interview with Les Levine, 1972 July 21-Aug. 2

Interviewee:
Levine, Les, 1935-  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul, 1933-  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Sculptors  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Curators  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12931
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212837
AAA_collcode_levine72
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212837

Exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art

Creator:
Finch College. Museum of Art  Search this
Varian, Elayne H.  Search this
Names:
Acconci, Vito, 1940-  Search this
Anderson, David K., 1935-  Search this
Benglis, Lynda, 1941-  Search this
Benyon, Margaret, 1940-  Search this
Bochner, Mel, 1940-  Search this
Brooks, James, 1906-1992  Search this
Castelli, Leo  Search this
Chase, Doris, 1923-  Search this
Cross, Lloyd G.  Search this
Davis, Douglas  Search this
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Feigen, Richard L., 1930-  Search this
Glimcher, Arnold B.  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Graham, Dan, 1942-  Search this
Hollander, Irwin  Search this
Insley, Will, 1929-2011  Search this
Jackson, Martha Kellogg  Search this
Janis, Sidney, 1896-1989  Search this
Kirby, Michael  Search this
Levine, Les, 1935-  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-1997  Search this
Mazur, Michael, 1935-2009  Search this
Meyer, Ursula, 1915-  Search this
Nauman, Bruce, 1941-  Search this
O'Doherty, Brian  Search this
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Richter, Hans, 1888-1976  Search this
Siegelaub, Seth, 1941-  Search this
Smith, Tony, 1912-1980  Search this
Sonfist, Alan  Search this
Weiner, Sam  Search this
Wise, Howard  Search this
Extent:
20.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Transcripts
Interviews
Photographs
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Museum records
Date:
1943-1975
bulk 1964-1975
Summary:
The exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art measure 20.9 linear feet and date from 1943 to 1975, with the bulk of records dating from the period its galleries were in operation, from 1964 to 1975. Over two-thirds of the collection consists of exhibition files, which contain a wide range of documentation including artist files, checklists, correspondence, writings, photographs, interviews, numerous films and videos, artist statements, printed materials, and other records. Also found within the collection are administrative records of the museum, artist files, and papers of the Contemporary Wing's director and curator, Elayne Varian, which were produced outside of her work at Finch College.
Scope and Contents:
The exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art measure 20.9 linear feet and date from 1943 to 1975, with the bulk of records dating from the period its galleries were in operation, from 1964 to 1975. Over two-thirds of the collection consists of exhibition files, which contain a wide range of documentation including artist files, checklists, correspondence, writings, photographs, interviews, numerous films and videos, artist statements, printed materials, and other records. Also found within the collection are administrative records of the museum, artist files, and papers of the Contemporary Wing's director and curator, Elayne Varian, which were produced outside of her work at Finch College.

Administrative records include records relating to the general operation of the Contemporary Wing concerning fundraising, professional associations, budget, contact information for artists, donors, and lenders to exhibitions. Also found are records of the permanent collection of artworks acquired by the museum between 1964 and 1975 from contemporary artists and collectors of contemporary art.

Artist files contain basic biographical information on over 150 contemporary artists, with scattered correspondence, photographs, technical information about artworks, artist statements, and other writings. Artist files also include an incomplete run of artist questionnaires gathered by the New York Arts Calendar Annual for 1964.

Elayne Varian's personal papers include curatorial records, a course schedule and syllabus related to her teaching activities, and various writings. Curatorial projects documented in Varian's papers include three programs produced outside of Finch College, including a juried show at the New York State Fair in 1967, a film series at Everson Museum of Syracuse University, and an exhibition at Guild Hall in East Hampton in 1973. Several of Varian's writing projects involved interviews, which are also found in this series in the form of sound recordings and transcripts. Interview-based writing projects include individual profiles on Brian O'Doherty and Babette Newberger, and interviews conducted for an article on the artist-dealer relationship published in Art in America (January 1970). Dealers interviewed for the latter project include Leo Castelli, Virginia Dwan, John Gibson, Richard Feigen, Arnold Glimcher, Fred Mueller, Martha Jackson, Sidney Janis, Betty Parsons, Seth Siegelaub, and Howard Wise. Artists interviewed include Roy Lichtenstein, Adolph Gottlieb, and Charles Ross.

Exhibition files, comprising the bulk of the collection, document exhibitions held in the Contemporary Wing during its existence from 1964 to 1975. Types of records found in the series include exhibition catalogs, correspondence, loan agreements, lists, contact information, insurance valuations of artworks, photographs, biographical information on artists, clippings, posters, press releases, and other publicity materials. In addition to the rich textual and photographic records found for exhibitions, numerous audiovisual recordings are also found, some of which were made in preparation for an exhibition, some document mounted exhibitions, and others are artworks themselves or components of artworks exhibited in the galleries. Interviews with artists, dealers, and others involved in exhibitions include Alan Sonfist, Mel Bochner, Hans Richter, Ruth Richards, James Brooks and Janet Katz, Margaret Benyon, Irwin Hollander (transcript only), David Anderson, Doris Chase, Will Insley, Michael Kirby, Les Levine, Ursula Meyer, Brian O'Doherty, Charles Ross, Tony Smith, Douglas Davis, Jane Davis, Russ Connor, Les Levine, Michael Mazur, Paul Gedeohn, and physicists Lloyd G. Cross, Allyn Z. Lite, and Gerald Thomas Bern Pethick. Video artworks, recordings of performances, or components of multimedia artworks are found by artists Vito Acconci, Kathy Dillon, Douglas Davis, Dan Graham, Les Levine, Bruce Nauman, Michael Netter, Eric Siegel, and Robert Whitman. A film of the Art in Process: The Visual Development of a Structure (1966) exhibition is found, and video recordings of artists Lynda Benglis, Michael Singer, and Sam Wiener form as part of the documentation for the Projected Art: Artists at Work (1971) exhibition.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 4 series.

Series 1: Administrative Records, 1950-1975 (2 linear feet; Boxes 1-2, 22, OV 23)

Series 2: Artist Files, 1958-1975 (2.4 linear feet; Boxes 3-4, 22, OV 23, FC 27-28)

Series 3: Elayne Varian Personal Papers, 1965-1970 (1.3 linear feet; Boxes 5-6)

Series 4: Exhibition Files, 1943-1975 (14.9 linear feet; Boxes 6-22, OV 24-25, FC 26)
Biographical / Historical:
The Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art, later called simply the "Contemporary Wing," was established in 1964 by the president of Finch College, Roland De Marco, as an extension the Finch College Museum of Art in New York City.

Its mission was to educate art history students at the Manhattan women's college who were interested in working with contemporary art. DeMarco, himself an art collector, hired Elayne Varian as director and curator of the contemporary wing. DeMarco met Varian in the New York office of the prominent international art dealership Duveen Brothers, where she had worked since the mid-1940s, most recently as an art dealer. Varian received her art education in Chicago, where she studied art history and education at the University of Chicago, and took classes in film at the Bauhaus and in fine art the Art Institute of Chicago. Sensitive to emerging art movements in galleries and studios around the city of New York, as the contemporary wing's curator, Varian quickly established a reputation for thoughtfully conceived, cutting-edge exhibitions which were consistently well-received by the press.

Under Varian, the Contemporary Wing carried out a dual mission of showing work of living artists and educating students and the public about the artwork and museum work in general. Varian used the galleries to provide practical training to students interested in a gallery or museum career throughout its existence. For several years, she also maintained an assistantship position for post-graduate museum professionals to gain experience in the field, many of whom went on to careers in museums across New York State.

The Contemporary Wing's best-known exhibitions formed a series of six shows called Art in Process, held between 1965 and 1972. Each of the Art in Process shows took a different medium, including painting, sculpture, collage, conceptual art, installation art, and serial art, and brought the process of art-making into the gallery with the artworks in various ways. For example, for Art in Process V (1972), the show about installation art, the galleries were open to the public for the entire process of its installation, allowing visitors to watch the works take shape. Another show entitled Documentation (1968) exhibited artworks with documentation such as artist's notes, sales records, and conservation records, bringing to light the value of record-keeping in the visual arts. Two exhibitions entitled Projected Art were also innovative, with the first (1966-1967) bringing experimental films from the cinema to the galleries, and the second (1971) showing artists' processes via footage and slides of artists working. Another show, Artists' Videotape Performances (1971), involved both screening of and creation of works in the gallery using a range of experiments with recent video technology. The museum also participated in an experimental broadcast of an artwork entitled Talk Out! by Douglas Davis, in which a telephone in the gallery allowed visitors to participate in its creation while it was broadcast live from Syracuse, NY. Other exhibitions that showcased experimentation in art included N-Dimensional Space (1970), on holography in art, Destruction Art(1968), on destructive actions being incorporated into contemporary art-making, and Schemata 7 (1967), a show about the use of environments in contemporary art, whose working title was "Walk-in Sculpture."

Other popular exhibitions at the Contemporary Wing included shows on Art Deco (1970) and Art Nouveau (1969). Several shows mined the private collections of prominent contemporary art collectors including Martha Jackson, Betty Parsons, George Rickey, Paul Magriel, Jacques Kaplan, Josephine and Philip Bruno, and Carlo F. Bilotti. A number of exhibitions featured contemporary art from overseas including Art from Belgium (1965), Art from Finland (1973), Seven Swedish Painters (1965), and Art in Jewelry (1966), which featured mainly international jewelry artists. Retrospective exhibitions of Hans Richter, Hugo Weber, and James Brooks were also held.

Hundreds of contemporary artists were shown at the Contemporary Wing in the eleven years of its existence, including many who came to be leading figures in contemporary art, and some who already were, including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Mel Bochner, Eva Hesse, Lynda Benglis, Bruce Nauman, Robert Morris, Lawrence Weiner, Robert Smithson, Sol Le Witt, Dan Flavin, Philip Pearlstein, and Yayoi Kusama, to name just a few.

The Contemporary Wing and the entire Finch College Museum of Art shut its doors in 1975, when Finch College closed due to lack of funds. The permanent collection was sold at that time, and the proceeds were used to pay Finch College employee salaries. Elayne Varian went on to the position of curator of contemporary art at the John and Mabel Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida. She died in 1987.
Related Materials:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with curator Elayne Varian conducted by Paul Cummings, May 2, 1975.
Provenance:
The Archives of American Art acquired these records from the Finch College Museum of Art after it closed permanently in June 1975.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art 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.
Occupation:
Museum administrators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Museum curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Video artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Gallery directors  Search this
Gallery owners  Search this
Genre/Form:
Transcripts
Interviews
Photographs
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Museum records
Citation:
Exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art, 1943-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.finccoll
See more items in:
Exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-finccoll
Additional Online Media:

Topesthesia II

Creator:
Levine, Les, 1935-  Search this
Type:
Videorecording
Date:
1971 October 14
Topic:
Video art  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)10707
See more items in:
Exhibition records of the Contemporary Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art, 1943-1975
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_10707

Interview with Les Levine

Creator:
Levine, Les, 1935-  Search this
Varian, Elayne H. (Elayne Hanley), 1913-1987  Search this
Type:
Sound Recording
Date:
circa 1967
Topic:
Environmental art  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)12292
See more items in:
Exhibition records of the Contemporary Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art, 1943-1975
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_12292

Interview with Les Levine

Creator:
Levine, Les, 1935-  Search this
Varian, Elayne H. (Elayne Hanley), 1913-1987  Search this
Subject:
Levine, Les  Search this
Type:
Sound Recording
Date:
1972 November 7
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)15300
See more items in:
Exhibition records of the Contemporary Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art, 1943-1975
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_15300

Gregory Battcock papers

Creator:
Battcock, Gregory, 1937-  Search this
Names:
Bronx Museum of the Arts  Search this
International Association of Art Critics  Search this
Trylon & perisphere  Search this
William Paterson College of New Jersey -- Faculty  Search this
Battcock, Elizabeth  Search this
Beker, Gisela  Search this
Brown, Cee  Search this
Burton, Scott  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976 -- Photographs  Search this
Carsman, Jon, 1944-  Search this
Christo, 1935-  Search this
Dalí, Salvador, 1904-  Search this
Dreva, Jerry  Search this
Frank, Peter, 1950-  Search this
George, John  Search this
Glusberg, Jorge  Search this
Goldstein, Al  Search this
Halbert, Jacques  Search this
Hess, Emil, 1889-1945  Search this
Levine, Les, 1935-  Search this
Livingston, Braniff  Search this
McGeehan, Robert, 1933-  Search this
Morley, Malcolm, 1931-  Search this
Nakagawa, Naoto, 1944-  Search this
Neri, Julio  Search this
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006  Search this
Partch, Harry, 1901-1974  Search this
Peña, Rolando, 1942-  Search this
Picard, Lil  Search this
Pocock, Philip  Search this
Schult, Ha, 1939-  Search this
Van Baron, Judith  Search this
Varble, Stephen  Search this
Warhol, Andy, 1928-  Search this
Wechter, Vivienne Thaul  Search this
Whyte, Ron  Search this
Extent:
10.6 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Video recordings
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Photographs
Interviews
Date:
1952-circa 1980
Summary:
The papers of New York art critic, writer, educator, and painter, Gregory Battcock, measure 10.6 linear feet and date from 1952 to circa 1980. The collection includes biographical material, correspondence, published and unpublished writings, artists' files, personal business records, printed materials, scrapbooks, photographic materials, and artifacts that detail his involvement in both the mainstream and fringe art scenes of the 1970s.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York art critic, writer, educator, and painter, Gregory Battcock, measure 10.6 linear feet and date from 1952 to circa 1980. The collection includes biographical material, correspondence, published and unpublished writings, artists' files, personal business records, printed materials, scrapbooks, photographic materials, and artifacts that detail his involvement in both the mainstream and fringe art scenes of the 1970s.

Biographical materials contain address lists, six appointment books, a diploma and certificate, family history, identification documents, interviews, resumes, obituaries, a William Paterson College of New Jersey teaching file, and membership files for The Bronx Museum, International Association of Art Critics, and other organizations. Correspondence is with Battcock's mother, Elizabeth; friends and colleagues Peter Frank, John George, Al Goldstein, Braniff Livingston, Robert McGeehan, Julio Neri, Judith Van Baron, Ron Whyte, and others regarding social events, reprint permissions, book projects, travel arrangements, real estate, and freelance work.

Writings and notes include personal journal entries, drafts for articles and essays, manuscripts for published and unpublished works including "The Story of Film" and Breaking the Sound Barrier: A Critical Anthology of the New Music, his dissertation titled "Constructivism and Minimal Art: Some Critical, Theoretical and Aesthetic Correlations," book proposals, lectures, limericks, restaurant reviews, notes and writings by Jorge Glusberg and Vivienne Thaul Wechter.

Files for artists contain mostly printed material on Gisela Beker, Cee Brown, Jon Carsman, Christo, Jerry Dreva, Jacques Halbert, Emil Hess, Les Levine, Naoto Nakagawa, Nam Jun Paik, Harry Partch, Lil Picard, Philip Pocock, HA Schult, Andy Warhol, and others. The file for Salvador Dalí contains one video recording. Battcock's personal business records include contracts and payments for his writing, real estate papers, business agreements, papers regarding his father's estate, a loan agreement for Andy Warhol's "Self Portrait," and files detailing the theft of two painting by Malcom Morley from Battcock's residence.

Found in printed materials are clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, flyers, post cards, magazines, press releases, issues of Trylon & Perisphere and Gay magazines, and other material that features Battcock's writings. Additional clippings of Battcock's writings that appeared in the New York Free Press, New York Review of Sex and Politics, Domus, The Soho Weekly News, New York Arts Journal, Gay, and other publications are contained in ten scrapbooks.

Photographs are of Battcock, colleagues and friends, works of art from his personal collection, travel, and artists Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol, Nam Jun Paik, Julio Neri, Rolando Peña, Stephen Varble, and Scott Burton. Several keys with a detached keychain labeled 'studio' are in artifacts.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as 9 series.

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1958-1980 (0.4 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1960s-circa 1980 (2.7 linear feet; Boxes 1-3, 12)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1966-1980 (2.7 linear feet; Boxes 4-6)

Series 4: Artists' Files, 1960s-1980 (0.6 linear feet; Box 6)

Series 5: Personal Business Records, 1966-1980 (0.5 linear feet; Box 6-7)

Series 6: Printed Materials, 1952-1980 (1.4 linear feet; Boxes 7-8, 12-13)

Series 7: Scrapbooks, 1959-1980 (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 8-9, 12)

Series 8: Photographic Materials, 1960s-1980 (1.0 linear feet; Boxes 9-11)

Series 9: Artifacts, circa 1970s (0.1 linear feet; Box 11)
Biographical / Historical:
Gregory Battcock (1937-1980) was an art critic, writer, educator, and painter from New York, N.Y. He attended Michigan State University, the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome, and Hunter College for his undergraduate and graduate studies before receiving his Ph.D. from New York University in 1978. His dissertation was titled "Constructivism and Minimal Art: Some Aesthetic, Theoretical and Critical Correlations."

Battcock was a prolific writer and wrote numerous articles as a correspondent for Art & Artists and Domus magazines. His column, "The Last Estate," appeared in Gay magazine as well as other publications. In 1977, Battcock co-founded the short-lived magazine, Trylon & Perisphere, with his close friend, playwright Ron Whyte. Even though only three issues were printed, the magazine exhibited Battcock's predilection for art society gossip, and provocative imagery and prose. E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc. published several of Battcock's books including Why Art: Casual Notes on the Aesthetics of the Immediate Past, Breaking the Sound Barrier: A Critical Anthology of the New Music, and Idea Art: A Critical Anthology. In addition to his writing career, Battcock taught fine art at William Paterson College of New Jersey, was art critic for New York Free Press from 1967 to 1970, Editor-in-Chief of Arts Magazine from 1973 to 1975, and appeared in the Andy Warhol films The Illiac Passion, Horse, and Batman Dracula.

Battcock was murdered in Puerto Rico on December 25, 1980. At the time of his death he was working on "The Story of Film," which remains unpublished, and The Art of Performance: A Critical Anthology, which was published posthumously in 1984.
Related Materials:
Also found at the Archives of American Art is an audio interview recorded on December 11, 1969 with Gregory Battcock for the University Roundtable radio series. The recording forms part of the WFUV radio interviews relating to art, 1969-1973 collection.
Provenance:
The Gregory Battcock papers were donated in 1992 by Nancy Mahl, an artist who occupied a studio in Jersey City, N.J. that had formerly been leased by a moving and storage company, and who came upon Battcock's papers in the building. The papers had been shipped to the Jersey City building without the knowledge of Ron Whyte (executor of Battcock's estate) and the Rev. Paul William Bradley, who had arranged to have Battcock's papers stored after his death. Additional papers were donated 2003 by Rev. Paul W. Bradley, who inherited the papers after the death of his partner Ron Whyte.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Rights:
The Gregory Battcock 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:
Constructivism (Art)  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Minimal art  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art thefts  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Video recordings
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Photographs
Interviews
Citation:
Gregory Battcock Papers, 1952-circa 1980. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.battgreg
See more items in:
Gregory Battcock papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-battgreg

Les Levine: artist file, [photographs]

Artist:
Levine, Les 1935-  Search this
Subject:
Levine, Les  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Artist files
Topic:
Art, Canadian  Search this
Portrait male--Full length  Search this
Portrait male--Occupation--Artist  Search this
Occupation--Art--Sculptor  Search this
Image number:
VFM VF001798
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_140359

Blame God : billboard projects / Les Levine

Author:
Levine, Les 1935-  Search this
Institute of Contemporary Arts (London, England)  Search this
Douglas Hyde Gallery  Search this
Orchard Gallery  Search this
Subject:
Levine, Les 1935- Exhibitions  Search this
Physical description:
46 p. : ill., ports ; 21 x 30 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1985
1985, c1986
Call number:
ND497.L716 A4 1986
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_648783

Gone beyond gone : [exhibition] September 18-October 23, 1993 / curated by Dominique Nahas

Author:
Nahas, Dominique  Search this
Thread Waxing Space (Gallery)  Search this
Subject:
Levine, Les 1935-  Search this
Spero, Nancy 1926-2009  Search this
Frajndlich, Abe  Search this
Romberg, Osvaldo 1938-  Search this
Physical description:
24 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
1993
C1993
20th century
Topic:
Art, Modern  Search this
Call number:
N6512 .G634 1993
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_534836

Public mind : Les Levine's media sculpture and mass ad campaigns, 1969-1990 / curated by Dominique Nahas

Author:
Levine, Les 1935-  Search this
Nahas, Dominique  Search this
Everson Museum of Art  Search this
Subject:
Levine, Les 1935- Exhibitions  Search this
Physical description:
127 p. : ill. ; 25 x 28 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
United States
Date:
1990
C1990
Topic:
Conceptual art  Search this
Mass media and art--Exhibitions  Search this
Billboards  Search this
Call number:
N40.1.L6615 N15 1990
N40.1.L6615N15 1990
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_409842

House

Author:
Levine, Les 1935-  Search this
Subject:
Levine, Les 1935-  Search this
Physical description:
[52] p. of illus. 26 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1971
1971]
Topic:
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Call number:
TR647.L554 L6 1971
TR647.L554L6 1971
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_388456

Les Levine : "diamond mind" / [samenstelling tentoonstelling en redactie catalogus, Florent Bex, Jean-Pierre Daems, Glenn van Looy]

Author:
Levine, Les 1935-  Search this
Bex, Florent  Search this
Daems, Jean Pierre  Search this
Looy, Glenn van  Search this
International Cultureel Centrum  Search this
Subject:
Levine, Les 1935-  Search this
Physical description:
53, vi leaves, 10 leaves of plates : ill. ; 30 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
1978
[1978]
Topic:
Video art  Search this
Call number:
PN1992.8.V5 L4X
PN1992.8.V5L4X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_134671

Camera art : [Exhibition organized by Les Levine / catalog design - Catherine Levine]

Author:
Levine, Les 1935-  Search this
Levine, Catherine  Search this
Ben Shann Art Gallery  Search this
William Paterson College of New Jersey Department of Fine and Performing Arts  Search this
Physical description:
14 p. : 28 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1974
C1974]
Topic:
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Video art  Search this
Call number:
TR646.U6 W35
TR646.U6W35
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_73478

Star Machine, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Levine, Les 1935-  Search this
Medium:
Plastic and steel
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Whitney Museum of American Art 945 Madison Avenue New York New York 10021 Accession Number: 68.39
Date:
1966
Topic:
Undetermined  Search this
Control number:
IAS 76003884
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_7055

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