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Oral history interview with Marian Locks, 1989 Sept. 20-29

Interviewee:
Locks, Marian, 1915-2010  Search this
Interviewer:
Pacini, Marina  Search this
Subject:
Formicola, John Joseph  Search this
Osborne, Elizabeth  Search this
Andrade, Edna  Search this
Rohrer, E. Warren  Search this
Kahn, Louis I.  Search this
Havard, James Pinkney  Search this
Brady, Luther W.  Search this
Chimes, Thomas J.  Search this
Marian Locks Gallery  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Art dealers  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12361
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212487
AAA_collcode_locks89
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212487

Oral history interview with Emmy Lou Packard, 1964 May 11-12

Interviewee:
Packard, Emmy Lou, 1914-1998  Search this
Interviewer:
McChesney, Mary Fuller, 1922-  Search this
Subject:
Rivera, Diego  Search this
Kahlo, Frida  Search this
Refregier, Anton  Search this
Moya del Pino, Jose  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Painters  Search this
Hispanic American artists  Search this
Mural painting and decoration  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Muralists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12987
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213704
AAA_collcode_packar64
Theme:
Latino and Latin American
New Deal
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213704

Willis F. Woods letters, 1947-1956

Creator:
Woods, Willis F.  Search this
Subject:
Epstein, Jacob  Search this
Norton, Ralph  Search this
Grosz, George  Search this
Valentin, Curt  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques  Search this
Norton Gallery and School of Art  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)5912
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)208752
AAA_collcode_woodwill
Theme:
Communities, Organizations, Museums
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_208752

J.W. Young letters, 1907-1944

Creator:
Young, J. W.  Search this
Subject:
Henri, Robert  Search this
Church, Frederick S. (Frederick Stuart)  Search this
Couse, E. Irving (Eanger Irving)  Search this
Nichols, John Hobart  Search this
Hassam, Childe  Search this
Benson, Frank Weston  Search this
Topic:
Art dealers  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6895
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209024
AAA_collcode_younj
Theme:
The Art Market
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209024

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney papers, 1851-1975, bulk 1888-1942

Creator:
Whitney, Gertrude Vanderbilt, 1875-1942  Search this
Subject:
De Meyer, Adolf  Search this
Miller, Flora Whitney  Search this
Watson, Forbes  Search this
Whitney, Harry Payne  Search this
De Strelecki, Jean  Search this
Cushing, Howard Gardiner  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
Whitney Studio Club  Search this
Greenwich House (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
American Ambulance Field Hospital (Juilly, France)  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sketches
Diaries
Sketchbooks
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Lithographs
Blueprints
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Art patrons  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7107
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209241
AAA_collcode_whitgert
Theme:
Diaries
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Women
The Art Market
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209241
Additional Online Media:

James Watrous papers, [ca. 1933-1966]

Creator:
Watrous, James Scales, 1908-  Search this
Subject:
Arnautoff, Victor Mikhail  Search this
Moya del Pino, Jose  Search this
Bergman, Frank  Search this
Ballator, John R.  Search this
Sample, Paul Starrett  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
United States.Department of the Treasury  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Topic:
Painters  Search this
Mural painting and decoration  Search this
Muralists  Search this
Art historians  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)8607
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)210787
AAA_collcode_watrjame
Theme:
Art Theory and Historiography
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_210787

Vaclav Vytlacil papers, 1885-1990

Creator:
Vytlacil, Vaclav, 1892-1984  Search this
Subject:
Lazzell, Blanche  Search this
Haley, John Charles  Search this
Larsen, Susan C.  Search this
Day, Worden  Search this
Ryder, Worth  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Vytlacil, Elizabeth Foster  Search this
Wessels, Glenn A. (Glenn Anthony)  Search this
Feigl, Hugo  Search this
Rivera, Diego  Search this
Thurn, Ernest  Search this
Manoir, Irving K. (Irving Kraut)  Search this
Matter, Mercedes  Search this
Jensen, Alfred  Search this
Zalmar  Search this
Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts (Munich, Germany)  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Etchings
Interviews
Woodcuts
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Prints
Motion pictures (visual works)
Writings
Topic:
Painters  Search this
Art teachers  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13411
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211466
AAA_collcode_vytlvacl
Theme:
Diaries
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211466
Additional Online Media:

Margret Craver Withers papers, 1926-2011

Creator:
Withers, Margret Craver, 1907-2010  Search this
Subject:
Kuhn, Irene  Search this
Gilpin, Laura  Search this
Hill, Reginald H.  Search this
Fleming, Erik  Search this
Craig, Nancy  Search this
Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Handy & Harman (Firm)  Search this
Towle Mfg. Company  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sketches
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Sketchbooks
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Illustrated notebooks
Motion pictures (visual works)
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Art metal-work  Search this
Jewelers  Search this
Silverwork  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Silversmiths  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9358
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211554
AAA_collcode_withmarg
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Women
Lives of American Artists
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211554

Frank Weitenkampf letters, 1889-1942

Creator:
Weitenkampf, Frank, 1866-1962  Search this
Subject:
Cassatt, Mary  Search this
Thayer, Abbott Handerson  Search this
French, Daniel Chester  Search this
Rosenwald, Lessing J. (Lessing Julius)  Search this
Low, Will Hicok  Search this
Lozowick, Louis  Search this
Sartain, William  Search this
Pennell, Joseph  Search this
Hart, George Overbury  Search this
Kent, Rockwell  Search this
Genthe, Arnold  Search this
Beatty, John Wesley  Search this
Hoffman, Malvina  Search this
Young, Mahonri Mackintosh  Search this
Powers, Preston  Search this
Wood, Thomas Waterman  Search this
Benson, Frank Weston  Search this
Wickey, Harry  Search this
Woodbury, Charles H. (Charles Herbert)  Search this
Browne, George Elmer  Search this
Huntington, Daniel  Search this
Nason, Thomas W. (Thomas Willoughby)  Search this
Smillie, George H. (George Henry),  Search this
Nankivell, Frank A. (Frank Arthur)  Search this
Warner, Olin Levi  Search this
Dows, Olin  Search this
Tryon, Dwight William  Search this
Rockefeller, John D. (John Davison),  Search this
Britton, James  Search this
Arms, John Taylor  Search this
Keppel, Frederick  Search this
Rothermel, Peter Frederick  Search this
Sterner, Albert  Search this
Lahey, Richard  Search this
Hopper, Edward  Search this
Richards, William Trost  Search this
Smillie, James David  Search this
Biddle, George  Search this
Detwiller, Fred  Search this
Mowbray, Harry Siddons  Search this
Cortissoz, Royal  Search this
Sternberg, Harry  Search this
Volk, Stephen Arnold Douglas  Search this
Avery, Samuel Putnam  Search this
Wiles, Irving Ramsay  Search this
Bellows, George  Search this
Eby, Kerr  Search this
Yewell, George Henry  Search this
Taft, Lorado  Search this
Ranger, Henry Ward  Search this
Weir, Julian Alden  Search this
Weir, John F. (John Ferguson)  Search this
Topic:
Curators  Search this
Art  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9862
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212362
AAA_collcode_weitfran
Theme:
Communities, Organizations, Museums
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_212362

Waintrob-Budd photographs of American artists, 1953-1980

Creator:
Waintrob-Budd (Firm : New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Subject:
Kantor, Morris  Search this
Soyer, Moses  Search this
Benton, Thomas Hart  Search this
Hopper, Edward  Search this
Harkavy, Minna  Search this
Marsh, Reginald  Search this
Biddle, George  Search this
Shahn, Ben  Search this
Evans, Walker  Search this
Hofmann, Hans  Search this
Jenkins, Paul  Search this
De Diego, Julio  Search this
Lijn, Liliane  Search this
Speicher, Eugene E. (Eugene Edward),  Search this
de Creeft, Jose  Search this
Dickinson, Edwin Walter  Search this
Motherwell, Robert Burns  Search this
Rorimer, James J. James Joseph,  Search this
Levine, Jack  Search this
Walkowitz, Abraham  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel  Search this
Grosz, George  Search this
Archipenko, Alexander  Search this
Soyer, Raphael  Search this
Hare, David  Search this
Zorach, William  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph  Search this
Sweeney, James Johnson  Search this
Levy, Ellen K  Search this
Floch, Joseph  Search this
Menkes, Sigmund  Search this
Bosa, Louis  Search this
Lowry, W. McNeil (Wilson McNeil),  Search this
Waintrob, A. L.  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques  Search this
Levi, Julian E. Julian Edwin,  Search this
Gablik, Suzi  Search this
Browne, Byron  Search this
Walker, Hudson D. Hudson Dean,  Search this
Root, Edwin  Search this
Waintrob, Sidney J.  Search this
Avery, Milton  Search this
Barnet, Will  Search this
Goulet, Lorrie H.  Search this
Steinberg, Saul  Search this
Lawrence, Jacob  Search this
Adrian, Barbara  Search this
Sheerin, Jerry  Search this
Hayter, Stanley William  Search this
Carroll, John  Search this
Delaunay, Sonia  Search this
Hopper, Jo. N. (Josephine Nivison),  Search this
Goodrich, Lloyd  Search this
Kroll, Leon  Search this
Mayor, A. Hyatt Alpheus Hyatt,  Search this
Botkin, Henry  Search this
Krasner, Lee  Search this
Speyer, Darthea  Search this
Constant, George  Search this
American Academy of Arts and Letters  Search this
Budd (Firm : New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Topic:
Artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6060
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216042
AAA_collcode_wainbudd
Theme:
Audio - Visual
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_216042

Dorothy C. Miller papers

Creator:
Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003  Search this
Names:
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Chase Manhattan Bank -- Art collections  Search this
Federal Art Project  Search this
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden  Search this
Mark Rothko Foundation  Search this
Municipal Art Exhibition (1st : 1934 : New York, N.Y.)  Search this
PepsiCo, inc  Search this
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey -- Art collections  Search this
Rockefeller University  Search this
Smith College -- Students  Search this
Smith College. Museum of Art  Search this
World Trade Center (New York, N.Y.) -- Art collections  Search this
Asher, Elise, 1914-  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Bontecou, Lee, 1931-  Search this
Byars, James Lee  Search this
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Canady, John  Search this
Charlton, Maryette  Search this
Christo, 1935-  Search this
Chryssa, 1933-  Search this
Coggeshall, Calvert, 1907-1990  Search this
Copley, Alfred L.  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Feininger, Lyonel, 1871-1956  Search this
Feitelson, Lorser, 1898-1978  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898-  Search this
Hartigan, Grace  Search this
Hicks, Edward, 1780-1849  Search this
Horwitt, Will  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Karpel, Bernard, 1911-1986  Search this
Levy, Julien  Search this
Mather, Eleanore Price, 1910-  Search this
Matisse, Pierre, 1900-1989  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia, 1887-1986  Search this
Pereira, I. Rice (Irene Rice), 1902-1971  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich), 1908-1979 -- Art collections  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Sage, Kay  Search this
Scharf, William, 1927-  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Sterne, Hedda, 1910-2011  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Extent:
34.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Sketches
Christmas cards
Drawings
Date:
1853-2013
bulk 1920-1996
Summary:
The papers of contemporary and folk art curator, historian, and consultant Dorothy C. Miller measure 34.6 linear feet and date from 1853-2013, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920 to 1996. The papers primarily concern Miller's private art consulting work outside of her curatorial work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Found are scattered biographical materials, extensive correspondence and subject files, and project files for her art consulting work for the Rockefeller family, Rockefeller University, Chase Manhattan Bank, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the World Trade Center, and other miscellaneous corporate and private clients. Miller's work as a trustee and committee member of various public and private boards and commissions is also represented here. Additionally, the papers contain Miller's research files on Edward Hicks and folk art, and a small number of files of her husband Holger Cahill about his work as Director of the Federal Art Project. There is a scattered documentation of Miller's early curatorial work with Holger Cahill on the First Municipal Art Exhibition (1934) held at the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center. Also found is Dorothy Miller's collection of artists' Christmas cards and photographs of Miller and others. An addition to the papers includes biographical material; family papers; correspondence; professional files; art collection and client files; printed material; and photographic material. While a small number professional files are included, the majority of the addition relates to her personal life, including correspondence with her husband Holger Cahill, and files pertaining to her personal art collection.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of contemporary and folk art curator, historian, and consultant Dorothy C. Miller measure 34.6 linear feet and date from 1853-2013, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920 to 1996. The papers primarily concern Miller's art consulting work outside of her curatorial work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York city. Found are scattered biographical materials, extensive correspondence and subject files, and project files for her art consulting work for the Rockefeller family, Rockefeller University, Chase Manhattan Bank, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and other miscellaneous corporate and private clients. Her work as a trustee and committee member of various public and private boards and commissions is also represented here. Additionally, the papers contain Miller's research files on Edward Hicks and folk art, and a small number of files related to Miller's husband Holger Cahill and his work as Director of the Federal Art Project. There is important documentation of Miller's early curatorial work with Holger Cahill on the First Municipal Art Exhibition (1934) held at the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center. Artwork includes scattered sketches and drawings enclosed with correspondence and original Christmas cards sent to Miller by various artists. Photographs of Miller date from 1926 - circa 1950.

Scattered biographical material mostly concerns Miller's education at Smith College and awards and honorary degrees that she received. Extensive correspondence and subject files document her professional and personal relationships with family, friends, colleagues, museums, art dealers and artists, as well as her research interests. Individual files may contain a mix of correspondence with, as well as about, the person or subject, compiled research documents, printed materials, and scattered photographs. Files are found for Lewin Alcopley, Alfred Barr, Betty Parsons Gallery, Cahill family members, Lee Bontecou, James Byars, Holger Cahill, Alexander Calder, Christo, Chryssa, Calvert Coggeshall, John Canaday, Maryette Charlton, Stuart Davis, Jay DeFeo, Lorser Feitelson, Arshile Gorky, Peggy Guggenheim, Grace Hartigan, Will Horwitt, Jasper Johns, Julien Levy, Pierre Matisse, Louise Nevelson, Barnett Newman, Isamu Nauchi, Georgia O'Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Ad Reinhardt, Kay Sage, Charles Sheeler, Hedda Sterne, travel, Clyfford Still, William Scharf, among many others.

Detailed records of Miller's art consulting and advisory work for the Rockefeller family include correspondence with Nelson A. Rockefeller and David Rockefeller about building their personal collections of contemporary and folk art, meeting notes and minutes, research notes and writings, and printed materials. The largest group of records concerns the writing and publication of The Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection: Masterpieces of Modern Art. Miller's curatorial work for David Rockefeller and the Rockefeller University's Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Hall art collection is documented in Series 4 through curatorial files, correspondence, printed materials, photographs and slides, artists files, and design records.

Series 5 contains files relating to Miller's work as the first art consutant to the Chase Manhattan Bank and the building of the corporation's extensive collection of contemporary art. There is a draft of Miller's text for the bank's published catalog, Art At Work: Chase Manhattan Bank Collection. A smaller set of records is found in Series 6 documenting Miller's work on the Art Committee of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, including files about selecting artwork for the World Trade Center during the early 1970s. Files concerning Miller's advisory work with additional public and private clients, boards, and commissions are arranged in Series 7 and 8 and concern the Amstar Corporation, Fidelity International Bank, First National Bank of Tampa, First National City Bank, Inmont Corporation, Pepsico, United Mutual Savings Bank, the Empire State Plaza Art Commission, the Hancock Shaker Village, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Mark Rothko Foundation, the Museum of American Folk Art, and the Smith College Museum of Art.

Miller's papers include a small group of files relating to the WPA Federal Art Project (FAP)created by her husband Holger Cahill when he was director of the FAP, Holger Cahill. A small series is devoted to Miller's work with Eleanore Price Mather researching and writing Edward Hicks: His Peaceable Kingdom and Other Paintings. A series of general research files contain miscellaneous research notes and photographs related to Miller's interests in early American art and folk art. Series 12 contains important documentation of Miller's early curatorial work with Holger Cahill on the First Municipal Art Exhibition (1934) held at the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center.

Works of art are primarily in the form of Christmas cards sent to Miller by various artists including Elise Asher, Lyonel Feininger, Bernard Karpel, and Irene Rice Pereira. A small group of photographs includes photographs of Miller from 1926-circa 1950 and a few photographs of others.

The addition includes biographical material; family papers; correspondence; professional files; art collection and client files; printed material; and photographic material. While a small number of professional files are found here, the majority of material relates to Miller's personal life, including correspondence with her husband Holger Cahill, and files pertaining to her personal art collection. Scattered correspondence, inventories, research, and notes created by curator and donor of the papers, Wendy Jeffers, are found throughout the collection. These materials date from the 1980s-2000s.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 15 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1917-1986 (Box 1; 0.3 linear ft.)

Series 2: Correspondence and Subject Files, circa 1912-1992 (Boxes 1-8, OV 27; 7.2 linear ft.)

Series 3: Rockefeller Family Art Collections, circa 1949-1985 (Boxes 8-12, 25; 3.9 linear ft.)

Series 4: Rockefeller University Collection, 1923-1984 (Boxes 12-13, OV 27; 1.0 linear ft.)

Series 5: Chase Manhattan Bank Collection, 1959-circa 1985 (Boxes 13-14, 26; 1.4 linear ft.)

Series 6: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Art Committee, circa 1965-1987 (Boxes 14-15, OV 27; 0.8 linear ft.)

Series 7: Other Corporate and Private Clients, 1968-1984 (Boxes 15-16; 1.3 linear ft.)

Series 8: Other Boards, Committees and Commissions, 1925, 1949-1985 (Boxes 16-20; 3.6 linear ft.)

Series 9: Works Project Administration Federal Art Project Files, 1935-1979 (Box 20, OV 27; 0.5 linear ft.)

Series 10: Edward Hicks Catalog, 1934-1984 (Boxes 20-22; 1.5 linear ft.)

Series 11: Research Files, 1930s-1980 (Boxes 22-23; 0.8 linear ft.)

Series 12: Exhibition Files, 1932-1986 (Box 23; 0.6 linear ft.)

Series 13: Works of Art, circa 1924-circa 1982 (Boxes 23-25; 1.5 linear ft.)

Series 14: Photographs, 1926-circa 1970s (Boxes 24-25; 0.3 linear ft.)

Series 15: Addition to the Dorothy C. Miller Papers, 1853-2003, bulk 1920-1996 (Boxes 28-38, OVs 39-41; 9.9 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Dorothy Canning Miller (1904-2003) worked in New York City as a highly influential curator of contemporary and folk art at the Museum of Modern Art and as the first curator of the museum. Later, she was the primary art consultant for Nelson A. Rockefeller, the Rockefeller family, Rockefeller University, Chase Manhattan Bank, and the Port Authority of and New Jersey. Dorothy Miller was also married to Holger Cahill, director of the WPA Federal Art Project.

Dorothy C. Miller was born in Hopedale, Massachusetts in 1904 and received her Bachelor of Arts from Smith College in 1925. She was first introduced to modern art through classes at the Newark Museum taught by John Cotton Dana and Holger Cahill. Miller joined the curatorial staff of the Newark Museum in 1926. The museum was one of the first to organize exhibitions of American folk art, American Primitives (1930-1931) and American Folk Sculpture (1931-1932). Miller worked with Cahill and others on the exhibition and developed a life-long interest in folk art.

After four years at the Newark Museum, Miller moved to New York city, hoping to get involved with the newly opened Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and, likely, to be with Holger Cahill, with whom she lived with on 8th Street prior to their marriage in 1938. Between 1930 and 1932 she took odd jobs and worked with Mrs. Henry Lang cataloging, researching and installing Lang's collection of Native American art Lang donated to the Montclair Art Museum. At the same time, Holger Cahill was serving as Acting Director of the Museum of Modern Art during an absence of Director Alfred H. Barr. In 1932, Cahill asked Miller to assist him with curating the American Painting and Sculpture, 1862-1932 exhibition at MoMA, and together they also curated the First Municipal Art Exhibition, 1934 at the Rockefeller Center.

In 1934, Barr hired Miller as his assistant and one year later appointed her as MoMA's first curator. Miller spent the next 35 years organizing many of this country's most important exhibitions of contemporary art and building personal relationships with new artists and photographers, as well as the collections of MoMA. Miller retired from MOMA in 1969 and focused more on her art consulting work begun in the late 1950s.

Dorothy Miller's most notable client was Nelson A. Rockefeller. She assisted and advised Rockefeller as he acquired a vast personal collection of modern art - some of which was later donated to MoMA. Just prior to her retirement, Miller organized a large exhibition of Rockefeller's collection. The exhibition catalog written by Miller was the basis for the book she worked on with Rockefeller up until and following his death in 1979, ultimately published as The Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection: Masterpieces of Modern Art. In the preface, Rockefeller credited Miller with being one of the four people to whom he was indebted "for the understanding and endless joy I have found in the collecting of modern art in all forms."

Miller also served as the primary art consultant for projects to furnish federal spaces, including Henry Kissinger's State Department office suite, and the official Vice-Presidential residence at the Admiral's House in Washington D.C.

In 1959 Miller was invited to join the art collection committee of the Chase Manhattan Bank and served on the committee until the mid-1980s, contributing her expertise to the development of one of this country's oldest and largest corporate collections of modern and contemporary art.

Miller was also an advisor to other members of the Rockefeller family, including David Rockefeller, and assisted with developing the art collections of Rockefeller Institute/University. From 1960 through the late 1980s Miller was a member of the art committee for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANJY) and was responsible for selecting much of the artwork for the World Trade Center in the 1970s. She served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Hancock Shaker Village, the Smithsonian Institution's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Empire State Plaza in Albany, Smith College Museum of Art, and the Museum of American Folk Art. She also became a member of the Mark Rothko Foundation Board of Directors after the litigation following Rothko's death between Rothko's executors and his daughter.

In the mid-1970s Miller assisted the Whitney Museum of American with planning an exhibition and supporting catalog of the work of folk artist Edward Hicks. Although the exhibition and catalog were only partially realized in 1980, Miller and Eleanore Price Mather compiled and published a book on Hicks, Edward Hicks: His Peaceable Kingdoms and Other Paintings, published in 1983.

In 1982-1983 Miller received the Art Dealers Association Special Award, an honorary degree from Williams College, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture governor's award. In 1984 she was named honorary trustee of the Museum of Modern Art. In 1985 the Smith College Museum of Art honored her important contributions to museum connoisseurship with the exhibition Dorothy C. Miller: With An Eye to American Art.

Dorothy Miller died in 2003 at the age of 99 at her home in Greenwich, New York.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art holds two oral history interviews with Dorothy C. Miller. The first was conducted by Paul Cummings between May 26, 1970 and September 28, 1971, and details Miller's life from childhood up to, and including, her years at the Museum of Modern Art. The second was conducted by Avis Berman on May 14, 1981 and covers Miller's relationships with Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still. Also found among the holdings of the Archives are the papers of Holger Cahill, Dorothy Miller's husband and colleague.

The Museum of Modern Art Achives holds Dorothy Miller's papers related to her curatorial work at the museum.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Dorothy C. Miller via Wendy Jeffers between 1986 and 1997, and Reid White, Executor of Miller's estate, in 2004. Two subsequent additions were donated by Wendy Jeffers in 2014 and 2015.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Dorothy C. Miller 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:
Artists -- United States  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Exhibitions  Search this
Art museum curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Corporations -- Private collections  Search this
Art -- Private collections  Search this
Folk art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sketches
Christmas cards
Drawings
Citation:
Dorothy C. Miller papers, 1853-2013, bulk 1920-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.milldoro
See more items in:
Dorothy C. Miller papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-milldoro
Additional Online Media:

Records of the Field Offices for the State of Alabama, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872

Extent:
34 Reels
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Reels
Date:
1865–1872
Summary:
This collection is comprised of digital surrogates previously available on the 34 rolls of microfilm described in the NARA publication M1900. These digital surrogates reproduced the records of the Alabama Office of the Assistant Commissioner, his staff offices, and subordinate field offices of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872. These records consist of bound volumes and unbound records, containing materials that include letters and endorsements sent and received, monthly reports, applications of freedmen for rations, and other records relating to freedmen's claims and homesteads.
Records Description:
The volumes reproduced in this microfilm publication were originally arranged by type of record and thereunder by volume number. No numbers were assigned to series consisting of single volumes. Years later, all volumes were arbitrarily assigned numbers by the Adjutant General's Office (AGO) of the War Department after the records came into its custody. In this microfilm publication, AGO numbers are shown in parentheses to aid in identifying the volumes. The National Archives assigned the volume numbers that are not in parentheses. In some volumes, particularly in indexes and alphabetical headings of registers, there are a number of blank numbered pages that have not been filmed.

The volumes consist of letters and endorsements sent and received, press copies of letters sent, registers of letters received, fair copies of letters received, letters and orders received, registers of freedmen issued rations, special orders and circulars issued, registers of bounty claimants, reports, registers of contracts, registers of complaints, registers of patients, registers of disbursements, account books, miscellaneous records, and monthly reports forwarded to the Assistant Commissioner. The unbound documents consist of letters sent and received and endorsements sent, reports, applications for relief, labor contracts, rosters of officers and employees, court records, special and general orders and circulars received, and miscellaneous records. The unbound records also contain monthly reports; oaths of office; applications of freedmen for rations; and records relating to claims, court trials, property restoration, and homesteads.

From June 1866 to January 1868, Assistant Commissioner Swayne also served as the military commander of Alabama. He therefore created and received records in both capacities. The dual function of the Assistant Commissioner resulted in a succession of changes in the official headings used on correspondence and issuances. The title "Office of the Assistant Commissioner" was changed in June 1866 to "Headquarters, District of Alabama," and in August 1866 to "Headquarters, Subdistrict of Alabama." The heading "District of Alabama" was used again from March 1867 until superseded by "State of Alabama" in February 1868. The dual function of the office is also reflected in the recordkeeping practices for that period. Although the Assistant Commissioner generally maintained separate records for each of his capacities, in the case of letters and endorsements sent the records were frequently combined. Wherever they were separable, the records created by the Assistant Commissioner in his military capacity were placed with the Records of United States Army Continental Commands, 1821–1920, RG 393.
Historical Note:
[The following is reproduced from the original NARA descriptive pamphlet for M1900.]

HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, also known as the Freedmen's Bureau, was established in the War Department by an act of Congress on March 3, 1865 (13 Stat. 507). The life of the Bureau was extended twice by acts of July 16, 1866 (14 Stat. 173), and July 6, 1868 (15 Stat. 83). The Bureau was responsible for the supervision and management of all matters relating to refugees and freedmen, and of lands abandoned or seized during the Civil War. In May 1865, President Andrew Johnson appointed Maj. Gen. Oliver Otis Howard as Commissioner of the Bureau, and Howard served in that position until June 30, 1872, when activities of the Bureau were terminated in accordance with an act of June 10, 1872 (17 Stat. 366). While a major part of the Bureau's early activities involved the supervision of abandoned and confiscated property, its mission was to provide relief and help freedmen become self–sufficient. Bureau officials issued rations and clothing, operated hospitals and refugee camps, and supervised labor contracts. In addition, the Bureau managed apprenticeship disputes and complaints, assisted benevolent societies in the establishment of schools, helped freedmen in legalizing marriages entered into during slavery, and provided transportation to refugees and freedmen who were attempting to reunite with their family or relocate to other parts of the country. The Bureau also helped black soldiers, sailors, and their heirs collect bounty claims, pensions, and back pay.

The act of March 3, 1865, authorized the appointment of Assistant Commissioners to aid the Commissioner in supervising the work of the Bureau in the former Confederate states, the border states, and the District of Columbia. In Alabama, operations began in July 1865 when Brig. Gen. Wager Swayne took command as Assistant Commissioner. Bvt. Brig. Julius Hayden succeeded Swayne and served from January to March 1868. Col. Oliver L. Shepherd served from March to August 1868, and Col. T. H. Ruger held the position of Assistant Commissioner for only a few days in August before the arrival of Bvt. Lt. Col. Edwin Beecher later in that month. In January 1869, in accordance with an act of July 25, 1868 (15 Stat. 193), Bureau operations in Alabama were terminated except for the educational functions and the collection of claims. Colonel Beecher remained in Alabama as superintendent of education and held that position until the office was closed in July 1870. The majority of Bureau officers and agents in Alabama were active duty military officers, and for the first two years of the Bureau's existence in Alabama, the agency doubled as the military command for the district. Brig. Gen. Swayne, for example, served as Assistant Commissioner and District Military Commander for Alabama from 1866 to 1868. As a consequence of the wide use of military officers to staff the Bureau, the agency constantly struggled with issues of continuity as well as a lack of personnel to staff the various field offices. At one point at the end of 1866, the Bureau could only staff eight stations in Alabama due to a critical shortage of qualified personnel.

While the work performed by Assistant Commissioners in each state was similar, the organizational structure of staff officers varied from state to state. At various times, the staff could consist of a superintendent of education, an assistant adjutant general, an assistant inspector general, a disbursing officer, a chief medical officer, a chief quartermaster, and a commissary of subsistence. Subordinate to these officers were the assistant superintendents, or subassistant commissioners as they later became known, who commanded the subdistricts. The major subordinate field offices for the Bureau at Alabama included headquarters at Demopolis, Eufaula, Garland, Greenville, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, Opelika, Selma, Talladega, Tuscaloosa, and Tuskegee. Under the direct supervision of the subassistant commissioners were the civilian and military agents. Occasionally, the Bureau retained military officers in a civilian capacity after the termination of their military service. For a list of known Alabama subordinate field office personnel and their dates of service, see the Appendix.

The Assistant Commissioner corresponded extensively with both his superior in the Washington Bureau headquarters and his subordinate officers in the subdistricts. Based upon reports submitted to him by the subassistant commissioners and other subordinate staff officers, he prepared reports that he sent to the Commissioner concerning Bureau activities in areas under his jurisdiction. The Assistant Commissioner also received letters from freedmen, local white citizens, state officials, and other non–Bureau personnel. These letters varied in nature from complaints to applications for jobs in the Bureau. Because the assistant adjutant general handled much of the mail for the Assistant Commissioner's office, it was often addressed to him instead of to the Assistant Commissioner.

In a circular issued by Commissioner Howard in July 1865, the Assistant Commissioners were instructed to designate one officer in each state to serve as "General Superintendents of Schools." These officials were to "take cognizance of all that is being done to educate refugees and freedmen, secure proper protection to schools and teachers, promote method and efficiency, correspond with the benevolent agencies which are supplying his field, and aid the Assistant Commissioner in making his required reports." In October 1865, a degree of centralized control was established over Bureau educational activities in the states when Rev. John W. Alvord was appointed Inspector of Finances and Schools. In January 1867, Alvord was divested of his financial responsibilities, and he was appointed General Superintendent of Education.

An act of Congress, approved July 25, 1868 (15 Stat. 193), ordered that the Commissioner of the Bureau "shall, on the first day of January next, cause the said bureau to be withdrawn from the several States within which said bureau has acted and its operation shall be discontinued." Consequently, in early 1869, with the exception of the superintendents of education and the claims agents, the Assistant Commissioners and their subordinate officers were withdrawn from the states.

For the next year and a half, the Bureau continued to pursue its education work and to process claims. In the summer of 1870, the superintendents of education were withdrawn from the states, and the headquarters staff was greatly reduced. From that time until the Bureau was abolished by an act of Congress approved June 10, 1872 (17 Stat. 366), effective June 30, 1872, the Bureau's functions related almost exclusively to the disposition of claims. The Bureau's records and remaining functions were then transferred to the Freedmen's Branch in the office of the Adjutant General. The records of this branch are among the Bureau's files.

Constrained by limited resources, Southern opposition, and the politics of Reconstruction, the Bureau faced an enormous challenge in its efforts to assist the freedmen and refugees. Its relief efforts, without question, saved thousands of southerners from starvation. Its attempts to assist freedmen to become self–sufficient, to provide public education, administer justice, and, to a lesser degree, to provide land, all worked with varying degrees of success to lessen the difficulties during the transition from slavery to freedom. One of the Bureau's greatest legacies is the body of records it created and received during the course of its operations. These records are arguably some of the most important documents available for the study of the Federal Government's policies, efforts to reconstruct the South, and Southern social history and genealogy.

THE FREEDMEN'S BUREAU IN ALABAMA

The Freedmen's Bureau's major activities in Alabama generally resembled those conducted in other states. The Bureau issued rations to both freedmen and white refugees, supervised labor contracts between planters and freedmen, administered justice, worked with benevolent societies in the establishment of schools, and assisted freedmen in locating land.

Shortly after accepting the position of Assistant Commissioner in Alabama, Brig. Gen. Swayne requested permission from the Freedmen's Bureau headquarters in Washington, DC, to set aside 1,225 acres of land on the Broward Plantation near Montgomery for freedmen. The plantation had been abandoned shortly before the end of the war and was confiscated by Federal authorities. Montgomery Home Colony, established on some of this land, became the largest of several "home colonies" set aside to provide services for the freedmen. Home colonies were also established at Talladega, Mobile, Garland, Butler County, Montgomery, Selma, Demopolis, and Huntsville. The colonies were not self–sufficient communities of freedmen like those found in South Carolina or Louisiana. Instead, the colonies were distribution centers where the Bureau disseminated rations, clothes, seeds, and tools; processed claims; provided medical care; and organized services for the infirm, orphans, and the elderly. The central functions of these colonies were organized around a freedmen's hospital. The freedmen's hospital at Montgomery offered services to all races. From November 1866 to August 1867, it treated 168 refugees (whites), five of whom died. During the same period, the hospital treated 6,058 freedmen, of whom 162 died.

From 1865 to 1867, Alabama suffered repeated and massive crop failures due to drought or frost conditions. During the same period, the state was swept by a series of epidemics, with smallpox proving the most deadly disease affecting the freedmen. In addition to medical care, one of the most important duties for the Bureau in Alabama was the issuance of rations to refugees and freedmen to stave off malnutrition and starvation.

The Alabama Bureau also expended great resources and energy mitigating contract disputes between freedmen and white landowners as well as attempting to overturn draconian "black codes" enacted by the Alabama State Legislature and signed by the Governor. In his 1866 annual report to the Washington, DC, headquarters of the Bureau, Swayne complained that white landowners rampantly defrauded freedmen of benefits spelled out in their labor contracts.1 However, Swayne complained most extensively in this report about a particular set of "black codes" passed by the Legislature late in 1865 as vagrancy laws. These codes were passed shortly before Christmas after widespread complaints by white landowners that freedmen refused to work during the Christmas week. Apparently, freedmen expected to continue the tradition of time off from work at Christmas dating back to the antebellum years. Brig. Gen. Swayne charged that these laws returned freedmen to a state of slavery. First, he pointed to the authorized use of chain gangs in which freedmen worked with no compensation for even the most minor offenses. Second, the newly established probate courts often worked against freedmen. They were responsible for settling contract disputes between freedmen and white landowners. However, one component of the law passed by the Legislature stipulated that freedmen were not allowed to testify against whites or serve on juries. In cases where the courts found in favor of the white landowners, the presiding judge had the option of forcing freedmen into uncompensated labor for the white landowners or impressing freedmen's children as free laborers for the litigant. The black codes also authorized county officials to impress orphaned children as laborers on local plantations. Swayne was able to convince the Alabama Legislature to eventually overturn most of these codes. In districts where he could not force the probate courts to fairly enforce the law, he set up special freedmen's courts to hear complaints.

However, Swayne was unable to convince the Legislature to overturn provisions of the vagrancy laws that allowed widespread arrests of freedmen. The code authorized local and state law enforcement officials to summarily arrest those freedmen without contract papers who were allegedly causing "disturbances" in public places and roads. The normal punishment under this penal code was forced labor on nearby plantations. Finally, in March 1867, the Bureau saw this law overturned through the Military Reconstruction Bill for the District of Alabama (14 Stat. 429).

The Freedmen's Bureau in Alabama had a major impact in providing education for freedmen from 1866 to 1869. Due to its limited budget and resources, the Bureau was unable to directly establish and operate the great number of freedmen schools needed. However, the successive Assistant Commissioners proved very adept at finding other means for establishing these schools. They successfully implemented a three–way partnership program in which a wide variety of Northern relief societies flooded the state with resources to build schools, money for books and teachers, or volunteer members who instructed the freedmen for no fee. The freedmen were often responsible for actual maintenance of facilities as well as contributions of money and resources for upkeep of the local schools. Bureau agents oversaw the education program and provided land and protection for the schools. The results of this program were impressive. At the beginning of the school year in October 1866, there were 3,100 freedmen in classes taught by 68 teachers. By June 1867, these figures had grown to just under 10,000 students instructed by 150 teachers.

ENDNOTES

1 Annual Report of the Assistant Commissioner, Montgomery, AL, October 31, 1866, Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Alabama, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1870 (National Archives Microfilm Publication M809, Roll 2), Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, Record Group (RG) 105, National Archives Building, Washington, DC.
Freedmen's Bureau Personnel in Alabama:
This list provides the names and dates of service of known Freedmen's Bureau personnel at selected subordinate field offices in Alabama. Additional information regarding persons assigned to various field offices might be found among the Bureau's Washington headquarters station books and rosters of military officers and civilians on duty in the states and other appointment–related records.

DEMOPOLIS

Aug.–Dec. 1865 -- Subassistant Commissioner Capt. A. C. Haltonstall

Jan. 1866–Feb. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner Bvt Maj. C. W. Pierce

Feb.–May 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner Lt. A. J. Bennett

June 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner C. L. Drake

July–Dec. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner R. A. Wilson

GREENVILLE

Sept.–Nov. 1865 -- Subassistant Commissioner A. L. Brown

Nov. 1865–ca. June 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner T. W. Mostyn

ca. June 1866–Feb. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner J. F. McGogy

Feb.–June 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner Samuel Gardner

June–Sept. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner William H. Peck

Sept.–Nov. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner Samuel Gardner

Nov.–Dec. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner J. A. Hart

Dec. 1867–July 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner Samuel Gardner

Aug.–Dec. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner J. F. McGogy

HUNTSVILLE

Sept. 1865–Jan. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner T. M. Goodfellow

Jan. 1866–Jan. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner J. B. Callis

Jan.–Feb. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner Robert Harrison

Mar.–Nov. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner D. C. Rugg

HUNTSVILLE AND ATHENS

Apr.–Sept. 1868 -- Claims Agent J. W. Wilis

Sept. 1868–Jan. 1872 -- Claims Agent John Wager

JACKSONVILLE

May–Aug. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner and Agent Robert Harrison

Aug. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner and Agent William McKibbin (Agent)

MOBILE

Apr.–Aug. 1865 -- Subassistant Commissioner George Harmount

Oct. 1865–Apr. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner George Robinson

Apr.–May 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner G. A. Washbum

May–Aug. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner L. J. Whiting

Sept.–Oct. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner Joseph Logan

Nov. 1866–Sept. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner George Tracy

Sept. 1867–Aug. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner James Gillette

Aug.–Sept. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner John Hyde

Sept.–Nov. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner E. H. Weirman

Nov.–Dec. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner Frank Towle

MONTGOMERY

Oct. 1865–Dec. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner George A. Harmount

Dec. 1866–Aug. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner L. J. Whiting

Aug. 1867–Dec. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner J. C. Hendrix

OPELIKA

June 1867–June 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner R. T. Smith

July–Aug. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner John Bannister

Aug.–Sept. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner D. B. Smith

Sept.–Oct. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner G. W. Kingsbury

Oct.–Dec. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner D. B. Smith

SELMA

Mar.–June 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner Samuel S. Gardner

June–July 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner F. D. Ogilby

July–Aug. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner Samuel S. Gardner

Aug. 1866–Jan. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner George Shorkley

Jan.–Dec. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner Charles C. Bartlett

TALLADEGA

Oct.–Nov. 1865 -- Subassistant Commissioner D. P. Cilley

Dec. 1865–Apr. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner T. Humphrey

Apr. 1866–Feb. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner R. Tlieune

Feb. 1867–June 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner J. F. McGogy

June–Dec. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner George P. Sherwood

TUSCALOOSA

Jan.–Apr. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner Jesse W. Cogswell

Apr. 1866–Apr. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner W. H. Peck

Apr. 1867–Dec. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner Robert Blair

TUSCUMBIA

May–June 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner Henry Sweeney

June–Aug. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner W. H. Heilman

Aug. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner John Raines

TUSKEGEE

Sept.–Nov. 1865 -- Assistant Superintendent Andrew Geddes

Nov. 1865–Apr. 1866 -- Assistant Superintendent Spencer Smith
Related Materials:
See also Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection
Provenance:
Acquired from FamilySearch International in 2015.
Restrictions:
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commercial use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org.
Topic:
American South  Search this
Freedmen's Bureau  Search this
Reconstruction, U.S. history, 1865-1877  Search this
Slaves -- Emancipation  Search this
Citation:
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.FB.M1900
See more items in:
Records of the Field Offices for the State of Alabama, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmaahc-fb-m1900
Additional Online Media:

Henry Ossawa Tanner papers

Creator:
Tanner, Henry Ossawa, 1859-1937  Search this
Names:
Académie Julian  Search this
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Grand Central Art Galleries  Search this
Old American Art Club (Paris, France)  Search this
Carpenter, J.S.  Search this
Curtis, Atherton  Search this
Tanner, Jesse O., 1903-  Search this
Tanner, Jessie O., 1873-1925  Search this
Taverty, J.J.  Search this
Extent:
2.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketches
Photographs
Date:
1860s-1978
bulk 1890-1937
Summary:
The papers of the expatriate African American painter Henry Ossawa Tanner measure 2.3 linear feet and date from the 1860s to 1978, with the bulk of the material dating from 1890 to 1937. Found in the papers are scattered biographical, family, and legal materials; twenty-seven folders of correspondence with family, friends, patrons, and galleries; writings and notes by Tanner and others; a small amount of printed material; numerous photographs of Tanner, his studio in Paris and home in Trepied, Normandy, his family, friends, fellow artists, and his artwork. Additional photographs include a circa 1890 shot of Tanner with fellow students at the Académie Julian and another depicting Tanner with members of the American Art Club in Paris, circa 1900. Also found are a few sketches and drawings.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of the expatriate African American painter Henry Ossawa Tanner measure 2.3 linear feet and date from the 1860s to 1978, with the bulk of the material dating from 1890 to 1937. Found in the papers are scattered biographical, family, and legal materials; twenty-seven folders of correspondence with family, friends, patrons, and galleries; writings and notes by Tanner and others; a small amount of printed material; numerous photographs of Tanner, his family, friends, his artwork, and the galleries at the Chicago Art Institute; and a few sketches and drawings.

Biographical material contains identification documents, awards, family and personal bibles, scattered records of his membership in the Societe Artistique de Picardie and the American Expeditionary Forces, address books, family history, a file concerning a lawsuit against the Bethel A.M.E. Church, and a few records documenting the sale of his artwork. Tanner's personal and professional correspondence is with his wife Jessie, his family, friends, patrons, art galleries, and others. Letters are from various family members, his closest friend Atherton Curtis and his wife Ingeborg, friend J.S. Carpenter who was president of the Des Moines Association of Fine Arts and arranged for sales of Tanner's work in the mid-west, Grand Central Art Galleries in New York, and J.J. Taverty who purchased Tanner's work for the High Museum in Atlanta. Topics of note covered in the correspondence include the sale and exhibition of his artwork and his work for the Red Cross.

Writings and Notes by Tanner include two small notebooks, one of which he kept during his travels in Europe and Palestine in 1897. Also found are his scattered loose writings, jottings, and other notes on various subjects, including autobiographical notes. Writings by others include notes and an essay by his wife Jessie, and a manuscript, "The Life and Works of Henry O. Tanner," by his son Jesse. Printed Materials document Tanner's career and other interests through exhibition announcements, news clippings, printed reproductions of artwork, a published autobiographical essay, and other miscellaneous items. The collection includes numerous photographs of Tanner, family and friends, his studio in Paris, his home in Trepied and in Spain, travels, and artwork. Additional photographs include a circa 1890 shot of Tanner with students at the Académie Julian and another depicting Tanner with members of the American Art Club in Paris, circa 1900. Artwork consists of an ink drawing of a Paris studio and pencil sketches by Tanner.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 6 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1890-1937 (Box 1, 4, OV 5; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1890-1978 (Box 1, OV 5; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1897-circa 1950s (Box 1-2, OV 5; 9 folders)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1897-1975 (Box 2, OV 5; 9 folders)

Series 5: Photographs, 1860s-1943 (Box 3, OV 5; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 6: Artwork, 1891-1893 (Box 3; 2 folders)
Biographical Note:
African American painter Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Benjamin Tucker Tanner, a college-educated teacher and minister, and Sarah Miller Tanner, a former slave. Benjamin Tanner was very active in the African Methodist Episcopal (A. M. E.) Church, eventually becoming a bishop, and the family often moved while Henry was a small child. They settled in Philadelphia, and as a teenager, Tanner spent his free time painting, drawing, and visiting art galleries. In 1880 he enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he studied under several master art instructors, including Thomas Eakins who greatly influenced his early work.

Tanner moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1888 and opened a photography gallery which was not very successful. After teaching briefly at Clark College, a sponsorship from his patrons Bishop and Mrs. Joseph Crane Hartzell allowed him to travel to Europe in 1891 and study at the Académie Julian in Paris. There he was taught by Jean Joseph Benjamin-Constant and Jean-Paul Laurens. After returning to Philadelphia in late 1892, he painted many works depicting African American subjects, including The Banjo Lesson (1893). He returned to Paris in 1894. There, his work began to receive favorable reviews, particularly at the Paris Solon for his biblical scenes. Tanner began to specialize in painting bible imagery and scenes, and traveled to Palestine in 1897 and 1898 and later to Morocco to study costumes, customs, and cityscapes.

In 1899 Tanner married Jessie Macauley Olssen, a young woman from San Francisco living in Paris. Also around this time reproductions of his artwork were published in a few popular American magazines, and Tanner began to receive praise for his artwork in the United States. Tanner, however, objected to being labeled as "Negro artist". Despite their misgivings, the couple moved back to the United States for a short time. Their son, Jesee Ossawa Tanner was born in 1903. One year later Tanner and his wife returned to Paris and made it their lifelong permanent home, only occasionally visiting the United States for exhibitions of his work. They also maintained a leisure farm in Trepied, Normandy.

Tanner continued to exhibit his work in Paris, develop his painting technique and imagery, and travel, becoming friends with many artists throughout Europe. In 1913 he became president of the Societe Artistique de Picardie and during World War I he worked for the American Red Cross in France. In 1923 he was made a chevalier of the Legion of Honor in France for his work as an artist. Tanner became affiliated with Grand Central Art Galleries and other dealers in the United States and had great success there during the 1920s. When Jessie Tanner died in 1925 Henry was grief stricken and remained in poor health for the remainder of his life. He continued to paint occasionally until his death in 1937.
Related Material:
Also found at the Archives of American Art are the Marcia M. Mathews papers relating to Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1937-1969, available on microfilm reels 64 and 3268. Archives of American Art microfilm reel 4399 contains the Alexander family papers relating to Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1912-1985, the originals of which are housed in the University of Pennsylvania Archives. Microfilm reel 4397 is a copy of the the Henry O. Tanner letters to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1885-1909, loaned for microfilming by the Academy.
Provenance:
The Henry Ossawa Tanner papers were donated in several increments by his son, Jesse O. Tanner, between 1967 to 1978. Additional papers were donated by Jesse O. Tanner through Marcia M. Mathews, who was in possession of Tanner's papers to write Tanner's biography. Four medals were transferred to the Archives from the National Museum of African Art.
Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
Rights:
The Henry Ossawa Tanner 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:
Expatriate painters -- France -- Paris  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
African American painters -- France -- Paris  Search this
Painters -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketches
Photographs
Citation:
Henry Ossawa Tanner papers, 1860s-1978 (bulk 1890-1937). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.tannhenr
See more items in:
Henry Ossawa Tanner papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-tannhenr
Additional Online Media:

Gyorgy Kepes papers

Creator:
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
Names:
Center for Advanced Visual Studies  Search this
Illinois Institute of Technology  Search this
Saidenberg Gallery  Search this
Triennale di Milano (Milan, Italy)  Search this
Arnheim, Rudolf  Search this
Bertoia, Harry  Search this
Blee, Michael  Search this
Boghosian, Varujan  Search this
Brazdys, Konslancija  Search this
Burgess, Lowry, 1940-  Search this
Burnham, Jack, 1931-  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Chermayeff, Serge, 1900-  Search this
Dreyfuss, Henry, 1904-1972  Search this
Eames, Charles  Search this
Eames, Ray  Search this
Egawa, Kazuhiko  Search this
Entwhistle, Clive  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-  Search this
Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969  Search this
Hayter, Stanley William, 1901-1988  Search this
Hélion, Jean, 1904-1987  Search this
Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005  Search this
Kepes, Juliet  Search this
Kowalski, Piotry  Search this
Lynch, Kevin, 1918-1984  Search this
McLuhan, Marshall, 1911-1980  Search this
Mead, Margaret, 1901-1978  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, Sibyl, 1905-  Search this
Nusberg, Lev, 1937-  Search this
Osborn, Robert Chesley, 1904-1994  Search this
Piene, Otto, 1928-  Search this
Read, Herbert Edward, Sir, 1893-1968  Search this
Richards, I. A. (Ivor Armstrong), 1893-1979  Search this
Rickey, George  Search this
Saarinen, Eero, 1910-1961  Search this
Sonfist, Alan  Search this
Steinberg, Saul  Search this
Tacha, Athena, 1936-  Search this
Takis, Vassilakis  Search this
Tange, Kenzō, 1913-  Search this
Thiel, Philip  Search this
Tovish, Harold, 1921-2008  Search this
Tsʻai, Wen-ying, 1928-  Search this
Wolff, Robert Jay, 1905-  Search this
Wurster, William Wilson  Search this
Zvilna, Jēkabs, 1913-1997  Search this
Faculty:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology  Search this
Extent:
21.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Caricatures
Designs
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Sound recordings
Place:
Times Square (New York, N.Y.)
Date:
1909-2003
bulk 1935-1985
Summary:
The papers of Hungarian-born artist, art theorist, and educator, Gyorgy Kepes, measure 21.2 linear feet and date from 1909-2003, with the bulk of the material dating from the 1935-1985. The papers document Kepes's career as an artist and educator, and as founder of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), through biographical material, correspondence, writings by Kepes and others, project files, exhibition files, printed material, sketchbooks, artwork, sound recordings and motion picture films, and photographic material.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Hungarian-born artist, art theorist, and educator, Gyorgy Kepes, measure 21.2 linear feet and date from 1909-2003, with the bulk of the material dating from the 1935-1985. The papers document Kepes's career as an artist and educator, and as founder of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), through biographical material, correspondence, writings by Kepes and others, project files, exhibition files, printed material, sketchbooks, artwork, sound recordings and motion picture films, and photographic material.

Correspondence provides a wide range of documentation on all aspects of Kepes's career including his collaborations and friendships with artists, architects, writers, scientists, and fellow educators including Rudolf Arnheim, Alexander Calder, Henry Dreyfuss, Charles and Ray Eames, Clive Entwhistle, R. Buckminster Fuller, Walter Gropius, S. W. Hayter, Jean Hélion, Laszlo and Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, Lev Nussberg, Robert Osborn, George Rickey, Saul Steinberg, Kenzo Tange, Robert Jay Wolff, and Jekabs Zvilna. Correspondence also documents the evolution of Kepes's vision for the Center for Advanced Visual Studies, which he established in 1967, and his subsequent leadership of CAVS at M.I.T. Records document his collaborations with students and fellows including Lowry Burgess, Jack Burnham, Piotry Kowalski, Margaret Mead, Otto Piene, Alan Sonfist, Athena Tacha, Vassilakis Takis, Philip Thiel, Harold Tovish, and Wen-Ying Tsai. Correspondents also include people who contributed to Kepes's Vision + Value series, including Michael Blee, Kazuhiko Egawa, Jean Hélion, and others. Correspondence includes three motion picture films, including what appears to be an early version of Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames.

Writings include notes and manuscripts for articles and essays in which Kepes explored ideas evident in his books The New Landscape and Language of Vision, and submitted to publications such as Daedalus, Design, Domus, and Leonardo. Writings also include manuscripts for lectures, and draft manuscripts documenting Kepes's collaborative work with fellow M.I.T. professor Kevin Lynch on city planning, which culminated in Lynch's research project "The Perceptual Form of the City."

A small group of "Times Square Project" files documents Kepes's proposal for a lightscape in Times Square that was ultimately not realized.

Teaching files include sound recordings of circa five symposia and discussions held at M.I.T., the Illinois Institute of Technology, and elsewhere, some featuring Kepes and including Philip Johnson, Eero Saarinen and others.

Exhibition files include documentation of three exhibitions, including Light as a Creative Medium (1968) and a Kepes exhibition at Saidenberg Gallery (1968). They also record Kepes's involvement in designing the 1968 Triennale di Milano.

Printed material includes a substantial collection of announcements and catalogs for Kepes exhibitions, lectures, and other events, and includes catalogs and announcements for scattered exhibitions of his wife, artist and illustrator, Juliet Kepes. Clippings from newspapers and magazines include articles about Kepes, and contain some copies of published writings and designs by him. The series also includes sound recordings and motion picture films containing original material for a CBS television series "The 21st Century," probably as part of the episode "Art for Tomorrow," which appear to feature M.I.T. fellows Jack Burnham and Vassilakis Takis. Another motion picture film of an Italian documentary "Operazione Cometa" can also be found here.

Two sketchbooks contain pen and ink and painted sketches by Kepes. Artwork by Kepes includes original poster designs, caricatures, and many pencil, and pen and ink sketches and paintings on paper and board, including designs for stained glass. Artwork by others includes ink on mylar sketches by D. Judelson and Konstancija Brazdys, and a sketch by Harold Tovish. Also found are circa seventeen motion picture films and four sound recordings, the majority of which are untitled and by unidentified artists, but include films by M.I.T. fellows Otto Piene, Vassilakis Takis, Philip Thiel, Harold Tovish, Wen-Ying Tsai, and others.

Photographs are of Kepes, Juliet Kepes, and other family members; students, colleagues, and friends, including R. Buckminster Fuller, Serge Chermayeff, Harry Bertoia, Varujan Boghosian, Alexander Calder, Marchall McLuhan, Margaret Mead, Herbert Read, I. A. Richards, Saul Steinberg, and William Wurster; and of Kepes in his studio. There are also photos of exhibition installations in which Kepes's work appeared or which he designed, and photos of his artwork and of images for publications which he wrote or edited. Photos by others include artwork by established artists and work by students, as well as photographs arranged by subjects such as cityscapes, forms found in nature, light patterns, mechanical devices, and photomicrographs. A collection of lantern slides with similar content to the photos of artwork and photos by subject is also found in this series and includes a lantern slide of Picasso creating a design with light.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as eleven series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1940-circa 1980 (0.25 linear feet; Boxes 1, 28)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1936-1984 (5.7 linear feet; Boxes 1-7, 28 OV 33, FCs 39-41)

Series 3: Interviews and Transcripts, 1954-1970 (4 folders; Box 7)

Series 4: Writings and Notes, 1948-circa 1980s (1.4 linear feet; Boxes 7-8, 28)

Series 5: Times Square Project Files, 1972-1974 (6 folders; Box 9)

Series 6: Teaching Files Sound Recordings, circa 1953-1972 (0.7 linear feet; Box 9)

Series 7: Exhibition Files, 1958-1973 (0.4 linear feet; Boxes 9-10)

Series 8: Printed Material, circa 1922-1989 (3.6 linear feet; Boxes 10-12, 28-29, OVs 35, 37, FCs 42-49)

Series 9: Sketchbooks, circa 1940s-circa 1970s (2 folders; Box 12)

Series 10: Artwork and Moving Images, circa 1924-2003 (2.5 linear feet; Boxes 12, 13, OVs 33-36, 38, FCs 50-62)

Series 11: Photographs, 1909-1988 (10.4 linear feet; Boxes 13-32)
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, designer, art theorist, and educator, Gyorgy Kepes (1906-2001), was born in Selyp, Hungary, and studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest. He worked with Moholy-Nagy in Berlin and London before joining him at the New Bauhaus (later the Chicago Institute of Design) in 1937.

Kepes taught courses at the New Bauhaus from 1937 to 1945, and published Language of Vision in 1944, summarizing the educational ideas and methods he had developed during his time at the institute. In 1946 he accepted a teaching position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) where he initiated a program in visual design.

In 1956 Kepes published The New Landscape in Art and Science, in which he presented images from nature that were newly accessible due to developments in science and technology, and explored his ideas for a common language between science and the visual arts.

In 1965, these ideas were apparent in Kepes's proposal of an expanded visual arts program at M.I.T., which would "build new as yet undetermined bridges between art and engineering and science," according to the minutes of an M.I.T. Art Committee meeting in March of that year. Kepes's vision dovetailed with M.I.T.'s vested interest in promoting the arts, and faculty and administrators were open to the argument that "The scientific-technical enterprise needs schooling by the artistic sensibilities." In 1967, they appointed Kepes Director of M.I.T.'s Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS).

Kepes retired from the regular faculty at M.I.T. in 1967, to focus on his role as director of CAVS, where he worked to provide artists with opportunities for exploring new artistic forms on a civic scale through a working dialogue with scientists and engineers. Early fellows of the center included Maryanne Amacher, Joan Brigham, Lowry Burgess, Jack Burnham, Piotry Kowalski, Otto Piene, Vassilakis Takis, and Wen-Ying Tsai.

In 1965-1966 Kepes edited a six-volume series entitled Vision + Value, published by George Braziller, Inc. Each volume featured essays that centered around a core theme: The Education of Vision; Structure in Art and Science; The Nature and Art of Motion; Module, Symmetry, Proportion, Rhythm; Sign, Image, Symbol; and Man-Made Object. Contributions came from prominent artists, designers, architects, and scientists of the time including Rudolf Arnheim, Saul Bass, Marcel Breuer, John Cage, R. Buckminster Fuller, Johannes Itten, Marshall McLuhan, and Paul Rand.

Kepes experimented widely with photography, producing abstract images through the application of fluids and objects to photographic paper. He also took commercial work throughout his career, producing designs for all kinds of objects, including books and stained glass windows for churches. He returned to painting in the 1950s, and his development as a painter continued throughout his career at M.I.T., where he remained until his retirement in 1974, and beyond. His paintings, which were abstract and often incorporated organic shapes and hints of landscapes, can be found in museums such as the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Kepes received many awards during his lifetime, including a Guggenheim Fellowship (1958); the Gold Star Award of the Philadelphia College of Art (1958); the National Association of Art Colleges Annual Award (1968); the California College of Art Award (1968); and the Fine Arts Medal from the American Institute of Architects (1968). In 1973 he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an associate member, and became a full academician in 1978. He was a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Related Materials:
Additional papers of Gyorgy Kepes can be found at Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Advanced Visual Studies Special Collection.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reel 1211) including ninety-eight letters to Kepes from colleagues, 1946-1974. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Gyorgy Kepes lent papers for microfilming in 1974 and donated material to the Archives of American Art in a series of gifts between 1974 and 1993.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Rights:
Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce must be obtained from Juliet Kepes Stone or Imre Kepes.
Topic:
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Artists' studios--Photographs  Search this
City planning  Search this
Educators--Massachusetts--Cambridge  Search this
Motion pictures (visual works)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Caricatures
Designs
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Sound recordings
Citation:
Gyorgy Kepes papers, 1909-2003, bulk 1935-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kepegyor
See more items in:
Gyorgy Kepes papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kepegyor

Photographs of Artwork

Collection Creator:
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1922-1988
Scope and Contents:
Series includes photographs of artwork by old masters and other established artists as well as students. Also found are photos of artwork by region and genre, and a reel of microfilm from the British Museum containing images of the notes of J.M.W. Turner.
Arrangement:
Series is arranged as two subseries.

11.4.1: By Kepes, 1928-1941

11.4.2: By Others, circa 1922-1988
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce must be obtained from Juliet Kepes Stone or Imre Kepes.
Collection Citation:
Gyorgy Kepes papers, 1909-2003, bulk 1935-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kepegyor, Subseries 11.4
See more items in:
Gyorgy Kepes papers
Gyorgy Kepes papers / Series 11: Photographs
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-kepegyor-ref459

Artists, T, Turner's Studies on Perspective, Microfilm Reel

Collection Creator:
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
Container:
Box 14, Folder 27
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1950s-circa 1960s
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce must be obtained from Juliet Kepes Stone or Imre Kepes.
Collection Citation:
Gyorgy Kepes papers, 1909-2003, bulk 1935-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Gyorgy Kepes papers
Gyorgy Kepes papers / Series 11: Photographs / 11.4: Photographs of Artwork / 11.4.2: By Others
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-kepegyor-ref494

Howard Wise Gallery records

Creator:
Howard Wise Gallery  Search this
Names:
Burger, Warren E., 1907-1995  Search this
Chermayeff, Serge, 1900-  Search this
Dickinson, Edwin Walter, 1891-1978  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean, 1901-  Search this
MacAgy, Douglas, 1913-  Search this
Sturken, Marita, 1957-  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Wise, Howard  Search this
Extent:
11.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Interviews
Video recordings
Date:
1943-1989
Summary:
The records of the Howard Wise Gallery in New York, and its predecessor the Howard Wise Gallery of Present Day Painting and Sculpture in Cleveland, Ohio, measure 11.4 linear feet and date from 1943-1989. Records consist of correspondence, artist files, exhibition files, business records, writings, and video recordings that document the activities of Wise's gallery in Cleveland from 1957-1961 and, to a lesser extent, his gallery in New York City from 1960-1970. Wise's activities following the closing of the Howard Wise Gallery are also found among the correspondence, artist files, business records, writings, and video recordings.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of the Howard Wise Gallery in New York, and its predecessor the Howard Wise Gallery of Present Day Painting and Sculpture in Cleveland, Ohio, measure 11.4 linear feet and date from 1943-1989. Records consist of correspondence, artist files, exhibition files, business records, writings, and video recordings that document the activities of Wise's gallery in Cleveland from 1957-1961 and, to a lesser extent, his gallery in New York City from 1960-1970. Wise's activities following the closing of the Howard Wise Gallery are also found among the correspondence, artist files, business records, writings, and video recordings.

Correspondence documents the operations of Wise's galleries in Cleveland and New York. A few subject files and a small amount of Howard Wise's personal correspondence (some pre-dating and post-dating the galleries) are also included in this series.

Artist files contain varying combinations of correspondence, printed material, notes and writings, and photographs. Most artists represented in this series were affiliated with Howard Wise Gallery either in Cleveland or New York City, but some files are for individuals of potential interest to the gallery, and those of continued interest to Wise after the closing of the gallery. Exhibition files contain correspondence, printed material, guest lists, and notes. Exhibition files are not a comprehensive record of exhibitions held in Wise's galleries.

Business records include records of cash disbursements that are primarily for Howard Wise's travel and entertainment expenses. Business memoranda and correspondence between the Cleveland and New York galleries document sales, inventory, shipments and financial information. Also among the business records are photographs of the Howard Wise Gallery of Present Day Painting and Sculpture in Cleveland, a set of slides of artworks and installation views dating to the late 1950s, and inventories and loan documentation related to Howard Wise's personal art collection. Writings consist of essays and speeches by Howard Wise, writings on Howard Wise and the Howard Wise Gallery artists by Douglas MacAgy and Marita Sturken, and a typescript recollection of a dinner party conversation with Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger from 1973.

Video recordings include 41 videoreels and videocassettes, a log book of video shot by Wise in the early 1970s, and a program for a screening of his videos held in Wellfleet, Mass. Recordings are mainly unedited footage of interviews with artists and community figures, gallery openings, and other community events in Wellfleet, Mass. and the greater Cape Cod region. A log book and detailed labels on videos provide details about their content. Three edited works made by Wise from the raw footage include "video portraits" of Serge Chermayeff, Edwin Dickinson, and Jack Tworkov. Also found is footage from the premiere performance of Jean Dubuffet's Coucou Bazaar at the Guggenheim Museum, and a dinner party attended by Dubuffet. Video of works by other artists include footage from media and kinetic artworks shown in the Howard Wise Gallery from 1964-1967, as well as a video performance by Hannah Wilke from 1974.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 5 series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1943-1984 (Boxes 1-2; 2.0 linear ft.)

Series 2: Artist Files, 1950-1984 (Boxes 3-6; 3.4 linear ft.)

Series 3: Exhibition Files, 1957-1968 (Boxes 6-7; 0.9 linear ft.)

Series 4: Business Records, 1957-1989 (Boxes 7-9; 2.6 linear ft.)

Series 5: Writings, 1957-1984 (Box 9; 4 folders)

Series 6: Video Recordings, 1973-1985 (2.5 linear feet)
Historical Note:
After twenty-five years as president of Arco Company, his family's industrial paint and varnish manufacturing business in Cleveland, Howard Wise (1903-1989) sold his interest in the business and began to pursue his own artistic interests. The Howard Wise Gallery of Present Day Painting and Sculpture opened in Cleveland in 1957 and operated for the next five years. It first showed School of Paris and New York painters and also sold prints. With the exception of a few collectors and loyal customers, Clevelanders did not appreciate Wise's efforts to bring the best new art from all over the world to the city. The Cleveland Plain Dealer ran several editorials ridiculing modern art in general and Howard Wise and his gallery in particular. Attendance was poor and Wise decided to relocate to New York.

After a year of searching for a suitable location and renovating the space, Howard Wise Gallery opened at 50 West 57th Street in 1960. The gallery generated excitement among visitors and artists, and sales and attendance were much better than in Cleveland. After closing the Cleveland gallery in 1961 Wise never again returned to his native city. Despite being well received and conducting significantly more business in New York, the gallery was not a great financial success. Between 1962 and 1965, art consultant Douglas MacAgy, a friend and the former director of the Dallas Museum of Art, worked with Wise in running the gallery. Although the critics were not always favorably impressed, Howard Wise Gallery had a significant following and made important contributions through its support of the use of technology in art, specifically kinetic and light sculpture and the video art movement.

By the late 1960s, Wise recognized that a gallery setting was not suitable for many of the new art forms. He closed Howard Wise Gallery in 1970 so that he could focus his energy and resources on exploring the best way to support environmental sculpture, political work, and video art. Wise founded Electronic Arts Intermix in 1971. Originally an artist-run umbrella organization, today Electronic Arts Intermix is a non-profit videotape distribution service and editing facility, that has amassed an important and highly regarded video art collection.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Howard Wise conducted by Paul Cummings on February 22, 1971. The Harvard Art Museum Archives also holds archival records of the Howard Wise Gallery.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reel N70-77) including publicity materials, correspondence, exhibition plans, text of an exhibition catalog, and photographs relating to Howard Kiesler. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
In 1979, the Howard Wise Gallery lent material to the Archives of American Art for microfilming. The rest of the collection was donated by Howard Wise in 1971 and by Barbara Wise, Howard Wise's widow via Dana Kasarsky, Wise's daughter-in-law in 2011.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Howard Wise 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:
Video art  Search this
Art, Modern  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- Ohio -- Cleveland  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Kinetic sculpture  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Interviews
Video recordings
Citation:
Howard Wise Gallery records, 1943-1969. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.howawisg
See more items in:
Howard Wise Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-howawisg
Additional Online Media:

Aerojet General Corp - American Machine & Foundry Co.

Designer:
Henry Dreyfuss, American, 1904–1972  Search this
Medium:
B&W 35mm Microfilm
Type:
archive
Archive folder
Object Name:
Archive folder
Date:
ca. 1929-1972
Credit Line:
Henry Dreyfuss Archive, gift of Various Donors
Accession Number:
Dreyfuss Audio & Visual Folder 001
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Archives Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_Dreyfuss_Audio___Visual_Folder_001

American Machine & Foundry Co. - Bankers Trust Co.

Designer:
Henry Dreyfuss, American, 1904–1972  Search this
Medium:
B&W 35mm Microfilm
Type:
archive
Archive folder
Object Name:
Archive folder
Date:
ca. 1929-1972
Credit Line:
Henry Dreyfuss Archive, gift of Various Donors
Accession Number:
Dreyfuss Audio & Visual Folder 002
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Archives Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_Dreyfuss_Audio___Visual_Folder_002

Bankers Trust Co. - Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc.

Designer:
Henry Dreyfuss, American, 1904–1972  Search this
Medium:
B&W 35mm Microfilm
Type:
archive
Archive folder
Object Name:
Archive folder
Date:
ca. 1929-1972
Credit Line:
Henry Dreyfuss Archive, gift of Various Donors
Accession Number:
Dreyfuss Audio & Visual Folder 003
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Archives Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_Dreyfuss_Audio___Visual_Folder_003

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