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Eva Lee Gallery records

Creator:
Eva Lee Gallery  Search this
Names:
Korvettes  Search this
New Art Circle (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Benn, Ben, 1884-  Search this
Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889-1975  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Christo, 1935-  Search this
Corinth, Lovis, 1858-1925  Search this
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Dalí, Salvador, 1904-  Search this
Feininger, Lyonel, 1871-1956  Search this
Grosz, George, 1893-1959  Search this
Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943  Search this
Hopkins, John  Search this
Indiana, Robert, 1928-  Search this
Lee, Eva  Search this
Lieberman, Harry, 1880-1983  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques, 1891-1973  Search this
Loewe, Frederick  Search this
Magritte, René, 1898-1967  Search this
Marin, John, 1870-1953  Search this
Mommer, Paul  Search this
Nesbitt, Lowell, 1933-1993  Search this
Neumann, J. B. (Jsrael Ber)  Search this
Odets, Clifford, 1906-1963  Search this
Ritchie, Andrew Carnduff  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Simpson, Merton D. (Merton Daniel), 1928-  Search this
Valentin, Curt, 1902-1954  Search this
Vasarely, Victor, 1906-1997  Search this
Weber, Max, 1881-1961  Search this
Extent:
4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Watercolor drawings
Photographs
Date:
1921-1973
Summary:
The scattered records of the New York contemporary American art Eva Lee Gallery measure 4.0 linear feet and date from 1921-1973. Artist files contain provenance notes, photographs of artwork, records of sales and consignments, exhibition catalogs from other galleries, and reference information on numerous contemporary artists, many represented by the gallery. There are also scattered letters and artwork from artists, scattered sales records of J.B. Neuman's New Art Circle Gallery, and a photocopy of an auction catalog for Korvettes Art Galleries in Douglastan, New York. A significant amount of information is found within the collection about Alexander Calder, Lovis Corinth, Salvadore Dali, Lyonel Feininger, George Grosz, Robert Indiana, Harry Lieberman, Rene Magritte, John Marin, Lowell Nesbitt, Ben Shahn, Victor Vasarely, and Max Weber.
Scope and Content Note:
The scattered records of the New York contemporary American art Eva Lee Gallery measure 4.0 linear feet and date from 1921-1973. Artist files contain provenance notes, photographs of artwork, records of sales and consignments, exhibition catalogs from other galleries, and reference information on numerous contemporary artists, many represented by the gallery. There are also scattered letters and artwork from artists, scattered sales records of J.B. Neumann's New Art Circle Gallery, and a photocopy of an auction catalog for Korvettes Art Galleries in Douglastan, New York.

The records are comprised of artists' files arranged into four categories established by the gallery: general artists' files; notebooks of artists' files; financial artists' files; and consignment and sales artists' files. General artists' files contain background and reference information on numerous contemporary artists, performers, and art-related organizations. More information exists for Alexander Calder and Harry Lieberman than the other names represented in the general files. Lee also arranged provenance notes and photographs of artwork into notebooks, presumably including many of the artists represented by the gallery. There is a significant amount of material in the notebooks on Alexander Calder, Robert Indiana, Lowell Nesbitt, Ben Shahn, Victor Vasarely, and Max Weber.

Financial artists' files contain correspondence with artists and patrons concerning the sale of artwork by both the Eva Lee Gallery and J. B. Neumann of the New Art Circle Gallery, scattered artwork, printed material, photographs of artists, and checks signed by Neumann and endorsed by miscellaneous artists. Eva Lee worked on the estate of J. B. Neumann and collected and interspersed his files with her own. These files include letters from Josef Albers, Thomas Hart Benton, Alexander Calder, Christo, Joseph Cornell, Robert Indiana, and a postcard of Calder's studio from Ben Shahn. There are also watercolor sketches by Clifford Odets, an exhibition catalog autographed by Ben Shahn, and photographs of Marsden Hartley, Jacques Lipchitz, composer Frederick Loewe, Paul Mommer, Mert Simpson, and Curt Valentin with Andrew Ritchie.

Eva Lee Gallery artists' consignment and sales files primarily contain photographs of artwork and notes concerning sales of specific artwork by the Eva Lee Gallery. Also found in these sales files are scattered letters, receipts, and printed material. There is a significant amount of material for Ben Benn, Alexander Calder, Lovis Corinth, Salvadore Dali, Lyonel Feininger, George Grosz, Marsden Hartley, John Hopkins, Rene Magritte, and John Marin. It is assumed that Eva Lee separated the two latter sets of artists' files containing sales records.

Also found in the collection is a photocopy of the Korvettes Art Galleries auction catalog, which lists artwork sold at a 1970 auction liquidating the holdings of the Douglaston, New York gallery.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 5 series:

Series 1: General Artist Files, 1923-1972 (Boxes 1-2; 1.3 linear feet)

Series 2: Notebooks of Artist Files, 1929-1973 (Boxes 2-3; 1.4 linear feet)

Series 3: Financial Artist Files, 1921-1970 (Boxes 3-4; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 4: Eva Lee Gallery Consignment and Sales Artist Files, 1960-1972 (Box 4; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 5: Photocopy of Korvettes Art Galleries Auction Catalog, 1970 (Box 4; 1 folder)
Historical Note:
Eva Lee was born circa 1924. She fled from Nazi Germany to the United States, becoming an art dealer and the owner of the Eva Lee Gallery, Inc. Located in Great Neck, New York, the Eva Lee Gallery specialized in modern art and handled the work of many prominent artists including Alexander Calder, Lyonel Feininger, George Grosz, Marsden Hartley, Jacob Lawrence, Ben Shahn, and Max Weber. The gallery was in operation through the first half of 1973.

Eva Lee died suddenly on November 4, 1973 in Terre Haute, Indiana, while undergoing unspecified medical treatment.
Provenance:
The Eva Lee Gallery records were donated in 1973 by Eva Lee through Eloise Spaeth, and in 1978 by Neal Richmond of the Paul Klapper Library, Queens College, Flushing, New York, who had been asked to disperse Lee's gallery records following her sudden death in 1973. A photocopy of the Korvettes Art Galleries Auction Catalog was donated by Eva Lee in 1970.

Lee's records also contained financial files belonging to art dealer J. B. Neumann and his New Art Circle Gallery, whose estate she had worked on in 1966.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Eva Lee 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) -- Long Island  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Watercolor drawings
Photographs
Citation:
Eva Lee Gallery records, 1921-1973. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.evalee
See more items in:
Eva Lee Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-evalee
Additional Online Media:

Jane Wade papers regarding Curt Valentin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ben Shahn papers

Creator:
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Names:
Baskin, Leonard, 1922-2000  Search this
Delano, Jack  Search this
Dugan, Alan  Search this
Evans, Walker, 1903-1975  Search this
Ferry, W. Hawkins  Search this
Francis, Arlene  Search this
Friendly, Fred W.  Search this
Gusten, Theodore, 1899-1978  Search this
Hirsch, Joseph, 1910-1981  Search this
Kingman, Dong, 1911-  Search this
Lange, Dorothea  Search this
Lee, Russell, 1903-1986  Search this
Lionni, Leo, 1910-  Search this
MacLeish, Archibald, 1892-1982  Search this
Martin, John Bartlow, 1915-1987  Search this
Mydans, Carl  Search this
Nakashima, George, 1905-  Search this
Nakashima, Marian  Search this
Odets, Clifford, 1906-1963  Search this
Osborn, Robert Chesley, 1904-1994  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Robbins, Jerome  Search this
Rodman, Selden, 1909-  Search this
Rothstein, Arthur, 1915-1985  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Soby, James Thrall, 1906-1979  Search this
Soyer, Raphael, 1899-1987  Search this
Vachon, John, 1914-1975  Search this
Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963  Search this
Wolcott, Marion Post, 1910-1990  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
25 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Awards
Sketches
Transcripts
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sketchbooks
Video recordings
Drawings
Photographs
Prints
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1879-1990
bulk 1933-1970
Summary:
The papers of social realist painter, photographer, illustrator, printmaker, and teacher Ben Shahn (1898-1969) measure 25.0 linear feet and date from 1879-1990, with the bulk of the material dating from 1933-1970. The bulk of the collection consists of over 14 linear feet of incoming letters from artists, writers, colleagues, publishers, art organizations, galleries, and universities and colleges. Also found are biographical materials, project and source files, printed material, artwork by Shahn and others, photographs taken of and by Shahn, interview transcripts, sound recordings of interviews and a motion picture film.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of social realist painter, photographer, illustrator, printmaker, and teacher Ben Shahn (1898-1969) measure 25.0 linear feet and date from 1879-1990, with the bulk of the material dating from 1933-1970. The bulk of the collection consists of over 14 linear feet of incoming letters from artists, writers, colleagues, publishers, art organizations, galleries, and universities and colleges. Also found are biographical materials, project and source files, printed material, artwork by Shahn and others, photographs taken of and by Shahn, interview transcripts, sound recordings of interviews and a motion picture film.

Biographical material and family records include a 1924 passport for Shahn and his first wife, Tillie, biographical sketches of Shahn, and award certificates received by him.

Letters are primarily written to Shahn from family members, artists, writers, colleagues, publishers, art organizations, galleries, and universities and colleges. Notable correspondents include Leonard Baskin, Alexander Calder, Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Joseph Hirsch, Leo Lionni, John Bartlow Martin, George and Marian Nakashima, Clifford Odets, Charles Olson, Robert Osborn, Diego Rivera, Jerome Robbins, Selden Rodman, James Thrall Soby, Raphael Soyer, and William Carlos Williams. A small number of scattered letters from Shahn can also be found throughout the series.

Project files document approximately twenty-one of Shahn's commissions, including murals for the community center at Jersey Homesteads, the Bronx Central Annex Post Office, the Social Security Building in Washington D.C. , and the William E. Grady Vocational High School. The files also document his involvement in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Roosevelt, in addition to projects for schools, temples and private homes.

Financial and legal records include consignment records, loan agreements, royalty statements and receipts for artwork sold.

Notes and writings are by Shahn and others including Alan Dugan, W. H. Ferry, Theodore Gusten, and John Bartlow Martin. They include lists of artwork, many of which are annotated.

Artwork includes a sketchbook and several unbound sketches and lettering by Shahn, in addition to drawings and prints by others including Shahn's children, Mario Casetta and Stefan Martin.

Source files contain printed material and photographs relating to topics depicted by Shahn in his artwork such as children, dams, farming, houses, industry, mines and miners, slums, war and workers. These files also contain scattered photographic prints by FSA and OWI photographers including Shahn, Jack Delano, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, Carl Mydans, Marion Post Wolcott, Arthur Rothstein, and John Vachon.

Printed material includes news clippings covering Shahn and his career as well as subjects of interest to Shahn. Also found are exhibition catalogs and announcements for exhibitions for Shahn and others, and reproductions of Shahn's artwork including publications illustrated by him.

Photographs are of Shahn, his family and friends and colleagues including Alexander Calder, Jerome Robbins, Charles Sheeler, David Smith and William Zorach. Also included are photographs taken by Shahn of New York City and for the FSA in the 1930s, as well as photographs of artwork by Shahn. Photographs by others include one photo each by Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee and Arthur Rothstein.

The collection also contains transcripts of eight radio, television and motion picture interviews of Shahn and a reel of 16mm motion picture film from the BBC-TV program "Monitor," in addition to sound recordings of interviews of Shahn by Tony Schwartz and Arlene Francis. Artifacts include a Christmas greeting in the form of a sock.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged as 12 series:

Series 1: Biographical and Family Records, 1879-1984 (Box 1, OV 36; 0.2 linear ft.)

Series 2: Letters, 1929-1990 (Boxes 1-25, 35, OVs 36-38; 14.4 linear ft.)

Series 3: Project Files, 1933-1975 (Boxes 25-26; OVs 36-37; 1.03 linear ft.)

Series 4: Financial and Legal Records, 1934-1988 (Boxes 26-27, 35; 0.81 linear ft.)

Series 5: Notes and Writings, circa 1933-1988 (Boxes 27-28; 1.62 linear ft.)

Series 6: Artwork, circa 1930s-1965 (Boxes 28, 35; 11 folders)

Series 7: Source Files, circa 1900s-1960s (Boxes 28-30, 35; 1.81 linear ft.)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1912-1988 (Boxes 30-33, 35, OV 39; 3.22 linear ft.)

Series 9: Photographs, circa 1900-1969 (Boxes 33-35; 0.86 linear ft.)

Series 10: Interview Transcripts, 1943-1968 (Box 34; 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 11: Audio and Video Recordings, 1959-1968 (Box 34; 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 12: Artifacts, circa 1930s-circa 1960s (Box 34; 2 items)
Biographical/Historical note:
Ben Shahn (1898-1969) was a social realist painter, muralist, printmaker, photographer, illustrator, and teacher who worked primarily in Brooklyn, New York and New Jersey. He was most active in the 1930s through the 1950s and worked on several federally funded arts projects, including the Farm Security Administration's photographic documentation project of rural America during the Depression.

Ben Shahn was born in Kovno, Lithuania and immigrated with his family to the United States in 1906 where he settled in Brooklyn, and later Roosevelt, New Jersey, after becoming a naturalized citizen in 1918.

Following an apprenticeship as a lithographer from 1913-1917, Shahn studied at New York University, the City College of New York, and the National Academy of Design from 1919-1922. He married Tillie Goldstein in 1922 and they had two children, Judith and Ezra.

Two years after Shahn's first solo exhibition at the Downtown Gallery in 1930, his Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti, a series of 23 gouaches about the Sacco and Vanzetti trial of the 1920s, was exhibited at the Downtown Gallery to critical and public acclaim. The exhibition marked the beginning of Shahn's reputation as one of the most important social realist painters in America. Shahn's commitment to social and political justice found a natural outlet in mural painting when, in 1933, he was hired to assist Diego Rivera on the labor and industry mural Man at the Crossroads, for New York City's Rockefeller Center. The mural was destroyed amid controversy in 1933 before it was completed, but Shahn had learned much about the art of fresco painting during the project and was inspired by the potential of the mural as a unique art form for presenting life's struggles and stories to a large public audience. Between 1933 and 1937 Shahn worked on various murals for other buildings, including New York's Central Park Casino (circa 1934) and Riker's Island Prison (1934), none of which saw completion. In 1937, however, the Farm Security Administration (FSA) commissioned Shahn to execute a mural for the Community Center in the town of Jersey Homesteads, later Roosevelt, New Jersey, which Shahn completed in 1938. Shahn settled in Jersey Homesteads the following year and remained there for the rest of his life. Other important mural commissions followed for the Bronx Central Post office (1939) and the Social Security Building in Washington DC (1942).

One of Shahn's assistants on the Jersey Homesteads mural was Bernarda Bryson, whom he had met in 1933 when she came to New York to interview Rivera about the Rockefeller Center mural controversy for an Ohio newspaper. Shahn and Bryson became lifetime companions and had three children, Susanna, Jonathan and Abigail, although they did not marry until shortly before Shahn's death in 1969. Shahn and Tillie Goldstein were divorced in 1944.

Shahn had enrolled with the federal Public Works of Art Project in 1934, and between 1935 and 1938 he and Bryson travelled across country as Shahn photographed poverty-stricken areas and documented rural life for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and the Resettlement Agency. Shahn's interest in photography developed in the early 1930s when, encouraged by his friendship with Walker Evans, he began photographing street scenes and people in New York City. He later used the images as the basis for many of his prints and paintings.

In 1942 Shahn began working for the Office of War Information (OWI) and was instructed to produce posters and pamphlets explaining to citizens the necessities of wartime, such as the need for secrecy and food rationing. Ultimately, only two of Shahn's posters were ever used; the rest were rejected as being too harsh for their intended audience. Shahn later worked for the Congress of Industrial Organization Political Action Committee (CIO-PAC), producing posters for the 1944 campaign to re-elect Roosevelt, who he believed in deeply. He was promoted to director of the CIO's Graphic Arts Division for the 1946 congressional campaign following Roosevelt's death, but that job ended when the election went poorly for the Democratic party.

Shahn returned increasingly to painting and a retrospective of his work was held at the Museum of Modern Art in 1947. He also became more active in academia as an accomplished writer, teacher and lecturer. He received honorary doctorates from Princeton University and Harvard University, and become the Charles Eliot Norton professor at Harvard in 1956. Shahn's Norton lectures were collected and published as the influential The Shape of Content in 1957. He also began to work as a commercial artist for a variety of companies and publications including CBS, Time, Harper's, and the Container Corporation of America. Shahn believed, however, that the artist's ideas and integrity must always be reflected in his commercial art. He refused to compromise on this point and was very selective in his choice of commercial commissions. Shahn illustrated many books and articles, designed sets for stage productions such as New York Export: Opus Jazz, choreographed by Jerome Robbins, and designed mural mosaics for synagogues, universities and private homes.

Since the 1930s Shahn had been represented by Edith Halpert at the Downtown Gallery, but his relationship with her was always contentious on the subject of payments Shahn received for commercial work, and became increasingly so as his income from such sources increased. Finally, in 1968, Shahn wrote to Halpert telling her that after ten years of "an accumulation of ill-feeling, discomfort and recrimination between us" he felt compelled to end their dealer-artist relationship.

By the time of Shahn's break with Halpert his health had begun to fail. He died of a heart attack following surgery in a New York City hospital on March 14, 1969.
Related Archival Materials note:
The Archives of American Art holds four oral history interviews with Ben Shahn: 1964 Apr. 14 interview conducted by Richard K. Doud for the Archives of American Art New Deal and the Arts Project in which Shahn speaks of his travels and work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and the American image as portrayed by FSA; 1965 Jan. 17 interview; 1965 Oct. 3. interview conducted by Harlan Phillips for the Archives of American Art New Deal and the Arts Project; and 1968 Sept. 27 interview conducted by Forrest Selvig. Most of these interviews have transcripts available online.

The Archives also holds the Bernarda Bryson Shahn papers, circa 1947-2005, and two oral history interviews with Bernarda Bryson Shahn: 1983 Apr. 29 and 1995 July 3.
Separated Materials note:
In 1969, Bernarda Bryson Shahn loaned addresses and essays by Shahn, 7 royalty statements, and 3 letters from publishers for microfilming. After filming, the material was returned to the donor. The loaned material is available on 35 mm microfilm reel N70-6 at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan, which is not described in the container list of this finding aid. However, many of Shahn's writings on this microfilm were included in subsequent donations to the Archives of American Art.
Provenance:
The Ben Shahn papers were donated in several installments between 1967-1991 by Shahn's widow, Bernarda Bryson Shahn.
Restrictions:
Access to original papers requires an appointment. Access to audiovisual recording with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Ben Shahn 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:
Printmakers -- United States  Search this
Illustrators -- United States  Search this
Photographers -- United States  Search this
Painters -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Awards
Sketches
Transcripts
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sketchbooks
Video recordings
Drawings
Photographs
Prints
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Ben Shahn papers, 1879-1990, bulk 1933-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.shahben
See more items in:
Ben Shahn papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-shahben
Additional Online Media:

It's your birthday, Clifford Odets : a centennial exhibition

Author:
Odets, Clifford 1906-1963  Search this
Michael Rosenfeld Gallery  Search this
Subject:
Odets, Clifford 1906-1963  Search this
Physical description:
88 p. : col. ill. ; 28 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
2006
Call number:
ND1839.O34 A4 2006
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_807941

Clifford Odets : paradise lost : paintings on paper from the 1940s and 1950s : May 9-August 2, 2002

Author:
Odets, Clifford 1906-1963  Search this
Michael Rosenfeld Gallery  Search this
Subject:
Odets, Clifford 1906-1963  Search this
Physical description:
54 p. : ill. (chiefly col.), ports. ; 29 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
2002
[2002]
Call number:
N40.1.O236 M62c 2002
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_679272

Clifford Odets / Gabriel Miller

Author:
Miller, Gabriel 1948-  Search this
Subject:
Odets, Clifford 1906-1963 Criticism and interpretation  Search this
Physical description:
xiii, 260 p. ; 22 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1989
Call number:
CT275.O184 M64 1989
CT275.O184M64 1989
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_412579

Clifford Odets : "In hell + why" : paintings on paper from the 1940's and 1950's

Title:
In hell + why
In hell and why
Paintings on paper from the 1940's and 1950's
Author:
Odets, Clifford 1906-1963  Search this
Michael Rosenfeld Gallery  Search this
Subject:
Odets, Clifford 1906-1963  Search this
Physical description:
36 p. : col. ill. ; 28 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
1996
[1996]
Call number:
N40.1.O236 M62 1996
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_499356

Willem de Kooning : April 3-29, 1961, Paul Kantor Gallery, Beverly Hills, California

Author:
De Kooning, Willem 1904-1997  Search this
Paul Kantor Gallery  Search this
Subject:
Odets, Clifford 1906-1963  Search this
De Kooning, Willem 1904-1997  Search this
Physical description:
[24] p. : ill. (some col.) ; 22 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
1961
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_960025

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