Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Search Results

Collections Search Center
42 documents - page 1 of 3

Martin H. Bush papers

Creator:
Bush, Martin H.  Search this
Names:
ACA Galleries  Search this
Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art  Search this
Wichita State University -- Faculty  Search this
Andrews, Benny, 1930-2006  Search this
Beckett, Samuel, 1906-1989  Search this
Goodnough, Robert, 1917-  Search this
Hanson, Duane  Search this
Karp, Ivan C., 1926-2012  Search this
Neel, Alice, 1900-1984  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Newman, Arnold, 1918-2006  Search this
Pousette-Dart, Richard, 1916-1992  Search this
Trova, Ernest T., 1927-  Search this
Von Wicht, John, 1888-1970  Search this
Witkin, Isaac  Search this
Extent:
5.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Video recordings
Interviews
Date:
1948-2012
bulk 1970-2008
Summary:
The papers of Martin H. Bush measure 5.1 linear feet and date from 1948-2012, with the bulk of the material dating from 1970-2008. The collection documents Bush's career as an art historian, educator, consultant, and gallery director through biographical material, correspondence, interviews, subject files, a scrapbook, and printed material. There is an unprocessed addition to this collection that includes one VHS tape, "American Art Forum: Martin Bush, October 27, 1988."
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Martin H. Bush measure 5.1 linear feet and date from 1948-2012, with the bulk of the material dating from 1970-2008. The collection documents Bush's career as an art historian, educator, consultant, and gallery director through biographical material, correspondence, interviews, subject files, a scrapbook, and printed material. There is an unprocessed addition to this collection that includes one VHS tape, "American Art Forum: Martin Bush, October 27, 1988."

Biographical material includes curriculum vitae, a certificate of discharge from the United States Army Reserve, and a lifetime membership certificate from the Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art. Most of the correspondence is personal in nature and consists of letters between Bush and his colleagues at Wichita State University and the Ulrich Museum of Art, friends, and family members. Martin H. Bush's interviews on videocassette with artists and other figures in the art world include Benny Andrews, Duane Hanson, Ivan Karp, Alice Neel, Louise Nevelson, and Arnold Newman.

Subject files primarily document Martin H. Bush's activities as an art dealer and consultant and contain auction house sales and files on individual artists, including Richard Pousette-Dart, Robert Goodnough, Ernest Trova, and Isaac Witkin. Source files include illustrated letters by John Von Wicht and a folder on Samuel Beckett's correspondence with Bush that includes three holograph letters and one typescript letter from Beckett. A small amount of material references Bush's tenure as director of the ACA Gallery. Photographic materials are also included.

A scrapbook contains news clippings and excerpts of newsletters covering Bush's career at Wichita State University. Printed material includes books, an educational brochure, exhibition catalogs, and a memorial booklet.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 6 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1956-2008 (Box1, OV 5; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1984-2012 (Box 1; 0.8 linear ft.)

Series 3: Interviews, circa 1970-1994 (Boxes 1-2; 1 linear ft.)

Series 4: Subject Files, 1963-2012 (Boxes 2-4; 2 linear ft.)

Series 5: Scrapbook, 1971-2000 (Box 4; 1 folder)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1948, 1964-circa 2000 (Box 4, 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 7: Unprocessed addition, 1988 (Box 4)
Biographical / Historical:
Martin H. Bush is an art historian, educator, consultant, and gallery director.

Bush received a Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York at Albany in 1958. From 1963-1965, he taught at Syracuse University, where he earned his Ph.D in History in 1966. Bush also served as the University's Assistant Dean for Academic Resources from 1965-1970. During this time, Martin H. Bush was also a consultant to the New York State Education Department.

From 1970-1974, Martin H. Bush was the Vice President of Academic Resource Development at Wichita State University, a position created for him by the University's President, Clark Ahlberg. In this post, Bush established a special collections department at Ablah Library and the Ulrich Museum of Art. Bush was also a consultant to several major corporations in Wichita, including Fourth Financial Corporation, Range Oil Company, and American Diversified Real Estate. In 1974, in recognition of Bush's contribution to the museum, the University opened the Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection. Bush has been involved in the acquisition of major pieces of outdoor sculpture from such well-known artists as Chaim Gross, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Juan Miró, Louise Nevelson, and George Rickey. In 1989, Bush moved to New York City, where he continued his work as an art consultant. From 1992-1993, he was President of the ACA Gallery.

Martin H. Bush has published many books and articles on artists as well as contributed essays for exhibition catalogs. In the 1970s-1980s, Bush interviewed major artists for public television and radio programs in Wichita, among them Benny Andrews, Isabel Bishop, Richard Pousette-Dart, and Theodoros Stamos. Martin H. Bush's honors and awards include the George S. Patton Medal by the government of Luxembourg for his essay, "Ben Shahn: The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti," 1969; "Outstanding Educator" by the Kansas Art Education Association, 1979; and the Wichita Arts Council Award, 1984.
Provenance:
The collection was donated in 2013 by Martin H. Bush. An unprocessed addition to the collection was donated by Lisa Bush Hankin in 2016.
Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Martin H. Bush 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.
Occupation:
Educators  Search this
Consultants  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Gallery directors  Search this
Art historians  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Video recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Martin H. Bush papers, 1948-2012, bulk 1970-2008. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.bushmart
See more items in:
Martin H. Bush papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bushmart

Richard Pousette-Dart : beginnings : a young abstract expressionist in New York / edited by Jennifer Powell

Artist:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Editor:
Powell, Jennifer  Search this
Host institution:
Kettle's Yard Gallery  Search this
Subject:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Physical description:
169 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Exhibition catalogs
Date:
2018
20th century
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Call number:
N40.1 .P87 K48 2018
N40.1.P87 K48 2018
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1109199

Sidney Simon papers

Creator:
Simon, Sidney, 1917-1997  Search this
Names:
Budd (Firm : New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Century Association (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Colby College  Search this
Graham Gallery  Search this
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. School -- Faculty  Search this
United States. Army. Corps of Engineers  Search this
Emmerich, André  Search this
Gonzalez, Xavier, 1898-1993  Search this
Gotfryd, Bernard  Search this
Hélion, Jacqueline  Search this
Jencks, Penelope  Search this
Kelly, Ellsworth, 1923- -- Photographs  Search this
King, William, 1925-2015  Search this
Meredith, Burgess, 1907-1997  Search this
Motherwell, Robert -- Photographs  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988 -- Photographs  Search this
Pousette-Dart, Richard, 1916-1992  Search this
Watson, Forbes, 1880-1960  Search this
Extent:
8 Linear feet
2.21 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Photographs
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Interviews
Illustrated letters
Diaries
Date:
circa 1917-2002
bulk 1940-1997
Summary:
The papers of sculptor, painter, and educator Sidney Simon measure 8.0 linear feet and 2.21 GB and date from circa 1917-2002, with the bulk of the papers dating from 1940-1997. The collection documents Simon's career through biographical material, correspondence, writings and notes, subject files, sketches, sketchbooks, printed and digital material, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of sculptor, painter, and educator Sidney Simon measure 8.0 linear feet and 2.21 GB and date from circa 1917-2002, with the bulk of the papers dating from 1940-1997. The collection documents Simon's career through biographical material, correspondence, writings and notes, subject files, sketches, sketchbooks, printed and digital material, and photographs.

Biographical material chronicles Simon's academic training and professional activities through curriculum vitae, biographical accounts, and awards. Included are letters and memoranda, many from Forbes Watson pertaining to Simon's service as a combat artist in World War II. Also found is a transcript of an interview with Simon recounting his experiences in the Southwest Pacific. Simon's personal correspondence with colleagues, friends, and family includes scattered letters from Jacqueline Helion, Penelope Jencks, William King, Burgess Meredith, among others. Many letters are illustrated by Sidney Simon and others. General correspondence includes letters from artists, galleries, museums, public and religious institutions primarily relating to Simon's exhibitions and commissioned projects. Among the correspondents are Castle Hill, Truro Center for the Arts, Colby College, André Emmerich, Eric Makler Gallery, Xavier Gonzalez, Graham Gallery, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Interspersed among the files are letters of a personal nature. Other correspondence relates to Simon's faculty positions and his activities in professional organizations, e.g., Century Association, National Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Writings and notes include Simon's 1943 diary entries recording his activities in the Army Corps of Engineers, draft versions of writings and lectures, and notes. Included are digital audio recordings of Simon's lectures at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Subject files provide documentation on Simon's commissioned projects, select exhibitions and competitions, as well as his faculty positions and memberships in several arts organizations. Printed material consists of clippings, invitations, announcements, newsletters, and programs. Exhibition catalogs are of Simon's solo and group shows at galleries, museums, and art organizations from 1959-1966. Photographs are of Simon by Budd Brothers, Richard Pousette-Dart, and Bernard Gotfryd. There are a number of photographs of the artist in his studio and outdoors as well as of Simon's family and friends, including group photographs with Ellsworth Kelly, André Emmerich, Robert Motherwell, and Louise Nevelson. Also found are three personal and family albums and twenty-one photograph albums of Simon's paintings and sculptures.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1940-1998 (Boxes 1, 9; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1936-2002 (Boxes 1-2; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1943, circa 1960-1997 (Box 2; 0.4 linear feet, ER01-ER03; 2.21 GB)

Series 4: Subject Files, 1940-1941, 1951-1997 (Boxes 2-4, 9; 1.8 linear feet)

Series 5: Sketches, 1937-1942 (Box 4; 1 folder)

Series 6: Sketchbooks, 1939-1995 (Boxes 4-5, 9; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 7: Printed Material, circa 1933, 1942-1998 (Box 5; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 8: Scrapbooks, 1978-1995 (Box 5; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 9: Photographs, circa 1917-1997 (Boxes 5-11; 3.0 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Sidney Simon (1917-1997) was a sculptor, painter, and educator who worked primarily in New York City and Truro, Massachusetts. Simon was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At the age of 14, he won a place as a special student at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1934 and from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1936. Simon also studied at the Barnes Foundation from 1937-1940. Simon received professional recognition early in his career; he was awarded the Prix de Rome Collaborative Prize in 1939 and the Edwin Austin Abbey Fellowship in mural painting in 1945.

In 1941, Simon enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the Army Corps of Engineers. Assigned to MacArthur's headquarters as an official war artist for the Southwest Pacific Theater, Simon was chosen to paint the signing of the peace treaty between the U.S. and Japan aboard the U.S.S. Missouri. He was discharged from the army with a Bronze Star and five presidential citations. In 1945, along with Bill Cummings and Henry Varnum Poor, Simon co-founded the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, where he later served as a director and a member of the Board of Governors. By the mid-1950s, Simon's interest shifted from painting to sculpture, creating works in wood, clay, and other media. Over the years, Simon collaborated with architects on a number of public and private commissions, including the doorway for the Downstate Medical Center, the Jewish Chapel at West Point, a playground sculpture for Prospect Park, and the totemic column for the Temple Beth Abraham. In addition to serving on the faculty at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Simon also taught at the Art Students League, Brooklyn Museum, and Parsons School of Design. An active champion of artists' rights, Simon established the New York Artists Equity Association. He participated in solo and group shows at the Graham Gallery, Provincetown Art Association and Museum, and the Sculptors Guild, among other venues.

In 1997, Sidney Simon died at the age of 80 in Truro, Massachusetts. Simon was divorced from Joan Crowell in 1964. He is survived by his wife, Renee Adriance Simon and five children from his first and second marriages.
Related Materials:
The Archives has two oral history interviews with Sidney Simon conducted by Paul Cummings in October 17-November 8, 1973 and the Karl E. Fortress taped interviews with artists, [1963-1985].
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds materials lent for microfilming (reel D210) including biographical material, correspondence, sketchbooks, scrapbooks, and photographs of Sidney Simon. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Sidney Simon lent the Archives of American Art material for microfilming in 1965. Rene Simon, Simon's widow, donated the Sidney Simon papers in 2009.
Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Sidney Simon 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.
Occupation:
War artists  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Pacific Area  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Art and the war  Search this
Artists' studios -- New York (State) -- New York -- Photographs  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Interviews
Illustrated letters
Diaries
Citation:
Sidney Simon papers, circa 1917-2002, bulk 1940-1997. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.simosidn
See more items in:
Sidney Simon papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-simosidn

Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers

Creator:
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Names:
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Mortimer Brandt Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Wakefield Gallery  Search this
Alloway, Lawrence, 1926-1990  Search this
Baker, Adge, b. ca. 1890  Search this
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Bigelow, Larry  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Congdon, William, 1912-  Search this
Feely, Paul, 1910-1966  Search this
George, Thomas, 1918-  Search this
Janis, Sidney  Search this
Lazzari, Pietro, 1898-1979  Search this
Liberman, Alexander, 1912-1999  Search this
Lipton, Seymour, 1903-  Search this
Margo, Boris, 1902-1995  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Pousette-Dart, Richard, 1916-1992  Search this
Reichek, Jesse, 1916-  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Roberts, Colette, 1910-  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Stamos, Theodoros, 1922-1997  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-  Search this
Youngerman, Jack, 1926-  Search this
Extent:
57.2 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Sketchbooks
Interviews
Photographs
Date:
circa 1920-1991
bulk 1946-1983
Summary:
The Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers measure 57.2 linear feet and date from 1920 to 1991, with the bulk of the material dating from 1946-1983. Records provide extensive documentation of the gallery's operations from its inception in 1946 to its closing in 1983 and of the activities of Betty Parsons as one the leading art dealers of contemporary American Art in the latter half of the twentieth century, particularly the work of the Abstract Expressionists. Over one third of the of the collection is comprised of artists files containing correspondence, price lists, and printed materials. Additional correspondence is with galleries, dealers, art institutions, private collectors, and the media. Also found are exhibition files, exhibition catalogs and announcements, sales records, stock inventories, personal financial records, and photographs. Betty Parsons' personal papers consist of early curatorial files, pocket diaries, personal correspondence, and evidence of her own artwork, including sketchbooks, and files documenting her personal art collection.
Scope and Content Note:
The Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers measure 57.2 linear feet and date from 1920 to 1991, with the bulk of the material dating from 1946-1983. Records provide extensive documentation of the gallery's operations from its inception in 1946 to its closing in 1983 and of the activities of Betty Parsons as one the leading art dealers of contemporary American Art in the latter half of the twentieth century, particularly the work of the Abstract Expressionists. Over one third of the of the collection is comprised of artists files containing correspondence, price lists, and printed materials. Additional correspondence is with galleries, dealers, art institutions, private collectors, and the media. Also found are exhibition files, exhibition catalogs and announcements, sales records, stock inventories, personal financial records, and photographs. Betty Parsons' personal papers consist of early curatorial files, pocket diaries, personal correspondence, and evidence of her own artwork, including sketchbooks, and files documenting her personal art collection. An unprocessed addition donated in 2017 includes personal correspondence with friends and colleagues, writings by Parsons, artists' files, photographs of Parsons with friends and her works of art, artwork including sketches, printed material and a VHS recording about the Chinese text I Ching. Materials date from 1922-1981.

Artists files, the largest and most extensive series, consist of a wide variety of documents, including biographical materials, correspondence with or related to the artist, exhibition catalogs and announcements, sales and expense invoices, clippings, price lists, and photographs of the artist, exhibitions, and artwork. The files reflect Parsons' close personal relationships with certain artists, particularly Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, and Barnett Newman. Extensive documentation is also found for Forrest Bess, William Congdon, Paul Feeley, Thomas George, Alexander Liberman, Seymour Lipton, Richard Pousette-Dart, Jesse Reichek, and Jack Youngerman. Historians and researchers will find these files to be an invaluable resource both in tracing Betty Parsons' role in promoting Abstract Expressionism and researching individual artists.

Exhibition files primarily document the gallery's infrequent group or themed exhibitions. Of particular note are the files on The Ideographic Picture, which was organized by Barnett Newman and included his work, as well as that of Pietro Lazzari, Boris Margo, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, Theodoros Stamos, and Clyfford Still. Price lists, artist biographies and exhibition schedules are housed in the general exhibition files. Loan exhibition files provide documentation of artwork borrowed by other galleries or institutions for exhibitions, as well as shows outside of the gallery that were organized by Betty Parsons. Also found are gallery exhibition guest books, and announcements and catalogs.

Gallery correspondence is primarily with galleries and dealers, museums, arts organizations, and collectors. Scattered letters from artists are also found, although the bulk of the artists' correspondence is filed in the Artists Files. Also found here are memoranda and letters between Betty Parsons and her staff that contain detailed information concerning Parsons' schedule and gallery activities. Similar correspondence is found amongst the correspondence files within the series Betty Parsons papers.

Appraisal and conservation files include correspondence, appraisal invoices, forms, and appraisal requests and other information from the Art Dealers Association of America, and conservation invoices and reports. The majority of the appraisal records contain information about the specific works of art, including artist, title, date, current owner and the estimated value at the time of the request. Conservation records document conservation treatments undertaken by outside conservators to gallery stock.

Sales, purchases, stock and inventory are well documented in the sales and inventory records. The records provide detailed information about individual sales, prices of individual pieces of artwork, consignments, and loans. Most sales records also include detailed information about the buyer and are a valuable resource for provenance research. Files documenting the general administration, routine business operations, and financial transactions (not individual sales) of the gallery are housed in the general business and financial records. These records include ledgers, receipts, tax records, and banking records. There is some limited information about works of art scattered amongst the receipts and in the "in/out slips" files. Legal records house general legal documents and those concerning specific lawsuits. Of particular note is the file detailing the lawsuit between Betty Parsons and Sidney Janis over the fifth floor of 24 West 57th Street.

The remainder of the collection consists of Betty Parsons' personal papers which document Parsons' career prior to opening her own gallery, her work as an artist, and her personal art collection.

Some information about Parsons' work prior to opening her own gallery is found in the early curatorial files she retained from her curatorial and administrative work at the Wakefield Gallery and the Mortimer Brandt Gallery. Clippings, correspondence, announcements, exhibition lists and exhibition files are found. For both positions, she kept only the exhibition files for a small group of exhibitions organized around a specific theme, the most notable being the exhibition of Pre-Columbian Sculpture at the Wakefield Gallery.

Biographical materials include copies of her biography, family genealogies, photographs of Parsons, interviews with Colette Roberts and WYNC radio, memberships, photographs, and ephemera, including a collection of programs and invitations from events that she attended. Throughout her life Parsons gave generously of her time to various cultural and charitable institutions and was awarded for her contributions. There are also a number of files that document her speaking engagements, her participation as a juror in numerous juried exhibitions, charitable work, and awards that she received.

Parsons' personal correspondence files reflect how deeply Parsons' life was intertwined with the gallery. There are letters from museum directors, dealers, artists seeking representation, and personal letters from artists with whom she had close personal relationships, most notably Larry Bigelow, Alexander Calder, William Condon, and Ad Reinhardt. There are also letters from the English artist Adge Baker, with whom Parsons was romantically involved. Correspondence also includes several files of postcards and Christmas cards.

Pocket diaries and engagement calendars, spanning from 1933-1981 (although the 1950s are notably missing) record social engagements, meetings, vacations, and telephone numbers. Also found are three notebooks, and thirty-two sketchbooks, many of which are annotated. Writings by others include writings about Betty Parsons or the Betty Parsons' Gallery, such as Lawrence Alloway's unpublished typescript titled "An American Gallery" and other topics.

Printed material consists of exhibition announcements and catalogs, art magazines, and newspaper and magazine clippings about Betty Parsons, her family and acquaintances, artists, and other art related topics, coupled with a miscellaneous selection of clippings on topics that presumably captured Parsons' attention.

Personal art work records document Betty Parsons' career as an artist through inventories, group and solo exhibitions files, price lists, appraisals, sales and consignment invoices. Photographs are primarily reproductions of her works of art, although there are scattered photographs of exhibition installations.

Betty Parsons private art collection files document Parsons extensive personal collection of art that included works by Jackson Pollock, Agnes Martin, Romare Bearden, Barnett Newman, and Mark Rothko, in addition to Amlash sculpture from ancient Persia and primitive sculpture from New Hebrides. These files include inventories, lists, exhibition records, sales and purchase invoices, and photographs. There are also files for donations and loans from Parsons' personal collection to museums and fund raising auctions for several non-profit institutions.

Finally, the personal financial records provide information about the Parsons' family finances and her personal financial success as an art dealer. In addition to her own investments, Parsons inherited shares in family investments through the estates of her parents, J. Fred Pierson, Jr. and Suzanne Miles Pierson, and younger sister, Emily Rayner. Real estate files include correspondence, utility bills, receipts, area maps, and land plots for houses in Sheepscot, Maine and St. Maartens, Netherlands Antilles. Tax returns, ledger worksheets, receipts, banking statements, deposit slips, and cancelled checks are among the other financial records.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as seven series. Many of the series are further divided into subseries.

Series 1: Artists Files, 1935-1983 (Boxes 1-18, 51, 55, OVs 53, 60; 18.8 linear feet)

Series 2: Exhibition Files, 1941-1983 (Boxes 18-21, 51, 55, OVs 54, 61; 3.8 linear feet)

Series 3: Correspondence Files, 1941-1983 (Boxes 21-24, 52, 55); 3.8 linear feet)

Series 4: Appraisal Files, 1935-1983 (Box 24; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 5: Sales and Inventory Records, 1941-1983 (Boxes 25-28, 51; 3.0 linear feet)

Series 6: General Business and Financial Records, circa 1956-1983 (Boxes 28-38, 51, 55; 9.8 linear feet)

Series 7: Betty Parsons Personal Papers, circa 1920s-1991 (Boxes 38-51, 55-59, OV 61; 15.3 linear feet)
Historical Note:
Betty Parsons (1900-1982) was one of the leading art dealers in New York City specializing in modern art, particularly the work of the Abstract Expressionists. She opened Betty Parsons Gallery in 1946 at 15 E. 57th St., later moving to 24 W. 57th St.

The history of the Betty Parsons Gallery is inextricably bound to the life and experiences of its founder. Betty Parsons was born Betty Bierne Pierson on January 31, 1900 in New York City. She enjoyed a privileged childhood, which included vacation homes in Newport and Palm Beach. Her only formal education was a five year stint at the prestigious Chapin School from 1910-1915, where she met many of the women who would become life long friends and supporters. In the spring of 1920, she married Schuyler Livingston Parsons from one of New York's oldest families. The marriage ended after only three years and the couple traveled to Paris where they could obtain a divorce on the grounds of incompatibility. She retained her married surname and purchased a house on the rue Boulard in Paris, where she remained for ten years, pursuing studies in painting and sculpture.

Financial constraints forced Parsons to return to the United States in 1933. She first traveled west to California, but it was her return to New York in 1935 that marked the start of her career as an art dealer. Her first opportunity to connect with the New York art world came after a successful exhibition of her watercolors at the Midtown Galleries where the owner, Alan Gruskin, noted Parson's faithful and wealthy group of supporters and offered her work installing exhibitions and selling paintings on commission. Her work for the Midtown Galleries led to a second position in the Park Avenue gallery of Mary Sullivan, one of the founders of the Museum of Modern Art. Here, Parsons learned the business of running a gallery. By 1940 Parsons was ready to take on more independent responsibility and agreed to manage a gallery within the Wakefield Bookshop. In this job, she exercised full curatorial control by selecting artists and organizing exhibitions. She championed then unknown contemporary American artists and the gallery's roster soon included Saul Steinberg, Hedda Sterne, Alfonso Ossorio, Joseph Cornell, Walter Murch, and Theodore Stamos. Although the majority of the exhibitions were solo shows, there were a few group shows and themed exhibitions, such as Love in Art (1941) and Ballet in Art (1942). Under Parson's direction, the gallery hosted an important exhibition of Pre-Columbian sculpture, curated by Barnett Newman.

When the owners of the Wakefield Bookshop decided to close the gallery late in 1944, Mortimer Brandt, a dealer who specialized in Old Master paintings and drawings, offered her a position as head of the newly created contemporary section of his gallery. Many of the artists who had shown with Parsons at the Wakefield Gallery followed her to her new gallery, where they were joined by Ad Reinhardt, Boris Mango, and Hans Hofmann. While the exhibitions garnered attention from the press and the interest of contemporary artists, the contemporary section was not a financial success and Brandt opted to close his gallery in 1946.

Using $1000 of her own money and an additional borrowed $4000, Parsons sublet the space that previously housed Mortimer Brandt's contemporary section, on the fifth floor of 15 East 57th Street, and opened the Betty Parsons Gallery.

In many respects the early years of the Betty Parsons Gallery were the most vital, as it was during the period of 1947-1951 that the gallery became linked with the Abstract Expressionists and the history of post-WWII American Art. In an unpublished history of the gallery, noted art critic Lawrence Alloway stated that the significance of the gallery's early exhibitions ranks with Durand-Ruels Impressionists exhibitions or Kahnweiler's shows of the Cubists. Betty Parsons Gallery quickly became one of the most prestigious galleries in New York City associated with new American Art of all styles. Her close friend Barnett Newman organized the gallery's inaugural exhibition of Northwest Coast Indian Art and he soon began to exhibit his own work at the gallery. When Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century Gallery closed, Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, and Mark Rothko joined Parsons' growing stable of artists. Although Parsons continued to promote and exhibit many of the artists whom she had previously discovered, these four artists dominated this period. Newman, Pollock, Still, and Rothko worked closely together, holding themselves apart from the other artists somewhat. They were actively involved in the curatorial process and often hung their own shows. For these artists, the exhibition itself was an artistic act of creation.

Parsons provided a supportive environment and allowed her artists enormous freedom in planning and designing their exhibitions. She was not, however, an aggressive salesperson. During this early period the gallery ledgers document sales to an impressive array of museums including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as important collectors such as Edward Root and Duncan Phillips. Nevertheless, the art that the gallery promoted was not yet widely accepted. Sales were few, prices were low and the business would not turn a profit for several years. Meanwhile, there was mounting pressure from Pollock, Newman, Still, and Rothko to drop some of the other artists from Parsons' stable and focus all resources on them. They wanted to be promoted to a larger audience and have their work sold at higher prices, but Parsons enjoyed discovering new artists and did not want to be restricted in this endeavor. The year 1951 marks the last time that Pollock's drip paintings or the monumental works of Newman, Rothko or Still were shown at the Betty Parsons Gallery.

In the following years the Betty Parsons Gallery continued to attract a diverse group of talented artists. Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Tuttle, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jack Youngerman had their first New York exhibitions at the Betty Parsons Gallery. Parsons opened Section Eleven in 1958, a short-lived annex to the main gallery, so that she could promote younger, less well-known artists. It closed in 1960 due to the administrative difficulties in running two essentially separate galleries.

In 1962, Sidney Janis, another prominent art dealer, started proceedings to evict Parsons from the floor that they shared on 15 East 57th Street. The Betty Parsons Gallery moved to 24 West 57th Street in 1963, where it remained until it closed in 1983, following Parsons' death the preceding year. Throughout the gallery's history, Parsons continued to promote faithful artists such as Hedda Sterne and Saul Steinberg, who had been with her from the beginning and to seek out new talent, both for her main gallery and for other venues, such as the short-lived Parsons-Truman Gallery, which she opened in 1974 with former Parsons Gallery director Jock Truman to show works on paper by emerging artists.

In addition to being an art dealer, Betty Parsons was a respected artist and collector. With her connoisseur's eye and connections, Parsons amassed an impressive private collection of art. She bought her first piece while an art student in Paris in the 1920s, a small gouache by Zadkine, but did not begin acquiring works in earnest until she was established as an art dealer. Partial inventories of her personal collection show that the majority of her collection contained works by artists associated with the gallery. Mark Rothko, Hans Hofmann, Ad Reinhardt, Agnes Martin, and Kenzo Okada were among the artists represented. Many were gifts from the artists, such as an ink drawing by Jackson Pollock, inscribed "For Betty." Selections from her collection appeared in small museums across the United States, including a traveling exhibition organized by Fitch College, New York, in 1968. In her role as a promoter of contemporary American art, Parsons lent generously from her collection, particularly to the federal Art in the Embassies Program. Throughout her life she also donated works to a variety of museums, most notably, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark.

Parsons frequently claimed that her desire to pursue a career as an artist stemmed from a visit to the Armory Show when she was thirteen. In her late teens, after pressuring her father for art lessons, she studied with the sculptor Gutzon Burglum of Mount Rushmore fame. In Paris, she continued her studies first with Antoine Bourdelle, whose sculptures she had admired at the Armory Show, and later with Ossip Zadkine. The first exhibition of her work, figurative watercolors and sculptures, took place in Paris in 1927. As she matured as an artist, her art became more abstract. Her late works were painted wood sculptures that she pieced together from wood that she found near her studio in Long Island. Parsons' work was exhibited in more than thirty solo exhibitions, including, Betty Parsons; Paintings, Gouaches and Sculpture, 1955-1968, at the Whitechapel Gallery in London. During her lifetime, she would not allow her works to be shown in her own gallery. Shortly after she died of a stroke in 1982, In Memoriam, Betty Parsons: Late Sculptures, opened at the Betty Parsons Gallery.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are oral history interviews with Betty Parsons, June 4-9, 1969, by Paul Cummings, and June 11, 1981 by Gerald Silk.
Separated Material:
Some of the material originally loaned for microfilming in 1968 and 1969 was not included in later donations and can be viewed on microfilm reels N68/62-N68/74 and N69/105-N69/106. Loaned materials are not described in the container listing in this finding aid.
Provenance:
The gallery donated some records in 1974, many of which had been loaned earlier for microfilming. The bulk of the collection was donated in 1984 and 1986 by William Rayner and Christopher Schwabacher, executors of the Estate of Betty Parsons. Additional material was donated by William Rayner in 1998 and Christopher Schwabacher in 2017.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal 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:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Abstract expressionism -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art dealers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Interviews
Photographs
Citation:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers, circa 1920-1991, bulk 1946-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.parsbett
See more items in:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-parsbett
Additional Online Media:

Woman Bird Group, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Medium:
Bronze
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Smithsonian American Art Museum 8th & G Streets, N.W Washington District of Columbia 20560 Accession Number: 1969.171
Date:
1939
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS 08581390
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_290960

Richard Pousette-Dart: artist file, [photographs]

Artist:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Artist files
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Image number:
VFM VF002359
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_140998

Abstract expressionism lives! : James Brooks, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Richard Pousette-Dart, Theodoros Stamos : [exhibition] September 19-November 7, 1982 / Robert Metzger

Author:
Metzger, Robert O  Search this
Stamford Museum and Nature Center  Search this
Subject:
De Kooning, Willem 1904-1997  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Stamos, Theodoros 1922-1997  Search this
Brooks, James 1906-1992  Search this
Physical description:
31 pages. : illustrations (some color) ; 21 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
United States
Date:
1982
C1982
20th century
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Call number:
ND212.5.A25 M59 1982
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_396235

RIchard Pousette-Dart : the East River studio paintings, 1948-1953

Author:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Anfam, David  Search this
Manny Silverman Gallery  Search this
Subject:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Physical description:
14 p. : col. ill. ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
2006
[2006]
Call number:
ND237.P817 A4 2006
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_801690

Richard Pousette-Dart : transparent reflections : works on paper, 1940-1992 / Robert Flynn Johnson, Kevin Salatino

Title:
Transparent reflections : works on paper, 1940-1992
Author:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Johnson, Robert Flynn  Search this
Salatino, Kevin  Search this
Los Angeles County Museum of Art  Search this
Legion of Honor (San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Cincinnati Art Museum  Search this
Subject:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Physical description:
64 p. : col. ill. ; 26 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
2006
C2006
Call number:
NC139.P67 A4 2006
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_813405

Richard Pousette-Dart / a cura di Philip Rylands

Author:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Rylands, Philip  Search this
Peggy Guggenheim Collection  Search this
Galleria Gottardo  Search this
Subject:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Physical description:
103 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 22 x 27 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
2007
C2007
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_818740

Richard Pousette-Dart : mythic heads and forms : paintings and drawings from 1935 to 1942 / essay by John Yau

Title:
Mythis heads and forms
Author:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Yau, John 1950-  Search this
M. Knoedler & Co  Search this
Subject:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Physical description:
30 p. : ill. (chiefly col.), port. ; 23 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
United States
Date:
2003
C2003
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Call number:
N40.1.P87 Y38 2003
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_718120

Richard Pousette-Dart : painting to paper, black to white / with an essay by Carter Ratcliff

Author:
Ratcliff, Carter  Search this
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
M. Knoedler & Co  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston  Search this
Subject:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Physical description:
[25] p. : ill. (some col.) ; 26 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
2000
[2000?]
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_754866

Presence : paintings and works on paper by Richard Pousette-Dart, 29 April-12 June, 2004, Valerie Carberry Gallery

Title:
Paintings and works on paper by Richard Pousette-Dart
Author:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Pachner, Joan  Search this
Frankel, David 1961-  Search this
Valerie Carberry Gallery  Search this
Subject:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Physical description:
31 p. : col. ill., port. ; 22 x 27 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
2004
Call number:
N6537.P658 A4 2004
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_754887

Richard Pousette-Dart : the New York school and beyond / edited by Sam Hunter and Joanne Kuebler

Title:
New York school and beyond
Author:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Hunter, Sam 1923-2014-  Search this
Kuebler, Joanne  Search this
Subject:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Physical description:
254 p. ; col. ill. ; 33 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
2005
C2005
Topic:
New York school of art  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_785520

Richard Pousette-Dart : paintings from the 40's and 50's : [exhibition] January 10 to February 3, 1996, Knoedler & Company

Title:
Paintings from the 40's and 50's
Author:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Sandler, Irving 1925-  Search this
M. Knoedler & Co  Search this
Subject:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Physical description:
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 26 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
1995
C1995
Call number:
ND237.P817 A4 1995
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_643458

Richard Pousette-Dart (1916-1992) / Lowery Stokes Sims, Stephen Polcari

Author:
Sims, Lowery Stokes  Search this
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Polcari, Stephen  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Subject:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Physical description:
72 p. : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 25 x 27 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Notebooks, sketchbooks, etc
Date:
1997
C1997
Call number:
ND237.P817 A4 1997
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_649940

Richard Pousette-Dart (E series), 1981-1983 : "Time is the mind of space, space is the body of time" : [exhibition], October 26-November 26, 1983 / Richard Pousette-Dart

Author:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Marisa del Re Gallery  Search this
Subject:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Physical description:
[49] p. : ill. (some col.) ; 28 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
1983
C1983
Call number:
ND237.P817 A4 1983
N40.1.P87M3r
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_650640

The living edge : Richard Pousette-Dart, 1916-1992 : works on paper = Arbeiten auf Papier / herausgegeben von Ingrid Ehrhardt, Katja Hilbig ; [translation from German, Pauline Cumbers]

Title:
Richard Pousette-Dart, 1916-1992
Richard Pousette-Dart : works on paper = arbeiten aut papier
Works on paper
Arbeiten auf Papier
Author:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Ehrhardt, Ingrid  Search this
Hilbig, Katja  Search this
Cumbers, Pauline  Search this
Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston  Search this
Boca Raton Museum of Art  Search this
Subject:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Physical description:
207 p. : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 32 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
2001
C2001
Call number:
N40.1.P87 S35 2001
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_665707

Richard Pousette-Dart : culminating concepts of spirituality / by Marissa Quin Glaude

Author:
Glaude, Marissa Quin  Search this
Subject:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992 Criticism and interpretation  Search this
Physical description:
xi, 185 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm
Type:
Manuscripts
Date:
1996
Topic:
Spirituality in art  Search this
Call number:
N40.1.P87 G53 1996a
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_513215

Richard Pousette-Dart / Robert Hobbs and Joanne Kuebler

Author:
Hobbs, Robert Carleton 1946-  Search this
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Kuebler, Joanne  Search this
Indianapolis Museum of Art  Search this
Detroit Institute of Arts  Search this
Columbus Museum (Columbus, Ga.)  Search this
Subject:
Pousette-Dart, Richard 1916-1992  Search this
Physical description:
195 p. : ill. ; 31 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
1990
C1990
Call number:
N40.1.P87 H68 1990
N40.1.P87H68 1990
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_401403

Modify Your Search






or


Narrow By