The papers of writer, art critic and collector Bernard Harper Friedman, 1926-2011, bulk 1943-2010, measure 30.6 linear feet. Extensive professional and personal correspondence, 41 diaries, a large number of his published and unpublished writings, and subject files document Friedman's career as a writer, relationships with cultural institutions and art world figures, and his personal life. Also included are biographical materials, interviews, printed material, 5 scrapbooks and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of writer, art critic and collector Bernard Harper Friedman, 1926-2011, bulk 1943-2010, measure 30.6 linear feet. Extensive professional and personal correspondence, 41 diaries, a large number of his published and unpublished writings, and subject files document Friedman's career as a writer, relationships with cultural institutions and art world figures, and his personal life. Also included are biographical materials, interviews, 5 scrapbooks, and photographs.
Biographical materials include educational records, documentation of Friedman's World War II service in the U.S. Navy, and birth, marriage, and death certificates.
Correspondence is with friends, family, artists, art world figures and institutions, writers, publishers, and literary agents. Among the correspondents are: John I. H. Baur, Harry Bertoia, Flora Biddle, Norman Bluhm, James Brooks, Fritz Bultman, Leo Castelli, William N. Copley, Jim Dine, Helen Frankenthaler, Brendan Gill, Robert Goodnough, Cleve and Francine Gray, Howard Kanovitz, Grace Knowlton, Stanley Kunitz, Conrad Marca-Relli, Mercedes Matter, Fred W. McDarrah, Rory McEwen, Robert Motherwell, Arnold Newman, Barnett Newman, Dorothy Norman, Alfonso Ossorio, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Robert Richenburg, Barney Rosset, Philip Roth, Judith Rothschild, Irving Sandler, Salvatore Scarpitta, Jon Schueler, Sidney Simon, David Slivka, Clyfford Still, Myron Stout, Calvin Tompkins, and David Windham.
There are transcripts of interviews with B. H. Friedman, his daughter and wife conducted by the Yale University School of Medicine's "Adult Development Study," and 2 recordings of interviews with Friedman for radio broadcast.
Writings by Friedman include manuscripts of novels, short stories, plays, articles, monographs, and art criticism, some published versions of his work, and a variety of notes. Also found are recordings of lectures by B. H. Friedman and panel discussions in which he participated. Other authors represented are John Cage, W. B. Henry, and Jon Schueler. Friedman's diaries, 1948-1993 (41 volumes) record activities, thoughts, and events.
Subject files compiled by Friedman reflect professional and personal interests, activities, and projects. Many concern publicity for published writings or efforts to find publishers. Especially well documented is his interest in Jackson Pollock, Timothy Leary, and Alfonso Ossorio, and his affiliation with the Whitney Museum of American Art.
The majority of printed material is about or mentions Friedman. Five scrapbooks consist mainly of printed material.
Most photographs are of B. H. and Abby Friedman, their family, and friends. Among the individuals pictured are: Elise Asher, Cary and Norman Bluhm, Sandy Friedman, Joellen Hall, Doug Huebler, Howard Kanowitz, Stanley Kunitz, Lee Krasner, Sheridan Lloyd, Barnett and Annalee Newman, Alfonso Ossorio, Magda Salvesen, Salvatore Scarpitta, John Schueler, and Myron Stout. A photograph album records scenes from a 1979 performance of Whispers, a stage adaptation by Alan Wynroth from Friedman's novel of the same title.
This collection is arranged as 9 series:
Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1926-2011 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1946-2011 (Boxes 1-15; 14.7 linear feet)
Series 3: Interviews, 1969-2001 (Box 15; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 4: Writings, 1940s-2010 (Boxes 16-23; 8 linear feet)
Series 5: Diaries, 1948-1993 (Boxes 24-25; 1.75 linear feet)
Series 6: Subject Files, 1940-2010 (Boxes 25-30; 4.45 linear feet)
Series 7: Printed Material, 1954-2010 (Box 30-31; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 8: Scrapbooks, 1960-2006 (Boxes 30-32; 0.8 lilnear feet)
Series 9: Photographs, circa 1950s-2008 (Box 30; 0.4 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Bernard Harper Friedman (1926-2011), a writer best known as the author of the first biography of Jackson Pollock, was also an art critic and art collector involved in the cultural life of New York City.
Bernard Harper Friedman, known professionally as B. H. Friedman, was called Bob by family and friends. After interrupting his studies at Cornell University to serve in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he graduated in 1948 with a degree in English. Friedman and his new bride, fellow student Abby G. Noselson (1926-2003), returned home to New York City and he began a real estate career in his uncles' firm, Uris Buildings Corporation. While a businessman, Friedman spent much of his spare time writing. He produced fiction, plays, and criticism; Friedman's articles on art, literature and music appeared in a wide variety of periodicals. During this period, Friedman also pursued his interests in jazz, collecting abstract art, and psychedelic drug experiences with Timothy Leary.
His first published novel, Circles, about the Abstract Expressionist milieu, appeared in 1962. A year later, B. H. Friedman became a full-time writer. For nearly 20 years, he divided his time between New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts, where he was affiliated with the Fine Arts Work Center as a director and consultant. During this period, he published several novels and two biographies: Jackson Pollock: Energy Made Visible and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, written with Flora Biddle. More novels and short story collections were published, and staged readings of seven plays were presented between 1987 and 2007. Tripping, a memoir of using psychedlics with Timothy Leary, appeared in 2006.
A founding member of Fiction Collective, a nonprofit publishing group run by and for writers, Friedman was also a member of several national writers' organizations. He served as a trustee of the Whitney Musuem of American Art, 1961-1968, and then as honorary trustee. B. H. Friedman died from complications of pneumonia on January 4, 2011 in New York City.
Also available is an oral history interview with Bernard Harper Friedman, 1972 November 10, conducted by Paul Cummings for the Archives of American Art.
The Bernard Harper Friedman papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2012 by his daughter, Daisy Friedman.
The collection is ACCESS RESTRICTED; written permission is required. Use of original materials requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
The Bernard Harper Friedman papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. They may be used for research, study, and scholarship. Access requires written permission.
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The papers of artist Michael Mazur measure 22.2 linear feet and 22.83 gigabytes, and date from circa 1936 to 2016, documenting a studio and exhibition practice in addition to teaching and activism activities in both paper and digital formats in the following series: biographical materials, correspondence, studio records, gallery records, project records, affiliations, exhibition records, writings, printed materials, photographic materials, and artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of artist Michael Mazur measure 22.2 linear feet and 22.83 gigabytes, and date from circa 1936 to 2016, documenting a studio and exhibition practice in addition to teaching and activism activities.
Biographical materials include documents related to Mazur's early education, trips to Europe, and development as an artist, as well as biographies, degrees and awards, with some materials in digital formats.
Correspondence is primarily professional in nature with institutions and fellow artists, including letters requesting Mazur's participation in exhibitions and other projects. Also included are extensive correspondence advocating for ecological preservation of the Massachusetts Cape Cod where Mazur had a home in Provincetown. Earlier correspondence includes letters with family members and friends. Some correspondence is digital.
Studio records include artwork inventories and documents regarding donations, appraisal and tax deduction information, as well as the artist's website. Gallery records contain correspondence and business documents with various commercial art galleries, including artwork images, mailing lists, price lists and guest books. Project records document various commissions and collaborations including perhaps Mazur's longest ongoing project, artwork, publications and exhibitions engaging with Dante's Inferno. Many of Mazur's professional records are in digital format.
The Affiliations series includes faculty appointments as well as ongoing board service for Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and other professional advising and project participation, including a Tamarind Lithography Workshop Fellowship in 1968. Many of the Fine Arts Work Center documents are digital.
Exhibition records document select exhibitions including Mazur's traveling print retrospective. In addition to correspondence and documents and agreements, select digital installation images and documents are also included.
The Writings series includes various essays, letters to the editor, and lectures by Mazur including student work, as well as essays and films discussing the artist's career and contributions, many in digital form. Also included are Mazur's journals kept for the entirety of his career.
Printed materials include exhibition announcements, catalogs and press, select published journals (some of which include contributions by Mazur), and publications for which Mazur has provided the cover artwork.
Photographic materials are both print and digital in nature and capture the breadth of Mazur's art production, organized by medium, genre, artwork series, subject and time period. The arrangement of digital photographs reflects the categories represented on the artist's website archive.
Artwork includes drawings, sketchbooks and watercolor pads, as well as artwork by others including a photographic portrait portfolio of Mazur by Brigitte Durer. Computer study images and source material in digital formats, are also included.
The collection is arranged as 11 series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1953-2006 (0.5 Linear Feet: Boxes 1, 21; 0.014 Gigabytes: ER001-ER002)
Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1940-2011 (3.8 Linear Feet: Boxes 1-4, 21, OV23; 0.008 Gigabytes: ER003)
Series 3 : Studio Records, circa 1962-2009 (1 Linear Feet: Box 5; 0.082 Gigabytes: ER004-ER006)
Series 4: Gallery Records, circa 1967-2009 (2 Linear Feet: Boxes 6-7; 0.028 Gigabytes: ER007-ER009)
Series 5: Project Records, circa 1983-2008 (1.3 Linear Feet: Boxes 8-9; 0.3 Gigabytes: ER010-ER015)
Series 6: Affiliations, circa 1966-2008 (0.7 Linear Feet: Box 9; 0.101 Gigabytes: ER016-ER019)
Series 7: Exhibition Records, circa 1958-2008 (0.7 Linear Feet: Box 10; 1.07 Gigabytes: ER020-ER032)
Series 8: Writings, circa 1952-2009 (2.7 Linear Feet: Boxes 10-13; 4.75 Gigabytes: ER033-ER052)
Series 9: Printed Material, circa 1945-2016 (2.1 Linear Feet: Boxes 13-15; 0.114 Gigabytes: ER053-ER054)
Series 10: Photographic Material, circa 1936-2016 (5.9 Linear Feet: Boxes 15-22, OV25-28; 14.26 Gigabytes: ER055-ER114)
Series 11: Artwork, circa 1941-2009 (0.4 Linear Feet: Boxes 20, 22; 2.1 Gigabytes: ER115-ER116)
Biographical / Historical:
Michael Mazur (1935-2009) was a prolific printmaker, painter, draughtsman, sculptor, and educator in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who beyond working across media, treated an equally diverse set of subjects in abstract and figurative traditions.
As a child in New York City's Upper East Side Mazur received an early art education at the Bronx's Horace Mann School. He received a bachelor's degree from Amherst College, as well as a bachelor's and master's degrees at the Yale School of Art. Mazur has held teaching positions at Rhode Island School of Design and Brandeis University, as well as a recurring visiting artist position at Harvard University's Carpenter Center. While attending Yale Mazur met his wife, poet Gail Mazur.
Mazur's work is held in museums and private collections throughout the world and has been exhibited widely at institutions including MoMA, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Brooklyn Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 2000 the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston launched a retrospective of Michael Mazur's prints traveling to various institutions including the the Minneapolis Art Institute and Stanford's Cantor Center. On the occasion of the show Hudson Hills Press published The Prints of Michael Mazur including a catalogue raisonné. A notable collaboration in Mazur's career drew from his career-long fascination with Dante. In 1993, Farrar, Straus and Giroux published
The Inferno of Dante, translated by Robert Pinsky and illustrated with reproductions of monotypes by Michael Mazur. Later Mazur published an editioned suite of forty-one etchings, which was shown in various locations in Italy and throughout the United States.
In addition to their home in Cambridge, Michael and Gail maintained a home in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where they were deeply involved in the artistic community including the Fine Arts Work Center, as well as environmental issues impacting the region of Cape Cod. He is survived by his wife and his two children Kathe and Dan.
Papers were lent for microfilming 1977 and 1998 by Michael Mazur. Material on microfilm and additional papers donated 2018 by Gail Mazur, Michael Mazur's widow.
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available