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Alan R. Solomon papers

Creator:
Solomon, Alan R., 1920-1970  Search this
Names:
Albright-Knox Art Gallery  Search this
Amsterdam (Netherlands). Stedelijk Museum  Search this
Art Gallery of Ontario  Search this
Artforum  Search this
Biennale di Venezia  Search this
Centro de Artes Visuales (Asunción, Paraguay)  Search this
Cornell University. -- Faculty  Search this
Expo 67 (Montréal, Québec)  Search this
Harvard University -- Students  Search this
Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Jewish Museum (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Leo Castelli Gallery  Search this
Los Once (Artists' group)  Search this
Pasadena Art Museum  Search this
San Francisco Art Institute  Search this
University of California (System)  Search this
Velvet Underground (Musical group)  Search this
Bontecou, Lee, 1931-  Search this
Castelli, Leo  Search this
Chamberlain, John, 1927-2011  Search this
Childs, Lucinda  Search this
Dine, Jim, 1935-  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Dunn, Judith  Search this
Fahlström, Öyvind, 1928-1976  Search this
Finkelstein, Nat  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Greenberg, Jeanine  Search this
Grisi, Laura  Search this
Hay, Alex  Search this
Hay, Deborah  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Kron, Joan  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-1997  Search this
Louis, Morris, 1912-1962  Search this
MacElroy, Robert R.  Search this
Moore, Peter  Search this
Morris, Robert  Search this
Mulas, Ugo  Search this
Namuth, Hans  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Noland, Kenneth, 1924-2010  Search this
Novick, Elizabeth  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Oldenburg, Patty  Search this
Paxton, Steve  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Poons, Larry  Search this
Provinciali, Michele  Search this
Rainier, Yvonne  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Redon, Odilon, 1840-1916  Search this
Reed, Lou  Search this
Rosenquist, James, 1933-  Search this
Sabol, Audrey, 1922-  Search this
Schute, Terry  Search this
Scull, Ethel  Search this
Scull, Robert C.  Search this
Segal, George, 1924-2000  Search this
Sisler, Mary  Search this
Sonnabend, Ileana  Search this
Stella, Frank  Search this
Warhol, Andy, 1928-  Search this
Whitman, Robert  Search this
Extent:
9.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Transcripts
Photographs
Interviews
Lithographs
Place:
Italy -- Venice
Date:
1907-1970
bulk 1944-1970
Summary:
The papers of New York art historian, museum director, curator, writer, and educator, Alan R. Solomon, measure 9.9 linear feet and date from 1907-1970, with the bulk of the material dating from 1944-1970. Through biographical material, correspondence, interview transcripts, writings and notes, teaching and study files, subject files, exhibition files, business records, printed material, and photographs, the collection documents Solomon's education, his early teaching appointments at Cornell University, and his subsequent direction of many diverse curatorial and research projects relating to contemporary American art, particularly the transition from Abstract Expressionism to later modern movements, and the thriving New York City art scene.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York art historian, museum director, curator, writer, and educator, Alan R. Solomon, measure 9.9 linear feet and date from 1907-1970, with the bulk of the material dating from 1944-1970. Through biographical material, correspondence, interview transcripts, writings and notes, teaching and study files, subject files, exhibition files, business records, printed material, and photographs, the collection documents Solomon's education, his early teaching appointments at Cornell University, and his subsequent direction of many diverse curatorial and research projects relating to contemporary American art, particularly the transition from Abstract Expressionism to later modern movements, and the thriving New York City art scene.

Biographical material includes résumés, an engagement book, and a monthly planning book from 1965, identification cards, and educational transcripts.

Correspondence documents Solomon's education at Harvard College and Harvard University, and his teaching appointments at Cornell University. Correspondence also provides some documentation of his involvement with museums and arts organizations, including the Jewish Museum, Stedlijk Museum, the San Francisco Art Institute, the University of California, and Centro de Artes Visuales; his submission of writings for publications including Artforum, Art International, and Konstrevy; and his relationships with artists and colleagues including Jim Dine, Joan Kron, Audrey Sabol, and Ileana Sonnabend. Also found is correspondence related to Solomon's work for Mary Sisler, who employed Solomon to sell her collection of artwork by Marcel Duchamp in the late 1960s.

One series comprises transcripts of interviews with many of the artists who were central to the transition from Abstract Expressionism to later modern movements that occurred in the 1950s and 1960s, such as Neo-Dada and Pop art. Artists represented in the interviews include Jim Dine, Helen Frankenthaler, Jasper Johns, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol.

Solomon's writings include many of his essays for exhibition catalogs, magazines, and journals, and are in a combination of annotated manuscript and published formats. There are writings on Jim Dine, Barnett Newman, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns, and on the new movements in theater and performance art of the 1960s. His writings also document the art history education which informed all of his later work, with the inclusion of papers written as a student and teacher, his honors thesis on Odilon Redon, and his dissertation on Pablo Picasso. This material is supplemented by notes, and teaching and study files, documenting courses taken and taught at Harvard and Cornell universities. Also found is the manuscript of the text for New York: The New Art Scene, accompanied by a partial published copy of the book and photographs by Ugo Mulas.

Solomon's subject files augment several of the other series, comprising material on various art related subjects and individual painters and sculptors, arranged alphabetically. Material found here includes printed matter documenting exhibitions and other events, scattered letters from artists, related writings, and photographs.

One series documents Solomon's involvement with the First New York Theater Rally, which he co-produced with Steve Paxton in 1965. This material includes a drawing each by Jim Dine and Alex Hay, pieces of a combine by Robert Rauschenberg, and photographs of the group including Dine, Hay, and Rauschenberg, as well as Lucinda Childs, Judith Dunn, Deborah Hay, Robert Morris, Claes Oldenburg, the Once Group, Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainier, Alan Solomon, and Robert Whitman. The series includes multiple contact sheets of photos of First New York Theater Rally events, by Peter Moore, Elizabeth Novick, and Terry Schute.

Exhibition files document Solomon's role as an organizer and curator for some of his most well-known exhibitions, including American Painting Now (1967) for Expo '67 in Montreal; Andy Warhol (1966) at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston; Dine-Oldenburg-Segal (1967) at the Art Gallery of Ontario and Albright-Knox Gallery; the American exhibition at the 1964 Venice Biennale; Young Italians (1968) at the Institute of Contemporary Art; and Painting in New York 1944-1969, a major retrospective installed for the opening of the new Pasadena Art Museum in fall, 1969. Records include correspondence, lists and notes, financial records, printed material, and photographs of artists and installations, including a series by Ugo Mulas taken at the Venice Biennale.

Solomon's business records include lists, notes, contracts, expense forms, vouchers, purchase orders, and receipts. They provide scattered documentation of exhibition-related expenses and purchases of artwork, as well as Solomon's income from teaching appointments, lectures, honorariums, and writings. Amongst Solomon's general business records is an American Federation of Musicians agreement between the Institute of Contemporary Art and "Louis Reed," with booking agent Andy Warhol, for a performance by the Velvet Underground and Nico, performing as The Exploding Plastic Inevitable on October 29, 1966. This seemingly mundane item documents an event that accompanied Solomon's landmark Warhol exhibition of nearly forty iconic works, and the accompanying show by The Exploding Plastic Inevitable was hailed by the Boston Phoenix newspaper as one of the greatest concerts in Boston history.

Printed material includes announcements, catalogs, and posters for exhibitions and art related events, including two Jasper Johns lithographs for a 1960 exhibition at Galerie Rive Droite, and a 1963 exhibition at Leo Castelli Gallery. Also found are news clippings, press releases, and other publications.

Photographs are of Solomon, artists, friends and colleagues, exhibitions and other events, and artwork. They include snapshots of Solomon, and a series of photographs of him at various events and parties, many taken by Ugo Mulas, as well as a photo taken by Robert Rauschenberg of Ugo Mulas, Michele Provinciali, and Solomon. Additional photos by Ugo Mulas include some which were probably taken for New York: The New Art Scene, and a series of photos of Robert Rauschenberg and others at the Venice Biennale. Photos of artists include Lee Bontecou, John Chamberlain, Jim Dine, Marcel Duchamp, Öyvind Fahlström, Laura Grisi, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Morris Louis, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, Claes and Patty Oldenburg, Larry Poons, James Rosenquist, George Segal, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol and The Factory. Photos of others include Leo Castelli, Clement and Jeanine Greenberg, and Ethel and Robert Scull. Also found are photos of the exhibition Toward a New Abstraction (1963), at The Jewish Museum, photos of Venice, and photos of artwork by many of the above named, and other, artists. In addition to Ugo Mulas, photographers represented in this series include Nat Finkelstein, Robert R. McElroy, and Hans Namuth.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as eleven series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1938-1968 (5 folders; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1930-1970 (0.66 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 3: Interviews, 1965-1969 (0.25 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 4: Writings and Notes, 1945-1969 (1.35 linear feet; Boxes 1-3, 11)

Series 5: Teaching and Study Files, 1944-1958 (0.25 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 6: Subject Files, 1907-1969 (2.92 linear feet; Boxes 3-6, 1, OV 12)

Series 7: First New York Theater Rally, 1963-1965 (0.15 linear feet; Boxes 6, 11)

Series 8: Exhibition Files, 1954-1969 (1.42 linear feet; Boxes 6-7, 11, OV 12)

Series 9: Business Records, 1945-1970 (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 7-8)

Series 10: Printed Material, 1914-1970 (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 8-9, OV 12)

Series 11: Photographs, circa 1951-circa 1970 (1.7 linear feet; Boxes 9-11, OV 13)
Biographical / Historical:
New York art historian, museum director, art consultant, educator, writer, and curator, Alan R. Solomon (1920-1970), organized over two hundred exhibitions in the course of his career. He was known for his skill in exhibition design, and for bringing the perception and understanding of an art historian to the field of contemporary art.

Solomon was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, and educated at Harvard College and Harvard Graduate School. In 1953, during his 1952-1962 tenure with the Cornell University department of art history, he established the Andrew Dickson White Museum of art. Solomon served as the museum's first director until 1961, whilst simultaneously pursuing his doctorate, which he received from Harvard University in 1962.

In 1962 Solomon was hired by the Jewish Museum in New York, New York, and immediately began to take the institution in a more contemporary direction, mounting Robert Rauschenberg's first retrospective in 1963, and a major Jasper Johns retrospective in 1964. Also, in 1963, Solomon was appointed the United States Commissioner for the 1964 Venice Biennale. He was determined to show "the major new indigenous tendencies, the peculiarly America spirt of the art" in works by two consecutive generations of artists, including Jasper Johns, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, and Robert Rauschenberg. With this in mind, and given the inadequacy of the existing space to house the installation he envisaged, Solomon secured a verbal agreement from Biennale officials to approve additional space for the American exhibition in an annex at the former American Consulate. The agreement was never formalized, however, and a series of administrative problems and controversies over the eligibility of the American submissions threatened to undermine Solomon's efforts. Nevertheless, Robert Rauschenberg became the first American to take the Grand Prize for foreign artist, and the attention garnered by the American exhibition monopolized press coverage of the Biennale. In response, Solomon stated publicly that "it is acknowledged on every hand that New York has replaced Paris as the world art capital."

Solomon subsequently left the Jewish Museum, having engendered resistance to leading the museum in a more experimental direction, away from the traditional Jewish educational aspects of its mission. In the mid-sixties he worked as a consultant and writer for a National Educational Television series entitled "U. S. A. Artists," which drew on artist interviews, many conducted by Solomon. He also wrote the text for Ugo Mulas's classic photographic study, New York: The New Art Scene (1967: Holt Rinehart and Winston).

In 1966 Solomon was hired by the United States Information Agency to organize the United States contribution to the Canadian World Exhibition in Montreal, known as Expo '67. His stunning American Painting Now installation placed large scale paintings by twenty-three artists, including Jim Dine, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Barnett Newman, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, and James Rosenquist, inside Buckminster Fuller's twenty-story Biosphere of Montreal.

Other important exhibitions organized by Solomon included Andy Warhol (1966) at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, which was only the second of two exhibitions dedicated to the artist; Dine-Oldenburg-Segal (1967) at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; and Young Italians (1968) at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Solomon was also interested in contemporary theater and organized the First New York Theater Rally with Steve Paxton in 1965, a series of performances which combined new dance and a revival of the Happenings of the early 1960s, in which Claes Oldenburg, Jim Dine and others were involved.

Following a six-week appointment as a senior lecturer at the University of California, Irvine, in spring 1968, Solomon became chairman of the University's art department and director of the art gallery. His last exhibition, Painting in New York, 1944-1969 (1969-1970), was held at the Pasadena Art Museum and closed in January 1970, just a few weeks before Solomon's sudden death at the age of forty-nine.
Provenance:
The Leo Castelli Gallery served as executor of Solomon's estate, and donated his papers to the Archives of American Art in 1974 and 2007.
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 Alan R. Solomon 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:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Art -- History -- Study and teaching  Search this
Painters  Search this
Performance art  Search this
Art, Abstract -- United States  Search this
Art -- Exhibitions  Search this
Art -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Theater  Search this
Pop art  Search this
Museum directors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Transcripts
Photographs
Interviews
Lithographs
Citation:
Alan R. Solomon papers, 1907-1970, bulk 1944-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.soloalan
See more items in:
Alan R. Solomon papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-soloalan
Additional Online Media:

George Segal, New Brunswick, N.J. letter to Audrey Sabol

Creator:
Segal, George, 1924-2000  Search this
Sabol, Audrey, 1922-  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1962 Aug. 27
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)1860
See more items in:
Audrey Sabol papers, 1962-1967
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_1860

William T. Wiley letter to Audrey Sabol

Creator:
Wiley, William T., 1937-  Search this
Sabol, Audrey, 1922-  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
19--
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)1861
See more items in:
Audrey Sabol papers, 1962-1967
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_1861

Claes Oldenburg, New York, N.Y. letter to Audrey Sabol

Creator:
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Sabol, Audrey, 1922-  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1962 Oct. 5
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)1862
See more items in:
Audrey Sabol papers, 1962-1967
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_1862

Roy Lichtenstein letter to Audrey Sabol

Creator:
Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-1997  Search this
Sabol, Audrey, 1922-  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
between 1960 and 1997
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)1863
See more items in:
Audrey Sabol papers, 1962-1967
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_1863

Audrey Sabol letter to Paul Harris

Creator:
Sabol, Audrey, 1922-  Search this
Harris, Paul, 1925-  Search this
Subject:
Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Association of Philadelphia. Arts Council  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Place:
Philadelphia, Pa.
Date:
1964 July 5
Topic:
Exhibitions  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)1864
See more items in:
Audrey Sabol papers, 1962-1967
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_1864
Additional Online Media:

Steve Reich to Audrey Sabol

Creator:
Reich, Steve, 1936-  Search this
Sabol, Audrey, 1922-  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1967 Feb. 5
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)1865
See more items in:
Audrey Sabol papers, 1962-1967
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_1865

Virginia MacAuley, New York, N.Y. to Audrey Sabol, Villanova, Pa.

Creator:
MacAuley, Virginia  Search this
Sabol, Audrey, 1922-  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1967 Mar. 27
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)1866
See more items in:
Audrey Sabol papers, 1962-1967
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_1866

Richard Serra, New York, N.Y. to Audrey Sabol, Villanova, Pa.

Creator:
Serra, Richard, 1939-  Search this
Sabol, Audrey, 1922-  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1967 Jan. 22
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)1867
See more items in:
Audrey Sabol papers, 1962-1967
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_1867

John E. Sawhill, Jr., New York, N.Y. letter to Audrey Sabol, Villanova, Pa.

Creator:
Sawhill, Jr., John E.  Search this
Sabol, Audrey, 1922-  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1966 Nov. 28
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)1869
See more items in:
Audrey Sabol papers, 1962-1967
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_1869

Clayton Bailey, Whitewater, Wisc. letter to Audrey Sabol

Creator:
Bailey, Clayton, 1939-  Search this
Sabol, Audrey, 1922-  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
ca. 1965
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)1870
See more items in:
Audrey Sabol papers, 1962-1967
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_1870

G. Colin Ratsey, Bronx, N.Y. to Audrey Sabol

Creator:
Ratsey, G. Colin  Search this
Sabol, Audrey, 1922-  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1967 Apr. 25
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)1871
See more items in:
Audrey Sabol papers, 1962-1967
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_1871

Cynthia Richter, New York, N.Y. to Audrey Sabol, Villanova, Pa.

Creator:
Richter, Cynthia  Search this
Sabol, Audrey, 1922-  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1967 May 17
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)1872
See more items in:
Audrey Sabol papers, 1962-1967
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_1872

Pat Mardis, New York, N.Y. to Audrey Sabol, New York, N.Y.

Creator:
Mardis, Pat  Search this
Sabol, Audrey, 1922-  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1967 Feb. 16
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)1873
See more items in:
Audrey Sabol papers, 1962-1967
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_1873

Jim Dine letter to Audrey Sabol

Creator:
Dine, Jim, 1935-  Search this
Sabol, Audrey, 1922-  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
ca. 1965
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)1874
See more items in:
Audrey Sabol papers, 1962-1967
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_1874
Additional Online Media:

William T. Wiley letter to Audrey Sabol

Creator:
Wiley, William T., 1937-  Search this
Sabol, Audrey, 1922-  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1965 Dec
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)1875
See more items in:
Audrey Sabol papers, 1962-1967
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_1875

Audrey Sabol papers, 1962-1967

Creator:
Sabol, Audrey, 1922-  Search this
Subject:
Di Suvero, Mark  Search this
Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Association of Philadelphia. Arts Council  Search this
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
Sculpture, Modern  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Photographs  Search this
Pop art  Search this
Wearable art  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)5593
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211758
AAA_collcode_saboaudr
Theme:
Communities, Organizations, Museums
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211758

Oral history interview with Audrey Sabol, 1987 June 10

Interviewee:
Sabol, Audrey, 1922-  Search this
Interviewer:
Pacini, Marina  Search this
Subject:
Lichtenstein, Roy  Search this
Serra, Richard  Search this
Indiana, Robert  Search this
Atkinson, Ti-Grace  Search this
Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Association of Philadelphia. Arts Council  Search this
Beautiful Bag Co. (Philadelphia, Pa.)  Search this
University of Pennsylvania.Institute of Contemporary Art  Search this
Topic:
Sound recordings  Search this
Pop art  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Arts administrators  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12868
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212162
AAA_collcode_sabol87
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212162

Joan Kron papers

Topic:
Tonight Show (Television Program)
Creator:
Kron, Joan  Search this
Names:
Beautiful Bag Co. (Philadelphia,Pa.)  Search this
Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Association of Philadelphia. Arts Council  Search this
Christo, 1935-  Search this
Dine, Jim, 1935-  Search this
Hendricks, Geoffrey  Search this
Indiana, Robert, 1928-  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-  Search this
Kaprow, Allan  Search this
Klüver, Billy, 1927-2004  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-1997  Search this
Maitin, Sam  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929- -- Photographs  Search this
Paik, Nam June, 1932-  Search this
Rosenberg, Karl  Search this
Sabol, Audrey, 1922-  Search this
Saint-Phalle, Niki de, 1930-  Search this
Segal, George, 1924-2000 -- Photographs  Search this
Tinguely, Jean, 1925-  Search this
Turner, Evan H.  Search this
Venturi, Robert  Search this
Watts, Robert M., 1923-1988  Search this
Extent:
1.4 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Video recordings
Drawings
Sound recordings
Photographs
Paintings
Ledgers (account books)
Date:
1959-1971
Summary:
The papers of New York City art entrepreneur, curator, and journalist Joan Kron date from 1959 to 1971 and measure 1.4 linear feet. The papers include correspondence, scattered financial records, notes and writings, printed material, photographs, a sound and video recording, and project/exhibition files concerning Kron's involvement in the 1960s with the exhibtions of the Arts Council of the Young Men's/Women's Hebrew Association (YM/WHA)of Philadelphia and her business, the Beautiful Bag and Box Co.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of New York City art entrepreneur, curator, and journalist Joan Kron date from 1959 to 1971 and measure 1.4 linear feet. The papers include correspondence, scattered financial records, notes and writings, printed material, photographs, a sound and video recording, and project/exhibition files concerning Kron's involvement in the 1960s with the exhibtions of the Arts Council of the Young Men's/Women's Hebrew Association (YM/WHA)of Philadelphia and her business, the Beautiful Bag and Box Co.

Papers relating to Kron's volunteer chairmanship of the Arts Council of the Young Men's/Women's Hebrew Association (YM/WHA)of Philadelphia include general files concerning the administration and operation of the organization, as well as exhibition files for Art 1963/ A New Vocabulary (1962) and Museum of Merchandise 1967.) Files generally consist of correspondence, clippings and other printed materials, notes and writings, photographs, and financial documents. The exhibition files for Art 1963/ A New Vocabulary include a typescript "Dictionary Suggestions" by Billy Klüver which contains slang terms with creative definitions, and photographs of Claes Oldenburg, Billy Klüver, Joan Kron, Sam Maitin, Niki de Saint-Phalle, Audrey Sabol, George Segal, Jean Tinguely, and Robert Watts. The files for Museum of Merchandise contain a painting on paper by Geoffrey Hendricks, a drawing by Ray Johnson, a photograph of fabric designer Karl Rosenberg, a photograph of a wedding dress design by Christo, and a 1/2" open reel videotape made by Nam Jun Paik of Kron's appearance on The Tonight Show.

The records of the Beautiful Bag and Box Co., an art entrepreneurial business created by Kron and her colleague Audrey Sabol, include correspondence, a ledger of sales and deposits, income tax records, miscellaneous invoices, notes and writings, clippings, miscellaneous printed material, and photographs. Also found are project/product files for Art Museum Store, Temporary Tattoos, Durable Dishes designed by Roy Lichtenstein, Eat Pin likely designed by Robert Indiana, Art on Billboards, and Stunning Stationery. The file for project Art on Billboards contains postcards from Allan Kaprow and Jim Dine expressing interest in the project, and a photograph of Edwin and Audrey Sabol on a motorcycle posing in front of a billboard designed by Roy Lichtenstein. There is also a 7" audio reel tape recording of a radio program Hey, Look at That containing comments about billboards from Kron, Roy Lichtenstein, architect Robert Venturi, and Evan H. Turner, Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 2 series:

Series 1: Arts Council of the YM/YWHA of Philadelphia, 1959-1971 (Box 1-2, OV 3; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 2: Beautiful Bag and Box Co., 1963-1969 (Box 1-2; 0.8 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Joan Kron (circa 1928-) is a fashion and style journalist in New York City, but began her career in Philadelphia as an advocate of avante-garde artists and co-founder of The Beautiful Bag Co. which worked with artists to produce commercial household and fashion art products. Kron worked on projects with Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Robert Indiana, among others.

Joan Kron was born circa 1928 in New York. She studied at the Yale University School of Drama from 1946-1948, graduating with a degree in costume design. She married surgeon Dr. Samuel Kron and lived in Philadelphia during the 1960s. For almost a decade, Kron volunteered as chairman of the Arts Council of the Young Men's/Young Women's Hebrew Association of Philadelphia (YM/YWHA.) The YM/YMA Arts Council focused on promoting and hosting new and avant-garde programs in dance, theatre, poetry, crafts, and the visual arts. Under Kron's leadership, the YM/YWHA Arts Council curated Arts1963/A New Vocabulary (1962) and Museum of Merchandise (1967.)

Kron's work with the Arts Council allowed her to build business partnerships with several artists. She partnered with Andy Warhol to produce a line of perfume, "You're In," packaged in silver Coca-Cola bottles, with Robert Indiana for a Love Ring, and other products and projects associated with the exhibitions of the Arts Council. Then, around 1964, she partnered with colleague Audrey Sabol to form The Beautiful Bag and Box Co. and continued to explore commercial products created or designed by artists, including a line of dinnerware "Durable Dishes" designed by Roy Lichtenstein, a series of billboards displaying art work and the Eat Pin, most likely designed by Robert Indiana.

Kron began her career in journalism in the late 1960s by contributing an article about a cannabis harvest in an upscale neighborhood to the Philadelphia magazine in 1969. She continued to write for the magazine until after her divorce. She moved to New York City in 1971 and was hired by New York magazine. She researched and wrote a special issue about the blossoming SoHo art district. Kron then focused the remainder of her career primarily on writing, and worked for a number of magazines and newspapers, and published several books. As of 2010, she was living in New York City and working as contributing editor at large for Condé Nast's Allure magazine, primarily covering the subject of cosmetic surgery.
Related Materials:
Additional copies of microfilm reels 4224-4225 are available at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Also found in the Archives are selected papers of the Young Men's/Women's Hebrew Association Arts Council that were loaned by Judith Golden for microfilming, and are now available only on microfilm reels 3898. Another small collection of printed material from the YM/WHA records was donated by Acey Wolgin and microfilmed on reel 4340, and transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum Library's vertical files.
Provenance:
Joan Kron donated her papers in 1987.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Joan Kron 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:
Curators -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Arts administrators  Search this
Pop art United States  Search this
Wearable art United States  Search this
Design, Industrial -- United States  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Video recordings
Drawings
Sound recordings
Photographs
Paintings
Ledgers (account books)
Citation:
Joan Kron papers, 1959-1971. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kronjoan
See more items in:
Joan Kron papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kronjoan
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