The records of New York City Fischbach Gallery measure 39.5 linear feet and date from 1937 to 2015, with the bulk of materials dating from 1963 to 1977. The majority of the collection consists of artists files containing a wide variety of materials documenting the gallery's relationship with its stable of modern and avant garde artists, as well as gallery exhibitions. Files include biographical materials, correspondence, printed materials, and photographs. Gallery records also include general business correspondence, access-restricted financial records; and additional printed materials. The 2015 addition of 14 linear feet consists of inventory and client sales records in the form of card indexes. The 2019 addition consists of material related to Marilyn Fischbach's art collection.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of New York City Fischbach Gallery measure 39.5 linear feet and date from 1937 to 2015, with the bulk of materials dating from 1963 to 1977. The majority of the collection consists of artists files containing a wide variety of materials documenting the gallery's relationship with its stable of modern and avant garde artists, as well as gallery exhibitions. Files include biographical materials, correspondence, printed materials, and photographs. Gallery records also include general business correspondence, access-restricted financial records; and additional printed materials.
Artists and Exhibition Files contain information on over one hundred Fischbach Gallery artists and measure 18 linear feet. The contents of each file varies, but typically may include biographical information; correspondence between the artist, museums, and other galleries; scattered consignment information; printed materials including articles, clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and press releases; photographs of the artist, installations, constructions, and works of art; and negatives, slides, and transparencies. Substantial files are found for John Altoon, Stephen Antonakos, Ronald Bladen, Wynn Chamberlain, Allan D'Arcangelo, Gene Davis, Anne Dunn, Piero Gilardi, Eva Hesse, Alex Katz, Nicholas Krushenick, Les Levine, Robert Mangold, Doug Ohlson, Anne Ryan, Robert Ryman, Arlene Slavin, Tony Smith, George Sugarman, and Robert Swain, among others. Also included are files pertaining to group exhibitions including "According to the Letter" (1963), "Hard Center" (1963), "Six Women" (1965), "Game Without Rules" (1966), "Direct Representation" (1969), and "Eccentric Abstraction" (1966) which was organized by Lucy Lippard.
General gallery correspondence is business correspondence between the gallery and companies, individuals, museums, galleries, dealers, new or non-Fischbach artists, and institutions. Additional business records consist of an address book, lists of Fischbach artists, gallery plans, a notebook, as well as guest lists, mailing lists, and press lists.
Financial records are access restricted and require written permission from the donor's representative for use. The files document financial transactions for many of the artists represented in the artists files and includes sales records, invoices, artists' payments, and correspondence about sales and possible sales. The alphabetical financial files document routine gallery business, such as framing, shipping, insurance, messenger, publicity, etc. and are organized by name of business. General financial files consist of accounting ledgers, banking documents, insurance claims, and travel accounts.
Printed materials consist of various business cards, clippings concerning the Fischbach Gallery, and a pamphlet by Ron Williams as a guide to New York galleries. The bulk of printed materials are found in the Artists and Exhibition Files.
A small series of photographs include those from the Thiabaut Gallery, and unidentified photos of landscapes. It is likely that Fischbach Gallery occupied the space previously used by the Thiabaut Gallery and some materials were included in the collection for that reason. The bulk of photographic materials are found in the Artists and Exhibition Files.
In 2015, 14 feet of records were added to the collection. The addition consists of inventory and client sales records in the form of card indexes. The addition is access-restricted until 2065.
A 2019 addition of 0.2 linear feet, consisting of material related to Marilyn Fischbach's art collection, was processed in 2020.
The collection is arranged as 9 series.
Series 1: Artists and Exhibitions Files, 1937-1977 (Boxes 1-18, 28; 18 linear feet)
Series 2: Gallery Correspondence, 1962-1974 (Boxes 18-19; 1.75 linear feet)
Series 3: Business Records, 1969-1971 (Box 27; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 4: Financial Records, 1963-1975 (Boxes 20-25; 4.5 linear feet)
Series 5: Printed Material, 1963-1972 (Box 26; 6 folders)
Series 6: Photographs, circa 1960s (Box 26; 2 folders)
Series 7: Inventory Card Indexes, circa 1960s-2015 (12.1 linear feet; Box 29-41)
Series 8: Client Sales Card Index, circa 1970s-2000s (1.9 linear feet; Box 41-42)
Series 9: Marilyn Fischbach Collection Records, circa 1975-2000 (0.2 linear feet; Box 43)
The Fischbach Gallery was founded in 1960 by Marilyn Cole Fischbach at 799 Madison Avenue in New York City. The gallery was noted for its stable of minimalist young artists in the 1960s, and the work of the painterly realists in the 1970s. The gallery remains open today.
During its early years, the gallery was among the first to focus on 1960s avant-garde and minimalist artists. Marilyn possessed a talent for discovering young artists and for helping them advance their careers. Many of these young artists became well-known, including Ronald Bladen, Eva Hesse, and Alex Katz. Other artists represented by the gallery include Allan D'Arcangelo, Les Levine, Robert Mangold, Robert Ryman, George Sugarman, and Robert Swain.
The gallery also had an active exhibition schedule and organized and hosted group exhibitions of modern art, including "According to the Letter" (1963), "Hard Center" (1963), and "Direct Representation" (1969). Additionally, the Fishbach Gallery hosted "Eccentric Abstraction" in 1966, an exhibition organized by Lucy Lippard.
Later, the gallery moved to W. 57th Street in Manhattan. Fischbach hired A. Aladar Marberger as director of the gallery. Under his direction, the Fischbach Gallery shifted from the avant-garde to contemporary American realism and minimalist sculpture. In the 1980s, Marilyn Fischbach brought three investors into the gallery. She remined a co-owner, but lived in Paris, France for many years prior to her death at the age of seventy-two. The Fischbach Gallery remains open at 210 West 11th Street at 25th Street in New York City.
Gallery founder Marilyn C. Fischbach and director A. Aladar Marberger donated the majority of the Fischbach Gallery records in 1978. Additional records were donated in 2001 by Maureen Dawley on behalf of the Carnegie Mellon University and in 2015 and in 2019 by John Fischbach, Marilyn C. Fischbach's son.
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Written permission from the donor is also required to view the series of financial records and the 2015 addition of card indexes. Contact the Reference Services Department for more information.
The Fischbach Gallery records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
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