The papers of the sculptor Michael Brenner measure 0.4 linear feet and date from 1888 to 1976. The collection includes letters, scrapbooks, drawings, photographs and other materials documenting Michael Brenner's career, the activities of members of the Brenner family, and the colony of expatriate American artists flourishing in Paris in the early twentieth century.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of the sculptor Michael Brenner measure 0.4 linear feet and date from 1888 to 1976. The collection includes letters, scrapbooks, drawings, photographs and other materials documenting Michael Brenner's career, the activities of members of the Brenner family and the colony of expatriate American artists flourishing in Paris in the early twentieth century.
Letters are written to family members and associates and include exchanges between Brenner's sister Miriam (Fanny) and her brothers Michael, Morris, Samuel, and Victor (Dave) Brenner concerning their health, family business, work, and other art-related activities. Several of Michael Brenner's letters mention his dissatisfaction with Robert Coady's handling of consignments, dealings with Mr. Kahnweiler, and exhibitions of colleagues Michel Kikoine and Pinchus Kremegne. Other correspondents include Alexandre Charpentier and (Louis) Oscar Roty.
Scrapbooks are comprised of material related to the life and career of Michael Brenner. The first scrapbook contains a photocopy of a letter written to Michael Brenner from Gertrude Stein where she describes her travels with Alice B. Toklas and mentions the bust Brenner made of her likeness. Other materials include a 1953 exhibition catalog for Chaim Soutine at Perls Galleries, letters written to Mrs. Michael Brenner concerning the sale of her husband's artwork, and photographs of Michael Brenner, Miriam Brenner, other family members, and works of art.
Photographs are of artwork and show Brenner family members, Victor Brenner and his studio, Michael Brenner with Chaim Soutine and pictures of Brenner's close friend, I. C. Rubin and Albert Einstein.
Art work is comprised of twenty-seven figure drawings.
Printed materials consists of clippings about Abraham Lincoln, reproductions of works of art, a bookplate for Marion Kean Lopez, and an essay entitled "Instead of an Introduction" by Sadakichi Hartmann praising the American landscape artist, Leon Dabo. Also found is an 1899 announcement for a "Seance Publique Annuelle," a photocopy of an article about Brenner by Cathy Turrill, a list of objects borrowed and photographed by Turrill in 1974, a photocopy of a photograph of Robert Coady, and the cover of an Avant-Garde catalog.
Other materials includes notes and a subject file on a life-long friend and physician, I. C. Rubin (1922-1975). There are letters from Rubin about his travels and photographs of Brenner and Rubin as young men, Brenner with his son, and Brenner with painter Isaac Pailes.
Due to the small size of this collection the papers are arranged as one series.
Biographical / Historical:
Michael Brenner (1885-1969) was a sculptor who emigrated from Lithuania to New York with his family in 1890. In 1900, Brenner moved to Paris, France, entering the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Academie Julian. He studied under his brother, Victor Brenner, and Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Brenner established a studio in Paris and was included in Gertrude Stein's circle of friends. He was associated with a small artist colony of Russian Jews which included Chaim Soutine, Michel Kikoine, Pinchus Kremegne, and Isaac Pailes. In 1914, with his American friend, Robert Coady, Brenner established the Washington Square Gallery in New York for which he acted as European agent.
The papers of Michael Brenner were donated by his widow in 1976.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.