The records of the Henry and Rose Pearlman papers measure 4.38 linear feet and date from 1893 to 1995 (bulk 1950-1980). The collection documents the activities of Post-Impressionist and Modern art collectors Henry and Rose Pearlman through correspondence, research materials, exhibition catalogs, photographs, and clippings.
Scope and Content Note:
The Henry and Rose Pearlman papers measure 4.38 linear feet and document the activities of art collectors Henry and Rose Pearlman through correspondence, research materials, exhibition catalogs, photographs of artwork and exhibitions, and clippings ranging from 1909 to 1995 (bulk 1950-1980). Most of the materials relate to artists and pieces represented in the Pearlmans' collection, although a small amount of material concerns works considered or researched by Pearlman, but not purchased.
The bulk of the collection concerns the lending, reproduction, and exhibition of works of art owned by the Pearlmans and their foundation. Supplemental research material such as exhibition catalogs, photographs of artworks, and articles and clippings on artists, artworks or other private collections, make up most of the remainder. Oversized materials include a catalogue of the Pearlman Collection, a portfolio of reproductions of the Cezanne watercolors belonging to the Pearlmans, and photographs comparing Toulouse-Lautrec's Parody of the Bois Sacre aux Arts et Muses to the original.
The collection has been arranged into four series. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.
Series 1: General Collection Files, 1950-1995 (Box 1, 5; 8 folders)
Series 2: Artists' Files, 1909-1995 (Boxes 1-5, MGP 5; 3.2 linear feet)
Series 3: Museum Files, 1951-1994 (Box 4; 20 folders)
Series 4: Personal Files, 1966-1993 (Box 4; 5 folders)
Henry Pearlman (1895-1974), a lifelong resident of New York City, rose through the ranks of the business world to found his own company, Eastern Cold Storage, in 1919. In 1925, Henry married Rose. In the early 1940s, Pearlman purchased a few realist paintings, but it wasn't until his 1943 purchase of Chaim Soutine's Village Square that he was inspired to build what would become a noted collection of Post-Impressionist works. Over the next three decades, Pearlman acquired numerous works by such well-known artists as Soutine, Modigliani, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Renoir, Manet, Matisse, and Toulouse-Lautrec, in addition to those of lesser-known artists. In the early 1950s, Pearlman began collecting Cezanne watercolors. These paintings would become the cornerstone of his collection and would be exhibited around the world. Pearlman died in 1974, leaving his wife, Rose, to manage his collection until her death in 1994. From the mid-1970s, the Pearlman Collection has been on long-term loan to the Art Museum of Princeton.
The Pearlmans founded the Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation in the 1950s. Much of the Pearlmans' artwork is now officially owned by the Foundation.
The Henry and Rose Pearlman papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2004 by Dorothy Edelman and Marge Scheuer, daughters of Henry and Rose Pearlman, care of the Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
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Henry and Rose Pearlman papers, 1893-1995, bulk 1950-1980. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Princeton Art Museum. Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.