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Catalog Data

Walinska, Anna  Search this
Guild Art Gallery  Search this
Avery, Milton, 1885-1965  Search this
Beata, Welsing  Search this
Hacohen, Bracha  Search this
Littlefield, William Horace, 1902-1969  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Walinsky, Louis Joseph, 1908-2001  Search this
2.1 Linear feet
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Travel diaries
Europe -- description and travel
Israel -- Description and Travel
bulk 1935-1980
The papers of New York-based painter, teacher and art director Anna Walinska measure 2.1 linear feet and date from 1927 to 2002, with the bulk of material from 1935 to 1980. The papers include biographical material, correspondence, writings, travel diaries, printed material, scrapbooks, artwork, sketchbooks, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York-based painter, teacher and art director Anna Walinska measure 2.1 linear feet and date from 1927 to 2002, with the bulk of material from 1935 to 1980. The papers include biographical material, correspondence, writings, travel diaries, printed material, scrapbooks, artwork, sketchbooks, and photographs. Biographical material consists of awards, certificates, curriculum vitae, biographical outlines, exhibition lists, passports and other material. There is a partial transcript from a radio interview of Anna Walinska. Also included are limited financial records. Correspondence includes Anna Walinska's letters to her family from her 1954-1955 trip abroad to multiple countries in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. There is personal and professional correspondence with friends, artists and art institutions. Notable correspondents include Milton Avery, Louise Nevelson, Beata Welsing, Bracha Hacohen, William Littlefield, and Walinska's brother Louis Walinsky. Writings consist of Walinska's notes, notebooks, lectures, essays, and a handwritten prospectus for Guild Art Gallery. There is one folder of writings by others about Walinska at the end of the series. There are four travel diaries that describe Walinska's trip around the world from 1954-1955, during which she traveled to many countries, and later trips to locations such as Israel and Trinidad. Printed Material include clippings about Anna Walinska, group and solo exhibition catalogs, announcements, event invitations, and course catalogs for the Master Institute of United Art in New York City, where Walinska taught painting and drawing classes. There are three scrapbooks: one scrapbook is about Guild Art Gallery, the second scrapbook is about the Holocaust exhibition, the third oversized scrapbook documents Walinska's career and activities overall. Artwork consists of two bound sketchbooks as well as drawings and sketches in a variety of mediums from pencil and ink to watercolors and oils. Photographs are of Walinska, friends, family, artists, artwork, exhibition installations, and other subjects. One album includes photos of Anna Walinska and her travels, along with images of friends and colleagues. The second album includes photographs of Walinska's solo exhibition at Sunken Meadow Gallery (1959). There is also one folder of photocopies of photos of assorted artwork by Walinska.
The collection is arranged as 8 series. Series 1: Biographical Material, 1927-2002 (Box 1; 11 folders) Series 2: Correspondence, 1949-1995 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet) Series 3: Writings, circa 1935-circa 1983 (Box 1; 8 folders) Series 4: Travel Diaries, 1954-1973 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet) Series 5: Printed Material, 1942-2002 (Boxes 1-2; 0.4 linear feet) Series 6: Scrapbooks, circa 1929-1980 (Boxes 2, 4; 0.5 linear feet) Series 7: Artwork, circa 1929-1963 (Box 3; 5 folders) Series 8: Photographs, circa 1932-1980 (Box 3; 0.3 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Anna Walinska (1906-1997) was a New York artist, teacher and gallery director who traveled widely and is most well known for her paintings related to the subject of the Holocaust. Anna Walinska was born in London, England in 1906 to labor organization leader Ossip Walinsky and poet Rosa Newman Walinska. She had two siblings, Emily and Louis. The family immigrated to New York City in 1914, and Anna Walinska began studying at the Art Students League in 1918. In 1926, she travelled to Paris and studied art at the Academie de Grande Chaumier with Andre L'Hote. France was her primary residence until 1930. In 1935, Walinska and artist Margaret Lefranc co-founded the Guild Art Gallery at West 57th Street in New York and gave Arshile Gorky his first solo exhibition in the city. The gallery closed its doors in 1937. In 1939, Walinska was the Assistant Creative Director of the Contemporary Art Pavilion at the New York World's Fair. During this time, Walinska also pursued her own art and exhibited work in numerous group shows. From 1954 to 1955, Walinska traveled around the world, visiting the capitals and major cities of many countries in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Places she went included Japan, Burma (now known as Myanmar), Pakistan, Greece, Italy, France and Spain. During her four month stay in Burma, she painted a portrait of Prime Minister U Nu and she later became a highly respected portrait artist who painted numerous illustrious subjects such as First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, artists Louise Nevelson and Mark Rothko, and many others. In 1957, Walinska became the artist-in-residence at the Riverside Museum where she also taught and exhibited with other artists. That same year, she had her first retrospective at the Jewish Museum in New York City. Walinska exhibited widely and often. Holocaust: Paintings and Drawings, 1953-1978, which opened at the Museum of Religious Art at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, is probably the most well-known of her exhibitions and it traveled across the country to several other sites such as the War Memorial Building in Baltimore and Mercy College of Detroit. Works from this exhibition were acquired by multiple museums to become part of their permanent collections. Walinkska died on December 19, 1997 at the age of 91 in New York City. In 1999, there was a retrospective of her work titled Echoes of the Holocaust: Paintings, Drawings, and Collage, 1940-1989 held at Clark University's Center for Holocaust Studies. The Onisaburo Gallery at New York's Interfaith Center also held a solo exhibition titled Portraits of Faith (2000). Her art is part of the collections at the Denver Art Museum, National Portrait Gallery, National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Rose Art Museum, and other museums.
Related Materials:
The Archives of American Art also has the Guild Art Gallery records, which consists of material related to the gallery that was co-founded by Anna Walinska.
The papers were donated by Anna Walinska in two installations in 1976 and 1981. Rosina Rubin, Anna Walinska's niece, made a third donation of material in 2017.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., research center.
Gallery directors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Drawing--Study and teaching  Search this
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945), in art  Search this
Painting -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Asia--Description and travel  Search this
Middle East--Description and travel  Search this
Trinidad and Tobago--Description and travel  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women educators  Search this
Travel diaries
Anna Walinska papers, 1927-2002, bulk 1935-1980. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
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Anna Walinska papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art