Biographical materials include curriculum vitae, identification cards related to Muray's particaption in Olympic fencing events, and membership related to the Circle of Confusion and the New York Coffee House Club. There is also a transcript of Muray's interview with the NY radio station WEAF regarding beauty and aesthetics, and documentation of Muray's 1961 heart attack and recovery.
Correspondence is primarily with Muray's friends, business associates, and clients, including Martha Graham, Claude Monet, Ruth St. Denis, and H.G. Wells. There are also letters related to his participation in the Olympic Games, his application to the Army Signal Corps Photographic Services, and a handful of letters from Frida Kahlo that discouss her health, impending divorce from Diego Rivera, and plans regarding the exhibition of her artwork.
Writings include an autobiographical account by Muray; lists and notes regarding celebrity portrait photo sittings; typescripts of theater perfermance reviews; and a mock-up of Great Tribes of the World, with photographs by Muray. There is also a typescript commentary of Revealing Eye by Paul Gallico.
Teaching files are primarily course materials relating to Muray's 1940 and 1941 New York University photography classes and a lecture series based on his travels in Africa. Printed material includes a copy of Muray's book Celebrity Portraits of the Twenties and Thirties, a brochure advertising Muray Studios, clippings, and miscellaneous printed material.
There are also a handful of sketches by illustrator Willy Pogany and photographic materials of Muray, his family and friends, and his work. Photographs include Muray in uniform as a member of the 1928 Olympic fencing team; carbro prints of Loretta Young, 3 models, and and arrangements of food; and a photograph of Muray with Miguel Covarrubias, Diego Rivera, and Frida Kahlo.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Nickolas Muray papers, 1910-1992. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.