Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Collection Creator:
Robert Schoelkopf Gallery  Search this
(boxes 1-23, 23 linear ft.)
Archival materials
1851-1991, undated
Scope and Contents note:
This series forms the core of the collection and comprises files relating to more than three hundred artists whose work the gallery represented or handled at some point. The main types of material that can be found here include correspondence with artists and clients interested in borrowing, consigning, or purchasing their work; printed material documenting exhibitions of individual artists at the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery and related events; general reference material about gallery artists; photographic images of works of art dealt with by the gallery; and photographs of artists. Items of particular interest are noted in parentheses after the folder title. Individual artists are represented by groups of material ranging from a single file to several linear feet of files, depending on the gallery's level of involvement with their work. Groups of files of particular interest are described in greater detail below. A list of all known group and one-person exhibitions held at the gallery is provided as an appendix and can be used to identify the dates of exhibitions for specific artists. Relations with many of the gallery's contemporary artists are particularly well documented in this series. The gallery's interest in figurative painting that incorporated elements of allegory, myth, fantasy, and dreams is evinced in files relating to artists such as Milet Andrejevic, Bruno Civitico, Martha Mayer Erlebacher, and David Ligare. Gabriel Laderman, another artist who worked extensively with allegorical themes, is also well represented in this series, and of particular interest are his letters describing his experiences living and working in Malaysia. Correspondence files relating to the painter Caren Canier contain personal letters from the artist that detail her attitude to her work and her relationships with her husband, artist Langdon Quin, and their two children. Paul Wiesenfeld, a realist painter who specialized in portraits and finely detailed interiors, also wrote to the gallery from Germany disclosing aspects of his personal life that affected his work. Correspondence with sculptor Isabel McIlvain contains detailed explanations by the artist of her attitudes to her work and her sculpting methods. McIlvain's files also chronicle her commission to produce a sculpture of John F. Kennedy that was unveiled in Boston in 1990. Files relating to William Bailey record many aspects of his relationship with the Schoelkopfs. Correspondence files primarily comprise letters to and from clients interested in Bailey's work but are interspersed with correspondence with Bailey and his wife that often details personal aspects of their lives as well as providing insight into Bailey's artistic development and his experiences living in Italy, where he and his family resided much of the time. Consignments and sales of Bailey's work are well documented here, as is the gallery's role in the compilation and publication of three books about the artist. An extensive collection of news clippings records various stages of his career and the growth of his commercial success. Two substantial groups of files document the gallery's representation of painter Louisa Matthiasdottir and her husband, Leland Bell. Correspondence with Bell includes mention of his time spent in Europe and his teaching experiences, and reveals his sardonic wit. Several files of correspondence with Miyako Ito offer rich insight into a short period during the artist's life. The bulk of the material comprises letters written by Ito to Robert Schoelkopf in 1960 and 1961, occasionally on a daily basis and often of a very poetic and deeply reflective and emotional nature. Folders relating to Joseph Cornell contain some correspondence with the artist that offers insight into his personality. They also record Schoelkopf's bid, albeit in vain, to represent the artist's estate following his death in 1972 and the gallery's commitment to Cornell through continued consignment of his work. Files concerning Manierre Dawson document the gallery's representation of the artist's estate and arrangements for the first one-person exhibition of his paintings in New York only a few months before his death in the summer of 1969. The files include correspondence with Dawson in which he discusses preparations for the exhibition, supplies information concerning dates and locations of his paintings, and expresses concerns about his illness. Letters from Dawson's wife, Lillian, written immediately after his death, can also be found here as well as several marked-up copies of the catalog for the 1969 exhibition that includes an introduction written by the artist. The Dawson files document the activities of the partnership formed by Frank J. McKeown, Jr., Dr. Lewis Obi, and Lefferts L. Mabie, Jr., to purchase paintings from the Dawson estate and provide details of how the partnership worked with Schoelkopf as the sole gallery agency for Dawson's paintings. The files also record the distribution of loans and gifts from the partnership to various art institutions. More than two feet of records offer detailed coverage of Robert Schoelkopf's interest in Gaston Lachaise and his involvement in the administration of the Lachaise Foundation. Correspondence files chronicle relations among Schoelkopf, John B. Pierce, Jr. (trustee of the foundation), and Felix Landau and record decisions taken regarding publications about the artist, policies for casting and limiting editions of his sculpture, and strategies for promoting Lachaise through exhibitions. The traveling exhibition that opened in September 1967 and was still circulating in 1991 is well documented here, as are other practical concerns such as maintaining accounting and storage records of the artist's work. Files relating to Ethel Myers include correspondence with the artist's daughter, Virginia Downes, and document Schoelkopf's handling of Myers's estate and his involvement in exhibitions to promote her work. The files include one undated letter and one copy of a letter from Myers to Downes, dated 1941, and a copy of a letter from Henry McBride to Myers from 1913. Copies of autobiographical notes written by Myers about her childhood, artists she knew, her marriage to Jerome Myers, and the outbreak of war in Europe can also be found here. Several files document the appointment and activities of Robert Schoelkopf and Felix Landau as exclusive agents for the sale of works of art from the estate of Elie Nadelman. A substantial group of files relating to Joseph Stella chronicle Schoelkopf's involvement with Michael and Sergio Stella, trustees of Joseph Stella's estate, and his representation of the estate from 1963 until 1971, when he withdrew from the position following a dispute over commissions. The gallery continued to consign work from the Stella estate until 1991, and these files contain details of those consignments and reflect Schoelkopf's lifelong commitment to promoting Stella's work. Files relating to John Henry Bradley Storrs document Schoelkopf's relationship with the artist's daughter, Monique Storrs Booz, who designated Schoelkopf as the new agent for works of art from her father's estate when her contract with the Downtown Gallery was terminated in 1969. Schoelkopf continued to represent Storrs's work when Monique Storrs Booz died in 1985, leaving the estate in the hands of two of the artist's grandchildren. Details of the gallery's relationship with Noel Frackman, who conducted important research on Storrs, can also be found here. Of additional interest are two sets of photographs attributed to John Storrs: a group of eleven platinum prints (apparently there were originally thirteen), primarily portraits of children, and a group of twenty-seven silver gelatin prints of rural and coastal scenes. Another significant component of this series is the number of files documenting the gallery's relationship with various contemporary photographers. Files of correspondence concerning Brassaï contain substantial correspondence with the photographer himself, who frequently wrote to the gallery in French. Records relating to Walker Evans detail Evans's consignments to the gallery and include some letters from him of a more personal nature, such as one describing his observations during a trip to London in 1966. Photographer Giséle è wrote regularly to the gallery, and her letters include detailed descriptions of the processes she employed in printing her work. Correspondence relating to Julia Margaret Cameron contains several items of interest including a letter from Cameron dated August 10, 1873, to a Mrs. Way concerning photographs of Way's daughter, and an article on Cameron by Charles Harvard with notes containing biographical details about the photographer. Within its artist files the gallery retained a group of files marked "Miscellaneous." These files contain small amounts of material, often only one or two pieces, relating to various artists for whom an individual file was not maintained or who were unidentified. These records are placed at the end of the alphabetical files and contain primarily copy prints, transparencies, and slide transparencies. Material is arranged alphabetically by name of artist, with records relating to unidentified artists placed at the beginning. To retain the alphabetical arrangement various media formats are filed together and dated material is interfiled with undated material, which forms the bulk of the contents. The gallery tended to group various types of paper records together with correspondence in a single file. The term "correspondence" in this series, therefore, refers not only to incoming and outgoing letters but also to accounting and consignment records, reports (such as inventory lists), artists' résumés, exhibition lists, price lists, and other miscellaneous notes. In cases where a certain type of "correspondence" was originally filed separately from other material of this kind, and represents a significant amount of material, that material is filed in a separate folder (e.g., Accounting and Consignment Records). Generally, arrangement of photographs in this series follows the system outlined under Organization and Arrangement, with some notable exceptions. Photographs of works of art by Gaston Lachaise and Elie Nadelman were originally arranged in a numbering system that is fairly consistent, and this basic original order has been retained. Also, for large groups of photographs of works of art, such as those by Gaston Lachaise, Joseph Stella, and John Henry Bradley Storrs, the gallery filed photographs by media in which the work of art was created; such delineations are reflected in the final arrangement. The gallery maintained a collection of negatives, primarily of works of art by artists found in Series 1: Artist Files, in addition to other artists not represented there. There is also a small number of negatives of installation shots. The negatives are arranged alphabetically by artist name, with unknown artists at the beginning, and are stored, for preservation reasons, in containers separate from other records in the series. Negative numbers found on the original sleeves have been transcribed onto the paper enclosures now housing the negatives, so that they may be matched to prints in Series 1: Artist Files, in cases where prints exist. An appendix provides an alphabetical list of artists whose work is represented in the negative collection. In some cases, names of artists are incomplete because of insufficient information on the original negative sleeves. See Appendix A for a list of artists represented in the negatives of works of art found in Series 1.
Appendix A: Artists Represented in Negatives of Works of Art:
Albright, Ivan [Allston] Anderson, Lennart Andrejevic, Milet Anshutz, Thomas Pollock Aponovich, James Bailey, William Ballaine, G. Balthus Barye Bazelon, Cecile Gray Beauchamp Beckwith Bell, E. Bell, Leland Bellows, George Benton, Thomas Hart Bernard Birch, Thomas [Blauvelk] Bluemner, Oscar Blythe, David Gilmour Bolles, Jesse H. Bouvier, August Bradford, William Branchard, Emile Pierre Brassaï Bratby, John Breckenridge, Hugh H. Bricher, A. T. Brook, Alexander Brown, John George Burchfield, Charles Burra, Edward Carles, Arthur B. Carlsen Cartier-Bresson, Henri Charkow, Natalie Chase, William Merritt Chiriani, Richard Civitico, Bruno Clark, Alson Skinner Codman, Charles Cohen, Frederick Cole, Thomas Coleman, Glenn O. Conrad, Kramer Cornell, Joseph Cropsey, Jasper Francis Currier, [J. Frank] Dallman, Daniel Dalou, Jules Dasburg, Andrew Daugherty, James Henry [Davidson] Davidson, Jo Davies, Arthur B. Davis, Stuart Dawson, Manierre Degas, Edgar De Kooning, Willem Demuth, Charles Dewing, Thomas Wilmer Dickinson, Preston Diederich, William Hunt [Dix, Otto] Du Bois, Guy Péne Duchamp, Marcel Duveneck, Frank Eaton Edmonson, Will [Eilshemius] Epstein, [Sir Jacob] Erlebacher, Martha Mayer Evans, Walker Fellini Fisher, M. Fiske, Gertrude Flannagan, John Bernard Forbes, Charles Frazier, John Robinson Freckelton, Sondra Frieseke, Frederick C. Gallatin, A. E. Gay, Walter Gifford, R. Swain Gifford, Sanford Robinson Gignoux, R. Glackens, William J. Gleizes, Albers Goodnough, Robert Goodwin, Arthur Clifton Gorky, Arshile Gorsline Graham, John Graham, William Grant Grausman, Philip Graves, Morris Groz Guglielmi, Louis Guillaume Halsall Han, Raymond Hardy, DeWitt Hart, William Hartley, Marsden Hartman, Bertram C. Harvey, Anne Hatke, Walter Hawthorne, Charles Webster Heade, Martin Johnson Henri, Robert Hill, T. Hirst, Claude R. Hitchcock Hohwiller, L. M. Hopper, Edward Horton, William S. Johnson, David Johnson, Eastman Johnson, Lester Jones, Bern Kane, John Karfunkle, David Kelly, L. Kensett, John Frederick Klee, Paul Klimt, Gustav Kline, Franz Knaths, Karl [Kresch] Kruger, Louise Kuhn, Walt Kuniyoshi, Yasuo Lachaise, Gaston Laderman, Gabriel Lawrence, Jacob Lawson, Ernest Lechay, Myron Leibowitz, Leonard Leutz Levinson, Abraham F. Ligare, David Lipchitz Luks, George MacDonald-Wright, Stanton MacMonnies, Frederick William Manolo Manship, Paul Manzu Marin, John Martin, Homer D. Matthiasdottir, Louisa Matulka, Jan Maurer, Alfred Henry McFee Henry McIlvain, Isabel Melchers Metcalf, Willard Leroy Mills [Morandi, Giovanni] Muybridge, Eadweard Müller, Jan Muller, Lisa Myers, Jerome Nadelman, Elie Nakian, Reuben Nevelson, Louise Newman, A. L. Nick, George Bentley Of, George F. O'Keeffe, Georgia Orozco, José Clemente Peterson, Jane Peto, John Frederick Pfreim, Bernard Picasso, Pablo Piccolo, Richard Pollet, Joseph Pollock, Jackson Poor, H. Powers, Hiram Prendergast, Maurice Brazil Price Prior, William Matthew Quin, Langdon Raiselis, Richard Ream, C. P. Reid, Robert Richards, William Trost Rimmer, William Robinson, T. W. Rodin, Auguste Romero, Orozco Rummelspacher Russell, Morgan Ryan, Richard [Ryder, Albert Pinkham] Saint-Gaudens, Augustus Salemme, Antonio Salemme, Attilio Sargent, John Singer Schamberg, Morton L. Schiele, Egon Schmidt, Edward Schultz, E. N. Scott, J. W. A. Shahn, Ben Shaw, Sidney Dale Sheeler, Charles Shinn, Everett Sklarski, Bonnie Sloan, John Smith, Hope Staples, W. L. Steene Steichen, Edward Stella, Joseph Storrs, John Henry Bradley Stuart, Frederick, T. Suba, Miklos Tamayo, Rufino Tanguy, Yves Tanner, Henry Ossawa Taylor, Henry Fitch Tillim, Sidney Touster, Irwin Turner, Helen Twachtman, John Henry Urness, Scott [V., F.] Van Beest Van Everen, Jay Vedder, Elihu Vespignani Vonnoh, Robert William Walcutt, William [Wall] Weber, Max Weir, Julian Alden Weiss, George Whistler, James McNeill Whittredge, Worthington Wiesenfeld, Paul Woking Wood, Thomas Waterman Wyant, A. H. Wyeth, Andrew Zorach, [William]
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
Robert Schoelkopf Gallery records, 1851-1991, bulk 1962-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
AAA.robeschg, Series 1
See more items in:
Robert Schoelkopf Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art