The collection is arranged into 7 series: Series 1: Biographical Material, 1964, 1975 (Box 1; 1 folder) Series 2: Correspondence, 1935-1981 (Box 1; 10 folders) Series 3: Subject Files, 1950-1981 (Box 1-4; 2.4 linear feet) Series 4: Writings, circa 1951-1979 (Box 4; 5 folders) Series 5: Financial & Legal Records, 1943-1982 (Box 4; 6 folders) Series 6: Printed Material, 1926, 1962-1977 (Box 4; 4 folders) Series 7: Photographs, circa 1970 (Box 4; 1 folder)
Access Note / Rights:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art's website.
The papers of abstract painter Milton Avery measure 2.8 linear feet and date from 1926 to 1982, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1950 to 1982. Almost the entire collection consists of records of the Milton Avery Trust (2.4 linear feet) maintained by Avery's wife Sally, who served as a trustee. Milton Avery's business and personal correspondence (five folders) contains letters from friends and fellow artists, including a few from George Duthuit, Louis Eilshemius, Marsden Hartley, Wallace Putnam, and Mark Rothko. Also found are scattered writings about Avery, price lists, estate records, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and news clippings.
Milton Avery papers, 1926-1982, bulk 1950-1982. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The papers of Milton Avery in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2007, and total 6149 images.
Materials lent for microfilming are available on 35mm microfilm reels N68-95, N68-115, N69-63, and 2535 at the Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art
The Milton Avery papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming on reels N68-95, N68-115, N69-63, and 2535 including six scrapbooks, a sketchbook, Christmas cards, exhibition catalogs, and photographs. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Milton Avery (1885-1965) was born in Altmar, New York and grew up in Hartford, Connecticut. Around 1905 he began attending the Connecticut League of Art Students in Hartford where he studied life drawing while also working full-time as a factory worker and file clerk. In 1915 he had his first public exhibition and, in 1918, transferred to the School of Art Society in Hartford. In 1924 he met Sally Michel (1905-2003), a student at the Art Students League in New York, and moved to New York City to be closer to her. They married one year later. Around this time Avery also altered his year of birth to 1893, perhaps due to the age difference between him and Sally. After their marriage Sally worked as an illustrator so that Avery could paint full time.
The Milton Avery papers were donated in 1968, 1969, and 1982 by his widow Sally Avery, including a few letters previously loaned for microfilming.
The papers of Milton Avery in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2007. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 6,149 images.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001