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Kiesler, Lillian Olinsey, 1911-2001  Search this
Zogbaum, Wilfrid  Search this
Takaezu, Toshiko  Search this
Tawney, Lenore  Search this
Mondrian, Piet  Search this
Montgomery, Chandler  Search this
Owen, Jane Blaffer  Search this
Purdy, James  Search this
MacIver, Loren  Search this
Kiesler, Frederick  Search this
Miller, Henry  Search this
Milius, Tom  Search this
Meredith, Burgess  Search this
Hofmann, Hans  Search this
Hodges, Alice  Search this
Hawkins, Erick  Search this
Kamler, Richard  Search this
Howe, George  Search this
Holtzman, Harry  Search this
Dlugoszewski, Lucia  Search this
Dorazio, Piero  Search this
Copley, Alfred L.  Search this
Diller, Burgoyne  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel  Search this
Dorazio, Virginia Dortch  Search this
Dreier, Katherine Sophie  Search this
Arnaud, Leopold  Search this
Adnan, Etel  Search this
Andres, Jo  Search this
Buscemi, Steve  Search this
Castelli, Leo  Search this
Bartos, Armand P.  Search this
Bultman, Fritz  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
University of Iowa, Museum of Art  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts  Search this
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation  Search this
Anthology Film Archives  Search this
Sound recordings
Scripts (documents)
Motion pictures (visual works)
Place of publication, production, or execution:
United States
Physical Description:
49.1 Linear feet; 0.001 Gigabytes
The collection is arranged into two series. Each series is divided into several subseries, with the arrangement described in detail in the series descriptions. Series 1: Lillian Kiesler papers, circa 1910s-2003 (Box 1-39, 47-52, OV 53-57; 41.1 linear feet, ER01; 0.001 GB) Series 2: Frederick Kiesler papers, 1923-1992 (Box 40-46, OV 53; 7.1 linear feet)
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
The papers of New York artist Lillian Kiesler and architect and sculptor Frederick Kiesler measure 49.1 linear feet and 0.001 GB and date from circa 1910s-2003, with the bulk of the material from 1958-2000. The collection documents their personal and professional lives and the legacy of Frederick Kiesler's work through biographical material, correspondence, legal, financial and business records, teaching files, exhibition and performance files, artwork, subject files, printed and digital material, writings and interviews, monographs, photographic material, and sound and video recordings. Also found are papers related to Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann and the papers of artist Alice Hodges.
Lillian and Frederick Kiesler papers, circa 1910s-2003, bulk 1958-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Use Note:
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.
Related Materials:
The holdings of the Archives of American Art include the Hans Hofmann Papers, 1904-1978 and the Maryette Charlton Papers, 1929-1998. Additional Frederick Kiesler papers are available at the Museum of Modern Art, the Harvard Theater Collection, and the Yale School of Art and Architecture. Some of the materials related to Frederick Kiesler were initially loaned for microfilming on reels 57 and 127-128. This material is not described in the container listing of this finding aid. Most, but not all, of the loaned material was later donated and has been merged with the other accretions.
Biography Note:
Frederick Kiesler (1890-1965) was a sculptor, architect, set designer, educator, and writer active in New York and Connecticutt. Lillian Kiesler (1911-2001) was a performer, arts educator, and painter married to Frederick Kiesler. She was also active in the administration of the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts.
Frederick Kiesler was born in Romania in 1890, although he gave various other dates for his birth and regularly cited Vienna as his birthplace. He arrived in the United States with his wife Steffi in 1926 for the International Theatre Exposition at Steinway Hall in New York City. They stayed in the United States and were granted citizenship in 1936.
Kiesler secured a teaching position at Columbia University's School of Architecture in 1930, and from 1934 through 1957 he was the scenic design director at The Juilliard School of Music. He also lectured at Yale University from 1950-1952. Often labeled a Surrealist, Kiesler's work was experimental and frequently described as ahead of its time. He published, lectured, and participated in numerous exhibitions throughout his career. He is known for his theory of "coreallism;" "The Space House" (1933), a full-scale model of a single family home; an installation designed for Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century gallery in 1942; "The Endless House" drawings and model (1950); "The Universal Theatre" (1961) model; and the Shrine of the Book (1965), a building to exhibit the Dead Sea Scrolls in Jerusalem. He died in New York City in December 1965.
Lillian Olinsey met architect and sculptor Frederick Kiesler in 1934. After years of friendship, they were married in 1964, a year and a half before Frederick's death in 1965.
Lillian Kiesler studied art at the Art Students League, Cooper Union, and the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts, where she also assisted Hofmann and the school administration. She taught art to children and young adults for twenty years in New York City. From 1945 to 1955, she taught at the Greenwich House Art workshops and the Woodward School, followed by the Brooklyn Museum (1948-1958), Barnard School (1953-1963), New York University School of Education (1955-1966), and Juilliard School of Visual Arts (1963-1965). Lillian was involved in the performing arts and between the late 1970s through the 1990s she performed in New York City with numerous directors, notably Jo Andres, Steve Buscemi, Richard Foreman, John Jesurun, Cindy Lubar, and Tim Miller. She frequently performed with her close friend, painter Maryette Charlton, who was the executor of the Lillian Kiesler estate.
Lillian Kiesler tirelessly promoted Frederick Kiesler's work and legacy after his death in 1965. From the late 1980s through the 1990s, she delivered lectures about his work at universities and museums, gave interviews, corresponded with researchers, and organized his papers to donate to the Harvard Theatre Collection, Yale School of Art and Architecture, and the Archives of American Art. In 1997, she helped found the Frederick and Lillian Kiesler Foundation in Vienna, Austria. She endowed the Austrian Frederick Kiesler Prize, an award given to a notable contributor to the field of architecture. The first recipient was Frank Gehry in 1998. Lillian Kiesler passed away in 2001 in New York City.
Language Note:
The collection is in English and German.
The collection was donated by Lillian Kiesler and Maryette Charlton, executrix of her estate, in several accessions between 1980-2002. Some of the papers related to Frederick Kiesler were originally loaned for microfilming in 1971, most of which was later donated in 1980. Additional papers related to Frederick Kiesler were donated in 1993. Papers related to Hans Hofmann were given in 1981. Lillian Kiesler's papers were donated in 2000 by Lillian Kiesler, and in 2002, by Maryette Charlton.
Location Note:
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Architects -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Exhibition designers  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women educators  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Women performance artists  Search this
Women  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art