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Oral history interview with Katharine Kuh

Topic:
Saturday review
Interviewee:
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Interviewer:
Berman, Avis  Search this
Creator:
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.)  Search this
First National Bank of Chicago -- Art collections  Search this
Katharine Kuh Gallery (Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Vassar College. Art Gallery  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Albright, Ivan, 1897-1983  Search this
Archipenko, Alexander, 1887-1964  Search this
Arensberg, Louise S. (Louise Stevenson), 1879-1953  Search this
Arensberg, Walter, 1878-1954  Search this
Avery, Milton, 1885-1965  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Berenson, Bernard, 1865-1959  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Ernst, Max, 1891-1976  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
Klee, Paul, 1879-1940  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, 1886-1969  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946  Search this
Mérida, Carlos, 1891-1984  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Paepcke, Walter Paul, 1896-1960  Search this
Porter, Eliot, 1901-1990  Search this
Ray, Man, 1890-1976  Search this
Rich, Daniel Catton, 1904-1976  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Stamos, Theodoros, 1922-1997  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Tamayo, Rufino, 1899-  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Weston, Edward, 1886-1958  Search this
Extent:
313 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1982 Mar. 18-1983 Mar. 24
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Katharine Kuh conducted 1982 Mar. 18-1983 Mar. 24, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.
Kuh speaks of her invalid childhood in Chicago, the development of her interest in art, classes in art history at Vassar College, and her career as curator of modern art at the Art Institute of Chicago. She recalls in particular the "Sanity in Art" movement against modern art in Chicago. Kuh describes her relationship with Mark Rothko and Rothko's relationships with Mark Tobey, Clyfford Still, Kate Rothko, Theodoros Stamos, Milton Avery, Stanley Kunitz, and Hans Hofmann.
Kuh discusses her parents, the family silk business, travelling in Europe as a child, life in Chicago, the effects of polio and other illnesses on her interests, and her student years at Vassar College. She remembers visiting Bernard Berenson in Italy with her family and again with Daniel Catton Rich, with whom she worked very closely at the Art Institute of Chicago. She speaks of the Katharine Kuh Gallery, which she started in the mid-1930s and its place in the vanguard of the Chicago art scene.
Kuh remembers the effects of the stock market crash on her personal situation, her marriage to businessman George Kuh, distaste for life in the suburbs, and her divorce. She discusses the Katharine Kuh Gallery and the actions taken against her business by members of the reactionary "Sanity in Art" movement (including a very funny anecdote concerning Carlos Merida). She speaks of the classes in modern art that she taught at her gallery and of some of the artists she exhibited there, including the photographers Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Weston.
Kuh remembers the McCarthy era and the political conservatism in Chicago, including her testimony on behalf of Bill Zimmerman, Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs. She criticizes blockbuster exhibitions and the changes in the role of a museum curator. She reminisces about building the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago and the art education program she ran there, and recalls Stuart Davis, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Gyorgy Kepes, and Ivan Albright.
Kuh remembers Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Marcel Duchamp, as well as the collectors Walter Paepcke and Walter and Louise Arensberg (whose collection she surveyed in their home for an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago).
Kuh focuses on her memories of Mark Rothko, recalling when they met, their friendship, his manner of working, his feelings about his work, and his worries towards the end of his life. She talks about Clyfford Still, Barnett Newman, and Mark Tobey. Some parts of this tape repeat what she said earlier.
Kuh continues discussing Rothko, particularly his Houston chapel murals and the retrospective exhibition at MOMA in 1961. She remembers visiting Rothko's studio and describes his working methods. She relates Rothko's views on other artists, including Milton Avery, Clyfford Still, Turner, Robert Motherwell, and Adolf Gottlieb; parts repeat things said before. Kuh also discusses Rothko's wife and daughter.
Kuh recounts building the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago and speaks of the museum staff, trustees, and donors. She remembers Alfred Barr at MOMA.
Kuh continues speaking about the Art Institute of Chicago, describing the circumstances of her resignation and subsequent move to New York. She talks of knowing Peggy Guggenheim, Max Ernst, and Fernand Leger.
Kuh describes her work as a consultant to college museums and her writings. She discusses the field of art criticism and her career as art editor at Saturday Review. She recalls Clyfford Still's retrospective exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and his death.
Kuh describes her work as a collector for the First National Bank of Chicago.
Kuh recounts more about her work at Saturday Review and her resignation. She goes into great detail about her travels in Alaska and British Columbia surveying Northwest Indian art for a government report. She speaks again about the McCarthy era.
Kuh speaks again about the Katharine Kuh Gallery and the artists she exhibited there, including Josef Albers (and his Black Mountain College), Alexander Archipenko, Stuart Davis, Paul Klee, Alexander Calder, and Man Ray.
Kuh continues her discussion of artists she exhibited at the Katharine Kuh Gallery, including Mark Tobey, Paul Klee, and Isamu Noguchi.
Kuh continues talking about artists she exhibited at the Katharine Kuh Gallery, including David Smith, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Eliot Porter, Rufino Tamayo, and Jack Tworkov.
Biographical / Historical:
Katharine Kuh (1904-1994) was an art consultant, curator, and critic from Chicago and New York City.
General:
Originally recorded on 16 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 31 digital wav files. Duration is 21 hrs., 52 min.
Provenance:
This interview was conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and his Times oral history project, with funding provided by the Mark Rothko Foundation.
Others interviewed on the project (by various interviewers) include: Sonia Allen, Sally Avery, Ben-Zion, Bernard Braddon, Ernest Briggs, Rhys Caparn, Elaine de Kooning, Herbert Ferber, Esther Gottlieb, Juliette Hays, Sidney Janis, Buffie Johnson, Jacob Kainen, Louis Kaufman, Jack Kufeld, Stanley Kunitz, Joseph Liss, Dorothy Miller, Betty Parsons, Wallace Putnam, Rebecca Reis, Maurice Roth, Sidney Schectman, Aaron Siskind, Joseph Solman, Hedda Sterne, Jack Tworkov, Esteban Vicente and Ed Weinstein. Each has been cataloged separately.
Restrictions:
Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Rights:
Authorization to publish, quote or reproduce must be obtained from name on file.
Occupation:
Artists -- United States  Search this
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Art critics -- Interviews  Search this
Curators -- Interviews  Search this
Art museum curators -- Interviews  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- Illinois -- Chicago
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.kuh82
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kuh82

Panel discussion on museums and broadcasting

Subject:
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Type:
Sound Recording
Date:
1977
Topic:
Broadcasting  Search this
Museums  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)19011
See more items in:
Katharine Kuh papers, 1875-1994, bulk 1930-1994
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_19011

Katharine Kuh papers, 1875-1994, bulk 1930-1994

Creator:
Kuh, Katharine, 1904-1994  Search this
Subject:
Johns, Jasper  Search this
Guggenheim, Peggy  Search this
Feitelson, Lorser  Search this
Falkenstein, Claire  Search this
Davis, Stuart  Search this
Elizabeth II, Queen of Great Britain  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László  Search this
Millier, Arthur  Search this
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig  Search this
O'Higgins, Pablo  Search this
Nutting, Myron Chester  Search this
Nutting, Muriel Leone Tyler  Search this
Mérida, Carlos  Search this
Perkins, Frances  Search this
Ozbekhan, Hasan  Search this
Orozco, José Clemente  Search this
Calder, Alexander  Search this
Arensberg, Louise S. (Louise Stevenson)  Search this
Rich, Daniel Catton  Search this
Ray, Man  Search this
Biddle, George  Search this
Pollack, Peter  Search this
Seligmann, Kurt  Search this
Shackelford, Shelby  Search this
Sandberg, Carl  Search this
Putnam, Wallace  Search this
Sterne, Hedda  Search this
Shahn, Ben  Search this
Spaeth, Otto  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Winston, Harry Lewis  Search this
Barnet, Will  Search this
Still, Clyfford  Search this
Tanning, Dorothea  Search this
Woolf, Olga  Search this
Young, Victor  Search this
Goto, Joseph  Search this
Golub, Leon  Search this
Graves, Robert  Search this
Grabe, Klaus  Search this
Giacometti, Alberto  Search this
Friendly, Fred W.  Search this
Hirshhorn, Joseph  Search this
Hayter, Stanley William  Search this
Hélion, Jean  Search this
Hofmann, Hans  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr.  Search this
Hare, Denise Browne  Search this
Hare, David  Search this
Kandinsky, Wassily  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy  Search this
Kepes, Juliet  Search this
Inverarity, Robert Bruce  Search this
Johnson, Philip  Search this
Johnson, Ray  Search this
Le Corbusier  Search this
Lundeberg, Helen  Search this
Lye, Len  Search this
Léger, Fernand  Search this
Klee, Paul  Search this
Kline, Franz  Search this
Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing)  Search this
Knox, Seymour H.  Search this
Archipenko, Alexander  Search this
Albright, Ivan  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Adams, Ansel  Search this
Guston, Philip  Search this
Arp, Jean  Search this
Arensberg, Walter  Search this
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Picasso, Pablo  Search this
Cox, Richard  Search this
Rothko, Mark  Search this
Chavez Morado, José  Search this
Chermayeff, Serge  Search this
Campoli, Cosmo  Search this
Chagall, Marc  Search this
Breuer, Marcel  Search this
Ernst, Jimmy  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel  Search this
De Kooning, Willem  Search this
Dickinson, Edwin Walter  Search this
Day, Worden  Search this
Katharine Kuh Gallery (Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Albright-Knox Art Gallery  Search this
Biennale di Venezia  Search this
Type:
Illustrated letters
Resumes
Travel diaries
Minutes
Calendars
Visitors' books
Photographs
Paintings
Awards
Drawings
Sound recordings
Collages
Scrapbooks
Lithographs
Prints
Wills
Watercolors
Poetry
Lecture notes
Lectures
Sales records
Topic:
Art, Abstract -- United States  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Art festivals  Search this
Women museum curators -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Women art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Women art historians -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Women art dealers -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Women art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women art critics -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9951
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212503
AAA_collcode_kuhkath
Theme:
Art Theory and Historiography
Women
Art Gallery Records
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_212503
Online Media:

Claire Falkenstein papers, circa 1914-1997, bulk 1940-1990

Creator:
Falkenstein, Claire, 1908-1997  Search this
Subject:
O'Donnell, May  Search this
Still, Patricia  Search this
Still, Clyfford  Search this
Sawyer, Kenneth B.  Search this
Guggenheim, Peggy  Search this
Green, Ray  Search this
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Wildenhain, Frans  Search this
Tapie, Michel  Search this
Temko, Allan  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Pond Farm Workshop  Search this
Merging One Gallery  Search this
San Francisco Museum of Art  Search this
John Bolles Gallery (San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Jack Rutberg Fine Arts (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Martha Jackson Gallery  Search this
Malvina Miller  Search this
Los Angeles Museum of Art  Search this
Coos Art Museum  Search this
Galerie Anderson-Mayer  Search this
Gallery Stadler  Search this
Fresno Art Museum  Search this
Mills College  Search this
University of California, San Francisco. School of Fine Arts  Search this
Type:
Drawings
Motion pictures (visual works)
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Photographs
Sketches
Topic:
Women artists -- California  Search this
Women artists -- France -- Paris  Search this
Sculptors -- California  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Awards  Search this
Transcripts  Search this
Articles  Search this
Designers -- California  Search this
Drafts (documents)  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Poetry  Search this
Scripts  Search this
Notebooks  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Art patronage  Search this
Educators -- California  Search this
Jewelry -- Design  Search this
Painters -- California  Search this
Sculptors -- France -- Paris  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6135
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216351
AAA_collcode_falkclai
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Women
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_216351
Online Media:

Avis Berman research material on Katharine Kuh, 1939-2006

Creator:
Berman, Avis, 1949-  Search this
Subject:
Lebrun, Rico  Search this
Neumann, J. B. (Jsrael Ber)  Search this
Rich, Daniel Catton  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel  Search this
Harmon, Lily  Search this
Kaufmann, Edgar  Search this
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Arensberg, Walter  Search this
Dale, Chester  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Topic:
Art, Modern  Search this
Art dealers -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Curators -- Illinois-Chicago  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13638
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)272295
AAA_collcode_bermavis3
Theme:
Women
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_272295

Katharine Kuh papers

Creator:
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Names:
Albright-Knox Art Gallery  Search this
Art Institute of Chicago -- Faculty  Search this
Biennale di Venezia  Search this
Katharine Kuh Gallery (Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Albright, Ivan, 1897-1983  Search this
Archipenko, Alexander, 1887-1964  Search this
Arensberg, Louise S. (Louise Stevenson), 1879-1953  Search this
Arensberg, Walter, 1878-1954  Search this
Arp, Jean, 1887-1966  Search this
Barnet, Will, 1911-  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Biddle, George, 1885-1973  Search this
Breuer, Marcel, 1902-  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Campoli, Cosmo  Search this
Chagall, Marc, 1887-  Search this
Chavez Morado, José, 1909-2002  Search this
Chermayeff, Serge, 1900-  Search this
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Cox, Richard  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
Day, Worden, 1916-1986  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Dickinson, Edwin Walter, 1891-  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean, 1901-  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Elizabeth II, Queen of Great Britain, 1926-  Search this
Ernst, Jimmy, 1920-1984  Search this
Falkenstein, Claire, 1908-1997  Search this
Feitelson, Lorser, 1898-1978  Search this
Friendly, Fred W.  Search this
Giacometti, Alberto, 1901-1966  Search this
Golub, Leon, 1922-2004  Search this
Goto, Joseph, 1920-  Search this
Grabe, Klaus  Search this
Graves, Robert, 1895-1985  Search this
Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898-  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Hare, David, 1917-  Search this
Hare, Denise Browne  Search this
Hayter, Stanley William, 1901-1988  Search this
Hirshhorn, Joseph  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Hélion, Jean, 1904-1987  Search this
Inverarity, Robert Bruce, 1909-1999  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-  Search this
Kandinsky, Wassily, 1866-1944  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
Kepes, Juliet  Search this
Klee, Paul, 1879-1940  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Knox, Seymour H., 1898-1990  Search this
Le Corbusier, 1887-1965  Search this
Lundeberg, Helen, 1908-1999  Search this
Lye, Len, 1901-1980  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, 1886-1969  Search this
Millier, Arthur, 1893-  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Mérida, Carlos, 1891-1984  Search this
Nutting, Muriel Leone Tyler, b. 1892  Search this
Nutting, Myron Chester, 1890-1972  Search this
O'Higgins, Pablo, 1904-  Search this
Orozco, José Clemente, 1883-1949  Search this
Ozbekhan, Hasan, 1921-2007  Search this
Perkins, Frances  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Putnam, Wallace, 1899-1989  Search this
Ray, Man, 1890-1976  Search this
Rich, Daniel Catton, 1904-1976  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Sandberg, Carl  Search this
Seligmann, Kurt, 1900-1962  Search this
Shackelford, Shelby  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Spaeth, Otto, d. 1966  Search this
Sterne, Hedda, 1916-  Search this
Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-  Search this
Tanning, Dorothea, 1910-2012  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Winston, Harry Lewis  Search this
Woolf, Olga  Search this
Young, Victor  Search this
Photographer:
Pollack, Peter, 1909-1978  Search this
Extent:
12 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Illustrated letters
Resumes
Travel diaries
Minutes
Calendars
Visitors' books
Photographs
Paintings
Awards
Drawings
Sound recordings
Collages
Scrapbooks
Lithographs
Prints
Wills
Watercolors
Poetry
Lecture notes
Lectures
Sales records
Date:
1875-1994
bulk 1930-1994
Summary:
The papers of art historian, dealer, critic, and curator Katharine Kuh measure 12 linear feet and date from 1875-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930-1994. The collection documents Kuh's career as a pioneer modernist art historian and as the first woman curator of European Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues; personal business records; artwork by various artists; a travel journal; writings by Kuh and others; scrapbooks; printed material; photographs of Kuh and others; and audio recordings of Kuh's lectures and of Daniel Catton Rich reading poetry.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of art historian, dealer, critic, and curator Katharine Kuh measure 12 linear feet and date from 1875-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930-1994. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues; personal business records; artwork by various artists; a travel journal; writings by Kuh and others; scrapbooks; printed material; photographs of Kuh and others; and audio recordings of Kuh's lectures and of Daniel Catton Rich reading poetry.

Biographical material consists of copies of Kuh's birth certificate, resumés, passports, award certificates, honorary diplomas, and address books listing information about several prominent artists and colleagues.

Four linear feet of correspondence offers excellent documentation of Kuh's interest in art history, her travels, her career at the Art Institute of Chicago, her work as a corporate art advisor, and as an author. There are letters from her mother Olga Woolf, friends, and colleagues. There is extensive correspondence with various staff members of the Art Institute of Chicago, the First National Bank of Chicago, and The Saturday Review. Also of interest are letters from artists and collectors, several of whom became life-long friends including Walter and Louise Arensberg, Cosmo Campoli, Serge Chermayeff, Richard Cox, Worden Day, Claire Falkenstein, Fred Friendly, Leon Golub, Joseph Goto, David Hare, Denise Brown Hare, Jean Hélion, Ray Johnson, Gyorgy and Juliet Kepes, Len Lye, Wallace Putnam, Kurt Seligmann, Shelby Shackelford, Hedda Sterne, and Clyfford Still. Many letters are illustrated with original artwork in various media.

There are also scattered letters from various artists and other prominent individuals including Josef Albers, George Biddle, Marcel Breuer, Joseph Cornell, Stuart Davis, Edwin Dickinson, Joseph Hirshhorn, Daniel Catton Rich, and Dorothea Tanning.

Personal business records include a list of artwork, Olga Woolf's will, inventories of Kuh's personal art collection, miscellaneous contracts and deeds of gift, receipts for the sale of artwork, files concerning business-related travel, and miscellaneous receipts.

Artwork in the collection represents a wide range of artist friends and media, such as drawings, watercolors, paintings, collages, and prints. Included are works by various artists including lithographs by David Hare and a watercolor set, Technics and Creativity, designed and autographed by Jasper Johns for the Museum of Modern Art, 1970.

Notes and writings include annotated engagement calendars, travel journals for Germany, a guest book for the Kuh Memorial gathering, and many writings and notes by Kuh for lectures and articles concerning art history topics. Of interest are minutes/notes from meetings for art festivals, conferences, and the "Conversations with Artists Program (1961). Also found are writings by others about Kuh and other art history topics.

Six scrapbooks contain clippings that document the height of Kuh's career as a gallery director and museum curator. Scrapbook 6 contains clippings about Fernand Léger, the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1953.

Additional printed material includes clippings about Kuh and her interests, a comprehensive collection of clippings of Kuh's articles for The Saturday Review, exhibition announcements and catalogs, calendars of events, programs, brochures, books including Poems by Kuh as a child, and reproductions of artwork. Of particular interest are the early and exhibition catalogs from the Katharine Kuh Gallery, and rare catalogs for artists including Jean Arp, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Jean Dubuffet, Marcel Duchamp, Stanley William Hayter, Hans Hofmann, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Franz Kline, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Pablo Picasso.

Photographs provide important documentation of the life and career of Katharine Kuh and are of Kuh, family members, friends, colleagues, events, residences, and artwork. Several of the photographs of Kuh were taken by Will Barnet and Marcel Breuer and there is a notable pair of photo booth portraits of Kuh and a young Ansel Adams. There are also group photographs showing Angelica Archipenko with Kuh; designer Klaus Grabe; painters José Chavez Morado and Pablo O'Higgins in San Miguel, Mexico; Kuh at the Venice Biennale with friends and colleagues including Peggy Guggenheim, Frances Perkins, Daniel Catton Rich, and Harry Winston; and "The Pre-Depressionists" including Lorser Feitelson, Robert Inverarity, Helen Lundeberg, Arthur Millier, Myron Chester Nutting, and Muriel Tyler Nutting.

Photographs of exhibition installations and openings include views of the Katharine Kuh Gallery; Fernand Léger, Man Ray, and László Moholy-Nagy at the Art Institute of Chicago; and Philip Guston, Jimmy Ernst, Seymour H. Knox, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. There are also photographs depicting three men posing as Léger's "Three Musicians" and the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the Art Institute of Chicago. There is a photograph by Peter Pollack of an elk skull used as a model by Georgia O'Keeffe.

Additional photographs of friends and colleagues include Ivan Albright, Alfred Barr, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Willem De Kooning, Edwin Dickinson, Marcel Duchamp, Claire Falkenstein, Alberto Giacometti, poet Robert Graves with Len Lye, Philip Johnson, Gyorgy and Juliet Kepes, Carlos Mérida, José Orozco, Hasan Ozbekhan, Pablo Picasso, Carl Sandberg, Ben Shahn, Otto Spaeth, Hedda Sterne, Adlai Stevenson, Clyfford Still, Mark Tobey, and composer Victor Young.

Photographs of artwork include totem poles in Alaska; work by various artists including Claire Falkenstein, Paul Klee, and Hedda Sterne; and work donated to the Guggenheim Museum.

Four audio recordings on cassette are of Katharine Kuh's lectures, including one about assembling corporate collections, and of Daniel Catton Rich reading his own poetry. There is also a recording of the Second Annual Dialogue between Broadcasters and Museum Educators.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series. Undated correspondence, artwork, and photographs of individual artists are arranged alphabetically. Otherwise, each series is arranged chronologically.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1945-1992 (Box 1; 16 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1908-1994 (Boxes 1-5, 13-14, OV 15; 4.0 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1941-1989 (Box 5; 19 folders)

Series 4: Artwork, 1931-1986 (Boxes 5, 13-14, OVs 15-23; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 5: Notes and Writings, 1914-1994 (Boxes 5-7; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1935-1953 (Box 7; 8 folders)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1916-1992 (Boxes 7-10, 13, OV 22; 3.0 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, 1875-1993 (Boxes 10-13; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 9: Audio Recordings, 1977 (Box 12; 1 folder)
Biographical Note:
Katharine Kuh (1904-1994) worked primarily in the Chicago area as an modern art historian, dealer, critic, curator, writer, and consultant. She operated the Katharine Kuh Gallery from 1935-1943 and was the first woman curator of European and Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Katharine Kuh (née Woolf) was born on July 15, 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri, the youngest of the three daughters of Olga Weiner and Morris Woolf, a silk importer. In 1909, the family moved to Chicago, Illinois. While traveling with her family in Europe in 1914, Katharine contracted polio, causing her to spend the next decade in a body brace. During this time of restricted movement, she developed an interest in art history through the collecting of old master prints.

After her recovery, Katharine Woolf attended Vassar College where one of her professors, Alfred Barr, encouraged her to study modern art. She graduated from Vassar in 1925 and received a master's degree in art history from the University of Chicago in 1929. Later that year, she moved to New York to pursue a Ph.D. in Renaissance and medieval art at New York University.

In 1930, Katharine Woolf returned to Chicago and married businessman George Kuh and began to teach art history courses in the suburbs of Chicago. After divorcing George Kuh in 1935, she opened the Katharine Kuh Gallery, the first gallery devoted to avant-garde art in Chicago. It was also the first gallery to exhibit photography and typographical design as art forms, and featured the work of Ansel Adams, Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, Wassily Kandinsky, Fernand Léger, and Man Ray, among others. From 1938 to1940, Kuh was the Visiting Professor of Art at the University School of Fine Arts, San Miguel, Mexico.

After the Katharine Kuh Gallery closed in 1943, Kuh was hired by museum director Daniel Catton Rich to fill a position in public relations at the Art Institute of Chicago. During the following years, Kuh edited the museum's Quarterly publication, took charge of the museum's Gallery of Interpretive Art, and began a long term relationship with Rich. In 1946, Kuh was sent on a special mission for the U. S. Office of Indian Affairs to make a detailed study of Native American totemic carvings in Alaska.

In 1949, Kuh persuaded Mr. and Mrs. Walter Arensberg of Los Angeles to exhibit their collection of modern art, creating the first post-war exhibition of modern art in Chicago. She published her first book Art Has Many Faces in 1951, and in the following year, she began writing art criticism for The Saturday Review. In 1954, Kuh was appointed the first woman curator of European Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute. She assembled the American contribution for the Venice Biennale in 1956 and during these years, Kuh helped acquire many of the works of modern art currently in the museum's collection.

A year following Daniel Catton Rich's 1958 resignation from the Art Institute of Chicago, Kuh also resigned and pursued a career in New York as an art collection advisor, most notably for the First National Bank of Chicago. In 1959, Kuh was made art critic for The Saturday Review, and she continued to publish books, including The Artist's Voice in 1962, Break-Up: The Core of Modern Art in 1965, and The Open Eye: In Pursuit of Art in 1971.

Katharine Kuh died on January 10, 1994 in New York City.
Provenance:
The Katharine Kuh papers were donated in several installments from 1971 to 1989 by Katharine Kuh and in 1994 by her estate. Artwork was donated in 1995 by Kuh's former employer, the Art Institute of Chicago.
Restrictions:
Authorization to quote, publish or reproduce requires written permission until 2019. Contact the Archives of American Art Reference Services department for additional information.
Rights:
The Katharine Kuh 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.
Topic:
Art, Abstract -- United States  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Art festivals  Search this
Women museum curators -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Women art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Women art historians -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Women art dealers -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Women art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women art critics -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Genre/Form:
Illustrated letters
Resumes
Travel diaries
Minutes
Calendars
Visitors' books
Photographs
Paintings
Awards
Drawings
Sound recordings
Collages
Scrapbooks
Lithographs
Prints
Wills
Watercolors
Poetry
Lecture notes
Lectures
Sales records
Citation:
Katharine Kuh papers, 1875-1994, bulk 1930-1994. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kuhkath
See more items in:
Katharine Kuh papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kuhkath

Hilaire Hiler papers, 1925-1966

Creator:
Hiler, Hilaire, 1898-1966  Search this
Subject:
Birren, Faber  Search this
Boldt, O'Brien  Search this
Boyle, Kay  Search this
Connelly, Marc  Search this
Crosby, Caresse  Search this
Cunard, Nancy  Search this
Cunningham, Ben  Search this
Ferren, John  Search this
Flax, Jerome  Search this
Herz, Jay H.  Search this
Hirschfeld, Al  Search this
Holty, Carl  Search this
Inverarity, Robert Bruce  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy  Search this
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Lavell, Charles  Search this
Lebrun, Rico  Search this
Léger, Fernand  Search this
Levi, Albert William  Search this
Mathews, Paul  Search this
Miller, Henry  Search this
Moran, Jim  Search this
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Ray, Man  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad  Search this
Schapiro, Meyer  Search this
Schnakenberg, H. E. (Henry Ernest)  Search this
Snow, C. P. (Charles Percy)  Search this
Varèse, Edgard  Search this
Wells, H. G. (Herbert George)  Search this
Williams, William Carlos  Search this
Wittenborn, George  Search this
Hiler, Hilaire  Search this
America's Artists in Particular  Search this
Foundation for Integrated Education  Search this
Type:
Sketchbooks
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9015
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211204
AAA_collcode_hilehila
Theme:
Diaries
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Art Theory and Historiography
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211204

Hilaire Hiler papers

Creator:
Hiler, Hilaire, 1898-1966  Search this
Names:
America's Artists in Particular  Search this
Foundation for Integrated Education  Search this
Birren, Faber, 1900-  Search this
Boldt, O'Brien  Search this
Boyle, Kay, 1902  Search this
Connelly, Marc, 1890-  Search this
Crosby, Caresse, 1892-  Search this
Cunard, Nancy, 1896-1965  Search this
Cunningham, Ben, 1904-1975  Search this
Ferren, John, 1905-1970  Search this
Flax, Jerome  Search this
Herz, Jay H.  Search this
Hiler, Hilaire, 1898-1966  Search this
Hiler, Hilaire, 1898-1966  Search this
Hirschfeld, Al  Search this
Holty, Carl, 1900-1973  Search this
Inverarity, Robert Bruce, 1909-1999  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Lavell, Charles  Search this
Lebrun, Rico, 1900-1964  Search this
Levi, Albert William, 1911-  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Mathews, Paul  Search this
Miller, Henry, 1891-1980  Search this
Moran, Jim  Search this
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Ray, Man, 1890-1976  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Schapiro, Meyer, 1904-  Search this
Schnakenberg, H. E. (Henry Ernest), 1892-1970  Search this
Snow, C. P. (Charles Percy), 1905-  Search this
Varèse, Edgard, 1883-1965  Search this
Wells, H. G. (Herbert George), 1866-1946  Search this
Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963  Search this
Wittenborn, George, 1905-1974  Search this
Extent:
3.4 Linear feet ((on 6 microfilm reels))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketchbooks
Date:
1925-1966
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence; printed materials; art works and miscellaneous papers.
REELS D302-D302a: Correspondence, some dating from Hiler's years in Paris in the 1920s; autobiographical and biographical material; published articles by Hiler, "Costumes and Ideologies," "Some Associative Aspects of Color," "Structuralism," "The Search for a Method of Graphic Expression," and "The Origin and Development of Structural Design;" the book Why Abstract, co-authored by him; exhibition catalogs; magazine articles on and about him; and miscellaneous papers. Some material on D302 has been duplicated on reel D302a.
Correspondents include: Faber Birren, Kay Boyle, Marc Connelly, Caresse Crosby, Nancy Cunard (11 items), Ben Cunningham (to Hiler's daughter), John Ferren, Al Hirschfeld, Carl Holty (5 items, up to 14 p. each), Robert Bruce Inverarity, Gyorgy Kepes, Katharine Kuh, Rico Lebrun, Fernand Leger, Albert W. Levi, Paul Mathews, Henry Miller, Abraham Rattner, Man Ray, Ad Reinhardt, Meyer Schapiro, Charles P. Snow, Edgar Varese, Herbert G. Wells, and William Carlos Williams.
In the 5 Holty letters, up to 14 p. each, Holty comments on aesthetics, color theory, the work of Abraham Rattner, Holty's painting, the history of modern art after WWII, and his trip across America with Henry Miller and Rattner.
REELS 611-614: Personal and business correspondence, bills and receipts, certificates, licenses, membership cards; 2 sketchbooks, and 17 loose sketches, many with notes and instructions; 3 notebooks, containing miscellaneous writings, clippings and sketches; 37 illustrations and diagrams, possibly for a book; 119 miscellaneous items relating to color and design; articles and short stories; writings on structuralism, including a copy of the typescript for COLOR AND DESIGN: A STRUCTURALIST APPROACH; a typed draft of Hiler's autobiography (292 p.); 14 exhibition catalogs and announcements; 20 clippings, and printed material; and miscellaneous papers.
Correspondents include America's Artists in Particular (organization), O'Brien Boldt, Kay Boyle, Ben Cunningham, Jerome Flax, the Foundation for Intergrated Education, Jay H. Herz, Gyorgy Kepes, Charles Lavell, Jim Moran, Henry Schnakenberg, and George Wittenborn.
Biographical / Historical:
Mural painter, designer, decorator, writer; New York, N.Y. and Paris.
Provenance:
Donated 1967-1968 by Hilaire Hiler.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Artists -- France -- Paris  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Identifier:
AAA.hilehila
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-hilehila

Oral history interview wih Clara Diament Sujo, 2010 June 8-16

Interviewee:
Diament Sujo, Clara, 1921-  Search this
Interviewer:
Berman, Avis, 1949-  Search this
Subject:
Barr, Alfred H., Jr.  Search this
Córdova, Arturo de  Search this
D'Harnoncourt, Rene  Search this
De Kooning, Willem  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel  Search this
Hughes, Langston  Search this
Johns, Jasper  Search this
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Lam, Wifredo  Search this
Marisol  Search this
Messer, Thomas M.  Search this
Miller, Dorothy Canning  Search this
Otero Rodríguez, Alejandro  Search this
Perón, Juan Domingo  Search this
Pollock, Jackson  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert  Search this
Reverón, Armando  Search this
Romero Brest, Jorge  Search this
Soto, Jesús Rafael  Search this
Sterne, Hedda  Search this
Valera, Víctor  Search this
Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Gallery owners -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)15879
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)295424
AAA_collcode_diamen10
Theme:
Women
Latino and Latin American
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_295424
Online Media:

Lee Gatch papers, 1925-1979

Creator:
Gatch, Lee, 1902-1968  Search this
Subject:
Neumann, J. B. (Jsrael Ber)  Search this
Phillips, Duncan  Search this
Willard, Marian  Search this
Driggs, Elsie  Search this
Kahn, Max  Search this
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Mumford, Lewis  Search this
World House Galleries  Search this
Topic:
Painting, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)8962
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211149
AAA_collcode_gatcleep
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211149

Oral history interview with Katharine Kuh, 1982 Mar. 18-1983 Mar. 24

Interviewee:
Kuh, Katharine, 1904-1994  Search this
Interviewer:
Berman, Avis, 1949-  Search this
Subject:
Rothko, Mark  Search this
Adams, Ansel  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Albright, Ivan  Search this
Archipenko, Alexander  Search this
Arensberg, Walter  Search this
Arensberg, Louise S. (Louise Stevenson)  Search this
Avery, Milton  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr.  Search this
Berenson, Bernard  Search this
Davis, Stuart  Search this
De Kooning, Willem  Search this
Ernst, Max  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel  Search this
Hofmann, Hans  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy  Search this
Klee, Paul  Search this
Léger, Fernand  Search this
Mérida, Carlos  Search this
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László  Search this
Newman, Barnett  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu  Search this
Paepcke, Walter Paul  Search this
Porter, Eliot  Search this
Ray, Man  Search this
Rich, Daniel Catton  Search this
Smith, David  Search this
Stamos, Theodoros  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred  Search this
Still, Clyfford  Search this
Tamayo, Rufino  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Weston, Edward  Search this
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.)  Search this
First National Bank of Chicago  Search this
Vassar College  Search this
Katharine Kuh Gallery (Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Saturday review  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Art critics -- Interviews  Search this
Curators -- Interviews  Search this
Art museum curators -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12186
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215638
AAA_collcode_kuh82
Theme:
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_215638

Oral history interview with Anne Rorimer, 2010 November 15-16

Interviewee:
Rorimer, Anne, 1944-  Search this
Interviewer:
Richards, Judith Olch, 1947-  Search this
Subject:
Acconci, Vito  Search this
Asher, Michael  Search this
Broodthaers, Marcel  Search this
Buchloh, B. H. D.  Search this
Buren, Daniel  Search this
Castelli, Leo  Search this
D'Harnoncourt, Anne  Search this
Geldzahler, Henry  Search this
Graham, Dan  Search this
Hesse, Eva  Search this
Hale, Robert Beverly  Search this
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Lippard, Lucy R.  Search this
LeWitt, Sol  Search this
Lowry, Bates  Search this
Maxon, John  Search this
Morris, Robert  Search this
Nauman, Bruce  Search this
Newman, Muriel Kallis Steinberg  Search this
Rorimer, James J. (James Joseph)  Search this
Smith, Tony  Search this
Speyer, A. James  Search this
Stamos, Theodoros  Search this
Tucker, Marcia  Search this
Wegman, William  Search this
Weiner, Lawrence.  Search this
Albright-Knox Art Gallery  Search this
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Bryn Mawr College  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Victoria and Albert Museum  Search this
Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Art historians -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews  Search this
Conceptual art  Search this
Curators -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)15880
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)295421
AAA_collcode_rorime10
Theme:
Women
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_295421
Online Media:

Robert Jay Wolff papers, 1926-1969

Creator:
Wolff, Robert Jay, 1905-1978  Search this
Subject:
Miller, Dorothy Canning  Search this
Cahill, Holger  Search this
Robinson, Increase  Search this
Calder, Alexander  Search this
Chermayeff, Serge  Search this
Crawford, M. D. C. (Morris De Camp)  Search this
Ernst, Jimmy  Search this
Giedion, S. (Sigfried)  Search this
Holty, Carl  Search this
Holtzman, Harry  Search this
Hustvedt, Stephen R.  Search this
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, Sibyl  Search this
Osborn, Robert Chesley  Search this
Pearlstein, Philip  Search this
Rebay, Hilla  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad  Search this
Seligmann, Kurt  Search this
Gropius, Walter  Search this
Artists' Union (Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum  Search this
Topic:
Painting, American  Search this
Design  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9360
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211556
AAA_collcode_wolfrobe
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Architecture & Design
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211556

New directions in American painting and sculpture, 1960 Apr. 13

Creator:
Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors  Search this
Subject:
Christ-Janer, Albert  Search this
Crehan, Hubert  Search this
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Canaday, John  Search this
Botkin, Henry  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10695
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)214296
AAA_collcode_fedemods
Theme:
Art Theory and Historiography
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_214296

Oral history interview with Anne Rorimer

Interviewee:
Rorimer, Anne  Search this
Interviewer:
Richards, Judith Olch  Search this
Creator:
Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project  Search this
Names:
Albright-Knox Art Gallery  Search this
Art Institute of Chicago -- Faculty  Search this
Bryn Mawr College -- Students  Search this
Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.) -- Employees  Search this
Victoria and Albert Museum  Search this
Acconci, Vito, 1940-  Search this
Asher, Michael  Search this
Broodthaers, Marcel  Search this
Buchloh, B. H. D.  Search this
Buren, Daniel  Search this
Castelli, Leo  Search this
D'Harnoncourt, Anne, 1943-2008  Search this
Geldzahler, Henry  Search this
Graham, Dan, 1942-  Search this
Hale, Robert Beverly, 1901-1985  Search this
Hesse, Eva, 1936-1970  Search this
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
LeWitt, Sol, 1928-2007  Search this
Lippard, Lucy R.  Search this
Lowry, Bates, 1923-  Search this
Maxon, John, 1916-  Search this
Morris, Robert, 1931-2018  Search this
Nauman, Bruce, 1941-  Search this
Newman, Muriel Kallis Steinberg  Search this
Rorimer, James J. (James Joseph), 1905-1966  Search this
Smith, Tony, 1912-1980  Search this
Speyer, A. James  Search this
Stamos, Theodoros, 1922-1997  Search this
Tucker, Marcia  Search this
Wegman, William  Search this
Weiner, Lawrence.  Search this
Extent:
147 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2010 November 15-16
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Anne Rorimer conducted 2010 November 15-16, by Judith Olch Richards, for the Archives of American Art's Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts project, at Rorimer's home, in Chicago, Illinois.
Rorimer speaks of her family background; her early life and education in New York City; her father, James Rorimer, and his influence as director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; college life at Bryn Mawr; how she became interested in modern art; her internship at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London after college; her master's degree thesis on Tony Smith; her job as a curator at the Albright-Knox Gallery and then at the Art Institute of Chicago; memorable exhibitions at the AIC throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, including the annual "American Exhibition," "Europe in the Seventies: Aspects of Recent Art," (1977), and "Idea and Image in Recent Art" (1974); her close relationship with Anne D'Harnoncourt; how she left the AIC in 1984 to write, "New Art in the '60s and 70s: Redefining Reality," (2001); her role in acquisitions of contemporary art at the AIC; her thoughts on art education; her work with collectors; the process of getting her book published and reactions to it; her curatorial projects in the 1980s and early 1990s that focused on conceptual art; her relationship with artists like Michael Asher and Daniel Buren; her extensive book collection; her thoughts on being a freelance curator and writer. She recalls Whitney Stoddard, Robert Beverly Hale, Theodoros Stamos, Leo Castelli, Henry Geldzahler, Anne D'Harnoncourt, Renee Marcuse, Bates Lowry, Tony Smith, Marcia Tucker, A. James Speyer, Bruce Nauman, Lawrence Weiner, Vito Acconci, William Wegman, Robert Morris, Lucy R. Lippard, Katharine Kuh, Sol Lewitt, John Maxon, Eva Hesse, Muriel Newman, Judith Kirschner, Dan Graham, Benjamin Buchloh, and Marcel Broodthaers.
Biographical / Historical:
Anne Rorimer (1944-) is a curator and art historian in Chicago, Illinois. Judith Olch Richards (1947-) is a former executive director of iCI in New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 memory cards. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 36 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Occupation:
Authors -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Art historians -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews  Search this
Conceptual art  Search this
Curators -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.rorime10
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-rorime10

New directions in American painting and sculpture

Creator:
Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors  Search this
Names:
Botkin, Henry, 1896-1983  Search this
Canaday, John, 1907-1985  Search this
Christ-Janer, Albert, 1910-1973  Search this
Crehan, Hubert  Search this
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Extent:
2 sound tapes ((45 p. transcript), 7 in.)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound tapes
Sound recordings
Date:
1960 Apr. 13
Scope and Contents:
A panel discussion "New Directions in American Painting and Sculpture," sponsored by the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors. Panel members are John Canaday, Albert Christ-Janer, Hubert Crehan, and Katharine Kuh, with Henry Botkin as moderator.
Biographical / Historical:
Art organization; New York, N.Y.
Provenance:
Donated by Will Barnet.
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.fedemods
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-fedemods

Robert Jay Wolff papers

Creator:
Wolff, Robert Jay, 1905-  Search this
Names:
Artists' Union (Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum  Search this
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Chermayeff, Serge, 1900-  Search this
Crawford, M. D. C. (Morris De Camp), 1882-1949  Search this
Ernst, Jimmy, 1920-1984  Search this
Giedion, S. (Sigfried), 1888-1968  Search this
Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969  Search this
Holty, Carl, 1900-1973  Search this
Holtzman, Harry  Search this
Hustvedt, Stephen R.  Search this
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, Sibyl, 1905-  Search this
Osborn, Robert Chesley, 1904-1994  Search this
Pearlstein, Philip, 1924-  Search this
Rebay, Hilla, 1890-1967  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Robinson, Increase, 1890-1981  Search this
Seligmann, Kurt, 1900-1962  Search this
Extent:
0.4 Linear feet ((on 4 microfilm reels))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1926-1969
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence; exhibition catalogs; notes; photographs; notebooks; scrapbook; clippings; and miscellany.
REELS N69-72-N69-74: Correspondence, 1929-1968 with Alexander Calder, Serge Chermayeff, Jimmy Ernst, Sigfried Giedion, Walter Gropius, Guggenheim Museum, Carl Holty, Katharine Kuh, L. and Sybil Moholy-Nagy, Museum of Non-Objective Painting and Hilla Rebay, Harry Holtzman, Stephen R. Hustvedt, Bob Osborn, Philip Pearlstein, Ad Reinhardt, and Kurt Seligmann; exhibition catalogs; price lists; clippings; articles; talks and notes; photographs of paintings and sculpture, 1929-1958; notebooks, 1929-1965; and a scrapbook, 1934-1938.
REEL N69-98: Nine letters from Morris D. C. Crawford and his wife, 1926-1932, and a carbon copy of a letter to Dorothy Miller Cahill, May 27, 1969, in which Wolff mentions his efforts, as president of the Artists' Union of Chicago, ca. 1936, to unseat Increase Robinson. Wolff also explains how he became Holger Cahill's "bitter enemy."
Biographical / Historical:
Designer and painter; New Preston, Connecticut. Died in 1978.
Provenance:
Lent for microfilming 1969 by Robert Jay Wolff.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Designers -- Connecticut -- New Preston  Search this
Painters -- Connecticut -- New Preston  Search this
Topic:
Painting, American  Search this
Design  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.wolfrobe
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-wolfrobe

Oral history interview with John Stephan

Interviewee:
Stephan, John Walter, 1906-1995  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Fairleigh Dickinson University -- Faculty  Search this
Hunter College  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
United States. Work Projects Administration  Search this
Bennett, Rainey  Search this
Bohrod, Aaron  Search this
Breinin, Raymond, 1910-  Search this
Bulliet, C. J. (Clarence Joseph), 1883-1952  Search this
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Calas, Nicolas  Search this
Constant, George  Search this
Coryllis, Peter  Search this
Cunningham, Inez  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Denby, Bill  Search this
Ernst, Max, 1891-1976  Search this
Fabian, John  Search this
Flaherty, Robert Joseph, 1884-1951  Search this
Gendel, Milton  Search this
Goossen, E. C.  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898-  Search this
Harrison, Caleb  Search this
Johnson, Ben  Search this
Jones, Jack  Search this
Kiesler, Frederick  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Knopf, Alfred  Search this
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Levy, Julien  Search this
MacLeish, Norman, 1898-1949  Search this
Matta, 1912-2002  Search this
Miller, Edgar, 1899-1993  Search this
Millman, Edward, 1907-1964  Search this
Moran, Connie, 1898-  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Nathanson, Winn  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Ossorio, Alfonso, 1916-1990  Search this
Ott, Peterpaul, 1895-1992  Search this
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Porter, Fairfield  Search this
Praz, Mario, 1896-1982  Search this
Robinson, Increase, 1890-1981  Search this
Rosenberg, Harold, 1906-1978  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Sebartes, Jaime  Search this
Shapiro, Myra  Search this
Siporin, Mitchell, 1910-1976  Search this
Stephan, Dart  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Torres, Jesús  Search this
Walgreen, Ruth  Search this
Watson, Dudley Crafts, 1885-  Search this
Watson-Schütze, Eva, 1867-1935  Search this
Weisenborn, Rudolph, b. 1881  Search this
Wheeler, Monroe, 1899-  Search this
Wilhelm, Jerry  Search this
Zadkine, Ossip  Search this
de Diego, Juan  Search this
Extent:
10 Items (Sound recording: 10 sound files (6 hr., 54 min.), digital, wav)
100 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1986 May 20-1987 May 7
Scope and Contents:
Interview of John Walter Stephan, conducted by Robert F. Brown for the Archives of American Art, at Newport, Rhode Island, on May 20, 1986 and May 7, 1987.
Stephan speaks of Chicago childhood and adolescence; life during the Depression; the Art Institute of Chicago; the 1930s Chicago leftist movement; the WPA and PWAP; The Tiger's Eye art magazine; Rome artistic and literary society; the New York School of artists; Betty Parsons Gallery; the Surrealists; teaching at Fairleigh Dickenson University; Hunter College; and his critiques of Pop and contemporary artists. Stephan also recalls Ruth Walgreen, Dart Stephan, Rainey Bennett, Clyfford Still, Juan de Diego, Caleb Harrison, Aaron Bohrod, Dudley Crafts Watson, Jack Jones, George Constant, Connie Moran, CJ Bulliet, Rudolph Weisenborn, Inez Cunningham, Eva Watson-Schütze, Jesus Torres, Edgar Miller, Katherine Kuh, Increase Robinson, Peterpaul Ott, Mitchell Siporin, Raymond Breinin, Holger Cahill, John Fabian, Eddie Millman, Winn Nathanson, Fairfield Porter, Norman MacLeish, Ossip Zadkine, Betty Parsons, Alfonso Ossorio, Max Ernst, Julien Levy, Peggy Guggenheim, Bill de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, Barney Newman, Nicolas Calas, Bob Motherwell, Monroe Wheeler, Myra Shapiro, Clement Greenberg, Harold Rosenberg, Alfred Knopf, Robert Flaherty, Jaime Sebartés, Frederick Kiesler, Robert Matta, Mario Praz, Bill Denby, Ben Johnson, Milton Gendel, Walter Auerbach, Jerry Wilhelm, Eugene Goossens, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
John Walter Stephan (1906-1995) was a painter.
General:
Originally recorded on 6 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 10 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hr., 54 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Great Depression  Search this
New York school of art  Search this
Painters -- Interviews  Search this
Pop art  Search this
Surrealism  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.stepha86
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-stepha86

Oral history interview wih Clara Diament Sujo

Interviewee:
Diament Sujo, Clara  Search this
Interviewer:
Berman, Avis  Search this
Creator:
Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project  Search this
Names:
Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Córdova, Arturo de, 1908-1973  Search this
D'Harnoncourt, Rene, 1901-1968  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Hughes, Langston, 1902-1967  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Lam, Wifredo  Search this
Marisol, 1930-  Search this
Messer, Thomas M.  Search this
Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003  Search this
Otero Rodríguez, Alejandro  Search this
Perón, Juan Domingo, 1895-1974  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Reverón, Armando, 1889-1954  Search this
Romero Brest, Jorge  Search this
Soto, Jesús Rafael, 1923-2005  Search this
Sterne, Hedda, 1910-2011  Search this
Valera, Víctor, 1927-  Search this
Extent:
98 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2010 June 8-16
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Clara Diament Sujo conducted 2010 June 8-16, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art's Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts project, at Sujo's home, in New York, New York.
Diament speaks of her childhood in Argentina; her father's early influence; working with Abbott Industries; her travels with her father as a child to Punta del Este in Urguay, and Mar del Plata; her experiences in the United States; life under Juan Perón and how political events helped shape her education; teaching in Venezuela; collecting art for the Venezuelan science museum; her views on art; the artists that she has worked with and represented; the opening of her first gallery in Venezuela; her gallery in New York City; the influence of Jorge Romero Brest; and her work with the museum network to represent Latin American artists. She recalls Katharine Kuh, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, Jesus Rafael Soto, Arturo de Cordova, Alejandro Otero, Victor Valera, Armando Reverón, Mercedes Pardo, Wilfredo Lam, Alfred Barr, Rene d'Harnoncourt, Dorothy Miller, Thomas Messer, Marcel Duchamp, Hedda Sterne, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Marisol Escobar, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Clara Diament Sujo (1921-) is owner and director of CDS Gallery in New York, New York. Avis Berman (1949-) is a scholar in New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 compact disc. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 10 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Gallery owners -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.diamen10
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-diamen10

Claire Falkenstein papers

Creator:
Falkenstein, Claire, 1908-1997  Search this
Names:
Coos Art Museum  Search this
Fresno Art Museum  Search this
Galerie Anderson-Mayer  Search this
Gallery Stadler  Search this
Jack Rutberg Fine Arts (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
John Bolles Gallery (San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Los Angeles Museum of Art  Search this
Malvina Miller  Search this
Martha Jackson Gallery  Search this
Merging One Gallery  Search this
Mills College -- Faculty  Search this
Pond Farm Workshop  Search this
San Francisco Museum of Art  Search this
University of California, San Francisco. School of Fine Arts -- Faculty  Search this
Green, Ray, 1908-1997  Search this
Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898-  Search this
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
O'Donnell, May, 1906-2004  Search this
Sawyer, Kenneth B.  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-  Search this
Still, Patricia  Search this
Tapie, Michel  Search this
Temko, Allan  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Wildenhain, Frans, 1905-1980  Search this
Extent:
42.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Motion pictures (visual works)
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Photographs
Sketches
Date:
circa 1914-1997
bulk 1940-1990
Summary:
The papers of sculptor, painter, jewelry designer, and teacher Claire Falkenstein measure 42.8 linear feet and date from 1917 to her death in 1997. There is extensive correspondence with fellow artists, collectors, critics, friends, museums, and galleries. The collection also contains biographical materials, much of it collected and organized by Falkenstein, personal and business records, writings, diaries, exhibition files, commission files, teaching files, photographs, original artwork, scrapbooks, and printed materials. There is a short motion picture film of an interview with Falkenstein featuring the windows she designed for St. Basil's Church in Los Angeles.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of sculptor, painter, jewelry designer, and teacher Claire Falkenstein measure 42.8 linear feet and date from 1917 to her death in 1997. There is extensive correspondence with fellow artists, collectors, critics, friends, museums, and galleries. The collection also contains biographical materials, much of it collected and organized by Falkenstein, personal and business records, writings, diaries, exhibition files, commission files, teaching files, photographs, original artwork, scrapbooks, and printed materials. There is a short motion picture film of an interview with Falkenstein featuring the windows she designed for St. Basil's Church in Los Angeles.

Biographical material includes appointment calendars, awards and honorary degrees, interview transcripts, passports, resumes, wills, and scrapbooks. Scrapbooks were compiled by Falkenstein and focus primarily on her exhibitions at the Galerie Stadler and Gallery Meyer in 1959 and 1960. Also of interest are the "biography files" created and arranged by Falkenstein. These files contain material that she personally felt was the most important in documenting her activities each year. They include correspondence, exhibition catalogs, printed material, and invitations.

Measuring nine linear feet, correspondence is extensive and comprehensively documents Falkenstein's work, social life, relationships, and other business and personal activities. Correspondence dates from 1941 to 1997 and includes business letters and correspondence with friends and family. Her communications with friends, family, clients, gallery owners, collectors, museums, publishers, foundations, and grant agencies reveal many of her ideas and techniques. Individual correspondents include Ray Green, Peggy Guggenheim, Katharine Kuh, May O'Donnell, Ken Sawyer, Clyfford and Pat Still, Michel Tapie, Allan Temko, Mark Tobey, and Frans Wildenhain. Gallery and museum correspondence is with the San Francisco Museum of Art, Coos Art Museum, Los Angeles Museum of Art, Galerie Stadler (Paris), Gallery Mayer (Paris), Malvina Miller (New York), Martha Jackson Gallery (New York), Jack Rutberg Fine Arts (Los Angeles), Galerie Anderson-Mayer (Paris), and Bolles Gallery. Correspondence is also found in the Commission Files and Exhibition Files.

Personal and business records contain a wide variety of material documenting Falkenstein's business, financial, legal, professional, and personal transactions. Files are found for sales and prices, art inventories, smaller jewelry commissions, her work as a juror, her business with galleries, legal affairs and contracts, expenses, records of arts organizations to which she belonged, conferences, grants and fellowships, studio and house renovations, her Paris studio and Paris expenses, travel, donations, loans and consignments, conservation, art shipping, insurance, and taxes. Oversized visitor's logs contain comments from visitors to Falkenstein's studio in Venice, California.

Falkenstein maintained comprehensive documentation of her exhibitions from her first exhibition in the 1930s to the last one at the Merging One Gallery in 1996. Files include both a chronological record and individual record for nearly all of her exhibitions. Found with the files are correspondence, photographs, loan and shipping records, catalogs, announcements, clippings, articles, and other records. Most of the photographs related to exhibitions are found in the Photographs Series. The files for exhibitions at the Fresno Art Museum, Martha Jackson Gallery and Jack Rutberg Fine Art Gallery are particularly rich.

Commission files document nearly all of Falkenstein's public and private large-scale projects and often contain a visual record of the work, as well as correspondence, design notes, contracts, and expense reports. There is documentation of the St. Basils Church windows in Los Angeles; the Peggy Guggenheim gate in Venice, Italy; and the fountain at the California Savings and Loan, in Los Angeles; and many others. There is also a chronological record of her commissions. The bulk of the photographs of commissions are found in the Photograph series. Also, most of Falkenstein's jewelry design commissions are found in the Personal and Business Records series.

Falkenstein's work as a prolific writer, particularly in the 1940s and 1950s, is well-documented here through her numerous published articles in Arts and Architecture magazine, and the New York Herald-Tribune. Her work for Arts and Architecture was primarily written for the "Art Comments from San Francisco" section. She was living in Paris when she contributed an art news column to the New York Herald-Tribune. Also found here are five diaries and one journal dating from circa 1929-1978. The entries are inconsistent and concern mostly travel. The diaries from 1929 and 1934 are more personal. Falkenstein also maintained extensive notes and notebooks about artwork ideas, observations about art, research, and even drafts of letters. There are also many notes about various topics, including art and class notes. Additional writings are eclectic and cover a wide range of topics, including music, poetry, the script for Falkestein's film entitled Touching the Quick, and drafts of her unpublished book on murals. A handful of writings by others are found, most with annotations by Falkenstein.

Teaching files include Falkenstein's numerous lectures given while teaching at Mills College, Pond Farm Workshops, and California School of Fine Arts, and various symposiums and conferences. Also found are lesson plans, contracts, scattered correspondence, and notes. The files on her tenure at the Pond Farm Workshops are particularly interesting, with notes about her fellow teacher Frans Wildenhain and correspondence with workshop owners, Jane and Gordon Herr.

There are extensive photographs of Falkenstein, her family and friends, colleagues, commissions, exhibitions, and works of art. Included are many images of Falkenstein, of Falkenstien with her art, of Falkentstien working, and of Falkenstein's studio. There are numerous photographs of Falkenstein with friends, family, and colleagues in social or work settings. Also found are photographs of exhibition openings, installation views, and works of art exhibited. Additional photographs document Falkenstein's commissions, including images of her at work. Additional images of commissions may also be found in the Commission Series, but the bulk are filed here. There are numerous photographs of Falkenstein's works of art, including drawings, sculpture, jewelry, murals, lamps, and ceramics.

Falkenstein's papers include a large amount of sketches, sketchbooks, and drawings. Many of the sketches and drawings relate to her ideas about commissions and large sculpture, jewelry designs, and general sketches. Sketches are also found in the Commission Files. Also included are drawings by Mark Tobey and Michel Tapie, and others.

Finally, printed materials include general exhibition catalogs, newspapers clippings, and clippings of articles by and about Falkenstein. Also included are books that have been inscribed and signed by the author.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1934-1997 (Box 1-4, 41; 4.3 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1931-1997 (Box 5-13; 9 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal and Business Records, 1936-1997 (Box 14-17, 41, 46-49; 4.2 linear feet)

Series 4: Exhibitions, 1930-1996 (Box 18-21, 42, OV 50; 3.3 linear feet)

Series 5. Commissions, 1930-1992 (Box 21-22, OV 50-54 ; 2.0 linear feet)

Series 6: Writings, circa 1929-1993 (Box 22-26, 42, 55; 4.6 linear feet)

Series 7: Teaching Files, 1929-1995 (Box 26; .8 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1917-1997 (Box 27-35, 43, 55-56; 9.5 linear feet)

Series 9: Artwork, circa 1937-1995 (Box 36-37, 44, 57; 2.0 linear feet)

Series 10: Printed Materials, circa 1914-1990 (Box 37-40, 45, 58; 3.9 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Claire Falkenstein (1908-1997) spent the majority of her life working as an artist, sculptor, jewelry designer, teacher, and writer in California.

Claire Falkenstein was born in 1908 and grew up in Coos Bay, Oregon. In 1920, Falkenstein and her family moved to Berkeley, California, where she attended high school and then college at the University of California at Berkeley, studying philosophy, anthropology, and art. She graduated in 1930. Falkenstein had her first solo show at the East-West Gallery in San Francisco in 1930, the only member of her class to have an exhibition before graduation.

During the early 1930s, Falkenstein studied at Mills College with modernist sculptor Alexander Archipenko. There she also met Bauhaus artists Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Gyorgy Kepes. Falkenstein married her high school sweetheart, Richard McCarthy in 1936.

In 1944, Falkenstein had her first New York exhibition at the Bonestall Gallery. At that time, Falkenstein's primary mediums were stone and wood. However, she became increasingly experimental with new materials that included sheet aluminum, Cor-Ten steel, glass, plastics, and welded wire rods while maintaining a connection to organic and natural forms. Her work in jewelry design was an outlet for exploring these new materials, forms, and techniques on a small scale. As her work grew physically larger, so did her recognition and it was her work in sculpture that won her a faculty appointment at the California School of Fine Arts from 1947-1949. It was here that she met Patricia and Clyfford Still, Hassel Smith, and Richard Diebenkorn.

In 1948, Falkenstein was invited to exhibit at the Salon des Realites Nouvelle in Paris, her first European show. She eventually moved to Europe in 1950 and had studios in Paris, Venice, and Rome. While in Europe, Falkenstein executed a number of large scale commissions, including the stair screen for Galerie Stadler (1955), grotto gates for Princess Pignatelli's villa in Rome (1957), and the bronze, steel, and the glass gate at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice (1961). While in Paris, she became acquainted with noted art critic Michel Tapie, with whom she maintained a life-long friendship.

During the 1940s and 1950s Falkenstein was a regular contributor to Arts and Architecture magazine, most often writing the "Art Comments from San Francisco" section. While in Paris, she also wrote a column on art news for the New York Herald Tribune.

Falkenstein returned to the United States in 1962, eventually renovating a studio space in Venice, California. It was here that she conceived her largest commissions. In 1965, Falkenstein received a commission from the California Savings and Loan to create a sculpture for a large fountain at the front of the bank in downtown Los Angeles. The copper tube fountain, entitled "Structure and Flow #2," was the first of many large scale public art commissions that Falkenstein completed during her years in California. Her most important commission in the United States, completed in 1969, was for the doors, rectory gates and grills and stained-glass windows for St. Basil's Church on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. The eight doors and fifteen rectory screens, including 80 foot high windows in the nave, were an expansion of the "never ending screen" concept that Falkenstein executed with the Pignatelli commission in Rome. She continued to use this motif in her work throughout her career.

Claire Falkenstein worked as an arts instructor, visiting artist, and guest lecturer at many colleges, workshops, and schools in California. Her first position was at Mills College from 1946-1947. Shortly thereafter, she was appointed to the faculty at the California School of Fine Arts and later taught in the Extension Divisions of the University of California, Berkeley. She taught classes at California State Polytechnic University, California State University at Davis, and the Anna Head School. Falkenstein also taught art at the Pond Farm Workshops in California, and lectured at numerous colleges and museums. She served on many juried art shows in Southern California.

Falkenstein was acquainted with many artists, writers, instructors, collectors, gallery owners, and critics. Close friends included Esther and Bob Robles, Clyfford and Patricia Still, Michel Tapie, Allan Temko, Mark Tobey, Frans Wildenhain, and other notable figures in the art world.

Falkenstein continued to complete large scale private and public commissioned sculptures during the 1960s through the 1980s, including work for the University of Southern California, Hyland Biological Laboratory, California State University at Dominquez Hills and the California State Department of Motor Vehicles. Throughout her career, Falkenstein's work was featured in numerous exhibitions across the country. Her sculpture and other artwork can be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Coos Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museum, University of Southern California Fisher Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Tate Gallery.

Falkenstein died in 1997 at the age of 89.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds two oral history interviews with Claire Falkenstein. The interview on April 13, 1965 was conducted by Betty Hoag and the one on March 2 and 21, 1995 was conducted by Paul Karlstrom.
Provenance:
The Claire Falkenstein papers were donated in 1997 by Steffan Wacholtz and Nancy Kendall, trustees for the Claire Falkenstein Trust.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Claire Falkenstein 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.
Topic:
Women artists -- California  Search this
Women artists -- France -- Paris  Search this
Sculptors -- California  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Awards  Search this
Transcripts  Search this
Articles  Search this
Designers -- California  Search this
Drafts (documents)  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Poetry  Search this
Scripts  Search this
Notebooks  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Art patronage  Search this
Educators -- California  Search this
Jewelry -- Design  Search this
Painters -- California  Search this
Sculptors -- France -- Paris  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Motion pictures (visual works)
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Photographs
Sketches
Citation:
Claire Falkenstein papers, circa 1914-1997, bulk 1940-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.falkclai
See more items in:
Claire Falkenstein papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-falkclai
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