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Oral history interview with Ad Reinhardt

Interviewee:
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Interviewer:
Phillips, Harlan B. (Harlan Buddington), 1920-  Search this
Extent:
53 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Date:
circa 1964
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Ad Reinhardt conducted circa 1964, by Harlan Phillips, for the Archives of American Art.
Reinhardt speaks of his time spent working for the easel division of the WPA; his involvement with the American Abstract Artists (AAA); his admiration for Stuart Davis (despite his lack of involvement with the AAA; his time with the New York School in the forties; his desire for an objective Art History; the under-recognition of the abstract artists during their formative period; his feelings towards political cartoons and the social power/potential of art; his role as editor of the Columbia Jester; his unique position in the art world as an alumni of a liberal arts college rather than arts school; his time spent at the Institute of Fine Art studying under Alfred Salmony; the changing image of the artist as an intellectual (Motherwell, Rothko, Holty, Greene); de Kooning and Pollock's attempts to be the romantic artist; his bad feelings toward German and Italian Expressionists; futurists and some of the Fauve painters; his belief in collage as an anti-art; the position of art as the 'non-useful;' the exploration of meaninglessness by Kierkegaard, Kulick, and Sartre; his writing "Twelve Rules for the New Academy", "The Artist in Search of an Academy", "Art is Art Dogma", "Ten Rules for a Code of Ethics;" the importance of an aesthetic Morality; the Student Peace Movement (James Wexler, Thomas Merton); Artists' Union, American Artists' Congress, and the WPA; disapproval for the art market of the fifties and his preference towards artists with a salary making art for museums; the debate on the part of the Artists' Congress as to whether or not to support the Russian invasion of Finland; his dislike for the Bauhaus and the American carry-overs (Brooklyn Art scene); the article "ABC Art" in Art in America which claimed that he belongs to a whole new geometric ethic of imageless painting; his disapproval of Clement Greenberg's exploitation of the artist; his time spent studying with Francis Kriss; his year in the National Academy; his interest in Islamic art; his disconnect with Hofmann; his association with the Club and the Waldorf Cafeteria; his ideological opposition to de Kooning; the problems of treating art as a living; his feelings towards "The Shape of Time"; the recent mistake of art historians documenting the thirties without fulling embracing the abstract artists; the confusion of fine art and cultural pieces; the idea that Abstract Art is not a vase that you pour meaning into; his belief that the three most important artistic statements in recent years have come from Clive Bell, Focillon, Kubler; the relationship between religion and art; the importance of perseverance despite lack of praise; and his speech at the Club "What's Wrong." The interview is conducted in a way that facilitates more of an artistic statement, rather than a historical/ personal question and answer session.
Biographical / Historical:
Ad Reinhardt (1913-1967) was a painter from New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 52 min.
Provenance:
This interview conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Identifier:
AAA.reinha64
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-reinha64

Oral history interview with George McNeil

Interviewee:
McNeil, George, 1908-1995  Search this
Interviewer:
Seckler, Dorothy Gees, 1910-1994  Search this
Creator:
Diller, Burgoyne, 1906-1965  Search this
Names:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) -- Students  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Pratt Institute. Art School -- Students  Search this
United States. Work Projects Administration  Search this
Cavallon, Giorgio, 1904-1989  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Dehner, Dorothy, 1901-1994  Search this
Dlugoszewski, Lucia, 1931-2000  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Hopper, Jo N. (Josephine Nivison), 1883-1968  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Levy, Edgar  Search this
Manso, Leo  Search this
Matulka, Jan, 1890-1972  Search this
Pereira, I. Rice (Irene Rice), 1902-1971  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Vytlacil, Vaclav, 1892-1984  Search this
Extent:
18 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1965 June 3
Scope and Contents:
An interview of George McNeil conducted by Dorothy Seckler for the Archives of American Art. McNeil speaks of his childhood and his family; becoming interested in art during high school; attending Pratt Institute, and not being satisfied there; deciding to drop out of Pratt after attending a lecture from Vaclav Vytlacil; going to the Metropolitan Museum every day drawing and analyzing paintings; meeting Arshile Gorky while at the Metropolitan Museum; attending the Art Students League; studying with Hans Hofmann; the start of the American Abstract Artists; his involvement in the WPA's mural project; attending Teachers College at Columbia before joining the Navy; re-entering the New York art scene during the forties and liking it very much; meeting and being influenced by Pollock; his views on the state of painting; how his work has evolved; the various stages in the way a painting developed for him; how The Club and the Eighth Street Club has influenced him; the ideas discussed at The Club, and how he feels surrealism was not a big influence on them; Jackson Pollock's influence on abstract expressionism; artists he admires or has admired; and his thoughts on the contemporary art scene. He recalls Vaclav Vytlacil, Arshile Gorky, Jan Matulka, David Smith, Dorothy Dehner, Edgar Levy, Leo Manso, Burgoyne Diller, Irene Rice Pereira, Hans Hofmann, Jo Hopper, Giorgio Cavallon, Linda Lindaberg (Cavallon), Mercedes Kahls, George Byron Brown, Albert Swinden, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollack, Franz Kline, Jack Tworkov, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, and many others.
Biographical / Historical:
George McNeil (1908-1995) was a painter and a printmaker in Brooklyn, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound tapes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 49 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives' 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.
Restrictions:
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Painting  Search this
Surrealism  Search this
Mural painting and decoration  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.mcneil65
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mcneil65

Oral history interview with Rhys Caparn

Interviewee:
Caparn, Rhys, 1909-1997  Search this
Interviewer:
Wolf, Tom  Search this
Creator:
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors  Search this
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Archipenko, Alexander, 1887-1964  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Extent:
46 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1983 November 23
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Rhys Caparn conducted 1983 November 23, by Tom Wolf, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.
Caparn describes her youth in New York and art study in France. She recalls her teacher Alexander Archipenko and the activities of the American Abstract Artists and the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors (of which she was president for a term). Caparn talks a lot about her own work. She does not recall much about Mark Rothko, who was only a distant acquaintance.
Biographical / Historical:
Rhys Caparn (1909-1997) was a sculptor from Connecticut.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 29 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, Elaine de Kooning, Herbert Ferber, Esther Gottlieb, Juliette Hays, Sidney Janis, Buffie Johnson, Jacob Kainen, Louis Kaufman, Jack Kufeld, Katharine Kuh, 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.
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Sculptors -- Connecticut -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.caparn83
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-caparn83

Josef Albers papers

Creator:
Albers, Josef  Search this
Names:
Baltimore Museum of Art  Search this
Maryland Institute, College of Art  Search this
Albers, Anni  Search this
Arp, Jean, 1887-1966  Search this
Leake, Eugene, 1911-  Search this
Tyler, Kenneth E.  Search this
Extent:
1.5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Poems
Interviews
Date:
1929-1970
Summary:
The papers of painter, printmaker, and art teacher Josef Albers date from 1929 to 1970 and measure 1.5 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical materials, writings, a recorded lecture, and photographs. The bulk of the collection consists of printed materials.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter, printmaker, and art teacher Josef Albers date from 1929 to 1970 and measure 1.5 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical materials, writings, a recorded lecture, and photographs. The bulk of the collection consists of printed materials.

Biographical material consists of a curriculum vitae, bibliographic lists, a transcript of a "Yale Reports" radio interview in which Albers discusses art as a port of general education, and a photocopy of a letter from Eugene W. Leake of the Maryland Institute discussing a work by Albers in the Baltimore Museum.

Writings and Lectures are primarily photocopies of poems and typescripts by Albers concerning his theories on art, as well as an sound tape reel recording of Albers delivering a lecture at Yale University. There are also photocopied typescripts about Albers written by others including a typescript "Josef Albers" by Hans Jean Arp.

Printed material primarily consists of clippings and exhibition announcements and catalogs, some of which are annotated by Albers. There are also two exhibition catalogs for Anni Albers, press releases, a copy of poetry publication Origin 8, 2 books by Albers, Embossed Linear Compositions and Josef Albers: Poems and Drawings, the book American Abstract Artists, 1936-1966, and miscellaneous brochures.

Photographs consist of two copies of the same image of Josef Albers pin registering one of his prints with Tamarind artisan Ken Tyler.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 4 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1957-1970 (3 folders; Box 1)

Series 2: Writings and Lecture, 1936-1967 (5 folders; Box 1)

Series 3: Printed Material, 1929-1969 (1.3 linear feet; Boxes 1-3)

Series 4: Photographs, circa 1968 (1 folder; Box 2)
Biographical / Historical:
Josef Albers (1888-1976) of Dessau, Germany, Black Mountain, North Carolina, and New Haven, Connecticut, was a painter, printmaker, and art teacher advocating a disciplined approach to composition, form, and color.

Josef Albers was born on March 19, 1888 in Bottrop, Westphalia, Germany, the only child of Lorenz Albers, a housepainter, and Magdelena (Schumacher) Albers. He attended the Präparanden-Schule in Langenhorst from 1902 to 1905 and then the teachers college in Büren, graduating in 1908. He became an instructor in several Westphalian primary schools.

Albers studied at the Royal Art School in Berlin, the Arts and Crafts School (Folkwang School) in Essen, and at the Art Academy in Munich under Franz Stuck before enrolling at the Bauhaus in Weimar in 1920. In 1923, he became an instructor and in 1925, when the school was transplanted to Dessau, he became a Bauhausmeister, teaching his fundamental design course. He remained in that position in Dessau and Berlin until 1933, when under pressure from National Socialism, the school was shut down. In that year, Albers emigrated to the United States, becoming a professor of painting at Black Mountain College in North Carolina.

In 1949, Albers moved to Yale University where he taught in the Department of Design and served as Chairman of the Art Department. Following his retirement in 1960, Albers continued to live in New Haven with his wife, textile artist Anni Albers.

Albers served as a guest teacher in Ulm, Germany, and in many colleges and art schools in the United States, Mexico, and South America. He was also an author of poems and books concerning art theory.

Josef Albers died on March 25, 1976 in New Haven, Connecticut.
Related Materials:
Also found in the Archives is an oral history interview with Albers conducted by Sevim Fesci in 1968, and a collection of letters from Albers to J. B. Naumann that was loaned to the Archives by the Brooklyn Museum for microfilming and is available on microfilm reel 911.
Provenance:
The Josef Albers papers were donated by the artist in 1969 and 1970. A small collection of additional Albers papers and an audio recording of a lecture with an unknown provenance were integrated.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Josef Albers 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.
Occupation:
Painters  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art teachers  Search this
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Printmakers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Poems
Interviews
Citation:
Josef Albers papers, 1929-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.albejose
See more items in:
Josef Albers papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-albejose
Online Media:

Frederick J. Whiteman papers

Creator:
Whiteman, Frederick J. (Frederick John), 1909-1997  Search this
Names:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Pratt Institute -- Faculty  Search this
Kostellow, Alexander, 1897-1954  Search this
Extent:
0.1 Linear feet ((on partial microfilm reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
[ca. 1939-]1989
Scope and Contents:
Biographical information; letters; photographs of Whiteman and his art works; drawings and notes from the two- and three-dimensional design courses created by Alexander Kostellow and Donald Dohner for Pratt Institute; and an extended résumé containing detailed biographical information and statements on art.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter; Blue Bell, Pa. Was a founding member of the American Abstract Artists group and an instructor at Pratt Institute.
Provenance:
Microfilmed in 1989 as part of AAA's Philadelphia Arts Documentation Project.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Art teachers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Painting, Abstract  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.whitfred
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-whitfred

Mac Wells papers

Creator:
Wells, Mac, 1925-  Search this
Names:
LeWitt, Sol, 1928-2007  Search this
Extent:
0.7 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1951-2002
Scope and Contents:
Biographical material; business and personal correspondence, 1963-2001; lists of paintings sold, 1970 and undated; notes and writings, ca. 1964-1992, undated; printed material; photographs; works of art; exhibition posters and a signed proof poster for Well's exhibition at the Max Hutchinson Gallery, New York, 1971; and portfolio prints for the American Abstract Artists' 50th and 60th anniversaries, 1987 and 1997. Correspondence from artists include Alice Adams, Michael Boyd, Bob Huet, Bob Jamieson, Sol Lewitt, Lucy Lippard, Vincent Longo, Robert Ryman, Diane Vanderlip, among others, 1980s-2001. Also included is a transcript of an interview conducted by John Roach, 1995; Wells's greeting card for the Museum of Modern Art, 1965; sketches by Sol Lewitt; a photo album of Wells's site-specific sculpture,"Valentine Hicks Arc Project" in Greenport, NY, 2001, and snapshots of Wells's stay at Yaddo, ca. 1964-1965.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter; Orient, N.Y.; New York, N.Y.
Provenance:
Donated 2003 and 2005 by Mac Wells.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.wellmac
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-wellmac

Vaclav Vytlacil papers

Creator:
Vytlacil, Vaclav, 1892-1984  Search this
Names:
Albers, Josef  Search this
Day, Worden, 1916-1986  Search this
Feigl, Hugo  Search this
Haley, John, 1905-1991  Search this
Jensen, Alfred, 1903-1981  Search this
Larsen, Susan C.  Search this
Lazzell, Blanche, 1878-1956 -- Photographs  Search this
Manoir, Irving K. (Irving Kraut), 1891-1982  Search this
Matter, Mercedes  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957 -- Photographs  Search this
Ryder, Worth, 1884-1960  Search this
Thurn, Ernest  Search this
Vytlacil, Elizabeth Foster, 1899-  Search this
Wessels, Glenn A. (Glenn Anthony), 1895-  Search this
Zalmar  Search this
Extent:
5.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Writings
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Drawings
Sound recordings
Woodcuts
Motion pictures (visual works)
Prints
Etchings
Date:
1885-1990
Summary:
The papers of abstract painter and art instructor Vaclav Vytlacil date from 1885-1990 and measure 5.2 linear feet. Found within the papers are scattered biographical materials, correspondence primarily discussing art school-related matters and the exhibition and sale of Vytlacil's work, scattered business and financial records, and notes and writings including lecture notes. The papers also contain audio recordings of interviews of Vytlacil and his associates, artwork by Vytlacil and others, four scrapbooks, printed material including clippings and exhibition catalogs, and photographs of Vytlacil, his colleagues, and his artwork.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of abstract painter and art instructor Vaclav Vytlacil date from 1885-1990 and measure 5.2 linear feet. Found within the papers are scattered biographical materials, correspondence, scattered business and financial records, and notes and writings including lecture notes. The papers also contain audio recordings of interviews of Vytlacil and his associates, artwork by Vytlacil and others, four scrapbooks, printed material including clippings and exhibition catalogs, and photographs of Vytlacil, his colleagues, and his artwork.

Scattered biographical materials include documents relating to family history and biographical accounts for Vytlacil. Correspondence consists of letters exchanged between Vytlacil and his wife and colleagues including Josef Albers, Worden Day, Hugo Feigl, John Haley, Alfred Jensen, Irving Manoir, Mercedes Matter, Worth Ryder, Ernest Thurn, and Glenn Wessels.

Scattered business and financial records consist of teaching contracts and scattered financial records. Notes and writings include lecture notes, notebooks concerning teaching, minutes of meetings, essays, and writings by others. Three untranscribed sound recordings on cassette contain an interview of Vytlacil by Susan Larsen and interviews of Vytlacil's students and associates.

Artwork consists of drawings and prints by Vytlacil and others, etchings by Betty Vytlacil, and a color woodcut by Zalmar. Four scrapbooks contain printed materials and artwork by students compiled as a get-well gift to Vytlacil. Additional printed materials include numerous clippings, exhibition catalogs, and art school catalogs. Photographs in the collection are of Vytlacil, family members, his artwork, and his colleagues including Blanche Lazzell and Irving Manoir with Diego Rivera. One small motion picture film reel, 8mm, shows views of Manhattan and a family outing.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 10 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1885, 1933-1981 (Box 1; 3 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1911-1985 (Boxes 1-2, 7; 2.0 linear feet)

Series 3: Business Records, 1912-1982 (Box 3; 11 folders)

Series 4: Notes and Writings, 1928-1978 (Boxes 3, 7; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 5: Interviews (Sound Recordings), 1974, 1984 (Box 4; 2 folders)

Series 6: Artwork, 1921-1952 (Boxes 4, 7; 5 folders)

Series 7: Scrapbooks, 1927-1979 (Boxes 4, 7; 4 folders)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1912-1990 (Boxes 4-5, 7; 1.3 linear feet)

Series 9: Photographs, 1906-1976 (Boxes 6-7; 27 folders)

Series 10: Motion Picture Film, circa 1938-1968 (Box FC 8; 1 film reel)
Biographical Note:
Vaclav Vytlacil (1892-1984) was an abstract painter and art instructor who worked primarily in the New York city area. He was also one of the co-founders of the American Abstract Artists group.

Born in New York City of Czech parentage, Vytlacil moved at an early age with his family to Chicago. Beginning in 1906 he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago under Antonin Sterba for approximately 3 years. In 1912 he graduated as William Vytlacil from Crane Technical and English High School. After receiving a scholarship in 1913, Vytlacil returned to New York to study at the Art Students League with John C. Johansen for three years. From 1917 to 1921 Vytlacil was employed as an instructor at the Minneapolis School of Art.

Beginning in 1921 Vytlacil traveled to Paris, Prague, and Munich, deciding to remain in the latter city indefinitely. He enrolled as a student at the Royal Academy of Art in Munich with fellow American art students Worth Ryder and Ernest Thurn. Vytlacil first studied under Karl Kaspar and, a year later, he and Ernest Thurn enrolled at the Hans Hofmann School in Munich. Vytlacil studied with Hofmann sporadically over the next seven years.

On August 18, 1927, Vytlacil married Elizabeth Foster of St. Paul, Minnesota at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy. In the following year, he accepted an invitation to teach at the Art Students League and became an invited lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley during the summer terms of 1928 to 1929. Vytlacil urged Hans Hofmann, with his assistance, to come to the United States to teach at the Art Students League during the 1931-1932 term. Also during the early 1930s, Vytlacil and his wife spent summers in Positano, Italy, and winters in Paris.

In 1935 the Vytlacils returned permanently from Europe to live at 8 West 13th Street in New York City, where they stayed for three years. Vytlacil resumed teaching at the Art Students League, spending the summer sessions teaching at the California College of Arts and Crafts. In the following year he accepted an invitation to teach at the Florence Cane School at Rockefeller Center and continued teaching during the summer session at the California College of Arts and Crafts. It was also during 1936 that Vytlacil co-founded the American Abstract Artists with thirteen other artists.

While continuing to teach at the Art Students League and at the Florence Cane School, Vytlacil began conducting art classes at the Dalton School, where he taught until 1941. In 1938, he moved from New York City to South Mountain Road in New City. Two years later, Vytlacil established his residence and studio in Sparkill, New York, and in 1941, he acquired property in Martha's Vineyard which provided a place to work during the summers.

In 1942, Vytlacil left the Art Students League to become Chairman of the Art Department of Queens College in Flushing, New York. He held this position until 1945, when he accepted an invitation to teach at Black Mountain College. From 1946 to 1951, he returned as instructor at the Art Students League and began selling his artwork through the Feigl Gallery in New York. He also taught at the Minneapolis School of Art in 1947, and at Columbia University in 1950.

From 1952 to 1954, Vytlacil traveled to Colorado to paint and teach at the summer sessions of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. After a summer spent on Monhegan Island, Maine, Vytlacil and his wife spent 1955 in Europe. Upon his return in 1956, he became a guest instructor at the Art Institute of Chicago and, in the following year, he taught a summer session at Boston College.

During the winter months of 1960 and 1961, Vytlacil lived in Oaxaca, Mexico. In 1964, he was a guest instructor at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia.

Vytlacil was a member of the Art Students League of New York, the American Abstract Artists, the Federation of American Painters and Sculptors, and the Audubon Artists.

Vaclav Vytlacil died at his home in Sparkill, New York on January 5, 1984.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are oral history interviews with Vaclav Vytlacil, March 2, 1966 and January 10, 1974, and 19 items microfilmed on reel 2016 relating to a 1975 Montclair Art Museum exhibition organized by Worden Day.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (D295) including correspondence, lecture notes, general notes, clippings, notebooks concerning paintings, photographs of paintings, photographs titled "Vineyard Boats," and two of Mrs. Vytacil's Paris journals. Two dozen of these letters were later donated. All other lent materials remain with the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Vaclav Vytlacil lent the Archives of American Art materials for microfilming in 1966. Vaclav Vytlacil's daughter, Anne Vytlacil, donated the Vaclav Vytlacil papers in several installments from 1989 to 1993.
Restrictions:
Use of the original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Vaclav Vytlacil 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 teachers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Writings
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Drawings
Sound recordings
Woodcuts
Motion pictures (visual works)
Prints
Etchings
Citation:
Vaclav Vytlacil papers, 1885-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.vytlvacl
See more items in:
Vaclav Vytlacil papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-vytlvacl

Esphyr Slobodkina papers

Creator:
Slobodkina, Esphyr, 1908-2002  Search this
Bolotowsky, Ilya, 1907-1981  Search this
Names:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Eckstein, Ruth, 1916-  Search this
Kelpe, Paul, 1902-1985  Search this
Morris, George L. K., 1905-1975  Search this
Rabkin, Leo  Search this
Tedlie, Harry  Search this
Extent:
1.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
circa 1925-1995
Summary:
The papers of painter, sculptor, author, and illustrator Esphyr Slobodkina measure 1.9 linear feet and date from circa 1925 to 1995. Found within the papers are personal and professional correspondence, including letters from Ilya Bolotowsky, George L.K. Morris, and Paul Kelpe; writings, including a copy of the autobiography Notes for a Biographer (vol. 1); printed materials; photographs; and material on the American Abstract Artists, including administrative records, business correspondence, and publications.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter, sculptor, author, and illustrator Esphyr Slobodkina measure 1.9 linear feet and date from circa 1925 to 1995. Found within the papers are personal and professional correspondence, including letters from Ilya Bolotowsky, George L.K. Morris, and Paul Kelpe; writings, including a copy of the autobiography Notes for a Biographer (vol. 1); printed materials; photographs; and material on the American Abstract Artists, including administrative records, business correspondence, and publications.

Correspondence is primarily with Slobodkina's family, friends, and business associates. The series includes significant correspondence from her first husband, Ilya Bolotowsky, as well as abstract artists George L.K. Morris, Paul Kelpe, Ruth Eckstein, Leo Rabkin, and Harry Tedlie. The series also includes correspondence regarding her published works.

Writings consist of 3 essays by Slobodkina on abstract art, the autobiography Notes for a Biographer (vol. 1), the edited folio Ilya Bolotowsky, and a small notebook kept by Ilya Bolotowsky during the 1920s-30s.

Printed material includes clippings; samples of announcements and cards designed by Slobodkina; exhibition announcements and catalogs; and press releases.

Photographs are of Slobodkina and her paintings and sculptures, as well as photographs of artwork by other abstract artists.

American Abstract Artists' records includes administrative material, correspondence, writings, selected exhibitions, and printed material dating from 1936 to 1996.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 5 series.

Series 1: Correspondence, 1934-1992 (0.4 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 2: Writings, circa 1920-1985 (6 folders; Box 1)

Series 3: Printed material, circa 1939-1994 (7 folders; Box 1, OV 4)

Series 4: Photographs, circa 1925-1970 (3 folders; Box 1)

Series 5: American Abstract Artists, circa 1936-1995 (0.9 linear feet, Box 1-3, OV 4)
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, sculptor, author, and illustrator Esphyr Slobodkina (1908-2002) lived and worked in New York City, Great Neck, and Long Island, New York and was known for her abstract art and her children's books, including the seminal Caps For Sale.

Slobodkina was born in Chelyabinsk, Siberia to Solomon Slobodkin and his wife, Itta Agranovich. After the Russian Revolution and Civil War of 1917-1918, her family immigrated to Harbin, Manchuria where her father found work with Standard Oil and her mother contributed to the family's finances by working as a dressmaker. After graduating from high school in 1927, Slobodkina immigrated to the United States to join her brother in New York City where she enrolled at the National Academy of Design.

At the Academy, Slobodkina met her future husband, the artist and fellow Russian émigré Ilya Bolotowsky. In 1936, they became founding members of the American Abstract Artists, an artist run organization that worked to advance abstract art at a time when few opportunities to exhibit their works existed. She served as the organization's first secretary and later served as treasurer, president, and institutional bibliographer.

In 1937, Slobodkina met the children's author Margaret Wise Brown. After seeing her work, Brown invited Slobodkina to illustrate The Little Fireman, the first of their many collaborations together. In 1940, Slobodkina's first published book, Caps For Sale, was released and has remained in print for over 70 years. It won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1958 and is considered a classic of children's literature.

Slobodkina and Bolotowsky divorced in 1938, after which she continued to produce abstract mixed media paintings and sculptures. Her first major one-person show was organized by the gallery owner A.E. Gallatin in 1940. Through the 1940s and into 1970s, Slobodkina regularly contributed to group exhibitions and her works are owned by numerous institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and Hillwood Art Museum.

In addition to publishing children's books, Slobodkina authored three volumes of her autobiography, Notes for a Biographer (1976-1983) and edited American Abstract Artists: Its Publications, Catalogs, and Membership (1979) and the folio Ilya Bolotwosky (1985). Active until the end of her life, she oversaw the production of musical audio recordings for her 20 children's books well into her 80s, and at the age of 90, designed a museum financed through the Slobodkina Foundation. She died at her home in Glen Head, Long Island in 2002.
Related Materials:
The Archives also holds the American Abstract Artists records.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds materials lent for microfilming (N70-61) including a travel album, printed material, notes, McDowell colony correspondence, and an American Abstract Artists financial ledger. Lents materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.

Additionally, 69 rolled drawings on tracing paper were transferred to Hillwood Art Museum in 2006.
Provenance:
Esphyr Slobodkina loaned a portion of her papers for microfilming and donated material in 1970. She gave additional papers between 1995 and 1996.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Esphyr Slobodkina 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:
Sculptors -- New York (State)  Search this
Women artists -- New York  Search this
Authors -- New York  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State)  Search this
Painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Painting, Abstract -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Esphyr Slobodkina papers, circa 1925-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.slobesph
See more items in:
Esphyr Slobodkina papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-slobesph

Charles Green Shaw papers

Creator:
Shaw, Charles Green, 1892-1974  Search this
Extent:
45.7 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Date:
1833-1979
1686
bulk 1909-1974
Summary:
The collection measures 45.7 linear feet and and documents the life of American abstract artist, writer, poet, and illustrator Charles Green Shaw. The papers date from 1833-1979 with the bulk of the material spanning 1909-1974 and a single item of ephemera dating from 1686. Records include biographical information and correspondence with family, colleagues and several artists and writers. The papers also contain writings and extensive diaries, sketchbooks and scrapbooks spanning Shaw's entire career, scattered financial records and other printed material.
Scope and Content Note:
The collection measures 45.7 linear feet and and documents the life of American abstract artist, writer, poet, and illustrator Charles Green Shaw. The papers date from 1833-1979 with the bulk of the material spanning 1909-1974 and a single item of ephemera dating from 1686. Shaw's personal life and career are well documented through biographical information, correspondence, writings, extensive diaries and sketchbooks, scattered financial records, scrapbooks and other printed materials.

Series 1: Biographical Information includes a number of family documents. Shaw's correspondence in Series 2 consists mainly of incoming letters from friends and a small amount of correspondence from notable individuals including Adele Astair, Clarence and Ruby Darrow, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John D. Graham, Anita and John Loos, H. L. Mencken, Robert C. Osborn, Cole Porter, Carl Van Vechten and Walter Winchell. The series also includes some nineteenth century family correspondence.

Among Shaw's writings in Series 3 are 145 diaries containing daily one-page entries that outline his daily schedule. In addition, there are drafts and final manuscripts of fiction, non-fiction, plays, and poems, as well as quizzes devised for his newspaper column, and short writings for magazines. Notes include travel observations, notes on restaurants and nightclubs, notes for fiction, quotations, and lists of his collections. Writings by other authors on a variety of topics include children's books illustrated by Shaw, a review of Shaw's poetry, and an article about Shaw as a modern painter.

Artwork by Shaw in Series 4 includes collages, drawings, and paintings. Of particular interest are 340 sketchbooks containing sketches and finished drawings in pencil and ink, watercolor and gouache paintings, pastels and collages. Among the artwork by other artists is a charcoal portrait, probably of Shaw, by Betty George.

Series 5: Financial Records, consists mainly of banking records, tax returns, and royalty statements. Also included is information about art sales and payment for writings; receipts are for art related expenses and document purchases for Shaw's collection of tobacco figures.

Series 6: Scrapbooks (37 volumes) documents Shaw's entire career. Five volumes concern his art and exhibitions, 9 volumes preserve his published writings, 20 volumes contain published poems, and an additional 5 volumes are devoted to miscellaneous subjects.

Additional printed matter in Series 7: Printed Material, consists of items by Shaw, by other authors, and miscellaneous material. Items by Shaw includes articles, books by and/or illustrated by Shaw, plays, and poems. Printed material by other authors includes pieces about or mentioning Shaw, books, exhibition catalogs and related records, and periodicals. Among the miscellaneous printed material are auction and book catalogs, clippings, and ephemera. Also included are a wide assortment of menus, along with theatrical memorabilia, travel brochures and printed souvenirs collected by Shaw.

Series 8: Miscellaneous Records, consists of a variety of artifacts including the Century Association Art Committee Medal awarded Shaw, a letter opener carved with his monogram, and printing plates for color reproductions of a painting by Shaw and of prints in his collection. Other miscellaneous records are two sound recordings, a tape recording of Shaw reading his poetry, and an unidentified phonograph album.

Series 9: Photographs includes photos of artwork, people, places and miscellaneous subjects. Artwork depicted here is mainly by Shaw, but there are also photographs of work by other artists, and of items in Shaw's collections of tinsel prints and tobacco figures, as well as views of various exhibition installations.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Information, 1874-1970 (Boxes 1, 46, OV 50; 0.2 linear ft.)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1833-1973 (Boxes 1-3; 2.5 linear ft.)

Series 3: Writings, 1910-1971 (Boxes 3-20, 46; 17.5 linear ft.)

Series 4: Artwork, 1929-1974 (Boxes 21-30, 47-49, OV50; 10.15 linear ft.)

Series 5: Financial Records, 1933-1971 (Boxes 30-31; 0.65 linear ft.)

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1922-1970 (Boxes 31-34, 46; 3.2 linear ft.)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1686-1979 (Boxes 34-41, 46; 7.6 linear ft.)

Series 8: Miscellaneous Records, circa 1890s-circa 1970s (Boxes 42, 51-52; 0.35 linear ft.)

Series 9: Photographs, 1885-circa 1970 (Boxes 42-46, OV 50; 3.45 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
A significant figure in American abstract art, Charles Green Shaw (1892-1974) enjoyed a varied career as a writer, illustrator, poet, modernist painter, and collector. Born to a wealthy family and orphaned at a young age, Charles and his twin brother were raised by their uncle, Frank D. Shaw. At age nine, he was already an avid painter and had illustrated his first book, The Costumes of Nations.

After Shaw's 1914 graduation from Yale, he attended the Columbia University School of Architecture. In the years before World War I he worked briefly in the real estate business, but was primarily occupied as a member of café society. During the war he was a pilot stationed in England with the American Expeditionary Force's aero squadron.

As a young man, Shaw decided to become a writer and devoted his time and attention to this endeavor for a decade. In the 1920s, Shaw spent extended periods living and writing in London and Paris, and contributed many pieces to publications such as The New Yorker, Smart Set, Vanity Fair and Town & Country. Two of Shaw's novels, Heart In a Hurricane (1927) and The Low Down (1928), were published during this period. His play What Next! was produced in New York in 1928, but its run was brief. Later, he published New York --Oddly Enough (1938), and wrote and illustrated children's books including The Giant of Central Park (1940) and It Looked Like Spilt Milk (1947), in addition to illustrating several more books by other children's authors.

A highly accomplished poet partial to haiku and cinquain, Shaw published three volumes of poetry: Image of Life (1962), Into the Light (1959), and Time Has No Edge (1966). More than 1500 of his poems appeared in numerous American and European poetry magazines. He received the Michael Strange Poetry Award in 1954, and was a member of the Poetry Society (London), American Poets Fellowship Society, and North American Poets.

Shaw studied at the Art Students League in 1926 under Thomas Hart Benton and as a private pupil of George Luks. He became aware of abstract art and its various movements while traveling in Europe in the 1920s. When he began painting seriously in the early 1930s, Shaw drew from what he had seen and learned of modernism in Paris to develop his own style that incorporated American themes and technology. His earliest modern work was in the cubist vein. He constructed Arp-influenced wooden reliefs and the plastic polygon series (1933-1939) that foreshadowed shaped paintings developed by the next generation. Shaw's paintings progressed to hard edged abstractions and a return to figurative work in the 1940s was followed by abstract expressionism. Shaw had few connections with other New York artists, although he was well acquainted with A. E. Gallatin and George L. K. Morris and was a member of American Abstract Artists from its inception.

His first solo exhibition was at Valentine Gallery in 1934; in the following year he had a one man show at Gallatin's Museum of Living Art. Shaw was among the artists included in Gallatin's 1936 show, "Five Contemporary American Conceretionists," originating at the Rienhardt Gallery and then traveling to Galérie Pierre in Paris, and Mayer Gallery in London. He exhibited widely and was represented by Passedoit Gallery and Bertha Schaefer Gallery. Shaw's work can be found in major museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of art, Guggenheim Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Brooklyn Museum, and San Francisco Museum.

Around 1945, Shaw began creating approximately 600 montages that included collage and incorporated early prints, dice, antique playing cards, pipes, and fabrics arranged in shadow boxes. Though many of the montages decorated his apartment, they were never exhibited publicly during his lifetime.

Shaw was an avid collector. Among his collections were antique playing cards; figures, folk art, and implements relating to tobacco; tinsel prints, particularly of theatrical figures; prints and paper ephemera relating to the London theater; horse brasses; and antique police truncheons. In addition, Shaw was an authority on Lewis Carroll about whom he wrote a number of articles.

Charles Green Shaw died in New York City in 1974.
Provenance:
Charles Green Shaw bequeathed his scrapbooks to the Archives of American Art in 1974. The remaining papers were a gift of his estate in 1975.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Charles Green Shaw 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 -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Artists as authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Charles Green Shaw papers, 1686, 1833-1979, bulk 1909-1974. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.shawchar
See more items in:
Charles Green Shaw papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-shawchar

John Sennhauser papers

Creator:
Sennhauser, John, 1907-1978  Search this
Names:
Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors  Search this
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation  Search this
Botto, Otto, 1903-1967  Search this
Extent:
335 Items (Reel N70-33)
1.5 Linear feet (Unmicrofilmed)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketchbooks
Date:
1931-1990
Scope and Contents:
REEL N70-33: Correspondence with the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors, the Guggenheim Foundation (John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation), letters, among them 2 concerning the death of Otto Botto; catalogs, photographs; and a scrapbook.
UNMICROFILMED: Biographical material; letters from galleries, museums, and others; sketchbooks and sketches; financial records; photographs of Sennhauser and photos, negatives and slides of works of art; an inventory of art works (3 x 5 card file); financial records; clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements and other printed material.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter and designer; New York, N.Y. Born 1907 in Rorschah, Switzerland. Died 1978. Sennhauser was an abstract artist who began to explore non-objectivity as a mode of expression in the late 1930s. He joined the American Abstract Artists in 1945 and pursued that direction in his work until the late 1950s when he returned to representation. Trained at the Royal Academy in Venice, he immigrated to the United States from Switzerland in 1928 at age twenty-one. In New York he took up romantic urban street subjects, but while a student at the Cooper Union Art School his interests shifted to geometric forms. In 1943 he joined the staff of the Museum of Non-objective Painting as lecturer and preparator and his own inclinations towards abstraction were thereby reinforced.
Provenance:
Material on reel N70-33 was lent for microfilming 1970 by John Sennhauser. In 2002 an additonal 1.2 feet was donated by the John Sennhauser Trust.
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:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- California  Search this
Topic:
Painting, Abstract  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Identifier:
AAA.sennjohn
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-sennjohn

Ad Reinhardt papers

Creator:
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Names:
Brooklyn College -- Faculty  Search this
United States. Works Progress Administration  Search this
Extent:
3.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Date:
1927-1968
Summary:
The papers of Ad Reinhardt measure 3.8 linear feet and date from circa 1927 to 1968. The collection documents Reinhardt's career as an abstract painter, cartoonist, and writer through biographical material, correspondence, writings, printed material, scrapbooks, and artwork.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Ad Reinhardt measure 3.8 linear feet and date from 1927 to 1968. The collection documents Reinhardt's career as an abstract painter, cartoonist, and writer through biographical material, correspondence, writings, printed material, scrapbooks, and artwork.

Biographical material includes personal and professional records, such as passports and membership cards as well as an artist's chronology, and material documenting Reinhardt's time at Brooklyn College and his work for the WPA. Correspondence is of a general nature, including letters from art galleries, museums, and art dealers about exhibitions and artwork, colleges and universities concerning lectures and workshops, and letters from friends, art critics, and fellow artists, including Lucy Lippard, Abe Ajay, and George Rickey. Also found are letters from magazines and various art and social organizations. Writings and notes include calendars, and a small amount of notes and draft writings by Reinhardt. Printed material comprises the largest series in the collection and contains exhibition materials, including invitations and catalogs, and a large number of magazine and news clippings, primarily about Reinhardt's career and modern art, but also covering other topics of interest to him, such as Asian art. Also found in this series are clippings of his published cartoons and artwork. Scrapbooks contain additional printed material documenting his high school and college days, as well as his career. as an artist. Also found within the papers is a small amount of artwork by Reinhardt, primarily small sketches.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 6 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1928-1967 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1930-1967 (Boxes 1-2; 1.1 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1953-1966 (Box 2; 7 folders)

Series 4: Printed Material, circa 1927-1968 (Boxes 2-4; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 5: Scrapbooks, circa 1928-1959 (Boxes 4-5; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Artwork, circa 1946, 1950, 1961 (Box 4; 4 folders)
Biographical Note:
Ad Reinhardt was born Adolph Dietrich Friedrich Reinhardt in 1913 in Buffalo, New York. Shortly after he was born, his family moved to Queens, New York. As a child he copied "funnies" and made collages from newspapers and won many school and community prizes for his artwork. In the fall of 1931 he entered Columbia University and studied art history under Meyer Schapiro, who encouraged him to get involved in radical campus politics. Reinhardt became the editor and cover designer of Jester, a campus magazine. After graduating in 1935, he trained as a painter at the National Academy of Design under Karl Anderson, and at the American Artists School under Francis Criss and Carl Holty, until 1937. At this time he joined American Abstract Artists and became affiliated with American artistic-political groups and other artist organizations. From 1936 to 1941 he worked for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Art Project, Easel Division, while simultaneously developing his mature style of linear, abstract painting.

When his work for the Federal Art Project ended, Reinhardt worked as a commercial and freelance writer and graphic artist for pamphlets and magazines. Most notably, he was a reporter and cartoonist for the newspaper PM from 1942 to 1947. After serving in the Navy from 1946 to 1947, he took a position as an art history professor at Brooklyn College where he taught for twenty years. During his career as a professor he was also a visiting lecturer at several universities, including Yale University from 1952 to 1953, and the California School of Fine Arts in 1950. Reinhardt had a keen interest in Asiatic art and would often lecture and write on this subject. In the late 1950s and early 1960s he traveled to Japan, India, Persia, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, and Jordan.

Reinhardt began exhibiting his paintings early in his career. In 1946 he joined the Betty Parsons Gallery, which also represented many other prominent Abstract Expressionists, including Mark Rothko, Barnet Newman, and Jackson Pollock. Reinhardt rejected the emotionalism found in Abstract Expressionism and sought to produce geometric, minimalist paintings. In developing his own aesthetic theory, he wrote extensively for art periodicals such as Art News and Art International. His artwork culminated in the 1960s with his series of black paintings, which drew much attention from the art community and the public. A major retrospective of his work was held at the Jewish Museum in New York, NY, in 1960. Reinhardt continued to write and work on his series of black paintings until his death in 1967.
Related Material:
Related collections found in the Archives includes Ad Reinhardt postcards (to Katherine Scrivener), Ad Reinhardt letters and artwork (loaned material, available on microfilm only), Abe Ajay correspondence with Ad Reinhardt, Marjorie Grimm printed material and letters received from Ad Reinhardt, one photograph of Ad Reinhardt and Colette Roberts by William R. Simmons, and a 1955 painting by Ad Reinhardt.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reels N69-99 - N69-103) including additional notes, writings, correspondence, photographs of artwork, and travel logs. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Rita Reinhardt, Ad Reinhardt's widow, donated papers and lent material for micorfilming in 1969.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Ad Reinhardt 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:
Works of art  Search this
Art, Modern  Search this
Cartoonists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Ad Reinhardt papers, 1927-1968. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.reinad
See more items in:
Ad Reinhardt papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-reinad
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Leo Rabkin

Interviewee:
Rabkin, Leo  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Names:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Baziotes, William, 1912-1963  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Extent:
97 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1968 Dec. 4
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Leo Rabkin conducted 1968 Dec. 4, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art. Rabkin speaks of his youth in Cincinnati in a Russian-Jewish family; his early study of music; teaching; his watercolor techniques; prints on plastic; the importance of the box in his life; his concern with light; his collections of wood furniture and folk art. He recalls William Baziotes, and Ad Reinhardt, and discusses his involvement with the American Abstract Artists group.
Biographical / Historical:
Leo Rabkin (1919-2015) was a painter and sculptor from New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 14 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives' 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:
Sculptors -- United States -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.rabkin68
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-rabkin68

Dorothy and Leo Rabkin papers

Creator:
Rabkin, Leo  Search this
Rabkin, Dorothy, 1922-2008  Search this
Names:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Fine Arts Federation of New York  Search this
International Artists Association  Search this
Barnet, Will, 1911-2012  Search this
Bolotowsky, Ilya, 1907-1981  Search this
Extent:
4.6 Linear feet ((partially filmed on 1 microfilm reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Date:
1940-1979
Scope and Contents:
Papers relating to Leo and Dorothy Rabkin as art collectors, as well as Leo Rabkin's work in painting and sculpture and with American Abstract Artists.
Reel N69-68: Correspondence, catalogs, clippings, and photographs of Leo Rabkin and his work. Much of the material relates to the American Abstract Artsists, of which Rabkin was president.
Unmicrofilmed portion: Biographical material; exhibition, lecture, and sales files containing catalogs, announcements, correspondence, photographs of works of art, and clippings; and miscellany. Also included are records of the American Abstract Artists consisting of published histories, minutes, memorandum, membership and mailing lists, correspondence, exhibition files, and files on member-artists Ilya Bolotowsky, Will Barnet, and others, containing catalogs, photographs of art, biographical material, interviews, and clippings. Records of the U.S. Committee of the International Artists Association and the Fine Arts Federation of New York are also included.
Biographical / Historical:
Leo Rabkin (1919-2015) and Dorothy Rabkin (1922-2008) were art collectors in New York. Rabkin was also a painter and sculptor, and president of American Abstract Artists.
Provenance:
The materials filmed on reel N69-68 were originally loaned to the Archives by Leo Rabkin in 1969. They were subsequently given, along with other materials, in 1979 and 1980.
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:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Societies, etc. -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.rabkleo
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-rabkleo

Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers

Creator:
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Krasner, Lee, 1908-1984  Search this
Names:
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Martha Jackson Gallery  Search this
Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889-1975  Search this
Brooks, James, 1906-1992  Search this
Burkhardt, Rudy  Search this
Cavaliere, Barbara  Search this
Davis, Bill  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-  Search this
Dehner, Dorothy, 1901-1994  Search this
Eames, Ray  Search this
Forge, Andrew  Search this
Friedman, B. H. (Bernard Harper), 1926-  Search this
Glaser, Jane R.  Search this
Gray, Cleve  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Gruen, John  Search this
Holmes, Doloris  Search this
Isaacs, Reginald R., 1911-  Search this
Janis, Sidney, 1896-  Search this
Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005  Search this
Kadish, Reuben, 1913-1992  Search this
Maddox, Charles  Search this
Matter, Mercedes  Search this
McCoy, Sanford, Mrs.  Search this
Miller, Daniel  Search this
Miller, Robert, 1932 Apr. 17-  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Namuth, Hans  Search this
Ossorio, Alfonso, 1916-1990  Search this
Pollock, Charles C.  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956 -- Photographs  Search this
Rose, Barbara  Search this
Rouche, Burton  Search this
Smith, Tony, 1912-  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-  Search this
Valliere, James  Search this
Wasserman, Tamara E.  Search this
Wright, William  Search this
Zogbaum, Wilfrid, 1915-1965  Search this
Extent:
16.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Motion pictures (visual works)
Video recordings
Photographs
Interviews
Sound recordings
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Transcripts
Date:
circa 1914-1984
bulk 1942-1984
Summary:
The papers of abstract expressionist painters Jackson Pollock and wife Lee Krasner measure 16.1 linear feet and date from circa 1914 to 1984, with the bulk of the material dating from 1942 to 1984. The collection documents their personal and professional lives, as well as the legacy of Jackson Pollock's work after his death. Found are biographical material, correspondence, writings by Krasner and others, research material, business and financial records, printed material, scrapbooks, artwork by others, photographs, interview transcripts, audio and video recordings, and motion picture film.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of abstract expressionist painters Jackson Pollock and wife Lee Krasner measure 16.1 linear feet and date from circa 1914 to 1984, with the bulk of the material dating from 1942 to 1984. The collection documents their personal and professional lives, as well as the legacy of Jackson Pollock's work after his death. Found are biographical material, correspondence, writings by Krasner and others, research material, business and financial records, printed material, scrapbooks, artwork by others, photographs, interview transcripts, audio and video recordings, and motion picture film.

The collection is divided into two series, the first of which focuses on Pollock and includes his scattered papers dating from circa 1914 to his death in 1956, as well as Krasner's papers dating from his death to 1984 about managing Pollock's legacy. This series includes biographical materials, including transcripts and audio recordings of an interview with William Wright in 1949; Pollock's and Krasner's correspondence with Thomas Hart Benton, Betty Parsons Gallery, Bill Davis, B. H. Friedman, Reginald Isaacs, Sidney Janis, Violet De Lazlo, Martha Jackson Gallery, Alfonso Ossorio, Tony Smith, and Clyfford Still, and with one another; Krasner's correspondence concerning Pollock's estate and artwork after his death; numerous writings about Pollock, including an original draft of Bryan Robertson's biography and an essay by Clement Greenberg.

James Valliere extensive research files on Pollock for a never-published biography were given to Krasner and filed in Series 1. These include scattered correspondence with Lee Krasner, and Pollock's family and friends, including Charles Pollock, Thomas Hart Benton, and Robert Motherwell. There are also transcripts of interviews Valliere conducted with Pollock's friends and colleagues, including James Brooks, Dorothy Dehner, Clement Greenberg, Reuben Kadish, Lee Krasner, Charles Maddox, Mrs. Sanford McCoy, Daniel T. Miller, Robert Miller, and Tony Smith. The original audio reels and duplicates exist for many and are filed here. Additional interviews were conducted with Willem de Kooning, Alfonso Ossorio, and Burton Rouche, but not transcribed - these are filed in Series 1.10, Audio Recordings and Motion Picture Film.

Also found in Series 1 are scattered business records documenting Krasner's handling of Pollock's estate and legacy; printed materials relating to Pollock, including published biographies, exhibition catalogs, and clippings; two scrapbooks; and a sketchbook by an unidentified artist. Numerous photographs of Pollock include childhood and family photographs, photographs of Pollock in his studio by Hans Namuth, Rudy Burckhardt, and Herbert Matter, photographs of Pollock with Lee Krasner, and exhibition photographs. Audio recordings and motion film in Series 1 include a 1964 16mm film about Pollock (VHS copies are available) and reel-to-reel recordings of untranscribed interviews of Pollock's friends and colleagues by James Valliere, including interviews with Willem de Kooning and Alfonso Ossorio. Additional transcribed interviews are filed in subseries 1.4.

Lee Krasner's papers documenting her own career are arranged in Series 2 and date from 1927-1984. Biographical materials include resumes and awards, school documents, family documentation, and exhibition lists. Her correspondence with artist friends and art colleagues is extensive and includes many letters from artists such as Philip Johnson, Ray Eames, Cleve Gray, and Hans Namuth. She also maintained correspondence with many art historians and critics, curators, gallery owners, collectors, arts-related and social organizations, admirers, and family members.

There are thirteen transcripts of interviews with Krasner by Bruce Glaser, Barbara Cavaliere, Andrew Forge, Emily Wasserman, Barbara Rose, and others. The original audio recordings for these transcripts are filed in series 2.10, along with other audio recordings for which there are no transcripts, including interviews by John Gruen, Delores Holmes, Mercedes Matter, the Martha Dean Radio Show, NBC Today Show, and WQXR radio. There are also audio recordings of Krasner's lectures in series 2.10.

Krasner's papers also include writings and reminiscences by Krasner; writings about Krasner; printed materials such as exhibition catalogs and clippings; and one scrapbook containing clippings and photographs. Numerous photographs are of Krasner, including portrait photographs taken by Hans Namuth; of Krasner with Jackson Pollock and family and friends, and of her exhibitions and artwork.

Users should note that Pollock's and Krasner's papers contain similar types of material that often overlap in subject matter, especially among the correspondence and photographs.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 2 series:

Series 1: Jackson Pollock papers and Lee Krasner papers about Jackson Pollock, circa 1914-1984 (Box 1-7, 16, OV 18, FC 19-22; 7.4 linear feet)

Series 2: Lee Krasner papers, circa 1927-1984 (Box 7-15, 17; 8.6 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Jackson Pollock was born in 1912, in Cody, Wyoming, the youngest of five sons. His family moved several times during his childhood, finally settling in Los Angeles. In 1930 he joined his older brother, Charles, in New York City, and studied with Regionalist painter Thomas Hart Benton at the Art Students League of New York. Pollock worked during the 1930s for the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project. During 1936 he worked in artist David Alfaro Siqueiros's Experimental Workshop. In 1938 he began psychiatric treatment for alcoholism, and his artwork was greatly influenced by Jungian analysis and the exploration of unconscious symbolism.

In 1943 Pollock had his first one-man exhibition at Peggy Guggenheim's New York gallery, Art of this Century, and continued to exhibit there over the next several years. A major turning point in Pollock's life and art was in 1945 when he married fellow artist Lee Krasner and moved to East Hampton, Long Island. There he developed his mature painting style, and became famous for his abstract pouring technique on large canvases. The height of his creativity spanned from 1947 to 1952, and his work was promoted by art critic Clement Greenberg. Along with other abstract expressionists including Hans Hofmann, Alfonso Ossorio, and Barnett Newman, he joined the Betty Parsons Gallery in 1947. He had his most successful one-man show in 1950 which was widely publicized and praised. This exhibition, combined with a 1949 feature article in LIFE magazine, made Pollock an American celebrity.

In 1952 Pollock moved his work to Sidney Janis Gallery and returned to earlier motifs in a search for new breakthroughs. The last few years of his life he suffered from mental and physical health problems, and in August, 1956 he died in a car accident. His wife, Lee Krasner, oversaw his estate and worked with many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, on Pollock retrospective exhibitions.

Lee Krasner was born Lenore Krassner in 1908 in Brooklyn, New York to Russian immigrant parents. In 1926 she was admitted to the Women's Art School of The Cooper Union, and in 1928 she attended the Art Students League. After graduating from The Cooper Union in 1929, she attended the National Academy of Design until 1932. After briefly attending City College and Greenwich House, she worked for the Public Works of Art Project and the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration, and finally became an assistant in 1935 on the WPA Federal Art Project, Mural Division. From 1937 to 1940 she studied at the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts and began exhibiting with the American Abstract Artists group.

In 1942 Krasner met Pollock as they were both preparing to exhibit work in the same show. Although they married and she became immersed in his career, she continued to exhibit her own work with other abstract artists and from 1946 to 1949 worked on the Little Image painting series. In 1953 she began working on collages, a medium she would come back to again later in her career. After Pollock's death her work was greatly influence by her sadness and anger, creating a visible evolution of her style.

For the rest of her career, Krasner consistently exhibited her work in both group and solo exhibitions. She had her first retrospective at Whitechapel Gallery, London, in 1965, and in 1966, she joined Marlborough Gallery, New York which represented Pollock's work as well. In the 1970s and early 1980s Krasner won many awards for her achievement in the visual arts, including the Augustus St. Gaudens Medal and the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. She returned to the medium of collage, and in 1976 joined the Pace Gallery, New York. In 1981 she joined the Robert Miller Gallery, New York. Lee Krasner continued creating art until her death in 1984.
Related Material:
Found in the Archives of American Art are the Charles Pollock Papers, 1902-1990, which includes correspondence, photographs, and other files relating to his brother, Jackson Pollock. Other resources in the Archives are oral history interviews with Lee Krasner, including a series of interviews conducted by Dorothy Seckler between 1964 and 1968, and interviews conducted by Barbara Rose in 1966 and Doloris Holmes in 1972.
Provenance:
The papers of Jackson Pollock were donated in 1983 by Lee Krasner through Eugene V. Thaw shortly before her death. Additional material about Pollock and the papers of Lee Krasner were donated in 1985 by Eugene V. Thaw, executor of Lee Krasner's estate.
Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
Rights:
The Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner 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 -- Economic aspects  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works)
Video recordings
Photographs
Interviews
Sound recordings
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Transcripts
Citation:
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers, circa 1914-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.polljack
See more items in:
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-polljack
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Online Media:

Oral history interview with John Opper

Topic:
Art front
Interviewee:
Opper, John  Search this
Interviewer:
Sandler, Irving, 1925-  Search this
Names:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Artists' Union (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Cleveland School of Art -- Faculty  Search this
Cleveland School of Art -- Students  Search this
United States. Work Projects Administration  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Mondrian, Piet, 1872-1944  Search this
Extent:
129 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1968 Sept. 9-1969 Jan 3
Scope and Contents:
An interview of John Opper conducted 1968 Sept. 9-1969 Jan 3, by Irving Sandler, for the Archives of American Art.
Biographical / Historical:
John Opper (1908-1994) was a painter from Amagansett, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hrs., 17 min.
Location of the first of the three tapes is unknown.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives' 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.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Art -- Societies, etc. -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.opper68
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-opper68

John Opper papers

Creator:
Opper, John , 1908-1994  Search this
Names:
Grace Borgenicht Gallery  Search this
Extent:
1.4 Linear feet
0.057 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Drawings
Date:
1926-2011
Summary:
The papers of abstract painter and teacher John Opper measure 1.4 linear feet and 0.057 GB and are dated 1926-2011. The papers contain both professional and personal corespondence, including letters from immediate family. Biographical materials consist of essential data including passports, birth and death certificates, and curricula vitae. Some geneological documents are in digital format. Personal business records relate to the artist's Bowery Street and Amagansett studios, and to art sales through the Grace Borgenicht Gallery. A scrapbook contains newspaper clippings. Additional clippings, group and solo exhibition catalogs and announcements documenting Opper's career, and galley sheets of a children's book illustrated by Opper are included among the printed material. Photographs are of Opper, his family, friends, and paintings. Digital photographs depict the artist and relatives. The collection also contains a few pen and ink drawings by Opper.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of abstract painter and teacher John Opper measure 1.4 liner feet and 0.057 GB and are dated 1926 to 2011. The papers contain both professional and personal correspondence, including letters from immediate family. Biographical materials consist of essential data including passports, birth and death certificates, and curriculum vitae. Some geneological records are in digital format. Personal business records relate to the artist's Bowery Street and Amagansett studios, and to art sales through the Grace Borgenicht Gallery. A scrapbook contains newspaper clippings. Additional clippings, group and solo exhibition catalogs and announcements documenting Opper's career, and galley sheets of a children's book illustrated by Opper are included among the printed material. Photographs are of Opper, his family, friends, and paintings. Digital photographs depict the artist and relatives. The collection also contains a few pen and ink drawings by Opper.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1953-1994 (Box 1; 1 folder, ER01; 0.049 GB)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1948-1994 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1960s-1993 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 4: Printed Materials, 1930-2011 (Box 1; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 5: Scrapbook, 1937-2005 ( Box 2; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 6: Artwork, 1963 (Box 2; 1 folder)

Series 7: Photographs, 1926-circa 2011 (Box 3; 0.2 linear feet, ER02; 0.008 GB)
Biographical / Historical:
Chicago born abstract painter and teacher John Opper (1908-1994) moved to New York in the 1930s where he lived and worked for most of his career.

Opper was a founding member of the American Abstract Artist group in 1936, studying with Hans Hofmann the same year. He studied at Cleveland School of Art, Case Western Reserve University, Columbia University and Art Institute of Chicago. Opper received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1969. He was represented by Grace Borgenicht Gallery. He became known for his abstract style that was influenced by both abstract expressionism and color field painting.
Related Materials:
Oral history interview with John Opper, 1968 September 9-1969 January 3, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Provenance:
Donated by the artist's children, Jane and Joseph Opper, March 27, 2013.
Restrictions:
The John Opper 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.
Rights:
Use of original material requires an appointment.
Topic:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting, Abstract  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Drawings
Citation:
The John Opper papers, 1926-2011. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.oppejohn
See more items in:
John Opper papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-oppejohn

Oral history interview with Robert Motherwell

Interviewee:
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Extent:
110 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1971 Nov. 24-1974 May 1
Scope and Contents:
Interview of Robert Motherwell, conducted by Paul Cummings for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, at the artist's home in Greenwich, Connecticut November 24, 1971 - May 1, 1974.
Motherwell speaks of his relationship with his parents; attending prep school; studying philosophy at Stanford University and Harvard University; his theory of automatism; European and American painters in post-war New York; teaching at Black Mountain College; teaching at Hunter College; his retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art and other exhibitions; his collages with Gauloise cigarette packages; the photograph The Irascibles; his membership in American Abstract Artists; his marriage to Helen Frankenthaler; his use of color and light in his paintings; spending summers in Provincetown, MA; beginning printmaking; playing poker; working with the art dealers Kootz, Janis, and Frank Lloyd of Marlborough; his series Elegy for the Spanish Civil War, Je t'aime, Beside the Sea, Open, and Lyric Suite. Motherwell also recalls Peggy Guggenheim, Marcel Duchamp, Meyer Shapiro, Betty Parsons, Sam Kootz, Frank O'Hara, Clement Greenberg, Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, Ad Reinhardt, Richard Lippold, Tanya Grosman, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Motherwell (1915-1991) was a painter and printmaker from New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 8 digital wav files. Duration is 8 hrs., 9 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, American  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.mother71
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mother71

Oral history interview with George McNeil

Interviewee:
McNeil, George, 1908-1995  Search this
Interviewer:
Sandler, Irving, 1925-  Search this
Creator:
Diller, Burgoyne, 1906-1965  Search this
Names:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
United States. Work Projects Administration  Search this
Bolotowsky, Ilya, 1907-1981  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Dlugoszewski, Lucia, 1931-2000  Search this
Gallatin, A. E. (Albert Eugene), 1881-1952  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Graham, John, 1887-1961  Search this
Harari, Hananiah, 1912-2000  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Hélion, Jean, 1904-1987  Search this
Kandinsky, Wassily, 1866-1944  Search this
Levy, Edgar  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Manso, Leo  Search this
Marin, John, 1870-1953  Search this
Matter, Mercedes  Search this
Matulka, Jan, 1890-1972  Search this
Miró, Joan, 1893-  Search this
Morris, George L. K., 1905-1975  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Pereira, I. Rice (Irene Rice), 1902-1971  Search this
Rosenborg, Ralph M., 1913-1992  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Shaw, Charles Green, 1892-1974  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Vytlacil, Vaclav, 1892-1984  Search this
Extent:
82 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1968 Jan. 9-May 21
Scope and Contents:
An interview of George McNeil conducted 1968 Jan. 9-May 21, by Irving Sandler, for the Archives of American Art. McNeil speaks of why he became interested in art; his early influences; becoming interested in modern art after attending lectures by Vaclav Vytlacil; meeting Arshile Gorky; the leading figures in modern art during the 1930s; his interest in Cézanne; studying with Jan Matulka and Hans Hofmann; his experiences with the WPA; the modern artists within the WPA; the American Abstract Artists (A.A.A.); a group of painters oriented to Paris called The Ten; how there was an anti-surrealism attitude, and a surrealist would not have been permitted in A.A.A; what the A.A.A. constituted as abstract art; a grouping within the A.A.A. called the Concretionists; his memories of Léger; how he assesses the period of the 1930s; the importance of Cubism; what he thinks caused the decline of A.A.A.; how he assesses the period of the 1940s; his stance on form and the plastic values in art; his thoughts on various artists; the importance of The Club; the antipathy to the School of Paris after the war; how Impressionism was considered in the 40s and 50s; slides of his paintings from 1937 to 1962, and shows how he developed as an artist; the problems of abstract expressionism; organic and geometric form; the schisms in different art groups due to politics; his teaching techniques; why he feels modern painting declined after 1912; the quality of A.A.A. works; stretching his canvases, and the sizes he uses; his recent works, and his approaches to painting. He recalls Vaclav Vytlacil, Hans Hofmann; Arshile Gorky, John Graham, Jan Matulka, John Marin, Wassily Kandinsky, Mercedes Carles Matter, Albert Swinden, Fernand Léger, Stuart Davis, Burgoyne Diller, David Smith, Edgar Levy, Leo Manso, Irene Rice Pereira, Willem de Kooning, Ilya Bolotowsky, Mark Rothko, Adolph Gottlieb, Joan Miró, Robert Motherwell, George L.K. Morris, Albert Gallatin, Charles Shaw, John Ferrin, Ralph Rosenborg, Hananiah Harari, Agnes Lyall, Jean Helion, and many others.
Biographical / Historical:
George McNeil (1908-1995) was a painter and printmaker from New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hrs., 14 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are part of the Archives' 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.
Restrictions:
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Painting  Search this
Cubism  Search this
Impressionism (Art)  Search this
Surrealism  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.mcneil68
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mcneil68

Marilyn Pearl Gallery records

Creator:
Marilyn Pearl Gallery  Search this
Names:
Allain, René Pierre, 1951-  Search this
Chaet, Bernard  Search this
Freeman, Joseph  Search this
Greene, Stephen, 1918-1999  Search this
Hill, Clinton, 1922-2003  Search this
Lasch, Pat  Search this
Loew, Michael, 1907-1985  Search this
Lutz, Winifred  Search this
McShea, Jim  Search this
Miles, Jeanne Patterson, 1908-1999  Search this
Pearson, Henry, 1914-2006  Search this
Perez, Pedro  Search this
Robin, Stephen, 1944-  Search this
Von Wiegand, Charmion  Search this
Weiner, Ellen  Search this
Extent:
7.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Visitors' books
Photographs
Date:
1925-2000
bulk 1976-1993
Summary:
The records of the Marilyn Pearl Gallery are dated 1925-2000, with the bulk of the ematerial from the period 1976-1993. The collection measures 7.4 linear feet and consists of artists' files, exhibition files, and business records documenting affiliated artists and gallery activities.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of the Marilyn Pearl Gallery are dated 1925-2000, with the bulk of the ematerial from the period 1976-1993. The collection measures 7.4 linear feet and consists of artists' files, exhibition files, and business records documenting affiliated artists and gallery activities.

Artist files are found for: René Pierre Allain, Bernard Chaet, Stephen Greene, Clinton Hill, Pat Lasch, Michael Loew, Winifred Lutz, Jim McShea, Jeanne Miles, Henry Pearson, Pedro Perez, Stephen Robin, Charmion von Wiegand, and Ellen Weiner. They contain the following types of records in varying combinations: correspondence with the artist, collectors, galleries and museums; printed material including publicity, exhibition catalogs and announcements of Marilyn Pearl Gallery and other venues; photographs; financial records concerning sales and exhibition expenses. In general, items dated prior the gallery's existence and after its closing are printed material relating to the artist. A notable exception is the small number of the personal papers of Charmion von Wiegand that include letters from her husband, writer and editor Joseph Freeman.

Exhibition files are arranged chronologically by exhibition date, 1977, 1980-1992 and consist of correspondence, invoices, printed material, publicity, and photographs.

Business records document the routine affairs of the gallery. Included are client correspondence, inventory cards (work in stock, pieces returned to artists, and works sold), a nearly complete set of invoices for gallery sales for the period 1976-1986, consignment records, appraisals, mailing lists, guest books, and records regarding Basel Art Fairs of 1989-1993.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 3 series:

Series 1: Artists' Files, 1925-2000 (Boxes 1-4; 3.6 linear ft.)

Series 2: Exhibition Files, 1973-1992 (Boxes 4-5; 1.15 linear ft.)

Series 3: Business Records, 1976-2000 (Boxes 5-8; 2.65 linear ft.)
Historical Note:
The Marilyn Pearl Gallery (est. 1976-circa 1993) was an art gallery in New York, N.Y. specializing American art from the 1920s-1950s.

Marilyn Pearl (Mrs. Alan Loesberg), the daughter and granddaughter of art collectors from Akron and Cleveland, Ohio, as a young child began developing an appreciation for and true love of art. After a stint as a history teacher, Ms. Pearl was determined to establish her own gallery. With help from family, her dream became a reality when the Marilyn Pearl Gallery opened at 29 West 57th Street, New York, in 1976. In 1982, the gallery relocated to 38 East 57th Street, and in 1987 moved to 420 West Broadway in SoHo. Although the gallery closed in the early 1990s, Ms. Pearl continued to operate as a private dealer and expanded her activities to international art fairs, among them the Basel Art Fair.

Among the artists represented by the gallery were: Bernard Chaet, Stephen Greene, Clinton Hill, Pat Lasch, Michael Loew, Winifred Lutz, Jim McShea, Jeanne Miles, Henry Pearson, Pedro Perez, Stephen Robin, Charmion von Wiegand, and Ellen Weiner.

Pearl's first sales were works by sculptor Winifred Lutz, known for site-specific installations. Ms. Lutz remained part of Marilyn Pearl Gallery's stable throughout its history. In addition to emerging artists, Marilyn Pearl also was interested in traditional art forms, and eventually specialized in exhibiting American art from the 1920s-1950s, with particular emphasis on geometric abstraction. In addition, Marilyn Pearl Gallery presented a number of exhibitions exploring WPA era murals, American Abstract Artists, and post-war figurative work. By the 1980s, the gallery's annual schedule usually featured summer shows of new talent; several artists first introduced in this manner developed long-term relationships with Marilyn Pearl Gallery.
Provenance:
Marilyn Pearl donated the records of her gallery to the Archives of American Art in 2002.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Marilyn Pearl Gallery records 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 galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Visitors' books
Photographs
Citation:
Marilyn Pearl Gallery records, 1925-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.maripeag
See more items in:
Marilyn Pearl Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-maripeag
Online Media:

Alice Trumbull Mason papers

Creator:
Mason, Alice Trumbull, 1904-1971  Search this
Names:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Kelpe, Paul, 1902-1985  Search this
Lassaw, Ibram, 1913- -- Photographs  Search this
Extent:
1.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Poetry
Date:
1921-1977
Summary:
The papers of abstract artist Alice Trumbull Mason date from 1921 to 1977 and measure 1.3 linear feet. The collection documents her career as a painter, particularly her role as one of the founders of the American Abstract Artists group, through biographical materials; correspondence with family, friends, fellow artists, art galleries, museums, and organizations; writings and notes, including notebooks of poetry and other creative writings; a small amount of printed material; photographs of Mason, friends, and her artwork; and original artwork, including five sketchbooks.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of abstract artist Alice Trumbull Mason date from 1921 to 1977 and measure 1.3 linear feet. The collection documents her career as a painter, particularly her role as one of the founders of the American Abstract Artists group, through biographical materials; correspondence with family, friends, fellow artists, art galleries, museums, and organizations; writings and notes, including notebooks of poetry and other creative writings; a small amount of printed material; photographs of Mason, friends, and her artwork; and original artwork, including five sketchbooks.

Biographical material consists of resumes, passports, exhibition files, as well as documentation of her membership and active participation in art organizations, including her work as an officer in the American Abstract Artists group. Also found here are scattered personal financial and legal records. Personal and professional correspondence is with family members, including many detailed letters between her and her husband Warwood, fellow artists, including Paul Kelpe, art organizations, curators, museums, galleries, and others. Professional correspondence generally discusses selection of exhibition and awards, sale of artwork, and art events. Writings and notes, mostly from the 1920s and 1930s, consist of Mason's notes on art history and her creative writings, including poetry and "abstract writing." Also found are a few writings about abstract art and various notes and lists.

Printed material includes news clippings on topics of interest to Mason, and other miscellaneous items such as brochures, and exhibition announcements. Photographs include several portraits of Mason with her artwork, photographs of friends including artist Ibram Lassaw, photographs of an American Abstract Artists exhibition, and artwork by her and others. Original artwork found in this collection includes five sketchbooks belonging to Mason, including two that document her travels through Greece and Italy, and other loose drawings.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 6 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1925-1968 (Box 1, OV 3; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1922-1977 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1921-1965 (Box 1; 6 folders)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1936-1974 (Box 1; 2 folders)

Series 5: Photographs, 1920s-1967 (Box 1, OV 3; 5 folders)

Series 6: Artwork, 1924-1963 (Box 1-2, OV 3; 0.4 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Alice Trumbull Mason was born in 1904 in Litchfield, Connecticut. Her mother, Anne Leavenworth Train, was an accomplished artist before she met Alice's father, William Trumbull, a descendent of the Revolutionary War era painter, John Trumbull. Alice spent much of her childhood in Europe with her family. From 1921 to 1922 they lived in Florence and Rome where she studied at the British Academy. In 1923 she continued her studies with painter Charles W. Hawthorne at the National Academy of Design in New York and from 1927 to 1928 attended courses at the Grand Central Art Galleries taught by Arshile Gorky. Gorky inspired her interest in abstract painting, and Mason painted her first non-objective works in 1929. In 1928 she returned to Italy and Greece and was greatly influenced by ancient art, Byzantium, and Italian primitives. She married Warwood Mason, a merchant seaman, in 1930 and her daughter Emily was born in 1932 and her son Jonathan in 1933. During this period she stopped painting and devoted her creative energy to writing poetry inspired by American avant-garde writers.

Mason began painting again in 1934 and was recognized as a key figure of American abstraction. In 1935 she met and became close friends with fellow artist Ibram Lassaw, and they, along with several other artists, began to meet on a regular basis which led to the first American Abstract Artists group exhibition in 1937. Mason remained very active in the group and served as treasurer in 1939, secretary from 1940 to 1945, and president from 1959 to 1963. She was also an activist for abstract art, protesting the decisions of the Museum of Modern Art several times for excluding abstract artists from exhibitions. During the 1940s her paintings and concept of "architectural abstraction" was influenced by the arrival of Piet Mondrian in New York. Also in the 1940s she had two one-woman shows, but throughout her career she felt there was a bias against women in the New York art world and most often she participated in AAA group shows. Her work would be viewed as an important bridge for future abstract and conceptualist artists. In 1958 her son died, and though she continued to paint and participate in exhibitions, she never recovered from this tragedy and in the late 1960s withdrew into seclusion until her death in 1971.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is a collection of interviews by Ruth Bowman of members of the American Abstract Artists group conducted between 1963-1965, that includes an interview with Alice Trumbull Mason. The Archives of American Art also houses 2.3 linear feet of the records of the American Abstract Artists group.
Separated Material:
A portion of the material donated by Alice Trumbull Mason in 1969 relating to her involvement with the American Abstract Artists was separated and filed with the American Abstract Artists records at the Archives of American Art. Files of news clippings and exhibition catalogs were transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery Library after microfilming.
Provenance:
A portion of this collection was donated by Alice Trumbull Mason in 1969. Additional material was donated from 1972 to 1977 by Mason's daughter, Emily Mason Kahn.
Restrictions:
The collection is partially microfilmed. Use of material not microfilmed requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Alice Trumbull Mason 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 painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Poetry
Citation:
Alice Trumbull Mason papers, 1921-1977. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.masoalic
See more items in:
Alice Trumbull Mason papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-masoalic
Online Media:

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