Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Search Results

Collections Search Center
258 documents - page 1 of 13

American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters telegram to Laurence Millet

Creator:
American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters  Search this
Millet, Laurence  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1912 May 2
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)13714
See more items in:
Francis Davis Millet and Millet family papers, 1858-1984, bulk 1858-1955
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_13714
Online Media:

Jack Levine papers, 1923-1999

Creator:
Levine, Jack, 1915-2010  Search this
Subject:
Updike, John  Search this
Tooker, George  Search this
Sorini, Emiliano  Search this
Soyer, Raphael  Search this
Saint-Gaudens, Homer  Search this
Simon, Sidney  Search this
Yevtushenko, Yevgeny Aleksandrovich  Search this
Halpert, Edith Gregor  Search this
Goodrich, Lloyd  Search this
Gikow, Ruth  Search this
Friedan, Betty  Search this
Fleischman, Lawrence A. (Lawrence Arthur)  Search this
Dobkin, Alexander  Search this
Paul VI, Pope  Search this
D'Harnoncourt, Rene  Search this
Probst, Joachim  Search this
Levine, David  Search this
Lee, Gypsy Rose  Search this
Lawrence, Jacob  Search this
Lasansky, Mauricio  Search this
Bocour, Leonard  Search this
Cadmus, Paul  Search this
Close, Chuck  Search this
Coen, Eleanor  Search this
Arms, John Taylor  Search this
Barnet, Will  Search this
Bloom, Hyman  Search this
Weber, Max  Search this
Peterdi, Gabor  Search this
Terkel, Studs  Search this
Hirsch, Joseph  Search this
American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters  Search this
Jewish Museum (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Type:
Student drawings
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Drawings
Topic:
Painting, American  Search this
Social realism  Search this
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Jewish artists  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9139
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211333
AAA_collcode_levijack
Theme:
Art Movements and Schools
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211333
Online Media:

Foreword

Author:
Fern, Alan  Search this
Johnson, Nancy A.  Search this
Miller, Lillian B.  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
1987
Topic:
Portraits  Search this
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_107625

Jack Levine papers

Creator:
Levine, Jack, 1915-2010  Search this
Names:
American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters  Search this
Jewish Museum (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Arms, John Taylor, 1887-1953  Search this
Barnet, Will, 1911-2012  Search this
Bloom, Hyman, 1913-  Search this
Bocour, Leonard, 1910-1993  Search this
Cadmus, Paul, 1904-1999  Search this
Close, Chuck, 1940-  Search this
Coen, Eleanor, 1916-  Search this
D'Harnoncourt, Rene, 1901-1968  Search this
Dobkin, Alexander, 1908-  Search this
Fleischman, Lawrence A. (Lawrence Arthur), 1925-1997  Search this
Friedan, Betty  Search this
Gikow, Ruth, 1915-1982  Search this
Goodrich, Lloyd, 1897-1987  Search this
Halpert, Edith Gregor, 1900-1970  Search this
Hirsch, Joseph, 1910-1981  Search this
Lasansky, Mauricio, 1914-  Search this
Lawrence, Jacob, 1917-2000  Search this
Lee, Gypsy Rose, 1914-1970  Search this
Levine, David, 1926-2009  Search this
Paul VI, Pope, 1897-1978  Search this
Peterdi, Gabor  Search this
Probst, Joachim  Search this
Saint-Gaudens, Homer, b. 1880  Search this
Simon, Sidney, 1917-  Search this
Sorini, Emiliano  Search this
Soyer, Raphael, 1899-1987  Search this
Terkel, Studs, 1912-2008  Search this
Tooker, George  Search this
Updike, John  Search this
Weber, Max, 1881-1961  Search this
Yevtushenko, Yevgeny Aleksandrovich, 1933-  Search this
Extent:
3.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Student drawings
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Drawings
Date:
1923-1999
Summary:
The papers of New York social realist painter and printmaker Jack Levine date from 1923-1999, and measure 3.2 linear feet. Levine's career is documented through biographical material, scattered letters, notes and a speech, writings, student drawings, three scrapbooks, printed material and nearly one linear foot of photographs of Levine, his family, and his colleagues.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York social realist painter and printmaker Jack Levine date from 1923-1999, and measure 3.2 linear feet. Levine's career is documented through biographical material, scattered letters, notes and a speech, writings, student drawings, three scrapbooks, printed material and nearly one linear foot of photographs of Levine, his family, and his colleagues.

Found within the papers are two driver's licenses and several biographical accounts, and scattered letters from colleagues including one each from John Taylor Arms, Hyman Bloom, Leonard Bocour, René d'Harnoncourt, Lloyd Goodrich, Jacob Lawrence, and Homer Saint-Gaudens discussing various art-related events. There is only one carbon copy of a letter written by Levine. The correspondence includes oversized photographs of the members of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Additional photographs of the members are found in the Photograph series.

Notes and writings are primarily typescripts about Jack Levine written by others. There is also a transcript of one speech, "Jack Levine Speaks Regarding the Donation of 108 of his Drawings to the Archives" delivered by Levine at the Fogg Art Museum.

Artwork consists entirely of Levine's student drawings including anatomical studies, neighborhood genre scenes, copies of Old Masters, and a series of images of symphony musicians. Some of the drawings display themes that are reflected in his later paintings.

Three scrapbooks contain clippings that document Levine's career and reflect his political interests. Additional printed material consists of a comprehensive collection of clippings and exhibition announcements and catalogs. There is also an announcement for a lecture by Levine, press releases, calendars of events, reproductions of artwork, programs, brochures including one for Facing East, a portfolio of Levine's prints, and three books.

Photographs include numerous photographs of Levine throughout his artistic career, including images of his wife, painter Ruth Gikow, their daughter Susanna, and colleagues including Hyman Bloom, Leonard Bocour, Alexander Dobkin, Joachim Probst, and Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Especially notable is a series of photographs of Levine printmaking with Emiliano Sorini and Ruth Gikow.

There are photographs of Levine serving on art juries and panels with Eleanor Coen, Joseph Hirsch, Gabor Peterdi, Studs Terkel, and Max Weber, and attending events with Lawrence Fleischman, Betty Friedan, Edith Halpert, Mauricio Lasansky, Gypsy Rose Lee, Pope Paul VI, and Raphael Soyer. A small album contains photographs of Levine and various buildings in Boston. There are also photographs of miscellaneous exhibition installations including Levine's retrospective at the Jewish Museum, and of artwork by Levine and others.

Group photographs of the members of the American Academy of Arts and Letters are found here, and include Will Barnet, Paul Cadmus, Chuck Close, David Levine, George Tooker, and John Updike. Additional group photographs of the members that were originally enclosed with letters are found in the correspondence series.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1953-1955 (Box 1; 1 folder)

Series 2: Letters, 1946-1996 (Boxes 1, 5; 12 folders)

Series 3: Notes and Writings, 1961-1974 (Box 1; 6 folders)

Series 4: Artwork, 1923-1931 (Boxes 1, 5, OV 6; 11 folders)

Series 5: Scrapbooks, 1936-1962 (Boxes 1, 5; 16 folders)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1938-1999 (Boxes 1-3, 5, OV 6; 1.9 linear feet)

Series 7: Photographs, 1940-1998 (Boxes 3-5, OV 6; 52 folders)
Biographical / Historical:
Jack Levine (1915-2010) was born in Boston, Massachusetts and worked as painter and printmaker primarily in New York City. Levine was one of the leading painters and advocates of the Social Realism School of the late 1930s.

Jack Levine was the youngest of the eight children of Lithuanian Jewish parents, Mary Grinker and Samuel Levine. After the family moved from the South End of Boston to Roxbury in 1923, Levine began to study drawing under Harold Zimmerman at the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. By 1929, Levine was studying painting under Denman Ross of the Fogg Art Museum.

From 1935-1940, Levine received U.S. government support from the federal Works Progress Administration. His first exhibition of paintings in New York City was at the Museum of Modern Art. In 1937, he painted The Feast of Pure Reason, a satire of Boston political power. Together with Ben Shahn, Levine became a leading exponent of the Social Realism School of the late 1930s. His first one-man show was held at the Downtown Gallery in New York City in 1938.

After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, Levine was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1945, and a grant from the American Academy of Arts and Letters the following year. Also in 1946, Levine married painter Ruth Gikow and moved to New York City. Between 1950 and 1951, he was a Fulbright Fellow working in Rome where he was inspired by Old Master paintings. In the 1960s Levine's interest in printmaking intensified and he was instructed in creating intaglio prints by Emiliano Sorini, and was introduced to Abe Lublin who was associated with the New York Graphic Society.

Levine taught at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the American Art School in New York, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. His work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Fogg Art Museum. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters from 1956 on.

The D.C. Moore Gallery in New York City currently represents the Estate of Jack Levine.
Provenance:
Jack Levine donated his papers to the Archives in 1962, 1978, and 1999.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and limited to the Washington, D.C. Reference Center.
Rights:
The Jack Levine 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:
Painting, American  Search this
Social realism  Search this
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Jewish artists  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Student drawings
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Drawings
Citation:
Jack Levine papers, 1923-1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.levijack
See more items in:
Jack Levine papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-levijack
Online Media:

Harry Sternberg papers

Creator:
Sternberg, Harry, 1904-2001  Search this
Names:
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) -- Faculty  Search this
Idyllwild School and Museum for the Arts -- Faculty  Search this
Blume, Peter, 1906-1992  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971  Search this
Secunda, Arthur  Search this
Siqueiros, David Alfaro  Search this
Walker, Hudson D. (Hudson Dean), 1907-1976  Search this
Warner, Malcolm, 1953-  Search this
Wickey, Harry  Search this
Zigrosser, Carl, 1891-  Search this
Extent:
3.4 Linear feet
0.553 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Video recordings
Notes
Manuscripts
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Drafts (documents)
Sound recordings
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Drawings
Date:
1927-2000
Summary:
The papers of New York City and California painter, printmaker, and teacher Harry Sternberg date from 1927 to 2000 and measure 3.4 linear feet and 0.553 GB. The collection documents Sternberg's career as an artist and art instructor through scattered biographical material, correspondence with friends, artists, collectors, curators, art organizations, universities, and galleries, writings by Sternberg and others, exhibition catalogs and announcements, news clippings, and other printed and digital material. Also found are photographs of Sternberg and his artwork, two sketchbooks and three loose drawings by Sternberg, audio visual recordings, and one scrapbook.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of New York City and California painter, printmaker, and teacher Harry Sternberg date from 1927 to 2000 and measure 3.4 linear feet and 0.553 GB. The collection documents Sternberg's career as an artist and art instructor through scattered biographical material, correspondence with friends, artists, collectors, curators, art organizations, universities, and galleries, writings by Sternberg and others, exhibition catalogs and announcements, news clippings, and other printed and digital material. Also found are photographs of Sternberg and his artwork, two sketchbooks and three loose drawings by Sternberg, audio visual recordings, and one scrapbook.

Biographical material includes an interview of Sternberg conducted by art curator Malcolm Warner, two ledgers documenting business activities, scattered financial and legal documents, and files regarding a few of his projects, including the film "Many Worlds of Art". Sternberg's personal and professional correspondence is with friends, artists, including Harry Wickey, Rockwell Kent, Philip Evergood, and Peter Blume, collectors and curators such as Hudson Walker and Carl Zigrosser, and art organizations, universities, and galleries.

The small number of writings by Sternberg in this collection includes drafts of articles and lectures, a manuscript for a book on etching, and notes. Writings by others consists of draft writings about Sternberg, draft exhibition catalogs, and writings by the artists Arthur Secunda and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Over one-third of this collection is printed material, including exhibition catalogs and announcements, news clippings, books written by Sternberg, school publications, and material regarding art events.

Also found are photographs of Sternberg in his studio, with students, with his wife Mary, and at the Idyllwild School. Other photographs include group photographs of Art Students League faculty as well as photographs of exhibitions, murals, and artwork. The collection also contains original artwork including two sketchbooks and three loose drawings by Sternberg and one scrapbook of news clippings and exhibition materials. Audio and video materials include several interviews of Sternberg and a video copy of his film "Many Worlds of Art".
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 8 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1927-2000 (Box 1, OV 5; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1928-2000 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1940s-2000 (Box 1, 4; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1933-2000 (Box 1-3; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 5: Photographs, circa 1930s-1998 (Box 3, 4; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Artwork, circa 1928-1980s (Box 3, OV 5; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 7: Audio Visual Material, circa 1980s-2000 (Box 3; 0.5 linear feet, ER01; 0.553 GB)

Series 8: Scrapbook, 1929-1958 (Box 4; 0.2 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Harry Sternberg (1904-2001) was a New York painter, muralist, printmaker, etcher, teacher, and political activist who relocated to California in 1957.

Harry Sternberg was born in 1904 in the Lower East Side of New York City and grew up in Brooklyn. As a child he attended his school art club where he met and became lifelong friends with artists Peter Blume and Philip Reisman. He took free Saturday art classes at the Brooklyn Museum of Art for two years and attended the Art Students League part time from 1922 to 1927 where he studied with George Bridgman. In 1926 he shared a studio with Philip Reisman where they received private instruction in etching from Harry Wickey. Sternberg began exhibiting his etchings and intermittently had drawings published in New Masses, a prominent American Marxist publication. In the late 1920s he became friends with Hudson Walker who also became a major collector of his work. In 1933 Sternberg was hired as instructor of etching, lithography, and composition at the Art Students League and continued teaching there for the next 33 years. Also around this time he became politically active in artist rights organizations, serving on the planning committee to create the American Artists' Congress and later serving as an active member of the Artists Equity Association. In 1935 he became the technical advisor of the Graphic Art Division of the Federal Art Project. From 1937 to 1939 he completed three federal mural commissions. His first mural Carrying the Mail was created for the Sellersville, Pennsylvania post office in 1937. His most famous mural Chicago: Epoch of a Great City was painted for the Lakeview post office in Chicago. It depicts the history of the city and its workers, particularly life for the workers in Chicago's stockyards and steel mills.

During the 1940s Sternberg remained very active in arts organizations, as one of the founders of the National Serigraph Society and a member of the Committee on Art and Education in Society. In 1942 he published the first of five books on printing. Sternberg had his first retrospective in 1953 at ACA Galleries, and in 1957 he taught summer painting courses at the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts in California. He continued teaching in the summers there from 1960 to 1967 and 1981 to 1989. Suffering from lung disease, Sternberg moved with his wife, Mary, to Escondido, California in 1966 in hopes that the climate would improve his health. In 1972 he was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. During the 1970s and 1980s Sternberg traveled extensively throughout the US and Mexico where he found new inspiration for his artwork. He continued teaching, exhibiting, and creating new work until his death in 2001.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are the May Konheim papers concerning Harry Sternberg, 1934-1981, and an oral history interview of Harry Sternberg, conducted March 19, 1999, October 8, 1999, and January 7, 2000, by Sally Yard for the Archives of American Art
Provenance:
The Harry Sternberg papers were donated by Sternberg in several installments from 1967 to 2001.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Harry Sternberg 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:
Printmakers -- California  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Educators -- California  Search this
Painting, American  Search this
Painters -- California  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Video recordings
Notes
Manuscripts
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Drafts (documents)
Sound recordings
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Drawings
Citation:
Harry Sternberg papers, 1927-2008. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.sterharr
See more items in:
Harry Sternberg papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-sterharr

Self-Portrait with Yellow Table

Artist:
Louisa Matthiasdottir, born Reykjavik, Iceland 1917-died Delhi, NY 2000  Search this
Sitter:
Louisa Matthiasdottir  Search this
Louisa Matthiasdottir  Search this
Medium:
oil on canvas
Dimensions:
20 7/8 x 17 1/4 in. (53.0 x 43.8 cm.)
Type:
Painting
Date:
1981
Topic:
Occupation\art\painter  Search this
Portrait female\self-portrait  Search this
Portrait female\knee length  Search this
Object\art tool\easel  Search this
Object\other\dish  Search this
Object\furniture\table  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters/Hassam and Speicher Purchase Fund, 1987
Object number:
1988.34
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Painting and Sculpture
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk761e59c11-90ce-4316-bf79-d1641e8977c2
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1988.34

Tondo Variation in Red

Artist:
Ilya Bolotowsky, born St. Petersburg, Russia 1907-died New York City 1981  Search this
Medium:
acrylic on canvas
Dimensions:
39 1/4 in. (99.8 cm) diam.
Type:
Painting
Date:
1978
Topic:
Abstract\geometric  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters through its Hassam and Speicher Purchase Fund, 1978
Object number:
1979.11
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Painting and Sculpture
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7250dda10-21ca-44e0-ad47-0f77380d5ba4
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1979.11

Henry Ward Beecher

Artist:
John Quincy Adams Ward, 29 Jun 1830 - 1 May 1910  Search this
Sitter:
Henry Ward Beecher, 24 Jun 1813 - 8 Mar 1887  Search this
Medium:
Painted plaster
Dimensions:
With Base: 37.5cm (14 3/4")
Type:
Sculpture
Date:
c. 1888-1889
Topic:
Henry Ward Beecher: Male  Search this
Henry Ward Beecher: Literature\Writer  Search this
Henry Ward Beecher: Religion and Spirituality\Clergy\Pastor  Search this
Henry Ward Beecher: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Abolitionist  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.2009.44
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm44b3dfecb-1d34-43f9-a5ab-ab7ae9580ec3
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_NPG.2009.44

Joseph Cornell Study Center Collection

Artist:
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Names:
Benton, Elizabeth Cornell  Search this
Cornell, Robert  Search this
Extent:
196.8 Linear feet
186 nitrate negatives
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Nitrate negatives
Photographs
Place:
New York, New York
Date:
1750-1980, bulk 1930-1972
Summary:
The Joseph Cornell Study Center collection measures 196.8 linear feet and dates from 1750 to 1980, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930 to 1972. Documenting the artistic career and personal life of assemblage artist Joseph Cornell (1903-1972), the collection is primarily made up of two- and three-dimensional source material, the contents of the artists' studio, his record album collection, and his book collection and personal library. The collection also includes diaries and notes, financial and estate papers, exhibition materials, collected artifacts and ephemera, photographs, correspondence, and the papers of Robert Cornell (1910-1965) and Helen Storms Cornell (1882-1966), the artist's brother and mother.
Scope and Contents:
The Joseph Cornell Study Center collection measures 196.8 linear feet and dates from 1750 to 1980, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930 to 1972. Documenting the artistic career and personal life of assemblage artist Joseph Cornell (1903-1972), the collection is primarily made up of two- and three-dimensional source material, the contents of the artists' studio, his record album collection, and his book collection and personal library. The collection also includes diaries and notes, financial and estate papers, exhibition materials, collected artifacts and ephemera, photographs, correspondence, and the papers of Robert Cornell (1910-1965) and Helen Storms Cornell (1882-1966), the artist's brother and mother.

Correspondence is with collectors, museums, galleries, artists, friends, family, charity organizations, admirers and those admired by Cornell, and World War II European pen pals. Discussions about the appreciation, donation, sale, purchase, and exhibition of Cornell's works are frequent, with the inclusion of shipping and loan documentation or notices of payment installments. Galleries and museums frequently request that Cornell agree to an exhibition, which he often declines, and fans request free works be mailed or affordable works be sold to them. With friends, artists, and those he admired, Cornell discussed topics that fascinate him, included bits of poetry or philosophical musings, sent clippings or a collaged letter, and occasionally discussed a project or work in process. After World War II, when so many were displaced by the war in Europe, Cornell answered ads for pen pals in the "Christian Science Monitor," often responding to requests for clothing or other goods, and sometimes exchanging many letters over several years. Family correspondence is with his mother, sisters, brother, and others, and often notes activities of the day, foods eaten, and general musings, as well as occasionally mentioning a project or artwork. Correspondents of note include Stan Brakhage, Betty Freeman, Charles Henri Ford, Allegra Kent, Yayoi Kusama, Roberto Matta, Marianne Moore, Octavio Paz, Sonia Sekula, Pavel Tchelitchew, Parker Tyler, Dorothea Tanning, and Betsy von Furstenberg, among others.

Cornell was often preoccupied with his thoughts, feelings, memories, a project or thematic "exploration," and jotted notes on seemingly any surface available. Notes and musings are on napkins, the backs of envelopes, newspaper clippings, and paper bags from record and magazine stores. Frequently, an observation would trigger a lengthy nostalgic moment, or a "feé," fairy-like child or girl, would capture his imagination and lead him to thoughts of 18th-century ballerinas and silent film stars. Cornell wrote longer diary notes, sometimes expanding on an earlier notation or emotion, and often wrote when he experienced trouble sleeping or woke early. Drafted letters to imaginary muses or admired individuals are interspersed among diaries, often revealing Cornell's yearnings to find emotional intimacy and human connection. Over time, Cornell revisited his notes and occasionally made further notations about renewed thoughts on a topic, dating the note with "revisited" or "reviewed." Notes are often written in a stream-of-consciousness style, for example, jumping from the mention of a record album or composer, to a ballerina of the same period, a note about a French poet, the memory of childhood, or an observation made earlier in the day, all in the space of a few lines. Notes about artistic processes or meanings behind works or images do occasionally emerge from the tangled, poetic notations. Notes also often provide insights into Cornell's internal emotional state and give clues about his intentions behind an artwork or a particular thematic fixation.

Financial materials document Cornell's professional and personal business activities, including the sale of artworks, annual expenses for supplies and household incidentals, payments and schedules for personal assistants, receipts for donations to charities and nonprofits, and tax documents. There is also information about who worked as assistants, or "helpers," in his later years and where Cornell purchased art supplies. Additionally, specific details are documented through receipts and invoices, such as what kind of paint he purchased. Estate records include preparations made for Cornell's artworks after his death, and clippings about other deceased artist's estates show that he thought often about such arrangements in his later years.

Exhibition files highlight several select solo exhibitions for Cornell, as well as preparations and planning for the "Robert Cornell: Memorial Exhibition" in honor of his brother in 1966. Also included are several early exhibition catalogs and announcements, including "Surréalisme" (January 9-29, 1932) and "Exhibition of Objects (Bibloquet) by Joseph Cornell" (December 6-31, 1939) at the Julien Levy Gallery, and "Romantic Museum: Portraits of Women, Constructions and Arrangements by Joseph Cornell" (December 1946) at the Hugo Gallery.

Film projects and collected film materials consist of files related to Cornell's various experimental film projects: "Aviary," "Cappuccino," "Centuries of June," "Fable for Fountains," "Nymphlight," "Serafina's Garden," and unrealized film scenario "Monsieur Phot." Files include film-making notes, correspondence, and photographs. Cornell's interest in film also led him to collect film-related materials, such as film stills, film posters, and screening programs. Scattered correspondence documents the interest other institutions and individuals had in purchasing and viewing his collection. Though most of his collected film stills and movie posters were donated to the Anthology Film Archives, film stills from "Escape Me Never" (1935) and "The Passion of Joan of Arc" (1928) are still within the collection, as well as film-screening programs for Cornell's collection of films.

Writing and design projects document Cornell's work authoring articles and designing issues of specialty dance magazine "Dance Index," and his layouts for popular magazines like "Good Housekeeping," "House and Garden," and "Mademoiselle." Other writing projects include brochures dedicated to opera singers Maria Malibran and Giulia Grisi, "Maria" and "Bel Canto Pet." Materials used for these brochures, such as copper photo engraving plates, are also found. Design work includes a series of Christmas cards created with The Museum of Modern Art as well as traced patterns ("textile tracings") and design clippings from Cornell's time working as a "textile designer" for Traphagen Commercial Textile Studio.

Cornell acquired troves of source material from bookstalls, antique stores, sporting good and department stores, hardware stores, and magazine and record shops. He kept boxes and files of material on admired individuals, such as actresses, artists, dancers, and singers, as well as on art projects or thematic "explorations." Files are on general topics such as American history, scientific phenomena, animals, plants, and humankind, as well as on series of artworks, such as "Castles," "Homage to the Romantic Ballet," and "Medici Slot Machines." Focused "exploration" projects include "Celestial Theatre," "Colombier," "GC 44," and "Switzerland," among others. Materials include photographs, photostats, maps, book fragments, autographed letters, notes, collage clippings and cutouts, collected prints and engravings, box and collage fragments, and scattered artifacts.

Collected ephemera includes large amounts of blank postcards and greeting cards, stamps, collected bus and train tickets, food labels and packaging, decals, and other materials. Artifacts are three-dimensional collected objects and source objects, which include found objects from the streets, dried flowers, and pieces of nature gathered from walks around his neighborhood. Cornell may have gathered materials because they inspired a memory or nostalgic feeling, or because they fit with a bin of other similar objects to select from for an artwork in progress.

Photographs found within the collection are of Cornell at work and as a child with family. Also found are assorted personal and family photographs, photographs of Cornell's attic and garage storage, and photographs of his Utopia Parkway house. Photographs of artwork include few installation photographs, in addition to photographs of Cornell's boxes and collages. Collected photographic materials include vintage photographs, such as tintypes, a cyanotype, stereoscopic glass slides, albumen prints, cabinet cards, and cartes-de-visite. Cornell also collected cased photographs, such as daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and one opalotype. Negatives and photostats were often produced from various prints and even other photographs and used in Cornell's boxes and collages. Images are of men and women, actors, authors, dancers, performers, well-known men and women, royalty, places, and artwork. Photographs of note include those by Hans Namuth of Willem and Lisa de Kooning and of Edward Hopper's bedroom; photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson; a photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron; photographs by Brassai; and a photogravure by Alfred Stieglitz from "Camerawork."

Also found in the collection are works of art by others, including a sketch by Pavel Tchelitchew, as well as artwork by Cornell, such as unfinished collages, Rorschach drawings or ink blots, and childhood artwork. Printed material includes assorted bulletins, flyers, exhibition materials for other artists, journals, and sent printed membership and charity materials. Magazines, including "View," are also included, and often have annotations by Cornell or a note to "cut" or "review" with page numbers. A large amount of magazine and newspaper clippings are in the collection, sometimes collected with a group of like material by Cornell, and at other times simply gathered in heaps. Occasional annotations are also found on the clippings.

Cornell's personal library and book collection includes over 2500 titles, ranging from fiction, poetry, and cinema, to history, science, and travel. Notable among the titles are "Baedeker's" travel guides that Cornell often sourced for his "Hotel" box series, as well as an influential publication by Max Ernst, "La Femme 100 têtes," which includes a typed letter and exhibition flyer tucked within. Books often have annotations, some fairly extensive, by Cornell, and assorted collected items, notes, and correspondence tucked between pages. Pages were often cut by Cornell, either to make photostats and use in a box, or to file with other thematic "explorations." A wide range of authors and topics provide insight into Cornell's interests and to ideas behind artwork and diary notes. Cornell's collection of record albums includes over 145 records. These contain inserted notes and clippings and are often referenced in diary notes Cornell made, noting a recent album or song listened to while at work in his studio.

The papers of Cornell's mother, Helen Storms Cornell, and his brother, Robert Cornell, are also included in the collection. Both lived with Cornell his whole life, spending the most time with him at their home at 3708 Utopia Parkway. Financial materials document shared responsibilities for billing, utilities, household fixes and chores, and expenditures, and Helen kept detailed financial records in a series of ledgers. Robert notes when he borrowed money from Cornell, or when he means to pay Cornell back for the purchase of a typewriter. Activities documented in diaries also occasionally cross paths with Cornell, noting his visitors or an exchange of letters continued after introductions through Cornell. Personal activities, such as Robert's interest in his train collection and his drawing projects and cartoon series, are also documented.
Arrangement:
The Joseph Cornell Study Center Collection is arranged into 15 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1917-1972 (Boxes 1, 98, OV118; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1813, 1934-circa 1973 (Boxes 1-8, 86; 6.5 linear feet)

Series 3: Diaries and Notes, 1940-1976 (Boxes 8-10, 98-99, 135, OV108, OV119; 3.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Personal Business and Estate Records, 1950-1978 (Boxes 10-14; 4.1 linear feet)

Series 5: Exhibition Files, 1932-1973 (Box 14; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Film Projects and Collected Film Materials, circa 1924-1972 (Boxes 14-16, 100, 133; 1.6 linear feet)

Series 7: Writing and Design Projects, circa 1910s, 1936-1962 (Boxes 16-18, 86, 100, 131-132, OV109-OV111, OV120-OV122; 3.6 linear feet)

Series 8: Source Material, 1750-circa 1911, 1926-1972 (Boxes 19-49, 86-92, 96, 100-105, 126-130, 132-137, OV112-OV115, OV125; 42.2 linear feet)

Series 9: Artifacts and Ephemera, 1768, circa 1839-1972 (Boxes 49-52; 3.2 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographic Material, circa 1800s-1972 (Boxes 52-56, 80-86, 93, 106, 128, 133, OV116, OV123-OV124; 7.5 linear feet)

Series 11: Artwork, circa 1810-1972 (Boxes 56-57, 107, OV117; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 12: Printed Material, 1855-1972 (Boxes 57-76, 94-96, 107; 16 linear feet)

Series 13: Book Collection and Personal Library, 1722-1980 (99.8 linear feet)

Series 14: Record Album Collection, circa 1925-1974 (3.2 linear feet)

Series 15: Cornell Family Papers, 1910-1980 (Boxes 77-79, 97, 107; 3.2 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Joseph Cornell (1903-1972) was a self-taught assemblage and collage artist, and filmmaker, active in New York City. He was born in Nyack, New York on December 24, 1903, and died of heart failure at his home in Queens, New York on December 29, 1972. The oldest of four children, he was born Joseph I. Cornell to his mother, Helen Storms Cornell (1882-1966), and his father, Joseph I. Cornell (1875-1917). Cornell had two younger sisters, Elizabeth ("Betty") Cornell Benton (1905-2000) and Helen ("Sissy") Cornell Jagger (1906-2001), as well as one brother, Robert Cornell (1910-1965), who had cerebral palsy.

Cornell attended the Phillips Academy, a preparatory boarding school in Andover, Massachusetts, beginning shortly after his father's death in 1917. He attended for four years but did not receive a diploma, and soon began work as a textile salesman for the William Whitman Company in Manhattan. His work took him, by foot, through the city, visiting secondhand bookshops on Fourth Avenue, browsing music stores and magazine shops, and catching early shows at the Metropolitan Opera House. He would occasionally wait outside the stage doors for favorite singers and dancers to emerge, requesting signatures on photographs or bits of costumes.

Around 1926, Cornell joined the Christian Science Church, joined by his brother Robert shortly thereafter, and both continued to be lifelong members. Cornell kept a number of books in his personal library on Christian Science teachings and regularly subscribed to "The Christian Science Monitor."

After living in several rental houses in Bayside, New York, Cornell's mother purchased a house for the family in 1929 in Flushing, Queens. Cornell, along with his mother and brother, would live at 3708 Utopia Parkway, for the rest of their lives. His two sisters soon married and moved away, eventually settling in Westhampton, Long Island and in the poultry-farming business.

With no formal art training to speak of, Cornell's first work was a Max Ernst-inspired collage, "Untitled (Schooner)," created in 1931. He was especially inspired by Ernst's collage novel, "La Femme 100 têtes," published in 1929. French artist Odilon Redon was also among the few artists Cornell named as an influence on his art. His first sculptural works were small, cardboard pill boxes with bits of ephemera, costume adornments, and nature hidden inside. Cornell also created a series of glass bell jar works, placing small trinkets and Victorian-era-like compositions within. It was these early collages and bell jar works that were included in Cornell's debut exhibition, "Surréalisme" (January 9-29, 1932), a group show at the Julien Levy Gallery. Cornell designed the announcement for the show and exhibited alongside Max Ernst, Man Ray, Pierre Roy, Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Eugène Atget, George Platt Lynes, Jean Cocteau, and Salvador Dalí. Months later, Cornell was invited to have his first solo show, "Objects by Joseph Cornell: Minutiae, Glass Bells, Shadow Boxes, Coups d'Oeil, Jouets Surréalistes" (November 26-December 30, 1932), also at the Julien Levy Gallery.

In 1932, after eleven years of work, Cornell was laid off from the William Whitman Company due to the Great Depression. Soon after, he took on more responsibility in the church, working part-time as an attendant in the Christian Science Reading Room in Great Neck, New York. Beginning in 1933, he taught Sunday school classes for three years and in 1935, became the Sunday school librarian. However, his religious activities and artistic ventures continued to remain separate.

In the early 1930s, Cornell progressed from movie lover to filmmaker. When Julien Levy began his New York Film Society in 1933, holding screenings of various experimental films in the gallery, Cornell began buying and collecting films and film stills in earnest. He set up a 16-millimeter projector in his home to screen favorites, such as those by Georges Méliès, D.W. Griffith, and Louis Feuillade. His collection quickly grew to over 2,500 film stills and several hundred films, and included silent era films, such as nature documentaries, goofy newsreels, travelogues, early cartoons, and slapstick comedies, as well as several feature films. In 1933, Cornell wrote a screenplay, or "scenario," entitled "Monsieur Phot." Between 1935 and 1937, Cornell also occasionally created publicity photomontages for Universal and Columbia studios. Of the nearly thirty films Cornell created, periods of activity can generally be separated into two areas: collage films of the late 1930s, consisting of combined elements from films in his own collection, and films he directed in the 1950s, which were collaborations with other filmmakers set in New York City. "Rose Hobart," Cornell's most celebrated collage film, was created and shown in the Julien Levy Gallery in 1936 and includes clipped footage from "East of Borneo." Later films were directed and filmed with cinematographers Stan Brakhage, Rudy Burckhardt, and Larry Jordan.

In 1934, Cornell began a job at the Traphagen Commercial Textile Studio as a "textile designer," a job he held for six years. Continuing to work at his kitchen table in the evenings, Cornell completed his first assemblage box construction, "Untitled (Soap Bubble Set)," in 1936. It was first exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art's show, "Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism" (December 9, 1936-January 17, 1937). This work was also the first to be acquired by a museum, purchased for $60.00 by the Wadsworth Atheneum in Massachusetts in 1938. Cornell's European debut was also in 1938, as one of three Americans represented in the "Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme" (January 17-Febuary 24, 1938) at the Galerie Beaux-Arts in Paris, alongside Man Ray and Anne Clark.

At the end of 1939, Cornell began corresponding with poet Charles Henri Ford, founder of avant-garde magazine "View," Pavel Tchelitchew, and Parker Tyler. After his "Soap Bubble Sets," this period saw the development of Cornell's homages to singers and actresses, including "Untitled (Fortune-Telling Parrot for Carmen Miranda)," the destroyed "Garbo (Greta Garbo in the Legendary Film 'The Crystal Mask,' c. 1845)," and "Dressing Room for Gilles." He also began using photostats of art reproduction prints, as with the print of Jean Antoine-Watteau's painting, "Pierrot" (circa 1719), used in his "Gilles" box.

In the 1940s, the Romantic ballet emerged as Cornell's new topic of interest. Through his friend Pavel Tchelitchew, Cornell was introduced to the School of American Ballet and New York City Ballet founders, Lincoln Kirstein and George Balanchine. Cornell collected dance memorabilia and had a great love of the Romantic ballet. His favorite dancers were primarily ballerinas of the nineteenth century, including Fanny Cerrito, Marie Taglioni, Fanny Elssler, Lucille Grahn, and Carlotta Grisi. Cornell's "Homage to the Romantic Ballet" works largely took the shape of jewel-box style wooden boxes with glass overlays and included bits of velvet, tulle, sequins, crystals, and chiffon, occasionally collected from dancers themselves. His most well-known work of this series is "Taglioni's Jewel Casket" (1940). Cornell also admired several living ballet dancers, including Tamara Toumanova, Zizi Jeanmaire, and Allegra Kent, who would all make their way into Cornell's box works and/or collages. Collecting for the "exploration," "Portrait of Ondine," Cornell's cased portfolio dedication to Fanny Cerrito and her role in the ballet "Ondine," began in the 1940s, though not completed until around 1960.

In late 1940, Cornell quit his job at Traphagen to concentrate on freelance commercial magazine design and editorial work during the day and his artwork at night. That same year, Charles Henri Ford started "View" magazine to promote Surrealists and Neo-Romantics in New York City and often asked Cornell to contribute. Published in the December 1941-January 1942 issue, one of his early contributions was a collage dedication to stage actress Hedy Lamarr: "Enchanted Wanderer: Excerpt from a Journey Album for Hedy Lamarr" (1941). Along with writing the accompanying text, he created a photomontage of Lamarr with her face overlaying the painted portrait of a Renaissance boy by Italian painter Giorgione. Peggy Guggenheim, at the advice of Marcel Duchamp, purchased multiple Cornell works prior to opening her new gallery, Art of This Century. Cornell also befriended Roberto Matta Echaurren, another Surrealist living in exile, who introduced him to Robert Motherwell.

After deciding to fully dedicate his time to his art in early 1940, he set up a studio in his basement. Complete with floor-to-ceiling wooden shelving, he kept his large collection of boxed source material stacked with handwritten labels in cardboard boxes. Themed folders of materials such as "Stamps" or "Maps" were kept in stacks and works in progress and finished works were stored in the basement, garage, and attic. Entering a renewed period of productivity, Cornell embarked on many new and important box projects in 1942. One of the first boxes created in his new basement studio, and the first of the "Penny Arcade" or "Medici Slot Machine" series, was "Medici Slot Machine" (1942), which includes a photostat of "Portrait of Marquess Massimiliano Stampa" (1557) by Sofonisba Anguissola. Another work from this time is the first of his "Castle" or "Palace" series, "Setting for a Fairy Tale" (1942), which uses a photostat of a French building from Jacques Androuet du Cerceau's book, "Les Plus excellents bastiments de France" (1576). "Untitled (Pharmacy)" (circa 1942) was the first of his "Pharmacy" series and included twenty-two apothecary jars. Cornell tended to work in series and created thirteen "Palace" boxes between 1942 and 1951, and ultimately created six "Pharmacy" works.

In 1943, Cornell began working at an electronics company, the Allied Control Company, Inc., to do his part to contribute to the defense effort during the war. He also sent correspondence and care packages to displaced Europeans, who listed their needs in "The Christian Science Monitor." Influenced by World War II, one of his strongest works to emerge in 1943 was "Habitat Group for a Shooting Gallery." Another notable work to come out of this period, "The Crystal Cage (Portrait of Berenice)," was an excerpt from one of his album "explorations" that was published in the January 1943 issue of "View."

Cornell left his job at Allied Control in 1944, but soon began working at the Garden Centre in Flushing, owned by a fellow Christian Scientist. Cornell was often nostalgic for this time in his life, devoting an entire "exploration" of material fondly remembered as "GC 44." He rode a bicycle to work and enjoyed collecting trips gathering dried grasses, driftwood, shells, and other relics of nature on the same bicycle as he rode through the streets of Queens. During this time, he continued to tend to his projects for "Dance Index," a magazine founded in 1942 by Lincoln Kirstein, but taken over by Donald Windham in 1944. Cornell designed several covers for the magazine and was given control of the entire summer 1944 issue, which he devoted to the Romantic ballet. He also devoted a special 1945 issue to Hans Christian Andersen, making great use of the New York Public Library Picture Collection.

Throughout the 1940s, Cornell continued to support himself with commercial design work for magazines like "Vogue," "Good Housekeeping," "Harper's Bazaar," "Town & Country," and "Mademoiselle." In 1946, after thirteen years at the Julien Levy Gallery, he joined the Hugo Gallery. In December 1946, Cornell's solo exhibition, "Romantic Museum at the Hugo Gallery: Portraits of Women by Joseph Cornell," celebrated his favorite movie stars, singers, and ballet dancers, and included his work created for the show, "Untitled (Penny Arcade Portrait of Lauren Bacall)." Cornell's "Greta Garbo" box, as well as "Souvenir for Singleton," an homage to Jennifer Jones and her role in the film "Love Letters," were also included in the show. In late 1948, his West Coast debut was in the exhibition, "Objects by Joseph Cornell," held at the Copley Gallery. The end of the 1940s saw the final issue of "View" magazine in 1947, the closure of the Julien Levy Gallery in April 1949, and Cornell's departure from the Hugo Gallery after his last show in November 1949.

In late 1949, Cornell joined the Charles Egan Gallery, known primarily for showing Abstract Expressionists. At this time, Cornell was working on a new series of boxes known as his "Aviary" works, most of which include a white-painted box with cutouts of birds mounted on wood. Though he had worked on bird-related boxes before, including an "Owl" series in the mid-1940s, his "Fortune Telling Parrot" (1939), and "Object 1941" (1941), these newer works were stripped of French elements and left "clean and abstract" by design. His first show at the Egan Gallery, "Aviary by Joseph Cornell" (December 7, 1949-January 7, 1950), included twenty-six "Aviary" works, nearly all created in 1949. Donald Windham agreed to write the foreword for the exhibition catalog, a single folded sheet, and Cornell gave him one of the boxes in the show, "Cockatoo: Keepsake Parakeet," in appreciation. Through the Egan Gallery, Cornell became friends with a new group of artists, including Franz Kline, Jack Tworkov, and Willem de Kooning. Cornell also held two screenings of a selection of his collected films at Subjects of the Artist, an art school founded by Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, David Hare, and William Baziotes.

In 1950, Cornell's second show at the Egan Gallery, "Night Songs and Other New Work" (December 1, 1950-January 13, 1951), introduced his new "Observatory" series. These works are largely defined by stark, whitewashed spaces with astronomical charts and constellations replacing colorful birds. The Museum of Modern Art purchased its first Cornell work from this show in early 1951, "Central Park Carrousel, in Memoriam" (1950).

For three months in 1951, Cornell was beset by various ailments and had trouble finding the energy to create new work. He worried more for his aging mother and the health of his brother. After a monthlong vacation with his sisters in Westhampton, he returned with renewed interest in Emily Dickinson's poetry. His whitewashed boxes took on a new form in his newest "Dovecote" series, using grids and circular cutouts. The works then transformed into homages to Dickinson, notably "Toward the Blue Peninsula: For Emily Dickinson" (circa 1953), and then to his "Hotel" series. Cornell's "Hotel" boxes include photostats of vintage European ads for hotels collected from vintage travel guides, especially "Baedeker's," adhered to the back walls of the boxes. Another new series of work, his "Juan Gris" series, was dedicated to Cubist artist Juan Gris. Between 1953 and the mid-1960s, Cornell created at least fifteen "Juan Gris" boxes, which often include a cutout of a white cockatoo in a Cubist-collage habitat. Cornell's third and last show at Egan Gallery, "Night Voyage" (February 10-March 28, 1953), included some of these newest works. After leaving Egan Gallery, his work was introduced to Chicago collectors in a solo show at the Frumkin Gallery, "Joseph Cornell: 10 Years of His Art" (April 10-May 7, 1953), which included nearly thirty pieces. Cornell's first museum retrospective was this same show held at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (July 12-August 30, 1953).

As New York City continued to change, Cornell grew more nostalgic for the city he had explored since the 1920s. The impending closure of the Third Avenue El train prompted him to dream up a film project to capture its last days, resulting in "Gnir Rednow," a reworking of Stan Brakhage's 1955, "Wonder Ring." During this time, Cornell joined the Stable Gallery, run by Eleanor Ward, interacting often with Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, and Joan Mitchell, remaining there until the end of the 1950s. His astronomy-themed exhibition, "Winter Night Skies" (December 12, 1955-January 13, 1956), included his "Night Skies" series of work with celestial chart fragments, Greek mythological figures, and paint-splattered "windows" representative of star-filled night skies. In 1956, he became aware of ballerina Allegra Kent, and began a series of work devoted to her, the first of which was "Via Parmigianino (Villa Allegra)" (1956), which included a photostat of a painting by Parmigianino, "The Madonna of the Long Neck" (circa 1540). In late 1957, after two years, Cornell had his last show at Stable Gallery, "Joseph Cornell: Selected Works" (December 2-31, 1957), consisting of a series of "Sand Fountain" boxes and "Space Object" or "Celestial Navigation" works. The "Sand Fountain" boxes included different colors of sand meant to flow within, often from the tops into cordial glasses. His "Celestial Navigations" included galaxy-like compositions set within the boxes, with rolling, painted cork balls, metal rings, and constellation charts, sometimes hovering over cordial glasses or clay pipes. This last Stable Gallery show earned him his first published profile, written by Howard Griffin for the December 1957 issue of "Art News." Also in 1957, he won the Kohnstamm Prize for Construction at the Art Institute of Chicago's 62rd Annual Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture.

Towards the end of the 1950s, Cornell spent less time creating new bodies of work, and focused more on revisiting previous series and reviewing piles of collected source material. In 1959, Cornell returned to making collages, frequently sourcing popular magazines. In December 1959, Cornell was awarded $1,500 for his "Orion" collage, entered in the Art Institute of Chicago's "63rd American Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture." Also in December, he was offered a show at Bennington College in Vermont, which he titled, "Bonitas Solstitialis: Selected Works by Joseph Cornell and an exploration of the Colombier" (November 20-December 15, 1959). The show included one of his newest "explorations" of collected material related to "colombier," or pigeon houses.

By 1962, Cornell was working diligently on new collages, using Masonite boards and colorful magazine clippings. He also began creating collages using nude images interspersed with constellation clippings or hazy blue dyes. As in previous decades and art movements, Cornell became acquainted with new artists, spending less time in the city and more time hosting visitors at his Utopia Parkway home. Visitors included artists Walter De Maria, Robert Whitman, Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, and Robert Indiana. Tony Curtis also became a frequent visitor and friend, introduced by Richard Feigen in 1964. The early 1960s was also the first time Cornell put out an advertisement for assistants in the "Long Island Star-Journal," employing a number of young men and women who helped organize clippings and run errands. Cornell also met Joyce Hunter, a young runaway waitress at a city coffee shop, who would occupy his thoughts and diary notes for the next several years. When she was murdered at the end of 1964, Cornell paid for her funeral. He went on to make several "Penny Arcade" collages in memoriam to her, including, "Penny Arcade (re-autumnal)" (1964).

In 1964, Cornell began friendships with several women including artist Carolee Schneeman, who was his first assistant in the early 1960s. He also met artist Yayoi Kusama through art dealer Gertrude Stein. After becoming friends, she visited him often and they exchanged letters and notes. As he did with other artist friends, Cornell supported her by purchasing several of her early watercolor paintings, and they stayed connected until his death in 1972.

Cornell's life greatly changed in 1965 with the death of his brother, Robert. By this time, his mother lived with his sister in Long Island, and Cornell was alone in the Utopia Parkway house for the first time. He exchanged frequent letters and phone calls with his mother and devoted much time to thinking about Robert and Joyce, often aligning them in his diary notations. Cornell also created a series of collages dedicated to his brother's memory, incorporating photostats of Robert's hundreds of drawings into Cornell's work, as with the later collage, "The Heart on the Sleeve" (1972). Cornell's "Time Transfixed" series of collages were also dedications to Robert's memory, referencing Magritte and Robert's love of trains. He mounted an exhibition, "Robert Cornell: Memorial Exhibition" (January 4-29, 1966), at the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery, where he showed Robert's artwork alongside his newly created collage dedications.

After Robert's death, Cornell relied more heavily on assistants, going through many part-time "helpers." In October 1966, Cornell's mother died, adding her to his constant thoughts and diaries. Though he was still grieving, he was given two major retrospectives in 1967. The first was at the Pasadena Art Museum, put on by James Demetrion and Walter Hopps, "An Exhibiton of Works by Joseph Cornell" (January 9-February 11, 1967). The second retrospective was at the Guggenheim Museum just three months later, "Joseph Cornell" (May 4-June 35, 1967), organized by Diane Waldman. After these shows, he was highlighted in the December 15, 1967 issue of "Life" in the article, "The Enigmatic Bachelor of Utopia Parkway."

In 1968, Cornell was given an "award of merit," which included a medal and $1,000, by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He was also given a medal and $1,000 by the Brandeis University Creative Arts Awards in the painting category, along with an exhibition. Days later, "The New York Times" announced Cornell the winner, along with Donald Judd, of India's first Triennale of Contemporary World Art. The Brandeis exhibition, "Boxes and Collages by Joseph Cornell" (May 20-June 23, 1968), was organized by William Seitz and concentrated on Cornell's more recent 1960s collages. Cornell was also included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's hundredth anniversary show, "New York Painting and Sculpture: 1940 to 1970" (October 18, 1969-February 1, 1970), where twenty-two of Cornell's boxes were shown in their own gallery. At the end of 1970, Cornell was given a solo show at the Metropolitan, "Collages by Joseph Cornell" (December 10, 1970-January 24, 1971), which included forty-five of his newest collages.

Now preferring to stay closer to his home in Flushing, Cornell was more interested in sharing his art with young adults and children, than an adult audience. He hosted a group of high school students, sponsored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's education department, at his home in conjunction with his collage show (1970-1971). He also showed his work in the art department of Queens College of the City University of New York. Cornell still hosted visitors on occasion, having Yoko Ono and John Lennon at his home at least once. Leila Hadley, Betsy von Furstenberg, and Anne Jackson also made frequent visits. With his deteriorating health, Cornell worried about what would happen to his work after his death and hired lawyer Harry Torczyner to help him plan his estate and get his affairs in order.

In 1972, Cornell had a show at the Cooper Union, a college in New York, specifically for children. He displayed his boxes and collages at child-height and had cherry soda and brownies at the opening reception on February 10. He then held a show at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, also for children: "Children's Preview of the Exhibition of Joseph Cornell – Collages and Boxes (April 18-June 17, 1972). In the winter of 1972, at the request of the Phoenix House drug treatment and prevention program, Cornell contributed to a charity project compiling limited-edition lithographic prints for a portfolio, which included artists like David Hockney, James Rosenquist, and Ellsworth Kelly.

On December 29, 1972, a week after turning sixty-nine, Cornell died of heart failure at his home. He was cremated and interred near the graves of his mother, father, and brother, overlooking the Hudson River in Nyack, New York.

Works Cited:

1. Hartigan, Lynda Roscoe. "Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination." New Haven, Connecticut and London: Yale University Press, 2007. Exhibition Catalog.

2. McShine, Kynaston. "Joseph Cornell." New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1980.

3. San Francisco Cinematheque and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "Joseph Cornell: Films." 2007. Exhibition Program. (Presented in conjunction with SFMOMA's exhibition of "Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination").

4. Schaffner, Ingrid and Lisa Jacobs. "Julien Levy: Portrait of an Art Gallery." Cambridge, Massachusetts and London: The MIT Press, 1998.

5. Solomon, Deborah. "Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell." New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997.
Separated Materials:
The Smithsonian Archives of American Art houses the Joseph Cornell papers, 1804-1986, bulk 1939-1972.
Provenance:
The Joseph Cornell Study Center collection was donated to the Smithsonian American Art Museum by Joseph Cornell's sister and brother-in-law, Elizabeth Cornell Benton and John A. Benton, in 1978, which prompted the creation of the Joseph Cornell Study Center. Additional materials were donated in installments by the artist's estate, the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, from 1985 to 1997. Elizabeth and John A. Benton originally donated 66 linear feet of three-dimensional and non-textual source material and 50 linear feet of books to the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, which were subsequently transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Joseph Cornell Study Center in 1994 and 1995.
Restrictions:
Access to the collection requires an advanced appointment. Contact collection staff at least two weeks prior to preferred date, at AmericanArtCornellStudy@si.edu.

Series 9: Artifacts and Ephemera, Series 13: Personal Library and Book Collection, and Series 14: Record Album Collection, are still undergoing processing and preservation and may not be available for research use. Record albums are unavailable for playback. Contact collection staff for full lists of publications and record albums.
Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Assemblage (Art)  Search this
Assemblage artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Found objects (Art)  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Celebrities  Search this
Filmmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Collagists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1900-1950 -- Photoprints -- Silver gelatin
Photographs -- 1860-1870 -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver albumen -- Cartes-de-visite
Photographs -- Daguerreotypes -- 1840-1860
Citation:
Joseph Cornell Study Center collection, 1750-1980, bulk 1930-1972. Joseph Cornell Study Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Identifier:
SAAM.JCSC.1
See more items in:
Joseph Cornell Study Center Collection
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-saam-jcsc-1

American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters

Collection Creator:
Holly Solomon Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 10, Folder
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1986
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is access restricted. Use requires written permission. Financial and Legal Records (Series 8) are closed to researchers until they can be processed to a more detailed level. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Collection Rights:
The Holly Solomon 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.
Collection Citation:
Holly Solomon Gallery records, circa 1948-2003. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Holly Solomon Gallery records
Holly Solomon Gallery records / Series 2: Dealer Files / New York Museums
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-hollsolg-ref149

Photographs - Portraits from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, 1987

Collection Creator::
National Portrait Gallery. Office of the Director  Search this
Container:
Box 17 of 17
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Rights:
Restricted for 15 years, until Jan-01-2023. Boxes 2, 13-14 contain materials restricted indefinitely; see finding aid; Transferring office; 06/05/2008 memorandum, Toda to Drummond; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 08-092, National Portrait Gallery. Office of the Director, Subject Files
See more items in:
Subject Files
Subject Files / Box 17
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa08-092-refidd1e6069

Portraits from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, 1987

Collection Creator::
National Portrait Gallery. Office of Publications  Search this
Container:
Box 1 of 6
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 01-011, National Portrait Gallery. Office of Publications, Publications
See more items in:
Publications
Publications / Box 1
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa01-011-refidd1e621

Portraits from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters

Collection Creator::
National Portrait Gallery. Office of Exhibitions  Search this
Container:
Box 2 of 8
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 99-094, National Portrait Gallery. Office of Exhibitions, Exhibition Records
See more items in:
Exhibition Records
Exhibition Records / Box 2
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa99-094-refidd1e308

American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters

Collection Creator::
National Portrait Gallery. Office of Exhibitions  Search this
Container:
Box 6 of 7
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Box 7 contains materials restricted indefinitely; see finding aid; Transferring office; 3/3/1999 memorandum, Lee to Cox and Kelly; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 93-051, National Portrait Gallery. Office of Exhibitions, Exhibition Records
See more items in:
Exhibition Records
Exhibition Records / Box 6
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa93-051-refidd1e3960

American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters

Collection Creator::
National Portrait Gallery. Office of Exhibitions  Search this
Container:
Box 20 of 29
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Box 29 contains materials restricted indefinitely; see finding aid; Transferring office; 5/2/1985 and 3/3/1999 memoranda; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 97-083, National Portrait Gallery. Office of Exhibitions, Exhibition Records
See more items in:
Exhibition Records
Exhibition Records / Box 20
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa97-083-refidd1e12823

American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, Summer 1987

Collection Creator::
National Portrait Gallery. Charles Willson Peale Papers  Search this
Container:
Box 13 of 16
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 98-171, National Portrait Gallery. Charles Willson Peale Papers, Editor's Records
See more items in:
Editor's Records
Editor's Records / Box 13
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa98-171-refidd1e5277

Labels - American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Exhibition

Collection Creator::
National Portrait Gallery. Charles Willson Peale Papers  Search this
Container:
Box 13 of 16
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 98-171, National Portrait Gallery. Charles Willson Peale Papers, Editor's Records
See more items in:
Editor's Records
Editor's Records / Box 13
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa98-171-refidd1e5400

American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (Exhibition Possibility)

Collection Creator::
National Portrait Gallery. Charles Willson Peale Papers  Search this
Container:
Box 14 of 16
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 98-171, National Portrait Gallery. Charles Willson Peale Papers, Editor's Records
See more items in:
Editor's Records
Editor's Records / Box 14
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa98-171-refidd1e5656

Paintings and Sculpture by Candidates for Art Awards, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, New York, NY (1978-1979), Digital Photographs and Documents

Collection Creator:
Madsen, Loren, 1943-  Search this
Extent:
0.014 Gigabytes (Eight computer files)
Container:
Folder ER26
Type:
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Date:
2016-2017
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of electronic records with no duplicate access copies requires advance notice.
Collection Citation:
Loren Madsen papers, 1969-2019. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Loren Madsen papers
Loren Madsen papers / Series 1: Project and Exhibition Files / 1.1: Exhibition Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-madslore-ref198

American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters

Collection Creator:
Smith, Leon Polk, 1906-1996  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 12
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1979-1991
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Leon Polk Smith 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.
Collection Citation:
Leon Polk Smith papers, 1938-1997. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Leon Polk Smith papers
Leon Polk Smith papers / Series 2: Correspondence / 2.1: Business
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-smitleon-ref32

Modify Your Search







or


Narrow By