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Stefan Hirsch and Elsa Rogo papers

Creator:
Hirsch, Stefan, 1899-1964  Search this
Rogo, Elsa, 1901-1996  Search this
Names:
Bard College -- Faculty  Search this
Bennington College -- Faculty  Search this
Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
United States. Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Anguiano, Raúl, 1915-2006  Search this
Bier, Justus, 1899-1990  Search this
Field, Hamilton Easter  Search this
Halpert, Edith Gregor, 1900-1970  Search this
Mumford, Lewis, 1895-1990  Search this
Mérida, Carlos, 1891-1984  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Extent:
19.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sound recordings
Etchings
Sketchbooks
Scrapbooks
Glass plate negatives
Transcripts
Place:
Mexico -- Photographs
Date:
1851-1986
bulk 1920-1960
Summary:
The papers of artists and educators Stefan Hirsch and Elsa Rogo measure 19.6 linear feet and date from 1851 to 1986, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920s to the 1960s. Together, they traveled throughout Mexico and Latin America where they became involved in the social and art scenes. Hirsch and Rogo's artistic, teaching, and journalism careers are documented through biographical materials, correspondence, writings and notes, professional files, printed materials, photographs and motion picture films, and sketchbooks and other artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of artists and educators Stefan Hirsch and Elsa Rogo measure 19.6 linear feet and date from 1851 to 1986, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920s to the 1960s. Together, they traveled throughout Mexico and Latin America where they became involved in the social and art scenes. Hirsch and Rogo's artistic, teaching, and journalism careers are documented through biographical materials, correspondence, writings and notes, professional files, printed materials, photographs and motion picture films, and sketchbooks and other artwork.

Biographical materials include address lists, resumes and biographical sketches, identification cards, material relating to Hirsch's military service, and legal documents. Two sound recordings, one personal and another of Rogo on Spanish National Radio, are also found here.

Correspondence is both professional and personal. Professional correspondence concerns commissions, exhibitions, travel, and teaching. Notable correspondents include Josef Albers, Justus Bier, Downtown Gallery (Edith Halpert), Carlos Mérida, Lewis Mumford, Ben Shahn, and many others. Personal correspondence is largely between Hirsch and Rogo. Writings are found for both Hirsch and Rogo and include notebooks, diary fragments and transcripts, lectures, essays on art, articles, and notes. A manuscript by Hamilton Easter Field is also found and a writing by an unknown author. Professional files document teaching positions, projects, commissions, memberships, and other professional activities undertaken by Hirsch and Rogo. They document Hirsch's teaching career at Bard College, Bennington College, and his mural work in South Carolina and Mississippi. Files concerning Rogo's work with the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs are found here, as well as files documenting their professional and personal travel. These contain a wide variety of materials, such as correspondence, printed material, meeting minutes, photographs, and writings. Also found are scattered files relating to general areas of interest.

Hirsch's and Rogo's business records include contracts concerning Elsa Rogo's book agreements, records settling the estate of the Hirsch family in Nürnberg (Nuremberg), Germany, insurance records, a lease, price lists, and general receipts and invoices. Also found are personal art collection records including a sales agreement and a list of Latin American art owned by Hirsch and Rogo. Printed materials include books, brochures, clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs for Stefan Hirsch and others, issues of magazines and other periodicals, copies of published writings by Hirsch and Rogo, and a dismantled printed materials scrapbook.

Photographs are extensive and include personal photos of Stefan Hirsch and Elsa Rogo, their family, friends, and colleagues. Numerous travel photos were taken by Rogo in her role as a journalist in Latin American and the United States. The bulk of the professional travel photos were taken in Mexico in the 1930s to the 1960s and show events, cities, and cultural activities. Also found are glass plate negatives, photographs of works of art, and sixteen reels of motion picture film taken in Mexico, Bard College, and Oqunquit, Maine.

Eighteen sketchbooks are largely unsigned but are likely by Stefan Hirsch. Additional artwork includes sketches and etchings by Hirsch, sketches by Elsa Rogo, and works by others including Raul Anquiano and Efren Villalobos.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1899-1986 (0.6 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1920s-1960s (3.2 linear feet; Boxes 1-4)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1920-1960s (1.2 linear feet: Boxes 4-5)

Series 4: Professional Files, 1912-1966 (2.8 linear feet; Boxes 6-8)

Series 5: Personal Business Records, 1927-1957 (0.5 linear feet; Boxes 8-9)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1851-1964 (2.9 linear feet; Boxes 9-12, 19)

Series 7: Photographs and Motion Picture Film, circa 1870-1960s (6.9 linear feet; Boxes 12-17, 20, FC 21-29)

Series 8: Sketchbooks, circa 1930s-circa 1940s (0.6 linear feet; Box 18)

Series 9: Artwork and Artifacts, 1916-1982 (0.5 linear feet; Boxes 18-19)
Biographical / Historical:
German-born Stefan Hirsch (1899-1964) was a painter and educator. Elsa Rogo (1901-1966) was married to Hirsch and was an artist, educator and journalist. They were active in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, and Vermont, and traveled extensively throughout Mexico and Latin America where they documented local arts and crafts, village life, and befriended prominent Mexican artists.

Born in Nurnberg, Germany, Stefan Hirsch grew up in Europe and studied art at the University of Zurich. After settling in the United States in 1919, he took summer courses under Hamilton Easter Field in Ogunquit, Maine. Hirsch developed a Precisionist style combined with Social Realism but much of his work was difficult to restrict to one specific style. Hirsch was a founder and exhibitor at the avant-garde Salons of America which served as an alternative to the Society of Independent Artists. During the 1930s and 1940s, Hirsch participated in the U.S. government's Federal Art Project and painted murals in Aiken, South Carolina and Booneville, Mississippi. Hirsch began his teaching career in 1937 at Bennington College in Vermont, and later accepted a position at Bard College where he served as the chairman of the art department until he retired in 1961.

In 1930, Hirsch married Elsa Rogo. Together, they traveled throughout Mexico and Latin America where they became involved in the social and art scenes. They befriended prominent Mexican artists like Diego Rivera and David Siqueiros. As a journalist, Rogo documented Mexican life, events, and art extensively through photographs. Rogo also served in the U.S. Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, established in 1940 to promote cultural diplomacy and solidarity primarily in Latin America. In Taxaco, Mexico, she taught art to school children. Her book, Walls and Volcanos: The Creative Impulse of the Mexican People, was published in 1937.

Stefan Hirsch died in 1964. Elsa Rogo died in 1966.
Provenance:
Portions of the Stefan Hirsch and Elsa Rogo papers were donated in 1996 by the Elsa Rogo estate, via Sylvia Siskin, executrix. Additions were donated 2002, 2014, and 2019 by professor James Oles, Art Department, Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts on behalf of Sylvia Siskin.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice. Original film reels and archival negative copies are stored off-site and are closed to researchers.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Art teachers  Search this
Journalists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, Latin American  Search this
Mural painting and decoration, Mexican -- Photographs  Search this
Mural painting and decoration -- South Carolina  Search this
Mural painting and decoration -- Mississippi  Search this
Latino and Latin American artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sound recordings
Etchings
Sketchbooks
Scrapbooks
Glass plate negatives
Transcripts
Citation:
Stefan Hirsch and Elsa Rogo papers, 1851-1986, bulk 1920s-1960s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.hirsstef
See more items in:
Stefan Hirsch and Elsa Rogo papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw98ab444b5-7fc2-4e6b-ad62-a18f38f904f9
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-hirsstef
Online Media:

Anton Refregier papers

Creator:
Refregier, Anton, 1905-  Search this
Names:
ACA Galleries  Search this
Bard College -- Faculty  Search this
Gosudarstvennyĭ Ėrmitazh (Russia)  Search this
National Council of American-Soviet Friendship (U.S.)  Search this
New York World's Fair (1939-1940 : New York, N.Y.)  Search this
United States. Works Progress Administration  Search this
Woodstock Artists Association (Woodstock, N.Y.)  Search this
World Peace Council  Search this
De Diego, Julio, 1900-  Search this
Dreyfuss, Henry, 1904-  Search this
Elisofon, Eliot  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Fast, Howard, 1914-  Search this
Geddes, Norman Bel, 1893-1958  Search this
Greenwood, Marion, 1909-1970  Search this
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971  Search this
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Morley, Eugene, 1909-1953  Search this
O'Higgins, Pablo, 1904-  Search this
Packard, Emmy Lou, 1914-1998  Search this
Randall, Byron, 1918-1999  Search this
Refregier, Lila  Search this
Siqueiros, David Alfaro  Search this
Yavno, Max  Search this
Extent:
35.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Travel diaries
Greeting cards
Interviews
Cartoons (working drawings)
Scrapbooks
Transcripts
Photographs
Diaries
Sketches
Place:
Chile
Soviet Union
Guatemala
Mexico
Date:
circa 1900-circa 1990
Summary:
The papers of Woodstock area painter, muralist, and designer, Anton Refregier (1905-1979) date from circa 1900 to circa 1990 and measure 35.9 linear feet. The collection records Refregier's early commercial work and murals for the Works Progress Adminstration (WPA) and documents his career through to the 1970s with records of commissions for many public and private buildings, exhibitions in the United States and abroad, teaching positions, essays and publications, and extensive travel, particularly to the Soviet Union and Mexico. The collection contains scattered biographical material, personal and business correspondence, notes and writings, 15 diaries and journals, mural and tapestry files, exhibition files, personal business records, printed material, 10 scrapbooks, artwork including sketches and cartoons for murals, and photographs of Refregier, his friends, family and travels.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Woodstock area painter, muralist, and designer, Anton Refregier (1905-1979) date from circa 1900 to circa 1990 and measure 35.9 linear feet. The collection records Refregier's early commercial work and murals for the Works Progress Adminstration (WPA) and documents his career through to the 1970s with records of commissions for many public and private buildings, exhibitions in the United States and abroad, teaching positions, essays and publications, and extensive travel, particularly to the Soviet Union and Mexico. The collection contains scattered biographical material, personal and business correspondence, notes and writings, diaries and journals, mural and tapestry files, exhibition files, personal business records, printed material, scrapbooks, artwork including sketches and cartoons for murals, and photographs of Refregier, his friends, family and travels.

Biographical material contains legal records such as Refregier's will and marriage and death records, passports, resume material and 2 interview transcripts.

Correspondence, both chronological and alphabetical, constitutes almost a third of the collection and documents all aspects of Refregier's career including his work for the WPA, private commissions, representation by ACA Galleries, his involvement with groups such as the Woodstock Artists Association and his teaching work for institutions such as Bard College. Also documented are his involvement with local political groups and international organizations such as the National Council of American-Soviet Friendship and the World Peace Council, and travels including visits to the Soviet Union. Notable correspondents include Henry Dreyfuss, Philip Evergood, Rockwell Kent, Emmy-Lou Packard, and Byron Randall. Correspondence also includes family letters written primarily by Refregier to Lila Refregier, in addition to greeting cards received by the Refregier family, many of which contain original arwork.

Writings are primarily by Refregier and include drafts of many essays and autobiographical writings, in addition to copies of published works including Natural Figure Drawing, An Artists Journey and Sketches of the Soviet Union.

The collection contains diaries and journals from 12 years in various formats including published and handmade day planners and typed and handwritten journal entries. They include sketches and primarily record travel and daily activities including specific projects such as the New York World's Fair mural (1938-1939).

Mural and Tapestry files document individual commissions bid on and/or completed by Refregier. The creation of the Rincon Annex Post Office mural and subsequent controversies over its subject matter are well-documented here, as are many of Refregier's commissions for banks, hospitals, hotels, shopping centers, and schools.

Exhibition files document at least 15 of Refregier's exhibitions, including his first one-man show at ACA Galleries (1942) and his exhibition of paintings at the Hermitage Museum (1967) in what was then Leningrad.

Personal business records contain addresses of contacts. Scattered records referencing market values for Refregier's work can be found throughout the series in records such as bills and receipts, financial notes and tax records.

Printed material provides extensive coverage of Refregier's entire career through announcements, invitations, catalogs, and news clippings. His interests in art, literature, music, theater and politics are also well-represented in these files.

The collection contains 10 scrapbooks, mostly in fragmented condition, which contain a mixture of photographs, sketches and other artwork, notes and fragments of writings, and printed material. The scrapbooks document a variety of subjects including Refregier's family life, travels to Guatemala and the Soviet Union, and the artist at work.

Artwork consists primarily of artwork by Refregier in the form of mural design sketches and cartoons in various media, including pencil, ink and pastel, in addition to 21 sketchbooks, many of which also contain journal entries and notes. Also found here are prints and reproductions of Refregier's "Peace card" block engravings for every year from 1950-1973, with the exception of 1970.

Photographs document all phases of Refregier's career and include family photographs dating from circa 1900, photos of Refregier in the studio including work for the WPA, Refregier and other artists and individuals at events and parties from the 1940s-1970s, travel snapshots probably taken in Chile, Guatemala, Mexico, and the Soviet Union, and photographs of artwork and installations. Individuals pictured include Julio de Diego, Marion Greenwood, Rockwell Kent, Pablo O'Higgins and David Siqueiros; also, a series of press photographs by Albert A. Freeman pictures Refregier with Howard Fast, Norman Bel Geddes, Marion Greenwood, John Kingsbury, Yasuo Kuniyoshi and Harry Stockwell. One photograph by Eliot Elisofon, 2 by Eugene Morley and 4 by Max Yavno can also be found here.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 11 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1925-1980 (Box 1; 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1912-circa 1990s (Boxes 1-11, 36, OVs 38, 45; 10.2 linear ft.)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1930s-circa 1970s (Boxes 11-14, OV 45; 3.3 linear ft.)

Series 4: Diaries and Journals, 1923-1979 (Box 15; 0.6 linear ft.)

Series 5: Mural and Tapestry Files, circa 1930s-circa 1970s (Boxes 15-18, 36, OVs 38, 45, 46, RD 42; 3.65 linear ft.)

Series 6: Exhibition Files, 1942-1981 (Boxes 18-19; 0.6 linear ft.)

Series 7: Personal Business Records, 1920s-1980s (Boxes 19-20; 1.8 linear ft.)

Series 8: Printed Material, circa 1920s-1980s (Boxes 21-28, 36; 7.4 linear ft.)

Series 9: Scrapbooks, 1930s-1960s (Boxes 28, 37, BV 47; 1.1 linear ft.)

Series 10: Artwork, circa 1930s-circa 1970s (Boxes 28-30, 36, OVs 40, 41, RDs 42-44; 3.5 linear ft.)

Series 11: Photographic Material, ca. 1900-1980s (Boxes 31-35, 39; 4.5 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Russian-born Woodstock painter Anton Refregier (1905-1979) immigrated to the United States in 1920. Refregier was well-known for his sometimes controversial social realist murals for the WPA.

After an apprenticeship to the sculptor, Vasilief, in Paris, Anton Refregier attended the Rhode Island School of Design from 1920-1925 and studied with Hans Hofmann in Germany in 1927. He had his first one-man show at ACA Galleries in New York City in 1942 and settled in Woodstock, New York, with his wife, Lila, and three children Anton, Jr., Brigit and Aleksandre, where he became a prominent member of the artist community.

Refregier completed several social realist murals for the federal Works Progress Adminstration (WPA) program, including one at the New York Worlds Fair in 1939 and the controversial Rincon Annex Post Office mural in San Francisco begun in 1941. He also completed interior design installations for businesses such as the nightclub, Cafe Society Uptown, and the restaurant, The Cookery, in New York City. In addition to being an easel and mural painter Refregier worked in tapestry, mosaic, ceramic, and collage, and completed many commissions for hotels, banks, hospitals, restaurants, synagogues, supermarkets and deparment stores throughout the country.

Refregier taught at various institutions including Stanford University, the University of Arkansas, and Bard College and his publications inlcude Natural Figure Drawing (1948), An Artist's Journey (1965), and Sketches of the Soviet Union (1978). He traveled regularly to the Soviet Union to explore and exchange ideas about art and culture and as a representative of the World Peace Council.

Anton Refregier died in Moscow in October 1979 while visiting the Soviet Union. His work can be found in many museums including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are an oral history interview with Anton Refregier, 1964, Nov. 5 by Joseph Trovato; and Papers regarding Anton Refregier mural controversy, 1953.
Provenance:
Donated 1983 by Lila Refregier, widow of Anton Refregier, and in 1992 by Brigit R. Sutton, Refregier's daughter.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
Authorization to quote or reproduce for purposes of publication requires written permission from Bridget R. Sutton via Bridget's son, Tim Sutton. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Tapestry  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Political clubs  Search this
Muralists -- New York -- Woodstock  Search this
Art -- Commissioning  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Woodstock  Search this
Mural painting and decoration -- Archival resources -- 20th century  Search this
Designers -- New York (State)  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Genre/Form:
Travel diaries
Greeting cards
Interviews
Cartoons (working drawings)
Scrapbooks
Transcripts
Photographs
Diaries
Sketches
Citation:
Anton Refregier papers, circa 1900-circa 1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.refranto
See more items in:
Anton Refregier papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9545f99ed-0a65-4626-904d-8dda5c569fcf
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-refranto

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