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Brooklyn Museum interviews of artists

Creator:
Brooklyn Museum  Search this
Names:
Listening to pictures (1968-1973: Brooklyn Museum)  Search this
Anderson, Lennart, 1928-2015  Search this
Antonakos, Stephen, 1926-2013  Search this
Arisman, Marshall  Search this
Barker, Walter  Search this
Baskin, Leonard, 1922-2000  Search this
Bauermeister, Mary, 1934-  Search this
Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889-1975  Search this
Bishop, Isabel, 1902-1988  Search this
Brackman, Robert, 1898-  Search this
Butchkes, Sydney, 1922-  Search this
Casarella, Edmond, 1920-1996  Search this
Constant, George  Search this
Dash, Robert  Search this
De Creeft, José, 1884-1982  Search this
Dombek, Blanche, 1914-  Search this
Doyle, Tom, 1928-  Search this
Ernst, Jimmy, 1920-1984  Search this
Estern, Neil, 1926-  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Freilicher, Jane, 1924-2014  Search this
Goldin, Leon, 1923-  Search this
Goodman, Sidney  Search this
Graziani, Sante, 1920-  Search this
Greene, Balcomb, 1904-1990  Search this
Grillo, John, 1917-  Search this
Gropper, William, 1897-1977  Search this
Gross, Chaim, 1904-1991  Search this
Gussow, Roy, 1918-2011  Search this
Gwathmey, Robert, 1903-1988  Search this
Hartigan, Grace  Search this
Hopper, Edward, 1882-1967  Search this
Jaffe, Nora  Search this
Jenkins, Paul, 1923-2012  Search this
Kawabata, Minoru, 1911-  Search this
Kienbusch, William, 1914-1980  Search this
Knaths, Karl, 1891-1971  Search this
Koch, John, 1909-1978  Search this
Kosama, Yayoi  Search this
Lam, Jennett, 1911-  Search this
Lang, Steven, 1944-1971  Search this
Laurent, Robert, 1890-1970  Search this
Lawrence, Jacob, 1917-2000  Search this
Levine, Jack, 1915-2010  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques, 1891-1973  Search this
Lipton, Seymour, 1903-1986  Search this
Margo, Boris, 1902-1995  Search this
Meyer, Ursula, 1915-  Search this
Moller, Hans, 1905-  Search this
Murch, Walter  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Odate, Toshio  Search this
Offner, Elliot  Search this
Ohlson, Douglas Dean, 1936-  Search this
Okada, Kenzo, 1902-1982  Search this
Palmer, Amanda, 1931-  Search this
Pereira, I. Rice (Irene Rice), 1902-1971  Search this
Peterdi, Gabor  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Richards, Bill, 1936-  Search this
Rivers, Larry, 1925-2002  Search this
Sanchez, Emilio, 1921-1999  Search this
Schrag, Karl  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Sopher, Aaron, 1905-1972  Search this
Soyer, Moses, 1899-1974  Search this
Soyer, Raphael, 1899-1987  Search this
Thon, William, 1906-2000  Search this
Weinberg, Albert  Search this
Zorach, Marguerite, 1887-1968  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Interviewer:
Jacobowitz, Arlene  Search this
Extent:
7 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Transcripts
Interviews
Date:
1965-1968
Summary:
Interviews of 72 artists, and transcripts for all but five, conducted by Arlene Jacobowitz, the Associate Curator for the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Brooklyn Museum, between 1965 and 1968. The artists discuss their work in the museum collection. Also included are 38 edited excerpts of the interviews, approximately 2-3 min. in length, used as "audio-labels" in the 1968 "Listening to Pictures" installation at the museum.
Scope and Content Note:
Interviews of 72 artists, and transcripts for all but five, conducted by Arlene Jacobowitz, the Associate Curator for the Department of Painting and Sculpture, between 1965 and 1968. The artists discuss their work in the museum collection. Also included are 38 edited excerpts of the interviews, approximately 2-3 min. in length, used as "audio-labels" in the 1968 "Listening to Pictures" installation.

The artists interviewed are: Lennart Anderson, Stephen B. Antonakos, Marshall Arisman, Walter Barker, Leonard Baskin, Mary Bauermeister, Thomas Hart Benton, Isabel Bishop, Robert Brackman, Sydney Butchkes, Edmund Casarella, George Constant, Robert Warren Dash, Jose DeCreeft, Blanche Dombek, Tom Doyle, Jimmy Ernst, Neil Estern, Philip Evergood, Helen Frankenthaler, Jane Freilicher, Leon Goldin, Sidney Goodman, Sante Graziani, Balcomb Greene, John Grillo, William Gropper, Chaim Gross, Roy Gussow, Robert Gwathmey, Grace Hartigan, Edward Hopper, Nora Jaffe, Paul Jenkins, Minoru Kawabata, William Kienbusch, Karl Knaths, John Koch, Yayoi Kosama, Jennett Lam, Steven Lang, Robert Laurent, Jacob Lawrence, Jack Levine, Jacques Lipchitz, Seymour Lipton, Boris Margo, Ursula Meyer, Hans Moller, Walter Murch, Louise Nevelson, Toshio Odate, Elliot Offner, Douglas Ohlson, Kenzo Okada, Amanda Palmer, Irene Rice Pereira, Gabor Peterdi, Ad Reinhardt, Bill Richards, Larry Rivers, Emilio Sanchez, Karl Schrag, Ben Shahn, Charles Sheeler, Aaron Sopher, Moses Soyer, Raphael Soyer, William Thon, Albert Weinberg, and William and Marguerite Zorach.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as a single series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Interviews, 1965-1968 (Box 1-7; 7 lin. ft.)
Historical Note:
The interview program at the Brooklyn Museum was begun by Arlene Jacobowitz in the spring of 1965 with artists whose works were on exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. In 1968, excerpts from the interviews were incorporated into an exhibition entitled "Listening to Pictures," in which visitors could access the sound recordings using headphones while standing before the painting being discussed. The exhibition opened April 28, 1968, and was gradually disassembled, 1971-1973.
Related Material:
The Brooklyn Museum Archives houses the records of the Departments of European Painting and Sculpture, American Painting and Sculpture, Contemporary Art (1897-2005), which contain records relating to the work of Arlene Jacobowitz.
Provenance:
This collection was donated to the Archives of American Art by Dierdre Lawrence of the Brooklyn Museum in 1989.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Researchers may view the original reels for the archival notations on them, but original reels are not available for playback due to fragility.
Rights:
Authorization to quote or reproduce for purposes of publication requires written permission from the interviewee. Citations must read:"Interview between [artist's name] and [interviewer's name] from the "Listening to Pictures" program of the Brooklyn Museum. Archives of American Art. Gift of the Brooklyn Museum." 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:
Artists -- United States -- Interviews  Search this
Art, American -- Exhibitions  Search this
Genre/Form:
Transcripts
Interviews
Citation:
Interview between [artist's name] and [interviewer's name] from the "Listening to Pictures" program of the Brooklyn Museum. Gift of the Brooklyn Museum. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.broomuse
See more items in:
Brooklyn Museum interviews of artists
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9bdcd26e1-568c-4c81-8ba1-e07f5afbdfad
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-broomuse

Brooklyn Museum records

Creator:
Brooklyn Museum  Search this
Names:
Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences  Search this
Federal Art Project  Search this
Albee, Grace  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Alps, Glen  Search this
Arms, John Taylor, 1887-1953  Search this
Ballinger, Maxil, 1914-  Search this
Baskin, Leonard, 1922-2000  Search this
Beny, Roloff  Search this
Boyd, Fiske, 1895-1975  Search this
Broner, Robert, 1922-  Search this
Casarella, Edmond, 1920-1996  Search this
Cassatt, Mary, 1844-1926  Search this
Citron, Minna Wright, 1896-1991  Search this
Conover, Robert F. (Robert Fremont), 1920-  Search this
Day, Worden, 1916-1986  Search this
Deshaies, Arthur  Search this
Drewes, Werner, 1899-1985  Search this
Fox, William Henry, 1858-1952  Search this
Frasconi, Antonio  Search this
Fuchs, Emil, 1866-1929  Search this
Goldin, Leon, 1923-  Search this
Gropper, William, 1897-1977  Search this
Hart, George Overbury, 1868-1933  Search this
Hayter, Stanley William, 1901-1988  Search this
Heller, Helen West, d. 1955  Search this
Hoff, Margo  Search this
Jones, John Paul, 1924-  Search this
Kohn, Misch, 1916-  Search this
Lachaise, Isabelle Nagle, d. 1957  Search this
Lang, David, b. 1897  Search this
Martinelli, Ezio, 1913-1980  Search this
Moy, Seong  Search this
Pennell, Joseph, 1857-1926  Search this
Pierce, Danny, 1920-  Search this
Pozzatti, Rudy, 1925-  Search this
Sager, Peter  Search this
Schanker, Louis, 1903-1981  Search this
Schrag, Karl  Search this
Suba, Susanne, 1913-  Search this
Sykes, Maltby  Search this
Takal, Peter, 1905-  Search this
Von Wicht, John, 1888-1970  Search this
Wald, Sylvia, 1915-  Search this
Warsager, Hyman J., 1909-1974  Search this
Weber, Max, 1881-1961  Search this
Whistler, James McNeill, 1834-1903  Search this
Yoshida, Tōshi, 1911-  Search this
Zoellner, Richard  Search this
Extent:
25 Items (reels of microfilm)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1823-1963
Scope and Contents:
Included are extensive memoirs of William Henry Fox director of the museum for over 25 years; scattered records of the Brooklyn Institute, 1823-1873; catalogs for Brooklyn Museum exhibits (4 1/2 reels) and for exhibits held in various galleries and museums, primarily in N.Y. (14 reels); brief records of the Dept. of Painting and Sculpture primarily relating to Gilbert Stuart's portrait of George Washington; records of the Dept. of Prints and Drawings, mainly regarding exhibitions, including correspondence, much of it with curator Una Johnson, correspondence with art dealers, files on artists, and statistics on exhibitions, 1936-1939; and records of the Registrar's office, 1933-1936, regarding the museum's involvement in the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration, mainly the Graphic Arts Division.
Dept. of Prints & Drawings artists files relate to: Grace Albee, Josef Albers, Glen Alps, Maxil Ballinger, Leonard Baskin, Wilfred Roloff Beny, Fiske Boyd, Robert Broner, Edmond Casarella, Minna Citron, Robert Conover, Worden Day, Arthur Deshaies, Werner Drewes, Antonio Frasconi, Leon Goldin, William Gropper, Stanley William Hayter, Helen West Heller, Margo Hoff, John Paul Jones, Misch Kohn, David Lang, Ezio Martinelli, Seong Moy, Danny Pierce, Rudolph Pozzatti, Peter Sager, Louis Schanker, Karl Schrag, Susanne Suba, Maltby Sykes, Peter Takal, John Von Wicht, Sylvia Wald, Hyman Warsager, Max Weber, Toshi Yoshida, Richard Zoellner, and others.
Other correspondents of note (reels BR21-22) include John Taylor Arms, Mary Cassatt (1 letter, 1903), George Overbury "Pop" Hart, Mrs. Gaston Lachaise, Joseph Pennell (re Whistler), and a group from art dealers.
Also included are papers of and related to Austrian artist Emil Fuchs, including letters regarding commissions, a list of books and prints, and miscellany.
Biographical / Historical:
The Brooklyn Museum had its roots in the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, founded 1823. The Museum was formed in 1889.
Provenance:
Lent for microfilming 1964-1965 by Brooklyn Museum.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Painters  Search this
Museum administrators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Brooklyn  Search this
Museum directors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Brooklyn  Search this
Function:
Art museums -- New York (State)
Identifier:
AAA.broomuse2
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9257fe609-786c-4cd2-a001-0e559a2159a1
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-broomuse2

Oral history interview with Phillip A. Bruno

Interviewee:
Bruno, Phillip A.  Search this
Creator:
McElhinney, James Lancel, 1952-  Search this
Names:
Barnes Foundation  Search this
Columbia University -- Students  Search this
Exposition universelle et internationale (1958 : Brussels, Belgium)  Search this
Grace Borgenicht Gallery  Search this
La Napoule Art Foundation, Henry Clews Memorial  Search this
Marlborough Gallery  Search this
Weyhe Gallery  Search this
World House Galleries  Search this
Avery, Milton, 1885-1965  Search this
Bacon, Francis, 1909-1992  Search this
Baskin, Leonard, 1922-2000  Search this
Bertoia, Harry  Search this
Bravo, Claudio, 1936-2011  Search this
Brown, Joan, 1938-1990  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Clews, Henry, 1876-1937  Search this
Crawford, Ralston, 1906-1978  Search this
Cuevas, José Luis, 1934-  Search this
Ernst, Max, 1891-1976  Search this
Estes, Richard, 1932-  Search this
Giacometti, Alberto, 1901-1966  Search this
Hefner, Hugh M. (Hugh Marston), 1926-  Search this
Hirshhorn, Joseph H.  Search this
Katz, Alex, 1927-  Search this
Koenig, Fritz, 1924-  Search this
Kubach, Wolfgang, 1936-  Search this
Kubach-Wilmsen, Anna Maria, 1937-  Search this
Matisse, Henri, 1869-1954  Search this
Morgan, Randall, 1920-  Search this
Nagare, Masayuki, 1923-  Search this
Neuberger, Roy R.  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Park, David, 1911-1960  Search this
Peterdi, Gabor  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Schapiro, Meyer, 1904-  Search this
Staempfli, George W.  Search this
Willard, Charlotte  Search this
Extent:
46 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2009 January 13-21
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Phillip A. Bruno conducted 2009 January 13-21, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art, at the Archives of American Art, in New York, New York.
Bruno speaks of some his earliest impressions of art while growing up in New York and Paris; attending Columbia University, where he majored in the history of painting and architecture and studied under Meyer Schapiro; his first job at the Weyhe Gallery as a gallery assistant; helping create the Grace Borgenicht Gallery, where he served as director for five years; traveling to Mexico, meeting Jose Cuevas and exhibiting his work at the Edward Loeb Gallery in Paris; traveling to Brazil and meeting a family of naturalist painters who emphasized the importance of painting outdoors, unlike many painters from the New York school; working with Henry Clews and the La Napoule Art Foundation; selling a piece of Salvador Dali jewelry made by Carlos Alamanni to Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy Magazine; working as director of The World House Gallery and selling works by Fancis Bacon and Max Ernst to clients such as Joseph Hirshhorn and Roy Neuberger; organizing a exhibition of artists shown at the Brussels World Fair in 1958 at World House and meeting George Staempfli through the artist Joan Brown; moving from World House to the Staempfli Gallery in 1960 to work as co-director; the Staempfli Gallery's role in the international art world; an original drawing by Leonard Baskin inscribed to Phillip in 1954; selling the work of artists such as Harry Bertoia, Fritz Koening, and David Park; meeting Henri Matisse in Paris at the age of 21; visiting the studios of Alexander Calder and Mark Rothko; the difference between galleries that can spot new talent and galleries that sell certain artists well; the art market becoming less idealistic and more commercial; the rising importance of auction houses and the possibility of their taking the place of traditional art galleries; the move of the Staempfli Gallery to the SoHo neighborhood and soon after, leaving Staempfli for Marlborough, where he was one of the New York directors for 18 years; his appreciation for the creativity of others, retirement and current plans to write his memoirs. Bruno also recalls Milton Avery, Gabor Peterdi, Hans Muller, Ralston Crawford, Randall Morgan, Charlotte Willard, Dorthy Satterlee, Masayuki Nagare, Claude Bemardin, Kubach-Wilmsen, Louise Nevelson, Cladio Bravo, Lopez Garcia, Alberto Giacometti, The Barnes Foundation, Richard Estes, Alex Katz, and Neil Wlliver.
Biographical / Historical:
Phillip A. Bruno (1930- ) is an art collector and director of Marlborough Gallery, New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 45 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Occupation:
Gallery directors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.bruno09
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9bf4b64eb-4ca4-4b97-b4b0-e6ec495fe004
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bruno09
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Margaret N. Lockwood

Interviewee:
Lockwood, Margaret N., 1939-  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Impressions Workshop (Firm)  Search this
Baskin, Leonard, 1922-2000  Search this
Lockwood, George, 1929-  Search this
Extent:
46 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1992 Aug. 27 and Sept. 15
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Margaret Lockwood conducted 1992 Aug. 27 and Sept. 15, by Robert Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Lockwood discusses her upbringing in a Boston area Irish family and her early interest in writing; meeting and subsequently marrying (1960) George Lockwood, a poet, printmaker and printer; the printmaker Leonard Baskin, for whom Lockwood had worked; founding in 1960 with her husband the Impressions Workshop in Boston and her role there; special projects she undertook; and the quick succession of children (four).
Biographical / Historical:
Margaret N. Lockwood (1939- ), is a writer and owner of Impressions Workshop, a gallery and center for printmaking in Boston, Mass. The workshop was acquired by Stephen Andrus in the late 1960s, who added Impressions Gallery.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 53 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Gallery owners -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Authors -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.lockwo92
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9f5e9c1d9-bbe4-4178-85d9-3811d8ee18f6
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-lockwo92
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Fritz Scholder

Interviewee:
Scholder, Fritz, 1937-2005  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J.  Search this
Names:
Baskin, Leonard, 1922-2000  Search this
Green, Robert B.  Search this
Horowitch, Elaine  Search this
Howe, Oscar, 1915-1983  Search this
Lauren, Ralph  Search this
Loloma, Charles, 1921-  Search this
Martin, Agnes, 1912-2004  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia, 1887-1986  Search this
Price, Vincent, 1911-1993  Search this
Thiebaud, Wayne  Search this
Extent:
100 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1995 March 3-30
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Fritz Scholder conducted 1995 March 3-30, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art.
Scholder discusses his family background and growing up in parallel worlds of Anglo and Indian cultures and the frustration of western versus tribal life; his education in Lawrence, Kan. and the University of Wisconsin; moving to California; his father's job as head of Indian relocation; studying at the Indian art program at the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and the Indian Art Institute in Santa Fe, N.M.; his views on Indians in general and the difficulty of operating in the mainstream art world; his travels and search for adventure in Europe and Egypt; the importance of magic and the occult in his work; myths as a basis for human experience; art as an agent of social change; objections of Indian groups to his work; and his experience as an Indian role model while not part of the movement. He recalls Robert B. Green, Wayne Thiebaud, Ralph Lauren, Vincent Price, Georgia O'Keeffe, Charles Loloma, Agnes Martin, Elaine Horowitch, and Leonard Baskin.
Biographical / Historical:
Fritz Scholder (1937-2005) was a painter and sculptor from Scottsdale, Ariz.
General:
Originally recorded on 7 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 12 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hr., 11 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Painters -- Arizona -- Scottsdale -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- Arizona -- Scottsdale -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- Southwest, New -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- Southwest, New -- Interviews  Search this
Indians of North America -- Southwest, New -- Art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.schold95
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw941d15431-5b92-43a4-b26f-abeec7430cf9
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-schold95
Online Media:

Ben Shahn papers

Creator:
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Names:
Baskin, Leonard, 1922-2000  Search this
Delano, Jack  Search this
Evans, Walker, 1903-1975  Search this
Osborn, Robert Chesley, 1904-1994  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Robbins, Jerome  Search this
Soyer, Raphael, 1899-1987  Search this
Extent:
25.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sketchbooks
Video recordings
Drawings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1879-1990
bulk 1933-1970
Summary:
The papers of social realist painter, photographer, printmaker, and teacher Ben Shahn (1898-1969) measure 25.1 linear feet and date from 1879-1990, with the bulk of the material dating from 1933-1970. The bulk of the collection consists of over 14 linear feet of incoming letters from artists, writers, colleagues, publishers, art organizations, galleries, and universities and colleges. Also found are biographical materials, project and source files, printed material, artwork by Shahn and others, photographs taken of and by Shahn, interview transcripts, sound recordings of interviews and a motion picture film.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of social realist painter, photographer, illustrator, printmaker, and teacher Ben Shahn (1898-1969) measure 25.1 linear feet and date from 1879-1990, with the bulk of the material dating from 1933-1970. The bulk of the collection consists of over 14 linear feet of incoming letters from artists, writers, colleagues, publishers, art organizations, galleries, and universities and colleges. Also found are biographical materials, project and source files, printed material, artwork by Shahn and others, photographs taken of and by Shahn, interview transcripts, sound recordings of interviews and a motion picture film.

Biographical material and family records include a 1924 passport for Shahn and his first wife, Tillie, biographical sketches of Shahn, and award certificates received by him.

Letters are primarily written to Shahn from family members, artists, writers, colleagues, publishers, art organizations, galleries, and universities and colleges. Notable correspondents include Leonard Baskin, Alexander Calder, Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Joseph Hirsch, Leo Lionni, John Bartlow Martin, George and Marian Nakashima, Clifford Odets, Charles Olson, Robert Osborn, Diego Rivera, Jerome Robbins, Selden Rodman, James Thrall Soby, Raphael Soyer, and William Carlos Williams. A small number of scattered letters from Shahn can also be found throughout the series.

Project files document approximately twenty-one of Shahn's commissions, including murals for the community center at Jersey Homesteads, the Bronx Central Annex Post Office, the Social Security Building in Washington D.C. , and the William E. Grady Vocational High School. The files also document his involvement in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Roosevelt, in addition to projects for schools, temples and private homes.

Financial and legal records include consignment records, loan agreements, royalty statements and receipts for artwork sold.

Notes and writings are by Shahn and others including Alan Dugan, W. H. Ferry, Theodore Gusten, and John Bartlow Martin. They include lists of artwork, many of which are annotated.

Artwork includes a sketchbook and several unbound sketches and lettering by Shahn, in addition to drawings and prints by others including Shahn's children, Mario Casetta and Stefan Martin.

Source files contain printed material and photographs relating to topics depicted by Shahn in his artwork such as children, dams, farming, houses, industry, mines and miners, slums, war and workers. These files also contain scattered photographic prints by FSA and OWI photographers including Shahn, Jack Delano, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, Carl Mydans, Marion Post Wolcott, Arthur Rothstein, and John Vachon.

Printed material includes news clippings covering Shahn and his career as well as subjects of interest to Shahn. Also found are exhibition catalogs and announcements for exhibitions for Shahn and others, and reproductions of Shahn's artwork including publications illustrated by him.

Photographs are of Shahn, his family and friends and colleagues including Alexander Calder, Jerome Robbins, Charles Sheeler, David Smith and William Zorach. Also included are photographs taken by Shahn of New York City and for the FSA in the 1930s, as well as photographs of artwork by Shahn. Photographs by others include one photo each by Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee and Arthur Rothstein.

The collection also contains transcripts of eight radio, television and motion picture interviews of Shahn and a reel of 16mm motion picture film from the BBC-TV program "Monitor," in addition to sound recordings of interviews of Shahn by Tony Schwartz and Arlene Francis. Artifacts include a Christmas greeting in the form of a sock.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged as 12 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical and Family Records, 1879-1984 (Box 1, OV 36; 0.2 linear ft.)

Series 2: Letters, 1929-1990 (Boxes 1-25, 35, 43, OVs 36-38; 14.5 linear ft.)

Series 3: Project Files, 1933-1975 (Boxes 25-26; OVs 36-37; 1.03 linear ft.)

Series 4: Financial and Legal Records, 1934-1988 (Boxes 26-27, 35; 0.81 linear ft.)

Series 5: Notes and Writings, circa 1933-1988 (Boxes 27-28, 43; 1.72 linear ft.)

Series 6: Artwork, circa 1930s-1965 (Boxes 28, 35; 11 folders)

Series 7: Source Files, circa 1900s-1960s (Boxes 28-30, 35; 1.81 linear ft.)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1912-1988 (Boxes 30-33, 35, OV 39; 3.22 linear ft.)

Series 9: Photographs, circa 1900-1969 (Boxes 33-35; 0.86 linear ft.)

Series 10: Interview Transcripts, 1943-1968 (Box 34; 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 11: Audio and Video Recordings, 1959-1968 (Box 34; 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 12: Artifacts, circa 1930s-circa 1960s (Box 34; 2 items)
Biographical/Historical note:
Ben Shahn (1898-1969) was a social realist painter, muralist, printmaker, photographer, illustrator, and educator who worked primarily in Brooklyn, New York and New Jersey. He was most active in the 1930s through the 1950s and worked on several federally funded arts projects, including the Farm Security Administration's photographic documentation project of rural America during the Depression.

Ben Shahn was born in Kovno, Lithuania and immigrated with his family to the United States in 1906 where he settled in Brooklyn, and later Roosevelt, New Jersey, after becoming a naturalized citizen in 1918.

Following an apprenticeship as a lithographer from 1913-1917, Shahn studied at New York University, the City College of New York, and the National Academy of Design from 1919-1922. He married Tillie Goldstein in 1922 and they had two children, Judith and Ezra.

Two years after Shahn's first solo exhibition at the Downtown Gallery in 1930, his Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti, a series of 23 gouaches about the Sacco and Vanzetti trial of the 1920s, was exhibited at the Downtown Gallery to critical and public acclaim. The exhibition marked the beginning of Shahn's reputation as one of the most important social realist painters in America. Shahn's commitment to social and political justice found a natural outlet in mural painting when, in 1933, he was hired to assist Diego Rivera on the labor and industry mural Man at the Crossroads, for New York City's Rockefeller Center. The mural was destroyed amid controversy in 1933 before it was completed, but Shahn had learned much about the art of fresco painting during the project and was inspired by the potential of the mural as a unique art form for presenting life's struggles and stories to a large public audience. Between 1933 and 1937 Shahn worked on various murals for other buildings, including New York's Central Park Casino (circa 1934) and Riker's Island Prison (1934), none of which saw completion. In 1937, however, the Farm Security Administration (FSA) commissioned Shahn to execute a mural for the Community Center in the town of Jersey Homesteads, later Roosevelt, New Jersey, which Shahn completed in 1938. Shahn settled in Jersey Homesteads the following year and remained there for the rest of his life. Other important mural commissions followed for the Bronx Central Post office (1939) and the Social Security Building in Washington DC (1942).

One of Shahn's assistants on the Jersey Homesteads mural was Bernarda Bryson, whom he had met in 1933 when she came to New York to interview Rivera about the Rockefeller Center mural controversy for an Ohio newspaper. Shahn and Bryson became lifetime companions and had three children, Susanna, Jonathan and Abigail, although they did not marry until shortly before Shahn's death in 1969. Shahn and Tillie Goldstein were divorced in 1944.

Shahn had enrolled with the federal Public Works of Art Project in 1934, and between 1935 and 1938 he and Bryson travelled across country as Shahn photographed poverty-stricken areas and documented rural life for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and the Resettlement Agency. Shahn's interest in photography developed in the early 1930s when, encouraged by his friendship with Walker Evans, he began photographing street scenes and people in New York City. He later used the images as the basis for many of his prints and paintings.

In 1942 Shahn began working for the Office of War Information (OWI) and was instructed to produce posters and pamphlets explaining to citizens the necessities of wartime, such as the need for secrecy and food rationing. Ultimately, only two of Shahn's posters were ever used; the rest were rejected as being too harsh for their intended audience. Shahn later worked for the Congress of Industrial Organization Political Action Committee (CIO-PAC), producing posters for the 1944 campaign to re-elect Roosevelt, who he believed in deeply. He was promoted to director of the CIO's Graphic Arts Division for the 1946 congressional campaign following Roosevelt's death, but that job ended when the election went poorly for the Democratic party.

Shahn returned increasingly to painting and a retrospective of his work was held at the Museum of Modern Art in 1947. He also became more active in academia as an accomplished writer, teacher and lecturer. He received honorary doctorates from Princeton University and Harvard University, and become the Charles Eliot Norton professor at Harvard in 1956. Shahn's Norton lectures were collected and published as the influential The Shape of Content in 1957. He also began to work as a commercial artist for a variety of companies and publications including CBS, Time, Harper's, and the Container Corporation of America. Shahn believed, however, that the artist's ideas and integrity must always be reflected in his commercial art. He refused to compromise on this point and was very selective in his choice of commercial commissions. Shahn illustrated many books and articles, designed sets for stage productions such as New York Export: Opus Jazz, choreographed by Jerome Robbins, and designed mural mosaics for synagogues, universities and private homes.

Since the 1930s Shahn had been represented by Edith Halpert at the Downtown Gallery, but his relationship with her was always contentious on the subject of payments Shahn received for commercial work, and became increasingly so as his income from such sources increased. Finally, in 1968, Shahn wrote to Halpert telling her that after ten years of "an accumulation of ill-feeling, discomfort and recrimination between us" he felt compelled to end their dealer-artist relationship.

By the time of Shahn's break with Halpert his health had begun to fail. He died of a heart attack following surgery in a New York City hospital on March 14, 1969.
Related Archival Materials note:
The Archives of American Art holds four oral history interviews with Ben Shahn: 1964 Apr. 14 interview conducted by Richard K. Doud for the Archives of American Art New Deal and the Arts Project in which Shahn speaks of his travels and work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and the American image as portrayed by FSA; 1965 Jan. 17 interview; 1965 Oct. 3. interview conducted by Harlan Phillips for the Archives of American Art New Deal and the Arts Project; and 1968 Sept. 27 interview conducted by Forrest Selvig. Most of these interviews have transcripts available online.

The Archives also holds the Bernarda Bryson Shahn papers, circa 1947-2005, and two oral history interviews with Bernarda Bryson Shahn: 1983 Apr. 29 and 1995 July 3.
Separated Materials note:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reel N70-6) including addresses and essays by Shahn, seven royalty statements, and three letters from publishers. Many of the writings found on this reel were included in subsequent donations. All other lent material was returned to the lender and is not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The Ben Shahn papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in several installments between 1967-1991 by Shahn's widow, Bernarda Bryson Shahn who also lent materials for microfilming in 1969. Jean Shahn, Ben Shahn's daughter-in-law and estate representative, donated additional material in 2018 and 2021.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.

Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
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 Jersey -- Roosevelt  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Brooklyn  Search this
Photographers -- New York (State) -- Brooklyn  Search this
Photographers -- New Jersey -- Roosevelt  Search this
Printmakers -- New Jersey -- Roosevelt  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- Brooklyn  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- Brooklyn  Search this
Educators -- New Jersey -- Roosevelt  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- Brooklyn  Search this
Muralists -- New Jersey -- Roosevelt  Search this
Topic:
Social realism  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sketchbooks
Video recordings
Drawings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Ben Shahn papers, 1879-1990, bulk 1933-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.shahben
See more items in:
Ben Shahn papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw983b06d9b-dd51-45bc-9b11-09b06a88f6c6
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-shahben
Online Media:

Hyman Bloom, paintings and drawings : Leonard Baskin, wood carvings and monotypes : [exhibition] October 11-November 12, 1986

Author:
Bloom, Hyman 1913-2009  Search this
Baskin, Leonard 1922-2000  Search this
Kennedy Galleries  Search this
Subject:
Bloom, Hyman 1913-2009  Search this
Baskin, Leonard 1922-2000  Search this
Physical description:
[36] p. : ill. (some col.) ; 22 x 24 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
1986
C1986
Call number:
N40.1.B645 K3 1986
N40.1.B645K3 1986
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_450197

No Title Given: Profile of a Man's Head [graphic arts] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Baskin, Leonard 1922-2000  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Subject:
Unidentified  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1961
Topic:
Grace Borgenicht Gallery  Search this
Figure male--Head  Search this
Portrait male--Profile  Search this
Image number:
ROS R0003837
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_133283

No Title Given: Nude Male Figure [graphic arts] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Baskin, Leonard 1922-2000  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1961
Topic:
Grace Borgenicht Gallery  Search this
Figure male--Knee length  Search this
Figure male--Nude  Search this
Image number:
ROS R0003839
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_133285

Death [sculpture] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Baskin, Leonard 1922-2000  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1961
Topic:
Grace Borgenicht Gallery  Search this
Allegory--Death  Search this
Image number:
ROS R0003842
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_133288

Beaked Man [drawing] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Baskin, Leonard 1922-2000  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1961
Topic:
Grace Borgenicht Gallery  Search this
Figure male--Nude  Search this
Animal--Bird  Search this
Image number:
ROS R0003843
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_133289

No Title Given: Nude Male Figure [graphic arts] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Baskin, Leonard 1922-2000  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1961
Topic:
Grace Borgenicht Gallery  Search this
Figure male--Nude  Search this
Figure male--Knee length  Search this
Image number:
ROS R0003844
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_133290

No Title Given: Nude Male Torso and Legs [graphic arts] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Baskin, Leonard 1922-2000  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Topic:
Grace Borgenicht Gallery  Search this
Figure male--Nude  Search this
Figure male--Knee length  Search this
Image number:
ROS R0003845
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_133291

No Title Given: Grasses [graphic arts] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Baskin, Leonard 1922-2000  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Topic:
Grace Borgenicht Gallery  Search this
Landscape--Plant  Search this
Image number:
ROS R0003846
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_133292

No Title Given: Head [graphic arts] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Baskin, Leonard 1922-2000  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1961
Topic:
Grace Borgenicht Gallery  Search this
Abstract  Search this
Figure--Head  Search this
Image number:
ROS R0003847
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_133293

No Title Given: Nude [graphic arts] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Baskin, Leonard 1922-2000  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1961
Topic:
Grace Borgenicht Gallery  Search this
Figure--Bust  Search this
Image number:
ROS R0003848
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_133294

No Title Given: Male Nude [graphic arts] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Baskin, Leonard 1922-2000  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1961
Topic:
Grace Borgenicht Gallery  Search this
Figure male--Nude  Search this
Figure male--Waist length  Search this
Image number:
ROS R0003849
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_133295

No Title Given: Bust of a Man with a Beard [graphic arts] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Baskin, Leonard 1922-2000  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1961
Topic:
Grace Borgenicht Gallery  Search this
Figure male--Bust  Search this
Image number:
ROS R0003850
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_133296

Head of Angel of Death [graphic arts] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Baskin, Leonard 1922-2000  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1959
Topic:
Grace Borgenicht Gallery  Search this
Allegory--Death  Search this
Religion--Angel  Search this
Figure--Head  Search this
Image number:
ROS R0003851
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_133297

No Title Given: Man Clapping [graphic arts] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Baskin, Leonard 1922-2000  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1961
Topic:
Grace Borgenicht Gallery  Search this
Figure male--Waist length  Search this
Figure male--Nude  Search this
Image number:
ROS R0003852
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_133298

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