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Forrest Bess Letters to L. E. and Patricia Cooke

Collection Creator:
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1963-1964
Collection 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.
Collection 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.
Identifier:
AAA.bessforr, Series 1
See more items in:
Forrest Bess letters to L. E. and Patricia Cooke
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9673b1955-0e55-421a-afc0-0e2a8204fb8f
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-bessforr-ref4

Letters and Slides

Collection Creator:
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Container:
Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1963-1964
Collection 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.
Collection 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.
See more items in:
Forrest Bess letters to L. E. and Patricia Cooke
Forrest Bess letters to L. E. and Patricia Cooke / Series 1: Forrest Bess Letters to L. E. and Patricia Cooke
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw952eece0c-1c3b-480c-87ee-3e3aaec52299
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-bessforr-ref5

Thomas Hess papers

Creator:
Hess, Thomas B.  Search this
Names:
Mark Rothko Foundation  Search this
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Campbell, Lawrence  Search this
De Kooning, Elaine  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Milles, Carl, 1875-1955  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rivers, Larry, 1925-2002  Search this
Rosenberg, Harold, 1906-1978  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Schapiro, Meyer, 1904-  Search this
Schuyler, James  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Extent:
10.01 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Drawings
Greeting cards
Illustrated letters
Paintings
Cartoons (humorous images)
Photographs
Collages
Date:
1939-1978
Summary:
The papers of New York editor and art critic Thomas Hess measure 10.01 linear feet and date from 1939 to 1978. The collection includes biographical materials, correspondence, extensive writings and notes, artists and subject files that also include recorded conversations with artists and others, printed materials, photographic materials, and artwork.

There is a .01 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated in 2022 that includes a six page typed manuscript, "Think, American Painting," undated, by Thomas Hess and the book American Realists and Magic Realists, The Museum of Modern Art, 1943, signed by Hess.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York editor and art critic Thomas Hess measure 10.01 linear feet and date from 1939 to 1978. The collection includes biographical materials, correspondence, extensive writings and notes, artists and subject files that also include recorded conversations with artists and others, printed materials, photographic materials, and artwork.

Biographical material includes a certificate, architectural plans, investment information, invoices, publisher and loan agreements, will for Paul Stamm, and resumes. Correspondence is with members of Hess' family including his wife and children, Philip Guston, Meyer Schapiro, David Smith, James Schuyler, Forrest Bess, Elaine de Kooning, Barnett Newman, Larry Rivers, Clyfford Still, Ad Reinhardt, and others.

Writings and notes consist of manuscripts and drafts by Hess for Art News, Le Monde, Vogue, New York magazine, and other publications; Hess' senior essay and class notes; notes on Ingres, Italian artists, and travels abroad; notebooks on art and literature; and scattered writings by others.

Artists and subject files contain primarily photographs of artwork, artists, and colleaguesare mostly photographs of artwork, artists, and colleagues. Some of the files also contain printed materials, writings, notes, and other documentation. The file on Willem de Kooning includes a sound recording of a conversation between Hess, de Kooning, and Harold Rosenberg. There are also significant files on Elaine de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Adolph Gottlieb, Franz Kline, Carl Milles, Barnett Newman, Isamu Noguchi, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko and the Mark Rothko Foundation Inc.

Printed materials include brochures and flyers, clippings, magazines and newspapers, press releases, travel memorabilia, and a printed scarf. Photographs are of of Hess, his wife Audrey, other family members, works of art, travel, Larry Rivers and Ad Reinhardt, and other artists and colleagues. Artwork includes drawings, paintings, collages, cartoons, and holiday cards made by Hess and his children, along with artwork by others including Audrey and Lawrence Campbell, Ad Reinhardt, and unidentified artists.

There is a .01 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated in 2022 that includes a six page typed manuscript, "Think, American Painting," undated, by Thomas Hess and the book American Realists and Magic Realists, The Museum of Modern Art, 1943, signed by Hess.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 8 series.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1945-1977 (0.3 linear feet; Box 1, OV 15)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1945-1978 (1.0 linear feet; Box 1-2, OV 11)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1940-1978 (2.5 linear feet; Box 2-5, OV 12)

Series 4: Artists and Subject Files, circa 1946-1978 (4.5 linear feet; Box 5-9, OVs 13, 15-16)

Series 5: Printed Materials, 1943-1978 (0.5 linear feet; Box 9, OV 11)

Series 6: Photographic Materials, 1949-circa 1960s (0.8 linear feet; Box 9-10, OV14)

Series 7: Artwork, 1939-1978 (0.4 linear feet; Box 10, OV 11)

Series 8: Unprocessed Addition, 1943 and undated (0.01 linear feet; Folder 17)
Biographical / Historical:
Thomas B. Hess (1920-1978) was an editor, art critic, and curator who worked in New York City. He was on the staff at Art News for 26 years (1946-72). Starting as an editorial associate, he was named managing editor in 1948, then executive editor in 1954; he assumed the top editorial post in 1965 upon the death of long-time editor Alfred Frankfurter. In his critical writing from the late 1940s on, he was an influential supporter of the Abstract Expressionists. He wrote widely on other topics as well. In 1972 he left Art News after an ownership change. He then became the art critic for New York magazine (1972-78), a large-circulation weekly reaching a much larger public. (He was also, in the late '60s, a correspondent for the French daily newspaper Le Monde.)

Over the years he undertook several major curatorial projects including traveling retrospectives for Willem de Kooning (1968-69) and Barnett Newman (1971), which he organized for the Museum of Modern Art. His "New York School Painting and Sculpture" appeared at the New York State Museum in Albany in 1977. Both MoMA exhibitions were accompanied by comprehensive monograph/catalogues: Willem de Kooning (1968) and Barnett Newman (1971). Hess's other books include Abstract Painting: Background and American Phase (1951, Viking); Willem de Kooning (1959, Braziller); De Kooning, Recent Paintings (1967, Walker & Co.); Barnett Newman (1969, Walker & Co.); De Kooning: Drawings (1972, New York Graphic); and The Art Comics and Satires of Ad Reinhardt (1975, De Luca Editore, Rome).

Hess became consultative chairman of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Department of 20th-Century Art a few months before his death from a heart attack in July 1978, age 57. Already under way were a Clyfford Still retrospective and a smaller show of recent paintings and sculptures by Ellsworth Kelly. Both exhibitions, completed by Philippe de Montebello (the Met's then new director) and Lowery S. Sims (the Met's then acting 20th-century curator) respectively, took place the year after Hess's death.

Thomas Hess was born in Rye, New York, to Gabriel Lorie Hess, a lawyer, and Helen Baer. He attended school in the United States and Switzerland. He continued his education at Yale University majoring in French 17th-century art history and literature. After graduating in 1942, Hess worked for a short period at the Museum of Modern Art under Alfred H. Barr and Dorothy Miller, before entering World War II as a pilot. In 1944 he married Audrey Stern with whom he had three children, William, Philip, and Anne Helen.
Separated Materials:
Materials on legacy microfilm reel 5028 related to Barnett Newman are photocopies. The originals are located at the Barnett New Foundation in New York City.
Provenance:
The Thomas Hess papers were donated in multiple increments from 1985 to 1987 by Hess' children, Anne Helen, William, and Philip Hess, except for a file on Barnett Newman donated by Newman's widow, who presumably had borrowed it from Hess. In 2014, additional correspondence, writings, photographs, printed material, and cartoons, including some by Ad Reinhardt, were donated by Elizabeth Wolff, Hess' sister. A small addition was donated in 2022 by Anne Hess, Thomas Hess' daughter.
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.
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:
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists -- Italy  Search this
Editors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Drawings
Greeting cards
Illustrated letters
Paintings
Cartoons (humorous images)
Photographs
Collages
Citation:
Thomas Hess papers, 1939-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.hessthom
See more items in:
Thomas Hess papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9cfd2536a-b35e-4030-9768-bfa094d6db9e
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-hessthom
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Marc Moldawer, Kathryn Swenson, and Robert Wilson

Interviewee:
Moldawer, Marc, 1922-2007  Search this
Swenson, Kathryn  Search this
Wilson, Robert  Search this
Interviewer:
Levy, Sandra Curtis  Search this
Names:
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
MacAgy, Jermayne, 1914-1964  Search this
Menil, Dominique de  Search this
Extent:
62 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1984 Aug. 15
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Marc Moldawer, Kathryn Swenson, and Robert Wilson conducted 1984 Aug. 15, by Sandra Curtis Levy, for the Archives of American Art.
Moldawer, Swenson, and Wilson speak of the art scene in Houston in the 1950s and how each came to be involved in it; the development of the New Arts Gallery; artists whose work was shown in the early days of the gallery; problems in collecting; the closing of the New Arts Gallery; the relationship between art and architecture; Houston as an arts community; ethnic exhibits; definitions of art. They recall Jermayne MacAgy, Forrest Bess, and Dominique de Menil.
Biographical / Historical:
Marc Moldawer (1922-2007), Kathry Swennson, and Robert Wilson are art dealers from Houston, Tex.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 38 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 others.
Restrictions:
Use requires an appointment.
Occupation:
Art dealers -- Texas -- Houston  Search this
Topic:
Art, American -- Texas -- Houston  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.moldaw84
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9f4f89446-bd75-43a9-8661-0560386162f7
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-moldaw84
Online Media:

Forrest Bess' "Thesis"

Creator:
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Type:
Writings
Date:
circa 1955
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)13379
See more items in:
Meyer Schapiro papers, 1949-1982
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_13379

Forrest Bess letter to President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Creator:
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Eisenhower, Dwight David, 14 Oct. 1890-28 Mar. 1969  Search this
Subject:
Jung, C. G. (Carl Gustav)  Search this
Schapiro, Meyer  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1955 Jan. 28
Topic:
Art and science  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)13662
See more items in:
Meyer Schapiro papers, 1949-1982
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_13662

A portion of Forrest Bess' "Medical thesis."

Creator:
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Type:
Writings
Date:
ca. 1955
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)13663
See more items in:
Meyer Schapiro papers, 1949-1982
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_13663

A portion of Forrest Bess' "Medical thesis."

Creator:
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Type:
Writings
Date:
ca. 1955
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)13664
See more items in:
Meyer Schapiro papers, 1949-1982
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_13664
Online Media:

Letter with accompanying ephemera from Forrest Bess to Meyer Schapiro

Creator:
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Schapiro, Meyer, 1904-1996  Search this
Subject:
Bess, Forrest  Search this
Schapiro, Meyer  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1955 December
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)13673
See more items in:
Meyer Schapiro papers, 1949-1982
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_13673
Online Media:

Diagrams and notes

Creator:
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Subject:
Bess, Forrest  Search this
Type:
Writings
Date:
undated
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)13854
See more items in:
Meyer Schapiro papers, 1949-1982
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_13854

Diagrams and notes

Creator:
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Subject:
Bess, Forrest  Search this
Type:
Writings
Date:
undated
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)13855
See more items in:
Meyer Schapiro papers, 1949-1982
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_13855

Diagrams and notes

Creator:
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Subject:
Bess, Forrest  Search this
Type:
Writings
Date:
undated
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)13856
See more items in:
Meyer Schapiro papers, 1949-1982
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_13856

Forrest Bess, Bay City, Tex. letter to Meyer Schapiro, New York, N.Y.

Creator:
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Schapiro, Meyer, 1904-1996  Search this
Subject:
Bess, Forrest  Search this
Schapiro, Meyer  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1949 March
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)13950
See more items in:
Meyer Schapiro papers, 1949-1982
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_13950
Online Media:

Forrest Bess letter to Meyer Schapiro

Creator:
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Schapiro, Meyer, 1904-1996  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
circa 1949
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)22648
See more items in:
Meyer Schapiro papers, 1949-1982
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_22648
Online Media:

Forrest Bess letter to Meyer Schapiro

Creator:
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Schapiro, Meyer, 1904-1996  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1955 June 15
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)22649
See more items in:
Meyer Schapiro papers, 1949-1982
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_22649
Online Media:

Forrest Bess letter to Meyer Schapiro

Creator:
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Schapiro, Meyer, 1904-1996  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
circa 1950
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)22650
See more items in:
Meyer Schapiro papers, 1949-1982
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_22650
Online Media:

Forrest Bess letter to Meyer Schapiro

Creator:
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Schapiro, Meyer, 1904-1996  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1956 January 10
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)22653
See more items in:
Meyer Schapiro papers, 1949-1982
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_22653
Online Media:

Forrest Bess letter to Meyer Schapiro

Creator:
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Schapiro, Meyer, 1904-1996  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1955 February 11
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)22654
See more items in:
Meyer Schapiro papers, 1949-1982
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_22654
Online Media:

Forrest Bess letter to Meyer Schapiro

Creator:
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Schapiro, Meyer, 1904-1996  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1964 September 3
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)22656
See more items in:
Meyer Schapiro papers, 1949-1982
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_22656
Online Media:

Forrest Bess letter to Betty Parsons

Creator:
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Parsons, Betty, 1900-1982  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1958 Mar. 12
Topic:
Exhibitions  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)13375
See more items in:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers, 1916-1991, bulk 1946-1983
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_13375

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