3.1 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 3 reels))
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence, essays, subject files, art work, clippings and other materials documenting the activities of a Chicago family of artists, the 57th Street Art Colony and the Chicago art world in the early twentieth century.
REELS 4207-4209: Biographical materials, including seven biographical accounts, a 1960 program and a 1961 certificate of honor for Frances Strain Biesel and four biographical accounts of Fred Biesel; correspondence, 1927-1963, primarily concerning activities of Fred and Frances; price lists for works of art; a 1955 estate list of the works of Charles Biesel; mailing lists; miscellaneous receipts, 1928-1961; a notebook, 1931-1934, containing addresses and financial notations concerning the sale of works of art.
writings, including two essays, "Is It Futuristic or Cubistic?" and "The 57th Street Colony," 2 untitled essays concerning the perception of modern art, a short story about an appointment with Charles Biesel, lecture notes by Fred Biesel, "War and Arts Exhibition" (Renaissance Society), an untitled lecture at the University of Chicago Art Gallery, "The Story of Modern Art" (Beverly Hills, 1957), lecture notes concerning printmaking, and a 1945 typescript annotated as the "Bohrod talk." Also included are
subject files, 1939-1962, containing correspondence and printed material on the Federal Art Project (Index of American Design), Renaissance Society, Artists Equity Association, Artists Union of Chicago, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago Society of Artists, and the 1020 Club; art works, including six sketchbooks and miscellaneous drawings, 1907-1919, by the Biesels, a sketchbook, 1859-1878, by William T. Richards, 3 prints, 1928-1932, by Emil Armin, and a 1930 print by Frances Foy;
photographs, 1919-1960, of Biesel family members, friends, a costume party with John Sloan (2), art classes,1920 and 1950, at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Layton School of Milwaukee, "The Ten" opening reception at the Marshall Field Galleries, 1929 (2), Artists Equity members and activities, 1947-1948 (3), and of works of art;
and printed materials, including a scrapbook of clippings, 1915-1916, compiled by Charles Biesel, a scrapbook, 1926-1931, concerning "Ten Artists", clippings, 1897-1962, exhibition announcements and catalogs, 1921-1983, for Biesel and others, including 11 catalogs from the Chicago No-Jury Society of Artists, a 1923 souvenir program for the No-Jury Artists "Cubist Ball", and miscellany.
UNMICROFILMED: Papers, 1934-1944, relating to Fred Biesel's work for the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project in Illinois, including correspondence with John Walley, Increase Robinson, George Thorp, Franklin D. Roosevelt and others; printed material, 1934-1941, including the newsletter "Chicago Artist," 1937, published by the Artists Union of Chicago, and several exhibition catalogs of the National Exhibition of the Index of American Design; a 25 p. typescript of a speech by Holger Cahill; a teachers handbook with silk-screen illustrations of "Let the Artist Speak"; business records including project proposals for the W.P.A.; and Biesel's letter of resignation, 1943.
Biographical / Historical:
Family of artists. Charles Biesel: marine painter, student of William Trost Richards; his son, Fred Biesel, a painter and art administrator; and Fred's wife, Frances Strain Biesel, a painter and director of the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago for many years.
Microfilmed material donated 1985 by Garnett Biesel, son of Fred Biesel; he donated unmicrofilmed material in 1990, after it had been used in preparation for the book The Federal Art Project in Illinois, 1935-1943 (1990), by George Mavigliano and Richard Lawson.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
7.4 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 2 reels))
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence, writings, art works, scrapbooks, printed material, photographs, and files on Julio De Diego and Kimon Nicolaides and other topics, related to Bridaham's career as an artist and writer.
REEL 8: Printed material, including articles written by Bridaham for periodicals (1950-1957), 15 exhibition catalogs (1928-1968), clippings by and about Bridaham (1930-1959), 6 press releases (1956-1957), a transcript of a radio discussion which included Bridaham (1951), 2 advertisements, a lecture announcement (1957), instructions on using egg tempera for Bridaham's students, a guide book to the Louisiana State Museum (1956), brochures about Strathmont Museum (1958), and resumes.
REEL 3: Material related to Kimon Nicolaides, including a radio address given by him, 1933; publicity for his book THE NATURAL WAY TO DRAW; exhibition catalogs; clippings; press releases; and a photograph of one of his sculptures. [Microfilm title: Kimon Nicolaides papers]
UNMICROFILMED: Correspondence with Kimon Nicolaides and Henry Schnackenberg (1921-1923), Julio De Diego (1941-1952), Ethel Spears (1961), Isabel Bishop (1975), and George and Edith Rickey. Letters to Mamie Harmon concern a Nicolaides exhibition and book (1938-1941). Writings include nine v. of diaries (1946-1954) kept during his tenure at the Art Institute of Chicago, and notes and drafts for an unpublished book (1938-1982).
Subject files concerning Ivan Albright's poetry, the Colonial Craft Survey for Massachusetts (1935), Olof Krans (1939), the reorganization of the Metropolitan Museum's photographic department (1949), Romanesque and Gothic sculpture and the Society for Contemporary American Art. A file (1921-1983) on Julio De Diego contains Bridaham's research materials, sketches and drawings by the artist, a journal kept by De Diego in New York (1932) and photographs of De Diego, his family including third wife Gypsy Rose Lee, friends and art works. Kimon Nicolaides' file (1921-1986) contains his writings and drawings (1928), drawings by Vivian Gordon and Howard Ahrens (1923-1986), photographs and other research materials.
Printed materials consists of clippings (1930-1972), "The Chicago Artist" newsletter (1938), press releases, a book cover, Artists Equity publications (1952-1953), posters, exhibition catalogs and anouncements and membership cards. Photographs show Bridaham, friends, National Art Week activities with Macena Barton, Charles Biesel, Jules Eboli and Richard Florsheim, his studio and drawings (1928-1949). Other materials include over 150 prints and drawings (1927-1977) of Moroccan scenes, Colorado wildflowers and other subjects, resumes, an illustrated notebook of Bridaham's plans for art works (1931-1932) and a list of his works (1974).
ADDITION: Material concerning the latter part of Bridaham's life, including original works of art, photographs, a dream sketchbook (1945), a notebook devoted to Julio de Diego; Bridaham's letters to Jeanette Fowler, 1989-1990 and other correspondence, 1940s-1950s; and printed material.
Biographical / Historical:
Museum director, art historian, painter, and printmaker; d. 1992. Bridaham received a degree in chemical engineering from M.I.T. and studied art history at Harvard's Fogg Museum from 1936-1937. He received a 1931 American Field Service fellowship for study in France and Morocco, and studied studio art at the Art Students League under Kimon Nicolaides and Kenneth Hayes Miller. Between 1938 and 1954, Bridaham was a staff officer at the Art Institute of Chicago. He was also the director of the Louisiana State Museum, New Orleans, and of the Strathmont Museum, Elmira, N.Y. He is the author of Gargoyles, Chimeras and the Grotesque in French Gothic Sculpture.
Lester Bridaham photographs and papers relating to gargoyles, 1895-1987, are located at The Getty Research Institute Special Collections.
Donated 1974-1987 by Lester Burbank and Dorothy Bridaham. In 1996, an additional 0.8 ft. was donated from the Jeanette Fowler estate.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm.
Various manuscripts and essays on art, biographies on artists and architects, Judaism, unpublished and published manuscripts, and a pocket notebook; correspondence from Forbes Watson, Julia Thecla, Todd Kempf, Samuel Putnam, Emil Armin, John Doctoroff, Ivar Rose, Oscar Leonard, John Sloan, and others; biographical and personal information, writings, photographs, printed material and art work, including a pen drawing by Emil Armin and a sketch/guest book from the studio of Charles Biesel, given to Jacobson after Biesel's death as a memento of their friendship.
Biographical / Historical:
Writer, editor, critic; Chicago, Ill. Edited Art of today, Chicago, 1933, and was associated with the 57th St. Art colony. Died 1970.
Donated 1985 by Helen M. Jacobson, widow of Jacobson.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.