An interview of Stanton Catlin conducted 1989 July 1-September 14, by Francis V. O'Connor, for the Archives of American Art.
Biographical / Historical:
Stanton L. Catlin (1915-1997) was a museum director, art historian, and educator from Fayetteville, New York. He was the editor, then curator of American Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1952-1958; assistant director, Yale University Art Gallery, 1958-1967; director of galleries, chairman of museology program and professor of museum studies and art history, Syracuse University, 1974-1982.
Originally recorded on 9 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 18 digital wav files. Duration is 13 hr., 38 min.
Transcripts have been heavily edited by the interviewee; researchers may wish to consult the sound recordings along with the transcript.
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.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Journals, correspondence, writings, sketchbooks, interview, photographs and printed material document Rubenstein's painting career. A series of files relate to Rubenstein's longtime friendship with his teacher, Rico Lebrun.
The bulk of the collection consists of 60 v. of journals, 1930-June 1993, in which Rubenstein writes and sketches about his ideas for "time paintings," scrolls, films, his travels as a Fulbright scholar with his wife, Erica, his summers spent in Provincetown, Mass., "gallery pounding" in New York City trying to sell his work, inspirational biblical quotes, and various artist friends and colleagues, including Rico Lebrun, Walter Pach, Hans Hofmann, Ben Shahn, Karl Knaths, Olin Dows, Philip Guston, and Lloyd Goodrich.
Correspondence (0.2 ft.) relates to Rubenstein's nomination to the National Academy of Design, 1963, his murals in the Busch-Reisinger Museum and the Fogg Museum at Harvard University, the publication of an article by his wife Erica, regarding their stints as Fulbright scholars in Tokyo, illustrated by Lewis, and correspondence of a general nature from friends, colleagues, and admirers. Among the correspondents are Lynd Ward (Rubenstein's sponsor for the N.A.D. nomination), Derek Bok, president of Harvard, Olin Dows, and Edward Rowan, whose 1940 letter concerns Rubenstein's designs for murals for the Wareham, Mass. Post Office for the Section of Fine Arts.
Files on Rico Lebrun (ca. 0.8 ft.), contain several original and extensive photocopies of letters from Lebrun to Rubenstein, and a few letters from Constance Lebrun after her husband's death; a photograph of Lebrun with Constance and photographs of Lebrun's work, 39 drawings, 1933-1949, including studies for "The Cruxifixion" and "Portia"; a caricature of Diego Rivera working on a mural, and of John Steuart Curry by Lebrun, exhibition catalogs, clippings, and other printed material, and writings on Lebrun.
Art work by Rubenstein includes 9 v. of sketchbooks, 1930-1975, containing ink, pencil and charcoal drawings, and a caricature of Walter Pach.
The interview is a partial transcript (7 p.) of Rubenstein conducted by art historian Stanton L. Catlin, 1993, regarding Jose Clemente Orozco and a mural by him commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art, 1940, on which Rubenstein assisted. Also related to Orozco is a notebook containing technical details about the mural.
Photographs are mainly of Rubenstein's murals and paintings, but include several of him, and an album of snapshots of the Rubensteins and Lebruns in Europe, 1930-1932.
Printed material (1.2 linear ft.), documents exhibitions, awards, and works of art, and consists of exhibition announcements and catalogs, clippings, newsletters, Foreign Service journals, news releases, cartoons by Rubenstein, and postcards of Rubenstein's work. Two scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, 1935-1955, cover exhibitions.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, printmaker, educator. Professor of painting at Vassar College. Rubenstein trained in frescoe painting with Rico Lebrun in Italy, and retained a lifelong friendship with him. His mural commissions include the Busch-Reisinger Museum and the Fogg Museum at Harvard, the Jewish Center in his hometown of Buffalo, N.Y., and the Wareham, Mass. Post Office for the WPA's Section of Fine Arts in 1940. Rubenstein attended Harvard University. He began his long teaching career at Vassar College in 1939. He began doing "Time Paintings" in late 1940s, executed on long canvases and viewed on special scrolled frames, merging Western and Far Eastern scroll painting styles.
Rubenstein donated the Lebrun drawings 1982-1987, and the remainder in 1993.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
3.6 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 2 reels))
Scope and Contents:
Biographical material, correspondence, business records, writings and notes, printed material, scrapbooks, and photographs document Nordfeldt's career as a painter and instructor, and his widow's involvement after his death in exhibitions, biographies, and sales of his work.
REELS D166-D167: Biographical material includes a biographical sketch by Stanton L. Catlin, several letters from Nordfeldt's first wife Margaret to his second wife, Emily, and his nephew, Leonard Olson, in response to requests for biographical information, and biographical documents; correspondence of Emily and B.J.O., 1909-1959, with museum directors, gallery owners, patrons, artists, friends, universities, and others, mainly regarding the sale and exhibitions of his paintings and his teaching positions; artists' statements; exhibition catalogs; photographs of Nordfeldt; an excerpt from The Man on the Hilltop, by Arthur Davison Ficke; 5 sketchbooks; 3 scrapbooks; and an extensive catalog of Nordfeldt's paintings compiled by Emily, containing photographs and descriptive information.
Among the correspondents are Dewey Albinson, Watson Bidwell, Gina Knee Brook, Victor Candell, Howard N. Cook, Edward L. Davison, Howard Devree, William Dickerson, Constance Forsyth, Harriet Hanley of Harriet Hanley Gallery, Raymond Jonson, William Lester, A. Hyatt Mayor, Georgette Passedoit of the Passedoit Gallery, his student Roberta Shelton, Homer Saint-Gaudens, and Hudson D. Walker. Some of the letters are illustrated.
UNMICROFILMED: Resumes; correspondence, undated, 1923-1979, includes excerpts of letters from Nordfeldt to Constance Forsyth, 1942-1943 and Emily Abbott Nordfeldt, 1944; Emily Abbott Nordfeldt's correspondence with art collectors, art dealers, galleries and museums regarding exhibitions, gifts and sales of Nordfeldt's work; with Nordfeldt's biographers F. Van Deren Coke and J. Douglas Hale; and with the University of Minnesota, University Gallery, 1970-1972 regarding a Nordfeldt exhibition and the Nordfeldt Fund established by Emily; receipts and other business records; 1944-1979; writings and notes by Emily, ca.1930-1950, and others including the preface by Sheldon Cheney for Nordfeldt, the Painter by Coke, 1972;
a transcript of an interview with Raymond Jonson by Coke; printed material, including clippings, 1912-1984, exhibition catalogs, posters and announcements, undated, 1915-1991, notably a catalog of Nordfeldt's etchings shown at the Arthur H. Hahlo & Co. with an introduction by Robert W. Bruere, 1915; reproductions of graphic work for The Outlook and Harper's Monthly Magazine, 1910; miscellaneous printed material; a scrapbook of clippings and printed material, 1971-1980; photographs of Nordfeldt, undated 1910-1955, of the Santa Fe Players' production of "Grumpy," 1921; 3 photo albums of works of art, ca. 1930-1940; 10 seconds of motion picture film; and 2 sketches by Nordfeldt.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, etcher, block printer, engraver, lithographer, watercolorist, teacher; Santa Fe, N.M. and Lambertville, N.J. Born in Tullstorp, Scania, Sweden, and came to the United States in 1891. Taught at the Minneapolis School of Art and the University of Texas. Moved to Lambertville, N.J. in 1937 from Santa Fe, N.M.
Material on reels D166-D167 lent for microfilming 1963 by Emily Abbott Nordfeldt, Bror's widow. In 1991 her estate donated additional material as well as portions of the previously microfilmed material. Material previously lent but NOT subsequently donated includes portions of the biographical material; several letters; artists' statements; a few personal photographs; the 5 sketchbooks; items from the scrapbooks; and the catalog of paintings. (The collection file contains a list of specific reel and frame numbers.)
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.
Files kept during Barr's tenure at the Museum of Modern Art, including personal and professional correspondence with museum officials, curators, writers, historians, critics, art associations, foundations, magazines, artists, and collectors, including John Canaday, Stanton Catlin, Camilla Gray, Rene d'Harnoncourt, John Hightower, Roland Penrose, and James Thrall Soby; files on staff, exhibitions, publications and collections of MoMA, and abstract art, cubism and futurism, some related to Barr's book CUBISM AND ABSTRACT ART, 1936; files on the Foundation for Arts, Religion and Culture (ARC), Barr's travels, lectures, speeches, exhibitions, publications, political controversies, and artists and collections in the U.S.S.R.; writings, including travel notebooks regarding his trip to Russia, 1959, visits with Pablo Picasso, 1956, and Henri Matisse, 1952; exhibition catalogs, clippings and printed material; and photographs.
Also included are material collected by Margaret Scolari Barr, including Alfred's obituaries, A MEMORIAL TRIBUTE, 1981, an invitation and guest list to the memorial service, and condolence letters; and photocopies of autograph letters, ca. 1920s-1970s, from the Barr's collection sold to Arthur A. Cohen in 1975.
Biographical / Historical:
Museum director, curator, and critic; New York, N.Y. Died 1981. Became the first director of the Museum of Modern Art in 1929. He was married to Margaret Scolari Barr, art historian and teacher.
The Museum of Modern Art was responsible for the selection, organization and arrangement of the papers microfilmed. Five series were not microfilmed, including Matisse (6 ft.), Picasso (7 ft.), Russian culture (6 ft.), family letters (2 ft.), and education (2 ft.).
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Museum directors -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Art museum directors -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Alfred H. Barr, Jr. papers, [ca. 1915-1983]. Owned by the Museum of Modern Art. Museum of Modern Art requires full citation to include microfilm reel and frame numbers, and reference to MoMA as the owner of the Alfred H. Barr papers.