The records of Milch Gallery measure 42.5 linear feet and date from 1911-1995. Edward Milch (1865-1953) opened the Edward Milch Gallery in New York City. In 1916, he formed a partnership with his brother Albert Milch (1881-1951), a gilder and framer, creating E. & A. Milch, Inc., a gallery specializing in American art. Harold C. Milch (1904-1981), Albert's son, was appointed a partner in 1944 and continued the business until his death. Business records of Milch Gallery, 1911-1968, include correspondence, sales records, inventories, financial records, printed matter, photographs, and legal documents. Later additions to the records date from 1922-1995 and include correspondence; artists' files; financial, sales, and stock records; printed material; and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of Milch Gallery document the business transactions of the corporation and the professional and personal relationships of the Milch brothers with the artists they represented, as well as with the larger community of artists and art dealers between 1911 and 1995. Unfortunately, early correspondence is sparse. In a letter responding to a 1951 request for historical information, Milch replied: "Several years ago  we had to give up our gallery at 108 West 57th Street, and move to smaller quarters here. Since we had no room for old records, we had to destroy most of them."
Alphabetical files are comprised mainly of incoming correspondence from 1911 to 1962. Correspondence concerns arrangements for exhibitions, sales and consignments, advice to collectors and executors of estates, and routine business matters. A number of the artists represented in these files were friends of the Milch brothers and some of their letters mention their personal lives as well as their formal business with the Gallery. Collectors who routinely dealt with Milch Galleries included John Gellatly, Mary Blair, Hersey Egginton, Carlton Palmer, and Edward Coykendell; a three volume manuscript catalogue of Coykendell's collection is included. Among the estates handled by Milch were Willard Metcalf, John Twachtman, Abbott H. Thayer, Maurice Fromkes, and Thomas Moran.
Also found are sales records and other financial records such as general ledgers, sales and purchase records, and tax information.
Printed matter consists of gallery exhibition catalogs, checklists, invitations, announcements, publications, and scrapbooks. Many catalogs and checklists are annotated with prices and other information. A complete run of Milch Galleries Art Notes, issued intermittently from 1918-1928/29 is preserved with the gallery records. as is a scrapbook relating to early exhibitions held at the Edward Milch Galleries and E. & A. Milch, Inc., and artists represented by them.
Photographs included with the records are less voluminous than might be expected, and pictures of works of art predominate. There are also a very small number of exterior and interior photographs of Milch Gallery, photographs of people including artists, Edward and Albert Milch, and photographs of groups such as Ten American Artists and the Associated Dealers in American Paintings.
The 1995 and 2014 additions measure 3 linear feet and date from 1922-1995. Milch Gallery activities are documented through correspondence; artists' files; financial, sales, and stock records; printed material; and photographs.
See Appendix for a list of Milch Gallery exhibitions and checklists
Records of the Milch Gallery are organized into seven series. With the exception of the alphabetical files, records are arranged by record type and then chronologically. Photographs are categorized by subject, with pictures of individuals arranged alphabetically by name, and works of art arranged alphabetically by artist.
Series 1: Alphabetical Files, 1911-1962
Series 2: Sales Records and Inventories, 1911-1969, undated
Series 3: Financial Records, 1914-1980, undated
Series 4: Printed Matter, 1996, 1910-1967, undated
Series 5: Photographs, 1903-circa 1944, undated
Series 6: Miscellaneous, 1916-1970, undated
Series 7: Addition to the Milch Gallery Records, 1922-1995 (Boxes 60-65, 3 linear feet)
Between 1911 and 1916, prior to the establishment of the Milch Galleries, Austrian immigrant Edward Milch (1865-1953) operated the Edward Milch Galleries at 939 Madison Avenue 1911, mainly handling prints and providing framing services.
Albert Milch (1881-1951) was employed by a gilder and later a picture framer before becoming the business partner of his older brother. In 1916 they incorporated as E. & A. Milch (with Edward as President and Albert as Secretary of the corporation) and opened the Milch Galleries at 108 West 57th Street, New York City. During their partnership, Edward served as President and Albert as Secretary of the corporation. According to Joseph Gotlieb, a long-time employee, during this period Montross Gallery became inclined toward modern French art and the American artists associated with them began searching for galleries more sympathetic to their interests. "As Albert Milch was a framemaker to several of them, and as he was opening a new gallery in 1916 to specialize in American Art, some artists decided to let the Milch Galleries, and others, handle their work. It turned out to be a good arrangement for both sides, and a successful one" (letter from Joseph S. Gotleib to Susan Hobbs [National Museum of American Art], December 30, 1977).
From the beginning, Milch Galleries dealt in American art almost exclusively, representing living artists, handling the estates of recently deceased artists; in addition they acquired nineteenth century works for resale and accepted pieces on commission. Although framing and restoration services continued to be offered to customers, this aspect of the business soon diminished in importance.
Harold C. Milch (1904-1981), Albert's son, was affiliated with the business, and upon his father's retirement was appointed partner; after Albert died in 1951, Harold was sole proprietor, serving as both President and Secretary.
Milch Galleries moved to smaller quarters at 55 East 57th Street in 1947, and ten years later to 21 East 67th Street. In 1967, the name was changed to Milch Gallery and the business relocated to 1014 Madison Avenue. The gallery dissolved upon the death of Harold Milch. A third brother, David C. Milch, was also an art dealer, but was not associated with Milch Gallery.
1911 -- Edward Milch Galleries opens at 939 Madison Ave.
1912 -- First exhibition at Edward Milch Galleries
1916 -- Incorporation of E. & A. Milch; Edward Milch, President, and Albert Milch, Secretary; change of name to Milch Galleries and relocation to 108 West 57th St.
1918 -- Milch Galleries Art Notes begins publication
1944 -- Edward Milch retires; Albert Milch President, and Harold C. Milch [son of Albert], Secretary
1947 -- Milch Galleries moves to 55 East 57th St.
1951 -- Death of Albert Milch (1881-1951); Harold C. Milch, President and Secretary
1953 -- Death of Edward Milch (1865-1953)
1957 -- Milch Galleries moves to 21 East 67th St.
1966 -- Archives of American Art begins acquiring records of the Milch Galleries (gifts and loans from Milch Galleries)
1967 -- Relocation to 1014 Madison Ave., and name change to Milch Gallery
1981 -- Death of Harold C. Milch (1904-1981)
1986 -- Archives of American Art receives the bulk of Milch Gallery records (gift of Salander-O'Reilly Galleries)
Appendix: List of Milch Gallery Exhibitions and Checklists:
Items marked with an asterisk (*) are contained in the scrapbook rather than with the Milch Gallery exhibition catalogs.
Nov. 16-Dec. 7, 1912* -- Exhibition of 300 Original Sketches in Oil by 100 Well Known American Artists
Feb. 15-March 8, 1913* -- Glimpses of Nature We Love to See, Feast, and Dwell On
April 28-May 7, 1913* -- Portraits of Children and Grown-Ups by Miss Susan Ricker Knox
Oct. 18-Nov. 1, 1913* -- Small Paintings and Bronzes
Oct. 18-Nov. 1, 1913* -- Exhibition of Paintings and Sculptures by Noted American Artists
Feb. 9-21, 1914* -- Paintings by W. Herbert Dunton of The Old West
Oct. 17-31, 1914* -- Portraits in Oil, Miniatures, and Sculpture
Feb. 20-March 7, 1915* -- Paintings and Etchings by Gordon Mallet McCouch
April 26-May 8, 1915* -- Paintings by Frew W. Kost, N.A.
Nov. 7-19, 1915 -- Paintings and Sculpture by Matilda Browne
Nov. 15-30, 1915* -- Views of the Panama California Exposition and Landscapes of Southern California
Jan. 31-Feb. 12, 1916 -- Paintings by Garber, Pearson, Lathrop, and Spencer
Feb. 14-26, 1916* -- Landscapes by Walter Clark, N.A.
Feb. 14-26, 1916* -- Paintings by Guy Wiggins
Nov. 4-18, 1916* -- Opening Exhibition
Nov. 25-Dec. 9, 1916* -- Works by the Late Louis Loeb
Jan. 15-27, 1917* -- Paintings by Helen M. Turner
Jan. 30-Feb. 10, 1917* -- Paintings by Leonard Ochtman, N.A.
Feb. 14-24, 1917* -- Recent Paintings by William V. Schevill
March 6-24, 1917 -- Ten American Painters
March 13-24, 1917* -- George Bellows
March 14-24, 1917* -- Paintings by Frederick J. Waugh
March 26-April 7, 1917* -- Paintings by Howard Russell Butler, N.A.
April 10-21, 1917 -- Paintings by Harry F. Waltman and Howard Giles, and Sculptures by Willard D. Paddock
April 15-27, 1917* -- Paintings by Valentino Molina
April 24-May 5, 1917* -- Paintings by Thalia Millet
Oct. 27-Nov. 17, 1917* -- William Jean Beauley
Jan. 15-Feb. 15, 1918* -- Etchings, Dry-Point and Lithographs by Ernest Haskell
Jan. 28-Feb. 4, 1918 -- Sketches and Paintings by the "Nova Scotia Group"
Feb. 25-March 16, 1918* -- Paintings by Robert Henri
March 13-24, 1918 -- George Bellows
March 22-April 4, 1918* -- Paintings by H. Gabrielle Levey
April 8-, 1918* -- Etchings by Allen Lewis
Nov. 25-Dec. 16, 1918* -- Paintings by Edward H. Potthast, N.A.
Dec. 18-Jan. 16, 1918 -- Annual Holiday Exhibition of Selected Paintings of Limited Size by American Artists
Dec. 23-Jan. 10, 1919* -- Etchings and Dry-Points by Ernest Haskell
Jan. 13-25, 1919* -- Paintings by Mary Prindeville
Jan. 27-Feb. 13, 1919* -- With the A.E.F., Paintings and Drawings Made at the Front by S. J. Woolf
Feb. 14-26 [1919?]* -- Paintings by Arthur C. Goodwin
Feb. 18-March 1, 1919* -- Paintings by Jerome Myers
March 3-16, 1919* -- Recent Paintings of California by William Ritschel, N.A.
March 17-29, 1919 -- Recent Paintings by Lillian Genth, A.N.A.
March 28-April 9, 1919* -- Drawings of New York City by Peter Marcus
April 8-30*, 1919 -- Paintings by Leading American Artists
April 19-May 1*, 1919 -- Paintings by Valentino Molina
May 3-22, 1919 -- Recent American Sculpture
May 5-17*, 1919 -- Recent American Sculpture in Bronze, Wood, and Terra Cotta for the Town and Country House, the Grounds, and Garden
May 20-, 1919 -- Flag Pictures and Street Scenes by Childe Hassam
Nov. 16-Dec. 6, 1919 -- Childe Hassam
Nov. 17-Dec. 6, 1919 -- Exhibition of Works in the Various Mediums by Childe Hassam
Dec. 18-Jan. 16, 1920 -- Annual Holiday Exhibition of Selected Paintings of Limited Size by American Artists
Dec. 29-Jan. 15, 1920* -- Portraits and Other Paintings by Royston Nave
Feb. 2-14, 1920 -- George Biddle
Feb. 2-14, 1920* -- Oil Paintings, Water Colors, Pastels, Monotypes, Silver-Points and Etchings by George Biddle
Feb. 16-28, 1920* -- Paintings by Ossip L. Linde
March 1-12, 1920 -- Bruce Crane
March 1-13, 1920 -- Bruce Crane, A.N.A.
March 15-April 3, 1920 -- Willard L. Metcalf
April 5-20, 1920 -- Paintings
April 8-30  -- Exhibition of Paintings by Leading American Artists
April 15-May 1, 1920 -- Valentino Molina
Oct. 18-30 [1920?]* -- Paintings of New England and Drawings of the Devastated Towns of Flanders by George Wharton Edwards
Nov. 1-13, 1920 -- Six American Painters [Clark, Potthast, Snell, Nichols, Olinsky, and Volkert
Nov. 1-15, 1920 -- Paintings by Theresa F. Bernstein
Nov. 15-27, 1920 -- Childe Hassam
Nov. 21-Dec. 3, 1920* -- Sculpture by Gleb Derujinsky
Dec., 1920* -- Exhibition by George Biddle
Dec. 1-21, 1920 -- Etchings and Color Etchings by William Meyerowitz
Dec. 27-Jan. 28, 1921 -- Albert Delbert Smith
circa 1920 -- Ossip L. Linde
circa 1920 -- William Meyrowitz
circa 1920 -- Exhibition
Jan. 10-29, 1921 -- Exhibition of Paintings by Brush, Crane, Dewing, Metcalf, Hassam, and Murphy
Jan. 31-Feb. 12, 1921 -- American Art
Feb. 14-26, 1921 -- Guy Wiggins
Feb. 14-26, 1921 -- Arthur G. Goodwin
Feb. 28-March 12, 1921 -- Paintings by Robert Henri
March 14-April 9, 1921 -- Paintings by Gari Melchers
March 28-April 9, 1921 -- Peter Marcus
April 11-23, 1921* -- Portraits and Figure Paintings by Edith Catlin Phelps
April 11-30, 1921 -- Paintings by Willard Metcalf
May 2-30, 1921 -- American Sculpture for the Town and Country House, the Garden, and the Grounds
Oct. 18-30 [1921?]* -- Paintings and Drawings by George Wharton Edwards
Oct. 24-Nov. 5, 1921 -- Portraits and Paintings of Old New Orleans by Wayman Adams
Nov. 7-19, 1921 -- Flower Paintings and Sculpture by Mathilde Browne
Nov. 7-19, 1921 -- Paintings in Oil and Water Color by George H. Clements
Nov. 19-Dec. 3, 1921 -- Sculpture-Gleb Derujinsky
Dec. 5-31, 1921 -- Works by Abbott H. Thayer, Including Important Paintings, Water Colors, and Drawings
circa 1921 -- Exhibition
Jan. 9-21, 1922 -- Paintings by Katherine Langhorne Adams
Jan. 9-21, 1922 -- Paintings of California by Douglass Ewell Parshall
Feb. 13-March 4, 1922 -- Paintings of Cape Ann by Harry A. Vincent, A.N.A.
March 6-25, 1922* -- Pastels of the Cascapedia River, Canada, by Arthur C. Goodwin
March 6-25, 1922 -- Connecticut Landscape Paintings by Wilson Irvine
March 27-April 15, 1922* -- Moonlight Motifs: Garden of the Gods, Colorado and Other Paintings by Robert Reid, N.A.
Dec. 26-Jan. 13, 1923 -- Paintings and Pastels by Henry C. White
Jan. 15-27, 1923* -- Paintings of Spain by William J. Potter
Jan. 29-Feb. 10, 1923 -- Water Colors of the South Sea Islands by William Ritschel, N.A.
Feb. 12-March 3, 1923 -- Paintings by Willard L. Metcalf
March 5-31, 1923 -- Paintings of the Far East by Leon Gaspard
March 19-31, 1923* -- Landscape Paintings by Guy Wiggins, A.N.A.
April 2-21, 1923* -- Portrait Drawings by Ercole Cartotto
April 19-May 6, 1923 -- Paintings by Leading American Artists
Oct. 1-20, 1923 -- Paintings by Sidney E. Dickinson, A.N.A.
Oct. 22- Nov. 3, 1923 -- Paintings and Sculpture by Mathilda Brown (Mrs. Frederick Van Wyck)
Nov. 5-17, 1923 -- Memorial Exhibition of Paintings by William Gedney Bunce
Dec. 11-23, 1923* -- Water Colors by James Montgomery Flagg
Jan. 14-26, 1924 -- Exhibition of Nudes, Portraits, Landscapes and Genre by Eugene Paul Ullman
Feb. 18-March 8, 1924 -- Paintings by Willard L. Metcalf
March 27-April 5, 1924 -- Connecticut Landscapes by Guy Wiggins, A.N.A.
Dec. 1-27, 1924 -- Maurice Fromkes
Jan. 5-17, 1925 -- Paintings of the Pacific Coast by Armin Hansen
Jan. 19-31, 1925 -- Martha Walter
Feb. 16-March 7, 1925 -- Willard L. Metcalf
March 9-21, 1925 -- John Noble
March 23-April 11, 1925 -- Bruce Crane
May 4-16, 1925 -- Brynjulf Strandenaes Exhibition of Portraits
May 18-30, 1925 -- Paintings by Robert Brackman
Dec. 7-31, 1925 -- Paintings by the Late Willard Metcalf
Dec. 7-21, 1925 -- Sketches by Dorothea A. Dreier,
Jan. 11-23, 1926 -- Recent Landscape Paintings by Frank V. Du Mond
Jan. 25-Feb. 13, 1926 -- Smaller Paintings by Max Bohm
Feb. 15-March 6, 1926 -- Paintings of the Sea by William Ritschel
April 13-May 2, 1926 -- Jonas Lie
April 26-May 15, 1926 -- Landscapes and Street Scenes by William Jean Beauley
Nov. 15-27, 1926 -- California Marine Paintings and Water Colors by Armin Hansen
Nov. 29-Dec. 18, 1926 -- Water Colors by Frank W. Benson
Nov. 29-Dec. 18, 1926 -- Silver-Point Drawings by Ercole Cartotto
Jan. 10-22, 1927 -- Portraits by Millie Bruhl Frederick (Mrs. Leopold Fredrick)
Jan. 24-Feb. 12, 1927 -- Paintings of Cornwall and Devonshire by W. Elmer Schofield
Jan. 24-Feb. 12, 1927 -- Etchings by Teresa Cerutti Simmons, Watercolors by Will Simmons
Feb. 14-March 5, 1927 -- Sculpture by Heinz Warneke
March 28-April 16, 1927 -- Paintings by Henry Golden Dearth
April 18-30, 1927 -- Decorative Flower Paintings by Olin Howland
April 18-30, 1927 -- Recent Water Colors by John Whorf of Boston
Oct. 10-28, 1927 -- Decorative Embroideries by Georgiana Brown Harbeson
Nov. 14-26, 1927 -- Pastels and Etchings of Cambodia and China by Lucille Douglass
Nov. 28-Dec. 24, 1927 -- Works by Gari Melchers
Nov. 28-Dec. 24, 1927 -- Sculpture by Max Kalish
Dec. 26-Jan. 14, 1928 -- Water Color Exhibition of West African Native Types by Erick Berry; Also a Group of West African Pottery and Brass Figures Made by the Natives of Nigeria
Dec. 29-Jan. 14, 1928 -- Paintings by Joacb Dooyewaard
Jan. 14-26, 1928 -- Decorative Paintings by Jane Peterson
Feb. 7-April 29, 1928 -- Alfred Hutty
Feb. 13-25, 1928 -- Water Colors by Alice Judson
March 12-24, 1928 -- Etchings of Ancient Dances by Teresa Cerutti-Simmons and Wild Life by Will Simmons
March 12-24, 1928 -- An Important Exhibition of Paintings and Pastels by John H. Twachtman
March 12-24, 1928 -- Sculpture by Heinz Warnecke
March 26-April 14, 1928 -- Water Colors by John Whorf
April, 1928 -- Water Colors by William Ritschel, N.A.
April 15-May 5, 1928 -- Portrait Drawings in Pastel by Jessie Voss Lewis
Oct. 22-Nov. 3, 1928 -- Water Colors of France and Italy, and Etchings by Louis Wolchonok
Oct. 22-Nov. 3, 1928 -- Poetic Landscapes with Figures by Henry M. Rosenberg of Nova Scotia
Nov. 19-Dec. 1, 1928 -- Water Colors by Frank W. Benson
Nov. 19-Dec. 1, 1928 -- Water Colors of Architectural Subjects in France, Also Landscape and Figures by William de Leftwick Dodge
Dec. 1-28, 1928 -- Alfred Hutty
Dec. 3-24, 1928 -- Important Exhibition of Early and Recent Works by Childe Hassam of the American Academy of Arts and Letters
Dec. 3-24, 1928 -- Still Life Paintings by Ruth Payne Burgess
Dec. 20-Jan. 8, 1929 -- Drawings by Frank di Gioia
Dec. 20-Jan. 8, 1929 -- Memorial Exhibition, Water Color Sketches by Thomas Moran, N.A.
Dec. 27-Jan. 14, 1929 -- Erick Berry
Dec. 27-Jan. 14, 1929 -- Helen K. McCarthy Memorial Exhibition
Dec. 29-Jan. 14, 1929 -- Paintings by Jacob Dooyewaard
circa 1928 -- Indian and Animal Pictures and Bronzes by Edwin Willard Deming
Jan. 28-Feb. 9, 1929 -- Painitings of Western Life by F. Tenney Johnson
Jan. 28-Feb. 9, 1929 -- Paintings and Water Colors by Alice Judson
Feb. 11-23, 1929 -- Paintings and Drawings by Max Bohm
Feb. 11-23, 1929 -- Landscapes and Marines by Jay Connaway
Feb. 25-March 9, 1929 -- Water-Colors by Harold Putnam Browne
Feb. 25-March 9, 1929 -- Paintings by Truman Fassett
March 11-23, 1929 -- Recent Water Colors by C.E. Polowetski
March 11-23, 1929 -- Louis Ritman
March 25-April 6, 1929 -- Landscapes by Frank Vincent Du Mond
March 25-April 6, 1929 -- Water Colors by Armin Hansen of California
March 25-April 6, 1929 -- Sculptures by Roy Sheldon
April 8-20, 1929 -- Water Colors by John Whorf, Distinguished Young Boston Artist
Oct. 21-Nov. 2, 1929 -- Corners in Spain, An Exhibition of Paintings by Wells M. Sawyer
Nov. 4-17, 1929 -- Recent Sculpture by Heinz Warnecke
Nov. 4-16, 1929 -- Paintings of Ireland and Other Scenes by Power O'Malley
Nov. 18-30, 1929 -- Group of Recent Paintings by Hayley Lever
Nov. 18-30, 1929 -- Recent Water Colors and Etchings by Louis Wolchonok
Dec. 2-21, 1929 -- Paintings by Maurice Fromkes
Jan. 30-Feb. 11 [192?] -- Water Colors of Greek Temples in Sicily by Wm. De Leftwich Dodge
Feb. 2-15 [192?] -- Figure Paintings by Murray Bewley
March 15-April 3 [192?] -- Paintings by Willard L. Metcalf
March 28-April 16 [192?] -- Paintings by Henry Golden Dearth
April 2-21 [192?] -- Landscape Paintings by Bruce Crane, N.A
Oct. 17-29 [192?] -- Water Colors of the Rivera by Ferris Connah
Oct. 18-30 -- Paintings and Drawings by George Wharton Edwards
Oct. 25-Nov. 13 [192?] -- Recent Landscapes by John F. Carlson, N.A.
Oct. 25-Nov. 13 [192?] -- John F. Carlson
[192?] -- Indian and Animal Pictures and Bronzes by Edwin Willard Deming
Nov. 19-Dec. 1 [192?] -- Water Colors of Architectural Subjects in France, also Landscape and Figures by William De Leftwich Dodge
Jan. 20-Feb 1, 1930 -- West African Water Colors by Erick Berry
Jan. 20-Feb. 1, 1930 -- Paintings by Nelson C. White
Feb., 1930 -- Thelma Wood
Feb. 3-15, 1930 -- Paintings by Horace Brown
Feb. 17-March 1, 1930 -- Paintings by Francis Speight
Feb. 17-March 1, 1930 -- Paintings by Ruth Payne Burgess
March 3-15, 1930 -- Paintings by John Noble
March 17-29, 1930 -- Russian Paintings by Irwin D. Hoffman, Also a Group of Recent Watercolors
March 17-29, 1930 -- Alexander Warshawsky
March 31-April 12, 1930 -- Memorial Exhibition, Paintings and Watercolors of Sigurd Skou
March 31-April 12, 1930 -- Emmanuel Andrew Cavacos
April 14-26, 1930 -- Water Colors by John Whorf
Oct. 20-Nov. 1, 1930 -- Recent Paintings of Lake Como by Charles Warren Eaton
Nov. 3-15, 1930 -- Pastels and Etchings of Angkor and the Far East by Lucille Douglass
Nov. 17-29, 1930 -- Joseph Szekely
Nov. 17-29, 1930 -- Important Exhibiton of Paintings by a "Group of Americans"
Dec. 1-13, 1930 -- Diana Thorne and Canine Portraiture
Dec. 1-13, 1930 -- Recent Paintings of Ireland by Power O'Malley
Dec. 1-13, 1930 -- Paintings by Charles M. Cox of Boston
Jan. 19-31, 1931 -- Portraits by Jere R. Wickwire
Jan. 20-Feb. 1, 1931 -- Nelson C. White
Jan. 24-Feb. 7, 1931 -- Pastels and Etchings of Angkor and the Far East by Lucille Douglass
Feb. 2-24, 1931 -- Recent Paintings by Lillian Gentle
Feb. 2-24, 1931 -- Impressions of India and Palestine by Ruth Coleman
Feb. 16-28, 1931 -- Watercolors of Vermont Scenes and Other Views by Ruth Payne Burgess
Feb. 16-28, 1931 -- Martha Walter Recent Work in Oil and Watercolor
March 2-14, 1931 -- Recent Paintings by Alice Judson
March 2-28, 1931 -- Paintings & Drawings by Gari Melchers
March 16-28, 1931 -- Recent Watercolors by Harold Putnam Brown
March 30-April 11, 1931 -- Paintings by Louis Kronberg
March 30-April 11, 1931 -- Watercolors by John Whorf
April 13-25, 1931 -- Americans by American Artists, Exhibition of Portraits
April 13-25, 1931 -- Louis Kronberg
April 13-25, 1931 -- Portraits and Crayon Heads by Ferris Connah
April 13-May 2, 1931 -- Abbott H. Thayer
Sept. 22-Oct. 6, 1931 -- Water Colors by Gladys Brannigan, Alice Judson, Margery Ryerson
Oct. 19-30, 1931 -- Portraits by William Steene
Nov. 2-7, 1931 -- Portraits and Sketches by Maria Kammerer under the Patronage of Countess Laszlo Szechenyi
Nov. 9-21, 1931 -- Paintings by Bessie Lasky
Nov. 23-Dec. 5, 1931 -- Recent Oils, Water Colors and Etchings by Joseph Margulies
Dec. 7-21, 1931 -- Recent Paintings by George Wharton Edwards
Dec. 7-19, 1931 -- Paintings and Etchings of African and American Big Game by Major A. Radclyffe Dugmore
Dec. 7-19, 1931 -- Watercolors of Yucatan, "Land of the Mayas" by William de Leftwich Dodge
Dec. 20-Jan. 8, 1932 -- Water Colors of the Yellowstone and Mexican Series by Thomas Moran, N.A.
Jan. 11-23, 1932 -- Paintings, Watercolors and Etchings of Animals by Sybilla Mittell Weber
Jan. 25-Feb. 6, 1932 -- Paintings by George Oberteuffer, Member of the Salon d'Automne, Paris
Feb. 8-March 5, 1932 -- Important 19th and 20th Century American Painters
March 7-19, 1932 -- Paintings by Mrs. B. King Couper
March 7-19, 1932 -- Drawings by Maurice Sterne, Ernest Fiene, Alexander Brook, yasuo Kuniyoski, Bernard Karfiol, Peggy Bacon, and Leon Kroll
March 28-April 9, 1932 -- Watercolors by John Whorf
April 11-30, 1932 -- Forty Years of American Art
Oct. 3-15, 1932 -- New Paintings by American Artists
Oct. 19-Nov. 5, 1932 -- Paintings by Stephen Etnier
Nov. 7-30, 1932 -- Paintings by Edward Bruce
circa 1932 -- Recent Paintings by Stephen Etnier
Jan.30-Feb. 25, 1933 -- Important Exhibition of Paintings by Thomas Eakins
March 6-25, 1933 -- 19th and 20th Century Watercolors
March 27-April 14, 1933 -- Paintings by Francis Speight
April 17-May 6, 1933 -- Water Colors by John Whorf
May 15-31, 1933 -- 19th Century American Landscape Artists
Nov. 27-Dec., 1933 -- Water Colors by Emil Holzhaur
Feb. 26-March 17, 1934 -- Paintings by Stephen Etnier
March 19-April 7, 1934 -- Water Colors by John Whorf
April 16-May 5, 1934 -- Bali Studies by Maurice Sterne
June-Aug., 1934 -- Paintings by American Artists
Sept., 1934 -- Paintings by American Artists
Oct. 15-Nov. 3, 1934 -- New and Recent Paintings by American Artists
Nov. 5-21, 1934 -- Paintings by Sidney Laufman
Nov. 26-Dec., 1934 -- Recent Vermont Landscapes by Edward Bruce
circa 1934 -- American Figure Paintings of the 19th and 20th Century
Jan. 7-26, 1935 -- Paintings and Watercolors from the Samuel Halpert Estate
Feb. 4-28, 1935 -- Small Paintings by 19th and 20th Century American Artists
March 4-22, 1935 -- Recent Paintings by Stephen Etneir
March 25-April 13, 1935 -- Water Colors by John Whorf
April 22-May 11, 1935 -- Figure and Landscape Studies by Leon Kroll
May 20-June, 1935 -- Group Exibhition of Paintings
Summer, 1935 -- Paintings by American Artists
Oct. 1-26, 1935 -- Paintings by Childe Hassam
Oct. 28-Nov. 16, 1935 -- Watercolors by Millard Sheets
through Dec., 1935 -- Paintings by Americans
Jan. 1936 -- Paintings by Americans
Feb. 3-29, 1936 -- Important Exhibition of 19th and 20th Century American Painters
March 2-21, 1936 -- Stephen Etnier
March 30-April 19, 1936 -- Watercolors by John Whorf
May 18-June, 1936 -- Paintings by American Artists
Summer, 1936 -- Paintings by American Artists
September, 1936 -- Paintings by American Artists
Oct. 12-31, 1936 -- Contemportary Viewpoint
through Nov. 30, 1936 -- 19th and 20th Century American Figure Paintings
circa 1936 -- Landscapes--Contemporary Viewpoint
Jan. 11-30, 1937 -- Selected Landscapes
Feb., 1937 -- Contemporary American Sculpture
March 15-April 3, 1937 -- Watercolors by Millard Sheets
April 12-30, 1937 -- John Whorf
April 27-May 16, 1937 -- Maurice Sterne
May, 1937 -- Paintings by American Artists
Summer, 1937 -- Paintings
Oct. 1-15, 1937 -- Recent Watercolors
Oct. 18-Nov. 6, 1937 -- Paintings by Lucille Blanche
Nov. 8-30, 1937 -- Paintings by American Artists
Dec. 6-24, 1937 -- Watercolors by Lester Field
Jan. 3-22, 1938 -- Recent Paintings by Stephen Etnier
Jan. 24-Feb. 5, 1938 -- Paintings by Margaret Cooper
Feb. 7-26, 1938 -- Colonial Portraits
March 7-26, 1938 -- Recent Oils and Watercolors by Millard Sheet
April 4-23, 1938 -- Recent Watercolors by John Whorf
Summer, 1938 -- Paintings by American Artists
through Oct., 1938 -- Paintings by American Artists
Oct. 24-Nov. 12, 1938 -- Recent Watercolors by Karl Oberteuffer
Nov. 21-Dec. 17, 1938 -- Paintings for the Home by American Artists
Jan. 16-Feb. 4, 1939 -- Recent Paintings by Floyd Clymer
Feb. 6-25, 1939 -- Harry Hering
March 6-31, 1939 -- Figure Paintings by American Artists
April 3-22, 1939 -- Recent Watercolors by John Whorf
May 15-June 3, 1939 -- Recent Watercolors by Millard Sheets
Summer, 1939 -- Selected Group of Paintings by American Artists
Sept., 1939 -- Paintings and Watercolors by American Artists
through Oct. 13, 1939 -- Recent Paintings by a Group of American Artists
Oct. 16-Nov. 4, 1939 -- Recent Paintings by Saul Schary
Nov. 13-Dec. 2, 1939 -- Toreros and Dancers of Spain and Mexico by Carlos Ruano Llopis
Dec., 1939 -- Paintings for the Home
Nov. 5-17 [193?] -- Table Portraits by Eulabee Dix
[193?] -- Paintings by American Artists
Jan. 2-27, 1940 -- Stephen Etnier
Feb. 12-March 2, 1940 -- Recent Watercolors by Robert Carson
March 11-30, 1940 -- Daniel Serra Paintings
April 8-27, 1940 -- Recent Watercolors by John Whorf
April 28-May 18, 1940 -- Rubin Recent Paintings
through June 29, 1940 -- Paintings by a Selected Group of American Artists
through Sept. 28, 1940 -- Summer Exhibition of Paintings by a Selected Group of Early and Contemporary American Artists
Oct. 1-19, 1940 -- Recent Paintings by a Selected Group of American Artists
Oct. 21-Nov. 9, 1940 -- Recent Watercolors by Allen Ingles Palmer
Nov. 18-Dec. 7, 1940 -- Helen Sawyer
Dec., 1940 -- Selected Paintings for the Home, and A Group of Original Studies in Color by Maurice Sterne
Jan. 13-Feb. 8, 1941 -- Watercolors by American Artists
Feb. 17-March 15, 1941 -- Paintings by Stephen Etnier, Sidney Laufman, and Francis Speight
April 7-26, 1941 -- Recent Watercolors by John Whorf
April 28-May 17, 1941 -- Remembrances of South America and British West Indies by Manicol
May 19-June 30, 1941 -- Group of Paintings by Selected Contemporary American Artists
Summer, 1941 -- Exhibition of Selected Paintings by American Artists
Sept., 1941 -- A Selected Group of Paintings by Americna Artists
Oct. 6-25, 1941 -- Recent Paintings by a Selected Group of American Artists
Oct. 27-Nov. 15, 1941 -- Eliot O'Hara Watercolors
Nov. 17-Dec. 5, 1941 -- Recent Paintings by Jay Connaway
Nov. 17-Dec. 6, 1941 -- Recent Watercolors by Richard A. Kimball
Dec. 8-27, 1941 -- Edith Blum Paintings
Jan. 5-24, 1942 -- Recent Paintings by Stephen Etnier
through Feb. 28, 1942 -- Selected Paintings by a Group of Contemporary American Artists
March 9-28, 1942 -- New Talents Presented by the Gloucester Society of Artists
April 6-25, 1942 -- Recent Watercolors by John Whorf
May, 1942 -- Selected Paintings by Contemporary American Artists
June 2-13, 1942 -- Yun Gee
Summer, 1942 -- Selected Paintings by Early and Contemporary American Artists
Summer, 1942 -- Paintings by Selected American Artists
Oct. 5-31, 1942 -- Recent Paintings by a Selected Group of American Artists
Nov. 9-30, 1942 -- Watercolors by American Artists
Jan. 18-Feb. 6, 1943 -- Paintings by Yovan Radenkovitch
April 4-24, 1943 -- Recent Watercolors by John Whorf
April 26-May 15, 1943 -- Paintings and Watercolors by Childe Hassam
May 25-June 5, 1943 -- Exhibition by Gladys Irene Cook
June, 1943 -- Selected Paintings by American Artists
Summer, 1943 -- Exhibition of Paintings by American Artists
Sept., 1943 -- Paintings by a Selected Group of American Artists
Oct. 4-23, 1943 -- Paintings by Yun Gee
Nov., 1943 -- Recent Paintings by a Selected Group of American Artists
Jan. 24-Feb. 12, 1944 -- Recent Watercolors by James Fitzgerald
Feb. 14-March 4, 1944 -- Paintings by Sidney Laufman
March 6-25, 1944 -- Paintings by Jessie Ansbacher
April 3-22, 1944 -- Recent Watercolors by John Whorf
May, 1944 -- Paintings by Important American Artists
Summer, 1944 -- Exhibition of Paintings by a Selected Group of American Artists
Summer, 1944 -- Exhibition of Selected Paintings by a Group of American Artists
Oct. 2-21, 1944 -- Recent Paintings by Jay Connaway
Oct. 23-Nov. 11, 1944 -- Harry Hering
Nov. 13-Dec. 2, 1944 -- Paintings by Hobson Pittman
Dec., 1944 -- Paintings for the Home by American Artists
Jan. 3-13, 1945 -- Paintings by Therese Steinhardt
Jan. 22-Feb. 10, 1945 -- Louis Ritman
Feb. 18-, 1945 -- Memorial Exhibition, Paintings and Pastels by William Henry Singer, Jr., N.A.
Nov. 19-Dec. 7, 1963 -- New Paintings by Aaron Bohrod
April, 1964 -- Watercolors and Pastels
April 21-May 9, 1964 -- Grigory Gluckmann
May 13-29, 1964 -- Frank di Gioia Recent Paintings
Oct., 1964 -- Group Exhibition
Nov. 3-21, 1964 -- Stephen Etnier
Nov. 24-Dec. 12, 1964 -- Thomas Blagden
Jan., 1965 -- Comtemporary American Artists
Feb. 2-14, 1965 -- Figure Paintings by Murray Bewley
Feb. 2-14, 1965 -- Exhibition by George Biddle
Feb. 11-23, 1965 -- Paintings and Drawings by Max Bohm
Feb. 14-26, 1965 -- Paintings by Arthur C. Goodwin
Feb. 16-28, 1965 -- Water Colors by Matilda Browne
Feb. 16-March 6, 1965 -- Water Colors by Adolf Dehn
March, 1965 -- 19th and 20th Century American Artists
March 1-13, 1965 -- Bruce Crane, N.A.
March 6-25, 1965 -- Pastels of the Cascapedia River, Canada, by Arthur C. Goodwin
March 26-April 7, 1965 -- Paintings by Howard Russell Butler, N.A.
March 23-April 10, 1965 -- Paintings by Dan Lutz
March 28-April 16, 1965 -- Paintings by Henry Golden Dearth
April 2-21, 1965 -- Landscape Paintings by Bruce Crane, N.A.
April 13-May 1, 1965 -- Paintings by Louis Bosa
April 16-28, 1965 -- Water Colors and Etchings by Adolphe W. Blondheim
May, 1965 -- Gallery Contemporaries
Oct. 25-Nov. 13, 1965 -- Recent Landscapes by John F. Carlson, N.A.
Oct. 26-Nov. 13, 1965 -- Twenty-Four New Paintings by Aaron Bohrod, Artist in Residence, University of Wisconsin
Nov. 2-14, 1965 -- Paintings by Ann Crane
Nov. 5-17, 1965 -- Memorial Exhibition of Paintings of Venice by Wm. Gedney Bunce, N.A.
Nov. 7-19, 1965 -- Paintings and Sculpture by Matilda Browne
Nov. 16-Dec. 4, 1965 -- Electra Bostwick
Dec. 7-30, 1965 -- Recent Drawings and Watercolors of European Countries and North Africa by Frank di Gioia
Jan. 11-29, 1966 -- Georges Schreiber Watercolors: 1963-1965
Jan.-Feb., 1966 -- 19th and 20th Century American Artists
Feb.-March, 1966 -- Group Exhibition
June, 1966 -- Group Exhibition
Oct. 11-29, 1966 -- Thomas Blagden
Nov. 1-19, 1966 -- Stephen Etnier
Nov. 22-Dec. 10, 1966 -- Pleissner
Jan. 24-Feb. 11, 1967 -- Xavier Gonzalez
April, 1967 -- Group Exhibition
April 18-May 6, 1967 -- Grigory Gluckmann
July, 1967 -- Group Exhibition
undated -- Etchings and Color-Etchings
undated -- Etchings of China and Cambodia by Lucille Douglass
undated -- Thomas Jefferson Bust in Bronze by Robert Aitken, N.A.
undated -- Paintings by Ossip L. Linde
undated -- Etchings by William Meyerowitz
undated -- Recent Screens and Panels by Roy Mac Nicol
undated -- Summer Exhibition of Paintings and Watercolors by 19th and 20th Century American Artists
undated -- Paintings by Clement
undated -- Important Works in Paintings and Sculpture by Leading American Artists
Jan. 3-14, undated -- Armin Hansen
Jan. 8-27, undated* -- Recent Etchings by William Meyerowitz
Jan. 8-31, undated -- Group of American Figure Paintings, 19th and 20th Century
Jan. 9-21, undated -- Paintings by Katherine Langhorne Adams
Jan. 16-28, undated -- Paintings by Dewitt Parshall, N.A., and Douglass Parshall, N.A.
Jan. 23-Feb. 11, undated -- Paintings by Bruce Crane, Elliott Daingerfield, Granville Smith, and F. Ballard Williams
Jan. 27-Feb. 11, undated -- Willam de Leftwick Dodge
Jan. 28-Feb. 16, undated -- Paintings by Gari Melchers
Jan. 29-Feb. 10, undated -- Paintings of the California Coast by Armin Hansen
Jan. 30-Feb. 11, undated -- Sigrud Skou
Feb. 13-25, undated -- Water Colors by Alice Judson
Feb. 13-25, undated -- Paintings by Guy Wiggins, N.A.
Feb. 13-March 11, undated -- Paintings by H.T. Keasbey
Feb. 15-March 5, undated -- Frederic James
Feb. 17-March 1, undated -- Silver Point Drawings by Thelma E. Wood
Feb. 18-March 6, undated -- Landcapes, Nature Moods Expressed in Terms of Light by Julie Mathilde Morrow
Feb. 18-March 8, undated -- Paintings of Venice, Rome and French Landscape, also Pastel Drawings of the Battle Sectors of the 26th Division, A.E.F. by J. Alden Twachtman
Feb. 27-March 10, undated -- Portrait Busts and Drawings by Alexander Portnoff
March 5-17, undated* -- Pastels of the Hudson River by Arthur C. Goodwin
March 7-16, undated -- Paintings of Africa and Spain by Lillian Genth
March 7-26, undated -- Sigurd Skou
March 8-20, undated -- Paintings by Sigurd Skou
March 10-22, undated -- MacDowell Club of New York City Annual Exhibition of Paintings
March 22-April 10, undated -- Paintings of the Cathedrals of France by Pieter Van Veen
March 26-April 12, undated -- Paintings by E. Martin Hennings
March 26-April 14, undated -- Recent Etchings by Elias M. Grossman
March 28-April 16, undated -- Martha Walter Water Colors of Spain and North Africa
April 5-17, undated -- Paintings by Ernest L. Blumenschein, Victor Huggins, Walter Ufer
April 7-19, undated -- Figure Paintings by Louis Ritman
April 12-23, undated -- Portraits and Figure Paintings by Edith Catlin Phelps
April 12-24, undated -- Paintings of American Gardens by Abbott Graves
April 16-28, undated -- Portrait Drawings in Pastel by Jessie Voss Lewis (Mrs. H.L. Daingerfield Lewis)
April 19-May 1, undated -- Paintings by Valentino Molina
April 21-May 3, undated -- Paintings of Tahiti and California by William Ritschel, N.A.
April 21-May 3, undated -- Leonard Lopp, Glacier Park Artist
April 22-May 15, undated -- Sculpture for House, Garden & Grounds by Leading American Artists, and Pottery by Clara L. Poillon
April 24-May 5, undated -- Paintings by Thalia Millett
April 26-May 15, undated -- Dan Lutz, Mighican Summer and Mexican Sojourn
April 26-May 15, undated -- William H. Singer
April 27-May 16, undated -- Recent Paintings by Gluckmann
May 3-28, undated -- Exhibition of Sculpture for Garden and Grounds by Leading Sculptors
May 5-17, undated -- Recent American Sculpture in Bronze, Wood and Terra Cotta for the Town and Country House, Grounds and Garden
Oct. 11-23, undated -- Paintings by Anna Heyward Taylor
Oct. 25-Nov. 13, undated -- Water Colors by Alice Judson
Oct. 27-Nov. 15, undated -- Paintings and Etchings by William Auerbach-Levy
Oct. 30-Nov. 11, undated* -- Connecticut Landscape Paintings by Robert Nisbet, A.N.A.
Oct. 31-Nov. 12, undated -- Paintings of China and Tibet by Alice Job
Oct. 31-Nov. 14, undated -- Drawings by James Wilkie
Nov. 5-17, undated -- Paintings of Venice
Nov. 15-27, undated* -- Water Colors by Childe Hassam
Nov. 16-Dec. 5, undated -- Recent Etchings by Alfred Hutty
Nov. 16-Dec. 5, undated -- Paintings by W. Elmer Schofield
Nov. 17-29, undated -- Paintings and Etchings by Power O'Malley
Nov. 18-30, undated -- Recent Work in Water Color and Etching by Louis Wolchonok
Nov. 19-Dec. 1, undated -- Winter Landscapes in Water Color by Walter Launt Palmer, N.A.
Nov. 19-Dec. 1, undated -- Painter Friends, Robert H. Nisbet, Guy C, Wiggins, Edward C. Volkert, Wilson Irvine, George M. Bruestle, and Carl J. Nordell
Nov. 23-, undated -- Landscapes by Ault, Brook, Coleman, Karfiol, Ritman, Speight, Sterne, and Weber
Nov. 23-Dec. 6, undated -- Portraits of America's Most Distinguished Women by Leon Gordon
Nov. 24-Dec. 3, undated -- Sculpture by Gleb Derujinsky
Nov. 26-Dec., undated -- Exhibition of Recent Vermont Landscapes by Edward Bruce
Nov. 26-Dec. 5, undated -- Alfred Hutty
Nov. 27-Dec. 9, undated -- Paintings by Sigure Schou
Dec. 1-27, undated -- Works Painted in Spain by Maurice Fromkes
Dec. 1-25, undated -- Annual Holiday Exhibition of Selected Paintings of Limited Size
Dec. 3-29, undated -- Recent Paintings, Water Colors, and Etchings by Hilde Hassam, N.A., of the American Academy of Arts and Letters
Dec. 6-30, undated -- Selected Paintings for the Home by American Artists
Dec. 14-Jan. 2, undated -- Recent Paintings by George Shillard
Dec. 20-Jan. 8, undated -- Selected Small Paintings for the Home
Dec. 27-Jan. 12, undated -- Helen K. McCarthy Memorial Exhibition
Dec. 30-Jan. 18, undated -- Paintings by Stewart McDermot
Dec. 31-Jan. 12, undated -- Second Annual Exhibition in Pure Water Color by The Aquarellists
Milch Gallery gave the Archives of American Art a small selection of correspondence, photographs, and printed matter, and loaned a few other items in 1966-1967; these records were microfilmed on reels D285, N730, and NM1-NM2. Records of the Milch Gallery were purchased from the estate of Harold C. Milch by Elliott Galleries of New York City, and subsequently acquired by Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, which donated them to the Archives in 1986. With the exception of the scrapbook about Thomas Moran (reel N730; present location of the original is unknown), prior loans and gifts from Milch Gallery were incorporated and refilmed with the 1986 gift.
Stuart Feld of Hirschl & Adler Galleries donated an additional .8 linear feet of records in 1995. Zachary Ross of Hirschl & Adler Galleries donated 2.2 linear feet in 2014.
The collection is open for research. Patrons must use microfilm copy.
The Milch Gallery records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
The Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers measure 57.2 linear feet and date from 1920 to 1991, with the bulk of the material dating from 1946-1983. Records provide extensive documentation of the gallery's operations from its inception in 1946 to its closing in 1983 and of the activities of Betty Parsons as one the leading art dealers of contemporary American Art in the latter half of the twentieth century, particularly the work of the Abstract Expressionists. Over one third of the of the collection is comprised of artists files containing correspondence, price lists, and printed materials. Additional correspondence is with galleries, dealers, art institutions, private collectors, and the media. Also found are exhibition files, exhibition catalogs and announcements, sales records, stock inventories, personal financial records, and photographs. Betty Parsons' personal papers consist of early curatorial files, pocket diaries, personal correspondence, and evidence of her own artwork, including sketchbooks, and files documenting her personal art collection.
Scope and Content Note:
The Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers measure 57.2 linear feet and date from 1920 to 1991, with the bulk of the material dating from 1946-1983. Records provide extensive documentation of the gallery's operations from its inception in 1946 to its closing in 1983 and of the activities of Betty Parsons as one the leading art dealers of contemporary American Art in the latter half of the twentieth century, particularly the work of the Abstract Expressionists. Over one third of the of the collection is comprised of artists files containing correspondence, price lists, and printed materials. Additional correspondence is with galleries, dealers, art institutions, private collectors, and the media. Also found are exhibition files, exhibition catalogs and announcements, sales records, stock inventories, personal financial records, and photographs. Betty Parsons' personal papers consist of early curatorial files, pocket diaries, personal correspondence, and evidence of her own artwork, including sketchbooks, and files documenting her personal art collection. An unprocessed addition donated in 2017 includes personal correspondence with friends and colleagues, writings by Parsons, artists' files, photographs of Parsons with friends and her works of art, artwork including sketches, printed material and a VHS recording about the Chinese text I Ching. Materials date from 1922-1981.
Artists files, the largest and most extensive series, consist of a wide variety of documents, including biographical materials, correspondence with or related to the artist, exhibition catalogs and announcements, sales and expense invoices, clippings, price lists, and photographs of the artist, exhibitions, and artwork. The files reflect Parsons' close personal relationships with certain artists, particularly Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, and Barnett Newman. Extensive documentation is also found for Forrest Bess, William Congdon, Paul Feeley, Thomas George, Alexander Liberman, Seymour Lipton, Richard Pousette-Dart, Jesse Reichek, and Jack Youngerman. Historians and researchers will find these files to be an invaluable resource both in tracing Betty Parsons' role in promoting Abstract Expressionism and researching individual artists.
Exhibition files primarily document the gallery's infrequent group or themed exhibitions. Of particular note are the files on The Ideographic Picture, which was organized by Barnett Newman and included his work, as well as that of Pietro Lazzari, Boris Margo, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, Theodoros Stamos, and Clyfford Still. Price lists, artist biographies and exhibition schedules are housed in the general exhibition files. Loan exhibition files provide documentation of artwork borrowed by other galleries or institutions for exhibitions, as well as shows outside of the gallery that were organized by Betty Parsons. Also found are gallery exhibition guest books, and announcements and catalogs.
Gallery correspondence is primarily with galleries and dealers, museums, arts organizations, and collectors. Scattered letters from artists are also found, although the bulk of the artists' correspondence is filed in the Artists Files. Also found here are memoranda and letters between Betty Parsons and her staff that contain detailed information concerning Parsons' schedule and gallery activities. Similar correspondence is found amongst the correspondence files within the series Betty Parsons papers.
Appraisal and conservation files include correspondence, appraisal invoices, forms, and appraisal requests and other information from the Art Dealers Association of America, and conservation invoices and reports. The majority of the appraisal records contain information about the specific works of art, including artist, title, date, current owner and the estimated value at the time of the request. Conservation records document conservation treatments undertaken by outside conservators to gallery stock.
Sales, purchases, stock and inventory are well documented in the sales and inventory records. The records provide detailed information about individual sales, prices of individual pieces of artwork, consignments, and loans. Most sales records also include detailed information about the buyer and are a valuable resource for provenance research. Files documenting the general administration, routine business operations, and financial transactions (not individual sales) of the gallery are housed in the general business and financial records. These records include ledgers, receipts, tax records, and banking records. There is some limited information about works of art scattered amongst the receipts and in the "in/out slips" files. Legal records house general legal documents and those concerning specific lawsuits. Of particular note is the file detailing the lawsuit between Betty Parsons and Sidney Janis over the fifth floor of 24 West 57th Street.
The remainder of the collection consists of Betty Parsons' personal papers which document Parsons' career prior to opening her own gallery, her work as an artist, and her personal art collection.
Some information about Parsons' work prior to opening her own gallery is found in the early curatorial files she retained from her curatorial and administrative work at the Wakefield Gallery and the Mortimer Brandt Gallery. Clippings, correspondence, announcements, exhibition lists and exhibition files are found. For both positions, she kept only the exhibition files for a small group of exhibitions organized around a specific theme, the most notable being the exhibition of Pre-Columbian Sculpture at the Wakefield Gallery.
Biographical materials include copies of her biography, family genealogies, photographs of Parsons, interviews with Colette Roberts and WYNC radio, memberships, photographs, and ephemera, including a collection of programs and invitations from events that she attended. Throughout her life Parsons gave generously of her time to various cultural and charitable institutions and was awarded for her contributions. There are also a number of files that document her speaking engagements, her participation as a juror in numerous juried exhibitions, charitable work, and awards that she received.
Parsons' personal correspondence files reflect how deeply Parsons' life was intertwined with the gallery. There are letters from museum directors, dealers, artists seeking representation, and personal letters from artists with whom she had close personal relationships, most notably Larry Bigelow, Alexander Calder, William Condon, and Ad Reinhardt. There are also letters from the English artist Adge Baker, with whom Parsons was romantically involved. Correspondence also includes several files of postcards and Christmas cards.
Pocket diaries and engagement calendars, spanning from 1933-1981 (although the 1950s are notably missing) record social engagements, meetings, vacations, and telephone numbers. Also found are three notebooks, and thirty-two sketchbooks, many of which are annotated. Writings by others include writings about Betty Parsons or the Betty Parsons' Gallery, such as Lawrence Alloway's unpublished typescript titled "An American Gallery" and other topics.
Printed material consists of exhibition announcements and catalogs, art magazines, and newspaper and magazine clippings about Betty Parsons, her family and acquaintances, artists, and other art related topics, coupled with a miscellaneous selection of clippings on topics that presumably captured Parsons' attention.
Personal art work records document Betty Parsons' career as an artist through inventories, group and solo exhibitions files, price lists, appraisals, sales and consignment invoices. Photographs are primarily reproductions of her works of art, although there are scattered photographs of exhibition installations.
Betty Parsons private art collection files document Parsons extensive personal collection of art that included works by Jackson Pollock, Agnes Martin, Romare Bearden, Barnett Newman, and Mark Rothko, in addition to Amlash sculpture from ancient Persia and primitive sculpture from New Hebrides. These files include inventories, lists, exhibition records, sales and purchase invoices, and photographs. There are also files for donations and loans from Parsons' personal collection to museums and fund raising auctions for several non-profit institutions.
Finally, the personal financial records provide information about the Parsons' family finances and her personal financial success as an art dealer. In addition to her own investments, Parsons inherited shares in family investments through the estates of her parents, J. Fred Pierson, Jr. and Suzanne Miles Pierson, and younger sister, Emily Rayner. Real estate files include correspondence, utility bills, receipts, area maps, and land plots for houses in Sheepscot, Maine and St. Maartens, Netherlands Antilles. Tax returns, ledger worksheets, receipts, banking statements, deposit slips, and cancelled checks are among the other financial records.
The collection is arranged as seven series. Many of the series are further divided into subseries.
Series 1: Artists Files, 1935-1983 (Boxes 1-18, 51, 55, OVs 53, 60; 18.8 linear feet)
Series 2: Exhibition Files, 1941-1983 (Boxes 18-21, 51, 55, OVs 54, 61; 3.8 linear feet)
Series 3: Correspondence Files, 1941-1983 (Boxes 21-24, 52, 55); 3.8 linear feet)
Series 4: Appraisal Files, 1935-1983 (Box 24; 0.7 linear feet)
Series 5: Sales and Inventory Records, 1941-1983 (Boxes 25-28, 51; 3.0 linear feet)
Series 6: General Business and Financial Records, circa 1956-1983 (Boxes 28-38, 51, 55; 9.8 linear feet)
Series 7: Betty Parsons Personal Papers, circa 1920s-1991 (Boxes 38-51, 55-59, OV 61; 15.3 linear feet)
Betty Parsons (1900-1982) was one of the leading art dealers in New York City specializing in modern art, particularly the work of the Abstract Expressionists. She opened Betty Parsons Gallery in 1946 at 15 E. 57th St., later moving to 24 W. 57th St.
The history of the Betty Parsons Gallery is inextricably bound to the life and experiences of its founder. Betty Parsons was born Betty Bierne Pierson on January 31, 1900 in New York City. She enjoyed a privileged childhood, which included vacation homes in Newport and Palm Beach. Her only formal education was a five year stint at the prestigious Chapin School from 1910-1915, where she met many of the women who would become life long friends and supporters. In the spring of 1920, she married Schuyler Livingston Parsons from one of New York's oldest families. The marriage ended after only three years and the couple traveled to Paris where they could obtain a divorce on the grounds of incompatibility. She retained her married surname and purchased a house on the rue Boulard in Paris, where she remained for ten years, pursuing studies in painting and sculpture.
Financial constraints forced Parsons to return to the United States in 1933. She first traveled west to California, but it was her return to New York in 1935 that marked the start of her career as an art dealer. Her first opportunity to connect with the New York art world came after a successful exhibition of her watercolors at the Midtown Galleries where the owner, Alan Gruskin, noted Parson's faithful and wealthy group of supporters and offered her work installing exhibitions and selling paintings on commission. Her work for the Midtown Galleries led to a second position in the Park Avenue gallery of Mary Sullivan, one of the founders of the Museum of Modern Art. Here, Parsons learned the business of running a gallery. By 1940 Parsons was ready to take on more independent responsibility and agreed to manage a gallery within the Wakefield Bookshop. In this job, she exercised full curatorial control by selecting artists and organizing exhibitions. She championed then unknown contemporary American artists and the gallery's roster soon included Saul Steinberg, Hedda Sterne, Alfonso Ossorio, Joseph Cornell, Walter Murch, and Theodore Stamos. Although the majority of the exhibitions were solo shows, there were a few group shows and themed exhibitions, such as Love in Art (1941) and Ballet in Art (1942). Under Parson's direction, the gallery hosted an important exhibition of Pre-Columbian sculpture, curated by Barnett Newman.
When the owners of the Wakefield Bookshop decided to close the gallery late in 1944, Mortimer Brandt, a dealer who specialized in Old Master paintings and drawings, offered her a position as head of the newly created contemporary section of his gallery. Many of the artists who had shown with Parsons at the Wakefield Gallery followed her to her new gallery, where they were joined by Ad Reinhardt, Boris Mango, and Hans Hofmann. While the exhibitions garnered attention from the press and the interest of contemporary artists, the contemporary section was not a financial success and Brandt opted to close his gallery in 1946.
Using $1000 of her own money and an additional borrowed $4000, Parsons sublet the space that previously housed Mortimer Brandt's contemporary section, on the fifth floor of 15 East 57th Street, and opened the Betty Parsons Gallery.
In many respects the early years of the Betty Parsons Gallery were the most vital, as it was during the period of 1947-1951 that the gallery became linked with the Abstract Expressionists and the history of post-WWII American Art. In an unpublished history of the gallery, noted art critic Lawrence Alloway stated that the significance of the gallery's early exhibitions ranks with Durand-Ruels Impressionists exhibitions or Kahnweiler's shows of the Cubists. Betty Parsons Gallery quickly became one of the most prestigious galleries in New York City associated with new American Art of all styles. Her close friend Barnett Newman organized the gallery's inaugural exhibition of Northwest Coast Indian Art and he soon began to exhibit his own work at the gallery. When Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century Gallery closed, Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, and Mark Rothko joined Parsons' growing stable of artists. Although Parsons continued to promote and exhibit many of the artists whom she had previously discovered, these four artists dominated this period. Newman, Pollock, Still, and Rothko worked closely together, holding themselves apart from the other artists somewhat. They were actively involved in the curatorial process and often hung their own shows. For these artists, the exhibition itself was an artistic act of creation.
Parsons provided a supportive environment and allowed her artists enormous freedom in planning and designing their exhibitions. She was not, however, an aggressive salesperson. During this early period the gallery ledgers document sales to an impressive array of museums including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as important collectors such as Edward Root and Duncan Phillips. Nevertheless, the art that the gallery promoted was not yet widely accepted. Sales were few, prices were low and the business would not turn a profit for several years. Meanwhile, there was mounting pressure from Pollock, Newman, Still, and Rothko to drop some of the other artists from Parsons' stable and focus all resources on them. They wanted to be promoted to a larger audience and have their work sold at higher prices, but Parsons enjoyed discovering new artists and did not want to be restricted in this endeavor. The year 1951 marks the last time that Pollock's drip paintings or the monumental works of Newman, Rothko or Still were shown at the Betty Parsons Gallery.
In the following years the Betty Parsons Gallery continued to attract a diverse group of talented artists. Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Tuttle, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jack Youngerman had their first New York exhibitions at the Betty Parsons Gallery. Parsons opened Section Eleven in 1958, a short-lived annex to the main gallery, so that she could promote younger, less well-known artists. It closed in 1960 due to the administrative difficulties in running two essentially separate galleries.
In 1962, Sidney Janis, another prominent art dealer, started proceedings to evict Parsons from the floor that they shared on 15 East 57th Street. The Betty Parsons Gallery moved to 24 West 57th Street in 1963, where it remained until it closed in 1983, following Parsons' death the preceding year. Throughout the gallery's history, Parsons continued to promote faithful artists such as Hedda Sterne and Saul Steinberg, who had been with her from the beginning and to seek out new talent, both for her main gallery and for other venues, such as the short-lived Parsons-Truman Gallery, which she opened in 1974 with former Parsons Gallery director Jock Truman to show works on paper by emerging artists.
In addition to being an art dealer, Betty Parsons was a respected artist and collector. With her connoisseur's eye and connections, Parsons amassed an impressive private collection of art. She bought her first piece while an art student in Paris in the 1920s, a small gouache by Zadkine, but did not begin acquiring works in earnest until she was established as an art dealer. Partial inventories of her personal collection show that the majority of her collection contained works by artists associated with the gallery. Mark Rothko, Hans Hofmann, Ad Reinhardt, Agnes Martin, and Kenzo Okada were among the artists represented. Many were gifts from the artists, such as an ink drawing by Jackson Pollock, inscribed "For Betty." Selections from her collection appeared in small museums across the United States, including a traveling exhibition organized by Fitch College, New York, in 1968. In her role as a promoter of contemporary American art, Parsons lent generously from her collection, particularly to the federal Art in the Embassies Program. Throughout her life she also donated works to a variety of museums, most notably, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark.
Parsons frequently claimed that her desire to pursue a career as an artist stemmed from a visit to the Armory Show when she was thirteen. In her late teens, after pressuring her father for art lessons, she studied with the sculptor Gutzon Burglum of Mount Rushmore fame. In Paris, she continued her studies first with Antoine Bourdelle, whose sculptures she had admired at the Armory Show, and later with Ossip Zadkine. The first exhibition of her work, figurative watercolors and sculptures, took place in Paris in 1927. As she matured as an artist, her art became more abstract. Her late works were painted wood sculptures that she pieced together from wood that she found near her studio in Long Island. Parsons' work was exhibited in more than thirty solo exhibitions, including, Betty Parsons; Paintings, Gouaches and Sculpture, 1955-1968, at the Whitechapel Gallery in London. During her lifetime, she would not allow her works to be shown in her own gallery. Shortly after she died of a stroke in 1982, In Memoriam, Betty Parsons: Late Sculptures, opened at the Betty Parsons Gallery.
Also found in the Archives of American Art are oral history interviews with Betty Parsons, June 4-9, 1969, by Paul Cummings, and June 11, 1981 by Gerald Silk.
Some of the material originally loaned for microfilming in 1968 and 1969 was not included in later donations and can be viewed on microfilm reels N68/62-N68/74 and N69/105-N69/106. Loaned materials are not described in the container listing in this finding aid.
The gallery donated some records in 1974, many of which had been loaned earlier for microfilming. The bulk of the collection was donated in 1984 and 1986 by William Rayner and Christopher Schwabacher, executors of the Estate of Betty Parsons. Additional material was donated by William Rayner in 1998 and Christopher Schwabacher in 2017.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
The Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.