An interview of Shirley Jaffe conducted 2010 Sept. 27 and 28, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art's Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts project, at Jaffe's studio, in Paris, France.
Jaffe speaks of living with her family in Elizabeth, NJ and Brooklyn, NY; attending Abraham Lincoln High School, Parsons School of Design, Brooklyn College, and The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art; visiting the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Non-Objective Art (now the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum), and The Museum of Modern Art; living on St. Mark's Place and in Brooklyn, NY ; her marriage in 1949 to Irving Jaffe; moving to Washington, DC and visiting The Philips Collection; moving to and adjusting to life in France; socializing with American artists in Paris, France; moving between New York and France; working and living in Berlin, Germany with a grant from the Ford Foundation; living independently in France; visiting the cathedrals and galleries in Italy; teaching undergraduate students; the evolution of her paintings and technique; her painting process and use of cellophane; painting on glass; murals; and her exhibitions and commissions. Jaffe also recalls Leon Friend, Morris Kantor, Pierre Bonnard, Karl Knaths, Max and Esther Gould, Jules Olitski, Michael Goldberg, Joan Mitchell, Beauford Delaney, Sam Francis, Janice Biala, Hermine Tworkov Ford, Edwin Dickinson, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Kimber Smith, Jean Fournier, Al Held, Haywood Bill Rivers, Milton Glaser, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Shirley Jaffe (1923-2016) was an abstract painter and sculptor in Paris, France. Avis Berman (1949- ) is a scholar in New York, N.Y.
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: Authorization to reproduce or publish for purposes of publication must be obtained from Jerome Sternstein.
An interview of Herbert Gentry conducted 1991 May 23, by Liza Kirwin, for the Archives of American Art.
Gentry recalls his childhood in Harlem; musicians he met and was influenced by, including Duke Ellington and Count Bassie; studies at New York University and at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes and L'Academie de la Grand Chaumiere under the G.I. Bill; his jazz club/gallery in Montparnasse; friendships with Romare Bearden and Beauford Delaney; early exhibitions; his marriages; identification with the artist's group COBRA; and studios in Sweden and New York.
Biographical / Historical:
Herbert Gentry (1919-2003) was a painter from New York, N.Y., and Malmo, Sweden. Gentry was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., and moved to Harlem as a young child. After serving in WWII, he went to Paris to study painting. In 1948 he opened a club and gallery in Montparnasse that featured jazz and art. Gentry moved to Sweden in 1959 but kept his studio in Paris, and beginning in 1972, New York City.
These interviews are 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.
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- United States Search this
The Roko Gallery records measure six linear feet and date from 1929-1982, with the bulk of the records dating from 1970-1978. Founded by Michael Leon Freilich in 1946, the records of this New York contemporary art gallery consist primarily of artists files. Also found are scattered correspondence, business and financial records, a subject file, exhibition files, seven scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs of Frielich, friends, and of artwork.
Scope and Content Note:
The Roko Gallery records measure six linear feet and date from 1929-1982, with the bulk of the records from 1970-1978. Founded by Michael Leon Freilich in 1946, the records of this New York gallery consist primarily of artists' files. Also found are scattered correspondence, business and financial records, a subject file, exhibition files, disassembled scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs.
The bulk of the correspondence is from the early to mid-1970s and concerns general gallery operations, sales of artwork, artists interested in exhibiting at the gallery, letters to Ann Freilich Schutz regarding Michael Freilich's death, and a handful of personal postcards from Freilich to his niece, 1952-1955. Scattered correspondence from artists Lambro Ahlas, Mike Cook, Hermann Dahl, Salvatore Del Deo, Raymond Dowden, Charles Kaiman, Peggy Muray (Mrs. Nicholas Muray), Raphael Soyer, George Sugarman, Anne Parker, Jan Wunderman, and Hank Virgona is also found. General business and financial records include calendars, address books, mailing lists, visitors' registers, receipt books, consignment agreements, invoices and receipts.
Measuring 3.5 linear feet, Artists Files comprise the bulk of the collection and contain correspondence, exhibition catalogs, clippings, original artwork, receipts, price lists, photographs, and slides of work. Among the nearly 200 artists are Murat Brierre, Faith Bromberg, Clare Burch, Lawrence Calcagno, Victor Candell, Arthur Cohen, Giuseppe Di Lieto, Edward Eichel, Ann Freilich, Dennis Fritz, Mary Heisig, Herbert Kallem, Doris Klein, Elizabeth Korn, Randall Morgan, Anne Parker, Dorothy Robbins, May Stevens, Hank Virgona, Walter Williams, and Jan Wunderman.
There is one subject file containing a proposal by the Rainbow Art Foundation. Exhibitions and Event files date from 1956-1978 and contain printed material, press releases, notes, correspondence, agreements, and a disassembled notebook containing prices and lists of works exhibited at the Roko Gallery from 1967-1978. Also found is typed and signed poetry by poet John Tagliabue. Disassembled scrapbooks contain additional printed materials regarding the gallery's solo and group exhibitions from 1947-1966. Among the many artists represented in the scrapbooks are Claude Clark, Beauford Delaney, Paul England, Peter Heinemann, Herbert Kallem, Herschel Levit, Si Lewen, Howard Mandel, Rose Piper, Sadie Rosenblum, Herbert Scheffel, Erika Weihs, Walter Williams, and Jan Wunderman.
Additional printed material includes mostly newspaper clippings, exhibition announcements, and catalogs. Material found in the collection that pre-dates the founding of the gallery consists primarily of printed material collected by Freilich.
Photographs, slides, and negatives date mostly from the 1970s and depict gallery directors Michael Leon Freilich, Cynthia Bernadini and Manu Sassoonian, and artwork.
The Roko Gallery records are arranged into eight series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1936, 1952-circa late 1970s (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 2: Business and Financial Records, circa 1956-1980 (Box 1; 0.8 linear feet)
Series 3: Artist Files, circa 1948-1979 (Box 2-5; 3.5 linear feet)
Series 4: Subject Files, undated (Box 5; 1 folder)
Series 5: Exhibition and Event Files, circa 1956-1978 (Box 5; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 6: Scrapbook, circa 1947-1966 (Box 5-6; 0.5 linear feet)
Series 7: Printed Material, 1929-1982 (Box 6; 0.4 linear feet)
Series 8: Photographic Material, 1946-circa 1970s (Box 6; 0.3 linear feet)
Michael Leon Freilich (1912-1975) established the Roko Gallery in 1946 at 51 Greenwich Avenue where it remained until the mid-1950s. Over its 32 year history, the gallery featured the paintings and sculptures of young, new artists, most living in New York City, through solo exhibitions, group shows, and sales. The gallery then made a series of moves, first to 925 Madison Avenue, then to 867 Madison Avenue, and finally back to Greenwich Village at 90 East 10st Street in 1970. In 1974, Michael Freilich became ill and the daily gallery operations were taken over by artist Lloyd Lózes Goff. Freilich passed away in February 1975; Cynthia Bernardi and Manu Sassoonian bought the gallery and became co-directors in the spring of 1975. The gallery closed in 1978, leaving open an annex on 816 Broadway.
The Roko Gallery records were donated to the Archives of American Art in 1975-1988 by Ann Freilich, sister of Michael Freilich, and Cynthia Bernardi, former director of the gallery.
Use of originals requires an appointment.
The Roko 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.
2.4 Linear feet (ca. 4500 items (partially microfilmed on 7 reels))
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence; biographical data; photographs; sketches; notes and writings; calendars; teaching materials; exhibition catalogs and announcements; and clippings.
REELS N70-3-N70-4: Biographical data; a photograph of Calcagno; notes and writings; sketches; writings about Calcagno; a list of his paintings; correspondence with galleries, museums, universities, art organizations, friends and colleagues; teaching material; exhibition catalogs and announcements; and clippings.
REELS N70-43-N70-45: Letters to Calcagno's family, written from Madrid, Florence, Rome and Paris; correspondence with galleries, museums, art organizations, friends, artists, and buyers, including Charles Boggs, Richard Brewer, Adele Cohen, Beauford Delaney, Marilyn Einhorn, Rufus Foshee, Calcagno's sister Virginia Gibson, Alberto Gutierrez, Martha Jackson, Nesta Obermer, Mark Rothko (one letter), Clay Spohn, Hyde Solomon, Yaddo and others; an annotated calendar, 1969; and financial material.
REELS N69-120-N69-121: Correspondence with galleries, museums, artists, art organizations and friends, including: The Gallery of Modern Art, Scottsdale, Arizona, Martha Jackson Gallery, Tirca Karlis Gallery, McRoberts and Tunnard, Ltd, London, Museo de Arte Moderno, Bogata, Columbia, The New Arts Gallery, Houston, Texas, Zuni Gallery, Buffalo, New York, and others; exhibition catalogs and correspondence regarding their publication.
UNMICROFILMED: Biographical data; correspondence with galleries, universities, museums, friends and others; writings and notes; annotated calendars; teaching notebooks; exhibition catalogs, announcements; press releases and invitations; price lists; photographs of Calcagno, his family, studios, and paintings, some which are now destroyed; and slides of paintings.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter; New York, N.Y. Died 1993.
Material on reels N70-43-N70-45 and unfilmed material donated 1970-1980 by Lawrence Calcagno. Material on reels N70-3-N70-4 and N69-120-N69-121 lent 1969 for microfilming by Lawrence Calcagno.
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.