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Elizabeth Gordon Papers

Creator:
Gordon, Elizabeth, 1906-2000  Search this
Names:
Claiborne, Craig  Search this
Gordon, Elizabeth, 1906-2000  Search this
Leach, Bernard, 1887-1979  Search this
Extent:
3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Periodicals
Photographs
Correspondence
Personal papers
Place:
Japan
Date:
1958-1987
Summary:
Papers, 1959-1987, of Elizabeth Gordon, editor of the periodical, House Beautiful from 1941-1964, mostly related to her research for the August and September 1960 issues of House Beautiful regarding the Japanese aesthetic concept of "shibui", and the subsequent travelling "shibui exhibition" from 1961-1964. Included are correspondence, some photocopies, 1959-1963; notes; drafts for articles and lectures; printed material including magazine and newspaper clippings, 1959-1987; 2 books, and exhibition announcements; drawings of paper and foil art; a photo album containing photos of exhibition installations; and photographs, slides, color transparencies, and lantern slides depicting people, sites, and objects reflecting the "shibui" aesthetic.
Scope and Contents:
The Elizabeth Gordon Papers measure 4.5 linear feet and span the years 1959-1987. The collection mainly documents Ms. Gordon's research for the August and September 1960 issues of House Beautiful regarding the Japanese aesthetic concept of "shibui", and the subsequent travelling "shibui exhibition" from 1961-1964. Included are correspondence, some photocopies, 1959-1963; research notes and materials; articles; lectures; printed material including magazine and newspaper clippings, 1959-1987; 2 books, and exhibition announcements; article materials; a photo album containing photos of exhibition installations; and photographs, slides, color transparencies, and lantern slides depicting people, sites, and objects reflecting the "shibui" aesthetic.
Arrangement note:
This collection is organized into eight series. 1. Biographical data, 2. Shibui research, 3. Shibui issues of, House Beautiful, 4. Correspondence, 5. Shibui promotion, 6. Exhibition files, 7. Printed materials, and 8. Photographs.
Biographical Information:
Born in Logansport, Indiana in 1906, Elizabeth Gordon served as editor of House Beautiful magazine 1941 to 1964. Ms. Gordon first became interested in Japanese aesthetics during the mid-1950s. As a result she began to read and study Japanese art, history and culture. In 1959, Gordon travelled to Japan with three staff people from, House Beautiful. In Kyoto she met Eiko Yuasa, a young woman then employed by the City of Kyoto to handle foreign V.I.P.s, who was assigned to assist Gordon during her stay there. It was Ms. Yuasa who, in the course of discussions of Japanese aesthetics, introduced the term "shibui." Around that term and its related concepts ("iki", "jimi", "hade") the theme for the issue began to crystallize. In August and September, 1960, House Beautiful, under the editorial control of Ms. Gordon, published two extremely popular issues devoted to the subject of "shibui". Due to the popularity of the issues, museum exhibits devoted to the concept of "shibui" travelled around the United States. Ms. Gordon died in Adamstown, Maryland in 2000.

Biographical Overview

1906 -- Born in Logansport, Indiana

1920s -- Attended the University of Chicago

1930s -- Moved to New York to work as a promotional copywriter for several newspapers

1930s -- Syndicated columnist on home maintenance for The New York Herald Tribune

1930s -- Editor at Good Housekeeping (here for 8 years)

1937 -- More House for your Money by Elizabeth Gordon and Dorothy Ducas published by W. Morrow and Company: New York.

1937 -- Married Carl Hafey Norcross

1939 -- Appointed editor of House Beautiful

1964 -- Left the magazine world

1972 -- Published a special issue on Scandinavian design and awarded the insignia of a knight, first class, in the Finnish Order of the Lion

1987 -- American Institute of Architects made her an honorary member

1988 -- Carl Hafey Norcross died

September 3, 2000 -- Died in Adamstown, MD

(The following biography of Elizabeth Gordon comes courtesy of curator Louise Cort. Written in consultation with Elizabeth Gordon, October 23, 1987)

The research papers, memoranda, magazines, books, photographs and color transparencies and other materials in this archives are related to the publication by Elizabeth Gordon (Mrs. Carl Norcross), editor of House Beautiful from 1941 to 1964 and creator of the August, 1960 issue of the magazine on the special theme of the Japanese aesthetic concept of "shibui". The "shibui issue" was followed by the September, 1960, issue of the same publication on the theme, "How to be shibui with American things." As a by-product of the issues, a "Shibui Exhibition" travelled to eleven museums in the United States during 1961-1964. Each exhibition was opened with a slide lecture by Elizabeth Gordon.

Miss Gordon first became curious about Japanese aesthetics in the mid-1950s when she began to see Japanese objects being displayed and used in the homes of Americans who had spent time in Japan during the Occupation and Japanese influence began to appear in wholesale showrooms of home furnishings manufacturers. It was clear that the time had come: she HAD to go to Japan!

She read for five years before going to Japan - history, social mores, art history. (Many of the books on Japan that she collected during this time have been presented to the library at the University of Maryland, College Park.)

An important bit of advice came from Alice Spaulding Bowen, owner of Pacifica, the highest quality shop of Asian antiquities in Honolulu, who told her, "Be sure to read, The Tale of Genji - then you'll understand everything."

She made her first trip to Japan in April, 1959, accompanied by three staff people from, House Beautiful. In Kyoto she met Eiko Yuasa, a young woman then employed by the City of Kyoto to handle foreign V.I.P.s, who was assigned to assist Miss Gordon during her stay there. It was Ms. Yuasa who, in the course of discussions of Japanese aesthetics, introduced the term "shibui." Around that term and its related concepts ("iki", "jimi", "hade") the theme for the issue began to crystallize.

Miss Gordon came home, planning to spend the summer researching "shibui" with the aid of the Japan Society. But she found virtually nothing written in English on the concept. So she returned to Japan in December, 1959 together with staff member Marion Gough, to dig deeper and to work out details and get better educated with Eiko Yuasa. One of their devices was to walk through department stores and discuss with sales personnel whether objects for sale were "shibui", or were "jimi" or "hade", and why. Between themselves, they did the same for the costumes of women they saw on the streets.

Lacking printed sources for information on "shibui", Miss Gordon sought out and interviewed experts, including Douglas Overton, head of the Japan Society in New York. In Japan in December, 1959, she met Yanagi Soetsu, founder of Japan's Folk Craft Movement and head of the Craft Museum in Tokyo (with an introduction from Tonomura Kichinosuke, head of the Craft Museum in Kurashiki). She met the chef Tsuji Kaichi, who was commissioned to write an article on "kaiseki" (that could not be used because of an inadequate English translation) and Frances Blakemore. She met several times with Bernard Leach and attended his lecture at Bonnier's while he was in New York in March, 1960. (He would later write a "fan letter" for the issue)

As the concept of "the shibui issue" began to take shape, a third trip in the spring of 1960 focused on photography - to produce the shooting script decided on the preceding December. This was executed by the noted photographer Ezra Stoller of Rye, New York, and John DeKoven Hill, House Beautiful's Editorial Director. (Mr. Hill worked with Frank Lloyd Wright except for the ten years that he was a member of the House Beautiful editorial staff)

Miss Gordon was back in Japan in Mid-August 1960 as the "shibui issue" was causing a sensation. Altogether she spent sixteen months in Japan.

As one of the experiences that influenced her strong interest in Japanese costumes and textiles, Miss Gordon remembers a spectacularly thorough exhibition at the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno on, 1200 Years of Japanese Costume. She saw it on the last day of its exhibition (possibly 1964).

The August 1960 issue sold out quickly. Copies of the magazine, which sold for fifty cents, were sold on the "black market" for ten dollars.

The publication of the August 1960 issue was followed by an unprecedented avalanche of "fan mail". Many department heads in colleges and universities, including the Harvard-Yenching Institute and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (where Miss Gordon had worked as an undergraduate) wrote to comment on the issue. Many people in other fields of endeavor wrote: heads of firms concerned with interior design, landscape architecture, and related areas expressed their interest in the concept of "shibui" Other writers include Bernard Leach, Gertrude Natzler, Laura Gilpin, Mainbocher, the architect Yoshimura Junzo, the textile artist Marianne Strengell, Walter Kerr, Craig Claiborne, and Oliver Statler.

The "shibui issue" was followed immediately by the September issue dealing with the use of non-Japanese objects to express the concept of "shibui." (Miss Gordon convinced her advertisers, who had been skeptical about the potential success of the August issue, by promising the September issue dealing with American products.) Four American firms were involved in the production of an integrated line of paints, wallpaper, furniture and carpets expressive of the concept. Products were designed by the firms' designers following the clues offered by objects and fabrics purchased by Miss Gordon in Japan in December 1959 and spring 1960. Miss Gordon has expressed her dissatisfaction with the September issue, although public opinion was positive. She feels that some of the firms failed in the "shibui" project, though some "caught" the message: namely the paint company and the fabric/wallpaper company.

In response to strong public interest, the House Beautiful staff prepared a travelling exhibition to introduce the concept of "shibui" through a series of vignettes, mixing fabrics and objects, colors and textures. The museum installation was designed by John Hill of House Beautiful. Japan Air Lines underwrote shipping costs.

The exhibition began in Philadelphia in late 1961. Ezra Stoller was sent to photograph the installation in considerable detail at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts in January, 1962, so that his photographs cold serve as guidelines for installations at the other museums, which included the San Francisco Museum of Art (April 1962), the Newark Pubic Library, and the Honolulu Academy of Art. Miss Gordon presented a lecture on "shibui" at each of the museum installations.

In appreciation of her work to introduce Americans to the concept of "shibui", the city of Kyoto presented a bolt of especially "shibui" kimono fabric executed by a Living National Treasure textile artist. Miss Gordon eventually tailored the fabric into a dress and jacket. She received the 1961 Trail Blazer Award from the New York Chapter of the National Home Fashions League, Inc. In June, 1987, Miss Gordon was named an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects, with her introduction of the concept of "shibui" and her promotion of an understanding of other culture cited as her major contributions to American architecture.
Provenance:
Elizabeth Gordon donated her papers to the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives in 1988.
Elizabeth Gordon donated her papers to the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives in 1988.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
No restrictions on use.
Topic:
Interior decoration -- Periodicals  Search this
Landscape gardening  Search this
Art, Japanese  Search this
Aesthetics, Japanese  Search this
House funishings  Search this
Interior decoration  Search this
Museum exhibits  Search this
Interior decorators  Search this
Gardens -- Japan  Search this
Genre/Form:
Periodicals -- 1940-1970
Photographs
Correspondence
Personal papers -- 1950-2000
Citation:
The Elizabeth Gordon Papers. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Gift of Elizabeth Gordon, 1988
Identifier:
FSA.A1988.03
See more items in:
Elizabeth Gordon Papers
Archival Repository:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/dc3bd5683e5-f956-4a04-9d0c-4565a6b761b7
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-fsa-a1988-03
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Edith Gregor Halpert

Interviewee:
Halpert, Edith Gregor, 1900-1970  Search this
Interviewer:
Phillips, Harlan B. (Harlan Buddington), 1920-  Search this
Names:
C.W. Kraushaar Art Galleries  Search this
Daniel Gallery  Search this
Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Ferargil Galleries  Search this
Grand Central Art Galleries  Search this
M. Knoedler & Co.  Search this
Montross Gallery  Search this
New Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Bacon, Peggy, 1895-1987  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Barrie, Erwin S., 1886-1983  Search this
Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889-1975  Search this
Brackman, Robert, 1898-  Search this
Bridgman, George Brant, 1864-1943  Search this
Brixey, Richard de Wolfe  Search this
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Cary, Elisabeth Luther, 1867-1936  Search this
Chase, William Merritt, 1849-1916  Search this
Coleman, Glenn O., 1887-1932  Search this
Crowninshield, Frank, 1872-1947  Search this
Daniel, Charles, 1878-1971  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
Demuth, Charles, 1883-1935  Search this
Deskey, Donald, 1894-  Search this
Dove, Arthur Garfield, 1880-1946  Search this
Dudensing, F. Valentine, 1892-1967  Search this
Fergusson, John Duncan, 1874-1961  Search this
Field, Hamilton Easter  Search this
Force, Juliana, 1876-1948  Search this
Ford, Ford Madox, 1873-1939  Search this
Frost, Robert, 1874-1963  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-1983  Search this
Goodyear, A. Conger (Anson Conger), 1877-1964  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Halpert, Samuel, 1884-1930  Search this
Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943  Search this
Hirsch, Stefan, 1899-1964  Search this
Hopkinson, Charles, 1869-1962  Search this
Hopper, Edward, 1882-1967  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Knox, Seymour H., 1898-1990  Search this
Kroll, Leon, 1884-1974  Search this
Kuhn, Walt, 1877-1949  Search this
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Laurent, Robert, 1890-1970  Search this
Lawrence, Jacob, 1917-2000  Search this
Levine, Jack, 1915-2010  Search this
Levy, Julien  Search this
Locke, Charles, 1899-  Search this
Luks, George Benjamin, 1867-1933  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Marin, John, Jr., 1915?-1988  Search this
McBride, Henry, 1867-1962  Search this
Mellon, Paul  Search this
Mercer, Henry Chapman  Search this
Montross, N. E. (Newman E), 1849-1932  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia, 1887-1986  Search this
Pascin, Jules, 1885-1930  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Pound, Ezra, 1885-1972  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Robinson, Edward G., 1893-1973  Search this
Rockefeller, Abby Aldrich  Search this
Saarinen, Aline B. (Aline Bernstein), 1914-1972  Search this
Saklatwalla, Beram K.  Search this
Sandburg, Carl, 1878-1967  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Siporin, Mitchell, 1910-1976  Search this
Soutine, Chaim, 1893-1943  Search this
Steichen, Edward, 1879-1973  Search this
Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946  Search this
Stella, Frank  Search this
Stern, Louis E., 1886-1962  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Tannahill, Robert Hudson  Search this
Vollard, Ambroise, 1867-1939  Search this
Weber, Max, 1881-1961  Search this
Whitney, Gertrude Vanderbilt, 1875-1942  Search this
Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963  Search this
Wittenberg, Philip, 1895-1987  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Zorach, Marguerite, 1887-1968  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
436 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Date:
1962-1963
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Edith Halpert conducted 1962-1963, by Harlan Phillips, for the Archives of American Art.
Halpert speaks of her childhood in Russia and growing up in New York City; working at Bloomindale's, Macy's, Stern Brothers, and Cohen Goldman; her marriage to artist Sam Halpert, his health, and living in Paris in 1925; becoming an art student at the Academy of Design and feeling that Leon Kroll was an excellent art teacher until he began to correct her drawings; when George Bridgman thought she was ruining his class; the Lincoln Square Arcade, when she and Ernest Fiener and Robert Brackman would rent Conan's studio evenings and bring in instructors; how Newman Montross influenced her more than anybody about showing her art that she loved; burning all of her work because Kroll said she had no talent; receiving a painting from John Marin; her friendship and working relationship with Abby Rockefeller and other family members.
She recalls opening the Downtown Gallery, in Greenwich Village, in 1926; a brief history of modern art; many artists helping decorate the new Daylight Gallery in 1930 and the first show being called "Practical Manifestations of Art"; meeting Robert and Sonia Delaunay in France; when she refused to allow Ezra Pound to speak at one of the gallery lectures because of his anti-Semite remarks and William Carlos Williams and Ford Madox Ford argued with her over it; experiencing jealousy and professional attacks from other dealers; the successful "Pop" Hart show and book in 1929; the "Thirty-three Moderns" show in 1930 at the Grand Central Galleries; the Jules Pascin show in 1930; in America, most of the art buyers supporters of culture were women, until the WPA and World War II, when it became fashionable for men to be involved; Ambroise Vollard's advice on selling art; handling the frustrations of working in the art field; friendships with Stuart Davis,Charles Sheeler, and Ben Shahn; how artists work through dry periods in their creativity and the "Recurrent Image" show; a discussion on modern art galleries of New York City, such as Daniel, Knoedler, Ferargil, the New Gallery, 291, the Grand Central, Kraushaar, and Montross; her travels through Pennsylvania and Maine for good examples of folk art for the gallery; the "The Artist Looks at Music" show; the non-competitive spirit of the early modern American artists; of being saved financially in 1940 by selling a William Harnett painting to the Boston Museum and then renting new space for the gallery.
Also, Mitchell Siporin bringing Halpert and Edmund Gurry to Mitchell Field during World War II for a camouflage show and consequently Downtown Gallery artists and others were enlisted in the camouflage corps for the U.S. Air Force; Charles Sheeler and his wife find Halpert a house in Newtown, Conn.; her decision in 1933 to push folk art for acquisition by the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri; her great concern about what to do with her folk art literature collection; dismay and that no one writes about the history of folk art and those responsible for its creation and popularity; Louis Stern hiring her to organize a municipal exhibit in Atlantic City, N.J., with Donald Deskey designing the furniture and Holger Cahill managing the publicity; Joe Lillie helping her meet Fiorello La Guardia and Joe McGoldrick in 1934 about a municipal show in New York City, but it is moved to Radio City Music Hall through Nelson Rockefeller; the "Salons of America" show; wanting articles written about art for love rather than art for investment; working with Aline Saarinen on her book, "Proud Possessors;" letters from Stuart Davis, William Zorach and others that hurt her feelings; enjoying giving educational lectures and considering retirement because of ill health; the desire to write a book on the history of trade signs in folk art; feeling that the young artists are being ruined by too much support without working for it; planning to write a book entitled, "Unsung Heroes," about artists brave enough to experiment; organizing a show in Russia at her own expense; later representing the U.S. in art at the "American National Exposition"; the agitators and success of the exposition; Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe.
Halpert also recalls Juliana Force, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Buckminster Fuller, George Luks, Edsel Ford, Max Weber, Danny Diefenbacker, Hamilton Easter Field, Frank Stella, Glenn Coleman, Margaret Zorach, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Henry Mercer, Romany Marie, Edward G. Robinson, Paul Mellon, Charles Pollet, Alex Brook, Lunca Curass, Dorothy Lambert, Duncan Candler, Frank Rhen, Louis Rittman, Bea Goldsmith, Arthur Craven, Robert Frost, Philip Wittenberg, Caesar de Hoke, Richard deWolfe Brixey, Seymour Knox, Walt Kuhn, Elisabeth Luther Cary, Charles Locke, Duncan Fergusson, Mrs. Solomon Guggenheim, Bob Tannahill, David Thompson, Marsden Hartley, Erwin Barrie, Robert Laurent, Conger Goodyear, Henry McBride, Edward Hopper, Charles Daniel, William Merritt Chase, Charles Hopkinson, Thomas Hart Benton, Frank Crowninshield, Alfred Barr, Lord Duveen, Jacob Lawrence, John Marin Jr., Karl Zerbe, Franz Kline, Arthur Dove, Julian Levy, Jack Levine, Valentine Dudensing, Peggy Bacon, Stefan Hirsch, Gertrude Stein, Isamu Noguchi, Jasper Johns, Chaim Soutine, B. K. Saklatwalla; Fernand Leger, Pablo Picasso, Ben Shahn, Charles Demuth, Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock, Edward Steichen, Carl Sandburg, Clement Greenberg, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Edith Halpert (1900-1970) was an art dealer from New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 7 tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 27 digital wav files. Duration is 32 hrs., 27 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others. The transcript was microfilmed in 1996.
Occupation:
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Camouflage  Search this
Folk art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Women art dealers  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.halper62
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw94b057b9a-c3f9-4586-8d44-ee2d58857127
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-halper62
Online Media:

Dale-Patterson Family collection

Creator:
Dale, Dianne  Search this
Polk, P. H., 1898-1985  Search this
Names:
Barry, Marion, 1936-2014  Search this
Dale, Almore M., 1911-1984  Search this
Dale, Dianne  Search this
Dale, John Henry, Jr., 1888-1973  Search this
Dale, Lucille Emma Patterson, 1889-1973  Search this
Dale, Marie Howard, 1914-2011  Search this
Dale, Norman Edward, 1908-1991  Search this
Garner, Araminta Dale, 1913-1987  Search this
Patterson, Frederick D. (Frederick Douglass), 1901-1988  Search this
Patterson, Wilhelmina Bessie, 1888-1962  Search this
Extent:
6 Linear feet (9 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Programs
Clippings
Correspondence
Ephemera
Postcards
Place:
Anacostia (Washington, D.C.)
Date:
1866 - 1990.
Summary:
The Dale-Patterson family papers, which date from 1866 to 2010 and measure 6 linear feet, document the personal and professional lives of the Dale-Patterson family who came to live in Hillsdale, Anacostia, area of Washington, D.C., in 1892.
Scope and Contents note:
The Dale-Patterson family papers, which date from 1866 to 1990 and measure 6 linear feet, document the personal and professional lives of the Dale-Patterson family who came to live in Hillsdale, Anacostia, area of Washington, D.C., in 1892. The collection is comprised of correspondence, photographs, clippings, and ephemera.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged in four series:

Series 1: Dale-Patterson Family papers Series 2: Charles Qualls papers Series 3: Community Organizations Series 4: Subject Files
Biographical/Historical note:
The Dale family came to Washington, DC in 1886 when John Henry Dale, Sr., a gifted self-taught man, obtained a position as clerk in the newly contracted Pension Bureau building at 5th and G Streets, NW. First they lived near 13th Street and Florida Avenue, NW, then moved to Howard Road in Anacostia. Dale built a house at 2619 Nichols Avenue, now Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, drawing the plans and supervising the construction. The Dales and only one other family lived in this solidly built house for 100 years before it was sold to a church group and demolished.
General Note:
Finding Aid Note: This finding aid is associated with a MARC collection-level record.361883
Provenance:
The Dale-Patterson Family collection was donated to the Anacostia Community Museum on April 07, 2013.
Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist at acmarchives@si.edu.
Rights:
The Dale-Patterson Family collection is the physical property of the Anacostia Community Museum. Literary and copyright belong to the author/creator or their legal heirs and assigns. Rights to work produced during the normal course of Museum business resides with the Anacostia Community Museum. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archives.
Topic:
African Americans  Search this
African American families  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Programs
Clippings
Correspondence
Ephemera
Postcards
Citation:
Dale-Patterson Family collection, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Dianne Dale.
Identifier:
ACMA.06-074
See more items in:
Dale-Patterson Family collection
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/qa7c29572e9-2bd6-4b2a-8982-b527693b7885
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-acma-06-074
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Online Media:

Oral history interview with Charles Alan

Interviewee:
Alan, Charles, 1908?-1975  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Names:
Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Yale School of Drama -- Students  Search this
Allen, Lawrence  Search this
Askew, R. Kirk (Ralph Kirk), 1903-1974  Search this
Baker, Richard Brown  Search this
Breinin, Raymond, 1910-  Search this
Conner, Bruce, 1933-2008  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
Geddes, Norman Bel, 1893-1958  Search this
Halpert, Edith Gregor, 1900-1970  Search this
Harnett, William Michael, 1848-1892  Search this
Hirshhorn, Joseph H.  Search this
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Landau, Felix, 1924-2003  Search this
Levi, Julian E. (Julian Edwin), 1900-1982  Search this
Levine, Jack, 1915-2010  Search this
Levy, Julien  Search this
Marin, John, 1870-1953  Search this
Marin, John, Jr., 1915?-1988  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia, 1887-1986  Search this
Root, Edward Wales, d. 1956  Search this
Sachs, Paul J. (Paul Joseph), 1878-1965  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Washburn, George  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Extent:
37 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1970 August 20-25
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Charles Alan conducted 1970 August 20-25, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
Alan speaks of studying scene and stage design; attending Yale School of Drama; doing illustrations for various publications; traveling and studying in Europe; working as a set designer for MGM and Warner Brothers; his experiences working at the Downtown Gallery; his thoughts and recollections about Edith Halpert; leaving Downtown Gallery and starting his own gallery; his opinions on the future of small galleries in New York; museum purchases; Edith Halpert's art collection; selling his gallery to Felix Landau; and various thoughts concerning the art world. He recalls Norman Bell Geddes, Edith Halpert, Stuart Davis, Julien Levy, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Kirk Askew, Raymond Breinin, Ben Shahn, George Washburn, Edward Root, Joe Hirshhorn, John Marin, John Marin Jr., Lawrence Allen, Georgia O'Keeffe, William Harnett, Julian Levi, Jack Levine, Karl Zerbe, Bruce Conner, Richard Baker, Paul Sachs, and many others.
Biographical / Historical:
Charles Alan (1908?-1975) was an art dealer from New York, New York. Alan attended Horace Mann School, graduating in 1924. Attended Yale School of Drama in 1925, then worked as a set designer for MGM and Warner Brothers. In 1930, Alan became a theatrical set designer and director. After serving in the Army in World War II, he worked for Edith Halpert at the Downtown Gallery. In 1952, he opened the Charles Alan Gallery, specializing in contemporary art. Alan closed the gallery in 1970 to become a private dealer.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 58 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Set Designers -- United States -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.alan70
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9b58bbd57-ca81-4a18-a614-fc868226702e
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-alan70
Online Media:

Elizabeth S. Navas papers

Creator:
Navas, Elizabeth S., 1885-1979  Search this
Names:
Wichita Art Museum  Search this
Bacon, Peggy, 1895-1987  Search this
Bouché, Louis, 1896-1969  Search this
Brice, William, 1921-2008  Search this
Burchfield, Charles Ephraim, 1893-1967  Search this
Burlin, Paul, 1886-1969  Search this
Callahan, Kenneth, 1905-1986  Search this
Copley, John Singleton, 1738-1815  Search this
Cowles, Russell, 1887-1979  Search this
Curry, John Steuart, 1897-1946  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
De Creeft, José, 1884-1982  Search this
Dehn, Adolf, 1895-1968  Search this
Dehner, Walt, 1898-  Search this
Demuth, Charles, 1883-1935  Search this
Dove, Arthur Garfield, 1880-1946  Search this
Eakins, Thomas, 1844-1916  Search this
Glackens, William J., 1870-1938  Search this
Gleitsmann, Raphael, 1910-  Search this
Grosz, George, 1893-1959  Search this
Heliker, John, 1909-2000  Search this
Homer, Winslow, 1836-1910  Search this
Hopper, Edward, 1882-1967  Search this
James, Alexander, 1890-1946  Search this
Kinigstein, Jonah, 1923-  Search this
Kirsch, Frederick D. (Frederick Dwight), b. 1899  Search this
Kuhn, Walt, 1877-1949  Search this
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Lachaise, Gaston, 1882-1935  Search this
Lechay, James  Search this
Marin, John, 1870-1953  Search this
Marsh, Reginald, 1898-1954  Search this
Mattson, Henry E. (Henry Elis), 1887-1971  Search this
Morris, Carl, 1911-1993  Search this
Morris, George L. K., 1905-1975  Search this
Moyer, Roy, 1921-2007  Search this
Murdock, Louise Caldwell, 1858-1915  Search this
Murdock, Roland P. -- Art collections  Search this
Oscar, Charles, 1923-  Search this
Penney, James, 1910-1982  Search this
Poor, Anne, 1918-  Search this
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Pène Du Bois, Guy, 1884-1958  Search this
Ryder, Albert Pinkham, 1847-1917  Search this
Schnakenberg, H. E. (Henry Ernest), 1892-1970  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Sloan, John, 1871-1951  Search this
Smith, Houghton Cranford, 1887-1983  Search this
Sparhawk-Jones, Elizabeth, 1885-1968  Search this
Watkins, Franklin Chenault, 1894-1972  Search this
Weber, Max, 1881-1961  Search this
Williamson, Clara McDonald, 1875-1976  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
0.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1939-1963
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence, photographs, clippings, magazines and statements by 20th century artists on their works bought for the Roland P. Murdock Collection of the Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, Kansas, by Navas.
Artists represented include: Peggy Bacon, Louis Bouche, William Brice, Charles E. Burchfield, Paul Burlin, Kenneth Callahan, John S. Copley, Russell Cowles, John S. Curry, Stuart Davis, Jose de Creeft, Adolf Dehn, Walt Dehner, Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, Guy Pène du Bois, Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Raphael Gleitsmann, George Grosz, John E. Heliker, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Alexander R. James, Jonah Kinigstein, Frederick D. Kirsch, Walt Kuhn, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Gaston Lachaise, James Lechay, John Marin, Reginald Marsh, Henry E. Mattson, Carl Morris, George L. K. Morris, Roy Moyer, Charles Oscar, James Penney, Anne Poor, Henry V. Poor, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Henry E. Schnakenberg, Ben Shahn, Charles Sheeler, John Sloan, Houghton C. Smith, Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones, Franklin C. Watkins, Max Weber, Clara M. Williamson, Karl Zerbe, and William Zorach.
Biographical / Historical:
Elizabeth S. Navas (1885-1979) was an art collector and patron in New York City. Navas was designated to assemble the Roland P. Murdock Collection of the Wichita Art Museum under the terms of the will of her friend, Louise Caldwell Murdock (1858-1915), widow of Roland P. Murdock.
Provenance:
Donated 1963 by Elizabeth S. Navas.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Occupation:
Artists -- United States  Search this
Art patrons  Search this
Painters  Search this
Topic:
Art, American -- Kansas -- Witchita  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.navaeliz
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9d7b37ccc-d6cd-4695-8168-4eb31cb7b6a9
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-navaeliz

Dorothy Gees Seckler Collection of Sound Recordings Relating to Art and Artists

Creator:
Seckler, Dorothy Gees, 1910-1994  Search this
Names:
Art in America  Search this
Velvet Underground (Musical group)  Search this
Asher, Elise, 1914-  Search this
Avery, Sally  Search this
Beck, Margit, 1915-1997  Search this
Bellow, Saul  Search this
Bultman, Fritz, 1919-1985  Search this
Cale, John  Search this
Cavallon, Giorgio, 1904-1989  Search this
Cohen, Jean  Search this
Cunningham, Merce  Search this
De Diego, Julio, 1900-  Search this
Drexler, Rosalyn  Search this
Flexner, James Thomas, 1908-2003  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Freed, William, 1904-  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-  Search this
Gelb, Jan, 1906-1978  Search this
Gorelick, Shirley, 1924-2000  Search this
Greenwood, Marion, 1909-1970  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Jones, John  Search this
Kahn, Wolf, 1927-  Search this
Karolik, Maxim  Search this
Katz, Alex, 1927-  Search this
Marcus, Marcia, 1928-  Search this
Margo, Boris, 1902-1995  Search this
Martin, Fletcher, 1904-1979  Search this
McLuhan, Marshall, 1911-1980  Search this
Middleman, Raoul F., 1935-  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Nico, 1938-1988  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Orlowsky, Lillian, 1914-2004  Search this
Pearlstein, Philip, 1924-  Search this
Refregier, Anton, 1905-  Search this
Rivers, Larry, 1925-2002  Search this
Ross, Alvin, 1920-1975  Search this
Rothschild, Judith  Search this
Saint-Phalle, Niki de, 1930-  Search this
Segal, George, 1924-2000  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Tinguely, Jean, 1925-  Search this
Ustinov, Peter  Search this
Warhol, Andy, 1928-  Search this
Whyte, William Hollingsworth  Search this
Wyeth, Andrew, 1917-2009  Search this
Extent:
1.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1962-1976
Summary:
The Dorothy Gees Seckler collection of sound recordings relating to art and artists measures 1.6 linear feet and dates from 1962 to 1976. Recordings include 17 interviews conducted by Seckler, one interview by John Jones, and 17 additional recordings of mostly contemporary art-related programs and interviews taped from radio and television broadcasts. Recordings are on 26 sound cassettes and 25 sound tape reels.
Scope and Contents:
The Dorothy Gees Seckler collection of sound recordings relating to art and artists measures 1.6 linear feet and dates from 1962 to 1976. Recordings include 20 interviews conducted by Seckler, one interview by John Jones, and 17 additional recordings of mostly contemporary art-related programs and interviews taped from radio and television broadcasts. Recordings are on 26 sound cassettes and 25 sound tape reels.

Interviews with Artists consist of 17 interviews by Dorothy Seckler with artists including Elise Asher, Fritz Bultman, Judith Rothschild, Giorgio Cavallon, Marcia Marcus, Jean Cohen, William Freed, Lillian Orlowsky, Shirley Gorelick, Hans Hofmann, Wolf Kahn, Raoul Middleman, Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Olin Orr, Larry Rivers, Alvin Ross, George Segal, Jean Tinguely, and Niki de Saint Phalle. Several interviews are with two subjects at once. Many of these interviews were conducted in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and are referenced in her introduction to the catalog for the exhibition Provincetown Painters, 1890's – 1970's held at the Everson Museum and the Provincetown Art Association in 1977, and several interviews were conducted as research for articles Seckler wrote and published in Art in America. Also found are group interviews on specific subjects, including an interview with Julio de Diego, Marion Greenwood, Fletcher Martin, and Anton Refregier on the Woodstock art colony, and with Sally Avery, Boris Margo, Jan Gelb, Margit Beck and others on Op Art. In September of 1966, Seckler recorded some of Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable in Provincetown, which includes a performance by Nico and the Velvet Underground, as well as an interview with one of the band's members, John Cale. A single interview conducted by John Jones of George Segal appears to have been copied by Seckler to prepare for her April 1966 interview of Segal.

Broadcast materials include sound recordings of television and radio broadcast programs taped off the air presumably by Seckler. Most programs are interviews, with subjects including Maxim Karolik, James Thomas Flexner, R. Buckminster Fuller, Merce Cunningham, Alex Katz, Phillip Pearlstein, Roslyn Drexler, Barnet Newman, Saul Bellow, Ben Shahn, Marshall McLuhan, Isamu Noguchi, Andrew Wyeth, and William H Whyte. Other recordings include documentary programs related to contemporary art, book reviews, and a comedy performance with actor Peter Ustinov.

Photographs include 12 color slides from October of 1967 that appear to have been shot in Provincetown, Mass. Subjects include Dorothy Seckler and two other unidentified women.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged in 3 series.

Series 1: Interviews with Artists, 1962-1976 (1 linear foot; Box 1)

Series 2: Broadcast Materials, 1962-1972 (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 2-3)

Series 3: Photographs, 1967 (1 folder; Box 3)
Biographical / Historical:
Dorothy Gees Seckler was an art historian, critic, journalist, and artist active in New York City and Provincetown, Mass. Born Dorothy Elizabeth Gees in Baltimore, MD in 1910, she completed the program in Advertising Design at Maryland Institute College of Art in 1931 and was awarded a traveling scholarship upon graduation, which she used to study in Europe. She later received a masters degree from Columbia University in Art History and Art Education, and worked during World War II as head of an illustration unit in the Army's Judge Advocate General's office.

After the war, she worked at the Museum of Modern Art as an art historian in the education office until 1950, when she began writing for ARTnews magazine, reviewing New York gallery shows for its "Gallery Notes" section, and exploring painters' processes in the "Paints a Picture" series. She later served as contributing editor for Art in America from the late 1950s through the late 1960s, where her published work included features on Robert Rauschenberg and Louise Nevelson, as well as broad surveys of contemporary art such as "A Folklore of the Banal" (Winter 1962) and "Audience is His Medium" (February 1963). She taught at New York University and City College of New York, and wrote a long essay on the history of the Provincetown's art colony, published in Art in America in 1959, and later updated for the catalog for the 1977 exhibition Provincetown Painters, 1890's - 1970's. Between 1962 and 1968, she conducted thirty oral history interviews for the Archives of American Art and served as one of its manuscript collectors.

Throughout her career as a writer and critic, Seckler painted and worked in collage, and her work was shown in several Provincetown galleries, and in the Provincetown Art Center and Museum. She married Jerome Seckler in 1937 and they had one son. Seckler received the American Federation of Arts Award for outstanding writing in the field of American Art in 1952. She died in 1994.
Related Materials:
Other related materials in the Archives' collections include several additional interviews conducted by Seckler for its oral history program, a full recording and transcript of the August 28, 1963 symposium on pop art, for which brief sound notes are found in this collection, and a transcript of the John Jones interview with George Segal in the John Jones interviews with artists collection, 1965 Oct. 5-1965 Nov. 12.
Separated Materials:
In 2012, several duplicates of recordings Seckler made for the Archives of American Art's oral history program were removed from the collection including: Peter and Riva Dechar (1965 and 1967), David von Schlegell (1967), Joan Mitchell (1965), Theresa Schwartz (1965), Paul Burlin (1962), Ibram Lassaw (1964), Jack Tworkov (1962), Allan Kaprow (1968), Edwin Dickinson (1962), Nathan Halper (1963), Louise Nevelson (1964-1965), Karl Knaths (1962), and Stephen Greene (1968). Joan Mitchell's 1965 oral history interview remains with the Seckler collection because reel 2 of this recording also contains a discussion of optical art that belongs in the Seckler collection. The oral history interview has been digitized and is available through the Archives' oral history program.
Provenance:
The bulk of the collection, including the interviews with the Provincetown artists, was donated 1995 by Don Seckler, son of Dorothy Seckler. The source of acquisition for the Seckler interviews with the Woodstock artists is unknown.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Optical art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Dorothy Gees Seckler collection of sound recordings relating to art and artists, 1962-1976. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.seckdoro
See more items in:
Dorothy Gees Seckler Collection of Sound Recordings Relating to Art and Artists
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9af226ceb-11fb-469d-ae6f-d35718934f26
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-seckdoro

Katharine Kuh papers

Creator:
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Names:
Albright-Knox Art Gallery  Search this
Art Institute of Chicago -- Faculty  Search this
Biennale di Venezia  Search this
Katharine Kuh Gallery (Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Albright, Ivan, 1897-1983  Search this
Archipenko, Alexander, 1887-1964  Search this
Arensberg, Louise S. (Louise Stevenson), 1879-1953  Search this
Arensberg, Walter, 1878-1954  Search this
Arp, Jean, 1887-1966  Search this
Barnet, Will, 1911-  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Biddle, George, 1885-1973  Search this
Breuer, Marcel, 1902-  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Campoli, Cosmo  Search this
Chagall, Marc, 1887-1985  Search this
Chavez Morado, José, 1909-2002  Search this
Chermayeff, Serge, 1900-  Search this
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Cox, Richard  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
Day, Worden, 1916-1986  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Dickinson, Edwin Walter, 1891-1978  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean, 1901-  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Elizabeth, Queen of Great Britain, II, 1926-  Search this
Ernst, Jimmy, 1920-1984  Search this
Falkenstein, Claire, 1908-1997  Search this
Feitelson, Lorser, 1898-1978  Search this
Friendly, Fred W.  Search this
Giacometti, Alberto, 1901-1966  Search this
Golub, Leon, 1922-2004  Search this
Goto, Joseph, 1920-  Search this
Grabe, Klaus  Search this
Graves, Robert, 1895-1985  Search this
Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898-1979  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Hare, David, 1917-  Search this
Hare, Denise Browne  Search this
Hayter, Stanley William, 1901-1988  Search this
Hirshhorn, Joseph  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Hélion, Jean, 1904-1987  Search this
Inverarity, Robert Bruce, 1909-1999  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-  Search this
Kandinsky, Wassily, 1866-1944  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
Kepes, Juliet  Search this
Klee, Paul, 1879-1940  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Knox, Seymour H., 1898-1990  Search this
Le Corbusier, 1887-1965  Search this
Lundeberg, Helen, 1908-1999  Search this
Lye, Len, 1901-1980  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, 1886-1969  Search this
Millier, Arthur, 1893-  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Mérida, Carlos, 1891-1984  Search this
Nutting, Muriel Leone Tyler, b. 1892  Search this
Nutting, Myron Chester, 1890-1972  Search this
O'Higgins, Pablo, 1904-  Search this
Orozco, José Clemente, 1883-1949  Search this
Ozbekhan, Hasan, 1921-2007  Search this
Perkins, Frances  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Putnam, Wallace, 1899-1989  Search this
Ray, Man, 1890-1976  Search this
Rich, Daniel Catton, 1904-1976  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Sandberg, Carl  Search this
Seligmann, Kurt, 1900-1962  Search this
Shackelford, Shelby  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Spaeth, Otto, d. 1966  Search this
Sterne, Hedda, 1916-  Search this
Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-  Search this
Tanning, Dorothea, 1910-2012  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Winston, Harry Lewis  Search this
Woolf, Olga  Search this
Young, Victor  Search this
Photographer:
Pollack, Peter, 1909-1978  Search this
Extent:
12 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Illustrated letters
Resumes
Travel diaries
Minutes
Calendars
Visitors' books
Photographs
Paintings
Awards
Drawings
Sound recordings
Collages
Scrapbooks
Lithographs
Prints
Wills
Watercolors
Poetry
Lecture notes
Lectures
Sales records
Date:
1875-1994
bulk 1930-1994
Summary:
The papers of art historian, dealer, critic, and curator Katharine Kuh measure 12 linear feet and date from 1875-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930-1994. The collection documents Kuh's career as a pioneer modernist art historian and as the first woman curator of European Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues; personal business records; artwork by various artists; a travel journal; writings by Kuh and others; scrapbooks; printed material; photographs of Kuh and others; and audio recordings of Kuh's lectures and of Daniel Catton Rich reading poetry.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of art historian, dealer, critic, and curator Katharine Kuh measure 12 linear feet and date from 1875-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930-1994. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues; personal business records; artwork by various artists; a travel journal; writings by Kuh and others; scrapbooks; printed material; photographs of Kuh and others; and audio recordings of Kuh's lectures and of Daniel Catton Rich reading poetry.

Biographical material consists of copies of Kuh's birth certificate, resumés, passports, award certificates, honorary diplomas, and address books listing information about several prominent artists and colleagues.

Four linear feet of correspondence offers excellent documentation of Kuh's interest in art history, her travels, her career at the Art Institute of Chicago, her work as a corporate art advisor, and as an author. There are letters from her mother Olga Woolf, friends, and colleagues. There is extensive correspondence with various staff members of the Art Institute of Chicago, the First National Bank of Chicago, and The Saturday Review. Also of interest are letters from artists and collectors, several of whom became life-long friends including Walter and Louise Arensberg, Cosmo Campoli, Serge Chermayeff, Richard Cox, Worden Day, Claire Falkenstein, Fred Friendly, Leon Golub, Joseph Goto, David Hare, Denise Brown Hare, Jean Hélion, Ray Johnson, Gyorgy and Juliet Kepes, Len Lye, Wallace Putnam, Kurt Seligmann, Shelby Shackelford, Hedda Sterne, and Clyfford Still. Many letters are illustrated with original artwork in various media.

There are also scattered letters from various artists and other prominent individuals including Josef Albers, George Biddle, Marcel Breuer, Joseph Cornell, Stuart Davis, Edwin Dickinson, Joseph Hirshhorn, Daniel Catton Rich, and Dorothea Tanning.

Personal business records include a list of artwork, Olga Woolf's will, inventories of Kuh's personal art collection, miscellaneous contracts and deeds of gift, receipts for the sale of artwork, files concerning business-related travel, and miscellaneous receipts.

Artwork in the collection represents a wide range of artist friends and media, such as drawings, watercolors, paintings, collages, and prints. Included are works by various artists including lithographs by David Hare and a watercolor set, Technics and Creativity, designed and autographed by Jasper Johns for the Museum of Modern Art, 1970.

Notes and writings include annotated engagement calendars, travel journals for Germany, a guest book for the Kuh Memorial gathering, and many writings and notes by Kuh for lectures and articles concerning art history topics. Of interest are minutes/notes from meetings for art festivals, conferences, and the "Conversations with Artists Program (1961). Also found are writings by others about Kuh and other art history topics.

Six scrapbooks contain clippings that document the height of Kuh's career as a gallery director and museum curator. Scrapbook 6 contains clippings about Fernand Léger, the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1953.

Additional printed material includes clippings about Kuh and her interests, a comprehensive collection of clippings of Kuh's articles for The Saturday Review, exhibition announcements and catalogs, calendars of events, programs, brochures, books including Poems by Kuh as a child, and reproductions of artwork. Of particular interest are the early and exhibition catalogs from the Katharine Kuh Gallery, and rare catalogs for artists including Jean Arp, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Jean Dubuffet, Marcel Duchamp, Stanley William Hayter, Hans Hofmann, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Franz Kline, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Pablo Picasso.

Photographs provide important documentation of the life and career of Katharine Kuh and are of Kuh, family members, friends, colleagues, events, residences, and artwork. Several of the photographs of Kuh were taken by Will Barnet and Marcel Breuer and there is a notable pair of photo booth portraits of Kuh and a young Ansel Adams. There are also group photographs showing Angelica Archipenko with Kuh; designer Klaus Grabe; painters José Chavez Morado and Pablo O'Higgins in San Miguel, Mexico; Kuh at the Venice Biennale with friends and colleagues including Peggy Guggenheim, Frances Perkins, Daniel Catton Rich, and Harry Winston; and "The Pre-Depressionists" including Lorser Feitelson, Robert Inverarity, Helen Lundeberg, Arthur Millier, Myron Chester Nutting, and Muriel Tyler Nutting.

Photographs of exhibition installations and openings include views of the Katharine Kuh Gallery; Fernand Léger, Man Ray, and László Moholy-Nagy at the Art Institute of Chicago; and Philip Guston, Jimmy Ernst, Seymour H. Knox, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. There are also photographs depicting three men posing as Léger's "Three Musicians" and the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the Art Institute of Chicago. There is a photograph by Peter Pollack of an elk skull used as a model by Georgia O'Keeffe.

Additional photographs of friends and colleagues include Ivan Albright, Alfred Barr, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Willem De Kooning, Edwin Dickinson, Marcel Duchamp, Claire Falkenstein, Alberto Giacometti, poet Robert Graves with Len Lye, Philip Johnson, Gyorgy and Juliet Kepes, Carlos Mérida, José Orozco, Hasan Ozbekhan, Pablo Picasso, Carl Sandberg, Ben Shahn, Otto Spaeth, Hedda Sterne, Adlai Stevenson, Clyfford Still, Mark Tobey, and composer Victor Young.

Photographs of artwork include totem poles in Alaska; work by various artists including Claire Falkenstein, Paul Klee, and Hedda Sterne; and work donated to the Guggenheim Museum.

Four audio recordings on cassette are of Katharine Kuh's lectures, including one about assembling corporate collections, and of Daniel Catton Rich reading his own poetry. There is also a recording of the Second Annual Dialogue between Broadcasters and Museum Educators.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series. Undated correspondence, artwork, and photographs of individual artists are arranged alphabetically. Otherwise, each series is arranged chronologically.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1945-1992 (Box 1; 16 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1908-1994 (Boxes 1-5, 13-14, OV 15; 4.0 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1941-1989 (Box 5; 19 folders)

Series 4: Artwork, 1931-1986 (Boxes 5, 13-14, OVs 15-23; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 5: Notes and Writings, 1914-1994 (Boxes 5-7; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1935-1953 (Box 7; 8 folders)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1916-1992 (Boxes 7-10, 13, OV 22; 3.0 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, 1875-1993 (Boxes 10-13; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 9: Audio Recordings, 1977 (Box 12; 1 folder)
Biographical Note:
Katharine Kuh (1904-1994) worked primarily in the Chicago area as an modern art historian, dealer, critic, curator, writer, and consultant. She operated the Katharine Kuh Gallery from 1935-1943 and was the first woman curator of European and Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Katharine Kuh (née Woolf) was born on July 15, 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri, the youngest of the three daughters of Olga Weiner and Morris Woolf, a silk importer. In 1909, the family moved to Chicago, Illinois. While traveling with her family in Europe in 1914, Katharine contracted polio, causing her to spend the next decade in a body brace. During this time of restricted movement, she developed an interest in art history through the collecting of old master prints.

After her recovery, Katharine Woolf attended Vassar College where one of her professors, Alfred Barr, encouraged her to study modern art. She graduated from Vassar in 1925 and received a master's degree in art history from the University of Chicago in 1929. Later that year, she moved to New York to pursue a Ph.D. in Renaissance and medieval art at New York University.

In 1930, Katharine Woolf returned to Chicago and married businessman George Kuh and began to teach art history courses in the suburbs of Chicago. After divorcing George Kuh in 1935, she opened the Katharine Kuh Gallery, the first gallery devoted to avant-garde art in Chicago. It was also the first gallery to exhibit photography and typographical design as art forms, and featured the work of Ansel Adams, Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, Wassily Kandinsky, Fernand Léger, and Man Ray, among others. From 1938 to1940, Kuh was the Visiting Professor of Art at the University School of Fine Arts, San Miguel, Mexico.

After the Katharine Kuh Gallery closed in 1943, Kuh was hired by museum director Daniel Catton Rich to fill a position in public relations at the Art Institute of Chicago. During the following years, Kuh edited the museum's Quarterly publication, took charge of the museum's Gallery of Interpretive Art, and began a long term relationship with Rich. In 1946, Kuh was sent on a special mission for the U. S. Office of Indian Affairs to make a detailed study of Native American totemic carvings in Alaska.

In 1949, Kuh persuaded Mr. and Mrs. Walter Arensberg of Los Angeles to exhibit their collection of modern art, creating the first post-war exhibition of modern art in Chicago. She published her first book Art Has Many Faces in 1951, and in the following year, she began writing art criticism for The Saturday Review. In 1954, Kuh was appointed the first woman curator of European Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute. She assembled the American contribution for the Venice Biennale in 1956 and during these years, Kuh helped acquire many of the works of modern art currently in the museum's collection.

A year following Daniel Catton Rich's 1958 resignation from the Art Institute of Chicago, Kuh also resigned and pursued a career in New York as an art collection advisor, most notably for the First National Bank of Chicago. In 1959, Kuh was made art critic for The Saturday Review, and she continued to publish books, including The Artist's Voice in 1962, Break-Up: The Core of Modern Art in 1965, and The Open Eye: In Pursuit of Art in 1971.

Katharine Kuh died on January 10, 1994 in New York City.
Provenance:
The Katharine Kuh papers were donated in several installments from 1971 to 1989 by Katharine Kuh and in 1994 by her estate. Artwork was donated in 1995 by Kuh's former employer, the Art Institute of Chicago.
Restrictions:
Authorization to quote, publish or reproduce requires written permission until 2019. Contact the Archives of American Art Reference Services department for additional information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Authors -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art historians -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art dealers -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art critics -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Curators -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art consultants -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Topic:
Art, Abstract -- United States  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Women art dealers  Search this
Women art historians  Search this
Women museum curators  Search this
Women authors  Search this
Women art critics  Search this
Function:
Art festivals
Genre/Form:
Illustrated letters
Resumes
Travel diaries
Minutes
Calendars
Visitors' books
Photographs
Paintings
Awards
Drawings
Sound recordings
Collages
Scrapbooks
Lithographs
Prints
Wills
Watercolors
Poetry
Lecture notes
Lectures
Sales records
Citation:
Katharine Kuh papers, 1875-1994, bulk 1930-1994. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kuhkath
See more items in:
Katharine Kuh papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw987a0763e-de6c-4f9e-b143-4875b3a2244a
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kuhkath
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Kathryn Burch Greywacz

Interviewee:
Greywacz, Kathryn Burch, b. 1893  Search this
Interviewer:
Doud, Richard Keith  Search this
Creator:
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
Index of American Design  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
New Jersey State Museum  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
Baker, Mildred, 1905-  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound tape reel (Sound recordings: (50 min.), 7 in.)
21 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound tape reels
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1964 Mar. 24
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Kathryn Greywacz conducted 1964 Mar. 24, by Richard Doud, for the Archives of American Art.
Greywacz speaks of her position as curator of the New Jersey State Museum; her work with the New Jersey Public Works of Art Project; and the Index of American Design. She recalls Mildred Baker and Ben Shahn.
Biographical / Historical:
Kathryn Burch Greywacz (b. 1893) was an art administrator from New Jersey.
Provenance:
Conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Restrictions:
This interview is open for research. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Arts administrators -- New Jersey -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.greywa64
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw96d89d4b2-390a-4430-9547-5dfdb9c708b9
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-greywa64
Online Media:

Arnold Mesches papers

Creator:
Mesches, Arnold, 1923-  Search this
Names:
New York University  Search this
Ciment, Jill, 1953-  Search this
Danto, Arthur Coleman, 1924-  Search this
Marshall, Kerry James, 1955-  Search this
Miami Dade College  Search this
Miller, Henry, 1891-  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Siqueiros, David Alfaro  Search this
Storr, Robert  Search this
Wayne, June, 1918-2011  Search this
Zinn, Howard, 1922-2010  Search this
Extent:
13.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Collages
Diaries
Drawings
Sketches
Date:
1939-2015
Summary:
The papers of New York City and Gainesville, Florida based painter Arnold Mesches (1923-2016) measure 13.6 linear feet and date from 1939-2015. The collection documents Mesches' politically-engaged career and work process through biographical material, correspondence, writings, gallery and exhibition files, project files, subject files, teaching files, personal business records, printed material, and photographic material. Project files comprise a bulk of the collection and include grant files, activism files, project notebooks, and over 100 art project files containing drawings, source material, and photographic material for individual artworks.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York City and Gainesville, Florida based painter Arnold Mesches (1923-2016) measure 13.6 linear feet and date from 1939-2015. The collection documents Mesches' politically engaged career and work process through biographical material, correspondence, writings, gallery and exhibition files, project files, subject files, teaching files, personal business records, printed material, and photographic material.

Biographical material includes addresses, family papers, interview transcripts, life documents, identification cards, a residency file, resumes, biographical statements, and travel records. Correspondence is both personal and professional in nature and is with wife, novelist Jill Ciment, family, friends, artists, museums, galleries, and magazines. Notable correspondents include Arthur Danto, Robert Storr, June Wayne, and Howard Zinn. Single items of correspondence are from Kerry James Marshall, Henry Miller, Robert Motherwell, and Ben Shahn.

Writings include manuscripts of unpublished novels and short stories, autobiographical writings, recordings of dreams, introductions to artists, a journal, memorials, project proposals, statements on art and politics, notes from Mesches' psychotherapy sessions, as well as numerous outlines, fragments, and notes.

Gallery and exhibition files document dozens of Mesches' gallery and museum exhibitions, including his 2013 retrospective at Miami Dade College, Arnold Mesches: A Life's Work.

Project files consist of grant files, activism files, project notebooks, and art projects. Activism files pertain to the Los Angeles Peace Tower, Arts Coalition for Freedom of Expression, and the pardon of muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros. Project notebooks contain preliminary sketches, technical notes including color palette and paint formulas, Polaroids of in-process works, and source material. Over 100 art project files further detail individual works, and include preliminary drawings in pen, pencil and charcoal, as well as collages, source material, and Polaroids. Several of Mesches' serial works are well represented here, including Anomie, Comings Attractions, and The FBI Files.

Subject files consist of a sequence of alphabetical files maintained by Mesches as reference material. Teaching files document posts at New York University and other institutions and include course descriptions, lists of materials, course notes, newsletters, reference articles, and correspondence.

Personal business records include documentation related to donations, Mesches' estate, gallery representation, inventories, properties, artwork shipment, supplies, and website design.

Printed material documents Mesches' career as both political illustrator and fine artist. Found here are brochures, leaflets, and Frontier and The Nation magazines featuring illustrations by Mesches. Calendars, newsletters, clippings, announcements, exhibition catalogs, and press releases document Mesches' gallery and museum exhibitions.

Photographic material includes hundreds of photographic prints, contact sheets, slides, and negatives of Arnold Mesches, Mesches' family and friends, studio, and artworks from his seven decade long career.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as ten series.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1960s-2012 (0.2 linear feet, Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1949-2014 (0.8 linear feet, Box 1)

Series 3: Writings, 1958-2013 (1.1 linear feet, Box 2-3)

Series 4: Gallery and Exhibition Files, 1979-2015 (0.8 linear feet, Box 3)

Series 5: Project Files, 1950s-2014 (5.3 linear feet, Box 3-8, 15, OV 16-19)

Series 6: Subject Files, 1939-2000s (1.3 linear feet, Box 8-9)

Series 7: Teaching Files, 1992-2004 (0.2 linear feet, Box 9-10)

Series 8: Personal Business Records, 1983-2015 (0.5 linear feet, Box 10)

Series 9: Printed Material, 1950s-2000s (1.5 linear feet, Box 10-11, 15, OV 20)

Series 10: Photographic Material, 1940s-2010s (1.9 linear feet, Box 12-15)
Biographical / Historical:
Arnold Mesches (1923-2016) was a painter in New York, New York and Gainesville, Florida. Born in the Bronx and raised in upstate Dunkirk, New York, Mesches studied advertising design in high school before moving to Los Angeles in 1943 to study art at the Jepson Art Institute and Chouinard Art Institute.

Mesches began his career as a scenic painter for Hollywood while honing his own style as a fine artist and illustrator influenced by the political landscape and social realism. As a result of his political activity and involvement in the Communist Party, the FBI opened a file on Mesches in the 1950s, and began tracking his activities. The file, obtained by Mesches through a Freedom of Information Act request in 1999, became the basis for one of his most famous series, The FBI Files.

Throughout his life, Mesches was a socially-oriented figurative painter working in an expressionist style, mining the daily news and the current political landscape for subject matter, including the Cold War, the trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and the Vietnam War. Mesches was also one of the organizers of the 1966 Peace Tower artwork in Los Angeles and contributed illustrations to Frontier magazine throughout the 1950s, and The Nation magazine from 1960s-1980s.

In the early 1980s, Mesches relocated to New York City with wife, novelist Jill Ciment.

Mesches held several teaching posts over the course of his career, including at the New School, New York University, and the University of Florida.
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives of American Art in 2017 by Jill Ciment, Mesches' widow.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Painters -- Florida  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Political aspects  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting -- Technique  Search this
Politics in art  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Photographs  Search this
Transcripts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Collages
Diaries
Drawings
Sketches
Citation:
Arnold Mesches papers, 1939-2015. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.mescarno
See more items in:
Arnold Mesches papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9415d73fe-0b7a-41fc-a1a6-7ac35ec38ac6
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mescarno
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Boris Gorelick

Topic:
Art front
Interviewee:
Gorelick, Boris, 1912-  Search this
Interviewer:
McGlynn, Betty Hoag  Search this
Creator:
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
American Artists' Congress  Search this
Artists' Union (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Federal Art Project  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound tape reel (Sound recording: (45 min.), 5 in.)
18 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound tape reels
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1964 May 20
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Boris Gorelick conducted 1964 May 20, by Betty Hoag for the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project.
Gorelick speaks of his background in Russia and New York; attending the Art Students League; the formation of the Artists' Union; working on murals and stained glass for the WPA Federal Art Project; the influence of the Mexican muralists on FAP murals; Art Front magazine, and the American Artists' Congress. He recalls Ben Shahn and Arshile Gorky.
Biographical / Historical:
Designer, mural painter; Los Angeles, Calif.
General:
Sound quality is poor.
Provenance:
This interview conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Muralists -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Mural painting and decoration  Search this
Designers -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.goreli64
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9a5549e87-34ea-422a-a526-f3fa5dfce5d7
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-goreli64
Online Media:

Ben Shahn papers

Creator:
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Names:
Baskin, Leonard, 1922-2000  Search this
Delano, Jack  Search this
Evans, Walker, 1903-1975  Search this
Osborn, Robert Chesley, 1904-1994  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Robbins, Jerome  Search this
Soyer, Raphael, 1899-1987  Search this
Extent:
25.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sketchbooks
Video recordings
Drawings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1879-1990
bulk 1933-1970
Summary:
The papers of social realist painter, photographer, printmaker, and teacher Ben Shahn (1898-1969) measure 25.1 linear feet and date from 1879-1990, with the bulk of the material dating from 1933-1970. The bulk of the collection consists of over 14 linear feet of incoming letters from artists, writers, colleagues, publishers, art organizations, galleries, and universities and colleges. Also found are biographical materials, project and source files, printed material, artwork by Shahn and others, photographs taken of and by Shahn, interview transcripts, sound recordings of interviews and a motion picture film.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of social realist painter, photographer, illustrator, printmaker, and teacher Ben Shahn (1898-1969) measure 25.1 linear feet and date from 1879-1990, with the bulk of the material dating from 1933-1970. The bulk of the collection consists of over 14 linear feet of incoming letters from artists, writers, colleagues, publishers, art organizations, galleries, and universities and colleges. Also found are biographical materials, project and source files, printed material, artwork by Shahn and others, photographs taken of and by Shahn, interview transcripts, sound recordings of interviews and a motion picture film.

Biographical material and family records include a 1924 passport for Shahn and his first wife, Tillie, biographical sketches of Shahn, and award certificates received by him.

Letters are primarily written to Shahn from family members, artists, writers, colleagues, publishers, art organizations, galleries, and universities and colleges. Notable correspondents include Leonard Baskin, Alexander Calder, Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Joseph Hirsch, Leo Lionni, John Bartlow Martin, George and Marian Nakashima, Clifford Odets, Charles Olson, Robert Osborn, Diego Rivera, Jerome Robbins, Selden Rodman, James Thrall Soby, Raphael Soyer, and William Carlos Williams. A small number of scattered letters from Shahn can also be found throughout the series.

Project files document approximately twenty-one of Shahn's commissions, including murals for the community center at Jersey Homesteads, the Bronx Central Annex Post Office, the Social Security Building in Washington D.C. , and the William E. Grady Vocational High School. The files also document his involvement in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Roosevelt, in addition to projects for schools, temples and private homes.

Financial and legal records include consignment records, loan agreements, royalty statements and receipts for artwork sold.

Notes and writings are by Shahn and others including Alan Dugan, W. H. Ferry, Theodore Gusten, and John Bartlow Martin. They include lists of artwork, many of which are annotated.

Artwork includes a sketchbook and several unbound sketches and lettering by Shahn, in addition to drawings and prints by others including Shahn's children, Mario Casetta and Stefan Martin.

Source files contain printed material and photographs relating to topics depicted by Shahn in his artwork such as children, dams, farming, houses, industry, mines and miners, slums, war and workers. These files also contain scattered photographic prints by FSA and OWI photographers including Shahn, Jack Delano, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, Carl Mydans, Marion Post Wolcott, Arthur Rothstein, and John Vachon.

Printed material includes news clippings covering Shahn and his career as well as subjects of interest to Shahn. Also found are exhibition catalogs and announcements for exhibitions for Shahn and others, and reproductions of Shahn's artwork including publications illustrated by him.

Photographs are of Shahn, his family and friends and colleagues including Alexander Calder, Jerome Robbins, Charles Sheeler, David Smith and William Zorach. Also included are photographs taken by Shahn of New York City and for the FSA in the 1930s, as well as photographs of artwork by Shahn. Photographs by others include one photo each by Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee and Arthur Rothstein.

The collection also contains transcripts of eight radio, television and motion picture interviews of Shahn and a reel of 16mm motion picture film from the BBC-TV program "Monitor," in addition to sound recordings of interviews of Shahn by Tony Schwartz and Arlene Francis. Artifacts include a Christmas greeting in the form of a sock.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged as 12 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical and Family Records, 1879-1984 (Box 1, OV 36; 0.2 linear ft.)

Series 2: Letters, 1929-1990 (Boxes 1-25, 35, 43, OVs 36-38; 14.5 linear ft.)

Series 3: Project Files, 1933-1975 (Boxes 25-26; OVs 36-37; 1.03 linear ft.)

Series 4: Financial and Legal Records, 1934-1988 (Boxes 26-27, 35; 0.81 linear ft.)

Series 5: Notes and Writings, circa 1933-1988 (Boxes 27-28, 43; 1.72 linear ft.)

Series 6: Artwork, circa 1930s-1965 (Boxes 28, 35; 11 folders)

Series 7: Source Files, circa 1900s-1960s (Boxes 28-30, 35; 1.81 linear ft.)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1912-1988 (Boxes 30-33, 35, OV 39; 3.22 linear ft.)

Series 9: Photographs, circa 1900-1969 (Boxes 33-35; 0.86 linear ft.)

Series 10: Interview Transcripts, 1943-1968 (Box 34; 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 11: Audio and Video Recordings, 1959-1968 (Box 34; 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 12: Artifacts, circa 1930s-circa 1960s (Box 34; 2 items)
Biographical/Historical note:
Ben Shahn (1898-1969) was a social realist painter, muralist, printmaker, photographer, illustrator, and educator who worked primarily in Brooklyn, New York and New Jersey. He was most active in the 1930s through the 1950s and worked on several federally funded arts projects, including the Farm Security Administration's photographic documentation project of rural America during the Depression.

Ben Shahn was born in Kovno, Lithuania and immigrated with his family to the United States in 1906 where he settled in Brooklyn, and later Roosevelt, New Jersey, after becoming a naturalized citizen in 1918.

Following an apprenticeship as a lithographer from 1913-1917, Shahn studied at New York University, the City College of New York, and the National Academy of Design from 1919-1922. He married Tillie Goldstein in 1922 and they had two children, Judith and Ezra.

Two years after Shahn's first solo exhibition at the Downtown Gallery in 1930, his Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti, a series of 23 gouaches about the Sacco and Vanzetti trial of the 1920s, was exhibited at the Downtown Gallery to critical and public acclaim. The exhibition marked the beginning of Shahn's reputation as one of the most important social realist painters in America. Shahn's commitment to social and political justice found a natural outlet in mural painting when, in 1933, he was hired to assist Diego Rivera on the labor and industry mural Man at the Crossroads, for New York City's Rockefeller Center. The mural was destroyed amid controversy in 1933 before it was completed, but Shahn had learned much about the art of fresco painting during the project and was inspired by the potential of the mural as a unique art form for presenting life's struggles and stories to a large public audience. Between 1933 and 1937 Shahn worked on various murals for other buildings, including New York's Central Park Casino (circa 1934) and Riker's Island Prison (1934), none of which saw completion. In 1937, however, the Farm Security Administration (FSA) commissioned Shahn to execute a mural for the Community Center in the town of Jersey Homesteads, later Roosevelt, New Jersey, which Shahn completed in 1938. Shahn settled in Jersey Homesteads the following year and remained there for the rest of his life. Other important mural commissions followed for the Bronx Central Post office (1939) and the Social Security Building in Washington DC (1942).

One of Shahn's assistants on the Jersey Homesteads mural was Bernarda Bryson, whom he had met in 1933 when she came to New York to interview Rivera about the Rockefeller Center mural controversy for an Ohio newspaper. Shahn and Bryson became lifetime companions and had three children, Susanna, Jonathan and Abigail, although they did not marry until shortly before Shahn's death in 1969. Shahn and Tillie Goldstein were divorced in 1944.

Shahn had enrolled with the federal Public Works of Art Project in 1934, and between 1935 and 1938 he and Bryson travelled across country as Shahn photographed poverty-stricken areas and documented rural life for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and the Resettlement Agency. Shahn's interest in photography developed in the early 1930s when, encouraged by his friendship with Walker Evans, he began photographing street scenes and people in New York City. He later used the images as the basis for many of his prints and paintings.

In 1942 Shahn began working for the Office of War Information (OWI) and was instructed to produce posters and pamphlets explaining to citizens the necessities of wartime, such as the need for secrecy and food rationing. Ultimately, only two of Shahn's posters were ever used; the rest were rejected as being too harsh for their intended audience. Shahn later worked for the Congress of Industrial Organization Political Action Committee (CIO-PAC), producing posters for the 1944 campaign to re-elect Roosevelt, who he believed in deeply. He was promoted to director of the CIO's Graphic Arts Division for the 1946 congressional campaign following Roosevelt's death, but that job ended when the election went poorly for the Democratic party.

Shahn returned increasingly to painting and a retrospective of his work was held at the Museum of Modern Art in 1947. He also became more active in academia as an accomplished writer, teacher and lecturer. He received honorary doctorates from Princeton University and Harvard University, and become the Charles Eliot Norton professor at Harvard in 1956. Shahn's Norton lectures were collected and published as the influential The Shape of Content in 1957. He also began to work as a commercial artist for a variety of companies and publications including CBS, Time, Harper's, and the Container Corporation of America. Shahn believed, however, that the artist's ideas and integrity must always be reflected in his commercial art. He refused to compromise on this point and was very selective in his choice of commercial commissions. Shahn illustrated many books and articles, designed sets for stage productions such as New York Export: Opus Jazz, choreographed by Jerome Robbins, and designed mural mosaics for synagogues, universities and private homes.

Since the 1930s Shahn had been represented by Edith Halpert at the Downtown Gallery, but his relationship with her was always contentious on the subject of payments Shahn received for commercial work, and became increasingly so as his income from such sources increased. Finally, in 1968, Shahn wrote to Halpert telling her that after ten years of "an accumulation of ill-feeling, discomfort and recrimination between us" he felt compelled to end their dealer-artist relationship.

By the time of Shahn's break with Halpert his health had begun to fail. He died of a heart attack following surgery in a New York City hospital on March 14, 1969.
Related Archival Materials note:
The Archives of American Art holds four oral history interviews with Ben Shahn: 1964 Apr. 14 interview conducted by Richard K. Doud for the Archives of American Art New Deal and the Arts Project in which Shahn speaks of his travels and work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and the American image as portrayed by FSA; 1965 Jan. 17 interview; 1965 Oct. 3. interview conducted by Harlan Phillips for the Archives of American Art New Deal and the Arts Project; and 1968 Sept. 27 interview conducted by Forrest Selvig. Most of these interviews have transcripts available online.

The Archives also holds the Bernarda Bryson Shahn papers, circa 1947-2005, and two oral history interviews with Bernarda Bryson Shahn: 1983 Apr. 29 and 1995 July 3.
Separated Materials note:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reel N70-6) including addresses and essays by Shahn, seven royalty statements, and three letters from publishers. Many of the writings found on this reel were included in subsequent donations. All other lent material was returned to the lender and is not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The Ben Shahn papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in several installments between 1967-1991 by Shahn's widow, Bernarda Bryson Shahn who also lent materials for microfilming in 1969. Jean Shahn, Ben Shahn's daughter-in-law and estate representative, donated additional material in 2018 and 2021.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.

Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- New Jersey -- Roosevelt  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Brooklyn  Search this
Photographers -- New York (State) -- Brooklyn  Search this
Photographers -- New Jersey -- Roosevelt  Search this
Printmakers -- New Jersey -- Roosevelt  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- Brooklyn  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- Brooklyn  Search this
Educators -- New Jersey -- Roosevelt  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- Brooklyn  Search this
Muralists -- New Jersey -- Roosevelt  Search this
Topic:
Social realism  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sketchbooks
Video recordings
Drawings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Ben Shahn papers, 1879-1990, bulk 1933-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.shahben
See more items in:
Ben Shahn papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw983b06d9b-dd51-45bc-9b11-09b06a88f6c6
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-shahben
Online Media:

Henry Ernest Schnakenberg papers

Creator:
Schnakenberg, H. E. (Henry Ernest), 1892-1970  Search this
Names:
American Academy of Arts and Letters  Search this
Artists Equity Association  Search this
Angel, John, 1881-1960  Search this
Bacon, Peggy, 1895-1987  Search this
Barye, Antoine-Louis, 1796-1875  Search this
Beal, Gifford, 1879-1956  Search this
Bierstadt, Albert, 1830-1902  Search this
Billings, Henry, 1901-  Search this
Bishop, Isabel, 1902-1988  Search this
Blume, Peter, 1906-1992  Search this
Bouché, Louis, 1896-1969  Search this
Brooks, Van Wyck, 1886-1963  Search this
Buller, Audrey, 1902-  Search this
Cadmus, Paul, 1904-1999  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Catherwood, Frederick, 1799-1854  Search this
Congdon, William, 1912-1998  Search this
Day, Horace Talmage, 1909-1984  Search this
Dows, Olin, 1904-1981  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Etting, Emlen, 1905-1993  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Faulkner, Barry, 1881-1966  Search this
Fiene, Ernest, 1894-  Search this
Goff, Lloyd Lozés, 1919-  Search this
Guys, Constantin, 1805-1892  Search this
Hardy, Thomas, 1921-  Search this
Harnett, William Michael, 1848-1892  Search this
Hartl, Léon, 1889-  Search this
Homer, Winslow, 1836-1910  Search this
Hoyt, Whitney Ford, 1910-1980  Search this
Inness, George, 1825-1894  Search this
Ivins, William Mills, 1881-1961  Search this
Johnson, Eastman, 1824-1906  Search this
Kirstein, Lincoln, 1907-  Search this
Kroll, Leon, 1884-1974  Search this
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Laning, Edward, 1906-1981  Search this
Lasker, Joe  Search this
Leighton, Clare, 1899-  Search this
Locke, Charles, 1899-  Search this
Low, Sanford B. D. (Sanford Ballard Dole), 1905-1964  Search this
Lucioni, Luigi, 1900-1988  Search this
Marsh, Reginald, 1898-1954  Search this
Miller, Kenneth Hayes, 1876-1952  Search this
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Robus, Hugo, 1885-1964  Search this
Saint-Gaudens, Homer, b. 1880  Search this
Savery, Rockland  Search this
Schmidt, Katherine, 1898-1978  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Speicher, Eugene Edward, 1883-1962  Search this
Stamos, Theodoros, 1922-1997  Search this
Tait, Arthur Fitzwilliam, 1819-1905  Search this
Watkins, Franklin Chenault, 1894-1972  Search this
Watson, Forbes, 1880-1960  Search this
Watson, Nan, 1876-1966  Search this
Weisgard, Leonard, 1916-  Search this
Extent:
5.1 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 6 reels))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1905-1969
Scope and Contents:
Photographs, correspondence, appointment books, etchings, a scrapbook, printed materials, writings, and posters.
REEL D113: Primarily letters received from artists, 1940s-50s; background material for Ft.Lee and Amsterdam (N.Y.) murals; and miscellaneous printed material and photographs.
Correspondents include John Angel, Artists Equity, Peggy Bacon, Gifford Beal, Henry Billings, Isabel Bishop, Peter Blume, Louis Bouche, Van Wyck Brooks, Audrey Buller, Paul Cadmus, Alexander Calder, William Congdon, Horace T. Day, Olin Dows, Marcel Duchamp, Emlen P. Etting, Philip Evergood, Barry Faulkner, Ernest Fiene, Leon Hartl, Whitney F. Hoyt, William M. Ivins, Jr., Lincoln E. Kirstein, Leon Kroll, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Edward Laning, Joseph L. Lasker, Clare Leighton, Charles W. Locke, Sanford B.D. Low, Luigi Lucioni, Reginald Marsh, Kenneth H. Miller, Nat'l Institute of Arts and Letters, Betty Parsons, Hugo Robus, Homer Saint-Gaudens, Katherine Schmidt, Ben Shahn, Charles Sheeler, Eugene Speicher, Theodoros Stamos, Franklin C. Watkins, Forbes and Nan Watson, and Leonard Weisgard.
REEL 847: Photographs, including 67 of Schnakenberg and friends, 1 of a portrait of him by Lloyd Goff, 95 of his oil paintings, 33 of his watercolors, 25 of his works in unidentified media, 29 of works by other artists, and 46 of pre-Columbian art from Central and South America. Among artists whose works are included are Antoine Louis Barye, Albert Bierstadt, Frederick Catherwood, Constantin Guys, Thomas Hardy, William Harnett, Winslow Homer, George Inness, Eastman Johnson, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Reginald Marsh, Rockland Savery, Theodoros Stamos, and Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait.
REELS 850-853: Biographical information; personal and business correspondence; 17 diaries, mainly about Schnakenberg's travels, 1905-1960; appointment calendars, 1963-1969; 70 etchings by Schnakenberg; a scrapbook containing clippings, catalogs, and other printed material; a book published by G. Alan Chidsey on Schnakenberg; clippings, catalogs, and announcements; papers relating to gifts and acquisitions of works of art; receipts for Schnakenberg paintings from C.W. Kraushaar Galleries; a 650-page typescript for a book "The Background of Painting" by Schnakenberg; and drafts of speeches.
UNMICROFILMED: Six World War I posters designed by Schnakenberg; Christmas cards from artists and other friends; printed material; and a photograph of Lloyd Goff, inscribed to Schnakenberg, in front of one of his paintings, 1939.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, etcher; Newton, Conn.
Provenance:
Material donated 1963-1971 by Schnakenberg and, after his death, by his estate.
Restrictions:
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.
Occupation:
Etchers -- Connecticut -- Newton  Search this
Painters -- Connecticut -- Newton  Search this
Topic:
Art, Prehistoric  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Etching  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.schnh
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9324de55d-c4b7-4bbe-9ff3-d60db8786f14
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-schnh

Mildred Constantine Papers

Creator:
Constantine, Mildred  Search this
Names:
Cleveland Museum of Art  Search this
Getty Conservation Institute  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.) -- Employees  Search this
Museum of New Mexico  Search this
Philadelphia Museum of Art  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design  Search this
The Ohio State University  Search this
Abakanowicz, Magdalena  Search this
Albers, Anni  Search this
Barr, Alfred Hamilton, 1902-  Search this
Barragán, Luis, 1902-  Search this
Block, Lou, 1895-1969  Search this
Bourgeois, Louise, 1911-2010  Search this
Buic, Jagoda, 1930-  Search this
Burle Marx, Roberto, 1909-1994  Search this
Cohen, Elaine Lustig, 1927-  Search this
Coiner, Charles T., 1897-  Search this
Corzo, Miguel Angel  Search this
D'Harnoncourt, Anne, 1943-2008  Search this
Danto, Arthur Coleman, 1924-  Search this
Dehner, Dorothy, 1901-1994  Search this
Fitch, James Marston  Search this
Goeritz, Mathias, 1915-  Search this
Hart, Allen M., 1925-  Search this
Hicks, Sheila, 1934-  Search this
Koch, Richard H., d. 2009  Search this
Larsen, Jack Lenor  Search this
Lionni, Leo, 1910-  Search this
Reeves, Ruth, 1892-1966  Search this
Reuter, Laurel  Search this
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969 -- Photographs  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Ten Haeff, Ingeborg, 1915-  Search this
Vignelli, Massimo  Search this
Weisman, Donald M.  Search this
Wilder, Elizabeth, 1908-  Search this
Wilke, Ulfert, 1907-1987  Search this
Zeisler, Claire, 1903-1991  Search this
Extent:
5.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Illustrated letters
Transcripts
Video recordings
Interviews
Date:
1945-2008
Summary:
The papers of Mildred Constantine measure 5.3 linear feet and are dated 1945-2009. Subject files, writings, photographs, and a scrapbook provide an overview of her curatorial work in the Architecture and Design department of the Museum of Modern Art, and subsequent activities as an independent curator, and art consultant. Especially well documented is Whole Cloth, a book written with Laurel Reuter that presents an historical overview of how artists have used cloth in their work.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Mildred Constantine measure 5.3 linear feet and are dated 1945-2008. Subject files, writings, photographs, and a scrapbook provide an overview of her curatorial work in the Architecture and Design department of the Museum of Modern Art, and subsequent activities as an independent curator, and art consultant. Especially well documented is the book Whole Cloth that she wrote with Laurel Reuter.

Correspondence, though mostly business related, often touches on personal matters since many of the artists and art world figures with whom she corresponded were also friends. Correspondents include Miguel Angel Corzo, Arthur C. Danto, Dorothy Dehner, Allen Hart (who sent more than 40 illustrated letters), Elizabeth Wilder and Donald L. Weisman. She also corresponded with many art institutions and organizations, among them the Cleveland Museum of Art, Independent International Design Conference, El Museo del Barrio, Museum of New Mexico, Ohio State University, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Estate of David Smith.

Subject files reflect Constantine's activities and interests. A large portion of this series concerns Whole Cloth, a book written with Laurel Reuter that presents an historical look at how artists have used cloth in their work. Correspondence between the two authors, with artists, institutions, and others concerns researching and writing the volume. Also documented are the successes and failures of Constantine's decade long pursuit to publish the book. Other substantive files relate to the Cleveland Museum of Art, Getty Conservation Institute, Sheila Hicks, Jack Lenor Larsen, Rhode Island School of Design, and Soviet Film Posters. Files concerning the University of the Arts' 2003 Commencement include a videocassette.

Writings by Constantine are lecture material and notes. Also found are transcripts of interviews with Constantine and writings by others. Printed material includes newspaper and magazine articles about Constantine and her career. A scrapbook of printed material and photographs documents an exhibition of Latin American posters at the Library of Congress organized by Constantine.

Photographs of people include Mildred Constantine with family, friends, artists and others at public and private events around the world. Notable photographs include: Magdalena Abakanowicz, Anni Albers, Alfred Barr, Luis Barragan, Lou Block, Louise Bourgeois, Jagoda Buic, Elaine Lustig Cohen, Charles Coiner, James Marston Fitch, Mathias Goeritz, Ingeborg Ten Haeff, Ann d'Harnoncourt, Sheila Hicks, Richard Koch, Nancy Koenigsberg, Jack Lenor Larsen, Leo Lionni, Roberto Burle Marx, Ruth Reeves, Laurel Reuter, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ben Shahn, Massimo Vignelli, Ulfert Wilke, and Claire Zeisler. Also, there are photographs of artwork by a wide range of artists.
Arrangement:
The Mildred Constantine papers are organized into 8 series.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1947-1997 (Boxes 1, 6; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1964-2008 (Boxes 1, 6; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 3: Subject Files, 1964-2008 (Boxes 2-5; 3.3 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings, 1991-2008 (Box 5; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1961-2006 (Box 5; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographs, 1993 (Box 5; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, 1945 (Box 5; 1 folder)

Series 8: Scrapbook, circa 1940s (Box 6; 0.1 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Curator and writer Mildred Constantine (1913-2008) was associated with the Museum of Modern Art's Department of Architecture and Design from 1943 to 1971. She then became an art consultant and independent curator, and wrote on fiber and textiles, decorative arts, photography, caricature and cartoons.

Mildred Constantine (known as "Connie") began her career at College Art Association. Hired as a stenographer in 1930, she soon was promoted to editorial assistant for Parnassus, the forerunner of Art Journal.

Constantine left the College Art Association in 1937 to study at New York University and earned BA and MA degrees. She then continued her education at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. In 1940, Constantine worked in the Office of Inter-American Affairs at the Library of Congress; it was there that she met René d'Harnoncourt.

Influenced by her 1936 travels in Mexico, Constantine's first curatorial effort was an exhibition of Latin American posters. Drawn from the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the exhibition was held at the Library of Congress.

At the urging of René d'Harnoncourt, The Museum of Modern Art's Architecture and Design Department hired Constantine in 1943. The majority of her 28 year tenure at the museum was spent working with the department's founder, architect Philip Johnson. As a curator during the 1950s and 1960s, Constantine's innovative exhibitions brought lesser known portions of the museum's collection to public attention. Among her exhibtions were: "Words and Images," that focused on graphic design and posters; "Polio Posters," the first Museum of Modern Art show dedicated to social issues; "Olivetti: Design in Industry;" "Signs in the Street;" and "Lettering by Hand." She also published books on Art Nouveau, contemporary package design, and other subjects.

In 1971, Constantine left the Museum of Modern Art to become an independent curator and art consultant. Exhibitions included "Frontiers in Fiber: The Americans," and "Small Works in Fiber" with Jack Lenor Larsen. Tina Modotti: A Fragile Life, Constantine's book on the photographer, actress, model, and political activist, appeared in 1974. That same year, she and Alan Fern produced Revolutionary Soviet Film Posters that focused on works from the 1920s. Her last published work, Whole Cloth, was written with Laurel Reuter and published in 1997. Constantine continued to research and write, and at the time of her death was working on a large, international survey of the study of thread.

Mildred Constantine and Ralph W. Bettelheim (1909-1993) were married for 50 years. They had two daughters, Judith and Vicki.

Mildred Constantine died from heart failure on December 10, 2008, at home in Nyack, New York.
Related Material:
Oral history interviews with Mildred Constantine were conducted for the Archives of American Art by Harlan Phillips, 1965 October 15, and by Paul Cummings, 1976 May 3-1976 August 26.
Provenance:
The papers were donated to the Archives in 2009 by Mildred Constantine's daughters, Judith Bettelheim and Vicki McDaniel.
Restrictions:
Use of origininal material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art consultants -- New York -- New York  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Textile fabrics in art  Search this
Film posters, Russian  Search this
Women museum curators  Search this
Women authors  Search this
Women art historians  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Illustrated letters
Transcripts
Video recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Mildred Constantine papers, 1945-2008. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.consmild
See more items in:
Mildred Constantine Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9ceec1503-7840-4279-b08d-1d44f625df3e
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-consmild
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Frank S. Okada

Interviewee:
Okada, Frank S. (Frank Sumio), 1931-2000  Search this
Interviewer:
Johns, Barbara  Search this
Names:
Cornish School of Allied Arts (Seattle, Wash.)  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Northwest Asian American Project  Search this
University of Oregon -- Faculty  Search this
Bunce, Louis, 1907-1983  Search this
Charles, Ray, 1930-2004  Search this
Chin, Frank, 1940-  Search this
Davis, Sammy, 1925-  Search this
Derbyshire, Leon  Search this
Dusanne, Zoe, 1884-1977  Search this
Horiuchi, Paul, 1906-  Search this
Inada, Lawson Fusao  Search this
Ivey, William, 1919-1992  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Kusama, Yayoi, 1929-  Search this
Martin, David Stone  Search this
Nomura, Kenjiro, 1896-1956  Search this
Okada, John  Search this
Peck, James Edward, 1907-  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Tsutakawa, George  Search this
Extent:
87 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1990 Aug. 16-17
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Frank Okada conducted 1990 Aug. 16-17, in Seattle, Wash., by Barbara Johns, for the Archives of American Art Northwest Asian American Project. Okada discusses his parents' background; his family including his brothers, John, author of "No-No Boy," and Charlie, a graphic designer; traveling to Japan for the Pacific Northwest Artists and Japan exhibition; being in an internment camp; painting in Eugene, Ore. and Seattle, Wash.; his painting techniques; studying under Leon Derbyshire; his connection with the jazz scene in Seattle in the late 1940s and 1950s including musicians Sammy Davis, Ray Charles, and Quincy Jones; attending Cornish School of Art, Seattle; meeting Mark Tobey; comparision of his painting style to Tobey's; his stint in the Army; attending Cranbrook Academy of Art and studying with painter Fred Mitchell; his Whitney fellowship in New York; study of Japanese, Chinese, and Zen paintings; working for Boeings in the early 1960s; traveling to France on a Guggenheim; teaching at University of Oregon in Eugene; his minimalist work; influence of Japanese art in his painting. Okada mentions Lawson Inada (Asian American poet), Frank Chin (Asian American playwright), artists David Stone Martin, James Edward Peck, Yayoi Kusama, George Tsutakawa, Paul Horiuchi, Ben Shahn, Kenjiro Nomura, Louis Bunce, Bill Ivey, and art gallery owner Zoe Dusanne.
Biographical / Historical:
Frank S. Okada (1931-2000) was a Japanese American painter based in Seattle, Washington. He taught at University of Oregon from 1969-1999.
General:
Originally recorded on 5 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hrs., 38 min.
Provenance:
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.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Sculptors -- United States  Search this
Painters -- Washington (State) -- Seattle  Search this
Topic:
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Japanese American art  Search this
Japanese American artists  Search this
Painting, Japanese  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- Washington (State) -- Seattle  Search this
Painting, Chinese  Search this
Asian American painters  Search this
Asian American sculptors  Search this
Japanese Americans -- Forced removal and internment, 1942-1945  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.okada90
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9ff6868c7-38fd-4e50-9323-474b69e03b8e
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-okada90
Online Media:

Guthrie Foster papers

Creator:
Foster, Guthrie  Search this
Names:
Atlanta College of Art  Search this
Albers, Anni  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Hofmann, Maria, 1885-1963  Search this
Lionni, Leo, 1910-  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Rand, Paul, 1914-  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Wildenhain, Marguerite  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear feet ((36 items))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1959-1966
Scope and Contents:
Letters, 1959-1960, from Anni Albers, Josef Albers, Adolph Gottlieb, Maria Hofmann (for Hans Hofmann), Leo Lionni, Robert Motherwell, Paul Rand, Ben Shahn, and Marguerite Wildenhain each responding to Foster's invitation to be a guest instructor at the Atlanta Art Institute. Most declined the invitation. Robert Motherwell wrote that he would not teach in a segregated school.
Also included are writings and printed material on and by Josef Albers, ca. 1960-1966.
Biographical / Historical:
Gurtherie Foster was Director of the Atlanta Art Institute, which evolved along with the High Museum of Art out of the historic Atlanta Art Association formed in 1905. There was a later name change to the Atlanta College of Art, followed by it being absorbed by the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) when it merged with Woodruff Arts Center in 2005.
Provenance:
Donated 1985 by Guthrie Foster.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Art teachers  Search this
Painters  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.fostguth
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw91aff0906-6458-4108-8391-026db92e28bc
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-fostguth

Elizabeth McCausland papers

Topic:
Springfield Republican
Creator:
McCausland, Elizabeth, 1899-1965  Search this
Names:
American Art Research Council  Search this
Barnard College -- Faculty  Search this
Federal Art Project (U.S.)  Search this
United States. Farm Security Administration  Search this
Abbott, Berenice, 1898-1991  Search this
Dove, Arthur Garfield, 1880-1946  Search this
Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943  Search this
Hawthorne, Charles Webster, 1872-1930  Search this
Henri, Robert, 1865-1929  Search this
Henry, Edward Lamson, 1841-1919  Search this
Hine, Lewis Wickes, 1874-1940  Search this
Inness, George, 1825-1894  Search this
Kleinholz, Frank, 1901-  Search this
Lawrence, Jacob, 1917-2000  Search this
Maurer, Alfred Henry, 1868-1932  Search this
Morgan, Barbara Brooks, 1900-1992  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Weegee, 1899-1968  Search this
Weston, Edward, 1886-1958  Search this
Extent:
45 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Drawings
Photographs
Place:
New York N.Y. -- Pictorial works -- Photographs
Date:
1838-1995
bulk 1920-1960
Summary:
The papers of art critic, writer, and historian Elizabeth McCausland measure 45 linear feet and date from 1838 to 1995, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920 to 1960. The collection provides a vast accumulation of research data on various artists and aspects of American art, especially the early American modernists and the Federal Arts Projects. Papers include McCausland's extensive research and writing files, particularly on Marsden Hartley, E. L. Henry, Lewis Hine, George Inness, and Alfred H. Maurer. McCausland's correspondence with artists includes a substantial amount with Arthur Dove and Alfred Stieglitz. Her collaborative work with Berenice Abbott on the Changing New York book and series of photographs is well-documented within the collection. Also found are general writings, subject files, files relating to exhibitions, teaching, and committees, photographs, art work, personal papers, and printed material. Additional McCausland material donated later from the estate of Berenice Abbott include biographical materials, project files, writings, and printed materials.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of art critic, writer, and historian Elizabeth McCausland measure approximately 45 linear feet and date from 1838 to 1995, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920 to 1995. The collection provides a vast accumulation of data on various artists and aspects of American art, especially the early American modernists and the Federal Arts Projects. Papers include McCausland's extensive research and writing files, particularly on Marsden Hartley, E. L. Henry, Lewis Hine, George Inness, and Alfred H. Maurer. McCausland's correspondence with artists includes a substantial amount with Arthur Dove and Alfred Stieglitz. Her collaborative work with Berenice Abbott on the Changing New York book and series of photographs is well-documented within the collection. Also found are general writings, subject files, files relating to exhibitions, teaching, and committees, photographs, art work, personal papers, and printed material. Additional McCausland material from the estate of Berenice Abbott include biographical materials, project files, writings, and printed materials.

McCausland's personal papers consist of appointment books and engagement calendars, scrapbooks, student papers, works printed on her private press, financial records, biographical material, and scattered memorabilia, which together document other aspects of her life apart from her work. Correspondence includes incoming and outgoing letters along with enclosures, dating from McCausland's time as a journalist for The Springfield Republican in the 1920s and 1930s to her time as a freelance writer, art critic, and historian (1940s-1960s) and mostly concerning professional matters. Also included is a substantial amount of correspondence with artists, particularly Arthur Dove and Alfred Stieglitz, and some personal correspondence with her mother. General writings consists primarily of copies of McCausland's speeches and lectures on various art topics in addition to her early poems (dating from the 1930s) and scattered essays and articles.

The most extensive part of the collection is comprised of McCausland's research and writing files pertaining to large research and curatorial projects, such as ones on the artists Alfred H. Maurer and Marsden Hartley (which was begun by the American Art Research Council and subsequently taken over by McCausland), and one for the American Processional exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery in 1950. A wide variety of smaller projects are also well-documented in the series Other Research and Writing Files, including ones on E. L. Henry, Lewis Hine, George Inness, her collaborative work with Berenice Abbott on the Changing New York book and series of photographs. Numerous other artists and art topics are covered as well, such as Arthur Dove, Robert Henri, Jacob Lawrence, Charles Hawthorne, film, and photography. Files for her book Careers in Art (1950), her many speaking and lecture engagements, and editing work are also found in this series. Files consist primarily of correspondence, notes, research material, manuscripts, bibliographies, photographs of works of art, completed research forms for works of art, card index files, and printed material.

Also found are subject files containing printed material, scattered notes and correspondence, and photographs, which may have been used for reference and/or collected in the course of McCausland's research activities; files relating to various exhibitions organized by McCausland from 1939 to 1944, including ones of silk screen prints and modern photography; files relating to courses on art history taught by McCausland, especially the one she taught at Barnard College in 1956; and files stemming from her participation in various art organizations and committees, especially during the time period just before and during the Second World War.

Printed material consists primarily of clippings and tear sheets of McCausland's newspaper articles and columns, which document her contributions to The Springfield Republican from 1923 to 1946, in addition to scattered exhibition catalogs, announcements, books, and miscellaneous publications. Photographs include ones of various artists and works of art, ones from the Farm Security Administration, and ones by photographers, such as Berenice Abbott (including ones from the Federal Art Project book, Changing New York), Barbara Morgan, Weegee, and Edward Weston, among others. Photographs, sometimes annotated or including notes, are scattered throughout her research files. Also included are photographs of McCausland, dating from her childhood. Art work found in the collection includes drawings, prints, and watercolors that were either given to McCausland by the artist or collected by her in the course of her work as an art critic and historian.

Additional material belonging to Elizabeth McCausland and donated by the estate of Berenice Abbott includes biographical material; business and personal correspondence; professional project files and writings, including drafts and research materials related to the book projects Art in America, Conversations with March, and Frank Kleinholz; and printed materials, including reprints of critical essays and articles by McCausland.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 15 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Personal Papers, 1838, 1920-1951 (Boxes 1-2, 34; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1923-1960 (Boxes 2-5; 2.9 linear feet)

Series 3: General Writings, circa 1930-1954 (Boxes 5-6; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 4: Alfred H. Maurer, 1851-1951, bulk 1948-1950 (Boxes 6-9; 3.7 linear feet)

Series 5: American Processional, 1949-1951 (Boxes 10-11; 1.8 linear feet)

Series 6: Marsden Hartley, 1900-1964, bulk 1944-1964 (Boxes 11-21, OV 37; 10 linear feet)

Series 7: Other Research and Writing Files, 1896, 1926-1958 (Boxes 21-25, 31; 4.6 linear feet)

Series 8: Subject Files, 1927-1954 (Boxes 25-26; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 9: Other Exhibition Files, 1939-1941, 1944 (Box 26; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 10: Teaching Files, 1939-1965 (Box 27; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 11: Committee Files, 1936-1960 (Box 27; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 12: Printed Material, 1923-1953 (Boxes 28-32, 34, OV 38, BV 44-47; 4.6 linear feet)

Series 13: Photographs, circa 1905-1950 (Boxes 32-36, OV 37; 1.4 linear feet)

Series 14: Art Work, 1887-1942 (Boxes 33-34, OV 39-43; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 15: Elizabeth McCausland Material from the Estate of Berenice Abbott, 1920-1995 (Boxes 48-53; 5.4 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Elizabeth McCausland, the art critic and writer, was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1899. She attended Smith College, receiving her Bachelor's degree in 1920 and her Master's in 1922. Beginning in 1923, she worked as a general reporter for The Springfield Republican (Springfield, Massachusetts). After several years, she began to review art exhibitions and soon became an established art critic. In the course of her work, she began to develop friendships with artists, such as Alfred Stieglitz and Arthur Dove. During these early years, she also wrote poetry and designed and printed limited edition publications on her private press.

McCausland moved to New York in 1935, but continued to contribute a weekly art column to The Springfield Republican until it suspended publication in 1946. From the mid-1930s on, she worked primarily as a freelance writer and art critic, contributing articles to publications such as Parnassas, The New Republic, and Magazine of Art. In the latter part of her career, her writings focused more on art history and special studies on artists.

In the late-1930s, McCausland collaborated with the photographer Berenice Abbott on the Federal Art Project book, Changing New York, for which she provided the text to Abbott's now-famous photographs of New York City neighborhoods, architecture, and street scenes. She studied and wrote about photography, including numerous articles on the photographer Lewis Hine (of whose work she organized a retrospective exhibition at the Riverside Museum in 1939), and was appointed to the Advisory Committee of the Museum of Modern Art's Department of Photography in 1944.

McCausland went on to organize other exhibitions, including a show of contemporary work, "The World of Today" (Berkshire Museum, 1939), shows of silk screen prints (Springfield Museum of Fine Arts, March 1940 and New York State Museum, Summer 1940), and a photography show, "Photography Today" (A.C.A. Gallery, 1944). In the late 1930s, she embarked upon a study of "the status of the artist in America from colonial times to the present, with especial attention to the relation between art and patronage," which continued over twenty years (and was never completed) and for which she received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1943.

In addition to her other writing, during the 1940s, McCausland carried out studies on the artists, E. L. Henry and George Inness, which resulted in exhibitions at the New York State Museum in 1942 and the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum in 1946, respectively and publications (a report on Henry and a book on Inness). From 1948 to 1949, she carried out an extensive study of the painter, Alfred H. Maurer, organizing an exhibition, "A. H. Maurer: 1868-1932," which showed at the Walker Art Center and the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1949, and publishing the biography, A. H. Maurer, in 1951. In 1950, she worked as a special consultant on the American Processional exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery and as editor of the accompanying book. Shortly thereafter, she began a study of Marsden Hartley for a monograph, which was published in 1952, and she helped organize the Hartley exhibition at the University of Minnesota that same year. She continued the Hartley study on larger scale for a planned biography and catalogue raisonne; although she continued to work on it off and on for the next decade, the project was never completed.

McCausland published other books, including Careers in the Arts (1951), and undertook other research and consulting projects, such as photo-editing Carl Sandburg's Poems of the Midwest (1946), conducting surveys of art and advertising for an article in Magazine of Art and of art education for Cooper Union Art School, and contributing yearly articles on art to various encyclopedias. At different times throughout her career, she supplemented her income by taking teaching positions. She taught courses on art history at Sarah Lawrence College from 1942 to 1944 and at Barnard College in 1956, as well as courses at the Design Laboratory (1939) and the New School for Social Research (1946). She also gave numerous lectures and speeches on various art topics, and regularly participated in conferences and symposiums. Towards the end of her career, she was publishing less, but was still involved in many projects, most notably the Hartley study.

McCausland was a tireless promoter of the arts, and often an advocate for artists. Even though her work was well-known among certain art circles, she never received the recognition as a writer that she deserved. Nor was she ever able to free herself from the pressure of writing for a living. Continually suffering from poor health, she died on May 14, 1965.
Related Material:
Related material found in the Archives includes a sound recording from a symposium on Marsden Hartley, of which McCausland was a participant, held at the Portland Museum of Art in 1961. The Frank Kleinholz papers contain a recorded interview of McCausland done in 1944-1945 for radio station WNYC. Some of McCausland's correspondence is found in the G. Alan Chidsey papers; Chidsey served as a trustee of the Marsden Hartley estate.
Separated Material:
Material separated from the collection includes some issues of Camera Work (Vol. 30, 47, 49/50), which were combined with other issues in an artificial collection created by the Archives at some earlier point.
Provenance:
Elizabeth McCausland donated the bulk of her papers in several installments from 1956 to 1961. An unknown donor, perhaps her literary executor, donated additional papers sometime after her death in 1965. It appears that McCausland originally donated her research files on Marsden Hartley, measuring 10 linear feet, to the Whitney Museum, who then lent them to the Archives for microfilming in 1966, and donated them sometime thereafter. McCausland originally donated files of newspaper clippings and offprints of her articles to the The New York Public Library, who gave them to the Archives in 1968. Additional McCausland material from the estate of Berenice Abbott was donated to the Archives in 2009.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women art critics  Search this
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Art -- History -- Study and teaching  Search this
Modernism (Art)  Search this
Women art historians  Search this
Women authors  Search this
Function:
Arts organizations
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Drawings
Photographs
Citation:
Elizabeth McCausland papers, 1838-1995, bulk 1920-1960. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.mccaeliz
See more items in:
Elizabeth McCausland papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9cebe32f8-0180-44bb-a2a8-8ed061f173c1
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mccaeliz
Online Media:

Charles Henry Alston papers

Creator:
Alston, Charles Henry, 1907-1977  Search this
Names:
City University of New York. City College -- Faculty  Search this
Bearden, Anna Alston  Search this
Bearden, Romare, 1911-1988  Search this
Browne, Byron, 1907-1961  Search this
Lawrence, Jacob, 1917-2000  Search this
Logan, Myra, 1909-1977  Search this
Welty, Eudora, 1909-2001  Search this
Woodruff, Hale, 1900-1980  Search this
Wright, Louis T. (Louis Tompkins), 1891-1952  Search this
Extent:
0.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1924-1980
Summary:
The scattered papers of African American and Harlem Renaissance painter, muralist, illustrator, sculptor, and educator Charles Henry Alston measure 0.9 linear feet and date from 1924-1980. Included are biographical materials, correspondence, commission and teaching files, writings and notes, printed materials, and photographs. Notable correspondents include Romare Bearden, Byron Browne, Jacob Lawrence, and Hale Woodruff.
Scope and Content Note:
The scattered papers of African American and Harlem Renaissance painter, muralist, illustrator, sculptor, and educator Charles Henry Alston (1907-1977) measure 0.9 linear feet and date from 1924-1980. The bulk of the collection documents his personal and professional relationships with figures of the Harlem Renaissance. Researchers should note that this collection contains very little documentation on Alston's actual federal WPA work with the Harlem Art Workshop, the Harlem Artists Guild, or his Harlem Hospital murals completed in 1940. A photograph of Alston in 1937 is likely the only reference to the actual WPA murals in this collection.

Scattered correspondence includes general correspondence; letters concerning Alston's artistic endeavors; and personal letters from friends and family. Found is a copy of a thank you note from Eudora Welty to John Woodburn for a jacket design presumably by Alston; letters from Harlem Renaissance figures and personal friends Romare Bearden, Byron Brown, Jacob Lawrence, and Hale Woodruff.

Commission files are for Alston's murals including those in the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance building in Los Angeles, California (1947); and the addition to the Harlem Hospital (1965); and the Family and Criminal Courts Building in the Bronx, New York (1976). There is one file concerning teaching at City College New York (CUNY).

Writings and notes includes scattered notes and three short stories probably by Alston entitled "Bitsy O'Wire," "Body and Soul," and "Gigi."

Printed materials include illustrations by Alston in the Columbia University literary magazine, The Morningside, and medical illustrations done for Dr. Louis T. Wright. Also found are scattered clippings, exhibition announcements, press releases, and materials from the First Conference on Aesthetic Responsibility.

Photographs are of Alston, Alston with his wife, Myra Logan, his mother Anna Alston Bearden, Romare Bearden, and Hale Woodruff. Photographs of note include one of Alston holding a self-portrait, and one of the artist in 1937 with works that are most likely preliminary sketches of his WPA murals at Harlem Hospital. There are also photographs of Alston's works of art.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 6 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Information, 1924-1977 (Box 1; 3 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1931-1977(Box 1; 7 folders)

Series 3: Commission and Teaching Files, 1947-1976 (Box 1; 4 folders)

Series 4: Writings and Notes, circa 1940s-1970s (Box 2-3; 4 folders)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1928, 1946-1980(Box 2-3; 5 folders)

Series 6: Photographs, 1925-1968 (Box 2; 2 folders)
Biographical Note:
Charles Henry Alston (1907-1977) worked primarily in New York city as a painter, muralist, illustrator, and educator. He was part of the Harlem Renaissance movement in the 1930s and helped form the Harlem Art Workshop and the Harlem Artists Guild.

Charles Henry "Spinky" Alston was born in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 28th, 1907. His parents were the Reverend Primus Priss and Anna Miller. After the death of his father, Alston's mother married Henry Pierce Bearden (Romare Bearden's uncle) in 1913 and the family moved to New York City.

At DeWitt Clinton High School in New York, Alston served as art editor of the school's literary magazine. Alston majored in fine arts and history at Columbia University, graduating in 1929. He became active in the Harlem community and accepted a position as director of Utopia House, a boy's camp, where he started an art program. He returned to Columbia and recieved a Masters degree in art education from Columbia's Teachers College. While still a student, he illustrated album covers for jazz musician Duke Ellington and book covers for poet Langston Hughes.

Alston played a major role in the Harlem Renaissance Movement of the period. During the Great Depression, he and sculptor Henry Bannarn directed the Harlem Art Workshop which was funded by the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project. There he taught and mentored African American painter Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden, among others.

In the 1950s, Alston embarked on a series of portraits of African American figures. He also taught at the Art Students League and later with the City College of New York (CUNY). Along with his wife, Myra Logan, a surgeon at Harlem Hospital, Alston lived in Harlem and remained an active member of the community until the end of his life. Charles Alston died in 1977.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are two oral history interviews with Charles Henry Alston, one conducted by Harlan Phillips on September 28, 1965 and another by Al Murray on October 19, 1968.

Additional Charles Henry Alston papers are located at the University of North Carolina's Southern Historical Collection at the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library.
Separated Material:
In 1970, Charles Alston loaned materials for microfilming, including correspondence with Henry Epstein, Langston Hughes, Robert Riggs, Harry Sternberg, J. Johnson Sweeney, Hale Woodruff and others. Also loaned for microfilming were sketchbooks, printed materials, and photographs. Subsequently, some of the photographs were later donated by Alston's sisters. The loaned materials are available only on microfilm reel N70-23 at Archives of American Art offices, and through interlibrary loan. These materials are not included in the container listing of this finding aid.
Provenance:
Charles Alston lent portions of the collection for microfilming in 1970. Aida Winters and Rousmaniere Alston Wilson, Charles Alston's sisters, donated additional materials to the Archives of American Art in 1982 and 1984.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Harlem Renaissance  Search this
African American artists  Search this
African American educators  Search this
African American painters  Search this
African American sculptors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Charles Henry Alston papers, 1924-1980. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.alstchar
See more items in:
Charles Henry Alston papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9659f264f-7afb-4e05-bf28-ed3872b7cfea
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-alstchar
Online Media:

Henry P. Whitehead collection

Collector:
Whitehead, Henry Preston, 1917-2002  Search this
Extent:
156.91 Linear feet (178 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pamphlets
Sound recordings
Clippings
Memorabilia
Newspapers
Photographs
Books
Brochures
Date:
1843-2010
bulk 1940-1986
Summary:
The papers of historian Henry P. Whitehead measure 156.91 linear feet and date from 1843 to 2010 (bulk 1945-1986). The collection documents Whitehead's careers, as well as his family and personal life. The collection also includes the personal papers of Tomlinson D. Todd, Elizabeth B. Delaney and the Howard Theatre Foundation. The combined collection is comprised of black theatrical memorabilia; materials relating to civil rights activities in the District of Columbia; and the African American experience in general. Included are playbills, sheet music, admission tickets, newspapers, magazines, books, photographs, clippings, flyers, brochures, pamphlets, sound recordings, research files, and other material.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of historian Henry P. Whitehead measure 156.91 linear feet and date from 1843 to 2010 (bulk 1945-1986). The collection includes the personal papers of Henry P. Whitehead, Tomlinson D. Todd, Elizabeth B. Delaney and the Howard Theatre Foundation. The collection is divided into four series.

Series I focuses on Whitehead and includes papers dating from 1843 to his death in 2011. This series includes biographical material including a large amount of appointment books, identification and membership cards, resumes, certificates, and personal and family material. There is a limited amount of correspondence, which focuses on his personal relationships with family, friends, and general correspondence relating primarily to his work as a local historian.

Also found within Whitehead's papers are countless records from his time employed by the Washington DC government. Materials include memoranda, notes, research material, handbooks, guides, manuals, affirmative action info and records, affirmative action plans, promotion recommendations, recruitment plans and summaries, personnel files (complaints), civil actions and reports related too Whitehead's 37 years of government employment. It reflects the activities of numerous departments, primarily in regards to employment and affirmative action.

There are also a number of files that document Whitehead's involvement in numerous community organizations. Among the organizations in which Whitehead was involved include U Street Festival, Lincoln Corporation, and the U Street Theater Foundation. The papers of the U Street Foundation document the production and establishment of the annual U Street Festival. The Lincoln Theater Foundation and the U Street Theater Foundation papers document the efforts to reopen the Lincoln Theater. Also included are Whitehead's research on the Lincoln as well as old Lincoln Theatre programs. Additionally found within this series are documents and clippings on the economic development within Washington DC particularly in the Shaw/U Street location.

The majority of this series consists of printed material. Printed material in this series includes books, clippings, magazines, newsletters, newspapers, press releases, sheet music, programs as well as promotional material for several Washington DC theaters and organizations. There is a large quantity of theater programs dating from 1900-1986. The majority of the clippings and magazines are theater related topics, coupled with a miscellaneous selection of clippings on topics that presumably captured Whitehead's attention.

Research, notes and writings include a large amount of scrapbooks compiled by Whitehead of mostly photocopied clippings documenting Washington DC history, African American theater history, and general African American history. Five scrapbooks were compiled by an unknown source and were previously housed in the New York Public Library collection. Two scrapbooks are about general theater history one about Frances Starr and one about Margaret Anglin. There is also one scrapbook pertaiing to Mae Hall. Also included are a large amount of research notes and notebooks along with general miscellaneous notes.

There are several photographs of African Americans in the performing arts as well as images of Washington DC and several unidentified men, women, and children.

Audio recordings include 23 cassette from the Alexandria Church of God.

The remainder of the collection consists of the papers of Tomlinson D. Todd, Elizabeth B. Delaney, and those about the Howard Theatre.

The Howard Theatre papers are arranged in Series II and include documents relating to the Washington DC historic Howard Theatre and date from 1910 to 1986. The papers in this series predominantly document the Howard Theatre Foundation's efforts to reestablish and run the Howard Theatre in which Whitehead was the vice president. Records include business correspondence, founding documents, photographs, memoranda, press releases, member lists, financial records, clippings, and scrapbooks of clippings pertaining to the organization and theatre.

The correspondence in the collection include a handful of letters from the Washington DC government along with individuals and organizations. Also included is a large amount of interoffice memoradums.

Administrative records include lawsuits, resolutions, meeting minutes, grant proposals, press releases, memoranda, member lists, studies and reports.

Financial records include check stubs, receipts, invoices, bank statements, expenses, and contribution lists. Printed material includes original and photocopied clippings relating to the history and coverage of the foundation activities. Mostly promotional material as flyers, brochures, and press releases along with programs. In particular two 1920 Howard Theatre programs.

The scrapbooks of original and photocopied clippings compiled by Whitehead chronicle the history of the theatre and coverage of the foundation activities.

There are three VHS cassette featuring Whitehead discussing the Howard Theatre. Also found in series 2 are numerous stock investment record books belonging to A.E. Lichtman one of the early managers of the Howard Theatre. In addition early correspondence between Lichtman and the Rex Amusement Company concerning operational management issues of the Howard Theatre.

The Tomlinson D. Todd papers are arranged in Series III and date from 1902-1986 they include organization files, collected printed materials, subject files, and personal papers.

The collection includes materials relating to organizations in which there was a relationship to Todd's work and in which he had an interest primarily during the 1940s and 1950s, organizations include the National Negro Congress (ca, 1946-1947); the Congress for Industrial Organizations (1943-1947); National Council of Negro Women (1947-1949); Committee for Racial Democracy in the Nation's Capital (1947-1948).

The subject files include documents from three of Todd's organizations; Institute on Race Relation, Club Internationale, and his radio program "Americans All". As well as printed material from Todd's alma mater Lincoln University.

The largest subject file is "Americans All" which includes radio scripts as well as audio recording of a few programs and public service announcements. Also found are several black and white photographs of Todd at the radio studio. Printed materials include newspapers, leaflets, convention proceedings, and flyers, There are a large amount of programs ranging from church worship to convention as well as performance. Also present is a small amount of personal papers, including resumes, certificates, admission tickets, family documents, and travel ephemera from his all expense paid trip to Nigeria.

There are a few photographs of Todd at functions and with notable individuals as well as some family, friends and travel.

Elizabeth's B. Delaney papers are arranged in Series IV and date from 1874-1973.

The papers primarily document her involvement in four organizations, the Grand Oder of Odd Fellow of Kentucky, the Order Eastern Star Kentucky, the State Federation of Colored Women's Clubs of Kentucky and the National Association of Colored Women. There is a small amount of printed material belonging to her son primarily the Alpha Phi Alpha material and Gospel Choral Sheet Music, and books.

The Scrapbook was complied by Whitehead consisting of photocopied clipping documenting the life of Elizabeth B. Delaney.
Arrangement note:
This collection is arranged into four series:

Series 1: Henry P. Whitehead papers Series 2: Howard Theatre Series 3: Tomlinson D. Todd Series 4. Elizabeth B. Delaney
Biographical/Historical note:
Henry Preston Whitehead Jr., was a native of Columbus Ohio. A graduate of Ohio State University, where he also attended law school and was a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity. Mr. Whitehead discovered Washington's "Black Broadway" in 1940, when he was a soldier in town on a weekend furlough. As he served in the Army in the South Pacific during World War II. Prior to moving to Washington DC Henry P. Whitehead worked for five years as a liquor inspector. Mr. Whitehead moved to Washington D.C. in 1949 and worked for the Post Office before working for the District of Columbia government where he stayed 21 years. He led several equal employment initiatives during the 1960s and 1970s, and was last employed as associate director of the District's Office of Human Rights. In 1980 after putting in 37 years of government service Mr. Whitehead retired. Mr. Whitehead was an historian who led efforts to restore Washington's U Street cultural corridor and achieved recognition as an authority on and collector of black theatrical memorabilia. Mr. Whitehead worked to promote and preserve the city's rich African American cultural heritage.

Mr. Whitehead, served as the chairman and president for 10 years of the Howard Theater Foundation Inc., which he helped establish. There he led the effort to include Howard Theatre in the National Register of Historic Places.

Similarly he was an active member of the U Street Festival Foundation. He was an adviser to the Kennedy Center, Anacostia Museum, and other Smithsonian Institution units and contributed materials to their exhibitions. He was also a consultant to historical documentaries broadcast on public television and radio, including PBS's "Duke Ellington's Washington." His writings included "Remembering U Street," a book used for annual festivals in the historic area.

Mr. Whitehead was also the founder and board member of the Lincoln Theatre Foundation.

Henry P. Whitehead Jr. died on January 8th 2002 at the age of 84.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Anacostia Community Museum on September 1, 2005 by Michael A. Watkins.
Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Rights:
The Henry P. Whitehead collection is the physical property of the Anacostia Community Museum. Literary and copyright belong to the author/creator or their legal heirs and assigns. Rights to work produced during the normal course of Museum business resides with the Anacostia Community Museum. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archives.
Topic:
Howard Theatre (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
African Americans  Search this
National Negro Congress (U.S.)  Search this
National Council of Negro Women  Search this
Radio broadcasting  Search this
African American neighborhoods  Search this
African American musicians  Search this
Genre/Form:
Pamphlets
Sound recordings
Clippings
Memorabilia -- 20th century
Newspapers
Photographs
Books
Brochures
Citation:
Henry P. Whitehead collection, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Michael A. Watkins.
Identifier:
ACMA.06-042
See more items in:
Henry P. Whitehead collection
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/qa751389911-f3d5-474b-82b4-126047b9cc46
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-acma-06-042
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Online Media:

National Association of Colored Women Bulletin

Creator:
National Association of Colored Women's Clubs (U.S.)  Search this
Collection Collector:
Whitehead, Henry Preston, 1917-2002  Search this
Extent:
1 Document (10 3/4 x 8 1/4 inches)
Type:
Archival materials
Documents
Bulletins
Place:
Washington (D.C.)
Date:
December 1946
Collection Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
The Henry P. Whitehead collection is the physical property of the Anacostia Community Museum. Literary and copyright belong to the author/creator or their legal heirs and assigns. Rights to work produced during the normal course of Museum business resides with the Anacostia Community Museum. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archives.
Topic:
African American women -- Societies and clubs  Search this
Genre/Form:
Bulletins
Collection Citation:
Henry P. Whitehead collection, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Michael A. Watkins.
See more items in:
Henry P. Whitehead collection
Henry P. Whitehead collection / Series 3: Tomlinson D. Todd / 3.7: Subject Files / National Association of Colored Women's Club's, Inc.
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/qa7a595a75c-6dd8-42b1-9a26-c141e0aef1da
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-06-042-ref1882
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View National Association of Colored Women Bulletin digital asset number 1

Mrs. Rosa L. Gragg obituary

Collection Collector:
Whitehead, Henry Preston, 1917-2002  Search this
Extent:
1 Document (9 1/4 x 6 1/4 inches)
Type:
Archival materials
Documents
Obituaries
Place:
Washington (D.C.)
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
The Henry P. Whitehead collection is the physical property of the Anacostia Community Museum. Literary and copyright belong to the author/creator or their legal heirs and assigns. Rights to work produced during the normal course of Museum business resides with the Anacostia Community Museum. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archives.
Topic:
African American women -- Societies and clubs  Search this
Genre/Form:
Obituaries
Collection Citation:
Henry P. Whitehead collection, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Michael A. Watkins.
See more items in:
Henry P. Whitehead collection
Henry P. Whitehead collection / Series 3: Tomlinson D. Todd / 3.7: Subject Files / National Association of Colored Women's Club's, Inc.
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/qa74dc38a42-70f7-4f90-b90d-d80311ffbb85
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-06-042-ref1888
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
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