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Dorothy C. Miller papers

Creator:
Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003  Search this
Names:
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Chase Manhattan Bank -- Art collections  Search this
Federal Art Project  Search this
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden  Search this
Mark Rothko Foundation  Search this
Municipal Art Exhibition (1st : 1934 : New York, N.Y.)  Search this
PepsiCo, Inc.  Search this
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey -- Art collections  Search this
Rockefeller University  Search this
Smith College -- Students  Search this
Smith College. Museum of Art  Search this
World Trade Center (New York, N.Y.) -- Art collections  Search this
Asher, Elise, 1914-  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Bontecou, Lee, 1931-  Search this
Byars, James Lee  Search this
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Canady, John  Search this
Charlton, Maryette  Search this
Christo, 1935-  Search this
Chryssa, 1933-  Search this
Coggeshall, Calvert, 1907-1990  Search this
Copley, Alfred L.  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Feininger, Lyonel, 1871-1956  Search this
Feitelson, Lorser, 1898-1978  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898-  Search this
Hartigan, Grace  Search this
Hicks, Edward, 1780-1849  Search this
Horwitt, Will  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Karpel, Bernard, 1911-1986  Search this
Levy, Julien  Search this
Mather, Eleanore Price, 1910-  Search this
Matisse, Pierre, 1900-1989  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia, 1887-1986  Search this
Pereira, I. Rice (Irene Rice), 1902-1971  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich), 1908-1979 -- Art collections  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Sage, Kay  Search this
Scharf, William, 1927-  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Sterne, Hedda, 1910-2011  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Extent:
34.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Sketches
Christmas cards
Drawings
Date:
1853-2013
bulk 1920-1996
Summary:
The papers of contemporary and folk art curator, historian, and consultant Dorothy C. Miller measure 34.6 linear feet and date from 1853-2013, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920 to 1996. The papers primarily concern Miller's private art consulting work outside of her curatorial work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Found are scattered biographical materials, extensive correspondence and subject files, and project files for her art consulting work for the Rockefeller family, Rockefeller University, Chase Manhattan Bank, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the World Trade Center, and other miscellaneous corporate and private clients. Miller's work as a trustee and committee member of various public and private boards and commissions is also represented here. Additionally, the papers contain Miller's research files on Edward Hicks and folk art, and a small number of files of her husband Holger Cahill about his work as Director of the Federal Art Project. There is a scattered documentation of Miller's early curatorial work with Holger Cahill on the First Municipal Art Exhibition (1934) held at the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center. Also found is Dorothy Miller's collection of artists' Christmas cards and photographs of Miller and others. An addition to the papers includes biographical material; family papers; correspondence; professional files; art collection and client files; printed material; and photographic material. While a small number professional files are included, the majority of the addition relates to her personal life, including correspondence with her husband Holger Cahill, and files pertaining to her personal art collection.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of contemporary and folk art curator, historian, and consultant Dorothy C. Miller measure 34.6 linear feet and date from 1853-2013, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920 to 1996. The papers primarily concern Miller's art consulting work outside of her curatorial work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York city. Found are scattered biographical materials, extensive correspondence and subject files, and project files for her art consulting work for the Rockefeller family, Rockefeller University, Chase Manhattan Bank, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and other miscellaneous corporate and private clients. Her work as a trustee and committee member of various public and private boards and commissions is also represented here. Additionally, the papers contain Miller's research files on Edward Hicks and folk art, and a small number of files related to Miller's husband Holger Cahill and his work as Director of the Federal Art Project. There is important documentation of Miller's early curatorial work with Holger Cahill on the First Municipal Art Exhibition (1934) held at the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center. Artwork includes scattered sketches and drawings enclosed with correspondence and original Christmas cards sent to Miller by various artists. Photographs of Miller date from 1926 - circa 1950.

Scattered biographical material mostly concerns Miller's education at Smith College and awards and honorary degrees that she received. Extensive correspondence and subject files document her professional and personal relationships with family, friends, colleagues, museums, art dealers and artists, as well as her research interests. Individual files may contain a mix of correspondence with, as well as about, the person or subject, compiled research documents, printed materials, and scattered photographs. Files are found for Lewin Alcopley, Alfred Barr, Betty Parsons Gallery, Cahill family members, Lee Bontecou, James Byars, Holger Cahill, Alexander Calder, Christo, Chryssa, Calvert Coggeshall, John Canaday, Maryette Charlton, Stuart Davis, Jay DeFeo, Lorser Feitelson, Arshile Gorky, Peggy Guggenheim, Grace Hartigan, Will Horwitt, Jasper Johns, Julien Levy, Pierre Matisse, Louise Nevelson, Barnett Newman, Isamu Nauchi, Georgia O'Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Ad Reinhardt, Kay Sage, Charles Sheeler, Hedda Sterne, travel, Clyfford Still, William Scharf, among many others.

Detailed records of Miller's art consulting and advisory work for the Rockefeller family include correspondence with Nelson A. Rockefeller and David Rockefeller about building their personal collections of contemporary and folk art, meeting notes and minutes, research notes and writings, and printed materials. The largest group of records concerns the writing and publication of The Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection: Masterpieces of Modern Art. Miller's curatorial work for David Rockefeller and the Rockefeller University's Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Hall art collection is documented in Series 4 through curatorial files, correspondence, printed materials, photographs and slides, artists files, and design records.

Series 5 contains files relating to Miller's work as the first art consutant to the Chase Manhattan Bank and the building of the corporation's extensive collection of contemporary art. There is a draft of Miller's text for the bank's published catalog, Art At Work: Chase Manhattan Bank Collection. A smaller set of records is found in Series 6 documenting Miller's work on the Art Committee of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, including files about selecting artwork for the World Trade Center during the early 1970s. Files concerning Miller's advisory work with additional public and private clients, boards, and commissions are arranged in Series 7 and 8 and concern the Amstar Corporation, Fidelity International Bank, First National Bank of Tampa, First National City Bank, Inmont Corporation, Pepsico, United Mutual Savings Bank, the Empire State Plaza Art Commission, the Hancock Shaker Village, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Mark Rothko Foundation, the Museum of American Folk Art, and the Smith College Museum of Art.

Miller's papers include a small group of files relating to the WPA Federal Art Project (FAP)created by her husband Holger Cahill when he was director of the FAP, Holger Cahill. A small series is devoted to Miller's work with Eleanore Price Mather researching and writing Edward Hicks: His Peaceable Kingdom and Other Paintings. A series of general research files contain miscellaneous research notes and photographs related to Miller's interests in early American art and folk art. Series 12 contains important documentation of Miller's early curatorial work with Holger Cahill on the First Municipal Art Exhibition (1934) held at the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center.

Works of art are primarily in the form of Christmas cards sent to Miller by various artists including Elise Asher, Lyonel Feininger, Bernard Karpel, and Irene Rice Pereira. A small group of photographs includes photographs of Miller from 1926-circa 1950 and a few photographs of others.

The addition includes biographical material; family papers; correspondence; professional files; art collection and client files; printed material; and photographic material. While a small number of professional files are found here, the majority of material relates to Miller's personal life, including correspondence with her husband Holger Cahill, and files pertaining to her personal art collection. Scattered correspondence, inventories, research, and notes created by curator and donor of the papers, Wendy Jeffers, are found throughout the collection. These materials date from the 1980s-2000s.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 15 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1917-1986 (Box 1; 0.3 linear ft.)

Series 2: Correspondence and Subject Files, circa 1912-1992 (Boxes 1-8, OV 27; 7.2 linear ft.)

Series 3: Rockefeller Family Art Collections, circa 1949-1985 (Boxes 8-12, 25; 3.9 linear ft.)

Series 4: Rockefeller University Collection, 1923-1984 (Boxes 12-13, OV 27; 1.0 linear ft.)

Series 5: Chase Manhattan Bank Collection, 1959-circa 1985 (Boxes 13-14, 26; 1.4 linear ft.)

Series 6: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Art Committee, circa 1965-1987 (Boxes 14-15, OV 27; 0.8 linear ft.)

Series 7: Other Corporate and Private Clients, 1968-1984 (Boxes 15-16; 1.3 linear ft.)

Series 8: Other Boards, Committees and Commissions, 1925, 1949-1985 (Boxes 16-20; 3.6 linear ft.)

Series 9: Works Project Administration Federal Art Project Files, 1935-1979 (Box 20, OV 27; 0.5 linear ft.)

Series 10: Edward Hicks Catalog, 1934-1984 (Boxes 20-22; 1.5 linear ft.)

Series 11: Research Files, 1930s-1980 (Boxes 22-23; 0.8 linear ft.)

Series 12: Exhibition Files, 1932-1986 (Box 23; 0.6 linear ft.)

Series 13: Works of Art, circa 1924-circa 1982 (Boxes 23-25; 1.5 linear ft.)

Series 14: Photographs, 1926-circa 1970s (Boxes 24-25; 0.3 linear ft.)

Series 15: Addition to the Dorothy C. Miller Papers, 1853-2003, bulk 1920-1996 (Boxes 28-38, OVs 39-41; 9.9 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Dorothy Canning Miller (1904-2003) worked in New York City as a highly influential curator of contemporary and folk art at the Museum of Modern Art and as the first curator of the museum. Later, she was the primary art consultant for Nelson A. Rockefeller, the Rockefeller family, Rockefeller University, Chase Manhattan Bank, and the Port Authority of and New Jersey. Dorothy Miller was also married to Holger Cahill, director of the WPA Federal Art Project.

Dorothy C. Miller was born in Hopedale, Massachusetts in 1904 and received her Bachelor of Arts from Smith College in 1925. She was first introduced to modern art through classes at the Newark Museum taught by John Cotton Dana and Holger Cahill. Miller joined the curatorial staff of the Newark Museum in 1926. The museum was one of the first to organize exhibitions of American folk art, American Primitives (1930-1931) and American Folk Sculpture (1931-1932). Miller worked with Cahill and others on the exhibition and developed a life-long interest in folk art.

After four years at the Newark Museum, Miller moved to New York city, hoping to get involved with the newly opened Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and, likely, to be with Holger Cahill, with whom she lived with on 8th Street prior to their marriage in 1938. Between 1930 and 1932 she took odd jobs and worked with Mrs. Henry Lang cataloging, researching and installing Lang's collection of Native American art Lang donated to the Montclair Art Museum. At the same time, Holger Cahill was serving as Acting Director of the Museum of Modern Art during an absence of Director Alfred H. Barr. In 1932, Cahill asked Miller to assist him with curating the American Painting and Sculpture, 1862-1932 exhibition at MoMA, and together they also curated the First Municipal Art Exhibition, 1934 at the Rockefeller Center.

In 1934, Barr hired Miller as his assistant and one year later appointed her as MoMA's first curator. Miller spent the next 35 years organizing many of this country's most important exhibitions of contemporary art and building personal relationships with new artists and photographers, as well as the collections of MoMA. Miller retired from MOMA in 1969 and focused more on her art consulting work begun in the late 1950s.

Dorothy Miller's most notable client was Nelson A. Rockefeller. She assisted and advised Rockefeller as he acquired a vast personal collection of modern art - some of which was later donated to MoMA. Just prior to her retirement, Miller organized a large exhibition of Rockefeller's collection. The exhibition catalog written by Miller was the basis for the book she worked on with Rockefeller up until and following his death in 1979, ultimately published as The Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection: Masterpieces of Modern Art. In the preface, Rockefeller credited Miller with being one of the four people to whom he was indebted "for the understanding and endless joy I have found in the collecting of modern art in all forms."

Miller also served as the primary art consultant for projects to furnish federal spaces, including Henry Kissinger's State Department office suite, and the official Vice-Presidential residence at the Admiral's House in Washington D.C.

In 1959 Miller was invited to join the art collection committee of the Chase Manhattan Bank and served on the committee until the mid-1980s, contributing her expertise to the development of one of this country's oldest and largest corporate collections of modern and contemporary art.

Miller was also an advisor to other members of the Rockefeller family, including David Rockefeller, and assisted with developing the art collections of Rockefeller Institute/University. From 1960 through the late 1980s Miller was a member of the art committee for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANJY) and was responsible for selecting much of the artwork for the World Trade Center in the 1970s. She served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Hancock Shaker Village, the Smithsonian Institution's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Empire State Plaza in Albany, Smith College Museum of Art, and the Museum of American Folk Art. She also became a member of the Mark Rothko Foundation Board of Directors after the litigation following Rothko's death between Rothko's executors and his daughter.

In the mid-1970s Miller assisted the Whitney Museum of American with planning an exhibition and supporting catalog of the work of folk artist Edward Hicks. Although the exhibition and catalog were only partially realized in 1980, Miller and Eleanore Price Mather compiled and published a book on Hicks, Edward Hicks: His Peaceable Kingdoms and Other Paintings, published in 1983.

In 1982-1983 Miller received the Art Dealers Association Special Award, an honorary degree from Williams College, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture governor's award. In 1984 she was named honorary trustee of the Museum of Modern Art. In 1985 the Smith College Museum of Art honored her important contributions to museum connoisseurship with the exhibition Dorothy C. Miller: With An Eye to American Art.

Dorothy Miller died in 2003 at the age of 99 at her home in Greenwich, New York.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art holds two oral history interviews with Dorothy C. Miller. The first was conducted by Paul Cummings between May 26, 1970 and September 28, 1971, and details Miller's life from childhood up to, and including, her years at the Museum of Modern Art. The second was conducted by Avis Berman on May 14, 1981 and covers Miller's relationships with Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still. Also found among the holdings of the Archives are the papers of Holger Cahill, Dorothy Miller's husband and colleague.

The Museum of Modern Art Achives holds Dorothy Miller's papers related to her curatorial work at the museum.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Dorothy C. Miller via Wendy Jeffers between 1986 and 1997, and Reid White, Executor of Miller's estate, in 2004. Two subsequent additions were donated by Wendy Jeffers in 2014 and 2015.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Dorothy C. Miller papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Artists -- United States  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Exhibitions  Search this
Art museum curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Corporations -- Private collections  Search this
Art -- Private collections  Search this
Folk art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sketches
Christmas cards
Drawings
Citation:
Dorothy C. Miller papers, 1853-2013, bulk 1920-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.milldoro
See more items in:
Dorothy C. Miller papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-milldoro
Online Media:

Woodward S. Bousquet research material relating to Marshall B. Fleming

Creator:
Bousquet, Woodward S.  Search this
Names:
Fleming, Marshall B., 1916-  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Date:
1989-1992
Scope and Contents:
An indexed transcript of an interview of Fleming conducted by Bousquet at Fleming's home in New Creek, W.Va., Apr. 18 and July 17-18, 1990 (144 p.); Bousquet's notes from a telephone conversation with Fleming, Sept. 24, 1990; 18 photographs, 1989-1992, of Fleming and his works of art; a copy of an "environment field survey form" on Fleming's folk art environment prepared by Bousquet for SPACES (Saving and Preserving Arts and Cultural Environments) in Los Angeles, California; and copies of articles written by Bousquet on Fleming for the Goldenseal, and for the Appalachian Journal, 1992.
In his interview, Fleming describes his wood carvings and constructions, his techniques, materials and sources of information, and his encounters with folk art collectors and curators.
Biographical / Historical:
Bousquet is chair, Environmental Studies Program at Warren Wilson College, N.C. whose teaching included Appalachian region issues. Fleming is a woodcarver, New Creek, W. Va.
Provenance:
Donated 1990 by Woodward S. Bousquet.
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:
Folk artists -- Virginia -- New Creek  Search this
Wood-carvers -- Virginia -- New Creek  Search this
Topic:
Wood-carving -- United States  Search this
Folk art -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.bouswood
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bouswood

Nina Howell Starr papers

Creator:
Starr, Nina Howell  Search this
Names:
International Women's Art Festival  Search this
Museum of American Folk Art  Search this
Photographic Historical Society of New York  Search this
Professional Women's Photographers, Inc.  Search this
Sharon Arts Center  Search this
Southern Regional Council  Search this
Brandt, Helene, 1936-  Search this
Cohen, Stephenie  Search this
Coke, Van Deren, 1921-  Search this
Connor, Linda  Search this
Daitz, Evelyne Z.  Search this
DiSpirito, Henry, 1898-1995  Search this
Evans, Minnie, 1892-  Search this
Evans, Walker, 1903-1975  Search this
Ghent, Henri, 1926-  Search this
Kanaga, Consuelo, 1894-  Search this
Kernan, Margo, 1927-  Search this
Kruger, Louise, 1924-  Search this
Lippard, Lucy R.  Search this
Macdonald-Wright, Stanton, 1890-1973  Search this
Mainardi, Patricia  Search this
Morgan, Barbara Brooks, 1900-  Search this
Putnam, Wallace, 1899-1989  Search this
Ringgold, Faith  Search this
Rose, Ruth Starr, 1887-1965  Search this
Savage, Naomi, 1927-2005  Search this
Sherwood, Maggie, 1922-1984  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Strand, Paul, 1890-1976  Search this
Szarwarski, John  Search this
Uelsmann, Jerry, 1934-  Search this
Extent:
21.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Interviews
Drawings
Sketches
Transcripts
Sound recordings
Prints
Date:
circa 1933-1996
Summary:
The papers of photographer and art historian Nina Howell Starr measure 21.2 linear feet and date from circa 1933 to 1996. The papers contain research files about various art historical topics, museums and galleries, photography, and artists. There are extensive files documenting Starr's relationship as researcher, dealer, and friend of folk painter Minnie Evans. Additionally, the papers include biographical materials, writings, speeches, project files, printed material collected or authored by Starr, and hundreds of artistic and documentary photographs and negatives created by Starr depicting her travels, Minnie Evans' paintings, roadside folk art, and other topics.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of photographer and art historian Nina Howell Starr measure 21.2 linear feet and date from circa 1933 to 1996. The papers contain research files about various art historical topics, museums and galleries, photography, and artists. There are extensive files documenting Starr's relationship as researcher, dealer, and friend of folk painter Minnie Evans. Additionally, the papers include biographical materials, writings, speeches, project files, printed material collected or authored by Starr, and hundreds of artistic and documentary photographs and negatives created by Starr depicting her travels, Minnie Evans' paintings, roadside folk art, and other topics.

Biographical materials are scattered and include grant and publication applications, curriculum vitae, lists of artwork, and miscellany.

Starr's lectures, writings, and project files are arranged into one series. They include Starr's student writings, a notebook about Civil Rights, files documenting her work on a Florida public housing project, the Southern Regional Council, and the League of Women Voters. A few files of general writings and lectures mostly concern folk artist Minnie Evans and the exhibition Women Photograph Men, held at the International Women's Arts Festival in 1976.

Subject files on artists, art history topics, photographers and photography (including Starr's work), and on folk artist and friend Minne Evans comprise the bulk of the collection. The files are a mix of collated materials and primary sources created by Starr and others and many contain correspondence, notes, photographs, and a few sketches and orginal prints. Also included are materials related to professional and organizational groups in which Starr was involved, including the Professional Women's Photographers, Inc., the Photographic Historical Society of New York, and the Museum of American Folk Art; files on several of Starr's exhibitions; and files on artists that contain printed materials, correspondence, and photographs. The file on Ruth Starr Rose contains prints and drawings. There are also photographs taken by Stephanie Cohen. Particularly rich files are found for Stephanie Cohen; Van Deren Coke, Director of the George Eastman Company; Evelyn Daitz, Director of the Witkin Gallery; Henry DiSpirito; Walker Evans; the Fotofolio printing company; curator Henri Ghent; photographer Consuelo Kanaga and husband Wallace Putnam; Margot Starr Kernan; Lucy Lippard; Stanton Mac-Donald Wright; Sharon Arts Center; photographer Paul Strand; curator John Szarwarski; and photographer Jerry Uelsman.

The collection also documents the friendship between painter Minnie Evans and Starr, and Starr's business dealings on Evans' behalf. There is correspondence about and with Evans, several sound recordings of interviews conducted by Starr and others with Evans, many with transcripts, financial documents, publications about Evans including exhibition catalogs, clippings, journal articles and monographs, two posters, a scrapbook, and one sketch by Evans.

Printed material includes published articles, exhibition catalogs and announcements, and clippings about Starr.

Photographic materials are extensive and include photographs and slides taken by Starr of friends, family, artwork by Minnie Evans, events, exhibition openings, world travels, and folk art, especially roadside. Prominent artists and art historians photographed include: photographers Maggie Sherwood, Naomi Savage, Barbara Morgan, Linda Connor, Aaron Siskind, Consuelo Kanaga, Faith Ringgold, and Walker Evans; sculptors Louise Kruger and Helene Brandt; feminist and art historian Pat Mainardi; and curators Henri Ghent and John Szarkowski. Starr's artistic photographic work is also represented, and includes two silver gelatin prints of Minnie Evans, and subject studies on hands, people, and nature, among others.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 6 series.

Series 1: Biographical material, 1954-circa 1990 (8 folders; Box 1)

Series 2: Writings, Speeches and Projects, 1933-1995 (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)

Series 3: Subject Files, circa 1939-1996 (8.3 linear feet; Boxes 2-10)

Series 4: Minnie Evans, 1962-1996 (3.7 linear feet; Boxes 10-13, 23, OV 24)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1936-1995 (2.7 linear feet; Boxes 13-16, 23)

Series 6: Photographic Material, circa 1939-1993 (5.4 linear feet; Boxes 16-23, OV 24)
Biographical / Historical:
Nina Howell Starr (1903-2000) was a photographer, art dealer, and art historian who worked primarily in New York City. Born in Newark, New Jersey in 1903 as Cornelia Margaret Howell, Starr attended Wellesley College and graduated from Barnard in 1926. Also in 1926, she married Nathan Comfort Starr, an English professor, and, over the years the couple lived in Massachusetts, Maryland, Florida, and New York City.

In 1963, at the age of 60, Starr received the first M.F.A. in photography granted by the University of Florida. Starr exhibited widely in both solo and group exhibitions, including Magic Lantern (Photographer's Gallery, London, 1976), and the Strength of Women (Witken Gallery, 1991), and numerous shows featuring photographs of outsider art. Her "New Yorker" project became an exhibition in 2016. Her work is owned by several prominent museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography.

As art historian, self-proclaimed critic, and civil rights and feminist advocate, Starr lectured widely, wrote articles and letters to editors, and corresponded with many notable art world figures. She became especially interested in outsider and folk art. Starr met outsider artist Minnie Evans in 1962 and became Evans' lifelong friend, advocate, and representative dealer. She wrote about Evans and introduced Evans' works to galleries and other exhibition spaces in New York, including the Whitney Museum, where she guest-curated an exhibition of Evans' work in 1975.

Starr was an active member of professional organizations including the Photographic Historical Society of New York, Professional Women's Photographers, Inc., and the Museum of American Folk Art where she served on the Advisory Committee.

Nina Howell Starr died in 2000 in Connecticut at the age of 97.
Provenance:
The Nina Howell Starr papers were donated by Nina Howell Starr in 1996.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Nina Howell Starr papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Folk art -- United States  Search this
Civil rights  Search this
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
African American art  Search this
Folk art -- Photographs  Search this
Women photographers  Search this
Photography  Search this
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Interviews
Drawings
Sketches
Transcripts
Sound recordings
Prints
Citation:
Nina Howell Starr papers, circa 1933-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.starnina
See more items in:
Nina Howell Starr papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-starnina
Online Media:

Angel CallaƱaupa: Honoring Pachamama through Painting

Creator:
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage  Search this
Type:
Youtube videos
Uploaded:
2015-07-20T20:45:39Z
Topic:
Cultural property  Search this
Youtube Category:
Education  Search this
See more by:
smithsonianfolklife
YouTube Channel:
smithsonianfolklife
Data Source:
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_V32MZCF9uPo

Gayleen Aiken, Barre, Vt. letter to Chuck and Jan Rosenak

Creator:
Aiken, Gayleen, 1934-2005  Search this
Rosenak, Chuck, 1927-  Search this
Subject:
Aiken, Gayleen  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1991 Jan. 28
Topic:
Books and reading  Search this
Folk artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)10325
See more items in:
Chuck and Jan Rosenak research material, circa 1938-2008
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_10325
Online Media:

Howard Finster

Photographer:
Rosenak, Chuck, 1927-  Search this
Subject:
Finster, Howard  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
not before 1986
Topic:
Folk artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)11180
See more items in:
Chuck and Jan Rosenak research material, circa 1938-2008
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_11180

Excerpts of interview with Minnie Evans

Creator:
Evans, Minnie, 1892-1987  Search this
Subject:
Evans, Minnie  Search this
Type:
Sound Recording
Date:
circa 1970
Topic:
Folk artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)11563
See more items in:
Nina Howell Starr papers, circa 1933-1996
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_11563

Interview with Minnie Evans

Creator:
Evans, Minnie, 1892-1987  Search this
Starr, Nina Howell, 1903-2000  Search this
Subject:
Evans, Minnie  Search this
Type:
Sound Recording
Date:
1972 June 21
Topic:
Folk artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)11564
See more items in:
Nina Howell Starr papers, circa 1933-1996
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_11564

Mamie Deschillie with one of her cardboard cutouts

Photographer:
Rosenak, Chuck, 1927-  Search this
Subject:
Deschillie, Mamie  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
ca. 1992
Topic:
Folk artists  Search this
Navajo Indians  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)6611
See more items in:
Chuck and Jan Rosenak research material, circa 1938-2008
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_6611

Johnson Antonio

Photographer:
Rosenak, Chuck, 1927-  Search this
Subject:
Antonio, Johnson  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
ca. 1990
Topic:
Folk artists  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Wood-carvers  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)7305
See more items in:
Chuck and Jan Rosenak research material, circa 1938-2008
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_7305

Felipe and Leroy Archuleta

Photographer:
Rosenak, Chuck, 1927-  Search this
Subject:
Archuleta, Felipe Benito  Search this
Archuleta, Leroy  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
ca. 1990
Topic:
Artists at or with their work  Search this
Folk artists  Search this
Hispanic American artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)7306
See more items in:
Chuck and Jan Rosenak research material, circa 1938-2008
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_7306

Steve Ashby

Photographer:
Rosenak, Chuck, 1927-  Search this
Subject:
Ashby, Steve  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
ca. 1990
Topic:
Folk artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)7307
See more items in:
Chuck and Jan Rosenak research material, circa 1938-2008
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_7307

Andre Badami

Photographer:
Rosenak, Chuck, 1927-  Search this
Subject:
Badami, Andrea  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
ca. 1990
Topic:
Folk artists  Search this
Painters  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)7308
See more items in:
Chuck and Jan Rosenak research material, circa 1938-2008
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_7308

Georgia Blizzard

Photographer:
Rosenak, Chuck, 1927-  Search this
Subject:
Blizzard, Georgia  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
ca. 1990
Topic:
Folk artists  Search this
Potters  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)7309
See more items in:
Chuck and Jan Rosenak research material, circa 1938-2008
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_7309

Alice Cling

Photographer:
Rosenak, Chuck, 1927-  Search this
Subject:
Cling, Alice  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
ca. 1990
Topic:
Folk artists  Search this
Potters  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)7310
See more items in:
Chuck and Jan Rosenak research material, circa 1938-2008
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_7310

Raymond Coins and others

Photographer:
Rosenak, Chuck, 1927-  Search this
Subject:
Coins, Raymond  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Place:
N.C.
Date:
ca. 1990
Topic:
Folk artists  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)7311
See more items in:
Chuck and Jan Rosenak research material, circa 1938-2008
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_7311

Michael and Melvin Crocker

Photographer:
Rosenak, Chuck, 1927-  Search this
Subject:
Crocker, Melvin  Search this
Crocker, Michael  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
ca. 1990
Topic:
Folk artists  Search this
Potters  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)7312
See more items in:
Chuck and Jan Rosenak research material, circa 1938-2008
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_7312

Michael Crocker

Photographer:
Rosenak, Chuck, 1927-  Search this
Subject:
Crocker, Michael  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
ca. 1990
Topic:
Artists at or with their work  Search this
Folk artists  Search this
Potters  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)7313
See more items in:
Chuck and Jan Rosenak research material, circa 1938-2008
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_7313

Howard Finster

Photographer:
Rosenak, Chuck, 1927-  Search this
Subject:
Finster, Howard  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1992
Topic:
Folk artists  Search this
Music  Search this
Painters  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)7314
See more items in:
Chuck and Jan Rosenak research material, circa 1938-2008
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_7314

Howard Finster

Photographer:
Rosenak, Chuck, 1927-  Search this
Subject:
Finster, Howard  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
ca. 1990
Topic:
Artists at or with their work  Search this
Folk artists  Search this
Painters  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)7315
See more items in:
Chuck and Jan Rosenak research material, circa 1938-2008
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_7315

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