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Harry Gottlieb papers, 1910-1982

Creator:
Gottlieb, Harry, 1895-1992  Search this
Subject:
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo  Search this
Solman, Joseph  Search this
Kent, Rockwell  Search this
Artists' Union (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Artists Equity Association  Search this
American Society of Painters, Sculptors and Gravers  Search this
Artists League of America  Search this
New York WPA Artists, Inc  Search this
American Artists' Congress.  Search this
Topic:
Art front  Search this
Screen process printing  Search this
Prints  Search this
Art, Modern  Search this
Trade-unions and the arts  Search this
Serigraphy  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7190
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209327
AAA_collcode_gottharr
Theme:
Diaries
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209327

Hugo Gellert papers

Creator:
Gellert, Hugo, 1892-1985  Search this
Names:
American Artists' Congress  Search this
Art of Today Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Artist's Committee of Action (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Artists Coordination Committee (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Artists Council  Search this
Artists for Victory, Inc.  Search this
Committee to Defend V.J. Jerome  Search this
Hungarian Word, Inc.  Search this
National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Derkovits, Gyula, 1894-1934  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Fast, Howard, 1914-  Search this
Fiene, Ernest, 1894-  Search this
Gellert, Ernest  Search this
Gellert, Lawrence, 1898-1979  Search this
Gottlieb, Harry, 1895-  Search this
Gropper, William, 1897-1977  Search this
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971  Search this
Lie, Jonas, 1880-1940  Search this
Refregier, Anton, 1905-  Search this
Reisman, Philip, 1904-  Search this
Sequenzia, Sofia  Search this
Extent:
6.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Photographs
Date:
1916-1986
Summary:
The papers of graphic artist, muralist, and activist Hugo Gellert measure 6.9 linear feet and date from 1916 to 1986. They document his career as an artist and organizer for the radical political left through an interview, legal papers, financial records, family papers, artifacts, correspondence, writings, organizational records, extensive printed materials (many of them illustrated by Gellert), photographs, and artwork.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of graphic artist, muralist, and activist Hugo Gellert measure 6.9 linear feet and date from 1916 to 1986. They document his career as an artist and organizer for the radical left through an oral interview conducted by Sofia Sequenzia, legal papers, financial records, family papers, artifacts, correspondence, writings, organizational records, clippings, exhibition catalogs, various printed materials illustrated by Gellert, pamphlets, periodicals, mass mailings, photographs, and artwork.

Biographical Material includes an audio interview with Gellert; official documents related to memberships, property, and legal matters; financial documents that include bills, receipts, and contracts related to professional activities; papers of Gellert's brothers, Lawrence and Ernest; and artifacts. Correspondence is with other artists, writers, publishers, activists, friends, and family, including Ernest Fiene, Rockwell Kent, Harry Gottlieb, William Gropper, Philip Evergood, Howard Fast, and Jonas Lie. Writings include essays, book projects, notes, and notebooks written by Gellert; and stories and articles by other authors, including typescripts of early twentieth-century Hungarian short stories collected by Gellert.

Organizational Records are related to political and art organizations in which Gellert was an active organizer, officer, and in some cases, a founder. Because of his central role in many of these organizations, records often contain unique documentation of their activities. Records are found for the American Artists Congress, the Art of Today Gallery, the Artists Committee of Action, the Artists Coordination Committee, the Artists Council, Artists for Victory, Inc., the Committee to Defend V.J. Jerome, Hungarian Word, Inc., the National Society of Mural Painters, and other organizations.

Printed materials include a variety of political publications and periodicals with illustrations by Gellert, including New Masses, Art Front, Magyar Szo, and American Dialog; clippings related to his career, exhibition catalogs, political pamphlets, Hungarian literature, and mass mailings received from political organizations. Photographs contain a few personal photographs but are mostly news and publicity photographs, many of which depict prominent Communists and other newsmakers. Artwork includes sketches, drawings, designs, prints, and production elements for Gellert's artwork, as well as prints and drawings by Philip Reisman, Gyula Derkovits, and Anton Refregier.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 7 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1917-1982 (Box 1 and OV 9; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1920-1986 (Boxes 1-2, 8; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1916-1970 (Boxes 2 and 8; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 4: Organizational Records, circa 1920-1977 (Boxes 3, 8, and OV 9; 1 linear foot)

Series 5: Printed Materials, circa 1920-1986 (Boxes 4-6, 8, and OV 9; 3 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1920-1959 (Boxes 6-7; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, 1927-1981 (Box 7, OV 10; 0.4 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Graphic artist, muralist, and activist Hugo Gellert was born Hugo Grünbaum in Budapest, Hungary in 1892, the oldest of six children. His family immigrated to New York City in 1906, eventually changing their family name to Gellert.

Gellert attended art school at Cooper Union and the National Academy of Design. As a student, he designed posters for movies and theater, and also worked for Tiffany Studios. A number of student art prizes with cash awards enabled him to travel to Europe in the summer of 1914, where he witnessed the outbreak of World War I, an experience which helped shape his political beliefs. Aesthetically, he was also influenced by a folk revival among Hungarian artists at the time of his trip, and was more impressed, he later said, with the street advertising in Paris than he was with the cubism he saw in the Louvre.

Returning to the United States, Gellert became involved in the Hungarian-American workers' movement, and contributed drawings to its newspaper, Elöre (Forward). He remained involved in Hungarian-American art and activism throughout his life, including membership in the anti-fascist group, the Anti-Horthy League. When members of the fascist Horthy government unveiled a statue of a Hungarian hero in New York in 1928, Gellert hired a pilot and dropped leaflets on the group, a stunt for which he was arrested. In the 1950s, Gellert served as director of Hungarian Word, Inc., a Hungarian-language publisher in New York.

Gellert's political commitment and art remained deeply intertwined throughout his life, as he continually sought to integrate his commitment to Communism, his hatred of fascism, and his dedication to civil liberties. Throughout the 1910s and 1920s, he contributed artwork to several magazines of the radical left, including Masses and its successors Liberator and New Masses, both of which featured Gellert's artwork on their inaugural issue. Through Masses, he came to know other radicals such as Mike Gold, John Reed, Louise Bryant, Max Eastman, Floyd Dell, Anton Refregier, William Gropper, Harry Gottlieb, Bob Minor, and Art Young, and with them he followed the events of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia with sympathy and growing political fervor.

His brother, Ernest Gellert, also a socialist and activist, was drafted into the military but refused to serve. He died of a gunshot wound under suspicious circumstances while imprisoned at Fort Hancock, New Jersey, as a conscientious objector. Traumatized by this event, Gellert fled to Mexico to avoid conscription. In 1920 to 1922, he taught art at the Stelton School in New Jersey, a radical, utopian community school. He participated in the cultural scene of Greenwich Village, working on set designs, publications, and graphic art for political productions. He founded the first John Reed Club in 1929 with a group of Communist artists and writers including Anton Refregier, Louis Lozowick, and William Gropper. Initially, the group held classes and exhibitions, and provided services for strikes and other working-class activism. Later, John Reed Clubs formed around the country and became a formal arm of the United States Communist Party (CPUSA).

In the late 1920s, Gellert became a member of the National Society of Mural Painters (which, partly due to Gellert's activism in the group, became the Mural Artists' Guild local 829 of the United Scenic Artists Union of the AFL-CIO in 1937. Other members included Rockwell Kent, Anton Refregier, Arshile Gorky, and Marion Greenwood). In 1928, he created a mural for the Worker's Cafeteria in Union Square, NY. Later murals include the Center Theater in Rockefeller Center, the National Maritime Union Headquarters, the Hotel and Restaurant Workers' Union Building, NYC, the interior of the Communications Building at the 1939 World's Fair, and the Seward Park Housing Project in 1961.

In 1932, Gellert was invited to participate in a mural exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, and submitted a political mural about the robber barons of contemporary American politics and industry called Us Fellas Gotta Stick Together - Al Capone. The museum attempted to censor the mural, along with the murals of William Gropper and Ben Shahn. Other artists threatened to boycott the exhibition over the censorship and were successful in restoring them to the show.

The cooperation of artists in this controversy foreshadowed a larger protest in 1934, organized by Gellert, Saul Belman, Stuart Davis, and Zoltan Hecht, when Diego Rivera's pro-labor mural was destroyed at Rockefeller Center. After the incident, the group formed the Artists' Committee of Action and continued to fight censorship and advocate for artists' interests and welfare. They also co-published the magazine Art Front with the Artists' Union, a labor organization. Gellert served for a time as editor of Art Front, and chairman of the Artists' Committee of Action.

Gellert was active in producing both art and strategic policy for the cultural arm of the CPUSA, and he worked to mobilize the non-communist left, often referred to as the Popular Front. In 1933 he illustrated Karl Marx's Capital in Lithographs, and in 1935, he wrote a Marxist, illustrated satire called Comrade Gulliver, An Illustrated Account of Travel into that Strange Country the United States of America. Other published graphic works include Aesop Said So (1936) and a portfolio of silkscreen prints entitled Century of the Common Man (1943).

Other artist groups he helped to found and/or run include the American Artist's Congress, a Communist organization founded with Max Weber, Margaret Bourke-White, Stuart Davis, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Harry Sternberg, and others, which held symposia and exhibitions between 1936 and 1942; the Artists' Coordination Committee, an umbrella group of national organizations which sought protections for federally-employed and unionized artists; Artists for Victory, Inc., which formed in 1942 to mobilize artists in support of the war effort; and the Artists' Council, formed after the war to advocate for artists' welfare and employment.

Gellert maintained his loyalty to the Communist party throughout the post-war period despite growing disillusionment in the Popular Front over the actions of Josef Stalin, and despite the intense anti-communist crusades in the late 1940s and 1950s. He was investigated by the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and was nearly deported. He spent a number of years during this period in his wife's native Australia. Returning to the United States in the early 1950s, he threw his efforts into the defense of others who faced prison, deportation, and the blacklist following the HUAC hearings. He established The Committee to Defend V.J. Jerome in 1951 when Jerome, the cultural commissioner of CPUSA, was convicted under the Smith Act. The writer Dorothy Parker was the group's treasurer.

In 1954, Gellert established the Art of Today Gallery in New York City with Rockwell Kent and Charles White to provide an exhibition venue for blacklisted artists. Exhibitions included Maurice Becker, Henry Glintenkamp, Harry Gottlieb, Kay Harris, and Rockwell Kent. Gellert served as the gallery's secretary until it closed in 1957.

In the 1960s until his death in 1985, Gellert continued his activism through involvement in grassroots political organizations. Unlike many of his radical contemporaries, Gellert lived to see the revival of some of the ideas of the progressive era of the thirties in the countercultural years of the late 1960s and early 1970s. There were retrospectives of his work in Moscow in 1967 and in his native Budapest in 1968, and he appeared in Warren Beatty's film Reds in 1981.

Sources used for this essay include James Wechsler's 2003 dissertation "The Art and Activism of Hugo Gellert: Embracing the Spectre of Communism," his essay "From World War I to the Popular Front: The Art and Activism of Hugo Gellert," ( Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts number 24, Spring 2002), and Jeff Kisseloff's biographical essay for the 1986 Hugo Gellert exhibition at the Mary Ryan Gallery.
Related Material:
Among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are an oral history with Hugo Gellert from 1984, a recording of a lecture Gellert gave at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1985, and additional records of Artists for Victory, Inc., 1942-1946.

The Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University holds additional papers of Hugo Gellert.
Provenance:
A portion of the papers were donated in 1970 by Hugo Gellert. Additional papers were donated by Gellert and his wife, Livia Cinquegrana, in 1983 and 1986.
Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
Rights:
The Hugo Gellert 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' writings  Search this
Politics in art  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Graphic artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Photographs
Citation:
Hugo Gellert papers, 1916-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.gellhugo
See more items in:
Hugo Gellert papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-gellhugo
Online Media:

Eugenie Gershoy papers

Creator:
Gershoy, Eugenie, 1901?-1983 or 6  Search this
Names:
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Federal Art Project (N.Y.)  Search this
Woodstock Artists Association (Woodstock, N.Y.)  Search this
Yaddo (Artist's colony)  Search this
Baker, Mildred, 1905-  Search this
Blanch, Arnold, 1896-1968  Search this
Blanch, Lucile, 1895-1981  Search this
Breeskin, Adelyn Dohme, 1896-1986  Search this
Calder, Alexander Stirling, 1870-1945  Search this
Dehn, Virginia  Search this
Force, Juliana, 1876-1948  Search this
Fruhauf, Aline, 1909-1978  Search this
Gottlieb, Harry, 1895-  Search this
Hart, Agnes, 1912-1979  Search this
Knight, Frederic C., 1898-1979  Search this
Marantz, Irving, 1912-1972  Search this
Millay, Edna St. Vincent, 1892-1950  Search this
Nakian, Reuben, 1897-1986  Search this
Picken, George, 1898-  Search this
Pollet, Joseph C., 1897-1979  Search this
Presser, Josef, 1906-1967  Search this
Refregier, Anton, 1905-  Search this
Scaravaglione, Concetta, 1900-1975  Search this
Soyer, Moses, 1899-1974  Search this
Soyer, Raphael, 1899-1987  Search this
Thomson, Virgil, 1896-  Search this
Varda, Jean  Search this
Extent:
7.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Prints
Christmas cards
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Place:
Woodstock (N.Y.)
Date:
1914-1983
Summary:
The papers of sculptor and art instructor, Eugenie Gershoy, measure 7.2 linear feet and date from 1914 to 1983. The collection documents Gershoy's career through biographical material, correspondence, business records, notes, writings, artwork, printed material, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The Eugenie Gershoy papers date from 1914 to 1983, measure 7.2 linear feet, and reflect Gershoy's career as a sculptor and teacher. The collection contains biographical material, correspondence, business records, notes, writings, artwork of Gershoy and others, printed material including exhibition catalogs, and photographs with subjects including Gershoy, her friends and colleagues, her studio, and her artwork.

Correspondence forms the bulk of the collection and includes correspondence between Gershoy and her siblings and their families regarding her activities, as well as with colleagues, many of whom were associated with the Woodstock Artist Association, and many of whom were museum colleagues.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into eight series according to material type. The contents of each series have been arranged chronologically.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1939-1971 (boxes 1, 8-9; 3 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1914-1983, undated (boxes 1-6, 8-9; 5.8 linear ft.)

Series 3: Business Records, 1952-1978 (box 6; 5 folders)

Series 4: Notes, 1967-1970, undated (box 6; 3 folders)

Series 5: Writings, 1970, undated (box 6; 2 folders)

Series 6: Artwork, 1932-1978, undated (boxes 6, 8-9, OV 10, 26 folders)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1932-1983, undated (boxes 7, 9; 19 folders)

Series 8: Photographs, 1916-1983, undated (boxes 7, 9; 12 folders)
Biographical Note:
Born in Krivoi Rog, Russia on January 1, 1901, Eugenie was the youngest of the Gershoy children. The family immigrated to New York City in 1903. She later became a U.S. citizen.

With the aid of two scholarships, she attended the Art Students League and studied under A. Stirling Calder, Leo Lentelli, Kenneth Hayes Miller, Boardman Robinson, and Carl Walters. During the late 1920s and early 1930s, she maintained a studio with Harry Gottlieb in Woodstock, New York. From 1936 to 1939, under the WPA Federal Art Project, she worked in conjunction with Max Spivak on murals for the children's recreation room in the Astoria branch of the Queens Borough Public Library, New York.

Gershoy's first solo show was at the Robinson Gallery in New York in 1940. Following a year of teaching at the New Orleans Art School, she moved to San Francisco in 1942. In 1946 she taught ceramics at the California School of Fine Arts, and in May 1950, she studied at Yaddo.

In addition to visits to England and France in the early 1930s, Gershoy travelled to Mexico and Guatemala in 1947, 1948, and 1961. She worked in Paris in 1951 and toured Africa, India, and the Orient in 1955.

Eugenie Gershoy died in 1986.
Related Material:
Related material in the Archives of American Art includes a transcribed oral history interview with Eugenie Gershoy conducted by Mary McChesney for the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts Oral History Program, October 15, 1964. A link to the transcript is provided from the online catalog.
Provenance:
The Eugenie Gershoy papers were donated to the Archives of American Art between 1975 and 1983 by the artist.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Rights:
The Eugenie Gershoy 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:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Artists -- New York (State) -- Woodstock  Search this
Artists' studios -- New York (State) -- New York -- Photographs  Search this
Women painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Women sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Prints
Christmas cards
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Citation:
Eugenie Gershoy papers, 1914-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.gerseuge
See more items in:
Eugenie Gershoy papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-gerseuge

Rockwell Kent papers

Creator:
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971  Search this
Names:
American Artists' Congress  Search this
Artists League of America  Search this
Artists' Union (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Citizens' Committee for Government Arts Projects  Search this
Farmers Union of the New York Milk Shed  Search this
Federal Art Project  Search this
Federal Writers' Project  Search this
International Workers Order  Search this
Macbeth Gallery  Search this
National Farmers' Union (U.S.)  Search this
National Maritime Union of America  Search this
United American Artists  Search this
United Office and Professional Workers of America  Search this
United Scenic Artists  Search this
Boyesen, Bayard  Search this
Chamberlain, J. E.  Search this
Chase, William Merritt, 1846-1916  Search this
Cleland, T. M. (Thomas Maitland), 1880-1964  Search this
Daniel, Charles, 1878-1971  Search this
Davies, Arthur B. (Arthur Bowen), 1862-1928  Search this
DuBois, W.E.B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963  Search this
Fitzgerald, James, 1899-1971  Search this
Freuchen, Peter, 1886-1957  Search this
Gellert, Hugo, 1892-1985  Search this
Gottlieb, Harry, 1895-  Search this
Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943  Search this
Hays, Lee, 1914-1981  Search this
Henri, Robert, 1865-1929  Search this
Jones, Dan Burne  Search this
Keller, Charles, 1914-2006  Search this
Miller, Kenneth Hayes, 1876-1952  Search this
Nearing, Helen  Search this
Nearing, Scott, 1883-1983  Search this
Pach, Walter, 1883-1958  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Rasmussen, Knud, 1879-1933  Search this
Reeves, Ruth, 1892-1966  Search this
Robeson, Paul, 1898-1976  Search this
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945  Search this
Ruggles, Carl, 1876-1971  Search this
Seeger, Pete, 1919-2014  Search this
Stefansson, Vilhjalmur, 1879-1962  Search this
Untermeyer, Louis, 1885-1977  Search this
Wildenstein, Felix, 1883-1952  Search this
Zigrosser, Carl, 1891-  Search this
Extent:
88 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Poems
Sketches
Business records
Photographs
Drawings
Date:
circa 1840-1993
bulk 1935-1961
Summary:
The Rockwell Kent papers measure 88.0 linear feet and date from circa 1840 to 1993 with the bulk of the collection dating from 1935 to 1961. The collection provides comprehensive coverage of Kent's career as a painter, illustrator, designer, writer, lecturer, traveler, political activist, and dairy farmer.
Scope and Content Note:
The Rockwell Kent papers measure 88 linear feet and date from circa 1840 to 1993 with the bulk of the collection dating from 1935 to 1961. The collection provides comprehensive coverage of Kent's career as a painter, illustrator, designer, writer, lecturer, traveler, political activist, and dairy farmer.

Circumstances surrounding the acquisition of the papers are highlighted in an article by Garnett McCoy ("The Rockwell Kent Papers," in the Archives of American Art Journal, 12, no. 1 [January 1972]: 1-9), recommended reading for researchers interested in the collection. The collection is remarkably complete, for in the mid 1920s Kent began keeping carbon copies of all outgoing letters, eventually employing a secretary (who became his third wife and continued her office duties for the remainder of Kent's life).

Series 1: Alphabetical Files contain Kent's personal and professional correspondence, along with business records of the dairy farm and associated enterprises; also included are printed matter on a wide variety of topics and promotional literature relating to organizations and causes of interest to him. Voluminous correspondence with his three wives, five children, and other relatives, as well as with literally hundreds of friends, both lifelong and of brief duration, illuminates Kent's private life and contributes to understanding of his complex character. Among the many correspondents of note are: his art teachers William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri, and Kenneth Hayes Miller; fellow artists Tom Cleland, Arthur B. Davies, James Fitzgerald, Hugo Gellert, Harry Gottleib, Marsden Hartley, Charles Keller, and Ruth Reeves; collectors Duncan Phillips and Dan Burne Jones; critics J. E. Chamberlain and Walter Pach; and dealers Charles Daniel, Felix Wildenstein, and Macbeth Galleries. Kent corresponded with such diverse people as Arctic explorers Peter Freuchen, Knud Rasmussen, and Vilhjalmar Steffanson; composer Carl Ruggles and songwriters Lee Hays and Pete Seeger; civil rights pioneers Paul Robeson and Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois; writers Bayard Boyesen, Scott and Helen Nearing, and Louis Untermeyer; and art historian and print curator Carl Zigrosser.

Kent's interest and involvement in the labor movement are reflected in correspondence with officials and members of a wide variety and large number of unions and related organizations, among them: the Farmers' Educational and Cooperative Union of America, Farmers' Union of the New York Milk Shed, International Workers Order, National Maritime Union, and United Office and Professional Workers of America. Of special interest is his participation, often in leadership roles, in various attempts to organize artists. Files on the American Artists' Congress, Artists League of America, The Artists Union, United American Artists, and United Scenic Artists contain particularly valuable material on the movement.

A supporter of New Deal efforts to aid artists, Kent was actively interested in the various programs and often was critical of their limitations; he advocated continuing federal aid to artists after the Depression abated. The Kent papers include correspondence with the Federal Arts Project, Federal Fine Arts Project, Federal Writers Project, and the War Department, as well as correspondence with the Citizens' Committee for Government Art Projects and President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the subject.

Kent's professional correspondence documents exhibitions, sales, consignments, and reproduction of prints and paintings. He kept meticulous records of his advertising commissions and illustration work. Detailed correspondence with publishers and printers indicates Kent's involvement in the technical aspects of production and provides a good overview of the publishing industry during the mid-twentieth century.

Business records of Asgaard Farm include records of the dairy and transfer of ownership to its employees, tax and employee information, and documents concerning several related business ventures such as distributor ships for grain, feed, and farm implements.

Series 2: Writings consists of notes, drafts, and completed manuscripts by Rockwell Kent, mainly articles, statements, speeches, poems, introductions, and reviews. The Kent Collection given to Friendship House, Moscow, in 1960, was augmented later by a set of his publications and the illustrated manuscripts of many of his monographs. Also included are a small number of manuscripts by other authors.

Series 3: Artwork consists mainly of drawings and sketches by Kent; also included are works on paper by other artists, many of whom are unidentified, and by children.

Series 4: Printed Matter consists of clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, brochures, broadsides, programs, and newsletters. These include items by and about Kent and his family, as well as articles written and/or illustrated by him, and reviews of his books. There is also material on a variety of subjects and causes of interest to him. Additional printed matter is included among the alphabetical files, mainly as attachments to correspondence.

Series 5: Miscellaneous includes biographical material, legal documents, and memorabilia. Artifacts received with papers include textile samples, a silk scarf, dinnerware, ice bucket, and rubber stamp, all featuring designs by Rockwell Kent. Also with this series are a variety of documents including a phrenological analysis of an ancestor, lists of supplies for expeditions, a hand-drawn map of an unidentified place, and technical notes regarding art materials and techniques.

Series 6: Photographs includes photographs of Kent, his family and friends, travel, and art number that over one thousand. Also included here are several albums of family and travel photographs.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into six series. Series 1 is arranged alphabetically. The arrangement of the remaining series is explained in each series description. Note that sealed materials that became available in 2000 were microfilmed separately on reels 5740-5741, but have integrated into this finding aid.

Series 1: Alphabetical Files, circa 1900-1971, undated (Reels 5153-5249, 5256, 5740-5741)

Series 2: Writings, 1906-1978, undated (Reels 5249-5252, 5741)

Series 3: Art Work, 1910-1972, undated (Reels 5252, 5741)

Series 4: Printed Matter, 1905-1993, undated (Reels 5252-5254)

Series 5: Miscellaneous, 1859-1969, undated (Reels 5254, 5741)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1840-1970, undated (Reels 5254-5255, 5741)
Biographical Note:
Rockwell Kent (1882-1971), an energetic and multitalented man, pursued many interests and careers during his very long and active life. At various times he was an architect, draftsman, carpenter, unskilled laborer, painter, illustrator, printmaker, commercial artist, designer, traveler/explorer, writer, professional lecturer, dairy farmer, and political activist.

While studying architecture at Columbia University, Kent enrolled in William Merritt Chase's summer school at Shinnecock Hills, Long Island. He then redirected his career ambitions toward painting and continued to study with Chase in New York. Kent spent a summer working and living with Abbott H. Thayer in Dublin, New Hampshire, and attended the New York School of Art, where Robert Henri and Kenneth Hayes Miller were his teachers.

Critically and financially, Kent was a successful artist. He was very well known for his illustration work--particularly limited editions of the classics, bookplates, and Christmas cards. He was a prolific printmaker, and his prints and paintings were acquired by many major museums and private collectors. During the post-World War II era, Kent's political sympathies resulted in the loss of commissions, and his adherence to artistic conservatism and outspoken opposition to modern art led to disfavor within art circles. After many years of declining reputation in this country and unsuccessful attempts to find a home for the Kent Collection, Kent gave his unsold paintings--the majority of his oeuvre--to the Soviet Union, where he continued to be immensely popular.

An avid traveler, Kent was especially fascinated by remote, Arctic lands and often stayed for extended periods of time to paint, write, and become acquainted with the local inhabitants. Between 1918 and 1935, he wrote and illustrated several popular books about his experiences in Alaska, Tierra del Fuego, and Greenland. In the 1930s and 1940s, Kent was much in demand as a lecturer, making several nationwide tours under the management of a professional lecture bureau; he spoke mainly about his travels, but among his standard lectures were some on "art for the people."

In 1927, Kent purchased Asgaard Farm at AuSable Forks, New York, in the Adirondacks, where he lived for the remainder of his life, operating a modern dairy farm on a modest scale for many years.

As a young man, Kent met Rufus Weeks, became committed to social justice, and joined the Socialist Party. Throughout his life, he supported left-wing causes and was a member or officer of many organizations promoting world peace and harmonious relations with the Soviet Union, civil rights, civil liberties, antifascism, and organized labor. Kent was frequently featured as a celebrity sponsor or speaker at fund-raising events for these causes. In 1948, he ran unsuccessfully as the American Labor Party's candidate for Congress. Kent's unpopular political views eventually led to the dissolution of his dairy business, resulted in a summons to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee, and prompted the U.S. State Department to deny him a passport, an action that subsequently was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kent wrote two autobiographies, This Is My Own (1940) and It's Me, O Lord (1955). In 1969, he was the subject of an oral history interview conducted by Paul Cummings for the Archives of American Art.

1882 -- born, Tarrytown, New York

1887 -- death of Rockwell Kent, Sr.

1894-1896 -- attended Cheshire Academy

1895 -- toured Europe with Aunt Jo

1896 -- attended Horace Mann School, New York City

1900-1902 -- studied architecture at Columbia University

1900-1902 -- attended William Merritt Chase's summer school, Shinnecock Hills, Long Island

1903 -- studied with William Merritt Chase, New York City

1904 -- first sale of a painting

1904 -- met Rufus Weeks and attended first Socialist meeting

1905 -- lived and worked with Abbott H. Thayer, Dublin, New Hampshire

1905 -- first painting trip to Monhegan Island, Maine

1907 -- first one-man show, Claussen Galleries, New York City

1908 -- marriage to Kathleen Whiting

1908 -- studied with Robert Henri

1908 -- joined Socialist Party

1909 -- birth of Rockwell, III

1910 -- ran Monhegan Summer School of Art

1910 -- first trip to Newfoundland

1910 -- helped to organize first Independent Exhibition

1911 -- birth of Kathleen

1912 -- moved to Winona, Minnesota

1913 -- birth of Clara

1914 -- settled in Newfoundland

1915 -- deported from Newfoundland

1915 -- birth of Barbara

1917 -- served as full-time organizer and administrator of Independent Exhibition

1918-1919 -- in Alaska with son Rocky

1919 -- purchased Egypt Farm, Arlington, Vermont

1919 -- incorporated self

1920 -- publication of Wilderness

1920 -- birth of Gordon

1922 -- traveled to Tierra del Fuego

1924 -- publication of Voyaging

1925 -- trip to France

1925 -- divorced from Kathleen

1926 -- marriage to Frances Lee

1926 -- traveled to Ireland

1927 -- purchased Asgaard Farm, AuSable, New York

1927 -- editor of Creative Art

1927 -- helped organize National Gallery of Contemporary Art, Washington, D.C.

1929 -- sailed to Greenland on Direction

1930 -- publication of N by E

1932-1933 -- returned to Greenland

1934-1935 -- final trip to Greenland

1935 -- publication of Salamina

1936 -- trip to Puerto Rico

1937 -- trip to Brazil

1937-1938 -- Post Office Department mural commission and controversy over Eskimo-language message interpreted as encouraging Puerto Rican independence

1939 -- divorced from Frances

1939 -- General Electric Co. mural commission for New York World's Fair

1940 -- publication of This Is My Own

1940 -- marriage to Shirley Johnstone (Sally)

1942 -- solo exhibition, Know and Defend America, at Wildenstein Galleries, New York City

1946 -- elected to Executive Committee of American Labor Party

1948 -- congressional candidate, American Labor Party

1948 -- transferred ownership of dairy to remaining employees after boycott resulting from support of Wallace for president

1949 -- attended World Congress for Peace, Paris

1950-1958 -- denied U.S. passport; lawsuit, appeals, and Supreme Court decision reinstating right to travel

1953 -- testified before House Un-American Activities Committee

1955 -- publication of It's Me, O Lord

1958 -- one-man show at Hermitage Museum, Leningrad

1959 -- publication of Of Men and Mountains

1960 -- gift of Kent Collection to Friendship House, Moscow

1960 -- exhibition at Pushkin Museum, Moscow

1963 -- publication of Greenland Journal

1966 -- elected to Academy of Arts of the USSR

1967 -- awarded Lenin Peace Prize, Moscow

1969 -- oral history interview, Archives of American Art

1969 -- home at Asgaard destroyed by fire; papers survived with some water and smoke damage

1969 -- first installment of Rockwell Kent Papers donated to Archives of American Art

1971 -- died, Plattsburgh, New York

1971 -- gift of additional Rockwell Kent Papers to Archives of American Art

1979 -- gift of textile samples to the Archives of American Art

1996 -- gift of additional Rockwell Kent Papers to Archives of American Art

2000 -- death of Sally [Shirley Johnstone] Kent Gorton

2000 -- previously sealed correspondence of wives Frances and Sally (Series 1) opened to researchers

2001 -- gift of additional Rockwell Kent papers to the Archives of American Art from the Estate of Sally Kent [Shirley Johnstone] Gorton
Provenance:
In 1969, Rockwell Kent donated his papers to the Archives of American Art; textile samples were received in 1979, and his widow gave additional papers in 1971 and 1996. Letters to Rockwell Kent from wives Frances and Sally, sealed during Sally Kent Gorton's lifetime, became available for research after her death in 2000, and further material was donated to the Archives of American Art in 2001 by the Estate of Sally Kent [Shirley Johnstone] Gorton.
Restrictions:
The microfilm of this collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website. Use of material not microfilmed or digitized requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Rockwell Kent 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:
Designers -- New York (State)  Search this
Mural painting and decoration  Search this
Painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Politics and culture  Search this
Authors -- New York  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States -- Political aspects  Search this
Dairy farms  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State)  Search this
Illustration of books  Search this
Works of art  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Civilian relief  Search this
Labor unions  Search this
Art and war  Search this
Commercial art  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Art and the war  Search this
Genre/Form:
Poems
Sketches
Business records
Photographs
Drawings
Citation:
Rockwell Kent papers, circa 1840-1993, bulk 1935-1961. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kentrock
See more items in:
Rockwell Kent papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kentrock
Online Media:

Gottlieb, Harry, 1895-1992

Collection Creator:
Rosenblum, Walter, 1919-2006  Search this
Extent:
25 Photographs
Container:
Binder 19
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Photographs
Collection Restrictions:
Researcher may use study prints on file in the Photograph Archives, Smithsonian American Art Museum. Advance appointments are required. Original negatives are stored off-site in cold storage and are not accessible to the public.
Collection Rights:
Copyright to photographs from the Walter Rosenblum Collection is held by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Requests for permission to reproduce photographs from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Photograph Archives. Certain works of art, as well as photographs of those works of art, may be protected by copyright, trademark, privacy or publicity rights, or other interests not owned by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. It is the applicant's responsibility to ascertain whether any such rights exist, and to obtain any other permission necessary to reproduce and publish the image.
Collection Citation:
Walter Rosenblum Collection, Photograph Archives, Smithsonian American Art Museum
See more items in:
Walter Rosenblum photographs
Walter Rosenblum photographs / Series 1: Photographs of artists' works
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-saam-photo-ros-ref252

(No Title Given) [art work] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Gottlieb, Harry 1895-1992  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Image number:
JUL J0042524
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_42525

No Title Given: Still Life of Flowers [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Gottlieb, Harry 1895-1992  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Topic:
Still Life--Flower  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0061899
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_61900

No Title Given: Two Figures Looking Out Balcony Window [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Gottlieb, Harry 1895-1992  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Topic:
Figure group  Search this
Architecture--Detail--Window  Search this
Architecture--Detail--Balcony  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0061900
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_61901

No Title Given: Still Life of Flowers [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Gottlieb, Harry 1895-1992  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Topic:
Still Life--Flower  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0061901
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_61902

Winter Landscape [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Gottlieb, Harry 1895-1992  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1924
Topic:
Landscape--Season--Winter  Search this
Architecture exterior--Building  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0061902
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_61903

Roundout Creek [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Title:
Canal on the Barges [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)
Artist:
Gottlieb, Harry 1895-1992  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1928
Topic:
Waterscape--Canal  Search this
Waterscape--River--Roundout Creek  Search this
Architecture--Boat--Barge  Search this
Architecture--Industry  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0061903
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_61904

The Roundhouse, [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Gottlieb, Harry 1895-1992  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1927
Topic:
Architecture--Industry--Railroad Yard  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0061904
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_61905

The Little Street, [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Gottlieb, Harry 1895-1992  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1928
Topic:
Cityscape--Town  Search this
Cityscape--Street  Search this
Figure  Search this
Architecture--Vehicle--Automobile  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0061905
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_61906

Self Portrait, [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Gottlieb, Harry 1895-1992  Search this
Subject:
Gottlieb, Harry  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1931
Topic:
Portrait male--Self portrait  Search this
Portrait male--Full length  Search this
Occupation--Art--Painter  Search this
Object--Furniture--Chair  Search this
Dress--Accessory--Shoe  Search this
Recreation--Leisure--Smoking  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0061906
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_61907

Farm in Winter [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Gottlieb, Harry 1895-1992  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Topic:
Landscape--Season--Winter  Search this
Landscape--Farm  Search this
Architecture exterior--Farm--Barn  Search this
Architecture exterior--Domestic--Farmhouse  Search this
Figure  Search this
Animal--Cattle  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0061907
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_61908

Old John [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Gottlieb, Harry 1895-1992  Search this
Subject:
Unidentified  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Topic:
Portrait male--John  Search this
Ethnic  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0061908
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_61909

Barges Roundout [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Gottlieb, Harry 1895-1992  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Topic:
Waterscape  Search this
Architecture--Boat--Barge  Search this
Architecture exterior--Industry  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0061909
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_61910

The Negro Church [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Gottlieb, Harry 1895-1992  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1928
Topic:
Cityscape--Town  Search this
Architecture exterior--Religious--Church  Search this
Ethnic  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0061910
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_61911

Self Portrait, [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Gottlieb, Harry 1895-1992  Search this
Subject:
Gottlieb, Harry  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1924
Topic:
Portrait male--Self portrait  Search this
Portrait male--Waist length  Search this
Occupation--Art--Painter  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0061911
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_61912

Peonies [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Gottlieb, Harry 1895-1992  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Topic:
Still Life--Flower--Peony  Search this
Object--Musical Instrument--Guitar  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0061912
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_61913

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