An interview of Yvonne Jacquette conducted 2010 Oct. 19 and 21, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art's Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts project, at Jacquette's home and studio, in New York, N.Y.
Jacquette talks about a current competition for art in a Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) subway station at 34th Street and 11th Avenue in New York City; mosaics and fresco; materials and methods; other MTA commissions; her late husband Rudy Burckhardt; teaching at Moore College of Art in Philadephia, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the University of Pennsylvania, and Parsons School of Design; flying over proposed subjects to get an aerial view; spending summers in Maine; other artists in Maine; her interest in painters who "developed spiritually"; travel to Japan with Burckhardt; collaborating with Burckhardt on the film, "Night Fantasies," (1990); acceptance of women artists; galleries; women artists she admires, and other topics. She recalls Robert Kushner, Edwin Denby, Alex Katz, Mimi Gross, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Yvonne Jacquette (1934-) is a painter and printmaker in New York, N.Y. James McElhinney is an artist and educator in New York, N.Y.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
This interview is access restricted; written permission is required. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Original footage includes an interview with Red Grooms, and footage of Grooms working in his New York studio. Additional interviews were shot at the Hudson River Museum during Grooms' 2008 exhibition and include museum director Thomas Hoving, curator Bartholomew Blake, and Grooms' daughter and granddaughters at the exhibition. Location footage of Grooms' neighborhood in New York City is also found, as well as motion camera footage of artwork and photographs. Transcripts for all original footage are present.
Production material includes copies of the animated film "Tappy Toes" by Red Grooms and Mimi Gross from 1969, and the live action/animation feature film The Making of Ruckus Manhattan, on Grooms' massive installation by that name, made by Grooms, Mimi Gross, Rudy Burkhardt, Jacob Burkhardt, and Peter Hutton.
The finished documentary exists in a single, half-hour version.
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 born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
The donor has retained all intellectual property rights, including copyright, that she may own.
Linda Freeman papers, 1971-2015. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The donor has retained all intellectual property rights, including copyright, that she may own in the following material: photographs taken by Rudy Burckhardt.
Rudy Burckhardt papers, 1934-2015. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
A diary kept by Pete Stanley primarily about a trip that he took by horse-drawn carriage with Mimi Gross, Red Grooms, Katharine Kean (known as KK), and Nello Falteri (known as Paperino) from Florence to Venice, Italy and back performing shadow puppet shows as Il Piccolo Circo d'Ombra di Firenze (the Little Shadow Circus from Florence). The diary includes entries from July 24, 1961 (leaving Florence) to August 23, 1961 (in Venice) and entries from March 24-31, 1962 about Stanley's travels in Germany. Also included are a few sketches of puppets and acquaintances, such as circus performer Alberto Adami.
Biographical / Historical:
Pete Stanley (1940- ) is a bluegrass musician in London, England.
Donated 2014 by Pete Stanley.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
An interview of Yvonne Jacquette conducted 1989 June 6-Dec. 13, by Barbara Shikler for the Archives of American Art.
Jacquette discusses the evolution of her subject matter, attaining aerial views; pivotal paintings; techniques and media; locales; and meditation. She recalls Rudy Burckhardt, Edwin Dewby, Janet Fish, Sylvia Mangold, Brooke Alexander, Red and Mimi Grooms and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Yvonne Jacquette (1934- ) is a painter from New York, N.Y.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral Hisotry 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. Funding for this interview provided by the Lannan Foundation.
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Women painters -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Search this
Funding for this interview was provided by the Lannan Foundation.
Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Letters, biographical material, sketches, printed material, and financial material.
Letters, many illustrated, from Mimi Gross to Red Grooms, Dominic Falcone, friends, and family; financial records, 1962; 2 exhibition announcements; 3 photographs of Gross and Grooms; a contract with Rudolph Burckhardt for the film "Shoot the Moon";
Ca. 400 items, 1964-1981, include: letters, many illustrated, to Gross and Grooms. Correspondents include Chaim Gross and Rudolph Burckhardt; a sketch; exhibition announcements, catalogs, invitations, and posters.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter; New York, N.Y.; b. 1940; Married to painter Red Grooms. Daughter of sculptor Chaim Gross.
Letters, many illustrated, from Groom's wife, Mimi Gross; letters from Dominic Falcone, other friends and his mother; brief financial records, 1962; two exhibition announcements; a contract with Rudolf Burckhardt for their film, "Shoot the Moon"; three photographs of Grooms and Mimi Gross; and printed miscellany.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter; New York, N.Y. Born Charles Grooms, 1937.
Donated 1980 by Red Grooms.
ACCESS RESTRICTED; written permission required.
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.
The papers of New York City sculptor and teacher Chaim Gross measure 21.1 linear feet and date from 1920-2004. The collection provides comprehensive documentation of Gross's career through biographical material, personal and professional correspondence with family, artists, writers, galleries, museums, educational institutions, and religious and philanthropic organizations, writings, personal business records, extensive printed and published material including motion picture film and video recordings of four documentaries, one hundred and fifteen sketchbooks spanning the bulk of Gross's career, and photographs of Gross, his family, many friends and colleagues from the art world, his studio, personal art collection, and works of art. An unprocessed addition of three sketchbooks was donated in 2020.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York City sculptor and teacher Chaim Gross measure 21.1 linear feet and date from 1920-2004. The collection provides comprehensive documentation of Gross's career through biographical material, personal and professional correspondence with family, artists, writers, galleries, museums, educational institutions, and religious and philanthropic organizations, writings, personal business records, extensive printed and published material including motion picture film and video recordings of four documentaries, one hundred and fifteen sketchbooks spanning the bulk of Gross's career, and photographs of Gross, his family, many friends and colleagues from the art world, his studio, personal art collection, and works of art.
Biographical material includes records collated to document awards and honors given to Gross documenting the recognition he received for his lifelong achievements in the last two decades of his career, including from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Academy of Design. The series also includes Gross's birth certificate printed in 1920, some biographical notes and resumes prior to the 1970s, documentation of Gross's business and personal contacts through addresses and business cards, and a motion picture film of a documentary about Gross, Art and the Model, made in 1976 by Thea Bay and edited by Bob Worth.
Personal and professional correspondence constitutes the largest series in the collection and documents all aspects of Gross's prolific career including: personal letters from friends and family such as daughter Mimi Gross and Red Grooms; professional correspondence with galleries, museums, and other art institutions including the Jewish Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the Whitney Museum of American Art; correspondence documenting commissions, loans, and sales of Gross's artwork through galleries including Forum Gallery; and correspondence with synagogues including International Synagogue, Temple Sharaay Tefila, and Temple Sinai, Pittsburgh, and multiple other Jewish organizations such as Hadassah and State of Israel Bonds. Correspondence also documents publications by and about Gross including letters from Abe Lerner, the Jewish Publication Society of America, Chaim Potok, and Harry N. Abrams, Inc.; Gross's work as a teacher including at the Educational Alliance and the New School for Social Research; and the significance of Gross's personal collection of African art through correspondence with Warren M. Robbins, the Smithsonian Museum of African Art, and others. Gross's work for the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project and Treasury Relief Project, as well as for the 1939 World's Fair, is also documented in this series and includes contracts and correspondence with Ed Rowan.
Correspondence includes many letters from artist friends and colleagues including Isabel Bishop, Peter Blume, Eliot Elisofon, Eugenie Gershoy, Milton Hebald, Lewis Jacobs, Karl Knaths, Arnold Newman, Elias Newman, Saul Rosen, Moses Soyer, Raphael Soyer, Nicholas Sperakis, William and Marguerite Zorach, and many others. Writers and scholars who corresponded with Gross include Samuel French Morse, Jack C. Rich, Shea Tenenbaum, Roberta Tarbell, and others.
Writings primarily consist of a partial draft of Gross's book The Technique of Wood Sculpture but also include a copy of his first published article in 1938 in the American Federation of Arts Magazine of Art, and a few short writings by Gross on other artists. Writings by others include a memoir of Gross's boyhood written by his brother, poet Naftoli Gross.
Gross's personal business records are scattered, as many transactional records are included with his correspondence. They do include lists of Gross's artwork and his personal art collection, two agreements for rights to use his work, appraisals of twelve of his works of art, and receipts of consignments, sales, loans, and gifts of artwork.
Printed material is a comprehensive and substantial record of Gross's exhibitions, and his prolific engagement in the arts and his community throughout his long career. This series includes announcements and catalogs for many of his exhibitions, brochures and programs for art organizations for which he exhibited, taught, donated to, or was otherwise represented in, notably the Educational Alliance, the New School for Social Research, the Sculptors Guild, Inc., and numerous other private and public museums, galleries, and institutions. Also found is circa one linear foot of clippings about Gross that span his career from newspapers, magazines, and journals, including some Hebrew and Yiddish publications. The series also houses video recordings of the documentaries Tree Trunk to Head and A Sculptor Speaks, and an NBC broadcast of an interview with Gross entitled The Two Chaims, as the motion picture film, A Sculptor Speaks.
Sketchbooks provide a unique visual record of Gross's development and the shifting focus of his subject matter from 1933 to right before his death in 1991. They record his early subjects of acrobatic models, family bonds, and landscapes, and the emergence of darker "fantasy" drawings in the wake of the Holocaust and World War II which brought the news of the murder of his brother and sister and her family by the Nazis. The sketchbooks document Gross's travels abroad during the 1960s, and his incorporation of Jewish iconography and Old Testament themes in the 1960s and 1970s. They also illustrate how the constant theme of the celebration of the human form persisted in his work to the end of his life.
Photographs of people and events, although only measuring 0.7 linear feet, provide a rich visual record of Gross's life and his professional and personal relationships from the time he arrived in the United States in 1920 to the late 1980s. The earliest photographs picture Gross with his brothers and with new friends at the Educational Alliance including Moses and Raphael Soyer, Peter Blume, and Elias Newman. There are many photographs of Gross working in his studios, and at the Bedi-Makky Art Foundry in Brooklyn, photographs taken at parties, exhibition openings, receptions, and other events, and photographs of Gross's art collection and exhibition installations. Photographs picture artists such as Hyman Brown, Jose de Creeft, Joseph Hirsch, Moses Soyer, and Raphael Soyer; and gallery owners and collectors including Bella Fishko, Joseph Hirshhorn, Sidney Janis, and Warren M. Robbins. The series also houses photographs of works of art, primarily sculpture, executed by Gross between 1922 and 1987.
An unprocessed addition of three sketchbooks was donated in 2020.
The collection is arranged as eight series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1920-circa 1991 (0.35 linear feet; Box 1, FC23)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1926-1997 (8.75 linear feet; Boxes 1-9, 22)
Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1938-circa 1980s (0.25 linear feet; Boxes 9-10)
Series 4: Personal Business Records, circa 1936-1982 (0.25 linear feet; Box 10)
Series 5: Printed Material, 1925-2004 (3.7 linear feet; Boxes 10-14, 22, FC 24)
Series 6: Sketchbooks, 1933-1991 (6.1 linear feet; Boxes 14-19, 22)
Series 7: Photographs, circa 1921-circa 1990s (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 20-22)
Series 8: Unprocessed Addition, 1949-1951 (0.2 linear feet; Box 25)
Biographical / Historical:
New York City sculptor and teacher Chaim Gross (1904-1991) is considered one of America's foremost sculptors, known for his semi-abstract bronzes celebrating the human form, and his pioneering work in direct wood carving. Gross taught for over fifty years at the Educational Alliance Art School and for forty years at the New School for Social Research.
Born in 1904 in Wolowa, Galicia, in what is now the Ukraine, Gross studied at the National Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest in 1919 and at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna in 1920 before immigrating to New York in 1921. He attended the Lower East Side Educational Art School in New York City from 1921-1927 where he began lifelong friendships with artists Moses Soyer, Raphael Soyer, Peter Blume and other important twentieth century artists. Gross also studied with Elie Nadelman at the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design and Robert Laurent at the Art Students League. He began teaching at the Educational Alliance in 1927 where his students included Louise Nevelson.
Gross married Renee Nechin in 1932 and they had two children, Yehuda and Miriam (Mimi). Mimi Gross is a New York-based artist who was married to artist Red Grooms from 1963-1976.
Gross's first solo exhibition was held at Gallery 144 in New York City in 1932, and he began to develop a reputation as a major contemporary sculptor when he joined the Federal Art Project in 1934 and won a commission from the Treasury Department competition for art works for public buildings in 1936. His projects included relief panels for the Federal Trade Commission building in Washington, D. C., and a large-scale family group for the France Overseas and Finnish Buildings at the 1939 New York World's Fair. In 1938 Gross founded the Sculptors Guild with William Zorach and served as the guild's first president. His work began to be acquired by major American museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art which in 1939 awarded Gross a $3000 purchase prize for his wood sculpture of circus performer Lillian Leitzel.
In 1938 filmmaker Lewis Jacobs produced a thirty minute film, Tree Trunk to Head, of Gross carving a wood sculpture of Renee Gross in his studio. Lewis subsequently produced a seventeen minute film, The Sculptor Speaks, of Gross working in his studio in 1957. That same year Gross published an influential how-to book The Technique of Wood Sculpture, featuring photographs by Eliot Elisofon.
Much of Gross's early work focused on performers such as acrobats and dancers, family groups, and the mother and child bond. The bulk of his work was in wood, particularly hardwoods with a dark or pronounced grain. In the 1940s, after hearing that his brother Pincus and sister Sarah and her family had been murdered by the Nazis, Gross devoted time daily to sketching in his notebooks, producing a visual diary of the emotional trauma involved in processing their horrific fate and navigating his own grief. A collection of the drawings was published in Chaim Gross: Fantasy Drawings (Beechurst Press) in 1956. Gross carved My Sister Sarah – in Memoriam (no. 36) in 1947 and made the first of seven trips to Israel in 1949.
By the late 1950s Gross was working less in direct carving and was focusing primarily on modeling in plaster on an armature for casting in bronze. In 1957 and 1959 he traveled to Rome, Italy, and worked with the Nicci Foundry. Bella Fishko began representing Gross's work after establishing Forum Gallery in New York City in 1961. After 1947 Gross had begun to incorporate more Jewish iconography and Old Testament themes into his work, designing and casting large scale menorahs for synagogues such as Temple Sinai in Pittsburgh and the Menorah Home for the Aged in Brooklyn during the 1960s. He executed six bronze panels, entitled Six Days of Creation, for Temple Sharaay Tefila in New York City in 1964, and Ten Commandments for the International Synagogue at Kennedy Airport in 1970-1971. In 1973 Gross illustrated The Book of Isaiah, published by the Jewish Publication Society of America.
Gross was active in many art-related and philanthropic organizations throughout his life and was the recipient of numerous awards, honors, and honorary degrees. He was elected to membership of the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1964, became an Academician at the National Academy of Design in 1983, and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1984. A solo exhibition Chaim Gross: Sculpture and Drawings, was held at the Smithsonian's National Collection of Fine Arts in 1974. In 1977 Gross had three retrospective exhibitions at the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami, the Montclair Art Museum, and the Jewish Museum in New York City. Scholar Roberta Tarbell wrote a key essay on Gross for the Jewish Museum exhibition.
In addition to being a professor of sculpture and printmaking at the Educational Alliance Art School and the New School for Social Research, Gross taught at the Brooklyn Museum Art School, the art school of the Museum of Modern Art, and the Art Students League.
Gross had begun collecting African sculpture in the 1930s and was later introduced by art critic Frank Getlein to Warren M. Robbins, who established the Museum of African Art in 1964. Gross gave Robbins several pieces for the museum and connected him with other individuals whose private collections of African art Robbins learned would be key to the success of the museum. A selection from Gross's renowned collection was exhibited at the Worcester Art Museum in The Sculptor's Eye: The African Art Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Chaim Gross in 1976.
The Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation was created in 1974 at 526 LaGuardia Place, the historic Greenwich Village townhouse which Chaim and Renee Gross purchased in 1962 and renovated to include studio and gallery space with living quarters above. Three years after Gross's death in 1991, the Renee and Chaim Gross foundation opened to the public with a memorial exhibition of the sculptor's work. 526 LaGuardia Place continues to house an extensive collection of Gross's artwork, a photographic archive, and Gross's personal art collection. Gross's work is represented in major museums throughout the United States and abroad, with the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden housing the largest collection of his sculpture in a public museum.
Additional Chaim Gross papers are held by Syracuse University.
The Archives of American Art also holds an oral history interview of Chaim Gross conducted 1964 September 1 by Dorothy Seckler and an oral history interview of Chaim Gross conducted 1981 May 26-27 by Milton Wolf Brown.
The Archives of American Art holds the microfilm (Reels D115a, 924, and 925) of ten record books, 1926-1975, containing rough drawings of artworks, dimensions, titles, dates, materials, production locations, and information regarding owners. The record books were returned to the donor after microfilming and are not described in the collection container inventory.
The Chaim Gross papers were given to the Archives of American Art in a series of accessions by Chaim Gross from 1963-1983. Thirteen postcards were given by Mrs. Irving Marantz in 1975. Mimi Gross donated eight letters and two envelopes in 2005. Additional papers were donated by the Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation in 2016 via Susan Fisher, executive Director, and in 2017 and 2020 by the Foundation via Sasha Davis, Interim Director and Curator of Collections.
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 Reference Services for more information.