The papers of art historian, dealer, critic, and curator Katharine Kuh measure 12 linear feet and date from 1875-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930-1994. The collection documents Kuh's career as a pioneer modernist art historian and as the first woman curator of European Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues; personal business records; artwork by various artists; a travel journal; writings by Kuh and others; scrapbooks; printed material; photographs of Kuh and others; and audio recordings of Kuh's lectures and of Daniel Catton Rich reading poetry.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of art historian, dealer, critic, and curator Katharine Kuh measure 12 linear feet and date from 1875-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930-1994. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues; personal business records; artwork by various artists; a travel journal; writings by Kuh and others; scrapbooks; printed material; photographs of Kuh and others; and audio recordings of Kuh's lectures and of Daniel Catton Rich reading poetry.
Biographical material consists of copies of Kuh's birth certificate, resumés, passports, award certificates, honorary diplomas, and address books listing information about several prominent artists and colleagues.
Four linear feet of correspondence offers excellent documentation of Kuh's interest in art history, her travels, her career at the Art Institute of Chicago, her work as a corporate art advisor, and as an author. There are letters from her mother Olga Woolf, friends, and colleagues. There is extensive correspondence with various staff members of the Art Institute of Chicago, the First National Bank of Chicago, and The Saturday Review. Also of interest are letters from artists and collectors, several of whom became life-long friends including Walter and Louise Arensberg, Cosmo Campoli, Serge Chermayeff, Richard Cox, Worden Day, Claire Falkenstein, Fred Friendly, Leon Golub, Joseph Goto, David Hare, Denise Brown Hare, Jean Hélion, Ray Johnson, Gyorgy and Juliet Kepes, Len Lye, Wallace Putnam, Kurt Seligmann, Shelby Shackelford, Hedda Sterne, and Clyfford Still. Many letters are illustrated with original artwork in various media.
There are also scattered letters from various artists and other prominent individuals including Josef Albers, George Biddle, Marcel Breuer, Joseph Cornell, Stuart Davis, Edwin Dickinson, Joseph Hirshhorn, Daniel Catton Rich, and Dorothea Tanning.
Personal business records include a list of artwork, Olga Woolf's will, inventories of Kuh's personal art collection, miscellaneous contracts and deeds of gift, receipts for the sale of artwork, files concerning business-related travel, and miscellaneous receipts.
Artwork in the collection represents a wide range of artist friends and media, such as drawings, watercolors, paintings, collages, and prints. Included are works by various artists including lithographs by David Hare and a watercolor set, Technics and Creativity, designed and autographed by Jasper Johns for the Museum of Modern Art, 1970.
Notes and writings include annotated engagement calendars, travel journals for Germany, a guest book for the Kuh Memorial gathering, and many writings and notes by Kuh for lectures and articles concerning art history topics. Of interest are minutes/notes from meetings for art festivals, conferences, and the "Conversations with Artists Program (1961). Also found are writings by others about Kuh and other art history topics.
Six scrapbooks contain clippings that document the height of Kuh's career as a gallery director and museum curator. Scrapbook 6 contains clippings about Fernand Léger, the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1953.
Additional printed material includes clippings about Kuh and her interests, a comprehensive collection of clippings of Kuh's articles for The Saturday Review, exhibition announcements and catalogs, calendars of events, programs, brochures, books including Poems by Kuh as a child, and reproductions of artwork. Of particular interest are the early and exhibition catalogs from the Katharine Kuh Gallery, and rare catalogs for artists including Jean Arp, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Jean Dubuffet, Marcel Duchamp, Stanley William Hayter, Hans Hofmann, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Franz Kline, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Pablo Picasso.
Photographs provide important documentation of the life and career of Katharine Kuh and are of Kuh, family members, friends, colleagues, events, residences, and artwork. Several of the photographs of Kuh were taken by Will Barnet and Marcel Breuer and there is a notable pair of photo booth portraits of Kuh and a young Ansel Adams. There are also group photographs showing Angelica Archipenko with Kuh; designer Klaus Grabe; painters José Chavez Morado and Pablo O'Higgins in San Miguel, Mexico; Kuh at the Venice Biennale with friends and colleagues including Peggy Guggenheim, Frances Perkins, Daniel Catton Rich, and Harry Winston; and "The Pre-Depressionists" including Lorser Feitelson, Robert Inverarity, Helen Lundeberg, Arthur Millier, Myron Chester Nutting, and Muriel Tyler Nutting.
Photographs of exhibition installations and openings include views of the Katharine Kuh Gallery; Fernand Léger, Man Ray, and László Moholy-Nagy at the Art Institute of Chicago; and Philip Guston, Jimmy Ernst, Seymour H. Knox, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. There are also photographs depicting three men posing as Léger's "Three Musicians" and the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the Art Institute of Chicago. There is a photograph by Peter Pollack of an elk skull used as a model by Georgia O'Keeffe.
Additional photographs of friends and colleagues include Ivan Albright, Alfred Barr, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Willem De Kooning, Edwin Dickinson, Marcel Duchamp, Claire Falkenstein, Alberto Giacometti, poet Robert Graves with Len Lye, Philip Johnson, Gyorgy and Juliet Kepes, Carlos Mérida, José Orozco, Hasan Ozbekhan, Pablo Picasso, Carl Sandberg, Ben Shahn, Otto Spaeth, Hedda Sterne, Adlai Stevenson, Clyfford Still, Mark Tobey, and composer Victor Young.
Photographs of artwork include totem poles in Alaska; work by various artists including Claire Falkenstein, Paul Klee, and Hedda Sterne; and work donated to the Guggenheim Museum.
Four audio recordings on cassette are of Katharine Kuh's lectures, including one about assembling corporate collections, and of Daniel Catton Rich reading his own poetry. There is also a recording of the Second Annual Dialogue between Broadcasters and Museum Educators.
The collection is arranged as 9 series. Undated correspondence, artwork, and photographs of individual artists are arranged alphabetically. Otherwise, each series is arranged chronologically.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1945-1992 (Box 1; 16 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1908-1994 (Boxes 1-5, 13-14, OV 15; 4.0 linear feet)
Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1941-1989 (Box 5; 19 folders)
Series 4: Artwork, 1931-1986 (Boxes 5, 13-14, OVs 15-23; 1.7 linear feet)
Series 5: Notes and Writings, 1914-1994 (Boxes 5-7; 1.7 linear feet)
Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1935-1953 (Box 7; 8 folders)
Series 7: Printed Material, 1916-1992 (Boxes 7-10, 13, OV 22; 3.0 linear feet)
Series 8: Photographs, 1875-1993 (Boxes 10-13; 1.2 linear feet)
Series 9: Audio Recordings, 1977 (Box 12; 1 folder)
Katharine Kuh (1904-1994) worked primarily in the Chicago area as an modern art historian, dealer, critic, curator, writer, and consultant. She operated the Katharine Kuh Gallery from 1935-1943 and was the first woman curator of European and Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Katharine Kuh (née Woolf) was born on July 15, 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri, the youngest of the three daughters of Olga Weiner and Morris Woolf, a silk importer. In 1909, the family moved to Chicago, Illinois. While traveling with her family in Europe in 1914, Katharine contracted polio, causing her to spend the next decade in a body brace. During this time of restricted movement, she developed an interest in art history through the collecting of old master prints.
After her recovery, Katharine Woolf attended Vassar College where one of her professors, Alfred Barr, encouraged her to study modern art. She graduated from Vassar in 1925 and received a master's degree in art history from the University of Chicago in 1929. Later that year, she moved to New York to pursue a Ph.D. in Renaissance and medieval art at New York University.
In 1930, Katharine Woolf returned to Chicago and married businessman George Kuh and began to teach art history courses in the suburbs of Chicago. After divorcing George Kuh in 1935, she opened the Katharine Kuh Gallery, the first gallery devoted to avant-garde art in Chicago. It was also the first gallery to exhibit photography and typographical design as art forms, and featured the work of Ansel Adams, Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, Wassily Kandinsky, Fernand Léger, and Man Ray, among others. From 1938 to1940, Kuh was the Visiting Professor of Art at the University School of Fine Arts, San Miguel, Mexico.
After the Katharine Kuh Gallery closed in 1943, Kuh was hired by museum director Daniel Catton Rich to fill a position in public relations at the Art Institute of Chicago. During the following years, Kuh edited the museum's Quarterly publication, took charge of the museum's Gallery of Interpretive Art, and began a long term relationship with Rich. In 1946, Kuh was sent on a special mission for the U. S. Office of Indian Affairs to make a detailed study of Native American totemic carvings in Alaska.
In 1949, Kuh persuaded Mr. and Mrs. Walter Arensberg of Los Angeles to exhibit their collection of modern art, creating the first post-war exhibition of modern art in Chicago. She published her first book Art Has Many Faces in 1951, and in the following year, she began writing art criticism for The Saturday Review. In 1954, Kuh was appointed the first woman curator of European Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute. She assembled the American contribution for the Venice Biennale in 1956 and during these years, Kuh helped acquire many of the works of modern art currently in the museum's collection.
A year following Daniel Catton Rich's 1958 resignation from the Art Institute of Chicago, Kuh also resigned and pursued a career in New York as an art collection advisor, most notably for the First National Bank of Chicago. In 1959, Kuh was made art critic for The Saturday Review, and she continued to publish books, including The Artist's Voice in 1962, Break-Up: The Core of Modern Art in 1965, and The Open Eye: In Pursuit of Art in 1971.
Katharine Kuh died on January 10, 1994 in New York City.
The Katharine Kuh papers were donated in several installments from 1971 to 1989 by Katharine Kuh and in 1994 by her estate. Artwork was donated in 1995 by Kuh's former employer, the Art Institute of Chicago.
Authorization to quote, publish or reproduce requires written permission until 2019. Contact the Archives of American Art Reference Services department for additional information.
The Katharine Kuh 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.
The André Emmerich Gallery records and André Emmerich papers measure 311.4 linear feet and date from 1929 to 2009. The collection documents the business of the André Emmerich Gallery as well as André Emmerich's life and activities related to the business of selling art. Gallery records include correspondence; appointment books; administrative and subject files; exhibition files; artist files and accounts; inventory, sales, purchase, and consignment records; chronological files; financial and legal records; printed materials; original artwork; photographic and audiovisual materials. Also found are personal papers and records relating to André Emmerich. TheA small addition received in 2014 includes general correspondence, administrative files, exhibition files, artists' files, inventory records, consignment records, printed material, photographic materials, and André Emmerich personal papers and records.
Scope and Content Note:
The André Emmerich Gallery records and André Emmerich papers measure 311.4 linear feet and date from 1929 to 2009. The collection documents the business of the André Emmerich Gallery as well as André Emmerich's life and activities related to the business of selling art. Gallery records include correspondence; appointment books; administrative and subject files; exhibition files; artist files and accounts; inventory, sales, purchase, and consignment records; chronological files; financial and legal records; printed materials; original artwork; photographic and audiovisual materials. Also found are personal papers and records relating to André Emmerich.
The records document the gallery's daily business operations, exhibitions, and relationships with artists, dealers, clients, galleries, and museums. Artists particularly well-represented throughout the collection include Anthony Caro, Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, David Hockney, Hans Hofmann, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, and Beverly Pepper.
Records pre-dating the gallery's establishment in 1954 are primarily newspaper and magazine clippings related to artists, personal photographs and photographs of artists, an original etching, and some of André Emmerich's personal records including biographical materials, correspondence, writings, and legal and financial records. Records post-dating the gallery's closure in 1998 are primarily residual business records related to the final disposition of artwork, clippings, photographs of André Emmerich and gallery staff, biographical materials, personal correspondence, writings, legal and financial records, and condolences received by Emmerich's wife upon his death in 2007.
Correspondence is primarily with galleries, museums and clients about business matters. Correspondence files also cover topics such as appraisals, authentications, offers of sale, artists seeking representation, image requests, job applications and recommendations. Also included are the New York gallery's copies of correspondence between the New York staff and the Zurich staff.
André Emmerich's appointment books document appointments, notes, and reminders about Emmerich's business and personal activities. Four appointment books relating to the birth of Emmerich's three sons and second marriage were kept by the family. The appointment books are access restricted and require written permission to use.
Administrative files include corporate records establishing the Andre Emmerich gallery's structure, records documenting the gallery's daily operations, advertising and publicity material, and records about the Sotheby's acquisition. There are also materials related to Top Gallant Farm, from its establishment to its closure. Travel records relate to André Emmerich's business trips and vacations along with some files on the travels of a several staff members at the gallery. Files about the operations of the Galerie André Emmerich in Zurich, Switzerland are included in the series as well.
Subject files relate to Emmerich's gallery business as well as personal and political interests, such as antiquities, art fairs and exhibitions, lecture research, art associations, and sculpture parks. There are several files on the art critic Clement Greenberg and former president of Gay Men's Health Crisis, Nathan Kolodner, who was also an art dealer and director of the Andre Emmerich Gallery.
Exhibition files contain numerous exhibition catalogs and printed materials related to exhibitions held or organized by the André Emmerich Gallery in Manhattan and Galerie André Emmerich in Zurich. The files contain materials ranging such as exhibition invitations, posters, printed materials, press releases, and guest books. Photographs of exhibitions can be found in the Photographic Materials series.
Artist files include biographical materials, clippings, correspondence, mailing lists, price lists, printed materials, and occasionally lectures, writings, and audiovisual materials for many of the artists represented or shown by André Emmerich Gallery. The General Correspondence files might contain duplicates or expanded versions of some of the correspondence. Photographs of artists can be found in the Photographic Materials series.
Artist accounts comprise account statements prepared periodically by the gallery documenting each artist's expenses and sales. Ledgers and general accounting files can be found in the Other Financial and Legal Records series.
Inventory records include inventory cards describing artwork entering and leaving the gallery and files containing various gallery inventories. Artist inventory cards, representing artists from both the New York and Zurich galleries, list the artist, title, date, media and measurements of an artwork. The cards also indicate whether the work was ultimately sold, returned to the artist, consigned, etc., and divided into categories accordingly. Inventory files show various gallery inventories.
Sales records document gallery sales and include paid invoices, records relating to Zurich sales, general sales records such as price lists and canceled sales, and Sotheby's Parke-Bernet auction reports. There are gaps in sales invoices in 1961-1964 and 1969-1971.
Purchase records include correspondence and invoices related to purchases and offers; annotated invoices for works of art bought by the gallery; André Emmerich, Inc. related purchase records; "Non-Modern" art related purchase records.
Consignment records include correspondence and consignment agreements documenting consignments to and from the André Emmerich Gallery; consignments from other galleries to André Emmerich, Inc.; and general consignment records.
Chronological files include copies of invoices or cover letters documenting the movement of artwork into and out of the gallery through sales, consignments, loans, and approvals. Records dating January through August 1968, January through March 1969, and September 1969 through July 1971 are missing.
Financial and legal records include client and partner account statements, resale and exempt organization certificates, accounting ledgers, and legal files related to disputes involving or of interest to the gallery.
Printed materials include auction catalogs and reports, books, and clippings describing André Emmerich, the galleries in New York and Zurich, Top Gallant Farm, and the art world. Also included is a large scrapbook created by the gallery containing clippings and gallery announcements dated 1955-1958. Clippings relating to particular artists can be found in the Artists Files series.
There are two pieces of original artwork in the collection. One is a 1974 print of a 1933 composite etching by Esther Dick Gottlieb, Adolphe Gottlieb, Edgar Levy, Lucille Corcos Levy, David Smith, and Dorothy Dehner Smith. The second is a 1998 lithograph by Louise Bourgeoise, called The Face of the Critic. The artist gave the lithograph as a gift in honor of Robert Hughes and the Archives of American Art and is numbered 61 out of a series of 300.
Photographic materials include prints, slides, negatives, and transparencies. Subjects include artists, André Emmerich, gallery installations, Top Gallant Farm, events, artists' studios, gallery staff, gallery space, and artwork. Photographs which show André Emmerich are indicated as such in the finding aid.
Audiovisual materials includes videocassettes and one audiocassette related to the art world. Videocassettes related to specific artists can be found in the Artists Files series. Videocassettes related to André Emmerich can be found in the André Emmerich Personal Papers and Records series. Videocassettes related to Top Gallant Farm and Sotheby's can be found in the Administrative Files series.
Personal papers and records relating to André Emmerich include biographical materials, personal correspondence, writings and lectures, and legal and financial records. The biographical materials include an address book, interviews and identifying documents. Writings include articles, edits, dissertations, lectures, etc. There are also some miscellaneous correspondence which is organized chronologically.
The small addition received in 2014 includes general correspondence, administrative files, exhibition files, artists' files, inventory records, consignment records, printed material, photographic materials, and André Emmerich personal papers and records.
The collection is arranged as 19 series:
Series 1: General Correspondence Files, 1958-2006 (boxes 1-18, OV 314-315; 18.2 linear feet)
Series 2: André Emmerich Appointment Books, 1954-2007 (boxes 19, 325, 326; 1.7 linear feet)
Series 3: Administrative Files, 1954-2003 (boxes 20-31, 306, OV 314, OV 316-319; 11 linear feet)
Series 4: Subject Files, 1958-1967, 1971-2000 (boxes 31-32, 306, OV 318, OV 320; 2 linear feet)
Series 5: Exhibition Files, circa 1954-1998 (boxes 32-40, 306, 307, OV 318-322; 8.5 linear feet)
Series 6: Artists Files, 1929-1932, 1938-2007 (boxes 40-68, 307, 308, OV 320-323; 28 linear feet)
Series 7: Artist Accounts, 1958-1998 (boxes 68-81; 13.5 linear feet)
Series 8: Inventory Records, circa 1954-2000(boxes 82-128; 46.5 linear feet)
Series 9: Sales Records, 1959-1998 (boxes 128-168; 40 linear feet)
Series 10: Purchase Records, 1961-1966, 1972-1994 (boxes 168-170; 2 linear feet)
Series 11: Consignment Records, 1961-2002 (boxes 170-177; 7.7 linear feet)
Series 12: Chronological File of Incoming and Outgoing Artwork, 1968-1998 (boxes 178-185; 8 linear feet)
Series 13: Other Financial and Legal Records, 1956-1999 (boxes 186-202; 16.5 linear feet)
Series 14: Printed Materials, 1955-1960, 1965-2008 (boxes 202-204, 308, 309; 3 linear feet)
Series 15: Original Artwork, 1933, 1974, 1998 (box 205, 310; 0.7 linear feet (2 folders))
Series 16: Photographic Materials, circa 1930-1935, 1941-1998, circa 2005 (Boxes 205-296, 311-313, OV 324; 92.8 linear feet)
Series 17: General Audio and Video Recordings, 1985, 1990-1995 (Boxes 297-298; 1.3 linear feet)
Series 18: André Emmerich Personal Papers and Records, 1937-1940, 1946-2008 (Boxes 298-305, OV 321, OV 323; 7.7 linear feet)
Series 19: Addition to the The André Emmerich Gallery records and André Emmerich papers, 1956-2009 (Boxes 328-329, OV 330; 2.1 linear feet)
André Emmerich (1924-2007) was one of America's most noted contemporary art dealers and opened the André Emmerich Gallery in New York in 1954. The gallery showcased contemporary art, particularly Color Field painting and monumental sculpture.
André Emmerich was born on October 11, 1924 in Frankfurt, Germany. From age 7 he was raised in Amsterdam before emigrating with his family to New York City in 1940. He studied at Oberlin College and developed an interest in pre-Columbian art and antiquities. After graduation, he spent ten years in Paris working as a writer and editor before returning to New York. He married Constance Emmerich and the couple had three sons, Adam, Noah, and Toby.
In 1954 Emmerich opened the André Emmerich Gallery at 18 East 77th Street and initially specialized in contemporary American and European art and pre-Columbian antiquities. In 1956, the gallery moved to 17 East 64th Street, and in 1959 to the Fuller Building at 41 East 57th Street. Emmerich wrote two books about pre-Columbian art, Art Before Columbus in 1963 and Sweat of the Sun, Tears of the Moon: Gold and Silver in Pre-Columbian Art in 1965.
In 1961, Emmerich learned that French and Company, a gallery advised by art critic Clement Greenberg, was closing its department of contemporary art. French and Company had represented Color Field painters Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, and Jules Olitski. Emmerich immediately invited Louis and Noland to be represented by his gallery. In 1966 he extended the invitation to Olitski as well, and Helen Frankenthaler joined soon after. The gallery's reputation as one of the earliest and most important promoters of Color Field painters was launched.
In addition to Color Field painters, the gallery represented, among others, Pierre Alechinsky, Karel Appel, Milton Avery, Herbert Ferber, Sam Francis, John Graham, Al Held, David Hockney, Hans Hofmann, John Hoyland, Judy Pfaff, Miriam Schapiro, and Anne Truitt.
Until January 1983, sales of pre-Columbian art primarily went through an entity called André Emmerich Inc. (AE Inc.), while sales of contemporary went through the André Emmerich Gallery Inc. (AEG). In 1983, the two entities were merged and operated under the name André Emmerich Gallery Inc.
In 1971, Emmerich began operating a downtown gallery at 420 West Broadway, in SoHo, in space shared with Leo Castelli, Virginia Dwan, and Ileana Sonnabend. In 1972, Emmerich opened a branch of his gallery in Zurich. He incorporated the Galerie André Emmerich Gmbh primarily for the purpose of leasing gallery space in Zurich. Until February 1974, sales of Pre-Columbian art in Zurich were made by an entity called André Emmerich Gallery Inc., New York Filiale Zurich. The Galerie André Emmerich Gmbh was officially liquidated in May 1982. The Filiale was formally closed in October 1996. Galerie André Emmerich also enjoyed a short-lived joint venture with Gimpel & Hanover.
André Emmerich served as president of the Art Dealers Association of America from 1972-1974 and again from 1991-1994.
Emmerich opened a private 150 acre sculpture park, Top Gallant Farm, on his estate in Pawling, New York, in 1982, where he stored and exhibited monumental sculptures by artists his gallery represented including Anthony Caro, Beverly Pepper, Alexander Liberman, Alexander Calder, Mark di Suvero, George Rickey, and Keith Haring. David Hockney painted waves onto floor of the property's swimming pool in 1986. Emmerich operated the sculpture park until 1996.
Emmerich sold his gallery to Sotheby's in 1996. He continued to be affiliated with the gallery until Sotheby's closed the gallery in 1998. Emmerich then began work on his memoir, My Life With Art, excerpts of which have been published in Art News, the Wall Street Journal, and The New Criterion.
Andre Emmerich died in New York 2007 and is survived by his second wife, Susanne Emmerich.
Among the holdings of the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with André Emmerich conducted by Mona Hadler on January 18, 1993.
The André Emmerich Gallery records and André Emmerich papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by André Emmerich in eight accretions between 1999 and 2002. Two additional accretions were donated by Emmerich's wife Susanne in 2008 and 2009; and by James Yohe, Emmerich's former business partner, in 2009 and 2014.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Access of diaries and appointment books required written permission.
The André Emmerich Gallery records and André Emmerich 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.
The records of modernist New York City Kootz Gallery measure 7.1 linear feet and date from 1923-1966. They consist of scattered correspondence and exhibition files; photograph files of artists, including ones for Picasso, William Baziotes, and Hans Hofmann, among many others; 23 scrapbooks; photographs and slides of the gallery and exhibitions; and scattered personal papers of Samuel M. Kootz.
Scope and Contents note:
The records of modernist New York City Kootz Gallery measure 7.1 linear feet and date from 1923-1966. They consist of scattered correspondence and exhibition files; photograph files of artists, including ones for Picasso, William Baziotes, and Hans Hofmann, among many others; 23 scrapbooks, photographs and slides of the gallery and exhibitions; and scattered personal papers of Samuel M. Kootz.
There are two folders of scattered routine incoming letters. Three folders of exhibition files contain limited documentation of the 1952 Kootz Gallery exhibition "To South America," and printed material related to the 1951 exhibition "Art for a Synagogue" held at the Synagogue of Congregation B'nai Israel in Millburn, New Jersey.
Artists' Photograph Files contain mostly photographs of 52 artists, their artwork, and their exhibitions. In addition to photographs, there is one folder of artists' autographs. Pablo Picasso and Hans Hofmann's close friendship with Kootz is reflected in this series, as numerous informal personal photos are found in their respective files. A few folders also contain documents, such as transcript notes for a lecture and other writings by Hans Hofmann and a brief review of the work of Georges Braque and David Hare.
Printed Material consists of exhibition announcements and catalogs, advertisements, and newspaper and magazine clippings on the gallery and artists associated with the gallery. There are catalogs for Kootz Gallery exhibitions, including "The Intrasubjectives" show of 1949.
Twenty-three scrapbooks date from 1931 through 1966 and include exhibition announcements, catalogs, photographs, clippings, and miscellaneous printed material. Scrapbook 1, 1947-1948, focuses on Pablo Picasso. Scrapbooks 2-21 document approximately one year of Kootz Gallery events and press coverage from 1945 to 1966, and Scrapbooks 22-23, 1950-1958, focus on architectural models and exhibitions.
Photographic material includes photographs, transparencies, and slides of Kootz Gallery New York and Kootz Gallery Provincetown; interior design photographs showcasing Kootz Gallery artwork hanging in office and residential spaces; group and unidentified exhibitions; group and unidentified artists/artwork; and informal photographs of Samuel Kootz and of his wife, Jane.
Samuel Kootz Personal Papers consist of a cocktail party invitation and a copy of the 1923 Phi Epsilon Pi Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 1.
The collection is arranged as 7 series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1950-1962 (Box 1; 2 folders)
Series 2: Exhibition Files, circa 1944-1966 (Box 1; 3 folders)
Series 3: Artists Photographs Files, 1936-1966 (Boxes 1-2, 5; 1.5 linear feet)
Series 4: Printed Material, circa 1944-1966 (Boxes 2, 5; 0.5 linear feet)
Series 5: Scrapbooks, 1931-1966 (Box 3, BV 6-23; 4 linear feet)
Series 6: Photographic Material, circa 1944-1966 (Boxes 4-5; 11 folders)
Series 7: Samuel Kootz Personal Papers, circa 1923-1957 (Box 4; 2 folders)
Samuel M. Kootz officially opened the Kootz Gallery in 1945 in New York City. In 1953, he opened a satellite gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts that closed one year later.
Samuel M. Kootz (1898-1982) received his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1921 and practiced law briefly before moving to New York City to accept a job as an advertising account executive. While still in law school, he began visiting New York art galleries and was particularly drawn to works by modern artists that were showing at the Stieglitz Gallery and the Charles Daniel Gallery. In 1930, he independently published his first book, Modern American Painters and began to regularly contribute articles on painting and photography to various periodicals, including The Times. In 1942, he curated an abstract expressionist showcase for Macy's and published New Frontiers in American Painting one year later. Kootz's second book was one of the first to examine the emerging abstract expressionist movement and marked the beginning of his full transition into the art world.
In 1944, Kootz resigned from his advertising job to represent Robert Motherwell and William Baziotes as a professional art dealer. He officially opened the Kootz Gallery opened in 1945 and showcased the work of both American and European abstract expressionists, including Hans Hofmann and Adolph Gottlieb. In 1946, during the Kootz Gallery's preparation for Pablo Picasso's first one man exhibition in America, Picasso became quite friendly with Kootz and his wife Jane. Upon the artist's suggestion, Kootz agreed to close his gallery and represent Picasso and his other artists as a private dealer. Although this was a successful venture, Kootz missed the structure of an office and decided to reopen his gallery on Madison Avenue in 1949. The gallery's first show at the new location was "The Intrasubjectives," a term Kootz had coined for abstract expressionists. The exhibition included four artists from his stable, William Baziotes, Robert Motherwell, Adolph Gottlieb, and Hans Hofmann, along with Jackson Pollock, Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Ad Reinhardt, Morris Graves, Mark Tobey, and Bradley Walker Tomlin.
In 1953, Kootz opened a satellite gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts that was managed and operated by gallerist Nathan Halper. In 1954, they mutually agreed to dissolve their partnership and Kootz focused his energies on his New York gallery, which grew to include Herbert Ferber, David Hare, Philippe Hosiasson, Ibram Lassaw, Conrad Marca-Relli, Georges Mathieu, Raymond Parker, William Ronald, Gerard Schneider, Emil Schumacher, and Pierre Soulages.
A number of factors, including competition from new galleries, commoditization of art by investment collectors, and the public's interest in emerging pop art, influenced Kootz's decision to close his gallery in 1966.
Related Archival Materials note:
Also found among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are oral history interviews with Samuel M. Kootz by John Morse on March 2, 1960 and by Dorothy Seckler on April 13, 1964. Records of Kootz Gallery are also interspersed among the records of Nathan Halper's galleries.
Separated Materials note:
Records loaned for microfilming in 1965 included eight articles from the publication Modern Artists in America (1951) which were not included in the later donation and are now available on microfilm reel NY65-1.
Samuel M. Kootz donated the gallery records in two increments in 1971. Nearly all of the same records had been loaned in 1965 for microfilming.
Use of original papers requires an appointment. All scrapbooks are CLOSED due to their fragile condition; #1-#5 have been digitized and are available on the Archives of American Art's website, and #6-#23 are only available for use on microfilm reels 1318-1320 and 1322-1323.
The Kootz Gallery records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
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