An interview of Charles Alan conducted 1970 August 20-25, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
Alan speaks of studying scene and stage design; attending Yale School of Drama; doing illustrations for various publications; traveling and studying in Europe; working as a set designer for MGM and Warner Brothers; his experiences working at the Downtown Gallery; his thoughts and recollections about Edith Halpert; leaving Downtown Gallery and starting his own gallery; his opinions on the future of small galleries in New York; museum purchases; Edith Halpert's art collection; selling his gallery to Felix Landau; and various thoughts concerning the art world. He recalls Norman Bell Geddes, Edith Halpert, Stuart Davis, Julien Levy, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Kirk Askew, Raymond Breinin, Ben Shahn, George Washburn, Edward Root, Joe Hirshhorn, John Marin, John Marin Jr., Lawrence Allen, Georgia O'Keeffe, William Harnett, Julian Levi, Jack Levine, Karl Zerbe, Bruce Conner, Richard Baker, Paul Sachs, and many others.
Biographical / Historical:
Charles Alan (1908?-1975) was an art dealer from New York, New York. Alan attended Horace Mann School, graduating in 1924. Attended Yale School of Drama in 1925, then worked as a set designer for MGM and Warner Brothers. In 1930, Alan became a theatrical set designer and director. After serving in the Army in World War II, he worked for Edith Halpert at the Downtown Gallery. In 1952, he opened the Charles Alan Gallery, specializing in contemporary art. Alan closed the gallery in 1970 to become a private dealer.
Originally recorded on 2 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 58 min.
These interviews are part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Set Designers -- United States -- Interviews Search this
Files on ca. 150 American artists and art subjects, selected from Duveen's art reference files. Included are photographs of paintings in other collections, auction and exhibition catalogs, miscellaneous publications.
Files include: Francis Alexander, Washington Allston, William H. Bartlett, Ben-Zion, Thomas Birch, Joseph Blackburn, Ralph A. Blakelock, Charles F. Blauvelt, Peter Blume, Emile Branchard, Albertis D. O. Browere, John G. Brown, Jonathan Buddington, James E. Buttersworth, Carra, Dennis M. Carter, Mary Cassatt, George Catlin, Centurion, Paul Cezanne, Moura Chabor, Marc Chagall, T. Chambers, Jean Charlot, Thomas Cole, John Constable, George Cope, John S. Copley, Ralston Crawford, Jasper F. Cropsey, Arthur B. Davies, Charles Despiau, Roland Detre, Thomas R. Dibble, Enrico Donati, William Doriani, Thomas Doughty, Jessie Drew-Bear, Robert S. Duncanson, Dunlap, Asher B. Durand, George H. Durrie, Frank Duveneck, Evert Duyckinck, Thomas Eakins, Jacob Eichholtz, Louis M. Eilshemius, Charles L. Elliott, Robert Field, Emil Ganso, Pablo Gargallo, Jan Gelb, Paul Gillman, Christian Gullager, George H. Hall, Chester Harding, William M. Harnett, George Harvey, William J. Hays, George P. A. Healy, Edward L. Henry, John Hesselius, Edward Hicks, Thomas Hicks, Holland House, Charles Fevret de Saint-Memin, Winslow Homer, S. A. Hudson, Daniel Huntington, Henry Inman, George Inness, John W, Jarvis, Eastman Johnson, Henrietta Johnston, John Johnston, Hilde B. Kayn, Dikran K. Kelekian, Fitz Hugh Lane, Ernest Lawson, M. F. Lefferts, William R. Leigh, Abraham Lincoln, George B. Luks, Edward G. Malbone, Alfred H. Maurer, Louis Maurer, McKay, Alfred J. Miller, Louis C. Moeller, Samuel F. B. Morse, John Neagle, Donald Organ, Bass Otis, Walter Pach, Charles W. Peale, James Peale, Rembrandt Peale, William Penn, Enoch W. Perry, F. E. H. Philippoteaux, Charles P. Polk, T. B. Pope, Rufus Porter, William M. Prior, Walter Quirt, William T. Ranney, Reinhardt, Frederic Remington, Louisa Robins, Severin Roesen, Thomas P. Rossiter, Peter F. Rothermel, Charles M. Russell, Edward Savage, William Sawitzky, Nikol Schattenstein, Christian Schussele, D. Serres, James Sharples, Morris Shulman, John Smibert, Sergei Soudeikin, Haim Soutine, Frederick R. Spencer, Albert Stewart, Robert Street, William J. Strong, Gilbert Stuart, C. (Charles ?) Sullivan, Thomas Sully, Arthur F. Tait, G. Tirrell, John Trumbull, John Vanderlyn, Pieter Vanderlyn, William Von Schlegell, Samuel L. Waldo, Abraham Walkowitz, George Washington, Elbert Weinberg, Julian A. Weir, Thomas B. Welch, Adolph U. Wertmuller, Benjamin West, Anne Whitney, Arnold Wiltz, William E. Winner, S. Wood, and Thomas W. Wood.
The Saint-Memin, Stuart, B. West and Wertmuller files contain material from Albert Rosenthal relating to the above artists.
Files are arranged alphabetically by artist and subject, rolls NDU1-NDU3; publications and other miscellany were filmed on rolls NDU4-NDU5.
Biographical / Historical:
Albert Duveen was an art dealer and collector with offices in New York, N.Y., specializing in early American art. He was a cousin to Joseph Duveen (1869-1939), 1st Baron Duveen, president of Duveen Brothers art dealers.
Lent for microfilming 1958 by Duveen.
The Archives does not own the original papers. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm.