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Alaska sketchbook

Creator:
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Type:
Artworks
Place:
Fairbanks, Alaska
Date:
1943
Topic:
War artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)19679
See more items in:
Henry Varnum Poor papers, 1873-2001, bulk bulk 1904-1970
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_19679

Henry Varnum Poor letter to William Austin Kienbusch

Creator:
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Kienbusch, William Austin, 1914-1980  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1937 Dec. 9
Topic:
Still-life painting  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)10353
See more items in:
William Kienbusch papers, 1915-2001, bulk bulk 1936-1980
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_10353
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Henry Varnum Poor, 1964

Interviewee:
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Interviewer:
Phillips, Harlan B. (Harlan Buddington),, 1920-  Search this
Subject:
Bruce, Edward  Search this
Cézanne, Paul  Search this
Sickert, Walter  Search this
Stanford University  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Mural painting and decoration -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12762
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213729
AAA_collcode_poor64
Theme:
New Deal
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213729

Henry Varnum Poor papers, 1873-2001, bulk bulk 1904-1970

Creator:
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Subject:
Burchfield, Charles Ephraim  Search this
Benton, William  Search this
Biddle, George  Search this
Ciardi, John  Search this
Caniff, Milton Arthur  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel  Search this
Dickson, Harold E.  Search this
Evergood, Philip  Search this
Esherick, Wharton  Search this
Marston, Muktuk  Search this
Garrett, Alice Warder  Search this
Meredith, Burgess  Search this
Czebotar, Theodore  Search this
Poor, Peter  Search this
Houseman, John  Search this
Watson, Ernest William  Search this
Padro, Isabel  Search this
Billing, Jules  Search this
Deming, MacDonald  Search this
Poor, Anne  Search this
Poor, Bessie Breuer  Search this
Poor, Eva  Search this
Poor, Josephine Graham  Search this
Sargent, Elizabeth S.  Search this
Poor, Josephine Lydia  Search this
Dorn, Marion  Search this
Steinbeck, John  Search this
Smith, David  Search this
Mumford, Lewis  Search this
Montross Gallery  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Type:
Sketches
Motion pictures (visual works)
Diaries
Prints
Photographs
Illustrations
Drawings
Watercolors
Sketchbooks
Topic:
Architects -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
War posters  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Pottery -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Designers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Ceramicists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13442
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)210589
AAA_collcode_poorhenr
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Craft
Diaries
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_210589
Online Media:

William Benton papers

Creator:
Benton, William, 1900-1973  Search this
Names:
Albright, Ivan, 1897-1983  Search this
Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889-1975  Search this
Biddle, George, 1885-1973  Search this
Bishop, Isabel, 1902-1988  Search this
Bohrod, Aaron  Search this
Dalí, Salvador, 1904-  Search this
Dean, Abner, 1910-  Search this
Der Harootian, Koren, 1909-  Search this
Ernst, Jimmy, 1920-1984  Search this
Hebald, Milton  Search this
Hirsch, Joseph, 1910-1981  Search this
Johnson, Ben  Search this
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971  Search this
Kleinholz, Frank, 1901-  Search this
Levine, Jack, 1915-2010  Search this
Marsh, Reginald, 1898-1954  Search this
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Rosenberg, James N. (James Naumburg), b. 1874  Search this
Sachs, Hella Moravic  Search this
Vereisky, Orest G.  Search this
Wood, Grant, 1891-1942  Search this
Extent:
1 Linear foot ((on 3 microfilm reels))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1940-1983
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence; writings; notes; estate lists; contracts; photographs of works of art; exhibition catalogs; clippings; miscellaneous printed material.
REEL 925: Correspondence with artists, 1954-1968, concerning Benton's purchase and background of their works; and writings by Benton on Soviet art.
REEL 3134: A 13-page, incomplete, typescript, 1955, "Reginald Marsh as I Remember Him," by Benton. He writes of working with Marsh on the YALE RECORD and collecting Marsh's paintings.
REEL 4073: Correspondence, 1940-1983, with artists; typescripts on Marsh; writing by Jack Levine "How the Witches' Sabbath was Painted";
photographs and lists of works of art; a notebook "Works of Art on Loan to the William Benton Museum, University of Connecticut" from Benton's estate; a notebook "Painting Contracts" between artists, galleries, and Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.; notebook "Sold," containing data on the sale of Reginald Marsh's work;
printed material on Rockwell Kent, Thomas Hart Benton, Benton's collection, and others; photocopies of 2 portions of Ivan Albright's sketchbooks; a notebook "Britannica Painting Exhibitions Manual of Procedure"; a 2 p. typescript "The Story of My Portrait" by Grant Wood's sister Nan Wood Graham; 3 illustrated notebooks by Ivan Albright; and a sketchbook by Reginald Marsh containing 33 figure sketches.
Correspondents include Ivan Albright, Thomas Hart Benton, George Biddle, Isabel Bishop, Aaron Bohrod, Salvador Dali, Abner Dean, Koren Der Harootian, Jimmy Ernst, Milton Hebald, Joseph Hirsch, Ben Johnson, Rockwell Kent, Frank Kleinholz, Jack Levine, Reginald Marsh, Henry Varnum Poor, James N. Rosenberg, Hella Moravic Sachs, and Orest G. Vereisky.
Biographical / Historical:
Art collector, politician; Chicago, Ill. Publisher of ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA, Vice-President of the University of Chicago, Congressman from Connecticut, and an avid collector of American art. Benton and Reginald Marsh were classmates and collaborated respectively as editor and illustrator for the Yale newspaper. During the Depression, Benton provided Marsh with a monthly stipend for which he received a monthly painting. When he became chairman of the board of ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA, Benton collected contemporary American painting to Americanize BRITANNICA's British image.
Provenance:
Material on reel 925 and 3134 donated by Benton 1968. His family donated and lent additional material 1985-1986, including originals of some letters which were originally donated as photocopies.
Restrictions:
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.
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- United States  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- History -- United States  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.bentwill
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bentwill

Audubon Artists records

Creator:
Audubon Artists (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Names:
Arms, John Taylor, 1887-1953  Search this
Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889-1975  Search this
Blume, Peter, 1906-1992  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
Disney, Walt, 1901-1966  Search this
Domareki, Joseph  Search this
Engel, Michael M., 1896-1969  Search this
Facci, Domenico, 1916-1994  Search this
Feininger, Lyonel, 1871-1956  Search this
Freeman, Mark, 1908-  Search this
Gary, Jan  Search this
Hoffman, Malvina, 1887-1966  Search this
Lee-Smith, Hughie  Search this
McKay, Renee  Search this
Meyerowitz, William, 1887-1981  Search this
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Wengenroth, Stow, 1906-  Search this
Whitaker, Frederic  Search this
Young, Stark, 1881-1963  Search this
Extent:
6.7 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1944-2001
Summary:
The records of New York based Audubon Artists, a national exhibiting organization of painters, sculptors, and graphic artists, measure 6.7 linear feet and date from 1944-2001. The collection documents the organization's adoption of its constitution and first major expansion in the mid-1940s, and its subsequent growth to the present day. The records include correspondence with artist members, administrative files, exhibition files, financial records, printed material including an almost complete run of annual exhibition catalogs and prospectuses, and photographs of artwork, juries, and other groups involved in the annual exhibitions from the 1970s to 1999.
Scope and Contents:
The records of New York based Audubon Artists, a national exhibiting organization of painters, sculptors, and graphic artists, measure 6.7 linear feet and date from 1944-2001. The collection documents the organization's adoption of its constitution and first major expansion in the mid-1940s, and its subsequent growth to the present day. The records include correspondence with artist members, administrative files, exhibition files, financial records, printed material including an almost complete run of annual exhibition catalogs and prospectuses, and photographs of artwork, juries, and other groups involved in the annual exhibitions from the 1970s to 1999.

Administration and correspondence files document all aspects of the organization's activities and include founding documents; records of individual officers including presidents Domenico Facci, Joseph Domareki, Mark Freeman, Hughie Lee-Smith, Renee McKay and Frederic Whitaker, and historians Michael Engel and Jan Gary; correspondence with members and prospective members including artists such as John Taylor Arms, Thomas Hart Benton, Peter Blume, Stuart Davis, Walt Disney, Lyonel Feininger, Malvina Hoffman, William Meyerowitz, Henry Varnum Poor, Stow Wengenroth, and Stark Young; agenda, meeting minutes and reports to the Executive Board; and the correspondence and related records of various committees.

Exhibition files document a variety of activities related to exhibition planning, and include correspondence, entry forms, information on juries and awards, and lists of selected artwork and award winners.

Financial records include scattered treasurer correspondence and notes, records of bills paid, and some reports, investment and tax records from the 1960s-1990s.

Printed material includes an early brochure issued in 1944, and a brochure on the organization's history by Jan Gary, as well as annual exhibition catalogs and/or prospectuses from 1944 to 2000.

Photographic material consists of copy prints and negatives of photographic material used in the annual exhibition catalogs, including photos of artwork, juries and scattered exhibition installations.
Arrangement:
Before processing, much of the collection was unsorted, and there was little indication of original record keeping practices for a large portion of the material. Some of the earlier material from the 1940s had been sorted by name or activity and where possible this arrangement has been maintained. Researcherss should be aware, however, that similar types of material such as correspondence, financial, and administrative records, can be found in various places throughout the collection, particularly throughout Series 1. The collection is arranged as 5 series.

Series 1: Administration and Correspondence Files, 1944-2000 (2.43 linear feet; Boxes 1-3, OV 8)

Series 2: Exhibition Files, 1944-1999 (0.67 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 3: Financial Records, 1962-1999 (0.5 linear feet; Box 4)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1944-2001 (1.7 linear feet; Boxes 4-6)

Series 5: Photographic Material, circa 1969-1999 (0.9 linear feet; Boxes 6-8)
Biographical / Historical:
Audubon Artists, a national exhibiting society of painters, sculptors, and graphic artists, was founded in New York, New York, in 1940. The organization took its name from the homestead of John James Audubon where it met in December, 1941, to discuss a less regional name than the one it had initially adopted: Professional Arts Group of Washington Heights. The group's association with Audubon, however, begins and ends with the name.

Audubon Artists held its first exhibition at 8th Street Gallery in Apri-May, 1942, with an exhibiting group of 22 members. In 1943 the group was able to attract a wider pool of recognized professional artists, and by 1944 the membership had increased to 60 and the organization issued its first annual exhibition catalog with the newly adopted eagle and palette emblem.

A reorganization meeting took place on March 27, 1944, to address the growing responsibilities for the annual exhibition. President Frederic Whitaker subsequently oversaw the creation of the original consitution, the credo and the 1946 incorporation of the organization, and led a membership campaign designed to attract nationally renowned artists of various aesthetic persuasions and gain the organization more prestige.

Since then, Audubon Artists has continued to hold an annual exhibition in a variety of locations throughout New York City, including the National Academy of Design, National Arts Club, and the Salmagundi Club. The latter has been the exhibition's preferred home since 1997, and with circa 350 members Audubon Artists remains a thriving organization dedicated to "artistic progress" today.
Provenance:
The records were donated by Audubon Artists in 1978 (via Mark Freeman, president) and 2001 (via David Pena, president).
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Audubon Artists 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.
Topic:
Art -- Societies, etc. -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Audubon Artists records, 1944-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.auduarti
See more items in:
Audubon Artists records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-auduarti

Murdock Pemberton papers

Creator:
Pemberton, Murdock, b. 1888  Search this
Names:
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Dove, Arthur Garfield, 1880-1946  Search this
Lurçat, Jean, 1892-1966  Search this
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Extent:
8 Items ((on 1 partial microfilm reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1947-1955
Scope and Contents:
Two letters to Pemberton from Alexander Calder, September 19, 1947 and September 15, 1955; one letter, dated 5 April, from Arthur Dove; two undated letters from Jean Lurcat; two undated letters from Henry Varnum Poor; and a 1949 exhibition catalog, "Philharmonic-Symphony Painters Club First Annual Exhibition," with an introduction by Pemberton.
Biographical / Historical:
Art critic; New York, N.Y.; b. 1888; d. 1982 Wrote for the New Yorker magazine.
Provenance:
Donated 1968 by Murdock Pemberton.
Restrictions:
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.
Occupation:
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters  Search this
Topic:
Art criticism -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.pembmurd
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-pembmurd

Oral history interview with Henry Varnum Poor

Creator:
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Interviewer:
Phillips, Harlan B. (Harlan Buddington), 1920-  Search this
Names:
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Stanford University -- Faculty  Search this
Stanford University -- Students  Search this
Bruce, Edward, 1879-1943  Search this
Cézanne, Paul, 1839-1906  Search this
Sickert, Walter, 1860-1942  Search this
Extent:
30 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
1964
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Henry Varnum Poor conducted in 1964, by Harlan Phillips, for the Archives of American Art
Poor speaks of his youth in Chapman, Kansas; the artistic influence of his mother; his education at Stanford University; studying under Walter Sickert; going to Paris and to London; the influence of Cézanne; teaching at Stanford; World War I's influence on him; his work in pottery; meeting Edward Bruce; his mural decoration for the Department of Justice; his work on a post office mural; and his feelings about government support for the arts.
Biographical / Historical:
Henry Varnum Poor (1887-1970) was a painter, mural painter, and educator in New York, New York.
General:
Sound has been lost on tape reel; reel discarded.
Provenance:
This interview conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Restrictions:
Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Topic:
Mural painting and decoration -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.poor64
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-poor64

Oral history interview with Charles Duback

Interviewee:
DuBack, Charles S., 1926-  Search this
Interviewer:
Larsen, Susan C.  Search this
Names:
Landmark Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Dugmore, Edward, 1915-  Search this
Grillo, John, 1917-  Search this
Grooms, Red  Search this
Katz, Alex, 1927-  Search this
Langlais, Bernard, 1921-1977  Search this
McNeil, George, 1908-1995  Search this
Ortman, George, 1926-  Search this
Pinette, Dennis, 1951-  Search this
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Stout, Myron, 1908-1987  Search this
Extent:
36 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2004 December 15-2005 May 18
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Charles Duback conducted 2004 December 15-2005 May 18, by Susan C. Larsen, for the Archives of American Art, in Tenants Harbor, Maine.
Mr. Duback discusses his childhood; his Czech lineage; working at his father's bakery and gaining artistic sensibilities there; the drive to become an artist, and the financial risks therein; joining the Navy during World War II; attending trade school in New Haven, Connecticut, and the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art in Newark, New Jersey; attending the Skowhegan School in Maine; his first wife Daphne Mumford; sustaining two homes, one in New York City and another in Maine, and the difficulties in maintaining them; the influence of collage on his paintings; his "strip" paintings; the opening and closing of the Landmark Gallery; making his "projections," wherein he adheres objects to a painting's canvas; and the friends he made during his time running Landmark. Duback also mentions moving from North Waldoboro, Maine to St. George, Maine; moving again to Germantown, New York; finding living in New York difficult; divorcing Mumford; his second wife Phyllis; rising tax and insurance costs and what they mean to artists; and painting as a career. Duback recalls Bernard Langlais, Helen Langlais, Edward Dugmore, Alex Katz, Wes LaFountain, Red Grooms, George Ortman, Myron Stout, George McNeil, Dennis Pinette, John Grillo, Henry Varnum Poor, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Charles S. DuBack (1926-) is a painter of Tenants Harbor, Maine. Susan C. Larsen, interviewer, is an art historian in Tenants Harbor, Maine.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 11 min.
Provenance:
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.
Topic:
Painters -- Maine -- Interviews  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Collage  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.duback04
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-duback04

Oral History interview with Adele Brandeis

Interviewee:
Brandeis, Adele, 1885-1975  Search this
Interviewer:
Phillips, Harlan B. (Harlan Buddington), 1920-  Search this
Creator:
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project (Ky.)  Search this
Index of American Design  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Donahue, Kenneth  Search this
Long, Frank W.  Search this
Morrison, Richard C.  Search this
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Weston, Harold, 1894-1972  Search this
Extent:
27 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1965 June 1
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Adele Brandeis conducted 1965 June 1, by Harlan Phillips, for the Archives of American Art. Brandeis speaks of her involvement on the Index of American Design; murals for the Federal Art Project in Kentucky; Kentucky artists; and Frank Long, Richard Morrison, Henry Varnum Poor, Harold Weston, and Kenneth Donahue.
Biographical / Historical:
Adele Brandeis (1885-1975) was the director of the Federal Art Project and from Louisville, Kentucky.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 1 digital wav file. Duration is 1 hr., 4 min.
An interview of Lou Block conducted by H. Phillips is also on this tape.
Provenance:
Conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Arts administrators -- Kentucky -- Louisville -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.brande65
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-brande65

Monroe Stearns research papers on Henry Varnum Poor

Creator:
Stearns, Monroe  Search this
Names:
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Extent:
1 Linear foot
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Date:
1938-1975
Scope and Contents:
Research material on Harry Varnum Poor compiled by Stearns for his unpublished manuscript "Henry Varnum Poor" (422 p.). Included are correspondence with friends, relatives, colleagues and owners of Poor's work, including Ann Poor, Bessie Breuer Poor, Raphael Soyer and Helen Hayes; notes and writings by family members; notes on interviews with Sidney Simon, Al Blaustein and Alex Katz, 1974, on Poor's diary and letters, and from tapes of Poor's lectures; clippings and exhibition catalogs, 1948-1975; photographs of Poor working on murals and of his works of art; and an undated cassette tape "Poor - Basic Lecture."
Biographical / Historical:
Art historian; New York, N.Y. Henry Varnum Poor was a ceramist and painter from New City, N.Y.
Provenance:
Donated 1986 by Michael Stearns, Stearns's son.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Ceramicists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.steamonr
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-steamonr

Raphael Soyer papers

Creator:
Soyer, Raphael, 1899-1987  Search this
Names:
Ahlas, Lambro  Search this
Baranik, Rudolf  Search this
Biddle, George, 1885-1973  Search this
Bratby, John, 1928-  Search this
Burliuk, David, 1882-1967  Search this
De Francia, Peter  Search this
Goodrich, Lloyd, 1897-1987  Search this
Hirsch, Joseph, 1910-1981  Search this
Hirshhorn, Joseph H.  Search this
Hopper, Edward, 1882-1967  Search this
Lasker, Joe  Search this
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Singer, Isaac Bashevis, 1904-  Search this
Extent:
3.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Writings
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Date:
1933-1989
Summary:
The papers of realist painter Raphael Soyer date from 1933 to 1989 and measure 3.9 linear feet. They document Soyer's career as a painter, printmaker, and writer. Found within the papers are scattered biographical materials, including several transcripts of interviews with Soyer; extensive personal and professional correspondence; writings and notes by Soyer and others; scattered legal and financial records; exhibition materials, clippings and other printed material; and photographs of Soyer in his studio, with artists and friends, and at art events. Also found are one sketch and a facsimile of Soyer's 1968 sketchbook produced by Forum Gallery.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of realist painter Raphael Soyer date from 1933 to 1989 and measure 3.9 linear feet. They document Soyer's career as a painter, printmaker, and writer. Found within the papers are scattered biographical materials, including several transcripts of interviews with Soyer; extensive personal and professional correspondence; writings and notes by Soyer and others; scattered legal and financial records; exhibition materials, clippings and other printed material; and photographs of Soyer in his studio, with artists and friends, and at art events. Also found are one sketch and a facsimile of Soyer's 1968 sketchbook produced by Forum Gallery.

Biographical materials include award certificates, including a 1975 certificate from the National Academy of Design, lists of artwork by Soyer, and several transcripts of interviews with Raphael Soyer in which he discusses topics such as his career as an artist, artists in New York City, and the inspiration for his artwork.

Personal and professional correspondence is with numerous artists, writers, art historians, curators, gallery owners, arts organizations, museums, and universities. Correspondents include Lambro Ahlas, Rudolf Baranik, George Biddle, John Bratby, David Burliuk, Peter De Francia, Lloyd Goodrich, Joseph Hirsch, Joseph Hirshhorn, Edward Hopper, Joe Lasker, Henry Varnum Poor, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and many others. Additional correspondence is addressed to Reality magazine, for which Soyer was an editor.

Writings and notes by Soyer include several drafts and notes for his four published books A Painter's Pilgrimage (1962), Homage to Thomas Eakins (1966), Self-Revealment: a Memoir (1969), and Diary of an Artist (1977). Also by Soyer are draft essays, lectures, and articles - many about social realism. Writings by others include essays and articles by artists and art scholars sent to Soyer for review.

Scattered legal and financial records include bank statements, receipts, leases, and documents related to the publishing of his books. Printed material consists of exhibition catalogs and announcements, clippings, and other published items.

Photographs depict Soyer in his studio, with other artists and friends such as Chaim Gross, Edward Hopper, and Jose De Creeft, and at art events, and include a few photographs of his artwork. Also found are one pencil sketch and a facsimile of Soyer's 1968 sketchbook produced by Forum Gallery.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 7 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1939-1986 (Box 1, OV 6; 12 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1940-1988 (Box 1-2; 1.0 linear foot)

Series 3: Writings & Notes, circa 1946-1987 (Box 2-3; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Legal & Financial Records, 1959-1988 (Box 3; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1933-1989 (Box 3-4; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1953-1987 (Box 5, OV 6; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, 1968, undated (Box 5; 2 folders)
Biographical Note:
Raphael Soyer (1899-1987) and his twin brother Moses (1899-1974) were born on December 25, 1899, in the Russian town Borisoglebsk. Their father Abraham was a scholar and Hebrew teacher who encouraged all of his children to sketch and paint. After the family was deported from Russia, they settled in the Bronx, New York, in 1912. Raphael and Moses briefly attended school, but at 16 they began working various jobs to help support their family. They also began taking free art classes at Cooper Union and later Raphael attended the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League where he studied with Guy Pene du Bois. He began to show his paintings in 1926 and in 1929 gallery owner Charles Daniel gave him his first one man show. Soyer became one of the leading realist painters and printmakers, often depicting Depression-era transients, Manhattan streetscapes, shoppers, and women at work. He also painted and sketched numerous self-portraits and portraits of fellow artists and cultural figures, many of whom were also his friends, including Allen Ginsberg, Chaim Gross, Edward Hopper, and Arshile Gorky.

Beginning in the 1930s Soyer showed his work frequently at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Associated American Artists Galleries, National Collection of Fine Arts, and other national and international exhibitions. During the 1940s and 1950s he was a leading advocate of realism and spoke out against the abstract style that was dominating the New York art scene. In 1953 he co-founded Reality magazine.

Soyer joined the Forum Gallery in New York in the early 1960s and became good friends with his dealer Bella Fishko. Also during the 1960s he published three books, A Painter's Pilgrimage (1962), Homage to Thomas Eakins (1966), and Self-Revealment: a Memoir (1969), and had his first retrospective at the Whitney Museum in 1967.

Throughout his career Soyer also occasionally taught at art schools including the Art Students League and the New School. He also collaborated with his friend, writer Isaac Bashevis Singer, by illustrating several of Singer's books. Soyer and his wife Rebecca, whom he married in 1931, lived the rest of their lives in New York City, but often traveled to Europe. They had one daughter, Mary. Soyer's final book, Diary of an Artist, was published in 1977 and in 1979 he received the Gold Medal from the National Arts Club. He continued painting realist subjects until his death in 1987.
Related Material:
Also found at the Archives of American Art are several collections related to Raphael Soyer: Esther Reier letter from Raphael Soyer, 1978 May 29; Raphael Soyer's Artist Statement from 1947; a Raphael Soyer lecture from 1960; the papers of his twin brother, Moses Soyer; Brooklyn Museum interviews of artists, circa 1965-1968 (includes an interview of Soyer); and the Karl E. Fortess taped interviews with artists, 1963-1985, which also includes an interview with Raphael Soyer. The Archives of American Art's Oral History collection has an interview of Raphael Soyer dated May 13-June 1, 1981 conducted by Milton Brown.

Additional Raphael Soyer papers, 1949-1954, are available at Cornell University.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (N68-1) including a small amount of correspondence and three sketchbooks. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Raphael Soyer donated portions of the collection between 1961 and 1980. He also loaned materials for microfilming in 1968. His widow, Rebecca, and his grandson, Joseph Leiber, on behalf of the entire Soyer family, donated additional materials in 1991 and 1993.
Restrictions:
Use of the original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Raphael Soyer 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:
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Social realism -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Realism in art  Search this
Painting, American  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Writings
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Raphael Soyer papers, 1933-1989. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.soyeraph
See more items in:
Raphael Soyer papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-soyeraph
Online Media:

Elsa Schmid papers

Creator:
Schmid, Elsa, 1897-  Search this
Names:
Albers, Josef  Search this
Anrep, Boris, 1883-1969  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Brooks, Van Wyck, 1886-1963  Search this
Chase, Helen  Search this
D'Arcy, Martin Cyril, 1888-1976  Search this
Dewey, John, 1859-1952  Search this
Forbes, Edward Waldo, 1873-1969  Search this
Kelekian, Dikran, 1868-1951  Search this
Morgan, Barbara Brooks, 1900-  Search this
Neumann, J. B. (Jsrael Ber)  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia, 1887-1986  Search this
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Walkowitz, Abraham, 1880-1965  Search this
Weber, Max, 1881-1961  Search this
Wheelock, Warren, 1880-1960  Search this
Extent:
1.1 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 1 reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1910-1967
Scope and Contents:
Personal and professional correspondence, files on artists, photographs, works of art, notes and lecture material, and printed material relating to Elsa Schmid's career as a mosaic artist.
Correspondents include Henry Varnum Poor, Max Weber, Boris Anrep, Helen Chase, Edward Waldo Forbes, Warren Wheelock, Abraham Walkowitz, Alfred H. Barr, Georgia O'Keeffe, Barbara Morgan and Josef Albers. Files are on artists Van Wyck Brooks, Father Martin D'Arcy, John Dewey, and Dikran Kelekian.
Photographs are of Schmid's mosaics. Works of art include drawings of mosaics. Printed materials includes newspaper clippings, magazine articles and catalogs.
Biographical / Historical:
Mosaicist, painter, sculptor; Rye, N.Y. Married to art dealer J. B. Neumann.
Provenance:
Donated 1974 by Peter Neumann, Schmid's son. Two additional mosaic transpsarencies of Abraham Lincoln received in 2010 as a transfer from the Musem of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Restrictions:
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.
Occupation:
Mosaicists -- New York (State)  Search this
Painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State)  Search this
Topic:
Mosaics -- 20th century -- New York (State)  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- History -- New York (State)  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.schmelsa
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-schmelsa

Edward Beatty Rowan papers

Creator:
Rowan, Edward Beatty, 1898-1946  Search this
Names:
Little Gallery (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)  Search this
Public Works of Art Project (Iowa)  Search this
Stone City Colony and Art School (Stone City, Iowa)  Search this
United States. Dept. of the Treasury. Section of Fine Arts  Search this
Bluemner, Oscar, 1867-1938  Search this
Cone, Marvin Dorwart, 1891-1965  Search this
Dornbush, Adrian, 1900-  Search this
Dunton, W. Herbert, 1878-1936  Search this
Gross, Chaim, 1904-1991  Search this
McCosh, David J., 1903-1980  Search this
Peirce, Waldo, 1884-1970  Search this
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Pyle, Arnold  Search this
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962  Search this
Watson, Forbes, 1880-1960  Search this
Wood, Grant, 1891-1942  Search this
Extent:
3.2 Linear feet ((on 4 microfilm reels))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1929-1946
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence, printed material, photographs, business records and a diary.
REEL 103: Clippings, 1929-1932, on exhibitions and activities of the Little Gallery, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, directed by Rowan (microfilm title: Little Gallery).
REEL 1208: Photographs used to publicize exhibitions at the Little Gallery, including 183 photographs of works of art, the Little Gallery Junior Art Club, Grant Wood, and William Herbert Dunton at work.
REEL D141-D142: Correspondence; a diary; business records of the Little Gallery, the Stone City Art Colony and Art School, and the Section of Fine Arts; photographs, including two of The Little Gallery, five of the Stone City Colony and Art School, six of Rowan and three of his paintings, and two photos showing Grant Wood, David McCosh, Arnold Pyle, Adrian Dornbush, and Marvin Cone; and catalogs, clippings and publications, including "A Report on Iowa Art Under Public Works of Art Jan. 20, 1934, under the direction of Grant Wood" containing reproductions of work, several clippings, a 2 p. report "three weeks after the beginning of work" and 2 p. typed "Notes" signed by Wood with a photograph attached.
Among the correspondents are Oscar Bluemner, Chaim Gross, Waldo Peirce, Henry Varnum Poor, Eleanor Roosevelt, Forbes Watson, and Grant Wood.
Biographical / Historical:
Gallery director, painter, sculptor, teacher; Falls Church, Va. and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Founder and director of The Little Gallery, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1928-1934. The gallery was concerned with promoting education in the community. Because of his success with the Little Gallery, in 1931 he was chosen by the American Federation of Arts to be the director of a new experimental art center in Cedar Rapids. Rowan was affiliated with the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard before going to Cedar Rapids and served as Chief, Public Buildings Administration, 1930's-1940's.
Other Title:
Little Gallery records (microfilm title, reel 103)
Provenance:
Donated by Mrs. Edward Rowan, 1963.
Restrictions:
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.
Occupation:
Gallery directors -- Iowa -- Cedar Rapids  Search this
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- Iowa -- Cedar Rapids
Identifier:
AAA.rowaedwa
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-rowaedwa

Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers

Creator:
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Names:
Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Esther Gentle Reproductions  Search this
Kennedy Galleries  Search this
Paul Rosenberg & Co.  Search this
Bedwell, Bettina, 1889-1947  Search this
Biddle, George, 1885-1973  Search this
Boyle, Kay, 1902  Search this
Burlin, Paul, 1886-1969  Search this
Carton, Norman, 1908-1980  Search this
Coates, Robert M. (Robert Myron), 1897-1973  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
De Rochemont, Richard  Search this
Dehn, Adolf, 1895-1968  Search this
Dos Passos, John, 1896-1970  Search this
Gentle, Esther, 1900-  Search this
Gonzalez, Xavier, 1898-1993  Search this
Griffin, John Howard, 1920-  Search this
Guthrie, Ramon, 1896-  Search this
Gwathmey, Robert, 1903-1988  Search this
Hall, William Weeks, 1894-1958  Search this
Hayter, Stanley William, 1901-  Search this
Hiler, Hilaire, 1898-1966  Search this
Hirsch, Joseph, 1910-1981  Search this
Hirsch, Stefan, 1899-1964  Search this
Holty, Carl, 1900-1973  Search this
Hélion, Jean, 1904-1987  Search this
Kronberg, Louis, 1872-1965  Search this
Lebrun, Rico, 1900-1964  Search this
Leepa, Allen, 1919-2009  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques, 1891-1973  Search this
Ludgin, Earle, 1898-1981  Search this
Malcolm, Thalia Westcott, b. 1878  Search this
Miller, Henry, 1891-  Search this
Miró, Joan, 1893-  Search this
Nordfeldt, Bror Julius Olsson, 1878-1955  Search this
Peake, Channing, 1910-  Search this
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Ruvolo, Feliz  Search this
Stark, Jack Gage, 1882-1950  Search this
Watkins, Franklin Chenault, 1894-1972  Search this
Weller, Allen S. (Allen Stuart), 1907-1997  Search this
Extent:
26.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketches
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Interviews
Date:
1891-1986
Summary:
The Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers measure 26.3 linear feet and date from 1891 through the 1980s. The collection documents Rattner's life and career as an artist through interviews, extensive correspondence, gallery files, studio notebooks, writings, notes, date books and diaries, photographs, and works of art.
Scope and Content Note:
Abraham Rattner's papers provide insight into an important time for twentieth century American art and culture. By studying Rattner's papers, the researcher may view the beginnings of Modernism, the cultural change that pushed the boundaries of artistic and literary traditions and provided new ways in which to express ourselves.

The Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers measure 26.3 linear feet and date from 1891 through the 1980s. The collection documents Rattner's life and career as an artist through interviews, extensive correspondence, gallery files, studio notebooks, writings, notes, date books and diaries, photographs, and works of art.

The biographical files contain documents such as Rattner's birth certificate, travel visas, his senior yearbook from 1912 which shows some of his early art work, and some of his awards. His birth certificate is of particular interest since it shows Rattner's birth date to be 1893 instead of the recognized 1895.

The correspondence offers great insight into the thoughts of many American and European artists and writers during the 1930s and 1940s. Rattner, a prolific writer, expressed many of his own thoughts and concerns through his letters, many of which are included in this collection. The vast amount of correspondence include letters from notable figures such as George Biddle, Kay Boyle, Paul Burlin, Norman Carton, Robert Coates, Stuart Davis, Adolph Dehn, Richard de Rochemont, John Dos Passos, Xavier Gonzales, John Howard Griffin, Ramon Guthrie, Robert Gwathmey, Weeks Hall, Stanley W. Hayter, Jean Helion, Hilaire Hiler, Joseph Hirsch, Stefan Hirsch, Carl Holty, Louis Kronberg, Rico Lebrun, Jacques Lipchitz, Earle Ludgin, Thalia Wescott Malcolm, Henry Miller, Joan Miro, Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt, Channing Peake, Henry Varnum Poor, Felix Ruvolo, Waverly Root, Jack Gage Stark, Frank C. Watkins, and Allen Weller, among others.

Rattner was engaged in a wide range of special art projects, and he kept detailed files on these projects. The projects spanned from 1940 through 1973 and included endeavors such as illustrations for Life magazine, stained-glass designs, mosaic and tapestry projects, as well as special paintings such as Victory--Jerusalem the Golden and The Gallows of Baghdad. Rattner's papers also detail the history of a fresco painted by Paul Gauguin entitled Joan d'Arcwhich Rattner purchased in France in 1925.

Rattner's forty year friendship with the writer Henry Miller is chronicled throughout the collection in the forms of correspondence, writings, printed material, phototographs and artwork. Their correspondence ranges from 1938 through 1978 and offers great insight into their relationship. Rattner and Miller's road trip from New York to New Orleans in 1940-1941 is documented in the series entitled Special Projects. Also included in the collection are printed material, such as biographical material on Miller, Miller's writings, literary announcements and reviews; Miller's writings on Rattner; and photographs of Miller.

The gallery files contain correspondence, receipts, and notes regarding the galleries which represented Rattner. Those galleries included the Rosenberg Gallery, the Downtown Gallery, and the Kennedy Gallery. A small series of exhibition files contain material about exhibitions held outside of Rattner's representative galleries.

Rattner's writings proved to be an outlet for his thoughts on painting, his inspirations, frustrations, and sadness. In addition to painting, Rattner was able to express his creativity through writing poetry. Writing also helped him work through his depression over the death of his first wife Bettina Bedwell.

He also kept finely detailed studio notebooks. The original order has been maintained, and they trace the history of almost each painting, drawing, and study attempted by Rattner. The notebooks often provide information regarding whether the work was sent to a gallery or given as a gift. Sometimes they contain correspondence or writings that reveal the inspiration for a work. They have been arranged in chronological order, according to Rattner's own filing system.

Rattner retained receipts for most of his art expenses. Arranged by decade, these receipts show the type of paint, colors, types of paper and brushes that he used.

Rattner also kept many household files and personal financial records. Household files contain insurance records, warranties and rental agreements, while the financial records contain returned checks and bank statements. Some bank statements from Esther Gentle Reproductions are also included. The household files and financial records are not filmed.

The date books and diaries reveal the aspects of daily life and the personal thoughts of Rattner and Esther Gentle. In many cases, Rattner shared his date books and diaries with Gentle. The early diaries are fascinating, especially the 1939 diary that discloses the Rattners' last days in France before escaping Nazism and returning to the United States.

Rettner's scrapbooks span from 1938 to 1952 and contain newspaper and magazine clippings that mention the artist or his work.

The printed material covers a period from 1930s through the 1980s and includes exhibition catalogs, exhibition announcements, clippings, and miscellaneous material such as an autograph book from 1969 and a map of Israel that shows Rattner's travel route. There is a large amount of unfilmed printed material that is listed in the series description.

Writings by others consists of writings on Rattner and other topics.

The collection contains many photographs taken of Rattner and taken by him, as well as photos of family, friends, his studio, travels, and photographs of Rattner's art. Photographs of notable people include Henry Miller, Joan Miro, John Dos Passos, Archibald MacLeish, and Malcolm Cowley, among others.

The amount of Rattner's art work included in the collection is small, but it is significant because it provides examples of his very early work, dating from 1912-1914. Some later studies are also present, as well as a number of random sketches. Color was very important to Rattner, and some of his color studies from the 1940s are also included. Art work by other artists is comprised of some small paintings by Max Weber, a water color by Henry Miller, a painting by Ken Buryd, as well as some work by unknown artists.

In addition to tracing Rattner's life and career, the collection also documents the lives of Rattner's two wives, Bettina Bedwell and Esther Gentle. Both women had profound effects on Rattner's work. Among Bettina Bedwell's papers are her diary, fashion sketches, and correspondence. Esther Gentle's papers include correspondence, writings, as well as papers documenting her business Esther Gentle Reproductions. There are a small amount of papers relating to Allen Leepa, Rattner's stepson with Esther Gentle.

See index for list of correspondents from various series.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into twenty-four series based primarily on type of document or special project. Though concentrated in its own series, additional correspondence is scattered throughout the collection and may be found in special project files, gallery files, exhibition files, studio notebooks, and scrapbooks. The correspondence has been divided into two subseries, one chronological and the other according to Rattner's subject-oriented filing system. Special art projects have been organized by project, and placed in chronological order. The studio notebooks have also been divided into subseries, and all notebook pages maintain Rattner's original order. The first subseries of notebooks reflects Rattner's numbering system, while the second subseries is arranged chronologically. The vast amount of printed material has been divided into subseries, and all of the unfilmed printed material has been organized chronologically at the end of the series.

Within each series, material is arranged either in chronological order, or in some cases, according to Abraham Rattner's own organizational system.

Oversized materials from various series are housed in oversized folders 33-45 and are noted in the Series Description/Container Listing with see also/see references or in the container columns.

Series 1: Biographical Files, 1893-1978, undated (box 1; 0.2 linear ft.)

Series 2: Interviews, 1957-1975, undated (box 1; 7 folders)

Series 3: Correspondence Files, 1933-1978, undated (boxes 1-5; 4.3 linear ft.)

Series 4: Special Projects, 1940-1987, undated (boxes 5-6, ovs 33-35; 1.5 linear ft.)

Series 5: -- Joan d'Arc -- Fresco painted by Paul Gaugin, 1925-1963, undated (box 7, ov 36; 12 folders)

Series 6: Gallery Files, 1942-1975 (boxes 7-8; 1.5 linear ft.)

Series 7: Exhibition Files, 1963-1978 (boxes 7, 9; 9 folders)

Series 8: Writings, 1940-1972, undated (box 9; 0.9 linear ft.)

Series 9: Studio Notebooks, 1935-1975, undated (boxes 10-11; 1.9 linear ft.)

Series 10: Art Expenses, circa 1940-1970 (boxes 11-13; 0.7 linear ft.)

Series 11: Household Files, 1940-1970, undated (box 13; 0.8 linear ft.)

Series 12: Financial Records, 1933-1963 (boxes 13-14; 0.7 linear ft.)

Series 13: Notes and Lists, 1936-1972, undated (box 14; 0.5 linear ft.)

Series 14: Address Books, 1939-1977, undated (box 15; 1.0 linear ft.)

Series 15: Date Books/Diaries, 1937-1977, undated (boxes 16-17; 1.6 linear ft.)

Series 16: Scrapbooks, 1938-1952 (boxes 18-22; 1.5 linear ft.)

Series 17: Printed Material, 1920s-1980s, undated (boxes 23-26; 3.6 linear ft.)

Series 18: Writings by Others, 1945-circa 1980, undated (box 26; 20 folders)

Series 19: Photographs, 1891-1970s, undated (boxes 27-29; 1.6 linear ft.)

Series 20: Works of Art by Rattner, 1912-1914, 1940-1967, undated (box 30, ovs 37-44; 2.4 linear ft.)

Series 21: Works of Art by Others, undated (box 30, ov 45; 7 folders)

Series 22: Bettina Bedwell Papers, 1932-1947, undated (box 31; 0.4 linear ft.)

Series 23: Esther Gentle Papers, 1921-1984, undated (boxes 31-32; 1.3 linear ft.)

Series 24: Allen Leepa Papers, 1952-1969, undated (box 32; 8 folders)
Biographical Note:
Abraham Rattner was born in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1895. His parents immigrated to the United States to escape antisemitism in Czarist Russia. He was the second of six children, including his eldest brother Louis, younger brothers Manuel (Manny) and Harry, and his younger sisters Rose and Jennie.

Rattner's parents encouraged him to paint at a young age, and as he grew up, painting became a part of his daily life. He graduated from Poughkeepsie High School in 1912 and left to study architecture at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. At night, he took art courses at the Corcoran School of Art. He soon became a full-time art student, and applied for a scholarship to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. He was accepted in 1919 and supported himself by doing illustrations for Philadelphia newspapers.

In 1917, World War I interrupted his studies. Rattner entered the United States Army in France where he became Sergeant of camouflage section, 40th Engineers. Camouflage, reflecting aspects of modern art in its form and pattern, made use of Rattner's artistic skills. During the second battle of the Marne, Rattner injured his back and returned to the States with an ailment that would affect him for the rest of his life.

Rattner returned to the Pennsylvania Academy and was awarded the Cresson scholarship to study art in Europe. He traveled for one year, then settled in Paris for the next twenty years. Those twenty years in Paris became the most formative for Rattner because he was able to study and experiment with Futurism, Cubism, and Expressionism. Post World War I Paris was the center of modern culture for Americans disillusioned by the destruction of the war. Expatriate writers, poets, and artists were searching for a culture that shunned the traditions of the past and exchanged ideas with one another at the lively Paris cafes and salons.

In 1924, Abraham Rattner married Bettina Bedwell, an American art student and fashion illustrator. Bettina became the Paris fashion correspondent for the New York News-Chicago Tribune Syndicate. In 1927, Rattner was a member of the Minotaure group, along with Picasso, Miro, Giacometti, Le Corbusier, Braque, Dali, and Reverdy. He also illustrated an article for Jon Dos Passos in Verve magazine in 1931.

Rattner's first one-man show was in 1935 at the Galerie Bonjean in Paris, which was followed by one-man shows at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York, the Arts Club of Chicago, and the Courvoisier Gallery in San Francisco.

The threat of Hitler and Nazism forced Rattner and his wife to flee Paris in 1939. Arriving in New York in early 1940, Rattner agreed to take a trip by car with the writer Henry Miller. Their route took them from New York to New Iberia, Louisiana via the East coast and Southern states. Their mission was to rediscover America, with Henry Miller writing about their experiences and Rattner sketching the scenery. Rattner's friendship with Henry Miller was an important one that lasted throughout his life.

During the 1940s, Rattner's art was widely exhibited. In 1941, he joined the Rosenberg Gallery in New York, and remained with the gallery for fourteen years. He won awards for his work such as the Temple Gold Medal in 1945 and second prize in the Pepsi-Cola Fourth Annual Art Competition in 1946. In 1947, Bettina Bedwell suddenly died due to a kidney infection, sending Rattner into a spiral of grief and depression. To escape depression, from 1947-1949, he taught at the New School for Social Research in New York.

In 1949, Rattner married Esther Gentle, an artist and business woman who ran an art reproductions business. In 1951, the Rattners moved to Rome where he worked as Artist in Residence at the American Academy. The next year, they moved to Illinois where he was the Artist in Residence at the University of Illinois. Ratter was awarded first prize in 1953 at the 23rd Corcoran Biennial Exhibition and also served as Vice-President of Artists' Equity. In 1956, Rattner was the Distinguished Visiting Professor at Michigan State University, and along with his stepson, Allen Leepa, established an art school on Long Island. In 1957, Rattner left the Rosenberg Gallery to join the Downtown Gallery. He felt he would professionally profit from representation by the well-known Edith Halpert; however, the next twelve years reflected a tumultuous relationship between the artist and the gallery owner.

In 1957, Rattner reached out to other forms of art and design. He experimented with mosaic, tapestry and stained-glass. He designed mosaic columns and tapestries for the Fairmont Temple Anche Chesed in Cleveland and a mosaic for a friary and college in Centerville, Ohio. His stained-glass designs were highly celebrated and respected. His most famous stained-glass piece was the window for the Chicago Loop Synagogue. For this piece, Rattner spent two years traveling to Paris to design and supervise every process involved in the design and installation of the window.

Rattner felt that while his paintings during the 1940s and 1950s were romantic and self-reflective, the 1960s marked a new inspirational period in his work. His painting reflected religious comment, bringing Rattner back in touch with his Jewish heritage, as well as reflecting a sense of social protest. In 1968, Rattner exhibited his painting Victory--Jerusalem the Golden to honor the celebration of Israel's twentieth anniversary of independence. It was also in 1968 that Rattner left the Downtown Gallery for the Kennedy Gallery. In 1969, he painted The Gallows of Baghdad series as a protest to the hanging of nine Jews by Iraqi authorities.

The 1970s marked a time of many exhibitions. In 1976, the National Collection of Fine Arts in Washington, D.C. sponsored an exhibition of his designs for stained-glass entitled "...and let there be light". Also, from 1976 through 1977, "Our America" exhibited Rattner's drawings from his 1940 U.S.A. trip with Henry Miller in England and in the United States. In 1977, Michigan State University bestowed upon him the Honorary Degree for Humanity. On February 14, 1978, Abraham Rattner died due to heart failure.

1893 -- Born June 8th in Poughkeepsie, New York.

1912 -- Graduated from Poughkeepsie High School.

1914-1917 -- Student at George Washington University, Corcoran School of Art and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

1917 -- Enlisted in the United States Army in France as Sergeant, camouflage section, 40th Engineers. Fought at Seicheprey, second battle of the Marne, and Chateau-Thierry.

1919 -- Returned to Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Awarded Cresson traveling fellowship to Europe.

1920 -- Traveled in France, Spain, England, Belgium and Holland.

1921 -- Art student in Paris at Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Grand Chaumiere, and Academie Ranson.

1922 -- Lived and painted in Giverny, France.

1923 -- Returned to Paris.

1924 -- Married Bettina Bedwell, Paris fashion correspondent for the New York News-Chicago Tribune news syndicate. Exhibited at Salon d'Automne and Salon des Independants.

1927 -- Member of the Minotaure group in Paris.

1931 -- Illustrated article, "Fire," by John Dos Passos for Verve magazine.

1935 -- First one-person show at Galerie Bonjean, Paris. French government purchased Card Party for Museum of Impressionism, The Louvre.

1936 -- One-person show at Julien Levy Gallery, New York (also 1939, 1941); Arts Club of Chicago; Courvoisier Gallery, San Francisco (also 1941).

1940 -- Returned to the United States following Nazi invasion of France. Traveled with Henry Miller from New York to New Iberia, Louisiana.

1941 -- One-person shows: Stendahl Gallery, Los Angeles; Faulkner Memorial Art Gallery, Santa Barbara (also 1943); Paul Rosenberg Gallery, New York (also 1942, 1944, 1946, 1948-1950, 1952, 1956); Studio, New York.

1945 -- Awarded the Temple Gold Medal from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Wrote "An American in Paris" for Magazine of Art.

1946 -- Awarded second prize at the Pepsi-Cola Fourth Annual Art Competition.

1947 -- Death of Bettina Bedwell Rattner.

1948 -- Taught at the New School for Social Research, New York.

1949 -- Married Esther Gentle. Visiting artist at Yale University and at the Brooklyn Museum School. Awarded honorable mention at the Carnegie Institute Exhibition of American Painting.

1950 -- Awarded the Purchase Prize at the University of Illinois Biennial Exhibition.

1951 -- Artist in residence at the American Academy in Rome.

1952 -- Artist in residence at the University of Illinois.

1953 -- Awarded first prize at the 23rd Corcoran Biennial Exhibition. Served as Vice-President of Artists' Equity.

1954 -- Taught at the Art Students League. Panelist at the Design Conference in Aspen, Colorado.

1955 -- Exhibited drawings at the Chicago Art Institute.

1956 -- Distinguished Visiting Professor at Michigan State University. Established an art school in East Hampton and Sag Harbor, Long Island.

1957 -- Designed mosaic columns and tapestries for the Fairmont Temple Anche Chesed in Cleveland. One-person show at Downtown Gallery, New York (also 1958-1967).

1958 -- Designed mosaic wall for St. Leonard's Friary and College in Centerville, Ohio. Designed stained-glass windows for the Flint Institute of Arts, Michigan. Began designs for stained-glass window for the Chicago Loop Synagogue. Exhibited with Alexander Calder at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Elected member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Awarded the Butler Memorial Prize at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

1959 -- Retrospective exhibition circulated by the American Federation of Arts. Exhibited at the Whitney Museum of Art.

1964 -- Exhibited at the Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland.

1968 -- Exhibited painting entitled Victory--Jerusalem the Golden at the celebration of Israel's 20th anniversary of independence.

1969 -- One-person shows: Kennedy Galleries, New York; Galerie Weil, Paris ( Baghdad Hangings), Galerie Belgique, Brussels ( Baghdad Hangings).

1970 -- Film commissioned by ABC-TV entitled "The Long Prayer of Abraham Rattner."

1972 -- Beggar's Opera lithographs exhibited at Circle Gallery, Chicago.

1976 -- Displayed stained-glass on religious themes with the National Collection of Fine Arts in Washington, D.C.

1977 -- "Our America" exhibition in England and the United States. Awarded Honorary Degree for Humanity from Michigan State University.

1978 -- Died on February 14th.
Index: List of Major Correspondents in Various Series:
These correspondents will be found in the following series: Correspondence, Special Projects, Gallery Files, Studio Notebooks, and Scrapbooks: Edward Albee, 1928-

John Anderson, 1904-

Bettina Bedwell, 1889-1947

Carl Beiber

George Belmont

George Biddle, 1885-1973

Kay Boyle, 1902-1992

Brassai, 1899-

Paul Burlin, 1886-1969

McClure Capps "Mac"

Norman Carton, 1908-1980

Jack Chapman

G. Alan Chidsey

Frederick Childs

Robert Coates, "Bob" 1897-1973

Malcolm Cowley, 1898-1989

Salvador Dali 1904-1989

Paul Damaz

Bernard Davis

Stuart Davis, 1894-1964

Adolph Dehn, 1895-1968

Richard de Rochemont

John Dos Passos, 1896-1970

Armand and Suzi D'usseau

Rene Lefebore Foinet

Gisele Freund, 1912-

Emily Genauer, 1911-

Esther Gentle, 1905-1984

Alberto Giacometti, 1901-1966

Xavier Gonzales, 1898-1993

John Howard Griffin

Ramon Guthrie, 1896-1973

Robert Gwathmey 1903-1988

Weeks Hall

Edith Gregor Halpert, 1900-1970

Stanley W. Hayter, 1901-1988

Nathan Hecht

Jean Helion, 1904-1987

William H. Henrick

Henry Herschkvitz

Hilaire Hiler, 1898-1966

Joseph Hirsch "Joe," 1910-1981

Stefan Hirsch, 1889-1964

Carl Holty, 1900-1973

Etienne Hubert

Arno Hummucher

Frederick I. Kann "Fred," 1886-

L.J. Konigsberg "Leib"

Louis Kronberg, 1872-1965

Alexandra Laks

Rico Lebrun (Fredrico), 1900-1964

Allen Leepa, 1919-

Isadore Levy

Julian Levy, 1906-1981

Jacques Lipchitz, 1891-1973

Ward Lockwood, 1894-1963

Jean Louste

Earle Ludgin, 1898-1981

Thalia Wescott Malcolm, 1888-

Reginald Marsh, 1898-1954

Archibald McLeish, 1892-

Henry Miller, 1891-1980

Joan Miro, 1893-1983

Gloria Nardin

Anais Nin, 1903-1977

Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt "B.J.O.," 1878-1955

Hugh O'Neill

Channing Peake, 1910-1989

Gabor Peferdi

Irving Penn

Peter Pollack, 1911-1978

Henry Varnum Poor 1888-1970

Andre Raizorkacs

Robert Rey

Maurice Reynal

Raymond Reynal

Hans Richter, 1888-1976

Edward Roditi

Shelden Rodman, 1909-

Waverly Root, 1903-1982

Felix Emmanuele Ruvolo, 1912-

Frank Sedlak

Paul Shapiro

Jack Gage Stark, 1882-1950

Barrie Stavis

Ike Stoeffle

Benjamin Ellis Tepper

David Turnbull

Alfredo Valente

Siegfried Wang

Frank C. Watkins (Franklin Chenault), 1894-1972

Allen Weller, 1907-
Separated Materials note:
Loaned material, including notebooks, writings, and some correspondence, were returned to Abraham Rattner after microfilming. This material is now part of the Abraham Rattner notes collection at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art at St. Petersburg College. Loaned material is available on reels D203-D205, D205A-D205B, and reel 1212, but is not described in this finding aid.
Provenance:
The collection was given to the Archives of American Art in stages by Abraham Rattner 1972-1983, by Esther Gentle 1986-1987, and by Gene Allen in 1992. The donated material that was previously filmed has been integrated and refilmed includes reels D203 and D205C-D205D. The material found on reels D205A-D205B was loaned by Rattner and the material found on reel 1212 was loaned by his sister, Jennie Allen.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use of unmicrofilmed portion requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle 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
Works of art  Search this
Artist couples  Search this
Painters -- France -- Paris  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- France -- Paris  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketches
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Interviews
Citation:
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers, 1891-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.rattabra
See more items in:
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-rattabra

Helen Appleton Read letters and lectures

Creator:
Read, Helen Appleton, 1897-1974  Search this
Names:
United States. Dept. of the Treasury. Section of Fine Arts  Search this
Bruce, Edward, 1879-1943  Search this
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Extent:
50 Items (partially microfilmed on 1 reel)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
[ca. 1935]
Scope and Contents:
REEL 76: Letters to Roy Moyer of the American Federation of Arts, Edward Bruce to Henry Varnum Poor, and an open letter to artists from Bruce; biographical data on Read; a transcript of a lecture given by Read on the background of the early American landscape school; and lectures and reports based on Read's survey of art in federal buildings which was sponsored by the Treasury Section of Fine Arts.
UNMICROFILMED: A letter to Miss Beatrice Winzer of the Newark Museum inquiring as to whether she would like Read to present a lecture on WPA murals.
Biographical / Historical:
Read was the art critic for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and gallery director of Portraits, Inc., Portrait Center of America, New York, N.Y.
Provenance:
Provenance unknown.
Restrictions:
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.
Occupation:
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.readhela
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-readhela

Henry Varnum Poor papers

Creator:
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Names:
Montross Gallery  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Benton, William, 1900-1973  Search this
Biddle, George, 1885-1973  Search this
Billing, Jules  Search this
Burchfield, Charles Ephraim, 1893-1967  Search this
Caniff, Milton Arthur, 1907-1988  Search this
Ciardi, John, 1916-  Search this
Czebotar, Theodore  Search this
Deming, MacDonald  Search this
Dickson, Harold E., 1900-  Search this
Dorn, Marion, 1896-1964  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Esherick, Wharton  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Garrett, Alice Warder  Search this
Houseman, John, 1902-1988  Search this
Marston, Muktuk  Search this
Meredith, Burgess, 1907-1997  Search this
Mumford, Lewis, 1895-1990  Search this
Padro, Isabel  Search this
Poor, Anne, 1918-  Search this
Poor, Bessie Breuer  Search this
Poor, Eva  Search this
Poor, Josephine Graham  Search this
Poor, Josephine Lydia  Search this
Poor, Peter  Search this
Sargent, Elizabeth S.  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968  Search this
Watson, Ernest William, 1884-1969  Search this
Extent:
12.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketches
Motion pictures (visual works)
Diaries
Prints
Photographs
Illustrations
Drawings
Watercolors
Sketchbooks
Date:
1873-2001
bulk 1904-1970
Summary:
The papers of Henry Varnum Poor measure 12.9 linear feet and date from 1873-2001, with the bulk from the period 1904-1970. Correspondence, writings, artwork, printed material and photographs document Poor's work as a painter, muralist, ceramic artist and potter, architect, designer, writer, war artist, educator and a co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Also found is extensive information about the design and construction of Crow House, his home in New City, New York, commissions for other architectural projects, and his personal life.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Henry Varnum Poor measure 12.9 linear feet and date from 1873-2001, with the bulk from the period 1904-1970. Correspondence, writings, artwork, printed material and photographs document Poor's work as a painter, muralist, ceramic artist and potter, architect, designer, writer, war artist, educator and a co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Also found is extensive information about the design and construction of Crow House, his home in New City, New York, commissions for other architectural projects, and his personal life.

Henry Varnum Poor's correspondence documents his personal, family, and professional life. Correspondents include family and friends, among them George Biddle, Charles Burchfield, John Ciardi, Marion V. Dorn (who became his second wife), Philip Evergood, Lewis Mumford, John Steinbeck, David Smith, and Mrs. John Work (Alice) Garrett. Among other correspondents are galleries, museums, schools, organizations, fans, former students, and acquaintances from his military service and travels. Family correspondence consists of Henry's letters to his parents, letters to his parents written by his wife, and letters among other family members.

Among the writings by Henry Varnum Poor are manuscripts of his two published books, An Artist Sees Alaska and A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality. as well as the text of "Painting is Being Talked to Death," published in the first issue of Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions, April 1953, and manuscripts of other articles. There are also film scripts, two journals, notes and notebooks, lists, speeches, and writings by others, including M. R. ("Muktuk") Marston's account of Poor rescuing an Eskimo, and Bessie Breuer Poor's recollections of The Montross Gallery.

Subject files include those on the Advisory Committee on Art, American Designers' Gallery, Inc., William Benton, Harold Dickson, Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions Sales, and War Posters. There are numerous administrative files for the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Artwork by Henry Varnum Poor consists mainly of loose drawings and sketches and 45 sketchbooks of studies for paintings, murals, and pottery. There is work done in France, 1918-1919, and while working as a war correspondent in Alaska in 1943. There are commissioned illustrations and some intended for his monograph, A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality. Also found are a small number of watercolors and prints. Work by other artists consist of Anne Poor's drawings of her father's hands used for the Lincoln figure in The Land Grant Frescoes and interior views of Crow House by Ernest Watson.

Documentation of Poor's architectural projects consists of drawings and prints relating to houses designed and built for Jules Billing, MacDonald Deming, John Houseman, Burgess Meredith, Isabel Padro, and Elizabeth S. Sargent. Also found is similar material for the new studio Poor built in 1957 on the grounds of Crow House.

Miscellaneous records include family memorabilia and two motion picture films, Painting a True Fresco, and The Land Grant Murals at Pennsylvania State College.

Printed material includes articles about or mentioning Poor, some of his pottery reference books, family history, a catalog of kilns, and the program of a 1949 Pennsylvania State College theater production titled Poor Mr. Varnum. Exhibition catalogs and announcements survive for some of Poor's shows; catalogs of other artists' shows include one for Theodore Czebotar containing an introductory statement by Henry Varnum Poor. Also found is a copy of The Army at War: A Graphic Record by American Artists, for which Poor served as an advisor. There are reproductions of illustrations for An Artist Sees Alaska and Ethan Frome, and two Associated American Artists greeting cards reproducing work by Poor.

Photographs are of Henry Varnum Poor's architectural work, artwork, people, places, and miscellaneous subjects. This series also contains negatives, slides, and transparencies. Images of architectural work include exterior and interior views of many projects; Poor's home, Crow House, predominates. Photographs of artwork by Poor are of drawings, fresco and ceramic tile murals, paintings, pottery and ceramic art. People appearing in photographs include Henry Varnum Poor, family members, friends, clients, juries, students, and various groups. Among the individuals portrayed are Milton Caniff, Marcel Duchamp, Wharton Esherick, M. R. ("Muktuk") Marston, and Burgess Meredith. Among the family members are Bessie Breuer Poor, Marion Dorn Poor, Anne Poor, Eva Poor, Josephine Graham Poor, Josephine Lydia Poor, Peter Poor, and unidentified relatives. Photographs of places include many illustrating village life in Alaska that were taken by Poor during World War II. Other places recorded are French and California landscapes, and family homes in Kansas. Miscellaneous subjects are exhibition installation views, scenes of Kentucky farms, and a photograph of Poor's notes on glazes.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1919-1987 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1, OV 18)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1873-1985 (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1944-1974 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 2-3)

Series 4: Subject Files, 1928-1975 (0.8 linear feet; Box 3, OV 23)

Series 5: Artwork, circa 1890s-circa 1961 (3.5 linear feet; Boxes 4-6, 9-10, OV 19-22)

Series 6: Architectural Projects, circa 1940-1966 (0.7 linear feet; Box 6, OV 24-26, RD 14-17)

Series 7: Miscellaneous Records, 1882-1967 (Boxes 6, 11, FC 30-31; 0.5 linear ft.)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1881-2001 (1.2 linear feet; Boxes 6-7, 11, OV 27-29)

Series 9: Photographs, 1893-1984 (2.3 linear feet; Boxes 7-8, 12-13)
Biographical Note:
Henry Varnum Poor (1888-1970), best known as a potter, ceramic artist, and a co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, was also an architect, painter, muralist, designer, educator, and writer who lived and worked in New City, New York.

A native of Chapman, Kansas, Henry Varnum Poor moved with his family to Kansas City when his grain merchant father became a member of the Kansas Board of Trade. From a young age he showed artistic talent and spent as much time as possible - including school hours - drawing. When a school supervisor suggested that Henry leave school to study at the Art Institute of Chicago, the family disagreed. Instead, he enrolled in the Kansas City Manual Training High School where he delighted in learning skills such as carpentry, forge work, and mechanical drawing. In 1905, he moved with his older brother and sister to Palo Alto, California and completed high school there. Because Poor was expected to join the family business, he enrolled at Stanford University as an economics major, but much to his father's disappointment and displeasure, soon left the economics department and became an art major.

Immediately after graduation in 1910, Poor and his major professor at Stanford, Arthur B. Clark, took a summer bicycling tour to look at art in London, France, Italy, and Holland. As Poor had saved enough money to remain in London after the summer was over, he enrolled in the Slade School of Art and also studied under Walter Sickert at the London County Council Night School. After seeing an exhibition of Post-Impressionism at the Grafton Galleries in London, Poor was so impressed that he went to Paris and enrolled in the Académie Julian. While in Paris, Poor met Clifford Addams, a former apprentice of Whistler; soon he was working in Addams' studio learning Whistler's palette and techniques.

In the fall of 1911, Poor returned to Stanford University's art department on a one-year teaching assignment. During that academic year, his first one-man show was held at the university's Old Studio gallery. He married Lena Wiltz and moved back to Kansas to manage the family farm and prepare for another exhibition. Their daughter, Josephine Lydia Poor, was born the following year. Poor returned to Stanford in September 1913 as assistant professor of graphic arts, remaining until the department closed three years later. During this period, Poor began to exhibit more frequently in group shows in other areas of the country, and had his first solo exhibition at a commercial gallery (Helgesen Gallery, San Francisco). In 1916, Poor joined the faculty of the San Francisco Art Association. He and his wife separated in 1917 and were divorced the following year. Poor began sharing his San Francisco studio with Marion Dorn.

During World War I, Poor was drafted into the U. S. Army, and in 1918 went to France with the 115th Regiment of Engineers. He spent his spare time drawing; soon officers were commissioning portraits, and Poor was appointed the regimental artist. He also served as an interpreter for his company. Discharged from the Army in early 1919, Poor spent the spring painting in Paris. He then returned to San Francisco and married Marion Dorn.

Once Poor realized that earning a living as a painter would be extremely difficult in California, he and his new wife moved to New York in the autumn of 1919. They were looking for a place to live when influential book and art dealer Mary Mowbray-Clarke of the Sunwise Turn Bookshop in Manhattan suggested New City in Rockland County, New York as good place for artists. In January of 1920, the Poors purchased property on South Mountain Road in New City. The skills he acquired at the Kansas City Manual Training High School were of immediate use as Poor designed and constructed "Crow House" with the assistance of a local teenager. Influenced by the farmhouses he had seen in France, it was made of local sandstone and featured steep gables, rough plaster, chestnut beams and floors, and incorporated many hand-crafted details. Poor designed and built most of their furniture, too. Before the end of the year, he and Marion were able to move into the house, though it remained a work in progress for many years. Additions were constructed. Over time, gardens were designed and planted, and outbuildings - a kiln and pottery, work room, garage, and new studio - appeared on the property.

In 1925, two years after his divorce from Marion Dorn, Poor married Bessie Freedman Breuer (1893-1975), an editor, short story writer, and novelist. Soon after, he adopted her young daughter, Anne (1918-2002), an artist who served as his assistant on many important mural commissions. Their son, Peter (b. 1926) became a television producer. Crow House remained in the family until its sale in 2006. In order to prevent its demolition, Crow House was then purchased by the neighboring town of Ramapo, New York in 2007.

Between 1935 and 1966 Poor designed and oversaw construction of a number of houses, several of them situated not far from Crow House on South Mountain Road. Poor's designs, noted for their simplicity, featured modern materials and incorporated his ceramic tiles. Among his important commissions were houses for Maxwell Anderson, Jules Billig, Milton Caniff, MacDonald Deming, and John Houseman.

Poor's first exhibition of paintings in New York City was at Kevorkian Galleries in 1920, and sales were so disappointing that he turned his attention to ceramics. His first pottery show, held at Bel Maison Gallery in Wanamaker's department store in 1921, was very successful. He quickly developed a wide reputation, participated in shows throughout the country, and won awards. He was a founder of the short-lived American Designers' Gallery, and the tile bathroom he showed at the group's first exposition was critically acclaimed. Poor was represented by Montross Gallery as both a painter and potter. When Montross Gallery closed upon its owner's death in 1932, Poor moved to the Frank K. M. Rehn Gallery.

Even though Poor's pottery and ceramic work was in the forefront, he continued to paint. His work was acquired by a number of museums, and the Limited Editions Club commissioned him to illustrate their republications of Ethan Frome, The Scarlet Letter, and The Call of the Wild.

Poor's first work in true fresco was shown in a 1932 mural exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. Between 1935 and 1949 he was commissioned to produce several murals in fresco for Section of Fine Arts projects at the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior, The Land Grant Frescoes at Pennsylvania State College, and a mural for the Louisville Courier-Journal. Ceramic tile mural commissions included: the Klingenstein Pavilion, Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York City; Travelers Insurance Co., Boston; the Fresno Post Office, California; and Hillson Memorial Gallery, Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, Mass.

As a member of the War Artists' Unit, Poor was a "war correspondent" with the rank of major in World War II, and for several months in 1943 was stationed in Alaska. An Artist Sees Alaska, drawing on Poor's observations and experiences, was published in 1945. A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality, his second book, was published in 1958. It remains a standard text on the subject. While on the faculty of Columbia University in the 1950s, Poor and other artists opposed to the growing influence of Abstract Expressionism formed the Reality Group with Poor the head of its editorial committee. Their magazine, Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions, first appeared in 1953 featuring "Painting is Being Talked to Death" by Poor as its lead article. Two more issues were published in 1954 and 1955.

Along with Willard Cummings, Sidney Simon, and Charles Cuttler, in 1946 Henry Varnum Poor helped to establish the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine. He served as its first president. Poor and his daughter, Anne, were active members of the Board of Trustees and were instructors for many years. The summer of 1961 was Henry Varnum Poor's last as a full-time teacher, though he continued to spend summers at Skowhegan.

Henry Varnum Poor exhibited widely and received many awards, among them prizes at the Carnegie Institute, Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Architectural League of New York. Poor was appointed to the United States Commission of Fine Arts by President Roosevelt in 1941 and served a five year term. He was elected a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1943. The National Academy of Design named him an Associate Artist in 1954 and an Academician in 1963. He became a trustee of the American Craftsman's Council in 1956. The work of Henry Vernum Poor is represented in the permanent collections of many American museums including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Addison Gallery of American Art, and Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts.

Henry Varnum Poor died at home in New City, New York, December 8, 1970.
Related Material:
An oral history interview with Henry Varnum Poor was conducted by Harlan Phillips for the Archives of American Art in 1964.
Provenance:
Gift of Henry Varnum Poor's son, Peter V. Poor, in 2007. A smaller portion was loaned to the Archives in 1973 by Anne Poor for microfilming and returned to the lender; this material was included in the 2007 gift.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Use of audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Henry Varnum Poor 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.
Occupation:
War artists  Search this
Topic:
Architects -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
War posters  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Pottery -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Designers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Ceramicists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketches
Motion pictures (visual works)
Diaries
Prints
Photographs
Illustrations
Drawings
Watercolors
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Henry Varnum Poor papers, 1873-2001, bulk 1904-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.poorhenr
See more items in:
Henry Varnum Poor papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-poorhenr
Online Media:

"The Land Grant Murals at Pennsylvania State College"

Collection Creator:
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Extent:
1 Film reel (color, sound, 16 mm)
Container:
Box 11, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Moving Images [31027000802310]
Film reels
Date:
1962
Scope and Contents:
Motion picture film stored separately in film can numbered FC 31
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Use of audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Henry Varnum Poor 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.
Collection Citation:
Henry Varnum Poor papers, 1873-2001, bulk 1904-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Henry Varnum Poor papers
Henry Varnum Poor papers / Series 7: Miscellaneous Records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-poorhenr-ref752

Elizabeth S. Navas papers

Creator:
Navas, Elizabeth S., 1885-1979  Search this
Names:
Wichita Art Museum  Search this
Bacon, Peggy, 1895-1987  Search this
Bouché, Louis, 1896-1969  Search this
Brice, William, 1921-2008  Search this
Burchfield, Charles Ephraim, 1893-1967  Search this
Burlin, Paul, 1886-1969  Search this
Callahan, Kenneth, 1905-1986  Search this
Copley, John Singleton, 1738-1815  Search this
Cowles, Russell, 1887-1979  Search this
Curry, John Steuart, 1897-1946  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
De Creeft, José, 1884-1982  Search this
Dehn, Adolf, 1895-1968  Search this
Dehner, Walt, 1898-  Search this
Demuth, Charles, 1883-1935  Search this
Dove, Arthur Garfield, 1880-1946  Search this
Eakins, Thomas, 1844-1916  Search this
Glackens, William J., 1870-1938  Search this
Gleitsmann, Raphael, 1910-  Search this
Grosz, George, 1893-1959  Search this
Heliker, John, 1909-2000  Search this
Homer, Winslow, 1836-1910  Search this
Hopper, Edward, 1882-1967  Search this
James, Alexander, 1890-1946  Search this
Kinigstein, Jonah, 1923-  Search this
Kirsch, Frederick D. (Frederick Dwight), b. 1899  Search this
Kuhn, Walt, 1877-1949  Search this
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Lachaise, Gaston, 1882-1935  Search this
Lechay, James  Search this
Marin, John, 1870-1953  Search this
Marsh, Reginald, 1898-1954  Search this
Mattson, Henry E. (Henry Elis), 1887-1971  Search this
Morris, Carl, 1911-1993  Search this
Morris, George L. K., 1905-1975  Search this
Moyer, Roy, 1921-2007  Search this
Murdock, Louise Caldwell, 1858-1915  Search this
Murdock, Roland P. -- Art collections  Search this
Oscar, Charles, 1923-  Search this
Penney, James, 1910-1982  Search this
Poor, Anne, 1918-  Search this
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Pène Du Bois, Guy , 1884-1958  Search this
Ryder, Albert Pinkham, 1847-1917  Search this
Schnakenberg, H. E. (Henry Ernest), 1892-1970  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Sloan, John, 1871-1951  Search this
Smith, Houghton Cranford, 1887-1983  Search this
Sparhawk-Jones, Elizabeth, 1885-1968  Search this
Watkins, Franklin Chenault, 1894-1972  Search this
Weber, Max, 1881-1961  Search this
Williamson, Clara McDonald, 1875-1976  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
0.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1939-1963
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence, photographs, clippings, magazines and statements by 20th century artists on their works bought for the Roland P. Murdock Collection of the Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, Kansas, by Navas.
Artists represented include: Peggy Bacon, Louis Bouche, William Brice, Charles E. Burchfield, Paul Burlin, Kenneth Callahan, John S. Copley, Russell Cowles, John S. Curry, Stuart Davis, Jose de Creeft, Adolf Dehn, Walt Dehner, Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, Guy Pène du Bois, Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Raphael Gleitsmann, George Grosz, John E. Heliker, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Alexander R. James, Jonah Kinigstein, Frederick D. Kirsch, Walt Kuhn, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Gaston Lachaise, James Lechay, John Marin, Reginald Marsh, Henry E. Mattson, Carl Morris, George L. K. Morris, Roy Moyer, Charles Oscar, James Penney, Anne Poor, Henry V. Poor, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Henry E. Schnakenberg, Ben Shahn, Charles Sheeler, John Sloan, Houghton C. Smith, Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones, Franklin C. Watkins, Max Weber, Clara M. Williamson, Karl Zerbe, and William Zorach.
Biographical / Historical:
Elizabeth S. Navas (1885-1979) was an art collector and patron in New York City. Navas was designated to assemble the Roland P. Murdock Collection of the Wichita Art Museum under the terms of the will of her friend, Louise Caldwell Murdock (1858-1915), widow of Roland P. Murdock.
Provenance:
Donated 1963 by Elizabeth S. Navas.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Occupation:
Artists -- United States  Search this
Art patrons  Search this
Painters  Search this
Topic:
Art, American -- Kansas -- Witchita  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.navaeliz
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-navaeliz

William Kienbusch papers

Creator:
Kienbusch, William, 1914-1980  Search this
Names:
Clifford, Stanley  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
Kraushaar, Antoinette M., 1902-1992  Search this
Maitland, Walter McClymonds, 1912-1989  Search this
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Schrag, Karl  Search this
Tam, Reuben  Search this
Extent:
5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Drawings
Drafts (documents)
Visitors' books
Sketchbooks
Notes
Notebooks
Date:
1915-2001
bulk 1936-1980
Summary:
The papers of landscape painter and art instructor William Kienbusch measure 5.0 linear feet and date from 1915 to 2001, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1936 to 1980. The collection documents Kienbusch's life as an artist in New York City and Cranberry Island, Maine. Files include biographical material; correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues; writings and notes; scattered printed material; photographs; and artwork, including 17 sketchbooks.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of landscape painter and art instructor William Kienbusch measure 5.0 linear feet and date from 1915 to 2001, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1936 to 1980. The collection documents Kienbusch's life as an artist in New York City and Cranberry Island, Maine. Files include biographical material; correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues; writings and notes; scattered printed material; photographs; and artwork, including 17 sketchbooks.

Biographical materials include military records, identification and membership documents, guestbooks, and an album entitled "Book of Friendship" containing short notes written by friends for Kienbusch on the occasion of his 60th Birthday. Also of note is copy of the "In Memoriam" written for Kienbusch by Karl Schrag.

The bulk of the papers consist of family and general correspondence. Family correspondence includes letters from Kienbusch to his parents regarding school, summer camps, travel, and the army. General correspondence includes many letters he sent to his close friend, Stanley Clifford, as well as letters from friends and associates, such as Stuart Davis, Antionette Kraushaar, Walter Maitland, Henry Varnum Poor, Abraham Rattner, Karl Schrag, Reuben Tam, and others.

Writings and notes include scattered notes, lists, and draft writings, as well as three notebooks, including one on casein technique. Printed material includes several armed forces publications and maps from World War II, clippings, and press releases. Photographs are of William Kienbusch, including two snapshots of Kienbusch with friends Dorothy Andrews and Reuben Tam. Also found are numerous travel and nature photographs. Artwork includes drawings created by Kienbusch while on his military tour in Guam and seventeen sketchbooks containting drawings in pencil, ink, and pastel.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 6 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1915-1980 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1920-2001 (Box 1-3; 2.3 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1940s-1970s (Box 3; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 4: Printed Material, circa 1937-1980 (Box 3; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 5: Photographs, circa 1920-1980s (Box 3-5; 1.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Artwork, circa 1930s-1970s (Box 5; 0.8 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
William Kienbusch (1914-1980) was a painter and art instructor in New York, NY, and Cranberry Island, Maine.

Kienbusch was born in New York City and attended boarding school at Hotchkiss Preparatory school, where he was taught painting by Robert Osborn. During the summers of 1934 and 1935, while attending Princeton University, he studied watercolor with Eliot O'Hara at Goose Rocks Beach, Maine. After graduating from Princeton in 1936, he attended the Art Students League, studied with Henry Varnum Poor at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, and spent a year in Paris, studying at the Academie Colarossi. During this time he also had the opportunity to travel throughout Europe before the outbreak of World War II. He returned to New York City in the winter of 1938 and settled in Greenwich Village, at one point living above artist Stuart Davis.

Kienbusch spent the summers of 1940 and 1941 in Stonington, Maine. Here he found his true identity as an abstract expressionist landscape painter. During World War II he served in the Army, teaching camouflage design and making maps in Guam. When he returned to New York in 1946, he began painting in casein rather than oils or watercolor. In 1947 he joined Kraushaar Galleries, which would continue to be his dealer for the remainder of his career. From 1948 to 1969 he taught at the Brooklyn Museum of Art School and spent summers in Maine. Kienbusch lost much of his artwork and personal papers in a 1969 fire at his New York studio apartment. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art among many others. After several years of poor health, Kienbusch died in 1980.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is the Walter Maitland correspondence with and about William Kienbusch, 1969-1981; the William Kienbusch letters to Francis and Sydney Hamabe, 1958-1977; the Thomas Barrett and Leni Mancuso papers relating to William Kienbusch, 1950-1980; and an oral history interview with William Kienbusch conducted by Forrest Selvig, November 1-7, 1968.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reel N70-22) including a scrapbook of clippings, exhibition catalogs, photographs of Kienbusch, letters, writings, and two journals describing his travels in Europe and Asia. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
William Kienbusch lent materials for microfilming in 1970. Other papers were donated by his sisters, Millicent Kelly and Juliana Little, and his friend Stanley Clifford as co-executives of the Kienbusch estate from 1985-1991. Stanley Clifford donated additional materials in 2008 and 2010.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The William Kienbusch 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:
Landscape painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting, Abstract -- United States  Search this
Painting, American  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Art teachers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting -- Technique  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Drawings
Drafts (documents)
Visitors' books
Sketchbooks
Notes
Notebooks
Citation:
William Kienbusch papers, 1915-2001, bulk 1936-1980. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kienwill
See more items in:
William Kienbusch papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kienwill

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