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Oral history interview with Reed Kay

Interviewee:
Kay, Reed  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School -- Faculty  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School -- Students  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture -- Faculty  Search this
Kokoschka, Oskar, 1886-  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Extent:
54 Slides
232 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Slides
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1995 December 22-1996 October 4
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Reed Kay conducted 1995 December 22-1996 October 4, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art over seven sessions, in Kay's home, in Brookline, Massachusetts.
The cassettes are accompanied by 54 color slides of Kay's artwork executed between 1941 and 1993, including sketches, watercolors, and paintings.
Kay talks about his childhood in an immigrant Jewish community in Boston and the great encouragement he received from teachers and librarians; his entry into the difficult Boston Latin School at age 11; and his early entry into the art classes at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Kay continues discussion about the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston School; life-long friendships there with Jason Berger, Jack Kramer, and David Aronson; and instructors, including Karl Zerbe, head of painting.
Kay talks about his service in World War II; completion of education at MFA School; his marriage in 1946; his first teaching position at the MFA School's summer sessions under Mitchell Siporin and Leonard Baskin in 1948 and Oskar Kokoschka in 1949. He discusses Kokoschka and Zerbe as teachers and colleagues; and his travelling fellowship to Paris, Italy, and Spain, 1949-1950.
Kay continues his discussion of Karl Zerbe as a teacher; talks about the difficulty of beginning a painting career and teaching, especially in a university as Kay did from 1956 until 1989; and about various teaching colleagues at the MFA School.
Kay talks about the superb teaching of anatomy by Ture Bengtz and of perspective by Peter Dubaniewicz at MFA School in the early 1940s; on the precocious abilities of upperclassmen such as Conger Metcalf and John Wilson, and the stimulation their accomplishment gave Kay; on his work, from student drawings to his cityscape paintings of the late 1950s, which he continues to make, abandoning figural, narrative, and studio subjects.
Teaching materials and methods of painting at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (summers of 1952 and 1954-1960) and the high quality of instruction and students and his decision to leave; the pluses and minuses of teaching and the toll it took on his own work; his long tenure at the School of Visual Arts, Boston University (1956-1989).
On his writings, principally, "The Painter's Companion: a Basic Guide to Studio Methods and Material," (1961) [revised editions, titled, "Painter's Guide," (1972, 1983)], which was an outgrowth of the emphasis put on craftsmanship, permanence, and mastery of media at MFA School under Karl Zerbe; on his growing concern, expressed in writings and lectures, with the toxicity of some modern artists' materials; and his relationship with art conservators. He discusses his work, from 1959 into the early 1990s while viewing slides.
Biographical / Historical:
Reed Kay (1925- ) is a painter and teacher from Brookline, Massachusetts.
General:
Originally recorded on 9 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 17 digital wav files. Duration is 12 hrs., 56 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.
Occupation:
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.kay95
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kay95
Online Media:

Sidney Simon papers

Creator:
Simon, Sidney, 1917-1997  Search this
Names:
Budd (Firm : New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Century Association (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Colby College  Search this
Graham Gallery  Search this
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture -- Faculty  Search this
United States. Army. Corps of Engineers  Search this
Emmerich, André  Search this
Gonzalez, Xavier, 1898-1993  Search this
Gotfryd, Bernard  Search this
Hélion, Jacqueline  Search this
Jencks, Penelope  Search this
Kelly, Ellsworth, 1923- -- Photographs  Search this
King, William, 1925-2015  Search this
Meredith, Burgess, 1907-1997  Search this
Motherwell, Robert -- Photographs  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988 -- Photographs  Search this
Pousette-Dart, Richard, 1916-1992  Search this
Watson, Forbes, 1880-1960  Search this
Extent:
8 Linear feet
2.21 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Photographs
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Interviews
Illustrated letters
Diaries
Date:
circa 1917-2002
bulk 1940-1997
Summary:
The papers of sculptor, painter, and educator Sidney Simon measure 8.0 linear feet and 2.21 GB and date from circa 1917-2002, with the bulk of the papers dating from 1940-1997. The collection documents Simon's career through biographical material, correspondence, writings and notes, subject files, sketches, sketchbooks, printed and digital material, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of sculptor, painter, and educator Sidney Simon measure 8.0 linear feet and 2.21 GB and date from circa 1917-2002, with the bulk of the papers dating from 1940-1997. The collection documents Simon's career through biographical material, correspondence, writings and notes, subject files, sketches, sketchbooks, printed and digital material, and photographs.

Biographical material chronicles Simon's academic training and professional activities through curriculum vitae, biographical accounts, and awards. Included are letters and memoranda, many from Forbes Watson pertaining to Simon's service as a combat artist in World War II. Also found is a transcript of an interview with Simon recounting his experiences in the Southwest Pacific. Simon's personal correspondence with colleagues, friends, and family includes scattered letters from Jacqueline Helion, Penelope Jencks, William King, Burgess Meredith, among others. Many letters are illustrated by Sidney Simon and others. General correspondence includes letters from artists, galleries, museums, public and religious institutions primarily relating to Simon's exhibitions and commissioned projects. Among the correspondents are Castle Hill, Truro Center for the Arts, Colby College, André Emmerich, Eric Makler Gallery, Xavier Gonzalez, Graham Gallery, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Interspersed among the files are letters of a personal nature. Other correspondence relates to Simon's faculty positions and his activities in professional organizations, e.g., Century Association, National Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Writings and notes include Simon's 1943 diary entries recording his activities in the Army Corps of Engineers, draft versions of writings and lectures, and notes. Included are digital audio recordings of Simon's lectures at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Subject files provide documentation on Simon's commissioned projects, select exhibitions and competitions, as well as his faculty positions and memberships in several arts organizations. Printed material consists of clippings, invitations, announcements, newsletters, and programs. Exhibition catalogs are of Simon's solo and group shows at galleries, museums, and art organizations from 1959-1966. Photographs are of Simon by Budd Brothers, Richard Pousette-Dart, and Bernard Gotfryd. There are a number of photographs of the artist in his studio and outdoors as well as of Simon's family and friends, including group photographs with Ellsworth Kelly, André Emmerich, Robert Motherwell, and Louise Nevelson. Also found are three personal and family albums and twenty-one photograph albums of Simon's paintings and sculptures.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1940-1998 (Boxes 1, 9; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1936-2002 (Boxes 1-2; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1943, circa 1960-1997 (Box 2; 0.4 linear feet, ER01-ER03; 2.21 GB)

Series 4: Subject Files, 1940-1941, 1951-1997 (Boxes 2-4, 9; 1.8 linear feet)

Series 5: Sketches, 1937-1942 (Box 4; 1 folder)

Series 6: Sketchbooks, 1939-1995 (Boxes 4-5, 9; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 7: Printed Material, circa 1933, 1942-1998 (Box 5; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 8: Scrapbooks, 1978-1995 (Box 5; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 9: Photographs, circa 1917-1997 (Boxes 5-11; 3.0 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Sidney Simon (1917-1997) was a sculptor, painter, and educator who worked primarily in New York City and Truro, Massachusetts. Simon was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At the age of 14, he won a place as a special student at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1934 and from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1936. Simon also studied at the Barnes Foundation from 1937-1940. Simon received professional recognition early in his career; he was awarded the Prix de Rome Collaborative Prize in 1939 and the Edwin Austin Abbey Fellowship in mural painting in 1945.

In 1941, Simon enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the Army Corps of Engineers. Assigned to MacArthur's headquarters as an official war artist for the Southwest Pacific Theater, Simon was chosen to paint the signing of the peace treaty between the U.S. and Japan aboard the U.S.S. Missouri. He was discharged from the army with a Bronze Star and five presidential citations. In 1945, along with Bill Cummings and Henry Varnum Poor, Simon co-founded the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, where he later served as a director and a member of the Board of Governors. By the mid-1950s, Simon's interest shifted from painting to sculpture, creating works in wood, clay, and other media. Over the years, Simon collaborated with architects on a number of public and private commissions, including the doorway for the Downstate Medical Center, the Jewish Chapel at West Point, a playground sculpture for Prospect Park, and the totemic column for the Temple Beth Abraham. In addition to serving on the faculty at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Simon also taught at the Art Students League, Brooklyn Museum, and Parsons School of Design. An active champion of artists' rights, Simon established the New York Artists Equity Association. He participated in solo and group shows at the Graham Gallery, Provincetown Art Association and Museum, and the Sculptors Guild, among other venues.

In 1997, Sidney Simon died at the age of 80 in Truro, Massachusetts. Simon was divorced from Joan Crowell in 1964. He is survived by his wife, Renee Adriance Simon and five children from his first and second marriages.
Related Materials:
The Archives has two oral history interviews with Sidney Simon conducted by Paul Cummings in October 17-November 8, 1973 and the Karl E. Fortress taped interviews with artists, [1963-1985].
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds materials lent for microfilming (reel D210) including biographical material, correspondence, sketchbooks, scrapbooks, and photographs of Sidney Simon. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Sidney Simon lent the Archives of American Art material for microfilming in 1965. Rene Simon, Simon's widow, donated the Sidney Simon papers in 2009.
Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
War artists  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Pacific Area  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Art and the war  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Function:
Artists' studios -- New York (State)
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Interviews
Illustrated letters
Diaries
Citation:
Sidney Simon papers, circa 1917-2002, bulk 1940-1997. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.simosidn
See more items in:
Sidney Simon papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-simosidn

Robert W. White papers

Creator:
White, Robert, 1921-2002  Search this
Names:
American Academy in Rome  Search this
American Battle Monuments Commission  Search this
Century Association (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Davis Galleries  Search this
Graham Gallery  Search this
Graham Modern (Gallery)  Search this
Heckscher Museum  Search this
National Academy of Design (U.S.)  Search this
Parsons School of Design  Search this
Parsons School of Design -- Faculty  Search this
Peabody Museum  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture -- Faculty  Search this
State University of New York at Stony Brook  Search this
Steuben Glass (Firm)  Search this
Suffolk Museum  Search this
United States. Coast Guard  Search this
Ames, Amyas  Search this
Cremer, Theodore  Search this
Fleischmann, Patricia  Search this
Fosburgh, Hugh, 1916-  Search this
Franklin, Gilbert, 1919-2004  Search this
Hancock, Walker Kirtland, 1901-1998  Search this
Harrison, Jim  Search this
Hobbs, Susan, 1945-  Search this
Huntington, Willard R.  Search this
Kean, Rebekah Harkness  Search this
La Farge, Bancel, 1865-1938  Search this
Lamb, Ward  Search this
Lessard, Suzannah  Search this
Lowe, David, 1933-  Search this
Matthiessen, Peter  Search this
O'Cain, Walker  Search this
Oxman, Katja  Search this
Oxman, Mark  Search this
Platt, Frank C. (Frank Cheney), 1932-  Search this
Pope, Laura Spencer  Search this
Resika, Ellen  Search this
Resika, Paul  Search this
Ripley, Sidney Dillon, 1913-2001  Search this
Russotto, Paul  Search this
Simon, Sidney, 1917-1997  Search this
Styron, William, 1925-  Search this
White, Bessie Chanler  Search this
White, Claire Nicolas, 1925-  Search this
White, Lawrence Grant  Search this
Extent:
8.4 Linear feet
0.846 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Photographs
Diaries
Drawings
Essays
Sound recordings
Sketchbooks
Lectures
Notebooks
Sketches
Date:
1889-2003
bulk 1915-2003
Summary:
The papers of New York sculptor Robert White measure 8.4 linear feet and 0.846 GB and date from 1889-2003, with the bulk of the material from 1915-2003. The collection documents White's varied career as a sculptor, educator, painter, and illustrator through biographical material; extensive correspondence; project files; personal business records; notes and writings; sketchbooks and sketches by Robert White and others; printed and digital material; audiovisual material; artifacts; and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of New York sculptor Robert White measure 8.4 linear feet and 0.846 GB and date from 1889-2003, with the bulk of the material from 1915-2003. The collection documents White's varied career as a sculptor, educator, painter, and illustrator through biographical material; extensive correspondence; project files; personal business records; notes and writings; sketchbooks and sketches by Robert White and others; printed and digital material; audiovisual material; artifacts; and photographs.

Scattered biographical materials include a curriculum vitae, documentation relating to White's service in the U.S. Coast Guard, a certificate of appreciation, and a memorial card for White's daughter, Natalie Laura White.

Correspondence contains primarily incoming letters from family and friends, and from clients, galleries, museums, arts organizations, students, and university administrators. Spanning over a seventy year period, family and friends correspondence centers on daily activities, events, and work. There is extensive correspondence from Robert White's parents, Lawrence Grant White and Bessie Chanler White and from Claire Nicolas White and her family. Other correspondents include Gil Franklin, Walker Hancock, Jim Harrison, Susan Hobbes, Willard R. Huntington, Ben LaFarge, Ward Lamb, Suzannah Lessard, Peter Matthiessen, Walker O'Cain, Mark and Katja Oxman, Frank C. Platt, Laura Spencer Pope, Paul and Ellen Resika, Paul Russotto, Sidney Simon, and William Styron, among others.

General correspondence mostly concerns White's commissions, teaching appointments, and his activities in professional organizations. Also included are letters from family members, friends, and colleagues. Frequent correspondents include: the American Academy in Rome, Amyas Ames, the Augustus Saint Gaudens Memorial, Century Association, Theodore Cremer, Davis Galleries, Patricia Fleischmann, Hugh Fosburgh, Rebekah Harkness Kean, David Garrard Lowe, National Academy of Design, Parsons School of Design, S. Dillon Ripley, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Steuben Glass, and the Suffolk Museum and Carriage House.

Project files contain materials on Robert White's exhibitions and his commissioned projects. Materials include letters, lists of artwork, notes, price lists, receipts, exhibition schedules, contracts, and loan agreements. Files document White's exhibits at the Davis Galleries, Elaine Benson Gallery, Graham Gallery, Graham Modern, Heckscher Museum, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Included are extensive files on White's commissions for the American Battle Monuments Commission, Peabody Museum, and Steuben Glass.

Personal business records include files on Robert White's association with the Augustus Saint Gaudens Memorial and the National Academy of Design; his teaching appointments at the Parsons School of Design, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; and his dealings with foundries. There are scattered files on the Whites' St. James, New York property and residence.

Notes and writings contain Robert White's diaries, artist's statements, notebooks, essays on art, lectures, and scattered notes. Also found are writings by Clare White and others.

Sketchbooks and loose sketches contain preliminary studies by Robert White and scattered sketches by others. Printed material houses newspaper clippings and periodicals; exhibition announcements, catalogs, brochures, and posters; press releases and newsletters; and miscellaneous printed material.

Artifacts include two printing blocks: a portrait sculpture of Stephanie White and a landscape image. Audiovisual material consists of a digital audio recording of a classroom lecture by Robert White at an unidentified venue.

Photographs house images of Robert White; his studio; and snapshots of family and friends, many unidentified. Also included are photographs and slides of artwork.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into ten series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1939-2002 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1923-2002 (Boxes 1-4; 3.8 linear feet)

Series 3: Project Files, 1952-2003 (Boxes 4-5, OV 10; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 4: Personal Business Records, 1889, 1946-2003 (Boxes 5-6, OV 10; 1.3 linear feet)

Series 5: Notes and Writings, 1915, circa 1946-2002 (Boxes 6-7; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 6: Sketchbooks and Sketches, circa 1965-1972 (Boxes 7, 9; 0.3 linear feet

Series 7: Printed Material, 1937-2003 (Boxes 7, 9; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 8: Audiovisual Material, 1973 (ER01; 0.846 GB)

Series 9: Artifacts, circa 1965 (Box 7; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographs, circa 1940s-2001 (Box 8; 0.5 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Robert Winthrop White (1921-2002) lived and worked in St. James, New York and was primarily known as a sculptor and educator.

He was the son of the architect, Lawrence Grant White (1887-1956) and Bessie Chanler White. Stanford White (1853-1906), Robert's grandfather, was one of the founding partners in the prominent New York City architectural firm, McKim, White, and Mead.

As a youth, Robert White traveled to Munich, Germany to study woodcarving, sculpture, and painting. In 1935, he entered Portsmouth Priory School in Rhode Island. From 1938-1942, he was enrolled in the Rhode Island School of Design, where his mentors were Walter Raemisch in sculpture and John Howard Benson in calligraphy. In World War II, White served as chief boatswain's mate in the United States Coast Guard and later worked in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). At the end of the war, White continued his training in sculpture and painting. In 1947, Robert White married Clare Nicolas, daughter of the painter and stained glass master, Joep Nicolas and the sculptor, Suzanne Nicolas.

Robert White, influenced by the classical techniques of the Renaissance artists, worked in various media, such as bronze, stone, plaster, terra-cotta, and wood. His subjects included portrait, figure, and life studies; animals; and dancers. Robert White also was an illustrator. He illustrated works by Laura Spencer Pope, William Styron, and others. White also illustrated two collections of his own poems, Casques and Dust and Palace: The Story of A Friendship that were privately published before his death in 2002.

Robert White held teaching positions at several universities and schools, including the Suffolk Museum of Art, the Parsons School of Design, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. From 1967-1987, White was an associate professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

White exhibited his work in museums and galleries in the United States and abroad, including Artists Choice Museum, Artist's Gallery, Benson Gallery, Boston Athenaeum, Gallery North, Hartwick College Museum, Nassau County Museum of Fine Art, Patricia Fleischmann Gallery, Rijksakademie Van Beeldende, State University of New York at Stony Brook, and the Suffolk Museum and Carriage House, among others. Robert White was represented by the Davis Gallery, Graham Gallery, and Graham Modern in New York City.

Robert White's private and public commissions included works for the American Battle Monuments Commission, Amyas Ames, Theodore Cremer, John Marquand, Peabody Museum, State University of New York, William Styron, and Xerox Corporation. His work can be viewed in the collections of the Boston Athenaeum, Brooklyn Museum, Civici Musei 3 Gallerie di Storia e Arte, Heckscher Museum, and the Rhode Island School of Design. Robert White was the recipient of the Laurel Gallery's "New Talent" exhibition prize, 1948; American Academy's Rome Prize, 1952-1954; and the Proctor Memorial Prize at the National Academy of Design, 1962, 1982. He was also awarded grants from the Tiffany Foundation, 1950 and the Fairfield Foundation, 1968. From 1952-1955, White was a fellow of the American Academy in Rome, where he also served as an artist-in-residence from 1969-1970. Robert White was a member of the American Academy in Rome, the Augustus Saint Gaudens Memorial, Century Association, and the National Academy of Design.

Robert White continued to work on the family estate in St. James, New York until his death in 2002.
Provenance:
The Robert W. White Papers were donated in 2003 by Claire Nicolas White, widow of Robert White.
Restrictions:
Use of the original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State)  Search this
Sculpture -- Study and teaching  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Diaries
Drawings
Essays
Sound recordings
Sketchbooks
Lectures
Notebooks
Sketches
Citation:
Robert W. White papers, 1889-2003 (bulk 1915-2003). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.whiterobe
See more items in:
Robert W. White papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-whiterobe

José de Creeft papers

Creator:
De Creeft, José, 1884-1982  Search this
Names:
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) -- Faculty  Search this
Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.) -- Faculty  Search this
New School for Social Research (New York, N.Y.) -- Faculty  Search this
Norton Gallery and School of Art  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture -- Faculty  Search this
Stone Mountain Memorial (Ga.)  Search this
Albers, Josef -- Photographs  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976 -- Photographs  Search this
Campos, Jules  Search this
De Creeft, William  Search this
De Diego, Julio, 1900- -- Photographs  Search this
Dickinson, Edwin Walter, 1891-1978  Search this
Diederich, William Hunt, 1884-1953  Search this
Dodd, Lamar  Search this
Escuder, Joseph  Search this
Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969 -- Photographs  Search this
Gross, Chaim, 1904-1991 -- Photographs  Search this
Gómez Gil, Alfredo, 1936-  Search this
Lawrence, Gertrude -- Photographs  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques, 1891-1973  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques, 1891-1973 -- Photographs  Search this
Neumann, J. B. (Jsrael Ber) -- Photographs  Search this
Nivola, Costantino, 1911-1988  Search this
Rattner, Abraham -- Photographs  Search this
Roszak, Theodore, 1907-1981 -- Photographs  Search this
Soyer, Raphael, 1899-1987 -- Photographs  Search this
Sweeney, James Johnson, 1900-  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966 -- Photographs  Search this
Extent:
28.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Diaries
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Date:
1871-2004, bulk 1910s-1980s
bulk 1910-1990
Summary:
The papers of Spanish-born sculptor and educator José de Creeft measure 28.1 linear feet and date from 1871 to 2004 with the bulk of the material dating from the 1910s to the 1980s. Found are biographical materials, correspondence, fifty diaries, writings, subject files, personal business records, printed materials, twenty-seven photo albums and other photographs, scrapbooks, and scattered sketches.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Spanish-born sculptor and educator José de Creeft measure 28.1 linear feet and date from 1871 to 2004 with the bulk of the material dating from the 1910s to the 1980s. Found are biographical materials, correspondence, fifty diaries, writings, subject files, personal business records, printed materials, twenty-seven photo albums and other photographs, scrapbooks, and scattered sketches.

Biographical materials include address books, awards, recorded interviews with and about de Creeft, membership materials, naturalization records, resumes, and travel documents.

Correspondence is primarily professional in nature and concerns exhibitions, de Creeft's involvement in arts organizations, and awards. There are also scattered personal letters from family and friends. Correspondents include Alexander Calder, Nina, Alice, Barbara and William de Creeft, Hunt Diederich, Joseph Escudar, and Gil Gomez, Jacques Lipchitz, Edwin Dickinson, James Johnson Sweeney, Costantino Nivola, Abraham Rattner, and Lamar Dodd, among others.

De Creeft's fifty diaries are nearly complete for the period dating from 1926 to 1981. Some are bound volumes and others are loose pages. The bulk of the diaries are in Spanish and many include sketches. Additional writings, called "escritos varios" by José de Creeft, are mostly in Spanish and consist of typed manuscripts and essays, including "Roosty Was My Friend, 1957, notebooks, an artist's statement, and writings by others, including drafts for The Sculpture of de Creeft by Jules Campos, and a video recording entitled José de Creeft by Bob Hanson. There is one sound recording of Lorrie Goulet reading poetry.

Subject files are varied and include files on de Creeft's teaching positions at the New School for Social Research, Black Mountain College, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the Art Students League. There are files for some of his sculpture projects, inlcuding Alice in Wonderland, Poet, and a proposed model for the Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial in Georgia, as well as compiled information about various art related topics of interest.

De Creeft's business records include appraisals, contracts, leases, price lists, and scattered receipts. Also found are art inventories in the form of three sets of index cards, some of which include photographs.

Printed materials include books, clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, exhibition labels, postcards, and posters.

There are loose photographs and twenty-seven photograph albums depicting de Creeft, his family, friends, and works of art. There are photos of Alexander Calder; de Creeft and Goulet with Raphael Soyer, posing with Soyer's portrait of them; Gertrude Lawrence; art juries, which also include images of Chaim Gross, Jacques Lipchitz, Theodore Roszak, and William Zorach; students, friends, and faculties of Black Mountain College, the Art Students League, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the Norton School of Art, which also includes images of Joseph Albers, Alexander Calder, Julio De Diego, Walter Gropius, J. B. Neumann, and Abraham Rattner.

Seven mixed media scrapbooks document de Creeft's career from 1929 to 1982. Also found are scattered pen and pencil sketches and one sketchbook dating from the 1920s.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 10 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1914-1979 (Boxes 1, 27; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1910s-1980s (Boxes 1-6; 4.2 linear feet)

Series 3: Diaries, 1926-1981 (Boxes 6-11; 5.4 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings, 1871-1977 (Boxes 11-13, 28; 2.5 linear feet)

Series 5: Subject Files, 1924-1980 (Boxes 13-16, 27; 2.4 linear feet)

Series 6: Personal Business Records, 1909-1980s (Boxes 16-17, 27; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1921-1980s (Boxes 17-21, 27, 33; 4.7 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, 1900-2004 (Boxes 21-25, 29, 31; 5.1 linear feet)

Series 9: Scrapbooks, 1929-1982 (Box 26, 30, 32; 1.8 linear feet)

Series 10: Artwork, 1920s-1930s (Box 26; 2 folders)
Biographical / Historical:
José de Creeft (1908-1982) was a Spanish-born sculptor active in New York City, New York.

José de Creeft was born in Guadalajara, Spain and raised in Barcelona. In 1900, he apprenticed to sculptor Don Augustine Querol and studied drawing with Idalgo de Caviedas. De Creeft moved to Paris in 1905 and began formal art training at the Académie Julianand. He also took a studio in the Batteau Lavoir in Montmartre, where he interacted with Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, Manolo, and Pablo Gargallo, all of whom also had studios there. During this period, de Creeft became friends with the artist Mateo Hernandez.

In 1915, de Creeft rejected the traditional technique of reproducing sculpture in stone from clay and plaster models and turned to direct carving in wood and stone. He was also one of the first sculptors who practiced assemblage and incorporated found objects into his work. His notable assemblage sculpture El Picador, a large figure on horseback, received worldwide press coverage and was exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Independents in 1926. Between 1919 and 1928, his work was exhibited in various Paris salons. In the late 1920s, he created 200 stone carvings for Roberto Ramonje's Forteleza (fortress) in Mallorca. It was around this time frame when de Creeft met Alexander Calder, who became his student in direct carving. De Creeft encouraged Calder to display his mechanical toys and Calder put his Circus together for the first time in de Creeft's studio.

De Creeft emigrated to the United States in 1929, right after marrying fellow sculptor Alice Robertson Carr. They divorced nine years later.

While in New York, de Creeft began sculpting with lead sheets beaten into three-dimensional forms and established a studio at 1 Washington Square. His first solo exhibition was at the Ferargil Galleries in New York City and included The Portrait of Cesar Vallejo in chased lead and The Silver Fox of found materials.

In 1932, de Creeft accepted a teaching position in sculpture at the New School for Social Research. He also taught courses at Black Mountain College, where he met his second wife, sculptor Lorrie Goulet, the Art Students League, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the Norton Gallery and School of Art. In 1946, de Creeft and Goulet purchased a hundred-acre farm in Hoosick Falls, NY where they established a studio and part-time residence.

Perhaps De Creeft's most well-known monumental scuplture is Alice in Wonderland in Central Park, New York City. The 12' x 16' bronze was dedicated during a public event in 1959 and gave de Creeft worldwide recognition. In 1995 a short film about the making of the sculpture was produced by J. D'Alba and narrated by Lorrie Goulet.

De Creeft was as founding member of the American Artist's Congress, the Sculptors Guild, and the Artist's Equity Association. De Creeft was represented by the Georgette Passedoit Gallery from 1936 to 1949. Later, he joined The Contemporaries (gallery) and exhibited there until 1966. Kennedy Galleries represented de Creeft from 1970 until his death in 1982.
Related Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds an interview of José De Creeft conducted October 1-8, 1968 by Forrest Selvig and the papers of de Creeft's wife Lorrie Goulet.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reels D150 and 375-378). While most of the items were included in subsequent gifts, material not donated to the Archives remain with the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The José de Creeft papers were first lent for microfilming by the artist in 1963 and 1972. Lorrie Goulet, José de Creeft's widow, donated most of this material along with additional items in 1985 and 2009.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Sculpture, Modern -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Diaries
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Citation:
José de Creeft papers, 1871-2004, bulk 1910s-1980s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.decrjose
See more items in:
José de Creeft papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-decrjose

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