The Robert Richenburg papers, circa 1910s-2008, measure 5.3 linear feet and 4.32 GB. Biographical material, correspondence, subject files, writings, sound and video recordings, printed material, and photographs document the professional career and personal life of the educator and New York School painter and sculptor best known for his Abstract Expressionist paintings.
Scope and Content Note:
The Robert Richenburg papers, circa 1910s-2008, measure 5.3 linear feet and 4.32 GB. Biographical material, correspondence, subject files, writings, audio/visual recordings, printed material, and photographs document the professional career and personal life of the educator and New York School painter and sculptor best known for his Abstract Expressionist paintings.
Biographical material includes educational records from high school through his studies at the Ozenfant School of Fine Arts using G.I. benefits. Birth, marriage,and death certificates are also found, along with Richenburg family memorabilia. There is a digital video recording of Robert Richenburg's memorial service.
Correspondence consists mostly of family letters, including some illustrated letters and many handmade cards featuring original artwork. Condolence letters addressed to Marggy Kerr are from friends, relatives, colleagues, neighbors, and acquaintances.
Subject files contain various combinations of correspondence, printed material, photographs, writings and notes relating to Richenburg's professional career and personal life. They document exhibitions, gallery representation, gifts of art work to museums and individuals, memberships, teaching activities, former students, friendships, and other aspects of his life. Files of significant interest are: The Club, Tina Dicky and Madeline Amgott, Former Students (particularly Raphael Montanez Ortiz), Bonnie L. Grad and Lynne Moulton, Hans Hofmann, Ibram Lassaw, Philip Pavia, Pratt Institute, Hilla Rebay and the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, Tibor De Nagy Gallery, and Veterans Administration.
Writings by Richenburg consist of notes, reviews, artist's statements, and the text of a speech. Also included are quotations compiled over the years by Marggy Kerr of Richenburg's comments on art and life. Among the writings by others are student papers, reviews, and poems.
Sound and visual recordings include interviews with Robert Richenburg, often conducted as research for exhibitions. Videocassettes document events such as panel discussions, and artist gatherings; a few were produced in conjunction with museum exhibitions. Also found are videotapes by video artist Raphael Montanez Ortiz, Richenburg's friend and former student.
Printed material includes items that are specifically about Robert Richenburg as well as items that incidentally mention him. The majority consist of exhibition catalogs and announcements.
Photographs show art work by Richenburg, exhibition openings and other events, and a variety of people and places. Among the events recorded is the "Artists Roundtable on Art of the '50s." Moderated by Dore Ashton, the panel included Herman Cherry, Sidney Geist, Ibram Lassaw, Mercedes Matter, and David Slivka. There are photographs of Richenburg's boyhood home in Roslindale, MA, and his house in Ithaca, NY. He is pictured with others including family members, dealers, and curators. Of particular interest are photographs of Richenburg in Provincetown, MA, 1952-1953, with friends, including: Giorgio Cavallon, Franz Kline, Ibram and Ernestine Lassaw, and Philip and Marcia Pavia. World War II photographs consist of images of art work (not by Richenburg), Richenburg and other individuals taken in France and England; a number include views of Shrivenham American University.
The collection is arranged as 7 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1910s-2006 (Box 1; 0.1 linear ft., ER01; 1.66 GB)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1940-2007 (Box 1; 0.4 linear ft.)
Series 3: Subject Files, 1942-2008 (Boxes 1-3, OV 7; 2.25 linear ft.)
Series 4: Writings, circa 1950-2006 (Box 3; 0.1 linear ft.)
Series 5: Sound and Video Recordings, 1996-2006 (Boxes 3-4; 0.75 linear ft., ER02; 2.66 GB)
Series 6: Printed Material, 1947-2008 (Boxes 4-5; 1.25 linear ft.)
Series 7: Photographs, circa 1923-2006 (Boxes 5-6; 0.45 linear ft.)
Robert Bartlett Richenburg (1917-2006) was a painter and educator in New York City, Ithaca, New York, and East Hampton, New York.
At age 13, Bob Richenburg's artistic talent earned him a place in a daily class for Boston Public School students at the Museum of Fine Arts. Most classes focused on copying; of far greater benefit to the young art student was the opportunity to wander through the museum and look at art nearly every day of his high school career.
Richenburg's father was an architect who also ran a stained glass lampshade business; neither endeavor was profitable, so the family endured very hard times during the Depression. To help support the family, after school and on weekends, Bob delivered ice and coal with an older brother, a job he continued while attending night school courses in liberal arts at Boston University. He studied at George Washington University in Washington, DC, 1937-1939, often working as many as four part-time jobs to cover tuition and living expenses; during summers and school vacations, he returned to Boston to work with his brother. Due to his difficult financial situation, Richenburg's college career ended before he earned a degree.
After learning that the Corcoran School of Art charged no tuition, Richenburg returned to Washington in 1940 to study painting and sculpture. Although uninformed about the art world, he realized that New York was a better place for an aspiring artist. In 1941, he began studying with George Grosz and Reginald Marsh at the Art Students League. On his own, he studied materials and techniques and copied paintings at the Metropolitan Museum Art.
With war looming and the near certainty of being drafted, Robert Richenburg and Libby Chic Peltyn (always called Chic) married in November 1942; two weeks later, he entered the army. Richenburg spent three years in England and France as a combat engineer, transporting explosives and instructing troops in the demolition of mines and booby traps. In England, he managed a photo lab and taught drawing in the fine arts section of Shrivenham American University, a school run by the U. S. Army.
Once discharged, Richenburg returned to New York and took advantage of the G.I. Bill to continue studying painting (and for the subsistence allowance that provided modest support for his family - son Ronald was born in 1947). Richenburg studied at the Ozenfant School, 1947-1949, where he developed a life-long friendship with fellow student Ibram Lassaw.
He continued his art education with Hans Hofmann in New York and Provincetown, 1949-1951. During this period, Richenburg taught drawing, painting, and art history classes sponsored by the Extension Division of City College of New York and held at venues such as Brooklyn's Central YMCA, and branches of the New York Public Library. Richenburg quickly discovered that he liked teaching and enjoyed the students.
In 1951, Richenburg joined the Pratt Institute faculty and taught studio courses at night; soon, he was teaching full time during the day. Richenburg began to achieve recognition as the youngest of the Abstract Expressionists and by the early 1960s his career was well established. Tibor De Nagy Gallery in New York and Dwan Gallery in California represented Richenburg, and a number of paintings were sold to museums and private collectors. As Richenburg experimented with new ideas and materials, his work began changing. He was a popular instructor at Pratt with several promising students who also began experimenting. In 1964, when the unorthodox work of one student in particular caught the attention of Pratt administrators, Richenburg was asked to change his approach to teaching. This roused student protests, and press coverage focused on the specific situation and academic freedom in general. He chose to resign rather than alter his teaching philosophy.
Richenburg secured a position at Cornell University. The confluence of his absence from New York City and the ascendance of Pop Art were damaging, and his career was derailed when De Nagy and Dwan dropped him from their rosters a few years later. After it was clear that he would not secure tenure at Cornell, Richenburg returned to New York in 1967 and began teaching at Hunter College. Daily life in New York was harder than he remembered and, for him, the City had lost its allure.
When offered the chairmanship of the Ithaca College art department, the Richenburgs were delighted to return to tranquil Ithaca, New York. Chic died in 1977, and Bob remained at Ithaca College until retiring in 1983. In addition full-time teaching and handling administrative activities as department chairman, Richenburg made time to work in his studio practically every day. He created a large body of work in a wide variety of media and styles, moving on to new ideas and experiments after exhausting his possibilities or interest.
Beginning in 1949 with a loan exhibition organized by The Museum of Non-Objective Art, Richenburg participated in a wide range of group shows. His first solo exhibition was held in 1953 at the Hendler Gallery, Philadelphia. Over the years, he enjoyed other solo exhibitions at venues such as: David Findlay Jr. Fine Art, Dwan Gallery, Hansa Gallery, Ithaca College Museum of Art, McCormick Gallery, Rose Art Museum (Brandeis University), Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Sidney Mishkin Gallery (Baruch College), and Tibor De Nagy Gallery. In the 1960s and 1970s, Richenburg's work was seldom shown, but from the mid-1980s onward there has been renewed interest.
Richenburg's work is represented in the permanent collections of many museums including Hirshhorn Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art. In addition, his work was acquired by many highly regarded private collectors including Larry Aldrich, Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., Joseph H. Hirshhorn, J. Patrick Lannon, and James A. Michener.
Robert Richenburg and Margaret (Marggy) Kerr, a painter and sculptor living in Ithaca, were married in 1980. Ms. Kerr is known for "brick rugs" made from cut bricks forming designs for site specific sculpture and garden walks. Richenburg became close to his stepfamily of three children, Marggy's grandchildren and her mother. After he retired from Ithaca College, Bob and Marggy moved to Springs in East Hampton, New York.
Although Richenburg suffered from Parkinson's disease during the last six years of his life, he continued to work in his home studio until physically unable to produce art. He died on October 10, 2006.
An oral history interview of Robert Richenburg was conducted by Dorothy Seckler for the Archives of American Art, circa 1968.
Donated in 2008 by Margaret Kerr, widow of Robert Richenburg, on behalf of herself and his son Ronald Richenburg.
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of audiovisual material with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Educators -- New York (State) -- East Hampton Search this
The papers of writer, art critic and collector Bernard Harper Friedman, 1926-2011, bulk 1943-2010, measure 30.6 linear feet. Extensive professional and personal correspondence, 41 diaries, a large number of his published and unpublished writings, and subject files document Friedman's career as a writer, relationships with cultural institutions and art world figures, and his personal life. Also included are biographical materials, interviews, printed material, 5 scrapbooks and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of writer, art critic and collector Bernard Harper Friedman, 1926-2011, bulk 1943-2010, measure 30.6 linear feet. Extensive professional and personal correspondence, 41 diaries, a large number of his published and unpublished writings, and subject files document Friedman's career as a writer, relationships with cultural institutions and art world figures, and his personal life. Also included are biographical materials, interviews, 5 scrapbooks, and photographs.
Biographical materials include educational records, documentation of Friedman's World War II service in the U.S. Navy, and birth, marriage, and death certificates.
Correspondence is with friends, family, artists, art world figures and institutions, writers, publishers, and literary agents. Among the correspondents are: John I. H. Baur, Harry Bertoia, Flora Biddle, Norman Bluhm, James Brooks, Fritz Bultman, Leo Castelli, William N. Copley, Jim Dine, Helen Frankenthaler, Brendan Gill, Robert Goodnough, Cleve and Francine Gray, Howard Kanovitz, Grace Knowlton, Stanley Kunitz, Conrad Marca-Relli, Mercedes Matter, Fred W. McDarrah, Rory McEwen, Robert Motherwell, Arnold Newman, Barnett Newman, Dorothy Norman, Alfonso Ossorio, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Robert Richenburg, Barney Rosset, Philip Roth, Judith Rothschild, Irving Sandler, Salvatore Scarpitta, Jon Schueler, Sidney Simon, David Slivka, Clyfford Still, Myron Stout, Calvin Tompkins, and David Windham.
There are transcripts of interviews with B. H. Friedman, his daughter and wife conducted by the Yale University School of Medicine's "Adult Development Study," and 2 recordings of interviews with Friedman for radio broadcast.
Writings by Friedman include manuscripts of novels, short stories, plays, articles, monographs, and art criticism, some published versions of his work, and a variety of notes. Also found are recordings of lectures by B. H. Friedman and panel discussions in which he participated. Other authors represented are John Cage, W. B. Henry, and Jon Schueler. Friedman's diaries, 1948-1993 (41 volumes) record activities, thoughts, and events.
Subject files compiled by Friedman reflect professional and personal interests, activities, and projects. Many concern publicity for published writings or efforts to find publishers. Especially well documented is his interest in Jackson Pollock, Timothy Leary, and Alfonso Ossorio, and his affiliation with the Whitney Museum of American Art.
The majority of printed material is about or mentions Friedman. Five scrapbooks consist mainly of printed material.
Most photographs are of B. H. and Abby Friedman, their family, and friends. Among the individuals pictured are: Elise Asher, Cary and Norman Bluhm, Sandy Friedman, Joellen Hall, Doug Huebler, Howard Kanowitz, Stanley Kunitz, Lee Krasner, Sheridan Lloyd, Barnett and Annalee Newman, Alfonso Ossorio, Magda Salvesen, Salvatore Scarpitta, John Schueler, and Myron Stout. A photograph album records scenes from a 1979 performance of Whispers, a stage adaptation by Alan Wynroth from Friedman's novel of the same title.
This collection is arranged as 9 series:
Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1926-2011 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1946-2011 (Boxes 1-15; 14.7 linear feet)
Series 3: Interviews, 1969-2001 (Box 15; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 4: Writings, 1940s-2010 (Boxes 16-23; 8 linear feet)
Series 5: Diaries, 1948-1993 (Boxes 24-25; 1.75 linear feet)
Series 6: Subject Files, 1940-2010 (Boxes 25-30; 4.45 linear feet)
Series 7: Printed Material, 1954-2010 (Box 30-31; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 8: Scrapbooks, 1960-2006 (Boxes 30-32; 0.8 lilnear feet)
Series 9: Photographs, circa 1950s-2008 (Box 30; 0.4 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Bernard Harper Friedman (1926-2011), a writer best known as the author of the first biography of Jackson Pollock, was also an art critic and art collector involved in the cultural life of New York City.
Bernard Harper Friedman, known professionally as B. H. Friedman, was called Bob by family and friends. After interrupting his studies at Cornell University to serve in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he graduated in 1948 with a degree in English. Friedman and his new bride, fellow student Abby G. Noselson (1926-2003), returned home to New York City and he began a real estate career in his uncles' firm, Uris Buildings Corporation. While a businessman, Friedman spent much of his spare time writing. He produced fiction, plays, and criticism; Friedman's articles on art, literature and music appeared in a wide variety of periodicals. During this period, Friedman also pursued his interests in jazz, collecting abstract art, and psychedelic drug experiences with Timothy Leary.
His first published novel, Circles, about the Abstract Expressionist milieu, appeared in 1962. A year later, B. H. Friedman became a full-time writer. For nearly 20 years, he divided his time between New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts, where he was affiliated with the Fine Arts Work Center as a director and consultant. During this period, he published several novels and two biographies: Jackson Pollock: Energy Made Visible and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, written with Flora Biddle. More novels and short story collections were published, and staged readings of seven plays were presented between 1987 and 2007. Tripping, a memoir of using psychedlics with Timothy Leary, appeared in 2006.
A founding member of Fiction Collective, a nonprofit publishing group run by and for writers, Friedman was also a member of several national writers' organizations. He served as a trustee of the Whitney Musuem of American Art, 1961-1968, and then as honorary trustee. B. H. Friedman died from complications of pneumonia on January 4, 2011 in New York City.
Also available is an oral history interview with Bernard Harper Friedman, 1972 November 10, conducted by Paul Cummings for the Archives of American Art.
The Bernard Harper Friedman papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2012 by his daughter, Daisy Friedman.
The collection is ACCESS RESTRICTED; written permission is required. Use of original materials requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
The papers of craft expert Rose Slivka, an editor, writer, critic, and educator, measure 20.8 linear feet and date from circa 1947-2006. The papers reflect Slivka's work with associations and universities to encourage the recognition of crafts as an international and broadly defined art form. The routine business of publishing Craft Horizons magazine and the founding and operation of Craft International magazine are documented by correspondence and subject files. Correspondence is mainly professional with some scattered personal letters. Subject files concern various organizations, individuals and events related to Slivka's work and interests. Among the writings are manuscripts, notes, and research materials for her book about Peter Voulkos; also included are shorter writings on a variety of topics, poems, 2 diaries, lectures and talks. There are many interviews with craftspeople and artists conducted by Slivka and others, some undertaken as research for articles. Photographs include views of Slivka, craftspeople she observed when traveling abroad, and artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of craft expert Rose Slivka, an editor, writer, critic, and educator, measure 20.8 linear feet and date from circa 1947-2006. The papers reflect Slivka's work with associations and universities to encourage the recognition of crafts as an international and broadly defined art form. The routine business of publishing Craft Horizons magazine and the founding and operation of Craft International magazine are documented by correspondence and subject files. Correspondence is mainly professional with some scattered personal letters. Subject files concern various organizations, individuals and events related to Slivka's work and interests. Among the writings are manuscripts, notes, and research materials for her book about Peter Voulkos; also included are shorter writings on a variety of topics, poems, 2 diaries, lectures and talks. There are many interviews with craftspeople and artists conducted by Slivka and others, some undertaken as research for articles. Photographs include artwork, views of Slivka, and craftspeople she observed when traveling abroad.
Interviews with craftsmen and other artists were conducted by Rose Slivka and others. Peter Voulkos is espcially well-documented. Among the artists interviewed are: Elaine de Kooning, Philip Guston, Jack Lenor Larsen, Louise Nevelson, and David Slivka. Also found are intereviews with John Cage, Stanley Kunitz, and Rose Slivka.
The collection is arranged as 7 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1947-2005 ( Box 1; 0.6 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1950-2004 (Boxes 1-4: 3.6 linear feet)
Series 3: Interviews, 1974-2001 (Boxes 5-6; 1.6 linear feet)
Series 4: Writings, Notes, and Related Research, 1954-2001 (Boxes 6-11, OV 23; 4.8 linear feet)
Series 5: Subject Files, 1958-2004 (Boxes 11-18, 22, OV 23; 7.4 linear feet)
Series 6: Printed Material, 1952-2006 (Boxes 18-20, OV 23; 1.9 linear feet)
Series 7: Photographs, circa 1947-1990s (Boxes 20-21; 1 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Crafts expert Rose Slivka (1919-2004) was an editor, educator, and critic in New York City and East Hampton, NY. Slivka edited Craft Horizons magazine from 1957-1979, and then founded Crafts International, which published its first issue in 1980.
Rose Slivka was very active in the American Crafts Council and World Crafts Council, and promoted crafts by participating in conferences around the world, acting as a juror of competitions, writing, and teaching. The author of books and articles about crafts, including the entry on "Handicrafts" in the 1961 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica, Slivka was tireless in her search for information pertaining to crafts of all nations. Her study of the subject was integrated into a strong, far-reaching campaign to include sculpture as a craft and promote crafts on a par with fine art. She was also interested in poetry and taught courses in art criticism at New York University and the New School for Social Research.
Many of Slivka's articles on craft, painting and sculpture have been published in periodicals such as Art in America, Architectural Digest, and The New York Times. Books and exhibition catalogs include The Crafts of the Modern World (1964); The Object as Poet (1976), Renwick Gallery, Washington, DC; Peter Voulkos: A Dialogue in Clay (1978); California Clay (1979), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and The Book as Art and Artist (1979), Elaine Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY. Slivka's writings have been translated into at least 7 languages.
Slivka was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Critics Fellowship in 1976 and between 1980 and 1982 conducted a research project on "Criticism and Scholarship in Modern Craft" also sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. She was awarded The Rhode Island School of Design President's Fellows Award in 1982, and its highest honor, the Athena Medal. In addition, she served on the boards of directors for several New York City organizations including Clayworks Studio Workshop, New York Experimental Glassworks, and Center for Book Arts.
Following her career as a magazine editor, international speaker on crafts, writer, and educator, Slivka moved to East Hampton, Long Island, where she continued to write poetry and was art critic for The East Hampton Star newspaper.
Rose Slivka's was married to sculptor David Slivka; the couple had 2 children and eventually divorced. She died of heart failure in Southampton, NY, on September 2, 2004.
The Rose Slivka papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Slivka's daughter, Charlotte Slivka, in 2008 and 2012.
Use of original materials requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington D.C. research center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
A two part panel discussion on sculpture (6 7" tapes), partially transcribed on 141 pages. Participants are Peter Agostini, Will Barnet, Elaine De Kooning, Herbert Ferber, John Ferren, Donald Judd, Frederick Kiesler, Ibram Lassaw, Robert Mallary, Nicholas Marsicano, Louise Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi, Claes Oldenburg, Philip Pavia (organizer), Ad Reinhardt, Rachel Rosenthal, Sal Schwartz, George Segal, David Slivka, and James Wines.
Biographical / Historical:
The Waldorf Panel on Sculpture was organized by Philip Pavia, who chose the name in homage to the informal artists' discussions held at the Waldorf Cafeteria on 6th St. in the early to mid 1940s, and which later formed the nucleus to the artists' group known as the Club.
Use of original recordings requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.