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Karl Zerbe papers, 1928-1996

Creator:
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Subject:
Kolowrat, Ernest  Search this
Type:
Moving images
Video recordings
Topic:
Expressionism (Art)  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)15866
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)294687
AAA_collcode_zerbkarl
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_294687
Online Media:

Oral history interview with John Wilson

Interviewee:
Wilson, John, 1922-2015  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Boston University. School of Fine and Applied Arts  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School  Search this
Aronson, David, 1923-2015  Search this
Bengtz, Ture, 1907-1973  Search this
Gaither, Edmund B.  Search this
Hurwitz, Sidney, 1932-  Search this
Kay, Reed  Search this
Kramer, Jack  Search this
Lewis, Elma  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Siqueiros, David Alfaro  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Extent:
497 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1993 March 11-1994 August 16
Scope and Contents:
An interview of John Woodrow Wilson conducted 1993 March-1994 August, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Wilson discusses his childhood as a member of a family of middle class blacks from British Guiana (now Guyana); his father's grave disappointments in the face of racial discrimination; his parents' push for their children to succeed; early urge to read and draw; encouragement by School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston students who taught at the Roxbury Boys Club; his secondary education; and friends.
He talks about his education at the MFA School, Boston, and comments on such teachers as Ture Bengtz and Karl Zerbe and compares their exacting methods with those of Fernand Leger, his teacher in Paris.
His work of the 1940s prior to going to Paris; the importance of early awards and sales received while still a student at the MFA School; the excitement of sharing a studio with fellow students, Francesco Carbone and Leo Prince; and encouragement to stay in school during WW II with the promise of a European study fellowship after the war.
The great impact of his years in Paris (1948-49); the lack of racial prejudice; the liberating effect of Leger's teaching; his awe of the work of Masaccio and Piero della Francesca during a trip to Italy; and the deep impression made on him by seeing tribal art in the Musee de l'Homme, Paris.
Continued discussion of Leger; his teaching methods; and influences on his work.
His first teaching position at the MFA School; his involvement in civil rights in Boston; his gregariousness and the use of his studio as a meeting place for artists and political activists; his involvement with socialism in Boston and New York; and working in a socialist children's camp. He remembers meeting Paul Robeson, Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett, and Bob Blackburn, who was then setting up his printmaking atelier in New York; marriage to a fellow socialist (June 1950); move to Mexico on a fellowship to study with Jose Orozco on the advice of Leger, only to find that Orozco had died; terrors of travel as an interracial couple through the U.S.; and different racial attitudes in Mexico and the U.S.
Living in Mexico (1950-56) and anecdotes of David Alfaro Siqueiros and Diego Rivera; his wife's meeting with Frieda Kahlo and seeing her collection of folk art; their free and cosmopolitan, if impoverished, life in Mexico; his work in a printmaking atelier and on the production of frescoes, and a lengthy aside about his brilliant brother, Freddie, who because he was black was not allowed to pursue his first love, geology, for many years.
Continued discussion of his experiences in Mexico; the dreary year (1957) he spent doing commercial art for a meatpackers' union in Chicago, a city he disliked; his move to New York in 1958, taking on commercial work to support his family, and teaching anatomy at the Pratt Institute.
Teaching art at a junior high school in the Bronx, and his gaining respect of students through special projects; teaching drawing at Boston University (1965-86), his approach to teaching including his demanding standards, the seriousness of the students, his opposing rigid attendance and grading rules, and colleagues, such as David Aronson who had created the School, Reed Kay, Jack Kramer, Sidney Hurwitz, and the University president, John Silber.
Working with the black arts entrepreneur, Elma Lewis, in setting up a visual arts program for the Boston black community (late 1960s-1970s), including the selection of a curator, Edmund Barry Gaither, a young art historian, who eventually established a museum of African-American art; his participation in various black art exhibitions, despite his belief that art should be seen regardless of the ethnic origins of artists; his move toward sculpture, beginning in the early 1960s, as a medium most expressive of black persons, culminating in the 1980s in a series of colossal heads and a statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. for the U.S. Capitol (1985-86); and why he makes art and will so long as he is able.
Biographical / Historical:
John Wilson (1922- ) is an African American painter, sculptor, illustrator, printmaker, and educator from Boston, Massachusetts. Full name John Woodrow Wilson.
General:
Originally recorded on 11 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 22 digital wav files. Duration is 16 hr., 2 min.
Uneven transcription reflects Wilson's unusual speech pattern.
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. Funding for the transcription and microfilming of the interview provided by the Newland Foundation.
Topic:
African American artists -- Interviews  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- Mexico  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- France -- Paris  Search this
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Printmakers -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Art teachers -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
African American artists as teachers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.wilson93
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-wilson93

Oral history interview with Charles H. Sawyer

Interviewee:
Sawyer, Charles Henry, 1906-2005  Search this
Interviewer:
Ehrlich, Heyward  Search this
Creator:
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Cook, Howard Norton, 1901-1980  Search this
Curry, John Steuart, 1897-1946  Search this
Gibbs, Howard Manning, 1904-1970  Search this
Knaths, Karl, 1891-1971  Search this
Levine, Jack, 1915-2010  Search this
Taylor, Francis Henry, 1903-1957  Search this
Waters, Herbert  Search this
Woodworth, Hail  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Extent:
14 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1964
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Charles Henry Sawyer conducted in 1964, by Heyward Ehrlich, for the Archives of American Art.
Sawyer speaks of how he first got involved in art after being offered a job teaching art and operating a museum in Andover by a family friend; how he became involved with the Federal Art Project; the early stages of the Project, and the difficulties they encountered, including the primary motivation of the Project, deciding where the work was to be assigned, and other administrative problems; the changes that occurred as the Federal Arts Project developed; the artists involved with the Project, such as Karl Knaths and Jack Levine; the shows that were put on by the Project; the end of the Federal Art Project; and his thoughts on the project in retrospect. Sawyer recalls Francis Taylor, Karl Knaths, Jack Levine, Howard Gibbs, John Stuart Curry, Herbert Waters, Karl Zerbe, Howard Cook, Hail Woodworth, and many others.
Biographical / Historical:
Charles Henry Sawyer (1906-2005) was a museum director in Ann Arbor, Mich.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 1 digital wav file. Duration is 1 hr., 3 min.
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 is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Museum directors -- Michigan -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.sawyer64
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-sawyer64

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. School -- 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.
Topic:
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

Oral history interview with Edith Gregor Halpert

Interviewee:
Halpert, Edith Gregor, 1900-1970  Search this
Interviewer:
Phillips, Harlan B. (Harlan Buddington), 1920-  Search this
Names:
C.W. Kraushaar Art Galleries  Search this
Daniel Gallery  Search this
Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Ferargil Galleries  Search this
Grand Central Art Galleries  Search this
M. Knoedler & Co.  Search this
Montross Gallery  Search this
New Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Bacon, Peggy, 1895-1987  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Barrie, Erwin S., 1886-1983  Search this
Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889-1975  Search this
Brackman, Robert, 1898-  Search this
Bridgman, George Brant, 1864-1943  Search this
Brixey, Richard de Wolfe  Search this
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Cary, Elisabeth Luther, 1867-1936  Search this
Chase, William Merritt, 1849-1916  Search this
Coleman, Glenn O., 1887-1932  Search this
Crowninshield, Frank, 1872-1947  Search this
Daniel, Charles, 1878-1971  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
Demuth, Charles, 1883-1935  Search this
Deskey, Donald, 1894-  Search this
Dove, Arthur Garfield, 1880-1946  Search this
Dudensing, F. Valentine, 1892-1967  Search this
Fergusson, John Duncan, 1874-1961  Search this
Field, Hamilton Easter  Search this
Force, Juliana, 1876-1948  Search this
Ford, Ford Madox,, 1873-1939  Search this
Frost, Robert, 1874-1963  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-1983  Search this
Goodyear, A. Conger (Anson Conger), 1877-1964  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Halpert, Samuel, 1884-1930  Search this
Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943  Search this
Hirsch, Stefan, 1899-1964  Search this
Hopkinson, Charles, 1869-1962  Search this
Hopper, Edward, 1882-1967  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Knox, Seymour H., 1898-1990  Search this
Kroll, Leon, 1884-1974  Search this
Kuhn, Walt, 1877-1949  Search this
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Laurent, Robert, 1890-1970  Search this
Lawrence, Jacob, 1917-2000  Search this
Levine, Jack, 1915-2010  Search this
Levy, Julien  Search this
Locke, Charles, 1899-  Search this
Luks, George Benjamin, 1867-1933  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Marin, John, Jr., 1915?-1988  Search this
McBride, Henry, 1867-1962  Search this
Mellon, Paul  Search this
Mercer, Henry Chapman  Search this
Montross, N. E. (Newman E), 1849-1932  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia, 1887-1986  Search this
Pascin, Jules, 1885-1930  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Pound, Ezra, 1885-1972  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Robinson, Edward G., 1893-1973  Search this
Rockefeller, Abby Aldrich  Search this
Saarinen, Aline B. (Aline Bernstein), 1914-1972  Search this
Saklatwalla, Beram K.  Search this
Sandburg, Carl, 1878-1967  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Siporin, Mitchell, 1910-1976  Search this
Soutine, Chaim, 1893-1943  Search this
Steichen, Edward, 1879-1973  Search this
Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946  Search this
Stella, Frank  Search this
Stern, Louis E., 1886-1962  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Tannahill, Robert Hudson  Search this
Vollard, Ambroise, 1867-1939  Search this
Weber, Max, 1881-1961  Search this
Whitney, Gertrude Vanderbilt, 1875-1942  Search this
Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963  Search this
Wittenberg, Philip, 1895-1987  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Zorach, Marguerite, 1887-1968  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
436 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Date:
1962-1963
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Edith Halpert conducted 1962-1963, by Harlan Phillips, for the Archives of American Art.
Halpert speaks of her childhood in Russia and growing up in New York City; working at Bloomindale's, Macy's, Stern Brothers, and Cohen Goldman; her marriage to artist Sam Halpert, his health, and living in Paris in 1925; becoming an art student at the Academy of Design and feeling that Leon Kroll was an excellent art teacher until he began to correct her drawings; when George Bridgman thought she was ruining his class; the Lincoln Square Arcade, when she and Ernest Fiener and Robert Brackman would rent Conan's studio evenings and bring in instructors; how Newman Montross influenced her more than anybody about showing her art that she loved; burning all of her work because Kroll said she had no talent; receiving a painting from John Marin; her friendship and working relationship with Abby Rockefeller and other family members.
She recalls opening the Downtown Gallery, in Greenwich Village, in 1926; a brief history of modern art; many artists helping decorate the new Daylight Gallery in 1930 and the first show being called "Practical Manifestations of Art"; meeting Robert and Sonia Delaunay in France; when she refused to allow Ezra Pound to speak at one of the gallery lectures because of his anti-Semite remarks and William Carlos Williams and Ford Madox Ford argued with her over it; experiencing jealousy and professional attacks from other dealers; the successful "Pop" Hart show and book in 1929; the "Thirty-three Moderns" show in 1930 at the Grand Central Galleries; the Jules Pascin show in 1930; in America, most of the art buyers supporters of culture were women, until the WPA and World War II, when it became fashionable for men to be involved; Ambroise Vollard's advice on selling art; handling the frustrations of working in the art field; friendships with Stuart Davis,Charles Sheeler, and Ben Shahn; how artists work through dry periods in their creativity and the "Recurrent Image" show; a discussion on modern art galleries of New York City, such as Daniel, Knoedler, Ferargil, the New Gallery, 291, the Grand Central, Kraushaar, and Montross; her travels through Pennsylvania and Maine for good examples of folk art for the gallery; the "The Artist Looks at Music" show; the non-competitive spirit of the early modern American artists; of being saved financially in 1940 by selling a William Harnett painting to the Boston Museum and then renting new space for the gallery.
Also, Mitchell Siporin bringing Halpert and Edmund Gurry to Mitchell Field during World War II for a camouflage show and consequently Downtown Gallery artists and others were enlisted in the camouflage corps for the U.S. Air Force; Charles Sheeler and his wife find Halpert a house in Newtown, Conn.; her decision in 1933 to push folk art for acquisition by the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri; her great concern about what to do with her folk art literature collection; dismay and that no one writes about the history of folk art and those responsible for its creation and popularity; Louis Stern hiring her to organize a municipal exhibit in Atlantic City, N.J., with Donald Deskey designing the furniture and Holger Cahill managing the publicity; Joe Lillie helping her meet Fiorello La Guardia and Joe McGoldrick in 1934 about a municipal show in New York City, but it is moved to Radio City Music Hall through Nelson Rockefeller; the "Salons of America" show; wanting articles written about art for love rather than art for investment; working with Aline Saarinen on her book, "Proud Possessors;" letters from Stuart Davis, William Zorach and others that hurt her feelings; enjoying giving educational lectures and considering retirement because of ill health; the desire to write a book on the history of trade signs in folk art; feeling that the young artists are being ruined by too much support without working for it; planning to write a book entitled, "Unsung Heroes," about artists brave enough to experiment; organizing a show in Russia at her own expense; later representing the U.S. in art at the "American National Exposition"; the agitators and success of the exposition; Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe.
Halpert also recalls Juliana Force, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Buckminster Fuller, George Luks, Edsel Ford, Max Weber, Danny Diefenbacker, Hamilton Easter Field, Frank Stella, Glenn Coleman, Margaret Zorach, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Henry Mercer, Romany Marie, Edward G. Robinson, Paul Mellon, Charles Pollet, Alex Brook, Lunca Curass, Dorothy Lambert, Duncan Candler, Frank Rhen, Louis Rittman, Bea Goldsmith, Arthur Craven, Robert Frost, Philip Wittenberg, Caesar de Hoke, Richard deWolfe Brixey, Seymour Knox, Walt Kuhn, Elisabeth Luther Cary, Charles Locke, Duncan Fergusson, Mrs. Solomon Guggenheim, Bob Tannahill, David Thompson, Marsden Hartley, Erwin Barrie, Robert Laurent, Conger Goodyear, Henry McBride, Edward Hopper, Charles Daniel, William Merritt Chase, Charles Hopkinson, Thomas Hart Benton, Frank Crowninshield, Alfred Barr, Lord Duveen, Jacob Lawrence, John Marin Jr., Karl Zerbe, Franz Kline, Arthur Dove, Julian Levy, Jack Levine, Valentine Dudensing, Peggy Bacon, Stefan Hirsch, Gertrude Stein, Isamu Noguchi, Jasper Johns, Chaim Soutine, B. K. Saklatwalla; Fernand Leger, Pablo Picasso, Ben Shahn, Charles Demuth, Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock, Edward Steichen, Carl Sandburg, Clement Greenberg, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Edith Halpert (1900-1970) was an art dealer from New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 7 tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 27 digital wav files. Duration is 32 hrs., 27 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others. The transcript was microfilmed in 1996.
Topic:
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Camouflage  Search this
Folk art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York
Identifier:
AAA.halper62
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-halper62

Oral history interview with Ralph Coburn

Interviewee:
Coburn, Ralph, 1923-  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Boris Mirski Gallery (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- Students  Search this
Kelly, Ellsworth, 1923-  Search this
Nelson, Carl Gustaf, 1898-1988  Search this
Netsch, Walter  Search this
Plaut, James S. (James Sachs), 1912-1996  Search this
Polonsky, Arthur  Search this
Saltonstall, Nathaniel, 1903-1968  Search this
Swetzoff, Hyman Wulf, 1920-1968  Search this
Wilson, John, 1922-2015  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Extent:
48 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
1995 May 25-June 23
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Ralph Coburn conducted 1995 May 25 and 1995 June 23, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art, in Coburn's home, Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Coburn talks about his parents and his childhood in Miami Beach, Florida; his early schooling; and entering Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in 1941, in its 5-year architecture program. He recalls Walter Netsch, a classmate at MIT, who later became a partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, who introduced Coburn to modern design and to avant-garde music. He also recalls the painter and head of painting at the Museum of Fine Arts School, Karl Zerbe, his teacher in the course of his work for advanced MIT architecture students. He talks about his return to Florida as a draftsman for an aircraft equipment company in Miami, outfitting planes for the African campaign, and his foreman, a son of Al Capone; then returning to Massachusetts to work with an electrical company making secret military components.
Coburn discusses returning to and dropping out of MIT; working at the Institute of Modern Art in Boston through Hyman Swetzoff; following Swetzoff to the Boris Mirski Gallery; studying at Mirski's art school with Esther Geller and John Wilson and friends made at the school, including Ellsworth Kelly, Arthur Polonsky, and Reed Kaye. He recalls Carl Nelson, one of his teachers. He talks about the change in atmosphere at the Institute with the replacement of Thomas Metcalf by James Plaut and Nathaniel Saltonstall who changed the Institute's name to Institute of Contemporary Art and the protest surrounding the name change.
Biographical / Historical:
Ralph Coburn (1923- ) is an architect, painter, and designer currently living in Gloucester, Massahusetts.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 36 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:
Architects -- Massachusetts  Search this
Topic:
Architecture -- Study and teaching  Search this
Designers -- Massachusetts -- Gloucester -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Gloucester -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.coburn95
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-coburn95

Oral history interview with Bernard Chaet

Interviewee:
Chaet, Bernard  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Boris Mirski Gallery (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Yale University. School of Art and Architecture  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Extent:
5 Items (sound files (3 hrs., 30 min.), digital, wav file)
92 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1997 June 18-August 15
Scope and Contents:
An interview with Bernard Chaet conducted 1997 June 18-August 15, by Robert Brown, for the Archives of American Art, at Chaet's home in Rockport, Massachusetts.
Chaet briefly speaks of his life growing up in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston and his family, in particular his father, before segueing into his early beginnings as an artist and his acceptance into the School of the Museum of Fine Arts; he discusses his training there, as well as the three-year interim after he quit and before he completed his education at Tufts University when he worked alone; he refers to his teacher and the head of the Department of Painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Karl Zerbe, often, including his falling out with Zerbe, citing this as the reason his quit the school; he recalls his relationship with Boston art gallery owner Boris Mirski, who supported him from an early stage and sent him to Europe when he was young, the evolution of his relationship with Mirski, and the reason for their eventual falling out; Chaet describes his trip to Europe, where he traveled for several months with friends, at length, including the art museums and the suffering he witnessed in Italy and Spain, as well as accidentally meeting Picasso in Antibes, and the influence the trip had on his work; he recalls how he became an art teacher, how he was hired by Josef Albers at Yale, his tenure at Yale, some of the students there, including Chuck Close, Nancy Graves, and Richard Serra, as well as the internal politics and his accomplishments; he discusses his own evolution as an artist, including his use of watercolors, as well as his return to certain themes, such as his painting of cows (and how, more generally, artists do return to themes throughout their lives), and the balance between teaching and being an artist; Chaet mentions the beginnings of Artists Equity and Cold War politics. Chaet also recalls his wife, the artist Ninon Lacey, his former roommate, the artist David Aronson, and art world figures: Hyman Swetzoff, Edith Halpert, Dorothy Adlow, Charles Sawyer, Jackson Pollock, Pablo Picasso, Hyman Bloom, Willem de Kooning, Rico Lebrun, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Bernard Chaet (1924-2012) was a painter and teacher from New Haven, Connecticut and Rockport, Massachusetts.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 29 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.
Restrictions:
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire audio recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Topic:
Painters -- Connecticut -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Art teachers -- Connecticut -- New Haven -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.chaet97
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-chaet97

Karl Zerbe papers

Creator:
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Names:
Kolowrat, Ernest  Search this
Extent:
6.5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Moving images
Video recordings
Date:
1928-1996
Summary:
The papers of German American painter and educator Karl Zerbe measure 5.1 linear feet and date from 1928 to 1996. The papers document Zerbe's career through biographical material, writings and journals, art gallery records, financial records, printed material, photographs, documentary film materials, and home movies.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of German American painter and educator Karl Zerbe measure 5.1 linear feet and date from 1928 to 1996. The papers document Zerbe's career through biographical material, writings and journals, art gallery records, financial records, printed material, photographs, documentary film materials, and home movies.

The collection consists of papers related to Zerbe's estate, exhibitions, and associations, along with ephemera such as address books and awards; daily journals used by both Zerbe and his wife, Marion; biographical essays written about Zerbe, and some painting descriptions. Also included are papers related to the various galleries Zerbe dealt with such as the Downtown Gallery, Foster Harmon Gallery, Nordness Gallery, and Robert C. Vose Gallery. Financial records include cash books, receipts, invoices, and papers related to loans of art work. Printed material consists of mostly exhibition-related documentation, but also includes articles and clippings that cover a variety of art topics, a leaflet on modern art distributed by the Institute of Contemporary Art in 1948, artist cards, and auction lists. Images depict Zerbe's personal life, studio, artwork, and encaustic painting technique.

This collection also contains 2.4 linear feet of moving image material. Included are home movies and travel films, as well as videocassettes containing raw footage, rough cuts, and the final version of "Expressions of Life," a one hour documentary for television on the life and work of Karl Zerbe. Documentation on this project also includes interview transcripts with Zerbe and others, a production script, and production notes. The documentary was written by Ernest Kolowrat, 1986, Peter J. Barton Productions.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as 8 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1944-1991 (0.8 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1940-1994 (7 folders; Box 1)

Series 3: Writings, 1938-1974 (9 folders; Box 1-2)

Series 4: Gallery Files, 1939-1996 (0.8 linear feet; Box 2)

Series 5: Financial Records, 1942-1979 (7 folders; Box 2-3)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1941-1986 (0.8 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 7: Photographs, 1928-1972 (1 linear foot; Box 3-4, OV 6)

Series 8: Moving Images, 1954-2002 (2.4 linear feet; Box 4-5, FC 7-20)
Biographical / Historical:
Karl Zerbe (1903-1972) was a German American expressionist painter and art educator in Boston, Massachusetts and Tallahassee, Florida.

Born in Berlin, Zerbe split his childhood between France and Germany until 1920 when he began working in an architect's office. At that time, Zerbe began studying at the Debschitz Art School in Munich, and then at the Munich Academy of Art. In 1922, Zerbe had his first one-man show at the Gurlitt Gallery in Berlin. With assistance from the city of Munich, he then studied in Italy for three years. During this time, he consistently displayed his work in group and solo exhibitions throughout Europe. His art was first shown in the United States at the Golz Gallery in New York in 1933, and Zerbe moved to Boston not long after. He worked for seventeen years in Boston including time as head of the Department of Painting in the Boston Museum School. After Boston, Zerbe, along with his wife, Marion, and daughter, Maria, moved to Florida where he took the position of head of the Department of Painting at Florida State University at Tallahassee.

Zerbe received honors for his life-long dedication and contribution to art by the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Carnegie Institute, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Tallahassee Area Chamber of Commerce, and the state of Florida.
Provenance:
This collection was donated by Karl Zerbe's daughter, Maria Zerbe Norton, in 2010.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.

Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
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:
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Educators -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Painters -- Florida -- Tallahassee  Search this
Educators -- Florida -- Tallahassee  Search this
Topic:
Expressionism (Art)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Moving images
Video recordings
Citation:
Karl Zerbe papers, 1928-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.zerbkarl
See more items in:
Karl Zerbe papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-zerbkarl

Karl Zerbe Portrait

Collection Creator:
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Container:
Oversize 6
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs [31027000861621]
Date:
circa 1960s
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.

Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Karl Zerbe papers, 1928-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Karl Zerbe papers
Karl Zerbe papers / Series 7: Photographs
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-zerbkarl-ref112

Rough Edits

Collection Creator:
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Extent:
1 videocassettes (betacam)
Container:
Box 4, Folder 22
Type:
Archival materials
Moving Images [31027000861639]
Videocassettes (betacam)
Date:
circa 1988
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.

Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Karl Zerbe papers, 1928-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Karl Zerbe papers
Karl Zerbe papers / Series 8: Moving Images / Expressions of Life (1989)
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-zerbkarl-ref74

Rough Edits

Collection Creator:
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Extent:
4 videocassettes (betacam)
Container:
Box 5, Folder 1-4
Type:
Archival materials
Moving Images [31027000861670]
Videocassettes (betacam)
Date:
circa 1988
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.

Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Karl Zerbe papers, 1928-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Karl Zerbe papers
Karl Zerbe papers / Series 8: Moving Images / Expressions of Life (1989)
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-zerbkarl-ref75

Jenson and Harmon, Raw Footage

Collection Creator:
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Extent:
1 videocassettes (betacam)
Container:
Box 5, Folder 5
Type:
Archival materials
Moving Images [31027000861670]
Videocassettes (betacam)
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.

Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Karl Zerbe papers, 1928-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Karl Zerbe papers
Karl Zerbe papers / Series 8: Moving Images / Expressions of Life (1989)
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-zerbkarl-ref76

Good Morning Mr. Hitler; Shock of the New

Collection Creator:
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Extent:
1 videocassettes (betacam)
Container:
Box 5, Folder 22
Type:
Archival materials
Moving Images [31027000861670]
Videocassettes (betacam)
Date:
circa 1990s
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.

Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Karl Zerbe papers, 1928-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Karl Zerbe papers
Karl Zerbe papers / Series 8: Moving Images / Other Moving Images
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-zerbkarl-ref91

CBS Sunday Morning: "What's Neue?: Neue Gallerie"

Collection Creator:
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Extent:
1 videocassettes (vhs)
Container:
Box 5, Folder 23
Type:
Archival materials
Moving Images [31027000861670]
Videocassettes (vhs)
Date:
2002
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.

Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Karl Zerbe papers, 1928-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Karl Zerbe papers
Karl Zerbe papers / Series 8: Moving Images / Other Moving Images
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-zerbkarl-ref92

"Encaustic" (1957)

Collection Creator:
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Extent:
1 videocassettes (vhs)
Container:
Box 5, Folder 24
Type:
Archival materials
Moving Images [31027000861670]
Videocassettes (vhs)
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.

Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Karl Zerbe papers, 1928-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Karl Zerbe papers
Karl Zerbe papers / Series 8: Moving Images / Other Moving Images
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-zerbkarl-ref93

New York Artists Equity Association records

Creator:
New York Artists Equity Association  Search this
Names:
Art Bank (U.S.)  Search this
Artists Welfare Fund  Search this
Broome Street Gallery  Search this
Avery, Frances  Search this
Babin, Angela  Search this
Berger, Ted  Search this
Bibro, Denise  Search this
Bolotsky, Marvin  Search this
Brodski, Judith  Search this
Carswell, Mary  Search this
Cohen, Jean  Search this
Concholar, Dan, 1939-  Search this
Diener, Bert  Search this
Doug, Ashford  Search this
Facci, Domenico, 1916-1994  Search this
Fiene, Ernest, 1894-  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Fuller, Sue (1914-2006)  Search this
Gillespie, Dorothy, 1920-  Search this
Golub, Leon, 1922-2004  Search this
Goulet, Lorrie, 1925-  Search this
Gross, Chaim, 1904-1991  Search this
Gussow, Alan, 1931-  Search this
Gussow, Roy, 1918-2011  Search this
Hall, Nan  Search this
Hasen, Burt  Search this
Hayter, Stanley William, 1901-1988  Search this
Karp, Ivan C., 1926-2012  Search this
Kertess, Klaus  Search this
Knight, Gwendolyn  Search this
Kotik, Charlotte  Search this
Kramer, Hilton  Search this
Kroll, Leon, 1884-1974  Search this
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Laufman, Sidney, 1891-  Search this
Lawrence, Jacob, 1917-2000  Search this
Lipsky, Eleanor  Search this
Mandel, Howard, 1917-1999  Search this
Marinoff, Elaine  Search this
Marxer, Donna, 1934-  Search this
Millman, Edward, 1907-1964  Search this
Morris, George L. K., 1905-1975  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Newman, Arnold, 1918-2006  Search this
Newman, Elias, 1903-  Search this
O'Hanlon, Richard E., 1906-1985 (Richard Emmett)  Search this
Phillips, Helen, 1913-  Search this
Phillips, Renée  Search this
Poroner, Palmer  Search this
Reeves, Ruth, 1892-1966  Search this
Refregier, Anton, 1905-  Search this
Rothschild, Lincoln, 1902-  Search this
Sandler, Irving, 1925-  Search this
Searles, Charles Robert, 1937-2004  Search this
Simon, Sidney, 1917-1997  Search this
Sloan, John, 1871-1951  Search this
Smart, Bill  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Steinbaum, Bernice  Search this
Stirton, Laura  Search this
Teller, Susan  Search this
Walker, Hudson D. (Hudson Dean), 1907-1976  Search this
Waterson, Harry  Search this
Wayne, June, 1918-2011  Search this
Winters, Denny Sonke, 1907-1985  Search this
Zaleski, Jean  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
deLisser, Carolyn  Search this
Extent:
26.8 Linear feet
2.99 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Photographs
Video recordings
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Date:
1920-2012
Summary:
The records of the New York Artists Equity Association (NYAEA) measure 26.8 linear feet and 2.99 Gb and date from 1920-2012. The records include history and founding documents, presidents' files, board of directors' files that include monthly board meeting minutes, committee files and annual membership meeting minutes, general administrative and correspondence files, financial and legal files, event and program files, artists and subject files, extensive individual membership files, art project and exhibition files, Broome Street Gallery files, NYAEA publications that include issues of The Artists Proof, printed and digital materials, four scrapbooks, sketches created by artists attending a party in honor of Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and photographs of member artists and events.
Scope and Contents:
The records of the New York Artists Equity Association (NYAEA) measure 26.8 linear feet and 2.99 GB and date from 1920-2012. The records include history and founding documents, presidents' files, board of directors' files that include monthly board meeting minutes, committee files and annual membership meeting minutes, general administrative and correspondence files, financial and legal files, event and program files, artists and subject files, extensive individual membership files, art project and exhibition files, Broome Street Gallery files, NYAEA publications that include issues of The Artists Proof, printed and digital materials, four scrapbooks, sketches created by artists attending a party in honor of Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and photographs of member artists and events. The President's files appear to be complete and include files for presidents Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Louise Nevelson, Harry Waterson, Roy Gussow, Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence, Karl Zerbe, Ernst Fiene, Sidney Laufman, Carolyn deLisser, Burt Hasen, and Bert Diener, among others. Committee files and meeting minutes are found, as well as general administrative and correspondence files which include information pertaining to the national level Association.

Event files include documentation of the Association's Art Thursday series, where they hosted talks and panels by artists. Artists referenced in these files include Jean Cohen, Charles Searles, Leon Golub, Doug Ashford, Bruno Palmer-Poroner, Dom Facci, Susan Teller, Eleanor Lipsky, Ted Berger, Hilton Kramer, Bernice Steinbaum, Laura Stirton, Jean Zaleski, Renee Philips, Denise Bibro, Dan Concholar, Irving Sandler, Angela Babin, Dorothy Gillespe, Donna Marxer, Nan Hall, Ivan Karp, Alan Gussow, Mary Carswell, Bill Smart, Charlotte Kotik, Klaus Kertess, Elaine Marinoff, and Judith Brodski. Additional events covered in this series include the annual awards dinner, masquerade balls, lectures, the Association's 55th Anniversary event, which includes recollections by Helen Frankenthaler, Sidney Simon, and Lorrie Goulet, as well as other events and programs. Videocassette and sound recordings of many of the events are found here.

Artists' and subject files contain mostly printed materials about a few artists and subjects or issues in which the Association was interested.

There are extensive files on individual members that include card files, applications, biographies, and clippings.

Project and exhibition files include material pertaining to the Artists Welfare Fund, the Art Bank artwork donation, and a few scattered exhibitions. Additional exhibition and event files are found in the series containing the Broome Street Gallery files.

Association publications consist of what appears to be a full run of Association newsletters and reports. The NYAEA newsletter changed its name to The Artists Proof in 1986. Additional printed materials include exhibition catalogs and announcements, programs, clippings, posters, and newsletters of other arts organizations. There are four scrapbooks (two unbound) that contain printed materials, and a few items of correspondence. One of the scrapbooks documents the annual "Bal Fantastique".

Artwork consists mostly of sketches and drawings by artists attending a 1948 dinner in honor of Yasuo Kuniyoshi. Photographs are of members and events. Photographers include Arnold Newman, Marvin Bolotsky, and Frances Avery, among others. Numerous notable artists are depicted in the images.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into sixteen series.

Series 1: History and Founding Documents, 1933-2000 (0.3 linear feet; Box 1, 27

Series 2: Presidents' Files, 1927-2007 (2.8 linear feet; Boxes 1-4)

Series 3: Board of Directors' Files, 1947-2003 (1.4 linear feet; Boxes 4-5)

Series 4: Committee and Meeting Files, 1950-2009 (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 5-6)

Series 5: General Administrative and Correspondence Files, circa 1930-2008 (2 linear feet; Boxes 7-8, 0.284 GB; ER01)

Series 6: Financial and Legal Files, 1947-2000 (1 linear foot; Box 9)

Series 7: Events and Programs, 1930-2010 (4.2 linear feet; Boxes 10-14, 27, 0.446 GB; ER02)

Series 8: Artists and Subject Files, 1930-1998 (0.4 linear feet; Box 14)

Series 9: Membership Files, 1920-2009 (4.4 linear feet; Boxes 14-18, 27, 2.26 GB; ER03)

Series 10: Project and Exhibition Files, 1934-2010 (2 linear feet; Boxes 19-20)

Series 11: Broome Street Gallery Files, 1990-2011 (2.7 linear feet; Boxes 21-23, 31)

Series 12: Association Publications, 1947-2012 (1 linear foot; Boxes 23-24)

Series 13: Printed Materials, 1930-2008 (1.6 linear feet; Boxes 24-25, 27, 31, OV 28, OV 29)

Series 14: Scrapbooks, 1947-1969 (0.3 linear feet; Box 25, OV 30)

Series 15: Artwork, 1947-2000 (0.1 linear foot; Box 26, 27)

Series 16: Photographs, 1930s-2004 (0.9 linear feet; Box 26, 27)
Biographical / Historical:
The New York Artists Equity Association (originally the Artists Equity Association) was created in 1947 to promote and support living American artists. Nine prominent New York artists founded the organization and elected Yasuo Kuniyoshi as the organization's first president. The original membership included 160 well-known American artists, but by the end of its first year, membership had grown to over one thousand. By the 1950s, the organization had grown into an influential national organization. Past and present members have included Milton Avery, Will Barnet, Romare Bearden, George Biddle, Isabel Bishop, Robert Blackburn, Paul Cadmus, Charles Burchfield, Stuart Davis, Jose de Creeft, Elaine and Willem de Kooning, Leon Golub, Chaim Gross, Rockwell Kent, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Motherwell, Alice Neel, Isamu Noguchi, Jules Olitski, Philip Pearlstein, Henry Varnum Poor, Charles Scheeler, Ben Shahn, David Smith, Frank Stella, Andrew Wyeth, and many others.

In 1959, the New York Chapter, with more members than all of the other states combined, re-organized into the New York Artists Equity Association. The Association maintained it own gallery, Broome Street Gallery, from 1991-2011. The organization remains active today and is located in SoHo.
Provenance:
The records were donated to the Archives of American Art by the New York Artists Equity Association in several increments between 1980-2016.
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 New York Artists Equity Association records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to the public for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists -- United States  Search this
Art -- Societies, etc. -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Video recordings
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Citation:
New York Artists Equity Association records, 1920-2012. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.nyarteqa
See more items in:
New York Artists Equity Association records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-nyarteqa

Lee Nordness business records and papers

Creator:
Nordness, Lee  Search this
Names:
American Art Expositions (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Cooper-Hewitt Museum.  Search this
Forms and Objects (Firm)  Search this
Johnson Wax  Search this
Lee Nordness Galleries  Search this
Little Studio  Search this
Metromedia, Inc.  Search this
Nordness Gallery  Search this
Talent Discovery Company  Search this
Aronson, David, 1923-  Search this
Blaustein, Al H., 1924-2004  Search this
Collie, Alberto  Search this
Crawford, Ralston, 1906-1978  Search this
D'Arista, Robert, 1929-  Search this
Gibran, Kahlil, 1922-  Search this
Gikow, Ruth, 1915-1982  Search this
Grippe, Peter, 1912-  Search this
Guglielmi, Louis, 1906-1956  Search this
Hebald, Milton  Search this
Kachadoorian, Zubel, 1924-  Search this
Kearns, James  Search this
Lebrun, Rico, 1900-1964  Search this
Levi, Julian E. (Julian Edwin), 1900-1982  Search this
Meigs, Walter, 1918-1988  Search this
Prestopino, Gregorio  Search this
Williams, Hiram  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Extent:
117.5 Linear feet (Boxes 1-121)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Date:
circa 1931-1992
bulk 1954-1984
Summary:
The Lee Nordness business records and papers measure 117.5 linear feet and date from circa 1931 to 1992 with the bulk of materials dating from 1954 to 1984. The records document seven New York City art-related companies with which Nordness was involved: Talent Discovery Company, The Little Studio, Ltd., American Art Expositions, Inc., Nordness Gallery, Inc., Lee Nordness Galleries Art Advisory Section, Inc., Lee Nordness Galleries Exhibition Section, Inc., and Forms & Objects, Inc. Records include correspondence, artist's files, business and legal records, inventories, financial and sales records, printed materials, scrapbooks, and photographic materials. Also found is a small group of personal papers.
Scope and Contents:
The Lee Nordness business records and papers measure 117.5 linear feet and date from circa 1931 to 1992 with the bulk of materials dating from 1954 to 1984. The records document seven New York City art-related companies with which Nordness was involved: Talent Discovery Company, The Little Studio, Ltd., American Art Expositions, Inc., Nordness Gallery, Inc., Lee Nordness Galleries Art Advisory Section, Inc., Lee Nordness Galleries Exhibition Section, Inc., and Forms & Objects, Inc. Records include correspondence, artist's files, business and legal records, inventories, financial and sales records, printed materials, scrapbooks, and photographic materials. Also found is a small group of personal papers.

More than half of the collection documents Lee Nordness' primary businesses, Nordness Gallery, Inc. and Lee Nordness Galleries Art Advisory Section, Inc. Business correspondence, artist's files, extensive project files, business and legal records, financial and sales records, inventories, printed materials, scrapbooks, and photographic materials reveal Nordness' role as an art dealer of contemporary American artwork and art consultant to companies and organizations. The records document his ability to adapt to changing external markets as well as his own interests, from dealing primarily in paintings and sculpture to promoting American fine crafts. Artists from Nordness' permanent roster are represented, including David Aronson, Al Blaustein, Alberto Collie, Ralston Crawford, Robert D'Arista, Kahlil Gibran, Ruth Gikow, Peter Grippe, Louis Guglielmi, Milton Hebald, Zubel Kachadoorian, James Kearns, Rico Lebrun, Julian Levi, Walter Meigs, Gregorio Prestopino, Hiram Williams, and Karl Zerbe. Companies and organizations represented include S.C. Johnson & Son, Co., Metromedia, and Cooper-Hewitt, National Museum of Design. Because materials from Nordness Gallery, Inc. and Art Advisory Section were often interfiled and related, the records were not separated into different series.

The records of Lee Nordness Galleries Exhibition Section, Inc. document the exhibition and sale of artwork through correspondence, artist's files, business records, financial and sales records, and scrapbooks for artists and exhibition seasons. Forms & Objects, Inc. contains correspondence, lecture notes, public relations files, business records, financial and sales records, scrapbooks and photographic materials related to American fine crafts.

The organization and press surrounding the monumental exhibitions Art:USA:58 and Art:USA:59 are illustrated in the correspondence, banking records, founding documents, newspaper clippings, paid bill receipts, and sales invoices of the American Art Expositions, Inc. records. Photographs of the Art:USA:59 artists taken by Fred Darrah are also found here.

The bulk of the records of The Little Studio, Inc. are financial records and sales invoices. Lee Nordness' involvement in the gallery is also documented through correspondence and business records. The records of Talent Discovery Company are primarily financial, including banking records, receipts, and tax records. Also found are shipping records, correspondence, and inventory cards.

There are few personal papers of Lee Nordness, the bulk of which are related to his involvement with his tenant cooperative. Also found is scattered correspondence, a scrapbook, and travel documents.

Records for the various companies were co-mingled upon accession. AAA has attempted to place papers in Nordness' original order based on discussions with Nordness and evidence from the records. However, researchers should note there is significant interfiling of the companies' records throughout the collection, especially scrapbooks and photographs. Researchers are strongly encouraged to use dates and keywords to help discover related materials throughout all series.

Abbreviations were often written by the gallery in the upper left-hand corner of a document to indicate to which company the record should be filed. Abbreviations used include: Nordness Gallery, "NG" or "LN"; Art Advisory Section, "AA" or "LN"; Exhibition Section, "ES" or "E/S"; Forms & Objects, "F/O"; American Art Expositions, "AAE"; The Little Studio, "TLS"; and, Talent Discovery Company, "TDC."
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series:

Series 1: Nordness Gallery, Inc. and Lee Nordness Galleries Art Advisory Section, Inc., circa 1938-1992, bulk 1958-1982 (67.8 linear feet; Boxes 1-67, 117-119)

Series 2: Lee Nordness Galleries Exhibition Section, Inc., 1938-1985 (25.5 linear feet; Boxes 68-93, 120, FC 122)

Series 3: Forms & Objects, Inc., circa 1931, circa 1959-1984 (13.5 linear feet; Boxes 93-106, 120)

Series 4: American Art Expositions, Inc., 1955-1968 (1.4 linear feet; Boxes 106-107)

Series 5: The Little Studio, Inc., 1947-1969 (7.7 linear feet; Boxes 108-115, 121)

Series 6: Talent Discovery Company, 1953-1957 (0.9 linear feet; Boxes 115-116, 121)

Series 7: Personal Papers of Lee Nordness, 1948-1976 (0.7 linear feet; Box 116)
Biographical / Historical:
New York City gallerist and entrepreneur Lee Nordness (1922-1995) was born in Olympia, Washington. He studied art in college and received a bachelor's degree from Uppsala University in Sweden. From 1954-1956, Nordness ran a small gallery, Talent Discovery Company, out of his apartment in New York City. Around 1955, Nordness became the director of The Little Studio, Ltd., a gallery started by Richard Kollmer in 1952 to showcase moderately priced artwork by young artists. Nordness took over the business in 1957; it closed in April 1963.

In 1958, Nordness incorporated American Art Expositions, Inc. to organize Art:USA:58, a large exposition of contemporary American art held at Madison Square Garden. The following year Art:USA:59 was held at the New York Coliseum.

Lee Nordness opened his own gallery, Nordness Gallery, Inc., in December 1957 on Madison Avenue. The gallery promoted a roster of contemporary painters and sculptors, including David Aronson, Al Blaustein, Alberto Collie, Ralston Crawford, Robert D'Arista, Kahlil Gibran, Ruth Gikow, Peter Grippe, Milton Hebald, Zubel Kachadoorian, James Kearns, Julian Levi, Walter Meigs, Gregorio Prestopino, Hiram Williams, Karl Zerbe, and the estates of Louis Guglielmi and Rico Lebrun. In 1966, Lee Nordness reorganized his businesses. He closed Nordness Gallery and opened Lee Nordness Art Advisory Section, an art consulting service to corporations, collectors, museums, and individuals, and Lee Nordness Galleries Exhibition Sections, Inc. to handle exhibitions and the sale of paintings and sculptures.

Lee Nordness had an interest in American crafts and, beginning in 1968, he added a permanent roster of American craftmakers to exhibit alongside paintings and sculpture. He opened Forms & Objects, Inc. to handle the exhibition and sales of fine crafts such as ceramics, fiber, glass, metal and wood. With a need for additional exhibition space, the gallery moved a few blocks off Madison Avenue to 236-238 East 75th Street.

Nordness traveled the globe to assemble prominent collections for clients, such as Art:USA, a collection of contemporary works by 102 American artists for S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Art:USA traveled throughout the United States and Europe in the mid-late 1960s before being donated to the National Collection of Fine Arts (Smithsonian Institution). In the late 1960s, he assembled a collection of 300 American craft objects for S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. called Objects:USA, which toured throughout the United States and Europe. This collection was disassembled in the late 1970s, many of the works donated to the Museum of Arts and Design, formerly the Museum of Contemporary Craft.

Nordness closed his New York galleries in the mid-1980s. Soon after, he moved to Belfair, Washington and opened Lee Nordness Galleries, Inc. in 1986. He passed away in 1995 in Washington.
Separated Materials:
Three microfilm reels of material were loaned to the Archives of American Art by Lee Nordness in 1959 regarding American Art Exposition, Inc.'s Art:USA 58 and Art:USA:59. Microfilm includes correspondence, catalogs, visitor lists, press releases, lists of artwork, financial records, and advertising materials and is available on reels NAU1, NAU2 and NAU3.

Later, in 1964 and 1969, Lee Nordness loaned original materials for microfilming compiled by Nordness Gallery about the careers of Gregorio Prestopino, Julian E. Levi, and Lee Gatch, including correspondence, exhibition materials, biographical information, clippings, and photographs. Loaned material is available on reels N69-21 and D169. Original materials were returned to Nordness, but some may have been included in later donations and those originals have been integrated with the other donated records.

The contents of microfilm reels are not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Provenance:
The Lee Nordness business records and papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in several increments by Lee Nordness in 1976, 1986 and as a bequest in 1996. Original materials were also lent by Nordness in 1964 and 1969 for microfilming, some of which may have been included in subsequent donations.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Lee Nordness business records and 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:
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Citation:
Lee Nordness business records and papers, circa 1931-1992, bulk 1954-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.nordlee
See more items in:
Lee Nordness business records and papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-nordlee
Online Media:

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

Mississippi Art Colony records

Creator:
Mississippi Art Colony  Search this
Names:
Allison Wells Art Colony  Search this
Barnes, Halcyone D.  Search this
Baruzzi, Peter  Search this
Beattie, George  Search this
Bucci, Andrew A., 1922-  Search this
Conway, Fred, 1900-  Search this
Dawson, Bess  Search this
Dodd, Lamar  Search this
Faiers, Edward Spencer, 1908-  Search this
Gelinas, Bob  Search this
Holmes, Ruth Atkinson  Search this
Hudson, Ralph M.  Search this
Hull, Marie  Search this
Kohlmeyer, Ida, 1912-1997  Search this
Mitchell, Fred, 1923-  Search this
Sella, Alvin, 1924-  Search this
Trivigno, Pat, 1922-  Search this
Wolfe, Karl, 1904-  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Zoellner, Richard  Search this
Extent:
1 Linear foot ((on 1 microfilm reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
ca. 1954-1991
Scope and Contents:
Scrapbooks, an administrative file, and printed material.
Scrapbooks, 1958-1987, contain newspaper clippings, many focusing on the art work of colony members, especially Halcyone D. Barnes, Bess Dawson, Marie Hull and Ruth Atkinson Holmes, photographs of the faculty and students, including one of Fred Mitchell, letters, including one from Ida Kohlmeyer to Bill Broome, Colony President, 1974, and exhibition checklists. A file, 1963-1992, contains brochures, registration lists, board meeting minutes, and newsletters from Spring and Fall workshops. School catalogs, 1954-1964, provide historical information and biographical sketches of faculty members George Beattie, Peter Baruzzi, Andrew Bucci, Fred Conway, Lamar Dodd, Edward S. Faiers, Bob Gelinas, Ralph M. Hudson, Alvin Sella, Pat Trivigno, Karl Wolfe, Karl Zerbe and Richard Zoellner. Also found are magazine articles, 1980, 1988, and a book, Allison's Wells, The Last Mississippi Spa, by Hosford Latimer Fontaine (1981), containing many illustrations by Colony members (only title p. and illustrations were microfilmed).
Biographical / Historical:
Art colony; Utica, Miss. Founded 1948. Originally named Allison Wells Art Colony and located in Allison's Wells, Miss. Moved to Stafford Springs, Miss., 1963 and renamed the Mississippi Art Colony. Moved to Laurel, Miss. in 1970 and to Camp Henry Jacobs in Utica, Miss. in 1973.
Provenance:
Lent for microfilming 1992 by Lallah Perry, member and archivist of the colony.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Artists -- Mississippi  Search this
Topic:
Artist colonies -- Mississippi  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- Mississippi  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.missart
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-missart

Boris Mirski Gallery records

Creator:
Boris Mirski Gallery (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Names:
Aronson, David, 1923-  Search this
Baskin, Leonard, 1922-2000  Search this
Bloom, Hyman, 1913-  Search this
Geller, Esther  Search this
Lebrun, Rico, 1900-1964  Search this
Mazur, Michael, 1935-2009  Search this
Mirski, Boris, 1898-1974  Search this
Polonsky, Arthur  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Siporin, Mitchell, 1910-1976  Search this
Swan, Barbara, 1922-  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Extent:
6.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
circa 1936-2000
bulk 1945-1972
Summary:
The Boris Mirski Gallery records measure 6.2 linear feet and date from 1936-2000, bulk 1945-1972. They include gallery administrative files; artist files including correspondence, exhibition and loan paperwork as well as photographic documentation of artwork; gallery correspondence; financial materials including outgoing and incoming invoices and sales records; printed materials promoting the gallery and its artists; press materials; and a number of photographs of Boris Mirski at events and with others, as well as photographs of artwork. Artists particularly well represented in the collection include David Aronson, Leonard Baskin, Hyman Bloom, Esther Geller, Rico Lebrun, Michael Mazur, Arthur Polonsky, Ben Shahn, Mitchell Siporin, Barbara Swan, and Karl Zerbe.
Scope and Contents:
The records of the Boris Mirski Gallery, which showed the avant-garde art of the Boston Expressionist school, as well as New York and international modern art styles and non-western art, measure 6.2 linear feet and date from 1936-2000, bulk 1945-1972. They include gallery administrative files; artist files including correspondence, exhibition and loan paperwork as well as photographic documentation of artwork; gallery correspondence; financial materials including outgoing and incoming invoices and sales records; printed materials promoting the gallery and its artists; press materials; and a number of photographs of Boris Mirski at events and with others, as well as photographs of artwork. Artists particularly well represented in the collection include David Aronson, Leonard Baskin, Hyman Bloom, Esther Geller, Rico Lebrun, Michael Mazur, Arthur Polonsky, Ben Shahn, Mitchell Siporin, Barbara Swan, and Karl Zerbe.

The administrative files cover a number of topics including documents related to various properties, mortgages, and insurance, copyrights, legal cases, administrative events, and select group exhibitions at the gallery.

The artist files document each gallery artist's exhibition history in the gallery and include correspondence with the artist as well as files documenting significant outside exhibitions, projects and the placement of artworks. While exhibiting artists showed a range of sculpture, painting, and drawing at the gallery, there was a tendency towards highly expressive figurative artwork sometimes referred to as Boston Expressionism, often associated with the first generation Jewish American experience.

The gallery correspondence, primarily with patrons and institutions, is arranged alphabetically with select regular correspondents of the gallery having their own file, in addition to a folder of holiday cards.

The financial files include both outgoing and incoming transactions as invoices and sales records, organized by patron or vendor.

The printed materials are a records of the printing activities of the gallery as well as a press archive, with select printed materials from outside the gallery reflecting the activities of the gallery and gallery artists.

The photographic materials include both images that include the gallerist as well as images that document artworks.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 6 series.

Series 1: Administrative Files, circa 1948-1995 (0.5 Linear feet; Box 1)

Series 2: Artist Files, circa 1945-2000 (2.7 Linear feet; Boxes 1-4, OV 7)

Series 3: Gallery Correspondence, circa 1936-1976 (1 Linear feet; Boxes 4-5)

Series 4: Financial Files, circa 1958-1974 (1.2 Linear feet; Boxes 5-6)

Series 5: Printed Material, circa 1944-1981 (0.7 Linear feet; Box 6, OV 8)

Series 6: Photographic Material, circa 1945-1976 (0.1 Linear feet; Box 6)
Biographical / Historical:
The Boris Mirski Gallery (est.1944; closed 1979) was a gallery in Boston, Massachusetts owned and operated by Boris Mirski (1898-1974). The gallery evolved out of various businesses owned by Mirski from the late 1910s, including his first formal gallery established alongside a framing shop on Charles Street in Beacon Hill in 1927. The gallery moved to its final incarnation on the lower level of 166 Newbury in 1972, and closed in 1979 following the gallerist's death in 1974.

Boris Chaim Mirski, born 1898, immigrated to the United States at the age of fourteen, leaving behind his troubled youth as a Lithuanian Jew in a harsh political climate that included frequent pogroms. At the advice of his mother, an activist in the resistance, Boris acquired a number of marketable skills including metalwork and framing, which allowed him to establish a lucrative business while he developed opportunities to show art that interested him. Early in his career this included a home for non-western and "primitive" art styles from around the globe, as well as the work of emerging local artists. Mirski's gallery created opportunities for artists working against the generally conservative tradition of the Boston School, and helped establish an identity for the local avant-garde. The gallery program had strong ties with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston alumni and faculty, and frequently hosted exchange shows with New York City's Downtown Gallery, whose director Edith Halpert acted as a mentor. While exhibiting artists showed a range of sculpture, painting, and drawing at the gallery, there was a tendency towards highly expressive figurative artwork sometimes referred to as Boston Expressionism, often associated with the first generation Jewish American experience. Gallery artists included David Aronson, Leonard Baskin, Hyman Bloom, Esther Geller, Rico Lebrun, Michael Mazur, Arthur Polonsky, Ben Shahn, Mitchell Siporin, Barbara Swan, and Karl Zerbe.
Related Materials:
Related materials include Archives of American Art's Oral history interview with Boris Mirski, 1973 June 19.
Provenance:
The Boris Mirski Gallery records were donated by Deborah Mirski Brown, Boris Mirski's daughter from 1989-1996, with additions in 2007 and 2017.
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 Boris Mirski Gallery records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Occupation:
Painters  Search this
Topic:
Art dealers  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Expressionism (Art) -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Jewish artists  Search this
Modernism (Art)  Search this
New York school of art  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Boris Mirski Gallery records, 1936-2000, bulk 1945-1972. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.mirsbori
See more items in:
Boris Mirski Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mirsbori

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