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Joseph Cornell papers

Creator:
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Names:
Benton, Elizabeth Cornell  Search this
Cornell, Robert  Search this
Extent:
24.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1804-1986
bulk 1939-1972
Summary:
The papers of Joseph Cornell (1903-1972) measure approximately 24.9 linear feet and date from 1804 to 1986 with the bulk of the material dating from 1939-1972. The collection documents the life, work, interests, and creative activities of the self-taught artist, who was best known for his shadow box constructions, assemblages, and collages. Papers include correspondence, diaries, source material, notes, writings, photographs, printed material, two- and three-dimensional ephemera, art works, and books, as well as a limited amount of legal and financial records, and some miscellaneous personal and family papers. The collection also includes the papers of his sister, Betty Cornell Benton, relating to the handling of Cornell's estate and the personal papers of his brother, Robert Cornell.
Scope and Content Note:
The Joseph Cornell papers measure approximately 24.9 linear feet and date from 1804 to 1986, with the bulk of the material dating from 1939-1972. The collection documents the life, work, interests, and creative activities of the self-taught artist, who was best known for his shadow box constructions, assemblages, and collages. Papers include correspondence, diaries, source material, notes, writings, photographs, printed material, two- and three-dimensional ephemera, art works, and books, as well as a limited amount of legal and financial records, and some miscellaneous personal and family papers (which comprise a series of biographical material). The collection also includes the papers of his sister, Betty Cornell Benton, relating to the handling of Cornell's estate and the personal papers of his brother, Robert Cornell.

Cornell's correspondence is typically with family, friends, artists, dealers, collectors, galleries, museums, admirers, individuals whom he admired, "helpers," and various charitable institutions. Correspondence generally concerns the creation, exhibition, sale, and reception of Cornell's art work; his "explorations" and other research and collecting activities; his preoccupations with certain individuals and motifs; his usual practices of giving gifts of art work to those he liked or admired and making donations to charities in aid of those less fortunate; and his relationships and shared interests with family, friends, and colleagues. Also found is correspondence between and amongst various other members of the Cornell family, including, most notably, Robert Cornell's letters to his sisters, Elizabeth (typically addressed as Nell) and Helen.

Dating from 1941 to 1972, Cornell's diaries span almost the entirety of his career as an artist, which began in earnest when he left his job at the Traphagen textile studio in 1940 to pursue art full-time and ended with his death in 1972. The diaries record his day-to-day experiences (usually comprising his thoughts, feelings, impressions, and ideas); and reflect on his various art projects (boxes, films, and collages) and creative activities ("explorations," and various other research, collecting, and publishing ventures). They also explore many of the themes and underlying concerns of his art work; and document his intense preoccupations with certain individuals, his wide-ranging interests, and the interconnectedness of his ideas and activities. Cornell's style of writing in the diaries tends to be stream-of-conscious with entries being composed of phrases, rather than complete sentences and with the progression of passages being more poetic and associative than either logical or narrative. He tended to compose by hand, occasionally typing up his notes into more formal entries, and also to use abbreviations for oft-repeated words and initials for individuals. At times, his handwriting can be difficult to read, and his references can be difficult to decipher. It was also common practice for him to review or revisit previous entries at various points in time, often making revisions or comments on them with dated annotations in the margins or on the reverse side of a page.

Cornell's source material is largely comprised of files of newspaper and magazine clippings, cutouts, notes, writings, book excerpts, photostats (or stats), prints, postcards, art reproductions, and other printed material. Some files are devoted to people (ballerinas, actresses, singers, artists, and writers) and topics (astronomy, romantic and modern ballet, birds, films, literature, music, plants, and science, among others). Other files relate to specific art works, "explorations," publishing projects, and exhibitions. Source material documents Cornell's preoccupation with certain individuals (past and present), events, subjects, and motifs; the development of some of his major "explorations" and their influence on his various artistic and commercial projects; and his work on certain box constructions and collages, publishing ventures, and exhibition catalogues. Source material also sheds light on Cornell's efforts to gain access to the past; his interest in the symbolism of images and objects; the linkages he found between seemingly unrelated things; and the connections between his many creative endeavors.

Ephemera and artifacts include various objects, mementos, and items of memorabilia, some of which were accumulated by Cornell (in much the same way that he collected his source material) and some of which are of uncertain origin. For Cornell, items such as these were not merely inanimate objects, but were instead evocative of past worlds and capable of bringing the past into the present (an idea which he often expressed in his diaries as the "metaphysique d'ephemera"). He seems to have used some of these items in a layout he designed for Good Housekeeping. Other items may have been used as source material for some of his box constructions.

The collection also houses photographs of Cornell, his family, art work, other artists, and friends, as well as photographs taken by various individuals and publicity photographs from the New York City Ballet. Also found are scattered works of art, including collage fragments and Rorschachs (or ink blot drawings) by Cornell, collages by Cornell's sister, Betty Cornell Benton, on which he collaborated, and a box by Christine Kaufman, which was a gift to Cornell. The books in the collection most likely comprise the remainder of Cornell's library, which was transferred to the Joseph Cornell Study Center, and include some that seem to have belonged to his sister, Betty. Printed material includes various publications and clippings collected by Cornell apart from that which he collected as source material. Writings about Cornell include an article by the poet, Mina Loy, and copies of various theses, presentations, and articles by graduate students in art history received by Benton (who assisted them in their research).

The Joseph Cornell Estate Papers consist of correspondence relating to Betty Cornell Benton's administration of the part of Cornell's estate for which she was responsible and legal documents relating to her various legal disputes with the executors of the estate, as well as a limited amount of printed material, some of which was originally accumulated by Cornell and subsequently shared with Benton, and miscellaneous papers belonging to Benton and their mother, Helen S. Cornell. Estate Papers provide insight on the exhibition and sale of Cornell art works after his death; the disposition of his belongings (including art work, papers, books, records, and source material); and Benton's efforts to foster and safeguard the memory and legacy of Cornell. The Robert Cornell Papers include correspondence, writings, art works, photographs, printed material, and scattered financial and personal records, documenting the full and creative life Robert led despite being confined to a wheelchair. Their inclusion in the collection suggests the family's effort to foster Robert's memory.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into eleven series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1918-1972, 1975 (Box 1; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1909-1982 (Boxes 1-5, OV 31; 4.3 linear feet)

Series 3: Diaries, 1941-1973 (Boxes 6-10; 5 linear feet)

Series 4: Source Material, 1804-1972 (Boxes 11-18, 25-28, OV 29; 8.5 linear feet)

Series 5: Ephemera and Artifacts, 1858-1946 (Boxes 18, 23; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1905-1972 (Boxes 18, 28, OV 30; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 7: Art Works, circa 1966-1971 (Boxes 19, 23; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 8: Books and Printed Material, 1806-1968 (Boxes 19, 23; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 9: Writings about Cornell, 1950, circa 1975-1980 (Box 19; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 10: Joseph Cornell Estate Papers, circa 1911, 1944-1986 (Boxes 19-22; 3.5 linear feet)

Series 11: Robert Cornell Papers, 1924-1965 (Boxes 24, 28; 0.4 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Joseph Cornell, assemblagist, collagist, and filmmaker, was born on December 24, 1903 in Nyack, New York. He was the oldest son of Joseph I. Cornell, a textile salesman and designer, and Helen Storms Cornell, and had two younger sisters, Elizabeth (b. 1905), nicknamed Nell and later Betty, and Helen (b. 1906), and a younger brother, Robert (b. 1910), who suffered from cerebral palsy. Cornell shared close relationships with his siblings, and was especially attached to his brother whom he took care of as an adult. His fondest childhood memories included family Christmas celebrations, outings to Manhattan where he saw vaudeville shows and strolled around Times Square, and trips to Coney Island where he encountered penny arcade machines. These childhood memories, among others, inspired some of the themes later explored in his art work.

After his father's death in 1917, Cornell was sent to study at the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He remained there for four years, but left without receiving a diploma. During this time, the family moved from Nyack to Bayside, Queens, where they lived in a series of rented houses. Cornell rejoined his family in 1921, at which time he went to work as a salesman in the Manhattan office of a textile wholesaler, the William Whitman Company. He joined the Christian Science church in the mid-1920s, and in 1929, the family bought a house at 37-08 Utopia Parkway in Flushing, where he resided for the rest of his life, living there with his mother and brother after both his sisters married and moved away.

During the 1920s, Cornell developed his passion for walking the city streets and taking in their sights, sounds, and impressions; browsing in the secondhand bookshops along Fourth Avenue; and collecting material such as books, prints, postcards, and printed and three-dimensional ephemera. He cultivated his growing interest in culture and the arts by attending opera and ballet performances, seeing plays (the 1922 play Rain, which starred Jeanne Eagels, was among his favorites), visiting galleries and museums, reading, and going to the movies.

In 1931, Cornell began to frequent the Julien Levy Gallery, where he encountered Surrealist art for perhaps the first time. Around this time, he created his first works of art - a series of black-and-white collages composed from cutouts of nineteenth-century engravings - inspired by Max Ernst's collages, in particular his collage-novel, La Femme 100 tetes (1929). Cornell went on to create three-dimensional works of art such as pill boxes and a glass bell series (consisting of objects arranged under a bell jar). His work, including several collages and a glass bell, was first exhibited as part of the groundbreaking "Surrealisme" show at the Levy Gallery in January 1932. He also designed the cover of the show announcement. His first one-man show at the gallery, "The Objects of Joseph Cornell," followed in the fall of 1932. (It was seven years before his next solo show.) By this time, Cornell had been laid off from his job at Whitman's. He was out of work for several years before getting a job as a textile designer at the Traphagen Commercial Textile Studio in 1934. During the next several years, he continued to work on his art at night.

Around this time, Cornell began collecting movies and movie stills, and embarked upon various film-related projects. In 1933, he wrote a scenario for a silent movie, Monsieur Phot. A few years later, he made his first film, Rose Hobart (1936), comprised of re-edited footage from the B-movie, East of Borneo (1931), which starred the actress, Rose Hobart. And he began work on a trilogy of collage-films - The Children's Party, Cotillion, and The Midnight Party (circa 1937). He then took a break from making films until the mid-1950s, but continued to collect film-related material, which he began to incorporate into his other art work.

In 1936, Cornell constructed his first glass-fronted shadow box, Untitled (Soap Bubble Set), which was included that same year in the "Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism" exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, along with a cabinet box and several glass bells. In creating some of his other early boxes, he began the practice of using photo reproductions of images which he located in books and magazines, or in the Picture Collection at the New York Public Library, among other places. In his tribute boxes to actresses (1930s), he made use of publicity shots, and in the box, Dressing Room for Gilles (1939), he employed a photostat (or stat) of a reproduction of Jean-Antoine Watteau's painting, Gilles (1718).

Over the years, Cornell came into contact with various figures of the art, dance, and literary worlds. In the 1930s and 1940s, he met the artists, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, and Salvador Dali, and befriended the artists, Lee Miller and Dorothea Tanning. His formative friendships during 1940s were with the artist, Pavel Tchelitchew, the writers, Charles Henri Ford (founder of the avant-garde periodical, View), Parker Tyler, and Donald Windham, and the balletomane, Lincoln Kirstein (founder of Dance Index). His other friends included the artists, Roberto Matta Echaurren and Robert Motherwell, the dancer and actress, Tilly Losch, and the poets, Mina Loy and Marianne Moore. In the 1950s, he associated with artists from the Abstract Expressionist movement, including Willem de Kooning, Jack Tworkov, and Mark Rothko. Beginning in the mid-1950s, he befriended many young artists, including Lee Bontecou and Carolee Schneeman, and young actresses, including Lois Smith, Gwen Van Dam, and Suzanne Miller, whom he sought to appear in his films. And in the early 1960s, he met the Pop artists, Robert Indiana, James Rosenquist, and Andy Warhol.

Beginning in 1940, Cornell developed a keen interest in dance, particularly ballet. Ballerinas from the Romantic era, such as Marie Taglioni and Fanny Cerrito, especially captured his imagination, inspiring such works as the box, Taglioni's Jewel Casket (1940), and the Portrait of Ondine "exploration," which comprised a portfolio of material relating to Cerrito and her famous role in the ballet, Ondine. Cornell was also fascinated with the modern counterparts of the Romantic ballerinas. In 1940, he befriended the Russian ballet dancer, Tamara Toumanova, and over the years produced many works in homage to her, including swan boxes (inspired by her role in Swan Lake), boxes made with scraps from her costumes, and scrapbooks of clippings, stats, and memorabilia. In 1949, he became enamored of the French dancer, Renee "Zizi" Jeanmarie, after seeing her perform in Carmen and meeting her backstage, and he created several dance-related boxes in her honor. In 1957, he met the ballerina, Allegra Kent. After meeting again in 1964, they became friends, and she served as the subject of several works based on images reproduced from a Parmigianino painting.

In December 1940, Cornell left his job at the Traphagen textile studio to pursue art full-time. He set up a workshop in the basement of the house on Utopia Parkway, which served as a combination studio and storage space. While he spent most days at home, he continued to make regular trips into Manhattan to wander around the city, visit with friends, and hunt for material. Around this time, he began to keep a diary, recording his day-to-day experiences (usually comprising his thoughts, feelings, impressions, ideas) on scraps of paper (including used envelopes, paper bags, napkins, and ticket stubs, among other fragments). He would then type up some of these notes into more formal diary entries, but most of them remained, in his word, "scribblings." Diary keeping eventually became one of his primary activities, along with box construction, collage, research, and collecting.

By this time, his art work was beginning to sell, yet he was not able to live from these sales alone. During the 1940s, he primarily supported himself by doing freelance work for magazines such as Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Good Housekeeping, supplying illustrations from his picture collection and designing covers and layouts. He also regularly contributed pieces to View and Dance Index. His notable contributions to View included "Enchanted Wanderer: Excerpt from a Journey Album for Hedy Lamarr" (December 1941), "Story Without a Name - for Max Ernst" (April 1942), and "The Crystal Cage [portrait of Berenice]" (January 1943). His projects for Dance Index included various collage-covers, essays, and thematic issues, such as the Summer 1944 issue, which comprised a 22-page tribute to the Romantic ballerinas, Taglioni, Carlotta Grisi, Cerrito, and Fanny Elssler. To supplement his income, Cornell also held brief positions at an electronics plant, the Allied Control Company, Inc. (in 1943), and at a nursery, the Garden Centre (in 1944).

In 1942, Cornell created one of his more memorable works, Medici Slot Machine, embarking upon a large series of Medici boxes in which he utilized reproductions of portraits by Italian Renaissance artists, such as Sofonisba Anguissola and Pinturicchio. His other boxes from this time period explored themes ranging from ballet, as in A Pantry Ballet (for Jacques Offenbach) (1942), to doomed love, as in Paolo and Francesca (1943-48), to nature, as in the Sand Boxes (1940s) and Sand Fountains (1950s). Cornell often created boxes in series, producing variations on a theme with variants that differed significantly or only slightly. Over the years, series included: Pink Palaces, Pharmacies, Habitats, Aviaries, Dovecotes, Hotels, Observatories, and Night Skies, among others.

In late 1945, Cornell joined the Hugo Gallery, which was run by Alexander Iolas, and a year later mounted the show, "Romantic Museum at the Hugo Gallery: Portraits of Women by Joseph Cornell" (December 1946). He designed the exhibition catalog for this show, which consisted of portraits - box constructions, objects, and "dossiers" - of the opera singers, Giuditta Pasta and Maria Malibran, the ballerinas, Taglioni and Cerrito, and the actresses, Eleanora Duse, Jeanne Eagels, Greta Garbo, and Jennifer Jones, and which also featured one of his most famous boxes, Untitled (Penny Arcade Portrait of Lauren Bacall) (1945-46).

In 1949, Cornell joined the Egan Gallery, which was run by Charles Egan. Around this time, he began creating his series of Aviary boxes, which explored the symbolism of birds and birdcages. He showed twenty-six of these box constructions in his first exhibition at the Egan Gallery, "Aviary by Joseph Cornell" (December 1949-January 1950). He created other series of whitewashed boxes, including the Dovecote series and a small group relating to the poet, Emily Dickinson. He then went on to explore the themes of astronomy and celestial navigation in the Observatory, Night Skies, and Hotel series. Works from these series were featured in his two remaining shows at the Egan Gallery, "Night Songs and Other Work" (December 1950-January 1951) and "Night Voyage" (February-March 1953). In the fall of 1953, sparked by seeing the painting, Figure Seated in a Cafe (1914), Cornell embarked upon a major series of bird constructions dedicated to the Cubist artist, Juan Gris. Notably, these were the only boxes he explicitly dedicated to another artist.

Over the next couple of years, Cornell's work was exhibited across the country. In 1955, he joined the Stable Gallery, which was run by Eleanor Ward. His first one-man show there, in the winter of 1955-56, was "Winter Night Skies," which featured various box constructions based on constellations. During the mid-1950s, he embarked upon a series of Sand Fountains (vertical standing boxes featuring a broken glass and sand that flowed through it when turned upside down), elaborating upon his earlier Sand Boxes (1940s). These boxes along with some of his other latest works, including the Bleriot boxes and the Space Object boxes (which comprised his final box series), were exhibited in his second and last show at the Stable Gallery, "Selected Works" (December 1957).

After leaving the Stable Gallery, Cornell had several dealers handle his work rather than allowing any one to assume too much control. Dealers included Richard Feigen (in Chicago and then in New York) and Irving Blum (in California), among others. Throughout his career, Cornell never liked selling his boxes. He was always reluctant to let his work go and became increasingly uneasy about the growing status of his work as a commodity. He preferred instead to make gifts of his art work to friends and individuals he admired (especially female ones).

In the mid-1950s, Cornell returned to making films. Rather than just splicing together found images as he had in his films of the 1930s, he began to collaborate with others to shoot original footage. He worked with the experimental filmmaker, Stan Brakhage, on two films, one about the Third Ave El which was about to be torn down ( Wonder Ring or Gnir Rednow) and the other about an old house in Cornell's neighborhood that was slated for demolition ( Centuries of June). Cornell then went on to make nine films with the filmmaker, Rudy Burckhardt, including Aviary, A Legend for Fountains, and Nymphlight, among others. In the late 1960s, he enlisted the help of Larry Jordan, who was also a filmmaker, in completing the trilogy of collage-films that he had begun in the 1930s.

Along with creating works of art and making films, Cornell was involved in a host of other creative endeavors throughout his career as an artist. These included: keeping a diary, which was for him another medium for exploring and expressing the themes, ideas, and concerns recurrent in his art work; carrying out "explorations," which typically involved conducting research, collecting material, and compiling files on persons or topics of interest to him; and other projects, such as publishing pamphlets (or brochures) dedicated to the nineteenth-century opera singers, Malibran and Giulia Grisi. Cornell's "explorations" clearly informed his artwork, but they were also works of art in and of themselves. He continually sought to share this work with an audience and twice had the opportunity to do so, when he exhibited versions of his Portrait of Ondine "exploration" at the Museum of Modern Art in 1945 and at the Wittenborn Bookstore in 1956.

Around the mid-1950s, Cornell returned to making collages as independent works of art. Unlike his earlier ones, which were composed from cutouts of black-and-white engravings, his latest collages were made with color images cut out of contemporary magazines and books. In these collages, he explored many of the same themes and preoccupations of his box constructions, including birds, as in Couleur de Peche (1967) and Untitled (Vierge Vivace) (1970), children's games, as in the Penny Arcade series (1960s), and actresses, as in The Sister Shades (1956). Towards the end of his career, collage became his principal medium.

By this time, Cornell was taking fewer trips into Manhattan. Instead, he spent more time at home or traveled only so far as downtown Flushing, where he frequented the public library, hunted for material in stores, such as Woolworth's, and passed time in the coffee-shops on Main Street. From this time on, he kept his diary with increasing regularity, taking down notations with more frequency and creating entries of greater length.

In 1961, fourteen of Cornell's boxes, including Medici Slot Machine, were exhibited as part of the "The Art of Assemblage" show at the Museum of Modern Art. As his biographer notes, Cornell came to view this show "as a turning point in his creative life," marking the "[fall] off in his work" that took place in the sixties (Solomon 271-2). He continued to work on boxes that he had begun long before, but, after this time, rarely if ever constructed new ones. Instead, he focused on making collages and became increasingly concerned with other projects, such as organizing his basement workshop, for which he hired various "helpers" or assistants (mostly young women) over the years. He also became more and more prone to obsessions (or preoccupations, as he called them) with various young women that he encountered both in fantasy (actresses on stage or in films) and in real life (working girls in the city, "teeners" on Main Street, or his female visitors and "helpers" at home). These preoccupations infused his diary writings, and inspired the keeping of "dossiers" on particular individuals and the creation of various collages dedicated to others, including most notably the Penny Arcade series dedicated to Joyce Hunter (or "Tina," as he referred to her in his writings).

After Robert's death in February 1965, Cornell created a series of collages in his memory, many of which incorporated his brother's drawings of animal characters. In January 1966, he exhibited some of these collages, alongside a selection of Robert's drawings, in a show at the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery, "Robert Cornell: Memorial Exhibition." In 1967, there were two retrospective exhibitions of Cornell's work, "An Exhibition of Works by Joseph Cornell" at the Pasadena Art Museum and "Joseph Cornell" at the Guggenheim Museum. By now, Cornell was receiving considerable public recognition for his work. He had received his first profile (by Howard Griffin) in the December 1957 issue of Art News and, ten years later, was treated to a 12-page spread (by David Bourdon) in the December 1967 issue of Life magazine. He was also the recipient of various prizes for his art work, including the M.V Kohnstamm Prize at the Art Institute of Chicago's "62nd American Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture" in 1957 and the winning prize in India's first Triennale of Contemporary World Art in 1968.

In the last years of his life (especially from the time of his mother's death in the fall of 1966), Cornell suffered from severe depression and loneliness, and withdrew even further from the outside world. However, he still maintained relationships with various young friends and artists, who frequently visited Utopia Parkway and/or served as one of his assistants. He became more and more interested in sharing his work with a younger audience and his last two exhibitions in 1972 were expressly for children, "A Joseph Cornell Exhibition for Children" at the Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture and "Joseph Cornell - Collages and Boxes" at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York.

Cornell continued to work until the end of his life, "refurbishing" earlier boxes and creating memorial collages. Following prostate surgery in June 1972, he spent several months recuperating with family in Westhampton before returning to Utopia Parkway in November. He died of heart failure at home on December 29, 1972.

The biographical note draws heavily from Deborah Solomon's biography, Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell (New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 1997), and Diane Waldman's book, Joseph Cornell: Master of Dreams (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2002).
Related Material:
The Archives holds several collections of different provenance that relate to Joseph Cornell, including the small collections of Allison Delarue (comprised of two letters from Cornell, available on reel 2803), Muriel Streeter Schwartz (comprised of two letters from Cornell, available on reel 4283), Wayne Andrews (comprised of letters from Cornell and printed material), and Marion Netter (comprised of items received from Cornell). In addition, photographs of Cornell can be found amongst the Hans Namuth photographs and papers. Also found within the Archives is a transcribed interview of Cornell's sister, Elizabeth Cornell Benton, conducted on April 21, 1976 as part of the oral history program.
Separated Material:
The bulk of Cornell's source material resides in the Joseph Cornell Study Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum, along with his library and record collection. Cornell's sister, Betty Cornell Benton, donated a portion of this material directly to SAAM (then known as the National Museum of American Art), occasioning the creation of the Study Center circa 1978. The bulk of the source material and library that she donated to AAA, including approximately 66 linear feet of three-dimensional and non-textual source material and 50 linear feet of books, was transferred to the Study Center in 1994 and 1995.

Originals of loaned material returned to the donor after microfilming include: some unidentified and miscellaneous correspondence; significant correspondence between Joseph Cornell and Helen S. Cornell; significant correspondence between Helen S. Cornell, family members and others; and some of Joseph Cornell's family correspondence and general correspondence from the Robert Cornell papers. The loaned material is available on microfilm reels 1055-1058 but is not described further in the Series Descriptions/Container Listing of this finding aid.
Provenance:
The Joseph Cornell papers were donated and microfilmed in several installments from 1974 to 1989 by Joseph Cornell's sister, Betty Cornell Benton. Most, but not all, of the correspondence, which was loaned for microfilming in 1974, was subsequently donated in 1989. Additional material was donated in 2004 by the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation.
Restrictions:
Use of the original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Joseph Cornell 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:
Celebrities  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Assemblage (Art)  Search this
Found objects (Art)  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Assemblage artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Joseph Cornell papers, 1804-1986, bulk 1939-1972. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.cornjose
See more items in:
Joseph Cornell papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cornjose
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Oral history interview with Serge Sabarsky, 1993 April 22

Interviewee:
Sabarsky, Serge, 1912-1996  Search this
Interviewer:
Long, Rose-Carol Washton  Search this
Subject:
Serge Sabarsky Gallery  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art dealers  Search this
Expressionism (Art)  Search this
Gallery owners  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13032
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215331
AAA_collcode_sabars93
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_215331

Oral history interview with John Wilson, 1993 March 11-1994 August 16

Interviewee:
Wilson, John Woodrow, 1922-  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Subject:
Hurwitz, Sidney  Search this
Siqueiros, David Alfaro  Search this
Rivera, Diego  Search this
Lewis, Elma  Search this
LÔeger, Fernand  Search this
Gaither, Edmund B.  Search this
Bengtz, Ture  Search this
Zerbe, Karl  Search this
Kramer, Jack N.  Search this
Aronson, David  Search this
Kay, Reed  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School  Search this
Boston University.School of Fine and Applied Arts  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
African American artists as teachers  Search this
Printmakers  Search this
Art  Search this
Art teachers  Search this
Painters  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
African American artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11501
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216507
AAA_collcode_wilson93
Theme:
African American
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_216507

Jacques Seligmann & Co. records, 1904-1978, bulk 1913-1974

Creator:
Jacques Seligmann & Co.  Search this
Subject:
Waegen, Rolf Hans  Search this
Glaenzer, Eugene  Search this
de Hauke, César  Search this
Seligmann, Jacques  Search this
Seligmann, René  Search this
Parker, Theresa D.  Search this
Mackay, Clarence Hungerford  Search this
Liechtenstein, House of  Search this
Schiff, Mortimer L.  Search this
Haardt, Georges  Search this
La Fresnaye, Roger de  Search this
Seligman, Germain  Search this
Arenberg  Search this
Seligmann, Arnold  Search this
Trevor, Clyfford  Search this
MM. Jacques Seligmann & fils  Search this
Eugene Glaenzer & Co  Search this
Gersel  Search this
Germain Seligmann & Co  Search this
De Hauke & Co., Inc  Search this
Topic:
Art  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Art, European  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Art treasures in war  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Art, Renaissance  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9936
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212486
AAA_collcode_jacqself
Theme:
The Art Market
Art Gallery Records
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_212486
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  • View Jacques Seligmann & Co. records, 1904-1978, bulk 1913-1974 digital asset number 3
  • View Jacques Seligmann & Co. records, 1904-1978, bulk 1913-1974 digital asset number 4
  • View Jacques Seligmann & Co. records, 1904-1978, bulk 1913-1974 digital asset number 5
Online Media:

As Face Mask Supply Dwindles, Fashion Designers Offer Their Assistance

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 15:34:43 +0000
Topic:
Custom RSS  Search this
See more posts:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_0f3914d1c2d269bd55e2911bb823282e

Leo Castelli Gallery records, circa 1880-2000, bulk 1957-1999

Creator:
Leo Castelli Gallery  Search this
Castelli, Leo, 1907-1999  Search this
Subject:
Rosenquist, James  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Rowan, Robert  Search this
Powers, Kimiko  Search this
Starn, Doug  Search this
Warhol, Andy  Search this
Flavin, Dan  Search this
Scull, Ethel  Search this
Darboven, Hanne  Search this
Barry, Robert Thomas  Search this
Artschwager, Richard Ernst  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu  Search this
Marisol  Search this
Nauman, Bruce  Search this
Gorgoni, Gianfranco  Search this
Epstein, Ethel Steuer  Search this
Heller, Ben  Search this
Koons, Jeff  Search this
Twombly, Cy  Search this
Grisi, Laura  Search this
Morris, Robert  Search this
Klapheck, Konrad  Search this
Namuth, Hans  Search this
Tremaine, Emily Hall  Search this
Ruscha, Edward  Search this
Rowan, Carolyn  Search this
Tremaine, Burton  Search this
Scarpitta, Salvatore  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes  Search this
Acconi, Vito  Search this
Paik, Nam June  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert  Search this
Kiesler, Frederick  Search this
Parker, Raymond  Search this
Starn, Mike  Search this
Chryssa  Search this
Collins, Hannah  Search this
Serra, Richard  Search this
Christo  Search this
Powers, John  Search this
Power, Alan  Search this
Stella, Frank  Search this
Bloom, Barbara  Search this
Daphnis, Nassos  Search this
Johns, Jasper  Search this
Scull, Robert C.  Search this
Landsman, Stanley  Search this
Weiner, Lawrence  Search this
Judd, Donald C. (Donald Clarence)  Search this
Multiples, Inc  Search this
Biennale di Venezia  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Video recordings
Topic:
Painting, Modern  Search this
Art, Modern  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7351
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209504
AAA_collcode_leocast
Theme:
Art Movements and Schools
Art Gallery Records
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209504
Online Media:

Gloves, Flight Attendant, Air California

Materials:
Synthetic Fiber Fabric
Dimensions:
Clothing (Each): 22 × 9cm (8 11/16 × 3 9/16 in.)
Type:
PERSONAL EQUIPMENT-Handwear
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Credit Line:
Donated by Nancy Matsui
Inventory Number:
A19880533000
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/nv97e44196b-6522-48df-831b-f69240ed89c3
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19880533000
Online Media:

Control Unit, Automatic Direction Finder (ADF), MK 1

Manufacturer:
The Sperry Gyroscope Co.  Search this
Materials:
Ferrous Alloy
Non-Magnetic White Metal
Plastic
Paint
Copper Alloy
Synthetic Fabric
Unknown Coating
Glass
Dimensions:
3-D: 22 × 15.2 × 18.8cm (8 11/16 × 6 × 7 3/8 in.)
Type:
AVIONICS-Electronic/Satellite Navigation
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Credit Line:
Gift of Charles L. Neumann
Inventory Number:
A19780282000
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/nv911fc82b4-322a-47fd-a623-a255eafc6fff
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19780282000
Online Media:

Lee Ya-Ching Papers

Creator:
Ya-Ching, Lee  Search this
Extent:
11.9 Cubic feet (22 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scripts (documents)
Photographs
Maps
Scrapbooks
Date:
1938-1970
Summary:
This collection consists of 11.9 cubic feet of material chronicling Lee Ya-Ching's role as a pilot trying to raise funds for China during World War II. The collection contains the following types of material: correspondence, both official and personal; maps; publications; newspapers; invitation; programs from events; lecture notes; scripts from radio shows; photographs, both official and snapshots; trip schedules and agendas; address books; scrapbooks; and official paperwork and licenses.
Scope and Content note:
This collection consists of 11.9 cubic feet of material chronicling Lee Ya-Ching's role as a pilot trying to raise funds for China during World War II. The collection contains the following types of material: correspondence, both official and personal; maps; publications; newspapers; invitations; programs from events; lecture notes; scripts from radio shows; photographs, both official and snapshots; trip schedules and agendas; address books; scrapbooks; and official paperwork and licenses.
Arrangement:
This collection of materials listed in the finding aid is arranged into two series, Ms Lee's personal papers and her professional papers. Within each series, items are arranged by material type then chronologically. No attempt was made to translate foreign language material in the collection.
Biographical/Historical note:
Lee Ya-Ching was born in Canton, China in 1912. As an only child who lost her mother at a young age, Ya-Ching was raised by her father and grandmother. Under her father's guidance she learned many skills, including martial arts, some previously restricted to male children. Ya-Ching attended English schools in Hong Kong and Shanghai and at the age of 16 was sent to London to attend finishing school.

In 1929 at the age of 17, Ya-Ching went to Geneva, Switzerland. It is there that she took her first ride in an airplane and vowed to learn how to fly. She enrolled in Ecole Aero Club de Suisse and, in 1934, became the first woman to receive a pilot's license from the school. Determined to continue her education, Ya-Ching went to the United States and attended the Boeing School of Aeronautics in Oakland, California in 1935. In November of that year she became the first woman licensed through the Boeing School. Upon completion of her training at the Boeing school Ya-Ching returned to China and began campaigning for a Chinese pilot's license, eventually obtaining the license in 1936. Seeing a need to train new pilots, Ya-Ching and some fellow pilots opened a civilian flying school in Shanghai in 1936.

When Japan invaded China in 1937, Ya-Ching volunteered to fly for her country, but was refused. Undeterred, she served her country by establishing hospitals. Leaving Shanghai for Hong Kong just before the city fell, she was finally given the opportunity to fly for China by piloting Red Cross planes ferrying supplies from Hong Kong to Canton. Realizing that China needed aid and supplies, Ya-Ching embarked on a Goodwill Tour of the United States and Canada in 1938. When the war prevented her return to China, Ya-Ching continued the tour expanding her appearances into South America.

Not much is known of Ya-Ching's life after the war. She returned to Hong Kong for a number of years. In the 1960's she returned to California, where she died in 1998 at the age of 86.

Time Line of Lee Ya-Ching

xxxx -- The following timeline covers key events in Ya-Ching's life, as well world events. Events involving Ya-Ching are shown in normal type world events are shown in italics.

1909 -- M. Vallon flies first plane in China

1911 -- China ousts the 2000 year old Imperial System for a Republic

April 16, 1912 -- Lee Ya-Ching is born in Canton, China

1916 -- Ya-Ching's mother dies of tuberculosis

1917 -- China enters World War 1 on the side of the Allies

1926 -- Begins career as a movie actress

1928 -- Leaves the film industry and goes to school in England

1929 -- The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) is ousted from China Goes to Switzerland

September 1931 -- Japan seizes control of Manchuria

November 1931 -- CCP resurfaces in China and forms the Chinese Soviet Republic in Jiangxi Province

May 1932 -- Amelia Earhart becomes first woman to solo across the Atlantic

1933 -- Begins flying lessons at Geneva's Cointrin-Ecole d'Aviation

1934 -- Receives her pilot's license from Ecole Aéro Club de Suisse

1935 -- Attends and receives license from the Boeing School of Aeronautics in Oakland, California

1935 -- Falls out of an aerobatic plane, earning her membership in the Caterpillar Club

1936 -- Receives her pilot's license from the Chinese Government First domestic airline established in China Opens a civilian flying school in Shanghai

1937 -- Flies for the Red Cross ferrying supplies from Hong Kong to Canton Japan invades China Earns Hong Kong commercial pilot's license Helps establish hospitals in Shanghai

1938 -- Begins goodwill tour of United States and Canada

1939 -- Appears in US film Disputed Passage with Dorothy Lamour

1940 -- Flies "Estrella China" to Caribbean, Central and South America Aids Ruth Nichols in raising money for Relief Wings

1941 -- Begins working for United China Relief

December 7, 1941 -- Bombing of Pearl Harbor forces American entry into World War II

1944 -- Begins Goodwill and Fund Raising tour of South America and Caribbean

August 1945 -- Atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, followed by Japanese surrender and end of World War II

1946 -- Returns to China and retires

1946 -- Fighting between CCP and KMT (Nationalist party) resumes

October 1949 -- KMT retreats to Taiwan Mao Zedong establishes the People's Republic of China

1950 -- Receives Hong Kong private pilot's license

1963 -- Receives Hong Kong Special Purpose Pilot's license

1971 -- Permanently moves to the United States

1997 -- British rule ends in Hong Kong

January 28, 1998 -- Dies at the age of 86
Provenance:
Pax Cheng and Mary Wolfson, Gift, 2007, NASM.2008.0009.
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945 -- Civilian relief  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- China  Search this
Aeronautics -- Exhibitions  Search this
Women air pilots  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scripts (documents)
Photographs
Maps
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Lee Ya-Ching Papers, NASM.2008.0009, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2008.0009
See more items in:
Lee Ya-Ching Papers
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2008-0009
Online Media:

Ed Gerjuoy, "Recollections of Oppenheimer and Schwinger"

Creator:
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory  Search this
Type:
Youtube videos
Uploaded:
2011-04-11T18:52:55.000Z
Topic:
Astronomy  Search this
Youtube Category:
Science & Technology  Search this
See more by:
ITAMPhysics
YouTube Channel:
ITAMPhysics
Data Source:
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_QO7JdhkF5EM

Bertha Schaefer papers and gallery records, 1909-1975, bulk, 1940-1965

Creator:
Schaefer, Bertha, 1895-1971  Search this
Subject:
Ben-Zion  Search this
Barnet, Will  Search this
Pollock, Jackson  Search this
Vasilieff, Nicholas  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad  Search this
Greene, Balcomb  Search this
Picasso, Pablo  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel  Search this
Zóbel, Fernando  Search this
Bertha Schaefer Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
New Bertha Schaefer Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Type:
Scrapbooks
Topic:
Interior decoration  Search this
Art, Modern  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9497
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211695
AAA_collcode_schabert
Theme:
The Art Market
Art Gallery Records
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211695
Online Media:

Funerary shrine cloth

Maker:
Okon Akpan Abuje, born ca. 1900  Search this
Anang artist  Search this
Medium:
Commercial cotton cloth, cotton thread
Dimensions:
H x W: 344.8 x 153 cm (135 3/4 x 60 1/4 in.)
Type:
Costume and Textile
Geography:
Ikot Obong village, Akwa-Ibom State, Nigeria
Date:
Late 1970s
Topic:
Funerary  Search this
fish  Search this
geometric motif  Search this
male  Search this
female  Search this
Credit Line:
Museum purchase
Object number:
84-6-9
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
National Museum of African Art Collection
Data Source:
National Museum of African Art
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ys733a808cd-61e5-4f70-99cb-8c82b6534018
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmafa_84-6-9

Trinity Church, New York

Artist:
Robert Wilvers, born Milwaukee, WI 1932-died New Milford, CT 1997  Search this
Medium:
watercolor and pencil on paperboard
Dimensions:
sheet and image: 30 × 22 in. (76.2 × 55.9 cm)
Type:
Painting
Date:
ca. 1956-1957
Topic:
Figure group  Search this
Cityscape\New York\New York  Search this
Cityscape\street  Search this
Architecture\vehicle\automobile  Search this
Architecture\religious\Trinity Church  Search this
Architecture Exterior\commercial\skyscraper  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Ford Motor Company
Object number:
1966.36.201
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk751d8e1d3-82be-4552-9404-331d3e2eaa35
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1966.36.201

Henry Varnum Poor papers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Parish Gallery records

Creator:
Parish Gallery  Search this
Names:
Adenaike, Tayo  Search this
Gentry, Herbert, 1919-2003  Search this
Horrom, Marilyn  Search this
Jarrell, Wadsworth, 1929-  Search this
Lewis, Samella S.  Search this
McNeil, Bruce  Search this
Miller, Sandi Ritchie  Search this
Montgomery, Evangeline J.  Search this
Ogburn, David, 1942-  Search this
Parish, Norman, 1937-2013  Search this
Extent:
6.4 Linear feet
11.73 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Photographs
Date:
1940-2013
bulk 1991-2013
Summary:
The records of Parish Gallery, located in Washington, D.C., measure 6.4 linear feet and 11.73 gigabytes and date from 1940 to 2013, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1991 to 2013. This collection consists primarily of exhibition files, but also includes administrative files, as well as some biographical material related to Norman Parish's career before opening the gallery.
Scope and Contents:
The records of Parish Gallery, located in Washington, D.C., measure 6.4 linear feet and 11.73 gigabytes and date from 1940 to 2013, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1991 to 2013. This collection consists primarily of exhibition files, but also includes administrative files, as well as some biographical material related to Norman Parish's career before opening the gallery.

Exhibition files include printed materials, photographic material, correspondence, loan agreements, born digital material, and other materials related to exhibitions held at Parish Gallery. In some cases exhibition files serve as artist files as well, with additional materials related to artists' work. Notable artists included within these files are Wadsworth A. Jarrell, Oggi Ogburn, Evangeline J. (E. J.) Montgomery, Bruce McNeil, Sandi Ritchie Miller, Marilyn Horrom, Samella Lewis, Herbert Gentry, and Tayo Adenaike.

Administrative files include materials related to Galleries 1054, where Parish Gallery was located; as well as a proposal from Black Artists of DC; correspondence; and clippings.

Norman Parish biographical material includes documents related to Norman Parish's art career and honors and awards he received.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in three series.

Series 1: Exhibition Files, 1940-1944, 1971-2013, bulk 1991-2013 (Boxes 1-6, OV 8-9, ER01-ER20; 5.9 linear feet)

Series 2: Administrative Files, 1991-2013 (Box 6; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 3: Norman Parish Biographical Material, 1970-2013 (Box 7, ER21; 0.2 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Parish Gallery (established 1991-closed 2013) was a gallery in Washington, D.C. Founded by artist Norman Parish (1937-2013), the gallery was known for exhibiting artwork by African American and international artists. Parish's wife Gwen co-managed the gallery from the beginning until it closed its doors. Over the course of its 22 year history, Parish gallery exhibited the works of over 170 artists from Ghana, Nigeria, Morocco, France, Spain, Greece, and many other countries. In articles and interviews, Parish underscored the gallery's dedication to showing the works of underrepresented artists of all backgrounds, though the primary focus was the members of the African diaspora, and help them promote their work.

Norman Parish was born in New Orleans in 1937 and grew up in Chicago. He graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1960 and contributed to the Wall of Respect in 1967. He was a painter and was in several exhibitions. In 1988 Parish moved to Washington, D.C., and he opened Parish Gallery in Georgetown in 1991, making it one of the few galleries owned by an African American at the time. The gallery quickly grew in prominence over the years highlighting the works of major artists such as Wadsworth Jarrell, Herbert Gentry, and E. J. Montgomery, as well as artists from the United States and abroad. The final exhibition at the gallery was entitled Norman Parish: The Artist in 2013. Parish passed away that same year.
Provenance:
The Parish Gallery records were donated in 2016 by Gwen Parish, Norman Parish's widow.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of electronic records with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
African American artists  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Parish Gallery records, 1940-2013. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.parigall
See more items in:
Parish Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-parigall
Online Media:

Quirt

Culture/People:
Wichita  Search this
Previous owner:
Milton M. Babcock, Non-Indian, 1910-1997  Search this
Seller:
Milton M. Babcock, Non-Indian, 1910-1997  Search this
Object Name:
Quirt
Media/Materials:
Animal Bone, wool cloth, commercially tanned leather, brass tacks/bosses, glass bead/beads, paint, hide thong/babiche
Techniques:
Studded, incised, overlay beadwork, painted, sewn
Dimensions:
35.50 x 3.50 x 7.00 cm
Object Type:
Animal Tack and Animal Husbandry
Place:
Kansas; USA
Catalog Number:
22/4013
Barcode:
224013.000
See related items:
Wichita
Animal Tack and Animal Husbandry
Data Source:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:NMAI_238906
Online Media:

Playing Cards, Northwest Airlines

Manufacturer:
Northwest Airlines Inc.  Search this
Materials:
Card Stock
Plastic
Synthetic Fabric
Paper
Ink
Copper Alloy
Dimensions:
3-D (Case, Closed): 22 × 15 × 3.6cm (8 11/16 × 5 7/8 × 1 7/16 in.)
3-D (Card Deck, Each): 9 × 5.8 × 1.6cm (3 9/16 × 2 5/16 × 5/8 in.)
Type:
MEMORABILIA-Popular Culture
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Credit Line:
Donated by Donald W. Nyrop
Inventory Number:
A19900002000
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/nv9bd019350-feda-41bc-acf0-c631e5316a6a
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19900002000
Online Media:

Kenneth Snelson papers

Creator:
Snelson, Kenneth, 1927-2016  Search this
Names:
Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.)  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-  Search this
Tajiri, Shinkichi, 1923-2009  Search this
Extent:
21.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1947-2016
Summary:
The papers of artist Kenneth Snelson measure 21.8 linear feet and date from 1947-2016. While primarily known for his sculptures incorporating the structural principle of tensegrity, Snelson was also a prolific photographer and forerunner of computer art. The collection document's the artist's life and work through chronological files, correspondence, project files, gallery and exhibition files, photographic material, and printed material. Chronological files detail seven decades of personal and professional activities, beginning with Snelson's summers at Black Mountain College where he studied with Buckminster Fuller. Project files comprise nearly half of the collection and extensively document his sculptures, towers, atom model, computer art, patents, and cataloging and publishing projects.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of artist Kenneth Snelson measure 21.8 linear feet and date from 1947-2016. While primarily known for his sculptures incorporating the structural principle of tensegrity, Snelson was also a prolific photographer and forerunner of computer art. The collection document's the artist's life and work through chronological files, correspondence, project files, gallery and exhibition files, photographic material, and printed material.

Chronological files detail seven decades of personal and professional activities, beginning with Snelson's summers at Black Mountain College where he studied with Buckminster Fuller. Files contain a diverse array of material including personal photographs, photographs of artwork, printed material, correspondence, life documents, resumes, exhibition records, drawings and sketches, supply receipts, and professional files.

Correspondence in Series 2 is primarily with artists and friends. Notable correspondents include artists Buckminster Fuller, Anthony Hill, Todd Siler, and Shinkichi Tajiri.

Project files comprise nearly half of the collection and extensively document Snelson's sculptures, towers, atom model, computer art, patents, and cataloging and publishing projects. Files include a great deal of photographic material of artwork, models, and installations, as well as sketches, notes regarding specifications, material samples, supply receipts, invoices, and correspondence with dealers, contractors, institutions, and companies commissioning work.

Exhibition and gallery files document dozens of exhibitions and galleries that have represented Snelson over the years in the Unites States, Europe, and Japan. Items include correspondence, photographic material of artworks, installations, and openings, exhibitions lists, floorplans, shipping receipts, invoices, contracts, and printed material including exhibitions catalogs, announcements, and clippings.

Photographic material includes photographic prints, slides, negatives, contact sheets, and transparencies, as well as notes that Snelson kept about camera types and photographic processes. Although personal photographs are included here, the bulk of the material pertains to Snelson's fine art photography in which he experiments with panoramic photography and stereoscopic photography.

Printed material is predominantly comprised of exhibition catalogs, although a few articles and clippings are filed here as well.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as six series.

Series 1: Chronological Files, 1948-2015 (Boxes 1-6; 5.1 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1948-2009 (Box 6; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 3: Project Files, 1947-2016 (Boxes 6-17; 10.8 linear feet)

Series 4: Exhibition and Gallery Files, 1963-2016 (Boxes 17-20; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 5: Photographic Material, 1951-2004 (Boxes 20-22; 1.8 linear feet)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1960-2015 (Boxes 22-23; 0.7 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Kenneth Snelson (1927-2016) was a New York City based artist best known for his sculptures incorporating the structural principle of tensegrity, or tensional integrity.

Born in Pendleton, Oregon, Snelson enrolled in college in his home state, studying painting, sculpture, and engineering. In the summers of 1948 and 1949, he attended Black Mountain College and studied with Buckminster Fuller and Joseph Albers. Snelson then attended the Chicago Institute of Design from 1949-1950, and moved to New York City in 1952.

For the next decade, Snelson worked as a cameraman for documentary films, often travelling internationally. In the early 1960s, Snelson began exhibiting his sculptures, and gained representation by Dwan Gallery. Snelson completed several commissions and installations of his sculptures over the next decade, including Tower of Light, a contribution to the 1964 World's Fair, and Needle Tower, first erected in New York's Bryant Park in 1968. While continuing to work in sculpture throughout his career, Snelson began experimenting with panoramic and stereoscopic photography in the 1970s, and became a forerunner of computer art in the 1980s, using the Silicon Graphics computer to create digital sculptures.

In addition to Dwan Gallery, Snelson has shown with Sonnabend Gallery, Zabriskie Gallery, Marlborough Gallery, and the artist-run ConStruct Gallery.

Snelson has been the recipient of numerous awards and prizes including an Honorary Doctorate from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a prize for sculpture from the National Academy of Design.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art in 2017 by Katherine Snelson, Kenneth Snelson's widow.
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.
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:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Citation:
Kenneth Snelson papers, 1947-2016. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.snelkenn
See more items in:
Kenneth Snelson papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-snelkenn

Elyn Zimmerman papers

Creator:
Zimmerman, Elyn, 1945-  Search this
Names:
Dicker, Ruth  Search this
Diebenkorn, Richard, 1922-1993  Search this
Gund, Agnes  Search this
Teraoka, Masami, 1936-  Search this
Varnedoe, Kirk  Search this
Extent:
28.5 Linear feet
0.223 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Sound recordings
Date:
1969-2017
Summary:
The papers of sculptor and site-specific installation artist Elyn Zimmerman measure 28.5 linear feet and 0.223 gigabytes, and date from 1969-2017. The collection documents the artist's life and work through correspondence, writings, project and commission files, exhibition files, teaching files, and printed material. Project and commission files comprise the majority of the collection at 18.2 linear feet and comprehensively document dozens of Zimmerman's site-specific sculptural projects and proposals for public and private sites across the United States and internationally. Items include correspondence, contracts, photographs, models, blueprints, and original sketches and drawings. The papers include a small number of born digital records, including digital images of projects, construction sites, and floorplans, as well as PowerPoint presentations.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of sculptor and site-specific installation artist Elyn Zimmerman measure 28.5 linear feet and 0.223 gigabytes, and date from 1969-2017. The collection documents the artist's life and work through correspondence, writings, project and commission files, exhibition files, teaching files, and printed material.

Correspondence is comprised predominately of received letters and fewer drafts and copies of outgoing letters. Notable correspondents include Zimmerman's late husband, curator Kirk Varnedoe, arts advocate Agnes Gund, and artists Ruth Dicker, Richard Diebenkorn, Kady Hoffman, and Masami Teraoka.

Writings include drafts of journal articles, a book mock-up, project notes, and statements. Agendas and address books are filed with writings.

Project and commission files comprise the bulk of the collection and comprehensively document dozens of Zimmerman's site-specific sculptural projects and proposals for public and private sites across the United States and internationally. Items include correspondence, contracts, photographs, models, blueprints, and original sketches and drawings. The files include a small number of born digital records, including digital images of projects, construction sites, and floorplans, as well as PowerPoint presentations.

Exhibition files document Zimmerman's site-specific installations and exhibitions in a gallery and museum context. Files include correspondence, photographs, slides, statements, press releases, shipping information, and price lists.

Teaching files document the many courses Zimmerman taught in painting, drawing, design, architecture, and landscape architecture. Items include syllabi, assignments, lecture notes, reading lists, and articles.

Printed material primarily consists of items cataloging Zimmerman's career including exhibition announcements, catalogs, and press clippings. Subject files were saved and collected by Zimmerman and are arranged at the end of the series.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as six series.

Series 1: Correspondence, 1978-2011 (3.7 linear feet; Box 1-4)

Series 2: Writings, Agendas, and Address Books, 1970-2003 (0.5 linear feet; Box 4-5)

Series 3: Project and Commission Files, 1970-2016 (18.2 linear feet, Box 5-15, 21-22, OV 23-85, RD 97-98; 0.223 gigabytes, ER01-04)

Series 4: Exhibition Files, 1969-2015 (3.5 linear feet; Box 15-16, 20-21, OV 86-96, RD 99)

Series 5: Teaching Files, 1970-1994 (0.4 linear feet; Box 16)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1970-2017 (2.2 linear feet; Box 16-19)
Biographical / Historical:
Elyn Zimmerman (1945-) is a New York City and Los Angeles based sculptor best known for her large scale site-specific outdoor installations incorporating granite, water features, and landscape architecture.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Zimmerman moved to California for college, earning both her BFA and MFA from University of California, Los Angeles. While at UCLA, she studied with Richard Diebenkorn and Robert Irwin, and worked in photography, drawing, and site-specific installation. In 1978 she created Monarch's Trough for Artpark in Lewiston, New York, her first site-specific work using granite. For the next several decades Zimmerman would complete dozens of site-specific installations in public and private spaces across the United States, and submit proposals for dozens more. Working frequently with stone and granite, she developed a decades long relationship with a granite quarry in Cold Spring, Minnesota, which fabricated many of her designs. Zimmerman's clients have included the National Geographic Society, the Birmingham Art Museum, and the New York City Parks Department.

In addition to her site-specific work, Zimmerman has had an extensive exhibition history, and has shown for many years with Gagosian Gallery. In 2016, Zimmerman was the recipient of the Isamu Noguchi Award. She has taught at Mills College, California Institute of the Arts, Harvard University, New York University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Zimmerman was married to the late curator Kirk Varnedoe from 1978-2002.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art in 2015 and 2017 by Elyn Zimmerman.
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 born-digital records or 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:
Sculptors -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Installation artists -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Installation artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Women sculptors  Search this
Installations (visual works)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Citation:
Elyn Zimmerman papers, 1969-2017. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.zimmelyn
See more items in:
Elyn Zimmerman papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-zimmelyn

Project and Commission Files

Collection Creator:
Zimmerman, Elyn, 1945-  Search this
Extent:
18.2 Linear feet (Box 5-15, 21-22, OV 23-85, RD 97-98)
0.223 Gigabytes (ER01-04)
Type:
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Date:
1970-2016
Scope and Contents:
Project and commission files comprise the bulk of the collection, and comprehensively document dozens of Zimmerman's site-specific sculptural projects and proposals for public and private sites across the United States and internationally. Many of the projects, both temporary and permanent, were designed for the outdoors and incorporate granite, water features, and landscape architecture. The documents capture the many phases of each project including proposals, planning, site visits, contracting, construction, fabrication, transportation, installation, completion, restoration, and preservation. Material includes correspondence, contracts, photographs, slides, models, blueprints, and original sketches and drawings. The files include a small number of born digital records, including digital images of projects, construction sites, and floorplans, as well as PowerPoint presentations.

Major projects documented here include Marabar at the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC, Terrain at O'Hare International Center, Keystone Island at the Dade County courthouse in Miami, Lithos I at the Manufacturers Life Insurance Tower in Los Angeles, First Market Plaza in San Francisco, Sanctuary at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, the Birmingham Museum of Art Sculpture Garden, Free Fall at the Cancer Institute in New Brunswick, Wa Marafiki Mkusanyiko at the US Embassy in Tanzania, the Watercourse at Bentall in Vancouver, and Capsouto Park in New York City.

In addition to these site-specific works, project files, sketches, and stencils pertaining to a series of encaustic drawings titled "Ceremonial Objects" are also filed here. Included here as well are a few files related to residencies, fellowships, and a panel presented at the College Art Association conference.
Arrangement:
Files are arranged chronologically by project date. Most files contain additional oversized material arranged at the end of the series.
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 born-digital records or 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:
Elyn Zimmerman papers, 1969-2017. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.zimmelyn, Series 3
See more items in:
Elyn Zimmerman papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-zimmelyn-ref3

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