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.
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)
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).
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.
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.
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.
Use of the original papers requires an appointment.
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.
The records of the American Federation of Arts (AFA) provide researchers with a complete set of documentation focusing on the founding and history of the organization from its inception through the 1960s. The collection measures 79.8 linear feet, and dates from 1895 through 1993, although the bulk of the material falls between 1909 and 1969. Valuable for its coverage of twentieth-century American art history, the collection also provides researchers with fairly comprehensive documentation of the many exhibitions and programs supported and implemented by the AFA to promote and study contemporary American art, both nationally and abroad.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of the American Federation of Arts (AFA) provide researchers with a complete set of documentation focusing on the founding and history of the organization from its inception through the 1960s. The collection measures 79.8 linear feet, and dates from 1895 through 1993, although the bulk of the material falls between 1909 and 1969. Valuable for its coverage of twentieth-century American art history, the collection also provides researchers with fairly comprehensive documentation of the many exhibitions and programs supported and implemented by the AFA to promote and study contemporary American art, both nationally and abroad.
The earliest documentation from 1895 to 1909 concerns the organization's history and founding and is located in Series 1: Board of Trustees. Also found in this series are meeting minutes, 1909-1963 and 1968. Interfiled with the board meeting minutes are minutes of the executive committee and other special and ad hoc committees, reports to the board, financial statements and reports, and lists of committee appointments and board membership. This series also contains the scattered correspondence and subject files of various officers. Although not a complete set of officers' files, Presidents' Frederick Allen. Whiting (1931-1936), Lawrence M.C. Smith (1948-1952), Thomas Brown Rudd (1952-1954), Daniel Longwell (1954-1956), James S. Schramm (1956-1958), and Roy R. Neuberger (1958-1961) are represented. Leila Mechlin served on AFA's board as secretary from its founding to 1929, and her files are a particularly rich resource for AFA's activities during its early years. Lawrence M.C. Smith's files documenting his years as board treasurer are also arranged in this series. Additional officers' correspondence is interspersed throughout the Alphabetical Files and other series.
General information about the scope of AFA's programs, affiliations, founding, functions, and proceedings are arranged in Series 2: Administrative Records. The first subseries, Alphabetical Files, houses a wide variety of subject files that contain memoranda, correspondence, printed materials, lists, reports, and other papers. These files document the AFA's general history and founding, organizational affiliations, buildings and moves, grants, federal and state government art programs, auctions and other fund-raising efforts, publicity and public relations, publications, and fiftieth anniversary celebration. The subject headings by which these files are arranged are, for the most part, the ones designated by the AFA. The second subseries, Staff Records, houses the scattered files of AFA's director, assistant director, registrar, and special state representative, Robert Luck.
During its most active period, the AFA sponsored or participated in several special programs and Series 3: Special Programs houses the files that document many of them. The first subseries consists of the files for the Artists in Residence program that was funded by the Ford Foundation. Awarded in 1963, the grant sponsored short-term teaching residencies for artists in museums throughout the United States. The host museums were encouraged to hold exhibitions of the artists' works. This subseries contains both the general files of the program, as well as individual files on the participating artists. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, the AFA and the Ford Foundation also sponsored additional programs for artists, including Grants in Aid, Purchase Awards, and the Retrospective Exhibitions Program. The files documenting these three programs are also arranged in Series 3, under the subseries Ford Foundation Program for Visual Artists. In the late 1950s, the AFA implemented the Museum Donor Program with benefactors and philanthropists Audrey Bruce Currier and Stephen Richard Currier. Through the administration of the AFA, the Curriers donated funds to selected institutions specifically for the purchase of contemporary American art. The Curriers preferred to remain anonymous throughout the program. Files documenting this program include correspondence, applications from the accepted institutions, rejections, a summary report, and clippings about the untimely deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Currier in 1967.
Also found in Series 3 are the files documenting AFAs working relationship with the first state arts council, the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). In 1961, AFA and NYSCA implemented a traveling exhibition program in New York State. Found here are files for possible itineraries, proposals, publicity, loans, budgets, and the actual exhibition files. Additional AFA special programs documented in Series 3 include the Picture of the Month program of the mid-1950s and the Jean Tennyson Foundation Color Slide Lecture Program.
AFA Annual Convention files constitute Series 4. Beginning with the Third Annual Convention in 1912 and continuing through the 1963 Annual Convention, the files contain official proceedings, speeches, programs, clippings, correspondence, and press releases. Files are missing for 1913, 1915, 1918, 1922, 1923, 1925, 1926, 1931, 1936-1949, 1952, 1956, 1958, 1960, and 1962. There are also audio recordings in the form of reel-to-reel tapes for the 1951 Annual Convention.
Series 5: Exhibition Files forms the bulk of the collection at circa 62 linear feet and is arranged into twenty subseries. The first subseries, Exhibitions, General, houses primarily the records of the Board of Trustees Exhibition Committee and documents the AFA's earliest involvement with traveling exhibitions. These files contain reports, budgets, correspondence, memoranda, scattered exhibition catalogs, and photographs. They are primarily the files of the chair of the Exhibition Committee and include the files of Juliana R. Force, Eloise Spaeth, and Mrs. John Pope. Also found in this series is a subseries of Mrs. John Pope's records documenting circulating exhibitions from 1934 to 1955, arranged by state.
The remaining nineteen subseries of the Exhibition Files reflect either specific exhibition programs, many of which have unique numbers assigned by AFA to individual exhibitions, or other exhibition-related files, such rejected, canceled, and suggested exhibitions and miscellaneous installation photographs. The Annual Exhibitions files constitute the largest of the subseries and are numbered according to the system assigned by AFA, following a typical chronological order. Although the documentation for each exhibition varies widely by both type and amount, most of the files contain contracts and legal agreements, correspondence, memoranda, itinerary information, condition reports, publicity materials, catalogs, announcements, price lists, and other such information arranged into one or more files. The files were labeled "documentation files," "dispersal files," "report form files," "loan agreement files," and "publicity files" according to the filing system devised by AFA. Many of the files also house a significant amount of correspondence with museum officials, lenders, and artists.
Additional subseries document AFA's exhibition venues and partnerships with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the New York State Council on the [UNK] Life magazine, and Addison Gallery. A complete list of all of the subseries, including specific exhibition programs, follows in the Series Outline.
The final three series of the collection are small: Printed Material, Miscellaneous Files, and Oversized Material. The printed material was donated much later to the Archives and dates from 1990 to 1993. Found here are scattered press releases, annual reports, and an exhibition program. Miscellaneous Files contain scattered records, 1926-1962, of the Architectural League of New York relating to national award programs. It is not clear why this small group of Architectural League records was found mixed with the AFA records but perhaps the collaboration between the two organizations on several special projects provides an explanation. Also found in Miscellaneous Files is a group of black and white lantern slides from a lecture series, "New Horizons in America." Oversized Material includes a portfolio, a work of art, and posters.
See Appendix for a list of artists exhibiting with the American Federation of Arts
The collection is arranged into eight primary series based primarily on administrative units or program areas. Several of the series are further subdivided into subseries. While processing, it became clear that the two filing systems were redundant and overlapped in both subject area and type of material. Most of these files were subsequently merged into the now broader Alphabetical Files or into separate series. Oversized material may be found at the end of the collection arranged in a separate series.
In most cases, files related to one another by subseries or subject areas (in the case of the Alphabetical Files) or by individual name (in the case of officers and staff files) are arranged in chronological order. The entire subseries of Alphabetical Files in Series 2 is arranged by subject heading, as assigned by the AFA, or individual name. The Alphabetical Files originally formed two broad filing systems as established by the AFA: one for general correspondence arranged by subject; and one for director's and other staff correspondence, also arranged by subject.
Series 1: Board of Trustees, circa 1895-1968 (Boxes 1-3)
Series 2: Administrative Records, 1910-1966 (Boxes 4-8)
Series 3: Special Programs, 1950-1967 (Boxes 9-13)
Series 4: Annual Conventions, 1912-1963 (Boxes 14-16)
Series 5: Exhibition Files, 1934-1969 (Boxes 17-78)
Series 6: Printed Material, 1990-1993 (Box 78)
Series 7: Miscellaneous Files, 1926-1962, undated (Box 79)
Series 8: Oversized Materials, 1890, undated (Boxes 80-85)
Founded in 1909 by Elihu Root, the American Federation of Arts (AFA) exists today as a national nonprofit museum service organization striving to unite American art institutions, collectors, artists, and museums. Elihu Root, then secretary of state in the administration of Theodore Roosevelt, spoke of his idea at the first meeting of the AFA held in New York at the National Academy of Arts. He envisioned an organization that would promote American art most often seen only by the elite in the major cities of the East and upper Midwest by sending "exhibitions of original works of art on tour through the hinterlands across the United States."
The American Academy in Rome, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, and Metropolitan Museum of Art were influential organizing member institutions. Individual members included such notables as William Merritt Chase, Charles L. Freer, Daniel C. French, Charles L. Hutchinson, Henry Cabot Lodge, J.P. Morgan, and Henry Walters. The founding of the AFA provided the American art world with a forum for communication and participation among artists, cultural institutions, patrons of the arts, and the public.
To accomplish its mission, the AFA established volunteer committees for membership, exhibitions, and publications. During its first year, the AFA began publishing Art and Progress (later changed to Magazine of Art) and the American Art Annual (now the American Art Directory). In 1909, the AFA also organized its first traveling exhibition, Paintings by Prominent American Artists, which was shown at museums in Fort Worth, New Orleans, Minneapolis, and New Ulm, Minnesota.
By the end of the first year, the headquarters of the organization moved to Washington, D.C., to facilitate lobbying the federal government for favorable art legislation. In 1913, the AFA lobbied successfully for the removal of the tariff on foreign art entering the United States. In 1916, the Federation met with the Interstate Commerce Commission to protest prohibitively high interstate taxes on traveling art exhibitions.
Throughout the next fifteen years, the AFA continued to grow in membership and influence. By 1919, membership included 438 institutions and 2,900 individuals. The AFA's annual conventions were held in major national art centers and were attended by members, chapter delegates, and the public. At the conventions, scholars, patrons, and curators lectured on and discussed subjects of national interest, thereby fostering an exchange of ideas. The AFA also sponsored periodic regional conferences to promote institutional cooperation and to discuss mutual problems and needs. To facilitate exhibition venues west of the Mississippi River, in 1921 the AFA opened regional offices at the University of Nebraska and at Stanford University. The AFA produced and circulated slide programs and lecture series to museums and educational institutions that fostered art education. By 1929, the Federation had developed forty-six slide-lecture programs that covered American mural painting, European and American contemporary art, and textiles.
During the 1930s, the Federation expanded its services by providing schools with teaching guides, student workbooks, slides, and films about art. In 1935, the AFA began publishing Who's Who in American Art, later publishing The Official Directory of Illustrators and Advertising Artists and Films on Art reference guides. To reach an even larger audience, the AFA began collaborating with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to organize national circulating exhibitions to "bring the museum to the people."
One of AFA's priorities was to make American art more visible abroad. The Federation focused on encouraging the representation of American artists in foreign exhibitions, and in 1924 it lobbied successfully for additional American participation in the Venice Biennale. The AFA's focus on exhibiting American art abroad continued to expand, particularly following World War II. In 1950, recognizing that the AFA could assist in promoting American culture, the State Department awarded the AFA a grant for a German "re-orientation program" consisting of educational exhibitions shown in German museums. Additional government funding further enabled the AFA to organize American participation in exhibitions in India, Japan, Paris, Switzerland, and Rotterdam between 1950 and 1970. Later, the AFA collaborated with the United States Information Agency (USIA) to create the Overseas Museum Donor Program which permitted donations of American art to foreign institutions on a restriction-free, tax-deductible basis. During the 1950s, the AFA was a very active member of the Committee on Government and Art, a national committee with members from across the art and museum world concerned with government sponsorship of and legislation affecting art sales, commissions, and trade.
In 1952, the headquarters of the AFA returned to New York, sparking a period of innovation and expanded of programs. Throughout the 1950s, the AFA distributed films about art and co-sponsored the Films on Art Festival in Woodstock, New York. The AFA also introduced its Picture of the Month Program in 1954, renting original works of art to small American art and educational institutions. In 1956, the AFA organized the Art Collectors Club of America to provide fellowship for art collectors through meetings and activities. The club disbanded in the 1970s.
The Federation's exhibition programs continued to flourish during the 1950s and 1960s. Private and public financial support allowed the AFA to achieve many of its goals. In 1958, the Ford Foundation awarded an important grant to organize a series of traveling one-person shows and a series of monographs devoted to contemporary American artists. Milton Avery, Andrew Dasburg, José DeCreeft, Lee Gatch, Walter Quirt, Abraham Rattner, and others were among the artists who participated. Private foundation support for the AFA's Museum Donor Program provided an annual allowance that was distributed to regional museums for the pourchase of contemporary American art. Cooperative programs and joint venues also became popular during this period. For example, public support from the New York State Council on the Arts allowed the AFA to circulate exhibitions to small New York State communities, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts provided the AFA with five exhibitions for national tours.
Throughout its history, the American Federation of Arts has concentrated on its founding principle of broadening the audience for contemporary American art. Through its numerous exhibition and film programs, the AFA has succeeded in "breaking down barriers of distance and language to broaden the knowledge and appreciation of art." Annual exhibitions such as New Talent in the USA and Art Schools USA, organized by the AFA, brought before the public the most contemporary American artists and craftspeople, genres, and artistic forms of experimentation, exposing viewers to new ways of thinking and expression. In 1965, AFA produced The Curriculum in Visual Education, a series of films created to heighten the aesthetic awareness of children.
A vital part of American art history, the AFA was one of the first organizations to develop successfully the concept of traveling art exhibitions on a national and international level. The AFA was instrumental in assisting museums with circulating important juried exhibitions of contemporary art, such as the Whitney Annual and Corcoran Biennial. The AFA also recognized the importance of the exchange of cultural ideas, and it brought exhibitions of the European masters to the American public as well as exhibitions focusing on foreign contempoorary art, photography, and architecture. Many organizations and museums have followed the AFA's precedent, and traveling national and international venues are now commonplace.
Since 1909, women have served as officers and members of the Board of Trustees. Leila Mechlin was a founding participant and served as secretary from 1909 to 1933. Juliana R. Force and Eloise Spaeth both chaired the Exhibition Committee in the late 1940s. Women and artists of diverse backgrounds and nationalities were widely represented in the AFA's exhibition programs, most notably during the 1960s. In 1960, the AFA organized, with financial support from the Ford Foundation, a major Jacob Lawrence retrospective. Additional culturally diverse exhibitions included Contemporary Jewish Ceremonial Art (1961), The Heart of India (1962), 1,000 Years of American Indian Art (1963), and Ten Negro Artists from the United States (1966).
The AFA also had an impact on patronage in the arts. AFA exhibitions of contemporary art provided collectors with knowledge of new artists and avant-garde art forms, creating a broader demand and market for this type of work. Museums and collectors began purchasing work by new or obscure American artists whom they learned about through AFA exhibitions and programs.
The historical records of the American Federation of Arts offer the researcher a unique opportunity to study the development of American art and artists in the twentieth century as well as providing insight into trends in American culture.
1909 -- Founded in New York City. Began publishing Art and Progress (later retitled Magazine of Art) and the American Art Annual.
1910 -- Moved headquarters to Washington, D.C.
1913 -- Lobbied successfully for the removal of the tariff on art entering the United States.
1915-1916 -- Lobbied successfully against the Cummins Amendment and the Interstate Commerce Commission's prohibitively high interstate tax on traveling art.
1920 -- Organized a lobbying campaign for the development of a national gallery of art at its national convention.
1921 -- Opened two new offices at the University of Nebraska and at Stanford University.
1924 -- Arranged American participation in the Venice Biennale exhibition.
1927 -- Closed office at Stanford University.
1929 -- Organized American participation in exhibitions in France and Germany.
1933 -- Closed office at the University of Nebraska.
1935 -- Began publishing Who's Who in American Art.
1948 -- Published The Official Directory of Illustrators and Advertising Artists.
1949 -- Collaborated with the Metropolitan Museum of Art to circulate exhibitions from its collections.
1950 -- Participated in the U.S. government's German re-orientation program.
1951 -- Joined forces with the United States Information Agency (USIA) to create the Overseas Museum Donor Program. Published the reference guide Films on Art. Co-sponsored the Films on Art Festival in Woodstock, New York, through 1957.
1952 -- Moved headquarters to New York City.
1953 -- Magazine of Art liquidated.
1954 -- Introduced the Picture of the Month Program.
1956 -- Founded the Art Collectors Club of America.
1958 -- Received a Ford Foundation grant to finance a series of one-person shows of contemporary American artists.
1960 -- Created the Museum Donor Program.
1961 -- Received a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts to circulate exhibitions to small New York state communities.
1963 -- Received a grant from the Ford Foundation for the Artists in Residence program.
1964 -- Introduced the List Art Poster Program.
1965 -- Produced The Curriculum in Visual Education, a series of films that attempted to heighten the aesthetic awareness of children.
Appendix: List of Artists Exhibiting with American Federation of Arts:
The following is an alphabetical list of artists who exhibited with the American Federation of Arts; many are obscure. The alpha-numeric codes and numbers appearing with the artist's name represent specific AFA exhibition programs and, most often, AFA's exhibition numbering system. In cases where the AFA did not assign an exhibition number, Archives' staff have done so.
The primary reference source for the names and name variants is the American Federation of Arts Records. The names are documented in handwritten notes and lists, typed lists, and exhibition catalogs and announcements. The Archives of American Art name authority file was also consulted in questionable cases. The majority of names, however, were not found in either the AAA name authority file or standard bibliographic resources, and only in the AFA records.
55-1: AFA annual exhibitions program
AD-1: Addison Gallery exhibitions
L-1: Life Magazine Exhibitions
ME-1: Misceallaneous exhibitions (numbers assigned by AAA staff)
NMA-1: Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibitions
NE-96: Contemporary Color Lithography
NY-1: New York State Council on the Arts exhibitions
VA-1: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts exhibitions
A. Quincy Jones, Frederick E. Emmons & Assoc: 62-34
The records of the American Federation of Arts (AFA) were donated to the Archives of American Art (AAA) over a thirteen-year period, with the bulk of the material arriving between 1964 and 1966. In 1979, Preston Bolton donated his letters and those from John de Menil, Ann Drevet, Lee Malone, and others regarding planning for the 1957 AFA annual convention held in Houston, Texas; convention committee minutes from 1956; and AFA newsletters. This material, as well as a 1979 gift from Louise Ferrari of transcripts from a panel discussion from the 1957 AFA convention in Houston, was microfilmed on AAA Reel 1780. All material previously microfilmed on Reel 1780 has been fully integrated into the collection and arranged within proper series and subseries. The provenance of the 1990-1993 printed material is unknown.
Use requires an appointment.
The American Federation of Arts 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.
The Leo Castelli Gallery records measure 215.9 linear feet and 0.001 GB and date from circa 1880-2000, with the bulk of the materials dating from the gallery's founding in 1957 through Leo Castelli's death in 1999. The major influence of dealer Leo Castelli and his gallery on the development of mid-to-late twentieth century modern art in America is well-documented through business and scattered personal correspondence, administrative files, exhibition files, extensive artists' files and printed materials, posters, awards and recognitions, photographs, and sound and video recordings. Also included are records for the subsidiary firms of Castelli Graphics and Castelli/Sonnabend Tapes and Films.
Scope and Content Note:
The Leo Castelli Gallery records measure 215.9 linear feet and 0.001 GB and date from circa 1880-2000, with the bulk of the materials dating from the gallery's founding in 1957 through Leo Castelli's death in 1999. The major influence of dealer Leo Castelli and his gallery on the development of mid-to-late twentieth century modern art in America is well-documented through business and scattered personal correspondence, administrative files, exhibition files, extensive artists' files and printed materials, posters, awards and recognitions, photographs, and audio and video recordings. Also included are records for the subsidiary firms of Castelli Graphics and Castelli/Sonnabend Tapes and Films.
The records document the gallery's daily business operations, exhibitions, spaces/buildings, collaborations and joint ventures with other galleries and museums, and its relationship with many artists, dealers, and clients. Artists particularly well-represented throughout the collection include Hanne Darboven, Dan Flavin, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Richard Serra, Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, and Lawrence Weiner.
Records pre-dating the gallery's establishment in 1957 are primarily newspaper and magazine clippings related to artists, personal photographs and photographs of works of art, and scattered personal business records of Leo Castelli.
General Correspondence is extensive at circa 25 linear feet and consists primarily of the gallery's and Leo Castelli's named and subject correspondence files concerning the gallery's daily operations, exhibitions, artwork installation and fabrication, appraisals, inquiries, loans, sales, consignments, personal and business relationships with artists, and other topics. The general correspondence is arranged either by name of correspondent or topic, and is with museums and galleries, collectors, business associates, artists, employees, and friends. Notes, scattered photographs and slides, and printed materials are often found as enclosures. Leo Castelli's personal correspondence is also found here and consists primarily of solicitations, requests for advice, notes of thanks, congratulations, and invitations.
Letters written by artists in the gallery's stable are somewhat limited. There are scattered letters from artists Christo, Chryssa, Nassos Daphnis, Hanne Darboven, Marisol, Dan Flavin, Jasper Johns, Frederick Kiesler, Robert Morris, Hans Namuth, Bruce Nauman, Nam June Paik, Ray Parker, James Rosenquist, Edward Ruscha, Salvatore Scarpitta, Frank Stella, Cy Twombly, and Jack Tworkov. There are also letters about artists in this series filed under the artists' name.
Collectors and dealers represented within the correspondence include the De Menil family, Mrs. Henry Epstein, Ben Heller, Giuseppe Panza, Alan Power, John and Kimiko Powers, Robert and Carolyn Rowan, Robert and Ethel Scull, and Burton and Emily Tremaine. Museums and galleries for which there is considerable correspondence includes the Dwan Gallery, Ferus Gallery, the Jewish Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Sidney Janis Gallery, Stedelijk Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Ileana Sonnabend Galerie.
The materials arranged in General Correspondence were originally marked by the gallery as "correspondence" files upon accessioning, and, are thus arranged into their own series. However, in some cases, there appears to be little difference between the General Correspondence and the Administrative Files. Thus, researchers are encouraged to reference both series.
Administrative Files document a wide variety of the gallery's activities and business. Essentially, these are files that were arranged by the gallery according to subject or topic and cover almost all activities except specific exhibitions. These files include records and correspondence about buildings and space, advertising, appraisals, auctions, consignments, loans, miscellaneous business correspondence, index cards, business arrangements with artists, information about artists, interviews with artists (transcripts), history of the gallery, mailings, photograph requests, shipping, and other topics. Few items are in digital format. There are staff notebooks and files and Leo Castelli's notebooks and notes from the late 1950s through the early 1990s. Extensive outgoing chronological correspondence filed in this series dates from 1964-1977. Also found are transcripts of interviews with Leo Castelli, biographical material, some of it in digital format, and scattered photographs.
Researchers should note that the Administrative Files often overlap and complement the General Correspondence. However, they focus slightly more distinctly on gallery business activities and are arranged mostly by subject or topic, except for the chronological business correspondence. Researchers are encouraged to reference both series. For example, correspondence with and about Jasper Johns may be found in both series, but the administrative files most likely focus on a specific loan, consignment, or business activity or transaction.
Exhibition files provide a thorough history of the gallery's exhibitions, as well as the fabrication and installation of artwork for exhibitions. These files include correspondence, exhibition catalogs, guest books, lists of exhibitions by artist and by year, press releases, sketches and notes, and scattered financial records. Photographs document over 650 exhibitions at Leo Castelli Gallery, including The Ninth Street Show organized by Castelli in 1951, and over 200 exhibitions at other galleries.
Extensive artists' files comprise approximately 40% of the records and are a rich resource of printed and compiled information about the careers of over 120 artists and their relationship with Leo Castelli and the gallery. There are exhibition announcements and catalogs, flyers, invitations, magazine articles and clippings, newspaper clippings, posters, press releases, photographs, and a handful of books. Nearly half of the series is comprised of black and white photographs of artwork, presumably handled by the Leo Castelli Gallery.
Additional printed materials include exhibition announcements, flyers, invitations, magazine articles and clippings, newspaper clippings, press releases, and exhibition posters. Exhibition catalogs are filed with the exhibitions files. The general archives files provide a chronological history of the gallery and its exhibitions. There are also files concerning Leo Castelli and numerous art-related topics. Exhibition posters are found here as well.
Artwork is limited and includes a few works of art and signed posters. Artists represented here include photographer Gianfranco Gorgoni, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Richard Serra and Andy Warhol, as well as others.
The records of the subsidiary Castelli Graphics New York consist of correspondence and administrative files relating to general operations and the sale and loan of prints. Also found are exhibition files, sales records, and scattered financial records. The series provides a wealth of information about Castelli Graphics collaborations with Multiples Inc. in the 1970s.
Also found in the collection are records of Castelli/Sonnabend Tapes and Films, a joint business venture between Leo Castelli Gallery and Sonnabend Gallery from 1974-1985. Records include correspondence, administrative files, exhibition files, artists' files, printed materials, sales and rental records, photographs, and financial records.
The importance and stature of Leo Castelli and the Leo Castelli Gallery to the arts community in New York City and beyond is documented by numerous awards and recognitions, such as framed and unframed certificates, plaques, statues, medals, and scattered photographs.
Nearly seven linear feet of photographs include professional black and white original prints, scattered color photographs, color transparencies, slides and negatives, and disassembled photo albums. The photographs primarily depict social and art events and functions; family and friends of Leo Castelli; and portraits of Leo Castelli and artists and of Leo Castelli with artists, including Richard Artschwager, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Bruce Nauman, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Salvatore Scarpitta, Richard Serra, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol. Photographs of exhibitions and exhibition installations are filed with the exhibition files.
Sound and video recordings include sound and video art, performances, interviews with artists and Leo Castelli, recordings from and of exhibitions, and television publicity recorded on sound cassettes, phonograph records (vinyl and lacquer), videocassettes (U-matic, VHS, Betamax), and videocartridges. Artists represented include Vito Acconci, Robert Barry, Barbara Bloom, Hannah Collins, Hanne Darboven, Dan Flavin, Laura Grisi, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Bruce Nauman, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha, Salvatore Scarpitta, Doug and Mike Starn, and Lawrence Weiner, among others.
See Index for list of Exhibitions at the Leo Castelli Gallery and Castelli Graphics
The collection is arranged as 11 series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1948-1999, bulk 1957-1997 (24.4 linear feet; Boxes 1-23, 191, OVs 233-236)
Series 2: Administrative Files, 1941-1999, bulk 1970s-1990s (17.3 linear feet; Boxes 24-39, 192-193, OVs 237-238, 0.001 GB; ER01-ER02)
Series 3: Exhibition Files, 1951-1999, bulk 1957-1998 (18.7 linear feet; Boxes 40-56, 192, 194-196, 308-309, OVs 239-241, 280)
Series 4: Artists Files, 1913-1999, bulk 1960s-1990s (80.8 linear feet; Boxes 57-133, 197-208, OVs 242-243)
Series 5: Printed Materials, 1949-1998 (23.5 linear feet; Boxes 134-153, 209-211, OVs 244-274, 276, 300, RDs 301-306)
Series 6: Artwork, circa 1960s-1990s (1.8 linear feet; Boxes 153, 212-213, OVs 275, 277-278, RD 307)
Series 7: Castelli Graphics, circa 1950-1999, bulk mid 1970s-early 1990s (16 linear feet; Boxes 154-169)
Series 8: Castelli/Sonnabend Tapes + Films, 1969-1998 (5.6 linear feet; Boxes 170-174, 214, OVs 279-281)
Series 9: Awards and Recognition, 1962-1998 (6.9 linear feet; Boxes 175-176, 215-228, OVs 282)
Series 10: Photographs, circa 1880-1997, bulk 1960s-1990s (6.6 linear feet; Boxes 177-180, 229-231, OVs 283-299)
Series 11: Sound and Video Recordings, 1959-2000 (9.7 linear feet; Boxes 181-190, 232)
Leo Castelli (1907-1999) was one of America's most noted contemporary art dealers and opened the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City in 1957. The gallery showcased cutting edge American contemporary art, including Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Neo-Dada, Pop Art, Op Art, Color Field painting, Hard-edge painting, Lyrical Abstraction, Minimal Art, Conceptual Art, and Neo-expressionism, among other movements.
Leo Castelli was born as Leo Krauss on September 4, 1907 in Trieste, of Italian and Austro-Hungarian Jewish origin. He married art dealer Ileana Sonnabend in 1932 and the couple lived in Paris up until World War II. They had a daughter, Nina Castelli Sundell. In Paris, Castelli opened his first gallery in 1939. At that time, he was interested in the European Surrealists.
For years after Castelli moved to New York, he worked in his father-in-law's garment business. However, he organized his first American exhibition in 1951, the famous Ninth Street Show of 1951, a seminal event of Abstract Expressionism.
In 1957, he opened the Leo Castelli Gallery in his townhome on E. 77th Street between Madison and Fifth Avenues in New York City. Castelli initially featured European Surrealism, but also curated exhibitions of American Abstract painters, including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Cy Twombly, Friedel Dzubas, and Norman Bluhm.
In 1958, Castelli discovered Pop artists Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns and forged a life-long nurturing relationship with both artists. The gallery then began focusing more on Pop Art, Minimalism and Conceptual Art. Beginning in the early 1960s, Castelli's stable included Richard Artschwager, Lee Bontecou, Chryssa, John Chamberlain, Ronald Davis, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly, Joseph Kosuth, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Larry Poons, James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha, Salvatore Scarpitta, Richard Serra, Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, and Lawrence Weiner.
Leo and Ileana divorced in 1959, and Ileana returned to Europe. She later moved back to New York and opened a gallery close to Castelli's. The two remained close and together they established the joint venture of Castelli-Sonnabend Films and Tapes to accommodate artists interested in new media.
In the 1970s Leo Castelli opened a downtown SoHo branch of the Leo Castelli Gallery at 420 West Broadway. In the 1980s he opened a second larger downtown exhibition space on Greene Street also in SoHo.
Leo Castelli's second wife was Antoinette Castelli, with whom he also opened Castelli Graphics, an art gallery devoted to prints and photographs, mostly those by Castelli artists. The couple also had a son together, Jean-Christophe Castelli. In 1995 Leo Castelli married Italian art historian Barbara Bertozzi Castelli. She directs the Leo Castelli Gallery today, showing many of the same artists of the gallery's past.
Leo Castelli's unparalleled eye for quality, combined with his extraordinary skill for nurturing and promoting new art and artists, secured his position as one of the most respected and influential advocates of contemporary art for nearly five decades.
List of Exhibitions:
Below is a chronological listing of over 850 exhibitions and events held at the Leo Castelli Gallery from 1957 to 1999; included are exhibitions at 4 E 77 St (1957-1989), 65 Thompson (1989-1994), 108th St Warehouse (1968-1970), 142 Greene St (1980-1988), 420 W Broadway (1971-1999), and 578 Broadway (1988-1997). Castelli Graphics exhibitions from 1969-1996 and Castelli/Sonnabend Tapes and Films exhibitions from 1974-1984 are also included and are noted when known.
Note that this list is not comprehensive. In particular, Castelli Graphics exhibitions from the 1980s and early 1990s are incomplete. Sources used to compile this index include exhibition schedules and lists, installation photographs, announcements, clippings, and other printed materials from the Leo Castelli Gallery records, and the Leo Castelli Gallery website (www.castelligallery.com).
Exhibitions are listed in chronological order by title, if known, and gallery address.
1957 SeasonFeb. -- First Exhibition: de Kooning, Delaunay, Dubuffet, Giacometti, Hartley, Leger, Mondrian, Picabia, Pollock, David Smith, van Doesburg; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 4-23, 1957 -- Jon Schueler; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 25 - Apr. 13, 1957 -- Viseux; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 15 - May 4, 1957 -- Paul Brach; 4 E 77 St
May 6-25, 1957 -- New Work: Bluhm, Budd, Dzubas, Johns, Leslie, Louis, Marisol, Ortman, Rauschenberg, Savelli; 4 E 77 St
1957-1958 SeasonOct. 1-26, 1957 -- Norman Bluhm; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 28 - Nov. 16, 1957 -- Horia Damian; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 18 - Dec. 14, 1957 -- Marisol; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 17, 1957 - Jan. 18, 1958 -- Collector's Annual; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 20 - Feb. 8, 1958 -- Jasper Johns; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 10 - Mar. 1, 1958 -- Friedel Dzubas; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 4-29, 1958 -- Robert Rauschenberg; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 1-26, 1958 -- Giuseppe Capogrossi; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 29 - May 31, 1958 -- Pioneers 1910-1950: de Kooning, Delaunay, Domela, Dubuffet, Giacometti, Hartley, Kandinsky, Leger, Miro, Picabia, Pollock, Schwitters, Smith, van Doejburg; 4 E 77 St
1958-1959 SeasonSept. 30 - Oct. 25, 1958 -- Angelo Savelli; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 28 - Nov. 22, 1958 -- Group Exhibition: Bluhm, Brach, Dzubas, Johns, Marisol, Rauschenberg, Schueler; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 25 - Dec. 20, 1958 -- Esteban Vicente, Drawings; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 6-24, 1959 -- Nassos Daphnis; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 27 - Feb. 14, 1959 -- Salvatore Scarpitta, Extramurals; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 17 - Mar. 7, 1959 -- Al Newbill; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 10-28, 1959 -- Gabriel Kohn; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 31 - Apr. 18, 1959 -- Norman Bluhm, Jean Dubuffet, and Robert Rauschenberg; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 21 - May 9, 1959 -- Jon Schueler; 4 E 77 St
May 12-30, 1959 -- Group Exhibition: Brach, Dzubas, Johns, Sander, Twombly; 4 E 77 St
1959-1960 SeasonOct. 6-17, 1959 -- Opening Exhibition of the New Gallery: Bluhm, Brach, Daphnis, Johns, Kohn, Rauschenberg, Sander, Scarpitta, Stella, Twombly; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 20 - Nov. 7, 1959 -- Work in Three Dimensions: Chamberlain, Follet, Giles, Johns, Klein, Kohn, Marisol, Nevelson, Ortman, Rauschenberg, Scarpitta; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 10-28, 1959 -- Ludwig Sander; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 1-26, 1959 -- Paul Brach; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 5-23, 1960 -- William Giles; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 26 - Feb. 13, 1960 -- Norman Bluhm; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 15 - Mar. 5, 1960 -- Jasper Johns; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 8-26, 1960 -- Nassos Daphnis; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 29 - Apr. 16, 1960 -- Robert Rauschenberg; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 19 - May 7, 1960 -- Salvatore Scarpitta; 4 E 77 St
May 10-28, 1960 -- Edward Higgins; 4 E 77 St
May 31 - June 25, 1960 -- Summary 1959-1960: Bluhm, Bontecou, Daphnis, Higgins, Johns, Kohn, Langlais, Rauschenberg, Sander, Scarpitta, Stella, Twombly, Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
1960-1961 SeasonSept. 27 - Oct. 15, 1960 -- Frank Stella; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 18 - Nov. 5, 1960 -- Cy Twombly; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 9 - Dec. 3, 1960 -- Lee Bontecou; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 6, 1960 - Jan. 7, 1961 -- Robert Rauschenberg, 34 Illustrations for Dante's Inferno; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 10-28, 1961 -- Frederick Kiesler; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 31 - Feb. 25, 1961 -- Jasper Johns, Drawings and Sculpture; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 28 - Mar. 18, 1961 -- Jack Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 21 - Apr. 8, 1961 -- Bernard Langlais; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 11-29, 1961 -- Yves Klein, Le Monochrome; 4 E 77 St
May 2-20, 1961 -- Ludwig Sander; 4 E 77 St
May 23 - June , 1961 -- Sculpture and Relief: Bontecou, Chamberlain, Higgins, Scarpitta; 4 E 77 St
1961-1962 SeasonSept. 22 - Oct. 14, 1961 -- An Exhibition in Progress: Bontecou, Chamberlain, Daphnis, Higgins, Johns, Langlais, Moskowitz, Rauschenberg, Scarpitta, Stella, Twombly, Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 17 - Nov. 4, 1961 -- Nassos Daphnis; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 7 - Dec. 5, 1961 -- Robert Rauschenberg; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 8, 1961 - Jan. 10, 1962 -- Group Exhibition: Bontecou, Johns, Langlais, [Lichtenstein], Scarpitta, Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 13 - Feb. 6, 1962 -- John Chamberlain; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 10 - Mar. 3, 1962 -- Roy Lichtenstein; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 10 - Apr. 5, 1962 -- Robert Moskowitz; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 7-21, 1962 -- Group Exhibition: Bontecou, Chamberlain, Daphnis, Higgins, Rauschenberg, Scarpitta, Stella; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 28 - May 19, 1962 -- Frank Stella; 4 E 77 St
May 26 - June 30, 1962 -- Drawings: Bontecou, Johns, Lichtenstein, Moskowitz, Rauschenberg, Stella, Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
1962-1963 SeasonSept. 22 - Oct. 13, 1962 -- Group Exhibition: Chamberlain, Higgins, Johns, Klapheck, Rauschenberg, Scarpitta, Stella, Tinguely, Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 16 - Nov. 7, 1962 -- John Chamberlain and Frank Stella; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 10 - Dec. 6, 1962 -- Lee Bontecou; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 8, 1962 - Jan. 9, 1963 -- Gerald van de Wiele; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 12 - Feb. 7, 1963 -- Jasper Johns; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 9 - Mar. 7, 1963 -- Jack Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 9-30, 1963 -- Nassos Daphnis; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 2-25, 1963 -- Group Exhibition: Chamberlain, Higgins, Kiesler, Lichtenstein, Moskowitz, Rauschenberg, Stella, Twombly; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 27 - May 16, 1963 -- Salvatore Scarpitta; 4 E 77 St
May 20 - June 30, 1963 -- Group Drawing Exhibition: Bontecou, Daphnis, Johns, Lichtenstein, Moskowitz, Rauschenberg, Stella, Tworkov, van de Wiele; 4 E 77 St
1963-1964 SeasonSept. 28 - Oct. 24, 1963 -- Roy Lichtenstein; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 26 - Nov. 21, 1963 -- Robert Rauschenberg; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 23, 1963 - Jan. 2, 1964 -- Edward Higgins; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 4 - Feb. 6, 1964 -- Frank Stella; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 8 - Mar. 12, 1964 -- Group Exhibition: Chamberlain, Johns, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, Stella; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 14 - Apr. 9, 1964 -- Cy Twombly; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 11-30, 1964 -- John Chamberlain; 4 E 77 St
May 2 - June 3, 1964 -- Introducing Artschwager, Christo, Hay, Watts; 4 E 77 St
June 6-30, 1964 -- Group Exhibition: Chamberlain, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, Scarpitta, Stella, Twombly, Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
1964-1965 SeasonSept. 26 - Oct. 22, 1964 -- Group Exhibition: Artschwager, Lichtenstein, Rosenquist, Stella, Warhol; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 24 - Nov. 19, 1964 -- Roy Lichtenstein, Landscapes; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 21 - Dec. 28, 1964 -- Andy Warhol, Flower Paintings; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 9-27, 1965 -- John Chamberlain, Paintings; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 30 - Feb. 24, 1965 -- Richard Artschwager; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 27 - Mar. 24, 1965 -- Nassos Daphnis; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 27 - Apr. 14, 1965 -- Salvatore Scarpitta, Racing Cars; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 17 - May 13, 1965 -- James Rosenquist, F-111; 4 E 77 St
May 15 - June 9, 1965 -- Robert Rauschenberg, Oracle; 4 E 77 St
1965-1966 SeasonOct. 2-21, 1965 -- Group Exhibition: [Chamberlain], Johns, Lichtenstein, Poons, Rauschenberg, Stella, [Warhol]; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 23 - Nov. 17, 1965 -- Robert Bart; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 20 - Dec. 11, 1965 -- Roy Lichtenstein, Brushstrokes and Ceramics; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 14, 1965 - Jan. 5, 1966 -- Benefit Drawing Exhibition for the Foundation for the Contemporary Performance Arts; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 14, 1965 - Jan. 5, 1966 -- Group Exhibition; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 8 - Feb. 2, 1966 -- Jasper Johns; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 5 - Mar. 2, 1966 -- Donald Judd; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 12 - Mar. 2, 1966 -- Cy Twombly, Drawings; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 5 - Apr. 2, 1966 -- Frank Stella; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 6-27, 1966 -- Andy Warhol, Wallpaper and Clouds; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 30 - May 25, 1966 -- James Rosenquist; 4 E 77 St
May 28 - June 13, 1966 -- Christo, Storefront; 4 E 77 St
June 14-30, 1966 -- Group Exhibition: Bontecou, Johns, Judd, Lichtenstein, Poons, Rauschenberg, Rosenquist, Stella, Warhol; 4 E 77 St
1966-1967 SeasonOct. 8 - Nov. 8, 1966 -- Lee Bontecou; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 12 - Dec. 3, 1966 -- Edward Higgins; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 6-10, 1966 -- Benefit Group Exhibition for Experiments in Art and Technology, Inc.; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 7, 1966 - Jan. 5, 1967 -- Stanley Landsman; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 14, 1966 - Jan. 5, 1967 -- Group Exhibition: Artschwager, Lichtenstein, Rosenquist, Warhol; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 20 - May 18, 1996 -- James Rosenquist, Horizon Home Sweet Home; 420 W Broadway
Apr. 20 - May 24, 1996 -- Roy Lichtenstein, Eight New Prints; 578 Broadway
May 28 - July 26, 1996 -- Ralph Gibson, Infanta; 420 W Broadway
May 28 - July 26, 1996 -- Group Drawing Exhibition, Works on Paper: Chryssa, Daphnis, Darboven, Johns, Lichtenstein, Morris, Nauman, Rauschenberg, Ruscha, Serra, Stella, Sonnier, Therrien, Weiner; 420 W Broadway
June 1 - July 26, 1996 -- Summer Group Show: Johns, Kosuth, Lichtenstein, Ruscha, Stella, Therrien; 578 Broadway
1996-1997 SeasonSept. 14 - Oct. 12, 1996 -- Gianfranco Gorgoni, 25 Years of Artists Portraits; 578 Broadway
Feb. 15 - Mar. 15, 1997 -- Lawrence Weiner, Then Now + Then; 420 W Broadway
Mar. 1-22, 1997 -- Dan Flavin; 578 Broadway
Mar. 22 - Apr. 26, 1997 -- Keith Sonnier, Alternating Currents; 420 W Broadway
Mar. 29 - Apr. 5, 1997 -- The Printmaking Workshop Benefit Exhibition and Auction; 420 W Broadway
Apr. 17 - May 17, 1997 -- Columbia University MFA Exhibition; 420 W Broadway
May 3 - June 7, 1997 -- Edward Ruscha, Cityscapes and "O" Books; 420 W Broadway
July - Sept., 1997 -- Summer Group Show: Kosuth, Morris, Serra; 420 W Broadway
1997-1998 SeasonSept. 27 - Oct. 18, 1997 -- Joseph Kosuth; 420 W Broadway
Oct. 25 - Nov. 15, 1997 -- 40 Years of Exploration and Innovation Part 1: Bontecou, Chryssa, Cornell, Johns, Lichtenstein, Oldenburg, Rauschenberg, Rosenquist, Ruscha, Twombly, Warhol; 420 W Broadway
Nov. 22 - Dec. 13, 1997 -- 40 Years of Exploration and Innovation Part 2: Daphnis, Flavin, Judd, Kelly, Morris, Serra, Stella, Therrien, Waldman; 420 W Broadway
Jan. 10-31, 1998 -- 40 Years of Exploration and Innovation Part 3: Barry, Darboven, Dibbets, Grisi, Huebler, Kosuth, Nauman, Scarpitta, Sonnier, Starn Twins, Weiner; 420 W Broadway
Feb. 7 - Mar. 14, 1998 -- Dan Flavin, Some Drawings and Installations of Fluorescent Light; 420 W Broadway
Mar. 28 - Apr. 25, 1998 -- Hannah Collins, True Stories; 420 W Broadway
May 2 - June 6, 1998 -- Mike and Doug Starn, Black Hole Sun Burned; 420 W Broadway
June 24 - Aug. 29, 1998 -- Summer Show; 420 W Broadway
1998-1999 SeasonSept. 26 - Oct. 31, 1998 -- Robert Morris, The Rationed Years; 420 W Broadway
Nov. - Dec., 1998 -- Joseph Kosuth, Richard Serra, Keith Sonnier; 420 W Broadway
Jan. - Feb. 1999 -- Robert Rauschenberg, Arcadian Survey; 420 W Broadway
Available in the Archives of America Art are three oral history interviews with Leo Castelli. Paul Cummings interviewed Castelli between May 14, 1969 and June 8, 1973; Barbara Rose in July, 1969; and Andrew Decker on May 22, 1997.
The Archives of American Art also holds items lent for microfilming (reel N68) including printed material. Lent material was returned to the lender and is not described in the collection container inventory.
Leo Castelli loaned printed material for microfilming in 1968. Leo Castelli's wife, Barbara Bortuzzo Castelli, and his children, Nina Castelli Sundell and Jean-Christophe Castelli, donated the Leo Castelli Gallery records to the Archives of American Art in 2007.
Use of original records requires an appointment.
The Leo Castelli 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.
Files consist of Henry-Russell Hitchcock's personal and professional correspondence, as well as subject files relating to academic research, teaching, curatorial interests, and professional associations. Subject files are comprised mainly of correspondence and printed material, with a small number of photographs that mostly relate to exhibitions and writings. After 1932, copies of Hitchcock's outgoing letters are almost always included, making the files from 1932-1987 almost complete.
The correspondence includes large numbers of letters from prominent architectural historians, architects, artists, preservationists, museum directors and curators. Also included is correspondence with students, friends, relatives, publishers, and representatives of organizations and institutions.
Among the correspondents of note are: Bernard Berenson, Eugene Berman, Leonid Berman, Lyonel Feininger, Brendan Gill, Robert Goldwater, George Howe, Lincoln Kirstein, J. J. P. Oud, Erwin Panofsky, Kingsley Porter, Paul J. Sachs, R. M. Schindler, Theodore Sizer, E. Baldwin Smith, Peter van der Meulen Smith, James Soby, Victor Spark, Harold Sterner, John Summerson, Virgil Thomson, Paul Vanderbilt, Theo Van Doesburg, Helmut von Erffa, and Gordon Washburn. Other important correspondents represented in a decade or more of correspondence include: Jere Abbott, Winslow Ames, Everett A. (Chick) Austin, Alfred H. Barr, Agnes Rindge Claflin, John Coddington, Walter Cook, John Coolidge, Henry (Harry) Sayles Francis, George Heard Hamilton, Ada Louise Huxtable, Philip C. Johnson, William Jordy, George N. Kates, Edgar Kauffmann, Jr., Richard Krautheimer, Phyllis W. Lehmann, Thomas J. McCormick, Agnes Mongan, Lewis Mumford, Nikolaus Pevsner, A. Kinglsey Porter, Willebald Sauerlander, Vincent Scully, Helen Searing, James Thrall Soby, Dorothy Stroud, John Summerson, Virgil Thomson, Emily Tremaine, Paul Vanderbilt, Rudolph Wittkower, and Frank Lloyd Wright.
See Appendix for a list of individuals, organizations, and subjects in Series 2
Files are arranged with a single alphabet for each year.
Appendix: Individuals, Organizations, and Subjects in Series 2:
Below is an index to individuals, institutions, organizations, and a small number of subject files, found in Series 2: Alphabetical Files. The index indicates the name and the alphabet year(s) in which each can be found.
Hitchcock did not follow strict alphabetical schema when organizing his files and filing eccentricities for the letters D, M, N, and V are explained below. The original arrangement has been left in place due to the difficulties and time involved in re-arranging the material within multiple alphabets.
Note on filing order for D's: Names beginning with the prefix "de" (e.g. De Cordova) are all filed before names beginning with the letters "de" e.g. Deerfield Academy.
Note on filing order for M's: Names beginning with the prefix "Mac" and "Mc" are all filed after names beginning with Ma. They are interfiled according to the first and subsequent letters following the prefix e.g. McIntyre, Mackay, McKean, MacLaren.
Note on filing order for N's: Proper names beginning with the word "new" (e.g. New American Library) are all filed before names incorporating the syllable "new" e.g. Newark Public Library.
Note on filing order for V's: Names beginning with the prefix "van" (e.g. Van Derpool) are all filed before names beginning with the syllable "van" e.g. Vancouver Hotel.
Coddington, John (1945-1949, 1951, 1956-1957, 1959, 1961-1962, 1968-1970, 1977, undated)
Coe, Bill (1958)
Coe, R. E. (Ted) (1962)
Coe, Ralph T. (1953, 1955, 1974)
Coffin, David R. (1965, 1968, 1973)
Cogswell, Dorothy (1951, 1959, 1962)
Cohen, Alfred (1946)
Cohen, Joan L. (1954-1957, 1960, 1963-1965)
Cohn, David N. (1984)
Cohn, Suzanne (1968)
Colby College (1968)
Cole, Dorothy (1958)
Cole, Harry (1957)
Coletti, Joseph (1961)
Coletti, Paul (1957)
Colgate University (1976, 1978)
Colibris Editora Ltda. (1962, 1964-1965, 1967)
Colin, Mrs. Ralph F. ( 1955)
Collaborazione Culturale, Instituto per la (1962)
College Art Association (1940, 1946-1953, 1955-1959, 1961-1964, 1966, 1969-1971, 1973-1979)
Colliers Encyclopedia -- (1947-1949, 1958-1959)
Collins, Cecil (1956)
Collins, Colin (1955)
Collins, Elizabeth (1959)
Collins, George R. (1960-1961, 1964, 1968, 1975-1976, 1979, 1983)
Collins, Peter (1964-1965, 1967-1968)
Colonial Travel Bureau (1955)
Columbia Historical Society (1982)
Columbia University 1937, 1939-1941, 1945, 1947-1948, 1954-1956, 1958-1959, 1961, 1964-1969, 1971, 1973-1977, 1979-1983, 1985-1986 ( -- see also -- : Avery Library; Avery Study Center, Columbia University)
Columbia University, Temple Hoyle Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture (1984)
Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts (1948-1949)
Colvin, Howard M. (1959)
Colwell, Miriam (1976)
Combs, Tom (1975)
Comite Francais D'Historie de L'Art (1967)
Commercial Credit Corporation (1947)
Committee for the Centennial Exhibition of New England Architecture (1957)
Committee for the Preservation of Architectural Records (1979)
Committee on Education and Labor, U. S. Congress (1954)
Committee on Government and Art (see: Government and Art, Committee on)
Community Arts Center (1945)
Community Chest (1958)
Comparative Studies in Society and History -- (1958)
Conant, Kenneth G. (1946-1947, 1952, 1973)
Concrete Quarterly -- (1955)
Condit, Carl W. (1963)
Condolence Letters [on death of mother] (1952)
Conference Board of Associated Research Councils (1948, 1951)
Congress on the History of Art, Twentieth International (1960-1961)
Conlon, Kathleen M. (1969)
Connaissance des Artes -- (1959)
Connecticut Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (1946-1947)
Connecticut College (1938-1942, 1944, 1947, 1953, 1956, 1963, undated)
Connecticut Commission on the Arts (1968)
Connecticut, Department of Agriculture (1937)
Connecticut State Department of Consumer Protection (1986)
Neutra, Richard (1928, 1940-1941, 1954, 1969, undated)
Neville, Elizabeth (1964)
Neville, Richard G. (1958)
Neville, Harriett Elizabeth (1966)
New American Library (1952)
New Amsterdam Casualty Co. (1948)
New England Antiquities, Society for the Preservation of (1972-1973) ( -- see also -- : Preservation of New England Antiquities, Society for the; Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities)
New England Architecture, Committee for the Centennial Exhibition of (1957)
New England Quarterly -- (1955)
New Gallery (1963)
New Haven Festival of Arts (1959)
New Haven Preservation Trust (1964, 1966-1969)
New Jersey Historical Society (1962)
New Jersey Society of Architects (1957)
New Liberty (1952)
New London (1976)
New Mexico, University of (1957)
New Watson Hotel (1955)
New York Central Railway (1956)
New York City (1972)
New York City, Art Commission of (1983)
New York City Planning Commission (1972)
New York Graphic Society (1970
New York Herald Tribune -- (1947)
New-York Historical Society (1950-1951, 1961-1962, 1969)
New York State Association of Architects (1949)
New York State, Temporary Commission on the Restoration of the Capitol (1980-1981)
New York, State University of (1952)
New York Times -- (1947-1948, 1957, 1960-1961)
New York University (1945-1949, 1951-1954, 1958, 1960-1961, 1968-1986) ( -- see also -- : Gray Art Gallery; Institute of Fine Arts) New York University Seminar (1977, 1980)
Porter-Phelps-Huntington House, Inc. (1953, 1955-1957)
Porter-Phelps-Huntington Foundation (1962-1964, 1967)
Portnoy, Martin (1986)
Portsmouth Priory (1949)
Posener, Julius (1964-1966, 1968-1969)
Postmaster, Western District, London (1956)
Potter, Brooks ( 1956)
Potter, Inc. (1969)
Powell, Herbert ( 1963)
Powell, Philip (1952)
Powell, Philip and Moya (1954)
Praeger, Inc. (1962-1963, 1967-1971, 1973)
Prairie School Press (1963, 1966, 1968, 1970)
Prakapas, Eugene J. (1974, 1985)
Prats, Joan (1956)
Pratt and Whitney Aircraft (1945)
Praz, Mario (1955-1956)
Prentice-Hall, Inc. (1962)
Pre-Raphaelite Decorative Arts Exhibition (1971)
Preservation League of New York (1981)
Preservation of New England Antiquities, Society for the (1956, 1963, 1966) ( -- see also -- : New England Antiquities, Society for the Preservation of; Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities)
Preservation Society of Newport Co. [Rhode Island] (1948, 1955) ( -- see also -- : Newport Co. [Rhode Island], Preservation Society of)
Prestel Verlag (1975)
Preston, James (1963)
Preusser, Robert (1957)
Prey, Pierre du (1968-1969)
Preziosi, Donald (1981)
Price, Eric J. (1946)
Price, Paton (1949)
Priest, Allen (undated)
Primex Trading Co. (1950)
Prince, Charlotte (1969)
Princeton University (1945-1947, 1951-1952, 1955, 1957-1958, 1963, 1972, 1974-1978, 1985)
Prior, Harris K. (1947-1949, 1951, 1954-1956, 1962)
Smith, Alexander Mackay (1949) ( -- see also -- : Mackay-Smith, Alexander)
Smith and Sons (1953)
Smith, Anna L. (undated)
Smith, Betty (1928-1929)
Smith College (1946-1964, 1966-1973, 1975-1976, 1978, 1981-1982) ( -- see also -- : Department; Kennedy Fund)
Smith College Alumnae Association (1954) ( -- see also -- : Alumnae Association)
Smith, E. Baldwin (1946-1947, 1953)
Smtih, Edith (1928-1929)
Smith, Fred S. (1928)
Smith, Mrs. Frederick (1945)
Smith, G. E. Kidder (1957, 1961, 1963, 1965)
Smith, George Walter Vincent Museum (1961)
Smith, Gertrude D. (1972)
Smith, Hinchman and Grulls Associates, Inc. (1976)
Smith, Kathryn (1976-1980, 1983, 1986)
Smith, Linn (1947)
Smith, Meg (1972, 1974)
Smith, Patricia Anne (1950)
Smith, Peter van der Meulen (1927-1928)
Smith, Robert C. (1950-1952, 1956)
Smith, Sidney (1947)
Smith, Vincent (1971)
Smith, William and Son (1949)
Smithson, Peter (1966)
Smithsonian Associates (1975)
Smithsonian Institution (1967, 1976, 1979)
Smyser, H. M. (1965)
Smyth, Craig Hugh (1951-1952, 1956, 1983)
Snow, Florence (1955)
Snow, Wilbert (1945)
Snowden, Ernest (1927-1928)
Snyder, John (1974)
Soby, James Thrall (1945-1950, 1954-1955, 1957-1958, 1960-1961, 1968, 1977, 1979)
Soby, Nellie (1951-1953)
Societe Editions de France (1958)
Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities ( -- see -- : Long Island Antiquities, Society for the Preservation of)
Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (1948, 1972, 1975) ( -- see also -- : New England Antiquities, Society for the Preservation of; Preservation of New England Antiquities, Society for the)
Society of Architectural Historians (1949-1985, 1987)
Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (1958-1980, 1983-1986)
Society of Mayflower Descendants ( -- see -- : Mayflower Descendants, Society of)
Solomon, Arthur and Marny (1975)
Solomon, Pringle (1948)
Somerset Co. [N.J.] Park Commission (1970)
Somerwil, J. (1962)
Sommer, Clifford C. (1958)
Sommer, Frank (1970)
Sonne, Fi (1955-1956)
Sonnenberg, Benjamin (1972)
Sorem, Lucia (1961)
Soria, Martin (1958)
Sotheby Parke Bernet, Inc. (1971, 1982)
Southern California, University of (1966, 1968)
Southern Regional Education Board (1966)
Spaeth, John W. (1945-1946)
Spark, Victor (1948, 1971)
Spear, Dorothea (1955)
Speed Art Museum ( -- see -- : Louisville, J. B. Speed Art Museum)
Speed, Herbert (1946)
Speirs, Bruce (1982)
Spence, Basil (1963-1964)
Spence, Eleanor (1954)
Spencer, Brian (1973-1974)
Spencer, Stephen (1956)
Spencer, Walter L. (1975-1976, 1978)
Sperling, Harry G. (1955)
Speyer, Darthea (1952)
Spokes, P. S. (1955)
Sprague, Joan Forrester (1960)
Sprague, Paul (1973, 1980, 1983)
Springarn, J. E. (1938)
Springfield [Mass.] (1980-1981)
Springfield [Mass.] City Planning Department (1971)
Springfield [Mass.] Museum of Fine Arts (1949, 1954)
Springfield [Mass.] Republican (1944-1945)
Springfield [Miss.] Art Museum (1949)
Stabile, Elizabeth (1963)
Stadt Koln (1957)
Stahl, Frederick A. (Tod) (1969-1970)
Staib, Hermann (1966, 1968-1969, 1974)
Staley, Karl A. (1953)
Stamm, Gunther (1979)
Stamp, Gavin (1978, 1985)
Stanford University (1985)
Stanton, Phoebe B. (1952-1954, 1958, 1965, 1968, 1970)
Staples Press (1950)
Starr, Mrs. Nathan C. (1952)
State Department, U. S. (1955, 1956, 1958) ( -- see also -- : Department of State; United States Department of State)
State Department, U.S. Information Agency (1957)
State Historical Society of Wisconsin ( -- see -- : Wisconsin, State Historical Society of)
Stebbins, Theodore E. (1965-1969, 1972-1973, 1977-1978)
Wright, Frank Lloyd, Home and Studio Foundation (1977, 1984)
Wright, Frank Lloyd, and -- In the Nature of Materials -- (1941)
Wright, John Lloyd (1968)
Wriston, Barbara (1952-1953, 1956, 1960, 1962, 1967)
Wurm, Heinrich (1966)
Wurster, William W. (1943-1944, 1946,-1948, 1950, 1951-1957, 1959, 1961)
Wurster, William W. and Catherine 1945
Wyoming, University of (1975)
Xenakis, Jason (1958)
Yale Review -- (1966-1968, 1970)
Yale University (1947-1960, 1962-1963, 1965-1979, 1982, 1986)
Yardley, Michael (1975-1978)
Yeon, John (1954)
York City Art Gallery (1958)
York Institute of Architectural Study (1957-1959, 1961)
York, University of (1962, 1970)
Yorke, R.F.S. (1952)
Youell, William (1948)
Young, E. A. (1947)
Young, Elaine (1962)
Young, Elizabeth (1961)
Young, Paul E. (1949)
Young, Mr. and Mrs. Wilfred B. (1954-1955)
Youritzin, Glenda Green (1974)
Zacchwatowicz, Jim (1963)
Zador, Anna (1970, 1972)
Zarnecki, George (1953)
Zaroff, Anne T. (1975)
Zawisa, Bernard J. (1952-1953, 1956)
Zenith Corp. (1969-1970)
Zenobi Sarto (1963)
Zerkowitz, A. (1957)
Zevi, Bruno (1952)
Zewicher, Mrs. Victor K. (1950)
Zimmerman Brothers (1963-1966, 1969)
Zimmerman, Mrs. Isadore (1952)
Zodiac Revue -- (1959-1969)
Zorn, Kate (1979)
Zubarec, Michael (1956-1957)
Zwemmer, A. (1946-1948, 1955, 1959)
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
The Henry-Russell Hitchcock 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.
Henry-Russell Hitchcock papers, 1919-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commerical use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: email@example.com.
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commerical use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Collection, Acc. 1992.0023, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
This series consists of the business and personal correspondence of Edith Gregor Halpert and the Downtown Gallery. For the most part, this series is general business correspondence concerning routine activities of the Downtown Gallery, including the American Folk Art Gallery and the Daylight Gallery, both operated by the Downtown Gallery on the same premises. Included are correspondence with clients, employees, other galleries, and colleagues concerning sales, loans, purchases, appraisals, and so forth; arrangements for shipping, framing, photography, reproduction permissions, and insurance; and gallery housekeeping and improvements, ordering of supplies, and other administrative concerns.
Also included is personal correspondence of Edith Gregor Halpert. There are letters and greeting cards from nieces, nephews, and other relatives; correspondence with longtime friends, including some who were art collectors, museum curators, or museum directors; and correspondence concerning upkeep and improvement of her Newtown, Connecticut, country home and entertaining there.
See Appendix A for a list of selected correspondents from Series 1
Letters (with enclosures) are arranged chronologically, with those of the same date alphabetized by name of correspondent; undated material is arranged alphabetically, followed by unidentified correspondents and letters bearing illegible signatures.
Box numbers provided in the Container Listing are approximate.
Appendix A: List of Selected Correspondents in Series 1:
Names and titles indicated in this list are those that appear on the letters. Where appropriate, terms have been standardized and cross-referencing provided. Because filing is not always consistent, researchers are advised to check both the name of an individual and the institution that he or she represented.
Abate Associates, Inc., 1956
Abbot and Land, 1965
Abbot, B. Vincent, 1944
Abbot, Bernice, 1957
Abbot, John E., 1945, 1948
Abbot Laboratories, 1950, 1952
ABC Employment Agency, 1951
Richard Abel and Co., Inc., 1968
Abendroth, Robert W., 1966-1967
Abercrombie and Fitch Co., 1962
Abilene Museum of Fine Arts, undated, 1949, 1954
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