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Cleve Gray papers, 1933-2005

Creator:
Gray, Cleve, 1918-2004  Search this
Subject:
Richter, Hans  Search this
Marin, John  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques  Search this
Pollock, Jackson  Search this
Grace, Louise N.  Search this
Gray, Francine du Plessix  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel  Search this
Dillenberger, Jane  Search this
Gabo, Naum  Search this
Ernst, Jimmy  Search this
Davis, Jim  Search this
Calder, Alexander  Search this
Barzun, Jacques  Search this
Weber, Nicholas Fox  Search this
Smith, David  Search this
Villon, Jacques  Search this
Pratt Institute  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design  Search this
Neuberger Museum of Art  Search this
Jacques Seligmann & Co  Search this
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Connecticut. Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film  Search this
Princeton University  Search this
Berry-Hill Galleries  Search this
Type:
Poems
Articles
Photographs
Reviews (documents)
Notes
Illustrations
Notebooks
Sketches
Drafts (documents)
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Manuscripts
Paintings
Prints
Watercolors
Drawings
Lectures
Citation:
Cleve Gray papers, 1933-2005. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Protest movements -- United States  Search this
Designers  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Women sculptors  Search this
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9567
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211768
AAA_collcode_grayclev
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211768
Online Media:

Pouring sculptures like Lynda Benglis

Creator:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2020-08-10T13:47:49.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Art, modern  Search this
See more by:
hirshhornmuseum
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
YouTube Channel:
hirshhornmuseum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_HF38H3ilBnw

Meet Miriam Schapiro

Creator:
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Type:
Interviews
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2012-12-04T15:01:42.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
See more by:
americanartmuseum
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
YouTube Channel:
americanartmuseum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_IPCq8r52B4Y

Elaine de Kooning: Portraits Exhibition

Creator:
National Portrait Gallery  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2015-03-09T13:43:35.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Portraits  Search this
See more by:
NatlPortraitGallery
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
YouTube Channel:
NatlPortraitGallery
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_YaPfddq5QpA

Joseph Cornell Study Center Collection

Artist:
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Names:
Benton, Elizabeth Cornell  Search this
Cornell, Robert  Search this
Extent:
196.8 Linear feet
186 Nitrate negatives
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Nitrate negatives
Photographic photoprints
Photographs
Place:
New York, New York
Date:
1750-1980, bulk 1930-1972
Summary:
The Joseph Cornell Study Center collection measures 196.8 linear feet and dates from 1750 to 1980, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930 to 1972. Documenting the artistic career and personal life of assemblage artist Joseph Cornell (1903-1972), the collection is primarily made up of two- and three-dimensional source material, the contents of the artists' studio, his record album collection, and his book collection and personal library. The collection also includes diaries and notes, financial and estate papers, exhibition materials, collected artifacts and ephemera, photographs, correspondence, and the papers of Robert Cornell (1910-1965) and Helen Storms Cornell (1882-1966), the artist's brother and mother.
Scope and Contents:
The Joseph Cornell Study Center collection measures 196.8 linear feet and dates from 1750 to 1980, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930 to 1972. Documenting the artistic career and personal life of assemblage artist Joseph Cornell (1903-1972), the collection is primarily made up of two- and three-dimensional source material, the contents of the artists' studio, his record album collection, and his book collection and personal library. The collection also includes diaries and notes, financial and estate papers, exhibition materials, collected artifacts and ephemera, photographs, correspondence, and the papers of Robert Cornell (1910-1965) and Helen Storms Cornell (1882-1966), the artist's brother and mother.

Correspondence is with collectors, museums, galleries, artists, friends, family, charity organizations, admirers and those admired by Cornell, and World War II European pen pals. Discussions about the appreciation, donation, sale, purchase, and exhibition of Cornell's works are frequent, with the inclusion of shipping and loan documentation or notices of payment installments. Galleries and museums frequently request that Cornell agree to an exhibition, which he often declines, and fans request free works be mailed or affordable works be sold to them. With friends, artists, and those he admired, Cornell discussed topics that fascinate him, included bits of poetry or philosophical musings, sent clippings or a collaged letter, and occasionally discussed a project or work in process. After World War II, when so many were displaced by the war in Europe, Cornell answered ads for pen pals in the "Christian Science Monitor," often responding to requests for clothing or other goods, and sometimes exchanging many letters over several years. Family correspondence is with his mother, sisters, brother, and others, and often notes activities of the day, foods eaten, and general musings, as well as occasionally mentioning a project or artwork. Correspondents of note include Stan Brakhage, Betty Freeman, Charles Henri Ford, Allegra Kent, Yayoi Kusama, Roberto Matta, Marianne Moore, Octavio Paz, Sonia Sekula, Pavel Tchelitchew, Parker Tyler, Dorothea Tanning, and Betsy von Furstenberg, among others.

Cornell was often preoccupied with his thoughts, feelings, memories, a project or thematic "exploration," and jotted notes on seemingly any surface available. Notes and musings are on napkins, the backs of envelopes, newspaper clippings, and paper bags from record and magazine stores. Frequently, an observation would trigger a lengthy nostalgic moment, or a "feé," fairy-like child or girl, would capture his imagination and lead him to thoughts of 18th-century ballerinas and silent film stars. Cornell wrote longer diary notes, sometimes expanding on an earlier notation or emotion, and often wrote when he experienced trouble sleeping or woke early. Drafted letters to imaginary muses or admired individuals are interspersed among diaries, often revealing Cornell's yearnings to find emotional intimacy and human connection. Over time, Cornell revisited his notes and occasionally made further notations about renewed thoughts on a topic, dating the note with "revisited" or "reviewed." Notes are often written in a stream-of-consciousness style, for example, jumping from the mention of a record album or composer, to a ballerina of the same period, a note about a French poet, the memory of childhood, or an observation made earlier in the day, all in the space of a few lines. Notes about artistic processes or meanings behind works or images do occasionally emerge from the tangled, poetic notations. Notes also often provide insights into Cornell's internal emotional state and give clues about his intentions behind an artwork or a particular thematic fixation.

Financial materials document Cornell's professional and personal business activities, including the sale of artworks, annual expenses for supplies and household incidentals, payments and schedules for personal assistants, receipts for donations to charities and nonprofits, and tax documents. There is also information about who worked as assistants, or "helpers," in his later years and where Cornell purchased art supplies. Additionally, specific details are documented through receipts and invoices, such as what kind of paint he purchased. Estate records include preparations made for Cornell's artworks after his death, and clippings about other deceased artist's estates show that he thought often about such arrangements in his later years.

Exhibition files highlight several select solo exhibitions for Cornell, as well as preparations and planning for the "Robert Cornell: Memorial Exhibition" in honor of his brother in 1966. Also included are several early exhibition catalogs and announcements, including "Surréalisme" (January 9-29, 1932) and "Exhibition of Objects (Bibloquet) by Joseph Cornell" (December 6-31, 1939) at the Julien Levy Gallery, and "Romantic Museum: Portraits of Women, Constructions and Arrangements by Joseph Cornell" (December 1946) at the Hugo Gallery.

Film projects and collected film materials consist of files related to Cornell's various experimental film projects: "Aviary," "Cappuccino," "Centuries of June," "Fable for Fountains," "Nymphlight," "Serafina's Garden," and unrealized film scenario "Monsieur Phot." Files include film-making notes, correspondence, and photographs. Cornell's interest in film also led him to collect film-related materials, such as film stills, film posters, and screening programs. Scattered correspondence documents the interest other institutions and individuals had in purchasing and viewing his collection. Though most of his collected film stills and movie posters were donated to the Anthology Film Archives, film stills from "Escape Me Never" (1935) and "The Passion of Joan of Arc" (1928) are still within the collection, as well as film-screening programs for Cornell's collection of films.

Writing and design projects document Cornell's work authoring articles and designing issues of specialty dance magazine "Dance Index," and his layouts for popular magazines like "Good Housekeeping," "House and Garden," and "Mademoiselle." Other writing projects include brochures dedicated to opera singers Maria Malibran and Giulia Grisi, "Maria" and "Bel Canto Pet." Materials used for these brochures, such as copper photo engraving plates, are also found. Design work includes a series of Christmas cards created with The Museum of Modern Art as well as traced patterns ("textile tracings") and design clippings from Cornell's time working as a "textile designer" for Traphagen Commercial Textile Studio.

Cornell acquired troves of source material from bookstalls, antique stores, sporting good and department stores, hardware stores, and magazine and record shops. He kept boxes and files of material on admired individuals, such as actresses, artists, dancers, and singers, as well as on art projects or thematic "explorations." Files are on general topics such as American history, scientific phenomena, animals, plants, and humankind, as well as on series of artworks, such as "Castles," "Homage to the Romantic Ballet," and "Medici Slot Machines." Focused "exploration" projects include "Celestial Theatre," "Colombier," "GC 44," and "Switzerland," among others. Materials include photographs, photostats, maps, book fragments, autographed letters, notes, collage clippings and cutouts, collected prints and engravings, box and collage fragments, and scattered artifacts.

Collected ephemera includes large amounts of blank postcards and greeting cards, stamps, collected bus and train tickets, food labels and packaging, decals, and other materials. Artifacts are three-dimensional collected objects and source objects, which include found objects from the streets, dried flowers, and pieces of nature gathered from walks around his neighborhood. Cornell may have gathered materials because they inspired a memory or nostalgic feeling, or because they fit with a bin of other similar objects to select from for an artwork in progress.

Photographs found within the collection are of Cornell at work and as a child with family. Also found are assorted personal and family photographs, photographs of Cornell's attic and garage storage, and photographs of his Utopia Parkway house. Photographs of artwork include few installation photographs, in addition to photographs of Cornell's boxes and collages. Collected photographic materials include vintage photographs, such as tintypes, a cyanotype, stereoscopic glass slides, albumen prints, cabinet cards, and cartes-de-visite. Cornell also collected cased photographs, such as daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and one opalotype. Negatives and photostats were often produced from various prints and even other photographs and used in Cornell's boxes and collages. Images are of men and women, actors, authors, dancers, performers, well-known men and women, royalty, places, and artwork. Photographs of note include those by Hans Namuth of Willem and Lisa de Kooning and of Edward Hopper's bedroom; photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson; a photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron; photographs by Brassai; and a photogravure by Alfred Stieglitz from "Camerawork."

Also found in the collection are works of art by others, including a sketch by Pavel Tchelitchew, as well as artwork by Cornell, such as unfinished collages, Rorschach drawings or ink blots, and childhood artwork. Printed material includes assorted bulletins, flyers, exhibition materials for other artists, journals, and sent printed membership and charity materials. Magazines, including "View," are also included, and often have annotations by Cornell or a note to "cut" or "review" with page numbers. A large amount of magazine and newspaper clippings are in the collection, sometimes collected with a group of like material by Cornell, and at other times simply gathered in heaps. Occasional annotations are also found on the clippings.

Cornell's personal library and book collection includes over 2500 titles, ranging from fiction, poetry, and cinema, to history, science, and travel. Notable among the titles are "Baedeker's" travel guides that Cornell often sourced for his "Hotel" box series, as well as an influential publication by Max Ernst, "La Femme 100 têtes," which includes a typed letter and exhibition flyer tucked within. Books often have annotations, some fairly extensive, by Cornell, and assorted collected items, notes, and correspondence tucked between pages. Pages were often cut by Cornell, either to make photostats and use in a box, or to file with other thematic "explorations." A wide range of authors and topics provide insight into Cornell's interests and to ideas behind artwork and diary notes. Cornell's collection of record albums includes over 145 records. These contain inserted notes and clippings and are often referenced in diary notes Cornell made, noting a recent album or song listened to while at work in his studio.

The papers of Cornell's mother, Helen Storms Cornell, and his brother, Robert Cornell, are also included in the collection. Both lived with Cornell his whole life, spending the most time with him at their home at 3708 Utopia Parkway. Financial materials document shared responsibilities for billing, utilities, household fixes and chores, and expenditures, and Helen kept detailed financial records in a series of ledgers. Robert notes when he borrowed money from Cornell, or when he means to pay Cornell back for the purchase of a typewriter. Activities documented in diaries also occasionally cross paths with Cornell, noting his visitors or an exchange of letters continued after introductions through Cornell. Personal activities, such as Robert's interest in his train collection and his drawing projects and cartoon series, are also documented.
Arrangement:
The Joseph Cornell Study Center Collection is arranged into 15 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1917-1972 (Boxes 1, 98, OV118; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1813, 1934-circa 1973 (Boxes 1-8, 86; 6.5 linear feet)

Series 3: Diaries and Notes, 1940-1976 (Boxes 8-10, 98-99, 135, OV108, OV119; 3.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Personal Business and Estate Records, 1950-1978 (Boxes 10-14; 4.1 linear feet)

Series 5: Exhibition Files, 1932-1973 (Box 14; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Film Projects and Collected Film Materials, circa 1924-1972 (Boxes 14-16, 100, 133; 1.6 linear feet)

Series 7: Writing and Design Projects, circa 1910s, 1936-1962 (Boxes 16-18, 86, 100, 131-132, OV109-OV111, OV120-OV122; 3.6 linear feet)

Series 8: Source Material, 1750-circa 1911, 1926-1972 (Boxes 19-49, 86-92, 96, 100-105, 126-130, 132-137, OV112-OV115, OV125; 42.2 linear feet)

Series 9: Artifacts and Ephemera, 1768, circa 1839-1972 (Boxes 49-52; 3.2 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographic Material, circa 1800s-1972 (Boxes 52-56, 80-86, 93, 106, 128, 133, OV116, OV123-OV124; 7.5 linear feet)

Series 11: Artwork, circa 1810-1972 (Boxes 56-57, 107, OV117; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 12: Printed Material, 1855-1972 (Boxes 57-76, 94-96, 107; 16 linear feet)

Series 13: Book Collection and Personal Library, 1722-1980 (99.8 linear feet)

Series 14: Record Album Collection, circa 1925-1974 (3.2 linear feet)

Series 15: Cornell Family Papers, 1910-1980 (Boxes 77-79, 97, 107; 3.2 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Joseph Cornell (1903-1972) was a self-taught assemblage and collage artist, and filmmaker, active in New York City. He was born in Nyack, New York on December 24, 1903, and died of heart failure at his home in Queens, New York on December 29, 1972. The oldest of four children, he was born Joseph I. Cornell to his mother, Helen Storms Cornell (1882-1966), and his father, Joseph I. Cornell (1875-1917). Cornell had two younger sisters, Elizabeth ("Betty") Cornell Benton (1905-2000) and Helen ("Sissy") Cornell Jagger (1906-2001), as well as one brother, Robert Cornell (1910-1965), who had cerebral palsy.

Cornell attended the Phillips Academy, a preparatory boarding school in Andover, Massachusetts, beginning shortly after his father's death in 1917. He attended for four years but did not receive a diploma, and soon began work as a textile salesman for the William Whitman Company in Manhattan. His work took him, by foot, through the city, visiting secondhand bookshops on Fourth Avenue, browsing music stores and magazine shops, and catching early shows at the Metropolitan Opera House. He would occasionally wait outside the stage doors for favorite singers and dancers to emerge, requesting signatures on photographs or bits of costumes.

Around 1926, Cornell joined the Christian Science Church, joined by his brother Robert shortly thereafter, and both continued to be lifelong members. Cornell kept a number of books in his personal library on Christian Science teachings and regularly subscribed to "The Christian Science Monitor."

After living in several rental houses in Bayside, New York, Cornell's mother purchased a house for the family in 1929 in Flushing, Queens. Cornell, along with his mother and brother, would live at 3708 Utopia Parkway, for the rest of their lives. His two sisters soon married and moved away, eventually settling in Westhampton, Long Island and in the poultry-farming business.

With no formal art training to speak of, Cornell's first work was a Max Ernst-inspired collage, "Untitled (Schooner)," created in 1931. He was especially inspired by Ernst's collage novel, "La Femme 100 têtes," published in 1929. French artist Odilon Redon was also among the few artists Cornell named as an influence on his art. His first sculptural works were small, cardboard pill boxes with bits of ephemera, costume adornments, and nature hidden inside. Cornell also created a series of glass bell jar works, placing small trinkets and Victorian-era-like compositions within. It was these early collages and bell jar works that were included in Cornell's debut exhibition, "Surréalisme" (January 9-29, 1932), a group show at the Julien Levy Gallery. Cornell designed the announcement for the show and exhibited alongside Max Ernst, Man Ray, Pierre Roy, Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Eugène Atget, George Platt Lynes, Jean Cocteau, and Salvador Dalí. Months later, Cornell was invited to have his first solo show, "Objects by Joseph Cornell: Minutiae, Glass Bells, Shadow Boxes, Coups d'Oeil, Jouets Surréalistes" (November 26-December 30, 1932), also at the Julien Levy Gallery.

In 1932, after eleven years of work, Cornell was laid off from the William Whitman Company due to the Great Depression. Soon after, he took on more responsibility in the church, working part-time as an attendant in the Christian Science Reading Room in Great Neck, New York. Beginning in 1933, he taught Sunday school classes for three years and in 1935, became the Sunday school librarian. However, his religious activities and artistic ventures continued to remain separate.

In the early 1930s, Cornell progressed from movie lover to filmmaker. When Julien Levy began his New York Film Society in 1933, holding screenings of various experimental films in the gallery, Cornell began buying and collecting films and film stills in earnest. He set up a 16-millimeter projector in his home to screen favorites, such as those by Georges Méliès, D.W. Griffith, and Louis Feuillade. His collection quickly grew to over 2,500 film stills and several hundred films, and included silent era films, such as nature documentaries, goofy newsreels, travelogues, early cartoons, and slapstick comedies, as well as several feature films. In 1933, Cornell wrote a screenplay, or "scenario," entitled "Monsieur Phot." Between 1935 and 1937, Cornell also occasionally created publicity photomontages for Universal and Columbia studios. Of the nearly thirty films Cornell created, periods of activity can generally be separated into two areas: collage films of the late 1930s, consisting of combined elements from films in his own collection, and films he directed in the 1950s, which were collaborations with other filmmakers set in New York City. "Rose Hobart," Cornell's most celebrated collage film, was created and shown in the Julien Levy Gallery in 1936 and includes clipped footage from "East of Borneo." Later films were directed and filmed with cinematographers Stan Brakhage, Rudy Burckhardt, and Larry Jordan.

In 1934, Cornell began a job at the Traphagen Commercial Textile Studio as a "textile designer," a job he held for six years. Continuing to work at his kitchen table in the evenings, Cornell completed his first assemblage box construction, "Untitled (Soap Bubble Set)," in 1936. It was first exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art's show, "Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism" (December 9, 1936-January 17, 1937). This work was also the first to be acquired by a museum, purchased for $60.00 by the Wadsworth Atheneum in Massachusetts in 1938. Cornell's European debut was also in 1938, as one of three Americans represented in the "Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme" (January 17-Febuary 24, 1938) at the Galerie Beaux-Arts in Paris, alongside Man Ray and Anne Clark.

At the end of 1939, Cornell began corresponding with poet Charles Henri Ford, founder of avant-garde magazine "View," Pavel Tchelitchew, and Parker Tyler. After his "Soap Bubble Sets," this period saw the development of Cornell's homages to singers and actresses, including "Untitled (Fortune-Telling Parrot for Carmen Miranda)," the destroyed "Garbo (Greta Garbo in the Legendary Film 'The Crystal Mask,' c. 1845)," and "Dressing Room for Gilles." He also began using photostats of art reproduction prints, as with the print of Jean Antoine-Watteau's painting, "Pierrot" (circa 1719), used in his "Gilles" box.

In the 1940s, the Romantic ballet emerged as Cornell's new topic of interest. Through his friend Pavel Tchelitchew, Cornell was introduced to the School of American Ballet and New York City Ballet founders, Lincoln Kirstein and George Balanchine. Cornell collected dance memorabilia and had a great love of the Romantic ballet. His favorite dancers were primarily ballerinas of the nineteenth century, including Fanny Cerrito, Marie Taglioni, Fanny Elssler, Lucille Grahn, and Carlotta Grisi. Cornell's "Homage to the Romantic Ballet" works largely took the shape of jewel-box style wooden boxes with glass overlays and included bits of velvet, tulle, sequins, crystals, and chiffon, occasionally collected from dancers themselves. His most well-known work of this series is "Taglioni's Jewel Casket" (1940). Cornell also admired several living ballet dancers, including Tamara Toumanova, Zizi Jeanmaire, and Allegra Kent, who would all make their way into Cornell's box works and/or collages. Collecting for the "exploration," "Portrait of Ondine," Cornell's cased portfolio dedication to Fanny Cerrito and her role in the ballet "Ondine," began in the 1940s, though not completed until around 1960.

In late 1940, Cornell quit his job at Traphagen to concentrate on freelance commercial magazine design and editorial work during the day and his artwork at night. That same year, Charles Henri Ford started "View" magazine to promote Surrealists and Neo-Romantics in New York City and often asked Cornell to contribute. Published in the December 1941-January 1942 issue, one of his early contributions was a collage dedication to stage actress Hedy Lamarr: "Enchanted Wanderer: Excerpt from a Journey Album for Hedy Lamarr" (1941). Along with writing the accompanying text, he created a photomontage of Lamarr with her face overlaying the painted portrait of a Renaissance boy by Italian painter Giorgione. Peggy Guggenheim, at the advice of Marcel Duchamp, purchased multiple Cornell works prior to opening her new gallery, Art of This Century. Cornell also befriended Roberto Matta Echaurren, another Surrealist living in exile, who introduced him to Robert Motherwell.

After deciding to fully dedicate his time to his art in early 1940, he set up a studio in his basement. Complete with floor-to-ceiling wooden shelving, he kept his large collection of boxed source material stacked with handwritten labels in cardboard boxes. Themed folders of materials such as "Stamps" or "Maps" were kept in stacks and works in progress and finished works were stored in the basement, garage, and attic. Entering a renewed period of productivity, Cornell embarked on many new and important box projects in 1942. One of the first boxes created in his new basement studio, and the first of the "Penny Arcade" or "Medici Slot Machine" series, was "Medici Slot Machine" (1942), which includes a photostat of "Portrait of Marquess Massimiliano Stampa" (1557) by Sofonisba Anguissola. Another work from this time is the first of his "Castle" or "Palace" series, "Setting for a Fairy Tale" (1942), which uses a photostat of a French building from Jacques Androuet du Cerceau's book, "Les Plus excellents bastiments de France" (1576). "Untitled (Pharmacy)" (circa 1942) was the first of his "Pharmacy" series and included twenty-two apothecary jars. Cornell tended to work in series and created thirteen "Palace" boxes between 1942 and 1951, and ultimately created six "Pharmacy" works.

In 1943, Cornell began working at an electronics company, the Allied Control Company, Inc., to do his part to contribute to the defense effort during the war. He also sent correspondence and care packages to displaced Europeans, who listed their needs in "The Christian Science Monitor." Influenced by World War II, one of his strongest works to emerge in 1943 was "Habitat Group for a Shooting Gallery." Another notable work to come out of this period, "The Crystal Cage (Portrait of Berenice)," was an excerpt from one of his album "explorations" that was published in the January 1943 issue of "View."

Cornell left his job at Allied Control in 1944, but soon began working at the Garden Centre in Flushing, owned by a fellow Christian Scientist. Cornell was often nostalgic for this time in his life, devoting an entire "exploration" of material fondly remembered as "GC 44." He rode a bicycle to work and enjoyed collecting trips gathering dried grasses, driftwood, shells, and other relics of nature on the same bicycle as he rode through the streets of Queens. During this time, he continued to tend to his projects for "Dance Index," a magazine founded in 1942 by Lincoln Kirstein, but taken over by Donald Windham in 1944. Cornell designed several covers for the magazine and was given control of the entire summer 1944 issue, which he devoted to the Romantic ballet. He also devoted a special 1945 issue to Hans Christian Andersen, making great use of the New York Public Library Picture Collection.

Throughout the 1940s, Cornell continued to support himself with commercial design work for magazines like "Vogue," "Good Housekeeping," "Harper's Bazaar," "Town & Country," and "Mademoiselle." In 1946, after thirteen years at the Julien Levy Gallery, he joined the Hugo Gallery. In December 1946, Cornell's solo exhibition, "Romantic Museum at the Hugo Gallery: Portraits of Women by Joseph Cornell," celebrated his favorite movie stars, singers, and ballet dancers, and included his work created for the show, "Untitled (Penny Arcade Portrait of Lauren Bacall)." Cornell's "Greta Garbo" box, as well as "Souvenir for Singleton," an homage to Jennifer Jones and her role in the film "Love Letters," were also included in the show. In late 1948, his West Coast debut was in the exhibition, "Objects by Joseph Cornell," held at the Copley Gallery. The end of the 1940s saw the final issue of "View" magazine in 1947, the closure of the Julien Levy Gallery in April 1949, and Cornell's departure from the Hugo Gallery after his last show in November 1949.

In late 1949, Cornell joined the Charles Egan Gallery, known primarily for showing Abstract Expressionists. At this time, Cornell was working on a new series of boxes known as his "Aviary" works, most of which include a white-painted box with cutouts of birds mounted on wood. Though he had worked on bird-related boxes before, including an "Owl" series in the mid-1940s, his "Fortune Telling Parrot" (1939), and "Object 1941" (1941), these newer works were stripped of French elements and left "clean and abstract" by design. His first show at the Egan Gallery, "Aviary by Joseph Cornell" (December 7, 1949-January 7, 1950), included twenty-six "Aviary" works, nearly all created in 1949. Donald Windham agreed to write the foreword for the exhibition catalog, a single folded sheet, and Cornell gave him one of the boxes in the show, "Cockatoo: Keepsake Parakeet," in appreciation. Through the Egan Gallery, Cornell became friends with a new group of artists, including Franz Kline, Jack Tworkov, and Willem de Kooning. Cornell also held two screenings of a selection of his collected films at Subjects of the Artist, an art school founded by Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, David Hare, and William Baziotes.

In 1950, Cornell's second show at the Egan Gallery, "Night Songs and Other New Work" (December 1, 1950-January 13, 1951), introduced his new "Observatory" series. These works are largely defined by stark, whitewashed spaces with astronomical charts and constellations replacing colorful birds. The Museum of Modern Art purchased its first Cornell work from this show in early 1951, "Central Park Carrousel, in Memoriam" (1950).

For three months in 1951, Cornell was beset by various ailments and had trouble finding the energy to create new work. He worried more for his aging mother and the health of his brother. After a monthlong vacation with his sisters in Westhampton, he returned with renewed interest in Emily Dickinson's poetry. His whitewashed boxes took on a new form in his newest "Dovecote" series, using grids and circular cutouts. The works then transformed into homages to Dickinson, notably "Toward the Blue Peninsula: For Emily Dickinson" (circa 1953), and then to his "Hotel" series. Cornell's "Hotel" boxes include photostats of vintage European ads for hotels collected from vintage travel guides, especially "Baedeker's," adhered to the back walls of the boxes. Another new series of work, his "Juan Gris" series, was dedicated to Cubist artist Juan Gris. Between 1953 and the mid-1960s, Cornell created at least fifteen "Juan Gris" boxes, which often include a cutout of a white cockatoo in a Cubist-collage habitat. Cornell's third and last show at Egan Gallery, "Night Voyage" (February 10-March 28, 1953), included some of these newest works. After leaving Egan Gallery, his work was introduced to Chicago collectors in a solo show at the Frumkin Gallery, "Joseph Cornell: 10 Years of His Art" (April 10-May 7, 1953), which included nearly thirty pieces. Cornell's first museum retrospective was this same show held at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (July 12-August 30, 1953).

As New York City continued to change, Cornell grew more nostalgic for the city he had explored since the 1920s. The impending closure of the Third Avenue El train prompted him to dream up a film project to capture its last days, resulting in "Gnir Rednow," a reworking of Stan Brakhage's 1955, "Wonder Ring." During this time, Cornell joined the Stable Gallery, run by Eleanor Ward, interacting often with Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, and Joan Mitchell, remaining there until the end of the 1950s. His astronomy-themed exhibition, "Winter Night Skies" (December 12, 1955-January 13, 1956), included his "Night Skies" series of work with celestial chart fragments, Greek mythological figures, and paint-splattered "windows" representative of star-filled night skies. In 1956, he became aware of ballerina Allegra Kent, and began a series of work devoted to her, the first of which was "Via Parmigianino (Villa Allegra)" (1956), which included a photostat of a painting by Parmigianino, "The Madonna of the Long Neck" (circa 1540). In late 1957, after two years, Cornell had his last show at Stable Gallery, "Joseph Cornell: Selected Works" (December 2-31, 1957), consisting of a series of "Sand Fountain" boxes and "Space Object" or "Celestial Navigation" works. The "Sand Fountain" boxes included different colors of sand meant to flow within, often from the tops into cordial glasses. His "Celestial Navigations" included galaxy-like compositions set within the boxes, with rolling, painted cork balls, metal rings, and constellation charts, sometimes hovering over cordial glasses or clay pipes. This last Stable Gallery show earned him his first published profile, written by Howard Griffin for the December 1957 issue of "Art News." Also in 1957, he won the Kohnstamm Prize for Construction at the Art Institute of Chicago's 62rd Annual Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture.

Towards the end of the 1950s, Cornell spent less time creating new bodies of work, and focused more on revisiting previous series and reviewing piles of collected source material. In 1959, Cornell returned to making collages, frequently sourcing popular magazines. In December 1959, Cornell was awarded $1,500 for his "Orion" collage, entered in the Art Institute of Chicago's "63rd American Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture." Also in December, he was offered a show at Bennington College in Vermont, which he titled, "Bonitas Solstitialis: Selected Works by Joseph Cornell and an exploration of the Colombier" (November 20-December 15, 1959). The show included one of his newest "explorations" of collected material related to "colombier," or pigeon houses.

By 1962, Cornell was working diligently on new collages, using Masonite boards and colorful magazine clippings. He also began creating collages using nude images interspersed with constellation clippings or hazy blue dyes. As in previous decades and art movements, Cornell became acquainted with new artists, spending less time in the city and more time hosting visitors at his Utopia Parkway home. Visitors included artists Walter De Maria, Robert Whitman, Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, and Robert Indiana. Tony Curtis also became a frequent visitor and friend, introduced by Richard Feigen in 1964. The early 1960s was also the first time Cornell put out an advertisement for assistants in the "Long Island Star-Journal," employing a number of young men and women who helped organize clippings and run errands. Cornell also met Joyce Hunter, a young runaway waitress at a city coffee shop, who would occupy his thoughts and diary notes for the next several years. When she was murdered at the end of 1964, Cornell paid for her funeral. He went on to make several "Penny Arcade" collages in memoriam to her, including, "Penny Arcade (re-autumnal)" (1964).

In 1964, Cornell began friendships with several women including artist Carolee Schneeman, who was his first assistant in the early 1960s. He also met artist Yayoi Kusama through art dealer Gertrude Stein. After becoming friends, she visited him often and they exchanged letters and notes. As he did with other artist friends, Cornell supported her by purchasing several of her early watercolor paintings, and they stayed connected until his death in 1972.

Cornell's life greatly changed in 1965 with the death of his brother, Robert. By this time, his mother lived with his sister in Long Island, and Cornell was alone in the Utopia Parkway house for the first time. He exchanged frequent letters and phone calls with his mother and devoted much time to thinking about Robert and Joyce, often aligning them in his diary notations. Cornell also created a series of collages dedicated to his brother's memory, incorporating photostats of Robert's hundreds of drawings into Cornell's work, as with the later collage, "The Heart on the Sleeve" (1972). Cornell's "Time Transfixed" series of collages were also dedications to Robert's memory, referencing Magritte and Robert's love of trains. He mounted an exhibition, "Robert Cornell: Memorial Exhibition" (January 4-29, 1966), at the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery, where he showed Robert's artwork alongside his newly created collage dedications.

After Robert's death, Cornell relied more heavily on assistants, going through many part-time "helpers." In October 1966, Cornell's mother died, adding her to his constant thoughts and diaries. Though he was still grieving, he was given two major retrospectives in 1967. The first was at the Pasadena Art Museum, put on by James Demetrion and Walter Hopps, "An Exhibiton of Works by Joseph Cornell" (January 9-February 11, 1967). The second retrospective was at the Guggenheim Museum just three months later, "Joseph Cornell" (May 4-June 35, 1967), organized by Diane Waldman. After these shows, he was highlighted in the December 15, 1967 issue of "Life" in the article, "The Enigmatic Bachelor of Utopia Parkway."

In 1968, Cornell was given an "award of merit," which included a medal and $1,000, by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He was also given a medal and $1,000 by the Brandeis University Creative Arts Awards in the painting category, along with an exhibition. Days later, "The New York Times" announced Cornell the winner, along with Donald Judd, of India's first Triennale of Contemporary World Art. The Brandeis exhibition, "Boxes and Collages by Joseph Cornell" (May 20-June 23, 1968), was organized by William Seitz and concentrated on Cornell's more recent 1960s collages. Cornell was also included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's hundredth anniversary show, "New York Painting and Sculpture: 1940 to 1970" (October 18, 1969-February 1, 1970), where twenty-two of Cornell's boxes were shown in their own gallery. At the end of 1970, Cornell was given a solo show at the Metropolitan, "Collages by Joseph Cornell" (December 10, 1970-January 24, 1971), which included forty-five of his newest collages.

Now preferring to stay closer to his home in Flushing, Cornell was more interested in sharing his art with young adults and children, than an adult audience. He hosted a group of high school students, sponsored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's education department, at his home in conjunction with his collage show (1970-1971). He also showed his work in the art department of Queens College of the City University of New York. Cornell still hosted visitors on occasion, having Yoko Ono and John Lennon at his home at least once. Leila Hadley, Betsy von Furstenberg, and Anne Jackson also made frequent visits. With his deteriorating health, Cornell worried about what would happen to his work after his death and hired lawyer Harry Torczyner to help him plan his estate and get his affairs in order.

In 1972, Cornell had a show at the Cooper Union, a college in New York, specifically for children. He displayed his boxes and collages at child-height and had cherry soda and brownies at the opening reception on February 10. He then held a show at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, also for children: "Children's Preview of the Exhibition of Joseph Cornell – Collages and Boxes (April 18-June 17, 1972). In the winter of 1972, at the request of the Phoenix House drug treatment and prevention program, Cornell contributed to a charity project compiling limited-edition lithographic prints for a portfolio, which included artists like David Hockney, James Rosenquist, and Ellsworth Kelly.

On December 29, 1972, a week after turning sixty-nine, Cornell died of heart failure at his home. He was cremated and interred near the graves of his mother, father, and brother, overlooking the Hudson River in Nyack, New York.

Works Cited:

1. Hartigan, Lynda Roscoe. "Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination." New Haven, Connecticut and London: Yale University Press, 2007. Exhibition Catalog.

2. McShine, Kynaston. "Joseph Cornell." New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1980.

3. San Francisco Cinematheque and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "Joseph Cornell: Films." 2007. Exhibition Program. (Presented in conjunction with SFMOMA's exhibition of "Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination").

4. Schaffner, Ingrid and Lisa Jacobs. "Julien Levy: Portrait of an Art Gallery." Cambridge, Massachusetts and London: The MIT Press, 1998.

5. Solomon, Deborah. "Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell." New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997.
Separated Materials:
The Smithsonian Archives of American Art houses the Joseph Cornell papers, 1804-1986, bulk 1939-1972.
Provenance:
The Joseph Cornell Study Center collection was donated to the Smithsonian American Art Museum by Joseph Cornell's sister and brother-in-law, Elizabeth Cornell Benton and John A. Benton, in 1978, which prompted the creation of the Joseph Cornell Study Center. Additional materials were donated in installments by the artist's estate, the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, from 1985 to 1997. Elizabeth and John A. Benton originally donated 66 linear feet of three-dimensional and non-textual source material and 50 linear feet of books to the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, which were subsequently transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Joseph Cornell Study Center in 1994 and 1995.
Restrictions:
Access to the collection requires an advanced appointment. Contact collection staff at least two weeks prior to preferred date, at AmericanArtCornellStudy@si.edu.

Series 9: Artifacts and Ephemera, Series 13: Personal Library and Book Collection, and Series 14: Record Album Collection, are still undergoing processing and preservation and may not be available for research use. Record albums are unavailable for playback. Contact collection staff for full lists of publications and record albums.
Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Occupation:
Collagists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Assemblage (Art)  Search this
Assemblage artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Found objects (Art)  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Celebrities  Search this
Filmmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographic photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1900-1950
Photographs -- 1860-1870 -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver albumen -- Cartes-de-visite
Photographs -- Daguerreotypes -- 1840-1860
Citation:
Joseph Cornell Study Center collection, 1750-1980, bulk 1930-1972. Joseph Cornell Study Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Identifier:
SAAM.JCSC.1
See more items in:
Joseph Cornell Study Center Collection
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ih7d97fc249-474d-41bf-953d-5305df1e4c06
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-saam-jcsc-1

Joseph Cornell papers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Missing Title

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Originals of loaned material returned to the donor after microfilming include: some unidentified and miscellaneous correspondence; significant correspondence between Joseph Cornell and Helen S. Cornell; significant correspondence between Helen S. Cornell, family members and others; and some of Joseph Cornell's family correspondence and general correspondence from the Robert Cornell papers. The loaned material is available on microfilm reels 1055-1058 but is not described further in the Series Descriptions/Container Listing of this finding aid.
Provenance:
The Joseph Cornell papers were donated and microfilmed in several installments from 1974 to 1989 by Joseph Cornell's sister, Betty Cornell Benton. Most, but not all, of the correspondence, which was loaned for microfilming in 1974, was subsequently donated in 1989. Additional material was donated in 2004 by the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation.
Restrictions:
Use of the original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Celebrities  Search this
Assemblage (Art)  Search this
Found objects (Art)  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Assemblage artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Joseph Cornell papers, 1804-1986, bulk 1939-1972. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.cornjose
See more items in:
Joseph Cornell papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9ff67e8a6-6a88-40f0-9df4-537c9826eed7
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cornjose
Online Media:

Unboxed Lunch featuring Nela Arias-Mission with Josh T Franco

Creator:
Archives of American Art  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2023-04-26T19:32:40.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
See more by:
SmithsonianAAA
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianAAA
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_c0NfpHlhH_w

The space between the modern in Korean art edited by Virginia Moon ; with essays by Kang Mingi, Joan Kee, Kim Inhye, Kim Yisoon, Kwon Heangga, Mok Soohyun, Virginia Moon ; additional contributions by Bae Wonjung, Julia H. Han, Ellen Joo, Kim Yejin, Youngin Arial Kim, Park Hyesung ; special conversation with Nora Noh

Title:
Saimi konggan : Han'gungmisurmi kmndae
사이의 공간 : 한국미술의 근대
Interviewer:
Moon, Virginia  Search this
Contributor:
Kang, Min-gi 1964-  Search this
Kee, Joan  Search this
Kim, In-hye (Curator)  Search this
Kim, I-sun  Search this
Kwŏn, Haeng-ga  Search this
Mok, Su-hyŏn  Search this
Bae, Wonjung  Search this
Han, Julia H  Search this
Joo, Ellen  Search this
Kim, Yejin  Search this
Kim, Youngin Arial  Search this
Park, Hyesung  Search this
Interviewee:
No, Nora 1928-  Search this
Host institution:
Los Angeles County Museum of Art  Search this
Sponsoring body:
Kungnip Hyŏndae Misulgwan  Search this
Physical description:
327 pages illustrations (chiefly color), portraits (chiefly color) 30 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Exhibition catalogs
Place:
Korea
Date:
2022
20th century
21st century
Topic:
Art, Korean  Search this
ART / General  Search this
Artists  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1161239

Lecture "Norman Lewis in Harlem: An Inquiry into the Laws of Nature", National Gallery of Art

Creator:
Fine, Ruth, 1941-  Search this
Subject:
Lewis, Norman  Search this
Type:
Sound Recording
Date:
2006 January 15
Citation:
Ruth Fine. Lecture "Norman Lewis in Harlem: An Inquiry into the Laws of Nature", National Gallery of Art, 2006 January 15. Ruth Fine papers, circa 1929-2016. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)24593
See more items in:
Ruth Fine papers, circa 1929-2016, bulk 1950s-2016
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_24593

Gene Davis papers

Creator:
Davis, Gene, 1920-1985  Search this
Names:
White House (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Baro, Gene  Search this
Colby, Carl  Search this
Davis, Douglas  Search this
Davis, Florence  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
McGowin, Ed, 1938-  Search this
Naifeh, Steven, 1952-  Search this
Nordland, Gerald  Search this
North, Percy, 1945-  Search this
Seitz, William C. (William Chapin)  Search this
Thomas, Alma  Search this
Wall, Donald  Search this
Extent:
17.7 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Photographs
Interviews
Video recordings
Date:
1920-2000
bulk 1942-1990
Summary:
The papers of the artist Gene Davis measure 17.7 linear feet and date from 1920-2000, with the bulk of materials dating from 1942-1990. Papers document Davis's personal life and his career as an artist and educator, as well as his career as a journalist in the 1940s and 1950s, through biographical materials, correspondence, interviews, business records, estate records, writings by and about Gene Davis, printed materials concerning Davis's art career, personal and art-related photographs, and artwork by Davis and others.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of the artist Gene Davis measure 17.7 linear feet and date from 1920-2000, with the bulk of materials dating from 1942-1990. Papers document Davis's personal life and his career as an artist and educator, and to a lesser degree his early career as a journalist in the 1940s and 1950s, through biographical materials, correspondence, interviews, business records, estate records, writings by and about Gene Davis, printed materials concerning Davis's art career, personal and art-related photographs, and artwork by Davis and others.

Biographical materials include birth and death certificates, awards, biographical narratives by Gene Davis and others, CVs, résumés, personal documents from Davis's family and childhood, documents related to his work as a White House correspondent, documentation related to his death and memorial service, and papers for the family pets. A video documentary about Davis by Carl Colby is found on one videocassette.

Correspondence is mainly of a professional nature, and correspondents include gallery and museum curators, private art collectors, publishers, fellow artists, art educators, academics, and students. Letters document exhibitions, sales, book projects, teaching jobs, visits to studios, local art community events in the Washington, D.C. area, and other projects. Significant correspondents include Gene Baro, Douglas Davis, Clement Greenberg, Gerald Nordland, William Seitz, Alma Thomas, and Donald Wall. Interviews and lectures include sound recordings and transcripts. Many of the interviews were broadcast or published. Also found is a single lecture by Davis given in 1969 at the National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, entitled "Contemporary Painting." Sound recordings are found for three of the interviews and for the lecture, on 4 sound reels and 1 sound cassette.

Business records include artwork documentation, price lists, sales records, contracts, financial and legal records, gallery and museum files documenting sales and exhibitions, records related to the construction of Davis's home studio in 1970, and a few teaching records. Estate records mainly reflect Florence Davis's efforts to document the works of her husband, and to manage their exhibition, promotion, and sale after his death in April 1985. Estate records include an inventory of artworks, documentation of gifts to museums, correspondence, legal, and financial records. Writings include notes, drafts of essays, artist statements, and articles by Davis, and many articles by others about Davis. Several of Davis's articles reflect specifically on the Washington, D.C. art scene. Also found are drafts of monographs on Davis including one by Donald Wall (1975) and one by Steven Naifeh (1982). Records of Naifeh's book also include photographs of all black and white and color plates from the published book. Among the writings are also notes and research files of Percy North, who worked on an update to Naifeh's 1982 bibliography after Davis's death.

Printed materials include annual reports of museums, published arts-related calendars, auction catalogs, brochures from organizations with which Davis had some affiliation, exhibition announcements and invitations, exhibition catalogs, magazine articles, newspaper clippings, newsletters, posters, press releases, and other published material. Photographs include personal photographs of Gene and Florence Davis and their families, portraits of Gene Davis, photographs of Gene Davis with artworks and working in the studio, Davis' art classes and students, installations of site-specific works, conceptual and video works, exhibition openings, and photographs of artwork, both installed in exhibitions and individually photographed. Found among the photographs are also four videocassettes documenting the Gene Davis retrospective as installed at the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art in 1987.

Artwork includes photographs, drawings, moving images, and documentation of conceptual art. Works by Davis include documentation of the 1969 "Giveaway" with Douglas Davis and Ed McGowin, "The Artist's Fingerprints Except for One which belongs to someone else," documentation of his "Air Displacement" happening, a short film entitled "Patricia," and a video entitled "Video Puzzle." Other moving images include four reels of film of Davis's stripe paintings, and other experiments with motion picture film and photographs.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 8 series.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1930-1987 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 1, 17)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1943-1990 (1.7 linear feet; Boxes 1-3)

Series 3: Interviews and Lectures, 1964-1983 (0.3 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 4: Business and Estate Records, 1942-1990 (1.6 linear feet; Boxes 3-5, 17, OV 20)

Series 5: Writings, 1944-1990 (2 linear feet; Boxes 5-6, 17, OV 19)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1942-1990 (5.5 linear feet; Boxes 7-11, 17-18, OV 20, FC 35-37)

Series 7: Photographs, 1920-2000 (3.8 linear feet; Boxes 11-15, 17, OV 19)

Series 8: Artwork, 1930-1985 (2.2 linear feet; Boxes 15-16, 18, FC 21-34)
Biographical / Historical:
Gene Davis (1920-1985) was a Washington, D.C.-based artist and educator who worked in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, collage, video, light sculpture, and conceptual art. Davis is best known for his vertical stripe paintings and his association with the Washington Color School.

Davis was born in 1920 in Washington, D.C. and began his career as a writer. In his twenties he wrote pulp stories and worked as a journalist, reporting for United Press International and serving as a White House correspondent for Transradio Press Service during the Truman administration. Later, he worked in public relations for the Automobile Association of America. A self-taught artist, Davis began painting while still working full-time as a writer, influenced by the prevailing abstract expressionist artists of the time, his frequent visits to the Corcoran Gallery and Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., and by his friend and mentor, Jacob Kainen. His first one-man show was held in the lobby of the Dupont Theater in Washington in 1952. He had a drawing accepted in the Corcoran Area Show in 1953, and won several local art prizes in the 1950s. He began showing work regularly in galleries around Washington, such as the Watkins Gallery at American University, the Gres Gallery, and the Henri Gallery, and had solo exhibitions at Jefferson Place Gallery in 1959 and 1961. Many of the painters who made up what became known as the Washington Color School also showed there, including Kenneth Noland, Howard Mehring, and Sam Gilliam. In 1965, the Washington Gallery of Modern Art held a seminal exhibition entitled Washington Color Painters, which included Davis, Noland, Mehring, Morris Louis, Thomas Downing, and Paul Reed.

Davis began showing outside of Washington regularly in the 1960s, including the Poindexter and Fischbach galleries in New York City, and in several important group shows at museums such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He had three works shown in the 1964 exhibition Post-Painterly Abstraction, organized by the influential art critic Clement Greenberg at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In the late 1960s, he began teaching art classes at the Corcoran School, and spent the summer of 1969 as artist in residence at Skidmore College's "Summer in Experiment" program.

Davis experimented with form continuously throughout his career, including a period of conceptual work in the late 1960s. In 1969 he participated in the "Giveaway," organized by Douglas Davis and Ed McGowin, in which multiple copies of a Davis painting were given away to invited guests in a gesture intended to subvert the art market. Davis also began experimenting with scale, creating a series of tiny paintings he called "Micro-paintings," which were exhibited at Fischbach Gallery in 1968. Around this time he also began working with film and video, recruiting models from his art classes to enact tightly choreographed movement pieces that played with rhythm and interval. Convinced by a lawyer that his videos were a liability without having obtained releases from the models, Davis destroyed all but one of his video works. The surviving video, "Video Puzzle," shows a foreshortened view of a model on the floor of a gallery spelling out a statement by Clement Greenberg at predetermined intervals.

Davis made several large-scale site-specific works using the stripe motif in public places. The first of these was created in the Bal Harbour, Florida, Neiman Marcus department store in 1970. Later works included Franklin's Footpath, executed in the road leading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1972, and Niagara (1979) at ArtPark in Lewistown, NY, promoted at the time as the largest painting in the world. Interior large-scale works were created twice at the Corcoran Gallery, with Magic Circle (1975) and Ferris Wheel (1982), both executed in the museum's rotunda. Black Yo-Yo was created for the Cranbrook Academy in 1980, and Sun Sonata (1983), an illuminated wall of colored liquid-filled tubes, was created as an architectural feature of the Muscarelle Museum of Art in Williamsburg, Virginia. Plans for an unexecuted work called "Grass Painting," for a site near the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., were exhibited in the 1974 "Art Now" festival.

In the late 1970s and 1980s Davis consistently exhibited his work in several solo gallery shows a year, and also had numerous solo exhibitions in major museums. A major exhibition, Recent Paintings, was organized by the Walker Art Center in 1978, and traveled to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1979. A drawing retrospective was held at the Brooklyn Museum of art in 1983, and the same year the Washington Project for the Arts organized an exhibition entitled Child and Man: A Collaboration, featuring drawings Davis made in response to childrens' drawings. Davis died suddenly in April 1985 at the age of 65, and a major retrospective of his work was held at the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art in 1987.
Related Materials:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Gene Davis conducted by Estill Curtis Pennington on April 23, 1981. A transcript is available on the Archives of American Art website.
Provenance:
Donated 1981 by Gene Davis and 1986 by his wife, Florence. Additional material donated 1991 and 1993 from Smithsonian American Art Museum via a bequest to them from the Gene and Florence Davis estate. Much of the 1993 addition was assembled by art historian Percy North at the request of Florence Davis. An additional folder of photographs of Davis taken in 1969 but printed in 2000 was later added to the collection.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Reporters and reporting -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Video artists -- Washington, D.C.  Search this
Conceptual artists -- Washington, D.C  Search this
Painters -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Collagists -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Topic:
Color-field painting  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Photographs
Interviews
Video recordings
Citation:
Gene Davis papers, 1920-2000, bulk 1942-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.davigene
See more items in:
Gene Davis papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw90a230f67-650f-483a-acdf-50b6ca91fe59
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-davigene
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Marisol

Interviewee:
Marisol, 1930-2016  Search this
Interviewer:
Roberts, Colette, 1910-  Search this
Names:
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) -- Students  Search this
Club (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts (France) -- Students  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound tape reel (Sound recording, 7 in.)
34 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound tape reels
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1968 Feb. 8
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Marisol conducted 1968 Feb. 8, by Colette Roberts, for the Archives of American Art.
In the interview Marisol speaks of her childhood spent both in Chile and France; the encouragement of her parents and teachers to draw freely; her progression from painting, to drawing, to collage and reliefs; the influence of Europeans, Matisse and Picasso, and American, Rauschenberg; her time spent in museums as a child and the subsequent exposure to DaVinci and Rembrandt; her art education, predominantly in New York at the Art Students League and briefly in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Art; her association with the Abstract Expressionists at the Club; the contrast of her work to the dream-based Surrealists; her first show for Castelli in 1957; her shows at the '62 and '64 annual exhibitions at the Stable; her more recent exhibitions for the Carnegie and Sidney Janis Gallery of The Beach and The Party; the origins of her wood drawings as a discovery while drawing lines to be sculpted upon wood; her experience working for the Daily Telegraph and completing portraits of historical figures such as Charles DeGalle; the literary influence of Dostoeveski, and more specifically Crime and Punishment; her recent apathy for visual entertainments and diversions (like the Ballet). Both in the interview and afterwards in a supplemental biographical addition Roberts and Marisol allude to her resistence to sit for interviews. The artist feels that she doesn't "have much to say."
Biographical / Historical:
Marisol (1930- ) is a sculptor in New York, N.Y. She was born in Paris to a Venezuelan family.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 1 digital wav file. Duration is 1 hr., 15 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics, and administrators.
Restrictions:
Use requires an appointment.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Collagists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Latino and Latin American artists  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Surrealism  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Women sculptors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.mariso68
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9e444fa50-829d-4a34-b0f7-2d5a9faa81c4
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mariso68
Online Media:

José Guerrero papers, 1945-1982

Creator:
Guerrero, José, 1914-1991  Search this
Type:
Scrapbooks
Citation:
José Guerrero papers, 1945-1982. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Latino and Latin American artists  Search this
Hispanic American artists  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Theme:
Latino and Latin American  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)5479
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211183
AAA_collcode_guerjose
Theme:
Latino and Latin American
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211183

José Guerrero papers

Creator:
Guerrero, José, 1914-  Search this
Extent:
0.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Date:
1945-1982
Scope and Contents:
The papers of José Guerrero measure 0.4 linear feet and date from 1945 to 1982. The papers document his career as an abstract expressionist painter through some correspondence, some business materials such as a consignment and some price lists, exhibition announcements, and exhibition catalogs. Included among the catalogs is one for the "José Guerrero" retrospective exhibition in Spain in 1981. The catalog is in Spanish, but there is also an English translation of the catalog.
Biographical / Historical:
José Guerrero (1914-1991) was a Spanish artist, notable for his abstract expressionist paintings, who spent much of his working life in the United States. Guerrero was born in Granada, Spain in 1914, and he studied at the Escuela de Artes y Oficios in Granada and at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid. Following the end of World War II he traveled and studied throughout Europe in cities such as Paris, London, Rome, and Brussels. He evenutally moved to the United States in 1949 and settled in New York City where he studied with avant-garde artists such as Willem de Kooning. Prior to his move to the United States Guerrero worked primarily as a figurative artist, but shifted towards abstract art in 1950. His artwork is held in various institutions in both Spain and in the United States. Guerrero died in Barcelona, Spain in 1991.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reels D388 and 2668) including correspondence with galleries, museums, and art organizations; photographs of artwork and travels; printed material, including 2 scrapbooks of clippings, press releases, exhibition announcements and catalogs; manuscripts; financial material; awards; identification papers; and lists of artwork. Loaned materials were returned to the donor and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Material on reels D388 and 2668 lent for microfilming 1969 and 1982; unmicrofilmed material donated 1982 all by Jose Guerrero.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- Spain -- Madrid  Search this
Topic:
Latino and Latin American artists  Search this
Hispanic American artists  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Identifier:
AAA.guerjose
See more items in:
José Guerrero papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw911d51eeb-e312-463b-a455-a5d3be2532f3
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-guerjose

William Kienbusch papers

Creator:
Kienbusch, William, 1914-1980  Search this
Names:
Clifford, Stanley  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
Kraushaar, Antoinette M., 1902-1992  Search this
Maitland, Walter McClymonds, 1912-1989  Search this
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Schrag, Karl  Search this
Tam, Reuben  Search this
Extent:
5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Drawings
Drafts (documents)
Visitors' books
Sketchbooks
Notes
Notebooks
Date:
1915-2001
bulk 1936-1980
Summary:
The papers of landscape painter and art instructor William Kienbusch measure 5.0 linear feet and date from 1915 to 2001, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1936 to 1980. The collection documents Kienbusch's life as an artist in New York City and Cranberry Island, Maine. Files include biographical material; correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues; writings and notes; scattered printed material; photographs; and artwork, including 17 sketchbooks.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of landscape painter and art instructor William Kienbusch measure 5.0 linear feet and date from 1915 to 2001, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1936 to 1980. The collection documents Kienbusch's life as an artist in New York City and Cranberry Island, Maine. Files include biographical material; correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues; writings and notes; scattered printed material; photographs; and artwork, including 17 sketchbooks.

Biographical materials include military records, identification and membership documents, guestbooks, and an album entitled "Book of Friendship" containing short notes written by friends for Kienbusch on the occasion of his 60th Birthday. Also of note is copy of the "In Memoriam" written for Kienbusch by Karl Schrag.

The bulk of the papers consist of family and general correspondence. Family correspondence includes letters from Kienbusch to his parents regarding school, summer camps, travel, and the army. General correspondence includes many letters he sent to his close friend, Stanley Clifford, as well as letters from friends and associates, such as Stuart Davis, Antionette Kraushaar, Walter Maitland, Henry Varnum Poor, Abraham Rattner, Karl Schrag, Reuben Tam, and others.

Writings and notes include scattered notes, lists, and draft writings, as well as three notebooks, including one on casein technique. Printed material includes several armed forces publications and maps from World War II, clippings, and press releases. Photographs are of William Kienbusch, including two snapshots of Kienbusch with friends Dorothy Andrews and Reuben Tam. Also found are numerous travel and nature photographs. Artwork includes drawings created by Kienbusch while on his military tour in Guam and seventeen sketchbooks containting drawings in pencil, ink, and pastel.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 6 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1915-1980 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1920-2001 (Box 1-3; 2.3 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1940s-1970s (Box 3; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 4: Printed Material, circa 1937-1980 (Box 3; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 5: Photographs, circa 1920-1980s (Box 3-5; 1.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Artwork, circa 1930s-1970s (Box 5; 0.8 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
William Kienbusch (1914-1980) was a painter and art instructor in New York, NY, and Cranberry Island, Maine.

Kienbusch was born in New York City and attended boarding school at Hotchkiss Preparatory school, where he was taught painting by Robert Osborn. During the summers of 1934 and 1935, while attending Princeton University, he studied watercolor with Eliot O'Hara at Goose Rocks Beach, Maine. After graduating from Princeton in 1936, he attended the Art Students League, studied with Henry Varnum Poor at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, and spent a year in Paris, studying at the Academie Colarossi. During this time he also had the opportunity to travel throughout Europe before the outbreak of World War II. He returned to New York City in the winter of 1938 and settled in Greenwich Village, at one point living above artist Stuart Davis.

Kienbusch spent the summers of 1940 and 1941 in Stonington, Maine. Here he found his true identity as an abstract expressionist landscape painter. During World War II he served in the Army, teaching camouflage design and making maps in Guam. When he returned to New York in 1946, he began painting in casein rather than oils or watercolor. In 1947 he joined Kraushaar Galleries, which would continue to be his dealer for the remainder of his career. From 1948 to 1969 he taught at the Brooklyn Museum of Art School and spent summers in Maine. Kienbusch lost much of his artwork and personal papers in a 1969 fire at his New York studio apartment. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art among many others. After several years of poor health, Kienbusch died in 1980.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is the Walter Maitland correspondence with and about William Kienbusch, 1969-1981; the William Kienbusch letters to Francis and Sydney Hamabe, 1958-1977; the Thomas Barrett and Leni Mancuso papers relating to William Kienbusch, 1950-1980; and an oral history interview with William Kienbusch conducted by Forrest Selvig, November 1-7, 1968.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reel N70-22) including a scrapbook of clippings, exhibition catalogs, photographs of Kienbusch, letters, writings, and two journals describing his travels in Europe and Asia. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
William Kienbusch lent materials for microfilming in 1970. Other papers were donated by his sisters, Millicent Kelly and Juliana Little, and his friend Stanley Clifford as co-executives of the Kienbusch estate from 1985-1991. Stanley Clifford donated additional materials in 2008 and 2010.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Art teachers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Landscape painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting, Abstract -- United States  Search this
Painting, American  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Painting -- Technique  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Drawings
Drafts (documents)
Visitors' books
Sketchbooks
Notes
Notebooks
Citation:
William Kienbusch papers, 1915-2001, bulk 1936-1980. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kienwill
See more items in:
William Kienbusch papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw90ba7980f-7579-4077-833b-4d352662490e
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kienwill

Sam Gilliam papers

Creator:
Gilliam, Sam, 1933-2022  Search this
Names:
Carl Solway Gallery  Search this
Philadelphia Museum of Art  Search this
Studio Museum in Harlem  Search this
Andrews, Benny, 1930-2006  Search this
Driskell, David C.  Search this
Gilliam, Dorothy Butler, 1936-  Search this
Krebs, Rockne, 1938-2011  Search this
Mondale, Walter F., 1928-  Search this
Extent:
7.9 Linear feet
7.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Sound recordings
Date:
1957-1989
1957-1989
Summary:
The papers of contemporary Color Field painter and educator Sam Gilliam measure 7.9 linear feet and date from 1957 to 1989. The papers include biographical material, correspondence, writings, business records, printed material, subject files, a scrapbook, artwork, and photographic material that document Gilliam's life beginning as a student, through to his teaching, professorial, and artistic career based in Washington D.C. The collection highlights Gilliam's close involvement with the art institutions, racial politics, and artistic innovation from the 1960s through the 1980s, and particularly showcases the planning and creation of Gilliam's large-scale three-dimensional paintings, often associated with the Washington Color School.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of contemporary Color Field painter and educator Sam Gilliam measure 7.9 linear feet and date from 1957 to 1989. The papers include biographical material, correspondence, writings, business records, printed material, subject files, a scrapbook, artwork, and photographic material that document Gilliam's life beginning as a student, through to his teaching, professorial, and artistic career based in Washington D.C. The collection highlights Gilliam's close involvement with the art institutions, racial politics, and artistic innovation from the 1960s through the 1980s, and particularly showcases the planning and creation of Gilliam's large-scale three-dimensional paintings, often associated with the Washington Color School.

Biographical material includes résumés, passports, exhibition lists, artists' statements and essays, interview transcripts and recordings. Also included are audio recordings of conversations between Sam Gilliam and artist Benny Andrews, between Gilliam and artist Rockne Krebs, as well as recordings of a 1968 interview conducted by Dorothy Gilliam.

Correspondence spans over 20 years and includes letters to and from museums and galleries such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, Carl Solway Gallery, collectors, artists including David Driskell, friends, family, students, and fans.

Writings include notes, statements, and essays by and about Gilliam, writings by university students of Gilliam, and writings related to Gilliam's artwork and public commissions including measurements for artworks, material research, and information regarding prints created for the private home of Walter Mondale.

Business records primarily include the daily records of activities kept by Sam and Dorothy Gilliam's secretary, Debby, from 1973 to 1978. Also present are resumes for a studio assistant for Gilliam, certificates of originality, legal documents, receipts and invoices, a record of donated paintings, financial records, ledgers, contracts, records and paperwork for the Gilliam's company Enterprise 101, and miscellany.

Printed materials include photocopies, exhibition announcements, magazines, and clippings regarding exhibitions, specific artworks, and commissions, and Gilliam and/or his then-wife, Dorothy Gilliam.

The subject file series contains letters, photographic material, business records, sketches, and printed materials concerning specific galleries, public art commissions, arts organizations, workshops, teaching positions, Gilliam's studio, art suppliers, and other topics.

A disbound scrapbook contains photographs, notes, and printed material related to Gilliam and his studio practice.

The artwork series includes sketches, personal notes, and small preparatory drawings by Gilliam.

Photographic material includes negatives, slides, and transparencies of artworks, Gilliam in his studio, and Gilliam and staff preparing museum and gallery exhibition spaces. Also included are records of student artwork, and photos and slides of artwork sent to Gilliam by students and aspiring artists.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as 9 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1958-1988, (Box 1; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1965-1989, (Boxes 1-2; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, 1962-1988, (Box 2; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 4: Business Records, 1957-1986, (Boxes 2-3; 1.0 linear foot)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1962-1987, (Boxes 3-4; 1.0 linear foot)

Series 6: Subject Files, 1963-1988, (Boxes 4-7; 2.2 linear feet)

Series 7: Scrapbook, 1958-1968, (Box 7; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 8: Artwork, 1970-1980, undated, (Boxes 7-9; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 9: Photographic Material, 1960-1985, (Boxes 8-9; 0.3 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Sam Gilliam (1933-2022) was an African American artist based in Washington, D.C. He was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, where he began painting as a child, eventually attending the University of Louisville where he received his B.A. in Fine Art and M.A. in Painting. He went on to teach art to high school students in the Washington D.C. public school system, and university-level students at the Corcoran School of Art, the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), the University of Maryland, and Carnegie Mellon University. His numerous grants and awards include the 1971 Solomon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and multiple Honorary Doctoral degrees.

As an artist, Gilliam is best known for his three-dimensional draped and suspended paintings, covered with large fields of poured paint, pigment, and colorful staining influenced by the movement and colors of Abstract Expressionist painters. He created many public works that incorporated new materials such as custom designed metal forms, quilted canvas, and textiles; his works often included subtle social commentaries through their titling. His suspended paintings cemented Gilliam as an innovative and influential presence in 20th century American art.
Related Materials:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are two oral history interviews with Sam Gilliam, one conducted by Kenneth Young, September 18, 1984, and the other by Ben Forgey, November 4-11, 1989.
Provenance:
The Sam Gilliam papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Sam Gilliam in 1989.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce requires written permission from Sam Gilliam. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Educators -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Painters -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Color-field painting  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Washington Color School (Group of artists)  Search this
African American artists  Search this
African American educators  Search this
African American painters  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Sound recordings
Citation:
Sam Gilliam papers, 1957-1989. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.gillsam
See more items in:
Sam Gilliam papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw90b5177ef-7a80-48b3-bcdb-3f1f74d21b5c
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-gillsam

Robert Wiegand papers and video art, 1953-1994

Creator:
Wiegand, Robert, 1934-1993  Search this
Names:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden  Search this
Phoenix Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Brown, Trisha, 1936-  Search this
Browne, Vivian E., 1929-1993  Search this
Chernow, Burt  Search this
Foreman, Laura, 1936-2001  Search this
Horowitz, Leonard  Search this
Larson, Susan  Search this
McLeon, James  Search this
Rose, Alexandra, 1946-  Search this
Schneemann, Carolee, 1939-  Search this
Stockwell, Pamela  Search this
Extent:
10.9 Linear feet
0.001 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Photographs
Video recordings
Date:
1953-1994
Summary:
The papers of New York video artist and painter Robert Wiegand measure 10.9 linear feet and 0.001 GB and date from 1953 to 1994. Found within the collection are biographical materials, correspondence, art project and exhibition files, printed abd digital materials, video art, photographs, and industrial and miscellaneous video recordings. About one-half of the collection is comprised of video recordings.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York video artist and painter Robert Wiegand measure 10.9 linear feet and 0.001 GB and date from 1953 to 1994. Found within the collection are biographical materials, correspondence, art project and exhibition files, printed and digital materials, video art, photographs, and industrial and miscellaneous video recordings. About one-half of the collection is comprised of video recordings.

Biographical materials include school yearbooks, video and paper documentation from his 1991 wedding, and photograph and video documentation of his funeral and memorial service in 1994. Also found are resumes and Wiegand's SoHo live/work artist permit from 1976.

Correspondence is comprised primarily of letters written by Wiegand, some in digital format, and a handful of letters received. Outgoing letters mainly concern Wiegand's video production work for hire and other personal financial matters. Letters received relate primarily to Wiegand's painting sales, and are from James McLeon, Vivian Browne, Susan Larson, Burt Chernow, and Alexandra Rose. Additional correspondence can be found in the project files.

Project files include documentation of the 1968 inagural "10 Downtown" exhibition, the City Walls mural project, a multimedia art work created through the Experiments in Art and Technology (EAT) project called Changes, the products of the 1978 trip to India, including the video work Snapshots of an Indian Day, the "Madama Butterfly" video production produced by Wiegand, and the artist panel series ArtistsTalkonArt. The files contain a wide variety of documentation, such as correspondence, event flyers and press materials, photographs, slides, and videos.

Printed materials include exhibition and event announcements and catalogs, clippings and reviews, magazine publications, and published books that contain Wiegand's work. There is also one scrapbook compiled by Wiegand for his 5th One Man Show of Paintings at the Phoenix Gallery in New York City.

Video artworks created by Wiegand, often made in collaboration with his wife Ingrid, include Georges, Julie, Moran, Omar is El Uno, Nat, Walking (interstices), Face-Off, and How to tell an artist with Dr. Sheldon Cholst. Photographs include a combination of personal and professional photographs, although most of the materials are slides of artworks and events. Of note are slides from the "Bicentennial Banners" exhibition that Wiegand was invited to participate in and that was on display at the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum in 1976.

The last series contains over 4 linear feet of all other video recordings and includes industry productions, independent projects, performance documentation, work samples, and works by others. Notable among these productions are documentation of Pamela Stockwell's reenactment of the Tomkins Square Park riots of 1988 and footage of performers Carolee Schneemann, Trisha Brown, Laura Foreman, and Leonard Horowitz, among others.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as seven series.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1953-1994 (Boxes 1-2, 11; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence and Letters, 1962-1990 (Box 2; .3 linear feet, ER01; 0.001 GB)

Series 3: Project Files, 1968-1992 (Boxes 2-3, 11; 1.1 linear feet)

Series 4: Printed Materials, 1959-1990 (Boxes 3-4, 11; .7 linear feet)

Series 5: Video Art, 1970-1982 (Boxes 4-5; 1 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographs, 1953-1994 (Boxes 5-6; 1 linear feet)

Series 7: Other Video Recordings, 1968-1992 (Boxes 6-10; 4.7 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Nelson Wiegand (1934-1994) was a painter and video artist who worked and lived in New York City. Robert Wiegand's interest in art extended well beyond the point of creation, and throughout his life he worked not only as painter, but also as a teacher, advocate, and documentarian of the arts in New York City.

Born in Long Island in 1934, Wiegand attended the State University of New York, College of Buffalo and received a degree in arts education. He returned to New York City and became active in the artist community in SoHo. He was one of the co-founders of the SoHo Artists Association, an artists' organization formed to advocate for legalizing artist loft live/work spaces in lower Manhattan in the 1960s.

Wiegand married his first wife Ingrid in 1964, and they collaborated on many creative endeavors. They adopted two children from India, Indira and Pratap (also known as Peter), and separated in 1990. He married painter Lynn Braswell in 1991.

As a painter, Wiegand's work was highly geometric and influenced by the Abstract Expressionist movement. He exhibited paintings in one-man shows in New York City at the Phoenix Gallery and at the Levitan Gallery. In 1968, Wiegand participated in the first "10 Downtown" exhibition, where artists exhibited in their own studios in a move to overcome exclusive gallery representation practices. After painting a few exterior house murals, Wiegand co-founded City Walls, a New York City mural project that was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. Through this project he became responsible for a handful of the murals in lower Manhattan. In 1968, Wiegand collaborated with Lloyed Kreutzer, a Bell Labs physicist specializing in lasers, to create the installation work Changes as part of Experiments In Art and Technology's (EAT) 1968 competition bringing together artists and engineers. It was then shown at Wiegand's studio in 1969. Wiegand was also one of the co-founders of ArtistsTalkOnArt, an artist run non-profit organization that continues to program weekly artist panel discussions in Soho, NY. It was co-founded in 1974 by Wiegand, Lori Antonacci, and Douglas Sheer, with Irving Sandler, Cynthia Navaretta, Bruce Barton and Corinne Robins joining the first board of directors in early 1975.

Wiegand became interested in video in the 1960s after using it as a documentary tool in the successful effort to legalize loft living in lower Manhattan. He then began creating video artworks, many of which were collaborations with his wife Ingrid. They received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1977 to produce a documentary on middle class life in India called Snapshots of an Indian Day. It was shown at The Kitchen and Anthology Film Archives before being acquired by the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY. In 1980, with the help of his students from the Global Village Intensive Video Workshop, Wiegand directed, shot, and edited the Brooklyn Opera Society's production Madama Butterfly at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and Tea House, and the production aired on WNYC-TV 13 as part of its Other Voices: New York series.

From 1971 to 1980, Wiegand ran his own commercial video company, Wiegand Video, where he produced corporate and industry training films. From 1980 to 1987, he worked as a project manager and producer for Square Twelve Productions, continuing to produce commercial work. His clients included the American Society for Mechanical Engineers and International Business Machines.

Wiegand also taught art and video production at the Staten Island Academy from 1961-1971, studio and television production at the New School for Social Research from 1980 to 1984, and field production at the Lehman College City University of NY. He also taught in the New York City C.E.T.A. program in media training and was a visiting media production instructor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Towards the end of his life, Wiegand changed careers and became a social worker. Robert Wiegand died in New York City in 1994, just after his 60th birthday.
Separated Materials:
Twenty sound cassettes of interviews and lectures were removed from the collection and returned to the organization that created them, ArtistsTalkOnArt. A few video cassettes are still found in the collection from that series.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Lynn Braswell, Robert Wiegand's widow, in 1998 and 2000.
Restrictions:
Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice. Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The donor has retained all intellectual property rights, including copyright, that they may own.
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Video artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Video art  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Video recordings
Citation:
Robert Wiegand papers and video art, 1953-1994. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.wiegrobe
See more items in:
Robert Wiegand papers and video art, 1953-1994
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9f44a4d66-1e33-4735-80b1-f77cbdc9fc1f
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-wiegrobe

Oral history interview with James Brooks

Interviewee:
Brooks, James, 1906-1992  Search this
Interviewer:
Seckler, Dorothy Gees, 1910-1994  Search this
Names:
Club (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Biddle, George, 1885-1973  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Nicolaïdes, Kimon, 1892-1938  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Robinson, Boardman, 1876-1952  Search this
Extent:
36 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1965 June 10 and June 12
Scope and Contents:
An interview of James Brooks conducted 1965 June 10-12, by Dorothy Seckler, for the Archives of American Art.
Brooks speaks of his childhood, early art training, study with Kimon Nicolaides and Boardman Robinson at the Art Students League, mural projects, and his work in advertising. He comments on the Artists Union, his Air Force service, Army art projects, teaching at Columbia and Pratt Institute, an early abstract expressionist group called "the 8th Street Club" or just "The Club"; influence of Hans Hofmann, practicing Zen, changes in his work, his use of line and his drawings. He recalls George Biddle, Philip Guston and Jackson Pollock.
Biographical / Historical:
James Brooks (1906-1992) was a painter from East Hampton, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 59 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.brooks65
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw941282273-bd41-41f0-abf2-8a2db1e3600c
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-brooks65
Online Media:

William and Ethel Baziotes papers

Creator:
Baziotes, William, 1912-1963  Search this
Names:
Kootz Gallery (N.Y.)  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Peter A. Juley & Son  Search this
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum  Search this
Alloway, Lawrence, 1926-1990  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Baziotes, Christos  Search this
Baziotes, Ethel  Search this
Baziotes, Harry  Search this
Bernshṭin, Meʼir, -1978  Search this
Blesh, Rudi, 1899-1985  Search this
Bodin, Paul, 1910-1994  Search this
Canaday, John, 1907-1985  Search this
Castano, Giovanni, 1896-1978  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898-1979  Search this
Halper, Nathan  Search this
Hare, David, 1917-1992  Search this
Hélion, Jean, 1904-1987  Search this
Janis, Harriet Grossman  Search this
Kamrowski, Gerome  Search this
Kootz, Samuel Melvin, 1898-1982  Search this
Lee, Francis P.  Search this
Licht, Michel, 1893-1953  Search this
Matta, 1912-2002  Search this
Motherwell, Maria  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Namuth, Hans  Search this
Onslow-Ford, Gordon  Search this
Paneth, Donald  Search this
Peterson, Charles  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Ricci, F.  Search this
Ruiz-Picasso, Maya  Search this
Schumm, Gertrud  Search this
Schwabacher, Ethel, 1903-1984  Search this
Sievan, Maurice  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Vazakas, Byron  Search this
Zulieta, Orlando  Search this
Extent:
6.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Interviews
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Date:
circa 1900-1992
bulk 1935-1980
Summary:
The papers of New York City abstract expressionist painter William Baziotes and his wife Ethel measure 6.3 linear feet and date from circa 1900-1992, bulk 1935-1980. The collection includes William Baziotes biographical material, correspondence, writings, printed material, and photographs. The papers of Ethel Baziotes consists of correspondence mostly dated after her husband's death regarding exhibitions of his work, along with limited biographical material and writings.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York City abstract expressionist painter William Baziotes and his wife Ethel measure 6.3 linear feet and date from circa 1900-1992, bulk 1935-1980. The collection includes William Baziotes biographical material, correspondence, writings, printed material, and photographs. The papers of Ethel Baziotes consists of correspondence mostly dated after her husband's death regarding exhibitions of his work, along with limited biographical material and writings.

Biographical material on William Baziotes consists of a bibliography, teaching files, a sound recording of an interview, membership cards, sales records, a sketchbook, and other miscellaneous material. There is one folder regarding Ethel Baziotes containing a few certificates and her college diploma.

Correspondence consists of letters to William and Ethel Baziotes. Notable correspondents include Lawrence Alloway, Alfred Barr, Andre Breton, Clement Greenberg, Peggy Guggenheim, David Hare, Jean Helion, Maria and Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock, and others. There are also letters from the Samuel M. Kootz Gallery regarding the sales of William Baziotes's artwork and letters written by William Baziotes to his brother Christos. Letters to Ethel Baziotes include condolence letters as well as letters from museum and galleries regarding exhibitions of her husband's work.

Writings include William Baziotes's notes on various subjects, a list of book titles, and a transcript for a speech. Writings by others include essays about William Baziotes and other subjects.

Printed materials consist of clippings, announcements, magazines, and many exhibition catalogs, mostly on group exhibitions which included artwork by William Baziotes.

Photographs are of William Baziotes, Ethel Baziotes, family and friends, their residence, and his artwork. There are a also photographs of Meir Bernstein, Samuel Kootz, Paul Bodin, Maria Motherwell, Pablo and Maya Picasso, Rudi Blesh, Nathan Halper, Ethel Schwabacher, Clyfford Still, and others.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 5 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1933-1982 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1936-1988 (Boxes 1-2; 1 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1950-1992 (Box 2; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1944-1992 (Boxes 2-7, 9; 4.1 linear feet)

Series 5: Photographs, circa 1900-1979, bulk 1940-circa 1963 (Boxes 7-9; 0.7 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
William Baziotes (1912-1963) was an abstract expressionist painter in New York City. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Baziotes moved to New York City in 1933, where he studied painting at the National Academy of Design, 1933-1936. He participated on the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project as a teacher, 1936-1938, and painted for the Easel Painting Project, 1938-1940.

In 1941 he married Ethel Copstein. He had his first one-man show at Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century Gallery in 1944. The Samuel M. Kootz Gallery, Inc. held a solo show for Baziotes in 1946 and continued to exhibit his works until 1958.

Baziotes taught at Subjects of the Artist, 1948; the Brooklyn Museum Art School and New York University, 1949-1952; the People's Art Center at the Museum of Modern Art, 1950-1952; and Hunter College, 1952-1962. Baziotes died in 1963.
Provenance:
The William and Ethel Baziotes papers were donated by Ethel Baziotes, widow of William Baziotes, in several installments from 1969 to 1993.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, Abstract  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Citation:
William and Ethel Baziotes papers, circa 1900-1992, bulk 1935-1980. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.baziwill
See more items in:
William and Ethel Baziotes papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9d6f7f943-90c5-4dd7-b527-e69d86772014
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-baziwill

Benedict Tatti papers

Creator:
Tatti, Benedict, 1917-1993  Search this
Names:
American Medallic Sculpture Association  Search this
American Numismatic Association  Search this
Anthology Film Archives  Search this
Audubon Artists (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Galerie Claude Bernard  Search this
Mercer Arts Center (Organization: New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Roko Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Canfield, Jane  Search this
Goodrich, Lloyd, 1897-1987  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Slobodkin, Louis, 1903-  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
1.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Notes
Awards
Lists
Christmas cards
Photographs
Designs
Sketches
Date:
1936-2011
bulk 1945-1993
Summary:
The papers of New York sculptor, painter, educator, and video artist, Benedict Tatti (1917-1993) measure 1.8 linear feet and date from 1936-2011, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1945-1993. Papers consist of biographical material, correspondence, project files, subject files, exhibition files, writings, notes, and lists, printed materials, and photographs. Exhibition files and printed material, such as catalogues and checklists provide an overview of Tatti's activities as a sculptor and video artist. Also, photographs of artwork are a rich source of provenance-related information on Tatti's sculptures.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of New York sculptor, painter, educator, and video artist, Benedict Tatti (1917-1993) measure 1.8 linear feet and date from 1936-2011, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1945-1993. Papers consist of biographical material, correspondence, project files, subject files, exhibition files, writings, notes, and lists, printed materials, and photographs. Exhibition files and printed material, such as catalogues and checklists provide an overview of Tatti's activities as a sculptor and video artist. Also, photographs of artwork are a rich source of provenance-related information on Tatti's sculptures.

Biographical materials include curriculum vitae, Who's Who in American Art, memberships, and awards. Correspondence is primarily from colleagues, dealers, collectors, and representatives of museums, galleries, and arts organizations. There are a few outgoing letters from Benedict Tatti, including a handmade holiday card. Among the notable correspondents are Jane Canfield, Lloyd Goodrich, Louis Slobodkin, and William Zorach. Also found is a small portion of Adele Tatti's correspondence relating to her late husband's artwork.

Project files contain Tatti's commissions for Eutectic-Castolin Institute, Staten Island Community College, Statue of Liberty Restoration, and the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts; application proposals to Creative Artists Public Service program (CAPS); and the artist's invention of the rewind reel adapter. Subject files include Tatti's memberships and activities in professional associations, e.g., American Medallic Sculpture Association, American Numismatic Society, and Audubon Artists; Tatti's Artist-in-Residence proposals for the Television Lab, WNET 13; and his involvement in educational video presentations. Exhibition files consist of scattered materials on Tatti's shows at the Anthology Film Archives; Burr Galleries; Galerie Claude Bernard; The Kitchen, Mercer Arts Gallery; Northeast Harbor Gallery; and Roko Gallery.

Writings, notes, and lists include writings by Benedict Tatti; writings about Benedict Tatti, including a statement on the artist by Isamu Noguchi; and lists compiled by Adele Tatti relating to her late husband's work. Artwork contains Tatti's sketch of a sculpture for the Northeast Harbor Museum and sketches of medal designs. Printed material consists of announcements, brochures, invitations, exhibition catalogues and checklists, clippings, periodicals, newsletters, reproductions, other printed matter, and monographs. Photographs include black and white prints of portrait shots of Benedict Tatti, Tatti in his studio and with others, video equipment and Tatti's video art; also found are color photographs of Tatti's sculptures and design maquettes.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged as 9 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1936-1993 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1945-2008 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 3: Project Files, 1966-2005 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 4: Subject Files, circa 1950s-2008 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 5: Exhibition Files, 1945-1992 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 6: Writings, Notes, and Lists, circa 1940s-2009 (Box 1; 4 folders)

Series 7: Artwork, 1970-circa 1990s (Box 1; 3 folders)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1937-1976 (Boxes 1-2; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 9: Photographs (circa 1936-1970s), circa 1964-2010 (Box 3; 0.4 linear feet)
Biographical/Historical note:
Benedict Tatti (1917-1993) worked in New York as a sculptor, painter, educator, and video artist.

Born in New York in 1917, Tatti began his art education at Haaren High School. He continued his studies at the Roerich Museum with Louis Slobodkin, the Art Students League with William Zorach and Ossip Zadkine, and the Leonardo da Vinci School of Art under Attillio Piccirelli. Later in his career, he attended the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts. During World War II, Tatti served in the United States Army Air Force, where he spent three years assigned to variety of projects. In 1948, Benedict Tatti married Adele Rosenberg in New York City.

Throughout his career, Tatti continuously experimented with various media. From 1952-1963, Tatti executed sculptural models of architectural and consumer products for the industrial designers, Raymond Loewy Associates; later he became a color consultant for the firm. In the 1960s, influenced by the Abstract Expressionists, Tatti turned from carving directly in wood and stone to creating assemblage sculptures, using bronze metal and other industrial materials. During this period, Tatti spent summers on Monhegan Island in Maine, where he developed his water coloring techniques. In 1963, Tatti was hired to teach sculpture at the High School of Art and Design in New York, a position that he held for fifteen years.

In the 1970s, Tatti, with no previous background in video work developed technology for video imaging. He became an associate member of the Kitchen at the Mercer Arts Center exhibiting his video sculptures along with other early innovators of this new art form. In 1975, he invented a rewind reel adapter device. Despite health problems, Tatti continued to work and exhibit into the 1980s. He assisted his brother, Alexander Tatti and his nephew, Steven Tatti on the restoration of the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island, which was completed in 1985.

Benedict Tatti received solo and group exhibitions at museums and galleries in the United States and abroad, including the Burr Gallery, Claude Bernard Galleries, Metropolitan Museum of Art, under the Artists for Victory Program, Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, Northeast Gallery, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Roko Gallery. Also, Tatti's work was regularly featured in annual exhibitions of several arts organizations: American Society of Contemporary Artists, Annual Avant Garde Festival, Audubon Artists, Brooklyn Society of Artists, and Painters and Sculptors Society of New Jersey. His awards included the National Soldier Art Competition at the National Gallery of Art (1945); Artist-in-Residence, National Center of Experiments TV, San Francisco, California, (1969); and the Creative Artists Public Service (CAPS), (1972). Tatti's artwork is in the permanent collections of the American Numismatic Society, Art Students League, Dumbarton Oaks, Monhegan Museum, Smithsonian Institution, and the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts.

Benedict Tatti died on July 30, 1993.
Provenance:
The Benedict Tatti papers were donated by Adele Tatti, widow of Benedict Tatti, in 2010.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Video artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Notes
Awards
Lists
Christmas cards
Photographs
Designs
Sketches
Citation:
Benedict Tatti, 1936-2011, bulk 1945-1993. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.tattbene
See more items in:
Benedict Tatti papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9b58b3ec4-c37d-49b9-8159-5cff7c512cf1
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-tattbene

Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers

Creator:
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Krasner, Lee, 1908-1984  Search this
Names:
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Martha Jackson Gallery  Search this
Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889-1975  Search this
Brooks, James, 1906-1992  Search this
Burkhardt, Rudy  Search this
Cavaliere, Barbara  Search this
Davis, Bill  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Dehner, Dorothy, 1901-1994  Search this
Eames, Ray  Search this
Forge, Andrew  Search this
Friedman, B. H. (Bernard Harper), 1926-  Search this
Glaser, Jane R.  Search this
Gray, Cleve  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Gruen, John  Search this
Holmes, Doloris  Search this
Isaacs, Reginald R., 1911-  Search this
Janis, Sidney, 1896-1989  Search this
Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005  Search this
Kadish, Reuben, 1913-1992  Search this
Maddox, Charles  Search this
Matter, Mercedes  Search this
McCoy, Sanford, Mrs.  Search this
Miller, Daniel  Search this
Miller, Robert, 1932 Apr. 17-  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Namuth, Hans  Search this
Ossorio, Alfonso, 1916-1990  Search this
Pollock, Charles C.  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956 -- Photographs  Search this
Rose, Barbara  Search this
Rouche, Burton  Search this
Smith, Tony, 1912-  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-  Search this
Valliere, James  Search this
Wasserman, Tamara E.  Search this
Wright, William  Search this
Zogbaum, Wilfrid, 1915-1965  Search this
Extent:
16.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Motion pictures (visual works)
Video recordings
Photographs
Interviews
Sound recordings
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Transcripts
Date:
circa 1914-1984
bulk 1942-1984
Summary:
The papers of abstract expressionist painters Jackson Pollock and wife Lee Krasner measure 16.1 linear feet and date from circa 1914 to 1984, with the bulk of the material dating from 1942 to 1984. The collection documents their personal and professional lives, as well as the legacy of Jackson Pollock's work after his death. Found are biographical material, correspondence, writings by Krasner and others, research material, business and financial records, printed material, scrapbooks, artwork by others, photographs, interview transcripts, audio and video recordings, and motion picture film.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of abstract expressionist painters Jackson Pollock and wife Lee Krasner measure 16.1 linear feet and date from circa 1914 to 1984, with the bulk of the material dating from 1942 to 1984. The collection documents their personal and professional lives, as well as the legacy of Jackson Pollock's work after his death. Found are biographical material, correspondence, writings by Krasner and others, research material, business and financial records, printed material, scrapbooks, artwork by others, photographs, interview transcripts, audio and video recordings, and motion picture film.

The collection is divided into two series, the first of which focuses on Pollock and includes his scattered papers dating from circa 1914 to his death in 1956, as well as Krasner's papers dating from his death to 1984 about managing Pollock's legacy. This series includes biographical materials, including transcripts and audio recordings of an interview with William Wright in 1949; Pollock's and Krasner's correspondence with Thomas Hart Benton, Betty Parsons Gallery, Bill Davis, B. H. Friedman, Reginald Isaacs, Sidney Janis, Violet De Lazlo, Martha Jackson Gallery, Alfonso Ossorio, Tony Smith, and Clyfford Still, and with one another; Krasner's correspondence concerning Pollock's estate and artwork after his death; numerous writings about Pollock, including an original draft of Bryan Robertson's biography and an essay by Clement Greenberg.

James Valliere extensive research files on Pollock for a never-published biography were given to Krasner and filed in Series 1. These include scattered correspondence with Lee Krasner, and Pollock's family and friends, including Charles Pollock, Thomas Hart Benton, and Robert Motherwell. There are also transcripts of interviews Valliere conducted with Pollock's friends and colleagues, including James Brooks, Dorothy Dehner, Clement Greenberg, Reuben Kadish, Lee Krasner, Charles Maddox, Mrs. Sanford McCoy, Daniel T. Miller, Robert Miller, and Tony Smith. The original audio reels and duplicates exist for many and are filed here. Additional interviews were conducted with Willem de Kooning, Alfonso Ossorio, and Burton Rouche, but not transcribed - these are filed in Series 1.10, Audio Recordings and Motion Picture Film.

Also found in Series 1 are scattered business records documenting Krasner's handling of Pollock's estate and legacy; printed materials relating to Pollock, including published biographies, exhibition catalogs, and clippings; two scrapbooks; and a sketchbook by an unidentified artist. Numerous photographs of Pollock include childhood and family photographs, photographs of Pollock in his studio by Hans Namuth, Rudy Burckhardt, and Herbert Matter, photographs of Pollock with Lee Krasner, and exhibition photographs. Audio recordings and motion film in Series 1 include a 1964 16mm film about Pollock (VHS copies are available) and reel-to-reel recordings of untranscribed interviews of Pollock's friends and colleagues by James Valliere, including interviews with Willem de Kooning and Alfonso Ossorio. Additional transcribed interviews are filed in subseries 1.4.

Lee Krasner's papers documenting her own career are arranged in Series 2 and date from 1927-1984. Biographical materials include resumes and awards, school documents, family documentation, and exhibition lists. Her correspondence with artist friends and art colleagues is extensive and includes many letters from artists such as Philip Johnson, Ray Eames, Cleve Gray, and Hans Namuth. She also maintained correspondence with many art historians and critics, curators, gallery owners, collectors, arts-related and social organizations, admirers, and family members.

There are thirteen transcripts of interviews with Krasner by Bruce Glaser, Barbara Cavaliere, Andrew Forge, Emily Wasserman, Barbara Rose, and others. The original audio recordings for these transcripts are filed in series 2.10, along with other audio recordings for which there are no transcripts, including interviews by John Gruen, Delores Holmes, Mercedes Matter, the Martha Dean Radio Show, NBC Today Show, and WQXR radio. There are also audio recordings of Krasner's lectures in series 2.10.

Krasner's papers also include writings and reminiscences by Krasner; writings about Krasner; printed materials such as exhibition catalogs and clippings; and one scrapbook containing clippings and photographs. Numerous photographs are of Krasner, including portrait photographs taken by Hans Namuth; of Krasner with Jackson Pollock and family and friends, and of her exhibitions and artwork.

Users should note that Pollock's and Krasner's papers contain similar types of material that often overlap in subject matter, especially among the correspondence and photographs.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 2 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Jackson Pollock papers and Lee Krasner papers about Jackson Pollock, circa 1914-1984 (Box 1-7, 16, OV 18, FC 19-22; 7.4 linear feet)

Series 2: Lee Krasner papers, circa 1927-1984 (Box 7-15, 17; 8.6 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Jackson Pollock was born in 1912, in Cody, Wyoming, the youngest of five sons. His family moved several times during his childhood, finally settling in Los Angeles. In 1930 he joined his older brother, Charles, in New York City, and studied with Regionalist painter Thomas Hart Benton at the Art Students League of New York. Pollock worked during the 1930s for the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project. During 1936 he worked in artist David Alfaro Siqueiros's Experimental Workshop. In 1938 he began psychiatric treatment for alcoholism, and his artwork was greatly influenced by Jungian analysis and the exploration of unconscious symbolism.

In 1943 Pollock had his first one-man exhibition at Peggy Guggenheim's New York gallery, Art of this Century, and continued to exhibit there over the next several years. A major turning point in Pollock's life and art was in 1945 when he married fellow artist Lee Krasner and moved to East Hampton, Long Island. There he developed his mature painting style, and became famous for his abstract pouring technique on large canvases. The height of his creativity spanned from 1947 to 1952, and his work was promoted by art critic Clement Greenberg. Along with other abstract expressionists including Hans Hofmann, Alfonso Ossorio, and Barnett Newman, he joined the Betty Parsons Gallery in 1947. He had his most successful one-man show in 1950 which was widely publicized and praised. This exhibition, combined with a 1949 feature article in LIFE magazine, made Pollock an American celebrity.

In 1952 Pollock moved his work to Sidney Janis Gallery and returned to earlier motifs in a search for new breakthroughs. The last few years of his life he suffered from mental and physical health problems, and in August, 1956 he died in a car accident. His wife, Lee Krasner, oversaw his estate and worked with many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, on Pollock retrospective exhibitions.

Lee Krasner was born Lenore Krassner in 1908 in Brooklyn, New York to Russian immigrant parents. In 1926 she was admitted to the Women's Art School of The Cooper Union, and in 1928 she attended the Art Students League. After graduating from The Cooper Union in 1929, she attended the National Academy of Design until 1932. After briefly attending City College and Greenwich House, she worked for the Public Works of Art Project and the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration, and finally became an assistant in 1935 on the WPA Federal Art Project, Mural Division. From 1937 to 1940 she studied at the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts and began exhibiting with the American Abstract Artists group.

In 1942 Krasner met Pollock as they were both preparing to exhibit work in the same show. Although they married and she became immersed in his career, she continued to exhibit her own work with other abstract artists and from 1946 to 1949 worked on the Little Image painting series. In 1953 she began working on collages, a medium she would come back to again later in her career. After Pollock's death her work was greatly influence by her sadness and anger, creating a visible evolution of her style.

For the rest of her career, Krasner consistently exhibited her work in both group and solo exhibitions. She had her first retrospective at Whitechapel Gallery, London, in 1965, and in 1966, she joined Marlborough Gallery, New York which represented Pollock's work as well. In the 1970s and early 1980s Krasner won many awards for her achievement in the visual arts, including the Augustus St. Gaudens Medal and the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. She returned to the medium of collage, and in 1976 joined the Pace Gallery, New York. In 1981 she joined the Robert Miller Gallery, New York. Lee Krasner continued creating art until her death in 1984.
Related Material:
Found in the Archives of American Art are the Charles Pollock Papers, 1902-1990, which includes correspondence, photographs, and other files relating to his brother, Jackson Pollock. Other resources in the Archives are oral history interviews with Lee Krasner, including a series of interviews conducted by Dorothy Seckler between 1964 and 1968, and interviews conducted by Barbara Rose in 1966 and Doloris Holmes in 1972.
Provenance:
The papers of Jackson Pollock were donated in 1983 by Lee Krasner through Eugene V. Thaw shortly before her death. Additional material about Pollock and the papers of Lee Krasner were donated in 1985 by Eugene V. Thaw, executor of Lee Krasner's estate.
Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works)
Video recordings
Photographs
Interviews
Sound recordings
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Transcripts
Citation:
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers, circa 1914-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.polljack
See more items in:
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9ac60d2fa-adb8-4919-9ebb-ddef5dfaa3f8
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-polljack
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