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American Abstract Artists

Collection Creator:
James Graham & Sons  Search this
Container:
Box 24, Folder 10
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1985-1987
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
James Graham & Sons records, 1815, 1821, circa 1896-2011, bulk 1950s-1980s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
James Graham & Sons records
James Graham & Sons records / Series 3: Artists' Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9d76dc610-38b1-4490-902a-4eb1859aba87
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-jamegras-ref698

American Abstract Artists, Cataloged Drawings

Collection Creator:
James Graham & Sons  Search this
Container:
Box 24, Folder 11
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1985-1987
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
James Graham & Sons records, 1815, 1821, circa 1896-2011, bulk 1950s-1980s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
James Graham & Sons records
James Graham & Sons records / Series 3: Artists' Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw972c9d5d5-5099-4137-b53f-9cfb3a0664b5
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-jamegras-ref699

American Abstract Artists, General Information

Collection Creator:
James Graham & Sons  Search this
Container:
Box 24, Folder 12
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1979-1989
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
James Graham & Sons records, 1815, 1821, circa 1896-2011, bulk 1950s-1980s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
James Graham & Sons records
James Graham & Sons records / Series 3: Artists' Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9fa9c97f6-f3d0-48c7-9add-c30677953a5d
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-jamegras-ref700

American Abstract Artists/Modernism Spring Show (1987)

Collection Creator:
James Graham & Sons  Search this
Container:
Box 24, Folder 13
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1987
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
James Graham & Sons records, 1815, 1821, circa 1896-2011, bulk 1950s-1980s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
James Graham & Sons records
James Graham & Sons records / Series 3: Artists' Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9db1b12f4-4eeb-416d-94dc-fe7c94a7d944
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-jamegras-ref701

American Abstract Artists

Collection Creator:
James Graham & Sons  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 17
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1980
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
James Graham & Sons records, 1815, 1821, circa 1896-2011, bulk 1950s-1980s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
James Graham & Sons records
James Graham & Sons records / Series 1: Alphabetical Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9a02339f0-e7f7-4332-be91-a72829614821
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-jamegras-ref25

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
4 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
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Online Media:

Biographical Data and Chronologies

Collection Creator:
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Krasner, Lee, 1908-1984  Search this
Container:
Box 7, Folder 14
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1964-1983, undated
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers, circa 1914-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers / Series 2: Lee Krasner Papers / 2.1: Biographical Material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw94b0d8ec7-f1fe-4d08-b41c-2ba3d8d636e1
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-polljack-ref235
10 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Biographical Data and Chronologies digital asset number 1
  • View Biographical Data and Chronologies digital asset number 2
  • View Biographical Data and Chronologies digital asset number 3
  • View Biographical Data and Chronologies digital asset number 4
  • View Biographical Data and Chronologies digital asset number 5
  • View Biographical Data and Chronologies digital asset number 6
  • View Biographical Data and Chronologies digital asset number 7
  • View Biographical Data and Chronologies digital asset number 8
  • View Biographical Data and Chronologies digital asset number 9
  • View Biographical Data and Chronologies digital asset number 10

Exhibition Lists

Collection Creator:
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Krasner, Lee, 1908-1984  Search this
Container:
Box 7, Folder 15
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1965-1977
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers, circa 1914-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers / Series 2: Lee Krasner Papers / 2.1: Biographical Material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9ea96fa69-501a-4dbf-ae60-6120c76ff06d
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-polljack-ref236
4 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Exhibition Lists digital asset number 1
  • View Exhibition Lists digital asset number 2
  • View Exhibition Lists digital asset number 3
  • View Exhibition Lists digital asset number 4

Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers

Creator:
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Names:
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Congdon, William, 1912-1998  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Extent:
61.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketchbooks
Interviews
Video recordings
Drawings
Date:
1916-1991
bulk 1946-1983
Summary:
The Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers measure 61.1 linear feet and date from 1916 to 1991, with the bulk of the material dating from 1946-1983. Records provide extensive documentation of the gallery's operations from its inception in 1946 to its closing in 1983 and of the activities of Betty Parsons as one the leading art dealers of contemporary American Art in the latter half of the twentieth century, particularly the work of the Abstract Expressionists. Over one third of the of the collection is comprised of artists files containing correspondence, price lists, and printed materials. Additional correspondence is with galleries, dealers, art institutions, private collectors, and the media. Also found are exhibition files, exhibition catalogs and announcements, sales records, stock inventories, personal financial records, and photographs. Betty Parsons's personal papers consist of early curatorial files, pocket diaries, personal correspondence, and evidence of her own artwork, including sketchbooks, and files documenting her personal art collection.
Scope and Content Note:
The Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers measure 61.1 linear feet and date from 1916 to 1991, with the bulk of the material dating from 1946-1983. Records provide extensive documentation of the gallery's operations from its inception in 1946 to its closing in 1983 and of the activities of Betty Parsons as one the leading art dealers of contemporary American Art in the latter half of the twentieth century, particularly the work of the Abstract Expressionists. Over one third of the of the collection is comprised of artists files containing correspondence, price lists, and printed materials. Additional correspondence is with galleries, dealers, art institutions, private collectors, and the media. Also found are exhibition files, exhibition catalogs and announcements, sales records, stock inventories, personal financial records, and photographs. Betty Parsons's personal papers consist of early curatorial files, pocket diaries, personal correspondence, and evidence of her own artwork, including sketchbooks, and files documenting her personal art collection. Personal papers also include personal photographs.

Artists files, the largest and most extensive series, consist of a wide variety of documents, including biographical materials, correspondence with or related to the artist, exhibition catalogs and announcements, sales and expense invoices, clippings, price lists, and photographs of the artist, exhibitions, and artwork. The files reflect Parsons's close personal relationships with certain artists, particularly Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, and Barnett Newman. Extensive documentation is also found for Forrest Bess, William Congdon, Paul Feeley, Thomas George, Alexander Liberman, Seymour Lipton, Richard Pousette-Dart, Jesse Reichek, and Jack Youngerman. Historians and researchers will find these files to be an invaluable resource both in tracing Betty Parsons's role in promoting Abstract Expressionism and researching individual artists.

Exhibition files primarily document the gallery's infrequent group or themed exhibitions. Of particular note are the files on The Ideographic Picture, which was organized by Barnett Newman and included his work, as well as that of Pietro Lazzari, Boris Margo, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, Theodoros Stamos, and Clyfford Still. Price lists, artist biographies and exhibition schedules are housed in the general exhibition files. Loan exhibition files provide documentation of artwork borrowed by other galleries or institutions for exhibitions, as well as shows outside of the gallery that were organized by Betty Parsons. Also found are gallery exhibition guest books, and announcements and catalogs.

Gallery correspondence is primarily with galleries and dealers, museums, arts organizations, and collectors. Scattered letters from artists are also found, although the bulk of the artists' correspondence is filed in the Artists Files. Also found here are memoranda and letters between Betty Parsons and her staff that contain detailed information concerning Parsons's schedule and gallery activities. Similar correspondence is found amongst the correspondence files within the series Betty Parsons papers.

Appraisal and conservation files include correspondence, appraisal invoices, forms, and appraisal requests and other information from the Art Dealers Association of America, and conservation invoices and reports. The majority of the appraisal records contain information about the specific works of art, including artist, title, date, current owner and the estimated value at the time of the request. Conservation records document conservation treatments undertaken by outside conservators to gallery stock.

Sales, purchases, stock and inventory are well documented in the sales and inventory records. The records provide detailed information about individual sales, prices of individual pieces of artwork, consignments, and loans. Most sales records also include detailed information about the buyer and are a valuable resource for provenance research. Files documenting the general administration, routine business operations, and financial transactions (not individual sales) of the gallery are housed in the general business and financial records. These records include ledgers, receipts, tax records, and banking records. There is some limited information about works of art scattered amongst the receipts and in the "in/out slips" files. Legal records house general legal documents and those concerning specific lawsuits. Of particular note is the file detailing the lawsuit between Betty Parsons and Sidney Janis over the fifth floor of 24 West 57th Street.

The remainder of the collection consists of Betty Parsons's personal papers which document her career prior to opening her own gallery, her work as an artist, and her personal art collection.

Some information about Parsons's work prior to opening her own gallery is found in the early curatorial files she retained from her curatorial and administrative work at the Wakefield Gallery and the Mortimer Brandt Gallery. Clippings, correspondence, announcements, exhibition lists and exhibition files are found. For both positions, she kept only the exhibition files for a small group of exhibitions organized around a specific theme, the most notable being the exhibition of Pre-Columbian Sculpture at the Wakefield Gallery.

Biographical materials include copies of her biography, family genealogies, photographs of Parsons, interviews with Colette Roberts and WYNC radio, memberships, photographs, and ephemera, including a collection of programs and invitations from events that she attended. Throughout her life Parsons gave generously of her time to various cultural and charitable institutions and was awarded for her contributions. There are also a number of files that document her speaking engagements, her participation as a juror in numerous juried exhibitions, charitable work, and awards that she received.

Parsons's personal correspondence files reflect how deeply Parsons's life was intertwined with the gallery. There are letters from museum directors, dealers, artists seeking representation, and personal letters from artists with whom she had close personal relationships, most notably Larry Bigelow, Alexander Calder, William Condon, and Ad Reinhardt. There are also letters from the English artist Adge Baker, with whom Parsons was romantically involved. Correspondence also includes several files of postcards and Christmas cards.

Pocket diaries and engagement calendars, spanning from 1933-1981, record social engagements, meetings, vacations, and telephone numbers. Also found are circa two linear feet of notebooks and sketchbooks, many of which are annotated with addresses, poetry, journal entries, and other observations of people, places, and travels. Writings by others include writings about Betty Parsons or the Betty Parsons Gallery, such as Lawrence Alloway's unpublished typescript titled "An American Gallery" and other topics.

Printed material consists of exhibition announcements and catalogs, art magazines, and newspaper and magazine clippings about Betty Parsons, her family and acquaintances, artists, and other art related topics, coupled with a miscellaneous selection of clippings, and a video recording, on topics that presumably captured Parsons's attention.

Personal art work records document Betty Parsons's career as an artist through inventories, group and solo exhibitions files, price lists, appraisals, sales and consignment invoices. Photographs are primarily reproductions of her works of art, although there are scattered photographs of exhibition installations.

Betty Parsons's private art collection files document her extensive personal collection of art that included works by Jackson Pollock, Agnes Martin, Romare Bearden, Barnett Newman, and Mark Rothko, in addition to Amlash sculpture from ancient Persia and primitive sculpture from New Hebrides. These files include inventories, lists, exhibition records, sales and purchase invoices, and photographs. There are also files for donations and loans from Parsons's personal collection to museums and fund raising auctions for several non-profit institutions.

Finally, the personal financial records provide information about the Parsons's family finances and her personal financial success as an art dealer. In addition to her own investments, Parsons inherited shares in family investments through the estates of her parents, J. Fred Pierson, Jr. and Suzanne Miles Pierson, and younger sister, Emily Rayner. Real estate files include correspondence, utility bills, receipts, area maps, and land plots for houses in Sheepscot, Maine and St. Maartens, Netherlands Antilles. Tax returns, ledger worksheets, receipts, banking statements, deposit slips, and cancelled checks are among the other financial records.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as seven series. Many of the series are further divided into subseries.

Missing Title

Series 1: Artists Files, 1935-1983 (19.4 linear feet; Boxes 1-18, 51, 55-56, OVs 53, 65)

Series 2: Exhibition Files, 1941-1983 (2.9 linear feet; Boxes 18-21, 51, 55, OVs 54, 66)

Series 3: Correspondence Files, 1941-1983 (3.9 linear feet; Boxes 21-24, 52, 56)

Series 4: Appraisal Files, 1954-1983 (0.7 linear feet; Box 24)

Series 5: Sales and Inventory Records, 1946-1983 (3.9 linear feet; Boxes 25-28, 51)

Series 6: General Business and Financial Records, 1946-1983 (9.3 linear feet; Boxes 28-38, 51, 56)

Series 7: Betty Parsons Personal Papers, 1916-1991 (21 linear feet; Boxes 38-51, 55-64, OVs 65-67)
Historical Note:
Betty Parsons (1900-1982) was one of the leading art dealers in New York City specializing in modern art, particularly the work of the Abstract Expressionists, and an abstract painter and sculptor in her own right. She opened Betty Parsons Gallery in 1946 at 15 E. 57th St., later moving to 24 W. 57th St.

The history of the Betty Parsons Gallery is inextricably bound to the life and experiences of its founder. Betty Parsons was born Betty Bierne Pierson on January 31, 1900 in New York City. She enjoyed a privileged childhood, which included vacation homes in Newport and Palm Beach. Her only formal education was a five-year stint at the prestigious Chapin School from 1910-1915, where she met many of the women who would become life-long friends and supporters. In the spring of 1920, she married Schuyler Livingston Parsons from one of New York's oldest families. The marriage ended after only three years and the couple traveled to Paris where they could obtain a divorce on the grounds of incompatibility. She retained her married surname and purchased a house on the rue Boulard in Paris, where she remained for ten years, pursuing studies in painting and sculpture.

Financial constraints forced Parsons to return to the United States in 1933. She first traveled west to California, but it was her return to New York in 1935 that marked the start of her career as an art dealer. Her first opportunity to connect with the New York art world came after a successful exhibition of her watercolors at the Midtown Galleries where the owner, Alan Gruskin, noted Parson's faithful and wealthy group of supporters and offered her work installing exhibitions and selling paintings on commission. Her work for the Midtown Galleries led to a second position in the Park Avenue gallery of Mary Sullivan, one of the founders of the Museum of Modern Art. Here, Parsons learned the business of running a gallery. By 1940 Parsons was ready to take on more independent responsibility and agreed to manage a gallery within the Wakefield Bookshop. In this job, she exercised full curatorial control by selecting artists and organizing exhibitions. She championed then unknown contemporary American artists and the gallery's roster soon included Saul Steinberg, Hedda Sterne, Alfonso Ossorio, Joseph Cornell, Walter Murch, and Theodore Stamos. Although the majority of the exhibitions were solo shows, there were a few group shows and themed exhibitions, such as Love in Art (1941) and Ballet in Art (1942). Under Parson's direction, the gallery hosted an important exhibition of Pre-Columbian sculpture, curated by Barnett Newman.

When the owners of the Wakefield Bookshop decided to close the gallery late in 1944, Mortimer Brandt, a dealer who specialized in Old Master paintings and drawings, offered her a position as head of the newly created contemporary section of his gallery. Many of the artists who had shown with Parsons at the Wakefield Gallery followed her to her new gallery, where they were joined by Ad Reinhardt, Boris Mango, and Hans Hofmann. While the exhibitions garnered attention from the press and the interest of contemporary artists, the contemporary section was not a financial success and Brandt opted to close his gallery in 1946.

Using $1000 of her own money and an additional borrowed $4000, Parsons sublet the space that previously housed Mortimer Brandt's contemporary section, on the fifth floor of 15 East 57th Street, and opened the Betty Parsons Gallery.

In many respects the early years of the Betty Parsons Gallery were the most vital, as it was during the period of 1947-1951 that the gallery became linked with the Abstract Expressionists and the history of post-WWII American Art. In an unpublished history of the gallery, noted art critic Lawrence Alloway stated that the significance of the gallery's early exhibitions ranks with Durand-Ruel's Impressionists exhibitions or Kahnweiler's shows of the Cubists. Betty Parsons Gallery quickly became one of the most prestigious galleries in New York City associated with new American Art of all styles. Her close friend Barnett Newman organized the gallery's inaugural exhibition of Northwest Coast Indian Art and he soon began to exhibit his own work at the gallery. When Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century Gallery closed, Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, and Mark Rothko joined Parsons' growing stable of artists. Although Parsons continued to promote and exhibit many of the artists whom she had previously discovered, these four artists dominated this period. Newman, Pollock, Still, and Rothko worked closely together, holding themselves apart from the other artists somewhat. They were actively involved in the curatorial process and often hung their own shows. For these artists, the exhibition itself was an artistic act of creation.

Parsons provided a supportive environment and allowed her artists enormous freedom in planning and designing their exhibitions. She was not, however, an aggressive salesperson. During this early period the gallery ledgers document sales to an impressive array of museums including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as important collectors such as Edward Root and Duncan Phillips. Nevertheless, the art that the gallery promoted was not yet widely accepted. Sales were few, prices were low and the business would not turn a profit for several years. Meanwhile, there was mounting pressure from Pollock, Newman, Still, and Rothko to drop some of the other artists from Parsons' stable and focus all resources on them. They wanted to be promoted to a larger audience and have their work sold at higher prices, but Parsons enjoyed discovering new artists and did not want to be restricted in this endeavor. The year 1951 marks the last time that Pollock's drip paintings or the monumental works of Newman, Rothko or Still were shown at the Betty Parsons Gallery.

In the following years the Betty Parsons Gallery continued to attract a diverse group of talented artists. Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Tuttle, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jack Youngerman had their first New York exhibitions at the Betty Parsons Gallery. Parsons opened Section Eleven in 1958, a short-lived annex to the main gallery, so that she could promote younger, less well-known artists. It closed in 1960 due to the administrative difficulties in running two essentially separate galleries.

In 1962, Sidney Janis, another prominent art dealer, started proceedings to evict Parsons from the floor that they shared on 15 East 57th Street. The Betty Parsons Gallery moved to 24 West 57th Street in 1963, where it remained until it closed in 1983, following Parsons' death the preceding year. Throughout the gallery's history, Parsons continued to promote faithful artists such as Hedda Sterne and Saul Steinberg, who had been with her from the beginning and to seek out new talent, both for her main gallery and for other venues, such as the short-lived Parsons-Truman Gallery, which she opened in 1974 with former Parsons Gallery director Jock Truman to show works on paper by emerging artists.

In addition to being an art dealer, Betty Parsons was a respected artist and collector. With her connoisseur's eye and connections, Parsons amassed an impressive private collection of art. She bought her first piece while an art student in Paris in the 1920s, a small gouache by Zadkine, but did not begin acquiring works in earnest until she was established as an art dealer. Partial inventories of her personal collection show that the majority of her collection contained works by artists associated with the gallery. Mark Rothko, Hans Hofmann, Ad Reinhardt, Agnes Martin, and Kenzo Okada were among the artists represented. Many were gifts from the artists, such as an ink drawing by Jackson Pollock, inscribed "For Betty." Selections from her collection appeared in small museums across the United States, including a traveling exhibition organized by Fitch College, New York, in 1968. In her role as a promoter of contemporary American art, Parsons lent generously from her collection, particularly to the federal Art in the Embassies Program. Throughout her life she also donated works to a variety of museums, most notably, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark.

Parsons frequently claimed that her desire to pursue a career as an artist stemmed from a visit to the Armory Show when she was thirteen. In her late teens, after pressuring her father for art lessons, she studied with the sculptor Gutzon Burglum of Mount Rushmore fame. In Paris, she continued her studies first with Antoine Bourdelle, whose sculptures she had admired at the Armory Show, and later with Ossip Zadkine. The first exhibition of her work, figurative watercolors and sculptures, took place in Paris in 1927. As she matured as an artist, her art became more abstract. Her late works were painted wood sculptures that she pieced together from wood that she found near her studio in Long Island. Parsons's work was exhibited in more than thirty solo exhibitions, including, Betty Parsons; Paintings, Gouaches and Sculpture, 1955-1968, at the Whitechapel Gallery in London. During her lifetime, she would not allow her works to be shown in her own gallery. Shortly after she died of a stroke in 1982, In Memoriam, Betty Parsons: Late Sculptures, opened at the Betty Parsons Gallery.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are oral history interviews with Betty Parsons, June 4-9, 1969, by Paul Cummings, and June 11, 1981 by Gerald Silk.
Separated Material:
Some of the material originally loaned for microfilming in 1968 and 1969 was not included in later donations and can be viewed on microfilm reels N68/62-N68/74 and N69/105-N69/106. Loaned materials are not described in the container listing in this finding aid.
Provenance:
The gallery donated some records in 1974, many of which had been loaned earlier for microfilming. The bulk of the collection was donated in 1984 and 1986 by William Rayner and Christopher Schwabacher, executors of the Estate of Betty Parsons. Additional material was donated by William Rayner in 1998 and Christopher Schwabacher in 2017. Additional material was donated in 2018 by the Lee Hall estate via Carolyn Crozier and Deborah Jacobson, co-executors. Hall was Parsons's biographer and had the material in her possession at the time of Parsons's death. An additional photograph of Parons and Marie Carr Taylor by Henri Cartier-Bresson was donated in 2021 by Mary Carpenter, who inherited the photograph from her mother, Nan Thorton Jones, who received it as a gift from Taylor.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.

Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Gallery owners -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Women art dealers  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Abstract expressionist  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Interviews
Video recordings
Drawings
Citation:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers, 1916-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.parsbett
See more items in:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw956c1036f-b673-4dc1-8c1b-cde0bd641c60
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-parsbett
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Online Media:

Krasner, Lee

Collection Creator:
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Container:
Box 9, Folder 13
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1949-1983
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.

Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers, 1916-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers / Series 1: Artists Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw96163ffd7-03e3-4c0a-a3c1-e48b80aa966c
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-parsbett-ref269
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Reinhardt, Ad - Biographical Material

Collection Creator:
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Container:
Box 15, Folder 7
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1965
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.

Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers, 1916-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers / Series 1: Artists Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9b3120a10-dd39-47ab-b721-8362e662a3a9
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-parsbett-ref467
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  • View Reinhardt, Ad - Biographical Material digital asset number 6
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  • View Reinhardt, Ad - Biographical Material digital asset number 9
  • View Reinhardt, Ad - Biographical Material digital asset number 10

Reinhardt, Ad - Correspondence

Collection Creator:
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Extent:
(3 folders)
Container:
Box 15, Folder 9-11
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1947-1982
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.

Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers, 1916-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers / Series 1: Artists Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9da9c59ce-eb13-420c-8061-d7a18a92e060
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-parsbett-ref469
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Online Media:

A

Collection Creator:
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Container:
Box 21, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1947-1976
Scope and Contents note:
A.M. Sachs Gallery

A.P.F. Inc.

Acme Van Co, Inc.

Adler Gallery

Albany Institute of History and Art

Alcoa Steamship Company

American Abstract Artists

American Academy in Rome

American Academy of Arts and Letters

American West

Amerika-Haus Tubingen

Amherst College

Andre Emmerich Gallery

Architectural League of New York

Archives of American Art

ART:USA:59

The Art Gallery

Ariete Grafica

Arnot Art Museum

Artists Equity Association

The Artist's Gallery

Association for the Advancement of American Art, Inc.
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.

Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers, 1916-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers / Series 3: Correspondence Files / 3.1: Institutions and Dealers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9731bd061-c826-421b-a922-44e7043b9893
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-parsbett-ref766

Biography and Notes

Collection Creator:
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 23
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1960s
Collection Restrictions:
The bulk of this collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website, with the exception of the 2017 addition. Use of material not digitized requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
Louise Nevelson papers, circa 1903-1982. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Louise Nevelson papers
Louise Nevelson papers / Series 1: Biographical Material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw95934a903-b52d-4a62-88f5-fc171943475e
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-neveloui-ref31
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American Abstract Artists

Collection Creator:
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1959-1962
Collection Restrictions:
The bulk of this collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website, with the exception of the 2017 addition. Use of material not digitized requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
Louise Nevelson papers, circa 1903-1982. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Louise Nevelson papers
Louise Nevelson papers / Series 3: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw93714491b-6efd-49e7-9081-18773cf0d25e
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-neveloui-ref93

Nanette Carter papers

Creator:
Carter, Nanette, 1954-  Search this
Names:
Pratt Institute. Art School  Search this
Freeman, Bettye  Search this
Pindell, Howardena, 1943-  Search this
Extent:
4.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1972-2009
Summary:
The papers of African American abstract artist and educator Nanette Carter measure 4.9 linear feet and date from 1972 to 2009. The collection documents Carter's education and career through biographical materials, correspondence with artists and others, writings including notebooks documenting Carter's studies, exhibition files for Carter's solo and group exhibitions, files documenting teaching and other professional activities, research material including sound recordings for a book project on Carter's mentors, personal business records, and printed material.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of African American abstract artist and educator Nanette Carter document Carter's education and career through 4.9 linear feet of papers dating from 1972 to 2009.

The collection includes biographical materials consisting of an address book, 11 appointment books, resumes, Carter's student records, and a sound recording of an interview with Carter and Vincent Smith for the radio program "Dialogues with Contemporary Artists." Correspondence is with Joan Digby, Bettye Freeman, Miriam Perlman, and various organizations regarding exhibitions, workshops, and employment. Carter's writings and notes include 13 notebooks documenting her studies and career activities, speech notes, and her student papers from Pratt Institute of Art.

Also found in the collection are exhibition files documenting Carter's solo and group exhibitions, and professional activity files consisting of Carter's teaching files, files regarding fellowships and grants, workshop records, and research material for a book project on female mentors that includes 5 sound recordings of Howardena Pindell and Marcia Lloyd. Carter's personal business records include consignment and sales records, contracts and agreements, and price lists; and printed materials consist of announcements and catalogs for Carter's exhibitions, event programs, posters, press releases, and other material relating to Carter's career as an artist.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as seven series.

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1972-1998 (0.7 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1976-2009 (1.2 linear feet; Boxes 1-2, OV 7)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1975-2002 (0.5 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 4: Exhibition Files, 1976-2008 (0.7 linear feet; Boxes 3-4)

Series 5: Professional Activity Files, 1977-2008 (0.7 linear feet; Box 4, OV 7)

Series 6: Personal Business Records, 1979-2008 (0.4 linear feet; Boxes 4-5)

Series 7: Printed Materials, 1979-2009 (0.7 linear feet; Boxes 5-6, OV 7)
Biographical / Historical:
Nanette Carter (1954- ) is an African American abstract artist and educator in New York, New York.

Carter was born in Columbus, Ohio, to Frances Hill and Matthew G. Carter. In 1960, Carter and her family, including her sister Bettye Carter Freeman, moved from Ohio to Montclair, New Jersey where her father became the city's first African American mayor. After graduating from Montclair High School, Carter attended Oberlin College studying studio art and art history. She spent her junior year abroad studying in Perugia, Italy and traveling through Europe and North Africa. Carter graduated from Oberlin in 1976 and continued her education at the Pratt Institute of Art receiving a Master of Fine Arts in 1978.

In the 1970s, Carter spent time in Sag Harbor where her parents had a house. She became involved with the local art scene through her college job at the Guild Hall Museum where she met artist Al Loving. Loving became a mentor to Carter and later curated one of her earliest group exhibitions, Eastville Artists (1979), featuring African American artists working in eastern Long Island, New York. Carter has continued to exhibit her artwork frequently throughout the United States, as well as overseas. She has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and grants including Bob Blackburn's Printmaking Workshop, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, and the New York State Council on the Arts residency at Cinque Gallery.

In addition to her career as an artist, Carter has held teaching positions at various institutions including Dwight-Englewood School, Guild Hall Museum, City College of New York, Rhode Island School of Design, and the Pratt Institute of Art where she is a tenured professor.
Provenance:
The collection was donated in 2019 by Nanette Carter as part of the Archives' African American Collecting Initiative funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact 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:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
African American artists  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Women educators  Search this
African American educators  Search this
African American painters  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Nanette Carter papers, 1972-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.cartnane
See more items in:
Nanette Carter papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9a28f9060-aa59-49a9-b48a-54b6b19866ba
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cartnane
Online Media:

The Patricia and Phillip Frost collection, American abstraction, 1930-1945 / Virginia M. Mecklenburg

Title:
American abstraction, 1930-1945
Author:
Mecklenburg, Virginia M (Virginia McCord) 1946-  Search this
Frost, Patricia  Search this
Frost, Phillip 1936-  Search this
National Museum of American Art (U.S.)  Search this
Subject:
Frost, Patricia Art collections  Search this
Frost, Phillip Art collections  Search this
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Physical description:
200 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 23 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
United States
Date:
1989
C1989
20th century
Topic:
Art, Abstract  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Art--Private collections  Search this
Call number:
N6512.5.A2M4 1989X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_374146

Pioneers of abstract art : American Abstract Artists, 1936-1996 : Sidney Mishkin Gallery, Baruch College, September 20 to October 17, 1996

Author:
Kraskin, Sandra  Search this
Sidney Mishkin Gallery  Search this
Subject:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Physical description:
48 p. : ill. ; 26 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
United States
Date:
1996
C1996
20th century
Topic:
Art, Abstract  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Call number:
N6512.5.A2 P56 1996
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_647400

50 years ago : WPA/AAA : Washburn Gallery, 41 East 57, New York, November 4-29, 1986

Title:
Fifty years ago
Author:
Washburn Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Subject:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Federal Art Project  Search this
Physical description:
[32] p. : ill. ; 21 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
United States
Date:
1986
[1986]
20th century
Topic:
Lithography, American  Search this
Lithography  Search this
Art, Abstract  Search this
Call number:
N8838 .F53 1986
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_651278

American abstract artists : [exhibition, Art Museum, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque] February 27 through April 3, 1977

Author:
Tritschler, Thomas Candor  Search this
University of New Mexico Art Museum  Search this
Subject:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Physical description:
32 p. : ill. ; 28 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
United States
Date:
1977
Topic:
Art, Abstract  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Call number:
N6512.5.A2N53
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_97966

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