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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.

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
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-parsbett
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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
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-parsbett-ref766

Kenneth Snelson papers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Snelson has been the recipient of numerous awards and prizes including an Honorary Doctorate from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a prize for sculpture from the National Academy of Design.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art in 2017 by Katherine Snelson, Kenneth Snelson's widow.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Citation:
Kenneth Snelson papers, 1947-2016. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.snelkenn
See more items in:
Kenneth Snelson papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-snelkenn

Chronological Files

Collection Creator:
Snelson, Kenneth, 1927-2016  Search this
Container:
Box 4, Folder 18
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1994-2004
Scope and Contents:
Material pertains to the American Academy of Arts and Letters
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:
Kenneth Snelson papers, 1947-2016. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Kenneth Snelson papers
Kenneth Snelson papers / Series 1: Chronological Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-snelkenn-ref95

Eric Fischl - Clarice Smith Distinguished Lecture Series, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Creator:
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2014-11-26T15:30:25.000Z
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_ERmel15CiqY

American Academy of Arts and Letters

Collection Creator:
Waddell Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 18
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1972-1973
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the 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:
Waddell Gallery records, 1961-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Waddell Gallery records
Waddell Gallery records / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-waddgall-ref29

Desert Dawn

Artist:
Susan Shatter, born New York, NY 1943-died New York, NY 2011  Search this
Medium:
watercolor on paper
Dimensions:
sheet and image: 33 x 46 1/2 in. (83.8 x 118.1 cm)
Type:
Painting
Date:
1991
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York; Hassam, Speicher, Betts and Symons Purchase Fund, 1999
Object number:
1999.72
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7fcb66000-73eb-4c0b-bda1-fbeb9c01c848
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1999.72

The American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal

Artist:
William Zorach, born Eurburg, Lithuania 1889-died Bath, ME 1966  Search this
Type:
Drawing
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Tessim Zorach and Dahlov Ipcar
Object number:
1968.154.179
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk797f5190a-1bd4-4b46-a079-765e820de02a
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1968.154.179

Anthony Wayne

Artist:
Edwin Austin Abbey, 1 Apr 1852 - 1 Aug 1911  Search this
Sitter:
Anthony Wayne, 1 Jan 1745 - 15 Dec 1796  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Type:
Painting
Topic:
Anthony Wayne: Male  Search this
Anthony Wayne: Military\Army\Officer\Revolution  Search this
Anthony Wayne: Military\Navy\Officer  Search this
Anthony Wayne: Military\Army\Officer\Brigadier General  Search this
Anthony Wayne: Politics and Government\US Congressman\Georgia  Search this
Anthony Wayne: Science and Technology\Engineer\Surveyor  Search this
Anthony Wayne: Politics and Government\State Legislator\Pennsylvania  Search this
Anthony Wayne: Congressional Gold Medal  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
Owner: American Academy of Arts and Letters
Object number:
NY990513
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Catalog of American Portraits
Data Source:
Catalog of American Portraits
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm459d61b92-41f0-4177-9873-743200f12b65
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_NY990513

Lynn Fontanne

Artist:
Wilfrid Gabriel De Glehn, 1870 - 1951  Search this
Sitter:
Lynn Fontanne, 6 Dec 1887 - 30 Jul 1983  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
Stretcher: 76.2 x 64.8 x 3.8cm (30 x 25 1/2 x 1 1/2")
Frame: 93.3 x 80 x 7.6cm (36 3/4 x 31 1/2 x 3")
Type:
Painting
Date:
1912
Topic:
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Seating\Chair  Search this
Costume\Dress Accessory\Scarf  Search this
Costume\Headgear\Hat\Plumed  Search this
Lynn Fontanne: Female  Search this
Lynn Fontanne: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Theater  Search this
Lynn Fontanne: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Lynn Fontanne: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Television  Search this
Lynn Fontanne: Presidential Medal of Freedom  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.2000.1
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
Copyright:
© Estate of Wilfrid de Glehn, courtesy of Messum's Fine Art London
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition:
20th Century Americans: 1900-1930 (re-installation 2012)
On View:
NPG, South Gallery 322
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm43c3a94af-eafe-4760-9a0a-ae90efe37017
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_NPG.2000.1

Julia Ward Howe

Artist:
José Villegas, 1848 - 1922  Search this
Sitter:
Julia Ward Howe, 27 May 1819 - 17 Oct 1910  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
45.6cm x 34.9cm (17 15/16" x 13 3/4"), Sight
Type:
Painting
Date:
1898
Topic:
Indeterminable  Search this
Julia Ward Howe: Female  Search this
Julia Ward Howe: Literature\Writer\Poet  Search this
Julia Ward Howe: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Abolitionist  Search this
Julia Ward Howe: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Suffragist  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
Owner: American Academy of Arts and Letters
Object number:
1771
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Catalog of American Portraits
Data Source:
Catalog of American Portraits
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm49cdfffa5-c36f-4864-9a9f-3c6b85458b4f
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_1771

George Herbert Putnam

Artist:
Brenda Putnam, 1890 - 1975  Search this
Sitter:
George Herbert Putnam, 1861 - 1955  Search this
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
40.5cm x 20.9cm x 22.8cm (15 15/16" x 8 1/4" x 9"), Estimate
Type:
Sculpture
Date:
1923
Topic:
George Herbert Putnam: Male  Search this
George Herbert Putnam: Education\Educator\Librarian  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
Owner: American Academy of Arts and Letters
Object number:
4051
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Catalog of American Portraits
Data Source:
Catalog of American Portraits
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm434d14b35-60d8-48d7-bf99-a2094ed7c75c
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_4051

William Crary Brownell

Artist:
Olin Levi Warner, 9 Apr 1844 - 14 Aug 1896  Search this
Sitter:
William Crary Brownell, 1851 - 1928  Search this
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
40.2cm x 16.5cm x 21.3cm (15 13/16" x 6 1/2" x 8 3/8"), Estimate
Type:
Sculpture
Date:
1886
Topic:
William Crary Brownell: Male  Search this
William Crary Brownell: Literature\Writer  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
Owner: American Academy of Arts and Letters
Object number:
698 AAAL
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Catalog of American Portraits
Data Source:
Catalog of American Portraits
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm4e2c88c19-aa11-49e4-bc37-57d731ea38c0
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_698_AAAL

John Huston Finley

Artist:
John F. Flanagan, 1865 - 1952  Search this
Sitter:
John Huston Finley, 19 Oct 1863 - 7 Mar 1940  Search this
Medium:
Bronze relief medallion
Dimensions:
15.2cm x 11.4cm x 1.2cm (6" x 4 1/2" x 1/2"), Accurate
Type:
Sculpture
Date:
1923
Topic:
Sculpture\Relief  Search this
Medallion  Search this
John Huston Finley: Male  Search this
John Huston Finley: Education\Educator  Search this
John Huston Finley: Communications\Journalist\Editor\Newspaper  Search this
John Huston Finley: Education\Administrator\College\President  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
Owner: American Academy of Arts and Letters
Object number:
16 AAAL5
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Catalog of American Portraits
Data Source:
Catalog of American Portraits
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm4a2582f42-382e-4a49-991b-db13f3f2b3f1
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_16_AAAL5

Daniel Chester French

Artist:
Margaret French Cresson, 3 Aug 1889 - 2 Oct 1973  Search this
Sitter:
Daniel Chester French, 20 Apr 1850 - 7 Oct 1931  Search this
Medium:
Plaster & Bronze Patina
Dimensions:
65.7cm x 36.5cm x 27cm (25 7/8" x 14 3/8" x 10 5/8"), Estimate
Type:
Sculpture
Date:
c. 1910-1920
Topic:
Daniel Chester French: Male  Search this
Daniel Chester French: Visual Arts\Artist\Sculptor  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
Owner: American Academy of Arts and Letters
Object number:
1761
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Catalog of American Portraits
Data Source:
Catalog of American Portraits
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm48b8281ed-04d7-4b65-948f-735c8c7f87fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_1761

Walt Whitman

Artist:
John White Alexander, 7 Oct 1856 - 31 May 1915  Search this
Sitter:
Walt Whitman, 31 May 1819 - 26 Mar 1892  Search this
Medium:
Chalk and pencil on paper
Dimensions:
19.5cm x 14.7cm (7 11/16" x 5 13/16"), Sight
Type:
Drawing
Date:
c. 1880-1890
Topic:
Walt Whitman: Male  Search this
Walt Whitman: Literature\Writer\Poet  Search this
Walt Whitman: Communications\Journalist\Editor\Newspaper  Search this
Walt Whitman: Education\Educator\Teacher  Search this
Walt Whitman: Communications\Journalist\Reporter\Newspaper  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
Owner: American Academy of Arts and Letters
Object number:
198 AAAL
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Catalog of American Portraits
Data Source:
Catalog of American Portraits
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm44b189eeb-590b-4a83-90bc-3f05d3ff0d48
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_198_AAAL

Ignace Jan Paderewski

Artist:
Sigismund De Ivanowski, 1874 - 1944  Search this
Sitter:
Ignace Jan Paderewski, 18 Nov 1860 - 29 Jun 1941  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
164.3cm x 91.9cm (64 11/16" x 36 3/16"), Sight
Type:
Painting
Date:
1924
Topic:
Ignace Jan Paderewski: Male  Search this
Ignace Jan Paderewski: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician  Search this
Ignace Jan Paderewski: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer  Search this
Ignace Jan Paderewski: Politics and Government\Diplomat\Minister  Search this
Ignace Jan Paderewski: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist  Search this
Ignace Jan Paderewski: Politics and Government\Foreign Leader\Prime Minister\Poland  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
Owner: American Academy of Arts and Letters
Object number:
4184A
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Catalog of American Portraits
Data Source:
Catalog of American Portraits
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm48053b6bd-d10c-42fa-a11e-b922dacd4941
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_4184A

Cass Gilbert

Artist:
Edmond Thomas Quinn, 1868 - 1929  Search this
Sitter:
Cass Gilbert, 24 Nov 1859 - 17 May 1934  Search this
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
53.2cm x 24.4cm x 23cm (20 15/16" x 9 5/8" x 9 1/16"), Estimate
Type:
Sculpture
Date:
1925
Topic:
Cass Gilbert: Male  Search this
Cass Gilbert: Visual Arts\Architect  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
Owner: American Academy of Arts and Letters
Object number:
605 AAAL
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Catalog of American Portraits
Data Source:
Catalog of American Portraits
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm4c1f1692e-3021-4e8e-a074-a84b72c9c2a8
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_605_AAAL

John White Alexander

Artist:
Charles Dana Gibson, 14 Sep 1867 - 29 Dec 1944  Search this
Sitter:
John White Alexander, 7 Oct 1856 - 31 May 1915  Search this
Medium:
Ink on paper
Dimensions:
19.7cm x 16.8cm (7 3/4" x 6 5/8"), Sight
Type:
Drawing
Date:
1899?
Topic:
John White Alexander: Visual Arts\Artist  Search this
John White Alexander: Male  Search this
John White Alexander: Visual Arts\Artist\Painter\Portraitist  Search this
John White Alexander: Visual Arts\Artist\Illustrator  Search this
John White Alexander: Visual Arts\Artist\Painter\Muralist  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
Owner: American Academy of Arts and Letters
Object number:
NY NEW YORK.DUP6
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Catalog of American Portraits
Data Source:
Catalog of American Portraits
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm478fc661c-306f-45f9-b8be-784fb8d1265f
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_NY_NEW_YORK.DUP6

John Charles Van Dyke

Artist:
William Morton Jackson Rice, 1854 - 1922  Search this
Sitter:
John Charles Van Dyke, 1856 - 1932  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
69.9cm x 54.7cm (27 1/2" x 21 9/16"), Sight
Type:
Painting
Date:
1914
Topic:
John Charles Van Dyke: Male  Search this
John Charles Van Dyke: Education\Educator  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
Owner: American Academy of Arts and Letters
Object number:
1497 AAAL
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Catalog of American Portraits
Data Source:
Catalog of American Portraits
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm4f0d49ce4-51a4-4554-ad60-93d50407b293
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_1497_AAAL

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