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Dorothy C. Miller papers

Creator:
Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003  Search this
Names:
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Chase Manhattan Bank -- Art collections  Search this
Federal Art Project  Search this
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden  Search this
Mark Rothko Foundation  Search this
Municipal Art Exhibition (1st : 1934 : New York, N.Y.)  Search this
PepsiCo, Inc.  Search this
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey -- Art collections  Search this
Rockefeller University  Search this
Smith College -- Students  Search this
Smith College. Museum of Art  Search this
World Trade Center (New York, N.Y.) -- Art collections  Search this
Asher, Elise, 1914-  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Bontecou, Lee, 1931-  Search this
Byars, James Lee  Search this
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Canady, John  Search this
Charlton, Maryette  Search this
Christo, 1935-  Search this
Chryssa, 1933-  Search this
Coggeshall, Calvert, 1907-1990  Search this
Copley, Alfred L.  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Feininger, Lyonel, 1871-1956  Search this
Feitelson, Lorser, 1898-1978  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898-  Search this
Hartigan, Grace  Search this
Hicks, Edward, 1780-1849  Search this
Horwitt, Will  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Karpel, Bernard, 1911-1986  Search this
Levy, Julien  Search this
Mather, Eleanore Price, 1910-  Search this
Matisse, Pierre, 1900-1989  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia , 1887-1986  Search this
Pereira, I. Rice (Irene Rice), 1902-1971  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich), 1908-1979 -- Art collections  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Sage, Kay  Search this
Scharf, William, 1927-  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Sterne, Hedda, 1910-2011  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Extent:
34.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Sketches
Christmas cards
Drawings
Date:
1853-2013
bulk 1920-1996
Summary:
The papers of contemporary and folk art curator, historian, and consultant Dorothy C. Miller measure 34.6 linear feet and date from 1853-2013, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920 to 1996. The papers primarily concern Miller's private art consulting work outside of her curatorial work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Found are scattered biographical materials, extensive correspondence and subject files, and project files for her art consulting work for the Rockefeller family, Rockefeller University, Chase Manhattan Bank, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the World Trade Center, and other miscellaneous corporate and private clients. Miller's work as a trustee and committee member of various public and private boards and commissions is also represented here. Additionally, the papers contain Miller's research files on Edward Hicks and folk art, and a small number of files of her husband Holger Cahill about his work as Director of the Federal Art Project. There is a scattered documentation of Miller's early curatorial work with Holger Cahill on the First Municipal Art Exhibition (1934) held at the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center. Also found is Dorothy Miller's collection of artists' Christmas cards and photographs of Miller and others. An addition to the papers includes biographical material; family papers; correspondence; professional files; art collection and client files; printed material; and photographic material. While a small number professional files are included, the majority of the addition relates to her personal life, including correspondence with her husband Holger Cahill, and files pertaining to her personal art collection.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of contemporary and folk art curator, historian, and consultant Dorothy C. Miller measure 34.6 linear feet and date from 1853-2013, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920 to 1996. The papers primarily concern Miller's art consulting work outside of her curatorial work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York city. Found are scattered biographical materials, extensive correspondence and subject files, and project files for her art consulting work for the Rockefeller family, Rockefeller University, Chase Manhattan Bank, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and other miscellaneous corporate and private clients. Her work as a trustee and committee member of various public and private boards and commissions is also represented here. Additionally, the papers contain Miller's research files on Edward Hicks and folk art, and a small number of files related to Miller's husband Holger Cahill and his work as Director of the Federal Art Project. There is important documentation of Miller's early curatorial work with Holger Cahill on the First Municipal Art Exhibition (1934) held at the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center. Artwork includes scattered sketches and drawings enclosed with correspondence and original Christmas cards sent to Miller by various artists. Photographs of Miller date from 1926 - circa 1950.

Scattered biographical material mostly concerns Miller's education at Smith College and awards and honorary degrees that she received. Extensive correspondence and subject files document her professional and personal relationships with family, friends, colleagues, museums, art dealers and artists, as well as her research interests. Individual files may contain a mix of correspondence with, as well as about, the person or subject, compiled research documents, printed materials, and scattered photographs. Files are found for Lewin Alcopley, Alfred Barr, Betty Parsons Gallery, Cahill family members, Lee Bontecou, James Byars, Holger Cahill, Alexander Calder, Christo, Chryssa, Calvert Coggeshall, John Canaday, Maryette Charlton, Stuart Davis, Jay DeFeo, Lorser Feitelson, Arshile Gorky, Peggy Guggenheim, Grace Hartigan, Will Horwitt, Jasper Johns, Julien Levy, Pierre Matisse, Louise Nevelson, Barnett Newman, Isamu Nauchi, Georgia O'Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Ad Reinhardt, Kay Sage, Charles Sheeler, Hedda Sterne, travel, Clyfford Still, William Scharf, among many others.

Detailed records of Miller's art consulting and advisory work for the Rockefeller family include correspondence with Nelson A. Rockefeller and David Rockefeller about building their personal collections of contemporary and folk art, meeting notes and minutes, research notes and writings, and printed materials. The largest group of records concerns the writing and publication of The Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection: Masterpieces of Modern Art. Miller's curatorial work for David Rockefeller and the Rockefeller University's Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Hall art collection is documented in Series 4 through curatorial files, correspondence, printed materials, photographs and slides, artists files, and design records.

Series 5 contains files relating to Miller's work as the first art consutant to the Chase Manhattan Bank and the building of the corporation's extensive collection of contemporary art. There is a draft of Miller's text for the bank's published catalog, Art At Work: Chase Manhattan Bank Collection. A smaller set of records is found in Series 6 documenting Miller's work on the Art Committee of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, including files about selecting artwork for the World Trade Center during the early 1970s. Files concerning Miller's advisory work with additional public and private clients, boards, and commissions are arranged in Series 7 and 8 and concern the Amstar Corporation, Fidelity International Bank, First National Bank of Tampa, First National City Bank, Inmont Corporation, Pepsico, United Mutual Savings Bank, the Empire State Plaza Art Commission, the Hancock Shaker Village, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Mark Rothko Foundation, the Museum of American Folk Art, and the Smith College Museum of Art.

Miller's papers include a small group of files relating to the WPA Federal Art Project (FAP)created by her husband Holger Cahill when he was director of the FAP, Holger Cahill. A small series is devoted to Miller's work with Eleanore Price Mather researching and writing Edward Hicks: His Peaceable Kingdom and Other Paintings. A series of general research files contain miscellaneous research notes and photographs related to Miller's interests in early American art and folk art. Series 12 contains important documentation of Miller's early curatorial work with Holger Cahill on the First Municipal Art Exhibition (1934) held at the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center.

Works of art are primarily in the form of Christmas cards sent to Miller by various artists including Elise Asher, Lyonel Feininger, Bernard Karpel, and Irene Rice Pereira. A small group of photographs includes photographs of Miller from 1926-circa 1950 and a few photographs of others.

The addition includes biographical material; family papers; correspondence; professional files; art collection and client files; printed material; and photographic material. While a small number of professional files are found here, the majority of material relates to Miller's personal life, including correspondence with her husband Holger Cahill, and files pertaining to her personal art collection. Scattered correspondence, inventories, research, and notes created by curator and donor of the papers, Wendy Jeffers, are found throughout the collection. These materials date from the 1980s-2000s.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 15 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1917-1986 (Box 1; 0.3 linear ft.)

Series 2: Correspondence and Subject Files, circa 1912-1992 (Boxes 1-8, OV 27; 7.2 linear ft.)

Series 3: Rockefeller Family Art Collections, circa 1949-1985 (Boxes 8-12, 25; 3.9 linear ft.)

Series 4: Rockefeller University Collection, 1923-1984 (Boxes 12-13, OV 27; 1.0 linear ft.)

Series 5: Chase Manhattan Bank Collection, 1959-circa 1985 (Boxes 13-14, 26; 1.4 linear ft.)

Series 6: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Art Committee, circa 1965-1987 (Boxes 14-15, OV 27; 0.8 linear ft.)

Series 7: Other Corporate and Private Clients, 1968-1984 (Boxes 15-16; 1.3 linear ft.)

Series 8: Other Boards, Committees and Commissions, 1925, 1949-1985 (Boxes 16-20; 3.6 linear ft.)

Series 9: Works Project Administration Federal Art Project Files, 1935-1979 (Box 20, OV 27; 0.5 linear ft.)

Series 10: Edward Hicks Catalog, 1934-1984 (Boxes 20-22; 1.5 linear ft.)

Series 11: Research Files, 1930s-1980 (Boxes 22-23; 0.8 linear ft.)

Series 12: Exhibition Files, 1932-1986 (Box 23; 0.6 linear ft.)

Series 13: Works of Art, circa 1924-circa 1982 (Boxes 23-25; 1.5 linear ft.)

Series 14: Photographs, 1926-circa 1970s (Boxes 24-25; 0.3 linear ft.)

Series 15: Addition to the Dorothy C. Miller Papers, 1853-2003, bulk 1920-1996 (Boxes 28-38, OVs 39-41; 9.9 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Dorothy Canning Miller (1904-2003) worked in New York City as a highly influential curator of contemporary and folk art at the Museum of Modern Art and as the first curator of the museum. Later, she was the primary art consultant for Nelson A. Rockefeller, the Rockefeller family, Rockefeller University, Chase Manhattan Bank, and the Port Authority of and New Jersey. Dorothy Miller was also married to Holger Cahill, director of the WPA Federal Art Project.

Dorothy C. Miller was born in Hopedale, Massachusetts in 1904 and received her Bachelor of Arts from Smith College in 1925. She was first introduced to modern art through classes at the Newark Museum taught by John Cotton Dana and Holger Cahill. Miller joined the curatorial staff of the Newark Museum in 1926. The museum was one of the first to organize exhibitions of American folk art, American Primitives (1930-1931) and American Folk Sculpture (1931-1932). Miller worked with Cahill and others on the exhibition and developed a life-long interest in folk art.

After four years at the Newark Museum, Miller moved to New York city, hoping to get involved with the newly opened Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and, likely, to be with Holger Cahill, with whom she lived with on 8th Street prior to their marriage in 1938. Between 1930 and 1932 she took odd jobs and worked with Mrs. Henry Lang cataloging, researching and installing Lang's collection of Native American art Lang donated to the Montclair Art Museum. At the same time, Holger Cahill was serving as Acting Director of the Museum of Modern Art during an absence of Director Alfred H. Barr. In 1932, Cahill asked Miller to assist him with curating the American Painting and Sculpture, 1862-1932 exhibition at MoMA, and together they also curated the First Municipal Art Exhibition, 1934 at the Rockefeller Center.

In 1934, Barr hired Miller as his assistant and one year later appointed her as MoMA's first curator. Miller spent the next 35 years organizing many of this country's most important exhibitions of contemporary art and building personal relationships with new artists and photographers, as well as the collections of MoMA. Miller retired from MOMA in 1969 and focused more on her art consulting work begun in the late 1950s.

Dorothy Miller's most notable client was Nelson A. Rockefeller. She assisted and advised Rockefeller as he acquired a vast personal collection of modern art - some of which was later donated to MoMA. Just prior to her retirement, Miller organized a large exhibition of Rockefeller's collection. The exhibition catalog written by Miller was the basis for the book she worked on with Rockefeller up until and following his death in 1979, ultimately published as The Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection: Masterpieces of Modern Art. In the preface, Rockefeller credited Miller with being one of the four people to whom he was indebted "for the understanding and endless joy I have found in the collecting of modern art in all forms."

Miller also served as the primary art consultant for projects to furnish federal spaces, including Henry Kissinger's State Department office suite, and the official Vice-Presidential residence at the Admiral's House in Washington D.C.

In 1959 Miller was invited to join the art collection committee of the Chase Manhattan Bank and served on the committee until the mid-1980s, contributing her expertise to the development of one of this country's oldest and largest corporate collections of modern and contemporary art.

Miller was also an advisor to other members of the Rockefeller family, including David Rockefeller, and assisted with developing the art collections of Rockefeller Institute/University. From 1960 through the late 1980s Miller was a member of the art committee for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANJY) and was responsible for selecting much of the artwork for the World Trade Center in the 1970s. She served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Hancock Shaker Village, the Smithsonian Institution's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Empire State Plaza in Albany, Smith College Museum of Art, and the Museum of American Folk Art. She also became a member of the Mark Rothko Foundation Board of Directors after the litigation following Rothko's death between Rothko's executors and his daughter.

In the mid-1970s Miller assisted the Whitney Museum of American with planning an exhibition and supporting catalog of the work of folk artist Edward Hicks. Although the exhibition and catalog were only partially realized in 1980, Miller and Eleanore Price Mather compiled and published a book on Hicks, Edward Hicks: His Peaceable Kingdoms and Other Paintings, published in 1983.

In 1982-1983 Miller received the Art Dealers Association Special Award, an honorary degree from Williams College, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture governor's award. In 1984 she was named honorary trustee of the Museum of Modern Art. In 1985 the Smith College Museum of Art honored her important contributions to museum connoisseurship with the exhibition Dorothy C. Miller: With An Eye to American Art.

Dorothy Miller died in 2003 at the age of 99 at her home in Greenwich, New York.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art holds two oral history interviews with Dorothy C. Miller. The first was conducted by Paul Cummings between May 26, 1970 and September 28, 1971, and details Miller's life from childhood up to, and including, her years at the Museum of Modern Art. The second was conducted by Avis Berman on May 14, 1981 and covers Miller's relationships with Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still. Also found among the holdings of the Archives are the papers of Holger Cahill, Dorothy Miller's husband and colleague.

The Museum of Modern Art Achives holds Dorothy Miller's papers related to her curatorial work at the museum.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Dorothy C. Miller via Wendy Jeffers between 1986 and 1997, and Reid White, Executor of Miller's estate, in 2004. Two subsequent additions were donated by Wendy Jeffers in 2014 and 2015.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Artists -- United States  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Exhibitions  Search this
Art museum curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Corporations -- Private collections  Search this
Art -- Private collections  Search this
Folk art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sketches
Christmas cards
Drawings
Citation:
Dorothy C. Miller papers, 1853-2013, bulk 1920-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.milldoro
See more items in:
Dorothy C. Miller papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-milldoro
Online Media:

Alan R. Solomon papers, 1907-1970, bulk 1944-1970

Creator:
Solomon, Alan R.  Search this
Solomon, Alan R.  Search this
Subject:
Castelli, Leo  Search this
Louis, Morris  Search this
Segal, George  Search this
Fahlström, Öyvind  Search this
Poons, Larry  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel  Search this
Bontecou, Lee  Search this
Picasso, Pablo  Search this
Provinciali, Michele  Search this
Reed, Lou  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy  Search this
Mulas, Ugo  Search this
Sonnabend, Ileana  Search this
Rosenquist, James  Search this
Sabol, Audrey  Search this
Grisi, Laura  Search this
Noland, Kenneth  Search this
Scull, Ethel  Search this
MacElroy, Robert R.  Search this
Namuth, Hans  Search this
Newman, Barnett  Search this
Finkelstein, Nat  Search this
Stella, Frank  Search this
Sisler, Mary  Search this
Greenberg, Jeanine  Search this
Oldenburg, Patty  Search this
Morris, Robert  Search this
Scull, Robert C.  Search this
Hay, Alex  Search this
Dine, Jim  Search this
Kron, Joan  Search this
Chamberlain, John  Search this
Greenberg, Clement  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen  Search this
Paxton, Steve  Search this
Moore, Peter  Search this
Whitman, Robert  Search this
Novick, Elizabeth  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert  Search this
Redon, Odilon  Search this
Schute, Terry  Search this
Warhol, Andy  Search this
Hay, Deborah  Search this
Rainier, Yvonne  Search this
Childs, Lucinda  Search this
Johns, Jasper  Search this
Dunn, Judith  Search this
Leo Castelli Gallery  Search this
Expo 67 (Montréal, Québec)  Search this
Pasadena Art Museum  Search this
Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Albright-Knox Art Gallery  Search this
Art Gallery of Ontario  Search this
Velvet Underground (Musical group)  Search this
Biennale di Venezia  Search this
Artforum  Search this
Amsterdam (Netherlands). Stedelijk Museum  Search this
Jewish Museum (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
University of California (System)  Search this
Cornell University.  Search this
San Francisco Art Institute  Search this
Centro de Artes Visuales (Asunción, Paraguay)  Search this
Los Once (Artists' group)  Search this
Harvard University  Search this
Type:
Drawings
Transcripts
Photographs
Interviews
Lithographs
Place:
Italy -- Venice
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Art -- History -- Study and teaching  Search this
Performance art  Search this
Art, Abstract -- United States  Search this
Art -- Exhibitions  Search this
Art -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Theater  Search this
Pop art  Search this
Museum directors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Theme:
Art Movements and Schools  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7165
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209301
AAA_collcode_soloalan
Theme:
Art Movements and Schools
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209301
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Ruth Esherick and Mansfield Bascom on Wharton Esherick, 1991 March 26

Interviewee:
Bascom, Ruth Esherick  Search this
Bascom, Ruth Esherick  Search this
Interviewer:
Pacini, Marina  Search this
Subject:
Esherick, Wharton  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Women printmakers  Search this
Women sculptors  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Theme:
Women  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13331
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)214377
AAA_collcode_bascom91
Theme:
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_214377

Oral history interview with Ruth Esherick and Mansfield Bascom on Wharton Esherick

Interviewee:
Bascom, Ruth Esherick  Search this
Interviewer:
Pacini, Marina  Search this
Creator:
Bascom, Mansfield  Search this
Names:
Esherick, Wharton  Search this
Extent:
105 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1991 March 26
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Ruth Esherick Bascom and Mansfield Bascom regarding Wharton Esherick, conducted 1991 March 26, by Marina Pacini, for the Archives of American Art Philadelphia Project.
Ruth Esherick Bascom and Mansfield Bascom speak about Wharton Esherick's family, his education, his "organic" life in Paoli, Pennsylvania, and his efforts to support himself through the sale of his paintings, furniture and sculpture. They discuss Esherick's work, its stylistic development, and changes in his prints and furniture, materials; clients such as the Hedgrow Theater, The Fischer family, Marjorie Content, Curtis Bok; Esherick's studio and his workshop; Esherick's relationship with Miriam Phillips and some of the clients she brought him; and contacts in New York City.
Biographical / Historical:
Ruth Esherick Bascom from Paoli, Pennsylvania, is the daughter of Wharton Esherick (1887-1970), who was a sculptor, painter, printmaker, and furniture maker from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Bascom is married to Mansfield Bascom.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 40 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics anda others.
Restrictions:
Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Painters -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Cabinetmakers -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Printmakers -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Sculptors -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Women printmakers  Search this
Women sculptors  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.bascom91
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bascom91

Cleve Gray papers, 1933-2005

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

Cleve Gray papers

Creator:
Gray, Cleve  Search this
Names:
Berry-Hill Galleries  Search this
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Connecticut. Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film  Search this
Jacques Seligmann & Co  Search this
Neuberger Museum of Art  Search this
Pratt Institute  Search this
Princeton University  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design  Search this
Barzun, Jacques, 1907-  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Davis, Jim, 1901-1974  Search this
Dillenberger, Jane  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Ernst, Jimmy, 1920-1984  Search this
Gabo, Naum, 1890-1977  Search this
Grace, Louise N.  Search this
Gray, Francine du Plessix  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques, 1891-1973  Search this
Marin, John, 1870-1953  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Richter, Hans, 1888-1976  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Villon, Jacques, 1875-1963  Search this
Weber, Nicholas Fox, 1947-  Search this
Extent:
9.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Poems
Articles
Photographs
Reviews (documents)
Notes
Illustrations
Notebooks
Sketches
Drafts (documents)
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Manuscripts
Paintings
Prints
Watercolors
Drawings
Lectures
Date:
1933-2005
Summary:
The Cleve Gray papers, 1933-2005, measure 9.2 linear feet. Papers include biographical material, alphabetical files, writings, artwork, audio/visual records, artifacts, printed material, and photographs. Extensive alphabetical files contain personal and professional correspondence as well as subject files relating to projects and interests. Especially well-documented are: Gray's involvement with the Vietnam protest movement; and Threnody, his best-known work composed of fourteen large panels lamenting the dead of both sides sides in Vietnam, commissioned by the Neuberger Museum of Art.
Scope and Content Note:
The Cleve Gray papers, 1933-2005, measure 9.2 linear feet. Papers include biographical material, alphabetical files, writings, artwork, audio/visual records, artifacts, printed material, and photographs. Extensive alphabetical files contain personal and professional correspondence as well as subject files relating to projects and interests. Especially well-documented are: Gray's involvement with the Vietnam movement; and Threnody, his best-known work composed of fourteen large panels lamenting the dead of both sides sides in Vietnam, commissioned by the Neuberger Museum of Art.

Among the biographical material are award and membership certificates, biographical notes, and personal documentation.

The alphabetical files contain Cleve Gray's personal and professional correspondence, as well as subject files relating to projects and interests. Correspondence is with friends and family, colleagues, publishers, museum curators and directors, art dealers, collectors, and fans. Among the correspondents of note are: Jacques Barzun, James E. Davis, Naum Gabo, Louise N. Grace, Hans and Fridel Richter, and Jacques and Gaby Villon. Other substantial correspondence includes: Berry-Hill Galleries, Betty Parsons Gallery, Connecticut Commission on the Arts, Jacques Seligmann and Co., Neuberger Museum of Art, Pratt Institute, Princeton University, and Rhode Island School of Design. Subject files mostly consist of correspondence, but include printed material and some photographs. Among the subject files are: Art Collection of Cleve and Francine Gray, Artist-Dealer Consignments and Visual Artists' Rights Act of 1989, Artists' Tax Equity Act of 1979, Promised Gifts to Museums, Threnody, Vestments, and Vietnam Protest. Of particular interest are files relating to the Estate of Hans Richter (Cleve Gray, executor), and Gray's research correspondence and illustrations for his Cosmopolitan article "Women-Leaders of Modern Art."

Writings are manuscripts and drafts, research materials, notes, and miscellaneous writings by Cleve Gray and other authors. Those by Gray include articles and catalog introductions on a wide range of art-related topics, as well as book and exhibition reviews. Also found are a book proposal, texts and notes for lectures and talks, miscellaneous notes, poems, political statements, and student papers. Of particular interest are autobiographical notes in the form of a chronology that his biographer, Nicholas Fox Weber, cited as an "autochronology."

Among the writings by other authors are pieces about Cleve Gray including Nicholas Fox Weber's manuscript Cleve Gray. A significant amount of material relates to three books edited by Gray: David Smith by David Smith: Sculpture and Writings, Hans Richter, and John Marin. Research material survives for an unpublished volume, Naum Gabo. Also included are notes relating to his translation of A l'Infinitif by Marcel Duchamp. Jane Daggett Dillenberger is represented by a lecture, "The Resurrection in Art." The remaining items by other authors are unsigned; of particular interest is a small notebook of reminiscences and notes about Jackson Pollock.

Artwork by Cleve Gray consists mostly drawings and sketches, and a small number of paintings, prints, and watercolors. Works by other artists consist are an unsigned mobile of paper cut-outs, possibly by Alexander Calder, and a pencil drawing signed Dick (probably Richard Avedon).

Audio recordings are a radio broadcast featuring Cleve Gray, several lectures by Gray on John Marin, and a lecture titled "Meaning in the Visual Arts." Other recordings are of Hans Richter and an interview with Jimmy Ernst conducted by Francine du Plessix Gray. Also found is a videocassette of "Glenville School Students at SUNY (Lincoln Center Activity)."

Artifacts are a Chinese scroll representative of those that hung in Cleve Gray's studio, two of his paintbrushes, Aberdeen-Angus Breeders' Association blue ribbon, and Neuberger Museum of Art Lifetime Achievement Award.

The vast majority of printed material - articles, clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, reproductions of art work, etc. - are about or by Cleve Gray. Miscellaneous items and publications mentioning Gray consist of annual reports, brochures, calendars, newsletters, programs, etc. Clippings about Vietnam and Vietnam protest memorabilia reflect his passionate involvement in the anti-war movement; a small number of these items mention Gray or were written by him.

Photographs are of artwork, events, people, places, and miscellaneous subjects. Most of the art work appearing in the photographs is by Cleve Gray and includes images of destroyed paintings. Also found is an original print of Photo Abstraction by Gray, circa 1934. Of particular note are photographs of Threnody, among them preparatory drawings and views of the work in progress. Photographs of artwork by other artists include Louise N. Grace, Jacques Lipchitz, John Marin, Hans Richter, and Jacques Villon.

Photographs of people are mainly portraits of Gray, and views of him with his wife and sons. Other individuals appearing in photographs are Hans Richter and some of Richter's descendants. Pictures of places consist of Gray's studio.

Events are an unidentified exhibition opening. Miscellaneous subjects are mostly exhibition installations. Illustrations consist of photographs published in David Smith by David Smith: Sculpture and Writings. Also found are small number of negatives and color transparencies.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into 8 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1943-circa 2001 (Box 1; 0.1 linear ft.)

Series 2: Alphabetical Files, 1936-2005 (Boxes 1-5, 9; 4.3 linear ft.)

Series 3: Writings, 1935-2000 (Boxes 5-6; 0.85 linear ft.)

Series 4: Artwork, circa 1933-1987 (Boxes 6, 9, OV 12; 0.45 linear ft.)

Series 5: Audio/Visual Records, 1971-1989 (Box 6; 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 6: Artifacts, 1957-1999 (Box 6, RD 11; 0.45 linear ft.)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1933-2005 (Boxes 7-8; 1.25 linear ft.)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1934-2002 (Boxes 8-10; 1.15 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Abstract Expressionist painter, sculptor, and writer Cleve Gray (1918-2004) lived and worked in Connecticut where he was politically active in the Vietnam protest movement and other liberal causes.

Born Cleve Ginsberg in New York City (the family changed its name to Gray in 1936), he attended the Ethical Culture School and at a young age developed a fascination with color and paint. At the urging of friends, Cleve's parents allowed him to accompany a school friend for lessons with George Bellows' student Antonia Nell. She encouraged and inspired the young artist, and a still life he painted in her class was shown at the National Academy of Design's 1932 annual exhibition. Miss Nell also introduced him to Louise N. Grace, an artist who became a good friend and had a lasting influence on him. While a student at Phillips Academy, Cleve studied painting with Bartlett Hayes and aspired to paint in France. Upon his graduation in 1936, he was awarded the Samuel F. B. Morse Prize for most promising art student.

Gray's mother was always supportive of his career choice. His businessman father, who didn't understand his son's desire to be an artist, insisted on a college education. Cleve chose Princeton, where he majored in art and archaeology, and studied painting with James E. Davis. His senior thesis was on Chinese landscape painting; both Eastern philosophy and art were long-term influences on Gray's work and outlook. He graduated summa cum laude in 1940, and then spent several months painting while living at the farm of a family friend in Mendham, New Jersey.

When a doctor suggeted that a dry climate might relieve sinus and asthma problems, Gray moved to Tucson, Arizona. Once settled in the desert, he contacted Louise N. Grace, whom he had met as a young teenager through his art instructor. Miss Grace, an artist and daughter of the founder of W. R. Grace and Co., was a highly cultured and independent woman older than his parents. The summer before Gray entered Phillips Academy, she had hired him to brush ground color onto canvases for murals she was painting for "Eleven Arches," her home in Tuscon then under construction. Miss Grace invited Gray to visit "Eleven Arches" to see the completed murals, and despite the substantial age difference, their friendship deepened; Gray found in her intellectual and spiritual guidance that was lacking in his own family. He remained in Tucson until enlisting in the U. S. Army in 1942, and they corresponded frequently during the the war. When a stroke in 1948 prevented Miss Grace from participating in the extensive tour of Europe she was arranging for a small group of friends, including Gray, she provided sufficient funds and insisted he make the trip on his own. Another stroke, suffered while Gray was traveling, left her in a coma; he was not permitted to see her again. Upon her death in 1954, Gray inherited "Eleven Arches."

Between 1943 and 1946, Gray was stationed in England, France, and Germany, serving in Army Signal Intelligence. Most of his work was performed at night, and he spent his free time drawing. While in London, Gray produced many colored pencil drawings of buildings that had been bombed. In France, a Red Cross volunteered to introduce him to Jacques Villon; although unfamiliar with the artist, Gray knew of Villon's brother, Marcel Duchamp, and accepted the invitation. Jacques and Gaby Villon lived near Gray's billet and he became a frequent visitor. Their friendship was important to his development as an artist. After being discharged from the Army in 1946, Gray remained in France to work with Villon who introduced him to the study of color and the concept of intellectual quality in painting. Gray also studied informally with André Lhote, Villon's former teacher. "American Painters in Paris," an exhibition presented in 1946 at Galerie Durand-Ruel, included work by Cleve Gray.

He returned to New York City in 1946. In the tight post-war rental market Gray managed to find a small room upstairs from a grocery store on East 106th Street for use as a studio. He commenced painting the London Ruins series based on drawings he had made during the war, and began thinking about exhibiting in New York. Gray secured introductions to Pierre Matisse, Curt Valentin, and Dorothy Miller. They encouraged him, but no opportunities came his way until Germain Seligmann, whose gallery was expanding its scope to include contemporary art, followed the advice of Curt Valentin and looked at Gray's work. Gary's first solo exhibition, held at Jacques Seligmann and Co., included selections from the London Ruins series, paintings done in Maine and Arizona, and a few portraits. The New York Times called it "an auspicious first," and one of the London Ruins series was selected by Edward Alden Jewell for the "Critic's Exhibition" at Grand Central Gallery.

Gray found New York City too frenetic. In 1949 he bought a large, old house in Warren, Connecticut, and lived and worked at "Graystones" for the remainder of his life. Half of a 6-car garage was converted to a studio; many years later, his studio moved to a barn, its renovation and design planned by sculptor and architect Tony Smith.

He married Francine du Plessix in 1957. Always interested in literature and philosophy, in the 1960s Francine du Plessix Gray began contributing articles to The New Yorker and is still affiliated with the magazine. Her reviews and articles appeared in prominent publications, and she wrote several award-winning novels and biographies. Their sons, Thaddeus and Luke (now a painter), were born in 1959 and 1961. Francine's mother, Tatiana du Plessix (the hat designer Tatiana of Saks), and step-father, the sculptor Alexander Liberman (also former art director of Vogue and later editorial director of Condé Nast publications) became Cleve Gray's closest friends.

The paintings and drawings of Cleve Gray - first consisting of figures and portraits, and then abstract compositions - were often produced in series. The earliest series, London Ruins, grew from the colored pencil drawings made while stationed in London during World War II. Travels to France, Italy, Greece, Morocco, Hawaii, Spain, Egypt, Japan, and Czechoslovakia, inspired many series, among them: Etruscan, Augury, Ceres, Demeter Landscape, Hera, Morocco, Hawaii, Ramses, Perne, Hatshepsut, Roman Walls, Zen, and Prague. His hometown, the Holocaust, and musicians inspired other series: Warren, Sleepers Awake!, Bela Bartok, and Four Heads of Anton Bruckner. Some series were works on paper, others were collage canvases, and a few series later spawned prints. Gray began using acrylics in the 1940s. Although the medium offered many benefits, he did not always like its appearance and frequently returned to oils. Around 1966 Gray was painting almost exclusively with acrylic, and eventually developed a technique of thinning the paint and applying successive layers of color (sometimes by pouring or with a sponge) on cotton duck rather than traditional canvas.

Gray was attracted to sculpture, too, working in that medium at different points in his career. His first sculpture, in plaster, was completed in 1959. In the early 1960s he visited a commercial sand-casting foundry and became excited about learning to cast in bronze. He made about a dozen sculptures to cast in sand, but due to too much undercutting, their casting became too difficult a problem. Lava flows seen while in Hawaii during 1970 and 1971 inspired a return to sculpture. This time, he used wood, papier maché, and metal. Gray then decided these pieces should be cast in bronze, and he was determined to do it himself. Friends taught him the lost wax process and he began working at the Tallix Foundry in Peekskill, New York where, over the next year, he cast about forty bronzes.

Gray's best known work is Threnody, a lament for the dead of both sides in Vietnam. In 1972, Gray received a commission to fill a very large gallery of the soon-to-open Neuberger Museum of Art (State University of New York, College at Purchase) designed by Philip Johnson. Friends of the Neuberger Museum paid his expenses and Gray, who was enormously excited about the project he considered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, donated his time. Developing plans for the execution of Threnody consumed most of his time during 1972 and 1973. Composed of a series of fourteen panels, each approximately twenty feet square, the piece presented a number of technical challenges. It was constructed and painted in situ during the summer and early fall of 1973. Since then, Threnody has been reinstalled at the Neuberger Museum of Art on several occasions.

Gray was commissioned to design liturgical vestments for two Episcopal churches in Connecticut in the 1970s. A chasuble, stoles, and a mitre were commissioned by the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut in 1984.

He won the "Outdoor Art at the Station Competition," for Union Station, Hartford, Connecticut. His very large porcelain enamel tile mural, Movement in Space, was installed on the façade of the transportation center in 1988.

Gray began writing occasional articles and exhibition reviews in the late 1940s. His concern with rational structure in art led him to question Abstract Expressionism and write "Narcissus in Chaos." This article, published in 1959 by The American Scholar, drew considerable attention. In 1960, Cosmopolitan published "Women - Leaders of Modern Art" that featured Nell Blaine, Joan Brown, Elaine de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Sonia Gretchoff, Grace Hartigan, Ethel Magafan, Louise Nevelson, and Georgia O'Keeffe. Between 1960 and 1970, Gray was a contributing editor of Art In America, producing numerous articles (a few co-authored with Francine) and reviews for the periodical. He edited three books, David Smith by David Smith: Scupture and Writings, Hans Richter, and John Marin, all published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, and translated Marcel Duchamp's A l'Infinitif.

During the early 1960s, Gray became intensely focused on the situation in Vietnam. His first artistic response came in 1963 with Reverend Quan Duc, painted to commemorate a Buddhist monk who had immolated himself. Francine, too, felt strongly about the issue and over time the couple became increasingly active in the anti-war movement. They joined a number of organizations and helped to found a local chapter of Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. The years 1968 and 1969 were an especially intense and active period for the Grays. They protested, wrote and spoke out against the war, raised funds to support anti-war political candidates, and on a few occasions were arrested and jailed. Writing for Art in America, editing the book series, and anti-war activities left little time for his art. In 1970 Gray refocused his attention on painting.

Beginning in 1947, Gray was always represented by a New York Gallery: Jacques Seligmann and Co. (1947-1959), Staempfli Gallery (1960-1965), Saidenberg Gallery (1965-1968), Betty Parsons Gallery (1968-1983), Armstrong Gallery (1984-1987), and Berry-Hill Galleries (1988-2003). He was represented by galleries in other cities, as well, but not as consistently or for such long periods.

He exhibited extensively in group and solo exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally. In addition to numerous solo exhibitions presented by the dealers who represented Gray, there were retrospective exhibitions at: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Brooklyn Museum, Columbus Museum of Art, Krannert Art Museum (University of Illinois, Champaign), Princeton University Art Museum, Rhode Island School of Design, and Wadsworth Atheneum.

Many museums' permanent collections include the work of Cleve Gray, among them: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Butler Institute of American Art, Columbus Museum of Art, Neuberger Museum of Art (SUNY, College at Purchase), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Newark Museum, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Phillips Collection, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery (University of Nebraska, Lincoln), Smithsonian Institution, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Yale University Art Gallery.

Cleve Gray served as artist-in-residence at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art in 1963 and at the Honolulu Academy of Arts in 1970, both sponsored by Ford Foundation programs. In 1980, he was appointed an artist-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome, where Francine concurrently served as a writer-in-residence; they returned for shorter periods during each of the subsequent seven years. Cleve Gray was presented the Connecticut Arts Award in 1987, and the Neuberger Museum of Art Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999. He was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Hartford in 1992, and was elected a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1998. In addition, he was a trustee of the Neuberger Museum of Art, New York Studio School, Rhode Island School of Design, and Wadsworth Atheneum.

Cleve Gray hit his head and suffered a massive subdural hematoma after falling on ice outside of his home. He died the following day, December 8, 2004.
Separated Material:
Exhibition catalogs and announcements and two scrapbooks donated to the Archives in 1967 and 1968 were microfilmed on reels D314-D315. Items on reel D315, transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum Library in 1975, are not described in this finding aid.
Provenance:
The Cleve Gray papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Mr. Gray in 1967 and 1968. The bulk of the collection was given by his widow, Francine du Plessix Gray, in 2007 and 2008.
Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordigs with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning 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 -- Connecticut  Search this
Painters -- Connecticut  Search this
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975 -- Protest Movements -- United States  Search this
Designers  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Women sculptors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Poems
Articles
Photographs
Reviews (documents)
Notes
Illustrations
Notebooks
Sketches
Drafts (documents)
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Manuscripts
Paintings
Prints
Watercolors
Drawings
Lectures
Citation:
Cleve Gray papers, 1933-2005. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.grayclev
See more items in:
Cleve Gray papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-grayclev
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Margaret Scolari Barr relating to Alfred H. Barr, 1974 February 22-May 13

Interviewee:
Barr, Margaret Scolari, 1901-1987  Search this
Barr, Margaret Scolari, 1901-1987  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul, 1933-1997  Search this
Subject:
Barr, Alfred H., Jr.  Search this
Clark, Stephen C. (Stephen Carlton)  Search this
D'Harnoncourt, Rene  Search this
Hitchcock, Henry-Russell  Search this
Johnson, Philip  Search this
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich)  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Women art historians  Search this
Women educators  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Theme:
Women  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13250
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211963
AAA_collcode_barr74
Theme:
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_211963
Online Media:

Dore Ashton papers, circa 1928-2014

Creator:
Ashton, Dore, 1928-2017  Search this
Ashton, Dore, 1928-2017  Search this
Subject:
Adley, James  Search this
Adams, Pat  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Albee, Edward  Search this
Hiss, Alger  Search this
Howes, Barbara  Search this
Guston, Philip  Search this
Hellman, Lillian  Search this
Lindner, Richard  Search this
Malamud, Bernard  Search this
Kaprow, Allan  Search this
Licht, Fred  Search this
Moy, Seong  Search this
Mumford, Lewis  Search this
Miró, Joan  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Vasilikos, Vasilēs  Search this
Yunkers, Adja  Search this
Reuterswärd, Carl Fredrik  Search this
Sterne, Hedda  Search this
Tinguely, Jean  Search this
Borges, Jacopo Luis  Search this
Congdon, Dennis  Search this
Herbert, George  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes  Search this
Giacometti, Alberto  Search this
Guidieri, Remo  Search this
Diebenkorn, Richard  Search this
Driskell, David C.  Search this
Berthot, Jake  Search this
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Arnheim, Rudolf  Search this
Avedon, Richard  Search this
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art  Search this
New School for Social Research (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Yale University  Search this
Type:
Diaries
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Transcripts
Topic:
Women art critics  Search this
Women art historians  Search this
Women authors  Search this
Women educators  Search this
Art criticism  Search this
Art, Modern  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Artists -- United States  Search this
Theme:
Women  Search this
Art Theory and Historiography  Search this
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)5858
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)208698
AAA_collcode_ashtdore
Theme:
Women
Art Theory and Historiography
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_208698
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Margaret Scolari Barr relating to Alfred H. Barr

Interviewee:
Barr, Margaret Scolari, 1901-1987  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Names:
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Clark, Stephen C. (Stephen Carlton), b. 1882  Search this
D'Harnoncourt, Rene, 1901-1968  Search this
Hitchcock, Henry-Russell, 1903-1987  Search this
Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005  Search this
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich), 1908-1979  Search this
Extent:
69 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1974 February 22-May 13
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Margaret Scolari Barr conducted 1974 February 22-1974 May 13, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
The interview primarily concerns her husband, Alfred Hamilton Barr, Jr., the director of the Museum of Modern Art, but also touches upon her childhood in Italy, her educational background, and teaching at Vassar. She discusses her husband's career with the Museum of Modern Art, including his travel and entertaining for the museum, borrowing works of art, installing exhibitions, his work methods and published writings, the Rescue Committee for European Artists in World War II, and the 1958 fire at the Museum of Modern Art. She describes Alfred Barr's firing from the Museum of Modern Art in 1943. She recalls Steven Clark, Rene D'Harnoncourt, Henry Russell Hitchcock, Philip Cortelyou Johnson, Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Margaret Scolari Barr (1901-1987) was married to Alfred Barr, the director of the Museum of Modern Art and lived in New York. Mrs. Barr taught at Vassar (Italian) and the Spence School (art history), wrote several books, and translated others. She worked closely with her husband, on numerous of his projects.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 46 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics, and others.
Occupation:
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art museum directors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Women art historians  Search this
Women educators  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.barr74
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-barr74

Dore Ashton papers

Creator:
Ashton, Dore  Search this
Names:
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art -- Faculty  Search this
New School for Social Research (New York, N.Y.) -- Faculty  Search this
Yale University -- Faculty  Search this
Adams, Pat, 1928-  Search this
Adley, James, 1931-  Search this
Albee, Edward, 1928-  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Arnheim, Rudolf  Search this
Avedon, Richard  Search this
Berthot, Jake, 1939-  Search this
Borges, Jacopo Luis  Search this
Congdon, Dennis  Search this
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Diebenkorn, Richard, 1922-1993  Search this
Driskell, David C.  Search this
Giacometti, Alberto, 1901-1966  Search this
Guidieri, Remo  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Hellman, Lillian, 1905-1984  Search this
Herbert, George  Search this
Hiss, Alger  Search this
Howes, Barbara  Search this
Kaprow, Allan  Search this
Licht, Fred, 1928-  Search this
Lindner, Richard, 1901-  Search this
Malamud, Bernard  Search this
Miró, Joan, 1893-  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Moy, Seong  Search this
Mumford, Lewis, 1895-1990  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Reuterswärd, Carl Fredrik, 1934-  Search this
Sterne, Hedda, 1910-  Search this
Tinguely, Jean, 1925-  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Vasilikos, Vasilēs, 1934-  Search this
Yunkers, Adja, 1900-1983  Search this
Extent:
35.6 Linear feet
35.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Diaries
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Transcripts
Date:
circa 1928-2014
1849
circa 1928-2014
1849
Summary:
The papers of Dore Ashton measure 35.6 linear feet and date from circa 1928-2014, with one letter in the Joseph Cornell subject file dating from 1849. The records document Dore Ashton's career as an art critic, historian and educator, with particular depth for the period of 1952 through 1990. The collection contains a small amount of biographical material, as well as correspondence, writings, subject files, printed materials, artwork, and reference photographs of artworks. An addition to the Dore Ashton papers includes biographical material, correspondence, writings, writing project and subject files, teaching files, printed material, artwork and sketchbooks, and photographic material.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Dore Ashton measure 35.6 linear feet and date from circa 1928-2014, with one letter in the Joseph Cornell subject file dating from 1849. The records document Dore Ashton's career as an art critic, historian and educator, with particular depth for the period of 1952 through 1990. The collection contains a small amount of biographical material, as well as correspondence, writings, subject files, printed materials, artwork, and reference photographs of artworks. An addition to the Dore Ashton papers includes biographical material, correspondence, writings, writing project and subject files, teaching files, printed material, artwork and sketchbooks, and photographic material.

The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence with many artists, writers and others, including Pat Adams, James Adley, Rudolf Arnheim, Jake Berthot, Dennis Congdon, George Herbert, Remo Guidieri, Barbara Howes, Fred Licht, Joan Punyet Miro, Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd, and Hedda Sterne, among others. Smaller amounts of letters are from Joseph Albers, Edward Albee, Richard Avedon, Richard Diebenkorn, David Driskell, Alberto Giacometti, Philip Guston, Lillian Hellman, Alger Hiss, Bernard Malamud, Joan Miro, Robert Motherwell, Lewis Mumford, Claes Oldenburg, and Vassilis Vassilikos.

Writings consist of transcripts of miscellaneous articles or those written for various publications. Research files include reference or research materials for books, exhibitions, individuals and various topics. Individuals and topics include Jacopo Luis Borges, Allan Kaprow, Richard Lindner, Seong Moy, Jean Tinguely, Mark Tobey, Jack Tworkov, Adja Yunkers; and Dadaism, poetry and symbolism.

The addition to the Dore Ashton papers (Series 8) includes biographical material, correspondence, writings, writing project and subject files, teaching files, printed material, artwork and sketchbooks, and photographic material. Writings make up a significant part of the addition and contain hundreds of manuscripts, as well as lectures, notes, sixty notebooks, ten diaries, and writings by others. Writing project and subject files comprise over half of the addition and encompass a large collection of alphabetical files pertaining to artists, actors, writers, thinkers, and collaborators; work projects including writings, exhibitions, panels, symposia, and lecture series; as well as various other subjects and topics. The addition also contains teaching files related to Ashton's positions at the Cooper Union, the New School for Social Research, and Yale University. The photographic material in this series is also abundant and contains hundreds of original photographs of Ashton throughout all stages of her life, many with friends and family.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 8 series.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1962-1978

Series 2: Correspondence, 1945-2010, undated

Series 3: Writings, 1952-1976, undated

Series 4: Research files, 1849, 1950-1984, 2009, undated

Series 5: Printed Materials, 1931-1981, undated

Series 6: Artwork, 1949, 1952, 1983, undated

Series 7: Photographs of Artwork, circa 1950-2010

Series 8: Addition to the Dore Ashton Papers, circa 1928-2013
Biographical / Historical:
Dore Ashton (1928-) is an art critic, author, and educator living in New York City. She wrote, contributed , and edited more than 30 books. Ashton was born in Newark New Jersey in 1928 and received an MA from Harvard University in 1950. Her many books and articles focus on late 19th and 20th century art and artists. Ashton was associate editor at Art Digest from 1952-1954, and critic for Arts and Architecture at the New York Times, 1955-1960. Starting in 1962 she held several lecturing posts at various institutions including the School of Visual Arts, Cooper Union, and the New School for Social Research. She was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship in 1964 and a National Endowment for the Humanities grant in 1980. Among Ashton's books are Abstract Art Before Columbus, 1956; Poets and the Past, 1959; A Joseph Cornell Album, 1974; Yes, But…A Critical Study of Philip Guston, 1976, About Rothko, 1983; The New York School: a Cultural Reckoning, 1973; Noguchi East and West, 1992; and David Rankin: The New York Years, 2013. Dore Ashton was the first critic to develop a comprehensive and eye-witness account of the history of the Abstract Expressions.

Ashton married artist Adja Yunkers (1900-1983) in 1953, and they had two daughters Alexandra (known as Sasha) and Marina. In 1985 she married writer Matti Megged (1923-2003).
Related Materials:
Among the holdings of the Archives is an oral history interview with Dore Ashton conducted November 21, 2010 by George W. Sampson, for the Archives of American Art's Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project.

Dore Ashton papers are also located at Emory University Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library.
Provenance:
The Dore Ashton papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Dore Ashton May 27, 1982, May 8, 1997, June 2, 2011, and March, 25, 2016.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Women art critics  Search this
Women art historians  Search this
Women authors  Search this
Women educators  Search this
Art criticism  Search this
Art, Modern  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Artists -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Transcripts
Citation:
Dore Ashton papers, 1849, circa 1928-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.ashtdore
See more items in:
Dore Ashton papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-ashtdore
Online Media:

Paul and Nelli Bar Wieghardt papers, 1925-1987

Creator:
Wieghardt, Paul, 1897-1969  Search this
Wieghardt, Nelli Bar, 1904-2001  Search this
Wieghardt, Paul, 1897-1969  Search this
Subject:
Bosworth, Francis  Search this
Art Institute of Chicago. School  Search this
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Refugees  Search this
Theme:
American Art and Artists in a Global Context  Search this
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10131
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213038
AAA_collcode_wiegpaul
Theme:
American Art and Artists in a Global Context
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_213038

Paul and Nelli Bar Wieghardt papers

Creator:
Wieghardt, Paul, 1897-1969  Search this
Wieghardt, Nelli Bar, 1904-2001  Search this
Names:
Art Institute of Chicago. School  Search this
Bosworth, Francis  Search this
Extent:
1.5 Linear feet ((on 2 microfilm reels))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1925-1987
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence, mostly from Nelli Bar Wieghardt to Francis Bosworth relating to the Wieghardt's years as refugees and their attempt to settle in the United States; notebooks on art history and class materials compiled by Paul Wieghardt; biographical records; clippings which include early reviews from German and French papers; photographs of Paul Wieghardt teaching, installation views and of Paul and Nelli Bar Wieghardt's art work.
Biographical / Historical:
Paul Wieghardt (1897-1969) was a painter and sculptor in Chicago, Ill. and Philadelphia, Pa. Paul was a painter and his wife Nelli Bar was a sculptor. They taught at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Evanston Art Center.
Provenance:
Microfilmed in 1987 as part of AAA's Philadelphia Arts Documentation Project. Lent for microfilming by Nelli Bar Wieghardt.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Sculptors -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Painters -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Sculptors -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Painters -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Refugees  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.wiegpaul
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-wiegpaul

Oral history interview with Tony Vevers, 1998 July 9-August 25

Interviewee:
Vevers, Tony, 1926-2008  Search this
Vevers, Tony, 1926-2008  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F  Search this
Subject:
Avery, Milton  Search this
Blagden, Tom  Search this
Calcagno, Lawrence  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph  Search this
Halvorsen, Elspeth  Search this
Hartung, Hans  Search this
Hofmann, Hans  Search this
Keller, Deane  Search this
Kline, Franz  Search this
Levine, Jack  Search this
Lippold, Richard  Search this
Nevelson, Louise  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes  Search this
Pace, Stephen  Search this
Picasso, Pablo  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred  Search this
Vieira da Silva, 1908-  Search this
Weber, Max  Search this
Zallinger, Rudolph F.  Search this
City Center Gallery  Search this
Hans Hofmann School (New York, New York)  Search this
Operation Pied Piper  Search this
United States  Search this
Yale University  Search this
United States. Army  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
Provincetown (Mass.)
Topic:
Art, French -- 20th century  Search this
Art, Italian -- 20th century  Search this
Art, Modern  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- Italy  Search this
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Provincetown -- Interviews  Search this
Poverty  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- United States  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12251
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216378
AAA_collcode_vevers98
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_216378
Online Media:

William Innes Homer papers, 1938-1980

Creator:
Homer, William Innes, 1929-  Search this
University of Delaware. Dept. of Art History  Search this
Homer, William Innes, 1929-  Search this
Subject:
Walters, Carl  Search this
Eakins, Thomas  Search this
Seurat, Georges  Search this
Smith, David  Search this
Adams, Ansel  Search this
Benton, Thomas Hart  Search this
Macdonald-Wright, Stanton  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Art, American -- Exhibitions  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States -- Exhibitions  Search this
Avant-garde (Aesthetics)  Search this
Theme:
Art Theory and Historiography  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7837
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)210004
AAA_collcode_homewill
Theme:
Art Theory and Historiography
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_210004

Oral history interview with Frederick J. Dockstader

Interviewee:
Dockstader, Frederick J.  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Extent:
60 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
1970 June 16-July 2
Scope and Contents:
Interview of Frederick J. Dockstader conducted 1970 June 16-July 2, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
Biographical / Historical:
Frederick J. Dockstader (1919-1998) was an art consultant, museum director, and silversmith from New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 51 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Museum directors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Silversmiths -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.dockst70
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-dockst70

John Wanamaker department store art gallery records

Creator:
John Wanamaker (Firm)  Search this
Names:
Bartlett, Paul Wayland, 1865-1925  Search this
Cooper, Colin Campbell, Jr  Search this
Munkácsy, Mihály, 1844-1900  Search this
Wanamaker, John, 1838-1922  Search this
Wanamaker, Rodman, 1863-1928  Search this
Extent:
2 Microfilm reels
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Microfilm reels
Date:
[ca. 1908]-1941
Scope and Contents:
Records documenting John Wanamaker's import of French painting from Parisian salons and artists to sell in his store, to keep for his private collection and to keep for his store collection. Also included is a photograph album of Rodman Wanamaker's silver collection. Included are: correspondence; customs papers; purchase and sale records; preview invitiations; inventories of works purchased for the store's collection; inventories of Wanamaker's private collection; artist files containing lists of Colin Campbell Cooper's works, photographs and clippings relating to Paul W. Bartlett's paintings, autographed photographs of Frederick Frieseke's painting, and files on Mihaly Munkacsy and Pierre Fritel. Total: 1.5 linear feet.
Biographical / Historical:
Department store; Philadelphia, Pa. Founded 1861. Opened an art gallery in 1881. The art gallery is now defunct.
Provenance:
Microfilmed in 1986 as part of AAA's Philadelphia Arts Documentation Project. Subquently donated to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Art, Modern -- French -- 20th century -- History  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- Pennsylvania
Department stores -- Pennsylvania
Identifier:
AAA.johnwana
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-johnwana

Rockwell Kent papers

Creator:
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971  Search this
Names:
American Artists' Congress  Search this
Artists League of America  Search this
Artists' Union (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Citizens' Committee for Government Arts Projects  Search this
Farmers Union of the New York Milk Shed  Search this
Federal Art Project  Search this
Federal Writers' Project  Search this
International Workers Order  Search this
Macbeth Gallery  Search this
National Farmers' Union (U.S.)  Search this
National Maritime Union of America  Search this
United American Artists  Search this
United Office and Professional Workers of America  Search this
United Scenic Artists  Search this
Boyesen, Bayard  Search this
Chamberlain, J. E.  Search this
Chase, William Merritt, 1849-1916  Search this
Cleland, T. M. (Thomas Maitland), 1880-1964  Search this
Daniel, Charles, 1878-1971  Search this
Davies, Arthur B. (Arthur Bowen), 1862-1928  Search this
DuBois, W.E.B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963  Search this
Fitzgerald, James, 1899-1971  Search this
Freuchen, Peter, 1886-1957  Search this
Gellert, Hugo, 1892-1985  Search this
Gottlieb, Harry, 1895-  Search this
Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943  Search this
Hays, Lee, 1914-1981  Search this
Henri, Robert, 1865-1929  Search this
Jones, Dan Burne  Search this
Keller, Charles, 1914-2006  Search this
Miller, Kenneth Hayes, 1876-1952  Search this
Nearing, Helen  Search this
Nearing, Scott, 1883-1983  Search this
Pach, Walter, 1883-1958  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Rasmussen, Knud, 1879-1933  Search this
Reeves, Ruth, 1892-1966  Search this
Robeson, Paul, 1898-1976  Search this
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945  Search this
Ruggles, Carl, 1876-1971  Search this
Seeger, Pete, 1919-2014  Search this
Stefansson, Vilhjalmur, 1879-1962  Search this
Untermeyer, Louis, 1885-1977  Search this
Wildenstein, Felix, 1883-1952  Search this
Zigrosser, Carl, 1891-  Search this
Extent:
88 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Poems
Sketches
Business records
Photographs
Drawings
Date:
circa 1840-1993
bulk 1935-1961
Summary:
The Rockwell Kent papers measure 88.0 linear feet and date from circa 1840 to 1993 with the bulk of the collection dating from 1935 to 1961. The collection provides comprehensive coverage of Kent's career as a painter, illustrator, designer, writer, lecturer, traveler, political activist, and dairy farmer.
Scope and Content Note:
The Rockwell Kent papers measure 88 linear feet and date from circa 1840 to 1993 with the bulk of the collection dating from 1935 to 1961. The collection provides comprehensive coverage of Kent's career as a painter, illustrator, designer, writer, lecturer, traveler, political activist, and dairy farmer.

Circumstances surrounding the acquisition of the papers are highlighted in an article by Garnett McCoy ("The Rockwell Kent Papers," in the Archives of American Art Journal, 12, no. 1 [January 1972]: 1-9), recommended reading for researchers interested in the collection. The collection is remarkably complete, for in the mid 1920s Kent began keeping carbon copies of all outgoing letters, eventually employing a secretary (who became his third wife and continued her office duties for the remainder of Kent's life).

Series 1: Alphabetical Files contain Kent's personal and professional correspondence, along with business records of the dairy farm and associated enterprises; also included are printed matter on a wide variety of topics and promotional literature relating to organizations and causes of interest to him. Voluminous correspondence with his three wives, five children, and other relatives, as well as with literally hundreds of friends, both lifelong and of brief duration, illuminates Kent's private life and contributes to understanding of his complex character. Among the many correspondents of note are: his art teachers William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri, and Kenneth Hayes Miller; fellow artists Tom Cleland, Arthur B. Davies, James Fitzgerald, Hugo Gellert, Harry Gottleib, Marsden Hartley, Charles Keller, and Ruth Reeves; collectors Duncan Phillips and Dan Burne Jones; critics J. E. Chamberlain and Walter Pach; and dealers Charles Daniel, Felix Wildenstein, and Macbeth Galleries. Kent corresponded with such diverse people as Arctic explorers Peter Freuchen, Knud Rasmussen, and Vilhjalmar Steffanson; composer Carl Ruggles and songwriters Lee Hays and Pete Seeger; civil rights pioneers Paul Robeson and Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois; writers Bayard Boyesen, Scott and Helen Nearing, and Louis Untermeyer; and art historian and print curator Carl Zigrosser.

Kent's interest and involvement in the labor movement are reflected in correspondence with officials and members of a wide variety and large number of unions and related organizations, among them: the Farmers' Educational and Cooperative Union of America, Farmers' Union of the New York Milk Shed, International Workers Order, National Maritime Union, and United Office and Professional Workers of America. Of special interest is his participation, often in leadership roles, in various attempts to organize artists. Files on the American Artists' Congress, Artists League of America, The Artists Union, United American Artists, and United Scenic Artists contain particularly valuable material on the movement.

A supporter of New Deal efforts to aid artists, Kent was actively interested in the various programs and often was critical of their limitations; he advocated continuing federal aid to artists after the Depression abated. The Kent papers include correspondence with the Federal Arts Project, Federal Fine Arts Project, Federal Writers Project, and the War Department, as well as correspondence with the Citizens' Committee for Government Art Projects and President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the subject.

Kent's professional correspondence documents exhibitions, sales, consignments, and reproduction of prints and paintings. He kept meticulous records of his advertising commissions and illustration work. Detailed correspondence with publishers and printers indicates Kent's involvement in the technical aspects of production and provides a good overview of the publishing industry during the mid-twentieth century.

Business records of Asgaard Farm include records of the dairy and transfer of ownership to its employees, tax and employee information, and documents concerning several related business ventures such as distributor ships for grain, feed, and farm implements.

Series 2: Writings consists of notes, drafts, and completed manuscripts by Rockwell Kent, mainly articles, statements, speeches, poems, introductions, and reviews. The Kent Collection given to Friendship House, Moscow, in 1960, was augmented later by a set of his publications and the illustrated manuscripts of many of his monographs. Also included are a small number of manuscripts by other authors.

Series 3: Artwork consists mainly of drawings and sketches by Kent; also included are works on paper by other artists, many of whom are unidentified, and by children.

Series 4: Printed Matter consists of clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, brochures, broadsides, programs, and newsletters. These include items by and about Kent and his family, as well as articles written and/or illustrated by him, and reviews of his books. There is also material on a variety of subjects and causes of interest to him. Additional printed matter is included among the alphabetical files, mainly as attachments to correspondence.

Series 5: Miscellaneous includes biographical material, legal documents, and memorabilia. Artifacts received with papers include textile samples, a silk scarf, dinnerware, ice bucket, and rubber stamp, all featuring designs by Rockwell Kent. Also with this series are a variety of documents including a phrenological analysis of an ancestor, lists of supplies for expeditions, a hand-drawn map of an unidentified place, and technical notes regarding art materials and techniques.

Series 6: Photographs includes photographs of Kent, his family and friends, travel, and art number that over one thousand. Also included here are several albums of family and travel photographs.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into six series. Series 1 is arranged alphabetically. The arrangement of the remaining series is explained in each series description. Note that sealed materials that became available in 2000 were microfilmed separately on reels 5740-5741, but have integrated into this finding aid.

Missing Title

Series 1: Alphabetical Files, circa 1900-1971, undated (Reels 5153-5249, 5256, 5740-5741)

Series 2: Writings, 1906-1978, undated (Reels 5249-5252, 5741)

Series 3: Art Work, 1910-1972, undated (Reels 5252, 5741)

Series 4: Printed Matter, 1905-1993, undated (Reels 5252-5254)

Series 5: Miscellaneous, 1859-1969, undated (Reels 5254, 5741)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1840-1970, undated (Reels 5254-5255, 5741)
Biographical Note:
Rockwell Kent (1882-1971), an energetic and multitalented man, pursued many interests and careers during his very long and active life. At various times he was an architect, draftsman, carpenter, unskilled laborer, painter, illustrator, printmaker, commercial artist, designer, traveler/explorer, writer, professional lecturer, dairy farmer, and political activist.

While studying architecture at Columbia University, Kent enrolled in William Merritt Chase's summer school at Shinnecock Hills, Long Island. He then redirected his career ambitions toward painting and continued to study with Chase in New York. Kent spent a summer working and living with Abbott H. Thayer in Dublin, New Hampshire, and attended the New York School of Art, where Robert Henri and Kenneth Hayes Miller were his teachers.

Critically and financially, Kent was a successful artist. He was very well known for his illustration work--particularly limited editions of the classics, bookplates, and Christmas cards. He was a prolific printmaker, and his prints and paintings were acquired by many major museums and private collectors. During the post-World War II era, Kent's political sympathies resulted in the loss of commissions, and his adherence to artistic conservatism and outspoken opposition to modern art led to disfavor within art circles. After many years of declining reputation in this country and unsuccessful attempts to find a home for the Kent Collection, Kent gave his unsold paintings--the majority of his oeuvre--to the Soviet Union, where he continued to be immensely popular.

An avid traveler, Kent was especially fascinated by remote, Arctic lands and often stayed for extended periods of time to paint, write, and become acquainted with the local inhabitants. Between 1918 and 1935, he wrote and illustrated several popular books about his experiences in Alaska, Tierra del Fuego, and Greenland. In the 1930s and 1940s, Kent was much in demand as a lecturer, making several nationwide tours under the management of a professional lecture bureau; he spoke mainly about his travels, but among his standard lectures were some on "art for the people."

In 1927, Kent purchased Asgaard Farm at AuSable Forks, New York, in the Adirondacks, where he lived for the remainder of his life, operating a modern dairy farm on a modest scale for many years.

As a young man, Kent met Rufus Weeks, became committed to social justice, and joined the Socialist Party. Throughout his life, he supported left-wing causes and was a member or officer of many organizations promoting world peace and harmonious relations with the Soviet Union, civil rights, civil liberties, antifascism, and organized labor. Kent was frequently featured as a celebrity sponsor or speaker at fund-raising events for these causes. In 1948, he ran unsuccessfully as the American Labor Party's candidate for Congress. Kent's unpopular political views eventually led to the dissolution of his dairy business, resulted in a summons to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee, and prompted the U.S. State Department to deny him a passport, an action that subsequently was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kent wrote two autobiographies, This Is My Own (1940) and It's Me, O Lord (1955). In 1969, he was the subject of an oral history interview conducted by Paul Cummings for the Archives of American Art.

Missing Title

1882 -- born, Tarrytown, New York

1887 -- death of Rockwell Kent, Sr.

1894-1896 -- attended Cheshire Academy

1895 -- toured Europe with Aunt Jo

1896 -- attended Horace Mann School, New York City

1900-1902 -- studied architecture at Columbia University

1900-1902 -- attended William Merritt Chase's summer school, Shinnecock Hills, Long Island

1903 -- studied with William Merritt Chase, New York City

1904 -- first sale of a painting

1904 -- met Rufus Weeks and attended first Socialist meeting

1905 -- lived and worked with Abbott H. Thayer, Dublin, New Hampshire

1905 -- first painting trip to Monhegan Island, Maine

1907 -- first one-man show, Claussen Galleries, New York City

1908 -- marriage to Kathleen Whiting

1908 -- studied with Robert Henri

1908 -- joined Socialist Party

1909 -- birth of Rockwell, III

1910 -- ran Monhegan Summer School of Art

1910 -- first trip to Newfoundland

1910 -- helped to organize first Independent Exhibition

1911 -- birth of Kathleen

1912 -- moved to Winona, Minnesota

1913 -- birth of Clara

1914 -- settled in Newfoundland

1915 -- deported from Newfoundland

1915 -- birth of Barbara

1917 -- served as full-time organizer and administrator of Independent Exhibition

1918-1919 -- in Alaska with son Rocky

1919 -- purchased Egypt Farm, Arlington, Vermont

1919 -- incorporated self

1920 -- publication of Wilderness

1920 -- birth of Gordon

1922 -- traveled to Tierra del Fuego

1924 -- publication of Voyaging

1925 -- trip to France

1925 -- divorced from Kathleen

1926 -- marriage to Frances Lee

1926 -- traveled to Ireland

1927 -- purchased Asgaard Farm, AuSable, New York

1927 -- editor of Creative Art

1927 -- helped organize National Gallery of Contemporary Art, Washington, D.C.

1929 -- sailed to Greenland on Direction

1930 -- publication of N by E

1932-1933 -- returned to Greenland

1934-1935 -- final trip to Greenland

1935 -- publication of Salamina

1936 -- trip to Puerto Rico

1937 -- trip to Brazil

1937-1938 -- Post Office Department mural commission and controversy over Eskimo-language message interpreted as encouraging Puerto Rican independence

1939 -- divorced from Frances

1939 -- General Electric Co. mural commission for New York World's Fair

1940 -- publication of This Is My Own

1940 -- marriage to Shirley Johnstone (Sally)

1942 -- solo exhibition, Know and Defend America, at Wildenstein Galleries, New York City

1946 -- elected to Executive Committee of American Labor Party

1948 -- congressional candidate, American Labor Party

1948 -- transferred ownership of dairy to remaining employees after boycott resulting from support of Wallace for president

1949 -- attended World Congress for Peace, Paris

1950-1958 -- denied U.S. passport; lawsuit, appeals, and Supreme Court decision reinstating right to travel

1953 -- testified before House Un-American Activities Committee

1955 -- publication of It's Me, O Lord

1958 -- one-man show at Hermitage Museum, Leningrad

1959 -- publication of Of Men and Mountains

1960 -- gift of Kent Collection to Friendship House, Moscow

1960 -- exhibition at Pushkin Museum, Moscow

1963 -- publication of Greenland Journal

1966 -- elected to Academy of Arts of the USSR

1967 -- awarded Lenin Peace Prize, Moscow

1969 -- oral history interview, Archives of American Art

1969 -- home at Asgaard destroyed by fire; papers survived with some water and smoke damage

1969 -- first installment of Rockwell Kent Papers donated to Archives of American Art

1971 -- died, Plattsburgh, New York

1971 -- gift of additional Rockwell Kent Papers to Archives of American Art

1979 -- gift of textile samples to the Archives of American Art

1996 -- gift of additional Rockwell Kent Papers to Archives of American Art

2000 -- death of Sally [Shirley Johnstone] Kent Gorton

2000 -- previously sealed correspondence of wives Frances and Sally (Series 1) opened to researchers

2001 -- gift of additional Rockwell Kent papers to the Archives of American Art from the Estate of Sally Kent [Shirley Johnstone] Gorton
Provenance:
In 1969, Rockwell Kent donated his papers to the Archives of American Art; textile samples were received in 1979, and his widow gave additional papers in 1971 and 1996. Letters to Rockwell Kent from wives Frances and Sally, sealed during Sally Kent Gorton's lifetime, became available for research after her death in 2000, and further material was donated to the Archives of American Art in 2001 by the Estate of Sally Kent [Shirley Johnstone] Gorton.
Restrictions:
The microfilm of this collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website. Use of material not microfilmed or digitized requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Topic:
Designers -- New York (State)  Search this
Mural painting and decoration  Search this
Politics and culture  Search this
Authors -- New York  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States -- Political aspects  Search this
Dairy farms  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State)  Search this
Illustration of books  Search this
Works of art  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Civilian relief  Search this
Art and war  Search this
Commercial art  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Art and the war  Search this
Function:
Labor unions
Genre/Form:
Poems
Sketches
Business records
Photographs
Drawings
Citation:
Rockwell Kent papers, circa 1840-1993, bulk 1935-1961. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kentrock
See more items in:
Rockwell Kent papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kentrock
Online Media:

Los Angeles in the forties - the pot of gold symposium sound recordings

Creator:
Fadiman, William  Search this
Haswell, Hal  Search this
Karlstrom, Paul J.  Search this
Kaufmann, Edward  Search this
Leach, Douglas  Search this
Lewitzky, Bella  Search this
McCoy, Esther  Search this
Meyer, Michael, 1940-  Search this
Pell, Iris  Search this
Rosen, Robert, 1940-  Search this
Starr, Kevin  Search this
Stein, Leonard  Search this
Steinberg, Michael, 1928-  Search this
Banham, Reyner  Search this
Barr, Claudia  Search this
Diehl, Digby  Search this
Ehrlich, Susan, 1942-  Search this
Humanities West  Search this
Los Angeles in the 40s (1985 : San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Names:
Humanities West  Search this
Collection Creator:
Archives of American Art  Search this
Extent:
6 Items (sound cassettes)
Container:
Item IM100RC.109
Item IM100RC.109
Item IM100RC.109
Item IM100RC.109
Item IM100RC.109
Item IM100RC.109
Type:
Archival materials
Audio [31027000708376]
Audio [31027000708434]
Audio [31027000708491]
Audio [3102700708202]
Audio [31027000708269]
Audio [31027000708327]
Sound recordings
Place:
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- History
Date:
1985 March 29-31
Scope and Contents:
Recordings of an interdisciplinary conference co-sponsored by Humanities West and the Archives of American Art, held in San Francisco, California, 1985 March 29-31, at the Asian Art Museum. The participants speak about the environment for the arts in Los Angeles during the 1940s. They include: architectural historian Reyner Banham, actor Claudia Barr, columnist Digby Diehl, art historian Susan Ehrlich, writer William Fadiman, actor Hal Haswell, coordinator Paul Karlstrom, professor Edward Kaufmann, actor Douglas Leach, choreographer Bella Lewitzky, architectural historian Esther McCoy, music historian Michael Meyer, dancer Iris Pell, film critic Robert Rosen, historian Kevin Starr, and music historians Leonard Stein and Michael Steinberg.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound cassettes.
Provenance:
Donated 1985 by Humanities West.
Collection Restrictions:
Use requires an appointment.
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Arts -- California -- Los Angeles -- History  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.archiv57, Item AAA
See more items in:
Archives of American Art sound recordings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-archiv57-ref3

The coming of modernism to Chicago, 1910-1940

Creator:
Archives of American Art  Search this
Kruty, Paul Samuel  Search this
Morgan, Ann Lee  Search this
Moser, Charlotte, 1947-  Search this
Platt, Susan Noyes, 1945-  Search this
Prince, Sue Ann  Search this
Weininger, Susan  Search this
Weller, Allen S. (Allen Stuart), 1907-1997  Search this
Brettell, Richard R.  Search this
Engelbrecht, Lloyd C.  Search this
Germer, Stefan  Search this
Harris, Neil, 1938-  Search this
Berman, Avis  Search this
Coming of modernism to Chicago (1988 : Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Collection Creator:
Archives of American Art  Search this
Extent:
6 Items (sound cassettes)
Container:
Item IM100RC.105
Item IM100RC.105
Item IM100RC.105
Item IM100RC.105
Item IM100RC.105
Item IM100RC.105
Type:
Archival materials
Audio [31027000062212]
Audio [31027000062220]
Audio [31027000062238]
Audio [31027000062188]
Audio [31027000062196]
Audio [31027000062204]
Sound recordings
Date:
1988 March
Scope and Contents:
Recordings of a symposium on modernism in Chicago, sponsored by the Archives of American Art. Participants include Neil Harris, Charlotte Moser, Allen Weller, Stefan Germer, Ann Lee Morgan, Susan Platt, Susan Weininger, Paul Kruty, Lloyd Engelbrecht, Avis Berman, Sue Ann Kendall and Richard (Rick) Brettell.
The end of Susan Weininger's talk and the beginning of Paul Kruty's talk are missing due to technical difficulties at the time of recording.
General:
Originally recorded on 6 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 10 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hrs., 54 min.
Funding note:
Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Provenance:
These sound recordings are part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Collection Restrictions:
Use requires an appointment.
Occupation:
Art historians  Search this
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Modernism (Art)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.archiv57, Item AAA
See more items in:
Archives of American Art sound recordings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-archiv57-ref7

Charles Henry Caffin papers

Creator:
Caffin, Charles Henry, 1854-1918  Search this
Names:
Andreyev, Leonid, 1871-1919. Sorrows of Belgium  Search this
Corn, Wanda M.  Search this
Greet, Ben, Sir, 1857-1936  Search this
Kennedy, Charles Rann, 1871- Servant in the house  Search this
Layton, Donna Caffin  Search this
Steichen, Edward, 1879-1973  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Photographer:
Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942  Search this
Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952  Search this
Käsebier, Gertrude, 1852-1934  Search this
Extent:
1.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Date:
circa 1883-1973
bulk 1883-1918
Summary:
The scattered papers of art critic and writer Charles Henry Caffin measure 1.2 linear feet and date from circa 1883-1973, bulk circa 1883-1918. Found within the papers are an interview transcript, two letters, printed materials, one scrapbook, and family photographs dating from circa 1883 to circa 1911, many by noted photographers Arnold Genthe, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Gertrude Käsebier, Edward Steichen, and Alfred Stieglitz. The scrapbook contains Caffin's columns for the New York American, 1913-1915.
Scope and Content Note:
The scattered papers of art critic and writer Charles Henry Caffin measure 1.2 linear feet and date from circa 1883-1973. Found within the papers are an interview transcript, two letters, printed materials, one scrapbook, and family photographs dating from circa 1883 to circa 1911, many by noted photographers Arnold Genthe, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Gertrude Käsebier, Edward Steichen, and Alfred Stieglitz. The scrapbook contains Caffin's columns for the New York American, 1913-1915.

Biographical information includes an autograph book, and a transcript and written summary of a 1973 interview with Caffin's daughter, Donna Layton, conducted by Wanda Corn and Deborah Loft concerning Charles Henry Caffin. The two letters found within the papers are written to Caroline Caffin. Printed material consists of play announcements, a play written by Charles Rann Kennedy, and excerpts from a 1974 published book on photography mentioning Caffin.

Photographs are of the Caffin family, including Charles Henry, Caroline, Donna, Freda and Charles's mother Harlet. Also found are photographs of Ben Greet. Notable photographers include Arnold Genthe, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Gertrude Käsebier, Edward Steichen, and Alfred Stieglitz. There is one scrapbook containing Charles Henry Caffin's articles written for the New York American magazine from 1913-1915.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 5 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Information, 1915, 1973 (Box 1; 2 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1920 (Box 1; 1 folder)

Series 3: Printed Material, 1908, circa 1920, 1973 (Box 1; 3 folders)

Series 4: Photographs, circa 1883-circa 1910s (Box 1, 3-4; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 5: Scrapbooks, 1913-1915 (Box 2; 0.4 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Charles Henry Caffin was born in 1854 in England. After graduating from Oxford University, Caffin served as stage manager for outdoor productions with Ben Greet and His Shakespearean Players. During this time, he met actress Caroline Scurfield, whom he later married and had two daughters, Freda and Donna. Caffin moved to United States in 1892 where he began to write about art, drama, and dance. He was an early supporter of the Photo-Secessionists and American modern art.

Initially, Caffin worked for several years executing murals from designs prepared by other artists for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago and the new Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Shortly thereafter, however, he began writing for Alfred Stieglitz's Camera Notes and later Camera Work. He moved to the New York City area and worked as a critic for the New York Evening Post, New York Sun, and later for the New York American. Caffin wrote many books about art, drama, and dance, including Photography as Fine Art (1901), American Masters of Painting (1902), How to Study Pictures (1905), and Art for Life's Sake (1913).

Charles Caffin died in 1918.
Provenance:
Donna Caffin Layton, daughter of Charles Caffin, donated most of the papers in 1974. Stephen D. Rockstroh, Caffin's son-in-law, donated additional material in 1985.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Photographers  Search this
Theater -- History -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Citation:
Charles Henry Caffin papers, circa 1883-1973, bulk circa 1883-1918. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.caffchar
See more items in:
Charles Henry Caffin papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-caffchar
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