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Oral history interview with Michael Cohen

Interviewee:
Cohen, Michael, 1936-  Search this
Interviewer:
Williams, Gerald, 1926-2014  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts  Search this
Massachusetts College of Art  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Burke, Ron  Search this
Glick, John Parker, 1938-  Search this
Goodwin, Harriet  Search this
Leach, Bernard, 1887-1979  Search this
Merritt, Francis Sumner, 1913-2000  Search this
Sedestrom, Bob  Search this
Voulkos, Peter, 1924-2002  Search this
Wyman, William, 1922-1980  Search this
Extent:
37 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 August 11
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Michael Cohen conducted 2001 August 11, by Gerry Williams, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at his home, in Pelham, Massachusetts.
Cohen speaks of his childhood, living outside of Boston, Massachusetts; his first adventures in art; attending Mass Art; his attraction to clay; his mentors; his first job with Bill Wyman; joining the Army; his travels; his unhappy experience at Cranbrook Academy of Art; his first studio in his mother's basement; enjoying his first summer at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and the other schools of craft; how his pottery is meant to be functional; his fear of dying at 59 and the great sculptural work he did in that year; exhibition shows and how they have changed over the course of his career; why he's moved to primarily making tiles; apprenticeship and the benefits of paying your apprentices; how expensive being in the pottery business has become; various teaching and workshop experiences; local pottery guilds he is a part of; the creation and design of his studio space; technological advances in the field and the distinctive tools he loves to use; specialized periodicals that he reads or looks at; what makes a pot beautiful; limitations in clay; commissions and the lack of benefits involved with commissions; the permanent collections of museums that he is a part of; how he thinks he will be remembered; his most memorable exhibitions; where he gets his ideas from; social and political issues he's involved in and how he does not include them in his work; the craft organizations; curators he's enjoyed working with; his ex-wife Harriet Goodwin and how their collaboration was important to his work. Cohen also recalls Francis Merritt, Bernard Leach, Peter Voulkos, Ron Burke, John Glick, Bob Sedestrom, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Michael Cohen (1936-) is a ceramist from Amherst, Massachusetts. Gerry Williams (1926-) is the editor of Studio Potter from Goffstown, New Hampshire.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr.; 6 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
For more information on how to access this interview contact Reference Services.
Occupation:
Ceramicists -- Massachusetts -- Interview  Search this
Topic:
Ceramics -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Ceramics -- Study and teaching  Search this
Ceramics -- Technique  Search this
Ceramics. -- Economic aspects  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Function:
Artists' studios
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.cohen01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cohen01

Oral history interview with Warren MacKenzie

Interviewee:
MacKenzie, Warren, 1924-2018  Search this
Interviewer:
Silberman, Robert B. (Robert Bruce), 1950-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Art Institute of Chicago -- Student  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
University of Minnesota -- Faculty  Search this
Hamada, Shōji, 1894-1978  Search this
Leach, Bernard, 1887-1979  Search this
MacKenzie, Alixandra Kolesky, d. 1962  Search this
Extent:
44 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2002 October 29
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Warren MacKenzie conducted 2002 October 29, by Robert Silberman, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Stillwater, Minnesota.
MacKenzie speaks of his early childhood and eagerness to become a painter; being drafted in 1943; returning from active duty in the Army to find all the painting classes full and registering for a ceramic class; the significance of Bernard Leach's, "A Potter's Book" to his early ceramic education, and fellow classmates; his studies at the Chicago Art Institute; museums in Chicago; his first wife, potter, Alix MacKenzie; traveling to England to receive further training from Leach, first being rejected and then returning a year later to work 2 1/2 years at Leach Pottery at St. Ives; contacts such as Shoji Hamada, Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Terry Frost, Peter Lanyon, and others; his lack of interest in sculptural ceramics; the good remnants of Leach pottery pots in his pottery today; Korean and Japanese influences; the International Potters and Weavers Conference in 1952 and returning to the U.S.; Alix's role in arranging Hamada's tour of the U.S. and exhibition in St. Paul; building their first pottery; exhibitions at the Walker Arts Center; purchasing the best Hamada pot at the St. Paul exhibit; teaching at the University of Minnesota; his experiences at craft schools; his involvement with NCECA [National Council on Education in Ceramic Art] and the Minnesota Craft Council; his travels; the self-service showroom on his property; changes in the field of ceramics; the 1968 fire that destroyed his barn studio; his working process; his experience with a salt kiln; experimenting in each firing; and his monthly work schedule. MacKenzie also recalls Kathleen Blackshear, Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, Soetsu Yanagi, Jerry Liebling, Allen Downs, Walter Quirt, Phil Morton, Curt Heuer, Karen Karnes, David Weinrib, Josef Albers, Kenneth Ferguson, Rudy Autio, Peter Voulkos, Tatsuzo Shimaoka, David Lewis, Michael Cardew, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Warren MacKenzie (1924-2018) was a ceramist from Stillwater, Minnesota.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hrs., 33 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Ceramicists -- Minnesota -- Interviews  Search this
Ceramics. -- Economic aspects  Search this
Ceramics -- Study and teaching  Search this
Ceramics -- Technique  Search this
Ceramics -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Ceramics -- Japan  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.macken02
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-macken02

James Graham & Sons records

Creator:
James Graham & Sons  Search this
Names:
Coe Kerr Gallery  Search this
Duveen-Graham (Gallery)  Search this
Graham Gallery  Search this
Graham Modern (Gallery)  Search this
Cicero, Carmen, 1926-  Search this
Coheleach, Guy  Search this
Crile, Susan, 1942-  Search this
De Kooning, Elaine  Search this
Dickinson, Edwin Walter, 1891-1978  Search this
Duveen, Albert  Search this
Fogel, Seymour, 1911-1984  Search this
Fried, Nancy  Search this
Graham, Robert Claverhouse, 1913-1994  Search this
Kriesberg, Irving, 1919-  Search this
Melchers, Gari, 1860-1932  Search this
Perrine, Van Dearing, 1869-1955  Search this
Santlofer, Jonathan, 1946-  Search this
Schley, Reeve, 1936-  Search this
Stevens, Peter  Search this
Thorne, Joan, 1943-  Search this
Trieff, Selina, 1934-  Search this
Wyeth, Andrew, 1917-2009  Search this
Wyeth, Jamie, 1946-  Search this
Wyeth, N. C. (Newell Convers), 1882-1945  Search this
Extent:
103.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Visitors' books
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Date:
1821
1815
circa 1896-2011
Summary:
The records of the New York City gallery James Graham & Sons measure 103.2 linear feet and date from 1815, 1821, circa 1896-2011 (bulk 1950s-1980s). The collection generally documents the gallery's contemporary art department during the time in which Robert Claverhouse Graham, Sr. worked at the gallery (1940-1979); records prior to 1954 are sparse and scattered. Gallery records include artist files; correspondence; exhibition files; financial records; inventory records; printed materials; sales, loans, and consignment records; scrapbooks; and photographic materials. Also found are records from Coe Kerr Gallery regarding exhibitions.. There is a 8.0 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated in 2018 that includes artists' files regarding exhibitions and photographs of works of art.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of the New York City gallery James Graham & Sons measure 103.2 linear feet and date from 1815, 1821, circa 1896-2011 (bulk 1950s-1980s). The collection generally documents the gallery's contemporary art department during the time in which Robert Claverhouse Graham, Sr. worked at the gallery (1940-1979); records prior to 1954 are sparse and scattered. Gallery records include artist files; correspondence; exhibition files; financial records; inventory records; printed materials; sales, loans, and consignment records; scrapbooks; and photographic materials. Also found are records from Coe Kerr Gallery regarding exhibitions of artwork by Jamie Wyeth, and to a lesser extent, Andrew and N.C. Wyeth.

Over the years, the gallery changed names and established contemporary art departments. In addition to records of James Graham & Sons, the collection holds the records of Duveen-Graham Modern Art (in partnership with Albert Duveen), Graham Gallery, Graham Modern, JG|Contemporary, and, to a lesser extent, The Clapp and Graham Co.

Alphabetical files are a mix of business correspondence and business records. The bulk of the series contains correspondence with galleries, museums, other institutions, and, to a lesser extent, clients regarding sales, consignments, and loans of artwork. Also found are materials relevant to the daily operations of the gallery, including correspondence, subject files, and scattered financial, business and legal records.

Exhibition files provide scattered documentation of the gallery's exhibitions through catalogs, clippings, correspondence, guest books, notes, photographs, press materials, price lists, and sales receipts and other financial records.

Artists' Files document the numerous artists who have been represented by the gallery, especially modern American artists. Folders for each artist can contain a variety of materials, including correspondence with the artist or with institutions regarding consignments, loans, sales and exhibitions; photographic materials primarily of artwork; sales invoices; exhibition catalogs, postcards, and other printed materials; press releases; magazine and newspaper clippings; price lists; artist binders; and research materials on artists and artwork. Also found are some subject files, per original arrangement. There is extensive material related to artists Carmen Cicero, Susan Crile, Elaine De Kooning's portrait of President John F. Kennedy, Edwin Dickinson, muralist Seymour Fogel, Nancy Fried, Irving Kriesberg, Gari Melchers, Jonathan Santlofer, Reeve Schley, Peter Stevens, Joan Thorne, and Selina Trieff.

Artwork files document sales, consignments, and loans of artwork primarily from the mid-1980s to 2000s. Materials include agreements and contracts; condition reports; correspondence; invoices and receipts; photographs of artwork; shipping records; and photocopied printed material and other documentation. This series requires written permission from the donor in order to access.

Sales records from 1959-1984 (missing 1974) are found in the Financial Records series. Also found are check stub books from the mid-late 1950s; price lists; records for the Four Seasons Charter Corp.; and scattered banking, consignment, tax, and other financial records. Inventory cards from mid-1950s-1970s and inventory lists, often with notations and prices, are found in the series Inventory Records.

Coe Kerr Gallery Records regarding the Wyeths document Jamie Wyeth's exhibitions primarily from the mid-1970s-early 1980s. Also found is limited material regarding Andrew Wyeth and N.C. Wyeth. Materials include correspondence, photographs, exhibition printed materials, and extensive newspaper clippings.

There are exhibition catalogs, books, announcements, magazines, clippings, postcards, posters and other printed materials related to artists, John Graham & Sons exhibitions, and exhibitions by Graham artists held at other galleries and museums. Also found is an 1815 fifty cent note which was redeemed in 1821.

Seven scrapbooks document discrete aspects of the business, including the gallery's advertising, participation in an art fair, and the careers of artists Guy Coheleach and Van Dearing Perrine. Materials housed in the scrapbooks include clippings, catalogs, photographs, and other printed materials.

Photographic Materials include mostly black and white photographs, negatives, slides and transparencies of artwork; scattered photographs of installations, artists, and the gallery; and a handful of personal snapshots. The bulk of the photographs are undated, but were likely printed between 1950s-1990s.

There is a 8.0 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated in 2018 that includes artists' files regarding exhibitions and photographs of works of art.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 11 series:

Series 1: Alphabetical Files, circa 1896, 1902-1999, bulk 1955-1986 (Boxes 1-15; 15 linear feet)

Series 2: Exhibition Files, 1912, 1947-2004 (Boxes 16-24; 8 linear feet)

Series 3: Artists' Files, circa 1907-2006, bulk 1955-1999 (Boxes 24-62, 95-96; 39.1 linear feet)

Series 4: Artwork Files, circa early 1900s-2011, bulk mid-1980s-2009 (Boxes 63-71, 94, 101; 9.3 linear feet)

Series 5: Financial Records, circa 1937-1993 (Boxes 72-76, 96; 4.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Inventory Records, circa 1954-1993 (Boxes 76-78, 96; 2.1 linear feet)

Series 7: Coe Kerr Gallery Records Regarding Wyeths, 1964-1988 (Boxes 78-80, 97; 2.7 linear feet)

Series 8: Printed Materials, 1815, 1821, 1949-2006 (Boxes 81-82, 97; 2.1 linear feet)

Series 9: Scrapbooks, 1897-1990s (Boxes 82, 98-100; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographic Materials, 1929-1990s (Boxes 83-93, 96, 100-101; 11.5 linear feet)

Series 11: Unprocessed Addition, circa 1940-1980 (Boxes 102-109; 8 linear feet)
Historical Note:
The James Graham & Sons gallery has been owned and managed by the Graham family in New York City since 1857. Throughout its history, the gallery has specialized in decorative arts, antiques, and 19th-early 20th century and contemporary American art.

In 1857, Samuel Graham founded a gallery at 66 Third Street and specialized in furniture. Graham was joined by his son James in the 1880s and expanded the business to include antiques and decorative arts. James A. Graham, the third generation Graham, joined the gallery in the early 20th century. James Graham and antiques dealer Marshall Clapp created Clapp & Graham in 1914, a partnership which was dissolved around 1940.

James R. Graham, the fourth generation Graham, joined the gallery in 1937, followed by his brother Robert Claverhouse Graham, Sr. in 1940. The gallery was then named James Graham & Sons and was located at 514 Madison Avenue. At this time, the gallery specialized in bronzes, ceramics, silver, sculptures, and 19th-early 20th century American art. Robert C. Graham, Sr. introduced modern American art, especially The Eight, into the gallery's inventory.

In 1955, the gallery moved to 1014 Madison Avenue, where it remained until the late 2000s. That same year, Graham opened its first contemporary department with Albert Duveen. Duveen-Graham Modern Art gallery was based on the third floor of the Madison Avenue building and dealt solely in contemporary art until its closing in 1958. Robert C. Graham, Jr. (Robin) joined the gallery in 1963, becoming the fifth generation Graham to run the family business. The gallery is currently located at 32 East 67th Street.

Betsy Fahlman's "James Graham & Sons: A Century and a Half in the Art Business" (2007) was a valuable resource in constructing this Historical Note.
Related Material:
Among the other resources relating to James Graham & Sons in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Robert Claverhouse Graham, November 19, 1976, and the David Herbert papers, 1950-1995.
Provenance:
The James Graham & Sons records were donated in 2007, 2008, and 2012 by Priscilla Caldwell and Jay Grimm of James Graham & Sons and in 2018 by Cameron Shay of James Graham & Sons.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Artwork Files (Boxes 63-71, 94) and some photographic materials (Box 93 and 101) require written permission to access.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Painting -- United States  Search this
Sculpture -- United States  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Visitors' books
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Citation:
James Graham & Sons records, 1815, 1821, circa 1896-2011, bulk 1950s-1980s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.jamegras
See more items in:
James Graham & Sons records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-jamegras
Online Media:

Claire Falkenstein papers

Creator:
Falkenstein, Claire, 1908-1997  Search this
Names:
Coos Art Museum  Search this
Fresno Art Museum  Search this
Galerie Anderson-Mayer  Search this
Gallery Stadler  Search this
Jack Rutberg Fine Arts (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
John Bolles Gallery (San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Los Angeles Museum of Art  Search this
Malvina Miller  Search this
Martha Jackson Gallery  Search this
Merging One Gallery  Search this
Mills College -- Faculty  Search this
Pond Farm Workshop  Search this
San Francisco Museum of Art  Search this
University of California, San Francisco. School of Fine Arts -- Faculty  Search this
Green, Ray, 1908-1997  Search this
Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898-  Search this
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
O'Donnell, May, 1906-2004  Search this
Sawyer, Kenneth B.  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-  Search this
Still, Patricia  Search this
Tapie, Michel  Search this
Temko, Allan  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Wildenhain, Frans, 1905-1980  Search this
Extent:
42.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Motion pictures (visual works)
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Photographs
Sketches
Date:
circa 1914-1997
bulk 1940-1990
Summary:
The papers of sculptor, painter, jewelry designer, and teacher Claire Falkenstein measure 42.8 linear feet and date from 1917 to her death in 1997. There is extensive correspondence with fellow artists, collectors, critics, friends, museums, and galleries. The collection also contains biographical materials, much of it collected and organized by Falkenstein, personal and business records, writings, diaries, exhibition files, commission files, teaching files, photographs, original artwork, scrapbooks, and printed materials. There is a short motion picture film of an interview with Falkenstein featuring the windows she designed for St. Basil's Church in Los Angeles.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of sculptor, painter, jewelry designer, and teacher Claire Falkenstein measure 42.8 linear feet and date from 1917 to her death in 1997. There is extensive correspondence with fellow artists, collectors, critics, friends, museums, and galleries. The collection also contains biographical materials, much of it collected and organized by Falkenstein, personal and business records, writings, diaries, exhibition files, commission files, teaching files, photographs, original artwork, scrapbooks, and printed materials. There is a short motion picture film of an interview with Falkenstein featuring the windows she designed for St. Basil's Church in Los Angeles.

Biographical material includes appointment calendars, awards and honorary degrees, interview transcripts, passports, resumes, wills, and scrapbooks. Scrapbooks were compiled by Falkenstein and focus primarily on her exhibitions at the Galerie Stadler and Gallery Meyer in 1959 and 1960. Also of interest are the "biography files" created and arranged by Falkenstein. These files contain material that she personally felt was the most important in documenting her activities each year. They include correspondence, exhibition catalogs, printed material, and invitations.

Measuring nine linear feet, correspondence is extensive and comprehensively documents Falkenstein's work, social life, relationships, and other business and personal activities. Correspondence dates from 1941 to 1997 and includes business letters and correspondence with friends and family. Her communications with friends, family, clients, gallery owners, collectors, museums, publishers, foundations, and grant agencies reveal many of her ideas and techniques. Individual correspondents include Ray Green, Peggy Guggenheim, Katharine Kuh, May O'Donnell, Ken Sawyer, Clyfford and Pat Still, Michel Tapie, Allan Temko, Mark Tobey, and Frans Wildenhain. Gallery and museum correspondence is with the San Francisco Museum of Art, Coos Art Museum, Los Angeles Museum of Art, Galerie Stadler (Paris), Gallery Mayer (Paris), Malvina Miller (New York), Martha Jackson Gallery (New York), Jack Rutberg Fine Arts (Los Angeles), Galerie Anderson-Mayer (Paris), and Bolles Gallery. Correspondence is also found in the Commission Files and Exhibition Files.

Personal and business records contain a wide variety of material documenting Falkenstein's business, financial, legal, professional, and personal transactions. Files are found for sales and prices, art inventories, smaller jewelry commissions, her work as a juror, her business with galleries, legal affairs and contracts, expenses, records of arts organizations to which she belonged, conferences, grants and fellowships, studio and house renovations, her Paris studio and Paris expenses, travel, donations, loans and consignments, conservation, art shipping, insurance, and taxes. Oversized visitor's logs contain comments from visitors to Falkenstein's studio in Venice, California.

Falkenstein maintained comprehensive documentation of her exhibitions from her first exhibition in the 1930s to the last one at the Merging One Gallery in 1996. Files include both a chronological record and individual record for nearly all of her exhibitions. Found with the files are correspondence, photographs, loan and shipping records, catalogs, announcements, clippings, articles, and other records. Most of the photographs related to exhibitions are found in the Photographs Series. The files for exhibitions at the Fresno Art Museum, Martha Jackson Gallery and Jack Rutberg Fine Art Gallery are particularly rich.

Commission files document nearly all of Falkenstein's public and private large-scale projects and often contain a visual record of the work, as well as correspondence, design notes, contracts, and expense reports. There is documentation of the St. Basils Church windows in Los Angeles; the Peggy Guggenheim gate in Venice, Italy; and the fountain at the California Savings and Loan, in Los Angeles; and many others. There is also a chronological record of her commissions. The bulk of the photographs of commissions are found in the Photograph series. Also, most of Falkenstein's jewelry design commissions are found in the Personal and Business Records series.

Falkenstein's work as a prolific writer, particularly in the 1940s and 1950s, is well-documented here through her numerous published articles in Arts and Architecture magazine, and the New York Herald-Tribune. Her work for Arts and Architecture was primarily written for the "Art Comments from San Francisco" section. She was living in Paris when she contributed an art news column to the New York Herald-Tribune. Also found here are five diaries and one journal dating from circa 1929-1978. The entries are inconsistent and concern mostly travel. The diaries from 1929 and 1934 are more personal. Falkenstein also maintained extensive notes and notebooks about artwork ideas, observations about art, research, and even drafts of letters. There are also many notes about various topics, including art and class notes. Additional writings are eclectic and cover a wide range of topics, including music, poetry, the script for Falkestein's film entitled Touching the Quick, and drafts of her unpublished book on murals. A handful of writings by others are found, most with annotations by Falkenstein.

Teaching files include Falkenstein's numerous lectures given while teaching at Mills College, Pond Farm Workshops, and California School of Fine Arts, and various symposiums and conferences. Also found are lesson plans, contracts, scattered correspondence, and notes. The files on her tenure at the Pond Farm Workshops are particularly interesting, with notes about her fellow teacher Frans Wildenhain and correspondence with workshop owners, Jane and Gordon Herr.

There are extensive photographs of Falkenstein, her family and friends, colleagues, commissions, exhibitions, and works of art. Included are many images of Falkenstein, of Falkenstien with her art, of Falkentstien working, and of Falkenstein's studio. There are numerous photographs of Falkenstein with friends, family, and colleagues in social or work settings. Also found are photographs of exhibition openings, installation views, and works of art exhibited. Additional photographs document Falkenstein's commissions, including images of her at work. Additional images of commissions may also be found in the Commission Series, but the bulk are filed here. There are numerous photographs of Falkenstein's works of art, including drawings, sculpture, jewelry, murals, lamps, and ceramics.

Falkenstein's papers include a large amount of sketches, sketchbooks, and drawings. Many of the sketches and drawings relate to her ideas about commissions and large sculpture, jewelry designs, and general sketches. Sketches are also found in the Commission Files. Also included are drawings by Mark Tobey and Michel Tapie, and others.

Finally, printed materials include general exhibition catalogs, newspapers clippings, and clippings of articles by and about Falkenstein. Also included are books that have been inscribed and signed by the author.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1934-1997 (Box 1-4, 41; 4.3 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1931-1997 (Box 5-13; 9 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal and Business Records, 1936-1997 (Box 14-17, 41, 46-49; 4.2 linear feet)

Series 4: Exhibitions, 1930-1996 (Box 18-21, 42, OV 50; 3.3 linear feet)

Series 5. Commissions, 1930-1992 (Box 21-22, OV 50-54 ; 2.0 linear feet)

Series 6: Writings, circa 1929-1993 (Box 22-26, 42, 55; 4.6 linear feet)

Series 7: Teaching Files, 1929-1995 (Box 26; .8 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1917-1997 (Box 27-35, 43, 55-56; 9.5 linear feet)

Series 9: Artwork, circa 1937-1995 (Box 36-37, 44, 57; 2.0 linear feet)

Series 10: Printed Materials, circa 1914-1990 (Box 37-40, 45, 58; 3.9 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Claire Falkenstein (1908-1997) spent the majority of her life working as an artist, sculptor, jewelry designer, teacher, and writer in California.

Claire Falkenstein was born in 1908 and grew up in Coos Bay, Oregon. In 1920, Falkenstein and her family moved to Berkeley, California, where she attended high school and then college at the University of California at Berkeley, studying philosophy, anthropology, and art. She graduated in 1930. Falkenstein had her first solo show at the East-West Gallery in San Francisco in 1930, the only member of her class to have an exhibition before graduation.

During the early 1930s, Falkenstein studied at Mills College with modernist sculptor Alexander Archipenko. There she also met Bauhaus artists Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Gyorgy Kepes. Falkenstein married her high school sweetheart, Richard McCarthy in 1936.

In 1944, Falkenstein had her first New York exhibition at the Bonestall Gallery. At that time, Falkenstein's primary mediums were stone and wood. However, she became increasingly experimental with new materials that included sheet aluminum, Cor-Ten steel, glass, plastics, and welded wire rods while maintaining a connection to organic and natural forms. Her work in jewelry design was an outlet for exploring these new materials, forms, and techniques on a small scale. As her work grew physically larger, so did her recognition and it was her work in sculpture that won her a faculty appointment at the California School of Fine Arts from 1947-1949. It was here that she met Patricia and Clyfford Still, Hassel Smith, and Richard Diebenkorn.

In 1948, Falkenstein was invited to exhibit at the Salon des Realites Nouvelle in Paris, her first European show. She eventually moved to Europe in 1950 and had studios in Paris, Venice, and Rome. While in Europe, Falkenstein executed a number of large scale commissions, including the stair screen for Galerie Stadler (1955), grotto gates for Princess Pignatelli's villa in Rome (1957), and the bronze, steel, and the glass gate at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice (1961). While in Paris, she became acquainted with noted art critic Michel Tapie, with whom she maintained a life-long friendship.

During the 1940s and 1950s Falkenstein was a regular contributor to Arts and Architecture magazine, most often writing the "Art Comments from San Francisco" section. While in Paris, she also wrote a column on art news for the New York Herald Tribune.

Falkenstein returned to the United States in 1962, eventually renovating a studio space in Venice, California. It was here that she conceived her largest commissions. In 1965, Falkenstein received a commission from the California Savings and Loan to create a sculpture for a large fountain at the front of the bank in downtown Los Angeles. The copper tube fountain, entitled "Structure and Flow #2," was the first of many large scale public art commissions that Falkenstein completed during her years in California. Her most important commission in the United States, completed in 1969, was for the doors, rectory gates and grills and stained-glass windows for St. Basil's Church on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. The eight doors and fifteen rectory screens, including 80 foot high windows in the nave, were an expansion of the "never ending screen" concept that Falkenstein executed with the Pignatelli commission in Rome. She continued to use this motif in her work throughout her career.

Claire Falkenstein worked as an arts instructor, visiting artist, and guest lecturer at many colleges, workshops, and schools in California. Her first position was at Mills College from 1946-1947. Shortly thereafter, she was appointed to the faculty at the California School of Fine Arts and later taught in the Extension Divisions of the University of California, Berkeley. She taught classes at California State Polytechnic University, California State University at Davis, and the Anna Head School. Falkenstein also taught art at the Pond Farm Workshops in California, and lectured at numerous colleges and museums. She served on many juried art shows in Southern California.

Falkenstein was acquainted with many artists, writers, instructors, collectors, gallery owners, and critics. Close friends included Esther and Bob Robles, Clyfford and Patricia Still, Michel Tapie, Allan Temko, Mark Tobey, Frans Wildenhain, and other notable figures in the art world.

Falkenstein continued to complete large scale private and public commissioned sculptures during the 1960s through the 1980s, including work for the University of Southern California, Hyland Biological Laboratory, California State University at Dominquez Hills and the California State Department of Motor Vehicles. Throughout her career, Falkenstein's work was featured in numerous exhibitions across the country. Her sculpture and other artwork can be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Coos Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museum, University of Southern California Fisher Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Tate Gallery.

Falkenstein died in 1997 at the age of 89.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds two oral history interviews with Claire Falkenstein. The interview on April 13, 1965 was conducted by Betty Hoag and the one on March 2 and 21, 1995 was conducted by Paul Karlstrom.
Provenance:
The Claire Falkenstein papers were donated in 1997 by Steffan Wacholtz and Nancy Kendall, trustees for the Claire Falkenstein Trust.
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:
Painters -- California  Search this
Topic:
Women artists -- California  Search this
Women artists -- France -- Paris  Search this
Sculptors -- California  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Awards  Search this
Transcripts  Search this
Articles  Search this
Designers -- California  Search this
Drafts (documents)  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Poetry  Search this
Scripts  Search this
Notebooks  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Art patronage  Search this
Educators -- California  Search this
Jewelry -- Design  Search this
Sculptors -- France -- Paris  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Motion pictures (visual works)
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Photographs
Sketches
Citation:
Claire Falkenstein papers, circa 1914-1997, bulk 1940-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.falkclai
See more items in:
Claire Falkenstein papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-falkclai
Online Media:

Account book with cash receipts for dates indicated

Creator:
Tibor de Nagy Gallery  Search this
Subject:
Reynal, Jeanne  Search this
Ripley, Dwight  Search this
Type:
Financial Records
Date:
1950 through 1953
Topic:
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Art market  Search this
Art--Economic aspects  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)7228
See more items in:
Tibor de Nagy Gallery records, 1941-2016
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_7228
Online Media:

Thomas Hart Benton, Kansas City, Mo. letter to Samuel J. Wagstaff, Hartford, Conn.

Creator:
Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889-1975  Search this
Wagstaff, Samuel J., 1921-1987  Search this
Subject:
Pollock, Jackson  Search this
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Place:
Martha's Vineyard, Mass.
Date:
1962 Feb. 27
Topic:
Art students  Search this
Art--Economic aspects  Search this
Museum curators  Search this
Museums  Search this
Painters  Search this
Travel  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)8273
See more items in:
Samuel J. Wagstaff papers, circa 1932-1985
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_8273
Online Media:

William Pachner, Woodstock, N.Y. letter to Wilna Hervey and Nan Mason, Anna Maria, Fla.

Creator:
Pachner, William  Search this
Hervey, Wilna, 1894-1979  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1951 Jan. 4
Topic:
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Art--Economic aspects  Search this
Exhibitions  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)10099
See more items in:
Wilna Hervey and Nan Mason papers, 1883-1985
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_10099
Online Media:

Chester Beach papers

Creator:
Beach, Chester, 1881-1956  Search this
Names:
American Academy in Rome  Search this
Architectural League of New York  Search this
Cleveland Museum of Art  Search this
Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts (France)  Search this
Frontier Art Colony  Search this
Mark Hopkins Institute of Art  Search this
National Academy of Design (U.S.)  Search this
National Sculpture Society (U.S.)  Search this
Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915: San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Salmagundi Club  Search this
Salon d'automne  Search this
Allen, Mary Jester  Search this
Beach, Eleanor Murdock  Search this
Blumenschein, Ernest Leonard, 1874-1960  Search this
Carrington, Fitz Roy, 1869-1954  Search this
Couper, William, 1853-1942  Search this
Fitchen, Eleanor Beach  Search this
French, Daniel Chester, 1850-1931  Search this
Greacen, Edmund W., 1876-1949  Search this
Hancock, Walker Kirtland, 1901-1998  Search this
Jackson, Hazel Brill  Search this
Jennewein, Carl Paul, 1890-  Search this
Kuhn, Brenda, 1911-  Search this
Kuhn, Walt, 1877-1949  Search this
Käsebier, Gertrude, 1852-1934  Search this
Leibig, Bonnie  Search this
MacMonnies, Frederick William, 1863-1937  Search this
Mora, F. Luis (Francis Luis), 1874-1940  Search this
Nelson, Laurence, 1887-1978  Search this
Nisbet, Robert H., 1879-1961  Search this
Olmsted, Frederick Law, 1822-1903  Search this
Piexotto, Jessica B.  Search this
Winter, Ezra, 1886-1949  Search this
Extent:
7.32 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Christmas cards
Drawings
Photographs
Prints
Sketchbooks
Date:
1846-1999
bulk 1895-1999
Summary:
The Chester Beach papers measure 7.32 linear feet and date from 1846 to 1999, with the bulk ot the material dating from circa 1900 to 1999. The work and professional activities of Beaux Arts sculptor Chester Beach (1881-1956) and his family's efforts to exhibit and sell work from the estate are documented by project files, business records, correspondence, scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs. The papers also include many artist-designed Christmas cards sent and received by the Beach family, and artwork by Chester Beach and others.
Scope and Contents:
The Chester Beach papers measure 7.32 linear feet and date from 1846 to 1999, with the bulk ot the material dating from circa 1900 to 1999. The work and professional activities of Beaux Arts sculptor Chester Beach (1881-1956) and his family's efforts to exhibit and sell work from the estate are documented by project files, business records, correspondence, scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs. The papers also include many artist-designed Christmas cards sent and received by the Beach family, and artwork by Chester Beach and others.

Biographical material consists of biographical notes, identification cards, and a membership certificate.

Project files contain correspondence, financial records, notes, drawings and plans, research materials, printed matter, and photographs that document commissions for sculpture, medals and coins, monuments, and Beach's own projects. Among the most thoroughly documented projects are a fountain sculpture for the grounds of the Cleveland Museum of Art (Sun, Earth, Fountain of the Waters, and Zodiac) and the Edward W. Bok Memorial in Mountain Lake, Florida; both commissions were executed in conjunction with the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted.

Business records include Chester Beach's general business correspondence and correspondence concerning consignments. An address book records names, addresses, and occasionally indicates prices of services and supplies used by the sculptor. Other record books detail expenses and income of the studio building Beach owned, with a list of the effects of the former owner, sculptor William Couper; bronzes cast; sales, with titles, prices, and buyers; names and addresses of clients, dealers, and suppliers; and instructions for cleaning and bronzing plaster.

Family correspondence consists mainly of letters, many mentioning Chester Beach, and addressed to Mrs. Chester Beach and daughter Eleanor Beach Fitchen. Estate correspondence and related documents concern efforts to exhibit, sell, and research Beach's remaining work. These records, for the most part, were created by Mrs. Fitchen who acted as sales agent, ran the Chester Beach Memorial Studio, and maintained the Beach archive. Of particular interest is a series of letters from Brenda Kuhn that relate what she learned from handling the estate of her father, Walt Kuhn; in addition, she offered ideas and advice about exhibitions, the Memorial Studio, and the Beach Centennial.

Beach designed his family's annual Christmas cards, most of which incorporate images of their three daughters. A complete set, preserved in an album, includes a few later cards that reproduce artwork by his widow. Many of the cards received - some with original artwork - are from artist friends, among them: Ernest Blumenschein, Edward W. Greacen, Hazel Brill Jackson, Paul Jennewein, Bonnie Leibig, F. Luis Mora, Robert Nisbet, and Ezra Winter. Also of note are a card from Walker Hancock bearing a photograph of his studio; a painting of Beach's Sylvan at Brookgreen Gardens, reproduced on Anna Hyatt Huntington's card; and a card from Beach patron Mary Jester Allen containing a brief note about the Frontier Art Colony she had established near Cody, Wyoming.

Among the drawings and sketches by Chester Beach are student work, designs for some of his Christmas cards, and a sketchbook containing drawings of sculpture. Work by other artists consists of prints, including one by Ezra Winter.

Three scrapbooks, largely comprised of newspaper clippings and other printed material, contain a variety of other items, including: letters from the American Academy in Rome, Architectural League of New York, Ecole des Beaux Arts, Daniel Chester French, Hazel Brill Jackson, Frederick MacMonnies, National Academy of Design, National Sculpture Society, Jessica B. Piexotto, and Salon d'Autome. There are also awards and certificates from the National Academy of Design, Panama-Pacific International Exposition; bookplates and a place card Beach etched for Mr. and Mrs. George Davison; and an unfinished poem by FitzRoy Carrington. Photographs within the scrapbooks are of a night school class Beach attended at the Mark Hopkins Art Institute in San Francisco, Beach at work in his studio, and a portrait of him painted by G. Laurance Nelson.

Printed material includes Panama-Pacific International Exposition guide books, brochures about the Chester Beach Memorial Studio in Brewster, New York, and catalogs for solo and group exhibitions.

Photographs and glass plate negatives of artwork are mainly of Chester Beach's sculpture and include views of work in progress. Also found are photographs of drawings and sculpture from his student years in California and Paris. Pictures of work by other artists are portraits of Chester Beach painted by G. Laurance Nelson and by his daughter, Natalie Beach McLaury. Among the photographs of Chester Beach are several by Gertrude Kasebier, circa 1910. Other pictures show Beach in his studio, Beach with family and friends, and a "Dinner tendered to Edmund W. Greacen by Samuel T. Shaw, Salmagundi Club, March 2, 1922." Places documented are Beach's boyhood home in San Francisco, the interiors of his studios, and Brookgreen Gardens. Miscellaneous subjects are nude models.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 10 series. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1910-1947 (4 folders; Box 1)

Series 2: Project Files, 1846-1999 (1.6 linear feet; Boxes 1-2, 11, OV 12-13)

Series 3: Business Records, circa 1900-1958 (0.4 linear feet; Boxes 2-3)

Series 4: Writings, 1913-1935 (2 folders; Box 3)

Series 5: Correspondence, 1875, 1933-1996 (0.5 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 6: Christmas Cards, 1909-1961 (0.7 linear feet; Boxes 3-4)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1900-1955 (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 4, 11)

Series 8: Scrapbooks, 1903-1972 (0.3 linear feet; Box 10)

Series 9: Printed Material, 1910-1997 (0.4 linear feet; Box 4)

Series 10: Photographs, circa 1885-circa 1960s (3.1 linear feet; Boxes 4-9, 11, 14)
Biographical / Historical:
Sculptor Chester Beach (1881-1956) was known for portrait busts, allegorical and mythological figures, coins and medallic art in the Beaux-Arts tradition. He lived and worked in New York City and Brewster, New York.

Chester Beach, son of Chilion Beach and Elizabeth Ferris Beach, was born in San Francisco on May 23, 1881. Beach initially studied at the California School of Mechanical Arts in 1899. He remained in San Francisco and between 1900 and 1902 continued his art training at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art while working as a jewelry designer. To further his career and exposure to artistic trends, Beach moved to New York City in 1903. The following year, he went to Paris, enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and also studied with Raoul Verlet at the Académie Julian.

Upon his return to New York in 1907, Beach established a studio on Tenth Street. He won the National Academy of Design's Barnett Prize for sculpture in 1907 and the Academy elected him an Associate Artist the following year. His increased stature resulted in numerous portrait commissions and eventually led to commissions for monuments and architectural sculpture. In 1910, Chester Beach married Eleanor Hollis Murdock, a painter he met when both were art students in Paris. The couple spent the next two years in Rome; for several years after returning, Beach continued to spend time in Italy and maintained a studio in Rome.

Solo exhibitions of Beach's work were presented at Macbeth Gallery (1912), Pratt Institute (1913), Cincinnati Art Museum (1916), John Herron Art Institute (1916), and Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester (1917). In addition to frequent participation in annual exhibitions at the National Academy of Design and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Beach was represented in the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915), and in group shows at venues including: Art Institute of Chicago, Boston Art Club, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, and National Arts Club.

The gold medal presented by Académie Julian (1905), Beach's first award, was followed by many other prizes, among them: American Numismatic Society prize for a medal commemorating the Peace of Versailles (1919) and its Saltus Medal for distinguished medallic art (1946); Architectural League of New York gold medal (1924); National Academy of Design Barnett Prize (1907) and Watrous gold medal (1926); National Arts Club medal and prizes (1923, 1926, 1932); and the Panama-Pacific International Exposition silver medal (1915).

Beach was an Academician of the National Academy of Design, a member of the American Numismatic Society, Architectural League of New York, National Arts Club, National Institute of Arts and Letters, and the National Sculpture Society (President, 1927-1928).

For more than 40 years, Beach lived and worked at 207 East 17th Street. The brownstone, purchased in 1913, was large enough for the family's home, his studio, and additional studios that were rented to other artists. Through barter, Beach acquired land in Brewster, New York, and in 1917 hired Italian stonemasons to build a studio. Later, they erected a summer house for the family. Many old stone walls on the site provided material for both buildings and Beach named the property Oldwalls.

After a long illness, Chester Beach died at Oldwalls on August 6, 1956. The funeral service was held at his Brewster, New York, studio and he is buried in Cold Spring Cemetery, Cold Spring, New York.
Separated Materials:
Also in the Archives of American Art is microfilm of papers lent for microfilming (reels N727-N729 and N68-11) including passports, genealogical materials, photograph albums, travel sketches, travel diaries of Mrs. Beach, and business and family correspondence. While the obituary letters on reel N68-11 are referenced in a scrapbook in Series 8, all other loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Chester Beach's daughter, Eleanor Beach Fitchen, lent materials for microfilming in 1967 and 1967. Subsequent papers were donated in 2009 by the estate of Eleanor Beach Fitchen, through her grandson and executor, John Fitchen.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Sculptors, American -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Eclecticism in architecture  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculpture -- Technique  Search this
Sculpture -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Sculpture -- Economic aspects  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Christmas cards
Drawings
Photographs
Prints
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Chester Beach papers, 1846-1999, bulk circa 1900-1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.beacches
See more items in:
Chester Beach papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-beacches
Online Media:

Billy Al Bengston papers, circa 1940s-1989, bulk 1960-1988

Creator:
Bengston, Billy Al, 1934-  Search this
Subject:
Ruscha, Edward  Search this
Plagens, Peter  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Flavin, Dan  Search this
Diebenkorn, Richard  Search this
Chamberlain, John  Search this
Goode, Joe  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy  Search this
Andre, Carl  Search this
Alexander, Peter  Search this
Altoon, John  Search this
Martha Jackson Gallery  Search this
James Corcoran Gallery  Search this
Ferus Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
John Berggruen Gallery (San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Photographs
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10220
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213296
AAA_collcode_bengbill
Theme:
The Art Market
Lives of American Artists
Audio - Visual
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_213296
Online Media:

Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art records

Creator:
Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art  Search this
Names:
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Buffalo Fine Arts Academy  Search this
Corcoran Gallery of Art  Search this
Gallery of William Macbeth  Search this
M. Knoedler & Co.  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Alexander, John White, 1856-1915  Search this
Beatty, John W. (John Wesley), 1851-1924  Search this
Beaux, Cecilia, 1855-1942  Search this
Brush, George de Forest, 1855-1941  Search this
Chase, William Merritt, 1849-1916  Search this
Church, Samuel Harden  Search this
East, Alfred, Sir, 1849-1913  Search this
Hassam, Childe, 1859-1935  Search this
Homer, Winslow, 1836-1910  Search this
Saint-Gaudens, Homer, b. 1880  Search this
Thayer, Abbott Handerson, 1849-1921  Search this
Extent:
265.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Letterpress books
Museum records
Place:
Spain -- History -- Civil War, 1936-1939
Date:
1883-1962
bulk 1885-1962
Summary:
The records of the Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art measure 265.8 linear feet and date from 1883-1962, with the bulk of the material dating from 1885-1940. The collection includes extensive correspondence between the museum's founding director, John Beatty, and his successor, Homer Saint-Gaudens, with artists, dealers, galleries, collectors, museum directors, representatives abroad, shipping and insurance agents, and museum trustees. The collection also includes Department of Fine Arts interoffice memoranda and reports; loan exhibition files; Carnegie International planning, jury, shipping, and sale records; Department of Fine Arts letterpress copy books, and a copy of the original card catalog index to these records.
Scope and Contents:
The records of the Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art measure 265.8 linear feet and date from 1883-1962, with the bulk of the material dating from 1885-1940. The collection includes extensive correspondence between the museum's founding director, John Beatty, and his successor, Homer Saint-Gaudens, with artists, dealers, galleries, collectors, museum directors, representatives abroad, shipping and insurance agents, and museum trustees. The collection also includes Department of Fine Arts interoffice memoranda and reports; loan exhibition files; Carnegie International planning, jury, shipping, and sale records; Department of Fine Arts letterpress copy books, and a copy of the original card catalog index to these records.

This collection is a complete record of the museum's work, starting with the planning of the first loan exhibition in 1885 and ending with the cancellation of the International at the start of World War II in 1940. The museum's day-to-day relationships with all aspects of the contemporary art world are documented within the historical context of artists' reactions to World War I; the economic repercussions of the Great Depression on art sales and museum budgets; the ramifications of fascism on German, Italian, and European art; the impact of civil war on Spanish art; and the tensions introduced by the rise of 'radical' modernist art in Europe.

Correspondence (Series 1) is the largest series in the collection (152.5 linear feet) and is comprised of extensive correspondence between the Museum of Art and over 8700 correspondents, with over 3600 correspondents specifically related to art and artists.

Correspondents related to the art world include museum staff, artists, collectors, museums, galleries, dealers, shippers, insurance agencies, art directors, associations, societies, clubs, critics, press, and governments. These exchanges include general requests for information; requests related to the museum's exhibitions, including the International; letters regarding the museum's involvement in the events of other art organizations; loan, sales, and provenance information for specific works of art; and information regarding the events of other art organizations.

The correspondence of the museum's staff provides the greatest insight into understanding the museum's evolution into an international cultural institution. Both directors' correspondence touch on their personal opinions on art, their rationale behind policy decisions, and their understanding of the extent to which the museum's work was dependent on the good relations they maintained in the art world. Additionally, the extensive, opinionated correspondence between Saint-Gaudens' European agents and museum staff during the 1920s and 1930s provide a unique perspective on emerging art trends and the skill, growth, and personalities of individual artists.

The most prolific of the museum staff correspondents include museum directors John Beatty and Homer Saint-Gaudens, Board of Trustees president Samuel Harden Church, assistant director Edward Balken, and European agents Guillaume Lerolle , Ilario Neri, Arnold Palmer, Margaret Palmer, and Charlotte Weidler. Additional prominent staff members include Helen Beatty, Robert Harshe, Caroline Lapsley, Henry Jack Nash, John O'Connor, Charles Ramsey, George Shaw, George Sheers, August Zeller, and Fine Arts Committee members John Caldwell, William Frew, William Hyett, and John Porter.

The most prolific artist correspondents include John White Alexander, George Grey Barnard, Cecilia Beaux, Frank Benson, George de Forest Brush, William Merritt Chase, William Coffin, Bruce Crane, Andre Dauchez, Charles H. Davis, Alfred East, Ben Foster, Daniel Garber, Charles P. Gruppe, John Johansen, Johanna Hailman, John McLure Hamilton, Birge Harrison, Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, Laura Knight, John la Farge, Gaston la Touche, John Lavery, Henri le Sidaner, Jonas Lie, Hermon A. MacNeil, Antonio Mancini, Gari Melchers, Emile Menard, Henry R. Poore, Edward Redfield, W. Elmer Schofield, Leopold Seyffert, Lucien Simon, Eugene Speicher, Abbott Handerson Thayer, Robert Vonnoh, J. Alden Weir, Irving R. Wiles, and Ignacio Zuloaga. Other artists of note include: Edwin Austen Abbey, George Bellows, Edwin Blashfield, Frank Brangwyn, Mary Cassatt, Kenyon Cox, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Robert Henri, Eastman Johnson, Rockwell Kent, Paul Manship, Henry Ranger, John Singer Sargent, Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz, Edmund Tarbell, James McNeil Whistler, N.C. Wyeth, and Charles Morris Young.

Frequent museum collaborators include the Art Institute of Chicago, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Brooklyn Museum, Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Cleveland Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Detroit Institute of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Saint Louis Museum of Fine Arts, Toledo Museum of Art, and Worcester Art Museum.

Other prolific correspondents include collectors Chauncey Blair, Andrew Carnegie, Charles Lang Freer, George Hearn, Alexander Humphreys, Roy Hunt, Mrs. B.F. Jones, Burton Mansfield, Frank Nicola, Duncan Phillips, John Stevenson, and William Stimmel; dealers and galleries M. Knoedler, William Macbeth, Central Art Gallery, Charles A. Walker, C.W. Kraushaar Art Galleries, Downtown Gallery, Durand-Ruel and Sons, Ehrich Galleries, Ferargil Galleries, Frank Rehn, Frederick Keppel, Haseltine Art Gallery, R.C. Vose Galleries, and W. Scott Thurber Fine Arts; insurance agent Macomber Co.; and shippers Dicksee and Co., J.W. Hampton, P. Navel/R. Lerondelle, Stedman and Wilder, and W.S. Budworth and Son.

Correspondents not specifically related to the contemporary art world include businesses, educational institutions, libraries, and the general public. These exchanges detail the daily work of the museum, including the estimates and work orders of office suppliers, contractors, printers, and etc.; programming and research inquiries of k-12 and college/university institutions; acknowledgements of the receipt of Museum of Art publications; and general public inquiries regarding museum policies, exhibitions, and the permanent collection. Companies and institutions who worked particularly closely with the museum include Alden and Harlow (architects), Detroit Publishing Co., and Tiffany and Co.

Department of Fine Arts (Series 2) consists of art and artist lists, correspondence, memoranda, notes, and reports. These files were begun under John Beatty's tenure and streamlined under Homer Saint-Gaudens' directorship to track activities directly related to the museum's interoffice affairs. File headings continued under Saint-Gaudens focus on art considered and purchased for the permanent collection, employee records, exhibition proposals and loans, Fine Arts Committee minutes, museum programming, museum publications, press releases, requests for images, and requests for general information.

Under Saint-Gaudens, the Fine Arts Committee files contain voluminous impressions of contemporary European artists, which he composed during his annual studio tours of the continent in the early 1920s and late 1930s. These informal reports provide insight into the shaping of the International and include a running commentary on historical events of the time. The Fine Arts Committee files also document the artistic and budgetary compromises that were struck, particularly during the Great Depression and early run-up to World War II.

Exhibitions (Series 3) includes correspondence with collectors, museums, galleries, dealers, shippers, and many of the artists themselves. Additional documents include catalogs, lists, planning notes, and telegrams related to 185 traveling and loan exhibitions held at the Museum of Art from 1901 to 1940. Of these, over 100 are one-artist shows and 82 are group, survey, regional, or topical shows. The one-artist exhibitions tend to showcase contemporary artists of the time. Regional shows focused on American and European art, with two shows featuring the art of Canada and Mexico. Survey themes focused on animals, children, cities, gardens, landscapes, Old Masters, and portraitures. Many of the genre shows venture into art not typically collected by the Museum of Art, including architecture, crafts, engravings, figure studies, graphic arts, illustrations, miniatures, mural decorations, oriental rugs, prints, printed books, sculpture, small reliefs, stained glass, theater models, watercolors, and wood engravings.

The most important shows organized and curated by Museum of Art staff include the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915), American Sculpture Show (1915, 1920), Applied Arts Show (1917), Original Illustrations Show (1921), Mexican Art Show (1929), Garden Club Show (1922), Industrial Art Show (1924), Pittsburgh Artists Show (1935), French Survey Show (1936), English Painting Survey Show (1937), American Paintings, Royal Academy Show (1938), and Survey of American Painting Show (1940).

Important one-artist shows include Abbot Handerson Thayer (1919), George de Forest Brush (1922), Frank W. Benson (1923), Rockwell Kent (1923, 1939), Anders Zorn (1924), John Lavery (1925), Paul Manship (1925), Mary Cassatt (1925), Laura Knight (1925), Edouard Manet (1932), Edward Hopper (1936), Winslow Homer (1922, 1936), Paul Cezanne (1936), Charles Burchfield (1937), and William Glackens (1938).

International (Series 4) is comprised of catalogs, correspondence, art and artist lists, itineraries, jury selection ballots, minutes, notes, and reports related to the planning, logistics, and promotion of the International Exhibition from 1895 to 1940. These documents were originally grouped and filed separately under John Beatty and were more rigorously streamlined under Homer Saint-Gaudens. The folder headings continued under Saint-Gaudens focus on art purchases, artists' invitations, artists' request for information, general exhibition planning, Foreign Advisory Committees, foreign governments, jury reception planning, loan requests, and touring logistics.

Letterpress books (Series 5) consist of 75 volumes that chronologically collect all of the Museum of Art's outgoing correspondence from 1896 to 1917. Volumes 1-8 contain the only copy of outgoing correspondence from 1896 to 1900. Duplicate copies of all outgoing correspondence dating from 1901 to 1917 were filed in Correspondence (Series 1) by museum staff.

Card catalogs (Series 6) also include three sets of catalogs created by the Museum of Art to track the outgoing and incoming correspondence contained in this collection. Set 1 (1895-1906) consists of the original cards. Set 2 (1907-1917) and Set 3 (1918-1940) consists of photocopies of the original cards that were merged together into one contiguous set.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into six series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1883-1962, (Boxes 1-153, OV 267; 152.5 linear feet)

Series 2: Department of Fine Arts, 1896-1940, (Boxes 153-184, OV 268; 31.6 linear feet)

Series 3: Exhibitions, 1901-1940, (Boxes 184-204; 20 linear feet)

Series 4: International, 1895-1940, (Boxes 204-234, 265-266; 30.2 linear feet)

Series 5: Letterpress Books, 1900-1917, (Boxes 235-251; 17 linear feet)

Series 6: Card Catalogs, 1895-1940, (Box 252-264; 11 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
The Carnegie Institute Museum of Art was established in 1895 by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. One of the first modern contemporary art museums in the United States, its flagship exhibition, the Carnegie International, is recognized as the longest running contemporary exhibition of international art in North America and is the second oldest in the world.

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) was born in Dumfermline, Scotland and migrated to America with his family in 1848. Often regarded as the second-richest man in history behind John D. Rockerfeller, Carnegie built his industrialist fortunes in the steel industry and spent the remainder of his life in support of major philanthropic projects. By the age of 33, he had developed his personal philosophy of philanthropy, which saw it as the responsibility of the wealthy to foster educational opportunities and disseminate the ideals of high culture among all levels of society. In addition to establishing over 2500 free public libraries, in 1895, he provided the funds to build the Carnegie Institute, located in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Carnegie Institute originally maintained three separate departments under the auspices of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and the Carnegie Museum of Art.

The Carnegie Institute was administered by a Board of Trustees selected by Carnegie, all prominent professional men of Pittsburgh. Within this group, eight men were selected to serve on the Museum of Art's Fine Arts Committee, which was initially granted the final say on gallery affairs. The first Fine Arts Committee was composed of two artists, Alfred Bryan Wall and Joseph Ryan Woodwell, and six businessmen. Among the latter group, John Caldwell, Henry Clay Frick, William Nimick Frew, and David Thompson Watson were also knowledgeable art patrons and collectors. Over time, the Fine Arts Committee's sway over gallery affairs would be measured by the dedication of its various members and tempered by the vision and authority of the Museum's directors, John Beatty and Homer Saint-Gaudens, and the Carnegie Institute Board of Trustees president, Samuel Harden Church.

From 1896 to 1921, John Wesley Beatty (1851-1924) served as the first director of the Museum of Art. A native Pittsburgher and an accomplished silver engraver, illustrator, and painter, Beatty attended the Royal Bavarian Academy in Munich and upon his return to America, made a living as an artist. He also taught at the Pittsburgh School of Design for Women and co-founded a small school of art with fellow local artist George Hetzel. In 1890, while serving as the secretary of the Pittsburgh Art Society, he became the primary organizer of a loan exhibition to be displayed at the opening of the Carnegie Free Library in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. In 1895, when the Carnegie Institute trustees began discussing the possibility of a similar loan exhibition for the opening of their new institution, Beatty was contacted and eventually enlisted to take on the task. Upon the success of that exhibition, he was invited to direct the gallery's affairs and served as the Museum of Art's director until his retirement.

Beatty was an enthusiastic supporter of Impressionism, Realism, Tonalism, Symbolism, and the critically acclaimed contemporary art of the 1890s. He also shared Carnegie's vision for the Museum of Art and believed in the educational and uplifting role aesthetic beauty could provide to the general public. Pursuant to the stated goals of Andrew Carnegie, under Beatty's direction the museum began to purchase important contemporary works to add to its chronological collection of "Old Masters of tomorrow" and almost immediately began planning the first of its Internationals.

The Internationals were viewed as the primary means of showcasing the Museum of Art's selection of the best in contemporary American and European painting, thereby elevating its role as an influential cultural institution on a national and international level. Juried monetary prizes would be awarded to the two best works by American artists, additional awards would be offered to artists of all nationalities, and the Museum of Art's purchases for the year would be selected from the exhibition. Certain artists and collectors were tapped to serve as unofficial representatives of the Museum of Art at home and abroad, among them John White Alexander, William Coffin, I.M. Gaugengigl, Walter Shirlaw, and Edmund Tarbell. Many of the most prominent Pittsburgh art collectors were also asked to lend works to the exhibition. While details of the jury and artist selection process, number of representatives, exhibition show dates, and amount and total number of prizes would change over the years, the planning template was set and would remain the same for future Internationals.

Beatty continued to rely on a stable of close friends and confidantes to help smooth over relations with artists, dealers, shipping agents, and galleries alike, relying heavily on John White Alexander and W. Elmer Schofield, in addition to artists Thomas Shields Clarke, Walter Gay, Robert Henri, Frank D. Millet, and critic Charles M. Kurtz. Over time, many of the artists who served on International juries or Foreign Advisory Committees also became reliable friends and advocates of the International, including Edwin Austen Abbey, Edmond Aman-Jean, Edwin Howland Blashfield, William Merritt Chase, Charles Cottet, Kenyon Cox, Charles Harold Davis, Alfred East, Ben Foster, Charles Hopkinson, John la Farge, Gari Melchers, Leonard Ochtman, Irving R. Wiles, and Robert W. Vonnoh.

From 1896 to 1921, the Museum of Art held twenty-one Internationals, with the only exceptions coming in 1906 (construction of the Hall of Architecture, Hall of Sculpture, and Bruce Galleries), 1915 (deference to the San Francisco Panama-Pacific International), and 1916-1919 (World War I). During these years, the scope and administration of the International slowly expanded, though not without growing pains. At the turn of the century, new modernist styles of art that were appearing in galleries across Europe had not yet entered major American museums and the Carnegie Museum of Art maintained this trend. The museum's generally conservative selection policies, combined with criticism regarding the timing of the exhibition and the jury selection process, led to increasingly tense relations with artists, and were only partially resolved by changes made to the format of the International. In spite of these challenges, the Carnegie International retained its reputation as a preeminent venue for contemporary art and awarded top prizes to John White Alexander, Cecilia Beaux, George W. Bellows, Frank W. Benson, Andre Dauchez, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, John Lavery, Henri le Sidaner, Edward W. Redfield, W. Elmer Schofield, Edmund C. Tarbell, Abbot Handerson Thayer, Dwight W. Tryon, and J. Alden Weir.

In addition to the International, Carnegie's mission of bringing cultural and educational opportunities to Pittsburgh was a central priority of the museum's daily operations. Beatty cultivated relationships with fellow museum directors, which allowed for the easy co-ordination and planning of traveling exhibitions benefiting the city. The museum developed educational programs for children and adults, including lectures, gallery talks, Saturday morning classes, fine art extension classes, guided tours, and outreach to local schools. As popular Pittsburgh art societies and clubs formed, the museum also provided meeting and exhibition spaces for groups such as the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, the Art Society of Pittsburgh, the Art Students League, the Garden Club of Allegheny County, and the Junior League.

After more than 25 years of service, Beatty made the decision to retire and put out an informal call for candidates. Being the right man at the right time, in 1921, Homer Schiff Saint-Gaudens (1880-1958) became the Museum of Art's second director.

The only child of American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his wife and artist, Augusta Fisher Homer, Saint-Gaudens frequently traveled abroad and grew up in the company of his parents' wide circle of friends, many of them artists, poets, writers, and performers who frequented the Cornish Artists' Colony. More intimate friends of the family included former students, assistants, and colleagues, the architect Stanford White, and successful artist-couples who resided near the family's Cornish, New Hampshire home, among them Louise and Kenyon Cox, Maria and Thomas Dewing, Florence and Everett Shinn, and Emma and Abbott Thayer.

Homer Saint-Gaudens attended the preparatory school Lawrenceville, graduated from Harvard in 1903, married the artist and suffragist Carlota Dolley (1884-1927) in 1905, and remarried to Mary Louise McBride (n.d.-1974) in 1929. He began his professional career as a journalist and worked as assistant editor of The Critic (1903) and managing editor of Metropolitan Magazine (1905). During those years, he was introduced to a number of the Ash Can school artists, wrote articles on contemporary art, and honed his abilities as a writer. In 1907, Saint-Gaudens took a break from professional editing and began a second career as the stage manager for Maude Adams, the most highly paid and successful stage actress of her day, with a yearly income of over one million dollars at the peak of her popularity. Working in theater and as Adams' manager for over ten years, Saint-Gaudens learned the ins and outs of event promotion and logistics, media coverage, and maintaining diplomatic relations through compromise, ideal skills he would later use in organizing the Carnegie Internationals.

With the United States' entry into World War I, Saint-Gaudens served as the chief of the U.S. Army's first camouflage unit and was awarded the Bronze Star. After his discharge, he managed Adams' 1918 final season and simultaneously helped his mother organize a major retrospective of his father's sculptures. While organizing a section of his father's work for the 1921 International, he was invited to step into the position of assistant director of the Carnegie Museum of Art, and was promoted to the directorship upon John Beatty's retirement.

Throughout his tenure, Saint-Gaudens was able to call upon long-standing family friendships with artists and art patrons to the museum's benefit. His connections to the art world can clearly be seen in his first major stand-alone exhibition, the Garden Club Show (1922). In this, he enlisted the aid of Elizabeth Alexander, wife of John White Alexander, and Johanna Hailman, artist and wife of John Hailman, who reached out to their circle of artists and art collecting friends in search of works appropriate for the show. Their efforts, combined with the relationships Beatty had established with museum directors, galleries, and dealers, as well as Saint-Gaudens' own friendships with Kenyon Cox, Thomas Dewing, Barry Faulkner, and Gari Melchers, resulted in an assemblage of 150 paintings of note. Coming immediately upon the heels of the 1922 International, the show was a resounding success. The exhibition's opening attracted over 300 delegates of the Garden Club of America and the entirety of Pittsburgh high society, settling any concerns regarding his leadership abilities.

As director of the Museum of Art, Saint-Gaudens instituted measures intended to streamline the Internationals and improve diplomatic relations with artists. Though the basic format of the juried exhibition remained the same, his solutions to the complaints many artists raised with the artist invitation, art selection, and jury systems reformed the International's reputation at a critical time. Though he was naturally inclined to appreciate the art and artists he had grown up with, Saint-Gaudens understood the immediate necessity of introducing modernist contemporary art into the museum's exhibitions and galleries. He circumvented the conservative Fine Arts Committee's resistance to the accolades of European modernists by choosing the tamest of the new 'radical' works. Eventually, he balanced the Internationals with a mix of conservative, moderate, and advanced works that appealed to a large range of audiences and increased the status and diversity of the Internationals.

To aid in his reformation of the International, Saint-Gaudens formalized a team of European agents who worked year round to scout artists' studios, recommend suitable art and artists, navigate local politics, arrange local transportation and logistics, and maintain cordial relations with artists abroad. In the spring, Saint-Gaudens would travel to Europe to meet with his agents in person, tour the most promising studios, and meet with artists personally. His team was headed by Guillaume Lerolle, who shared Saint-Gaudens' distinction of being the son of a well regarded national artist, Henry Lerolle. Like Saint-Gaudens, Lerolle was able and willing to call upon longstanding family friendships and networks on behalf of the Museum of Art. The other core members of the team were Ilario Neri (Italy), Arnold Palmer (England), Margaret Palmer (Spain), and Charlotte Weidler (Germany).

From 1922 to 1940, the Museum of Art held seventeen Internationals, with the exceptions coming in 1932 (Great Depression) and 1940 (World War II). After a brief period of change, growth, and experimentation in the early 1920s, the museum eventually settled on a routine of planning the Internationals, arranging for traveling exhibitions, and expanding upon the most popular of their educational programs. In addition to those programs put into place under Beatty's tenure, Saint-Gaudens paved the way for a revamped lecture series featuring visiting critics and traveled as a visiting lecturer himself.

During the 1930s, financial difficulties and increasing political tensions in Europe presented ample challenges to the diplomatic skills of Saint-Gaudens and his agents, and they found themselves increasingly forced to navigate through political minefields presented by the fascist ideologies of Germany and Italy, the chaos of the Spanish civil war, and the eventual outbreak of World War II in Europe. In spite of these challenges, under Saint-Gaudens' direction, the museum remained true to Andrew Carnegie's vision. The International was expanded to accept on average over sixty additional works of art, and at its peak, included art from twenty-one countries. Beginning in 1927, top prizes and recognition were awarded to Georges Braque, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Andre Derain, Raoul Dufy, Karl Hofer, Rockwell Kent, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Edouard Vuillard.

Works by Arthur B. Davies, Charles Hawthorne, Edward Hopper, Augustus John, Oskar Kokoschka, Leon Kroll, Ernest Lawson, and William Orpen were added to the museum's permanent collection. And, as under Beatty's tenure, many of the artists selected to serve on the Jury of Award became advocates and friends of the museum, including Emil Carlsen, Anto Carte, Bruce Crane, Charles C. Curran, Daniel Garber, Charles Hopkinson, Laura Knight, Jonas Lie, Julius Olsson, Leopold Seyffert, Lucien Simon, Eugene Speicher, Maurice Sterne, Gardner Symons, Horatio Walker, and Charles H. Woodbury.

The monumental task of establishing the Carnegie Institute Museum of Art and the Carnegie International has left an archival record that is unique and unparalleled in documenting its relations with every aspect of the contemporary art world from the turn of the century through the first forty years of the twentieth century.
Provenance:
The Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art records were loaned for microfilming in 1966 and later donated to the Archives of American Art in 1972. A small addition of corrrespondence was donated in 2017 by Elizabeth Tufts Brown.
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.
Topic:
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Art museums -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh  Search this
Depressions -- 1929  Search this
Art, Modern -- Exhibitions  Search this
Fascism  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Museum directors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Letterpress books
Museum records
Citation:
Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art records, 1883-1962, bulk 1885-1940. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.carninst
See more items in:
Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-carninst
Online Media:

Billy Al Bengston papers

Creator:
Bengston, Billy Al  Search this
Names:
Ferus Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
James Corcoran Gallery  Search this
John Berggruen Gallery (San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Martha Jackson Gallery  Search this
Alexander, Peter, 1939-  Search this
Altoon, John, 1925-  Search this
Andre, Carl, 1935-  Search this
Chamberlain, John, 1927-2011  Search this
Diebenkorn, Richard, 1922-1993  Search this
Flavin, Dan, 1933-  Search this
Goode, Joe, 1937-  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-1997  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Plagens, Peter  Search this
Ruscha, Edward  Search this
Extent:
10.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Photographs
Date:
circa 1940s-1989
bulk 1960-1988
Summary:
The papers of southern California Pop artist Billy Al Bengston measure 10.4 linear feet and date from circa 1940s to 1989, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1960 to 1988. The collection documents the life and work of the artist through biographical materials, correspondence, personal business records, gallery and museum files, teaching files, project and commission files, scattered artwork, printed materials, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Billy Al Bengston measure 10.4 linear feet and date from circa 1940s to 1989, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1960 to 1988. The collection documents the life and work of the southern California artist through biographical materials, correspondence, personal business records, gallery and museum files, teaching files, project and commission files, scattered artwork, printed materials, and photographs.

Found within the biographical materials series are three feet of calendars which extensively document Bengston's personal and professional activities for fourteen years, and include ephemera related to these activities. This series also includes health records, wills, and passports.

Correspondence is with galleries, museums, universities, businesses, friends, and colleagues, and primarily concerns exhibitions, sales, consignments, commissions, and Bengston's personal finances. Bengston's relationship with the James Corcoran Gallery, Janie C. Lee Gallery, John Berggruen Gallery, Martha Jackson Gallery, and Texas Gallery are well-documented here, as well as in the Museum and Gallery Files series. Also found is a limited amount of personal correspondence with collectors, researchers, and friends. A few letters from other artists, including Peter Plagens and a letter from Richard Diebenkorn are interfiled here.

Bengston's professional relationships with galleries, museums, and universities are well-documented in the gallery and museum files, including the galleries mentioned above, Ferus Gallery, and others. Lists of consignments and prices, invoices, records of sales, loan agreement forms, shipping receipts, exhibition checklists, and exhibition floor plans provide information about sales, exhibitions, and loans. A few files provide further information about Bengston teaching activities. His personal business records include art sales records, price lists, lists of purchases, records of investment, and personal finance records. Project files include correspondence, notes, and printed materials related to Bengston's commissions for artwork and personal projects, including a book he worked on with Ed Ruscha, Business Cards.

Writings by Bengston include responses to exhibitions of West Coast art and his thoughts on his career, art, the artistic community, motorcycles, as well as a recollection of John Altoon. Also found are questionnaires sent out by Bengston for an art survey, with responses from Peter Alexander, Carl Andre, John Chamberlain, Dan Flavin, Joe Goode, Robert Graham, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Motherwell, Ed Ruscha, and others. Writings by others consist primarily of exhibition catalog essays, manuscripts of interviews with Bengston, and other writings about Bengston. Also found is an essay by Walter Hopps. Photographs of Bengston include a family picture from the 1940s, Bengston at work on projects in Los Angeles and Syracuse, New York, and Bengston at social events. Other photographs consist of pictures of friends and artists, Bengston's artwork, documentary evidence of damaged artwork, and of commission sites.

Printed materials from the 1960s - 1980s include clippings, full articles, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and posters. They document exhibitions, art in southern California, and society and art events. The collection houses limited amounts of artwork including sketches, cut-outs, doodles and drawings.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 10 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1958-1987 (Boxes 1-4, 11; 3.7 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1966-1989 (Boxes 4-6; 1.75 linear feet)

Series 3: Gallery and Museum Files, 1961-1989 (Boxes 6-7; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Teaching Records, 1968-1982 (Box 7; 7 folders)

Series 5: Personal Business Records, circa 1960-1987 (Boxes 7-8; 1.0 linear foot)

Series 6: Project Files, 1968-1987 (Boxes 8-9; 0.25 linear feet)

Series 7: Writings, 1967-circa 1988 (Box 9, OV 12; 0.25 linear feet)

Series 8: Artwork, 1960s-1987 (Box 9; 7 folders)

Series 9: Printed Materials, 1958-1988 (Boxes 9-10, OV 12-13; 1.25 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographs, circa 1940s-1987 (Box 10; 0.5 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Billy Al Bengston was born in Dodge City, Kansas on June 7, 1934. After moving back and forth from Kansas to California multiple times, he and his family settled in Los Angeles in 1948. While attending the Manual Arts High School, Bengston became interested in art, especially ceramics. After a brief stint at Los Angeles Junior College, Bengston worked as a beach attendant at Doheny State Beach. While working there he met fellow surfer and future ceramicist Kenneth Price, who became one of Bengston's closest friends. In 1953, he reenrolled in Los Angeles Junior College to study ceramics. For the next four years he attended both the California College of Arts and Crafts and the Los Angeles County Art Institute (now the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design). At these institutions he studied with Richard Diebenkorn, Sabro Hasegawa, Nathan Oliveira, and Peter Voulkos.

Around 1957, Bengston shifted his emphasis from ceramics to painting, and became affiliated with the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, founded that same year by Edward Kienholz and Walter Hopps. Bengston's first solo exhibition was held at the Ferus Gallery in 1958, and a second followed in 1960. At this time Bengston began to work with Pop icons combined with Color Field abstractions. His early bold paintings often featured symmetrical strong color compositions with a central image of a valentine, star, cross, chevron, or iris. The irises he called "draculas," after Kenneth Price remarked that they resembled Dracula flying through a window. He first showed his chevron paintings in 1962 at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York. In the early 1960s, Bengston extended his imagery to the California subculture and created paintings of leisure time activities, focusing on motorcycles, racing, and scuba diving - his own interests as well.

Throughout his career, Bengston experimented with technique and materials. He experimented with automobile lacquer and spray painting techniques associated with car customization. He also used non-traditional surfaces, such as masonite and aluminum. In 1965, Bengston began creating paintings on sheets of aluminum into which he hammered dents and sometimes bent and buckled; these subsequently came to be known as "dentos." Along with painting, Bengston has also created watercolors, ceramics, and furniture. He was also one of the artists selected by Carol and Roy Doumani to design their home.

Bengston first visited Hawaii in 1974, and after several subsequent trips, established a second studio there in 1979. The work Bengston created in the following years was characterized by the use of tropical colors and representational images of running figures, airplanes, and the moon. In 1988, the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston organized a retrospective entitled "Billy Al Bengston: Paintings of Three Decades," which traveled to the Oakland Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Contemporary Museum of Art, Honolulu. Bengston also completed several years as an art instructor and lecturer at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and The University of California at Los Angeles. Bengston continues to create and exhibit new work.
Related Material:
Found in the Archives of American Art are oral history interviews with Bengston conducted by Susan Larsen, September 9, 1980, and Susan Ford Morgan, August 2-October 7, 2002. Also found are portraits of Bengston in the Photographs of artists taken by Mimi Jacobs collection, and a rare copy of the book Business Cards by Bengston and Ed Ruscha in the Wallace Berman papers.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art by Billy Al Bengston in 1990.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use 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 -- California  Search this
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Photographs
Citation:
Billy Al Bengston papers, circa 1940s-1989 (bulk 1960-1988). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.bengbill
See more items in:
Billy Al Bengston papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bengbill

Henry Ossawa Tanner papers

Creator:
Tanner, Henry Ossawa, 1859-1937  Search this
Names:
Académie Julian  Search this
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Grand Central Art Galleries  Search this
Old American Art Club (Paris, France)  Search this
Carpenter, J.S.  Search this
Curtis, Atherton  Search this
Tanner, Jesse O., 1903-  Search this
Tanner, Jessie O., 1873-1925  Search this
Taverty, J.J.  Search this
Extent:
2.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketches
Photographs
Date:
1860s-1978
bulk 1890-1937
Summary:
The papers of the expatriate African American painter Henry Ossawa Tanner measure 2.3 linear feet and date from the 1860s to 1978, with the bulk of the material dating from 1890 to 1937. Found in the papers are scattered biographical, family, and legal materials; twenty-seven folders of correspondence with family, friends, patrons, and galleries; writings and notes by Tanner and others; a small amount of printed material; numerous photographs of Tanner, his studio in Paris and home in Trepied, Normandy, his family, friends, fellow artists, and his artwork. Additional photographs include a circa 1890 shot of Tanner with fellow students at the Académie Julian and another depicting Tanner with members of the American Art Club in Paris, circa 1900. Also found are a few sketches and drawings.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of the expatriate African American painter Henry Ossawa Tanner measure 2.3 linear feet and date from the 1860s to 1978, with the bulk of the material dating from 1890 to 1937. Found in the papers are scattered biographical, family, and legal materials; twenty-seven folders of correspondence with family, friends, patrons, and galleries; writings and notes by Tanner and others; a small amount of printed material; numerous photographs of Tanner, his family, friends, his artwork, and the galleries at the Chicago Art Institute; and a few sketches and drawings.

Biographical material contains identification documents, awards, family and personal bibles, scattered records of his membership in the Societe Artistique de Picardie and the American Expeditionary Forces, address books, family history, a file concerning a lawsuit against the Bethel A.M.E. Church, and a few records documenting the sale of his artwork. Tanner's personal and professional correspondence is with his wife Jessie, his family, friends, patrons, art galleries, and others. Letters are from various family members, his closest friend Atherton Curtis and his wife Ingeborg, friend J.S. Carpenter who was president of the Des Moines Association of Fine Arts and arranged for sales of Tanner's work in the mid-west, Grand Central Art Galleries in New York, and J.J. Taverty who purchased Tanner's work for the High Museum in Atlanta. Topics of note covered in the correspondence include the sale and exhibition of his artwork and his work for the Red Cross.

Writings and Notes by Tanner include two small notebooks, one of which he kept during his travels in Europe and Palestine in 1897. Also found are his scattered loose writings, jottings, and other notes on various subjects, including autobiographical notes. Writings by others include notes and an essay by his wife Jessie, and a manuscript, "The Life and Works of Henry O. Tanner," by his son Jesse. Printed Materials document Tanner's career and other interests through exhibition announcements, news clippings, printed reproductions of artwork, a published autobiographical essay, and other miscellaneous items. The collection includes numerous photographs of Tanner, family and friends, his studio in Paris, his home in Trepied and in Spain, travels, and artwork. Additional photographs include a circa 1890 shot of Tanner with students at the Académie Julian and another depicting Tanner with members of the American Art Club in Paris, circa 1900. Artwork consists of an ink drawing of a Paris studio and pencil sketches by Tanner.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 6 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1890-1937 (Box 1, 4, OV 5; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1890-1978 (Box 1, OV 5; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1897-circa 1950s (Box 1-2, OV 5; 9 folders)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1897-1975 (Box 2, OV 5; 9 folders)

Series 5: Photographs, 1860s-1943 (Box 3, OV 5; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 6: Artwork, 1891-1893 (Box 3; 2 folders)
Biographical Note:
African American painter Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Benjamin Tucker Tanner, a college-educated teacher and minister, and Sarah Miller Tanner, a former slave. Benjamin Tanner was very active in the African Methodist Episcopal (A. M. E.) Church, eventually becoming a bishop, and the family often moved while Henry was a small child. They settled in Philadelphia, and as a teenager, Tanner spent his free time painting, drawing, and visiting art galleries. In 1880 he enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he studied under several master art instructors, including Thomas Eakins who greatly influenced his early work.

Tanner moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1888 and opened a photography gallery which was not very successful. After teaching briefly at Clark College, a sponsorship from his patrons Bishop and Mrs. Joseph Crane Hartzell allowed him to travel to Europe in 1891 and study at the Académie Julian in Paris. There he was taught by Jean Joseph Benjamin-Constant and Jean-Paul Laurens. After returning to Philadelphia in late 1892, he painted many works depicting African American subjects, including The Banjo Lesson (1893). He returned to Paris in 1894. There, his work began to receive favorable reviews, particularly at the Paris Solon for his biblical scenes. Tanner began to specialize in painting bible imagery and scenes, and traveled to Palestine in 1897 and 1898 and later to Morocco to study costumes, customs, and cityscapes.

In 1899 Tanner married Jessie Macauley Olssen, a young woman from San Francisco living in Paris. Also around this time reproductions of his artwork were published in a few popular American magazines, and Tanner began to receive praise for his artwork in the United States. Tanner, however, objected to being labeled as "Negro artist". Despite their misgivings, the couple moved back to the United States for a short time. Their son, Jesee Ossawa Tanner was born in 1903. One year later Tanner and his wife returned to Paris and made it their lifelong permanent home, only occasionally visiting the United States for exhibitions of his work. They also maintained a leisure farm in Trepied, Normandy.

Tanner continued to exhibit his work in Paris, develop his painting technique and imagery, and travel, becoming friends with many artists throughout Europe. In 1913 he became president of the Societe Artistique de Picardie and during World War I he worked for the American Red Cross in France. In 1923 he was made a chevalier of the Legion of Honor in France for his work as an artist. Tanner became affiliated with Grand Central Art Galleries and other dealers in the United States and had great success there during the 1920s. When Jessie Tanner died in 1925 Henry was grief stricken and remained in poor health for the remainder of his life. He continued to paint occasionally until his death in 1937.
Related Material:
Also found at the Archives of American Art are the Marcia M. Mathews papers relating to Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1937-1969, available on microfilm reels 64 and 3268. Archives of American Art microfilm reel 4399 contains the Alexander family papers relating to Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1912-1985, the originals of which are housed in the University of Pennsylvania Archives. Microfilm reel 4397 is a copy of the the Henry O. Tanner letters to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1885-1909, loaned for microfilming by the Academy.
Provenance:
The Henry Ossawa Tanner papers were donated in several increments by his son, Jesse O. Tanner, between 1967 to 1978. Additional papers were donated by Jesse O. Tanner through Marcia M. Mathews, who was in possession of Tanner's papers to write Tanner's biography. Four medals were transferred to the Archives from the National Museum of African Art.
Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- France -- Paris  Search this
Painters -- United States  Search this
Topic:
Expatriate painters -- France -- Paris  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
African American artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketches
Photographs
Citation:
Henry Ossawa Tanner papers, 1860s-1978 (bulk 1890-1937). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.tannhenr
See more items in:
Henry Ossawa Tanner papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-tannhenr
Online Media:

Beatrice Wood papers

Creator:
Wood, Beatrice  Search this
Names:
Garth Clark Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
John Waller, Fine Ceramics (Firm : Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Zachary Waller Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Arensberg, Louise S. (Louise Stevenson), 1879-1953  Search this
Arensberg, Walter, 1878-1954  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Hapgood, Elizabeth Reynolds  Search this
Hoag, Stephen Asa  Search this
Nin, Anaïs, 1903-1977  Search this
Roché, Henri Pierre, 1879-1959  Search this
Rosencrantz, Esther, 1876-1950  Search this
Extent:
26.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drafts (documents)
Interviews
Photographs
Illustrated letters
Notes
Watercolors
Diaries
Transcripts
Lithographs
Short stories
Illustrations
Designs
Drawings
Bookplates
Date:
1894-1998
bulk 1930-1990
Summary:
The papers of California ceramicist Beatrice Wood measure 26.6 linear feet and date from 1906 to 1998, with the bulk dating from 1930-1990. There is extensive correspondence with gallery owners, fellow artists, clients, friends, and family. The collection also contains biograpical materials, personal business records, writings, printed materials, photographs, and works of art. Of particular interest are the 28 diaries that Wood maintained from 1916 until her death in 1998 and 42 glazing formula notebooks dating from 1934-1997. Also found are documents of Steven Hoag and Esther Rosencranz, her husband and aunt respectively, that consist of correspondence, business records, and photographs given to the Archives of American Art as part of the Beatrice Wood papers.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of California ceramicist Beatrice Wood measure 26.6 linear feet and date from 1906 to 1998, with the bulk dating from 1930-1990. There is extensive correspondence with gallery owners, fellow artists, clients, friends, and family. The collection also contains biographical materials, personal business records, writings, printed materials, photographs, and works of art. Of particular interest are the 28 diaries that Wood maintained from 1916 until her death in 1998 and 42 glazing formula notebooks dating from 1934-1997. Also found are documents of Steven Hoag and Esther Rosencranz, her husband and aunt respectively, that consist of correspondence, business records, and photographs given to the Archives of American Art as part of the Beatrice Wood papers.

Biographical material contains certificates, licenses, degrees, legal documents, and extensive interview transcripts, which describe her philosophy on art and her development as a ceramic artist.

Correspondence is particularly rich in documenting Wood's passion and dedication to her work as a writer and artist. The records reflect Wood's close professional and personal relationships with many friends and colleagues, including Henri-Pierre Roche, Marcel Duchamp, Anais Nin, Elizabeth Hapgood, and Walter and Lou Arensberg. Additional correspondence with editors and publishers is also included. Wood enjoyed illustrating her letters, as did many of her correspondents.

Personal business records include financial material, sales and consignment records, and correspondence with gallery owners, including Garth Clark Gallery, John Waller Gallery, and Zachary Waller Gallery.

Notes and writings extensively document Wood's second career as a writer. Edited drafts of her monographs and short stories are available, as well as her journal writings and notes. Drafts of I Shock Myself: The Autobiography of Beatrice Wood, Angel Who Wore Black Tights, 33rd Wife of a Maharajah, among others are included. Also found here are the illustrations that Wood created for her monographs. She often did a series of drawings for each illustration and these copies are included as well.

Twenty-eight detailed diaries contain information about studio sales, clients, and the economic uncertainties of being a self-employed artist. The diaries, arranged in one-year and five-year volumes, begin in 1916 and end just a few days before her death in 1998.

Forty-two glaze books record the formulas for the pottery glazes Wood developed throughout her career.

Printed material includes copies of Wood's published monographs as well as exhibition announcements and brochures. Also found are clippings about Wood, including numerous articles about her trips to India.

Photographic material includes photographs and slides of Wood, her friends, travels, and other events. Many of the photographs are identified by Wood.

Artwork includes original sketches, drawings, watercolors, lithographs and designs by Wood. The original illustrations from her books are included in this series.

The last two series contain records generated by her husband, Stephen Hoag and her maternal aunt, Esther Rosencrantz. Wood was married to Hoag from 1937 until his death in 1960. The bulk of the material contains Hoag's financial records, mostly receipts, from his early years as a engineer in the Pacific Northwest. Esther Rosencranz, a physician in San Francisco, collected book plates that are included in this series.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged as 11 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1924-1993 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1910-1998 (Box 1-8; 7.7 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1909-1988 (Box 9-11, 26, OV 31; 3.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Notes and Writings, circa 1912-1997 (Box 11-16, 27; 5.5 linear feet)

Series 5: Diaries, 1915-1998 (Box 17-20; 4 linear feet)

Series 6: Glaze Books, circa 1930-1997 (Box 21-22, 27-30; 2.5 linear feet)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1940-1997 (Box 23, OV 31; 1.1 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographic Material, 1913-1997 (Box 24, 30; 1 linear foot)

Series 9: Artwork, 1917-1991 (Box 24-25, 30; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 10: Stephen Hoag papers, 1906-1960 (Box 25; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 11: Esther Rosencranz papers, 1894-1959 (Box 25; 0.1 linear feet)
Biographical/Historical note:
Beatrice Wood (1893-1998) was a ceramicist, painter, and writer who relocated to Ojai, California in 1948.

Beatrice Wood was born on March 3, 1893 in San Francisco to socially prominent and wealthy parents. In the late 1890s, the family moved to New York City where Wood was expected to begin the process of "coming out" in New York society. This process included boarding schools, a convent school in Paris, and frequent summer trips to Europe where she was exposed to museums, galleries, and the theater. Wood studied acting and dance in Paris until the outbreak of the war in 1914. She returned to New York and soon joined the company of the French National Repertory Theatre. From 1914 through 1916, Wood played over 60 parts as a stage actress.

In 1917, Wood met the writer Henri Pierre Roche, with whom she had a brief affair and a long friendship. Roche introduced her to the New York world of artists and writers and encouraged her interest in drawing and painting. During a visit to see the composer Edgard Varese in the hospital, Wood met Marcel Duchamp, with whom she had a love affair and who also had a strong influence in her development as an artist. Their long discussions about modern art encouraged Wood to show Duchamp a recent drawing entitled "Marriage of a Friend." Duchamp liked the drawing so much that he published it in Rogue, a magazine partly financed by Walter and Louise Arensberg, friends of Duchamp. The Arensbergs were pioneering collectors of modern art and soon became friends of Wood as well. She became a frequent guest at their evening gatherings, forming friendships with Walter Pach, Francis Picabia, Joseph Stella, Myrna Loy, Galka Scheyer, and others.

Through Duchamp and the Arensbergs, Wood was introduced to the world of the New York Dada. Following the formation of the Society of Independent Artists in 1917, Wood exhibited work in their Independents exhibition. Together with Duchamp and Roche, she published a short-lived avant-garde journal, called Blind Man, in which the Alfred Steiglitz photograph of Duchamp's famous ready-made "Fountain" appeared. She also designed the poster for the Dada event, The Blind Man's Ball.

Throughout the 1920s, Wood continued to draw and paint, especially watercolors. Late in 1927, she moved to California to join the Arensbergs, who had been there since 1921. She also developed an interest in clay and took her first ceramics classes with Glen Lukens at the University of Southern California in the late 1930s. In 1940 Wood studied with Otto and Gertrud Natzler, Austrian potters who were known for their technical mastery and ability to throw almost perfectly formed pots. The Natzlers taught her how to throw pots and calculate glaze formulas.

Museums and galleries began to take an interest in her pottery and she held several shows in New York, San Francisco, and Phoenix. Several department stores, including Nieman Marcus and Gumps, also began to feature her pottery. During the 1940s, Wood began making figurative art in addition to more traditional pots. In 1947, for example, she included a large blue fish with white spots in an exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science, and Art. As her skills developed, Wood moved to a new home and studio in Ojai, California. By 1950, Wood was experimenting with luster surfaces, pottery with a metallic glaze that gives the effect of iridescence. These lusterware plates, in addition to her decorative figures and traditional ceramics, were sold at her studio, advertised with a sign out front that read "Beatrice Wood: Fine Pottery, Reasonable and Unreasonable."

In 1961, Wood visited India as a cultural ambassador, sponsored by the State Department. She toured the country and showed her work in fourteen cities. She became enamoured with Indian decorative arts and began to weave shimmering gold and silver threads into her palatte. Wood returned a second time in 1965 at the invitation of the Indian government. It was during this trip that she decided to adopt the sari as her style of dress, a style she continued until her death in 1998. She made her third and last trip to India in 1971. Her book, 33rd Wife of a Maharajah is about her adventures in India.

Wood always enjoyed writing, recording her daily activities in a diary and creating stories about her experiences with friends and colleagues. She published her first book, Angel Who Wore Black Tights in 1982, followed by her autobiography, I Shock Myself, in 1985.

Wood considered her last 25 years as her most productive. In addition to her literary publications, Wood also had several successful exhibitions, including Intimate Appeal: The Figurative Art of Beatrice Wood at the Oakland Museum in 1990 and Beatrice Wood: A Centennial Tribute at New York's American Craft Museum in 1997. The film, Beatrice Wood: The Mama of Dada, was filmed on the occasion of her 100th birthday in 1993. She died in Ojai, California in 1998, nine days after her 105th birthday.
Related Archival Materials note:
The Archives of American Art holds two oral history interviews with Beatrice Wood completed by Paul Karlstrom in 1976 and 1992.
Provenance:
Beatrice Wood donated her papers in several accretions between 1976 and 2002. Additional material was donated by Francis Naumann in 1993 and the Beatrice Wood Personal Property Trust in 1999. Material from a 1977 loan was included in Wood's later donations.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Authors -- California  Search this
Glazes -- Formulae  Search this
Women artists -- California  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Actresses -- United States  Search this
Ceramicists -- California  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- California  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drafts (documents)
Interviews
Photographs
Illustrated letters
Notes
Watercolors
Diaries
Transcripts
Lithographs
Short stories
Illustrations
Designs
Drawings
Bookplates
Citation:
Beatrice Wood papers, 1906-1998, bulk 1930-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.woodbeat
See more items in:
Beatrice Wood papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-woodbeat
Online Media:

Winslow Homer letters to M. Knoedler and Company

Creator:
Homer, Winslow, 1836-1910  Search this
Names:
M. Knoedler & Co.  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1900-1904
Summary:
This small collection of twenty-two letters written by painter and illustrator Winslow Homer to his art dealer, M. Knoedler and Company, date from 1900 to 1904. These letters to the New York gallerist concern the logistics of selling his paintings and also reference agents, collectors, and art institutions where his work was being exhibited.
Scope and Contents:
This small collection of twenty-two letters written by painter and illustrator Winslow Homer to his art dealer, M. Knoedler and Company, date from 1900 to 1904. These letters to the New York gallerist concern the logistics of selling his paintings and also reference agents, collectors, and art institutions where his work was being exhibited.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 1 series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1900-1904 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)
Biographical / Historical:
Winslow Homer was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1836. He was raised in Cambridge, where he developed a love of art and the outdoors. At the age of 19 he began his career as an illustrator, apprenticing at the J.H. Bufford lithographic firm in Boston. He then decided to become a freelance illustrator. In 1859 Homer moved to New York to work for Harper's Weekly, serving as artist-correspondent for the magazine during the Civil War. After taking some art classes at the National Academy of Design, he decided to focus on oil painting. He quickly gained international recognition as a painter, and in 1866 made his first trip to Europe. In 1873 he decided to work in watercolor and found great success in his experimentation with light and color in this medium. In the mid-1880s Homer moved permanently to Prout's Neck, Maine, an isolated area where he built a studio and focused his paintings on man's struggle with nature. Also during the 1880s he worked on a series of etchings based on his paintings. Homer continued to paint for the next twenty years, vacationing summers in places such as the Adirondacks and the Bahamas to capture varied landscapes, until his death in 1910.

M. Knoedler and Co. was a New York art dealership and gallery that managed the sales and logistics involved in shipping or lending artworks to various collectors, museums, organizations, and institutions.
Related Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds the Winslow Homer collection; a microfilm copy on reels 2932-2933 of the Winslow Homer and Homer family papers from the Bowdain College; and a video recording, Winslow Homer in Maine.
Provenance:
The Winslow Homer letters to M. Knoedler and Company were purchased at auction and donated by Martha J. Fleischman in memory of her father, Lawrence A. Fleischman, in 2010.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Art dealers -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Illustrators -- Maine  Search this
Painters -- Maine -- Prout's Neck  Search this
Topic:
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Citation:
Winslow Homer letters to M. Knoedler and Company, 1900-1904. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.mknoeco
See more items in:
Winslow Homer letters to M. Knoedler and Company
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mknoeco
Online Media:

Herbert Waide Hemphill papers

Creator:
Hemphill, Herbert Waide  Search this
Names:
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center  Search this
Centennial Exhibition (1876 : Philadelphia, Pa.)  Search this
Exposition Universelle de Paris (1878 : Paris, France)  Search this
Folk Art Society of America  Search this
Museum of International Folk Art (N.M.)  Search this
National Museum of American Art (U.S.)  Search this
Aiken, Gayleen  Search this
Bogun, Maceptaw, Rev.  Search this
Borkowski, Mary  Search this
Brice, Bruce  Search this
Carpenter, Miles B. (Miles Burkholder), 1889-  Search this
Coins, Raymond  Search this
Crittenden, Varick A.  Search this
Dinsmoor, Samuel Perry, 1843-1932  Search this
Donovan, Carrie  Search this
Fancher, John W.  Search this
Finster, Howard, 1916-2001  Search this
Flanagan, Thos. J. (Thomas Jefferson), b. 1890  Search this
Fowler, Tim  Search this
Gatto, Victor Joseph, 1893-1965  Search this
Ghostley, Alice, 1926-2007  Search this
Goins, Vernon  Search this
Hall, Michael D., 1941-  Search this
Hamblett, Theora, 1895-1977  Search this
Hartigan, Lynda Roscoe  Search this
Harvey, Bessie, 1929-  Search this
Hawkins, William Lawrence, 1895-1990  Search this
Hicks, Tiny  Search this
Holley, Lonnie  Search this
Hunter, Clementine  Search this
James, A. Everette (Alton Everette), 1938-  Search this
Jennings, James Harold  Search this
Jones, S. L. (Shields Landon), 1901-  Search this
Jordan, John  Search this
Josephson, Nancy, 1955-  Search this
Klumpp, Gustave, 1902-1974  Search this
Lisk, Charles  Search this
Little, Roy  Search this
Lopez, George  Search this
Maldonado, Alexander Aramburo, 1901-1989  Search this
McCarthy, Justin, 1891-1977  Search this
Merrill, James Ingram  Search this
Morgan, Gertrude  Search this
Mr. Imagination, 1948-  Search this
Nathaniel, Inez  Search this
O'Kelley, Mattie Lou  Search this
Orth, Kevin, 1961-  Search this
Patterson, Clayton  Search this
Prince, Daniel C.  Search this
Prince, Neal A.  Search this
Robertson, Royal  Search this
Rowe, Nellie Mae, 1900-1982  Search this
Smith, Fred, 1886-1975  Search this
Smith, Robert E., 1926-  Search this
Smither, John  Search this
Smither, Stephanie  Search this
Spies, Jim  Search this
St. EOM, 1908-1986  Search this
Terrillion, Veronica  Search this
Tolliver, Mose, 1920-  Search this
Tolson, Edgar, 1904-1984  Search this
Walters, Hubert  Search this
Weissman, Julia  Search this
Young, Purvis, 1943-  Search this
Zeldis, Malcah  Search this
Extent:
26.7 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Video recordings
Watercolors
Sketchbooks
Sound recordings
Photographs
Drawings
Poems
Reports
Prints
Interviews
Date:
1776-1998
bulk 1876-1998
Summary:
The papers of folk art collector and museum curator Herbert Waide Hemphill date from 1776-1998, bulk 1876-1998, and measure 26.7 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical materials, personal business records, files documenting his collecting, writings, art work, minutes of meetings, a scrapbook, printed material including exhibition and auction announcements and catalogs, and miscellaneous artifacts. The collection also contains numerous photographs of Hemphill, family members, his residences, friends and colleagues, exhibitions, travel, and art work. Sound and video recordings include interviews of Hemphill.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of folk art collector and museum curator Herbert Waide Hemphill date from 1776-1998, bulk 1876-1998, and measure 26.7 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical materials, personal business records, files documenting his collecting, writings, art work, minutes of meetings, a scrapbook, printed material including exhibition and auction announcements and catalogs, and miscellaneous artifacts. The collection also contains numerous photographs of Hemphill, family members, his residences, friends and colleagues, exhibitions, travel, and art work. Sound and video recordings include interviews of Hemphill.

Biographical material includes photocopies of Hemphill's birth certificate and passport, social security cards, and international health card, genealogical notes, an evaluation of his school work, membership cards, award certificates, address books, and an engagement calendar containing very brief annotations of his activities.

Correspondence documents Hemphill's affairs with miscellaneous museums and art institutions, discussing his presentation of lectures, exhibitions, and loans from his collection to organizations including the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Collection, the Folk Art Society of America, the Museum of International Folk Art, and the Smithsonian Institution's American Art Museum.

Hemphill's correspondence with friends and colleagues discuss collecting activities and pursuit of newly discovered folk art and artists. Many of the letters are from artists. Correspondents include Varick A. Crittenden, Michael D. Hall, A. Everette James, Daniel C. Prince, Neal A. Prince, and artists Rev. Maceptaw Bogun, Mary Borkowski, Tim Fowler, Joseph Victor Gatto, S. L. Jones, Gustav Klumpp, Roy Little, George Lopez, Kevin Orth, and Malcah Zeldis. There are also scattered letters from artists Miles Burkholder Carpenter, John W. Fancher, Rev. Howard Finster, William Hawkins, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Mr. Imagination, Mattie Lou O'Kelley, Clayton Patterson, St. EOM, and Mose Tolliver. One letter from Stephanie and John Smither is etched on a bone.

Personal business records include both legal and financial documents. There are wills for Hemphill, his mother, and for his friend Neal A. Prince. The records also include leases, insurance records, contracts, grant proposals, loan agreements, deeds of gift, price lists, consignment records, tax records, and miscellaneous receipts. Cancelled checks relate to Hemphill's collecting interests and activities, and include payments to artists for their work. There are court papers documenting a lawsuit by Hemphill's landlord who was attempting to evict him.

Art work consists of a sketchbook by Roy Little, a set of hand-cut Japanese mask designs, a collage of Polaroid photographs taped to glass created by Rev. Howard Finster, a hand-made book by Nancy Josephson, and miscellaneous drawings, watercolors, and prints by various artists including Justin McCarthy, Inez Nathaniel, and Nellie Mae Rowe.

Notes and writings include card files of artists, extensive bibliographic card files, and scattered notes on artists including Miles Carpenter, Raymond Coins, Rev. Howard Finster, Mattie Lou O'Kelley, Royal Robertson, Veronica Terrillion, Mose Tolliver, and Bill Traylor. Also found are lists of artists, patrons, and art work, miscellaneous notes, and minutes of meetings. Writings by Hemphill and others including Michael D. Hall, Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, A. Everett James, and Julia Weissman, consist of reports, typescripts, and poems concerning a wide range of art-related topics and travel.

A scrapbook consists of unbound pages of clippings and newsletters about Hemphill, his collection, and exhibitions of folk art.

There is extensive additional printed material illustrating Hemphill's many interests. This series primarily consists of clippings and exhibition announcements and catalogs for mainstream artists as well as folk artists. Also included are auction announcements and catalogs, announcements for festivals, press releases, and calendars of events. Numerous booklets, brochures, programs, menus, business cards, and novelty postcards concern a variety of topics including worldwide travel, the sale of art work, miscellaneous galleries, museums, organizations, conferences, schools, lectures, antiques and craft shops, films, publications, restaurants, household items, historical topics, and miscellaneous artists including Miles Carpenter, S. P. Dinsmoor, Lonnie Holley, Clementine Hunter, and Veronica Terrillion. There are also autographed copies of booklets The Black Swan and Other Poems by James Merrill, and The Blood of Jesus by Thomas Jefferson Flanagan. Novelty postcards range from photographs of Elvis Presley to cards with amusing captions or cartoon jokes. There is also sheet music by Charles Trenet. Miscellaneous printed material includes several eighteenth-century newspapers and a 1776 thirty shilling note from New Jersey.

Photographs are of Hemphill, family members, his residences, friends and colleagues including style editor Carrie Donovan, artist Rev. Howard Finster dancing at an exhibition opening, actress Alice Ghostley, Michael D. Hall, circus performers Vernon Goins and Tiny Hicks, Smithsonian curator Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, Neal A. Prince, and Jim Spies. Photographs of exhibitions include stereographic views of the International Exhibition in Philadelphia and the Exposition Universelle in Paris, and photographs of Hemphill's donation of his collection and its subsequent exhibition at the Smithsonian's American Art Museum. Travel photographs include views of South Dakota, Texas, the American West, Japan, Mexico, and The Netherlands.

Numerous photographs of art work sometimes include images of the artists with their work including Bruce Brice, Raymond Coins, John W. Fancher, Rev. Howard Finster, Theora Hamblett, Bessie Harvey, William Hawkins, James Harold Jennings, John Jordan, Charles Lisk, Alexander Maldonado, St. EOM, Fred Smith, Edgar Tolson, Hubert Walters, and Purvis Young. Some photographs of unattributed art work has been arranged by the state in which it is located and includes a Mardi Gras parade in Louisiana, a Mummer's parade in Pennsylvania, Lucy the Elephant-shaped building in New Jersey, and Holy Ghost Park in Wisconsin. Other photographs of unattributed art work include works on paper, paintings, sculpture, signs, collages, needlework, glass, ceramics, and architecture.

Sound and video recordings include a cassette from Hemphill's phone answering machine that contains only Hemphill's message to callers, cassette recordings of interviews with and concerning Hemphill, artist St. EOM, painter Robert E. Smith discussing his work, and the tour narration for a Smithsonian exhibition Made With Passion. There are videotapes about Hemphill and about artists Gayleen Aiken, Miller and Bryant, and Malcah Zeldis, and miscellaneous African American artists. There is also a videotape of an American Museum of Natural History tour group arriving in a succession of villages in Melanesia and Papua New Guinea where they are greeted by the native people and given the opportunity to purchase their art work.

Artifacts consist of a scattered assemblage of three-dimensional objects including three wooden "fringe" pieces from cigar store figures, ceramic fragments from a sword handle, a lock of horse hair, and a hand-painted View Master viewer souvenir from the opening of the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. The View Master contains a disc of photographs of artists with their work including Vollis Simpson and Mary Frances Whitfield. Also included is a teacher's kit Little Adventures in Art containing four phonograph albums and four short film strips of slides showing art work in animal and bird forms.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 10 series; all series are arranged chronologically:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1916-1997 (Box 1, 28; 12 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1901-1998 (Boxes 1-5, 27- 28, OV 31; 4.0 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1817-1997 (Box 5-7, 28; 2.0 linear feet)

Series 4: Art Work, 1911-1997 (Box 7, 32; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 5: Notes and Writings, 1938-1996 (Box 7-10, 28; 2.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Scrapbook, 1965-1976 (Box 10; 1 folder)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1776-1998 (Box 10-19, 28-29, OV 31; 9.5 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, 1876-1997 (Box 19-24, 29; 5.5 linear feet)

Series 9: Sound and Video Recordings, 1986-1991 (Box 25-26; 13 folders)

Series 10: Artifacts, 1968-1995 (Box 26, 30; 0.7 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr., (1929-1998) lived in New York city and was a prominent curator, historian, and collector of American folk art. Hemphill was one of the founding members of the Museum of American Folk Art, organized several large exhibitions of folk art, and co-authored Twentieth Century American Folk Art and Artist.

Hemphill was born on January 21, 1929 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the son of businessman Herbert Waide Hemphill, Sr., and Emma Bryan Bradley Hemphill whose uncle, William Clark Bradley, was one of the owners of the Coca-Cola Company.

Hemphill was reared in his mother's home town of Columbus, Georgia, and attended Wynnton School. At the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey and the Solebury School in New Hope, Pennsylvania, Hemphill's principle interests were in art and theater. In 1948, he spent a year studying fine arts at Bard College under Stefan Hirsch, a painter and folk art collector.

Hemphill developed his interest in collecting while accompanying his mother on her shopping forays searching for Dresden china. His first acquisition was a wooden duck decoy purchased when he was seven years old. His early collections were of glass bottles, marbles, stamps, and puzzle jugs. In 1949, Hemphill moved to Manhattan and began to focus on modern European and American art and African sculpture, but after 1956 he concentrated exclusively on 19th and early 20th century American folk art. He often discovered artists during his extensive travels, especially in the American South.

In 1961, Hemphill became one of the six founding trustees of the Museum of Early American Folk Art, later named the Museum of American Folk Art, in New York City. Between 1964 and 1973, he was the museum's first curator and curated many exhibitions, helping to promote awareness of work created by self-taught or visionary artists. He later served as Trustee Emeritus for many years.

Between 1974 and 1988, Hemphill loaned portions of his extensive personal collection to 24 museums nationwide and in 1976, the American Bicentennial Commission selected works from his collection for a goodwill tour of Japan. He was named guest curator at the Brooklyn Museum in 1976 and at the Abby Aldrich Folk Art Collection in 1980, and often appeared as guest lecturer at various universities, the Smithsonian Institution, and at the Library of Congress. In 1986, Hemphill donated more than 400 folk art works to the Smithsonian Institution's American Art Museum, resulting in a landmark exhibition Made with Passion: The Hemphill Folk Art Collection of the National Museum of American Art.

Hemphill's publications include books Twentieth Century American Folk Art and Artists, co-authored with Julia Weissman in 1974, Folk Sculpture USA for the Brooklyn Museum in 1976, and Found in New York's North Country: The Folk Art of a Region, co-authored with Varick A. Chittenden in 1982 for the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute.

Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. died on May 8, 1998 in New York City.
Provenance:
Herbert Waide Hemphill donated his papers in 5 installments between 1988 and 1996.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of audiovisual materials 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.
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Folk art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Genre/Form:
Video recordings
Watercolors
Sketchbooks
Sound recordings
Photographs
Drawings
Poems
Reports
Prints
Interviews
Citation:
Herbert Waide Hemphill papers, 1776-1998, bulk 1876-1998. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.hempherb
See more items in:
Herbert Waide Hemphill papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-hempherb
Online Media:

Oral history interview with David and Michelle Holzapfel

Interviewee:
Holzapfel, David, 1950-  Search this
Holzapfel, Michelle, 1951-  Search this
Interviewer:
Shea, Josephine, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Canadian Crafts Council  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
United States Information Service  Search this
Wood Turning Center (Philadelphia, Pa.)  Search this
Fitzgerald, Dennis  Search this
Galbraith, Peter  Search this
Hosaluk, Michael  Search this
Nutt, Craig  Search this
Prestini, James, 1908-  Search this
Sfirri, Mark  Search this
Extent:
4 Items (Sound recording: 4 sound files (1 hr., 39 min.), digital, wav)
31 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Croatia -- description and travel
Date:
2008 January 6 and March 2
Scope and Contents:
An interview of David and Michelle Holzapfel conducted 2008 January 6-March 2, by Josephine Shea, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the Holzapfels' home and studio, Applewoods Studio and Gallery, in Marlboro, Vermont.
The Holzapfels speak of their studio spaces and how they live and work together; the difficulty of marketing yourself as an artist; their involvement in artistic communities such as Wood Turning Center and Canadian Craft Council; traveling to Croatia to participate as guest artists in an exhibition curated by the United States Information Services; the financial difficulties of being artists; the impact technology has made on their work; the importance of apprenticeships; and their view of time spent with James Prestini. The Holzapfels also recall Michael Hosaluk, Mark Sfirri, Craig Nutt, Peter Galbraith, Denis Fitzgerald, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
David Holzapfel (1950- ) and Michelle Holzapfel (1951- ) are self-taught woodworkers who own and operate Applewoods Studio and Gallery in Marlboro, Vermont.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 39 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Topic:
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Woodworkers -- Vermont -- Interviews  Search this
Function:
Artists' studios
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.holzap08
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-holzap08

Oral history interview with Edith Gregor Halpert

Interviewee:
Halpert, Edith Gregor, 1900-1970  Search this
Interviewer:
Phillips, Harlan B. (Harlan Buddington), 1920-  Search this
Names:
C.W. Kraushaar Art Galleries  Search this
Daniel Gallery  Search this
Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Ferargil Galleries  Search this
Grand Central Art Galleries  Search this
M. Knoedler & Co.  Search this
Montross Gallery  Search this
New Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Bacon, Peggy, 1895-1987  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Barrie, Erwin S., 1886-1983  Search this
Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889-1975  Search this
Brackman, Robert, 1898-  Search this
Bridgman, George Brant, 1864-1943  Search this
Brixey, Richard de Wolfe  Search this
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Cary, Elisabeth Luther, 1867-1936  Search this
Chase, William Merritt, 1849-1916  Search this
Coleman, Glenn O., 1887-1932  Search this
Crowninshield, Frank, 1872-1947  Search this
Daniel, Charles, 1878-1971  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
Demuth, Charles, 1883-1935  Search this
Deskey, Donald, 1894-  Search this
Dove, Arthur Garfield, 1880-1946  Search this
Dudensing, F. Valentine, 1892-1967  Search this
Fergusson, John Duncan, 1874-1961  Search this
Field, Hamilton Easter  Search this
Force, Juliana, 1876-1948  Search this
Ford, Ford Madox, 1873-1939  Search this
Frost, Robert, 1874-1963  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-1983  Search this
Goodyear, A. Conger (Anson Conger), 1877-1964  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Halpert, Samuel, 1884-1930  Search this
Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943  Search this
Hirsch, Stefan, 1899-1964  Search this
Hopkinson, Charles, 1869-1962  Search this
Hopper, Edward, 1882-1967  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Knox, Seymour H., 1898-1990  Search this
Kroll, Leon, 1884-1974  Search this
Kuhn, Walt, 1877-1949  Search this
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Laurent, Robert, 1890-1970  Search this
Lawrence, Jacob, 1917-2000  Search this
Levine, Jack, 1915-2010  Search this
Levy, Julien  Search this
Locke, Charles, 1899-  Search this
Luks, George Benjamin, 1867-1933  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Marin, John, Jr., 1915?-1988  Search this
McBride, Henry, 1867-1962  Search this
Mellon, Paul  Search this
Mercer, Henry Chapman  Search this
Montross, N. E. (Newman E), 1849-1932  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia , 1887-1986  Search this
Pascin, Jules, 1885-1930  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Pound, Ezra, 1885-1972  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Robinson, Edward G., 1893-1973  Search this
Rockefeller, Abby Aldrich  Search this
Saarinen, Aline B. (Aline Bernstein), 1914-1972  Search this
Saklatwalla, Beram K.  Search this
Sandburg, Carl, 1878-1967  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Siporin, Mitchell, 1910-1976  Search this
Soutine, Chaim, 1893-1943  Search this
Steichen, Edward, 1879-1973  Search this
Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946  Search this
Stella, Frank  Search this
Stern, Louis E., 1886-1962  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Tannahill, Robert Hudson  Search this
Vollard, Ambroise, 1867-1939  Search this
Weber, Max, 1881-1961  Search this
Whitney, Gertrude Vanderbilt, 1875-1942  Search this
Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963  Search this
Wittenberg, Philip, 1895-1987  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Zorach, Marguerite, 1887-1968  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
436 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Date:
1962-1963
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Edith Halpert conducted 1962-1963, by Harlan Phillips, for the Archives of American Art.
Halpert speaks of her childhood in Russia and growing up in New York City; working at Bloomindale's, Macy's, Stern Brothers, and Cohen Goldman; her marriage to artist Sam Halpert, his health, and living in Paris in 1925; becoming an art student at the Academy of Design and feeling that Leon Kroll was an excellent art teacher until he began to correct her drawings; when George Bridgman thought she was ruining his class; the Lincoln Square Arcade, when she and Ernest Fiener and Robert Brackman would rent Conan's studio evenings and bring in instructors; how Newman Montross influenced her more than anybody about showing her art that she loved; burning all of her work because Kroll said she had no talent; receiving a painting from John Marin; her friendship and working relationship with Abby Rockefeller and other family members.
She recalls opening the Downtown Gallery, in Greenwich Village, in 1926; a brief history of modern art; many artists helping decorate the new Daylight Gallery in 1930 and the first show being called "Practical Manifestations of Art"; meeting Robert and Sonia Delaunay in France; when she refused to allow Ezra Pound to speak at one of the gallery lectures because of his anti-Semite remarks and William Carlos Williams and Ford Madox Ford argued with her over it; experiencing jealousy and professional attacks from other dealers; the successful "Pop" Hart show and book in 1929; the "Thirty-three Moderns" show in 1930 at the Grand Central Galleries; the Jules Pascin show in 1930; in America, most of the art buyers supporters of culture were women, until the WPA and World War II, when it became fashionable for men to be involved; Ambroise Vollard's advice on selling art; handling the frustrations of working in the art field; friendships with Stuart Davis,Charles Sheeler, and Ben Shahn; how artists work through dry periods in their creativity and the "Recurrent Image" show; a discussion on modern art galleries of New York City, such as Daniel, Knoedler, Ferargil, the New Gallery, 291, the Grand Central, Kraushaar, and Montross; her travels through Pennsylvania and Maine for good examples of folk art for the gallery; the "The Artist Looks at Music" show; the non-competitive spirit of the early modern American artists; of being saved financially in 1940 by selling a William Harnett painting to the Boston Museum and then renting new space for the gallery.
Also, Mitchell Siporin bringing Halpert and Edmund Gurry to Mitchell Field during World War II for a camouflage show and consequently Downtown Gallery artists and others were enlisted in the camouflage corps for the U.S. Air Force; Charles Sheeler and his wife find Halpert a house in Newtown, Conn.; her decision in 1933 to push folk art for acquisition by the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri; her great concern about what to do with her folk art literature collection; dismay and that no one writes about the history of folk art and those responsible for its creation and popularity; Louis Stern hiring her to organize a municipal exhibit in Atlantic City, N.J., with Donald Deskey designing the furniture and Holger Cahill managing the publicity; Joe Lillie helping her meet Fiorello La Guardia and Joe McGoldrick in 1934 about a municipal show in New York City, but it is moved to Radio City Music Hall through Nelson Rockefeller; the "Salons of America" show; wanting articles written about art for love rather than art for investment; working with Aline Saarinen on her book, "Proud Possessors;" letters from Stuart Davis, William Zorach and others that hurt her feelings; enjoying giving educational lectures and considering retirement because of ill health; the desire to write a book on the history of trade signs in folk art; feeling that the young artists are being ruined by too much support without working for it; planning to write a book entitled, "Unsung Heroes," about artists brave enough to experiment; organizing a show in Russia at her own expense; later representing the U.S. in art at the "American National Exposition"; the agitators and success of the exposition; Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe.
Halpert also recalls Juliana Force, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Buckminster Fuller, George Luks, Edsel Ford, Max Weber, Danny Diefenbacker, Hamilton Easter Field, Frank Stella, Glenn Coleman, Margaret Zorach, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Henry Mercer, Romany Marie, Edward G. Robinson, Paul Mellon, Charles Pollet, Alex Brook, Lunca Curass, Dorothy Lambert, Duncan Candler, Frank Rhen, Louis Rittman, Bea Goldsmith, Arthur Craven, Robert Frost, Philip Wittenberg, Caesar de Hoke, Richard deWolfe Brixey, Seymour Knox, Walt Kuhn, Elisabeth Luther Cary, Charles Locke, Duncan Fergusson, Mrs. Solomon Guggenheim, Bob Tannahill, David Thompson, Marsden Hartley, Erwin Barrie, Robert Laurent, Conger Goodyear, Henry McBride, Edward Hopper, Charles Daniel, William Merritt Chase, Charles Hopkinson, Thomas Hart Benton, Frank Crowninshield, Alfred Barr, Lord Duveen, Jacob Lawrence, John Marin Jr., Karl Zerbe, Franz Kline, Arthur Dove, Julian Levy, Jack Levine, Valentine Dudensing, Peggy Bacon, Stefan Hirsch, Gertrude Stein, Isamu Noguchi, Jasper Johns, Chaim Soutine, B. K. Saklatwalla; Fernand Leger, Pablo Picasso, Ben Shahn, Charles Demuth, Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock, Edward Steichen, Carl Sandburg, Clement Greenberg, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Edith Halpert (1900-1970) was an art dealer from New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 7 tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 27 digital wav files. Duration is 32 hrs., 27 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art 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. The transcript was microfilmed in 1996.
Topic:
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Camouflage  Search this
Folk art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York
Identifier:
AAA.halper62
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-halper62

Oral history interview with Richard Gray

Interviewee:
Gray, Richard, 1928-2018  Search this
Interviewer:
McElhinney, James Lancel, 1952-  Search this
Names:
University of Illinois. -- Student  Search this
Boris, Harry  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Emmerich, André  Search this
Fabricant, Andrew  Search this
Gaudí, Antoni, 1852-1926  Search this
Gray, Paul  Search this
Klamen, David, 1961-  Search this
Louis, Morris, 1912-1962  Search this
Noland, Kenneth, 1924-2010  Search this
Olitski, Jules, 1922-2007  Search this
Plensa, Jaume, 1955-  Search this
Stone, Allan  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Sound recording, master: 1 sound disc (1 hr., 45 min.), digital, 2 5/8 in.)
41 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2007 Dec. 9
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Richard Gray conducted 2007 Dec. 9, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art, at Carlyle Hotel, in New York, N.Y .
Gray speaks of being born in Chicago, Ill. and attending high school in Hyde Park; required coursework in art and music; his father's childhood in Poland; attending the University of Illinois in Chicago before transferring to the main campus in Champaign-Urbana; studying architecture but then becoming more interested in art; the influence of an early mentor; joining the air force and being stationed in France in the early 1950s; traveling throughout France, Spain, and Germany; visiting Barcelona to see Antoni Gaudí's architecture; returning to the United States, meeting his wife on a blind date, and marrying her within a year; being moved by the musical and artistic environment of his in-laws' home; owning a manufacturing business for 10 years; restructuring his father's summer resort in Michigan following his death; hosting music festivals and Harry Boris as artist-in-residence at the resort; following Boris's suggestion to open an art gallery in Chicago; his first art purchases from Allan Stone and André Emmerich in New York; his first gallery space off of Michigan Avenue on East Ontario Street in the same building as B.C. Holland and Noah Goldowsky; his second gallery space on Michigan Avenue; showing Color Field artists including Kenneth Noland, Morris Louis, and Jules Olitski; dealers as collectors; seeing himself more as a collector than a dealer at this time in his life; his diverse collection of drawings spanning many time periods; his past practice of buying works of art in shares with other dealers; the competition between art dealers and auction houses; his belief in free-market opportunities; handling the sale of Willem de Kooning's Woman V; the gallery's representation of Jaume Plensa and David Klamen; the future direction of the gallery at both the Chicago and New York City locations; the changing market in international art; recently being designated a Living Landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois; and his strong presence and activity in Chicago's cultural community. Gray also recalls André Emmerich, Andrew Fabricant, Paul Gray, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Richard Gray (1928-2018) was an art dealer from Chicago, Ill. Interviewer James McElhinney is a painter and educator from New York, N.Y.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Art dealers -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Color-field painting  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- Illinois -- Chicago
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.gray07
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-gray07

Clement Greenberg papers

Creator:
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Names:
American Committee for Cultural Freedom  Search this
Avedisian, Edward, 1936-2007  Search this
Bannard, Walter Darby, 1934-  Search this
Baziotes, Ethel  Search this
Bush, Jack, 1909-  Search this
Caro, Anthony, 1924-  Search this
Connolly, Cyril, 1903-1974  Search this
Davis, Gene, 1920-1985  Search this
Diebenkorn, Richard, 1922-1993  Search this
Dorazio, Piero, 1927-  Search this
Dzubas, Friedel, 1915-  Search this
Emmerich, André  Search this
Feeley, Paul, 1910-1966  Search this
Francis, Sam, 1923-1994  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Fuller, Peter, 1947-1990  Search this
Goodnough, Robert, 1917-  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Hosaisson, Philippe  Search this
Kainen, Jacob  Search this
Krauss, Rosalind E.  Search this
Moffett, Kenworth  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Noland, Kenneth, 1924-  Search this
O'Faolin, Nuala  Search this
Olitski, Jules, 1922-2007  Search this
Pepper, Beverly  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Sander, Ludwig, 1906-  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Smith, Kimber, 1922-1981  Search this
Solomon, Deborah  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-  Search this
Truitt, Anne, 1921-2004  Search this
Waddington, Leslie  Search this
Wisenski, Kurt  Search this
Extent:
8.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Transcripts
Interviews
Etchings
Photographs
Reports
Date:
1937-1983
Summary:
The papers of art critic, author, and lecturer Clement Greenberg measure 8.6 linear feet and date from 1937 to 1983. The bulk of the collection consists of letters from art critics, artists, family, friends, galleries, and museums. Notable correspondents include Jack Bush, Anthony Caro, Richard Diebenkorn, Friedel Dzubas, Helen Frankenthaler, Adolph Gottlieb, Hans Hofmann, Morris Louis, Robert Motherwell, Charles Pollock, Jules Olitski, David Smith, and Anne Truitt among others. Also found are biograpical materials, personal business and financial records, an etching by Kurt Wisneski, printed materials, and two reports by Greenberg concerning his travels.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of influential New York art critic Clement Greenberg measure 8.6 linear feet and date from 1937 to 1983. The bulk of the papers (7 feet) consists of letters from art critics, artists, family, friends, galleries, and museums, with some letters from Greenberg. Correspondents include Edward Avedisian, Darby Bannard, Ethel Baziotes, Jack Bush, Anthony Caro, Gene Davis, Richard Diebenkorn, Piero Dorazio, Friedel Dzubas, Andre Emmerich, Paul Feeley, Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Goodnough, Adolf Gottleib, Hans Hofmann, Philippe Hosiasson, Jacob Kainen, Rosalind Krauss, Robert Motherwell, Ken Moffett, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Beverly Pepper, Ludwig Sander, David Smith, Kimber Smith, Clyfford Still, Anne Truitt, and Leslie Waddington.

Biographical materials include a transcript of an interview with Greenberg conducted by Deborah Solomon in 1983. Greenberg's personal business and financial records include correspondence regarding his lectures and seminars, requests for his writings, student queries, documents regarding his television and radio appearances, royalty statements, and receipts for gifts of works of art. Also found within business records are documents relating to Greenberg's testimony at the Mark Rothko Trial in 1974.

Artwork consists of one etching by Kurt Wisenski entitled "Spring." The papers contain very few of Greenberg's writings about art. Found are lists of artists, and reports written by Greenberg on the state of art in Japan and India in 1967, likely related to his membership in the American Committee for Cultural Freedom. Printed material includes scattered clippings concerning art and exhibition announcements.

One series of ACCESS RESTRICTED papers contains documents relating to Greenberg's role as a trustee in the David Smith estate; correspondence between Greenberg with Andre Emmerich and Peter Fuller, Nuala O'Faolain, and the Greenberg family; and some financial materials regarding the sale and loan of Greenberg's art collection.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series:

Series 1: Biographical Information, circa 1950s-1983 (Box 1; 2 folders)

Series 2: Business and Financial Records, 1940-1983 (Box 1; 12 folders)

Series 3: Correspondence, 1937-1983 (Boxes 1-8; 7 linear feet)

Series 4: Artwork, 1973 (Box 8; 1 folder)

Series 5: Writings and Notes, 1967-1983 (Box 8; 3 folders)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1950-1982 (Box 8; 2 folders)

Series 7: Restricted Material, 1963-1983 (Boxes 9-11; 1.2 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Clement Greenberg was a highly influential art critic working in New York City from the 1940s through the 1960s. He was an advocate of modern art, particulary the abstract expressionist movement, and one of the first critics to recognize the significance of Jackson Pollock's work.

Greenberg was born in 1909 to Russian immigrants in Bronx, New York. After graduating from Syracuse University in 1930, he married and had a child, David. He settled in New York City while working at the United States Customs Department as an appraiser.

In the late 1930s, Clement Greenberg attended a meeting of the U.S. Works Progress Administration and heard Hans Hofmann speak of avant-garde art. In 1939, he wrote one of his first important critical pieces "Avant-Garde and Kitsch" for the Partisan Review. Greenberg argued that the avant-garde art movement rose out of the need to defend and maintain high art standards against the decline in taste brought about by America's consumerism and capitalist culture.

In 1940, Greenberg joined Partisan Review as an editor. He became art critic for the Nation in 1942, and was associate editor of Commentary from 1945 until 1957. In December 1950, he joined the CIA-fronted American Committee for Cultural Freedom.

Throughout the 1940s through the 1960s Greenberg continued to write and, in his essays and articles, he promoted the work of Abstract Expressionists, among them Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Hans Hofmann, Barnett Newman, and Clyfford Still. He particularly championed Jackson Pollock. Greenberg wrote several seminal essays that defined his views on art history in the 20th century. "Greenberg on Collage" was one one of his most important.

Greenberg's views on pop art were mixed. He also became less enamored with Abstract Impressionism, particularly the second generation. However, he became very interested in the Color-Field and Hard-Edge painters.

Through the 1960s Greenberg's views informed a younger generation of art critics including Michael Fried and Rosalind E. Krauss. Some writers maintain that Greenberg's views were so well-respected that he had too much of an influence on the world of art. In time, Greenberg's antagonism to Postmodernist theories and other modern art movements caused him to lose much of his credibility among both artists and art critics.

Greenberg died at the age of eighty-five in 1994.

Since his death, letters edited by his widow, Janice Van Horne and a re-evaluation of his writings have helped to restore his reputation within the art world.
Related Material:
The Portland Art Museum holds Clement Greenberg's private art collection as well as a library of exhibition catalogs.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reels N69-91, N70-7, and N737). Most, but not all, of these papers were later donated by Greenberg. Loaned materials not donated at a later date remain with the lender and are not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Provenance:
Clement Greenberg initally lent material for microfilming in 1968-1969. He donated most of this material with additional papers in several accretions between 1984 to 1991.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Some of the collection is ACCESS RESTRICTED: documents relating to the estate of David Smith; some correspondence with Peter Fuller, Nuala O'Faolain, and the Greenberg family; and sale and loan agreements. Contact the reference staff for more information about permission to use this portion of the collection.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art criticism -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Japan  Search this
Art -- India  Search this
Modernism (Art)  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Genre/Form:
Transcripts
Interviews
Etchings
Photographs
Reports
Citation:
The Clement Greenberg papers, 1937-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.greeclep
See more items in:
Clement Greenberg papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-greeclep
Online Media:

Dorothy Dehner papers

Creator:
Dehner, Dorothy, 1901-1994  Search this
Names:
Philadelphia Art Alliance  Search this
Willard Gallery  Search this
Graham, John, 1887-1961  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Extent:
4.5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Interviews
Photographs
Date:
1920-1987
bulk 1951-1987
Summary:
The papers of Dorothy Dehner measure approximately 4.5 linear feet and date from 1920 to 1987, with the bulk of the material dating from 1951 to 1987. The collection documents the life and work of the sculptor. Papers include extensive correspondence, business and financial papers, writings, interviews, printed material, photographs, student papers, one item of art work, and scattered personal papers and material relating to David Smith.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Dorothy Dehner measure approximately 4.5 linear feet and date from 1920 to 1987, with the bulk of the material dating from 1951 to 1987. The collection documents the life and work of the sculptor. Papers include extensive correspondence, business and financial papers, writings, interviews, printed material, photographs, student papers, one item of art work, and scattered personal papers and material relating to David Smith.

Comprising a series of biographical material are interviews (mostly untranscribed), personal papers such as notes on Dehner's biography and career, list of things taken from Bolton Landing, recipes, and a wedding announcement for her stepdaughter, Abby Mann Thernstrom, and material relating to David Smith such as a copy of his last will and testament, a letter of introduction (dating from their trip to Europe in the mid-1930s), and a chronology of Smith's life.

Correspondence consists of numerous letters and enclosures concerning both professional and personal matters. Correspondents include artists, museums, galleries, art dealers, researchers, curators, friends, and relatives. Correspondence documents Dehner's various personal and professional relationships, the active role she played in promoting and exhibiting her art work, as well as the key role she played in fostering art historical research (on David Smith, herself, and other artists of her era), and her many other creative activities, including her various writing efforts.

Found amongst Dehner's business and financial papers are records relating to various galleries and/or exhibitions, including the Willard Gallery and exhibitions at the Philadelphia Art Alliance and Parsons-Dreyfuss Gallery, and to various projects, such as the Committee for the American Participation in the Triennale and the Great Southwest Industrial Park, as well as scattered records relating to personal business matters and finances, such as lists, tax records, authentication of art works, and sales agreements.

Dehner's writings include poems (including one dated from high school and drafts of ones published in Tracks), various pieces on John Graham (including versions of a memoir, which were published as a foreword to the re-issue of System and Dialectics of Art and as an article in Leonardo) and on David Smith (including articles on their first meeting and on Smith's 1940 work, "Medals for Dishonor"), lectures and speeches, and various pieces on art and other topics. Writings shed light on other aspects of Dehner's creativity and concern. Also included are writings of others, some of which shed light on Dehner's life and work.

Also found amongst Dehner's papers are printed material, including exhibition catalogs, announcements, and clippings (on herself and Smith, and to a limited extent, on other artists); an undated etching by Dehner which seems to have originally belong to Garnett McCoy, former Curator of the Archives; and photographs of Dehner, her second husband, Ferdinand Mann, John Graham, and various works of art, as well as an abstract photograph by David Smith, dating from circa 1934.
Arrangement:
The Dorothy Dehner papers are arranged into 7 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1935-1982 (bulk 1950s-1982) (Box 1; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1927-1987 (Boxes 1-4; 2.6 linear feet)

Series 3: Business and Financial Papers, 1940-1985 (Box 4; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings, 1920, 1951-1987 (Box 4; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1940-1987 (Boxes 4-5; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 6: Art Work, undated (OV1; 1 item)

Series 7: Photographs, 1930s-1986 (Box 5; 0.1 linear feet)

The collection has not been re-filmed to reflect the above arrangement. In an effort to provide continued access to the existing microfilm, microfilm reel information was gathered from previous box and folder labels and is provided, where possible, in parentheses after folder titles in the container listing below. Unfilmed material has likewise been noted. Researchers should note that reel numbers have not been verified.
Biographical Note:
Dorothy Dehner was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1901. Her father died when she was about ten and the family moved to Pasadena, California in 1915. After the death of her mother and sister, she was raised by her mother's sister, Aunt Florence. Dehner was exposed to art as a child, receiving instruction in drawing and painting. She studied drama for a year at UCLA in 1922-1923 before moving to New York with the intention of pursuing a theatrical career. In 1925, she traveled alone to Europe, where she visited Italy, Switzerland, and France and where she began to draw seriously.

Upon her return to New York, Dehner enrolled in the Art Students League intending to study sculpture, but, uninspired by the work of William Zorach's sculpture class, ended up studying drawing with Kimon Nicolaides instead. In 1926, she met fellow artist David Smith in the rooming house they shared. At her suggestion, he too enrolled in the Art Students League. In 1927, they were married.

At the League, Dehner and Smith studied with the modernist painter, Jan Matulka, and befriended Weber and Thomas Furlong, through whom they met the Russian painter and theoretician, John Graham. Graham introduced them to the avant-garde art world and ended up having a profound influence on them both and their work. Around this time, they also befriended other young artists, such as Adolph Gottlieb, Mark Rothko, and Edgar and Lucille Corcos Levy. In 1929, after a visit to the Furlong's summer home in upstate New York, Dehner and Smith bought a farm in Bolton Landing, which became their permanent home in 1940 and was later named Terminal Iron Works. They spent eight months in the Virgin Islands, in 1931-1932, where Dehner painted abstract still lifes of shells and marine life. In the fall of 1935, they traveled to Europe, where they met up with Graham in Paris, spent five months in Greece, and toured the Soviet Union, with other stops along the way.

During her years at Bolton Landing (from 1940 to 1950), Dehner progressed in her work, producing a series of paintings titled Life on the Farm and embarking upon a series of abstract geometric drawings in ink and watercolor. In 1943, she had a joint exhibition with Smith at the Albany Institute of History and Art. Three years later, she participated in the annual exhibition of Audubon Artists and was awarded a first prize for drawing; and in 1948, she had her first one-woman show at Skidmore College.

Dehner left Bolton Landing in 1950 (she was divorced from Smith two years later) and returned to school, earning her degree from Skidmore College in 1952. She moved back to New York City, and supported herself over the next several years by teaching at various schools, including the Barnard School for Girls. She had her first solo exhibition in the city at the Rose Fried Gallery, and studied engraving at Stanley William Hayter's Atelier 17. At this point, Dehner started making sculpture, first experimenting in wax and then casting her wax sculptures in bronze. In 1955, she began working at the Sculpture Center, and from this point on, focused mainly on sculpture with occasional forays in drawing and print-making. In addition to works in bronze, she went on to create sculptures in wood (during the 1970s) and steel (during the 1980s).

In 1955, Dehner married the New York publisher, Ferdinand Mann. That same year, she joined the Willard Gallery, run by Marian Willard. She had her first exhibition of drawings there in 1955 (which led to a solo exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago) and her first sculpture show there in 1957; she continued to show at the Willard Gallery regularly until 1976. Over the next several decades, Dehner's work was frequently exhibited in solo and groups shows at museums and galleries across the country, and was acquired for both public and private collections.

In addition to her art work, Dehner was also a published poet and writer. She wrote the foreword to the 1971 re-issue of John Graham's System and Dialectics of Art, and an essay on David Smith's "Medals for Dishonor," which was published in Art Journal in 1977. And two of her poems, "Past Tense" and "Two Lines," appeared in the journal Tracks in 1977.

Dehner continued to work into her nineties. She passed away in 1994.
Related Material:
Other resources in the Archives relating to Dorothy Dehner include oral history interviews with Dehner, October 1965 and December 1966, and a photograph of Dehner by Dena, 1966.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming on reels D298 (portions), D298A, 1269 (portions) and 1372, including photographs of Dorothy Dehner and David Smith, sketchbooks, correspondence between Dehner and Smith, an inventory, and some printed material. Lent materials were returned to the lender. To aid researchers, an attempt has been made to note the corresponding reel number for each folder in the collection container listing.
Provenance:
The Dorothy Dehner papers were donated 1967-1987 in increments by Dorothy Dehner. She also lent materials for microfilming between 1967 and 1977, some of which was subsequently donated. The art work in the collection most likely belonged to Garnett McCoy originally, and was included in the collection during processing in 2005.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. research facility.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
Women sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculpture, Modern -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Photographs
Citation:
Dorothy Dehner papers, 1920-1987 (bulk 1951-1987). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.dehndoro
See more items in:
Dorothy Dehner papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-dehndoro
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