Brumbaugh, Thomas B. (Thomas Brendle), 1921- Search this
14 Items (Letters, written in ink, ball point, graphite, typewritter)
New York (N.Y.)
Scope and Contents:
This folder is an amalgamation of letters written and recieved by prominent figures in 19th and 20th century American art. Included in the folder are letters by Ambrose Andrews, Edward Bates, Gifford Beal, Aaron Bohrod, Carroll Clear, Samuel Colman, Josephine Daskam, Daniel Denison Rogers, William Elliot, George de Forest Brush, and Chester Harding. The letters' subjects cover a wide range of topics, including the buying and selling of art, invitations to dinner, and general correspondence.
Organized alphabetically by author.
Biographical / Historical:
Ambrose Andrews was a portrait, miniature, and landscape portrait who worked throughout New England and the United States. He was born in Stockbridge, Massachusetts in 1801 and studied at the National Academy of Design. He exhibited paintings at many different institutions, including his portraits of Henry Clay and Sam Houston. Andrews's work is now in the New York Historical Society.
Edward Bates was a representative for Missouri in the mid-1800s. He served in the War of 1812 as a sergeant in a volunteer brigade, studied and practiced law, attended the state constitutional convention, was district attorney from 1821 to 1826, and was a member of the state senate. He declined to serve as Secretary of War for President Fillmore, but was appointed Attorney General of the United States by President Lincoln, and served from March 5, 1861 to September 1864. Bates died on March 25, 1869.
Admiral Charles Henry Davis was born on January 16, 1807, and served as Chief of the Bureau of Navigation between 1862 and 1865. He then served as Superintendent of the Naval Observatory. He had three ships named after him.
Forbes Watson was an art critic, lecturer, and administrator in New York City in the early 20th century. He served as art critic for the New York Evening Post. In 1933 he was appointed Technical Director of the first New Deal art program, the Public Works of Art Project, which provided work for artists in the decoration of non-federal buildings. He later worked at the Treasury Department of Painting and Sculpture, which administered funding for decorating federal buildings. Watson finally served in the Treasury Department's War Finance Division, where he organized exhibitions and posters by combat artists to promote the sale of war bonds. Forbes Watson's papers are held in the Archives of American Art.
Gifford Beal was an American artist who worked with many organizations for the advancements of the arts, finding inspiration from a wide variety of sources, including holiday scenes, every-day life, and landscapes. Beal loved spontaneity and was influenced by French Impressionists. He was commissioned by the government to paint two murals: one on the post office in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and one in the Main Interior Building in Washington, D.C. Beal's papers are held in the Archives of American Art.
Aaron Bohrod was born in Chicago, Illinois on November 21, 1907, where he studied art at the Art Institute of Chicago. He worked for a while in the advertising art department at the Fair Department Store in Chicago, but eventually moved to New York City, where he joined the Art Students League. He died on April 3, 1992. During World War II, Bohrod worked as an artist for the United States Army Corps of Engineer and Life magazine in Europe.
Carroll Cloar was an American realist and surrealist who lived from 1913 to 1993. He grew up in Arkansas, but later moved to Tennessee, travelled Europe, and joined the Art Students League in New York City. During World War II, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps, and although he did complete some artwork during this period, none of it survives. Cloar then settled in Memphis. One of his paintings was chosen to commemorate President Clinton's inauguration in 1993. Cloar died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on April 10, 1993, after a long battle with cancer.
Samuel Colman was an American painter who belonged to the Hudson River School, and is most well-remembered for his landscapes. He was born in Portland, Maine, in 1832, and began exhibiting at the young age of 18. At 27 he was elected an associate of the National Academy, and later studied abroad in Paris and Spain. He was made a full Academician upon his return to the United States, and both founded and served as the first president of the American Water-color Society. He continued to both study in Europe and exhibit artwork, moving from New York to Rhode Island. Colman is represented in the metropolitan Museum, Chicago Art Institute, and many other collections. He died in New York City in 1920.
Josephine Daskam Bacon was an American writer known for writing about "women's issues" and using female protagonists. She wrote a series of juvenile mysteries and helped pioneer the Girl Scouts movement, writing a guidebook for the organization.
Daniel Denison Rogers is perhaps most widely remembered for the painting that John Singleton Copley completed of his wife, Abigail Bromfield.
Ithiel Town was an American architect and civil engineer who lived from October 3, 1784 to June 13, 1844. He worked in the Federal and revivalist Greek and Gothic styles, and was widely copied. He was born in Connecticut, and built both Center Church and Trinity Church in New Haven. Town patented a wooden lattice truss bridge, which made him quite wealthy. He formed a professional architecture firm with Alexander Jackson Davis. One of Town's most amazing feats was the construction of the Potomac Aqueduct in Washington, D.C., which allowed fully loaded canal boats to cross the Potomac River.
William Parker Elliot designed the old U.S. Patent Office, a very important Greek Revival building, with Ithiel Town.
George de Forest Brush was an American painter who grew up in Connecticut and is typified by his paintings and drawings of Native Americans. Even after moving from Wyoming, where he met the Native Americans, back to the East, Brush still occasionally enjoyed living in a teepee. Brush's artistic style later developed into Renaissance-inspired portraits. He was friends with Abbott H. Thayer, and along with Brush's wife, Mary, and son, Gerome, they all contributed to early camouflage designs. Brush died in New Hampshire in 1941.
Chester Harding was an American portrait painter born in Massachusetts in 1792. He worked in many different professions, finally becoming a self-taught itinerant portrait painter. Harding settled in Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts, in a building that now houses the Boston Bar Association (the Chester Harding House, a Historic National Landmark). He studied at the Philadelphia School of Design, later setting up a studio in London, where he befriended and painted for royalty and nobility. Harding finally returned to Boston, where he died in 1866.
FSA A2009.06 4
Other Archival Materials:
Thomas B. Brumbaugh research material on Abbott Handerson Thayer and other artists, 1876-1994 (bulk 1960s-1994); Also located at Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Collection is open for research.
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.
The papers of art historian, dealer, critic, and curator Katharine Kuh measure 12 linear feet and date from 1875-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930-1994. The collection documents Kuh's career as a pioneer modernist art historian and as the first woman curator of European Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues; personal business records; artwork by various artists; a travel journal; writings by Kuh and others; scrapbooks; printed material; photographs of Kuh and others; and audio recordings of Kuh's lectures and of Daniel Catton Rich reading poetry.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of art historian, dealer, critic, and curator Katharine Kuh measure 12 linear feet and date from 1875-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930-1994. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues; personal business records; artwork by various artists; a travel journal; writings by Kuh and others; scrapbooks; printed material; photographs of Kuh and others; and audio recordings of Kuh's lectures and of Daniel Catton Rich reading poetry.
Biographical material consists of copies of Kuh's birth certificate, resumés, passports, award certificates, honorary diplomas, and address books listing information about several prominent artists and colleagues.
Four linear feet of correspondence offers excellent documentation of Kuh's interest in art history, her travels, her career at the Art Institute of Chicago, her work as a corporate art advisor, and as an author. There are letters from her mother Olga Woolf, friends, and colleagues. There is extensive correspondence with various staff members of the Art Institute of Chicago, the First National Bank of Chicago, and The Saturday Review. Also of interest are letters from artists and collectors, several of whom became life-long friends including Walter and Louise Arensberg, Cosmo Campoli, Serge Chermayeff, Richard Cox, Worden Day, Claire Falkenstein, Fred Friendly, Leon Golub, Joseph Goto, David Hare, Denise Brown Hare, Jean Hélion, Ray Johnson, Gyorgy and Juliet Kepes, Len Lye, Wallace Putnam, Kurt Seligmann, Shelby Shackelford, Hedda Sterne, and Clyfford Still. Many letters are illustrated with original artwork in various media.
There are also scattered letters from various artists and other prominent individuals including Josef Albers, George Biddle, Marcel Breuer, Joseph Cornell, Stuart Davis, Edwin Dickinson, Joseph Hirshhorn, Daniel Catton Rich, and Dorothea Tanning.
Personal business records include a list of artwork, Olga Woolf's will, inventories of Kuh's personal art collection, miscellaneous contracts and deeds of gift, receipts for the sale of artwork, files concerning business-related travel, and miscellaneous receipts.
Artwork in the collection represents a wide range of artist friends and media, such as drawings, watercolors, paintings, collages, and prints. Included are works by various artists including lithographs by David Hare and a watercolor set, Technics and Creativity, designed and autographed by Jasper Johns for the Museum of Modern Art, 1970.
Notes and writings include annotated engagement calendars, travel journals for Germany, a guest book for the Kuh Memorial gathering, and many writings and notes by Kuh for lectures and articles concerning art history topics. Of interest are minutes/notes from meetings for art festivals, conferences, and the "Conversations with Artists Program (1961). Also found are writings by others about Kuh and other art history topics.
Six scrapbooks contain clippings that document the height of Kuh's career as a gallery director and museum curator. Scrapbook 6 contains clippings about Fernand Léger, the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1953.
Additional printed material includes clippings about Kuh and her interests, a comprehensive collection of clippings of Kuh's articles for The Saturday Review, exhibition announcements and catalogs, calendars of events, programs, brochures, books including Poems by Kuh as a child, and reproductions of artwork. Of particular interest are the early and exhibition catalogs from the Katharine Kuh Gallery, and rare catalogs for artists including Jean Arp, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Jean Dubuffet, Marcel Duchamp, Stanley William Hayter, Hans Hofmann, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Franz Kline, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Pablo Picasso.
Photographs provide important documentation of the life and career of Katharine Kuh and are of Kuh, family members, friends, colleagues, events, residences, and artwork. Several of the photographs of Kuh were taken by Will Barnet and Marcel Breuer and there is a notable pair of photo booth portraits of Kuh and a young Ansel Adams. There are also group photographs showing Angelica Archipenko with Kuh; designer Klaus Grabe; painters José Chavez Morado and Pablo O'Higgins in San Miguel, Mexico; Kuh at the Venice Biennale with friends and colleagues including Peggy Guggenheim, Frances Perkins, Daniel Catton Rich, and Harry Winston; and "The Pre-Depressionists" including Lorser Feitelson, Robert Inverarity, Helen Lundeberg, Arthur Millier, Myron Chester Nutting, and Muriel Tyler Nutting.
Photographs of exhibition installations and openings include views of the Katharine Kuh Gallery; Fernand Léger, Man Ray, and László Moholy-Nagy at the Art Institute of Chicago; and Philip Guston, Jimmy Ernst, Seymour H. Knox, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. There are also photographs depicting three men posing as Léger's "Three Musicians" and the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the Art Institute of Chicago. There is a photograph by Peter Pollack of an elk skull used as a model by Georgia O'Keeffe.
Additional photographs of friends and colleagues include Ivan Albright, Alfred Barr, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Willem De Kooning, Edwin Dickinson, Marcel Duchamp, Claire Falkenstein, Alberto Giacometti, poet Robert Graves with Len Lye, Philip Johnson, Gyorgy and Juliet Kepes, Carlos Mérida, José Orozco, Hasan Ozbekhan, Pablo Picasso, Carl Sandberg, Ben Shahn, Otto Spaeth, Hedda Sterne, Adlai Stevenson, Clyfford Still, Mark Tobey, and composer Victor Young.
Photographs of artwork include totem poles in Alaska; work by various artists including Claire Falkenstein, Paul Klee, and Hedda Sterne; and work donated to the Guggenheim Museum.
Four audio recordings on cassette are of Katharine Kuh's lectures, including one about assembling corporate collections, and of Daniel Catton Rich reading his own poetry. There is also a recording of the Second Annual Dialogue between Broadcasters and Museum Educators.
The collection is arranged as 9 series. Undated correspondence, artwork, and photographs of individual artists are arranged alphabetically. Otherwise, each series is arranged chronologically.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1945-1992 (Box 1; 16 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1908-1994 (Boxes 1-5, 13-14, OV 15; 4.0 linear feet)
Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1941-1989 (Box 5; 19 folders)
Series 4: Artwork, 1931-1986 (Boxes 5, 13-14, OVs 15-23; 1.7 linear feet)
Series 5: Notes and Writings, 1914-1994 (Boxes 5-7; 1.7 linear feet)
Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1935-1953 (Box 7; 8 folders)
Series 7: Printed Material, 1916-1992 (Boxes 7-10, 13, OV 22; 3.0 linear feet)
Series 8: Photographs, 1875-1993 (Boxes 10-13; 1.2 linear feet)
Series 9: Audio Recordings, 1977 (Box 12; 1 folder)
Katharine Kuh (1904-1994) worked primarily in the Chicago area as an modern art historian, dealer, critic, curator, writer, and consultant. She operated the Katharine Kuh Gallery from 1935-1943 and was the first woman curator of European and Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Katharine Kuh (née Woolf) was born on July 15, 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri, the youngest of the three daughters of Olga Weiner and Morris Woolf, a silk importer. In 1909, the family moved to Chicago, Illinois. While traveling with her family in Europe in 1914, Katharine contracted polio, causing her to spend the next decade in a body brace. During this time of restricted movement, she developed an interest in art history through the collecting of old master prints.
After her recovery, Katharine Woolf attended Vassar College where one of her professors, Alfred Barr, encouraged her to study modern art. She graduated from Vassar in 1925 and received a master's degree in art history from the University of Chicago in 1929. Later that year, she moved to New York to pursue a Ph.D. in Renaissance and medieval art at New York University.
In 1930, Katharine Woolf returned to Chicago and married businessman George Kuh and began to teach art history courses in the suburbs of Chicago. After divorcing George Kuh in 1935, she opened the Katharine Kuh Gallery, the first gallery devoted to avant-garde art in Chicago. It was also the first gallery to exhibit photography and typographical design as art forms, and featured the work of Ansel Adams, Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, Wassily Kandinsky, Fernand Léger, and Man Ray, among others. From 1938 to1940, Kuh was the Visiting Professor of Art at the University School of Fine Arts, San Miguel, Mexico.
After the Katharine Kuh Gallery closed in 1943, Kuh was hired by museum director Daniel Catton Rich to fill a position in public relations at the Art Institute of Chicago. During the following years, Kuh edited the museum's Quarterly publication, took charge of the museum's Gallery of Interpretive Art, and began a long term relationship with Rich. In 1946, Kuh was sent on a special mission for the U. S. Office of Indian Affairs to make a detailed study of Native American totemic carvings in Alaska.
In 1949, Kuh persuaded Mr. and Mrs. Walter Arensberg of Los Angeles to exhibit their collection of modern art, creating the first post-war exhibition of modern art in Chicago. She published her first book Art Has Many Faces in 1951, and in the following year, she began writing art criticism for The Saturday Review. In 1954, Kuh was appointed the first woman curator of European Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute. She assembled the American contribution for the Venice Biennale in 1956 and during these years, Kuh helped acquire many of the works of modern art currently in the museum's collection.
A year following Daniel Catton Rich's 1958 resignation from the Art Institute of Chicago, Kuh also resigned and pursued a career in New York as an art collection advisor, most notably for the First National Bank of Chicago. In 1959, Kuh was made art critic for The Saturday Review, and she continued to publish books, including The Artist's Voice in 1962, Break-Up: The Core of Modern Art in 1965, and The Open Eye: In Pursuit of Art in 1971.
Katharine Kuh died on January 10, 1994 in New York City.
The Katharine Kuh papers were donated in several installments from 1971 to 1989 by Katharine Kuh and in 1994 by her estate. Artwork was donated in 1995 by Kuh's former employer, the Art Institute of Chicago.
Authorization to quote, publish or reproduce requires written permission until 2019. Contact the Archives of American Art Reference Services department for additional information.
The C. J. (Clarence Joseph) Bulliet papers measure 34.6 linear feet and are dated circa 1888-1959. Biographical materials, correspondence, writings, subject and artist files, printed material, photographs, and artwork document the career of the influential Chicago art critic and writer. The records contain extensive information about art and artists in Chicago and the Midwest from the early to mid-twentieth century.
Scope and Content Note:
The C. J. Bulliet papers measure 34.6 linear feet and are dated circa 1888-1959. Biographical materials, correspondence, writings, subject and artist files, printed material, photographs, and artwork document the career of the influential Chicago art critic and writer. The records contain extensive information about art and artists in Chicago and the Midwest from the early to mid-twentieth century.
Biographical materials, circa 1888-1952, about C. J. Bulliet and his artist wife, Katherine Adams Bulliet, include Adams family genealogy, biographical notes, inventory and notes about Bulliet's art collection, miscellaneous items, and photographs. Photographs include portraits of C. J. Bulliet as a young child, and photographs around the time of his graduation from Indiana University. Other photographs are group shots of Bulliet with Mrs. Bulliet, Millard Sheets, Mr. and Mrs. Peyton Boswell, Jr., James Chapin, the Chicago Daily News staff, and other Chicago art critics.
Correspondence, 1901-1942, documents Bulliet's professional and personal life. Professional correspondence provides a good overview of the art scene, activities, and attitudes in Chicago during the 1930s and 1940s. Many letters from newspaper readers contain both positive and negative reactions to his columns. Personal correspondence consists mainly of letters Bulliet wrote to his wife while on the road with Robert Mantell and his Shakespeare company. Other personal correspondence is with friends and relatives, and includes some letters addressed to Katherine Adams Bulliet.
Writings, 1929-1951, consist of notes, drafts, and final manuscripts of published and unpublished articles and essays, books, fiction and poems, lectures, and reviews by C. J. Bulliet. A small number of manuscripts are by other authors.
Artist files, 1919-1952, document a wide variety of artists from the Renaissance through the mid-twentieth century. Artists represented are American, European, and Asian; of particular interest are files relating to Chicago area artists, both well known and obscure. They consist largely of photographs of works of art and a small number of photographs of artists. A small percentage includes correspondence, notes and drafts of texts by Bulliet, printed material, and a few original prints.
Subject files, 1909-1952, concern topics that interested Bulliet. They consist mainly of photographs and printed material, with a small amount of correspondence.
Printed material, 1909-1959, by Bulliet consists of newspaper articles and columns, books, and reviews of art, books, and music. Items produced by others include books, clippings, museum and art school publications, periodicals, and press releases. Exhibition related items, consisting of announcements, invitations, catalogs, checklists, and prospectuses, are categorized by venues - Chicago and elsewhere.
Art work, 1916-1948, mainly by Chicago area artists, consists of prints, drawings, and a sketchbook, most likely given to Bulliet by the artists themselves.
Series 2: Correspondence, Series 4: Artist Files, Series 5: Subject Files, and Series 7: Artwork are arranged alphabetically. Other series, organized by record type, are arranged chronologically within each category, as noted in the series descriptions/container listing below.
The collection is arranged into 7 series:
Series 1: Biographical Materials, circa 1888-1952 (Box 1; 6 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1901-1952 (Boxes 1-2; 2 linear ft.)
Series 3: Writings, 1929-1951 (Boxes 3-4; 2 linear ft.)
Series 4: Artist Files, 1919-1952 (Boxes 5-24; 20 linear ft.)
Series 5: Subject Files, 1909-1952 (Boxes 25-27, 37; 2.3 linear ft.)
Series 6: Printed Material, 1909-1959 (Boxes 27-34, 36-37; 7.7 linear ft.)
Series 7: Artwork, 1916-1948 (Boxes 35, 38, OV 39; 0.6 linear ft.)
Known for his support of modernism, C. J. Bulliet spent the majority of his long newspaper career in Chicago. Born Clarence Joseph Bulleit in Corydon, Indiana, he studied English, astronomy, and mathematics at Indiana University. After graduating in 1905, he became a member of the Indiana University Total Eclipse Expedition to Spain in its search for a planet within Mercury's orbit. During World War I the spelling to Bulliet was changed to avoid any connection with Germany.
Upon returning to the United States, Bulliet began his newspaper career as a reporter for the Louisville Herald, soon moved to the Indianapolis Star as a police reporter, and eventually was named its drama critic. Between 1912 and 1921, he traveled extensively throughout the country as a press agent for Shakespearean actor Robert B. Mantell. During this period, he published his first book, a biography titled Robert Mantell's Romance. World War I interrupted Mantell's tour for two years, during which time Bulliet was press representative for D. W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation. He returned to the Louisville Herald for two years before moving to Chicago.
In 1923, the Chicago Evening Post established "The Art World Magazine," a weekly tabloid section reporting local, national, and international art news. C.J. Bulliet became the magazine's first (and only) editor. In addition, he served as the paper's drama critic. When the Chicago Evening Post was sold in 1932, becoming the Chicago Daily News, Bulliet was appointed its art critic. Although Bulliet was an experienced reporter, writer, and editor with a broad general knowledge of theater and drama, he had virtually no background in art or art history. An avid reader, he was determined to learn as much as he could, and managed to make himself an expert in a relatively short time. From 1924 until his death in 1952, C. J. Bulliet was the most important art critic in Chicago. His strong support of modernism and the gossipy, entertaining style of his columns made him a popular and controversial figure with great local influence on public opinion, exhibitions, and patronage. In addition to his work on the Chicago newspapers, C. J. Bulliet contributed articles to Art Digest, the New York Times, and other national publications.
Once established as an art editor and critic, C. J. Bulliet began writing extensively on art, and published many books on the subject for general readers. The first, Apples and Madonnas: Emotional Expression in Modern Art (1927), was extremely well-received and remained in print through many editions. Other titles include: Tour of the Exhibition of the Works of Alexander Archipenko (1927), The Courtezan Olympia: An Intimate Survey of Artists and their Mistress-Models (1930), Art Masterpieces: In a Century of Progress Fine Art Exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago (1933), Paintings, An Introduction to Art (1934); The Significant Moderns and Their Pictures (1936), Masterpieces of Italian Art (1939), French Art from David to Matisse: As Set Forth in 20 Masterpieces of the French Exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago (1941), Art Treasures from Vienna (1949), and The Story of Lent in Art (1951). He published books on other subjects, as well. In addition to his 1918 biography of Robert B. Mantell, they are: Venus Castina: Famous Female Impersonators, Celestial and Human (1933) and How Grand Opera Came to Chicago (1940-1941).
The papers were donated to the Archives in 1984 by C. J. Bulliet's son, Lender J. Bulliet. Additional records were given by Rockford College, Rockford, Illinois, in 1987.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Avis Berman research material on Juliana Force measures 12.3 linear feet and dates from circa 1930-2020. The papers document Berman's research for her book Rebels on Eigth Street: Juliana Force and the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1990. Included is correspondence, writings, printed material, audio visual material, transcripts of interviews, administrative and sales records, and photographs. Photographs consist of 93 Rieser/Force family photographs, 45 photographs of Barley Sheaf Farm, Juliana Force's residence in Holicong, Pa., and a photograph album containing 23 images of "Cobweb," Force's cottage in Rosemary Lane, Haddenham, Bucks, England. Also included are 88 contemporary and reproduction photographs.
Biographical / Historical:
Avis Berman (1949- ) is a writer and art historian in New York, N.Y. Berman wrote the book Rebels on Eighth Street: Juliana Force and the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1990.
Donated in 2020 and 2021 by Avis Berman.
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
The donor has retained all intellectual property rights, including copyright, that they may own in the following material: all writings by Avis Berman.
An interview of Katharine Kuh conducted 1982 Mar. 18-1983 Mar. 24, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.
Kuh speaks of her invalid childhood in Chicago, the development of her interest in art, classes in art history at Vassar College, and her career as curator of modern art at the Art Institute of Chicago. She recalls in particular the "Sanity in Art" movement against modern art in Chicago. Kuh describes her relationship with Mark Rothko and Rothko's relationships with Mark Tobey, Clyfford Still, Kate Rothko, Theodoros Stamos, Milton Avery, Stanley Kunitz, and Hans Hofmann.
Kuh discusses her parents, the family silk business, travelling in Europe as a child, life in Chicago, the effects of polio and other illnesses on her interests, and her student years at Vassar College. She remembers visiting Bernard Berenson in Italy with her family and again with Daniel Catton Rich, with whom she worked very closely at the Art Institute of Chicago. She speaks of the Katharine Kuh Gallery, which she started in the mid-1930s and its place in the vanguard of the Chicago art scene.
Kuh remembers the effects of the stock market crash on her personal situation, her marriage to businessman George Kuh, distaste for life in the suburbs, and her divorce. She discusses the Katharine Kuh Gallery and the actions taken against her business by members of the reactionary "Sanity in Art" movement (including a very funny anecdote concerning Carlos Merida). She speaks of the classes in modern art that she taught at her gallery and of some of the artists she exhibited there, including the photographers Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Weston.
Kuh remembers the McCarthy era and the political conservatism in Chicago, including her testimony on behalf of Bill Zimmerman, Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs. She criticizes blockbuster exhibitions and the changes in the role of a museum curator. She reminisces about building the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago and the art education program she ran there, and recalls Stuart Davis, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Gyorgy Kepes, and Ivan Albright.
Kuh remembers Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Marcel Duchamp, as well as the collectors Walter Paepcke and Walter and Louise Arensberg (whose collection she surveyed in their home for an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago).
Kuh focuses on her memories of Mark Rothko, recalling when they met, their friendship, his manner of working, his feelings about his work, and his worries towards the end of his life. She talks about Clyfford Still, Barnett Newman, and Mark Tobey. Some parts of this tape repeat what she said earlier.
Kuh continues discussing Rothko, particularly his Houston chapel murals and the retrospective exhibition at MOMA in 1961. She remembers visiting Rothko's studio and describes his working methods. She relates Rothko's views on other artists, including Milton Avery, Clyfford Still, Turner, Robert Motherwell, and Adolf Gottlieb; parts repeat things said before. Kuh also discusses Rothko's wife and daughter.
Kuh recounts building the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago and speaks of the museum staff, trustees, and donors. She remembers Alfred Barr at MOMA.
Kuh continues speaking about the Art Institute of Chicago, describing the circumstances of her resignation and subsequent move to New York. She talks of knowing Peggy Guggenheim, Max Ernst, and Fernand Leger.
Kuh describes her work as a consultant to college museums and her writings. She discusses the field of art criticism and her career as art editor at Saturday Review. She recalls Clyfford Still's retrospective exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and his death.
Kuh describes her work as a collector for the First National Bank of Chicago.
Kuh recounts more about her work at Saturday Review and her resignation. She goes into great detail about her travels in Alaska and British Columbia surveying Northwest Indian art for a government report. She speaks again about the McCarthy era.
Kuh speaks again about the Katharine Kuh Gallery and the artists she exhibited there, including Josef Albers (and his Black Mountain College), Alexander Archipenko, Stuart Davis, Paul Klee, Alexander Calder, and Man Ray.
Kuh continues her discussion of artists she exhibited at the Katharine Kuh Gallery, including Mark Tobey, Paul Klee, and Isamu Noguchi.
Kuh continues talking about artists she exhibited at the Katharine Kuh Gallery, including David Smith, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Eliot Porter, Rufino Tamayo, and Jack Tworkov.
Biographical / Historical:
Katharine Kuh (1904-1994) was an art consultant, curator, and critic from Chicago and New York City.
Originally recorded on 16 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 31 digital wav files. Duration is 21 hrs., 52 min.
This interview was conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and his Times oral history project, with funding provided by the Mark Rothko Foundation.
Others interviewed on the project (by various interviewers) include: Sonia Allen, Sally Avery, Ben-Zion, Bernard Braddon, Ernest Briggs, Rhys Caparn, Elaine de Kooning, Herbert Ferber, Esther Gottlieb, Juliette Hays, Sidney Janis, Buffie Johnson, Jacob Kainen, Louis Kaufman, Jack Kufeld, Stanley Kunitz, Joseph Liss, Dorothy Miller, Betty Parsons, Wallace Putnam, Rebecca Reis, Maurice Roth, Sidney Schectman, Aaron Siskind, Joseph Solman, Hedda Sterne, Jack Tworkov, Esteban Vicente and Ed Weinstein. Each has been cataloged separately.
Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Authorization to quote or reproduce for the purposes of publication requires written permission from Avis Berman. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The papers of painter, political activist, and educator Leon Golub are dated 1930s-2009 and measure 16.5 linear feet and 4.13 GB. His career as a painter and educator – and, to a far lesser extent, his personal interests and activities – are documented by correspondence, interviews, writings by Golub and other authors, subject files, printed and digital material, and audiovisual recordings. Also included are biographical materials, personal business records, and photographs of Leon Golub and wife Nancy Spero. Posthumously dated items are mostly condolence letters, obituaries, printed material, and inventories of his work.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter, political activist, and educator Leon Golub are dated 1930s-2009 and measure 16.5 linear feet and 4.13 GB. His career as a painter and educator – and, to a far lesser extent, his personal interests and activities – are documented by correspondence, interviews, writings, subject files, printed and digital material, and audiovisual recordings. Also included are biographical materials, personal business records, and photographs of Leon Golub and his art work. Posthumously dated items are mostly condolence letters, obituaries, printed material, and inventories of his work.
Biographical materials consist largely of video documentaries about Leon Golub and his work, obituaries, and information about his 2004 memorial service and a larger memorial tribute held later. Also found are educational records, passports, curricula vitae.
Correspondence is mostly of a professional nature, focusing on exhibitions, projects, collectors, articles submitted for publication, Golub's work, speaking engagements, awards, gifts of artwork, studio visits, and travel arrangements. Correspondents include dealers, curators, art historians, critics, collectors, writers, and editors. Scattered throughout are a small number of letters concerning personal business and politics.
Interviews with Leon Golub and joint interviews with Leon Golub and Nancy Spero were conducted for a variety of purposes. They are preserved as transcripts, video, and sound recordings. Writings by Golub include manuscripts and notes for articles, catalog essays, and miscellaneous writings. Notes and texts for talks, lectures, and panel discussions, include some transcripts and recordings. Among the writings by other authors are a dissertation, a thesis, academic papers, notes, texts of speeches, and a recording of a lecture by an unidentified speaker.
Subject files reflect Golub's professional and personal activities, interests and relationships. Of note are many files of "Images (source material)" used for a variety of artwork and projects. Personal business records documenting Golub's artistic output include many inventories and lists, and a comprehensive register of work, information about consignments, loans, photo permissions, and gifts or donations. Also found are extensive mailing lists.
Printed material includes clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, and a variety of miscellaneous printed items. Most material is about/mentions Golub, and/or includes reproductions of his work. Scattered throughout are items concerning topics of interest to Golub, and articles written by him.
The majority of the photographic materials are color digital prints of Golub's artwork. There are photographs of Leon Golub and Nancy Spero, family members, and friends and colleagues at exhibition events. Also found are a few photographs of Golub's plexibox sculptures.
The collection is arranged in 8 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1930s-2006 (Boxes 1-2; 1.4 linear feet, ER01-ER02; 3.82 GB)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1955-2004 (Boxes 2-3; 0.9 linear foot)
Series 3: Interviews, 1967-2004 (Boxes 3-4; 0.8 linear foot)
Series 4: Writings, 1948-2003 (Boxes 4-5, 21; 1.1 linear foot, ER03; 0.098 GB)
Series 5: Subject Files, 1959-2005 (Boxes 5-11, OV 18; 6.2 linear feet, ER04-ER06, 0.213 GB)
Series 6: Personal Business Records, 1965-2009 (Boxes 11-12; 1.4 linear feet)
Series 7: Printed Material, circa 1950s-2009 (Boxes 12-16, 21, OV 19; 3.9 linear feet)
Series 8: Photographs, 1940s-2004 (Boxes 16-17, OV 20; 0.6 linear foot)
Biographical / Historical:
Leon Golub (1922-2004) was a painter in New York City known for figurative work with political content, an anti-war activist, and professor of art at Rutgers University.
Chicago native Leon Golub studied art history at the University of Chicago (BA 1942) before serving as a cartographer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Europe during World War II. Upon returning home, Golub became identified with Monster Roster, a group of Chicago artists who believed art must be grounded in real events in order to be relevant to the viewer and society, an idea he held throughout his life. At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Golub pursued his interest in painting (BFA 1949, MFA 1950) and met fellow student Nancy Spero whom he married in 1951. After graduation he began teaching at local colleges, exhibited in Chicago and New York, and served as chair of "Exhibition Momentum" (1950). The couple and their two sons lived in Italy from 1956-1957. In 1959 they moved to Paris and, while there, a third son was born. Upon returning to New York City in 1964, Golub became actively involved with the Artists and Writers Protest Against the War in Vietnam, other anti-war groups, and civil liberties organizations. While his painting style changed with time, Golub continued to explore power, violence and conflict, often working in series with titles such as Combats, Napalm, Mercenaries, Interrogation, and Riot.
He first participated in a group show with other veterans at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1947, and soon was included in group and solo exhibitions throughout the United States and in Europe, including the Guggenheim Museum's influential national traveling exhibition "Younger American Painters" (1954-1956). Golub and Spero exhibited their work in tandem and collaborated on installations. He continued to participate in group shows including "Documenta IX" (2002). Golub's work is included in the permanent collections of museums throughout the world.
Golub began his teaching career soon after graduation, first at a junior college in Chicago. In the later 1950s he served briefly on the faculties of Illinois Institute of Technology School of Design and Indiana University; in the 1960s at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, and Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. He began a long tenure at Rutgers University, School of Visual Arts in 1970 and retired in 1991. In the early 1990s, both Golub and Spero were affiliated with Sommerakademie in Salzburg. Golub wrote and spoke on art, politics, and social issues; he also published many articles, statements, and book reviews, as well as contributing introductions and essays for exhibition catalogs.
Awards and honors included the Skowhegan Medal for Painting (1988), Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights Award (1989), Dickinson College Arts Award (1992), National Foundation of Jewish Culture Visual Arts Award (1995), and Hiroshima Art Prize shared with Nancy Spero (1996). Golub was awarded honorary doctorates of Fine Arts by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1982), Swarthmore College (1985), College of St. Rose (1995), Trinity College (1999), and Pratt Institute (2000). He was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2002).
Leon Golub died in New York City August 8, 2004 from complications following surgery.
Also among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are oral history interviews with Leon Golub conducted for the Archives of American Art by Bruce Hooten 1965 and Irving Sandler 1968 October 28-November 18. The Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009, bulk 1970-2009, include documentation of many of the couple's collaborative projects, joint exhibitions, their family, and shared interests.
The Leon Golub papers were donated by Leon Golub in 1978; the majority of the papers were given in 2013 by The Nancy Spero and Leon Golub Foundation for the Arts via their sons Stephen, Philip and Paul Golub. Material loaned for microfilming in 1969 is included with the 2013 donation.
Use of original materials requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
An interview with Dennis Adrian conducted 2015 October 8-9, by Lanny Silverman, for the Archives of American Art's Chicago Art and Artists: Oral History Project, at Adrian's home in Seaside, Oregon.
Adrian speaks of growing up in Astoria; traveling to Chicago and New York; Cannon Beach; aging and getting older; his origins; curators and curating; visual sensibilities; the Portland Public Library; opera; his parents, grandparents, and family; Finnish sensibility and humor; Portland Art Museum and classes for children; curator as voyeur; credit and accomplishments; hands on experiences; Artforum; art history; attending University of Chicago; homosexuality and coming out; looted European masterworks; Botticelli; exposure to real art; connoisseurship; collectors and collecting; a Robert Louis Stevenson letter; violin making; growing into yourself; Chicago; war; New York University; Frumkin Gallery; New York; the art world; Madison Art Center; Akron Art Museum; friendship and role models; Art Institute of Chicago; meeting Mies van der Rohe; meeting idols; education; Oscar Wilde and Dorothy Parker; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Monster Roster; traveling; Chicago art politics; writing and critics; Eurocentric curators; Chicago as an undervalued city; Dog Day Afternoon; discovering art; New York sightings; and experiences running into artists. Adrian also recalls Roger Brown, Ruth Horwich, Gilda Buchbinder, Don Baum, Sherman Lee, Victor Carlson, Peter Voulkos, Lawrence Alloway, Rhona Hoffman, Allan Frumkin, June Leaf, Leon Golub, Jeremy Anderson, Robert Barnes, Tom Garver, Bruce Conner, Natasha Nicholson, H. C. Westermann, Franz Schulze, Bertha Harris Wiles, Muriel Newman, Aaron James Spire, Lillian Florsheim, John Maxon, Greg Knight, P.B. Maryan, Philip Pearlstein, Sylvia Sleigh, Nancy Spero, Irving Petlin, John Coplans, Alan Artner, Alice Shaddle, Phyllis Kind, Andy Warhol, Joseph Cornell, Tilda Swinton, Leo Castelli, Philip Guston, Dubuffet, Pussy Pepke, Bumpy Rogers, Barbara Rossi, Christina Ramberg, Philip Hanson, Miyoko Ito, Mark Jackson, Rolf Achilles, and Vito Acconci.
Biographical / Historical:
Dennis Adrian (1937- ) is an art critic, educator, and curator in Chicago, Illinois. Lanny Silverman (1947- ) is a curator at the Chicago Cultural Center in Chicago, Illinois.
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.
Art critics -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews Search this
The papers of New York-based painter, lithographer, art critic, and poet Fairfield Porter measure 9.3 linear feet and date from 1888 to 2001, with the bulk of material dating from 1924 to 1975. Papers document Porter's life and career through correspondence, writings, business records, printed materials, photographs, and artwork.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of New York-based painter, lithographer, art critic, and poet Fairfield Porter measure 9.3 linear feet and date from 1888 to 2001, with the bulk of material dating from 1924 to 1975. The collection includes a biographical chronology; certificates, awards, and diplomas; letters to Fairfield and Anne Porter; scattered outgoing correspondence; and reviews, essays, notes, poems, and translations written by Porter and others. Among the writings are poetry manuscripts written by several New York School Poets including Frank O'Hara, James Schuyler, and Kenneth Koch. Also found are gallery records, inventories and appraisals, financial records, exhibition catalogs, clippings, posters, and records of Anne Porter's efforts to place his collection and document and publish his work after his death. Photographs of Porter, his homes, and his family are also present, as well as sketchbooks, loose sketches, and drawings spanning his entire career.
Significant correspondence is present from the Porters' many poet friends, including Kenneth Koch, James Schuyler, Ron Padgett, Kenward Elmslie, Barbara Guest, Carl Morse, David Shapiro, and others. Among the letters are poetry manuscripts by Koch, Morse, Schuyler, Padgett, and Shapiro. Some letters are actually written in verse, especially those from Kenneth Koch.
Artists with letters in the collection include Joe Brainard, Rudy Burkhardt, John Button, Lucien Day, Rackstraw Downes, Philip Evergood, Jane Frielicher, Arthur Giardelli, Leon Hartl, Alex Katz, Edward Laning, Roy Lichtenstein, Larry Rivers, Richard Stankiewicz, Nicolas Vasilieff, among others. Other art world figures represented include John Bernard Myers, curator at the Tibor de Nagy gallery (New York), and Tom Hess, editor of ArtNews. Artwork found within the correspondence includes an illustrated letter from Ron Padgett and an original print on a holiday card by Edith Schloss.
The collection is arranged into the following nine series. See the series descriptions below for more information about the content of each series.
Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1916-1975 (Box 1 and 11; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1918-1996 (Boxes 1-2; 1.2 linear feet)
Series 3: Writings by Fairfield Porter, 1924-1975 (Box 2; 0.6)
Series 4: Writings by Others, 1888-1992 (Boxes 2-3; 0.7 linear feet)
Series 5: Personal Business Records, 1944-1996 (Boxes 3-4; 1 linear foot)
Series 6: Anne Porter's Posthumous Projects, 1980-1988 (Box 4; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 7: Printed Materials, 1934-2001 (Boxes 4-6 and 11; 1.5 linear feet)
Series 8: Photographs, circa 1880-1990 (Boxes 6 and 11; 0.6 linear feet)
Series 9: Artwork, 1918-1975 (Boxes 7-10 and 12-17; 2.2 linear feet)
Fairfield Porter was born near Chicago in 1907, the fourth of five children of James and Ruth Furness Porter. His father was an architect, his mother a poet from a literary family, and Porter grew up in an environment where art and literature were highly valued. His father designed the family homes in Winnetka, Illinois and on Great Spruce Head Island, an island in Maine that he purchased for the family in 1912. Fairfield Porter spent summers there from the age of six, and views of the island, its structures, and neighboring towns were the subjects of many paintings.
Porter attended Harvard from 1924 to 1928, studying fine art with Arthur Pope and philosophy with Alfred North Whitehead. After graduating from Harvard, Porter moved to New York City and took studio classes at the Art Students League from 1928 until 1930, studying with Boardman Robinson and Thomas Hart Benton, and immersing himself in the art and radical politics of Greenwich Village. In the 1940s, he studied at Parson's School of Design with art restorer Jacques Maroger, adopting the Maroger recipe for an oil medium in his own painting.
To further his education as an artist, Porter traveled to Europe in 1931, where he spent time with expatriate art theorist Bernard Berenson and his circle. When he returned to New York, he allied himself with progressive, socialist organizations, and like many of his contemporaries, worked at creating socially relevant art. He did artwork for the John Reed Club, a communist group; taught drawing classes for Rebel Arts, a socialist arts organization; wrote for their magazine, Arise!; and created a mural for the Queens branch of the Socialist Party. Living in the Chicago area for several years in the 1930s, he illustrated chapbooks for the socialist poet John Wheelwright's Poems for a Dime and Poems for Two Bits series. Porter's financial contributions to the radical Chicago publication Living Marxism kept it afloat for several years.
In 1932, Porter married Anne Channing, a poet from Boston, and they settled in New York. The Porters had five children, and their first son, born in 1934, suffered from a severe form of autism. In the next decade, they had two more sons, and spent three years in Porter's hometown of Winnetka, where he had his first solo exhibition of paintings. When they returned to New York in 1939, the Porters became friends with Edwin Denby, Rudy Burkhardt, and Elaine and Willem de Kooning. Porter became an earnest admirer of Willem de Kooning's artwork and was among the first to review and purchase it.
In 1949, the Porters moved to the small, seaside town of Southampton, New York. Their two daughters were born in 1950 and 1956. Like the family home on Great Spruce Head Island, Southampton became the setting of many of Porter's paintings. In fact, almost all of his mature paintings depict family homes, surrounding landscapes, family members, and friends. Porter was an individualistic painter who embraced figurative art in the late 1940s and 1950s, when abstract expressionism was the prevailing aesthetic trend. Porter once made a comment that his commitment to figurative painting was made just to spite art critic Clement Greenberg, a respected critic and ideologue who had championed abstract expressionism and denigrated realism as passé.
Porter established his reputation as a painter and as a writer in the 1950s. John Bernard Myers of the vanguard Tibor de Nagy gallery gave Porter his first New York exhibition in 1951 and represented him for the next twenty years. That same year Tom Hess, editor of ArtNews, hired Porter to write art features and reviews. Porter went on to contribute to ArtNews until 1967 and also became art editor for The Nation beginning in 1959, the same year his article on Willem de Kooning won the Longview Foundation Award in art criticism. As a critic, Porter visited countless galleries and studios, and he gained a reputation for writing about art with the understanding and vested interest of an artist, and with the same independence from fashionable ideas that he demonstrated in his artwork.
The 1950s and 1960s were prolific years for Porter's writing and art, and saw the development of his critical ideas and the maturation of his painting. Porter enjoyed an elder status among a circle of younger artists such as Jane Freilicher, Larry Rivers, and Alex Katz, and their many poet friends, now known as the New York School of Poetry: Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery, James Schuyler, Kenneth Koch, Barbara Guest, and others. Porter himself wrote poetry and was published in the 1950s, sometimes alongside poems by his wife, who had been publishing poetry since the 1930s (twice in the vanguard Chicago journal, Poetry). The Porters' correspondence is laced with poems they and their friends sent back and forth, often about and dedicated to each other.
Besides his annual exhibitions at Tibor de Nagy and later Hirschl and Adler Galleries, Porter exhibited regularly at the Whitney, and had one-man exhibitions at many museums including the Rhode Island School of Design (1959), The University of Alabama (1963), Cleveland Museum of Art (his first retrospective, 1966), Trinity College (1967), the Parrish Art Museum (1971), the Maryland Institute of Art (1973), and the 1968 Venice Biennale. He also had residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (1964) and Amherst College (1969). Porter died in 1975 at age 68. A full-scale retrospective of his artwork was held at the Boston Museum of Fine Art, Boston in 1983, and a study center and permanent home for his artwork was established at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton through a donation made by Anne Porter. A posthumous collection of his poems was published by Tibor de Nagy Editions in 1985, and a catalogue raisonnée, edited by Joan Ludman, was published in 2001.
This biography relies heavily on information found in Justin Spring's biography of Porter, Fairfield Porter: A Life in Art (Yale University Press, 2000).
The Archives of American Art holds an oral history of Fairfield Porter conducted by Paul Cummings in 1968.
The papers of Fairfield Porter were given to the Archives of American Art by the artist's wife, Anne Porter, in five separate accessions between 1977 and 1997.
The bulk of this collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website. Use of material not digitized requires an appointment.
Art critics -- New York (State) -- Southampton Search this