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Adelyne Dohme Breeskin papers

Creator:
Breeskin, Adelyn Dohme, 1896-1986  Search this
Names:
National Collection of Fine Arts (U.S.)  Search this
National Museum of American Art (U.S.)  Search this
Avery, Milton, 1885-1965  Search this
Cassatt, Mary, 1844-1926  Search this
MacIver, Loren, 1909-  Search this
Extent:
2.5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Date:
circa 1934-1986
Summary:
The papers of Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington D.C. art historian and museum curator Adelyn Dohme Breeskin, measure 2.5 linear feet and date from circa 1934-1986. The papers provide scattered documentation of Breeskin's career, focusing on writings and lectures delivered in the United States and abroad, and briefly documenting her work as an art exhibition juror, as a consultant, and as a teacher of a community art course. The collection also includes papers documenting some of Breeskin's research on Loren MacIver, Mary Cassatt, and others, and is comprised of biographical material, personal and professional correspondence with artists, friends, and colleagues, manuscript and lecture notes and drafts, professional files, sound recordings, and a few photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington D.C. art historian and museum curator Adelyn Dohme Breeskin, measure 2.5 linear feet and date from circa 1934-1986. The papers provide scattered documentation of Breeskin's career, focusing on writings and lectures delivered in the United States and abroad, and briefly documenting her work as an art exhibition juror, as a consultant, and as a teacher of a community art course. The collection also includes papers documenting some of Breeskin's research on Loren MacIver, Mary Cassatt, and others, and is comprised of biographical material, personal and professional correspondence with artists, friends, and colleagues, manuscript and lecture notes and drafts, professional files, sound recordings, and a few photographs.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as four series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1938-1986 (0.6 linear feet; Box 1, OVs 4-6)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1940-1970 (0.5 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 3: Writings and Lectures, circa 1934-1981 (1 linear foot; Boxes 1-2)

Series 4: Professional Files, 1945-1984 (0.4 linear feet; Boxes 2-3)
Biographical / Historical:
Adelyn Dohme Breeskin (1896-1986) was an art historian and museum curator in Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. She was the first woman to be named director of a major American museum, the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Adelyn Dohme took her first museum job in the print department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she worked with Kathryn B. Child under the supervision of William Mills Ivins. She left the museum in 1920 to marry violinist Elias Breeskin, and the couple had three children before divorcing in 1930.

Following her divorce, Breeskin returned to her native Baltimore and took a position as a curator with the Baltimore Museum of Art. In 1942 she was appointed director of the museum and remained in that position until 1962. As director she gave Milton Avery and Mary Cassatt's graphics their first museum shows.

Breeskin served as commissioner for the American contingent of the Venice Biennale in 1960 and was director of the Washington Gallery of Modern Art from 1962-1964. She then became a special consultant in twentieth-century art for the Smithsonian's National Collection of Fine Art and served as the museum's curator of contemporary painting and sculpture from 1968 to 1974.

Breeskin authored two catalogue raisonnés of Mary Cassatt's work, and conducted extensive research for a monograph on Loren MacIver, although the monograph was ultimately not published. In 1985 Breeskin received the Smithsonian Institutions highest award, the Gold Medal for Exceptional Service, and at the time of her death in 1986, was senior curatorial adviser.
Related Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds oral history interviews with Adelyn Breeskin conducted by Paul Cummings in 1974, and Julie Haifley in 1979.
Provenance:
Portions of the collection were donated to the Archives of American Art in a series of gifts from Adelyn Breeskin, 1979-1985. Material relating to Loren MacIver was donated 1979-1987 by Breeskin and Robert Frash, who had possession of Breeskin's research materials on MacIver for an exhibition on MacIver he curated in California. Letters from Georgia O'Keeffe, Stanton Macdonald-Wright, and Lawrence Calcagno, an exhibition catalog for Calcagno, and the file on Milton Avery, were donated by the National Museum of American Art on January 28, 1981. The birthday book was a gift from Breeskin's daughter, Gloria Breeskin Peck, in 2015. The sound recordings were transferred from the National Museum of American Art, circa 1984.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.

Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Art museum curators -- Maryland -- Baltimore  Search this
Art museum curators -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Art historians -- Maryland -- Baltimore  Search this
Art historians -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Topic:
Women art historians  Search this
Women museum curators  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Citation:
Adelyn Dohme Breeskin papers, circa 1934-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.breeadel
See more items in:
Adelyne Dohme Breeskin papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-breeadel

Major Henry Lee Higginson

Artist:
John Singer Sargent, 12 Jan 1856 - 15 Apr 1925  Search this
Sitter:
Henry Lee Higginson, 1834 - 1919  Search this
Medium:
Charcoal on off-white laid paper
Dimensions:
Sheet (Accurate): 62.4 × 48.2 cm (24 9/16 × 19")
Frame: 76.8 × 62.2 cm (30 1/4 × 24 1/2")
Type:
Drawing
Date:
1911
Topic:
Henry Lee Higginson: Male  Search this
Henry Lee Higginson: Business and Finance\Businessperson\Banker  Search this
Henry Lee Higginson: Military\Army\Officer\Civil War\Union  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
Owner: Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University
Website: https://www.harvardartmuseums.org/
Object number:
1984.625 FAM
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Catalog of American Portraits
Data Source:
Catalog of American Portraits
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm4f46fdaa5-9ff4-4e3a-9bde-3b33181c6246
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_1984.625_FAM

Charles Lang Freer Papers

Creator:
Freer, Charles Lang, 1856-1919  Search this
Extent:
131 Linear feet (29 architectural drawings)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Diaries
Financial records
Correspondence
Photographs
Place:
China
Syria
Egypt
India
London (England)
Japan
Boston (Mass.)
Detroit (Mich.)
Washington (D.C.)
Kandy (Sri Lanka)
Sri Lanka
Anuradhapura (Sri Lanka)
Date:
1876-1931
Summary:
The personal papers of Charles Lang Freer, the industrialist and art collector who founded the Freer Gallery of Art. The papers include correspondence, diaries, art inventories, scrapbooks of clippings on James McNeil Whistler and other press clippings, and photographs.
Scope Content:
The personal papers of Charles Lang Freer, the industrialist and art collector who founded the Freer Gallery of Art. The papers include correspondence, diaries, art inventories, scrapbooks of clippings on James McNeil Whistler and other press clippings, financial material, architectural drawings, and photographs.

Correspondence, circa 1860-1921, includes Freer's correspondence, 1876-1920, with artists, dealers, collectors, museums, and public figures; letterpress books contain copies of Freer's outgoing letters, 1892-1910; correspondence collected by Freer of James McNeill Whistler, and his wife Beatrix, 186?-1909, with Lady Colin Campbell, Thomas R. Way, Alexander Reid, Whistler's mother, Mrs. George W. Whistler, and others; correspondence of Whistler collector Richard A. Canfield, 1904-1913, regarding works in Canfield's collection; and correspondence of Freer's assistant, Katharine Nash Rhoades, 1920-1921, soliciting Freer's letters from his associates, and regarding the settlement of his estate.

Also included are twenty-nine pocket diaries, 1889-1890, 1892-1898, 1900-1919, recording daily activities, people and places visited, observations, and comments; a diary kept by Freer's caretaker, Joseph Stephens Warring, recording daily activities at Freer's Detroit home, 1907-1910. Inventories, n.d. and 1901-1921, of American, European, and Asian art in Freer's collection, often including provenance information; vouchers, 1884-1919, documenting his purchases; five volumes of scrapbooks of clippings on James McNeill Whistler, 1888-1931, labeled "Various," "Peacock Room," "Death, etc.," "Paris, etc.," and "Boston...London" ; three volumes of newsclippings, 1900-1930, concerning Freer and the opening of the Freer Gallery of Art.

Correspondence regarding Freer's gift and bequest to the Smithsonian Institution, 1902-1916; and photographs, ca. 1880-1930, of Freer, including portraits by Alvin Langdon Coburn and Edward Steichen, Freer with others, Freer in Cairo, China and Japan, Freer's death mask, and his memorial service, Kyoto, 1930; photographs of artists and others, including Thomas Dewing, Ernest Fenollosa, Katharine Rhoades taken by Alfred Stieglitz, Rosalind B. Philip, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Abbott H. Thayer, Dwight Tryon, and Whistler; and photographs relating to Whistler, including art works depicting him, grave and memorial monuments, works of art, the Peacock Room, and Whistler's memorial exhibition at the Copley Society.
Organization of the Papers:
This collection is organized into twelve series.

Series 1: Genealogical and Biographical Data

Series 2: Correspondence

Series 3: Diaries

Series 4: Freer Colleague Materials

Series 5: Art Inventories

Series 6: Financial Materials

Series 7: Exhibition Loan Files

Series 8: Biblical Manuscripts and Gold Treasure Files

Series 9: American School of Archaeology in China

Series 10: Printed Material

Series 11: Outsize Material

Series 12: Photographs
Biographical Note:
1854 February 25 -- Born in Kingston, New York

1873 -- Appointed accountant and paymaster of New York, Kingston and Syracuse Railroad by Frank J. Hecker (1846-1927)

1876 -- Moves to Indiana to work, with Hecker, for the Detroit and Eel River and Illinois Railroad

1880 -- Moves to Detroit, participates in organization of the Peninsular Car Works with Hecker

1883 -- Becomes vice president and secretary of Peninsular Car Company when it succeeds Peninsular Car Works

1883 -- Begins collecting European prints

1884 -- Peninsular Car Company constructs plant on Ferry Avenue

1887 -- Meets Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)

1887 -- Acquires proofs of 26 etchings, Venice, Second Series(1886), by James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)

1887 -- Purchases a small Japanese fan attributed to Ogata Karin(1658-1715)

1887 -- Buys land on Ferry Avenue

1889 -- Meets Frederick Stuart Church (1826-1900) and Dwight William Tryon (1849-1925) in New York

1890 -- Commissions Wilson Eyre (1858-1944) to design house on Ferry Avenue, Detroit, Michigan

1890 -- On first trip to London, meets James McNeill Whistler(1834-1903)

1892 -- Moves to Ferry Avenue house

1892 -- Tryon and Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938) undertake decoration of reception rooms

1893 -- Lends American paintings to World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago

1893 -- Purchases first piece of Chinese art, a small painting of white herons by an anonymous Ming dynasty (1368-1644) artist

1894 -- Begins yearlong trip around the world, which includes visit to the Whistlers in Paris and first trip to Asia, stopping in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), India, China, and Japan

1896 -- Meets Matsuki Bunkyo (1867-1940) in Boston

1899 -- Takes part in consolidation of railroad-car building companies then retires from active business

1900 -- Attends Exposition International Universelle in Paris

1900 -- Buys villa in Capri with Thomas S. Jerome

1901 -- Meets Siegfried Bing (1838-1905) in Paris and Ernest Fenollosa(1853-1908), who visits Freer in Detroit

1902 -- Meets Dikran Kelekian (1868-1951)

1902 -- Spends summer in Britain building Whistler collection

1902 -- Views Whistler's, Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room

1904 -- Purchases Whistler's Peacock Room

1904 -- Offers his art collections and funds to build a museum in which to house them to the Smithsonian Institution

1905 -- Smithsonian committee visits Freer in Detroit

1906 -- United States government formally accepts Freer's gift on January 24

1906 -- Freer signs Deed of Gift to Smithsonian Institution on May 5

1907 -- On second tour of Asia, meets Hara Tomitaro 1868-1939) in Yokohama, Japan

1908 -- Takes third trip to Asia, specifically to West Asia to study Rakka ware

1909 -- Tours Europe to study art museums

1909 -- On fourth trip to Asia, attends memorial ceremony for Fenollosa (d.1908 September) at Miidera, Japan, and meets Duanfang (1861-1911) in China

1910 -- On last trip to Asia, visits Longmen Buddhist caves in China

1911 -- Suffers stroke

1912 -- Lends selection of objects for exhibition at Smithsonian Institution

1913 -- Meets Eugene (1875-1957) and Agnes E. (1887-1970) Meyer

1913 -- Commissions Charles Adams Platt (1861-1933) to design museum building in Washington

1914 -- Meets Katharine Nash Rhoades (1885-1965) in Detroit

1915 -- Settles in New York City

1915 -- Site of future Freer Gallery of Art is determined

1916 -- Platt's plans for Freer Gallery are approved by Smithsonian Regents and Commission of Fine Arts and ground is broken in September

1918 -- After falling ill in Detroit, Freer travels to New York for treatment

1918 -- Work on the museum building is delayed by the war

1919 -- Freer appends codicil to will permitting acquisitions of Asian, Egyptian, and Near Eastern (West Asian) art

1919 -- Dies in New York City on 25 September and is buried in Kingston, New York

1919 -- Construction of Freer Gallery completed

1920 -- John Ellerton Lodge (1876-1942) is appointed director of the Freer Gallery

1923 -- Freer Gallery opens to the public on May 9

1930 -- Memorial ceremony for Freer is held at Koetsuji, Kyoto

Charles Lang Freer was an American industrialist who founded the Freer Gallery of Art. He was a well-known collector of Asian art, and strongly supported the synthesis of Eastern art and Western art. One of his most famous acquisitions was James McNeill Whistler's Peacock Room.
Index:
Index to cross-referenced correspondents in the series Charles Lang Freer correspondence

Beal, Junius E. -- See: -- Warring, Joseph Stephens

Black, George M. -- See: -- Saint-Gaudens, Augustus

Board of Education (Kingston, New York) See: Michael, M. J.

Bonner, Campbell See: University of Michigan

Boughton, George H. See: Yardley, F. C.

British Museum See: Binyon, Laurence; Hobson, R. L.

Brown, Harold H. See: Art Association of Indianapolis

Buchner, Evelyn B. See: Knoedler, M., and Company

Buckholder, C. H. See: Art Institute of Chicago

Butler, S. B. See: Unidentified correspondents

Carnegie Institute See: Balken, Edward Duff; Harshe, Robert B.

Carpenter, Newton H. See: Art Institute of Chicago

Caulkins, Horace James See: Pewabic Pottery

Chao, Shih-chin See: Gunn, Chu Su

Chicago & North Western Railway Co. See: Hughett, Marvin

Clark, Charles Upson See: Clark, Arthur B.

Cleveland Museum of Art See: Whiting, Frederic Allen

Columbia University See: Braun, W. A.; Gottheil, Richard; Hirth, Friederich

Commission of Fine Arts See: Moore, Charles

Corcoran Gallery of Art See: Minnigerode, C. Powell

Crocker, Anna B. See: Portland Art Association

Dannenberg, D. E. See: Karlbeck, Orvar

De Menoncal, Beatrice See: Lien, Hui Ch'ing Collection

De Ricci, Seymour See: Ricci, Seymour de

Defnet, William A., Mrs., See: Franke, Ida M.

DeMotte See: Vigouroux, J.

Detroit Institute of Arts See: Detroit Museum of Art

Detroit Publishing Company See: Livingstone, W. A.

Detroit School of Design See: George Hamilton; Stevens, Henry

DeVinne Press See: Peters, Samuel T.; Witherspoon, A. S.

Dyrenforth, P. C. See: Philip, Rosalind Birnie

Eddy, Arthur J. See: Philip, Rosalind Birnie

Eggers, George Williams See: Art Institute of Chicago

Farr, Daniel H. See: Robinson and Farr

Farrand School (Detroit) See: Yendall, Edith

Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago) See: Laufer, Berthold

Flagg, Frederick J. See: Allen, Horace N.

Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University See: Forbes, Edward; Pope, Arthur Upham; Sachs, Paul J.

French, M. R. See: Art Institute of Chicago

Fu, Lan-ya See: Pang, Lai-ch'en

Fujii, Yoshio See: Yoshio, Fujii

Gerrity, Thomas See: Knoedler, M., and Company

Goupil Gallery See: Marchant, William

Gray, William J. See: Barr, Eva

Great Lakes Engineering Works See: Hoyt, H. W.

Grolier Club See: Philip, Rosalind Birnie

Heinemann, W. See: Philip, Rosalind Birnie

Holden, Edward S. See: West Point, U. S. Military Academy

Hudson, J. L. See: Weber, William C.

Hutchins, Harry B. See: University of Michigan

Hutchins, Charles L. See: Art Institute of Chicago

Kelekian, H. G. See: Kelekian, Dikran G.

Kent, H. W. See: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Lee, Kee Son See: Li, Chi-ch'un

Levy, John See: Schneider, A. K.

Library of Congress See: Rice, Richard A.; Wright, Helen

Louvre (Paris, France) See: Midgeon, Gaston

Matsuki, Z. See: Matsuki, Kihachiro

McKim, Mead and White See: White, Stanford

Mills, A. L., Colonel See: Saint-Gaudens, Augustus

Miner, Luella See: Lien, Hui Ch'ing Collection

Minneapolis Institute of Arts See: Breck, Joseph; Van Derlip, John R.

Monif, R. Khan See: Rathbun, Richard

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston See: Lodge, John Ellerton

Naser, Katen & Nahass See: Katen, K.

Nordlinger, Marie, Miss See: Meyer-Riefstahl, Marie

Panama Pacific International Exposition See: Moore, Charles C.; Trask, John E. D.

Peabody Museum See: Morse, Edward Sylvester

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts See: Trask, John E. D.

Perry, Mary Chase, Miss., See: Pewabic Pottery

Philip, Ronald M. See: Philip, Rosalind Birnie

Pope, G. D. See: Barr, Eva

Reinhart, A. G. See: Gottschalk, E.

Reitz, Sigisbert Chrétien Bosch See: Bosch-Reitz, Sigisbert Chrétien

Rutgers College See: Van Dyke, John C.

Saint-Gaudens, Augusta H. See: Saint-Gaudens, Augustus

Saint-Gaudens, Homer See: Saint-Gaudens, Augustus

Samurai Shokai See: Nomura, Yozo

San Francisco Art Association See: Laurvik, J. Nilsen

Scribner's, Charles, Sons See: Van Dyke, John C.

Shaw, Wilfred B. See: University of Michigan

Shirae, S. Z. See: Yamanaka and Company

Smith College See: Clark, Arthur B.

Smithsonian Institution See: Holmes, William Henry; Rathbun, Richard; Ravenel, Walcott, Charles D.

Society of Arts and Crafts (Detroit) See: Plumb, Helen

Societe des Beaux-Arts See: Reid, Alexander

Stevens, George W. See: Toledo Museum of Art

Stratton, Mary Chase Perry See: Pewabic Pottery

Tanaka, Kichijiro See: Yamanaka and Company

Tuttle, William F. See: Art Institute of Chicago

Union Trust Company (Detroit) See: Philip, Rosalind Birnie

United States Military Academy See: West Point, U. S. Military Academy

University of Chicago See: Zug, George Breed

University of Pennsylvania, Univ. Mus. See: Gordon, George Bryon

Ushikubo, D. J. R. See: Yamanaka and Company

Wallis & Son See: Barr, Eva; Thompson, C. Croal Ward, Clarence See: Oberlin College

Warren, Edward K. See: Philip, Rosalind Birnie

Warring, Stephen See: Warring, Joseph Stephens

Watkin, Williams R. T. See: Philip, Rosalind Birnie

Watson, Margaret, Miss See: Parker, Margaret Watson

Whistler, Anna See: Stanton, Anna Whistler

Whiting, Almon C. See: Toledo Museum of Art

Williams College See: Rice, Richard A

Wright, F. G. See: Orbach and Company

Yatsuhashi, H. See: Yamanaka and Company
Index to cross-referenced correspondence in the series Whistler correspondence

Bell, William See: Unidentified correspondents

Brown, Ernest See: Painter Etchers' Society, Committee

Cowen, John T. See subseries: Charles Lang Freer Correspondence

Ford, Sheridan See: Reid, Alexander

Haden, Francis Seymour See: Painter Etchers' Society, Committee

Haden, Francis Seymour, Lady See: Haden, Deborah Whistler

Leighton, Frederick, Baron See: Campbell, Lady Colin

Moore, Albert See: Reid, Alexander

Morley, Charles See: Pall Mall Gazette

Morris, Harrison S. See: Reid, Alexander

Pennell, Joseph See: Miscellaneous typescripts

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts See: Reid, Alexander

Prange, F. G. See: Reid, Alexander

Societe des Beaux-Arts See: Reid, Alexander

Society of Portrait Painters See: Reid, Alexander

Stevens Fine Art See: Reid, Alexander

Studd, Arthur See: Miscellaneous typescripts

[Vanderbilt?], George, Mrs. See: George, Mrs.

Whistler, William McNeill, Mrs. See: Whistler, Nellie

Whistler Memorial Committee See: Miscellaneous typescripts
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art microfilmed portions of the Freer papers in 1992. The microfilm is available at the Archives of American Art's Washington D.C. office, the Freer Gallery of Art Library, and through interlibrary loan.
Provenance:
Gift of the estate of Charles Lang Freer.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.
Topic:
Art, American -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art, Asian -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Architecture -- Asia  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Financial records
Correspondence
Photographs
Citation:
Charles Lang Freer Papers. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Gift of the estate of Charles Lang Freer.
Identifier:
FSA.A.01
See more items in:
Charles Lang Freer Papers
Archival Repository:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-fsa-a-01
Online Media:

Martin Birnbaum papers

Creator:
Birnbaum, Martin, 1878-1970  Search this
Names:
Fogg Art Museum  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Philadelphia Museum of Art  Search this
Scott & Fowles (Firm)  Search this
Beardsley, Aubrey, 1872-1898  Search this
Beaux, Cecilia, 1855-1942  Search this
Bruce, Edward, 1879-1943  Search this
Bufano, Beniamino, 1898-1970  Search this
Chanler, Robert Winthrop, 1872-1930  Search this
Choate, Mabel, 1870-1958  Search this
Clark, Stephen C. (Stephen Carlton), b. 1882  Search this
Cœdès, George  Search this
Davis, Edmund  Search this
Davis, Reginald  Search this
Despiau, Charles, 1874-1946  Search this
Diederich, William Hunt, 1884-1953  Search this
Dillingham, Louise  Search this
Douglas, Norman, 1868-1952  Search this
Dulac, Edmund, 1882-1953  Search this
Fernández, Luis, 1900-1973  Search this
Haseltine, Herbert, 1877-1962  Search this
Hoffman, Malvina, 1887-1966  Search this
Hoowij, Jan, 1907-  Search this
Jacobs, Leonebel  Search this
John, Augustus, 1878-1961  Search this
Jones, Lois Mailou, 1905-1998  Search this
Kester, Lenard, 1917-  Search this
Manship, Paul, 1885-1966  Search this
McIlhenny, Henry P.  Search this
Melchers, Gari, 1860-1932  Search this
Nadelman, Elie, 1882-1946  Search this
Parmelee, James  Search this
Parrish, Maxfield, 1870-1966  Search this
Potterton, Alfred B.  Search this
Richter, Gisela Marie Augusta, 1882-1972  Search this
Ricketts, Charles S., 1866-1931  Search this
Rock, Joseph Francis Charles, 1884-1962  Search this
Rothenstein, William, Sir, 1872-1945  Search this
Sargent, John Singer, 1856-1925  Search this
Scott, Stevenson  Search this
Scudder, Janet, b. 1873  Search this
Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968  Search this
Sprinchorn, Carl, 1887-1971  Search this
Stein, Leo, 1872-1947  Search this
Sterne, Maurice, 1878-1957  Search this
Sterner, Albert, 1863-1946  Search this
Werntz, Carl N. (Carl Newland), 1874-1944  Search this
Wilson, Stanley  Search this
Winthrop, Grenville Lindall, 1864-1943  Search this
Extent:
3.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketches
Etchings
Photographs
Date:
1862-1967
bulk 1920-1967
Summary:
The papers of New York art dealer, critic, and author Martin Birnbaum measure 3.2 linear feet and date from 1862-1967, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920-1967. The papers document Birnbaum's association with the firm of Scott & Fowles, the lives and activities of his friends and colleagues, and his literary work, through biographical material, correspondence, writings and notes, business records, printed material, a scrapbook, scattered artwork, and photographs of Birnbaum, friends and colleagues, and artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York art dealer, critic, and author Martin Birnbaum measure 3.2 linear feet and date from 1862-1967, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920-1967. The papers document Birnbaum's association with the firm of Scott & Fowles, the lives and activities of his friends and colleagues, and his literary work, through biographical material, correspondence, writings and notes, business records, printed material, a scrapbook, scattered artwork, and photographs of Birnbaum, friends and colleagues, and artwork.

Correspondence, primarily letters received by Birnbaum in New York, and throughout Europe from 1917-1960s, reflects Birnbaum's association with Scott & Fowles, particularly Stevenson Scott, and includes many details about the lives and activities of his correspondents, among them: artists Edward Bruce, Cecilia Beaux, Beniamino Bufano, Stephen C. Clark, Louise Dillingham, William Hunt Diedrich, Luis Fernandez, Herbert Haseltine, Jan Hoowij, Malvina Hoffman, Leonebel Jacobs, Lenard Kester, Lois Mailou Jones, Paul Manship, Gari Melchers, Maxfield Parrish, Charles S. Ricketts, William Rothenstein, John Singer Sargent, Janet Scudder, Carl Sprinchorn, Maurice Sterne, Albert Sterner, Carl N. Wertz, and Stanley Wilson. Also found is correspondence with art collectors and patrons including Mabel Choate, Edmund Davis, Reginald Davis, Henry P. McIlhenny, James Parmalee, Edith Wetmore, and Grenville Windall Linthrop, and museums including the Fogg Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and then curator Gisela Marie Augusta Richter, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Correspondence with scholars, writers, and publishers including George Coedes, Edmund Dulac, Joseph Francis Charles Rock, Upton Sinclair and others, documents aspects of Birnbaum's literary and scholarly work.

Writings include drafts of The Last Romantic, including Upton Sinclair's revision, and some of Birnbaum's early published and unpublished writings, as well as notes on Aubrey Beardsley.

Business records include financial records such as bills, receipts, canceled checks and statements for sales of artwork, and scattered legal records.

A small amount of printed material primarily consists of programs for musical events which evidence Birnbaum's early success as a violinist, as well as scattered news clippings, 2 exhibition catalogs, and announcements for the publications of Angkor and the Mandarin Road and The Last Romantic. Additional printed material about Birnbaum can be found in the dismantled scrapbook, 1960-1961.

Artwork includes 2 etchings and a sketch by Birnbaum, bookplates by various artists, circa 10 sketches by other and unidentified artists, and 3 cards with original artwork.

Photographs include snapshots and portraits of Birnbaum and artists and friends, among them: Robert Chanler, Charles Despiau, Norman Douglas, Luis Fernandez, Herbert Haseltine, Augustus John, Paul Manship, Gari Melchers, Elie Nadelman, Albert Sterner, Stevenson Scott, and Grenville Lindall Winthrop. Also found is a photo of Birnbaum with Edward Bruce, Alfred Potterton, Leon Stein, and Maurice Sterne, circa 1915-1916, and photographs proposed for use in The Last Romantic, travel snapshots, and photos of artwork.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged as 8 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1890-1950s (0.3 linear feet; Box 1, OVs 4-5)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1862-1967 (1.7 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1890-circa 1960 (0.45 linear feet; Box 2)

Series 4: Business Records, 1918-1967 (0.15 linear feet; Box 2)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1895-circa 1960 (0.15 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 6: Scrapbook, 1960-1961 (1 folder; Box 3)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1890-circa 1960 (0.15 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1900-circa 1960s (0.3 linear feet; Box 3)
Biographical / Historical:
New York art dealer, critic, and author Martin Birmbaum (1878-1970) was the manager of the American branch of the Berlin Photographic Company in New York City from 1910–1916, and a longtime partner in the art firm Scott & Fowles. He spent the later part of his career building the Grenville Lindall Winthrop Collection, now at the Fogg Museum.

Birnbaum immigrated to the United States from Hungary as a child. He was an accomplished violinist who studied at City College of New York, and graduated with a law degree from Columbia University in 1901, but developed a life-long interest in art during visits to Europe. As manager of the Berlin Photographic Company he had great success in staging art exhibitions at the company's New York galleries, which led him to a junior partnership in the Fifth Avenue firm of art dealers, Scott & Fowles. Birnbaum traveled widely and built relationships with many of the prominent artists and art collectors of his day and, in addition to the Grenville Lindall Winthrop collection, was influential in developing other important art collections including those of Edward Davis, Reginald Davis, and Henry P. McIlhenny.

Birnbaum wrote widely about his experiences and encounters in the world of wealthy socialites, literary salons, artists, art patrons, and collectors in publications such as Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (Berlin Photographic Co., 1911), Oscar Wilde: Fragments and Memories (J.F. Drake, Incorporated, 1914) , Vanishing Eden:Wanderings in the Tropics (New York: William E. Rudge's Sons, 1942), Angkor and the Mandarin Road (Vantage Press, 1952), and The Last Romantic (Twayne Publishers, 1961). He died in 1970 at the age of 92.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reels N698, N698A-N698B) including correspondence, bookplates, sketches, newspaper clippings, and a list of books containing ornamental drawings and illustrations. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Material on reels N698, N698A-N698B were lent for microfilming by Martin Birnbaum in 1967. The rest of the collection was donated in an anonymous gift in 1970 and by Martin Birnbaum's great-nephew, Jerome Ziegler, in 1975.
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.

Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Martin Birnbaum papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketches
Etchings
Photographs
Citation:
Martin Birnbaum papers, 1962-1967, bulk 1920-1967. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.birnmart
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Archives of American Art
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ead_collection:sova-aaa-birnmart

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