Letters, 1922-1949, from his daughter Janet, and from Robin Feild, director of Newcomb College School of Art, Kleemann Galleries in New York, fellow Newcomb art instuctor Robert Scott, Curt Valentin, Van Dearing Perrine (an illustrated greeting card and letter), Josef Albers (unsigned), and museums, regarding exhibitions of Steven's work; price lists and shipping invoices regarding exhibitions; a statement by Stevens; two biographical accounts; two sketchbooks and 152 drawings of landscapes, marine life, and non-representational images; printed material, 1907-1950, including clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and a flier (1934) for the Stevens Summer School of Painting, and photographs, 1922-1923, of Stevens, colleagues, art classes, and exhibition installations.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, New Orleans, Louisiana. Studied at the Cincinnati Art Academy and in New York with Jonas Lie and Van Dearing Perrine. Taught at Newcomb College Art Dept, New Orleans, 1921-1948. In the 1930s and 1940s, he developed an individualized style of non-objective and abstract painting. Throughout his career he experimented with pigments and manufacturing his own painting materials and was an influential teacher at Tulane.
Donated 1989 by Janet McDowell, Stevens' daughter.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
7.4 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 2 reels))
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence, writings, art works, scrapbooks, printed material, photographs, and files on Julio De Diego and Kimon Nicolaides and other topics, related to Bridaham's career as an artist and writer.
REEL 8: Printed material, including articles written by Bridaham for periodicals (1950-1957), 15 exhibition catalogs (1928-1968), clippings by and about Bridaham (1930-1959), 6 press releases (1956-1957), a transcript of a radio discussion which included Bridaham (1951), 2 advertisements, a lecture announcement (1957), instructions on using egg tempera for Bridaham's students, a guide book to the Louisiana State Museum (1956), brochures about Strathmont Museum (1958), and resumes.
REEL 3: Material related to Kimon Nicolaides, including a radio address given by him, 1933; publicity for his book THE NATURAL WAY TO DRAW; exhibition catalogs; clippings; press releases; and a photograph of one of his sculptures. [Microfilm title: Kimon Nicolaides papers]
UNMICROFILMED: Correspondence with Kimon Nicolaides and Henry Schnackenberg (1921-1923), Julio De Diego (1941-1952), Ethel Spears (1961), Isabel Bishop (1975), and George and Edith Rickey. Letters to Mamie Harmon concern a Nicolaides exhibition and book (1938-1941). Writings include nine v. of diaries (1946-1954) kept during his tenure at the Art Institute of Chicago, and notes and drafts for an unpublished book (1938-1982).
Subject files concerning Ivan Albright's poetry, the Colonial Craft Survey for Massachusetts (1935), Olof Krans (1939), the reorganization of the Metropolitan Museum's photographic department (1949), Romanesque and Gothic sculpture and the Society for Contemporary American Art. A file (1921-1983) on Julio De Diego contains Bridaham's research materials, sketches and drawings by the artist, a journal kept by De Diego in New York (1932) and photographs of De Diego, his family including third wife Gypsy Rose Lee, friends and art works. Kimon Nicolaides' file (1921-1986) contains his writings and drawings (1928), drawings by Vivian Gordon and Howard Ahrens (1923-1986), photographs and other research materials.
Printed materials consists of clippings (1930-1972), "The Chicago Artist" newsletter (1938), press releases, a book cover, Artists Equity publications (1952-1953), posters, exhibition catalogs and anouncements and membership cards. Photographs show Bridaham, friends, National Art Week activities with Macena Barton, Charles Biesel, Jules Eboli and Richard Florsheim, his studio and drawings (1928-1949). Other materials include over 150 prints and drawings (1927-1977) of Moroccan scenes, Colorado wildflowers and other subjects, resumes, an illustrated notebook of Bridaham's plans for art works (1931-1932) and a list of his works (1974).
ADDITION: Material concerning the latter part of Bridaham's life, including original works of art, photographs, a dream sketchbook (1945), a notebook devoted to Julio de Diego; Bridaham's letters to Jeanette Fowler, 1989-1990 and other correspondence, 1940s-1950s; and printed material.
Biographical / Historical:
Museum director, art historian, painter, and printmaker; d. 1992. Bridaham received a degree in chemical engineering from M.I.T. and studied art history at Harvard's Fogg Museum from 1936-1937. He received a 1931 American Field Service fellowship for study in France and Morocco, and studied studio art at the Art Students League under Kimon Nicolaides and Kenneth Hayes Miller. Between 1938 and 1954, Bridaham was a staff officer at the Art Institute of Chicago. He was also the director of the Louisiana State Museum, New Orleans, and of the Strathmont Museum, Elmira, N.Y. He is the author of Gargoyles, Chimeras and the Grotesque in French Gothic Sculpture.
Lester Bridaham photographs and papers relating to gargoyles, 1895-1987, are located at The Getty Research Institute Special Collections.
Donated 1974-1987 by Lester Burbank and Dorothy Bridaham. In 1996, an additional 0.8 ft. was donated from the Jeanette Fowler estate.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm.
This series consists of the business and personal correspondence of Edith Gregor Halpert and the Downtown Gallery. For the most part, this series is general business correspondence concerning routine activities of the Downtown Gallery, including the American Folk Art Gallery and the Daylight Gallery, both operated by the Downtown Gallery on the same premises. Included are correspondence with clients, employees, other galleries, and colleagues concerning sales, loans, purchases, appraisals, and so forth; arrangements for shipping, framing, photography, reproduction permissions, and insurance; and gallery housekeeping and improvements, ordering of supplies, and other administrative concerns.
Also included is personal correspondence of Edith Gregor Halpert. There are letters and greeting cards from nieces, nephews, and other relatives; correspondence with longtime friends, including some who were art collectors, museum curators, or museum directors; and correspondence concerning upkeep and improvement of her Newtown, Connecticut, country home and entertaining there.
See Appendix A for a list of selected correspondents from Series 1
Letters (with enclosures) are arranged chronologically, with those of the same date alphabetized by name of correspondent; undated material is arranged alphabetically, followed by unidentified correspondents and letters bearing illegible signatures.
Box numbers provided in the Container Listing are approximate.
Appendix A: List of Selected Correspondents in Series 1:
Names and titles indicated in this list are those that appear on the letters. Where appropriate, terms have been standardized and cross-referencing provided. Because filing is not always consistent, researchers are advised to check both the name of an individual and the institution that he or she represented.
Abate Associates, Inc., 1956
Abbot and Land, 1965
Abbot, B. Vincent, 1944
Abbot, Bernice, 1957
Abbot, John E., 1945, 1948
Abbot Laboratories, 1950, 1952
ABC Employment Agency, 1951
Richard Abel and Co., Inc., 1968
Abendroth, Robert W., 1966-1967
Abercrombie and Fitch Co., 1962
Abilene Museum of Fine Arts, undated, 1949, 1954
Abingdon Square Painters, 1965
Abraham and Straus, 1930, 1960, 1965-1966, 1968
Abraham, Mae C., 1965
Abrahamsen, Mrs. David, 1962
Abramowitz, M., 1958
Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1958-1960, 1965-1966, 1968-1969
[incomplete; without signature], undated, 1953, 1961, 1967, 1968
The microfilm of this collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
The Downtown Gallery records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. 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. Prior to publishing information regarding sales transactions, researchers are responsible for obtaining written permission from both artist and purchaser involved. If it cannot be established after a reasonable search whether an artist or purchaser is living, it can be assumed that the information may be published sixty years after the date of sale.
Downtown Gallery records, 1824-1974, bulk 1926-1969. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing, microfilming and digitization of the microfilm of this collection was provided by the Henry Luce Foundation. Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.