The papers of art writer and editor Mary Fanton Roberts measure 3.8 linear feet and are dated 1880 to 1956. The bulk of this collection is Roberts' correspondence with numerous important artists, dancers, actors, writers, and musicians of the day. Also found are scattered biographical materials, family correspondence, writings, printed material, photographs and artwork.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of art writer and editor Mary Fanton Roberts measure 3.8 linear feet and are dated 1880 to 1956. The collection is comprised mainly of correspondence with family members, artists, dancers, actors, writers, musicians, and visual and performing arts organizations. Also found are scattered biographical materials, writings, printed material, photographs and artwork.
The collection contains a small amount of biographical material about Mary Fanton Roberts and her husband, William Carman Roberts, including his journal of a vacation with Ernest Thompson Seton and his wife. Personal Correspondence is with her husband and sister Belle Fanton, and with friends. Business and political correspondence documents her career as a magazine editor and writer, her participation in political organizations and events, her participation in radio talks, and her correspondence regarding war issues.
Art correspondence/subject files include correspondence with and collected materials on artists, photographers, art patrons, critics, and wives of artists, as well as arts organizations, museums, and schools. Correspondence of note is with George Gray Barnard, Gutzon Borglum, Ben Ali Haggin, Leon Kroll, Frederic Remington, W. Goodridge Roberts, Nicholas Roerich, Pierre Troubetzkoy, illustrator Oliver Herford, John Butler Yeats, and Ashcan school artists Robert Henri, John Sloan, and William Glackens, as well as many others. Dance and theatre correspondence/subject files include correspondence with actors, dancers, playwrights, patrons, organizations and theatres. Correspondence of note in this series is with Charles "Orlando" Coburn, Eva Le Gallienne, Angna Enters, and the "Duncan Dancers." Literary and music orrespondence/subject files include correspondence with authors, poets, critics, singers, publishers, and musicians, such as Bliss Carman, Yvette Guilbert, and Lloyd Osbourne. Additional material found in these subject files, other than letters, includes invitations, photographs, calling cards, artwork, news clippings, and printed material.
Writings by Roberts include an autobiographical essay about her youth and early career, guest lists and notes concerning hosted events, and typescripts of poems by her niece Dorothy Gostwick Roberts. Printed material is comprised of art exhibition catalogs, published articles and trade bulletins written by Roberts, and newsclippings. Photographs are of Roberts, her family, friends, and places she lived, and include autographed portraits given to her, primarily from actors and actresses. Also found are photographs taken by Nickolas Muray of art models. Scattered artwork in this collection includes several small drawings by unidentified artists, as well as a pencil portrait of Roberts by John Butler Yeats.
Series 2: Personal Correspondence, 1902-1951, undated (Box 1; 7 folders)
Series 3: Business and Political Correspondence, 1903-1959, undated (Box 1; 6 folders)
Series 4: Art Correspondence/Subject Files, 1898-1956, undated (Box 1-2; 0.8 linear feet)
Series 5: Dance and Theatre Correspondence/Subject Files, 1902-1953, undated (Box 2-3; 0.8 linear feet)
Series 6: Literary and Music Correspondence/Subject Files, 1900-1952, undated (Box 3; 0.6 linear feet)
Series 7: General Correspondence, 1898-1946, undated (Box 3-4; 0.4 linear feet)
Series 8: Writings, 1915-1926, 1952, undated (Box 4; 3 folders)
Series 9: Printed Material, 1899, 1909-1947, undated (Box 4-5; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 10: Photographs, 1880-circa 1943, undated (Box 5; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 11: Artwork, 1906, undated (Box 5; 3 folders)
Mary Fanton Roberts was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1864. When she was a young girl her family moved to Deadwood, in the Montana territory, where her father had mining prospects. When she was old enough, she and her sister were sent back to New York to attend the Albany Female Academy. After finishing school, Roberts pursued journalism and became a staff writer for four years for the Herald Tribune, the Journal, and the Sun in New York. During her long career she was editor of Demorest Magazine, editor-in-chief of New Idea Woman's Magazine, managing editor of The Craftsman, and creator and editor of The Touchstone Magazine and Decorative Arts magazine. Her longest period at one publication was seventeen years as editor of Arts and Decoration. She often wrote articles on the topic of decorative arts and home decorating, and published two books, Inside 100 Homes, and 101 Ideas for Successful Interiors.
In 1906 she married William Carman Roberts, writer and editor of Literary Digest for thirty years. They lived in Manhattan and Waterford, Connecticut.
Roberts was very involved in the artistic, theatrical, and literary circles in New York City, and met and became friends with many young avant garde American artists, including Robert Henri and John Sloan. Through her husband she met many writers and poets, including Theodore Dreiser and Bliss Carman. Roberts was active in organizations such as the Women's City Club, Pen and Brush, and the MacDowell Society and also attended countless art openings, theater performances, and other social events. As an avid supporter of modern dance, she became friends with many performers, including Isadora Duncan and Angna Enters. After her husband's death in 1941, Roberts moved to the Chelsea Hotel, where she lived for the rest of her life. She maintained lifelong relationships with a wide circle of friends and continued to correspond with them and attend social events until her death in 1956 at the age of 92.
The collection was donated in 1957 by Phoebe DuBois and Violet Organ.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
An interview of Ira Spanierman conducted June 6-12, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art, in the Spanierman Gallery, New York, New York. Spanierman speaks of growing up and living in New York City his whole life; the influence of working in his father's antique store; studying English at Syracuse University; how he got involved in the art business; becoming an auctioneer at Savoy Gallery working with silver and arms and armor; his collecting preferences; the influence of the Internet and technology; changes in the art market among buyers and collectors; the development and growth of art auctions; opening his first gallery and what kind of art he showed; interest in dealing 19th and 20th century American art; the kind of clientele he attracted; the Spanierman Gallery catalogues and publication program; publishing and distributing the catalogue raisonné; working and collaborating with other institutions like the Cooper-Hewitt; working with a panel of scholars to identify work that was fraud; the various kinds of collectors he has dealt with in the past and what kind of collectors he prefers to work with; opening a contemporary and modern wing to the gallery and the motivation behind that; relationships with artists; exhibiting members of the Ashcan School, the Ten, and the Hudson River School; trying to find artists that have been overlooked in the past and promoting a re-emergence of these figures and their work; a number of mentors in his life including Abe Adler and Roy Leroy; advice for younger collectors; what he sees in the future for the art market; a shift in privately owned art being turned over to museums; the educational aspect of his gallery; future goals of his gallery; the role of the museum today; what he has contributed to the art world; and how he would like to be remembered and thought of in the future. Spanierman also recalls Peter Wilson, Gene Thaw, Lloyd Goodrich, Abigail Gerds, Peter Poskas, Hans Heinrich, Daniel Terra, Jack Warner, Diane and Bruce Halles, Daniel and Rita Fraad, Barbara Newington, Robert Noortman, Ian Woodner, Barbara Novak, Roy Leroy, Abraham Adler, Norman Hirsch and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Ira Spanierman is a gallery owner from New York, New York. James McElhinney (1952- ) is a painter and educator from New York, New York.
Originally recorded on 2 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 21 min.
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.
An interview of Adolph Gottlieb conducted 1967 Oct. 25, in New York, by Dorothy Seckler, for the Archives of American Art.
Gottlieb speaks of his childhood in New York; his decision to pursue art and its connection to a generational rebellion against traditional middle class values; his interest in art by the age of fifteen; the cultural influence of pop culture and comic strips (Mutt and Jeff); his interrupted high school career at Stuyvesant; his eighteen month stay in Europe (1921) studying in museums and various art schools; his subsequent exposure to Matisse, Picasso, and Leger; his experiences with German Expressionism in Vienna, Munich, Dresden, and Berlin; his return to the states; his attraction to Italian and French Renaissance painting as well as Ingres Courbet, and Delacroix; his time spent attending Saturday classes at the Arts Student League under John Sloan; the influence of John Sloan's cubist side; his foresight of the transient nature of the Ashcan school; his belief in painting from the imagination and memory; Cezanne's influence insofar as the notion of how to approach the forms of nature in terms of their volume; his instinct to maintain the surface and to keep it flat; his use of muddy, gray, brown, subdued colors, applied in a rich juicy impasto style; his first exhibition with the Art Alliance; his relationship with Rothko and Avery and specifically the heavy influence of Avery on his subject matter after his marriage;his short time working for the WPA in 1936; his self-discovery in Arizona; his literary influences, Pound, Joyce, Proust, 19th century writers, and Russian writers; his return to New York City and his further abstraction and reduction of means; his use of a horizon as the result of a shift in forms; his budding interest in primitive art (particularly African Art); the formation of his pictographs and the influence of the Surrealists and the philosophy of Jung and the collective unconscious; his belief in surface techniques to achieve freshness, much like the automism; the elimination of compartmentalization in his work in the 50's; his interest in certain opposing images; art as a matter of subjective rather than objective; his more refined work, more colorful, and more subtle work of the mid 50's; his distaste for academic devises; his recent Burst paintings; and his impulse to work on a larger scale.
Biographical / Historical:
Adolph Gottlieb (1903-1974) was a painter from New York, N.Y.
Transferred from original acetate tape reels.
Sound quality is poor.
The recording ends before the conclusion of the interview.
These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
The papers of Merton Clivette date from circa 1927-1932, measure 0.01 linear feet, and consist of a 1929 handwritten biographical sketch of Clivette written by Gustave Nassuery, news clippings and other printed material about Clivette including an autobiographical piece, reviews of Clivette's work and exhibitions, and a page from a catalog with a reproduction of Clivette's painting of Walt Whitman.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, sculptor, author, and magician Merton Clivette (1868-1931), spent his early life as a vaudevillian and entertainer before he settled in New York City to paint, and was a well-known figure in the Bohemian Greenwich Village scene of the 1920s. While Clivette's early artistic style was associated with the realism of the Ashcan school his work evolved through periods of expressionism and more figurative work, before ultimately becoming more abstract.
The provenance of the Merton Clivette papers is unknown.
The records of Owen Gallery measure 9.4 linear feet and 0.093 GB and date from 1929-2010, bulk 1980-2010. The gallery, which operated from 1986 to 2009 in New York, specialized in late nineteenth and early twentieth century American art with an emphasis on The Eight, Ashcan, and early American modernism. Michael Owen and James Yost owned and directed the gallery. Found within the records are exhibition files; inventory and sales records; printed and digital material; and records regarding painter Yasuo Kuniyoshi. Material dating from before 1986 when the gallery was established is research related to an artwork's provenance.
Scope and Contents:
The records of Owen Gallery measure 9.4 linear feet and 0.093 GB and date from 1929-2010, bulk 1980-2010. The gallery, which operated from 1986 to 2009 in New York, specialized in late nineteenth and early twentieth century American art with an emphasis on The Eight, Ashcan, and early American modernism. Artists represented include Thomas Hart Benton, Arthur B. Davies, William Glackens, Robert Henri, Ernest Lawson, George Luks, Maurice Prendergast, Everett Shinn, John Sloan, and others. Michael Owen and James Yost owned and directed the gallery. Found within the records are exhibitions files; inventory and sales records; printed and digital material; and records regarding painter Yasuo Kuniyoshi. Material dating from before 1986 when the gallery was established is research related to an artwork's provenance.
The collection is arranged as four series
Series 1: Exhibition Files, 1989-2010 (2.1 linear feet; Box 1-3, 0.001 GB; ER01)
Series 2: Inventory and Sales Records, 1929-2010, bulk 1980-2010 (5.7 linear feet; Box 3-8, 0.092 GB; ER02-ER04)
Series 3: Printed Material, 1994-2008 (0.4 linear feet; Box 8-9)
Series 4: Records Regarding Yasuo Kuniyoshi, circa 1955-2000 (1.2 linear feet; Box 9-10)
Biographical / Historical:
Owen Gallery, a New York gallery specializing in late nineteenth and early twentieth century American art, operated from 1986 to 2009 and was owned and directed by Michael Owen and James Yost. The gallery represented many artists associated with The Eight, Ashcan, and American modernism. Although exhibitions and the retail gallery have closed, the business remains in operation.
The Owen Gallery records were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2015 and 2016 by Michael Owen and James Yost.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Macbeth Gallery. Exhibition of paintings by Arthur B. Davies, William J. Glackens, Robert Henri, Ernest Lawson, George Luks, Maurice B. Prendergast, Everett Shinn, John Sloan, 1908. Miscellaneous art exhibition catalog collection, 1813-1953. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.