0.7 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 1 reel))
Scope and Contents:
REEL 3481: Biographical data; Block's memoirs and writings on the Federal Art Project, William von Schlegell, and women artists; letters from Aristodemos Kaldis, Jacob Lawrence and others; photographs of Block, her family, von Schlegell, Kaldis, Michael Freilich, and others; 15 photographs of her paintings; a scrapbook containing reproductions of famous paintings annotated by Block for children; exhibition announcements and catalogs; clippings; and miscellany. Also included are 11 drawings by Block of sculpture busts executed by her uncle Louis Keila; a photograph of a sculpture by Keila; and 2 clippings on Keila.
UNMICROFILMED: Biographical material, including a copy of Block's Art Students League transcript for the years 1920-1930, an award, and obituary; letters, from Dorothy Grotz, 1979, and Aristodimos Kaldis, 1978; an article by Block, "Some Thoughts on Where We Stand," which appeared in Women & Art, 1972; clippings, 1958-1980; exhibition announcements and catalogs from Block's private and group shows, 1952-1982 and from other shows, 1968-1971; and 18 photographs of art works by Block.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter; New York, N.Y.
Microfilmed papers donated 1975-1977 by Dorothy Block and her sister, Lillian MacKendrick. Unmicrofilmed papers donated 1990 by Robert Dublirer, widower of Dorothy Block.
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.
The Lena Gurr (1897-1992) papers date from 1908 to 1979 and measure 7.0 linear feet. Gurr was a painter and printmaker who studied under John sloan and Maurice Sterne at the Art Students League between 1920-1922. She also studied in France and married painter and photographer Joseph Biel in 1931. The papers document both Gurr and Biel's careers through correspondence, notes, art work, printed material, scrapbooks, and photographs. The collection offers researchers a valuable resource for studying the New York art community of the pre-war era.
Scope and Content Note:
The Lena Gurr papers date from 1908 to 1979 and measure 7.0 linear feet. The collection presents a good overview of Gurr's career as a painter and printmaker, and her relationship with her husband, painter Joseph Biel. Through biographical material, correspondence, notes, an interview with Lena Gurr, original artwork by Gurr and others, scrapbooks, printed material, photographs of Gurr, family, and friends, and photographs of artwork by Gurr and others, the collection offers researchers a valuable resource for studying the New York art community of the pre-war era.
The collection is arranged into eight series. Material within each series is arranged chronologically.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1968, undated (box 1; 1 folder)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1921-1979, undated (boxes 1-4; 3.1 linear ft.)
Series 3: Notes, 1926-1972 (box 4; 4 folders)
Series 4: Interview, 1950 (box 4; 1 folder)
Series 5: Artwork, circa 1908-1951 (box 4; 36 folders)
Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1912-1948 (boxes 4-5, 8-11; 1.45 linear ft.)
Series 7: Printed Material, 1926-1978 (box 5; 21 folders)
Series 8: Photographs, 1912-1978 (boxes 5-7; 1.05 linear ft.)
Born October 27, 1897, in Brooklyn, New York, Lena Gurr was the daughter of Hyman and Ida (Gorodnick) Gurr. She attended the Maxwell Training School for Teachers from 1915 to 1917, then turned her energies toward art. She studied painting and printmaking at the Educational Alliance Art School in 1919, and at the Art Students League (1920-1922), where she was a student of John Sloan and Maurice Stern. She also studied art in Paris, Nice, and Mentone, France. Her first solo exhibition was in 1932 at the Brooklyn Museum.
On November 24, 1931, Gurr married painter and photographer Joseph Biel. He was born October 27, 1891 in Russia, studied at the Russian Academy in Paris, and at the Workman's College, Melbourne, Australia. He also established the first Jewish Library in Melbourne. Upon his arrival in the United States, he studied under George Grosz at the Art Students League. Biel died in April 1943 of a heart ailment.
The Lena Gurr papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Lena Gurr from 1966 to 1979.
The collection is open for research. Patrons must use microfilm copy.
The Lena Gurr 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.
Researcher may use study prints on file in the Photograph Archives, Smithsonian American Art Museum. Advance appointments are required. Original negatives are stored off-site in cold storage and are not accessible to the public.
Copyright to photographs from the Walter Rosenblum Collection is held by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Requests for permission to reproduce photographs from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Photograph Archives. Certain works of art, as well as photographs of those works of art, may be protected by copyright, trademark, privacy or publicity rights, or other interests not owned by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. It is the applicant's responsibility to ascertain whether any such rights exist, and to obtain any other permission necessary to reproduce and publish the image.
Walter Rosenblum Collection, Photograph Archives, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Funding for the re-housing, preservation, and digitization of the collection was provided by Smithsonian Research Resource funds, the Smithsonian Womens' Committee and the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund (CCPF).