Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Search Results

Collections Search Center
5,989 documents - page 1 of 300

Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers

Creator:
Smithson, Robert  Search this
Names:
Dwan Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art  Search this
Andre, Carl, 1935-  Search this
Atkinson, Terry, 1939-  Search this
Dibbets, Jan, 1941-  Search this
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Flavin, Dan, 1933-  Search this
Graham, Dan, 1942-  Search this
Haacke, Hans, 1936-  Search this
Heizer, Michael, 1944-  Search this
Holt, Nancy, 1938-  Search this
Insley, Will, 1929-2011  Search this
Jenney, Neil, 1945-  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
LeWitt, Sol, 1928-2007  Search this
Lippard, Lucy R.  Search this
Long, Richard, 1945-  Search this
Oppenheim, Dennis, 1938-2011  Search this
Valledor, Leo, 1936-1989  Search this
Wheeler, Dennis  Search this
Extent:
15.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Greeting cards
Photographs
Transcripts
Motion pictures (visual works)
Date:
1905-1987
bulk 1952-1987
Summary:
The papers of sculptor, writer, and earthworks artist Robert Smithson and his wife, sculptor, filmmaker, and earthworks artist Nancy Holt measure 15.1 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1987, with the bulk of the material dating from 1952 to 1987. The papers consist of Smithson's biographical material; business and personal correspondence, much of it with artists; interview transcripts; extensive writings and project files; financial records; printed material; a scrapbook of clippings; holiday cards with original prints and sketches; photographic material; and artifacts. Also found are project files related to Nancy Holt's motion picture film Pine Barrens and her seminal environmental work of art Sun Tunnels, including a video documentary about Sun Tunnels.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of sculptor, writer, and earthworks artist Robert Smithson and his wife, sculptor, filmmaker, and earthworks artist Nancy Holt measure 15.1 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1987, with the bulk of the material dating from 1952 to 1987. The papers consist of Smithson's biographical material; business and personal correspondence, much of it with artists; interview transcripts; extensive writings and project files; financial records; printed material; a scrapbook of clippings; holiday cards with original prints and sketches; photographic material; and artifacts. Also found are project files related to Nancy Holt's film Pine Barrens and her seminal environmental work of art Sun Tunnels, including a video documentary about Sun Tunnels.

Biographical material includes Robert Smithson's curriculum vitae, personal identification and medical documents, eight engagement/day planners Smithson and Holt maintained from 1966 to 1973, and Smithson's funeral register.

Correspondence is primarily with Smithson's family, friends, fellow artists, and business associates discussing personal relationships, proposed art projects, and exhibitions. Correspondents of note include Carl Andre, the Dwan Gallery (Virginia Dwan), Dan Graham, Will Insley, Ray Johnson, Gyorgy Kepes, Sol Lewitt, Lucy Lippard, and Dennis Wheeler. There is also substantial correspondence received by Holt upon Smithson's death in 1973, and between Holt and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art regarding Smithson's retrospective exhibition in 1982.

There are nine interview transcripts with Smithson discussing his works and his general philosophy on art, and one transcript of the Andrew Dickson White Museum's Earth Art Symposium (1969) featuring the following artists: Mike Hiezer, Dennis Oppenheim, Robert Smithson, Neil Jenney, Gunther Uecker, Jan Dibbets, Richard Long, and Hans Haacke.

Writings are substantial and include 73 drafts of published and unpublished essays by Smithson on art, artists, and works in progress. The series also includes poems by Smithson, six notebooks containing notes and sketches by Smithson, and drafts of writings sent to Smithson and Holt by friends and colleagues, including Carl Andre, Terry Atkinson, Dan Flavin, Dan Graham, and Jack Thibeau.

Project files contain correspondence, project instructions, diagrams and sketches, research materials, photographic material, and maps related to over 50 of Smithson's artworks. These include concepts, proposed projects, sculptures, non-sites, and earthwork projects, including Spiral Jetty, Broken Circle, and Spiral Hill.

Personal business records include gallery related loan arrangements and receipts for miscellaneous art supplies. Financial records include tax forms and preparation documents, including cancelled checks, receipts, statements, and related correspondence.

Printed materials include books, clippings, and periodicals related to Smithson, either containing writings or sketches by him, or containing articles reviewing his work. There are also exhibition announcements and catalogs of Smithson's group and solo shows from 1959 to 1985.

The scrapbook contains clippings of Smithson's published articles from 1966 to 1973 with annotated shorthand notes.

Artwork consists of Christmas cards collaged by Smithson, and sketches by Smithson and Leo Valledor.

Photographic materials include prints and negatives of Smithson with friends, promotional Hollywood movie stills, and original prints and copyprints of other artists' artwork.

Artifacts consist of a paper bag silkscreened with a Campbell's soup can (Warhol), promotional buttons (N.E. Thing Co.), various organic materials, and two art kits.

Nancy Holt's papers consist of correspondence, a grant application, printed materials, and project files and audio visual material related to her motion picture film Pine Barrens (1975) and her seminal environmental work of art Sun Tunnels (1975).
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 13 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1905-1974 (Box 1; 14 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1959-1987 (Boxes 1-2, OV 21; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 3: Interview Transcripts, 1966-1973 (Box 2; 11 folders)

Series 4: Writings, 1959-1975 (Boxes 2-3; 1.1 linear feet)

Series 5: Project Files, circa 1950s-1982 (Boxes 4-5, Boxes 17-18, OV 20, OV 22-26, OV 36, RD 28-30, RD 32-35; 6.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Personal Business Records, circa 1967-1970s (Box 5; 4 folders)

Series 7: Financial Records, 1962-1972 (Box 6; 1 linear foot)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1955-1985 (Boxes 7-11, Box 18, RD 31; 5.6 linear feet)

Series 9: Scrapbook, 1966-1973 (Box 11, Box 16; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 10: Artwork, circa 1950s-1970s (Box 11; 4 folders)

Series 11: Photographs, circa 1950s-1970s (Box 11, Box 18; 5 folders)

Series 12: Artifacts, circa 1950s-1970s (Box 11, Box 14, OV 19; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 13: Nancy Holt Papers, circa 1960s-1980s (Box 12-13, 15, OV 27, FC 37-38; 1.9 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Robert Smithson (1938-1973) was the pioneer of land and earthworks art. He was also a noted sculptor, painter, writer, and lecturer working primarily in New York City. Smithson's wife, Nancy Holt (1938-) was a noted sculptor and filmmaker and also worked as an earthworks artist.

Born in Passaic, New Jersey, Smithson expressed an early interest in art, enrolling in classes at the Brooklyn Museum School and the Art Student's League in New York while still attending high school. Smithson's early works were primarily paintings, drawings, and collages. In 1959, he exhibited his first solo show of paintings at the Artists' Gallery in New York and had his first solo international show in Rome with the Galleria George Lester in 1961.

During the early to mid-1960s, Smithson was perhaps better known as a writer and art critic, writing numerous essays and reviews for Arts Magazine and Artforum. He became affiliated with artists who were identified with the minimalist movement, such as Carl Andre, Donald Judd, Nancy Holt, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris and others. In 1963, Smithson married sculptor and filmmaker Nancy Holt and a year later started to create his first sculptural works. In 1966, Smithson joined the Dwan Gallery, whose owner Virginia Dwan was an enthusiastic supporter of his work.

Smithson's interest in land art began in the late 1960s while exploring industrial and quarry sites and observing the movement of earth and rocks. This resulted in a series of sculptures called "non-sites" consisting of earth and rocks collected from a specific site and installed in gallery space, often combined with photographs, maps, mirrors, or found materials. In September 1968, Smithson published the essay "A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects" in Artforum that promoted the work of the first wave of land art artists. Soon thereafter, he began creating his own large scale land art and earthworks.

From 1967 to 1973, Smithson's productivity was constant as he wrote, lectured, and participated in several solo and group shows a year, both at home and abroad. He explored narrative art as essay in "The Monuments of Passaic" and fully committed to his idea of visiting sites and using them as the basis for creating non-sites, Non-Site, Pine Barrens, (1968); incorporated and documented the use of mirrors at sites in Mirror Displacement, Cayuga Salt Mine Project (1968-1969); and created his first site-specific works through liquid pours of mud, asphalt, and concrete, including Asphalt Rundown (1969). In 1969, he also completed his first earth pour at Kent State University with his project Partially Buried Woodshed. Later that year, he created the sculptural artwork for which he is best known, Spiral Jetty (1969) on the Great Salt Lake in Utah. This was the first of his pieces to require the acquisition of land rights and earthmoving equipment, and would be followed two years later by Broken Circle and Spiral Hill in 1971.

On July 20, 1973, while surveying sites in Texas for the proposed Amarillo Ramp, Smithson died in a plane crash at the age of 35. Despite his early death, Smithson's writings and artwork had a major impact on many contemporary artists.

Nancy Holt began her career as a photographer and video artist. Today, Holt is most widely known for her large-scale environmental works, Sun Tunnels and Dark Star Park. Holt has also made a number of films and videos since the late 1960s, including Mono Lake (1968), East Coast, West Coast (1969), and Swamp (1971) in collaboration with her late husband Robert Smithson. Points of View: Clocktower (1974) features conversations between Lucy Lippard and Richard Serra, Liza Bear and Klaus Kertess, Carl Andre and Ruth Kligman and Bruce Brice and Tina Girouard. In 1978, she produced a film about her seminal work Sun Tunnels.
Related Material:
The Archives also holds several collections related to Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt, including an oral history interview with Robert Smithson conducted by Paul Cummings in 1972; an interview with Robert Smithson conducted by Tony Robbin in 1968; Robert Smithson letters to George B. Lester, 1960-1963; and oral history interviews with Nancy Holt conducted by Scott Gutterman in 1992 and Joyce Pomeroy Schwartz in 1993.
Separated Material:
Non-archival library books, periodicals, and phonographs from Robert Smithson's personal library are currently stored offsite.
Provenance:
The papers of Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt were donated by Nancy Holt in several accretions between 1986 and 2011.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt 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:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Earthworks (Art)  Search this
Filmmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Greeting cards
Photographs
Transcripts
Motion pictures (visual works)
Citation:
Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers, 1905-1987, bulk 1952-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.smitrobe
See more items in:
Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-smitrobe
Online Media:

Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art records

Creator:
Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art  Search this
Names:
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Buffalo Fine Arts Academy  Search this
Corcoran Gallery of Art  Search this
Gallery of William Macbeth  Search this
M. Knoedler & Co.  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Alexander, John White, 1856-1915  Search this
Beatty, John W. (John Wesley), 1851-1924  Search this
Beaux, Cecilia, 1855-1942  Search this
Brush, George de Forest, 1855-1941  Search this
Chase, William Merritt, 1849-1916  Search this
Church, Samuel Harden  Search this
East, Alfred, Sir, 1849-1913  Search this
Hassam, Childe, 1859-1935  Search this
Homer, Winslow, 1836-1910  Search this
Saint-Gaudens, Homer, b. 1880  Search this
Thayer, Abbott Handerson, 1849-1921  Search this
Extent:
265.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Letterpress books
Museum records
Place:
Spain -- History -- Civil War, 1936-1939
Date:
1883-1962
bulk 1885-1962
Summary:
The records of the Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art measure 265.8 linear feet and date from 1883-1962, with the bulk of the material dating from 1885-1940. The collection includes extensive correspondence between the museum's founding director, John Beatty, and his successor, Homer Saint-Gaudens, with artists, dealers, galleries, collectors, museum directors, representatives abroad, shipping and insurance agents, and museum trustees. The collection also includes Department of Fine Arts interoffice memoranda and reports; loan exhibition files; Carnegie International planning, jury, shipping, and sale records; Department of Fine Arts letterpress copy books, and a copy of the original card catalog index to these records.
Scope and Contents:
The records of the Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art measure 265.8 linear feet and date from 1883-1962, with the bulk of the material dating from 1885-1940. The collection includes extensive correspondence between the museum's founding director, John Beatty, and his successor, Homer Saint-Gaudens, with artists, dealers, galleries, collectors, museum directors, representatives abroad, shipping and insurance agents, and museum trustees. The collection also includes Department of Fine Arts interoffice memoranda and reports; loan exhibition files; Carnegie International planning, jury, shipping, and sale records; Department of Fine Arts letterpress copy books, and a copy of the original card catalog index to these records.

This collection is a complete record of the museum's work, starting with the planning of the first loan exhibition in 1885 and ending with the cancellation of the International at the start of World War II in 1940. The museum's day-to-day relationships with all aspects of the contemporary art world are documented within the historical context of artists' reactions to World War I; the economic repercussions of the Great Depression on art sales and museum budgets; the ramifications of fascism on German, Italian, and European art; the impact of civil war on Spanish art; and the tensions introduced by the rise of 'radical' modernist art in Europe.

Correspondence (Series 1) is the largest series in the collection (152.5 linear feet) and is comprised of extensive correspondence between the Museum of Art and over 8700 correspondents, with over 3600 correspondents specifically related to art and artists.

Correspondents related to the art world include museum staff, artists, collectors, museums, galleries, dealers, shippers, insurance agencies, art directors, associations, societies, clubs, critics, press, and governments. These exchanges include general requests for information; requests related to the museum's exhibitions, including the International; letters regarding the museum's involvement in the events of other art organizations; loan, sales, and provenance information for specific works of art; and information regarding the events of other art organizations.

The correspondence of the museum's staff provides the greatest insight into understanding the museum's evolution into an international cultural institution. Both directors' correspondence touch on their personal opinions on art, their rationale behind policy decisions, and their understanding of the extent to which the museum's work was dependent on the good relations they maintained in the art world. Additionally, the extensive, opinionated correspondence between Saint-Gaudens' European agents and museum staff during the 1920s and 1930s provide a unique perspective on emerging art trends and the skill, growth, and personalities of individual artists.

The most prolific of the museum staff correspondents include museum directors John Beatty and Homer Saint-Gaudens, Board of Trustees president Samuel Harden Church, assistant director Edward Balken, and European agents Guillaume Lerolle , Ilario Neri, Arnold Palmer, Margaret Palmer, and Charlotte Weidler. Additional prominent staff members include Helen Beatty, Robert Harshe, Caroline Lapsley, Henry Jack Nash, John O'Connor, Charles Ramsey, George Shaw, George Sheers, August Zeller, and Fine Arts Committee members John Caldwell, William Frew, William Hyett, and John Porter.

The most prolific artist correspondents include John White Alexander, George Grey Barnard, Cecilia Beaux, Frank Benson, George de Forest Brush, William Merritt Chase, William Coffin, Bruce Crane, Andre Dauchez, Charles H. Davis, Alfred East, Ben Foster, Daniel Garber, Charles P. Gruppe, John Johansen, Johanna Hailman, John McLure Hamilton, Birge Harrison, Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, Laura Knight, John la Farge, Gaston la Touche, John Lavery, Henri le Sidaner, Jonas Lie, Hermon A. MacNeil, Antonio Mancini, Gari Melchers, Emile Menard, Henry R. Poore, Edward Redfield, W. Elmer Schofield, Leopold Seyffert, Lucien Simon, Eugene Speicher, Abbott Handerson Thayer, Robert Vonnoh, J. Alden Weir, Irving R. Wiles, and Ignacio Zuloaga. Other artists of note include: Edwin Austen Abbey, George Bellows, Edwin Blashfield, Frank Brangwyn, Mary Cassatt, Kenyon Cox, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Robert Henri, Eastman Johnson, Rockwell Kent, Paul Manship, Henry Ranger, John Singer Sargent, Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz, Edmund Tarbell, James McNeil Whistler, N.C. Wyeth, and Charles Morris Young.

Frequent museum collaborators include the Art Institute of Chicago, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Brooklyn Museum, Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Cleveland Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Detroit Institute of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Saint Louis Museum of Fine Arts, Toledo Museum of Art, and Worcester Art Museum.

Other prolific correspondents include collectors Chauncey Blair, Andrew Carnegie, Charles Lang Freer, George Hearn, Alexander Humphreys, Roy Hunt, Mrs. B.F. Jones, Burton Mansfield, Frank Nicola, Duncan Phillips, John Stevenson, and William Stimmel; dealers and galleries M. Knoedler, William Macbeth, Central Art Gallery, Charles A. Walker, C.W. Kraushaar Art Galleries, Downtown Gallery, Durand-Ruel and Sons, Ehrich Galleries, Ferargil Galleries, Frank Rehn, Frederick Keppel, Haseltine Art Gallery, R.C. Vose Galleries, and W. Scott Thurber Fine Arts; insurance agent Macomber Co.; and shippers Dicksee and Co., J.W. Hampton, P. Navel/R. Lerondelle, Stedman and Wilder, and W.S. Budworth and Son.

Correspondents not specifically related to the contemporary art world include businesses, educational institutions, libraries, and the general public. These exchanges detail the daily work of the museum, including the estimates and work orders of office suppliers, contractors, printers, and etc.; programming and research inquiries of k-12 and college/university institutions; acknowledgements of the receipt of Museum of Art publications; and general public inquiries regarding museum policies, exhibitions, and the permanent collection. Companies and institutions who worked particularly closely with the museum include Alden and Harlow (architects), Detroit Publishing Co., and Tiffany and Co.

Department of Fine Arts (Series 2) consists of art and artist lists, correspondence, memoranda, notes, and reports. These files were begun under John Beatty's tenure and streamlined under Homer Saint-Gaudens' directorship to track activities directly related to the museum's interoffice affairs. File headings continued under Saint-Gaudens focus on art considered and purchased for the permanent collection, employee records, exhibition proposals and loans, Fine Arts Committee minutes, museum programming, museum publications, press releases, requests for images, and requests for general information.

Under Saint-Gaudens, the Fine Arts Committee files contain voluminous impressions of contemporary European artists, which he composed during his annual studio tours of the continent in the early 1920s and late 1930s. These informal reports provide insight into the shaping of the International and include a running commentary on historical events of the time. The Fine Arts Committee files also document the artistic and budgetary compromises that were struck, particularly during the Great Depression and early run-up to World War II.

Exhibitions (Series 3) includes correspondence with collectors, museums, galleries, dealers, shippers, and many of the artists themselves. Additional documents include catalogs, lists, planning notes, and telegrams related to 185 traveling and loan exhibitions held at the Museum of Art from 1901 to 1940. Of these, over 100 are one-artist shows and 82 are group, survey, regional, or topical shows. The one-artist exhibitions tend to showcase contemporary artists of the time. Regional shows focused on American and European art, with two shows featuring the art of Canada and Mexico. Survey themes focused on animals, children, cities, gardens, landscapes, Old Masters, and portraitures. Many of the genre shows venture into art not typically collected by the Museum of Art, including architecture, crafts, engravings, figure studies, graphic arts, illustrations, miniatures, mural decorations, oriental rugs, prints, printed books, sculpture, small reliefs, stained glass, theater models, watercolors, and wood engravings.

The most important shows organized and curated by Museum of Art staff include the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915), American Sculpture Show (1915, 1920), Applied Arts Show (1917), Original Illustrations Show (1921), Mexican Art Show (1929), Garden Club Show (1922), Industrial Art Show (1924), Pittsburgh Artists Show (1935), French Survey Show (1936), English Painting Survey Show (1937), American Paintings, Royal Academy Show (1938), and Survey of American Painting Show (1940).

Important one-artist shows include Abbot Handerson Thayer (1919), George de Forest Brush (1922), Frank W. Benson (1923), Rockwell Kent (1923, 1939), Anders Zorn (1924), John Lavery (1925), Paul Manship (1925), Mary Cassatt (1925), Laura Knight (1925), Edouard Manet (1932), Edward Hopper (1936), Winslow Homer (1922, 1936), Paul Cezanne (1936), Charles Burchfield (1937), and William Glackens (1938).

International (Series 4) is comprised of catalogs, correspondence, art and artist lists, itineraries, jury selection ballots, minutes, notes, and reports related to the planning, logistics, and promotion of the International Exhibition from 1895 to 1940. These documents were originally grouped and filed separately under John Beatty and were more rigorously streamlined under Homer Saint-Gaudens. The folder headings continued under Saint-Gaudens focus on art purchases, artists' invitations, artists' request for information, general exhibition planning, Foreign Advisory Committees, foreign governments, jury reception planning, loan requests, and touring logistics.

Letterpress books (Series 5) consist of 75 volumes that chronologically collect all of the Museum of Art's outgoing correspondence from 1896 to 1917. Volumes 1-8 contain the only copy of outgoing correspondence from 1896 to 1900. Duplicate copies of all outgoing correspondence dating from 1901 to 1917 were filed in Correspondence (Series 1) by museum staff.

Card catalogs (Series 6) also include three sets of catalogs created by the Museum of Art to track the outgoing and incoming correspondence contained in this collection. Set 1 (1895-1906) consists of the original cards. Set 2 (1907-1917) and Set 3 (1918-1940) consists of photocopies of the original cards that were merged together into one contiguous set.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into six series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1883-1962, (Boxes 1-153, OV 267; 152.5 linear feet)

Series 2: Department of Fine Arts, 1896-1940, (Boxes 153-184, OV 268; 31.6 linear feet)

Series 3: Exhibitions, 1901-1940, (Boxes 184-204; 20 linear feet)

Series 4: International, 1895-1940, (Boxes 204-234, 265-266; 30.2 linear feet)

Series 5: Letterpress Books, 1900-1917, (Boxes 235-251; 17 linear feet)

Series 6: Card Catalogs, 1895-1940, (Box 252-264; 11 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
The Carnegie Institute Museum of Art was established in 1895 by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. One of the first modern contemporary art museums in the United States, its flagship exhibition, the Carnegie International, is recognized as the longest running contemporary exhibition of international art in North America and is the second oldest in the world.

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) was born in Dumfermline, Scotland and migrated to America with his family in 1848. Often regarded as the second-richest man in history behind John D. Rockerfeller, Carnegie built his industrialist fortunes in the steel industry and spent the remainder of his life in support of major philanthropic projects. By the age of 33, he had developed his personal philosophy of philanthropy, which saw it as the responsibility of the wealthy to foster educational opportunities and disseminate the ideals of high culture among all levels of society. In addition to establishing over 2500 free public libraries, in 1895, he provided the funds to build the Carnegie Institute, located in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Carnegie Institute originally maintained three separate departments under the auspices of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and the Carnegie Museum of Art.

The Carnegie Institute was administered by a Board of Trustees selected by Carnegie, all prominent professional men of Pittsburgh. Within this group, eight men were selected to serve on the Museum of Art's Fine Arts Committee, which was initially granted the final say on gallery affairs. The first Fine Arts Committee was composed of two artists, Alfred Bryan Wall and Joseph Ryan Woodwell, and six businessmen. Among the latter group, John Caldwell, Henry Clay Frick, William Nimick Frew, and David Thompson Watson were also knowledgeable art patrons and collectors. Over time, the Fine Arts Committee's sway over gallery affairs would be measured by the dedication of its various members and tempered by the vision and authority of the Museum's directors, John Beatty and Homer Saint-Gaudens, and the Carnegie Institute Board of Trustees president, Samuel Harden Church.

From 1896 to 1921, John Wesley Beatty (1851-1924) served as the first director of the Museum of Art. A native Pittsburgher and an accomplished silver engraver, illustrator, and painter, Beatty attended the Royal Bavarian Academy in Munich and upon his return to America, made a living as an artist. He also taught at the Pittsburgh School of Design for Women and co-founded a small school of art with fellow local artist George Hetzel. In 1890, while serving as the secretary of the Pittsburgh Art Society, he became the primary organizer of a loan exhibition to be displayed at the opening of the Carnegie Free Library in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. In 1895, when the Carnegie Institute trustees began discussing the possibility of a similar loan exhibition for the opening of their new institution, Beatty was contacted and eventually enlisted to take on the task. Upon the success of that exhibition, he was invited to direct the gallery's affairs and served as the Museum of Art's director until his retirement.

Beatty was an enthusiastic supporter of Impressionism, Realism, Tonalism, Symbolism, and the critically acclaimed contemporary art of the 1890s. He also shared Carnegie's vision for the Museum of Art and believed in the educational and uplifting role aesthetic beauty could provide to the general public. Pursuant to the stated goals of Andrew Carnegie, under Beatty's direction the museum began to purchase important contemporary works to add to its chronological collection of "Old Masters of tomorrow" and almost immediately began planning the first of its Internationals.

The Internationals were viewed as the primary means of showcasing the Museum of Art's selection of the best in contemporary American and European painting, thereby elevating its role as an influential cultural institution on a national and international level. Juried monetary prizes would be awarded to the two best works by American artists, additional awards would be offered to artists of all nationalities, and the Museum of Art's purchases for the year would be selected from the exhibition. Certain artists and collectors were tapped to serve as unofficial representatives of the Museum of Art at home and abroad, among them John White Alexander, William Coffin, I.M. Gaugengigl, Walter Shirlaw, and Edmund Tarbell. Many of the most prominent Pittsburgh art collectors were also asked to lend works to the exhibition. While details of the jury and artist selection process, number of representatives, exhibition show dates, and amount and total number of prizes would change over the years, the planning template was set and would remain the same for future Internationals.

Beatty continued to rely on a stable of close friends and confidantes to help smooth over relations with artists, dealers, shipping agents, and galleries alike, relying heavily on John White Alexander and W. Elmer Schofield, in addition to artists Thomas Shields Clarke, Walter Gay, Robert Henri, Frank D. Millet, and critic Charles M. Kurtz. Over time, many of the artists who served on International juries or Foreign Advisory Committees also became reliable friends and advocates of the International, including Edwin Austen Abbey, Edmond Aman-Jean, Edwin Howland Blashfield, William Merritt Chase, Charles Cottet, Kenyon Cox, Charles Harold Davis, Alfred East, Ben Foster, Charles Hopkinson, John la Farge, Gari Melchers, Leonard Ochtman, Irving R. Wiles, and Robert W. Vonnoh.

From 1896 to 1921, the Museum of Art held twenty-one Internationals, with the only exceptions coming in 1906 (construction of the Hall of Architecture, Hall of Sculpture, and Bruce Galleries), 1915 (deference to the San Francisco Panama-Pacific International), and 1916-1919 (World War I). During these years, the scope and administration of the International slowly expanded, though not without growing pains. At the turn of the century, new modernist styles of art that were appearing in galleries across Europe had not yet entered major American museums and the Carnegie Museum of Art maintained this trend. The museum's generally conservative selection policies, combined with criticism regarding the timing of the exhibition and the jury selection process, led to increasingly tense relations with artists, and were only partially resolved by changes made to the format of the International. In spite of these challenges, the Carnegie International retained its reputation as a preeminent venue for contemporary art and awarded top prizes to John White Alexander, Cecilia Beaux, George W. Bellows, Frank W. Benson, Andre Dauchez, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, John Lavery, Henri le Sidaner, Edward W. Redfield, W. Elmer Schofield, Edmund C. Tarbell, Abbot Handerson Thayer, Dwight W. Tryon, and J. Alden Weir.

In addition to the International, Carnegie's mission of bringing cultural and educational opportunities to Pittsburgh was a central priority of the museum's daily operations. Beatty cultivated relationships with fellow museum directors, which allowed for the easy co-ordination and planning of traveling exhibitions benefiting the city. The museum developed educational programs for children and adults, including lectures, gallery talks, Saturday morning classes, fine art extension classes, guided tours, and outreach to local schools. As popular Pittsburgh art societies and clubs formed, the museum also provided meeting and exhibition spaces for groups such as the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, the Art Society of Pittsburgh, the Art Students League, the Garden Club of Allegheny County, and the Junior League.

After more than 25 years of service, Beatty made the decision to retire and put out an informal call for candidates. Being the right man at the right time, in 1921, Homer Schiff Saint-Gaudens (1880-1958) became the Museum of Art's second director.

The only child of American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his wife and artist, Augusta Fisher Homer, Saint-Gaudens frequently traveled abroad and grew up in the company of his parents' wide circle of friends, many of them artists, poets, writers, and performers who frequented the Cornish Artists' Colony. More intimate friends of the family included former students, assistants, and colleagues, the architect Stanford White, and successful artist-couples who resided near the family's Cornish, New Hampshire home, among them Louise and Kenyon Cox, Maria and Thomas Dewing, Florence and Everett Shinn, and Emma and Abbott Thayer.

Homer Saint-Gaudens attended the preparatory school Lawrenceville, graduated from Harvard in 1903, married the artist and suffragist Carlota Dolley (1884-1927) in 1905, and remarried to Mary Louise McBride (n.d.-1974) in 1929. He began his professional career as a journalist and worked as assistant editor of The Critic (1903) and managing editor of Metropolitan Magazine (1905). During those years, he was introduced to a number of the Ash Can school artists, wrote articles on contemporary art, and honed his abilities as a writer. In 1907, Saint-Gaudens took a break from professional editing and began a second career as the stage manager for Maude Adams, the most highly paid and successful stage actress of her day, with a yearly income of over one million dollars at the peak of her popularity. Working in theater and as Adams' manager for over ten years, Saint-Gaudens learned the ins and outs of event promotion and logistics, media coverage, and maintaining diplomatic relations through compromise, ideal skills he would later use in organizing the Carnegie Internationals.

With the United States' entry into World War I, Saint-Gaudens served as the chief of the U.S. Army's first camouflage unit and was awarded the Bronze Star. After his discharge, he managed Adams' 1918 final season and simultaneously helped his mother organize a major retrospective of his father's sculptures. While organizing a section of his father's work for the 1921 International, he was invited to step into the position of assistant director of the Carnegie Museum of Art, and was promoted to the directorship upon John Beatty's retirement.

Throughout his tenure, Saint-Gaudens was able to call upon long-standing family friendships with artists and art patrons to the museum's benefit. His connections to the art world can clearly be seen in his first major stand-alone exhibition, the Garden Club Show (1922). In this, he enlisted the aid of Elizabeth Alexander, wife of John White Alexander, and Johanna Hailman, artist and wife of John Hailman, who reached out to their circle of artists and art collecting friends in search of works appropriate for the show. Their efforts, combined with the relationships Beatty had established with museum directors, galleries, and dealers, as well as Saint-Gaudens' own friendships with Kenyon Cox, Thomas Dewing, Barry Faulkner, and Gari Melchers, resulted in an assemblage of 150 paintings of note. Coming immediately upon the heels of the 1922 International, the show was a resounding success. The exhibition's opening attracted over 300 delegates of the Garden Club of America and the entirety of Pittsburgh high society, settling any concerns regarding his leadership abilities.

As director of the Museum of Art, Saint-Gaudens instituted measures intended to streamline the Internationals and improve diplomatic relations with artists. Though the basic format of the juried exhibition remained the same, his solutions to the complaints many artists raised with the artist invitation, art selection, and jury systems reformed the International's reputation at a critical time. Though he was naturally inclined to appreciate the art and artists he had grown up with, Saint-Gaudens understood the immediate necessity of introducing modernist contemporary art into the museum's exhibitions and galleries. He circumvented the conservative Fine Arts Committee's resistance to the accolades of European modernists by choosing the tamest of the new 'radical' works. Eventually, he balanced the Internationals with a mix of conservative, moderate, and advanced works that appealed to a large range of audiences and increased the status and diversity of the Internationals.

To aid in his reformation of the International, Saint-Gaudens formalized a team of European agents who worked year round to scout artists' studios, recommend suitable art and artists, navigate local politics, arrange local transportation and logistics, and maintain cordial relations with artists abroad. In the spring, Saint-Gaudens would travel to Europe to meet with his agents in person, tour the most promising studios, and meet with artists personally. His team was headed by Guillaume Lerolle, who shared Saint-Gaudens' distinction of being the son of a well regarded national artist, Henry Lerolle. Like Saint-Gaudens, Lerolle was able and willing to call upon longstanding family friendships and networks on behalf of the Museum of Art. The other core members of the team were Ilario Neri (Italy), Arnold Palmer (England), Margaret Palmer (Spain), and Charlotte Weidler (Germany).

From 1922 to 1940, the Museum of Art held seventeen Internationals, with the exceptions coming in 1932 (Great Depression) and 1940 (World War II). After a brief period of change, growth, and experimentation in the early 1920s, the museum eventually settled on a routine of planning the Internationals, arranging for traveling exhibitions, and expanding upon the most popular of their educational programs. In addition to those programs put into place under Beatty's tenure, Saint-Gaudens paved the way for a revamped lecture series featuring visiting critics and traveled as a visiting lecturer himself.

During the 1930s, financial difficulties and increasing political tensions in Europe presented ample challenges to the diplomatic skills of Saint-Gaudens and his agents, and they found themselves increasingly forced to navigate through political minefields presented by the fascist ideologies of Germany and Italy, the chaos of the Spanish civil war, and the eventual outbreak of World War II in Europe. In spite of these challenges, under Saint-Gaudens' direction, the museum remained true to Andrew Carnegie's vision. The International was expanded to accept on average over sixty additional works of art, and at its peak, included art from twenty-one countries. Beginning in 1927, top prizes and recognition were awarded to Georges Braque, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Andre Derain, Raoul Dufy, Karl Hofer, Rockwell Kent, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Edouard Vuillard.

Works by Arthur B. Davies, Charles Hawthorne, Edward Hopper, Augustus John, Oskar Kokoschka, Leon Kroll, Ernest Lawson, and William Orpen were added to the museum's permanent collection. And, as under Beatty's tenure, many of the artists selected to serve on the Jury of Award became advocates and friends of the museum, including Emil Carlsen, Anto Carte, Bruce Crane, Charles C. Curran, Daniel Garber, Charles Hopkinson, Laura Knight, Jonas Lie, Julius Olsson, Leopold Seyffert, Lucien Simon, Eugene Speicher, Maurice Sterne, Gardner Symons, Horatio Walker, and Charles H. Woodbury.

The monumental task of establishing the Carnegie Institute Museum of Art and the Carnegie International has left an archival record that is unique and unparalleled in documenting its relations with every aspect of the contemporary art world from the turn of the century through the first forty years of the twentieth century.
Provenance:
The Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art records were loaned for microfilming in 1966 and later donated to the Archives of American Art in 1972. A small addition of corrrespondence was donated in 2017 by Elizabeth Tufts Brown.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Carnegie Institute Museum of Art records 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 -- Economic aspects  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Art museums -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh  Search this
Depressions -- 1929  Search this
Art, Modern -- Exhibitions  Search this
Fascism  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Museum directors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Letterpress books
Museum records
Citation:
Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art records, 1883-1962, bulk 1885-1940. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.carninst
See more items in:
Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-carninst
Online Media:

Lillian and Frederick Kiesler papers

Creator:
Kiesler, Lillian, 1910?-2001  Search this
Names:
Anthology Film Archives  Search this
Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts  Search this
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
University of Iowa, Museum of Art  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
Adnan, Etel  Search this
Andres, Jo  Search this
Arnaud, Leopold, 1895-  Search this
Bartos, Armand P., 1910-  Search this
Bultman, Fritz, 1919-1985  Search this
Buscemi, Steve, 1958-  Search this
Castelli, Leo  Search this
Copley, Alfred L.  Search this
Diller, Burgoyne, 1906-1965  Search this
Dlugoszewski, Lucia, 1931-2000  Search this
Dorazio, Piero, 1927-  Search this
Dorazio, Virginia Dortch  Search this
Dreier, Katherine Sophie, 1877-1952  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean, 1901-  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Hawkins, Erick  Search this
Hodges, Alice  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Holtzman, Harry  Search this
Howe, George, 1886-1955  Search this
Kamler, Richard  Search this
Kiesler, Frederick  Search this
MacIver, Loren, 1909-  Search this
Meredith, Burgess, 1907-1997  Search this
Milius, Tom  Search this
Miller, Henry, 1891-  Search this
Mondrian, Piet, 1872-1944  Search this
Montgomery, Chandler  Search this
Owen, Jane Blaffer, 1915-2010  Search this
Purdy, James  Search this
Takaezu, Toshiko  Search this
Tawney, Lenore  Search this
Zogbaum, Wilfrid, 1915-1965  Search this
Extent:
49.1 Linear feet
0.001 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Diaries
Interviews
Scripts (documents)
Motion pictures (visual works)
Date:
circa 1910s-2003
bulk 1958-2000
Summary:
The papers of New York artist Lillian Kiesler and architect and sculptor Frederick Kiesler measure 49.1 linear feet and 0.001 GB and date from circa 1910s-2003, with the bulk of the material from 1958-2000. The collection documents their personal and professional lives and the legacy of Frederick Kiesler's work through biographical material, correspondence, legal, financial and business records, teaching files, exhibition and performance files, artwork, subject files, printed and digital material, writings and interviews, monographs, photographic material, and sound and video recordings. Also found are papers related to Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann and the papers of artist Alice Hodges.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of artist, performer, and arts educator Lillian Kiesler and sculptor, architect, set designer, educator, and writer Frederick Kiesler measure 49.1 linear feet and 0.001 GB and date from circa 1910s-2003, with the bulk of the material from 1958-2000. The collection documents their personal and professional lives and the legacy of Frederick Kiesler's work through biographical material, correspondence, legal, financial and business records, teaching files, exhibition and performance files, artwork, subject files, printed and digital material, writings and interviews, monographs, photographic material, and sound and video recordings. Also found are papers related to Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann and the papers of artist Alice Hodges.

The collection is arranged into two series: the Lillian Kiesler Papers (Series 1) and the Frederick Kiesler Papers (Series 2). Measuring 41.1 linear feet, the Lillian Kiesler Papers (Series 1) make up the bulk of the collection and document her personal life and professional career as an artist, actor, teacher, arts benefactor and promoter of Frederick Kiesler's legacy. The series spans her lifetime, although most of the material is dated after 1965. Among her papers are biographical materials, correspondence, legal and financial records, teaching files, exhibition and performance files, artwork, subject files, printed material, monographs, papers related to Frederick Kiesler and his legacy, papers of and related to Hans Hofmann, papers of Alice Hodges, photographic material, and sound and video recordings.

Found among Lillian Kiesler's personal papers are address books, numerous calendars and appointment books, and diaries and journals. Her correspondence is extensive and contains business correspondence with John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The University of Iowa Museum of Art, and Erick Hawkins Dance Foundation, and personal letters and greeting cards from friends, family, artists, scholars, and researchers, including Etel Adnan, Alcopley, Fritz Bultman, Steve Buscemi, Mike Diamond, Burgoyne Diller, Lucia Dlugoszewski, Piero Dorazio, Jean Dubuffet, Jay Gottlieb, Erick Hawkins, Burgess Meredith, Henry Miller, James Purdy, and Herrel Thomas. Of interest is a letter from Harry Holtzman postmarked March 13, 1935 describing his initial meeting with Mondrian, and a letter from E.B. Gordon describing Henry Miller in Paris.

Materials related to Lillian Kiesler's estate and last wishes can also be found, as well as teaching plans, student work, and writings by Lillian Kiesler's mentor and friend, New York University professor Chandler Montgomery. Various printed material, correspondence, scripts, and rehearsal schedules from Lillian Kiesler's exhibitions and performances are also found, and among the directors, artists and writers represented are Jo Andres, Steve Buscemi, Cindy Lugar, Tim Miller and James Purdy. Artwork contains photographs by Bob Del Fredici, drawings by Piero Dorazio, and notes to Frederick Kiesler from Lillian Kiesler.

Subject files about artists, friends, colleagues, performances, and organizations in which she supported, such as the Anthology Film Archives, include printed materials and research materials. Signed exhibition catalogs of Loren MacIver, Dina Ghen, Lenore Tawney, and Toshiko Takaezu, and a reprint article inscribed by Alcopley can be found, as well as numerous inscribed monographs, including books inscribed by Max Weiler and Piero Dorazio, an inscribed first edition of Henry Miller's Black Spring (1936), and a 1937 monograph by Harry Holtzman titled American Abstract Artists.

Series 1 also includes materials related to her husband Frederick Kiesler, papers of and related to Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann, and the personal papers of artist Alice Hodges. The Papers Related to Frederick Kiesler were primarily created or compiled by Lillian Kiesler and document her work on behalf of Frederick Kiesler's legacy. Of interest are letters from Frederick Kiesler to Lillian Kiesler and Alice Hodges; a bound volume of correspondence to Piero Dorazio; an inventory of objects in the Frederick Kiesler estate; photographs of artwork; an interview (sound recordings and transcript) with Lillian Kiesler about Frederick Kiesler for "Music of the Age," included on the tape is a portion of a Frederick Kiesler interview (1965); a recording of Lillian Kiesler interviewing Richard Kamler about Frederick Kiesler; and Frederick Kiesler's dialogue with Leo Castelli (undated).

Lillian Kiesler was a student of Hans Hofmann (1880-1966) in New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts, as well as an enthusiastic volunteer promoter and assistant to The Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts. The bulk of the papers of and related to Hans Hofmann were created or compiled by Lillian Kielser and are about Hofmann's career and legacy. However, also found are some papers of Hans Hofmann, including letters from Hofmann to Lillian Kiesler and Alice Hodges describing his artwork, life in Provincetown, and issues with The Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts, typed and handwritten lectures given by Hofmann, Hofmann's 1941 address to the American Abstract Artists (AAA), three boxes of card files on students of the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts in New York City and Provincetown, and photographs of Hofmann and his house in Provincetown taken by Wilfrid Zogbaum and Tom Milius.

The artist Alice Hodges (b. unknown-1965) was a close friend of Lillian Kiesler, a former secretary to Frederick Kiesler, and a student of Hans Hofmann. Included among her personal papers is some correspondence from Hans Hofmann and Katherine Drier and numerous postcards from Hodges and Lillian Kiesler's trip to Europe in 1950, posters and printed material from her exhibitions, an oversized scrapbook chronicling Lillian Kiesler's teaching career, records from the United States Treasury War Bond Art Auction in 1945, original artwork and greeting cards made by Hodges and Lillian Kiesler, and 31 rolled negative strips in metal canisters of Frederick Kiesler sculptures, Provincetown and Hans Hofmann, Wellfleet, Empire State Music Festival (1955), and travels to Colorado and Europe, some of which may be printed and found in this subseries.

Photographs found in the Lillian Kiesler Papers are mostly black and white and color snapshots of Lillian Kiesler's friends and family at events and at home, including candid photos of Hans Hofmann, Alice Hodges, Frederick Kiesler, and Alcopley. Slides prepared by Lillian Kiesler for a lecture on Frederick Kiesler and her lecture notes on index cards are found. Sound and video recordings include recordings of productions in which Lillian Kiesler performed, and music, film, or live stage performances written, directed, or performed by friends.

Measuring 7.1 linear feet, Frederick Kiesler's personal papers (Series 2) document his professional career and date from 1923-1992. Biographical materials include his curriculum vitae, four passports, and numerous appointment books and notes from late in his life. Correspondence with architects, publishers, editors, universities, museums, galleries, manufacturers, artists and friends includes letters from L. Alcopley, Leopold Arnaud, Armand P. Bartos, Piero and Virginia Dorazio, George Howe, Kay Johnson, Jane Owen, and others. There are also photocopied letters from Katherine Dreier, Marcel Duchamp, and Piet Mondrian. Business and financial records from the 1940s to mid-1960s comprise a significant bulk of this series and are primarily tax returns and receipts and statements used to file tax returns. Materials on the publication of "Inside the Endless House" (1966), the International Theatre Exposition (in German) in 1924 and other exhibits from shortly after his death are found, as well as student artwork and papers from Kiesler's classes in the mid-1950s. A bound copy of the "Bibliography of Writings of and About Frederick Kiesler" compiled by Lillian Kiesler is found, as well as printed material about Frederick Kiesler and a handful of photographs of artwork.

Users should note that Lillian Kiesler's and Frederick Kiesler's papers contain similar types of material that often overlap in subject matter, especially among the Papers Related to Frederick Kiesler (Subseries 1.10) in Series 1 and the Frederick Kiesler Papers (Series 2). This collection contains limited material related to Lillian Kiesler prior to the 1940s and Frederick Kiesler prior to his arrival in the United States in 1926.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into two series. Each series is divided into several subseries, with the arrangement described in detail in the series descriptions.

Series 1: Lillian Kiesler papers, circa 1910s-2003 (Box 1-39, 47-52, OV 53-55; 41.1 linear feet, ER01; 0.001 GB)

Series 2: Frederick Kiesler papers, 1923-1992 (Box 40-46, OV 53; 7.1 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Frederick Kiesler (1890-1965) was a sculptor, architect, set designer, educator, and writer active in New York and Connecticutt. Lillian Kiesler (1911-2001) was a performer, arts educator, and painter married to Frederick Kiesler. She was also active in the administration of the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts.

Frederick Kiesler was born in Romania in 1890, although he gave various other dates for his birth and regularly cited Vienna as his birthplace. He arrived in the United States with his wife Steffi in 1926 for the International Theatre Exposition at Steinway Hall in New York City. They stayed in the United States and were granted citizenship in 1936.

Kiesler secured a teaching position at Columbia University's School of Architecture in 1930, and from 1934 through 1957 he was the scenic design director at The Juilliard School of Music. He also lectured at Yale University from 1950-1952. Often labeled a Surrealist, Kiesler's work was experimental and frequently described as ahead of its time. He published, lectured, and participated in numerous exhibitions throughout his career. He is known for his theory of "coreallism;" "The Space House" (1933), a full-scale model of a single family home; an installation designed for Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century gallery in 1942; "The Endless House" drawings and model (1950); "The Universal Theatre" (1961) model; and the Shrine of the Book (1965), a building to exhibit the Dead Sea Scrolls in Jerusalem. He died in New York City in December 1965.

Lillian Olinsey met architect and sculptor Frederick Kiesler in 1934. After years of friendship, they were married in 1964, a year and a half before Frederick's death in 1965.

Lillian Kiesler studied art at the Art Students League, Cooper Union, and the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts, where she also assisted Hofmann and the school administration. She taught art to children and young adults for twenty years in New York City. From 1945 to 1955, she taught at the Greenwich House Art workshops and the Woodward School, followed by the Brooklyn Museum (1948-1958), Barnard School (1953-1963), New York University School of Education (1955-1966), and Juilliard School of Visual Arts (1963-1965). Lillian was involved in the performing arts and between the late 1970s through the 1990s she performed in New York City with numerous directors, notably Jo Andres, Steve Buscemi, Richard Foreman, John Jesurun, Cindy Lubar, and Tim Miller. She frequently performed with her close friend, painter Maryette Charlton, who was the executor of the Lillian Kiesler estate.

Lillian Kiesler tirelessly promoted Frederick Kiesler's work and legacy after his death in 1965. From the late 1980s through the 1990s, she delivered lectures about his work at universities and museums, gave interviews, corresponded with researchers, and organized his papers to donate to the Harvard Theatre Collection, Yale School of Art and Architecture, and the Archives of American Art. In 1997, she helped found the Frederick and Lillian Kiesler Foundation in Vienna, Austria. She endowed the Austrian Frederick Kiesler Prize, an award given to a notable contributor to the field of architecture. The first recipient was Frank Gehry in 1998. Lillian Kiesler passed away in 2001 in New York City.
Related Material:
The holdings of the Archives of American Art include the Hans Hofmann Papers, 1904-1978 and the Maryette Charlton Papers, 1929-1998. Additional Frederick Kiesler papers are available at the Museum of Modern Art, the Harvard Theater Collection, and the Yale School of Art and Architecture.
Separated Material:
Some of the materials related to Frederick Kiesler were initially loaned for microfilming on reels 57 and 127-128. This material is not described in the container listing of this finding aid. Most, but not all, of the loaned material was later donated and has been merged with the other accretions.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Lillian Kiesler and Maryette Charlton, executrix of her estate, in several accessions between 1980-2002. Some of the papers related to Frederick Kiesler were originally loaned for microfilming in 1971, most of which was later donated in 1980. Additional papers related to Frederick Kiesler were donated in 1993. Papers related to Hans Hofmann were given in 1981. Lillian Kiesler's papers were donated in 2000 by Lillian Kiesler, and in 2002, by Maryette Charlton.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Lillian and Frederick Kiesler 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:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Set Designers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Exhibition designers  Search this
Art schools -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art schools -- Massachusetts -- Provincetown  Search this
Art patrons -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Architects -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Actors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Diaries
Interviews
Scripts (documents)
Motion pictures (visual works)
Citation:
Lillian and Frederick Kiesler papers, circa 1910s-2003, bulk 1958-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kieslill
See more items in:
Lillian and Frederick Kiesler papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kieslill
Online Media:

Henry Varnum Poor papers

Creator:
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Names:
Montross Gallery  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Benton, William, 1900-1973  Search this
Biddle, George, 1885-1973  Search this
Billing, Jules  Search this
Burchfield, Charles Ephraim, 1893-1967  Search this
Caniff, Milton Arthur, 1907-1988  Search this
Ciardi, John, 1916-  Search this
Czebotar, Theodore  Search this
Deming, MacDonald  Search this
Dickson, Harold E., 1900-  Search this
Dorn, Marion, 1896-1964  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Esherick, Wharton  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Garrett, Alice Warder  Search this
Houseman, John, 1902-1988  Search this
Marston, Muktuk  Search this
Meredith, Burgess, 1907-1997  Search this
Mumford, Lewis, 1895-1990  Search this
Padro, Isabel  Search this
Poor, Anne, 1918-  Search this
Poor, Bessie Breuer  Search this
Poor, Eva  Search this
Poor, Josephine Graham  Search this
Poor, Josephine Lydia  Search this
Poor, Peter  Search this
Sargent, Elizabeth S.  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968  Search this
Watson, Ernest William, 1884-1969  Search this
Extent:
12.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketches
Motion pictures (visual works)
Diaries
Prints
Photographs
Illustrations
Drawings
Watercolors
Sketchbooks
Date:
1873-2001
bulk 1904-1970
Summary:
The papers of Henry Varnum Poor measure 12.9 linear feet and date from 1873-2001, with the bulk from the period 1904-1970. Correspondence, writings, artwork, printed material and photographs document Poor's work as a painter, muralist, ceramic artist and potter, architect, designer, writer, war artist, educator and a co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Also found is extensive information about the design and construction of Crow House, his home in New City, New York, commissions for other architectural projects, and his personal life.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Henry Varnum Poor measure 12.9 linear feet and date from 1873-2001, with the bulk from the period 1904-1970. Correspondence, writings, artwork, printed material and photographs document Poor's work as a painter, muralist, ceramic artist and potter, architect, designer, writer, war artist, educator and a co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Also found is extensive information about the design and construction of Crow House, his home in New City, New York, commissions for other architectural projects, and his personal life.

Henry Varnum Poor's correspondence documents his personal, family, and professional life. Correspondents include family and friends, among them George Biddle, Charles Burchfield, John Ciardi, Marion V. Dorn (who became his second wife), Philip Evergood, Lewis Mumford, John Steinbeck, David Smith, and Mrs. John Work (Alice) Garrett. Among other correspondents are galleries, museums, schools, organizations, fans, former students, and acquaintances from his military service and travels. Family correspondence consists of Henry's letters to his parents, letters to his parents written by his wife, and letters among other family members.

Among the writings by Henry Varnum Poor are manuscripts of his two published books, An Artist Sees Alaska and A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality. as well as the text of "Painting is Being Talked to Death," published in the first issue of Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions, April 1953, and manuscripts of other articles. There are also film scripts, two journals, notes and notebooks, lists, speeches, and writings by others, including M. R. ("Muktuk") Marston's account of Poor rescuing an Eskimo, and Bessie Breuer Poor's recollections of The Montross Gallery.

Subject files include those on the Advisory Committee on Art, American Designers' Gallery, Inc., William Benton, Harold Dickson, Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions Sales, and War Posters. There are numerous administrative files for the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Artwork by Henry Varnum Poor consists mainly of loose drawings and sketches and 45 sketchbooks of studies for paintings, murals, and pottery. There is work done in France, 1918-1919, and while working as a war correspondent in Alaska in 1943. There are commissioned illustrations and some intended for his monograph, A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality. Also found are a small number of watercolors and prints. Work by other artists consist of Anne Poor's drawings of her father's hands used for the Lincoln figure in The Land Grant Frescoes and interior views of Crow House by Ernest Watson.

Documentation of Poor's architectural projects consists of drawings and prints relating to houses designed and built for Jules Billing, MacDonald Deming, John Houseman, Burgess Meredith, Isabel Padro, and Elizabeth S. Sargent. Also found is similar material for the new studio Poor built in 1957 on the grounds of Crow House.

Miscellaneous records include family memorabilia and two motion picture films, Painting a True Fresco, and The Land Grant Murals at Pennsylvania State College.

Printed material includes articles about or mentioning Poor, some of his pottery reference books, family history, a catalog of kilns, and the program of a 1949 Pennsylvania State College theater production titled Poor Mr. Varnum. Exhibition catalogs and announcements survive for some of Poor's shows; catalogs of other artists' shows include one for Theodore Czebotar containing an introductory statement by Henry Varnum Poor. Also found is a copy of The Army at War: A Graphic Record by American Artists, for which Poor served as an advisor. There are reproductions of illustrations for An Artist Sees Alaska and Ethan Frome, and two Associated American Artists greeting cards reproducing work by Poor.

Photographs are of Henry Varnum Poor's architectural work, artwork, people, places, and miscellaneous subjects. This series also contains negatives, slides, and transparencies. Images of architectural work include exterior and interior views of many projects; Poor's home, Crow House, predominates. Photographs of artwork by Poor are of drawings, fresco and ceramic tile murals, paintings, pottery and ceramic art. People appearing in photographs include Henry Varnum Poor, family members, friends, clients, juries, students, and various groups. Among the individuals portrayed are Milton Caniff, Marcel Duchamp, Wharton Esherick, M. R. ("Muktuk") Marston, and Burgess Meredith. Among the family members are Bessie Breuer Poor, Marion Dorn Poor, Anne Poor, Eva Poor, Josephine Graham Poor, Josephine Lydia Poor, Peter Poor, and unidentified relatives. Photographs of places include many illustrating village life in Alaska that were taken by Poor during World War II. Other places recorded are French and California landscapes, and family homes in Kansas. Miscellaneous subjects are exhibition installation views, scenes of Kentucky farms, and a photograph of Poor's notes on glazes.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1919-1987 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1, OV 18)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1873-1985 (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1944-1974 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 2-3)

Series 4: Subject Files, 1928-1975 (0.8 linear feet; Box 3, OV 23)

Series 5: Artwork, circa 1890s-circa 1961 (3.5 linear feet; Boxes 4-6, 9-10, OV 19-22)

Series 6: Architectural Projects, circa 1940-1966 (0.7 linear feet; Box 6, OV 24-26, RD 14-17)

Series 7: Miscellaneous Records, 1882-1967 (Boxes 6, 11, FC 30-31; 0.5 linear ft.)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1881-2001 (1.2 linear feet; Boxes 6-7, 11, OV 27-29)

Series 9: Photographs, 1893-1984 (2.3 linear feet; Boxes 7-8, 12-13)
Biographical Note:
Henry Varnum Poor (1888-1970), best known as a potter, ceramic artist, and a co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, was also an architect, painter, muralist, designer, educator, and writer who lived and worked in New City, New York.

A native of Chapman, Kansas, Henry Varnum Poor moved with his family to Kansas City when his grain merchant father became a member of the Kansas Board of Trade. From a young age he showed artistic talent and spent as much time as possible - including school hours - drawing. When a school supervisor suggested that Henry leave school to study at the Art Institute of Chicago, the family disagreed. Instead, he enrolled in the Kansas City Manual Training High School where he delighted in learning skills such as carpentry, forge work, and mechanical drawing. In 1905, he moved with his older brother and sister to Palo Alto, California and completed high school there. Because Poor was expected to join the family business, he enrolled at Stanford University as an economics major, but much to his father's disappointment and displeasure, soon left the economics department and became an art major.

Immediately after graduation in 1910, Poor and his major professor at Stanford, Arthur B. Clark, took a summer bicycling tour to look at art in London, France, Italy, and Holland. As Poor had saved enough money to remain in London after the summer was over, he enrolled in the Slade School of Art and also studied under Walter Sickert at the London County Council Night School. After seeing an exhibition of Post-Impressionism at the Grafton Galleries in London, Poor was so impressed that he went to Paris and enrolled in the Académie Julian. While in Paris, Poor met Clifford Addams, a former apprentice of Whistler; soon he was working in Addams' studio learning Whistler's palette and techniques.

In the fall of 1911, Poor returned to Stanford University's art department on a one-year teaching assignment. During that academic year, his first one-man show was held at the university's Old Studio gallery. He married Lena Wiltz and moved back to Kansas to manage the family farm and prepare for another exhibition. Their daughter, Josephine Lydia Poor, was born the following year. Poor returned to Stanford in September 1913 as assistant professor of graphic arts, remaining until the department closed three years later. During this period, Poor began to exhibit more frequently in group shows in other areas of the country, and had his first solo exhibition at a commercial gallery (Helgesen Gallery, San Francisco). In 1916, Poor joined the faculty of the San Francisco Art Association. He and his wife separated in 1917 and were divorced the following year. Poor began sharing his San Francisco studio with Marion Dorn.

During World War I, Poor was drafted into the U. S. Army, and in 1918 went to France with the 115th Regiment of Engineers. He spent his spare time drawing; soon officers were commissioning portraits, and Poor was appointed the regimental artist. He also served as an interpreter for his company. Discharged from the Army in early 1919, Poor spent the spring painting in Paris. He then returned to San Francisco and married Marion Dorn.

Once Poor realized that earning a living as a painter would be extremely difficult in California, he and his new wife moved to New York in the autumn of 1919. They were looking for a place to live when influential book and art dealer Mary Mowbray-Clarke of the Sunwise Turn Bookshop in Manhattan suggested New City in Rockland County, New York as good place for artists. In January of 1920, the Poors purchased property on South Mountain Road in New City. The skills he acquired at the Kansas City Manual Training High School were of immediate use as Poor designed and constructed "Crow House" with the assistance of a local teenager. Influenced by the farmhouses he had seen in France, it was made of local sandstone and featured steep gables, rough plaster, chestnut beams and floors, and incorporated many hand-crafted details. Poor designed and built most of their furniture, too. Before the end of the year, he and Marion were able to move into the house, though it remained a work in progress for many years. Additions were constructed. Over time, gardens were designed and planted, and outbuildings - a kiln and pottery, work room, garage, and new studio - appeared on the property.

In 1925, two years after his divorce from Marion Dorn, Poor married Bessie Freedman Breuer (1893-1975), an editor, short story writer, and novelist. Soon after, he adopted her young daughter, Anne (1918-2002), an artist who served as his assistant on many important mural commissions. Their son, Peter (b. 1926) became a television producer. Crow House remained in the family until its sale in 2006. In order to prevent its demolition, Crow House was then purchased by the neighboring town of Ramapo, New York in 2007.

Between 1935 and 1966 Poor designed and oversaw construction of a number of houses, several of them situated not far from Crow House on South Mountain Road. Poor's designs, noted for their simplicity, featured modern materials and incorporated his ceramic tiles. Among his important commissions were houses for Maxwell Anderson, Jules Billig, Milton Caniff, MacDonald Deming, and John Houseman.

Poor's first exhibition of paintings in New York City was at Kevorkian Galleries in 1920, and sales were so disappointing that he turned his attention to ceramics. His first pottery show, held at Bel Maison Gallery in Wanamaker's department store in 1921, was very successful. He quickly developed a wide reputation, participated in shows throughout the country, and won awards. He was a founder of the short-lived American Designers' Gallery, and the tile bathroom he showed at the group's first exposition was critically acclaimed. Poor was represented by Montross Gallery as both a painter and potter. When Montross Gallery closed upon its owner's death in 1932, Poor moved to the Frank K. M. Rehn Gallery.

Even though Poor's pottery and ceramic work was in the forefront, he continued to paint. His work was acquired by a number of museums, and the Limited Editions Club commissioned him to illustrate their republications of Ethan Frome, The Scarlet Letter, and The Call of the Wild.

Poor's first work in true fresco was shown in a 1932 mural exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. Between 1935 and 1949 he was commissioned to produce several murals in fresco for Section of Fine Arts projects at the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior, The Land Grant Frescoes at Pennsylvania State College, and a mural for the Louisville Courier-Journal. Ceramic tile mural commissions included: the Klingenstein Pavilion, Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York City; Travelers Insurance Co., Boston; the Fresno Post Office, California; and Hillson Memorial Gallery, Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, Mass.

As a member of the War Artists' Unit, Poor was a "war correspondent" with the rank of major in World War II, and for several months in 1943 was stationed in Alaska. An Artist Sees Alaska, drawing on Poor's observations and experiences, was published in 1945. A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality, his second book, was published in 1958. It remains a standard text on the subject. While on the faculty of Columbia University in the 1950s, Poor and other artists opposed to the growing influence of Abstract Expressionism formed the Reality Group with Poor the head of its editorial committee. Their magazine, Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions, first appeared in 1953 featuring "Painting is Being Talked to Death" by Poor as its lead article. Two more issues were published in 1954 and 1955.

Along with Willard Cummings, Sidney Simon, and Charles Cuttler, in 1946 Henry Varnum Poor helped to establish the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine. He served as its first president. Poor and his daughter, Anne, were active members of the Board of Trustees and were instructors for many years. The summer of 1961 was Henry Varnum Poor's last as a full-time teacher, though he continued to spend summers at Skowhegan.

Henry Varnum Poor exhibited widely and received many awards, among them prizes at the Carnegie Institute, Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Architectural League of New York. Poor was appointed to the United States Commission of Fine Arts by President Roosevelt in 1941 and served a five year term. He was elected a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1943. The National Academy of Design named him an Associate Artist in 1954 and an Academician in 1963. He became a trustee of the American Craftsman's Council in 1956. The work of Henry Vernum Poor is represented in the permanent collections of many American museums including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Addison Gallery of American Art, and Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts.

Henry Varnum Poor died at home in New City, New York, December 8, 1970.
Related Material:
An oral history interview with Henry Varnum Poor was conducted by Harlan Phillips for the Archives of American Art in 1964.
Provenance:
Gift of Henry Varnum Poor's son, Peter V. Poor, in 2007. A smaller portion was loaned to the Archives in 1973 by Anne Poor for microfilming and returned to the lender; this material was included in the 2007 gift.
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 audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Henry Varnum Poor 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.
Occupation:
War artists  Search this
Topic:
Architects -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
War posters  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Pottery -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Designers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Ceramicists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketches
Motion pictures (visual works)
Diaries
Prints
Photographs
Illustrations
Drawings
Watercolors
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Henry Varnum Poor papers, 1873-2001, bulk 1904-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.poorhenr
See more items in:
Henry Varnum Poor papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-poorhenr
Online Media:

Louis and Annette Kaufman papers

Creator:
Kaufman, Louis, 1905-1994  Search this
Kaufman, Annette  Search this
Names:
Avery, Milton, 1885-1965  Search this
Avery, Sally  Search this
Burliuk, David, 1882-1967  Search this
Kokoschka, Oskar, 1886-  Search this
Lebduska, Lawrence, 1894-1966  Search this
Levine, Jack, 1915-2010  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Pach, Walter, 1883-1958  Search this
Rosenberg, Paul, 1881-1959  Search this
Walkowitz, Abraham, 1880-1965  Search this
Extent:
282 Items ((on 2 microfilm reels))
0.4 Linear feet (Addition)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1931-2000
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence, financial papers, and printed materials.
REEL 1119: Correspondence; financial papers relating to house repairs; exhibition announcements, invitations, and other printed material relating to Fernand Leger, Walter Pach, Milton Avery, David Burliuk, and Abraham Walkowitz; and three photographs of Paul Rosenberg, Milton and Sally Avery, Louis and Annette Kaufman at the Rosenberg Gallery during a 1945 Avery exhibition.
REEL 1189: Letters to the Kaufmans from Sally, Milton, and March Avery, David Burliuk, Oskar Kokoschka, Lawrence Lebduska, Jack Levine, and Walter Pach. Also included is a clipping concerning Louis Kaufman's career as a concert violinist, 1976.
ADDITION: Research material on Milton Avery, David Burliuk, and Louis Eilshemius (photocopies of newspaper and magazine articles); Avery exhibition catalogs (1961-2000), including Milton Avery Revisited: Works from the Louis and Annette Kaufman Collection, Syracuse University Art Collection (1999-2000); two magazines, Art Bulletin (1932) and Color and Rhyme (1940); and book, Milton Avery: Prints and Drawings, 1930-1964, Brooklyn Museum of Art, 1966.
Biographical / Historical:
Collectors; Los Angeles, Calif. Noted American violinist, Louis Kaufman (1905-1994) , He attended Institute of Music Art (Julliard), New York at age of 13 to study with violinist Franz Kneisel. His wife, Annette (née Leibole), a gifted pianist and fellow student at the Institute, met Kaufman in 1932. They married a year later and she went on his to be his accompanist for more than fifty years. Settling in Los Angeles, Kaufman became active as a studio performer for more fourteen years in the film industry. The Kaufmans amassed a significant collection when they were still in New York of prints and early 20th century modern art which they have given to major institutions including the National Gallery of Art, Syracuse University, and University of Wisconsin. Among their close artist friends were Milton and Sally Avery, David Burliuk, Mark Rothko, and Louis M. Eilshemius. Their correspondence was donated to the Library of Congress along with his music archives.
Provenance:
Material on reels 1119 and 1189 was lent for microfilming 1976-1977 by the Kaufmans. In 2002, an additional 0.4 ft. was donated by Annette Kaufman; the donation does not include material previously lent.
Restrictions:
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.
Addition: Unmicrofilmed; use requires an appointment and is limited to AAA's Washington, D.C. office.
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.kaufloui
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kaufloui

George Constant papers

Creator:
Constant, George  Search this
Names:
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Audubon Artists (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Brooklyn Museum  Search this
Carnegie Institute  Search this
Dayton Art Institute  Search this
Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors  Search this
Ferargil Galleries  Search this
Heckscher Museum  Search this
Lyman Allyn Art Museum  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Parrish Art Museum  Search this
Spanish Refugee Aid (Organization)  Search this
United States. Works Progress Administration  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
Avery, Milton, 1885-1965  Search this
Avery, Sally  Search this
Burliuk, David, 1882-1967  Search this
Caparn, Rhys, 1909-1997  Search this
Carnell, Julia Shaw Patterson, 1863-1944  Search this
Davidson, Morris, 1898-1979  Search this
Eaton, Charles Warren, 1857-1937  Search this
Gecan, Vilko, 1894-1973  Search this
Kanaga, Consuelo, 1894-  Search this
Landgren, Marchal E.  Search this
Neuberger, Roy R.  Search this
Pach, Walter, 1883-1958  Search this
Perret, Nell, 1916-  Search this
Preston, Georgette  Search this
Putnam, Wallace, 1899-1989  Search this
Extent:
4.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Christmas cards
Photographs
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1912-2007
bulk 1932-1978
Summary:
The papers of modernist painter and printmaker George Constant measure 4.6 linear feet and date from 1912-2007, with the bulk of the material dating from 1932-1978. They consist of biographical material, inventories of artwork, audio interviews and recorded statements on art, personal and business related correspondence, holiday cards, printed material, an exhibition related video recording, and photographs of Constant, his family and friends, and his work.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of modernist painter and printmaker George Constant measure 4.6 linear feet and date from 1912-2007, with the bulk of the material dating from 1932-1978. They consist of biographical material, inventories of artwork, audio interviews and recorded statements on art, personal and business related correspondence, holiday cards, printed material, an exhibition related video recording, and photographs of Constant, his family and friends, and his work. A small portion of the correspondence and printed materials are written in Greek.

Biographical material includes artist statements written and recorded by Constant, two audio interview recordings discussing his philosophies on art and his work, inventories of artwork, personal property deeds and legal correspondence, and other miscellaneous material.

Correspondence is predominantly in the form of business and personal letters, postcards, and holiday cards received from family and friends. These include correspondence from Constant's daughter, Georgette Preston, and extended family members. Other frequent personal correspondents include Milton and Sally Avery, Lewis Balamuth, Margaret Brunning, David Burliuk, Nathaniel Burwash, Rhys Caparn, Julia Shaw Patterson Carnell, Phillip Cavanaugh, Morris Davidson, Charles Eaton, Vilko Gecan, Marchal Landgren, Roy Neuberger, Walter Pach, Nell Perret, Constantine Pougialis, Wallace Putnam and Consuelo Kanaga, Hi Simons, and Helen Slosberg. Business related correspondents include Audubon Artists, Art Institute of Chicago, Brooklyn Museum, Carnegie Institute, Dayton Art Institute, Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors, Ferargil Galleries, Guild Hall, Heckscher Museum, Lyman Allyn Museum, Metropolitan Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Spanish Refugee Appeal, and the Whitney Museum. Other business correspondence related to Constant's work with the WPA are also included in the series.

Printed material includes books and booklets on American and Greek art, including a limited print edition of George Constant by George Constant, clippings and articles reviewing Constant's work, exhibition announcements and catalogs of Constant's shows, periodicals profiling his artwork, and dance and theater related programs that Constant consulted on.

Photographs include black and white prints of Constant and his family and friends in St. Louis, Missouri, Dayton, Ohio, and in and around his studio in Shinnecock Hills, New York. The collection also includes photo stills from his 1965 exhibition at the Parrish Art Museum and a comprehensive set of black and white prints, a handful of color prints, and several color slide sheets of Constant's artwork from the 1920s to 1978.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged into 4 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1923-2007 (Box 1; 17 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1930-1979 (Box 1-2; 1.4 linear feet)

Series 3: Printed Material, 1927-2005 (Box 2-3; 2 linear feet)

Series 4: Photographic Material, 1912-1978 (Box 4-6; 1 linear foot)
Biographical/Historical note:
Greek American George Zachary Constant (1892-1978) worked from his studios in Shinnecock Hills, and New York City, New York as a painter and printmaker. A founder and lifelong member of the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors, Constant worked for the Work Projects Administration (WPA) during the Depression and early years of World War II, and exhibited regularly at major galleries and museums from the 1920s to 1970s.

Born in Arahova, Greece, Constant was raised by his two uncles after the death of his parents in 1896. In school and at the monestary one of his uncles led, Constant showed an early interest in classical Greek aesthetics. At the age of eighteen, he immigrated to the United States and continued his art studies at Washington University before transferring to the Art Institute of Chicago. From 1918 to 1922, Constant taught at the Dayton Art Institute and continued to produce and exhibit his work locally. In 1922, he moved to New York, joined the Society of Independent Painters, and became close friends with Society founder and art critic Walter Pach. During the 1920s, his etchings were shown at the Valentine and Downtown Galleries, and at the New Art Circle of J.B. Neumann, where he presented his first one man gallery show in 1929.

From the 1930s to 1940s, Constant produced prints, watercolors, and oil paintings for the WPA, many of which were purchased by museums and public institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Museum. During this same period, Constant exhibited his work at the Boyer Gallery in the late 1930s, and at the Ferargil Gallery from the 1940s to early 1950s. In the decade between 1955 and 1965, Constant also worked on color and set design for seventeen dance productions created by the choreographer Alwin Nikolais. In the last two decades of his career, Constant produced works from his studio in Shinnecock Hills, New York and continued to exhibit at numerous galleries, including Grace Borgenicht Gallery, Guild Hall, Mari Galleries, Tirca Karlis Gallery, and Artium Gallery.
Provenance:
The papers of George Constant were donated by the artist in 1969 and 1978. Additional materials were donated in 2001 and 2007 by his daughter Georgette Preston.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The George Constant 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:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Christmas cards
Photographs
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
George Constant papers, 1912-2007, bulk 1932-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.consgeor
See more items in:
George Constant papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-consgeor

Bessie Potter Vonnoh papers

Creator:
Vonnoh, Bessie Potter, 1872-1955  Search this
Names:
Vonnoh, Robert William, 1858-1933  Search this
Carter, Charles M., 1853-1929  Search this
French, Daniel Chester, 1850-1931  Search this
French, William M. R. (William Merchant Richardson), 1843-1914  Search this
Garland, Hamlin, 1860-1940  Search this
Hughes, Rupert, 1872-1956  Search this
Huntington, Archer M., 1870-1955  Search this
Mead, Larkin G. (Larkin Goldsmith), 1835-1910  Search this
Raffaëlli, Jean François, 1850-1924  Search this
Skinner, Cornelia Otis, 1901-  Search this
Vezin, Charles, 1858-1942  Search this
Extent:
0.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
circa 1860-1991
bulk 1890-1955
Summary:
The papers of sculptor Bessie Potter Vonnoh measure 0.8 linear feet and date from circa 1860 to 1991, with the bulk of material dating from 1890 to 1955. The scattered papers document the personal life and career of Bessie Potter Vonnoh, and, to a lesser degree, her husband, painter Robert William Vonnoh. Found within the papers are Vonnoh family correspondence, including letters between Bessie and Robert, and professional and personal correspondence, primarily Bessie's. The collection also contains scattered biographical materials, photographs of the Vonnohs, a photograph album, photographs of artwork, clippings, exhibition catalogs, and other printed material.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of sculptor Bessie Potter Vonnoh measure 0.8 linear feet and date from circa 1860 to 1991, with the bulk of material dating from 1890 to 1955. The scattered papers document the personal life and career of Bessie Potter Vonnoh, and, to a lesser degree, her husband, painter Robert William Vonnoh. Found within the papers are Vonnoh family correspondence, including letters between Bessie and Robert, and primarily Bessie's professional and personal correspondence. There is one folder of correspondence of Robert William Vonnoh. Bessie's correspondents include Daniel Chester French, Hamlin Garland, Rupert Hughes, Archer Huntington, Larkin G. Mead, Jean Francois Raffaelli, Cornelia Otis Skinner, and others. Robert's correspondents include Charles M. Carter, Daniel Chester French, William M. R. French, and Charles Vezin. The collection also contains scattered biographical materials, photographs of Bessie Potter Vonnoh and Robert William Vonnoh, a photograph album, photographs of artwork, clippings, exhibition catalogs, and other printed material.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 4 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1922-1955 (Box 1; 5 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1863-1985 (Box 1; 11 folders)

Series 3: Photographs, circa 1860-1950 (Box 1-2; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1901-1991 (Box 2; 9 folders)
Biographical Note:
Bessie Potter Vonnoh (1872-1955) was born in St. Louis, Missouri to Alexander and Mary McKenney Potter. In 1874, after the death of her father, her family moved to Chicago. Also at this time, she suffered from a series of illnesses that she did not recover from until she was ten. In school she enjoyed clay-modeling class and decided at an early age that she wanted to be a sculptor. Beginning in 1890 she studied with Lorado Taft at the Art Institute of Chicago and later became one of his assistants (known as the "White Rabbits") for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. She was also given her own commission for the Illinois building at the fair. After this success, Vonnoh opened her own studio in Chicago and made plaster figurines of society women, friends, and their children. She visited New York and took her first trip to Paris in 1895, visiting the studios of many eminent sculptors such as Auguste Rodin. Her work was influenced by the American Impressionist movement, depicted in one of her most famous works, Young Mother. This piece was exhibited in the National Sculpture Society exhibition of 1898 and led to several public sculpture commissions.

In 1899 Bessie Potter Vonnoh moved to New York City and married Impressionist painter, Robert William Vonnoh (1858-1933). They lived in New York and maintained a summer home in Lyme, Connecticut. During her career she received many awards for her works at international exhibitions, including two bronze medals at the Paris Exposition in 1900. Other landmark events included a solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in 1913 and membership into the National Academy of Design in 1921 - the first female sculptor accepted as a permanent member. Vonnoh's work was very well received by the public, and in the 1920s she began working on a larger scale, creating large fountains, such as the Frances Hodgson Burnett Memorial Fountain in Central Park, New York, and other decorative garden figures. Robert Vonnoh died in 1933 and, in 1948, she married Dr. Edward Keyes. Bessie Potter Vonnoh died in New York City in 1955 at the age of 82.
Provenance:
The collection was donated in 1995 by Lulette Jenness Thompson, a cousin of Bessie Potter Vonnoh.
Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
Rights:
The Bessie Potter Vonnoh 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:
Artist couples  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Landscape painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Portrait painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Bessie Potter Vonnoh papers, circa 1860-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.vonnbess
See more items in:
Bessie Potter Vonnoh papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-vonnbess
Online Media:

Robert W. White papers

Creator:
White, Robert, 1921-2002  Search this
Names:
American Academy in Rome  Search this
American Battle Monuments Commission  Search this
Century Association (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Davis Galleries  Search this
Graham Gallery  Search this
Graham Modern (Gallery)  Search this
Heckscher Museum  Search this
National Academy of Design (U.S.)  Search this
Parsons School of Design  Search this
Parsons School of Design -- Faculty  Search this
Peabody Museum  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture -- Faculty  Search this
State University of New York at Stony Brook  Search this
Steuben Glass (Firm)  Search this
Suffolk Museum  Search this
United States. Coast Guard  Search this
Ames, Amyas  Search this
Cremer, Theodore  Search this
Fleischmann, Patricia  Search this
Fosburgh, Hugh, 1916-  Search this
Franklin, Gilbert, 1919-2004  Search this
Hancock, Walker Kirtland, 1901-1998  Search this
Harrison, Jim  Search this
Hobbs, Susan, 1945-  Search this
Huntington, Willard R.  Search this
Kean, Rebekah Harkness  Search this
La Farge, Bancel, 1865-1938  Search this
Lamb, Ward  Search this
Lessard, Suzannah  Search this
Lowe, David, 1933-  Search this
Matthiessen, Peter  Search this
O'Cain, Walker  Search this
Oxman, Katja  Search this
Oxman, Mark  Search this
Platt, Frank C. (Frank Cheney), 1932-  Search this
Pope, Laura Spencer  Search this
Resika, Ellen  Search this
Resika, Paul  Search this
Ripley, Sidney Dillon, 1913-2001  Search this
Russotto, Paul  Search this
Simon, Sidney, 1917-1997  Search this
Styron, William, 1925-  Search this
White, Bessie Chanler  Search this
White, Claire Nicolas, 1925-  Search this
White, Lawrence Grant  Search this
Extent:
8.4 Linear feet
0.846 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Photographs
Diaries
Drawings
Essays
Sound recordings
Sketchbooks
Lectures
Notebooks
Sketches
Date:
1889-2003
bulk 1915-2003
Summary:
The papers of New York sculptor Robert White measure 8.4 linear feet and 0.846 GB and date from 1889-2003, with the bulk of the material from 1915-2003. The collection documents White's varied career as a sculptor, educator, painter, and illustrator through biographical material; extensive correspondence; project files; personal business records; notes and writings; sketchbooks and sketches by Robert White and others; printed and digital material; audiovisual material; artifacts; and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of New York sculptor Robert White measure 8.4 linear feet and 0.846 GB and date from 1889-2003, with the bulk of the material from 1915-2003. The collection documents White's varied career as a sculptor, educator, painter, and illustrator through biographical material; extensive correspondence; project files; personal business records; notes and writings; sketchbooks and sketches by Robert White and others; printed and digital material; audiovisual material; artifacts; and photographs.

Scattered biographical materials include a curriculum vitae, documentation relating to White's service in the U.S. Coast Guard, a certificate of appreciation, and a memorial card for White's daughter, Natalie Laura White.

Correspondence contains primarily incoming letters from family and friends, and from clients, galleries, museums, arts organizations, students, and university administrators. Spanning over a seventy year period, family and friends correspondence centers on daily activities, events, and work. There is extensive correspondence from Robert White's parents, Lawrence Grant White and Bessie Chanler White and from Claire Nicolas White and her family. Other correspondents include Gil Franklin, Walker Hancock, Jim Harrison, Susan Hobbes, Willard R. Huntington, Ben LaFarge, Ward Lamb, Suzannah Lessard, Peter Matthiessen, Walker O'Cain, Mark and Katja Oxman, Frank C. Platt, Laura Spencer Pope, Paul and Ellen Resika, Paul Russotto, Sidney Simon, and William Styron, among others.

General correspondence mostly concerns White's commissions, teaching appointments, and his activities in professional organizations. Also included are letters from family members, friends, and colleagues. Frequent correspondents include: the American Academy in Rome, Amyas Ames, the Augustus Saint Gaudens Memorial, Century Association, Theodore Cremer, Davis Galleries, Patricia Fleischmann, Hugh Fosburgh, Rebekah Harkness Kean, David Garrard Lowe, National Academy of Design, Parsons School of Design, S. Dillon Ripley, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Steuben Glass, and the Suffolk Museum and Carriage House.

Project files contain materials on Robert White's exhibitions and his commissioned projects. Materials include letters, lists of artwork, notes, price lists, receipts, exhibition schedules, contracts, and loan agreements. Files document White's exhibits at the Davis Galleries, Elaine Benson Gallery, Graham Gallery, Graham Modern, Heckscher Museum, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Included are extensive files on White's commissions for the American Battle Monuments Commission, Peabody Museum, and Steuben Glass.

Personal business records include files on Robert White's association with the Augustus Saint Gaudens Memorial and the National Academy of Design; his teaching appointments at the Parsons School of Design, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; and his dealings with foundries. There are scattered files on the Whites' St. James, New York property and residence.

Notes and writings contain Robert White's diaries, artist's statements, notebooks, essays on art, lectures, and scattered notes. Also found are writings by Clare White and others.

Sketchbooks and loose sketches contain preliminary studies by Robert White and scattered sketches by others. Printed material houses newspaper clippings and periodicals; exhibition announcements, catalogs, brochures, and posters; press releases and newsletters; and miscellaneous printed material.

Artifacts include two printing blocks: a portrait sculpture of Stephanie White and a landscape image. Audiovisual material consists of a digital audio recording of a classroom lecture by Robert White at an unidentified venue.

Photographs house images of Robert White; his studio; and snapshots of family and friends, many unidentified. Also included are photographs and slides of artwork.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into ten series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1939-2002 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1923-2002 (Boxes 1-4; 3.8 linear feet)

Series 3: Project Files, 1952-2003 (Boxes 4-5, OV 10; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 4: Personal Business Records, 1889, 1946-2003 (Boxes 5-6, OV 10; 1.3 linear feet)

Series 5: Notes and Writings, 1915, circa 1946-2002 (Boxes 6-7; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 6: Sketchbooks and Sketches, circa 1965-1972 (Boxes 7, 9; 0.3 linear feet

Series 7: Printed Material, 1937-2003 (Boxes 7, 9; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 8: Audiovisual Material, 1973 (ER01; 0.846 GB)

Series 9: Artifacts, circa 1965 (Box 7; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographs, circa 1940s-2001 (Box 8; 0.5 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Robert Winthrop White (1921-2002) lived and worked in St. James, New York and was primarily known as a sculptor and educator.

He was the son of the architect, Lawrence Grant White (1887-1956) and Bessie Chanler White. Stanford White (1853-1906), Robert's grandfather, was one of the founding partners in the prominent New York City architectural firm, McKim, White, and Mead.

As a youth, Robert White traveled to Munich, Germany to study woodcarving, sculpture, and painting. In 1935, he entered Portsmouth Priory School in Rhode Island. From 1938-1942, he was enrolled in the Rhode Island School of Design, where his mentors were Walter Raemisch in sculpture and John Howard Benson in calligraphy. In World War II, White served as chief boatswain's mate in the United States Coast Guard and later worked in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). At the end of the war, White continued his training in sculpture and painting. In 1947, Robert White married Clare Nicolas, daughter of the painter and stained glass master, Joep Nicolas and the sculptor, Suzanne Nicolas.

Robert White, influenced by the classical techniques of the Renaissance artists, worked in various media, such as bronze, stone, plaster, terra-cotta, and wood. His subjects included portrait, figure, and life studies; animals; and dancers. Robert White also was an illustrator. He illustrated works by Laura Spencer Pope, William Styron, and others. White also illustrated two collections of his own poems, Casques and Dust and Palace: The Story of A Friendship that were privately published before his death in 2002.

Robert White held teaching positions at several universities and schools, including the Suffolk Museum of Art, the Parsons School of Design, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. From 1967-1987, White was an associate professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

White exhibited his work in museums and galleries in the United States and abroad, including Artists Choice Museum, Artist's Gallery, Benson Gallery, Boston Athenaeum, Gallery North, Hartwick College Museum, Nassau County Museum of Fine Art, Patricia Fleischmann Gallery, Rijksakademie Van Beeldende, State University of New York at Stony Brook, and the Suffolk Museum and Carriage House, among others. Robert White was represented by the Davis Gallery, Graham Gallery, and Graham Modern in New York City.

Robert White's private and public commissions included works for the American Battle Monuments Commission, Amyas Ames, Theodore Cremer, John Marquand, Peabody Museum, State University of New York, William Styron, and Xerox Corporation. His work can be viewed in the collections of the Boston Athenaeum, Brooklyn Museum, Civici Musei 3 Gallerie di Storia e Arte, Heckscher Museum, and the Rhode Island School of Design. Robert White was the recipient of the Laurel Gallery's "New Talent" exhibition prize, 1948; American Academy's Rome Prize, 1952-1954; and the Proctor Memorial Prize at the National Academy of Design, 1962, 1982. He was also awarded grants from the Tiffany Foundation, 1950 and the Fairfield Foundation, 1968. From 1952-1955, White was a fellow of the American Academy in Rome, where he also served as an artist-in-residence from 1969-1970. Robert White was a member of the American Academy in Rome, the Augustus Saint Gaudens Memorial, Century Association, and the National Academy of Design.

Robert White continued to work on the family estate in St. James, New York until his death in 2002.
Provenance:
The Robert W. White Papers were donated in 2003 by Claire Nicolas White, widow of Robert White.
Restrictions:
Use of the original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
Authorization to quote, publish or reproduce requires written permission from: Claire Nicolas White, 574 Moriches Road, St. James, New York 11780.
Topic:
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State)  Search this
Sculpture -- Study and teaching  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Diaries
Drawings
Essays
Sound recordings
Sketchbooks
Lectures
Notebooks
Sketches
Citation:
Robert W. White papers, 1889-2003 (bulk 1915-2003). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.whiterobe
See more items in:
Robert W. White papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-whiterobe

The Zorach Family papers

Creator:
Zorach Family  Search this
Names:
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Brooklyn Museum  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Ipcar, Dahlov Zorach, 1917-  Search this
Newman, Arnold, 1918-2006  Search this
Partridge, Roi, 1888-1984  Search this
Zorach, Marguerite, 1887-1968  Search this
Zorach, Tessim  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
4.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Prints
Articles
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Notes
Writings
Date:
1900-1987
Summary:
The Zorach Family papers measure 4.4 linear feet and consist of materials relating to the lives and careers of sculptor and painter William Zorach, his wife painter and weaver Marguerite, and their children, painter and multi-media artist Dahlov Ipcar and collector and art dealer Tessim Zorach. The bulk of the papers consists of letters to Tessim regarding his parent's artwork. Additional materials include scattered letters to William Zorach; writings and notes by William, Marguerite, and Tessim; a sketchbook and drawings by William; prints by Marguerite; Marguerite's scrapbook; printed materials; and photographs of the Zorach family and of William Zorach in his studio and at work.
Scope and Content Note:
The Zorach Family papers measure 4.4 linear feet and consist of materials relating to the lives and careers of sculptor and painter William Zorach, his wife painter and weaver Marguerite, and their children, painter and multi-media artist Dahlov Ipcar and collector and art dealer Tessim Zorach. The bulk of the papers consists of letters to Tessim regarding his parent's artwork. Additional materials include scattered letters to William Zorach; writings and notes by William, Marguerite, and Tessim; a sketchbook and drawings by William; prints by Marguerite; Marguerite's scrapbook; printed materials; and photographs of the Zorach family and of William Zorach in his studio and at work.

The majority of correspondence is between Tessim Zorach and various museums and galleries concerning exhibitions and donations of his parents' works of art. There are scattered letters to William Zorach among the correspondence. Business records consist of materials relating to the Collection of the Zorach Children, including lists of works of art by the Zorach's, a file relating to an exhibition of Zorach artwork at the Brooklyn Museum, and photographs of works of art considered for donation.

Writings and Notes include a typescript of an article written by Marguerite Zorach, writings by William Zorach, a typescript of Young Poems by William and Marguerite, as well as articles written by others about the Zorachs. Artwork by Marguerite Zorach includes two prints and a tracing. Also found is one sketchbook, and additional drawings by William Zorach. There is one unsigned lithograph.

The majority of exhibition announcements, catalogs, and clippings concern William and Marguerite Zorach although there are two announcements for Dahlov Ipcar. There is one scrapbook of clippings about Marguerite.

The papers include photographs of Marguerite and William Zorach, their parents, baby photos of Tessim and Dahlov, family pictures of the Zorachs, and of Marguerite and William in their studios. There are several folders of William Zorach working in his studios and additional photos of him carving a relief sculpture and a sculpture for the Southwest Bank. Most of these photographs contain detailed annotations written by William Zorach about the work. There is one folder of photographs of William in France in 1910-1911, including one of Zorach in Roi Partridge's studio. There is one photograph of Zorach taken by Ansel Adams in Yosemite, a photo of Zorach working by Arnold Newman, and several taken by Imogen Cunnigham.

Other photographs are of works of art, most of which depict William's works.

Artifacts include Marguerite's batik tools and approximately fifty commercially made printing blocks.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Information, circa 1907-1969 (Box 1, 6; 3 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1922-1982 (Box 1-2; 1.75 linear feet)

Series 3: Business Records, 1967-1971, circa 1960s-1970s (Box 2-3; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings and Notes, circa 1930s-1973, 1987 (Box 3; 8 folders)

Series 5: Artworks, 1900-circa 1920s (Box 3, 6; 12 folders)

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1922-1953 (Box 3; 1 folder)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1912-1982 (Box 3; 0.25 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, 1908-1966 (Box 3-5; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 9: Artifacts, circa 1910s, circa 1950s (Box 4; 0.5 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
William Zorach (1887-1966) was a modernist painter and sculptor working primarily in New York city, along with his wife Marguerite (1887-1968) who worked as a fauvist painter, printmaker, and textile artist. Their children were painter Dahlov Ipcar (1917-) and art collector Tessim Zorach (1915-1995.)

Born in Lithuania, William Zorach immigrated to the United States where his family settled in Cleveland, Ohio. An early interest in art led to a printmaking apprenticeship. He then moved to New York City and enrolled in the National Academy of Design where he studied painting and drawing. In 1910, Zorach traveled to Paris to study and where he met his wife Marguerite Thompson at the La Palette art school. Marguerite grew up in Fresno, California and studied art at Stanford University. Both artists were heavily influenced by the fauvist and cubist art movements.

Returning to America, Marguerite and William married and both continued to create and experiment with varied media. Their paintings were featured in the 1913 New York City Armory Show and they are credited with being among the first artists to introduce European modernist styles to American modernism. The Zorachs were very close both as a couple and as working active artists.

In the 1920s, Marguerite began to experiment with textiles and created large, fine art tapestries and hooked rugs. Also, she used batik dying techniques on fabrics. William also expanded his genre by creating direct sculpture in 1918, which would become his primary medium.

In 1915, William and Marguerite started a family with their son, Tessim. Two years later, their daughter Dahlov was born. The Zorachs divided the year and lived in New York City, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. In 1923, the family bought a farm on Georgetown Island, Maine where they lived, worked, and entertained friends.

Dahlov and Tessim were exposed to art from an early age. Dahlov showed artistic promise as a child and her parents supported her creativity by allowing her to express herself without formal training. Dahlov pursued painting and later became an illustrator for children's books. Additionally, she wrote fantasy novels and short stories. Dahlov married Adolf Ipcar in 1936. Like the rest of his family, Tessim Zorach developed an interest of art and along with his wife Peggy, he amassed a large private collection of ancient to modern art.

William and Marguerite continued to sculpt and paint until their deaths in 1966 and 1968, respectively.

Together, Dahlov and Tessim established the Collection of the Zorach Children which coordinated donations of their parents' art to many museums throughout the United States and the world. The artwork of both artists is found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Delaware Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Farnsworth Art Museum, Portland Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Philips Collection, and educational institutions such as Colby College, University of Vermont, Williams College, Bowdoin College, and the University of Virginia. In addition William has works associated with many public buildings, among them: Radio City Music Hall, New York City Municipal Court, the U.S. Post Office in Washington D.C. as well as Farleigh Dickinson University.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art holds the Dahlov Ipcar papers, 1906-1997. Also found is one oral history interview with William Zorach conducted by by John D. Morse on April 2, 1959 and an oral history interview with Dahlov Ipcar conducted by Robert F. Brown on November 13, 1979.

The bulk of William Zorach's papers are held by the Library of Congress.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming on reels NY59-1-NY59-4 and NY59-19. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and are now held by the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division. This material is not described in the collection container inventory or finding aid.
Provenance:
William Zorach lent papers for microfilming to the Archives of American Art in 1959. Tessim Zorach donated materials between 1976-1987.
Restrictions:
Use of originals requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Zorach Family 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.
Occupation:
Weavers  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artist couples  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Prints
Articles
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Notes
Writings
Citation:
The Zorach Family papers, 1900-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.zorazora
See more items in:
The Zorach Family papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-zorazora

The #ObamaPortraitsTour is coming 2021!

Creator:
National Portrait Gallery  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2020-01-23T14:00:09.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Portraits  Search this
See more by:
NatlPortraitGallery
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
YouTube Channel:
NatlPortraitGallery
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_xlmkSiUDooA

Oral history interview with Lowery Stokes Sims, 2010 July 15-22

Interviewee:
Sims, Lowery Stokes, 1949-  Search this
Interviewer:
Richards, Judith Olch, 1947-  Search this
Subject:
Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
African American art museum curators  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)15846
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)292616
AAA_collcode_sims10
Theme:
African American
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_292616
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Arnold Lehman, 2015 March 30-April 20

Interviewee:
Lehman, Arnold L., 1944-  Search this
Interviewer:
McElhinney, James, 1952-  Search this
Subject:
Brooklyn Museum  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Arts administrators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)16240
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)370421
AAA_collcode_lehman15
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_370421

Harry Sternberg papers

Creator:
Sternberg, Harry, 1904-2001  Search this
Names:
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) -- Faculty  Search this
Idyllwild School and Museum for the Arts -- Faculty  Search this
Blume, Peter, 1906-1992  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971  Search this
Secunda, Arthur  Search this
Siqueiros, David Alfaro  Search this
Walker, Hudson D. (Hudson Dean), 1907-1976  Search this
Warner, Malcolm, 1953-  Search this
Wickey, Harry  Search this
Zigrosser, Carl, 1891-  Search this
Extent:
3.4 Linear feet
0.553 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Video recordings
Notes
Manuscripts
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Drafts (documents)
Sound recordings
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Drawings
Date:
1927-2000
Summary:
The papers of New York City and California painter, printmaker, and teacher Harry Sternberg date from 1927 to 2000 and measure 3.4 linear feet and 0.553 GB. The collection documents Sternberg's career as an artist and art instructor through scattered biographical material, correspondence with friends, artists, collectors, curators, art organizations, universities, and galleries, writings by Sternberg and others, exhibition catalogs and announcements, news clippings, and other printed and digital material. Also found are photographs of Sternberg and his artwork, two sketchbooks and three loose drawings by Sternberg, audio visual recordings, and one scrapbook.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of New York City and California painter, printmaker, and teacher Harry Sternberg date from 1927 to 2000 and measure 3.4 linear feet and 0.553 GB. The collection documents Sternberg's career as an artist and art instructor through scattered biographical material, correspondence with friends, artists, collectors, curators, art organizations, universities, and galleries, writings by Sternberg and others, exhibition catalogs and announcements, news clippings, and other printed and digital material. Also found are photographs of Sternberg and his artwork, two sketchbooks and three loose drawings by Sternberg, audio visual recordings, and one scrapbook.

Biographical material includes an interview of Sternberg conducted by art curator Malcolm Warner, two ledgers documenting business activities, scattered financial and legal documents, and files regarding a few of his projects, including the film "Many Worlds of Art". Sternberg's personal and professional correspondence is with friends, artists, including Harry Wickey, Rockwell Kent, Philip Evergood, and Peter Blume, collectors and curators such as Hudson Walker and Carl Zigrosser, and art organizations, universities, and galleries.

The small number of writings by Sternberg in this collection includes drafts of articles and lectures, a manuscript for a book on etching, and notes. Writings by others consists of draft writings about Sternberg, draft exhibition catalogs, and writings by the artists Arthur Secunda and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Over one-third of this collection is printed material, including exhibition catalogs and announcements, news clippings, books written by Sternberg, school publications, and material regarding art events.

Also found are photographs of Sternberg in his studio, with students, with his wife Mary, and at the Idyllwild School. Other photographs include group photographs of Art Students League faculty as well as photographs of exhibitions, murals, and artwork. The collection also contains original artwork including two sketchbooks and three loose drawings by Sternberg and one scrapbook of news clippings and exhibition materials. Audio and video materials include several interviews of Sternberg and a video copy of his film "Many Worlds of Art".
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 8 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1927-2000 (Box 1, OV 5; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1928-2000 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1940s-2000 (Box 1, 4; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1933-2000 (Box 1-3; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 5: Photographs, circa 1930s-1998 (Box 3, 4; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Artwork, circa 1928-1980s (Box 3, OV 5; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 7: Audio Visual Material, circa 1980s-2000 (Box 3; 0.5 linear feet, ER01; 0.553 GB)

Series 8: Scrapbook, 1929-1958 (Box 4; 0.2 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Harry Sternberg (1904-2001) was a New York painter, muralist, printmaker, etcher, teacher, and political activist who relocated to California in 1957.

Harry Sternberg was born in 1904 in the Lower East Side of New York City and grew up in Brooklyn. As a child he attended his school art club where he met and became lifelong friends with artists Peter Blume and Philip Reisman. He took free Saturday art classes at the Brooklyn Museum of Art for two years and attended the Art Students League part time from 1922 to 1927 where he studied with George Bridgman. In 1926 he shared a studio with Philip Reisman where they received private instruction in etching from Harry Wickey. Sternberg began exhibiting his etchings and intermittently had drawings published in New Masses, a prominent American Marxist publication. In the late 1920s he became friends with Hudson Walker who also became a major collector of his work. In 1933 Sternberg was hired as instructor of etching, lithography, and composition at the Art Students League and continued teaching there for the next 33 years. Also around this time he became politically active in artist rights organizations, serving on the planning committee to create the American Artists' Congress and later serving as an active member of the Artists Equity Association. In 1935 he became the technical advisor of the Graphic Art Division of the Federal Art Project. From 1937 to 1939 he completed three federal mural commissions. His first mural Carrying the Mail was created for the Sellersville, Pennsylvania post office in 1937. His most famous mural Chicago: Epoch of a Great City was painted for the Lakeview post office in Chicago. It depicts the history of the city and its workers, particularly life for the workers in Chicago's stockyards and steel mills.

During the 1940s Sternberg remained very active in arts organizations, as one of the founders of the National Serigraph Society and a member of the Committee on Art and Education in Society. In 1942 he published the first of five books on printing. Sternberg had his first retrospective in 1953 at ACA Galleries, and in 1957 he taught summer painting courses at the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts in California. He continued teaching in the summers there from 1960 to 1967 and 1981 to 1989. Suffering from lung disease, Sternberg moved with his wife, Mary, to Escondido, California in 1966 in hopes that the climate would improve his health. In 1972 he was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. During the 1970s and 1980s Sternberg traveled extensively throughout the US and Mexico where he found new inspiration for his artwork. He continued teaching, exhibiting, and creating new work until his death in 2001.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are the May Konheim papers concerning Harry Sternberg, 1934-1981, and an oral history interview of Harry Sternberg, conducted March 19, 1999, October 8, 1999, and January 7, 2000, by Sally Yard for the Archives of American Art
Provenance:
The Harry Sternberg papers were donated by Sternberg in several installments from 1967 to 2001.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Harry Sternberg 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.
Occupation:
Painters -- California  Search this
Topic:
Printmakers -- California  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Educators -- California  Search this
Painting, American  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Video recordings
Notes
Manuscripts
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Drafts (documents)
Sound recordings
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Drawings
Citation:
Harry Sternberg papers, 1927-2008. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.sterharr
See more items in:
Harry Sternberg papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-sterharr

Everett Shinn collection

Creator:
Shinn, Everett, 1876-1953  Search this
Names:
Washington Park Studio  Search this
Bigelow, Poultney, b. 1855  Search this
Calder, Alexander Stirling, 1870-1945  Search this
De Wolfe, Elsie, 1865-1950  Search this
Dreiser, Theodore, 1871-1945  Search this
Eddy, H. B.  Search this
Fitch, Clyde, 1865-1909  Search this
Gibson, Charles Dana, 1867-1944  Search this
Glackens, William J., 1870-1938  Search this
Haggin, Ben Ali, 1882-1951  Search this
Hegan, Colonel  Search this
Henfold, Oliver  Search this
Henri, Robert, 1865-1929  Search this
Lawson, Ernest, 1873-1939  Search this
Luks, George Benjamin, 1867-1933  Search this
Marlowe, Julia, 1865-1950  Search this
Nolan, Philip  Search this
Rains, Claude, 1889-1967  Search this
Sale, Chic  Search this
Scovel, Florence  Search this
Sloan, John, 1871-1951  Search this
Warrick, Ruth  Search this
Wollcott, Alexander  Search this
Young, Mahonri Mackintosh, 1877-1957  Search this
Photographer:
Grove, William  Search this
Extent:
3.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Scrapbooks
Notes
Illustrated letters
Poems
Date:
1877-1958
Summary:
The collected papers of Everett Shinn measure 3.1 linear feet and date from 1877 to 1958. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with friends and colleagues; personal business records; art work, including two sketchbooks of designs for Belasco's Stuyvesant Theatre; notes and writings; eight scrapbooks; printed material; and numerous photographs of Shinn, his colleagues, and his work.
Scope and Contents note:
The collected papers of Everett Shinn measure 3.1 linear feet and date from 1877 to 1958. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with friends and colleagues; personal business records; art work, including two sketchbooks of designs for Belasco's Stuyvesant Theatre; notes and writings; eight scrapbooks; printed material; and numerous photographs of Shinn, his colleagues, and his work.

Biographical material includes miscellaneous biographical accounts and a membership certificate from the American Watercolor Society.

Correspondence consists of letters from Shinn's friends and colleagues, primarily from author Poultney Bigelow. There are also letters from decorator Elsie De Wolfe, dramatist Clyde Fitch, and artists Charles Dana Gibson, William Glackens, and George Luks, whose letters are illustrated. There are scattered letters from A. Stirling Calder, Theodore Dreiser, Robert Henri, Ernest Lawson, Julia Marlowe, Claude Rains, Ruth Warrick, Alexander Woollcott, and Mahonri Young.

Personal business records consist of two account books recording art work used in publications and loaned for exhibitions, and miscellaneous invoices.

Artwork consists of two sketchbooks of designs for the Stuyvesant Theatre murals and miscellaneous drawings by Shinn. Artwork by others, including H. B. Eddy, James Ben Ali Haggin, Colonel Hegan, Oliver Henfold, George Luks, and Philip Nolan, consist primarily of caricatures.

Notes and writings include a handwritten draft of Shinn's play Hazel Weston or More Sinned Against Than Usual, notes for a book on art, poems, and typescripts by Shinn including "Plush and Cut Glass," a book about George Luks.

Eight scrapbooks primarily contain clippings. Scrapbook 2 contains clippings, exhibition catalogs, a note from Stuart Benson, an illustrated postcard from Ed, and scattered photographs.

Additional printed material is primarily comprised of clippings, but there are also exhibition announcements and catalogs for Shinn, reproductions of art work, booklets, and miscellaneous printed material. Rare programs for plays written by Shinn list cast members, including Wilfred Buckland, Edith Glackens, William J. Glackens, James Ben Ali Haggin, Robert Henri, J. E. Laub, Thomas Newell Metcalf, James M. Preston, Florence Scovel Shinn, and John Sloan.

Numerous photographs are found within the collection and depict Shinn as a boy, in various Philadelphia newspaper offices, in costume for stage performances, at the easel, and with colleagues, including Robert Henri and John Sloan. Photographs of colleagues also include author Poultney Bigelow, decorator Elsie De Wolfe, portrait painter James Ben Ali Haggin, actress Julia Marlowe, and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts classmates William Glackens and Florence Scovel. There are also photographs of Shinn's residences, exhibition installations, set designs and stagings of plays, murals, and other art work.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged as 8 series:

Series 1: Biographical material, 1953 (Box 1; 2 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1899-1952 (Box 1, 4; 61 folders)

Series 3: Personal business records, 1898-1928 (Box 1; 3 folders)

Series 4: Artwork, 1893-1928 (Box 1, 4, OV 6; 10 folders)

Series 5: Notes and writings, 1922-1951 (Box 1; 9 folders)

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1898-1952 (Box 1, 2, 4, BV 5; 21 folders)

Series 7: Printed material, 1894-1958 (Box 2, 4; 21 folders)

Series 8: Photographs, 1877-1950 (Box 2-4, OV 7; 1.3 linear feet)
Biographical/Historical note:
Everett Shinn (1876-1953) was a painter, muralist, illustrator, and theatrical scene designer who worked primarily in New York City. Shinn was a member of "The Eight," a group of painters known for their realistic portrayal of American urban life.

Everett Shinn was born on November 6, 1876 in Woodstown, New Jersey, the son of Isaiah and Josephine Ransley Shinn. He attended Quaker schools until 1890 when he went to the Spring Garden Institute in Philadelphia, studying engineering and industrial design until 1893.

Shinn enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts between 1893 and 1897. During this time he was hired as an artist-reporter for the Philadelphia Press, the Inquirer, and the Ledger. He also forged his friendships with painters George Luks, John Sloan, William J. Glackens, and Robert Henri, all future members of "The Eight."

Shinn moved to New York City in 1897 and quickly found employment as an illustrator for the newspaper The World. In 1898, he married Florence Scovel, the first of his four wives. In 1900, he traveled to England and France, and was later employed by Harper's Weekly. Shinn befriended decorator Elsie De Wolf and architect Stanford White, and designed and executed murals for the homes of their clients. Shinn created eighteen mural panels for David Belasco's Stuyvesant Theatre that opened in 1907, and murals for the Council Room of the Trenton, New Jersey City Hall in 1911. His most notable murals were created for the Oak Room of New York's Plaza Hotel in the 1940s.

In 1908, Shinn participated in the seminal group exhibition of "The Eight" at Macbeth Gallery. In 1911, he was included in the Exhibition of Independent Artists, and was invited to send works to the International Exhibition of Modern Art, better known as the Armory Show, in 1913, but for an unknown reason, declined. Shinn exhibited regularly and his works are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Delaware Art Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others.

Throughout his career Shinn was fascinated by the theater and the act of performance, which he made the subject of many of his works. He also wrote, directed, and performed in his own plays. Between 1917 and 1920, Shinn worked as an art director for Sam Goldwin at Goldwyn Pictures. He also worked for Inspiration Pictures from 1920 to 1923, and for William Randolph Hearst at Cosmopolitan Pictures in 1923. He divorced Florence Scovel in 1912, and married Corinne Baldwin in 1913, with whom he had two children, Janet and Davidson. He divorced again in 1921, married Gertrude Chase in 1924, and divorced again in 1932. In 1933, Shinn married his fourth wife, Paula Downing; they divorced in 1942.

From 1935 to 1939, he covered a murder trial for the Boston Traveler, exhibited his work at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and won a prize for watercolor at an exhibition at the Chicago Art Institute. In the 1940s Shinn participated in exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and at the American-British Art Center. In 1949, Shinn was made an Academician of the National Academy of Design, and in 1951, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Everett Shinn died on May 1, 1953 in New York City.
Related Archival Materials note:
Additional Everett Shinn papers are available at the Helen Farr Sloan Library, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware.
Provenance:
The bulk of the Everett Shinn collection was acquired via purchase from art dealer Thurston Thatcher between 1958-1964. Art collector Howard Lipman donated additional material in 1962. Five negatives of Shinn's work were donated in 1969 by Dr. Milton Luria, an acquaintance of Shinn's son, Davidson. The photograph of Everett Shinn, John Sloan, and Robert Henri was donated on an unknown date by an unidentified donor. The handwritten draft of Shinn's play Hazel Weston or More Sinned Against Than Usual was acquired via auction purchase in 2011.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Everett Shinn collection is 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:
Painting, American  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Theaters -- Stage-setting and scenery  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Stage designers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Scrapbooks
Notes
Illustrated letters
Poems
Citation:
Everett Shinn collection, 1877-1958. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.shinever
See more items in:
Everett Shinn collection
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-shinever
Online Media:

Roi Partridge papers

Creator:
Partridge, Roi, 1888-1984  Search this
Names:
National Academy of Design (U.S.)  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Anderson, Sherwood, 1876-1941  Search this
Arms, John Taylor, 1887-1953  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Hunter, Dard, 1883-1966  Search this
Jacques, Bertha  Search this
Linsky, Elizabeth  Search this
Neuhaus, Eugen, 1879-1963  Search this
Partridge, Roi, 1888-1984  Search this
Extent:
1 Linear foot
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Travelogs
Scrapbooks
Christmas cards
Drafts (documents)
Photographs
Notes
Date:
1909-2003
bulk 1909-1984
Summary:
The papers of California printmaker and educator Roi Partridge measure 1.0 linear foot and date from 1909-2003, with the bulk of the material dated 1909-1984. Found here are scattered correspondence, notes and writings, a scrapbook, printed material, and photographs. Several of the documents date from the time Partridge was married to photographer Imogen Cunningham, particularly family correspondence and a travel log of family car camping trips to the west. The same travel log documents one sketching trip Partridge made with Eugen Neuhaus.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of California printmaker and educator Roi Partridge measure 1.0 linear foot and date from 1909-2003, with the bulk of the material dated 1909-1984. Found here are scattered correspondence, notes and writings, a scrapbook, printed material, and photographs. Several of the documents date from the time Partridge was married to photographer Imogen Cunningham, particularly family correspondence and a travel log of family car camping trips to the west. The same travel log documents one sketching trip Partridge made with Eugen Neuhaus.

General and family correspondence consists largely of incoming letters with some copies and drafts of outgoing letters. General correspondence is mainly professional in nature and documents exhibitions, commissions, teaching, memberships in artists' organizations, and participation in the WPA Public Works of Art Project. A small number of letters from friends concerning personal and social matters are scattered throughout. Among the correspondents are Ansel Adams, Sherwood Anderson, John Taylor Arms, Hollywood Riviera Galleries, Dard Hunter, the Estate of Bertha Jacques [Elizabeth Linsky, executor], National Academy of Design, and Print Makers Society of California. Family correspondence includes letters to Roi Partridge from family members. Letters to Gryffyd's family are from Imogen Cunningham and Roi Partridge; letters from others about family members are also included.

Among the notes and writings are a travel log that documents car camping trips through California and New Mexico taken by Roi Partridge, Imogen Cunningham, and their three sons between 1924 and 1926. The volume also includes Roi's account of a 1926 sketching trip taken with Eugen Neuhaus along the California coast.

A scrapbook contains clippings and feature articles about Roi Partridge, along with exhibition announcements and reproductions. Additional printed material is about or mentions Roi Partridge and his family, Ansel Adams, and Imogen Cunningham. There are also family Christmas cards with reproductions of etchings and drawings by Roi Partridge.

Photographs are of people and art work, including photographs of Roi and May Ellen Partridge, and Donald Bear, the first Director of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (Janet Lineberger - later Mrs. Gryffyd Partridge - served as his assistant in the early 1940s). There are numerous photographs and negatives of art work by Roi Partridge (with appraisal and catalog information), and a photograph of Peter Blos' portrait of Partridge.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 5 series:

Series 1: Correspondence, circa 1909-1993 (Box 1; 0.3 linear ft.; reel 5028)

Series 2: Notes and Writings, 1924-1964 (Box 1; 5 folders.; reel 5028)

Series 3: Scrapbook, 1922-1977 (Box 1; 0.1 linear ft.)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1913-2003 (Box 1; 0.25 linear ft.; reel 5028)

Series 5: Photographs, 1940-1987 (Box 1; 0.3 linear ft.; reel 5028)
Biographical Note:
Roy George Partridge (later known as Roi) was born in Centralia, Washington, in 1888, the son of a newspaper publisher and a pianist mother who accompanied silent films in Seattle movie houses. His mother enrolled him in a drawing and painting course at age 10. By 1907, the family had moved to Kansas where Partridge enrolled in studio courses at the newly established Fine Arts Institute of Kansas City. From there he then went to New York City to study at the school of the National Academy of Design during 1909 and 1910.

In 1910, with an art student friend from Seattle and enough cash to last a month, Partridge traveled to Europe and through a severe economy and by selling his etchings, managed to stay for four years. Between 1910 and 1914, he studied etching with Brockhoff in Munich, and rented a studio in Paris from 1911-1914. Once he had produced a sufficient number of prints, his friends John Butler and Clare Shepard arranged for an exhibition of his work in Seattle. They were assisted by Imogen Cunningham who sent her photo to Partridge and began corresponding with him.

The outbreak of World War I forced Partridge's return to Seattle where he and Imogen Cunningham finally met face to face. They were married within a matter of months. In their early years together, Roi managed to earn a living selling his prints and Imogen worked for Edward S. Curtis, whose photographs of American Indians had not yet achieved recognition. The couple soon produced three sons, Gryffyd and twins Padraic and Rondal. The family soon moved to San Francisco where Partridge worked as an artist in an advertising agency that also employed Maynard Dixon. During this time, he became friendly with the young Dorothea Lange who worked at the shop where Partridge had his film developed. After their marriage, Dixon and Lange established a close, long term friendship with the Partridge family.

In 1920, Partridge joined the faculty of Mills College as an art instructor, teaching design, painting, printmaking, lettering, and photography for 26 years. Partridge was such a popular teacher that the number of art students rose sharply and, for a time, art became the institution's most popular major. He was named chairman of the Art Department in 1923, and served as the first director of the college's art gallery from 1925 through 1935.

While teaching, Partridge remained an active artist and participated in exhibitions throughout the country at venues such as the Honolulu Art Academy, de Young Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Toronto Art Gallery, and the Museum of Modern Art. Among the prizes and medals awarded him were: Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, Seattle (1909), National Academy of Design (1910), Panama Pacific Exposition (1915), Art Institute of Chicago (191), Brooklyn Museum (1921), San Francisco Museum (1921), Los Angeles Museum of Art (1922, 1925, 1929), California Society of Print Makers (1929), and Library of Congress (1943). Partridge is represented in the permanent collections of many museums, colleges, and libraries, among them: Walker Art Gallery, Honolulu Academy of Art, San Diego Fine Arts Society, Milwaukee Art Gallery, Mills College, Scripps College, New York Public Library, and Library of Congress. Partridge also illustrated several books, and The Graphic Art of Roi Partridge: a Catalogue Raisonné by Anthony R. White was published in 1988.

Imogen Cunningham and Roi Partridge, both strong-willed and not given to compromise, divorced in 1934. They reconciled in the 1960s and remained on friendly terms until her death in 1976. Partridge's second wife, Marian Lyman, died in 1940. The following year, he married May Ellen Fisher, a teacher, who survived him.

In addition to his professional activities, Partridge pursued a wide variety of other interests. During the 1920s, he, Imogen, and their boys took numerous camping trips throughout California and New Mexico. With his third wife, May Ellen, he became an avid folk dancer and enthusiastic gardener, raised chickens and chinchillas, and kept bees. They had the opportunity to travel to Hawaii and Japan. In Japan, Partridge expanded his Japanese print collection which was eventually donated to the Mills College Art Gallery.

Roi Partridge died in Walnut Creek, California, on January 25, 1984.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art holds the papers of Imogen Cunningham, Partridge's first wife, which contain additional Partridge family correspondence and photographs. An untranscribed oral history interview of Roi Partridge conducted by Steve Steinberg in 1980 is also available.
Separated Material:
A portion of the gifts received from Gryffyd Partridge were separated and filed with the Imogen Cunningham papers, some of which had been earlier donated by Gryffyd.
Provenance:
Gryffyd Partridge donated his father's papers to the Archives of American art in 1992 and 1995. A final gift was received from Janet [Mrs. Gryffyd] Partridge in 2003.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Patrons must use microfilm copy. Use of the unmicrofilmed portion requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Roi Partridge 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:
Printmakers -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Etchers -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Genre/Form:
Travelogs
Scrapbooks
Christmas cards
Drafts (documents)
Photographs
Notes
Citation:
Roi Partridge papers, 1909-2003 (bulk 1909-1984). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.partroi
See more items in:
Roi Partridge papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-partroi

Walter Tandy Murch papers

Creator:
Murch, Walter  Search this
Names:
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Brooklyn Museum  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design  Search this
Bishop, Isabel, 1902-1988  Search this
Bocour, Leonard, 1910-1993  Search this
Bonnard, Pierre, 1867-1947  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean, 1901-  Search this
Gonzalez, Xavier, 1898-1993  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
Murch, Katherine  Search this
Murch, Walter Scott  Search this
Scott, Katharine  Search this
Extent:
8.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Diaries
Awards
Woodcuts
Resumes
Lecture notes
Drawings
Photographs
Notebooks
Sketches
Notes
Sketchbooks
Date:
1880-1970
Summary:
The papers of New York City still life painter and art instructor Walter Tandy Murch date from 1880-1970 and measure 8.2 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical materials, four diaries, correspondence with colleagues and family members, personal business records, exhibition files, notes and writings, two sketchbooks and additional art work, printed material, and photographs of Murch, family members, and art work.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of New York City still life painter and art instructor Walter Tandy Murch date from 1880-1970 and measure 8.2 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical materials, four diaries, correspondence with colleagues and family members, personal business records, exhibition files, notes and writings, two sketchbooks and additional art work, printed material, and photographs of Murch, family members, and art work.

Biographical material includes registration documents for births, marriages, and naturalization of Murch family members, biographical accounts, resumes, school and award certificates, passports, Selective Service records, and address books.

One diary by Walter Murch and three diaries by Katharine Murch contain sporadic entries briefly describing daily activities.

Correspondence primarily consists of letters exchanged between Murch, art schools and universities, arts organizations, galleries including the Betty Parsons Gallery, miscellaneous companies and publishers that commissioned commercial art work, and students. There are scattered letters from Isabel Bishop, Leonard Bocour, Xavier Gonzales, and Gyorgy Kepes. There is also correspondence with miscellaneous family members and letters to Katharine Scott.

Personal business records include organizational membership records, family legal documents, insurance records, leases, loan and consignment records, contracts and invoices for art work sold by the Betty Parsons Gallery, expense notebooks, and other routine financial documents.

Exhibition files include documentation of miscellaneous exhibitions of Murch's art work and of exhibitions juried and organized by Murch, including the Jean Dubuffet exhibition organized by Murch and retrospectives of Murch's art work at the Rhode island School of Design and at the Brooklyn Museum.

Notes and writings include the funeral register for Murch, miscellaneous address lists, travel notebooks of Murchs' 1934 trip to Mexico, miscellaneous notebooks concerning various art-related topics, classroom lectures and notes, and miscellaneous writings by others.

Art work includes two sketchbooks, drawings and sketches, woodcuts, sketches for "Novel in Woodcut," an oil portrait of a woman, a mock-up for book Notes on the Hound of Heaven, and art work by others including a sketchbook by Murch's son, Walter Scott Murch.

Printed material includes clippings, a copy of a handmade Collegiate School magazine The New Thinker, and exhibition announcements and catalogs. for Murch and others, press releases, prospectuses, reproductions of art work and book jackets designed by Murch, programs, brochures, a book about Pierre Bonnard, and miscellaneous printed material.

Photographs are of Murch, family members, travel, buildings, Murch's studio, Murch with colleagues, And art work by Murch and others. There are also photographs of various resource subjects.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1924-1968 (Box 1, 10; 24 folders)

Series 2: Diaries, 1941-1965 (Box 1; 3 folders)

Series 3: Correspondence, 1880-1969 (Box 1-3, 10; 1.8 linear feet)

Series 4: Personal Business Records, 1928-1970 (Box 3-5; 2.9 linear feet)

Series 5: Exhibition Files, 1953-1968 (Box 6; 17 folders)

Series 6: Notes and Writings, 1907-1968 (Box 6-7, 10, OV 11; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 7: Art Work, 1891-1967 (Box 7, 10, OV 11; 33 folders)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1926-1968 (Box 7-8, 10, OV 11; 50 folders)

Series 9: Photographs, 1908-1967 (Box 9-10; 41 folders)
Biographical Note:
Walter Tandy Murch (1907-1967) of Toronto, Canada, was a painter and art teacher. His painting were primarily of still life subjects including machine parts, tools, broken dolls, and scientific equipment mingled with fruit, bread and fragments of rock as if seen through frosted glass.

Walter Tandy Murch was born on August 17, 1907, in Toronto, Canada, the son of Clara Louise Tandy and jeweller Walter Murch. Following his studies of architectural drafting and woodworking at the Technical High School in Toronto, he studied at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto with Arthur Lismer from 1924 to 1927. During the following year, Murch studied at the Grand Central School of Art in New York City with Arshile Gorky. From 1927 to 1929, he studied with Von Schlegel and K. H. Miller at the Art Students League. In 1930, Murch married Katharine Louise Scott.

From 1930 to 1933, Murch designed stained glass windows for Montague Castle, Inc., in New York City. Following a lengthy painting trip to Mexico in 1934, Murch returned to New York City and earned a living painting murals, designing department store windows, and creating illustrations for various magazines including Fortune and Scientific American.

Murch had his first solo exhibition at Betty Parsons' Wakefield Gallery in New York in 1941, and for many years Parsons was his principal dealer. Murch became a United States citizen in 1947.

Beginning in the 1950s, Murch taught at Pratt Institute, Columbia University, New York University, and at Boston University, and attended summer sessions at Yaddo and Skowhegan. In 1966, the Rhode Island School of Design organized Murch's first major retrospective.

Murch's work is in the collections of the Barnes Foundation, Brooklyn Museum, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Walter Tandy Murch died on December 11, 1967 in New York City.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reels N707, N708, N713, and N68-5) including correspondence, notes, sketchbooks, clippings, exhibition catalogs, and photographs. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
In 1967-1968, Walter Tandy Murch loaned the Archives of American Art material for microfilming. The artist's widow, Katharine Scott Murch, donated papers 1969.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Walter Tandy Murch 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.
Occupation:
Art teachers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting, American  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Awards
Woodcuts
Resumes
Lecture notes
Drawings
Photographs
Notebooks
Sketches
Notes
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Walter Tandy Murch papers, 1880-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.murcwalt
See more items in:
Walter Tandy Murch papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-murcwalt

William Kienbusch papers

Creator:
Kienbusch, William, 1914-1980  Search this
Names:
Clifford, Stanley  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
Kraushaar, Antoinette M., 1902-1992  Search this
Maitland, Walter McClymonds, 1912-1989  Search this
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Schrag, Karl  Search this
Tam, Reuben  Search this
Extent:
5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Drawings
Drafts (documents)
Visitors' books
Sketchbooks
Notes
Notebooks
Date:
1915-2001
bulk 1936-1980
Summary:
The papers of landscape painter and art instructor William Kienbusch measure 5.0 linear feet and date from 1915 to 2001, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1936 to 1980. The collection documents Kienbusch's life as an artist in New York City and Cranberry Island, Maine. Files include biographical material; correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues; writings and notes; scattered printed material; photographs; and artwork, including 17 sketchbooks.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of landscape painter and art instructor William Kienbusch measure 5.0 linear feet and date from 1915 to 2001, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1936 to 1980. The collection documents Kienbusch's life as an artist in New York City and Cranberry Island, Maine. Files include biographical material; correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues; writings and notes; scattered printed material; photographs; and artwork, including 17 sketchbooks.

Biographical materials include military records, identification and membership documents, guestbooks, and an album entitled "Book of Friendship" containing short notes written by friends for Kienbusch on the occasion of his 60th Birthday. Also of note is copy of the "In Memoriam" written for Kienbusch by Karl Schrag.

The bulk of the papers consist of family and general correspondence. Family correspondence includes letters from Kienbusch to his parents regarding school, summer camps, travel, and the army. General correspondence includes many letters he sent to his close friend, Stanley Clifford, as well as letters from friends and associates, such as Stuart Davis, Antionette Kraushaar, Walter Maitland, Henry Varnum Poor, Abraham Rattner, Karl Schrag, Reuben Tam, and others.

Writings and notes include scattered notes, lists, and draft writings, as well as three notebooks, including one on casein technique. Printed material includes several armed forces publications and maps from World War II, clippings, and press releases. Photographs are of William Kienbusch, including two snapshots of Kienbusch with friends Dorothy Andrews and Reuben Tam. Also found are numerous travel and nature photographs. Artwork includes drawings created by Kienbusch while on his military tour in Guam and seventeen sketchbooks containting drawings in pencil, ink, and pastel.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 6 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1915-1980 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1920-2001 (Box 1-3; 2.3 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1940s-1970s (Box 3; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 4: Printed Material, circa 1937-1980 (Box 3; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 5: Photographs, circa 1920-1980s (Box 3-5; 1.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Artwork, circa 1930s-1970s (Box 5; 0.8 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
William Kienbusch (1914-1980) was a painter and art instructor in New York, NY, and Cranberry Island, Maine.

Kienbusch was born in New York City and attended boarding school at Hotchkiss Preparatory school, where he was taught painting by Robert Osborn. During the summers of 1934 and 1935, while attending Princeton University, he studied watercolor with Eliot O'Hara at Goose Rocks Beach, Maine. After graduating from Princeton in 1936, he attended the Art Students League, studied with Henry Varnum Poor at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, and spent a year in Paris, studying at the Academie Colarossi. During this time he also had the opportunity to travel throughout Europe before the outbreak of World War II. He returned to New York City in the winter of 1938 and settled in Greenwich Village, at one point living above artist Stuart Davis.

Kienbusch spent the summers of 1940 and 1941 in Stonington, Maine. Here he found his true identity as an abstract expressionist landscape painter. During World War II he served in the Army, teaching camouflage design and making maps in Guam. When he returned to New York in 1946, he began painting in casein rather than oils or watercolor. In 1947 he joined Kraushaar Galleries, which would continue to be his dealer for the remainder of his career. From 1948 to 1969 he taught at the Brooklyn Museum of Art School and spent summers in Maine. Kienbusch lost much of his artwork and personal papers in a 1969 fire at his New York studio apartment. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art among many others. After several years of poor health, Kienbusch died in 1980.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is the Walter Maitland correspondence with and about William Kienbusch, 1969-1981; the William Kienbusch letters to Francis and Sydney Hamabe, 1958-1977; the Thomas Barrett and Leni Mancuso papers relating to William Kienbusch, 1950-1980; and an oral history interview with William Kienbusch conducted by Forrest Selvig, November 1-7, 1968.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reel N70-22) including a scrapbook of clippings, exhibition catalogs, photographs of Kienbusch, letters, writings, and two journals describing his travels in Europe and Asia. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
William Kienbusch lent materials for microfilming in 1970. Other papers were donated by his sisters, Millicent Kelly and Juliana Little, and his friend Stanley Clifford as co-executives of the Kienbusch estate from 1985-1991. Stanley Clifford donated additional materials in 2008 and 2010.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The William Kienbusch 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.
Occupation:
Art teachers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Landscape painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting, Abstract -- United States  Search this
Painting, American  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Painting -- Technique  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Drawings
Drafts (documents)
Visitors' books
Sketchbooks
Notes
Notebooks
Citation:
William Kienbusch papers, 1915-2001, bulk 1936-1980. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kienwill
See more items in:
William Kienbusch papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kienwill

W. Langdon Kihn papers

Creator:
Kihn, W. Langdon  Search this
Names:
National Geographic Society (U.S.)  Search this
Artzybasheff, Boris, 1899-1965  Search this
Barbeau, Marius, 1883-1969  Search this
Dale, Chester, b. 1883  Search this
Dale, Maud, 1875-1953  Search this
Dixon, Maynard, 1875-1946  Search this
Downs, Olin  Search this
Fisher, Franklin L.  Search this
Kihn, Alfred  Search this
Kihn, Helen Butler  Search this
Laubin, Gladys  Search this
Laubin, Reginald  Search this
Lecomte du Noüy, Marie  Search this
Lecomte du Noüy, Pierre, 1883-1947  Search this
Oakley, Thorton, 1881-1953  Search this
Skinner, Constance Lindsay, 1882-1939  Search this
Stirling, Matthew Williams, 1896-1975  Search this
Wellcome, Henry S., Sir (Henry Solomon), 1853-1936  Search this
Wiggins, Guy C. (Guy Carleton), 1883-1962  Search this
Extent:
8.5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Sketches
Photographs
Poetry
Writings
Date:
1904-1990
bulk 1904-1957
Summary:
The papers of painter and illustrator W. Langdon Kihn measure approximately 8.5 linear feet and date from 1904-1990, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1904-1957. Papers document Kihn's career and travels associated with his interests in documenting the native American tribal nations of the United States and Canada in portraiture and writings. Found here are biographical materials, voluminous correspondence, memoirs and writings, one travel diary, printed material, financial records, three sketchbooks, sketches, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter and illustrator W. Langdon Kihn measure approximately 8.5 linear feet and date from 1904-1990, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1904-1957. Papers document Kihn's career and travels associated with his interests in documenting the native American tribal nations of the United States and Canada in portraiture and writings. Found here are biographical material, voluminous correspondence, memoirs and writings, one travel diary, printed material, financial records, three sketchbooks, sketches, and photographs.

Biographical materials include address books, membership cards, exhibition and price lists, legal and travel documents, as well as biographical notes. Additional biographical sketches are found in the Writings and Notes series.

Correspondence is the largest series in the collection, almost half of the papers. In addition to letters to W. Langdon Kihn, this series include both originals and drafts of his outgoing letters; letters to his wife Helen from friends; third party business correspondence between his father, Alfred Kihn, and various parties undertaken on his son's behalf; and third party correspondence addressed to his friend and colleague, the Canadian ethnographer, Marius Barbeau. In addition to Barbeau, significant correspondents include Constance Lindsay Skinner, Chester and Maud Dale, Sir Henry Wellcome, Pierre and Marie "May" Lecompte du Noüy, and Reginald and Gladys Laubin. Although there is little correspondence with other artists, those represented with cards and letters in this collection include Boris Artzybasheff, Maynard Dixon, Olin Dows, Thornton Oakley, and Kihn's summer art school partner, Gus Wiggins. Correspondence with Franklin L. Fisher, Chief of National Geographic Magazine's Illustrated Division and Matthew W. Striling, Chief of the Bureau of American Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution dominate the period spanning from 1935 - 1952, the years of Kihn's close association with the National Geographic Society.

Writings and notes includes manuscripts and typescripts of articles, poems, lectures, memoirs, and other writings by Kihn and others. There is one travel diary dated circa 1924-1925, and numerous writings about Kihn's travels and documentation of native American Indians.

Printed materials include exhibition catalogs, travel brochures, and magazine and newspaper clippings. Also found here are copies of Kihn's illustrations for books by other authors, including Beaver, Kings and Cabins, by Constance Lindsay Skinner, as well as proofs from the National Geographic series on American Indians arranged by geographic location. Financial records consist of invoices and receipts related to Kihn's artwork, traveling, and exhibitions.

Three sketchbooks and loose sketches include illustrated field notes and other drawings that document Kihn's travels and of native Americans. Photographs are of Kihn, and of Kihn at work. There are also photographs of Kihn's artwork.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 7 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1916-1957 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1904-1959 (Boxes 1-5; 4.0 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1920-1990 (Box 5-6; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 4: Printed Material, circa 1920-1957 (Boxes 6-8, OV 10; 2.2 linear feet)

Series 5: Financial Records, 1920-1955 (Box 8; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Sketchbooks and Sketches, circa 1922-1955 (Boxes 8-9, OV 10; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 7: Photographs, circa 1920-1955 (Box 9; 5 folders)
Biographical Note:
Born in Brooklyn, New York, W. (Wilfred) Langdon Kihn (1898-1959) is best known for his portraits of American Indians and illustrations of their history, culture and rapidly disappearing way of life. In 1919, Kihn joined his art teacher Winold Reiss on a trip to the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana where he completed his first series of portraits. This marked the beginning of his lifelong career of documenting the tribal nations of the United States and Canada. Through commissions from Canadian and American Railroad companies, Kihn spent much of the 1920s traversing both the United States and Northwest Canada where he had the opportunity to record the members and lives of various tribes. During this period, his paintings also traveled the country in a one man exhibition of his American Indian portraits, which was arranged by the Brooklyn Museum, and traveled to about 40 institutions in the United States. However his largest and best known commission was a project to research and paint North American Indians for serial publication in National Geographic. Kihn received the commission in 1935 and his association with the organization spanned two decades, culminating in the 1955 exhibition of his work at the National Geographic Museum, Washington, D.C, and the publication Indians of the Americas, with copius illustrations derived from Kihn's paintings and drawings.

In addition to his travels and work in North America, Kihn enjoyed a brief stint between 1929-1932 painting in France and Spain. Upon his return he focused upon obtaining commercial work and enjoyed success as an illustrator, whose work was featured in Beaver, Kings and Cabins (1933) and Flat Tail (1935), among other books. Kihn also wrote articles about his travels; amateur painters, whom he specialized in teaching; and American Indian legends and tribal cultures. Between 1948-1951 he was a partner in the Guy Wiggins-W. Langdon Kihn Art School in Essex, Connecticut. He married Helen Butler in 1920 and in between their travels the couple eventually settled in East Haddam, Connecticut. W. Langdon Kihn died in 1957.
Provenance:
Helen Kihn, W. Langdon Kihn's widow, donated the bulk of the collection in 1959. In 1994 Phyllis Kihn, the artist's daughter, donated pages 1-8 of Kihn's original manuscript of his memoirs and a transcript of the complete memoirs.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The W. Langdon Kihn 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.
Occupation:
Painters -- Connecticut  Search this
Topic:
Book illustrators -- Connecticut  Search this
Indians of North America -- Pictorial works  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Sketches
Photographs
Poetry
Writings
Citation:
W. Langdon Kihn papers, 1904-1990, bulk 1904-1957. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kihnwlan
See more items in:
W. Langdon Kihn papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kihnwlan

Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg papers

Creator:
Feitelson, Lorser, 1898-1978  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project (Calif.)  Search this
Benjamin, Karl  Search this
Butterfield, Jan  Search this
Hammersley, Frederick, 1919-2009  Search this
Kadish, Reuben, 1913-1992  Search this
Langsner, Jules, 1911-1967  Search this
Longstreet, Stephen, 1907-  Search this
Lundeberg, Helen, 1908-1999  Search this
McCoy, Esther  Search this
McLaughlin, John, 1898-  Search this
Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003  Search this
Moran, Diane De Gasis  Search this
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Seldis, Henry  Search this
Sheets, Millard, 1907-1989  Search this
Extent:
15.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketches
Poetry
Writings
Drawings
Sound recordings
Photographs
Date:
circa 1890s-2002
Summary:
The papers of Los Angeles painters and art instructors Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg measure 15.6 linear feet and date from circa 1890s to 2002. The papers document the careers of the two artists, including their establishment of the Post-surrealism movement in southern California, their work for federal arts programs, and their later abstract artwork. Found are biographical materials, correspondence, personal business records, exhibition files, printed materials, photographs, and one sound recording.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Los Angeles painters and art instructors Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg measure 15.6 linear feet and date from circa 1890s to 2002. The papers document the careers of the two artists, including their establishment of the Post-surrealism movement in southern California, their work for federal arts programs, and their later abstract artwork. Found are biographical materials, correspondence, personal business records, exhibition files, printed materials, photographs, and one sound recording.

Biographical documentation is found for both artists. Lundeberg's early life is documented by school notebooks, yearbooks, diplomas, calendars, awards, and a "memory book." Feitelson's biographical materials include family certificates and documents compiled by Lundeberg regarding Feitelson's funeral. Also found are curriculum vitae and biographical sketches for both artists.

Correspondence is extensive and includes both personal and professional correspondence for both Feitelson and Lundeberg. Materials consist of letters with critics, museums, artists, and friends, including Karl Benjamin, Frederick Hammersley, Reuben Kadish, John McLauglin, Diane Moran, and Abraham Rattner. Of special interest is Feitelson and Lundeberg's correspondence with Museum of Modern Art curator Dorothy Canning Miller.

A small amount of exhibition materials, mostly loan agreements and checklists, are found in the papers documenting exhibitions and loans of their artwork to exhibitions. Personal business records concern the management of their artwork and personal collections. Found here are lists of artwork, price lists, appraisal reports, sales invoices, purchase receipts, tax documents, and a set of index cards for their artwork. There are a few scattered legal documents as well. In addition to personal business records, there is a series of records of the Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg Foundation, established by Lundeberg in 1978.

Scattered research and teaching files are mostly Feitelson's. They document his personal research, teaching activities, and television programs, particularly the program Feitelson on Art. Writings, however, are found for both artists and include artist statements, writings about art and art styles and movements, writings about each artist, and writings about the Federal Arts Program in southern California. Of interest are numerous writings by other contemporary writers and critics, including Jan Butterfield, Jules Langsner, Stephen Longstreet, Esther McCoy, Diane Moran, Henry Seldis, and Millard Sheets.

A small amount of artwork is found within the collection by Feitelson and Lundeberg, mostly sketches and drawings. There is one print by Hans Burkhardt.

Printed materials include newsclippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, lecture announcements, posters, press releases, and printed reproductions of Feitelson's and Lundeberg's artwork. There are also pamphlets produced by the Works Progress Administration Federal Arts Program and Lundeberg's poetry.

Photographs are extensive and include many of Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg, as well as of family, friends, and students. There are four photo albums and numerous photographs of Feitelson's and Lundeberg's artwork, including some exhibition installations.

There is one circa 1957 reel-to-reel sound recording of an episode of Feitelson on Art, focusing on Paul Gauguin.

An addition of 0.2 linear feet received in 2014 includes Feitelson's art history and teaching notes, writings by Feitelson, and photographs and contact sheets of Feitelson and works of art.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 11 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1922-1995 (Boxes 1-2, 19; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1932-1998 (Boxes 2-4; 2.5 linear feet)

Series 3: Exhibition Records, 1936-1989 (Boxes 4-5; 0.25 linear feet)

Series 4: Personal Business Records, 1943-1998 (Boxes 5-6; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 5: Feitelson and Lundeberg Foundation Records, 1978-1997 (Boxes 6-7, 19; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Research and Teaching Materials, 1940s-1960s (Boxes 7-8; 0.75 linear feet)

Series 7: Writings, 1930-1989 (Boxes 8-9; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 8: Artwork, 1920s-1991 (Boxes 9, 19; 9 folders)

Series 9: Printed Materials, 1923-2002 (Boxes 9-11, 20; 2.0 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographs, circa 1890s-1993 (Boxes 11-14, 16-19, and OV 21-22; 4.3 linear feet)

Series 11: Audio Recording, circa 1957 (Box 15; 1 item)

Series 12: Unprocessed Addition, circa 1919-1978 (Box 23; 0.2 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Art instructor and painter Lorser Feitelson (1898-1978) lived and worked in Los Angeles with his wife Helen Lundeberg (1908-1999), also one of southern California's leading painters. Together, Feitelson and Lundeberg founded the movement known as Subjective Classicism, or Post-surrealism. Their work had a great influence on southern California art and they formed many relationships with artists and critics of the area.

Lorser Feitelson was born in Savannah, Georgia on February 11, 1898, and grew up in New York City. By the age of twelve, he was painting in oils, and three years later he began to paint in earnest after attending the Armory Show. At the age of eighteen, Feitelson had his own studio in New York City. Over the next few years, he met other artists, including Arthur Davies, Walter Pach, and John Sloan. From 1919 to 1926, Feitelson lived in Paris and traveled to New York to exhibit; he also spent some time in Italy. In 1927, Feitelson moved to Los Angeles, the city that would remain his home for the rest of his life. There he met his wife and artist, Helen Lundeberg, and married in 1933.

Feitelson taught at the Chouinard Art Institute and the Stickney Memorial School of Art, became involved in the operations of the Centaur Gallery, and helped to found the Stanley Rose Gallery and the Hollywood Gallery of Modern Art. Beginning with the first Post-surrealist exhibition 1934, Feitelson and Lundeberg's work was exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and was included in the Museum of Modern Art's Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism exhibition of 1937. Feitelson continued to create Post-surrealist paintings until 1942. During this same time, Feitelson also served as the Supervisor of Murals, Painting, and Sculpture for the Southern California Works Progress Administration Federal Arts Project.

In 1944, Feitelson began to paint abstract shapes that he referred to as "magical forms." Feitelson continued working in an abstract manner throughout the fifties, and in 1959 was included by Jules Langsner in the exhibition Four Abstract Classicists along with Karl Benjamin, Frederick Hammersley, and John McLaughlin. From this exhibition emerged the term "hard edge" painting, which referred to the presence of geometric shapes and flat pictorial space in the work of these artists. During the final two decades of his life, Feitelson continued to work regularly, and continued to explore abstraction.

Feitelson taught for many years at the Art Center School and was a visiting professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana. He also hosted the television program Feitelson on Art from 1956-1963, as well as serving as a frequent guest on the program Cavalcade of Books to discuss art publications. Lorser Feitelson died in 1978.

Helen Lundeberg was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 24, 1908. At the age of four, her family moved to Pasadena, where she attended Pasadena High School and Junior College. In the spring of 1930, a family friend sponsored Lundeberg's tuition to attend classes at the Stickney Memorial School of Art. That summer Lundeberg met Lorser Feitelson, who had recently taken over the teaching of her construction and composition class. The following year, Lundeberg's work was included in an exhibition for the first time. By 1933, Lundeberg had a solo exhibition at the Stanley Rose Gallery. Throughout the 1930s, Lundeberg painted in a Post-surrealist manner and created some of her best known works including "Double Portrait of the Artist in Time" (1935). She also began working for the California Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project in 1936. Over the next six years, she designed murals for libraries, high schools, and parks. She and Feitelson married in 1933.

During the next five decades, Lundeberg created a distinctive and diverse body of work that included surreal images of floating mountains and falling skies, austere landscapes and architectural forms, and abstract works with brilliant colors. She remained from the 1930s to the time of her death in 1999 one of the leading and most respected figures in southern California art. Her work has been exhibited in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and acquired by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Related Material:
Found in the Archives of American Art are oral history interviews with Lorser Feitelson conducted by Betty Lochrie Hoag, May 12, 1964; with Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg conducted by Betty Lochrie Hoag, March 17, 1965; and with Helen Lundeberg conducted by Jan Butterfield, July 19 and August 29, 1980. Also found are Lorser Feitelson lectures recorded by Bonnie Trotter, 1973-1974.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reel LA 1) including a scrapbook of clippings primarily concerning Lorser Feitelson's activities with the federal Works Progress Administration. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
In 1964, Feitelson loaned for microfilming a scrapbook of clippings primarily concerning his activities with the federal Works Progress Administration. The scrapbook was microfilmed on Reel LA1 and returned to Feitelson. It is not included in the container inventory in this finding aid.
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.
Rights:
The Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg 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.
Occupation:
Painters -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketches
Poetry
Writings
Drawings
Sound recordings
Photographs
Citation:
Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg papers, circa 1890s-2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.feitlors
See more items in:
Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-feitlors
Online Media:

Cleve Gray papers

Creator:
Gray, Cleve  Search this
Names:
Berry-Hill Galleries  Search this
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Connecticut. Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film  Search this
Jacques Seligmann & Co  Search this
Neuberger Museum of Art  Search this
Pratt Institute  Search this
Princeton University  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design  Search this
Barzun, Jacques, 1907-  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Davis, Jim, 1901-1974  Search this
Dillenberger, Jane  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Ernst, Jimmy, 1920-1984  Search this
Gabo, Naum, 1890-1977  Search this
Grace, Louise N.  Search this
Gray, Francine du Plessix  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques, 1891-1973  Search this
Marin, John, 1870-1953  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Richter, Hans, 1888-1976  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Villon, Jacques, 1875-1963  Search this
Weber, Nicholas Fox, 1947-  Search this
Extent:
9.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Poems
Articles
Photographs
Reviews (documents)
Notes
Illustrations
Notebooks
Sketches
Drafts (documents)
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Manuscripts
Paintings
Prints
Watercolors
Drawings
Lectures
Date:
1933-2005
Summary:
The Cleve Gray papers, 1933-2005, measure 9.2 linear feet. Papers include biographical material, alphabetical files, writings, artwork, audio/visual records, artifacts, printed material, and photographs. Extensive alphabetical files contain personal and professional correspondence as well as subject files relating to projects and interests. Especially well-documented are: Gray's involvement with the Vietnam protest movement; and Threnody, his best-known work composed of fourteen large panels lamenting the dead of both sides sides in Vietnam, commissioned by the Neuberger Museum of Art.
Scope and Content Note:
The Cleve Gray papers, 1933-2005, measure 9.2 linear feet. Papers include biographical material, alphabetical files, writings, artwork, audio/visual records, artifacts, printed material, and photographs. Extensive alphabetical files contain personal and professional correspondence as well as subject files relating to projects and interests. Especially well-documented are: Gray's involvement with the Vietnam movement; and Threnody, his best-known work composed of fourteen large panels lamenting the dead of both sides sides in Vietnam, commissioned by the Neuberger Museum of Art.

Among the biographical material are award and membership certificates, biographical notes, and personal documentation.

The alphabetical files contain Cleve Gray's personal and professional correspondence, as well as subject files relating to projects and interests. Correspondence is with friends and family, colleagues, publishers, museum curators and directors, art dealers, collectors, and fans. Among the correspondents of note are: Jacques Barzun, James E. Davis, Naum Gabo, Louise N. Grace, Hans and Fridel Richter, and Jacques and Gaby Villon. Other substantial correspondence includes: Berry-Hill Galleries, Betty Parsons Gallery, Connecticut Commission on the Arts, Jacques Seligmann and Co., Neuberger Museum of Art, Pratt Institute, Princeton University, and Rhode Island School of Design. Subject files mostly consist of correspondence, but include printed material and some photographs. Among the subject files are: Art Collection of Cleve and Francine Gray, Artist-Dealer Consignments and Visual Artists' Rights Act of 1989, Artists' Tax Equity Act of 1979, Promised Gifts to Museums, Threnody, Vestments, and Vietnam Protest. Of particular interest are files relating to the Estate of Hans Richter (Cleve Gray, executor), and Gray's research correspondence and illustrations for his Cosmopolitan article "Women-Leaders of Modern Art."

Writings are manuscripts and drafts, research materials, notes, and miscellaneous writings by Cleve Gray and other authors. Those by Gray include articles and catalog introductions on a wide range of art-related topics, as well as book and exhibition reviews. Also found are a book proposal, texts and notes for lectures and talks, miscellaneous notes, poems, political statements, and student papers. Of particular interest are autobiographical notes in the form of a chronology that his biographer, Nicholas Fox Weber, cited as an "autochronology."

Among the writings by other authors are pieces about Cleve Gray including Nicholas Fox Weber's manuscript Cleve Gray. A significant amount of material relates to three books edited by Gray: David Smith by David Smith: Sculpture and Writings, Hans Richter, and John Marin. Research material survives for an unpublished volume, Naum Gabo. Also included are notes relating to his translation of A l'Infinitif by Marcel Duchamp. Jane Daggett Dillenberger is represented by a lecture, "The Resurrection in Art." The remaining items by other authors are unsigned; of particular interest is a small notebook of reminiscences and notes about Jackson Pollock.

Artwork by Cleve Gray consists mostly drawings and sketches, and a small number of paintings, prints, and watercolors. Works by other artists consist are an unsigned mobile of paper cut-outs, possibly by Alexander Calder, and a pencil drawing signed Dick (probably Richard Avedon).

Audio recordings are a radio broadcast featuring Cleve Gray, several lectures by Gray on John Marin, and a lecture titled "Meaning in the Visual Arts." Other recordings are of Hans Richter and an interview with Jimmy Ernst conducted by Francine du Plessix Gray. Also found is a videocassette of "Glenville School Students at SUNY (Lincoln Center Activity)."

Artifacts are a Chinese scroll representative of those that hung in Cleve Gray's studio, two of his paintbrushes, Aberdeen-Angus Breeders' Association blue ribbon, and Neuberger Museum of Art Lifetime Achievement Award.

The vast majority of printed material - articles, clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, reproductions of art work, etc. - are about or by Cleve Gray. Miscellaneous items and publications mentioning Gray consist of annual reports, brochures, calendars, newsletters, programs, etc. Clippings about Vietnam and Vietnam protest memorabilia reflect his passionate involvement in the anti-war movement; a small number of these items mention Gray or were written by him.

Photographs are of artwork, events, people, places, and miscellaneous subjects. Most of the art work appearing in the photographs is by Cleve Gray and includes images of destroyed paintings. Also found is an original print of Photo Abstraction by Gray, circa 1934. Of particular note are photographs of Threnody, among them preparatory drawings and views of the work in progress. Photographs of artwork by other artists include Louise N. Grace, Jacques Lipchitz, John Marin, Hans Richter, and Jacques Villon.

Photographs of people are mainly portraits of Gray, and views of him with his wife and sons. Other individuals appearing in photographs are Hans Richter and some of Richter's descendants. Pictures of places consist of Gray's studio.

Events are an unidentified exhibition opening. Miscellaneous subjects are mostly exhibition installations. Illustrations consist of photographs published in David Smith by David Smith: Sculpture and Writings. Also found are small number of negatives and color transparencies.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into 8 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1943-circa 2001 (Box 1; 0.1 linear ft.)

Series 2: Alphabetical Files, 1936-2005 (Boxes 1-5, 9; 4.3 linear ft.)

Series 3: Writings, 1935-2000 (Boxes 5-6; 0.85 linear ft.)

Series 4: Artwork, circa 1933-1987 (Boxes 6, 9, OV 12; 0.45 linear ft.)

Series 5: Audio/Visual Records, 1971-1989 (Box 6; 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 6: Artifacts, 1957-1999 (Box 6, RD 11; 0.45 linear ft.)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1933-2005 (Boxes 7-8; 1.25 linear ft.)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1934-2002 (Boxes 8-10; 1.15 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Abstract Expressionist painter, sculptor, and writer Cleve Gray (1918-2004) lived and worked in Connecticut where he was politically active in the Vietnam protest movement and other liberal causes.

Born Cleve Ginsberg in New York City (the family changed its name to Gray in 1936), he attended the Ethical Culture School and at a young age developed a fascination with color and paint. At the urging of friends, Cleve's parents allowed him to accompany a school friend for lessons with George Bellows' student Antonia Nell. She encouraged and inspired the young artist, and a still life he painted in her class was shown at the National Academy of Design's 1932 annual exhibition. Miss Nell also introduced him to Louise N. Grace, an artist who became a good friend and had a lasting influence on him. While a student at Phillips Academy, Cleve studied painting with Bartlett Hayes and aspired to paint in France. Upon his graduation in 1936, he was awarded the Samuel F. B. Morse Prize for most promising art student.

Gray's mother was always supportive of his career choice. His businessman father, who didn't understand his son's desire to be an artist, insisted on a college education. Cleve chose Princeton, where he majored in art and archaeology, and studied painting with James E. Davis. His senior thesis was on Chinese landscape painting; both Eastern philosophy and art were long-term influences on Gray's work and outlook. He graduated summa cum laude in 1940, and then spent several months painting while living at the farm of a family friend in Mendham, New Jersey.

When a doctor suggeted that a dry climate might relieve sinus and asthma problems, Gray moved to Tucson, Arizona. Once settled in the desert, he contacted Louise N. Grace, whom he had met as a young teenager through his art instructor. Miss Grace, an artist and daughter of the founder of W. R. Grace and Co., was a highly cultured and independent woman older than his parents. The summer before Gray entered Phillips Academy, she had hired him to brush ground color onto canvases for murals she was painting for "Eleven Arches," her home in Tuscon then under construction. Miss Grace invited Gray to visit "Eleven Arches" to see the completed murals, and despite the substantial age difference, their friendship deepened; Gray found in her intellectual and spiritual guidance that was lacking in his own family. He remained in Tucson until enlisting in the U. S. Army in 1942, and they corresponded frequently during the the war. When a stroke in 1948 prevented Miss Grace from participating in the extensive tour of Europe she was arranging for a small group of friends, including Gray, she provided sufficient funds and insisted he make the trip on his own. Another stroke, suffered while Gray was traveling, left her in a coma; he was not permitted to see her again. Upon her death in 1954, Gray inherited "Eleven Arches."

Between 1943 and 1946, Gray was stationed in England, France, and Germany, serving in Army Signal Intelligence. Most of his work was performed at night, and he spent his free time drawing. While in London, Gray produced many colored pencil drawings of buildings that had been bombed. In France, a Red Cross volunteered to introduce him to Jacques Villon; although unfamiliar with the artist, Gray knew of Villon's brother, Marcel Duchamp, and accepted the invitation. Jacques and Gaby Villon lived near Gray's billet and he became a frequent visitor. Their friendship was important to his development as an artist. After being discharged from the Army in 1946, Gray remained in France to work with Villon who introduced him to the study of color and the concept of intellectual quality in painting. Gray also studied informally with André Lhote, Villon's former teacher. "American Painters in Paris," an exhibition presented in 1946 at Galerie Durand-Ruel, included work by Cleve Gray.

He returned to New York City in 1946. In the tight post-war rental market Gray managed to find a small room upstairs from a grocery store on East 106th Street for use as a studio. He commenced painting the London Ruins series based on drawings he had made during the war, and began thinking about exhibiting in New York. Gray secured introductions to Pierre Matisse, Curt Valentin, and Dorothy Miller. They encouraged him, but no opportunities came his way until Germain Seligmann, whose gallery was expanding its scope to include contemporary art, followed the advice of Curt Valentin and looked at Gray's work. Gary's first solo exhibition, held at Jacques Seligmann and Co., included selections from the London Ruins series, paintings done in Maine and Arizona, and a few portraits. The New York Times called it "an auspicious first," and one of the London Ruins series was selected by Edward Alden Jewell for the "Critic's Exhibition" at Grand Central Gallery.

Gray found New York City too frenetic. In 1949 he bought a large, old house in Warren, Connecticut, and lived and worked at "Graystones" for the remainder of his life. Half of a 6-car garage was converted to a studio; many years later, his studio moved to a barn, its renovation and design planned by sculptor and architect Tony Smith.

He married Francine du Plessix in 1957. Always interested in literature and philosophy, in the 1960s Francine du Plessix Gray began contributing articles to The New Yorker and is still affiliated with the magazine. Her reviews and articles appeared in prominent publications, and she wrote several award-winning novels and biographies. Their sons, Thaddeus and Luke (now a painter), were born in 1959 and 1961. Francine's mother, Tatiana du Plessix (the hat designer Tatiana of Saks), and step-father, the sculptor Alexander Liberman (also former art director of Vogue and later editorial director of Condé Nast publications) became Cleve Gray's closest friends.

The paintings and drawings of Cleve Gray - first consisting of figures and portraits, and then abstract compositions - were often produced in series. The earliest series, London Ruins, grew from the colored pencil drawings made while stationed in London during World War II. Travels to France, Italy, Greece, Morocco, Hawaii, Spain, Egypt, Japan, and Czechoslovakia, inspired many series, among them: Etruscan, Augury, Ceres, Demeter Landscape, Hera, Morocco, Hawaii, Ramses, Perne, Hatshepsut, Roman Walls, Zen, and Prague. His hometown, the Holocaust, and musicians inspired other series: Warren, Sleepers Awake!, Bela Bartok, and Four Heads of Anton Bruckner. Some series were works on paper, others were collage canvases, and a few series later spawned prints. Gray began using acrylics in the 1940s. Although the medium offered many benefits, he did not always like its appearance and frequently returned to oils. Around 1966 Gray was painting almost exclusively with acrylic, and eventually developed a technique of thinning the paint and applying successive layers of color (sometimes by pouring or with a sponge) on cotton duck rather than traditional canvas.

Gray was attracted to sculpture, too, working in that medium at different points in his career. His first sculpture, in plaster, was completed in 1959. In the early 1960s he visited a commercial sand-casting foundry and became excited about learning to cast in bronze. He made about a dozen sculptures to cast in sand, but due to too much undercutting, their casting became too difficult a problem. Lava flows seen while in Hawaii during 1970 and 1971 inspired a return to sculpture. This time, he used wood, papier maché, and metal. Gray then decided these pieces should be cast in bronze, and he was determined to do it himself. Friends taught him the lost wax process and he began working at the Tallix Foundry in Peekskill, New York where, over the next year, he cast about forty bronzes.

Gray's best known work is Threnody, a lament for the dead of both sides in Vietnam. In 1972, Gray received a commission to fill a very large gallery of the soon-to-open Neuberger Museum of Art (State University of New York, College at Purchase) designed by Philip Johnson. Friends of the Neuberger Museum paid his expenses and Gray, who was enormously excited about the project he considered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, donated his time. Developing plans for the execution of Threnody consumed most of his time during 1972 and 1973. Composed of a series of fourteen panels, each approximately twenty feet square, the piece presented a number of technical challenges. It was constructed and painted in situ during the summer and early fall of 1973. Since then, Threnody has been reinstalled at the Neuberger Museum of Art on several occasions.

Gray was commissioned to design liturgical vestments for two Episcopal churches in Connecticut in the 1970s. A chasuble, stoles, and a mitre were commissioned by the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut in 1984.

He won the "Outdoor Art at the Station Competition," for Union Station, Hartford, Connecticut. His very large porcelain enamel tile mural, Movement in Space, was installed on the façade of the transportation center in 1988.

Gray began writing occasional articles and exhibition reviews in the late 1940s. His concern with rational structure in art led him to question Abstract Expressionism and write "Narcissus in Chaos." This article, published in 1959 by The American Scholar, drew considerable attention. In 1960, Cosmopolitan published "Women - Leaders of Modern Art" that featured Nell Blaine, Joan Brown, Elaine de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Sonia Gretchoff, Grace Hartigan, Ethel Magafan, Louise Nevelson, and Georgia O'Keeffe. Between 1960 and 1970, Gray was a contributing editor of Art In America, producing numerous articles (a few co-authored with Francine) and reviews for the periodical. He edited three books, David Smith by David Smith: Scupture and Writings, Hans Richter, and John Marin, all published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, and translated Marcel Duchamp's A l'Infinitif.

During the early 1960s, Gray became intensely focused on the situation in Vietnam. His first artistic response came in 1963 with Reverend Quan Duc, painted to commemorate a Buddhist monk who had immolated himself. Francine, too, felt strongly about the issue and over time the couple became increasingly active in the anti-war movement. They joined a number of organizations and helped to found a local chapter of Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. The years 1968 and 1969 were an especially intense and active period for the Grays. They protested, wrote and spoke out against the war, raised funds to support anti-war political candidates, and on a few occasions were arrested and jailed. Writing for Art in America, editing the book series, and anti-war activities left little time for his art. In 1970 Gray refocused his attention on painting.

Beginning in 1947, Gray was always represented by a New York Gallery: Jacques Seligmann and Co. (1947-1959), Staempfli Gallery (1960-1965), Saidenberg Gallery (1965-1968), Betty Parsons Gallery (1968-1983), Armstrong Gallery (1984-1987), and Berry-Hill Galleries (1988-2003). He was represented by galleries in other cities, as well, but not as consistently or for such long periods.

He exhibited extensively in group and solo exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally. In addition to numerous solo exhibitions presented by the dealers who represented Gray, there were retrospective exhibitions at: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Brooklyn Museum, Columbus Museum of Art, Krannert Art Museum (University of Illinois, Champaign), Princeton University Art Museum, Rhode Island School of Design, and Wadsworth Atheneum.

Many museums' permanent collections include the work of Cleve Gray, among them: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Butler Institute of American Art, Columbus Museum of Art, Neuberger Museum of Art (SUNY, College at Purchase), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Newark Museum, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Phillips Collection, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery (University of Nebraska, Lincoln), Smithsonian Institution, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Yale University Art Gallery.

Cleve Gray served as artist-in-residence at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art in 1963 and at the Honolulu Academy of Arts in 1970, both sponsored by Ford Foundation programs. In 1980, he was appointed an artist-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome, where Francine concurrently served as a writer-in-residence; they returned for shorter periods during each of the subsequent seven years. Cleve Gray was presented the Connecticut Arts Award in 1987, and the Neuberger Museum of Art Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999. He was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Hartford in 1992, and was elected a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1998. In addition, he was a trustee of the Neuberger Museum of Art, New York Studio School, Rhode Island School of Design, and Wadsworth Atheneum.

Cleve Gray hit his head and suffered a massive subdural hematoma after falling on ice outside of his home. He died the following day, December 8, 2004.
Separated Material:
Exhibition catalogs and announcements and two scrapbooks donated to the Archives in 1967 and 1968 were microfilmed on reels D314-D315. Items on reel D315, transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum Library in 1975, are not described in this finding aid.
Provenance:
The Cleve Gray papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Mr. Gray in 1967 and 1968. The bulk of the collection was given by his widow, Francine du Plessix Gray, in 2007 and 2008.
Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordigs with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Cleve Gray 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.
Occupation:
Painters  Search this
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Women artists -- Photographs  Search this
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975 -- Protest Movements -- United States  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Designers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Poems
Articles
Photographs
Reviews (documents)
Notes
Illustrations
Notebooks
Sketches
Drafts (documents)
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Manuscripts
Paintings
Prints
Watercolors
Drawings
Lectures
Citation:
Cleve Gray papers, 1933-2005. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.grayclev
See more items in:
Cleve Gray papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-grayclev

Modify Your Search







or


Narrow By