The papers of southern California contemporary art curator, critic, and historian Jules Langsner measure 4.4 linear feet and date from circa 1910s-1998, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1950-1967. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues; writings normal="1941"> travel, and works of art; and audio recordings of Langsner's lectures and eulogies given at his funeral.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of southern California contemporary art curator, critic, and historian Jules Langsner measure 4.4 linear feet and date from circa 1910s-1998, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1950-1967. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues; writings by Langsner; exhibition files; printed materials; photographs of Langsner, others, travel, and works of art; and audio recordings of Langsner's lectures and eulogies given at his funeral.
Biographical materials consist of an address book and file, committee files, scattered financial statements, and documents related to the Ford Foundation and other foundations, teaching, and traveling.
The 0.9 linear feet of correspondence is of both a personal and professional nature. A significant portion of the correspondence is between Langsner and publications for which he wrote such as Art News, the New York Times, Meridian Books, Craft Horizons, Art International, and Art in America; galleries and museums where he lectured or curated exhibitions including the Art Institute of Chicago, California Water Color Society, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Pasadena Art Museum, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim Museum, and the Fine Arts Patrons of Newport Harbor; colleges and organizations where he taught or was involved with such as the Graham Foundation, University of Southern California, International Association of Art Critics, and Ford Foundation; and artists that he worked with or knew personally including Rico Lebrun, William Turnbull, Man & Julie Ray, Lorser Feitelson, Helen Lundeberg, Adelaide Fogg, and Clinton Adams.
Letters to June Harwood were written while Langsner was traveling in 1964 and 1965 and discuss his travels and their relationship which culminated in marriage in Italy in 1965.
Among the 2.8 linear feet of the writings of Jules Langsner are articles for Art News, Art in America, Art International, Arts & Architecture, Aware, Beverly Hills Times, Craft Horizons, Creative Crafts, Goya Revista De Arte, Yomiuri, and Zodiac. There are also essays, lectures, poems, drafts, notes, jottings of ideas, proposals and published and unpublished manuscripts. There are drafts and unpublished versions of "Painting in the Modern World", and numerous other essays on contemporary art. There are also extensive handwritten notes on his travels, Asian art, European art, and other subjects.
Exhibition files concern "Black and White" (1958), "California Hard-Edge Painting" (1964), the Man Ray Exhibition (1966), and the William Turnbull Exhibition (1966).
Printed materials include miscellaneous flyers, brochures, and news bulletins, and press releases.
Photographs are of people, places, works of art, and exhibitions. There are photographs of Jules Langsner, June Harwood, Philip Guston, Musa Guston, William Brice, Eddy Feldman, Rube Kadish, Stanton MacDonald-Wright, Frank Perls, and unidentified individual people and groups. Photographs of Langsner's travels are of Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and other locations. Photographs of exhibitions include California Art Club, "Black and White," "California Painters & Sculptors, 35 & Under," and unidentified exhibitions. Photographs of works of art are by William Turnbull, Jack Zajac, Walter Mix, Marion Aldrich, Roger Majorowicz, and Jasper Johns.
Audio recordings include four untranscribed 7" reel-to-reel audio recordings and one cassette tape. The reel-to-reel tapes are of two lectures by Langsner, You & Art/Berlin Party, and of eulogies given at Langsner's funeral by Clement Greenberg, Henry Seldis, Peter Selz, Richard Brown, Donald Brewer, Tom Leavitt, Lorser Feitelson, Sam Francis, June Wayne, Gifford Phillips, and others. The cassette tape is a copy of eulogies.
The collection is arranged as 7 series. Photographs are arranged by subject, otherwise each series is generally arranged chronologically.
Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1957-circa 1960s (Box 1; 9 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1948-1998 (Boxes 1-2; 0.9 linear feet)
Series 3: Writings, 1934-circa 1960s (Boxes 2-4; 2.8 linear feet)
Series 4: Exhibition Files, 1919, circa 1958-1966 (Box 4; 4 folders)
Series 5: Printed Materials, circa 1960s (Box 5; 2 folders)
Series 6: Photographs, circa 1910s-1960s (Box 5; 0.25 linear feet)
Series 7: Audio Recordings, 1954-1967 (Box 5; 0.25 linear feet)
Jules Langsner (1911-1967) worked primarily in the Los Angeles area as a contemporary art critic, historian, and curator. He curated several seminal exhibitions of contemporary art, including the 1959-1960 show "Four Abstract Classicists" featuring the work of Southern California artists Lorser Feitelson, Karl Benjamin, Frederick Hammersley, and John McLaughlin.
Born Julius Harold Langsner in New York City on May 5, 1911, his family moved to Ontario, California in 1922. The family lived on a farm and opened the Paradise Health Resort which was run by Langsner's father, chiropractor Isadore Langsner, and was popular in Jewish and intellectual circles. In Ontario, Langsner became friends with three of the Pollack family sons, Jackson, Frank, and Sanford, as well as Philip Guston, Reuben Kadish, Leonard Stark, and Don Brown as a teenager. Guston, Kadish, and Jackson Pollock were later mentored by Lorser Feitelston which helped to foster in Langsner an interest in avant-garde painting.
Langsner went on to study philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles. In the early 1940s, Langsner married and had a son, Drew Langsner. He divorced in 1946. In 1944, he enlisted in the United States Army and served as a psychiatric social worker and psychologist during World War II in the United States.
Art & Architecture magazine was the first to publish Langsner's art criticism in 1948. Throughout the 1950s and 60s his work was published widely in Art & Architecture as well as Art News, Art in America, Craft Horizons, Beverly Hills Times, Zodiac, and others. Langsner wrote extensively about art history in both published and unpublished manuscripts, including Painting in the Modern World which he worked on until his death. Additionally, he taught art history classes at the Chouinard Art Institute and University of Southern California and lectured for a variety of organizations and occasions.
Langsner curated several influential exhibitions in southern California, including the "Four Abstract Classicists" exhibition for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1959 and in whose catalog he and Peter Selz coined the term "Hard-Edge painting." He curated the first full-scale retrospective of Man Ray in the United States at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1966.
Langsner received a grant from the Ford Foundation in 1964 that allowed him to travel throughout Asia, the Middle East, and Europe for a year studying regional art and architecture. He wrote notes on his travels and corresponded frequently with June Harwood, a Hard-Edge painter, whom he married in Italy in 1965.
Jules Langsner died unexpectedly of a heart attack on September 29, 1967, in Los Angeles.
Related Archival Materials note:
The papers of Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg at the Archives of American Art contain a significant amount of writings by Jules Langsner, including exhibition catalog essays.
Papers of Jules Langsner, 1941-1967, are also located at the University of California, Los Angeles.
The Jules Langsner papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in several installments from 1973-1996, and in 2004 by June Harwood Langsner, widow of Jules Langsner. Notes for a lecture given at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1966 and 39 pieces of correspondence were donated in 1982 by the University of California Art Library, Los Angeles, via Librarian Virginia Steele.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
The records of the Doll & Richards gallery of Boston measure 87.5 linear feet and date from 1863 to 1978, with the bulk of the material dating from 1902-1960s. Extensive financial and sales records, inventory records, and correspondence and letter books provide a detailed account of the business operations and sales of the gallery. Also found are notes and research files on artists and paintings, business and legal records, exhibition catalogs, six exhibition scrapbooks, printed materials, and photographs. Significant correspondents include John Chetcuti, Robert Freiman, Lloyd Goodrich, Tod Lindenmuth, Macbeth Galleries, William Meyerowitz, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Stanley Woodward, and Andrew Wyeth, among many others.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of the Doll & Richards gallery of Boston measure 87.5 linear feet and date from 1863 to 1978, with the bulk of the material dating from 1902-1960s. Extensive financial and sales records, inventory records, and correspondence and letter books provide a detailed account of the business operations and sales of the gallery. Also found are notes and research files on artists and paintings, business and legal records, exhibition catalogs, six exhibition scrapbooks, printed materials, and photographs. The bulk of the collection dates from 1902 when the gallery was incorporated and new books were begun. According to gallery employee Wendell Zoehler, many records from the 19th century were discarded and periodically, especially when the gallery moved, other records were discarded.
Incoming and outgoing correspondence documents sales, consignments, appraisals, exhibitions, and inquiries by artists and others to Doll & Richards for over a century. Significant correspondents include artists John Chetcuti, Robert Freiman, Tod Lindenmuth, William Meyerowitz, Dwight Shepler, Elizabeth O'Neill Verner, Stanley Woodward, Andrew Wyeth, and others. Additional correspondents include Lloyd Goodrich from Whitney Museum of American Art, Azeez Khayat Gallery, Macbeth Galleries, Kleemann Galleries, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. There is one letter from George Inness (1866). Outgoing correspondence is limited to 46 volumes of letterpress copybooks dating from 1930-1967.
Notes and research files primarily consist of compiled information about artists in which Doll & Richards dealt. These include card files related to the provenance of paintings by Winslow Homer and William Stanley Haseltine, and a book about Winslow Homer with notations by Zoehler about the sale of paintings .
Administrative and business records of general daily operations include an address book, meeting minutes, miscellaneous lists and notes, and a large card file of contacts with clients, consignors, artists, and businesses. A detailed description of the gallery's operations by Zoehler is also found here. Legal records include contracts, agreements, certificates of stock, certificates of copyrights, and photocopies of founding documents.
Although there are limited records prior to 1902, the financial records provide comprehensive detail of the gallery's financial transactions from the turn of the century through the early 1970s. Volumes of financial ledgers provide details of artwork bought, sold, and consigned; order forms for sales, framing, restoration, and shipping; gallery expenditures and salaries; records of client purchases; and other affairs. Many of the financial records are indexed and cross-referenced, offering researchers complex but rich documentation. The financial records should be consulted with the numerous inventory records that provide detailed information about the stock of art work held at the gallery. Inventory records also include documentation about the frames held by the gallery from the mid-1880s-1950. The gallery used sometimes complex codes to index and cross reference sales and stock. When known, these codes have been outlined in the more detailed series desciptions below, or filed within the appropriate boxes.
The history of Doll & Richards' exhibitions from the 1880s-1968 are documented in six disassembled bound volumes that contained exhibition catalogs and announcements. There are also additional loose catalogs and announcements. Additional printed materials include newspaper clippings related to exhibitions and the gallery and seven scrapbooks related to Doll & Richards' exhibitions from 1909-1943.
The bulk of the black and white photographs in the collection are of works of art by artists that Doll & Richards exhibited. There are only a handful of photographs of other subject matter, but include images of the gallery spaces at 2 Park Street, 71 Newbury, and 138 Newberry; and of artists.
The collection is arranged as nine series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1863-1972, bulk 1930s-1972 (Boxes 1-14; 14 linear feet)
Series 2: Notes and Research Files, 1880s-1978, bulk 1930s-1960s (Boxes 15-16, 78; 1.2 linear feet)
Series 3: Business Records, circa 1866-1978, bulk 1910s-1960s (Boxes 16-18; 1.9 linear feet)
Series 4: Legal Records, 1863-1906, 1941-1962 (Boxes 18, 78; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 5: Financial Records, 1871-1973, bulk 1902-1969 (Boxes 18-69, 79, BV81-112; 55 linear feet)
Series 6: Inventory Records, 1881-1969, bulk 1900s-1940s (Boxes 69-70, BV113-128; 2.3 linear feet)
Series 7: Printed Materials, circa 1880s-1968, bulk 1890s-1960s (Boxes 70-75; 4.9 linear feet)
Series 8: Photographs, circa 1880s-1960s (Boxes 75-78; 2 linear feet)
Series 9: Scrapbooks, 1908-1968, bulk 1908-1943 (Boxes 77, 80; 1.1 linear feet)
The records have been arranged according to the original order maintained by the gallery. Bound volumes containing exhibition catalogs glued to the internal spines have been disbound for preservation and proper housing.
The Doll & Richards gallery originated in Boston in 1866 as an art gallery and framing shop owned by Charles E. Hendrickson, E. Adam Doll, and Joseph Dudley Richards. The gallery was a well-known Boston establishment for over 100 years that represented William Stanley Haseltine, Winslow Homer, William Morris Hunt, and Andrew Wyeth, among many other notable American painters, sculptors, and printmakers.
In 1870 Hendrickson retired and the gallery became Doll & Richards. After the untimely death of Doll in 1880, Richards purchased Doll's interest in the firm, retaining the gallery's well-known name. Under Richards' direction, the gallery prospered. Richards promoted the works of painter Winslow Homer, developing a market for his watercolors in Boston. He incorporated the gallery in 1902 and served as the treasurer and financier until his death in 1922 at 80 years old. The gallery then reorganized; Arthur McKean, who joined in 1911, became manager, and J.L. (Joe) Richards became treasurer. Fergus Turner, who joined the firm as a salesman in 1885 and became president in 1902, retained his role as president until 1938.
Over the century the gallery showcased contempory American artists, including William Morris Hunt, Dodge McKnight, William Stanley Haseltine, Laura Coombs Hills, Eliot O'Hara, Joseph Lindon Smith, Stanley Woodward, and Andrew Wyeth. The gallery also consigned paintings, prints, and objects from other major art galleries including Azeez Khayat Gallery, Kennedy Galleries, M. Knoedler and Co., Macbeth Gallery, Victor D. Spark, and Victor Waddington Galleries (Dublin, Ireland). According to long-time employee Wendell Zoehler (employed from 1929-1966), Doll & Richards' primary clientele came from the Social Register. In the summer months when wealthy Bostonians typically vacationed outside of the city, Doll & Richards remained open for tourists, many of whom became regular seasonal customers of the gallery.
The gallery experienced financial difficulties in the 1930s, leading to bankruptcy. Doll & Richards was purchased by McKean and incorporated in Maine in 1941. McKean sold Doll & Richards in 1962 to Maurice Goldberg; at this time none of the remaining family or staff were connected with the gallery. In 1973, the gallery was sold to Jeanne and Paul Sylva and closed.
Although the gallery always remained in the vicinity of Boston Common, it relocated numerous times over the years. In 1871 the gallery moved from 28 Summer Street to 145 Tremont Street. In 1878, the gallery remodeled and occupied the entire two-story building at 2 Park Street, renting out the second floor, known as the Hawthorne Room, for lectures. After thirty years on Park Street, Doll & Richards relocated to Newbury Street in 1908, beginning a succession of moves down Newbury Street approximately every twenty years, finally to 172 Newbury Street in 1962.
Among the other resources relating to the Doll & Richards gallery in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Wendell Zoehler conducted by Robert Brown on April 14 and April 27, 1978.
A daguerroteype of Gaetano Cardinal Bedini received with the records was transferred to the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery on May 24, 2004.
The Doll & Richards records were donated to the Archives of American Art in numerous accessions between 1973 and 1979 by Jeanne and Paul Sylva, who purchased the gallery in 1973, and by former employee Wendell Zoehler.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Reel NMcB 1 - 13: Correspondence, mostly 1910-1960; manuscript writings; notes; reviews; and articles. Correspondents include the Stettheimer sisters, Charles Aiken, Alexander Archipenko, George Biddle, Edward Bruce, Alexander Calder, Mary Callery, Royal Cortissoz, Chester Dale, Randall Davey, Katherine Dreier, Guy Pène du Bois, Marcel Duchamp, Valentine Dudensing, Albert Duveen, Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, Thomas Eakins, Louis Eilshemius, Lyonel Feininger, Juliana Force, Edith Halpert, George Hart, Max Kalish, Rockwell Kent, Samuel M. Kootz, Walt Kuhn, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Gaston Lachaise, Jacques Lipchitz, Robert Macbeth, John Marin, Peppino Mangravite, Georgia O'Keeffe, Amédée Ozenfant, Walter Pach, Jules Pascin, John Quinn, Man Ray, Gertrude Stein, Joseph Stella, Maurice Sterne, Albert Sterner, Alfred Stieglitz, Gustave Verbeek, Malcolm Vaughan, Forbes Watson, Max Weber, Guy Wiggins, and William Zorach.
Reel D105: Notes, letters, clippings, photographs and catalogs relating to Thomas Eakins from the collection of Henry McBride.
Reel NMcB 14: Letters, 1946-1962, to Dr. and Mrs. Everett S. Barr, and letters, 1950-1957, to Mr. and Mrs. C. Earle Miller.
Reel 372: Letters and photographs, ca. 1903-1962. McBride writes in journal-like detail from 1947-1962 to his friends, Alice and Everett Barr, West Chester, Pa., commenting on politics during the Truman and Eisenhower years, theatre and opera in New York, and the social and domestic activities of the social group with which he associates, including members of the Delano, Stettheimer and Wetmore families, as well as literary and art figures including Glenway Wescott, Monroe Wheeler, Claude Rains, and others. Photographs, ca. 1903-1947, include McBride with Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Henri Matisse, and others; one postcard from Carl Van Vechten, June 4, 1933, and a photograph of Marianne Moore.
Biographical / Historical:
Art critic and author, New York, N.Y. Wrote for THE NEW YORK SUN (1913-1949) and THE DIAL (1920-1929). Author of MATISSE, SOME FRENCH MODERNS, MARIN, and FLORINE STETTHEIMER. Gave many prominent artists their first critical acclaim, such as Thomas Eakins, Jules Pascin, John Marin, Charles Demuth, Louis Eilshemius.
Lent for microfilming by Maximillian Miltzlaff, executor of McBride's estate.
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
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Collection is open for research. Some items may be restricted due to fragile condition.
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