Wenley, A. G. (Archibald Gibson), 1898-1962 Search this
24 Linear feet
China -- Description and Travel
USA -- New York -- New York
Scope and Contents:
Papers of art collectors Pauline Baerwald Falk (1910-2000) and Myron (Johnny) Falk Jr. (1906-1992), 1904-1998. Created and collected by the Falks, this collection includes: biographical data; black-and-white and color prints of art objects and people; photo albums of art objects in the Falk's art collection; symposium papers, scholarly reviews, and newspaper articles on Chinese art; Professor Alfred Salmony's lecture notes, Metropolitan Museum; purchase invoices for Chinese art, Japanese art, and Korean art; photographs, receipts, itineraries, one seal, atlases, and journals relating to the Falk's various trips to Asia and Europe, personal correspondence and correspondence with art dealers; guest books from 17 East 66th Street, New York and 888 Park Ave., New York, signed by guests from 1949-1997; committee papers; exhibition loan forms, Mr. Falk's notes about the collection and sale results from property consigned for sale; and four reels 16mm motion picture film taken during the Falk's 1937 trip to Asia.
The collection is organized into five series. 1. Correspondence; 2. Personal papers; 3. Professional papers; 4. Travel related materials; 5. Falk art collection related materials.
Biographical / Historical:
Myron S. (Johnny) Falk Jr., and his wife Pauline Baerwald Falk were active philanthropists, prominent Asian art collectors and were both active in the Jewish and Art communities.
The purchase that started their collection happened while on their 1935 honeymoon in the English countryside where they came upon two blue-and-white Ming Dynasty porcelain dishes. Later, taking one of the inaugural Pan Am Clipper flights to China in 1937, their collecting began in earnest. There are home movies in the collection taken by Johnny that document their trip to a largely untouched China. However, because China was closed to the West starting in 1950, they were unable to return until 1979.
As collectors, the Falks made a good team. Due to his engineering background from school, Johnny became an expert on firing techniques and glazes; while Pauline was known as the ''eye.'' Their fervent and long-term involvement in the Asian art community led them to become close friends with the biggest dealers in America and Europe.
Johnny and Pauline collected wares of the Song dynasty, archaic bronzes, jades, stone sculptures, several fine Ming and Qing porcelains, Korean ceramics, and nearly 100 Japanese paintings. After more than fifty years collecting their art work totaled over 700 items.
Johnny and Pauline lent their artworks to museums, advised art institutions in the United States and abroad, and fostered the training of a new generation of curators, scholars and other professionals in the Asian art field.
Johnny was an investment banker, philanthropist and prominent collector of Asian art. He was a longtime trustee of the Asia Society and helped found the Oriental Art Council, Roebling Society of the Brooklyn Museum and Japan Society Gallery. He also served as a director of the New York Foundation and Hebrew Technical Institute, a board member of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies and chairman of the Bennington College board of trustees.
Pauline was a philanthropist, collector of Asian art, president of the Jewish Board of Family and Children Services, and founder of the New Lincoln School in Manhattan. She worked with displaced Jewish refugees before and during World War II. She was active in the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and became a founding member of the National Refugee Service, the Council for Jewish Women and the Jewish Social Service Association.
Together they were strong supporters of the Asia Society, the Chinese Art Society, they helped establish the Friends of Asia House Gallery in 1971, and founded the Friends of the China Institute in America Gallery. They also established the "Archives of Chinese Art" in 1945 an important scholarly journal that is published today by The Asia Society as the "Archives of Asian Art," and are among the founding members of the Friends of the Far Eastern Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Friends of Asian Art at the Brooklyn Museum.
Collection is open for research.
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.