Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Search Results

Collections Search Center
32 documents - page 1 of 2

Gertrude Abercrombie papers

Creator:
Abercrombie, Gertrude, 1909-1977  Search this
Names:
Algren, Nelson, 1909-1981  Search this
Armin, Emil, 1883-  Search this
Armour, Richard Willard, 1906-  Search this
De Diego, Julio, 1900-  Search this
Evans, B.  Search this
Huppler, Dudley, 1917-1988  Search this
Karidis, Jerome  Search this
Priebe, Karl J., 1914-1976  Search this
Purdy, Carl  Search this
Purdy, James  Search this
Rollins, Sonny  Search this
Rorem, Ned, 1923-  Search this
Terkel, Studs, 1912-2008  Search this
Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964  Search this
Warren, Paul, 1916-  Search this
Wilcox, Wendell  Search this
Wilde, John, 1919-2006  Search this
Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975  Search this
Extent:
5.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Sketches
Photographs
Writings
Date:
circa 1880-1986
bulk 1935-1977
Summary:
The papers of surrealist artist Gertrude Abercrombie date from circa 1880-1986, with the bulk of the material dated 1935-1977, and measure 5.9 linear feet. Found within are biographical material; correspondence (mostly incoming letters) with friends, museums, and galleries; files for artists that interested her; writings and notes, including five journal-type notebooks; scattered personal business records; two sketchbooks by Abercrombie and additional sketches and drawings, some by others; printed material, audio recordings, one scrapbook, photographs, and estate records.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of surrealist artist Gertrude Abercrombie date from circa 1880-1986, with the bulk of the material dated 1935-1977, and measure 5.9 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence (mostly incoming letters) with friends, museums, and galleries; artists files; writings and notes, including five journal-type notebooks; scattered personal business records; two sketchbooks by Abercrombie and additional sketches and drawings, some by others; printed material, audio recordings, one scrapbook, photographs, and estate records.

Biographical material consists of biographical notes, Gertrude Abercrombie's will, address books, and a file titled "memorabilia." Personal and professional correspondence consists mainly of incoming letters and some drafts of Gertrude Abercrombie's outgoing letters. Letters from museums and galleries concern loans of paintings and exhibitions. A large amount of the personal correspondence consists of post cards including many antique ones, as well as cards containing original art work by Julio de Diego, Jerry [Jerome] Karidis, Karl Priebe.

Artist files consist of correspondence, printed material, and photographs concerning painters, writers, a jazz musician, and a photographer. The individuals represented are: Dudley Huppler, Jerome Karidis, Karl Priebe, James Purdy, Sonny Rollins, Carl Van Vechten, Wendell Wilcox, John Wilde, and Thornton Wilder.

Writings and notes include reminiscences, miscellaneous writings and notes, and a girlhood diary with brief entries. Five notebooks contain a variety of writings dating from 1953 through 1975, and undated. One volume concerns only her second husband Frank Sandiford.

Business records include a painting catalog on file cards, mailing and guest lists, and miscellaneous sales records. In addition, six notebooks record expenses, sales, inventories, mailing lists, a register of paintings, and a guest book.

There are two sketchbooks, Christmas card designs, sketches and drawings done by Gertrude Abercrombie. There are also prints, drawings, and a painting by Emil Arman, B. Evans, de Diego, and unknown artists.

Printed material consists of articles and clippings about Gertrude Abercrombie, exhibition catalogs, and reproductions. Also included are books by friends inscribed by the authors, among them: Nelson Algren, Richard Armour, Dudley Huppler, James Purdy, Ned Rorem, Paul Warren [pen name of Abercrombie's second husband, Frank Sandiford], Studs Terkel, and Thornton Wilder.

Audio recordings (33-1/3 rpm phonograph alums) are inscribed to Gertrude Abercrombie by the artists. Orlando's album cover, designed by Abercrombie, incorporates one of her paintings.

Records of the Estate of Gertrude Abercrombie and the Gertrude Abercrombie Trust, Donald Baum, Executor, consist mainly of correspondence with the institutions that were offered works of art by Gertrude Abercrombie and from her personal collection. Also included are general correspondence, financial and tax records, and legal documents.

There is one scrapbook dated 1943 containing photographs and printed material.

Photographs are of art work, people, places, and miscellaneous subjects; negatives, slides, and transparencies are included in this series, too. Photographs of art include the work of Gertrude Abercrombie, Karl Priebe, and Charles Sebree. People pictured are Gertrude Abercrombie and family, including her parents, Richard I. Livingston, Dinah Livingston, and Frank Sandiford. There are also 19th and early 20th century photographs of ancestors. Among the images of friends are: Ivan le Lorraine Albright, Arnold Blanch, Dudley Huppler, Doris Lee, Karl Priebe, and Richard Purdy. Photographs of jazz artists include: Louis Armstrong, George Davis, Erroll Garner, Dizzy Gillespie, Earl Hines, Orlando, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Sarah Vaughn, and the Modern Jazz Quartet. Of particular note the portraits of Gertrude Abercrombie and Dizzy Gillespie by Carl Van Vechten.Among the photographs of places are interior views of Gertrude Abercrombie's home and studio, unidentified landscapes, travel pictures of San Francisco and commercially produced stereopticon slides of other locations. Miscellaneous subjects are automobiles, cats, exhibition installations, and a still life setup.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 11 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1902-1976 (Box 1, OV9; 0.1 linear ft.)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1935-1977 (Boxes 1-2; 1.65 linear ft.)

Series 3: Artist files, circa 1935-1977 (Box 2; 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 4: Writings and Notes, circa 1919-1977 (Box 3; 0.1 linear ft.)

Series 5: Business Records, circa 1944-1977 (Box 3; 0.2 linear ft.)

Series 6: Art Work, circa 1939-1975 (Boxes 3, 7; O.2 linear ft.)

Series 7: Printed Material, circa 1906-1977 (Boxes 3-4; 1.6 linear ft.)

Series 8: Audio Recordings, circa 1970-1974 (Box 7; 0.1 linear ft.)

Series 9: Estate Records, circa 1976-1986 (Box 5; o.5 linear ft.)

Series 10: Scrapbook, circa 1943(Box 5; 1 folder)

Series 11: Photographs, circa 1880-1978(Boxes 5-7; OV8, 1.0 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Surrealist painter Gertrude Abercrombie (1909-1977) lived and worked in Chicago and was a prominent member of Chicago's Hyde Park arts community.

Abercrombie was known for surrealist oil paintings featuring dreamlike landscapes and fantasies. Her wide circle of friends included locally and nationally known artists, writers, and jazz musicians who made her home a popular avant-garde salon. She was the inspiration for Richie Powell's "Gertrude's Bounce" and, appeared as a fictional character in Malcolm, Eustace Chisholm, and as herself in Gertrude of Stony Island Avenue all by James Purdy.

The only child of Tom and Lula Janes [Jane] Abercrombie, Gertrude was born in Austin, Texas in 1909, while her opera singer parents were in town with a traveling company. In 1913, the family relocated to Berlin to further Jane's career, but the outbreak of World War I forced their return to the United States. They lived with Tom Abercrombie's family in Alledo, Illinois, before permanently settling in Chicago.

Gertrude Abercrombie had a facility with language and possessed musical and artistic talents. After graduation from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana with a degree in romance languages in 1929, she studied figure drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for a short time. She then enrolled at the American Arcademy of Art, also in Chicago, for a year long course in commercial art. Her first job was drawing gloves for Mesirow Department Store ads, followed by a stint working as an artist for Sears.

By 1932, Gertrude Abercrombie began painting seriously. The following summer, she participated in an outdoor art fair in downtown Chicago where she made her first sale and received favorable mention in a newspaper review of the event. Abercrombie's work that featured self-portraits and recurring images of personal symbols - trees, horses, owls, keys, shells, doors, stairways, ladders - began to attract attention. Beginning in 1934, Gertrude Abercrombie was employment as a painter in the WPA Federal Art Project in 1934, enabling her to feel validated as an artist and move from the home of her conservative, Christian Scientist parents to her own apartment. The Chicago Society of Artists presented a solo exhibition of Abercrombie's work in 1934, and in 1936 she showed at the Katharine Kuh Gallery (along with Rita Stein and Nicola Ziroli). In 1936 and 1938 Gertrude Abercrombie won prizes at the Art Institute of Chicago's Annual Exhibition of Works by Artists of Chicago and Vicinity.

She left the WPA in 1940 and married lawyer Robert Livingston. Their daughter, Dinah, was born in 1942, and they soon moved to a large Victorian house on South Dorchester St. where Gertude lived for the remainder of her life. The couple divorced in 1948. That same year she married Frank Sandiford, a music critic whose pen name was Paul Warren. An accomplished improvisational pianist, Gertrude Abercrombie became friends with many prominent jazz artists whom she met through Sandiford; in fact, Dizzy Gillespie performed at their wedding. Abercrombie and Sandiford separated in 1964.

The 1940s through 1950s were Gertrude Abercrombie's most productive and prolific period. Although she no longer painted many portraits, he work remained focused on the same themes and symbols. She believed that art was about ideas rather than technique and insisted that "It is always myself that I paint." During this period, Amercrombie exhibited widely in group shows and had solo exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago, Associated American Artists (New York), and Leonard Linn, Inc. (Winnetka, Ill.)

By the late 1950s, Gertrude Abercrombie began a long decline. Alcoholism started to take a toll. She suffered serious financial reverses, and in 1964 separated from Frank Sandiford. Debilitating arthritis eventually landed her in a wheel chair, and she became reclusive. In 1977, very near the end of her life, Gertrude Abercrombie was honored with a well-received retrospective exhibition at the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago. She was able to attend the reception and enjoy seeing the many old friends who were at the event.

Gertrude Abercrombie died in Chicago in 1977. Her will established The Gertrude Abercrombie Trust that cared for and distributed to various institutions her own paintings and a personal collection of works by other artists to selected institutions, mainly in the Midwest.
Related Material:
A photograph of Gertrude Abercrombie at home with her painting "Slaughter House", was donated by Donald Baum to the National Collection of Fine Arts in 1979 and transferred to the Archives of American Art that same year.
Provenance:
Donald Baum, executor of both the estate and trust of Gertrude Abercrombie, donated the papers to the Archives of American Art in 1978 and 1986.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Surrealism  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Sketches
Photographs
Writings
Citation:
The Gertrude Abercrombie papers, circa 1880-1986, bulk 1935-1977. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.abergert
See more items in:
Gertrude Abercrombie papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-abergert

Max Bohm papers

Creator:
Bohm, Max, 1868-1923  Search this
Names:
Beachcombers (Organization)  Search this
Salmagundi Club  Search this
Bohm, Zella Newcomb  Search this
Hunt, Clyde du Vernet  Search this
Locke, Esther Bohm, d. 1913  Search this
Longyear, Mary Beecher, 1851-1931  Search this
Macbeth, Robert W. (Robert Walker), 1884-1940  Search this
Macbeth, William, 1851-1917  Search this
Extent:
5.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Paintings
Photographs
Drawings
Diaries
Place:
France -- description and travel
Date:
1873-1970
bulk 1880-1959
Summary:
The papers of painter Max Bohm measure 5.6 linear feet and date from 1873-1970, with the bulk of the material dating from 1880-1959. Biographical material includes a file concerning the Provincetown artist's club The Beachcombers. Also found is detailed family correspondence, as well as general correspondence that includes exchanges with patron Mary Beecher Longyear and dealer William Macbeth. The papers contain scattered business records; five diaries written by Bohm's wife Zella; other notes and writings; art work including fifteen sketchbooks, loose drawings, and oil paintings; printed material; and photographs of Bohm, his family, and colleagues including artists attending a Salmagundi dinner. There is also a motion picture film Six Foot Art, in Which Max Bohm, Member of the National Academy Tells How He Does It.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter Max Bohm measure 5.6 linear feet and date from 1873-1970, with the bulk of the material dating from 1880-1959. Biographical material includes a file concerning the Provincetown artist's club The Beachcombers. Also found within the papers is detailed family correspondence, as well as general correspondence that includes exchanges with patron Mary Beecher Longyear and dealer William Macbeth. Also found are scattered business records; five diaries written by Bohm's wife Zella; other notes and writings; art work including sketchbooks, loose drawings, and oil paintings; printed material; and photographs of Bohm, his family, and colleagues including artists attending a Salmagundi dinner. There is also a motion picture film Six Foot Art, in Which Max Bohm, Member of the National Academy Tells How He Does It.

Family correspondence consists of letters exchanged between various Bohm family members during their long periods of separation. Decades of almost daily exchanges of letters offer detailed descriptions of Bohm's activities in pursuit of notoriety as an artist including his frequent travels in Europe and the United States, attendance of art-related and other cultural events, and his thoughts about art, philosophy, and his strong opposition to German aggression in World War I. The often affectionate letters from Bohm's wife Zella describe her concerns over finances and raising the children during Bohm's frequent absences, but also include descriptions of their summers in coastal France.

Professional correspondence consists of scattered letters discussing art-related business with colleagues including Bohm's longtime patron and Christian Science advocate, Mary Beecher Longyear, and Macbeth Gallery owners Robert and William Macbeth.

Scattered business records include price lists for art work, banking records, and miscellaneous receipts.

Five diaries and loose diary pages written by Bohm's wife Zella contain detailed descriptions of daily activities and her observations and thoughts, some drawings, notes, and financial notations. Some of the diaries contain annotations by her daughter, Esther.

Notes and writings include notebooks containing original short stories and miscellaneous sketches by Bohm, lists of art work, miscellaneous notes including several written by Esther Bohm, and miscellaneous writings by and about Bohm including his typescript "An Artist's Philosophy."

Art work consists of fifteen sketchbooks, miscellaneous drawings including a self-portrait, and oil paintings on board and on unstretched canvases including Bohm's studies of works by Titian and Van Dyke, and a painting of a young Esther Bohm looking at the sea. Works by others include a batik design on silk by Zella Bohm, a watercolor by Bohm's aunt, Anna Stuhr Weitz, and an oil portrait of Zella by her granddaughter.

Printed material primarily consists of clippings generated by Bohm's participation in the Paris Salons, in addition to several exhibition announcements and catalogs for Bohm and for others, and reproductions of art work by Bohm and others. There are also 2 copies of a silent, black and white Pathé newsreel titled Six Foot Art, in Which Max Bohm, Member of the National Academy Tells How He Does It on 16mm and 35mm film reels.

Photographs are of Bohm and his family, colleagues including Clyde du Vernet Hunt in his studio and a Salmagundi Club "Get Together" dinner, views of the town of Etaples, France, and of works of art by Bohm and others.
Arrangement:
The papers have been organized into 8 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1898-1970 (0.1 linear feet; Box 1, OV 8)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1880-1955 (3.3 linear feet; Boxes 1-4, 7)

Series 3: Business Records, 1910-1930 (0.2 linear feet; Box 4)

Series 4: Diaries, 1887-1916 (0.2 linear feet; Box 4)

Series 5: Notes and Writings, 1882-circa 1970 (0.2 linear feet; Boxes 4, 7)

Series 6: Art Work, 1873-1951 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 4-5, 7, OVs 8-10)

Series 7: Printed Material and Motion Picture Film, 1886-1957 (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 5-7, FC 11-12)

Series 8: Photographs, 1886-1959 (0.2 linear feet; Boxes 6-7)
Biographical / Historical:
Max Bohm was born on January 21, 1868, in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Henry and Emilie Bohm.

Bohm began his study of art in 1887 when he accompanied his aunt, Anna Stuhr, on the first of several voyages to France. He studied in artist communities in Brittany and in Paris at the Académie Julian with Boulanger, Lefebvre, and Benjamin Constant. He also traveled to Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany.

In 1895, Bohm attended an open school of painting in Etaples on the coast of France, and during the winter months he taught painting at a school in London, England. His painting En Mer was awarded the Gold Medal by the Paris Salon of 1897.

While teaching in Etaples in 1898, Bohm married one of his pupils, Zella Newcomb, an art teacher from Carlton College in Minnesota. In 1900, the Bohms traveled to Italy for several months before returning to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where Bohm established a studio. After trying to find affordable studio and living space in New York City, Bohm moved his family back to France in 1902. Bohm established a studio in Paris for two years and during the summer months his wife and children moved to the less expensive and cooler coastal towns of France. Bohm continued to display his work in the annual Paris Salons.

From 1905 until the summer of 1908, the Bohm family lived primarily in England. In 1909, Bohm entered and won the Cleveland Court House mural competition, prompting the family to return to the United States for several months. They returned to Paris the following year, where Bohm established a studio and worked on the Cleveland Court House mural. Again, Bohm's wife and children would live in French coastal towns, while Bohm was on extended visits to Paris, London, or the United States.

Sometime around 1911, Bohm became acquainted with Mrs. Mary Beecher Longyear, a wealthy follower of Mary Baker Eddy and Christian Science. Over the next decade, Mrs. Longyear commissioned many works by Bohm and supported his career. In May of 1912 Bohm's mural, First New England Town Meeting, was installed in the new Cleveland Court House and arrangements were made with Macbeth Galleries to exhibit Bohm's work. Late in 1913, Bohm became involved with the Pan-Pacific International Exposition where his painting Promenade won the Gold Medal in 1915.

During World War I, the Bohm family fled France and temporarily settled in Tuckahoe, New York, and Bohm made frequent visits to his patron, Mrs. Longyear, in Boston. In 1916, the Knoedler Gallery exhibited Bohm's murals for Mrs. Longyear's music room. Also during this time, the family enjoyed spending summers in Provincetown, where Bohm joined The Beachcombers, an organization of artists.

In 1919, the Bohms built a house in Bronxville, New York, for easy access to New York City, while simultaneously purchasing a cottage in Provincetown. While the house was being constructed, Zella and the children became boarders in the home of painter Spencer Nichols, who also lived in Bronxville. During this year, Max Bohm, Jr., entered Harvard University while Mrs. Longyear continued to provide commissions for Max Bohm's art work.

Between 1922 and 1923, Bohm had exhibitions in Greenwich, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., and at the Grand Central Galleries, with his painting En Mer being exhibited at the National Academy of Design.

Max Bohm died on September 19, 1923 in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reels 420-421) including biographical material, scattered letters, notes and writings, drawings, clippings, exhibition catalogs, booklets, a scrapbooks, and photographs of Bohm, his family, colleagues, and residences. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.

The original Six Foot Art film was also transferred to 16mm and 35mm film reels in the 1970s, but is not in the collection.
Provenance:
Kathryn Esther Locke and Elizabeth Schwarz, the artist's daughters, lent the material on microfilm reels 420-421 and donated papers in 1972.
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 Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Provincetown  Search this
Topic:
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Christian Scientists  Search this
Painting, American -- Massachusetts -- Provincetown  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Paintings
Photographs
Drawings
Diaries
Citation:
Max Bohm papers, 1873-1970, bulk 1880-1959. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.bohmmax
See more items in:
Max Bohm papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bohmmax
Online Media:

Leo Baekeland Diary Volume 1

Author:
Baekeland, L. H. (Leo Hendrik), 1863-1944  Search this
Collection Creator:
Baekeland, L. H. (Leo Hendrik), 1863-1944  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (6.0" x 3.5".)
Container:
Box 18, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Biographies
Diaries
Place:
Yonkers (N.Y.) -- 1900-1910
Date:
1907 April 3-1908 January 22
Scope and Contents:
Inscription on flyleaf: "I / Journal of / Dr. L.H. Baekeland / Yonkers, NY [sic] / April 3, 1907 / to Jan. 23, 1908." The diary details Baekeland's daily activities. He writes often of his visits and discussions, and the subjects of correspondence he has written and received. It sheds light on the use and distance of travel by automobile in the early twentieth century. In the notes, Baekeland explains increasing time spent in the laboratory at the end of 1907 into 1908.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Laboratories  Search this
Automobiles -- 1900-1910  Search this
Tourism  Search this
Family -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Biographies
Diaries -- 20th century
Collection Citation:
Leo Baekeland Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Leo H. Baekeland Papers
Leo H. Baekeland Papers / Series 4: Diaries
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0005-ref288
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Leo Baekeland Diary Volume 1 digital asset number 1

Fuller Brush Company Records

Creator:
Fuller Brush Company  Search this
Extent:
32.5 Cubic feet (77 boxes, 1 map-folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Articles
Clippings
Ledgers (account books)
Letters (correspondence)
Motion picture film
Newsletters
Photographs
Printed materials
Programs (documents)
Reports
Sales catalogs
Sales records
Trade catalogs
Trade literature
Training manuals
Financial statements
Market surveys
Business records
Place:
Connecticut -- Hartford
Kansas
Date:
1890-2017
Summary:
The collection documents the Fuller Brush Company founded by Alfred C. Fuller in 1906.
Content Description:
The collection documents the Fuller Brush Company from the early years of its existence. The contents include photographs; ledgers; correspondence; internal reports; manufacturing facility studies; quality control reports; financial statements; sales data; company newsletters, some loose and some in bound form; other internal publications; advertising; trade literature; product manuals; catalogs; training manuals and employee handbooks; company annual reports; convention programs and materials; films; materials relating to employee incentives; vinyl records of radio broadcasts; scripts, pressbooks, and other promotional material for motion pictures; informational audio-cassete tapes; contracts, trial testimonies, and other legal papers; industry surveys and marketing campaign proposals; and clippings and printed materials.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged into thirteen series. Unless otherwise noted, material is arranged chronologically.

Series 1: Historical background, 1916-2001

Series 2: Corporate records, 1917-2010 (bulk 1973-1976)

Series 3: Marketing, 1941-2013

Series 4: Operational records, 1913-1976 (bulk 1969-1976)

Series 5: Financial materials, 1919-1996

Series 6: Personnel, 1922-1984

Series 7: Sales managers, 1922-1990

Series 8: Distributors, 1921-2006

Series 9: Publications, 1920-1999

Series 10: Product materials, 1912-2017

Series 11: Photographs, circa 1890-2000

Series 12: Press Clippings and Publicity, 1921-2010

Series 13: The Fuller Brush Man and The Fuller Brush Girl, 1947-1953, 2004 (bulk 1947-1952).
Historical:
Founded in 1906 by Alfred C. Fuller in Hartford, Connecticut, the Fuller Brush Company predominately sold a wide range of cleaning products, marketed for personal care, housekeeping, and commercial users. Mostly a direct-selling company, it is perhaps best known for its independent, door-to-door salesmen, a figure referred to in popular culture as "the Fuller Brush Man." Calling on the housewives of America, the Fuller Brush Man would visit households with a gift, flyers, and a case full of samples, with which he would demonstrate the use of cleaning implements of various shapes and sizes. Through techniques such as developing new products based on customer feedback, and providing a satisfaction guarantee by allowing for product returns during the Fuller Brush Man's next visit, the Fuller Brush Company inspired new levels of trust and credibility in direct selling. In return, the company reaped massive profits. During the peak of the company's popularity, in around the 1950s, the Fuller Brush Man was a ubiquitous part of the American landscape, alluded to in comic strips, radio programs, and popular films, such as the 1948 Red Skelton comedy The Fuller Brush Man and the 1950 comedy The Fuller Brush Girl, starring Lucille Ball.

The Fuller Brush Company continually used its resources to promote and establish the identity of the Fuller Brush Man, to its own salespeople as well as the public. Traditional print advertisements were supplemented with extensive publicity coverage, carefully crafted by the Fuller Brush Company's advertising and public relations team. The company fostered a culture of achievable aspiration among new recruits, through in-house publications, which celebrated the accomplishments of fellow dealers, incentive programs, and a career ladder pipeline, which allowed high achieving salesmen to advance from independent dealers to regional sales managers--who were considered formal employees of the Fuller Brush Company. Some sales managers became local celebrities in their districts, adding their own charisma to the development of the Fuller Brush Man--such as New York District's Al Teetsel--whose "Fine and Dandy" personal motto established a cult following. Other Fuller Brush Company salesmen used the Fuller Brush Man's distinctive optimism, pluck, and perseverance to later become celebrities in their own right, such as evangelist Billy Graham, who attributed his high school days as a successful Fuller Brush Man to his future success.

While the Fuller Brush Company is best known for its door-to-door network of Fuller Brush Men, and its household products division, the company experimented with various channels of distribution and other specialized products during its over 100-year history. The Fuller Brush Company produced implements to clean guns during World War II, and in 1945 was honored with the E Award for its war effort contributions. In the 1940s, the Fuller Brush Company introduced female salespeople, or "Fullerettes" to their door-to-door ranks (mostly to promote their Debutante Cosmetics line, released by Daggett & Ramsdell, Inc. in 1948). The company returned to actively recruiting Fullerettes in 1966, and thereafter welcomed distributors of either sex. The company's Machine Division produced the mast for the sailboat "Columbia" in 1958, and in the 1960s, its Marine Division produced items for the maintenance of nautical equipment. Around the 1960s, its Household Division incorporated new items such as vitamins and hormone treatments into its personal care product line. The company experimented with retail brick-and-mortar locations, and, in 1974, instigated a telemarketing program. After 1985, the Fuller Brush Company began to move away from door-to-door sales techniques, redeveloping its sale channel distribution system to include mail order catalogs, a secure sales website for distributors, network-marketing techniques, and a reinterpretation of sales territories for distributors where district territories began to blur in favor of nationwide sales opportunities.

Founded in Hartford, Connecticut, the company remained in the region through the 1960s, though the company shifted locations to larger offices and manufacturing facilities as it grew. In 1960, operational facilities and headquarters moved to a large, custom-built campus in East Hartford, Connecticut. However, in 1968, the company was acquired by the Kitchens of Sara Lee, Inc. (then a part of the Consolidated Foods Corporation). During the 1970s the Fuller Brush Company experienced rapid changes in administration and organization. Under President Nat Zivin, headquarters relocated to Niles, Illinois in 1973. Later the same year, headquarters and operations moved to a large manufacturing facility in Great Bend, Kansas. The company remained a division of Sara Lee until 1989.

The Fuller Brush Company grew to involve multiple subsidiaries, including many that were international. The Fuller Brush Company established a wholly-owned Canadian subsidiary in 1921, called the Fuller Brush Company, Limited. In 1942, the Fuller Brush Company bought out a competitor, the Albany, New York-based Mohawk Brush Company. The "bristlecomb" hairbrush, introduced by the Mohawk Brush Company in 1928, remained one of the Fuller Brush Company's signature products. In 1961, the Fuller Brush Company founded and incorporated Charter Supply Corporation as a wholly-owned Mohawk subsidiary. Charter Products operated as a "private label" division, to rebrand duplicate products. The Fuller Brush Company also owned subsidiaries in Mexico; in 1968, the Fuller Brush Company held 100% interest in House of Fuller, S.A. and Charter de Mexico, S.A., both established in Mexico. Also in 1968, the Fuller Brush Company was a partial owner of House of Fuller (Jamaica), Ltd. The Fuller Brush Company conducted business around the world, including dealings in England, France, Jamaica, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Spain, and Venezuela.

With growth came legal challenges. The Green River Ordinance, established in 1931, placed limits on door-to-door sales. The Fuller Brush Company challenged the ordinance, when it went to the Supreme Court in 1937. Over the course of its history, the Fuller Brush Company weathered lawsuits ranging from trademark disputes to labor treatment complaints from area managers in Puerto Rico.

After the sale by Sara Lee in 1989, the Fuller Brush Company was held by a series of private owners, including Lee Turner and Stuart A. Ochiltree. In June 1994, CPAC, Inc. purchased the company. In 1995, CPAC, Inc. also bought a longtime competitor of the Fuller Brush Company, Stanley Home Products, a company founded in 1929 by Stanley Beverage, a former sales vice president for the Fuller Brush Company. The two companies became siblings under the same parent organization; items from the Stanley Home Products line were sold by Fuller Brush Company distributors, and manufactured at the Fuller Brush Company plant in Great Bend. In 2012, both the Fuller Brush Company and Stanley Home Products filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The companies merged their product lines and catalogs, eliminating equivalent products, to cut costs and streamline operations.

In December 2012, David Sabin and Chicago-based private equity firm Victory Park Capital purchased the Fuller Brush Company. The company headquarters moved to Napa Valley, California. Facing increased financial difficulties, in 2016 the company began to phase out its independent distributor system and domestic manufacturing operations. Around January 2018, the company was sold to Galaxy Brush LLC of Lakewood, New Jersey.
Biographical:
Alfred C. Fuller (January 13, 1885 - December 4, 1973), was founder and first president of the Fuller Brush Company, as well as the "original Fuller Brush Man." He was born in rural Nova Scotia, to parents Leander Joseph Fuller and Phebe Jane Collins. The eleventh of twelve children, Fuller took pride in the resilient and self-sufficient spirit he developed growing up on a Nova Scotian farm, and valued such qualities throughout his life over formal education. Long after his success, he promoted himself as an average man among average men.

In 1903, at age eighteen, Alfred Fuller left his family home in Nova Scotia, and followed siblings who settled in the United States. He moved in with his sister Annie and her husband, Frank Adler, in Somerville, Massachusetts. After a series of odd jobs, Fuller considered trying his hand at selling brushes (he was inspired by a brother, Dwight, who made and sold brushes before his death by tuberculosis in 1901). Alfred discovered a knack for trade; unlike many other direct salesmen at the time, his sales technique emphasized product demonstrations. Eventually, Fuller decided to make his own brushes. He set up a workbench in his sister's basement in January 1906. Four months later, he moved to Hartford, Connecticut where he founded the Fuller Brush Company.

The rapid success of the company, improved Alfred C. Fuller's romantic prospects. With the enthusiastic support of his sister, Annie, Alfred initiated a courtship with a Nova Scotian woman who had formerly caught his eye, Evelyn Ellis. They were married on April 10, 1908. However, the marriage was strained, and they divorced in 1930. In 1932, Alfred Fuller remarried. His second wife, Mary Primrose Pelton, was also Nova Scotian, the daughter of a judge from Yarmouth. They remained together for the rest of his life.

Alfred C. Fuller and his first wife Evelyn had two sons. Alfred Howard was born in 1913 and Avard in 1916. Both would later rise to prominence within the Fuller Brush Company, serving as its second and third presidents. The elder son, Howard, was Fuller Brush Company President from 1943 until 1959. From an early age, Howard challenged his father regarding the direction of the company. With his bold and aggressive personality, Howard was able to institute changes to the company that resulted in higher profits, such as distributing catalogs before the salesman's visit, shortening product demonstrations, prioritizing many small sales over few large sales, and developing other techniques that emphasized speed and efficiency. However, his temperament also contributed to Howard and his wife Dora's untimely deaths. Howard, always interested in thrilling, high-risk pursuits (such as driving sports cars, piloting airplanes, and racing speedboats and sailboats) was cruising through Nevada at 120-miles per hour for a business trip, uncharacteristically accompanied by his wife, when his Mercedes-Benz 300 SL blew a tire. Both Fullers died in the accident.

Following the tragic accident, Avard assumed leadership of the Fuller Brush Company. Avard's more conservative nature ushered in an era of leadership where his father, Alfred C. Fuller, rose in honor and influence with the company. However, Avard relied on traditional sales strategies (such as promoting a culture around the Fuller Brush Man, rather than take a more active strategy toward integrating female distributors) which placed the Fuller Brush Company at a disadvantage with competitors such as Avon Cosmetics. Avard served as President of the Fuller Brush Company until 1969.

Although Alfred C. Fuller never reclaimed presidency of the Fuller Brush Company, he remained chairman emeritus for the duration of his life. A treasured company figurehead, celebrations were held in his honor long after his retirement. In 1956, a testimonial dinner was held where a portrait of Fuller was unveiled in honor of the 50-year anniversary of the Fuller Brush Company. In 1965, Alfred C. Fuller was further honored, when his birthplace was dedicated as a historic landmark. Alfred C. Fuller was known as "Dad" Fuller to the thousands of Fuller Brush Men and Fullerettes who represented the company door-to-door throughout the country, and made frequent appearances in in-house publications and external publicity. Working with Hartzell Spence, Alfred C. Fuller wrote an autobiography, titled A Foot in the Door, published by the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. in 1960. A practicing Christian Scientist with a devout Methodist mother, Fuller frequently alludes to the influence of his faith in his autobiography. Alfred C. Fuller passed away on December 4, 1973.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Stanley Home Products Collection (AC0788)

Earl S. Tupper Papers (AC0470)

Brownie Wise Papers (AC0509)

Ann and Thomas Damigella Collections (AC0583)

Industry on Parade Film Collection, episodes 66, 217 (AC0507)

Materials at the Smithsonian Institution

Smithsonian Libraries Trade Literature Collection, includes some Fuller Brush Company catalogs;

The Division of Work and Industry, National Museum of American History holds artifacts from the Fuller Brush Company from previous accessions, such as hairbrushes for women and men (including bristlecomb hairbrushes); shower brushes; toothbrushes; combs; a military brush; brush holders; and similar materials. (AG.A.6645-AG.A.6653; AG.A.6656-AG.A.6666; AG.77-FT-15.0523; ZZ.RSN833134).

The Medicine and Science Division (now Division of Medicine and Science) National Museum of American History holds a general purpose cleaning brush, and a bathroom fixtures cleaning brush from a previous accession (2006.0098).

National Portrait Gallery holds a portrait of Alfred Fuller.

Materials at Other Organizations

Hagley Museum and Library, Manuscripts and Archives Department

Avon Products Inc., Records, 1880-2012

University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center, Archives

Columbia Pictures Records, 1934-1974 (collection #93555)

Includes materials related to the Fuller Brush man and Fuller Brush Girl, 1950.
Separated Materials:
Artifacts collected along with the acquisition of archival material are held by the Divisions of Work and Industry, and Medicine and Science.

Separated materials assigned to the Division of Work and Industry include a men's tie; buttons; ashtray; charm; and tape measure. See accession 2018.0089.

Separated materials assigned to Division of Medicine and Science include a bathing brush, a dental plate brush, a women's hair brush, a comb cleaner, and toothbrushes. Some items are maintained in original packaging, or are kept with original paper inserts. See accession 2018.0090.
Provenance:
Collection donated by the Fuller Brush Company through David Sabin, 2018.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Advertising copy  Search this
Advertising, Point-of-sale  Search this
Broom and brush industry  Search this
Door-to-door selling  Search this
Household supplies  Search this
Print Advertising  Search this
Sales promotion  Search this
Traveling sales personnel  Search this
Manufacturing  Search this
Cosmetics industry  Search this
Industry -- U.S.  Search this
Direct selling  Search this
Businesspeople  Search this
Marketing  Search this
Radio broadcasts  Search this
Product demonstrations  Search this
Genre/Form:
Articles -- 20th century
Clippings -- 20th century
Ledgers (account books) -- 20th century
Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Motion picture film
Newsletters -- 20th century
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- 20th century
Printed materials
Programs (documents)
Reports -- 20th century
Sales catalogs
Sales records
Trade catalogs -- 20th century
Trade literature -- 20th century
Training manuals -- 20th century
Financial statements
Market surveys
Business records -- 20th century
Citation:
Fuller Brush Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1459
See more items in:
Fuller Brush Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1459
Online Media:

Handwritten Memoirs and Rosters

Collection Author:
Boyd, Theodore E.  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 17
Type:
Archival materials
Text
Date:
1919, undated
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Collection Citation:
Theodore E. Boyd World War I Collection, Accession 2013-0016, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Theodore E. Boyd World War I Collection
Theodore E. Boyd World War I Collection / Series 2: Memoirs
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-2013-0016-ref5
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Handwritten Memoirs and Rosters digital asset number 1

Max Bohm papers, 1873-1970, bulk 1880-1959

Creator:
Bohm, Max, 1868-1923  Search this
Bohm, Max, 1868-1923  Search this
Subject:
Macbeth, Robert W. (Robert Walker)  Search this
Hunt, Clyde du Vernet  Search this
Longyear, Mary Beecher  Search this
Locke, Esther Bohm  Search this
Bohm, Zella Newcomb  Search this
Macbeth, William  Search this
Beachcombers (Organization)  Search this
Salmagundi Club  Search this
Type:
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Paintings
Photographs
Drawings
Diaries
Place:
France -- description and travel
Topic:
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Christian Scientists  Search this
Painting, American -- Massachusetts -- Provincetown  Search this
Theme:
Diaries  Search this
Sketches & Sketchbooks  Search this
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)8893
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211078
AAA_collcode_bohmmax
Theme:
Diaries
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211078
Online Media:

Le Jugement Universel

Graphic artist:
Piroli, Tommaso  Search this
Original artist:
Buonarroti, Michelangelo  Search this
Publisher:
Bocchini  Search this
Measurements:
image: 39.5 cm x 29 cm; 15 9/16 in x 11 7/16 in
plate: 39.5 cm x 29 cm; 15 9/16 in x 11 7/16 in
sheet: 55 cm x 35.5 cm; 21 5/8 in x 14 in
Object Name:
Print
Other Terms:
Print; Intaglio; Etching
Place made:
France: Île-de-France, Paris
Date made:
1808
Subject:
Christian Science  Search this
ID Number:
GA.14943.08
Catalog number:
14943.08
Accession number:
94830
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Graphic Arts
Art
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ab-a67c-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_791070

Phyllis Diller’s Gag File

Manufacturer:
Art Steel Company, Inc.  Search this
Maker:
Diller, Phyllis  Search this
Art Steel Company, Inc.  Search this
Physical Description:
steel (overall material)
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
adhesive (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 48 in x 40 in x 17 1/4 in; 121.92 cm x 101.6 cm x 43.815 cm
Object Name:
file
Place made:
United States: New York, New York City
Date made:
ca 1962 - 1994
Subject:
Humor  Search this
Comedians  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of Phyllis Diller
ID Number:
2003.0289.01.01
Accession number:
2003.0289
Catalog number:
2003.0289.01.01
See more items in:
Cultural and Community Life: Entertainment
Popular Entertainment
Phyllis Diller
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ab-40b6-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1218385
9 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Phyllis Diller’s Gag File digital asset number 1
  • View Phyllis Diller’s Gag File digital asset number 2
  • View Phyllis Diller’s Gag File digital asset number 3
  • View Phyllis Diller’s Gag File digital asset number 4
  • View Phyllis Diller’s Gag File digital asset number 5
  • View Phyllis Diller’s Gag File digital asset number 6
  • View Phyllis Diller’s Gag File digital asset number 7
  • View Phyllis Diller’s Gag File digital asset number 8
  • View Phyllis Diller’s Gag File digital asset number 9

Samuel N. Karrick Jr.

User:
Karrick, Jr., Samuel N.  Search this
U.S. Army  Search this
Maker:
U.S. Army  Search this
Measurements:
overall: 2 in x 1 1/8 in; 5.08 cm x 2.8575 cm
Object Name:
Tag, Identification, Military
Place made:
United States
Subject:
Christianity  Search this
Christian Science  Search this
ID Number:
ZZ.RSN83548L43
See more items in:
Political and Military History: Armed Forces History, Military
Religion
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a4-e006-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_675905

Playbill for Hello, Dolly!

Published by:
Playbill, American, founded 1884  Search this
Used by:
St. James Theatre, American, founded 1927  Search this
Subject of:
Pearl Bailey, American, 1918 - 1990  Search this
Cab Calloway, American, 1907 - 1994  Search this
Emily Yancy, American, born 1939  Search this
Sherri Brewer, American  Search this
Winston DeWitt Hemsley  Search this
Mabel King, American, 1932 - 1999  Search this
Morgan Freeman, American, born 1937  Search this
Roger Lawson  Search this
Thalmus Rasulala, American, 1939 - 1991  Search this
Medium:
ink on paper
Dimensions:
H x W: 9 x 6 in. (22.9 x 15.2 cm)
Type:
theater programs
Place used:
New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Date:
1968
Topic:
African American  Search this
Actors  Search this
Broadway Theatre  Search this
Musical Theatre  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Kayla Deigh Owens
Object number:
2011.45.43
Restrictions & Rights:
Playbill used by permission. All rights reserved, Playbill Inc.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Memorabilia and Ephemera
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd5f73155ca-b924-4ab3-aa03-fdffb1d3a1ce
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2011.45.43
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Playbill for Hello, Dolly! digital asset number 1
Online Media:

Doris Holmes Blake Papers

Creator::
Blake, Doris Holmes, 1892-1978  Search this
Extent:
18.5 cu. ft. (37 document boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Diaries
Scientific illustrations
Manuscripts
Black-and-white photographs
Black-and-white negatives
Date:
1899-1985
Introduction:
This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women’s Committee.
Descriptive Entry:
The Doris Holmes Blake papers consist of correspondence, diaries, photographs and related materials documenting in great detail Blake's personal life and, to a lesser degree, her professional career.

The heavy correspondence she maintained with her mother and daughter, her essays and children's books, and the 70 years' worth of daily journals all attest to her infatuation with the written word and preoccupation with her inner life. Blake's diaries and family papers stunningly illuminate the contrasts in the daily lives of herself, her mother, and her daughter.

The papers relating to her professional life are less complete. Although she spent almost 60 years (1919-1978) in association with the entomological staffs of the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the Smithsonian Institution, published numerous professional papers, produced all of her own illustrations, and illustrated many of her husband's botanical works as well, this collection contains only a very limited amount of material documenting those activities. The papers do, however, include her extensive correspondence with fellow entomologists, both in the United States and abroad.

In the course of transferring her husband's papers to the University of Texas, some of Blake's own papers were included as well. They are presently in the collection of the Humanities Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin and include letters to her parents, 1906-1950; school and college notebooks, papers, essays and drawings; and clippings, genealogical notes, and miscellaneous family letters and papers.
Historical Note:
Doris Holmes (1892-1978) was born in Stoughton, Massachusetts, to a middle-class grocer and his wife. Essentially an only child (two siblings died in early childhood and infancy), her natural intelligence, stubbornness, and extremely competitive nature were well fostered by her parents, who steadily encouraged and supported her determination to excel.

Holmes left Stoughton for Boston University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1909, where she pursued studies in business and the classics, earning her A.B. in 1913. Her business skills led to her association with the Boston Psychopathic Hospital in 1913, initially as a clerk, and later as aide to Dr. Herman Adler. Her interests in science and psychology led her to an A.M. from Radcliffe College in zoology and psychology in 1917.

After a short time as a researcher at Bedford Hills Reformatory for Women, Holmes married her childhood sweetheart, botanist Sidney Fay Blake. Early in 1919, Doris Blake found work as a clerk for the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Entomology under Frank H. Chittenden, and began the entomological studies that would continue for the rest of her life.

Blake worked her way up to junior entomologist and, when Chittenden retired, continued her work under Eugene A. Schwarz at the United States National Museum. The birth in 1928 of daughter Doris Sidney (an infant son had died shortly after birth in 1927) was not a sign for her to slow down -- Blake hired a nurse to watch the baby while she continued to watch beetles. In 1933 her official employment came to an end with the institution of regulations prohibiting more than one member of a family from holding a government position (Sidney Blake was then working for the Department of Agriculture).

Although no longer on the payroll, Blake continued her taxonomic work on the family Chrysomelides for almost 45 more years, first as a collaborator and then as a research associate of the Smithsonian Institution. Shortly after her husband's death, Blake traveled to Europe in 1960 on a National Science Foundation grant to revise the genus Neobrotica Jacoby. She ultimately published 97 papers in various journals (see "Doris Holmes Blake," Froeschner, Froeschner and Cartwright, Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash., 83(3), 1981, for a complete bibliography) and continued her active research until shortly before her death on December 3, 1978.
Topic:
Entomology  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Scientific illustrations
Manuscripts
Black-and-white photographs
Black-and-white negatives
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7310, Doris Holmes Blake Papers
Identifier:
Record Unit 7310
See more items in:
Doris Holmes Blake Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru7310
5 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Doris Holmes Blake Papers digital asset number 1
  • View Doris Holmes Blake Papers digital asset number 2
  • View Doris Holmes Blake Papers digital asset number 3
  • View Doris Holmes Blake Papers digital asset number 4
  • View Doris Holmes Blake Papers digital asset number 5
Online Media:

Joseph Cornell Study Center Collection

Artist:
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Names:
Benton, Elizabeth Cornell  Search this
Cornell, Robert  Search this
Extent:
196.8 Linear feet
186 Nitrate negatives
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Nitrate negatives
Photographs
Place:
New York, New York
Date:
1750-1980, bulk 1930-1972
Summary:
The Joseph Cornell Study Center collection measures 196.8 linear feet and dates from 1750 to 1980, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930 to 1972. Documenting the artistic career and personal life of assemblage artist Joseph Cornell (1903-1972), the collection is primarily made up of two- and three-dimensional source material, the contents of the artists' studio, his record album collection, and his book collection and personal library. The collection also includes diaries and notes, financial and estate papers, exhibition materials, collected artifacts and ephemera, photographs, correspondence, and the papers of Robert Cornell (1910-1965) and Helen Storms Cornell (1882-1966), the artist's brother and mother.
Scope and Contents:
The Joseph Cornell Study Center collection measures 196.8 linear feet and dates from 1750 to 1980, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930 to 1972. Documenting the artistic career and personal life of assemblage artist Joseph Cornell (1903-1972), the collection is primarily made up of two- and three-dimensional source material, the contents of the artists' studio, his record album collection, and his book collection and personal library. The collection also includes diaries and notes, financial and estate papers, exhibition materials, collected artifacts and ephemera, photographs, correspondence, and the papers of Robert Cornell (1910-1965) and Helen Storms Cornell (1882-1966), the artist's brother and mother.

Correspondence is with collectors, museums, galleries, artists, friends, family, charity organizations, admirers and those admired by Cornell, and World War II European pen pals. Discussions about the appreciation, donation, sale, purchase, and exhibition of Cornell's works are frequent, with the inclusion of shipping and loan documentation or notices of payment installments. Galleries and museums frequently request that Cornell agree to an exhibition, which he often declines, and fans request free works be mailed or affordable works be sold to them. With friends, artists, and those he admired, Cornell discussed topics that fascinate him, included bits of poetry or philosophical musings, sent clippings or a collaged letter, and occasionally discussed a project or work in process. After World War II, when so many were displaced by the war in Europe, Cornell answered ads for pen pals in the "Christian Science Monitor," often responding to requests for clothing or other goods, and sometimes exchanging many letters over several years. Family correspondence is with his mother, sisters, brother, and others, and often notes activities of the day, foods eaten, and general musings, as well as occasionally mentioning a project or artwork. Correspondents of note include Stan Brakhage, Betty Freeman, Charles Henri Ford, Allegra Kent, Yayoi Kusama, Roberto Matta, Marianne Moore, Octavio Paz, Sonia Sekula, Pavel Tchelitchew, Parker Tyler, Dorothea Tanning, and Betsy von Furstenberg, among others.

Cornell was often preoccupied with his thoughts, feelings, memories, a project or thematic "exploration," and jotted notes on seemingly any surface available. Notes and musings are on napkins, the backs of envelopes, newspaper clippings, and paper bags from record and magazine stores. Frequently, an observation would trigger a lengthy nostalgic moment, or a "feé," fairy-like child or girl, would capture his imagination and lead him to thoughts of 18th-century ballerinas and silent film stars. Cornell wrote longer diary notes, sometimes expanding on an earlier notation or emotion, and often wrote when he experienced trouble sleeping or woke early. Drafted letters to imaginary muses or admired individuals are interspersed among diaries, often revealing Cornell's yearnings to find emotional intimacy and human connection. Over time, Cornell revisited his notes and occasionally made further notations about renewed thoughts on a topic, dating the note with "revisited" or "reviewed." Notes are often written in a stream-of-consciousness style, for example, jumping from the mention of a record album or composer, to a ballerina of the same period, a note about a French poet, the memory of childhood, or an observation made earlier in the day, all in the space of a few lines. Notes about artistic processes or meanings behind works or images do occasionally emerge from the tangled, poetic notations. Notes also often provide insights into Cornell's internal emotional state and give clues about his intentions behind an artwork or a particular thematic fixation.

Financial materials document Cornell's professional and personal business activities, including the sale of artworks, annual expenses for supplies and household incidentals, payments and schedules for personal assistants, receipts for donations to charities and nonprofits, and tax documents. There is also information about who worked as assistants, or "helpers," in his later years and where Cornell purchased art supplies. Additionally, specific details are documented through receipts and invoices, such as what kind of paint he purchased. Estate records include preparations made for Cornell's artworks after his death, and clippings about other deceased artist's estates show that he thought often about such arrangements in his later years.

Exhibition files highlight several select solo exhibitions for Cornell, as well as preparations and planning for the "Robert Cornell: Memorial Exhibition" in honor of his brother in 1966. Also included are several early exhibition catalogs and announcements, including "Surréalisme" (January 9-29, 1932) and "Exhibition of Objects (Bibloquet) by Joseph Cornell" (December 6-31, 1939) at the Julien Levy Gallery, and "Romantic Museum: Portraits of Women, Constructions and Arrangements by Joseph Cornell" (December 1946) at the Hugo Gallery.

Film projects and collected film materials consist of files related to Cornell's various experimental film projects: "Aviary," "Cappuccino," "Centuries of June," "Fable for Fountains," "Nymphlight," "Serafina's Garden," and unrealized film scenario "Monsieur Phot." Files include film-making notes, correspondence, and photographs. Cornell's interest in film also led him to collect film-related materials, such as film stills, film posters, and screening programs. Scattered correspondence documents the interest other institutions and individuals had in purchasing and viewing his collection. Though most of his collected film stills and movie posters were donated to the Anthology Film Archives, film stills from "Escape Me Never" (1935) and "The Passion of Joan of Arc" (1928) are still within the collection, as well as film-screening programs for Cornell's collection of films.

Writing and design projects document Cornell's work authoring articles and designing issues of specialty dance magazine "Dance Index," and his layouts for popular magazines like "Good Housekeeping," "House and Garden," and "Mademoiselle." Other writing projects include brochures dedicated to opera singers Maria Malibran and Giulia Grisi, "Maria" and "Bel Canto Pet." Materials used for these brochures, such as copper photo engraving plates, are also found. Design work includes a series of Christmas cards created with The Museum of Modern Art as well as traced patterns ("textile tracings") and design clippings from Cornell's time working as a "textile designer" for Traphagen Commercial Textile Studio.

Cornell acquired troves of source material from bookstalls, antique stores, sporting good and department stores, hardware stores, and magazine and record shops. He kept boxes and files of material on admired individuals, such as actresses, artists, dancers, and singers, as well as on art projects or thematic "explorations." Files are on general topics such as American history, scientific phenomena, animals, plants, and humankind, as well as on series of artworks, such as "Castles," "Homage to the Romantic Ballet," and "Medici Slot Machines." Focused "exploration" projects include "Celestial Theatre," "Colombier," "GC 44," and "Switzerland," among others. Materials include photographs, photostats, maps, book fragments, autographed letters, notes, collage clippings and cutouts, collected prints and engravings, box and collage fragments, and scattered artifacts.

Collected ephemera includes large amounts of blank postcards and greeting cards, stamps, collected bus and train tickets, food labels and packaging, decals, and other materials. Artifacts are three-dimensional collected objects and source objects, which include found objects from the streets, dried flowers, and pieces of nature gathered from walks around his neighborhood. Cornell may have gathered materials because they inspired a memory or nostalgic feeling, or because they fit with a bin of other similar objects to select from for an artwork in progress.

Photographs found within the collection are of Cornell at work and as a child with family. Also found are assorted personal and family photographs, photographs of Cornell's attic and garage storage, and photographs of his Utopia Parkway house. Photographs of artwork include few installation photographs, in addition to photographs of Cornell's boxes and collages. Collected photographic materials include vintage photographs, such as tintypes, a cyanotype, stereoscopic glass slides, albumen prints, cabinet cards, and cartes-de-visite. Cornell also collected cased photographs, such as daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and one opalotype. Negatives and photostats were often produced from various prints and even other photographs and used in Cornell's boxes and collages. Images are of men and women, actors, authors, dancers, performers, well-known men and women, royalty, places, and artwork. Photographs of note include those by Hans Namuth of Willem and Lisa de Kooning and of Edward Hopper's bedroom; photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson; a photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron; photographs by Brassai; and a photogravure by Alfred Stieglitz from "Camerawork."

Also found in the collection are works of art by others, including a sketch by Pavel Tchelitchew, as well as artwork by Cornell, such as unfinished collages, Rorschach drawings or ink blots, and childhood artwork. Printed material includes assorted bulletins, flyers, exhibition materials for other artists, journals, and sent printed membership and charity materials. Magazines, including "View," are also included, and often have annotations by Cornell or a note to "cut" or "review" with page numbers. A large amount of magazine and newspaper clippings are in the collection, sometimes collected with a group of like material by Cornell, and at other times simply gathered in heaps. Occasional annotations are also found on the clippings.

Cornell's personal library and book collection includes over 2500 titles, ranging from fiction, poetry, and cinema, to history, science, and travel. Notable among the titles are "Baedeker's" travel guides that Cornell often sourced for his "Hotel" box series, as well as an influential publication by Max Ernst, "La Femme 100 têtes," which includes a typed letter and exhibition flyer tucked within. Books often have annotations, some fairly extensive, by Cornell, and assorted collected items, notes, and correspondence tucked between pages. Pages were often cut by Cornell, either to make photostats and use in a box, or to file with other thematic "explorations." A wide range of authors and topics provide insight into Cornell's interests and to ideas behind artwork and diary notes. Cornell's collection of record albums includes over 145 records. These contain inserted notes and clippings and are often referenced in diary notes Cornell made, noting a recent album or song listened to while at work in his studio.

The papers of Cornell's mother, Helen Storms Cornell, and his brother, Robert Cornell, are also included in the collection. Both lived with Cornell his whole life, spending the most time with him at their home at 3708 Utopia Parkway. Financial materials document shared responsibilities for billing, utilities, household fixes and chores, and expenditures, and Helen kept detailed financial records in a series of ledgers. Robert notes when he borrowed money from Cornell, or when he means to pay Cornell back for the purchase of a typewriter. Activities documented in diaries also occasionally cross paths with Cornell, noting his visitors or an exchange of letters continued after introductions through Cornell. Personal activities, such as Robert's interest in his train collection and his drawing projects and cartoon series, are also documented.
Arrangement:
The Joseph Cornell Study Center Collection is arranged into 15 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1917-1972 (Boxes 1, 98, OV118; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1813, 1934-circa 1973 (Boxes 1-8, 86; 6.5 linear feet)

Series 3: Diaries and Notes, 1940-1976 (Boxes 8-10, 98-99, 135, OV108, OV119; 3.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Personal Business and Estate Records, 1950-1978 (Boxes 10-14; 4.1 linear feet)

Series 5: Exhibition Files, 1932-1973 (Box 14; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Film Projects and Collected Film Materials, circa 1924-1972 (Boxes 14-16, 100, 133; 1.6 linear feet)

Series 7: Writing and Design Projects, circa 1910s, 1936-1962 (Boxes 16-18, 86, 100, 131-132, OV109-OV111, OV120-OV122; 3.6 linear feet)

Series 8: Source Material, 1750-circa 1911, 1926-1972 (Boxes 19-49, 86-92, 96, 100-105, 126-130, 132-137, OV112-OV115, OV125; 42.2 linear feet)

Series 9: Artifacts and Ephemera, 1768, circa 1839-1972 (Boxes 49-52; 3.2 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographic Material, circa 1800s-1972 (Boxes 52-56, 80-86, 93, 106, 128, 133, OV116, OV123-OV124; 7.5 linear feet)

Series 11: Artwork, circa 1810-1972 (Boxes 56-57, 107, OV117; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 12: Printed Material, 1855-1972 (Boxes 57-76, 94-96, 107; 16 linear feet)

Series 13: Book Collection and Personal Library, 1722-1980 (99.8 linear feet)

Series 14: Record Album Collection, circa 1925-1974 (3.2 linear feet)

Series 15: Cornell Family Papers, 1910-1980 (Boxes 77-79, 97, 107; 3.2 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Joseph Cornell (1903-1972) was a self-taught assemblage and collage artist, and filmmaker, active in New York City. He was born in Nyack, New York on December 24, 1903, and died of heart failure at his home in Queens, New York on December 29, 1972. The oldest of four children, he was born Joseph I. Cornell to his mother, Helen Storms Cornell (1882-1966), and his father, Joseph I. Cornell (1875-1917). Cornell had two younger sisters, Elizabeth ("Betty") Cornell Benton (1905-2000) and Helen ("Sissy") Cornell Jagger (1906-2001), as well as one brother, Robert Cornell (1910-1965), who had cerebral palsy.

Cornell attended the Phillips Academy, a preparatory boarding school in Andover, Massachusetts, beginning shortly after his father's death in 1917. He attended for four years but did not receive a diploma, and soon began work as a textile salesman for the William Whitman Company in Manhattan. His work took him, by foot, through the city, visiting secondhand bookshops on Fourth Avenue, browsing music stores and magazine shops, and catching early shows at the Metropolitan Opera House. He would occasionally wait outside the stage doors for favorite singers and dancers to emerge, requesting signatures on photographs or bits of costumes.

Around 1926, Cornell joined the Christian Science Church, joined by his brother Robert shortly thereafter, and both continued to be lifelong members. Cornell kept a number of books in his personal library on Christian Science teachings and regularly subscribed to "The Christian Science Monitor."

After living in several rental houses in Bayside, New York, Cornell's mother purchased a house for the family in 1929 in Flushing, Queens. Cornell, along with his mother and brother, would live at 3708 Utopia Parkway, for the rest of their lives. His two sisters soon married and moved away, eventually settling in Westhampton, Long Island and in the poultry-farming business.

With no formal art training to speak of, Cornell's first work was a Max Ernst-inspired collage, "Untitled (Schooner)," created in 1931. He was especially inspired by Ernst's collage novel, "La Femme 100 têtes," published in 1929. French artist Odilon Redon was also among the few artists Cornell named as an influence on his art. His first sculptural works were small, cardboard pill boxes with bits of ephemera, costume adornments, and nature hidden inside. Cornell also created a series of glass bell jar works, placing small trinkets and Victorian-era-like compositions within. It was these early collages and bell jar works that were included in Cornell's debut exhibition, "Surréalisme" (January 9-29, 1932), a group show at the Julien Levy Gallery. Cornell designed the announcement for the show and exhibited alongside Max Ernst, Man Ray, Pierre Roy, Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Eugène Atget, George Platt Lynes, Jean Cocteau, and Salvador Dalí. Months later, Cornell was invited to have his first solo show, "Objects by Joseph Cornell: Minutiae, Glass Bells, Shadow Boxes, Coups d'Oeil, Jouets Surréalistes" (November 26-December 30, 1932), also at the Julien Levy Gallery.

In 1932, after eleven years of work, Cornell was laid off from the William Whitman Company due to the Great Depression. Soon after, he took on more responsibility in the church, working part-time as an attendant in the Christian Science Reading Room in Great Neck, New York. Beginning in 1933, he taught Sunday school classes for three years and in 1935, became the Sunday school librarian. However, his religious activities and artistic ventures continued to remain separate.

In the early 1930s, Cornell progressed from movie lover to filmmaker. When Julien Levy began his New York Film Society in 1933, holding screenings of various experimental films in the gallery, Cornell began buying and collecting films and film stills in earnest. He set up a 16-millimeter projector in his home to screen favorites, such as those by Georges Méliès, D.W. Griffith, and Louis Feuillade. His collection quickly grew to over 2,500 film stills and several hundred films, and included silent era films, such as nature documentaries, goofy newsreels, travelogues, early cartoons, and slapstick comedies, as well as several feature films. In 1933, Cornell wrote a screenplay, or "scenario," entitled "Monsieur Phot." Between 1935 and 1937, Cornell also occasionally created publicity photomontages for Universal and Columbia studios. Of the nearly thirty films Cornell created, periods of activity can generally be separated into two areas: collage films of the late 1930s, consisting of combined elements from films in his own collection, and films he directed in the 1950s, which were collaborations with other filmmakers set in New York City. "Rose Hobart," Cornell's most celebrated collage film, was created and shown in the Julien Levy Gallery in 1936 and includes clipped footage from "East of Borneo." Later films were directed and filmed with cinematographers Stan Brakhage, Rudy Burckhardt, and Larry Jordan.

In 1934, Cornell began a job at the Traphagen Commercial Textile Studio as a "textile designer," a job he held for six years. Continuing to work at his kitchen table in the evenings, Cornell completed his first assemblage box construction, "Untitled (Soap Bubble Set)," in 1936. It was first exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art's show, "Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism" (December 9, 1936-January 17, 1937). This work was also the first to be acquired by a museum, purchased for $60.00 by the Wadsworth Atheneum in Massachusetts in 1938. Cornell's European debut was also in 1938, as one of three Americans represented in the "Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme" (January 17-Febuary 24, 1938) at the Galerie Beaux-Arts in Paris, alongside Man Ray and Anne Clark.

At the end of 1939, Cornell began corresponding with poet Charles Henri Ford, founder of avant-garde magazine "View," Pavel Tchelitchew, and Parker Tyler. After his "Soap Bubble Sets," this period saw the development of Cornell's homages to singers and actresses, including "Untitled (Fortune-Telling Parrot for Carmen Miranda)," the destroyed "Garbo (Greta Garbo in the Legendary Film 'The Crystal Mask,' c. 1845)," and "Dressing Room for Gilles." He also began using photostats of art reproduction prints, as with the print of Jean Antoine-Watteau's painting, "Pierrot" (circa 1719), used in his "Gilles" box.

In the 1940s, the Romantic ballet emerged as Cornell's new topic of interest. Through his friend Pavel Tchelitchew, Cornell was introduced to the School of American Ballet and New York City Ballet founders, Lincoln Kirstein and George Balanchine. Cornell collected dance memorabilia and had a great love of the Romantic ballet. His favorite dancers were primarily ballerinas of the nineteenth century, including Fanny Cerrito, Marie Taglioni, Fanny Elssler, Lucille Grahn, and Carlotta Grisi. Cornell's "Homage to the Romantic Ballet" works largely took the shape of jewel-box style wooden boxes with glass overlays and included bits of velvet, tulle, sequins, crystals, and chiffon, occasionally collected from dancers themselves. His most well-known work of this series is "Taglioni's Jewel Casket" (1940). Cornell also admired several living ballet dancers, including Tamara Toumanova, Zizi Jeanmaire, and Allegra Kent, who would all make their way into Cornell's box works and/or collages. Collecting for the "exploration," "Portrait of Ondine," Cornell's cased portfolio dedication to Fanny Cerrito and her role in the ballet "Ondine," began in the 1940s, though not completed until around 1960.

In late 1940, Cornell quit his job at Traphagen to concentrate on freelance commercial magazine design and editorial work during the day and his artwork at night. That same year, Charles Henri Ford started "View" magazine to promote Surrealists and Neo-Romantics in New York City and often asked Cornell to contribute. Published in the December 1941-January 1942 issue, one of his early contributions was a collage dedication to stage actress Hedy Lamarr: "Enchanted Wanderer: Excerpt from a Journey Album for Hedy Lamarr" (1941). Along with writing the accompanying text, he created a photomontage of Lamarr with her face overlaying the painted portrait of a Renaissance boy by Italian painter Giorgione. Peggy Guggenheim, at the advice of Marcel Duchamp, purchased multiple Cornell works prior to opening her new gallery, Art of This Century. Cornell also befriended Roberto Matta Echaurren, another Surrealist living in exile, who introduced him to Robert Motherwell.

After deciding to fully dedicate his time to his art in early 1940, he set up a studio in his basement. Complete with floor-to-ceiling wooden shelving, he kept his large collection of boxed source material stacked with handwritten labels in cardboard boxes. Themed folders of materials such as "Stamps" or "Maps" were kept in stacks and works in progress and finished works were stored in the basement, garage, and attic. Entering a renewed period of productivity, Cornell embarked on many new and important box projects in 1942. One of the first boxes created in his new basement studio, and the first of the "Penny Arcade" or "Medici Slot Machine" series, was "Medici Slot Machine" (1942), which includes a photostat of "Portrait of Marquess Massimiliano Stampa" (1557) by Sofonisba Anguissola. Another work from this time is the first of his "Castle" or "Palace" series, "Setting for a Fairy Tale" (1942), which uses a photostat of a French building from Jacques Androuet du Cerceau's book, "Les Plus excellents bastiments de France" (1576). "Untitled (Pharmacy)" (circa 1942) was the first of his "Pharmacy" series and included twenty-two apothecary jars. Cornell tended to work in series and created thirteen "Palace" boxes between 1942 and 1951, and ultimately created six "Pharmacy" works.

In 1943, Cornell began working at an electronics company, the Allied Control Company, Inc., to do his part to contribute to the defense effort during the war. He also sent correspondence and care packages to displaced Europeans, who listed their needs in "The Christian Science Monitor." Influenced by World War II, one of his strongest works to emerge in 1943 was "Habitat Group for a Shooting Gallery." Another notable work to come out of this period, "The Crystal Cage (Portrait of Berenice)," was an excerpt from one of his album "explorations" that was published in the January 1943 issue of "View."

Cornell left his job at Allied Control in 1944, but soon began working at the Garden Centre in Flushing, owned by a fellow Christian Scientist. Cornell was often nostalgic for this time in his life, devoting an entire "exploration" of material fondly remembered as "GC 44." He rode a bicycle to work and enjoyed collecting trips gathering dried grasses, driftwood, shells, and other relics of nature on the same bicycle as he rode through the streets of Queens. During this time, he continued to tend to his projects for "Dance Index," a magazine founded in 1942 by Lincoln Kirstein, but taken over by Donald Windham in 1944. Cornell designed several covers for the magazine and was given control of the entire summer 1944 issue, which he devoted to the Romantic ballet. He also devoted a special 1945 issue to Hans Christian Andersen, making great use of the New York Public Library Picture Collection.

Throughout the 1940s, Cornell continued to support himself with commercial design work for magazines like "Vogue," "Good Housekeeping," "Harper's Bazaar," "Town & Country," and "Mademoiselle." In 1946, after thirteen years at the Julien Levy Gallery, he joined the Hugo Gallery. In December 1946, Cornell's solo exhibition, "Romantic Museum at the Hugo Gallery: Portraits of Women by Joseph Cornell," celebrated his favorite movie stars, singers, and ballet dancers, and included his work created for the show, "Untitled (Penny Arcade Portrait of Lauren Bacall)." Cornell's "Greta Garbo" box, as well as "Souvenir for Singleton," an homage to Jennifer Jones and her role in the film "Love Letters," were also included in the show. In late 1948, his West Coast debut was in the exhibition, "Objects by Joseph Cornell," held at the Copley Gallery. The end of the 1940s saw the final issue of "View" magazine in 1947, the closure of the Julien Levy Gallery in April 1949, and Cornell's departure from the Hugo Gallery after his last show in November 1949.

In late 1949, Cornell joined the Charles Egan Gallery, known primarily for showing Abstract Expressionists. At this time, Cornell was working on a new series of boxes known as his "Aviary" works, most of which include a white-painted box with cutouts of birds mounted on wood. Though he had worked on bird-related boxes before, including an "Owl" series in the mid-1940s, his "Fortune Telling Parrot" (1939), and "Object 1941" (1941), these newer works were stripped of French elements and left "clean and abstract" by design. His first show at the Egan Gallery, "Aviary by Joseph Cornell" (December 7, 1949-January 7, 1950), included twenty-six "Aviary" works, nearly all created in 1949. Donald Windham agreed to write the foreword for the exhibition catalog, a single folded sheet, and Cornell gave him one of the boxes in the show, "Cockatoo: Keepsake Parakeet," in appreciation. Through the Egan Gallery, Cornell became friends with a new group of artists, including Franz Kline, Jack Tworkov, and Willem de Kooning. Cornell also held two screenings of a selection of his collected films at Subjects of the Artist, an art school founded by Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, David Hare, and William Baziotes.

In 1950, Cornell's second show at the Egan Gallery, "Night Songs and Other New Work" (December 1, 1950-January 13, 1951), introduced his new "Observatory" series. These works are largely defined by stark, whitewashed spaces with astronomical charts and constellations replacing colorful birds. The Museum of Modern Art purchased its first Cornell work from this show in early 1951, "Central Park Carrousel, in Memoriam" (1950).

For three months in 1951, Cornell was beset by various ailments and had trouble finding the energy to create new work. He worried more for his aging mother and the health of his brother. After a monthlong vacation with his sisters in Westhampton, he returned with renewed interest in Emily Dickinson's poetry. His whitewashed boxes took on a new form in his newest "Dovecote" series, using grids and circular cutouts. The works then transformed into homages to Dickinson, notably "Toward the Blue Peninsula: For Emily Dickinson" (circa 1953), and then to his "Hotel" series. Cornell's "Hotel" boxes include photostats of vintage European ads for hotels collected from vintage travel guides, especially "Baedeker's," adhered to the back walls of the boxes. Another new series of work, his "Juan Gris" series, was dedicated to Cubist artist Juan Gris. Between 1953 and the mid-1960s, Cornell created at least fifteen "Juan Gris" boxes, which often include a cutout of a white cockatoo in a Cubist-collage habitat. Cornell's third and last show at Egan Gallery, "Night Voyage" (February 10-March 28, 1953), included some of these newest works. After leaving Egan Gallery, his work was introduced to Chicago collectors in a solo show at the Frumkin Gallery, "Joseph Cornell: 10 Years of His Art" (April 10-May 7, 1953), which included nearly thirty pieces. Cornell's first museum retrospective was this same show held at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (July 12-August 30, 1953).

As New York City continued to change, Cornell grew more nostalgic for the city he had explored since the 1920s. The impending closure of the Third Avenue El train prompted him to dream up a film project to capture its last days, resulting in "Gnir Rednow," a reworking of Stan Brakhage's 1955, "Wonder Ring." During this time, Cornell joined the Stable Gallery, run by Eleanor Ward, interacting often with Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, and Joan Mitchell, remaining there until the end of the 1950s. His astronomy-themed exhibition, "Winter Night Skies" (December 12, 1955-January 13, 1956), included his "Night Skies" series of work with celestial chart fragments, Greek mythological figures, and paint-splattered "windows" representative of star-filled night skies. In 1956, he became aware of ballerina Allegra Kent, and began a series of work devoted to her, the first of which was "Via Parmigianino (Villa Allegra)" (1956), which included a photostat of a painting by Parmigianino, "The Madonna of the Long Neck" (circa 1540). In late 1957, after two years, Cornell had his last show at Stable Gallery, "Joseph Cornell: Selected Works" (December 2-31, 1957), consisting of a series of "Sand Fountain" boxes and "Space Object" or "Celestial Navigation" works. The "Sand Fountain" boxes included different colors of sand meant to flow within, often from the tops into cordial glasses. His "Celestial Navigations" included galaxy-like compositions set within the boxes, with rolling, painted cork balls, metal rings, and constellation charts, sometimes hovering over cordial glasses or clay pipes. This last Stable Gallery show earned him his first published profile, written by Howard Griffin for the December 1957 issue of "Art News." Also in 1957, he won the Kohnstamm Prize for Construction at the Art Institute of Chicago's 62rd Annual Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture.

Towards the end of the 1950s, Cornell spent less time creating new bodies of work, and focused more on revisiting previous series and reviewing piles of collected source material. In 1959, Cornell returned to making collages, frequently sourcing popular magazines. In December 1959, Cornell was awarded $1,500 for his "Orion" collage, entered in the Art Institute of Chicago's "63rd American Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture." Also in December, he was offered a show at Bennington College in Vermont, which he titled, "Bonitas Solstitialis: Selected Works by Joseph Cornell and an exploration of the Colombier" (November 20-December 15, 1959). The show included one of his newest "explorations" of collected material related to "colombier," or pigeon houses.

By 1962, Cornell was working diligently on new collages, using Masonite boards and colorful magazine clippings. He also began creating collages using nude images interspersed with constellation clippings or hazy blue dyes. As in previous decades and art movements, Cornell became acquainted with new artists, spending less time in the city and more time hosting visitors at his Utopia Parkway home. Visitors included artists Walter De Maria, Robert Whitman, Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, and Robert Indiana. Tony Curtis also became a frequent visitor and friend, introduced by Richard Feigen in 1964. The early 1960s was also the first time Cornell put out an advertisement for assistants in the "Long Island Star-Journal," employing a number of young men and women who helped organize clippings and run errands. Cornell also met Joyce Hunter, a young runaway waitress at a city coffee shop, who would occupy his thoughts and diary notes for the next several years. When she was murdered at the end of 1964, Cornell paid for her funeral. He went on to make several "Penny Arcade" collages in memoriam to her, including, "Penny Arcade (re-autumnal)" (1964).

In 1964, Cornell began friendships with several women including artist Carolee Schneeman, who was his first assistant in the early 1960s. He also met artist Yayoi Kusama through art dealer Gertrude Stein. After becoming friends, she visited him often and they exchanged letters and notes. As he did with other artist friends, Cornell supported her by purchasing several of her early watercolor paintings, and they stayed connected until his death in 1972.

Cornell's life greatly changed in 1965 with the death of his brother, Robert. By this time, his mother lived with his sister in Long Island, and Cornell was alone in the Utopia Parkway house for the first time. He exchanged frequent letters and phone calls with his mother and devoted much time to thinking about Robert and Joyce, often aligning them in his diary notations. Cornell also created a series of collages dedicated to his brother's memory, incorporating photostats of Robert's hundreds of drawings into Cornell's work, as with the later collage, "The Heart on the Sleeve" (1972). Cornell's "Time Transfixed" series of collages were also dedications to Robert's memory, referencing Magritte and Robert's love of trains. He mounted an exhibition, "Robert Cornell: Memorial Exhibition" (January 4-29, 1966), at the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery, where he showed Robert's artwork alongside his newly created collage dedications.

After Robert's death, Cornell relied more heavily on assistants, going through many part-time "helpers." In October 1966, Cornell's mother died, adding her to his constant thoughts and diaries. Though he was still grieving, he was given two major retrospectives in 1967. The first was at the Pasadena Art Museum, put on by James Demetrion and Walter Hopps, "An Exhibiton of Works by Joseph Cornell" (January 9-February 11, 1967). The second retrospective was at the Guggenheim Museum just three months later, "Joseph Cornell" (May 4-June 35, 1967), organized by Diane Waldman. After these shows, he was highlighted in the December 15, 1967 issue of "Life" in the article, "The Enigmatic Bachelor of Utopia Parkway."

In 1968, Cornell was given an "award of merit," which included a medal and $1,000, by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He was also given a medal and $1,000 by the Brandeis University Creative Arts Awards in the painting category, along with an exhibition. Days later, "The New York Times" announced Cornell the winner, along with Donald Judd, of India's first Triennale of Contemporary World Art. The Brandeis exhibition, "Boxes and Collages by Joseph Cornell" (May 20-June 23, 1968), was organized by William Seitz and concentrated on Cornell's more recent 1960s collages. Cornell was also included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's hundredth anniversary show, "New York Painting and Sculpture: 1940 to 1970" (October 18, 1969-February 1, 1970), where twenty-two of Cornell's boxes were shown in their own gallery. At the end of 1970, Cornell was given a solo show at the Metropolitan, "Collages by Joseph Cornell" (December 10, 1970-January 24, 1971), which included forty-five of his newest collages.

Now preferring to stay closer to his home in Flushing, Cornell was more interested in sharing his art with young adults and children, than an adult audience. He hosted a group of high school students, sponsored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's education department, at his home in conjunction with his collage show (1970-1971). He also showed his work in the art department of Queens College of the City University of New York. Cornell still hosted visitors on occasion, having Yoko Ono and John Lennon at his home at least once. Leila Hadley, Betsy von Furstenberg, and Anne Jackson also made frequent visits. With his deteriorating health, Cornell worried about what would happen to his work after his death and hired lawyer Harry Torczyner to help him plan his estate and get his affairs in order.

In 1972, Cornell had a show at the Cooper Union, a college in New York, specifically for children. He displayed his boxes and collages at child-height and had cherry soda and brownies at the opening reception on February 10. He then held a show at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, also for children: "Children's Preview of the Exhibition of Joseph Cornell – Collages and Boxes (April 18-June 17, 1972). In the winter of 1972, at the request of the Phoenix House drug treatment and prevention program, Cornell contributed to a charity project compiling limited-edition lithographic prints for a portfolio, which included artists like David Hockney, James Rosenquist, and Ellsworth Kelly.

On December 29, 1972, a week after turning sixty-nine, Cornell died of heart failure at his home. He was cremated and interred near the graves of his mother, father, and brother, overlooking the Hudson River in Nyack, New York.

Works Cited:

1. Hartigan, Lynda Roscoe. "Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination." New Haven, Connecticut and London: Yale University Press, 2007. Exhibition Catalog.

2. McShine, Kynaston. "Joseph Cornell." New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1980.

3. San Francisco Cinematheque and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "Joseph Cornell: Films." 2007. Exhibition Program. (Presented in conjunction with SFMOMA's exhibition of "Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination").

4. Schaffner, Ingrid and Lisa Jacobs. "Julien Levy: Portrait of an Art Gallery." Cambridge, Massachusetts and London: The MIT Press, 1998.

5. Solomon, Deborah. "Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell." New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997.
Separated Materials:
The Smithsonian Archives of American Art houses the Joseph Cornell papers, 1804-1986, bulk 1939-1972.
Provenance:
The Joseph Cornell Study Center collection was donated to the Smithsonian American Art Museum by Joseph Cornell's sister and brother-in-law, Elizabeth Cornell Benton and John A. Benton, in 1978, which prompted the creation of the Joseph Cornell Study Center. Additional materials were donated in installments by the artist's estate, the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, from 1985 to 1997. Elizabeth and John A. Benton originally donated 66 linear feet of three-dimensional and non-textual source material and 50 linear feet of books to the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, which were subsequently transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Joseph Cornell Study Center in 1994 and 1995.
Restrictions:
Access to the collection requires an advanced appointment. Contact collection staff at least two weeks prior to preferred date, at AmericanArtCornellStudy@si.edu.

Series 9: Artifacts and Ephemera, Series 13: Personal Library and Book Collection, and Series 14: Record Album Collection, are still undergoing processing and preservation and may not be available for research use. Record albums are unavailable for playback. Contact collection staff for full lists of publications and record albums.
Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Occupation:
Collagists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Assemblage (Art)  Search this
Assemblage artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Found objects (Art)  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Celebrities  Search this
Filmmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1900-1950 -- Photoprints -- Silver gelatin
Photographs -- 1860-1870 -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver albumen -- Cartes-de-visite
Photographs -- Daguerreotypes -- 1840-1860
Citation:
Joseph Cornell Study Center collection, 1750-1980, bulk 1930-1972. Joseph Cornell Study Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Identifier:
SAAM.JCSC.1
See more items in:
Joseph Cornell Study Center Collection
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-saam-jcsc-1

In 1919, the Mayor of Oakland Was Arrested for Failing to Wear a Mask

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Thu, 21 May 2020 13:08:14 +0000
Topic:
Custom RSS  Search this
See more posts:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_9069b306a700cf7fd435e98ea3372efc

Correspondence, 1911-1914

Collection name:
Waldo L. Schmitt Papers, 1907-1978
Physical Description:
1 field book
Physical Location:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Sublocation:
Box 75 Folder 21
Record type:
Fieldbook record
Object Type:
Field notes
Correspondence
Place:
Alaska
Baja California
Chignik Bay
San Francisco Bay
California
United States
Date Range:
1911-1914
Start Date:
1911
End Date:
1914
Topic:
Crustacea  Search this
Zoology  Search this
Accession #:
SIA RU007231
Access Information:
Many of SIA's holdings are located off-site, and advance notice is recommended to consult a collection. Please email the SIA Reference Team at osiaref@si.edu.
See more records from this collection:
Waldo L. Schmitt Papers, 1907-1978
See more records associated with this person:
Schmitt, Waldo L. (Waldo Lasalle), 1887-1977
Data Source:
Smithsonian Field Book Project
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:fbr_item_MODSI1114
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Correspondence, 1911-1914 digital asset number 1
Online Media:

Smithsonian-Bredin Caribbean Expedition, 1959 : correspondence

Collection name:
Waldo L. Schmitt Papers, 1907-1978
Physical Description:
1 field book
Physical Location:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Sublocation:
Box 110
Record type:
Fieldbook record
Object Type:
Field notes
Correspondence
Black-and-white photographs
Place:
Caribbean Sea
Date Range:
1958-1959
Start Date:
1958
End Date:
1959
Topic:
Zoology  Search this
Accession #:
SIA RU007231
Access Information:
Many of SIA's holdings are located off-site, and advance notice is recommended to consult a collection. Please email the SIA Reference Team at osiaref@si.edu.
See more records from this collection:
Waldo L. Schmitt Papers, 1907-1978
See more records associated with this person:
Schmitt, Waldo L. (Waldo Lasalle), 1887-1977
Amos, William H.
Bredin, J. Bruce
Carmichael, Leonard
Cowan, Richard Sumner
Darsie, Jr., Richard F.
See more records associated with this expedition:
Smithsonian-Bredin Caribbean Expeditions (1956-1959)
Data Source:
Smithsonian Field Book Project
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:fbr_item_MODSI1657
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Smithsonian-Bredin Caribbean Expedition, 1959 : correspondence digital asset number 1
Online Media:

Life at 400 Beacon Street : working in Mary Baker Eddy's household / by Heather Vogel Frederick

Author:
Frederick, Heather Vogel  Search this
Longyear Museum  Search this
Subject:
Eddy, Mary Baker 1821-1910  Search this
Physical description:
457 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Type:
Biography
History
Date:
2019
©2019
Topic:
Christian Scientists  Search this
Christian Science--History  Search this
Call number:
BX6990 .L54 2019
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1105308

Enlisting faith : how the military chaplaincy shaped religion and state in modern America / Ronit Y. Stahl

Author:
Stahl, Ronit Y. 1980-  Search this
Physical description:
x, 348 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Type:
Books
History
Place:
United States
Date:
2017
20th century
Topic:
Military chaplains--History  Search this
Religion and state--History  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1100572

Prayers in stone : Christian Science architecture in the United States, 1894-1930 / Paul Eli Ivey

Author:
Ivey, Paul Eli 1959-  Search this
Physical description:
xvii, 227 p. : ill. ; 27 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
1999
C1999
19th century
20th century
Topic:
Christian Science church buildings  Search this
Architecture--History  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_664500

Longyear Museum

Title:
News from Longyear Museum
Author:
Longyear Museum  Search this
Longyear Museum  Search this
Subject:
Longyear Museum  Search this
Physical description:
v. : ill. ; 28 cm
Type:
Periodicals
Date:
19uu
Topic:
Christian Science  Search this
Call number:
BX6995 .L668
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_698085

Mary Baker Eddy / Gillian Gill

Author:
Gill, Gillian  Search this
Subject:
Eddy, Mary Baker 1821-1910  Search this
Physical description:
xxxv, 713 p., [24] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
1998
C1998
Topic:
Christian Scientists--Biography  Search this
Christian Science--History  Search this
Call number:
CT275.E22 G55 1998
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_590609

Modify Your Search







or


Narrow By