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Arthur and Helen Torr Dove papers

Creator:
Dove, Arthur Garfield, 1880-1946  Search this
Names:
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Torr, Helen, 1886-1967  Search this
Extent:
3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Audiotapes
Photographs
Diaries
Sketches
Date:
1905-1975
Summary:
The papers of artists Arthur and Helen Torr Dove measure 3 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1975, with the bulk of material dating from 1920 to 1946. Arthur Dove's life as an artist, and his life with the artist Helen Torr, are documented in biographical narratives, personal documents, an audio recording, correspondence, diaries, essays, poetry, notes, exhibition catalogs, clippings, magazine illustrations, pamphlets, receipts, an accounting ledger, tax records, sketches, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Arthur and Helen Torr Dove measure 3 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1975, with the bulk of material dating from 1920 to 1946. Arthur Dove's life as an artist, and his life with the artist Helen Torr, are documented in biographical narratives, personal documents, an audio recording, correspondence, diaries, essays, poetry, notes, exhibition catalogs, clippings, magazine illustrations, pamphlets, receipts, an accounting ledger, tax records, sketches, and photographs.

Biographical Materials include a last will and testament, biographical narratives, and other official documents, as well as an audio recording of an interview with William Dove made around 1961 by George Wolfer. Correspondence includes letters from friends, clients, other artists, and Dove's patron Duncan Phillips. There is also correspondence with family members Helen Torr and Paul Dove. Drafts of outgoing letters from Dove to various correspondents including Phillips and Alfred Stieglitz are found.

Writings are extensive and include diaries, autobiographical essays, essays about art, artists, and other subjects, and poetry by Arthur Dove; as well as essays, reminiscences, and notes of Helen Torr. Printed Materials include exhibition catalogs for Dove's shows and the shows of other artists in the Stieglitz Circle, examples of Dove's early magazine illustration work, newspaper reviews of Dove's exhibitions, and various pamphlets related to modern art. Personal Business Records include an accounting ledger of the Doves' expenses, sales receipts, tax records, and an undated art inventory. Artwork consists of ten items, mostly sketches in pencil, watercolor, ink, and colored pencil. Photographs are undated and unidentified, but depict mostly family, homes, and coastal scenes.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 7 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1928-1937, circa 1961 (Box 1; 2 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1920-1974 (Box 1; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1924-1945 (Boxes 1-3; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Printed Materials, circa 1905-1975 (Box 3; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 5: Personal Business Records, circa 1921-1965 (Box 3; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Artwork, undated (Box 3; 1 folder)

Series 7: Photographs, 1909, undated (Box 3; 4 folders)
Biographical Note:
Arthur Garfield Dove was an early twentieth-century painter, collagist, and illustrator who was one of the first American artists to embrace abstraction in art. He was a part of Alfred Stieglitz's Circle of modern American artists introduced at Stieglitz's 291 Gallery along with John Marin and Georgia O'Keeffe. Dove spent his career developing his own idiosyncratic style of formal abstraction in painting based on his ideas about nature, feeling, and pure form, and characterized by experimentation with color, composition, and materials.

Born in Canandiagua, NY in 1880, Dove grew up in the small, rural town of Geneva, NY. He was first exposed to art by a local farmer and painter named Newton Weatherly, who gave him canvas and paint, and who Dove himself cited as an early influence. Dove went to Cornell University to study law, but soon shifted to art and illustration. He graduated in 1903 and quickly became a success as a magazine illustrator, working for Collier's, McClure's, St. Nicholas, and The Illustrated Sporting News, among other publications. In 1904, he married Florence Dorsey, a Geneva woman, and they lived in New York City. Their son, William Dove, was born in 1910.

In 1908 the couple traveled to Paris to enable Dove to pursue his interest in painting. In Paris, he met Alfred Maurer, Jo Davidson, and other American artists living abroad. The influence of his European and expatriate contemporaries would prove to be a lasting one, exposing him to ideas about abstraction and experimentation that he would develop in his work for the rest of his life.

Soon after Dove's return to the United States, he met Alfred Stieglitz and began a lifelong friendship. Stieglitz ran the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession, which came to be known as 291, in New York. His daring, avant-garde exhibitions of both European and American modern art at 291 provided a venue and gathering-place for progressive American artists that was unique for its time. Dove's first solo exhibition at 291 was held in 1912, and consisted of ten pastel drawings that have come to be known as the "Ten Commandments." The attention it received established Dove as a prominent abstract painter.

Around 1920, Dove met another Westport artist named Helen S. Torr, also known as Reds. A Philadelphia-born painter who had studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Reds was married at the time to the cartoonist Clive Weed. Torr and Dove eventually left their unhappy marriages and began a life together, moving to a houseboat docked in Manhattan. In 1922, they moved to Halesite, Long Island, New York, where Dove's artwork once again flourished. By the mid-1920s, he was exhibiting regularly, paralleled by the rise of Stieglitz's new Intimate Gallery in 1925. His work continued to explore abstraction and organic forms, and, in addition to paintings, he produced assemblages made of found materials.

Although a building teardown brought the Intimate Gallery to a sudden end in 1929, the financial support of friends enabled Alfred Stieglitz to open An American Place soon thereafter. There Stieglitz would focus on the work of a few American artists, including Dove, John Marin, and Georgia O'Keeffe. Helen Torr was also exhibited at An American Place, in a group show with Arthur in 1933. It was also at this gallery that the art collector Duncan Phillips was introduced to Dove's artwork. Phillips' interest in Dove grew into an ongoing patronage of Dove that would see them through the Depression and periods of serious illness in the 1930s and 1940s. Their arrangement, whereby Phillips had first refusal on all of Dove's new artwork, enabled him to gradually assemble the largest collection of Dove's work held anywhere.

In 1938, while on a trip to New York to attend his exhibition, Dove became suddenly ill. Although he recovered somewhat that year, his health never entirely returned to normal, and he spent long periods during what remained of his life housebound and in a wheelchair. He and Reds bought a home in Centreport, on Long Island, where they would stay the rest of his life. In 1939 he was so ill that neither his family nor Stieglitz thought he would ever paint again. Despite his physical limitations, he continued to work, turning to the less physically strenuous media of drawing and watercolor, and produced new work for five solo exhibitions in the 1940s. His work of this period embraces pure abstraction more fully than ever, and is regarded by some to be a culmination or crystallization of his singular style and approach to abstract painting.

Arthur Dove suffered a stroke in 1946 and died that November, just four months after his lifelong friend and mentor Alfred Stieglitz died of a heart attack. Reds lived until 1967 in their Centreport home. Dove's importance to American art has since been recognized with more than a dozen retrospective exhibitions at major museums and galleries.

This biography relied heavily on the monograph Arthur Dove: Life and Work, with a Catalogue Raisonné (1984) by Ann Lee Morgan.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming. Reel 725 contains Arthur Dove's letters from Alfred Stieglitz (1918-1946) and Georgia O'Keeffe (1921-1948), and two letters from William Einstein (1937). The original letters were later donated to the Beinecke Library at Yale University, which holds the Stieglitz/O'Keeffe Archives. Reel 2803 contains photocopies of Arthur Dove's card catalog of paintings that were discarded after microfilming. This material is not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The papers of Arthur and Helen Torr Dove were loaned to the Archives of American Art by Arthur Dove's son, William Dove, for microfilming in several increments between 1970 and 1975. The papers were later donated to the Archives by William Dove via the Terry Distenfass Gallery of New York City in multiple accessions between 1982 and 1989, with two major exceptions: 177 letters from Alfred Stieglitz, sixteen letters from Georgia O'Keeffe, and two letters from William Einstein; and Arthur Dove's card catalog of paintings, a photocopy of which had been loaned for microfilming. The papers were digitized in 2006.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Microfilmed and digitized portions must be consulted on microfilm or the Archives website. Use of unmicrofilmed, undigitized portion requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Arthur and Helen Torr Dove papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Women painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Collagists -- New York (State)  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Audiotapes
Photographs
Diaries
Sketches
Citation:
Arthur and Helen Torr Dove papers, 1905-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.dovearth
See more items in:
Arthur and Helen Torr Dove papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-dovearth
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Robert Rauschenberg, 1965 Dec. 21

Interviewee:
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Interviewer:
Seckler, Dorothy Gees, 1910-1994  Search this
Subject:
Kline, Franz  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Callahan, Harry M. (Harry Morey)  Search this
De Kooning, Willem  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad  Search this
Amsterdam (Netherlands).Stedelijk Museum  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Photographers  Search this
Painters  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Pop art  Search this
Illustrators  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12870
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)214130
AAA_collcode_rausch65
Theme:
Photography
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_214130
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Tom Wesselmann, 1984 January 3-February 8

Interviewee:
Wesselmann, Tom, 1931-2004  Search this
Interviewer:
Sandler, Irving, 1925-  Search this
Subject:
Dine, Jim  Search this
Katz, Alex  Search this
Tanager Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Collage  Search this
Painters  Search this
Collagists  Search this
Pop art  Search this
Nude in art  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12439
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212174
AAA_collcode_wessel84
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212174
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.
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
Collagists -- 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

Oral history interview with Mary Beth Edelson, 2009 February 1-16

Interviewee:
Edelson, Mary Beth, 1933-  Search this
Interviewer:
Richards, Judith Olch, 1947-  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)15701
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)283558
AAA_collcode_edelso09
Theme:
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_283558

Regina Stewart papers

Creator:
Stewart, Regina Serniak, 1942-  Search this
Names:
New York Artists Equity Association  Search this
Blackburn, Robert Hamilton, 1920-  Search this
Candell, Victor, 1903-1977  Search this
Facci, Domenico, 1916-1994  Search this
Kennedy, Edward Moore, 1932-2009  Search this
Kuniyoshi, Sara Mazo  Search this
McMurtry, Larry  Search this
Stewart, Jack, 1926-2005  Search this
Extent:
0.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Date:
1959-2010
Summary:
Three scrapbooks, 1959-2010, assembled by Regina Serniak Stewart document her career as a costume designer, painter, board member and Executive Director of the New York Artists Equity Association.
Scope and Content Note:
Three scrapbooks, 1959-2010, assembled by Regina Serniak Stewart (b. 1942) document her career as a costume designer, painter, board member and Executive Director of the New York Artists Equity Association.

The scrapbooks contain: letters from Robert Blackburn, Victor Candell, Domenico Facci, Edward M. Kennedy, Sara M. Kuniyoshi, Larry McMurtry, Jack Stewart, and letters from various museums and galleries; costume sketches, 1963-1974, for the Paterson, New Jersey Lyric Opera Theatre; curriculum vitae, awards and profiles of the artist; photographs of Stewart, her work, and events; and printed material including clippings, articles, programs, brochures, flyers, and exhibition catalogs. The collection also includes some loose printed materials consisting of collectors' guides to kitchen utensils and stoneware co-written by Stewart and an article and exhibition catalog about her painting.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 2 series:

Series 1: Scrapbooks, 1959-2010 (Boxes 1-2; 0.7 linear ft.)

Series 2: Printed Materials, circa 1977, 2003-2008 (Box 2; 0.1 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Regina Serniak Stewart (b. 1942), a painter, administrator, and writer in New York City is the Executive Director of the New York Artists Equity Association.

Stewart is a graduate of the Cooper Union School of Art and Achitecture whose paintings have been exhibited in New York and throughout the United States. In addition to painting, Ms. Stewart was a set and costume designer for the Paterson Lyric Opera Theatre, a jewelry designer, an art consultant, and an art instructor. She was elected to the board of the New York Artists Equity Association in 1989 and is now Executive Director.
Provenance:
Donated by Regina Stewart, July 27, 2010.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Regina Stewart papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Women artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Arts administrators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Collagists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Costume designers  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Citation:
The Regina Stewart papers. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.stewregi
See more items in:
Regina Stewart papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-stewregi

Romare Bearden papers

Creator:
Bearden, Romare, 1911-1988  Search this
Names:
Alston, Charles Henry, 1907-1977  Search this
Holty, Carl, 1900-1973  Search this
Lawrence, Jacob, 1917-2000  Search this
Middleton, Samuel M., 1927-  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Extent:
2.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Sketches
Exhibition catalogs
Maps
Photographs
Date:
1937-1982
Summary:
The papers of Romare Bearden measure 2.1 linear feet and date from 1937 to 1982. The collection includes biographical information, correspondence, writings by and about Bearden, miscellaneous legal and financial material, photographs, drawings, and printed material. Found are numerous letters referring to African-American arts movements of the 1960s and 1970s, including exhibitions, publications, associations, and scattered letters of a more personal nature.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Romare Bearden measure 2.1 linear feet and date from 1937 to 1982. The collection includes biographical information, correspondence, writings by and about Bearden, miscellaneous legal and financial material, photographs, drawings, and printed material.

Correspondence is with family, friends, artists, galleries, museums, publishers, universities, arts associations, and colleagues, primarily concerning gallery space, exhibitions, sales of artwork, publishing, and arts events. Also found are numerous letters referring to African-American art movements of the 1960s and 1970s, including exhibitions, publications, associations, and scattered letters of a more personal nature. Many of the letters are illustrated with Bearden's doodlings and drawings. Although most of the letters are from galleries, museums, publishers, and arts associations, scattered letters from Charles Alston, Jacob Lawrence, Ad Reinhardt, Carl Holty, and Sam Middleton are found. In addition, there are letters from the Black Academy of Arts and Letters, and letters concerning its founding.

Writings by Bearden include lectures, speeches, talks, essays, and prose. Many are handwritten, annotated, and edited in Bearden's hand and several are illustrated with Bearden's doodlings and sketches. Included are a memorial delivered upon artist Carl Holty's death, a tribute to Zell Ingram, autobiographical essays, essays on art, and African-American art, artists, and cultural life. Also found are several handwritten examples of Bearden's prose and poetry. There are also writings by others and one folder of fragments and notes assumed to be by Bearden.

The collection houses two folders of photographs and snapshots of Bearden, family members, other unidentified artists or friends, classes and/or lectures, and works of art. Also found are several undated ink drawings, sketches in pencil and ink, and a hand-drawn and colored map with overlay of Paris. Printed material includes examples of Bearden's commissioned artwork for publications, press releases, exhibition catalogs and announcements, invitations, newspaper and magazine clippings, and miscellaneous printed materials. Although much of the printed material concerns Bearden's work, a fair portion concerns African-American art, artists, and cultural movements.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into seven series based on type of materials. Documents within each of the seven series have been arranged in chronological order, except for the writings which have been further subdivided by creator and are undated. Printed materials have been arranged primarily according to form of material and are in rough chronological order.

Series 1: Biographical, 1977, undated (Box 1; 1 folder)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1944-1981, undated (Box 1-2; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings By and About Bearden, circa 1950s-1980s (Box 3; 6 folders)

Series 4: Legal and Financial Material, 1970-1977 (Box 3; 3 folders)

Series 5: Photographs, undated (Box 3; 2 folders)

Series 6: Drawings, undated (Box 3, OV 6; 4 folders)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1937-1982 (Box 3-5; 1 linear foot)
Biographical / Historical:
Born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, in 1914, Bearden's family relocated to New York City when Bearden was a toddler. Living in Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, Bearden was exposed to such luminaries as writer Langston Hughes, painter Aaron Douglas, and musician Duke Ellington. While attending New York University, Bearden became interested in cartooning and became the art editor of the NYU Medley in his senior year. He received his B.S. in mathematics in 1935, initially planning to pursue medical school. Realizing that he had little interest in the other sciences however, Bearden began attending classes at the Art Students League in the evenings, studying under George Grosz.

In the mid-1930s Bearden published numerous political cartoons in journals and newspapers, including the Afro-American, but by the end of the decade, he shifted his emphasis to painting. Bearden's first paintings, on large sheets of brown paper, recalled his early memories of the South. After serving in the Army, Bearden began exhibiting more frequently, particularly in Washington, D.C. at the G Street Gallery and in New York with Samuel Kootz.

During a career lasting almost half a century, Bearden produced approximately two thousand works. Although best known for the collages of urban and southern scenes that he first experimented with in the mid-1960s, Bearden also completed paintings, drawings, monotypes, edition prints, public murals, record album jackets, magazine and book illustrations, and costume and set designs for theater and ballet. His work focused on religious subjects, African-American culture, jazz clubs and brothels, and history and literature. Not confining his abilities to the visual arts, Bearden also devoted attention to writing and song writing. Several of his collaborations were published as sheet music, among the most famous of which is "Seabreeze," recorded by Billy Eckstine. In addition, Bearden coauthored three full-length books: The Painter's Mind: A Study of the Relations of Structure and Space in Painting (1969) with painter Carl Holty; Six Black Masters of American Art (1972); and A History of African-American Artists: From 1792 to the Present (posthumously, 1993), the latter two with journalist Harry Henderson.

Bearden was also active in the African-American arts movement of the period, serving as art director of the Harlem Cultural Council, a founding member of the Black Academy of Arts and Letters, and organizer of exhibitions, such as the Metropolitan Museum's "Harlem on My Mind" (1968). Romare Bearden died in 1988.
Related Materials:
Within the Archives holdings are two oral history interviews with Romare Bearden. One was conducted in 1968 by Henri Ghent and another in 1980 by Avis Berman.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reel N68-87) including correspondence, a scrapbook, photographs, catalogs, clippings, and writings. Except for the correspondence, loaned materials were returned to the donor and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Romare Bearden lent material for microfilming to the Archives of American Art in 1968, donating the correspondence. Bearden also gave additional papers between 1977 and 1983.
Restrictions:
The bulk of the collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website. Use of material not digitized requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Romare Bearden papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Collagists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
African American artists  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Painting  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Sketches
Exhibition catalogs
Maps -- Paris (France)
Photographs
Citation:
Romare Bearden papers, 1937-1982. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.bearroma
See more items in:
Romare Bearden papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bearroma
Online Media:

Anne Ryan papers

Creator:
Ryan, Anne, 1889-1954  Search this
Names:
McFadden, Elizabeth  Search this
Extent:
3.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Travel diaries
Diaries
Photographs
Drawings
Date:
circa 1905-1970
Summary:
The papers of New York-based painter, printmaker, collagist and writer Anne Ryan measure 3.8 linear feet and date from circa 1905 to 1970. The papers document her career as an artist and writer in New York, New Jersey and Spain through biographical material, correspondence, diaries and journals, writings, printed material, photographic material and artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York-based painter, printmaker, collagist and writer Anne Ryan measure 3.8 linear feet and date from circa 1905 to 1970. The papers document her career as an artist and writer in New York, New Jersey and Spain through biographical material, correspondence, diaries and journals, writings, printed material, photographic material and artwork.

Biographical material includes a mixture of legal and financial records as well as other personal documents. There are account books, art inventories, biographical statements, estate papers, exhibition lists, price lists, loan and consignments records, bills and receipts, banking and tax records, assorted travel documents, and other miscellaneous items.

Correspondence is with editors, museums, galleries, family and friends. Many of the letters have typed transcriptions that go along with the original handwritten correspondence. There is also correspondence with Anne Ryan's daughter, Elizabeth McFadden.

There are six diaries, journals, and travel diaries. The diaries and journals describe progress on artwork and writing, as well as daily appointments and activities.

Writings consists of notes, notebooks, poetry and manuscripts. The bulk of the series consists of handwritten and typescript drafts of books, short stories and essays. There are a few items written by others.

Printed material includes exhibition announcements, catalogs, clippings and magazines. Most of the periodicals include essays and stories written by Ryan. There are some printed materials such as postcards, travel brochures and clippings from Ryan's time in Spain.

Two family albums and photographs depict Anne Ryan, family, friends, colleagues, artwork, exhibition installations and houses.

Also found are materials Ann Ryan used to make artwork, such as engraved metal plates for prints, engraved woodcuts for woodblock prints, and handmade stencils. Some drawings are also included.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as seven series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1920-circa 1970 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1922-1968 (Box 1; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 3: Diaries and Journals, 1924-1942 (Boxes 1-2; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings, circa 1923-circa 1954 (Boxes 2-3; 1.4 linear feet)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1925-1970 (Boxes 3-4; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographic Material, circa 1905-circa 1954 (Boxes 4-5; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1930-circa 1954 (Box 5; 0.3 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Anne Ryan (1889-1954) was a painter, printmaker, collagist, graphic artist and author who primarily worked in New York City, but also in New Jersey and Spain.

Anne Ryan was born in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1889. She attended St. Elizabeth's Academy and College. She married lawyer William J. McFadden and had three children – William, Elizabeth and Thomas. They lived in Newark, New Jersey and divorced in 1923. Ryan often went to Greenwich Village in New York City and was something of a fixture in the arts and literary community. In 1925 she published a book of poetry, Lost Hills, and her novel Raquel was also published around this time.

Around 1931, Ryan moved to Spain and lived there for roughly four years, mostly in Mallorca and Ibiza, though she traveled to Paris as well. She then returned to New York City and moved into 124 West Fourth Street, which was occupied by many artists and writers. She opened a restaurant called The Hearthstone in the building's basement.

Ryan began painting around 1938. Artist Hans Hofmann lived nearby and visited her studio to provide encouragement, telling her to pursue her own course artistically and not to seek formal instruction. Ryan's first exhibition was in 1941. During this time she joined the printmaking studio Atelier 17 run by British artist William Stanley Hayter who had fled from Paris, France due to World War II. Thanks to the studio, Ryan befriended many European expatriate artists and started making woodblock prints and engravings.

In 1948, Ryan saw an exhibition of collages by Kurt Schwitters that inspired her to begin creating collages herself. During her late career, she made hundreds of collages and had multiple exhibitions at Betty Parsons Gallery in New York City. Ryan was also a prolific writer and many of her short stories and travel essays were published in magazines and periodicals. She died in 1954 in Morristown, New Jersey.
Provenance:
The Anne Ryan papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 1971 by Elizabeth McFadden, Anne Ryan's daughter.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Topic:
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- Spain  Search this
Collagists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Collagists -- Spain  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- Spain  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Printmakers -- Spain  Search this
Women artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women artists -- Spain  Search this
Genre/Form:
Travel diaries
Diaries
Photographs
Drawings
Citation:
Anne Ryan papers, circa 1905-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.ryananne
See more items in:
Anne Ryan papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-ryananne

Tanager Gallery records

Creator:
Tanager Gallery  Search this
Names:
Arnold, Anne, 1926-  Search this
Brooks, James, 1906-1992  Search this
Burkhardt, Rudy  Search this
Cajori, Charles, 1921-  Search this
Cherry, Herman  Search this
Dodd, Lois, 1927-  Search this
Fine, Perle, 1908-1988  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Geist, Sidney  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Hazelet, Sally  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Ippolito, Angelo  Search this
Katz, Alex, 1927-  Search this
King, William, 1925-2015  Search this
Pearlstein, Philip, 1924-  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Rivers, Larry, 1925-2002  Search this
Stamos, Theodoros, 1922-1997  Search this
Wesselmann, Tom, 1931-2004  Search this
Extent:
2.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Sketches
Date:
1952-1979
Summary:
The records of contemporary New York City Tanager Gallery measure 2.6 linear feet and date from 1952 to 1979. Found are administrative files, financial and legal records including detailed receipt books, scattered correspondence, artists' files for circa 70 artists that include price lists and biographies, two scrapbooks of printed materials, newsclippings, exhibition announcements and other printed materials, and five photographs of openings at the gallery and of the exterior of the building.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of contemporary New York City Tanager Gallery measure 2.6 linear feet and date from 1952 to 1979. Found are administrative files, financial and legal records including detailed receipt books, scattered correspondence, artists' files for circa 70 artists that include price lists and biographies, two scrapbooks of printed materials, newsclippings, exhibition announcements and other printed materials, and five photographs of openings at the gallery and of the exterior of the building.

Administrative files include four day books, lists of artists and exhibitions, historical sketches, and an address book. There are two ledger books of expenses for shows and four receipt books from 1959-1962 which are organized by date and list artist, and artwork, buyer, and price. Correspondence is arranged chronologically and comprised mainly of copies of letters sent by the Gallery to artists as invitations to exhibit. Also found are scattered letters from museums and artists.

There are artists' files for circa 70 artists that contain a variety of materials, including price lists and biographies or resumes. Artists files are found for Anne Arnold, James Brooks, Charles Cajori, Herman Cherry, Lois Dodd, Sally Hazelet Drummond, Perle Fine, Helen Frankenthaler, Sidney Geist, Philip Guston, Hans Hofmann, Angelo Ippolito, Philip Pealstein, Alex Katz, William King, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, Theordore Stamos, and Tom Wesselmann among many others.

The collection includes two scrapbooks containing mostly newsclippings and exhibition announcements, as well as additional loose newsclippings, numerous exhibition announcements and catalogs, and press releases. There are five photographs of gallery openings and the exterior of the building, the latter taken by Rudy Burkhardt.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series:

Series 1: Administrative Files, 1952-1979 (Boxes 1, 4; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 2: Financial and Legal Records, 1952-1962 (Box 1; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 3: Correspondence, 1952-1967 (Boxes 1-2; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 4: Artists Files, circa 1952- circa 1962 (Box 2; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 5: Scrapbooks, circa 1962 (Boxes 2-3; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1952-1971 (Boxes 2, 4; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 7: Photographs, circa 1952-circa 1959 (Box 2; 2 folders)
Historical Note:
The Tanager Gallery operated from 1952-1962 in New York City. The gallery was one of the first artist cooperative galleries formed on 10th Street in Manhattan to provide an alternative to the larger upscale galleries of Madison Avenue.

In 1952, the artist cooperative Tanager Gallery opened at 90 East 10th Street in Manhattan. Co-founders included Charles Cajori, Lois Dodd, Angelo Ippolito, William King, and Fred Mitchell. The Tanager offered open spaces for young artists to show their work and to sell art on their own terms. Membership at the Tanager included American Realists Alex Katz and Philip Pearlstein, and the Pop art/found-art collagist Tom Wesselmann. Later artists to join the cooperatiive included Mary Abbott, Perle Fine, Sidney Geist, Joseph Groell, Nanno de Groot, Sally Hazelet, Ben Isquith, Lester Johnson, Nicholas Marsicano, George Earl Ortman, Charlotte Park, Philip Pearlstein, Frank Stout, Raymond Rocklin, and Sal Sirugo. From 1952 to 1962, the Tanager Gallery exhibited works from about 250 artists.

The opening of Tanager and other 10th Street galleries was a radical change for the New York arts scene and for emerging New York artists who generally found representation with uptown gallery owners and/or art dealers on 57th Street or Madison Ave. In the 1950s, Manhattan's 10th Street was a gathering place for young artist-bohemians. The galleries were often the centers for anything avant-garde or new, such as art installations, happenings, poetry readings, jazz sessions, and performance art. For example, Tanager Gallery hosted a series of forums with local artists who would discuss their work and objectives.

Tanager Gallery received attention and respect from the more established art galleries and critics in New York, including Dore Ashton, Leo Castelli, Tom Hess, Martha Jackson, and Dorothy Miller. The Tanager Gallery closed in 1962.
Related Material:
Among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are the Lois Dodd papers, 1952-2001 and an oral history interview with Lois Dodd by Barbara Shikler from 1988.
Provenance:
Lois Dodd, co-founder of the Tanager Gallery, donated the Tanager Gallery records in several increments between 1972 and 1989.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Tanager Gallery records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Art, Abstract -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Sketches
Citation:
Tanager Gallery records, 1952-1979. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.tanagall
See more items in:
Tanager Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-tanagall
Online Media:

Nancy Spero papers

Creator:
Spero, Nancy, 1926-2009  Search this
Names:
A.I.R. Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Golub, Leon, 1922-2004  Search this
Extent:
27.5 Linear feet
19.12 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Slides
Sound recordings
Interviews
Transcripts
Photographs
Video recordings
Date:
1940s-2009
Summary:
The papers of painter, collage artist, and printmaker Nancy Spero measure 27.5 linear feet and 19.12 GB and are dated 1940s-2009. Biographical materials, correspondence, interviews, writings, subject files, personal business records, printed and digital material, and photographic materials provide an overview of her exhibitions, major projects, and personal life. Also documented is her interest and participation in political movements and social issues including anti-war, women's rights, animal rights, repressive regimes, and the treatment of political prisoners.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter, printmaker, and collage artist Nancy Spero measure 27.5 linear feet and 19.12 GB and are dated 1940s-2009. Biographical materials, correspondence, interviews,writings, subject files, personal business records, printed and digital material, and photographic materials provide an overview of her exhibitions, major projects, and personal life. Also documented is her interest and participation in political and social movements including anti-war, women's rights, animal rights, and raising awareness about repressive regimes, and the treatment of political prisoners.

Biographical materials include 26 audiovisual recordings about Nancy Spero and her work. Also found are biographical notes, resumes, and her passport. Correspondence concerns exhibitions, projects, travel, general news of family and friends, social events, and fundraising for political and social causes that Spero supported.

Interviews with Spero, conducted for a variety of purposes, include 7 audiovisual recordings, many transcripts, and published versions. Also, there are several joint interviews with Nancy Spero and Leon Golub. Spero's writings consist of notes, artist's statements, and articles. Also included are 7 audiovisual recordings of talks by Spero and her participation in panel discussions.

Subject files document many of Spero's personal and professional projects, relationships, and interests. Especially well documented is A.I.R. Gallery which includes 42 sound cassettes of talks presented in its "Current Issues and Events" series (1982-1984), gallery correspondence, exhibition documentation, and records of the A.I.R. Partnership. Some materials are in digital format.

Personal business records include many inventories and lists. Also documented are gifts, loans, sales, prices, reproduction permissions and fees. Printed material consists of a variety of items such as books, clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, periodicals, press releases, digital materials and reproductions. Many items mention Spero and/or include reproductions of her work. Also found with printed material are 22 commercially produced audiovisual recordings about various subjects.

Photographic materials include photographs, digital images, slides, negatives and color transparencies of artwork, exhibition installations, and people. Artwork is mainly by Spero and exhibition installations record some of her solo shows. Images of people include Nancy Spero, Leon Golub, unidentified friends and family members.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1950-2009 (Boxes 1-2, FC 31; 1.5 linear feet, ER01-ER04; 9.58 GB)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1946-2009 (Boxes 2-4; 2 linear feet)

Series 3: Interviews, 1973-2007 (Boxes 4-5; 0.8 linear foot)

Series 4: Writings, 1950-2003 (Box 5; 0.8 linear foot)

Series 5: Subject Files, circa 1950-2009 (Boxes 6-18, 29, RD 30; 12.6 linear feet, ER05-ER15; 5.02 GB)

Series 6: Personal Business Records, circa 1976-2008 (Boxes 18-19; 1 linear foot)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1949-2009 (Boxes 19-25; 6.1 linear feet, ER16-ER17; 4.36 GB)

Series 8: Photographic Material, 1940s-2009 (Boxes 25-26, 29; 1.2 linear feet, ER18-ER19; 0.151 GB)

Series 9: Video Recordings, 1970s-1990s (Boxes 26-28; 1 linear foot)
Biographical / Historical:
Nancy Spero (1926-2009) was a figurative painter, printmaker, and collage artist in New York City whose multi-media work often incorporated text. She was an ardent feminist and activist whose political and social concerns were expressed in her art.

Born in Cleveland, Nancy Spero lived in Chicago from the time she was a very young child until completing her studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA 1949) where she met her future husband, painter Leon Golub (1922-2004). She studied briefly in Paris and lived in New York City, returning to Chicago after her marriage in 1951. The couple and their two sons lived in Italy from 1956 to 1957. In 1959, after a few years in New York, the family moved to Paris where Spero developed an interest in existentialism and produced a series of black paintings. When Spero and Golub returned to New York in 1964, their family consisted of three sons.

Nancy Spero was strongly affected by the war in Vietnam and the many social changes of the period. She became a social activist and feminist, joined various organizations, and participated in a variety of demonstrations. Work such as the War series began to include political and sexual imagery. Spero was among the founding members of the women's cooperative A.I.R. Gallery established in 1972. In 1974 she decided to make women in mythology, history, art, and literature the exclusive subject of her work. Included in this vein are major series and installations, among them Torture of Women, Notes in Time on Women, The First Language, and her 66th Street/Lincoln Center subway station mosaic mural Artemis, Acrobats, Divas and Dancers.

Spero exhibited in the 1950 Salon des Independents and her first solo exhibition (in tandem with Leon Golub) was held at Indiana University in 1958. Thereafter, she showed sporadically until nearly 30 years later when her career flourished and she enjoyed international stature. Beginning in 1986, each year brought multiple solo exhibitions at galleries and museums in the United States and internationally. In addition, she continued to participate in group shows such as "Documenta" and the Venice Biennale. Her work is included in the permanent collections of museums throughout the world.

Awards and honors included the Skowhegan Medal for Works on Paper (1995), Hiroshima Art Prize shared with Leon Golub (1996), The Women's Caucus for Art award for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Arts (2003), and The Women's Caucus for Art Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement (2005). Spero was awarded honorary Doctorates of Fine Arts by The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1991) and Williams College (2001), and was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2006).

After several years of declining health, Nancy Spero died from heart failure in New York City, October 18, 2009.
Related Materials:
Also among the holdings of the Archives of American Art an interview of Nancy Spero conducted 2008 Februay 6-July 24, by Judith Olch Richards, and the papers of Spero's husband, Leon Golub.
Provenance:
Gift of Nancy Spero in 1979. The majority of the collection was donated by her sons, Stephen Golub, Philip Golub, and Paul Golub in 2013.
Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Nancy Spero papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws
Topic:
Art -- Political aspects  Search this
Feminism  Search this
Collagists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Peace movements  Search this
Genre/Form:
Slides
Sound recordings
Interviews
Transcripts
Photographs
Video recordings
Citation:
Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.spernanc
See more items in:
Nancy Spero papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-spernanc
Online Media:

Eve Peri papers

Creator:
Peri, Eve, 1897-1966  Search this
Extent:
0.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
circa 1900-1996, bulk 1939-1966
Summary:
The papers of painter and embroidery artist Eve Peri measure 0.6 linear feet and date from circa 1900 to 1996 with the bulk of materials dating from 1939 to 1966. The papers are scattered and include biographical materials, travel documents, correspondence, financial records, printed material, designs for embroidered clothing, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter and embroidery artist Eve Peri measure 0.6 linear feet and date from circa 1900 to 1996 with the bulk of materials dating from 1939 to 1966. The papers are scattered and include biographical materials, travel documents, correspondence, financial records, printed material, designs for embroidered clothing, and photographs.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as one series.

Series 1: Eve Peri papers, circa 1900-1996 (0.6 linear feet; Box 1, OV2-3)
Biographical / Historical:
Eve Peri (1897-1966) was a collagist, embroiderer, and painter active in New York City, New York.

Eve Peri was born in Bangor, Maine in 1897. From her mother and aunts, Peri learned traditional quilting and embroidery techniques. A largely self-trained artist, she used her skills to design clothing, tapestry, and collages and also painted. She collaborated with her husband Alfonso Umana Mendez, a designer for Fred Leighton, designing women's embroidered clothing. After divorcing in 1939, she traveled around Europe and began to exhibit her works.

Peri moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania late in life and opened a gallery in New Hope to show her works. She died in 1966.
Provenance:
The Eve Peri papers were donated by Elizabeth Bullock and Judith Stein, executor and curator of the estate in 2001.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Occupation:
Women artists -- United States  Search this
Fiber artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Embroidery  Search this
Fiberwork  Search this
Collagists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Eve Peri papers, circa 1900-1996, bulk 1939-1966. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.perieve
See more items in:
Eve Peri papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-perieve

Ilse Getz papers

Creator:
Getz, Ilse, 1917-  Search this
Extent:
3.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Diaries
Photographs
Date:
1928-1999
Summary:
The papers of collage artist Ilse Getz measure 3.4 linear feet and date from 1928 through 1999, with the bulk of the papers dating from circa 1947-circa 1990. Her personal life is reflected through biographical material including a genealogy of the Bechhold family; marriage and death certificates; and writings that include journals, artist statement, poems and notes. The collection contains letters from friends, artists, collectors, and museum and art gallery representatives; exhibition files; and printed material relating to Getz's exhibitions. Also found are photographs, slides and transparencies of artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of collage artist Ilse Getz measure 3.4 linear feet and date from 1928 through 1999, with the bulk of the papers dating from circa 1947-circa 1990. Her personal life is reflected through biographical material including a genealogy of the Bechhold family; marriage and death certificates; and writings that include journals, artist statement, poems and notes. The collection contains letters from friends, artists, collectors, and museum and art gallery representatives; exhibition files; and printed material relating to Getz's exhibitions. Also found are photographs, slides and transparencies of artwork.
Arrangement:
This collection is organized into 6 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1934-1996 (Box 1, OV 5; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Letters, circa 1950-1999 (Box 1; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 3: Exhibition Files, circa 1944-1990 (Box 1, 2, 4; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings, circa 1928-1987 (Box 2, 4; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 5: Printed Material, circa 1956-1990 (Box 2, 3, 4, OV 5; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1940-1985 (Box 3; 0.5 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Ilse Getz (1917-1992) was born in Nuremberg, Germany and immigrated to the U.S. in 1933. She studied at the Art Students League with George Grosz and Morris Kantor and at the Ozenfant School. Getz was a collage and construction artist active from the 1950s through the 1980. She exhibited at several galleries in New York City including the Bertha Schaefer Gallery and Rosenberg Gallery.

During her childhood, Ilse Getz (nee Bechhold) had been uprooted both from home and country. She was first displaced in 1929, when she was sent to Hamburg to live with her sister after her father committed suicide. In 1933, Ilse and her sister left Nazi Germany, and traveled to Italy, Spain, Cuba, and Mexico. Ilse joined immediate family in New York. In 1937, Ilse married lawyer David Getz and settled in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Three years later she had a child and became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

In 1942, while visiting her sister in Mexico, Getz created her first oil painting. Upon returning to New York, Ilse continued her artistic exploration and studied with George Grosz and Morris Kantor at the Art Students League. By 1945, Getz had already held her first solo exhibition at the Norlyst Gallery in New York.

Getz traveled extensively throughout her life, incorporating the experiences in her work. During 1947-1948, she traveled and worked in Europe, visiting Switzerland, France, Spain and Portugal among other countries before retiring for four months in Guaruja, Brazil. She destroyed most of the artwork created during that period and returned to New York City.

During the summer of 1956, Getz taught and exhibited at the Positano Art Workshop in Italy along with Piero Dorazio. She repeated the experience two years later. In 1958, Getz married her second husband, artist Manoucher Yektai. The following year, Getz and Yektai went to Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, New York after having received fellowships to the artists' community.

In 1960, Getz was commissioned by Richard Barr to create the set for Eugene Ionesco's play, The Killer. The venue was the Seven Arts Theater in New York City and she completed the set in five days. Getz spent the next two years in Paris where she was represented by the Iris Clert Gallery; she exhibited in France, Germany and England. In 1962, Getz returned to New York City and maintained a studio on the Upper East Side. Getz married for the third time in 1964 to Gibson Danes who was then the Dean of Yale School of Art and Architecture. The couple lived in New York and Connecticut, and eventually settled in Newtown, Connecticut.

Getz participated in national and international exhibitions and in solo and group shows. Her collages and constructions incorporate items such as dolls, toys, birds, eggs, playing cards, and game boards. In 1978, retrospective exhibitions of Getz's work were held at the Neuberger Museum in Purchase, New York and in her native city at the Kunsthalle Nürnberg. Retrospective exhibitions were also held in 1980 at the Goethe House and Alex Rosenberg Gallery.

Later in life, Getz suffered from advanced Alzheimer's disease. In 1992, Gibson Danes, fearful that he would no longer be able to properly care for his wife, took both his life and that of Ilse Getz. They were found dead in their garage from acute carbon monoxide toxicity after breathing the fumes of their idling car.
Provenance:
The papers were donated in 2001 by Patricia Getz-Gentle, the daughter of Ilse Getz.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Topic:
Collagists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Photographs
Citation:
Ilse Getz Papers, 1928-1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.getzilse
See more items in:
Ilse Getz papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-getzilse

Fritz Bultman papers

Creator:
Bultman, Fritz, 1919-1985  Search this
Names:
Boghosian, Varujan  Search this
Bultman, Jeanne  Search this
Cicero, Carmen, 1926-  Search this
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Drexler, Sherman  Search this
Fromboluti, Sideo, 1921-  Search this
Graham, John, 1887-1961  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Hofmann, Maria, 1885-1963  Search this
Kees, Weldon, 1914-1955  Search this
Krasner, Lee, 1908-1984  Search this
Manso, Leo  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Newman, Annette  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Ossorio, Alfonso, 1916-1990  Search this
Ponsold, Renate  Search this
Reynal, Jeanne, 1903-  Search this
Rothschild, Judith  Search this
Sills, Thomas, 1914-  Search this
Simon, Sidney, 1917-1997  Search this
Smith, Tony, 1912-1980  Search this
Speyer, Nora  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Vevers, Tony  Search this
Windham, Donald  Search this
Extent:
11.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Interviews
Paintings
Drawings
Sketches
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Date:
1928-2010, bulk 1940s-1990s
Summary:
The papers of New York School painter and sculptor Fritz Bultman, 1928-2010, bulk 1940s-1990s, measure 11.9 linear feet. They document Bultman's professional activities, ties to the Abstract Expressionist movement, and his personal life. Letters from friends and family include many from Hans and Maria Hofmann. Letters by Bultman are mostly to family; also found are a few drafts and copies of business and personal letters. Writings and notes are by and about Bultman. Notebooks/sketchbooks (39 volumes) include autobiographical writings, notes on dreams and thoughts while in psychoanalysis, many sketches and some completed drawings. Subject files reflect Bultman's professional activities, interests, and relationships; Hans Hofmann is the most thoroughly documented subject. Extensive printed material concerns Bultman's activities and exhibitions; also included are his published writings. Most photographs are of artwork, Bultman, his family and friends. Also found are biographical materials, 4 diaries, 6 interviews with Fritz Bultman and Jeanne Bultman, and a small amount of artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York School painter and sculptor Fritz Bultlman, 1928-2010, bulk 1940s-1990s, measure 11.9 linear feet. They document Bultman's professional activities, ties to the Abstract Expressionist movement, and his personal life. Letters from friends and family include many from Hans and Maria Hofmann. Letters by Bultman are mostly to family; also found are a few drafts and copies of business and personal letters. Writings and notes are by and about Bultman. Notebooks/sketchbooks (39 volumes) include autobiographical writings, notes on dreams and thoughts while in psychoanalysis, many sketches and some completed drawings. Subject files reflect Bultman's professional activities, interests, and relationships. Extensive printed material concerns Bultman's activities and exhibitions; also included are his published writings. Most photographs are of artwork, Bultman, his family and friends. Also found are biographical materials, 4 diaries, 6 interviews with Fritz Bultman and Jeanne Bultman, and a small amount of artwork.

Biographical materials include school records and notice of Bultman's army classification.

Most letters are addressed to Fritz Bultman and his parents. Fritz's education in Munich and studying with Hans Hofmann is well-documented. Many letters are from Miz Hofmann and Hans Hofmann. Also found are a smaller number of letters from museums, galleries, universities, and arts organizations. The surviving letters by Bultman are mainly to his family. Most were written when he was a student in Munich or traveling in Europe. There are some drafts and copies of letters concerning professional activities, arrangements for lectures, exhibitions, and Cynthia Goodman's editing "Form and Color in the Creative Process: The Painter's Primer" by Hans Hofmann.

Most interviews focus on Bultman's career. An interview with Jeanne and Fritz Bultman is about John Graham, and one of the interviews with Jeanne Bultman concerns Hans Hofmann.

Bultman's writings and notes include articles, lectures and talks about Hans Hofman, lectures about his own work, and a book review. Among the writings about Bultman are articles, a catalog essay and exhibition review.

Notebooks/sketchbooks (39 volumes) contain a variety of writings and notes, including some that are autobiographical, along with sketches and several finished drawings. Some volumes consist of writings and notes with a few sketches and doodles while others are mainly sketchbooks containing a few stray notes and brief writings; many contain approximately the same amount of text and drawings.

Diaries (4 volumes) contain entries about his work, professional and personal activities. One volume is a record of his October 1978 trip to Istanbul.

Subject files contain varying combinations of correspondence, photographs, printed material, and manuscripts. The most extensive file relates to Hans Hofmann and includes copies of writings by him. Other files of note concern Joseph Cornell, the exhibitions "Forum '49" and "Forum '49 Revisited," Weldon Kees, Tony Smith, and Donald Windham.

The largest series, printed material, consists of exhibition catalogs, announcements, reviews, articles and clippings about or mentioning Bultman.

Noteworthy among the small amount of artwork by Bultman is an early print; also found are loose drawings and paintings on paper.

Photographs of artwork document the full range of Bultman's production --paintings, sculpture, drawings, collage, stained glass, interior design and decoration. Also found are a few photographs of works by other artists. Photographs of Fritz Bultman include many by Renate Ponsold. Other indentified individuals include parents Fred and Pauline Bultman, sister Muriel Bultman, childhood nurse Katie Belle, son Johann Bultman, Sherman Drexler, Hans Hofmann, Miz Hofmann, Miss Katsura, Lee Krasner, Annalee Newman, Barnett Newman, Alfonso Ossorio, Jeanne Reynal, Thomas Sills, Jack Tworkov, and Wally Tworkov. A group portrait of the artists of Long Point Gallery includes: Varujan Boghosian, Fritz Bultman, Carmen Cicero, Sideo Fromboluti, Budd Hopkins, Rick Klauber, Lee Manso, Sidney Simon, Robert Motherwell, Judith Rothschild, Nora Speyer, and Tony Vevers. Also found in this series are photographs of Bultman exhibition installations and views of miscellaneous places.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in 10 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials,1928-2003 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 2: Letters, 1930-1995 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 3: Interviews, 1968-1998 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings and Notes, 1935-circa 1980s (Boxes 1-2; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 5: Notebooks/Sketchbooks, 1937-circa 1979 (Boxes 2-3, 11; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 6: Diaries, 1977-1979 (Box 3; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 7: Subject Files, 1942-2010 (Boxes 3-5, 11; 2.3 linear feet)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1941-2006 (Boxes 5-9, OV 12; 3.5 linear feet)

Series 9: Artwork, circa 1930s-1956 (Boxes 9, 11; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographs, 1935-1997 (Boxes 9-10; 0.6 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Fritz Bultman (1919-1985), a New York School painter and sculptor who lived and worked in Provincetown, Massachusetts and New York City, was also a collagist, stained glass artist, and educator.

Anthony Fred Bultman, III --always known as Fritz --was from a prominent and cultured New Orleans family. He began studying art as a boy and one of his teachers was Morris Graves, a family friend. His last 2 years of high school were spent at the Munich Preparatory School, boarding with Mrs. Hans Hofmann whose husband was working in New York for an extended period. Bultman attended the New Bauhaus in Chicago before studying for three years with Hans Hofmann in New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts. As well as being a major influence on Bultman's development as a painter, Hofmann became a life-long friend.

Fritz Bultman met dancer and model Jeanne Lawson (1918-2008), when she was posing in Hofmann's studio during the summer of 1941. They married in 1943 and the following year bought a house in Provincetown. In 1945, Bultman built a studio designed by a friend from the New Bauhaus, sculptor and architectural designer Tony Smith, who also helped with its construction.

His first solo exhibition was held in 1947 at the Hugo Gallery, New York; others followed in 1950, again at Hugo Gallery and at Kootz Gallery, New York. After receiving an Italian Government Grant for Exchange Fellowship, Bultman spent 1950-1951 in Florence, Italy, where he learned the process of casting and began making metal sculpture. In 1952 the Bultmans moved to New York City. Depressed and beset by anxiety, Bultman began Freudian psychoanalysis, and between 1952 and 1956 produced very little artwork.

In 1958 Bultman resumed exhibiting and continued to show regularly for the remainder of his life. He enjoyed solo exhibitions in New York City, Paris, New Orleans, North Carolina, Provincetown, and other venues. Between 1958 and 1963 Bultman taught painting at Hunter College and was an instructor in design and painting at Pratt Institute. Bultman spent 1964-1965 in Paris on a Fulbright Grant painting and sculpting, studying European methods of bronze casting, and meeting French artists. Bultman maintained his reputation as a highly regarded art instructor and in later years was a sought after guest lecturer at a various colleges. While artist-in-residence at Kalamazoo College, Michigan in 1981, he designed and produced a stained glass mural with technical assistance from his wife, Jeanne Bultman, a skilled artisan.

Fritz Bultman died of cancer in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in 1985.
Related Materials:
An oral history interview with Fritz Bultman, 1986 January 6, was conducted by Irving Sandler for the Archives of American Art (available on microfilm reel 3196).
Provenance:
Gift of Fritz Bultman in 1984, which included material lent for microfilming in 1970 and 1971. Additions donated by Jeanne Bultman, his widow, in 1988 and 2000, and by his sons, Anthony F. Bultman, IV and Ellis Johann Bultman, in 2013.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Fritz Bultman papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
New York school of art  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Interviews
Paintings
Drawings
Sketches
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Citation:
Fritz Bultman papers, 1928-2010, bulk 1940s-1990s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.bultfrit
See more items in:
Fritz Bultman papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bultfrit

Joseph Cornell papers

Creator:
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Names:
Benton, Elizabeth Cornell  Search this
Cornell, Robert  Search this
Extent:
24.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1804-1986
bulk 1939-1972
Summary:
The papers of Joseph Cornell (1903-1972) measure approximately 24.9 linear feet and date from 1804 to 1986 with the bulk of the material dating from 1939-1972. The collection documents the life, work, interests, and creative activities of the self-taught artist, who was best known for his shadow box constructions, assemblages, and collages. Papers include correspondence, diaries, source material, notes, writings, photographs, printed material, two- and three-dimensional ephemera, art works, and books, as well as a limited amount of legal and financial records, and some miscellaneous personal and family papers. The collection also includes the papers of his sister, Betty Cornell Benton, relating to the handling of Cornell's estate and the personal papers of his brother, Robert Cornell.
Scope and Content Note:
The Joseph Cornell papers measure approximately 24.9 linear feet and date from 1804 to 1986, with the bulk of the material dating from 1939-1972. The collection documents the life, work, interests, and creative activities of the self-taught artist, who was best known for his shadow box constructions, assemblages, and collages. Papers include correspondence, diaries, source material, notes, writings, photographs, printed material, two- and three-dimensional ephemera, art works, and books, as well as a limited amount of legal and financial records, and some miscellaneous personal and family papers (which comprise a series of biographical material). The collection also includes the papers of his sister, Betty Cornell Benton, relating to the handling of Cornell's estate and the personal papers of his brother, Robert Cornell.

Cornell's correspondence is typically with family, friends, artists, dealers, collectors, galleries, museums, admirers, individuals whom he admired, "helpers," and various charitable institutions. Correspondence generally concerns the creation, exhibition, sale, and reception of Cornell's art work; his "explorations" and other research and collecting activities; his preoccupations with certain individuals and motifs; his usual practices of giving gifts of art work to those he liked or admired and making donations to charities in aid of those less fortunate; and his relationships and shared interests with family, friends, and colleagues. Also found is correspondence between and amongst various other members of the Cornell family, including, most notably, Robert Cornell's letters to his sisters, Elizabeth (typically addressed as Nell) and Helen.

Dating from 1941 to 1972, Cornell's diaries span almost the entirety of his career as an artist, which began in earnest when he left his job at the Traphagen textile studio in 1940 to pursue art full-time and ended with his death in 1972. The diaries record his day-to-day experiences (usually comprising his thoughts, feelings, impressions, and ideas); and reflect on his various art projects (boxes, films, and collages) and creative activities ("explorations," and various other research, collecting, and publishing ventures). They also explore many of the themes and underlying concerns of his art work; and document his intense preoccupations with certain individuals, his wide-ranging interests, and the interconnectedness of his ideas and activities. Cornell's style of writing in the diaries tends to be stream-of-conscious with entries being composed of phrases, rather than complete sentences and with the progression of passages being more poetic and associative than either logical or narrative. He tended to compose by hand, occasionally typing up his notes into more formal entries, and also to use abbreviations for oft-repeated words and initials for individuals. At times, his handwriting can be difficult to read, and his references can be difficult to decipher. It was also common practice for him to review or revisit previous entries at various points in time, often making revisions or comments on them with dated annotations in the margins or on the reverse side of a page.

Cornell's source material is largely comprised of files of newspaper and magazine clippings, cutouts, notes, writings, book excerpts, photostats (or stats), prints, postcards, art reproductions, and other printed material. Some files are devoted to people (ballerinas, actresses, singers, artists, and writers) and topics (astronomy, romantic and modern ballet, birds, films, literature, music, plants, and science, among others). Other files relate to specific art works, "explorations," publishing projects, and exhibitions. Source material documents Cornell's preoccupation with certain individuals (past and present), events, subjects, and motifs; the development of some of his major "explorations" and their influence on his various artistic and commercial projects; and his work on certain box constructions and collages, publishing ventures, and exhibition catalogues. Source material also sheds light on Cornell's efforts to gain access to the past; his interest in the symbolism of images and objects; the linkages he found between seemingly unrelated things; and the connections between his many creative endeavors.

Ephemera and artifacts include various objects, mementos, and items of memorabilia, some of which were accumulated by Cornell (in much the same way that he collected his source material) and some of which are of uncertain origin. For Cornell, items such as these were not merely inanimate objects, but were instead evocative of past worlds and capable of bringing the past into the present (an idea which he often expressed in his diaries as the "metaphysique d'ephemera"). He seems to have used some of these items in a layout he designed for Good Housekeeping. Other items may have been used as source material for some of his box constructions.

The collection also houses photographs of Cornell, his family, art work, other artists, and friends, as well as photographs taken by various individuals and publicity photographs from the New York City Ballet. Also found are scattered works of art, including collage fragments and Rorschachs (or ink blot drawings) by Cornell, collages by Cornell's sister, Betty Cornell Benton, on which he collaborated, and a box by Christine Kaufman, which was a gift to Cornell. The books in the collection most likely comprise the remainder of Cornell's library, which was transferred to the Joseph Cornell Study Center, and include some that seem to have belonged to his sister, Betty. Printed material includes various publications and clippings collected by Cornell apart from that which he collected as source material. Writings about Cornell include an article by the poet, Mina Loy, and copies of various theses, presentations, and articles by graduate students in art history received by Benton (who assisted them in their research).

The Joseph Cornell Estate Papers consist of correspondence relating to Betty Cornell Benton's administration of the part of Cornell's estate for which she was responsible and legal documents relating to her various legal disputes with the executors of the estate, as well as a limited amount of printed material, some of which was originally accumulated by Cornell and subsequently shared with Benton, and miscellaneous papers belonging to Benton and their mother, Helen S. Cornell. Estate Papers provide insight on the exhibition and sale of Cornell art works after his death; the disposition of his belongings (including art work, papers, books, records, and source material); and Benton's efforts to foster and safeguard the memory and legacy of Cornell. The Robert Cornell Papers include correspondence, writings, art works, photographs, printed material, and scattered financial and personal records, documenting the full and creative life Robert led despite being confined to a wheelchair. Their inclusion in the collection suggests the family's effort to foster Robert's memory.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into eleven series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1918-1972, 1975 (Box 1; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1909-1982 (Boxes 1-5, OV 31; 4.3 linear feet)

Series 3: Diaries, 1941-1973 (Boxes 6-10; 5 linear feet)

Series 4: Source Material, 1804-1972 (Boxes 11-18, 25-28, OV 29; 8.5 linear feet)

Series 5: Ephemera and Artifacts, 1858-1946 (Boxes 18, 23; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1905-1972 (Boxes 18, 28, OV 30; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 7: Art Works, circa 1966-1971 (Boxes 19, 23; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 8: Books and Printed Material, 1806-1968 (Boxes 19, 23; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 9: Writings about Cornell, 1950, circa 1975-1980 (Box 19; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 10: Joseph Cornell Estate Papers, circa 1911, 1944-1986 (Boxes 19-22; 3.5 linear feet)

Series 11: Robert Cornell Papers, 1924-1965 (Boxes 24, 28; 0.4 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Joseph Cornell, assemblagist, collagist, and filmmaker, was born on December 24, 1903 in Nyack, New York. He was the oldest son of Joseph I. Cornell, a textile salesman and designer, and Helen Storms Cornell, and had two younger sisters, Elizabeth (b. 1905), nicknamed Nell and later Betty, and Helen (b. 1906), and a younger brother, Robert (b. 1910), who suffered from cerebral palsy. Cornell shared close relationships with his siblings, and was especially attached to his brother whom he took care of as an adult. His fondest childhood memories included family Christmas celebrations, outings to Manhattan where he saw vaudeville shows and strolled around Times Square, and trips to Coney Island where he encountered penny arcade machines. These childhood memories, among others, inspired some of the themes later explored in his art work.

After his father's death in 1917, Cornell was sent to study at the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He remained there for four years, but left without receiving a diploma. During this time, the family moved from Nyack to Bayside, Queens, where they lived in a series of rented houses. Cornell rejoined his family in 1921, at which time he went to work as a salesman in the Manhattan office of a textile wholesaler, the William Whitman Company. He joined the Christian Science church in the mid-1920s, and in 1929, the family bought a house at 37-08 Utopia Parkway in Flushing, where he resided for the rest of his life, living there with his mother and brother after both his sisters married and moved away.

During the 1920s, Cornell developed his passion for walking the city streets and taking in their sights, sounds, and impressions; browsing in the secondhand bookshops along Fourth Avenue; and collecting material such as books, prints, postcards, and printed and three-dimensional ephemera. He cultivated his growing interest in culture and the arts by attending opera and ballet performances, seeing plays (the 1922 play Rain, which starred Jeanne Eagels, was among his favorites), visiting galleries and museums, reading, and going to the movies.

In 1931, Cornell began to frequent the Julien Levy Gallery, where he encountered Surrealist art for perhaps the first time. Around this time, he created his first works of art - a series of black-and-white collages composed from cutouts of nineteenth-century engravings - inspired by Max Ernst's collages, in particular his collage-novel, La Femme 100 tetes (1929). Cornell went on to create three-dimensional works of art such as pill boxes and a glass bell series (consisting of objects arranged under a bell jar). His work, including several collages and a glass bell, was first exhibited as part of the groundbreaking "Surrealisme" show at the Levy Gallery in January 1932. He also designed the cover of the show announcement. His first one-man show at the gallery, "The Objects of Joseph Cornell," followed in the fall of 1932. (It was seven years before his next solo show.) By this time, Cornell had been laid off from his job at Whitman's. He was out of work for several years before getting a job as a textile designer at the Traphagen Commercial Textile Studio in 1934. During the next several years, he continued to work on his art at night.

Around this time, Cornell began collecting movies and movie stills, and embarked upon various film-related projects. In 1933, he wrote a scenario for a silent movie, Monsieur Phot. A few years later, he made his first film, Rose Hobart (1936), comprised of re-edited footage from the B-movie, East of Borneo (1931), which starred the actress, Rose Hobart. And he began work on a trilogy of collage-films - The Children's Party, Cotillion, and The Midnight Party (circa 1937). He then took a break from making films until the mid-1950s, but continued to collect film-related material, which he began to incorporate into his other art work.

In 1936, Cornell constructed his first glass-fronted shadow box, Untitled (Soap Bubble Set), which was included that same year in the "Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism" exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, along with a cabinet box and several glass bells. In creating some of his other early boxes, he began the practice of using photo reproductions of images which he located in books and magazines, or in the Picture Collection at the New York Public Library, among other places. In his tribute boxes to actresses (1930s), he made use of publicity shots, and in the box, Dressing Room for Gilles (1939), he employed a photostat (or stat) of a reproduction of Jean-Antoine Watteau's painting, Gilles (1718).

Over the years, Cornell came into contact with various figures of the art, dance, and literary worlds. In the 1930s and 1940s, he met the artists, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, and Salvador Dali, and befriended the artists, Lee Miller and Dorothea Tanning. His formative friendships during 1940s were with the artist, Pavel Tchelitchew, the writers, Charles Henri Ford (founder of the avant-garde periodical, View), Parker Tyler, and Donald Windham, and the balletomane, Lincoln Kirstein (founder of Dance Index). His other friends included the artists, Roberto Matta Echaurren and Robert Motherwell, the dancer and actress, Tilly Losch, and the poets, Mina Loy and Marianne Moore. In the 1950s, he associated with artists from the Abstract Expressionist movement, including Willem de Kooning, Jack Tworkov, and Mark Rothko. Beginning in the mid-1950s, he befriended many young artists, including Lee Bontecou and Carolee Schneeman, and young actresses, including Lois Smith, Gwen Van Dam, and Suzanne Miller, whom he sought to appear in his films. And in the early 1960s, he met the Pop artists, Robert Indiana, James Rosenquist, and Andy Warhol.

Beginning in 1940, Cornell developed a keen interest in dance, particularly ballet. Ballerinas from the Romantic era, such as Marie Taglioni and Fanny Cerrito, especially captured his imagination, inspiring such works as the box, Taglioni's Jewel Casket (1940), and the Portrait of Ondine "exploration," which comprised a portfolio of material relating to Cerrito and her famous role in the ballet, Ondine. Cornell was also fascinated with the modern counterparts of the Romantic ballerinas. In 1940, he befriended the Russian ballet dancer, Tamara Toumanova, and over the years produced many works in homage to her, including swan boxes (inspired by her role in Swan Lake), boxes made with scraps from her costumes, and scrapbooks of clippings, stats, and memorabilia. In 1949, he became enamored of the French dancer, Renee "Zizi" Jeanmarie, after seeing her perform in Carmen and meeting her backstage, and he created several dance-related boxes in her honor. In 1957, he met the ballerina, Allegra Kent. After meeting again in 1964, they became friends, and she served as the subject of several works based on images reproduced from a Parmigianino painting.

In December 1940, Cornell left his job at the Traphagen textile studio to pursue art full-time. He set up a workshop in the basement of the house on Utopia Parkway, which served as a combination studio and storage space. While he spent most days at home, he continued to make regular trips into Manhattan to wander around the city, visit with friends, and hunt for material. Around this time, he began to keep a diary, recording his day-to-day experiences (usually comprising his thoughts, feelings, impressions, ideas) on scraps of paper (including used envelopes, paper bags, napkins, and ticket stubs, among other fragments). He would then type up some of these notes into more formal diary entries, but most of them remained, in his word, "scribblings." Diary keeping eventually became one of his primary activities, along with box construction, collage, research, and collecting.

By this time, his art work was beginning to sell, yet he was not able to live from these sales alone. During the 1940s, he primarily supported himself by doing freelance work for magazines such as Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Good Housekeeping, supplying illustrations from his picture collection and designing covers and layouts. He also regularly contributed pieces to View and Dance Index. His notable contributions to View included "Enchanted Wanderer: Excerpt from a Journey Album for Hedy Lamarr" (December 1941), "Story Without a Name - for Max Ernst" (April 1942), and "The Crystal Cage [portrait of Berenice]" (January 1943). His projects for Dance Index included various collage-covers, essays, and thematic issues, such as the Summer 1944 issue, which comprised a 22-page tribute to the Romantic ballerinas, Taglioni, Carlotta Grisi, Cerrito, and Fanny Elssler. To supplement his income, Cornell also held brief positions at an electronics plant, the Allied Control Company, Inc. (in 1943), and at a nursery, the Garden Centre (in 1944).

In 1942, Cornell created one of his more memorable works, Medici Slot Machine, embarking upon a large series of Medici boxes in which he utilized reproductions of portraits by Italian Renaissance artists, such as Sofonisba Anguissola and Pinturicchio. His other boxes from this time period explored themes ranging from ballet, as in A Pantry Ballet (for Jacques Offenbach) (1942), to doomed love, as in Paolo and Francesca (1943-48), to nature, as in the Sand Boxes (1940s) and Sand Fountains (1950s). Cornell often created boxes in series, producing variations on a theme with variants that differed significantly or only slightly. Over the years, series included: Pink Palaces, Pharmacies, Habitats, Aviaries, Dovecotes, Hotels, Observatories, and Night Skies, among others.

In late 1945, Cornell joined the Hugo Gallery, which was run by Alexander Iolas, and a year later mounted the show, "Romantic Museum at the Hugo Gallery: Portraits of Women by Joseph Cornell" (December 1946). He designed the exhibition catalog for this show, which consisted of portraits - box constructions, objects, and "dossiers" - of the opera singers, Giuditta Pasta and Maria Malibran, the ballerinas, Taglioni and Cerrito, and the actresses, Eleanora Duse, Jeanne Eagels, Greta Garbo, and Jennifer Jones, and which also featured one of his most famous boxes, Untitled (Penny Arcade Portrait of Lauren Bacall) (1945-46).

In 1949, Cornell joined the Egan Gallery, which was run by Charles Egan. Around this time, he began creating his series of Aviary boxes, which explored the symbolism of birds and birdcages. He showed twenty-six of these box constructions in his first exhibition at the Egan Gallery, "Aviary by Joseph Cornell" (December 1949-January 1950). He created other series of whitewashed boxes, including the Dovecote series and a small group relating to the poet, Emily Dickinson. He then went on to explore the themes of astronomy and celestial navigation in the Observatory, Night Skies, and Hotel series. Works from these series were featured in his two remaining shows at the Egan Gallery, "Night Songs and Other Work" (December 1950-January 1951) and "Night Voyage" (February-March 1953). In the fall of 1953, sparked by seeing the painting, Figure Seated in a Cafe (1914), Cornell embarked upon a major series of bird constructions dedicated to the Cubist artist, Juan Gris. Notably, these were the only boxes he explicitly dedicated to another artist.

Over the next couple of years, Cornell's work was exhibited across the country. In 1955, he joined the Stable Gallery, which was run by Eleanor Ward. His first one-man show there, in the winter of 1955-56, was "Winter Night Skies," which featured various box constructions based on constellations. During the mid-1950s, he embarked upon a series of Sand Fountains (vertical standing boxes featuring a broken glass and sand that flowed through it when turned upside down), elaborating upon his earlier Sand Boxes (1940s). These boxes along with some of his other latest works, including the Bleriot boxes and the Space Object boxes (which comprised his final box series), were exhibited in his second and last show at the Stable Gallery, "Selected Works" (December 1957).

After leaving the Stable Gallery, Cornell had several dealers handle his work rather than allowing any one to assume too much control. Dealers included Richard Feigen (in Chicago and then in New York) and Irving Blum (in California), among others. Throughout his career, Cornell never liked selling his boxes. He was always reluctant to let his work go and became increasingly uneasy about the growing status of his work as a commodity. He preferred instead to make gifts of his art work to friends and individuals he admired (especially female ones).

In the mid-1950s, Cornell returned to making films. Rather than just splicing together found images as he had in his films of the 1930s, he began to collaborate with others to shoot original footage. He worked with the experimental filmmaker, Stan Brakhage, on two films, one about the Third Ave El which was about to be torn down ( Wonder Ring or Gnir Rednow) and the other about an old house in Cornell's neighborhood that was slated for demolition ( Centuries of June). Cornell then went on to make nine films with the filmmaker, Rudy Burckhardt, including Aviary, A Legend for Fountains, and Nymphlight, among others. In the late 1960s, he enlisted the help of Larry Jordan, who was also a filmmaker, in completing the trilogy of collage-films that he had begun in the 1930s.

Along with creating works of art and making films, Cornell was involved in a host of other creative endeavors throughout his career as an artist. These included: keeping a diary, which was for him another medium for exploring and expressing the themes, ideas, and concerns recurrent in his art work; carrying out "explorations," which typically involved conducting research, collecting material, and compiling files on persons or topics of interest to him; and other projects, such as publishing pamphlets (or brochures) dedicated to the nineteenth-century opera singers, Malibran and Giulia Grisi. Cornell's "explorations" clearly informed his artwork, but they were also works of art in and of themselves. He continually sought to share this work with an audience and twice had the opportunity to do so, when he exhibited versions of his Portrait of Ondine "exploration" at the Museum of Modern Art in 1945 and at the Wittenborn Bookstore in 1956.

Around the mid-1950s, Cornell returned to making collages as independent works of art. Unlike his earlier ones, which were composed from cutouts of black-and-white engravings, his latest collages were made with color images cut out of contemporary magazines and books. In these collages, he explored many of the same themes and preoccupations of his box constructions, including birds, as in Couleur de Peche (1967) and Untitled (Vierge Vivace) (1970), children's games, as in the Penny Arcade series (1960s), and actresses, as in The Sister Shades (1956). Towards the end of his career, collage became his principal medium.

By this time, Cornell was taking fewer trips into Manhattan. Instead, he spent more time at home or traveled only so far as downtown Flushing, where he frequented the public library, hunted for material in stores, such as Woolworth's, and passed time in the coffee-shops on Main Street. From this time on, he kept his diary with increasing regularity, taking down notations with more frequency and creating entries of greater length.

In 1961, fourteen of Cornell's boxes, including Medici Slot Machine, were exhibited as part of the "The Art of Assemblage" show at the Museum of Modern Art. As his biographer notes, Cornell came to view this show "as a turning point in his creative life," marking the "[fall] off in his work" that took place in the sixties (Solomon 271-2). He continued to work on boxes that he had begun long before, but, after this time, rarely if ever constructed new ones. Instead, he focused on making collages and became increasingly concerned with other projects, such as organizing his basement workshop, for which he hired various "helpers" or assistants (mostly young women) over the years. He also became more and more prone to obsessions (or preoccupations, as he called them) with various young women that he encountered both in fantasy (actresses on stage or in films) and in real life (working girls in the city, "teeners" on Main Street, or his female visitors and "helpers" at home). These preoccupations infused his diary writings, and inspired the keeping of "dossiers" on particular individuals and the creation of various collages dedicated to others, including most notably the Penny Arcade series dedicated to Joyce Hunter (or "Tina," as he referred to her in his writings).

After Robert's death in February 1965, Cornell created a series of collages in his memory, many of which incorporated his brother's drawings of animal characters. In January 1966, he exhibited some of these collages, alongside a selection of Robert's drawings, in a show at the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery, "Robert Cornell: Memorial Exhibition." In 1967, there were two retrospective exhibitions of Cornell's work, "An Exhibition of Works by Joseph Cornell" at the Pasadena Art Museum and "Joseph Cornell" at the Guggenheim Museum. By now, Cornell was receiving considerable public recognition for his work. He had received his first profile (by Howard Griffin) in the December 1957 issue of Art News and, ten years later, was treated to a 12-page spread (by David Bourdon) in the December 1967 issue of Life magazine. He was also the recipient of various prizes for his art work, including the M.V Kohnstamm Prize at the Art Institute of Chicago's "62nd American Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture" in 1957 and the winning prize in India's first Triennale of Contemporary World Art in 1968.

In the last years of his life (especially from the time of his mother's death in the fall of 1966), Cornell suffered from severe depression and loneliness, and withdrew even further from the outside world. However, he still maintained relationships with various young friends and artists, who frequently visited Utopia Parkway and/or served as one of his assistants. He became more and more interested in sharing his work with a younger audience and his last two exhibitions in 1972 were expressly for children, "A Joseph Cornell Exhibition for Children" at the Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture and "Joseph Cornell - Collages and Boxes" at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York.

Cornell continued to work until the end of his life, "refurbishing" earlier boxes and creating memorial collages. Following prostate surgery in June 1972, he spent several months recuperating with family in Westhampton before returning to Utopia Parkway in November. He died of heart failure at home on December 29, 1972.

The biographical note draws heavily from Deborah Solomon's biography, Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell (New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 1997), and Diane Waldman's book, Joseph Cornell: Master of Dreams (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2002).
Related Material:
The Archives holds several collections of different provenance that relate to Joseph Cornell, including the small collections of Allison Delarue (comprised of two letters from Cornell, available on reel 2803), Muriel Streeter Schwartz (comprised of two letters from Cornell, available on reel 4283), Wayne Andrews (comprised of letters from Cornell and printed material), and Marion Netter (comprised of items received from Cornell). In addition, photographs of Cornell can be found amongst the Hans Namuth photographs and papers. Also found within the Archives is a transcribed interview of Cornell's sister, Elizabeth Cornell Benton, conducted on April 21, 1976 as part of the oral history program.
Separated Material:
The bulk of Cornell's source material resides in the Joseph Cornell Study Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum, along with his library and record collection. Cornell's sister, Betty Cornell Benton, donated a portion of this material directly to SAAM (then known as the National Museum of American Art), occasioning the creation of the Study Center circa 1978. The bulk of the source material and library that she donated to AAA, including approximately 66 linear feet of three-dimensional and non-textual source material and 50 linear feet of books, was transferred to the Study Center in 1994 and 1995.

Originals of loaned material returned to the donor after microfilming include: some unidentified and miscellaneous correspondence; significant correspondence between Joseph Cornell and Helen S. Cornell; significant correspondence between Helen S. Cornell, family members and others; and some of Joseph Cornell's family correspondence and general correspondence from the Robert Cornell papers. The loaned material is available on microfilm reels 1055-1058 but is not described further in the Series Descriptions/Container Listing of this finding aid.
Provenance:
The Joseph Cornell papers were donated and microfilmed in several installments from 1974 to 1989 by Joseph Cornell's sister, Betty Cornell Benton. Most, but not all, of the correspondence, which was loaned for microfilming in 1974, was subsequently donated in 1989. Additional material was donated in 2004 by the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation.
Restrictions:
Use of the original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Joseph Cornell papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Celebrities  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Assemblage (Art)  Search this
Found objects (Art)  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Assemblage artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Joseph Cornell papers, 1804-1986, bulk 1939-1972. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.cornjose
See more items in:
Joseph Cornell papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cornjose
Online Media:

André Thibault/Teabo papers regarding Romare Bearden

Creator:
Thibault/Teabo, André, 1948?  Search this
Names:
Bearden, Nanette  Search this
Bearden, Romare, 1911-1988  Search this
Goings, Russell L.  Search this
Extent:
0.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketchbooks
Drawings
Date:
circa 1930s-2003
bulk 1980-1998
Summary:
The papers of studio assistant Andre Thibault/Teabo regarding African American painter Romare Bearden measure 0.9 linear feet and date from circa 1930s to 2003 with the bulk of the material dating from 1980 to 1998. The papers consist of administrative records such as financial and gallery records. Correspondence includes letters from Romare Bearden, his wife Nanette and Andre Thibault. Of note is correspondence between Thibault and Nanette concerning the signature on a Bearden painting. Printed material includes exhibition catalogs, posters, magazines, art books and source material used by Bearden. Artwork consists of a self-portrait, a sketchbook, collage pieces, and oversize drawings by Bearden. Photographic material is comprised of photographs of Bearden, his art, studio, Andre Thibault/Teabo, Russell Goings and others.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of studio assistant Andre Thibault/Teabo regarding African American painter Romare Bearden measure 0.9 linear feet and date from circa 1930s to 2003 with the bulk of the material dating from 1980 to 1998. The papers consist of administrative records such as financial and gallery records. Correspondence includes letters from Romare Bearden, his wife Nanette and Andre Thibault. Of note is correspondence between Thibault and Nanette concerning the signature on a Bearden painting. Printed material includes exhibition catalogs, posters, magazines, art books and source material used by Bearden. Artwork consists of a self-portrait, a sketchbook, collage pieces, and oversize drawings by Bearden. Photographic material is comprised of photographs of Bearden, his art, studio, Andre Thibault/Teabo, Russell Goings and others.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged in five series.

Series 1: Administrative Records, 1985-1988 (Box 1; 2 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1987-1996 (Box 1; 3 folders)

Series 3: Printed Material, 1949-1958, 1971-2003 (Box 1-2, OV 3; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Artwork, circa 1930s-1940s, circa 1980-1988 (Box 2, OV 3; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 5: Photographic Material, 1983-1991 (Box 2, OV 3; 0.2 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Andre Thibault/Teabo (1948?- ) is an artist in New York, N.Y. and was Romare Bearden's studio assistant from 1980-1988.

Romare Bearden (1911-1988) was an African American painter who worked in New York, N.Y. Bearden worked in various mediums and is known for his colorful abstract paintings depicting the lives of African American people and for his work in collage. In 1963 he co-founded the African American artistic group named Spiral that endeavored to answer the question "What is Black Art?" and in 1968 was involved in founding the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. The following year Bearden co-founded the Cinque Gallery which promoted and exhibited the works of African American artists. In 1976 he received a Gold Medal from the Governor of North Carolina for the advancement of the arts and posthumously received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1988.
Provenance:
The papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by André Thibault/Teabo in 2017.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to originals papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
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:
Artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Collagists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
African American artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Drawings
Citation:
The André Thibault/Teabo papers regarding Romare Bearden, circa 1930s-2003. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.thibandr
See more items in:
André Thibault/Teabo papers regarding Romare Bearden
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-thibandr

Helen DeMott papers

Creator:
DeMott, Helen, 1920-1997  Search this
Names:
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) -- Photographs  Search this
Bland, Celia  Search this
Burkhardt, Rudy  Search this
Chester, Alfred, 1928-1971  Search this
Eastman, Max, 1883-1969  Search this
Finkelstein, Miriam  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-  Search this
Ponsot, Marie  Search this
Rolick, Esther G., b. 1922  Search this
Schloss, Edith, 1919-  Search this
Wright, Clifford, 1919-  Search this
Extent:
7.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Notes
Sketches
Photographs
Poems
Sound recordings
Watercolors
Video recordings
Scrapbooks
Manuscripts
Drawings
Travel diaries
Date:
1896-1997
Summary:
The papers of painter Helen DeMott measure 7.9 linear feet and date from 1896-1997. DeMott's painting career from 1940-1996 is documented through her numerous sketchbooks and original artwork. Also found is biographical material, correspondence, writings and poems, scrapbooks, printed material, photographic material, audio and video recordings, and scattered material from collagist Ray Johnson.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter Helen DeMott measure 7.9 linear feet and date from 1896-1997. DeMott's painting career from 1940-1996 is documented through her numerous sketchbooks and original artwork. Also found is biographical material, correspondence, writings and poems, scrapbooks, printed material, photographic material, audio and video recordings, and scattered material from collagist Ray Johnson.

The scattered biographical material contains official documents, DeMott's resume, circulars and receipts from the Art School of the National Academy of Design, and two obituaries. Correspondence includes letters from publishers regarding DeMott's book proposal "Geography into Landscape," correspondence with universities and scientific institutions regarding her Wave series, and personal correspondence including letters from photographer, filmmaker, and painter Rudy Burckhardt, writer Alfred Chester, painter Clifford Wright, and collagist Edith Schloss.

The bulk of the writings is DeMott's poetry, as well as some artist's statements, loose notes, a speech, travel diaries, and handwritten, typed, and edited manuscripts, including a typed manuscript of "Geography into Landscape." Writings by others include poetry by Celia Bland, Miriam Finkelstein, and Marie Ponsot. Scrapbooks document DeMott's research and artwork related to waves and includes clippings, photographs of artwork, sketches and notations, and typed notes on painting waves. Printed material includes magazine and newspaper articles about Helen DeMott and various other artists, and many articles related to water waves.

Photographic material includes black and white photographs of DeMott's artwork and personal photographs. Of interest is a 1943 photograph of a group at the Art Students League which includes Ester Rolick, Edith Schloss, Max Eastman, and Helen DeMott. Also found are slides and transparencies of artwork and slides for lectures on waves. Audiovisual Recordings include one reel-to-reel tape and five videotapes, some related to DeMott's study of waves.

There is one folder of material from collagist Ray Johnson containing scattered letters and mail art, exhibition fliers, and collages. Measuring 4.2 linear feet, the bulk of DeMott's papers are sketchbooks and original artwork spanning her artistic career. There are numerous loose sketches, notes, sketchbooks, holiday cards, watercolors, and oversized drawings in pencil, ink, and oil pastels, much of which is related to waves. Original artwork by others includes Esther Rolick and Edith Schloss.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1911-1997 (Boxes 1, 9; 7 folders)

Series 2: Letters and Correspondence, 1896, 1930-1995 (Boxes 1-2; 1.1 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, 1950-circa 1996 (Boxes 2-3; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 4: Scrapbooks, 1967-1989 (Box 3; 2 folders)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1961-1996 (Boxes 3, 9; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographic Material, circa 1920s-1996 (Boxes 3-4, 9; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 7: Audiovisual Recordings, 1975, 1978, undated (Box 4; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 8: Ray Johnson, 1947, 1963, undated (Box 4; 1 folder)

Series 9: Artwork, 1941-1996 (Boxes 4-9, OV 10-13; 4.2 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Helen DeMott (1920-1997) was a New York City based painter and poet and well-known East Village community activist.

In the 1940s, DeMott attended the National Academy of Design and Art Students League. In the late 1960s, DeMott began focusing her work on the scientific study of waves, specifically the structure of water wave surfaces, a theme that remained in her work for the rest of her career. In 1974-1975, DeMott completed two building murals of water wave structures in New York City: Wave Spill, located at 155 First Avenue and 10th Street; and River Wave, at 509 Amsterdam Avenue. She had a solo exhibition at the Green Mountain Gallery in 1969, and exhibited at the ground-breaking alternative space, 112 Workshop/112 Greene Street in 1979. DeMott was received a number of grants and awards throughout her career including National Community Arts Competition winner in 1974, a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts (CAPS) in 1976, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1978, and a Gottleib Foundation grant in 1983. She passed away in 1997.
Provenance:
The Helen DeMott papers were a bequest to the Archives of American Art in 2003 by James Goldiner, executive for the estate of Helen DeMott.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Helen DeMott papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Notes
Sketches
Photographs
Poems
Sound recordings
Watercolors
Video recordings
Scrapbooks
Manuscripts
Drawings
Travel diaries
Citation:
Helen DeMott papers, 1896-1997. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.demohele
See more items in:
Helen DeMott papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-demohele
Online Media:

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