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

Interviewee:
Wesselmann, Tom, 1931-2004  Search this
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:
Nude in art  Search this
Collage  Search this
Pop art  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Collagists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  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:

Oral history interview with Al Hansen, 1973 November 6-13

Interviewee:
Hansen, Al, 1927-1995  Search this
Hansen, Al, 1927-1995  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul, 1933-1997  Search this
Subject:
Brecht, George  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Dine, Jim  Search this
Dunn, Bob  Search this
Dunn, Judith  Search this
Eisenhauer, Lette  Search this
Goldfine, Pauline  Search this
Groth, John  Search this
Higgins, Dick  Search this
Kaprow, Allan  Search this
Karp, Ivan C.  Search this
Maciunas, George  Search this
Mac Low, Jackson  Search this
Marisol  Search this
McCarey, Don  Search this
Moorman, Charlotte  Search this
Muller, Jan  Search this
Nakian, Reuben  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes  Search this
Ortiz, Rafael Montanez  Search this
Paik, Nam June  Search this
Poons, Larry  Search this
Segal, George  Search this
Smith, Tony  Search this
Vostell, Wolf  Search this
Waring, James  Search this
Watts, Robert  Search this
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
New School for Social Research  Search this
Pratt Institute  Search this
Reuben Gallery  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Fluxus (Group of artists)  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Art -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Happenings (Art)  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12668
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212717
AAA_collcode_hansen73
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212717

Oral history interview with Leo Manso, 1965 Sept. 7

Interviewee:
Manso, Leo, 1914-1993  Search this
Manso, Leo, 1914-1993  Search this
Interviewer:
Seckler, Dorothy Gees, 1910-1994  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12167
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)214120
AAA_collcode_manso65
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_214120

Oral history interview with Conrad Marca-Relli, 1965 June 10

Interviewee:
Marca-Relli, Conrad, 1913-2000  Search this
Marca-Relli, Conrad, 1913-2000  Search this
Interviewer:
Seckler, Dorothy Gees, 1910-1994  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11942
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)214122
AAA_collcode_marcar65
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_214122

Oral history interview with Robert Rauschenberg, 1965 Dec. 21

Interviewee:
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Interviewer:
Seckler, Dorothy Gees, 1910-1994  Search this
Subject:
Albers, Josef  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
De Kooning, Willem  Search this
Kline, Franz  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Amsterdam (Netherlands). Stedelijk Museum  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Pop art  Search this
Theme:
Photography  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 Claudia DeMonte, 1991 February 13- April 24

Interviewee:
DeMonte, Claudia, 1947-  Search this
DeMonte, Claudia, 1947-  Search this
Interviewer:
Kirwin, Liza, 1957-  Search this
Subject:
McGowin, Ed  Search this
Gracie Mansion Gallery  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women painters -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Art -- East Village (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Educators -- Maryland -- College Park -- Interviews  Search this
Theme:
Women  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11864
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)214555
AAA_collcode_demont91
Theme:
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_214555
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Marisol, 1968 Feb. 8

Interviewee:
Marisol, 1930-2016  Search this
Marisol, 1930-2016  Search this
Interviewer:
Roberts, Colette Jacqueline, 1910-1971  Search this
Subject:
Picasso, Pablo  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert  Search this
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Club (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts (France)  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Collagists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Surrealism  Search this
Women artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Hispanic American women artists  Search this
Theme:
Women  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13555
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215746
AAA_collcode_mariso68
Theme:
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_215746
Online Media:

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

Interviewee:
Edelson, Mary Beth, 1933-  Search this
Edelson, Mary Beth, 1933-  Search this
Interviewer:
Richards, Judith Olch, 1947-  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Women artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Theme:
Women  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

Joseph Cornell papers, 1804-1986, bulk 1939-1972

Creator:
Cornell, Joseph, 1903-1972  Search this
Cornell, Joseph, 1903-1972  Search this
Subject:
Benton, Elizabeth Cornell  Search this
Cornell, Robert  Search this
Type:
Photographs
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
Theme:
Diaries  Search this
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)5790
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)208629
AAA_collcode_cornjose
Theme:
Diaries
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_208629
Online Media:

Fritz Bultman papers, 1928-2010

Creator:
Bultman, Fritz, 1919-1985  Search this
Bultman, Fritz, 1919-1985  Search this
Subject:
Kees, Weldon  Search this
Krasner, Lee  Search this
Hofmann, Maria  Search this
Windham, Donald  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Vevers, Tony  Search this
Simon, Sidney  Search this
Hofmann, Hans  Search this
Drexler, Sherman  Search this
Graham, John  Search this
Cicero, Carmen  Search this
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Boghosian, Varujan  Search this
Bultman, Jeanne  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Manso, Leo  Search this
Newman, Annette  Search this
Ponsold, Renate  Search this
Ossorio, Alfonso  Search this
Rothschild, Judith  Search this
Reynal, Jeanne  Search this
Smith, Tony  Search this
Fromboluti, Sideo  Search this
Sills, Thomas  Search this
Speyer, Nora  Search this
Newman, Barnett  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Interviews
Paintings
Drawings
Sketches
Sketchbooks
Diaries
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
Theme:
Art Theory and Historiography  Search this
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6839
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)208966
AAA_collcode_bultfrit
Theme:
Art Theory and Historiography
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_208966
Online Media:

Samuel Adler interview, 1964 Mar. 12

Creator:
Adler, Samuel, 1898-1979  Search this
Rosen, Ralph  Search this
Adler, Samuel, 1898-1979  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10679
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)214278
AAA_collcode_adlesamu3
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_214278

Claudia DeMonte and Ed McGowin papers, 1960-2018

Creator:
DeMonte, Claudia, 1947-  Search this
McGowin, Ed, 1938-  Search this
DeMonte, Claudia, 1947-  Search this
Type:
Video recordings
Topic:
Women artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Theme:
Women  Search this
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6459
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215611
AAA_collcode_democlau
Theme:
Women
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_215611

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, 1921-2013  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 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.
Topic:
Art, Abstract -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York
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:

Oral history interview with Marisol

Interviewee:
Marisol, 1930-2016  Search this
Interviewer:
Roberts, Colette, 1910-  Search this
Names:
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) -- Students  Search this
Club (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts (France) -- Students  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound tape reel (Sound recording, 7 in.)
34 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound tape reels
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1968 Feb. 8
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Marisol conducted 1968 Feb. 8, by Colette Roberts, for the Archives of American Art.
In the interview Marisol speaks of her childhood spent both in Chile and France; the encouragement of her parents and teachers to draw freely; her progression from painting, to drawing, to collage and reliefs; the influence of Europeans, Matisse and Picasso, and American, Rauschenberg; her time spent in museums as a child and the subsequent exposure to DaVinci and Rembrandt; her art education, predominantly in New York at the Art Students League and briefly in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Art; her association with the Abstract Expressionists at the Club; the contrast of her work to the dream-based Surrealists; her first show for Castelli in 1957; her shows at the '62 and '64 annual exhibitions at the Stable; her more recent exhibitions for the Carnegie and Sidney Janis Gallery of The Beach and The Party; the origins of her wood drawings as a discovery while drawing lines to be sculpted upon wood; her experience working for the Daily Telegraph and completing portraits of historical figures such as Charles DeGalle; the literary influence of Dostoeveski, and more specifically Crime and Punishment; her recent apathy for visual entertainments and diversions (like the Ballet). Both in the interview and afterwards in a supplemental biographical addition Roberts and Marisol allude to her resistence to sit for interviews. The artist feels that she doesn't "have much to say."
Biographical / Historical:
Marisol (1930- ) is a sculptor in New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 1 digital wav file. Duration is 1 hr., 15 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics, and administrators.
Restrictions:
Use requires an appointment.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Collagists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Surrealism  Search this
Women artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Hispanic American women artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.mariso68
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mariso68

Leo Manso papers

Creator:
Manso, Leo  Search this
Extent:
0.4 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 1 reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Date:
1947-1982
Scope and Contents:
Biographical material (1974-1982); letters (1949-1982); notes and writings (undated); printed material (1947-1981); photographs (1950 and 1960); and a taped interview.
REEL 34: Resume; letters from colleagues and art organizations concerning the exhibition and sale of Manso's work; 2 photographs of Manso, and 38 of works of art; drafts for 2 letters concerning exhibitions, a 7 p. typescript concerning "the circle and the square"; a statement "The Making of Art is Ritual"; exhibition announcements and catalogs; press releases; and clippings.
UNMICROFILMED: Two resumes; letters, primarily received from colleagues concerning the exhibition of Manso's work; 4 exhibition announcements and catalogs, 1 press release, and 5 posters; 3 photographs of works of art and a 5" reel-to-reel taped interview of Manso by Karl Fortess (1963).
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, collagist, and graphic artist; New York, N.Y. Born in 1914 in New York City. He studied at the National Academy of Design from 1929-1930, and at the New School for Social Research. Manso taught at Cooper Union, New York University, Columbia University and at the University of Michigan.
Provenance:
Lent and donated 1970 and 1982 by Leo Manso.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.mansleo
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mansleo

Oral history interview with Alfonso Ossorio

Creator:
Ossorio, Alfonso, 1916-1990  Search this
Interviewer:
Selvig, Forrest  Search this
Names:
Harvard University -- Students  Search this
Signa Gallery  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean, 1901-1985  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Extent:
35 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Date:
1968 November 19
Scope and Contents:
Interview of Alfonso A. Ossorio conducted 1968 November 19, by Forrest Selvig, for the Archives of American Art.
Ossorio speaks of his youth and education in England and the United States; attending Harvard; working as a medical illustrator for the Army; coming to New York and becoming acquainted with Jackson Pollock and other New York artists; a mural commission he received for a church in the Philippines; the difficulty of introducing new ideas into Catholic art; traveling to Paris; his association with Jean Dubuffet; changes in his technique; his work in collage; his affiliation with the Signa Gallery; abstract expressionism.
Biographical / Historical:
Alfonso Ossorio (1916-1990) was a painter in Wainscott, New York.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Restrictions:
Patrons must use transcript.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Collagists -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Church decoration and ornament  Search this
Art and religion  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.ossori68
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-ossori68

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 Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Collagists -- New York (State)  Search this
Topic:
Women painters -- 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:

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 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.
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

Oral history interview with Tom Wesselmann

Interviewee:
Wesselmann, Tom, 1931-2004  Search this
Interviewer:
Sandler, Irving, 1925-  Search this
Names:
Tanager Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Dine, Jim, 1935-  Search this
Katz, Alex, 1927-  Search this
Extent:
196 Pages (Transcript (Partial transcript online))
1 Item (sound file (5 min., 12 sec.) Audio excerpt, digital)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1984 January 3-February 8
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Tom Wesselmann conducted 1984 January 3-1984 February 8, by Irving Sandler, for the Archives of American Art.
Wesselmann speaks of his family, childhood and education; his U.S. Army service; his early interest in art and drawing; the influence of humor; going to the Cooper Union School on the GI bill; artists who influenced him in his early career; experiences which changed him; early experiments with collage; his first awareness of pop art; collage technique; his affiliation with the Tanager Gallery; his early nudes; eroticism in his paintings; politics and art. He recalls Alex Katz and Jim Dine.
Biographical / Historical:
Tom Wesselmann (1931-2004) was a painter from New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 8 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 37 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Nude in art  Search this
Collage  Search this
Pop art  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Collagists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.wessel84
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-wessel84

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 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.
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Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Joseph Cornell papers, 1804-1986, bulk 1939-1972. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.cornjose
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Joseph Cornell papers
Archival Repository:
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