Mostly printed material: clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, material relating to service on art juries, sales literature for his prints, press clippings and tearsheets, and miscellaneous.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, printmaker; Newtown, Connecticut.
Donated 1996 by Robert Cottingham.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The records of the Fendrick Gallery measure 106.4 linear feet and 0.008 GB and span the years 1952 to 2001. The bulk of the collection is comprised of artist's files that document the gallery's relations with and representation of over 300 contemporary artists and sculptors, including Robert Arneson, William Bailey, Daniel Brush, Wendell Castle, Robert Cottingham, James Drake, John Dreyfuss, Walter Dusenbury, Roger Essley, Helen Frankenthaler , Sam Gilliam, Jasper Johns, Raymond Kaskey, Claude and Francois Lalanne, Albert Paley, Joseph Raffael, Carol Summer, and numerous other artists. Also found are subject, exhibition, commission, administrative, and financial files, as well as files documenting the gallery's relationship with other museums and galleries.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of the Fendrick Gallery measure 106.4 linear feet and 0.008 GB and span the years 1952 to 2001. The bulk of the collection is comprised of artist's files that document the gallery's relationships with and representation of over 300 contemporary artists, including Robert Arneson, William Bailey, Daniel Brush, Wendell Castle, Robert Cottingham, James Drake, John Dreyfuss, Walter Dusenbury, Roger Essley, Helen Frankenthaler, Sam Gilliam, Jasper Johns, Raymond Kaskey, Claude and Francois Lalanne, Albert Paley, Joseph Raffael, Carol Summer, and numerous other artists. Also found are subject, exhibition, commission, administrative, and financial files, as well as files documenting the gallery's relationship with other museums and galleries.
Series 1, Artist's Files, measures almost 42 linear feet and dates from 1962-2001. Found here are files documenting the gallery's relationship with over 300 contemporary artists. Files typically contain correspondence, sales receipts, printed materials, exhibition catalogs and announcements, commission information, photographs, slides, and other materials.
Series 2, Albert Paley, 1970-2001, and undated, provides detailed documentation (14.5 linear feet) of the Fendrick gallery's representation of prominent American metal sculptor Albert Paley. The gallery represented Paley from the early 1980s through the early 1990s and devoted a great deal of its resources promoting Paley's work through exhibitions and commissioned sales. Correspondence between the Fendrick Galleries and Paley Studios is found in this series, along with publicity materials, commission proposals and sketches, exhibition materials, and audio-visual and photographic documentation of Paley's work. Researchers should also consult Series 3 for additional documentation of Paley's commissioned projects.
Series 3, Commissioned Works and Projects, 1972-2000, and undated, documents the variety of commissions and special projects the gallery arranged and managed on behalf of its represented artists. Because privately commissioned work and government-sponsored public art projects represented a significant source of revenue for the Fendrick galleries, the gallery devoted a substantial amount of time and resources towards securing these projects. These files contain applications, proposals, sketches, correspondence, photographs and other material arranged by name of project.
Series 4, Exhibition Files, 1961, 1970-1996, and undated, houses files relating to exhibitions organized by Fendrick Gallery. Found here are exhibition announcements, invitations, and catalogs; specific named exhibition files; and files concerning special projects or exhibitions, often jointly curated with other galleries or institutions. The Fendrick gallery was also actively involved in various governmental programs, such as Art in the Embassies Program, and organized traveling exhibits or loaned artwork to them.
The gallery's relationships with other galleries, museums, institutions, and art organizations is documented in Series 5, Museums and Galleries Files, 1952-2000, and undated. Many of the files concern loans, exhibition venues, and joint exhibitions or projects.
Series 6, Subject Files, 1952, 1960-2001, and undated contain numerous files arranged by subject heading. Here, researchers will find information collected and maintained by the gallery on various art medium, artists of interest, exhibition catalogs from museums and other galleries, information about small and fine art presses. Of particular interest are several folders entitled "Fine Art Printers & Publishers." Barbara Fendrick's early years in the art business centered upon exhibiting, promoting, and selling prints produced by young, emerging American artists. The information found here documents her growing personal relationships with some of the most prominent artists and printmakers of this era.
Records documenting administrative, business, operating, and financial affairs are arranged in Series 7, Administrative and Financial Files, 1960-2001, and undated. Found here are records of both the Barbara Fendrick Gallery (New York) and the Fendrick Gallery (Washington, D.C.), as well as files that document Barbara Fendrick's role as art consultant, appraiser, lecturer, exhibition juror, and guest curator. Found are numerous inventory cards, insurance records, consignment files, general correspondence, lists, loan files, notebooks, real estate files, card files on artists and clients, and history files. Of particular interest are the Day Books/Dailies maintained by the New York gallery staff consisting of entries and notes regarding prospective clients and their interests. The Telephone Log Books contain details of telephone conversations with artists, clients, dealers, and other art professionals. Series 7 also houses the financial records of both galleries, including invoices, financial statements, expenses, accounts, and tax records.
The Fendrick Gallery records were processed to the series, subseries, and folder level. The collection is arranged into seven series. Items within folders, for the most part, were not fully sorted or preserved. When possible, materials were generally arranged at least by year. Within Series 1, Artists' Files, each set of folders for a particular artist are only given span dates. Due to the amount and complexity of material compiled on the artist Albert Paley, his files are arranged into a separate series of their own.
Series 1: Artists Files, 1962-2001, undated (Box 1-42, OV 108-110; 41.5 linear ft.)
Series 2: Albert Paley, 1970-2001, undated (Box 42-54; Box 107, OV 111-113, 117-118, FC 119; 14.6 linear ft., ER01; 0.001 GB)
Series 3: Commissioned Works and Projects, 1972- 2000, undated (Box 54-57; 3.5 linear ft.)
Series 4: Exhibition Files, 1961, 1970-1996, undated (Box 58-63; 5.5 linear feet)
Series 5: Museums and Galleries Files, 1952-200, undated (Box 64-73; 9.25 linear feet)
Series 6: Subject Files, 1952, 1960-2001, undated (Box 73-88, OV 115-116, FC 120; 15.6 linear ft.)
Series 7: Administrative and Financial Files, undated (Box 88-106; OV, ER02-ER03; 0.008 GB)
The Fendrick Gallery was established in 1960 as a "by appointment only" gallery out of Barbara Fendrick's Washington, D.C., area home. Initially the gallery promoted contemporary American and European prints by emerging artists and also commissioned print editions by nationally-known artists. During the mid 1960s, the Fendrick Gallery also coordinated and produced art exhibitions on a contract basis for the United States Information Agency. The gallery was responsible for organizing the first large American art exhibition at the Department of State and the Federal Reserve.
In May, 1970 the Fendrick Gallery moved into a three-story townhouse in Georgetown and began presenting regular exhibitions open to the public. The gallery offered many prominent American artists, such as Robert Arneson, Jim Dine, Helen Frankenthaler, Jasper Johns, Louise Nevelson, and Robert Rauschenberg their first solo shows in the nation's capital. The Fendrick Gallery also represented many nationally known sculptors, such as John Dreyfuss, Walter Dusenbery, Raymond Kaskey, and Albert Paley.
Over the years, Fendrick Gallery promoted many emerging artists who were breaking down the barriers between art and craft in the areas of clay, furniture, metal, and book arts. The gallery held the first major show of contemporary ceramics on the East Coast, with the 1976 exhibition, Clay USA. The gallery also received critical acclaim for its exhibitions in the area of "book arts" and held four shows featuring the works of prominent American and international book artists.
In 1987 and 1988, the gallery expanded and opened the Barbara Fendrick Gallery in the Soho section of New York City. The New York location operated as both a gallery space and storage area and was often referred to as "The Warehouse." Both the Fendrick Gallery and the Barbara Fendrick Gallery closed in the summer of 1991, but Barbara Fendrick continues to work as an art consultant, appraiser, exhibition juror, lecturer, and guest curator.
The records of the Fendrick Gallery were donated to the Archives of American Art by Barbara Fendrick in 1999, with an addition to the records in 2001.
The collection is open for research. Use of unmicrofilmed material requires an appointment.
An interview of Robert Cottingham conducted 1998 July 27, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art, in Cottingham's studio, Newtown, Connecticut.
Cottingham speaks of being raised in Brooklyn; drawing from an early age; the New York World's Fair, 1939-1940, and the tremendous impact it had on him, as did buildings, signs, and great bustle of Times Square; lasting impact of Edward Hopper's "Sunday Morning," which he saw at the Whitney Museum; his love of using a T-square and triangle in industrial design courses at Brooklyn Technical High School and the influence on his work; working in a Manhattan advertising agency for 2 1/2 years; army service in Orleans, France as a mapmaker; working as an art director at Young and Rubicam advertising agency in Manhattan (1959-1964) which exposed him to great variety of print and graphic media; work in Young and Rubicam's Los Angeles office; first painting in NYC in 1963; painting steadily in L.A. which led to first shows (1968-1970) at Molly Barnes Gallery; use of photographs and sketches to produce paintings; avoidance of narrative, just suggestions of places, and incorporation of advertising signs beginning in the mid-1960s; living entirely on his paintings by 1970; breakthrough in 1969 to greater use of color, bolder design, and 3-D illusion; adoption of square format and depiction of fragmentary glimpses of things which led to leap of quality; and sticking with this mode ever since. Cottingham also recalls John Rawlings, Emerson Woelffer, Robert Irwin, Chuck and Leslie Close, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Cottingham (1935- ) is a painter and printmaker from Newtown, Connecticut.
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 8 min.
Tape 2 (Side A) also contains last part of 4/7/98 interview with Harold Tovish.
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.