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Oral history interview with Merry Renk

Interviewee:
Renk, Merry, 1921-2012  Search this
Interviewer:
Fisch, Arline M.  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
750 Studio  Search this
American Craft Council  Search this
Institute of Design (Chicago, Ill.) -- Students  Search this
Metal Arts Guild  Search this
Mobilia Gallery  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
School of Industrial Design (Trenton, N.J.) -- Students  Search this
University of California, Berkeley. Department of Art -- Faculty  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Asawa, Ruth  Search this
Bates, Kenneth F. (Kenneth Francis), 1904-1994  Search this
Brancusi, Constantin, 1876-1957  Search this
Brynner, Irena  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Curtis, Earle  Search this
De Patta, Margaret, 1903-1964  Search this
Godfrey, Mary Jo Slick  Search this
Guermonprez, Trude, 1910-1976  Search this
Hall, Doris.  Search this
Nordness, Lee  Search this
Oliver, Olive  Search this
Tajiri, Shinkichi, 1923-2009  Search this
Tawney, Lenore  Search this
Extent:
49 Pages (Transcript)
1 Item (sound file (4 min. 15 sec.) Audio excerpt, digital)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2001 January 18-19
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Merry Renk conducted 2001 January 18-19, by Arline M. Fisch, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Renk's home and studio, San Francisco, California.
Renk speaks of her family background; growing up during the Depression; her father's creativity and encouragement; early inspiration from "the structure of nature"; attending the School of Industrial Arts in Trenton, N.J., and later the Institute of Design in Chicago; student life at the Institute of Design; establishing a studio and gallery, 750 Studio, at 750 North Dearborn, in Chicago, in 1947, with two other students, Mary Jo Slick [Godfrey] and Olive [Bunny] Oliver; managing 750 Studio and organizing exhibitions of Harry Callahan, Henry Miller, Lazlo Maholy-Nagy, Warren and Ethel MacKenzie, Doris Hall, and others; working with enamels; early "primitive" spirals; decision to be a jeweler; the importance of the "wearability" of jewelry; moving to San Francisco in 1948; living in Paris, 1950-1951; relationship with Shinkichi Tajiri; visiting Constantin Brancusi; traveling with Lenore Tawney through Spain and Morocco; settling in San Francisco; friendship with sculptor and neighbor Ruth Asawa; learning about Josef Albers from Asawa, resulting in experiments with folded metal; meeting her second husband, potter Earle Curtis on Halloween 1954; purchasing and remodeling their home; teaching part-time at the University of California, Berkeley and in workshops; her children, Baunnie and Sandra; managing motherhood and jewelry making in a two-artist household; drawing as a form of inventory; the influence of Lee Nordness; learning the plique-à-jour technique of enameling through trial and error; early influence of Doris Hall's work; working with wire; use of natural forms and interlocking forms; the process of making Wedding Crown (1968) for the exhibition Objects USA; making wedding crowns for her daughters; her shift from non-objective art to portraiture and symbolic imagery in the early 1970s; making large-scale sculpture in 1974, then "drifting back" to jewelry; importance of working independently; her "memory paintings" in the 1980s; evolution of her name from Mary Ruth Gibbs to Merry Renk Curtis (married Stanley Renk in 1941); her involvement with local guilds such as the Metal Arts Guild of San Francisco and national organizations such as the American Craft Council (ACC); lack of critical writing about her work; the value of exhibitions; various pieces in museum collections; early ACC conferences; her long friendship with photographer Imogen Cunningham; posing for Cunningham; becoming an ACC fellow; her jewelry tools; the process of painting compared to jewelry making. She also mentions Kenneth Bates, Trude Guermonprez, Irena Brynner, the Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and her mentor Margaret de Patta.
Biographical / Historical:
Merry Renk (1921-2012) was a jeweler, painter, and sculptor from San Francisco, California. Arline M. Fisch (1931-) is a metalsmith from San Diego, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 9 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.
Topic:
Enamel and enameling  Search this
Enamelers -- California -- San Francisco -- Interviews  Search this
Jewelry making  Search this
Jewelers -- California -- San Francisco -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- California -- San Francisco -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- United States -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.renk01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-renk01

Imogen Cunningham, San Francisco, Calif. letter to Janet Partridge

Creator:
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Partridge, Janet  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1970 Apr. 15
Topic:
Celebrations  Search this
Parties  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)9147
See more items in:
Roi Partridge papers, 1909-2003, bulk 1909-1984
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_9147

Linda Connor Christmas card to Imogen Cunningham

Creator:
Connor, Linda, 1944-  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1973 Dec. 15
Topic:
Christian art and symbolism  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)10275
See more items in:
Imogen Cunningham papers, 1903-1991
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_10275
Online Media:

Imogen Cunningham letter to Ansel Easton Adams

Creator:
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Adams, Ansel Easton, 1902-1984  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1964 February 10
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)15586
See more items in:
Imogen Cunningham papers, 1903-1991
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_15586

Merle Armitage letter to Imogen Cunningham

Creator:
Armitage, Merle, 1893-1975  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
October 1955
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)15587
See more items in:
Imogen Cunningham papers, 1903-1991
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_15587
Online Media:

Laura Andreson at wheel trimming a pot

Photographer:
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Subject:
Andreson, Laura F.  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
ca. 1940
Topic:
Artists at or with their work  Search this
Ceramicists  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)1769
See more items in:
Laura Andreson papers, 1932-1991
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_1769
Online Media:

Imogen Cunningham speech, 1968 May 18

Creator:
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9457
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211655
AAA_collcode_cunnimos
Theme:
Women
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211655

Oral history interview with Paula Colton Winokur

Interviewee:
Winokur, Paula, 1935-  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Beaver College -- Faculty  Search this
Graphic Sketch Club (Philadelphia, Pa.)  Search this
Helen Drutt Gallery  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (U.S.)  Search this
Philadelphia Museum of Art  Search this
Temple University. -- Students  Search this
Tyler School of Art -- Students  Search this
Andre, Carl, 1935-  Search this
Blai, Boris, 1893-1985  Search this
Bobrowicz, Yvonne  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Cushing, Val M.  Search this
De Staebler, Stephen, 1933-2011  Search this
Ferguson, Ken, 1928-  Search this
Heizer, Michael, 1944-  Search this
Higby, Wayne  Search this
Leon, Dennis, 1933-  Search this
Long, Richard, 1945-  Search this
Love, Arlene, 1953-  Search this
Marks, Graham, 1951-  Search this
McKinnell, James  Search this
Mestre, Enrique, 1936-  Search this
Minter, Myrna  Search this
Moran, Lois  Search this
Natzler, Gertrud  Search this
Natzler, Otto  Search this
Nesbitt, Lowell, 1933-1993  Search this
Notkin, Richard  Search this
Randall, Theodore, 1914-1985  Search this
Schulman, Norman, 1924-  Search this
Sedestrom, Carol  Search this
Serra, Richard, 1938-  Search this
Shores, Kenneth, 1928-  Search this
Simon, Sandy  Search this
Slivka, Rose  Search this
Staffel, Rudolf, 1911-2002  Search this
Takaezu, Toshiko  Search this
Vavrek, Ken  Search this
Winokur, Robert, 1933-  Search this
Ólafur Elíasson, 1967-  Search this
Extent:
9 Items (Sound recording: 9 sound files (6 hr., 24 min.))
171 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Alaska
Hungary
Iceland
Mesa Verde (Calif.)
Rocky Mountains
Stonehenge (England)
Date:
2011 July 21-22
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Paula Colton Winokur conducted 2011 July 21-22, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Winokur's home and studio, in Horsham, Pennsylvania.
Paula speaks of taking drawing and painting classes at the Graphic Sketch Club (now the Fleischer Art Memorial) in Philadelphia at age 11; her first experience handling clay at 13 or 14 when taking a class at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; when her family agreed to send her to college, providing she became a teacher, and she attended the Tyler School of Art at Temple University as a painting major; the influence of her teacher Rudolf Staffel in her sophomore year when she took a ceramics class and fell in love with working in clay; meeting her husband Robert Winokur when they were students at Tyler, getting married in 1958, eventually having two sons; glaze testing to find a palette of glazes to use; moving to Massachusetts and starting Cape Street Pottery for their production pottery; her involvement with NCECA [National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts] and other professional organizations; when she began a 30-year teaching career at Beaver College in 1973 (more recently known as Arcadia University), building their ceramics department; changing from using stoneware to porcelain in 1970; making boxes and architectural forms; how she stopped making functional items when her first child was born and began creating the things she wanted to; the decision in 1982 to make landscapes and how geology, the Artic, and threats to the environment influence her work; the process she uses when creating texture; selling exclusively through the Helen Drutt Gallery beginning in 1973 until the gallery closed in 2011; the important influences in her work of artists such as Michael Heizer, Carl Andre, Richard Long, Richard Serra, Olafur Eliasson, and Steven De Staebler and others; the immense the geologic formations of Mesa Verde, the Rocky Mountains, Stonehenge, Alaska and Iceland are inspiring; various lecturing opportunities and exhibits through the years, as well as a working residency she took advantage of in Hungary in 1994; slowly moving away from glazes and instead using metallic sulfates for color; that her intention is to express the relationship between the internal part of herself and the external world for other people to experience and find something in common; the importance of a liberal arts education for art students; her gelatin and clay prints; the concern over collectors of clay art dying off and no new ones taking their places; that galleries are closing and Internet galleries are the norm; meeting photographer, Imogen Cunningham, and seeing her as a wonderful role model; and the feeling that the high cost of fuel and the invention of newer materials may end ceramic classes. Paula also recalls Lowell Nesbitt, Myrna Minter, Arlene Love, Dennis Leon, Boris Blai, Ted Randall, Val Cushing, Norm Schulman, Jim McKinnel, Gertrud Natzler, Otto Natzler, Ken Ferguson, Rose Slivka, Enrique Mestre, Sandy Simon, Wayne Higby, Richard Notkin, Graham Marks, Toshika Takaezu, Yvonne Bobrowicz, Ken Vavrek, Carol Sedestrom, Lois Moran, and Ken Shores and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Paula Colton Winokur (1935- ) is a ceramist in Horsham, Pennsylvania. Mija Riedel (1958- ) is a curator and writer from San Francisco, California.
General:
Originally recorded as 9 sound files. Duration is 6 hr., 24 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.
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Ceramicists -- Pennsylvania -- Interviews  Search this
Ceramics -- Study and teaching  Search this
Painting -- Study and teaching  Search this
Women artists -- Pennsylvania -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.winoku11
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-winoku11

Rudolph Schaeffer papers

Creator:
Schaeffer, Rudolph  Search this
Names:
East & West Gallery (San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976 -- Photographs  Search this
Frey, Caroline  Search this
Frey, Fred  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959 -- Photographs  Search this
Extent:
13.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Christmas cards
Designs
Interviews
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Place:
Japan -- Description and Travel
Date:
1880s-1997
Summary:
The collection measures 13.3 linear feet, dates from the 1880s-1997 and documents the life and varied career of Rudolph Schaeffer, artist, designer, teacher, writer, collector of Asian art, and pioneer in the field of color study who founded the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design in San Francisco in 1926. The papers include biographical information, correspondence, subject files, writings, diaries, journals, artwork, scrapbooks, sound recordings, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The collection measures 13.3 linear feet, dates from the 1880s-1997, and documents the life and varied career of Rudolph Schaeffer, artist, designer, teacher, writer, collector of Asian art, and pioneer in the field of color study who founded the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design in San Francisco in 1926. The papers include biographical information, correspondence, subject files, writings, diaries, journals, artwork, scrapbooks, sound recordings, and photographs.

Correspondence documents Schaeffer's personal and professional activities as well as the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design. Subject files contain various combinations of correspondence, photographs, printed material, and drawings reflecting Schaeffer's activities, projects, and interests. Within the subject files is correspondence with artists, including Mark Tobey. Extensive writings include manuscripts for published and unpublished articles and drafts, notes, and manuscripts of several unpublished books including Collected Lectures of Rudolph Schaeffer on Color and Design, Color and Design, Prismatic Color Theory, and Rhythmo-Chromatics, all undated. Diaries include a volume recording Schaeffer's 1936 trip to Japan. 42 volumes of journals, compiled between 1954 and 1987, contain entries on a wide range of subjects including lists of errands, invitation lists, class notes, drafts of letters, notes including staff assignments and staff meetings, autobiographical notes and reminiscences, and musings on religion and philosophy.

The Artwork series houses artwork by Schaeffer and his students. Found are hand-made Christmas cards, designs, sketches, and sketchbooks. Seven scrapbooks document Rudolph Schaeffer's career, his school and former students, and the San Francisco art scene. They contain printed material, photographs, letters, and a small amount of artwork. Volume 3 is devoted to East West Gallery, and volume 7 documents Rudolph Schaeffer's 90th Birthday and the 50th Anniversary of the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design.

Most untranscribed sound recordings (audio cassettes and reels) are of lectures by Schaeffer and others delivered at the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design.

Miscellaneous records includes a series of hand-baticked fabric samples from the Wiener Werkstatte, as well as transcripts of an oral history with Schaeffer and other interviews.

Printed material concerns the career of Rudolph Schaeffer, his school and former students, the San Francisco art scene, and general art topics. Included are articles and a book by Schaeffer, catalogs and other items produced by the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design, and miscellaneous items about or mentioning Schaeffer and his school. Items of note are announcements of courses taught by Schaeffer in Piedmont and San Francisco prior to the opening of his school, and theatre programs from productions with sets and some costumes designed by Schaeffer in the early 1920s.

Photographs are of artwork, people, places, events, stage designs, and miscellaneous subjects. Artwork includes some designs by Rudolph Schaeffer; people include Schaeffer, his family, friends, and students. Of particular note are a photograph of Frank Lloyd Wright's visit to the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design, and one of Rudolph Schaeffer and Imogen Cunningham. Places include interior and exterior views of the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design at its St. Anne Street and Mariposa Street locations. Also included are photographs by Ansel Adams of the home of Ed and Caroline Fey.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 10 series:

Series 1: Biographical Information, 1900-1988 (Box 1; 0.1 linear ft.)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1906-1989 (Box 1, 19; 0.5 linear ft.)

Series 3: Subject Files, 1907-1988 (Boxes 1-2, OV 16; 1.3 linear ft.)

Series 4: Writings, circa 1910-1987 (Boxes 2-6, 15, 19, 21; 4.2 linear ft.)

Series 5: Artwork, 1911-1957 (Boxes 6-15, 19, 21 OV 17; 0.6 linear ft.)

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1933-1976 (Boxes 6, 14, 19; 0.6 linear ft.)

Series 7: Sound Recordings, 1949-1986 (Boxes 11-13; 1.2 linear ft.)

Series 8: Miscellaneous Records, 1905-1986 (Box 7, 19, 22; 0.8 linear ft.)

Series 9: Printed Material, 1906-1994 (Boxes 7-8, 15, 19, 22; 1.2 linear ft.)

Series 10: Photographs, 1880s-circa 1988 (Boxes 8-10,15, 20, 22, OV 18; 1.8 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Rudolph Schaeffer (1886-1988), a proponent of the Arts and Crafts movement, aspired to unite technology, science, and lifestyle in order to live in harmony with nature. An individual with many talents and interests, he was best known for his work in the field of color study and as a teacher and the founder of the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design in San Francisco.

Born on a farm in Clare, Michigan in 1886, Rudolph Schaeffer displayed musical and artistic talent from a young age. Although he initially wanted to become a professional musician, he began focusing more on art when his musical abilities were compromised by an improperly set broken wrist. Schaeffer received his first formal art training as a high school student and then attended the Thomas Normal Training School in Detroit, where he studied music, art, and design. He continued studying independently, developing interests in calligraphy and metal craft.

In 1907, Schaeffer taught manual training courses in the Columbus, Ohio, public schools. The following summer he traveled to Paris and London. While in London he saw an exhibition of Josef Hoffman's modern interiors that had a great impact on his own design ideas. He then returned to Michigan and taught in schools close to home. In 1909, Schaeffer attended a design course in Minneapolis taught by A. E. Batchelder, director of Throop Polytechnic Institute in Pasadena. Both Batchelder and his course were strong influences on Schaeffer, as was Ralph Johnot, a proponent of Arthur Wesley Dow's design principles. In 1910 Schaeffer joined the faculty of Throop Polytechnic Institute, where he remained for five years.

The U. S. Commission on Education selected Schaeffer to be part of a delegation of twenty-five American teachers sent to Munich for several months in 1914 to investigate the exemplary industrial design curriculum offered in their secondary schools. Schaeffer subsequently expected to begin teaching at the Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles at the start of the 1914 school year, but World War I erupted while he was in Germany and his return to the United States was delayed so long that another teacher had to be hired to fill his place.

In 1915 Schaeffer was a manual training instructor at the California College of Arts and Crafts (formerly the Hopkins School), and taught design and metal crafts at the University of California Berkeley. For a number of years afterwards, he did free lance design work, taught private classes, and ran a small summer school in his Piedmont studio. Schaeffer was a visiting professor at Stanford University in 1918 when he was drafted and sent to drafting and surveying courses by the Army. Between 1917 and 1924 Schaeffer was on the faculty of the California College of Arts and Crafts where he taught design, color, handicrafts, and interior design. During this period he developed a new approach to teaching color and design based on the prismatic color wheel.

During the early 1920s Schaeffer worked as a set designer and as Art Director of Greek Theatre at the University of California at Berkeley, Schaeffer began applying prismatic color theory to set and costume design. He also designed sets for productions in Detroit. In 1925, Schaeffer saw the Paris Exposition and researched interior and stage design while in France.

The Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design which, in its early days was called the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Rhythmo-Chromatic Design, opened on St. Anne Street in San Francisco's Chinatown in 1926. In 1951 the school then moved to Union Street on Telegraph Hill where it remained for nearly a decade. In 1960, the school purchased a former boys' school on Mariposa Street, Portero Hill. Rudolph Schaeffer lived in a small cottage built for him at the rear of the property where he designed and tended a remarkable "Peace Garden."

The Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design was best known for its courses in color and interior design. Schaeffer was the first person in the United States to teach prismatic color theory, is credited with being the first to use the term "interior design" rather than "interior decoration" and the first to incorporate the use of models into interior design coursework. In 1959 the school's courses were expanded from 2 to 3-year programs and a diploma was awarded. Former students include many successful interior designers, textile designers, furniture designers, industrial designers, commercial artists, color consultants, teachers, and master flower arrangers.

In addition to the interior design and color diploma courses, the school offered a summer session, classes for children, a brief lecture series for the general public, and a wide variety of classes including advertising art, architecture and design, art history, art in public schools, calligraphy, color design, color for television, color for weavers, color theory, design, drawing, environmental aesthetics, fashion design, fashion illustration, flower arrangement, industrial design, interior design, Notan, sculpture, space planning, textile design, and weaving. Always struggling financially and sometimes lacking adequate enrollment, the school nevertheless managed to stay open for nearly 60 years. In 1984, the Board of Directors voted to remove Schaeffer from the board and close the school. Two years earlier the board had forced Schaeffer to retire, appointed him Director Emeritus, and brought in a new director charged with making the institution financially solvent, reorganizing the curriculum, and working toward accreditation. Unable to separate himself from the school (though he had done so legally when it was incorporated in 1953), Schaeffer balked and refused to cooperate with plans for revitalizing the institution.

One of the aims of the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design was to interpret Asian esthetic principles. To this end the East West Gallery was established at the school in 1950. A membership organization, it offered exhibitions, lectures, concerts, and other programs that encouraged cultural integration. Exhibitions alternated between East (Asian art and artifacts from Rudolph Schaeffer's collection or other sources) and West (student work or work of local artists illustrating the influence of the Asian esthetic on contemporary art and design). East West Gallery was a membership organization, the first space of its kind in San Francisco for Asian art and operated in each of the school's locations.

In addition to running the school Schaeffer was involved in many other activities. He wrote several articles about flower arrangement, color, and color theory that were published in popular magazines. In 1935, he published Flower Arrangement Folio I (said to be the first on the subject published in this country) and in 1942 edited and wrote the introduction to Sunset's Flower Arrangement Book by Nell True Welch. Over a period of many years, he worked on several monographs on color, design, and "rhythmo-chromatics." None were ever published.

A sought-after speaker on the subjects of color, interior design, flower arrangement, and myriad other art topics, Schaeffer frequently served as a juror for art exhibitions and flower shows. From the 1930s on, the San Francisco department store Emporium used his services as a color consultant, as did Dutch Boy paints, and numerous textile and clothing manufacturers. Builders also asked Schaeffer to select interior and exterior colors for suburban housing developments.

Schaeffer worked on planning and designing the decorative arts exhibition at the 1939-40 Golden Gate International Exposition. In 1943-44, he participated in the Red Cross's Arts and Skills program, using color therapy with shell-shocked soldiers in a psychiatric unit.

The Rudolph Schaeffer Collection of Asian Art began as a collection of ceramics, both historical and contemporary examples chosen for their form and color, which he used for flower arrangements and in set-ups for still life classes. It soon expanded to include color prints, paintings, screens, and other works of art and portions were exhibited frequently in the East West Gallery. Selections from this collection were exhibited in Kansas City in 1960 and at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco in 1976.

The City of San Francisco declared June 26, 1986, Schaeffer's 100th birthday, "Rudolph Schaeffer Day" and it was observed with great fanfare. He died at home on March 5, 1988, a few months before his 102nd birthday.
Provenance:
The Rudolph Schaeffer papers were donated in 1991 by Rudolph Schaeffer and the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design administrator Peter Docili, and in 1999 and 2000 by James Alexander, a friend of both Schaeffer and Docili, who had been storing portions of Docili's estate after his death in 1998, with the assistance of Frances Valesco, a fiber artist and researcher. An addition was received in 2007 by William Woodworth, a close friend and caretaker of Schaeffer's and in 2017 and 2018 by Frances Valesco.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Use of archival audiovisual recordings 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.
Occupation:
Art teachers -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Topic:
Artists -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Designers -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Art, Asian  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Artists -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Authors -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Color -- Study and teaching  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Christmas cards
Designs
Interviews
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Citation:
Rudolph Schaeffer papers, 1880s-1997. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.scharudo
See more items in:
Rudolph Schaeffer papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-scharudo

Oral history interview with Paul Caponigro

Interviewee:
Caponigro, Paul, 1932-  Search this
Interviewer:
Larsen, Susan C.  Search this
Names:
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Bufano, Beniamino, 1898-1970  Search this
Bunnell, Peter C.  Search this
Chappell, Walter, 1925-  Search this
Chiarenza, Carl  Search this
Clergue, Lucien.  Search this
Clift, William  Search this
Cosindas, Marie, 1925-  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Graves, Morris, 1910-  Search this
Lange, Dorothea  Search this
Newhall, Beaumont, 1908-1993  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia , 1887-1986  Search this
Ranney, Edward.  Search this
Russek, Janet  Search this
Scheinbaum, David, 1951-  Search this
Singer, Robert T.  Search this
Strand, Paul, 1890-1976  Search this
Szarkowski, John  Search this
Tice, George A.  Search this
Uelsmann, Jerry, 1934-  Search this
Westin, Bert  Search this
White, Minor  Search this
Extent:
87 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1999 July 30-August 12
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Paul Caponigro conducted 1999 July 30-August 12, by Susan C. Larsen, for the Archives of American Art, at Caponigro's home, in Cushing, Maine.
Caponigro describes his childhood, military career, and travels through the southwest and northern California, his association with Minor White, exhibitions, publications, employment, and marriage to wife Eleanor.
Caponigro discusses the significance of his Stonehenge series of photographs; others' interpretations of his work; further exhibitions; and the role that his family's move to Santa Fe, New Mexico, has played in the evolution of his work.
Further discussion of the photographic scene in Santa Fe and its connection to American modernist photographers such as Paul Strand and Ansel Adams; travels; Guggenheim grant; the 1991 fall from a rocky ledge that was a physical and spiritual watershed in his life; and his new home in Cushing, Maine.
He recalls George Tice, Ansel Adams, Minor White, Bert Westin, Imogen Cunningham, Dorothea Lange, Oliver Gagliani, Beniamino Bufano, Morris Graves, Walter Chappell, Jerry Uelsmann, Carl Chiarenza, William Clift, Marie Cosindas, Peter Bunnell, John Szarkowski, Robert Singer, Beaumont Newhall, Georgia O'Keeffe, Ed Ranney, David Scheinbaum, Janet Russek, Lucien Clergue, and many others.
Biographical / Historical:
Paul Caponigro (1932- ) is a photographer and teacher from New England and New Mexico.
General:
Originally recorded on 7 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 12 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 19 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.
Topic:
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Photographers -- Maine -- Cushing -- Interviews.  Search this
Photographers -- New Mexico -- Santa Fe -- Interviews.  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.caponi99
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-caponi99

Focus Gallery records

Creator:
Focus Gallery  Search this
Names:
George Eastman House  Search this
Torren Gallery  Search this
Abbott, Berenice, 1898-1991  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Brandt, Bill  Search this
Bullock, Wynn  Search this
Caponigro, Paul, 1932-  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Dater, Judy  Search this
Heinecken, Robert, 1931-  Search this
Hosoe, Eikō, 1933  Search this
Johnston, Helen, 1916-1989  Search this
Leibovitz, Annie, 1949-  Search this
Porter, Eliot, 1901-  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Uelsmann, Jerry, 1934-  Search this
Weston, Brett  Search this
Extent:
11.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1963-1987
Summary:
The records of San Francisco Focus Gallery measure 11.8 linear feet and date from 1963-1987. The bulk of the collection consists of exhibition files. There are also artists files, sales information, correspondence, and scattered records of the gallery's companion bookshop.
Scope and Contents:
The records of San Francisco's Focus Gallery measure 11.8 linear feet and date from 1963-1987. The bulk of the collection consists of exhibition files. There are also artists files, sales information, correspondence, and scattered records of the gallery's companion bookshop.

Exhibition files comprise the bulk of the collection and generally contain a wide range of materials including correspondence, short biographies, forms requesting artists' background information, flyers, booklets, brochures, checklists, loan agreements, sales records, news releases, and photographs and negatives. Among the many photographers exhibited were Ansel Adams, Berenice Abbott, Bill Brandt, Wynn Bullock, Paul Caponigro, Imogen Cunningham, Judy Dater, Robert Heinecken, Eikoh Hosoe, Annie Leibovitz, Eliot Porter, Aaron Siskind, Jerry Uelsmann, and Brett Weston.

A relatively small amount of general business correspondence includes orders and payments for photographic prints, books, and magazine subscriptions, some personal notes, and requests for information about how to submit for exhibitions and for exhibition schedules. Correspondents include customers, photographers, publishers, law firms, museum, and colleges and universities. Correspondence from the founding year contains Johnston's letters to various venues prominent in art photography, such as George Eastman House. There is also a letter to Ansel Adams requesting prints to sell or for a small opening exhibit.

Additional records include artists' files; sales and inventory records containing print and bookshop inventories, general pricing information and receipts for photographs; and printed materials including flyers and brochures, bookshop catalogs and news releases. There are also scattered administrative records, including gallery history, a file on the Toren Gallery and five owner's notebooks, as well as The Imogen Cunningham Trust files documenting Focus Gallery's interactions with the trust before and after Cunningham's death regarding photographs printed and signed by her; financial and legal files; and guest books.

Documents in the collection that pre-date the founding of the gallery are found in the Toren Gallery file and a few of the exhibition files.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 8 series.

Series 1: Administrative Records, 1963-1985 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1966-1987 (Boxes 1-2; 1 linear foot)

Series 3: Exhibition Files, 1966-1985 (Boxes 2-10; 8.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Artists Files, 1966-1978 (Boxes 10-11; 0 .5 linear feet)

Series 5: Financial and Legal Files, 1966-1987 (Box 11; 0 .2 linear feet)

Series 6: Sales and Inventories, 1966-1987 (Box 11; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 7: Printed Materials, 1966-1987 (Boxes 11-12; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 8: Guest Books, 1966-1970, 1978-1985 (Boxes 12-13; 0.6 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Focus Gallery was founded by Helen Head Johnson (1916-1989) in 1966 on Union Street in San Francisco. The gallery exhibited and sold primarily art photographs and other contemporary art.

Helen Head Johnston believed that photography deserved its own exhibition space. As stated in the gallery's first press release, "in seeking to encourage print collecting it (the gallery) offers not only a show place but also a market place for photographers." While retaining an emphasis on Bay Area photographers, the gallery's exhibitions soon became international in scope, featuring little known and well-established photographers through both solo and group exhibitions. With few exceptions, the gallery's policy was to feature an artist only once. To help keep the gallery going in its early days, Johnston started a bookshop mail-order business. At the time of its closing in August 1985, Focus Gallery was the longest continuously operating photography gallery in the country. The bookshop continued in another location for an additional two years.

The collection is arranged as 8 series

Series 1: Administrative records, 1963-1985, (Box 1 8 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1966-1987, undated (Box 1-2 1 linear foot)

Series 3: Exhibition files, 1966-1985 (Box 2-10 8.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Artists files, 1966-1978, undated (Box 10-11, 9 folders)

Series 5: Financial and Legal files, 1966-1987 (Box 11 6 folders)

Series 6: Sales and Inventories, 1966-1987, undated (Box 11 11 folders)

Series 7: Printed Materials, 1966-1987, undated (Box 11 and Hol 12 7 folders)

Series 8: Guest Books, 1966-1985 (Hol 12-13 6 folders)
Related Materials:
Among the holding of the Archives of American Art is an untranscribed interview of Helen Johnston by Louise Katzman or Irene Borger in the collection Interviews of California Photographers 1981 Jun.-Nov.20.

Helen Johnston left her private photography collection to the de Saisset Museum, the Oakland Museum of California, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Provenance:
The Focus Gallery records were donated by the estate of owner Helen Johnston, care of Gerald O'Conner, executor.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Art dealers -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Topic:
Visitors' books  Search this
Women photographers  Search this
Photography -- Exhibitions  Search this
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Photographic art galleries -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Photographers -- United States  Search this
Gallery owners -- local  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.focugall
See more items in:
Focus Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-focugall
Online Media:

Arnold Crane interviews of photographers

Creator:
Crane, Arnold H.  Search this
Names:
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Blatas, Arbit  Search this
Brassaï, 1899-  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Evans, Walker, 1903-1975  Search this
Jammes, André  Search this
Kertész, André  Search this
Ray, Man, 1890-1976  Search this
Rothstein, Arthur, 1915-1985  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Smith, W. Eugene, 1918-  Search this
Strand, Paul, 1890-1976  Search this
White, Minor  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Date:
[ca. 1968-1971]
Scope and Contents:
Transcripts of interviews conducted by Arnold Crane. Interviewees include Ansel Adams, Berenice Abbott, Gyula Brassai, Imogen Cunningham, Walker Evans, Andre Jammes, Andre Kertesz, Man Ray, Arthur Rothstein, Aaron Siskind, W. Eugene Smith, Paul Strand and Minor White.
Biographical / Historical:
Photographer, and photograph collector; Chicago, Illinois.
Provenance:
Donated by Arnold Crane.
Restrictions:
All interviews are ACCESS RESTRICTED; written permission required of Cynthia Crane.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Occupation:
Photographers  Search this
Topic:
Photographers -- Interviews  Search this
Photography -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.cranarno
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cranarno

Arnold Crane portfolio of photographs, "Portraits of the Photographers,"

Creator:
Crane, Arnold H.  Search this
Names:
Alvarez Bravo, Manuel, 1902-  Search this
Blatas, Arbit  Search this
Brandt, Bill  Search this
Brassaï, 1899-  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Doisneau, Robert  Search this
Evans, Walker, 1903-1975  Search this
Kertész, André  Search this
Ray, Man, 1890-1976  Search this
Rothstein, Arthur, 1915-1985  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Smith, W. Eugene, 1918-  Search this
Steichen, Edward, 1879-1973  Search this
Strand, Paul, 1890-1976  Search this
White, Minor  Search this
Extent:
50 Items ((on partial microfilm reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1968-1969
Scope and Contents:
Fifty silver gelatin print photographs which Arnold Crane took of other photographers. Among the subjects are Berenice Abbott, Bill Brandt, Gyula Halász Brassei, Harry Callahan, Imogen Cunningham, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Robert Doisneau, Walker Evans, André Kertész, Man Ray, Arthur Rothstein, Aaron Siskind, W. Eugene Smith, Edward Steichen, Paul Strand, Minor White.
Biographical / Historical:
Photographer, and photograph collector; Chicago, Illinois.
Provenance:
Donated 1978 by Herbert Molner, a photograph collector.
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.
Occupation:
Photographers  Search this
Photographers -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.cranarnh
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cranarnh

Oral history interview with Imogen Cunningham

Interviewee:
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J.  Search this
Kurabi, Louise Katzman, 1949-  Search this
Names:
Group f.64  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Curtis, Edward S., 1868-1952  Search this
Dixon, Maynard, 1875-1946  Search this
Lange, Dorothea  Search this
Partridge, Roi, 1888-1984  Search this
Van Dyke, Willard  Search this
Weston, Edward, 1886-1958  Search this
White, Minor  Search this
Extent:
36 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1975 June 9
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Imogen Cunningham conducted 1975 June 9, by Louise Katzman and Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, in Cunningham's home. [Note: A photograph of Cunningham taken by Katzman at the time of the interview has been cataloged separately.]
Cunningham speaks of her training in Germany, working in Edward Curtis' studio, her childhood art classes, her husband Roi Partridge, the f.64 group, platinum prints, her early interest in photography, and the differences between West Coast and East Coast photographers. She discusses magazine photography, her work as a portrait photographer, collectors, and her professional and personal relationships with Ansel Adams, Maynard Dixon, Dorothea Lange, Willard Van Dyke, Edward Henry Weston, Minor White, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Imogen Cunningham (1883-1976) was a photographer from San Francisco, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 56 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 others.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Photographers -- California -- San Francisco -- Interviews  Search this
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Women photographers -- California -- San Francisco -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.cunnin75
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cunnin75

Imogen Cunningham papers

Creator:
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Names:
George Eastman House  Search this
Group f.64  Search this
Henry Art Gallery  Search this
Witkin Gallery  Search this
Aalto, Alvar, 1898-1976  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Andreson, Laura  Search this
Bissantz, Edgar, 1901-  Search this
Bourke-White, Margaret, 1904-1971  Search this
Bristol, Horace  Search this
Bullock, Wynn  Search this
Butler, John Davidson, 1890-1974  Search this
Coburn, Alvin Langdon, 1882-1966  Search this
Feininger, Lyonel, 1871-1956  Search this
Graves, Morris, 1910-  Search this
Hellman, Lillian, 1905-1984  Search this
Kanaga, Consuelo, 1894-  Search this
Lange, Dorothea  Search this
Mann, Margery  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946  Search this
Newhall, Beaumont, 1908-1993  Search this
Newman, Arnold, 1918-2006  Search this
Noskowiak, Sonya, d. 1975  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia , 1887-1986  Search this
Partridge, Roi, 1888-1984  Search this
Schoener, Allon  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Steichen, Edward, 1879-1973  Search this
Steinert, Otto, 1915-  Search this
Strand, Paul, 1890-1976  Search this
Struss, Karl, 1886-  Search this
Toklas, Alice B.  Search this
Van Dyke, Willard  Search this
Weston, Edward, 1886-1958  Search this
White, Minor  Search this
Witkin, Lee D.  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
5.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Illustrated letters
Photographs
Date:
1903-1991
Summary:
The papers of photographer and teacher Imogen Cunningham, date from 1903 to 1991. The collection measures 5.9 feet of material, including correspondence, business and financial records, writings, printed matter, and photographs, and provides a good overview of Cunningham's life and career.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of photographer and teacher Imogen Cunningham, date from 1903 to 1991. The collection measures 5.9 feet of material, including correspondence, business and financial records, writings, printed matter, and photographs, and provides a good overview of Cunningham's life and career. 3.6 linear feet of correspondence comprise the bulk of the collection.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into ten series according to material type:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1907-1981, undated (box 1; 4 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1909-1991, undated (boxes 1-4; 3.6 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1944-1976 (box 4; 15 folders)

Series 4: Notes, 1959-1968 (box 4; 10 folders)

Series 5: Teaching Files, 1964-1971 (box 5; 4 folders)

Series 6: Writings, circa 1910-1976 (box 5; 21 folders)

Series 7: Interview Transcripts, 1951, undated (box 5; 2 folders)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1903-1991 (boxes 5-7; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 9: Photographs, 1916-1976 (box 7; 12 folders)

Series 10: Oversized Material, 1947-1948, 1967, undated
Biographical Note:
Born in Portland, Oregon on April 12, 1883, Cunningham's family moved to Seattle in 1889. Inspired by Gertrude Kasebier's work, she purchased her first camera in 1901. After studying chemistry and botany at the University of Washington, she worked for the Edward S. Curtis Studio, Seattle, from 1907 to 1909. Receiving a scholarship, Cunningham studied for a year at the Technische Hochschule, Dresden.

Upon her return to Seattle in 1910, she opened a studio and had the first major exhibition of her work at the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences in 1912.

In 1915, Cunningham married printmaker Roi Partridge and gave birth to her first son, Gryffyd. Two years later, her family moved to California, where she gave birth to twin sons, Padraic and Rondal. In 1920, the family moved to Oakland, where her husband taught at Mills College. During the 1920s, she exhibited her art work and began photographing plant forms.

Along with Ansel Adams, John Paul Edwards, Sonya Noskowiak, Henry Swift, Willard Van Dyke, and Edward Weston, Cunningham formed the f/64 Group, a society of purist photographers in 1932. During the same year she began working for Vanity Fair and other magazines and began a career as a portrait photographer, including Martha Graham, Cary Grant, Morris Graves, Alfred Stieglitz, and Spencer Tracy as her subjects. She divorced her husband in 1934.

In 1947, Cunningham established a studio in her San Francisco home, and continued to exhibit extensively until her death on June 24, 1976.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art by Imogen Cunningham in 1974 and 1976, and by her son, Gryffyd Partridge, in 1991.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Patrons must use microfilm copy.
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:
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Photographers -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area  Search this
Photographers  Search this
Women photographers  Search this
Portrait photography  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Illustrated letters
Photographs
Citation:
Imogen Cunningham papers, 1903-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.cunnimog
See more items in:
Imogen Cunningham papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cunnimog

Glenn Wessels papers

Topic:
Fortnightly
Argonaut (Periodical)
Creator:
Wessels, Glenn A. (Glenn Anthony), 1895-  Search this
Names:
University of California, Berkeley. Department of Art  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Alvarez, Peace K.  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Haley, John, 1905-1991  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Limerick, Ila A.  Search this
Loran, Erle, 1905-1999  Search this
Ryder, Worth, 1884-1960  Search this
Extent:
0.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
[ca. 1932-1982]
Scope and Contents:
Biographical material, 1953-1981; 15 letters from Hans and Maria Hofmann, and two from Wessels to Hofmann, 1952-1964; correspondence with Ila Limerick and Peace and Pauline Alvarez regarding mostly their planned but uncompleted biography of Wessels, ca. 1959-1968; miscellaneous correspondence; typescripts of lectures by Wessels; photographs of Wessels, including one by Imogen Cunningham, 1956, Wessels with others, one of his work, and one by Wessels (?) of an outdoor scene; newspaper clippings and printed material, undated, 1959-1967 and 1982; and miscellany, 1932-1966.
The Hans Hofmann letters, written from New York and Provincetown, discuss the importance of painting, his and Wessel's work, his plans to come to Berkeley to accept an honorary doctorate, and his feelings toward Wessels, Erle Loran, and others. Three of the letters are written by his wife Maria. Wessels' letters to Hofmann relate to the University's choice of Erle Loran to present Hofmann's honorary doctorate.
The correspondence with Ila Limerick, and Peace and sometimes Pauline Alvarez, contain lengthy, detailed reminiscences by Wessels on personal and professional topics. The later correspondence with Peace Alvarez relates mainly to the deteriorating health of Wessels' wife, Kay.
The miscellaneous correspondence includes a letter from Wessels to Worth Ryder, 1943, relating to Erle Loran and John Haley; a letter from Alfred Frankenstein thanking Wessels for sending his paper "The New Approach to Nature in Painting"; a letter from Worth Ryder congratulating Wessels on his exhibition, 1959; a letter from Ansel Adams praising Wessels' work done at a Polaroid Corp. Workshop, 1965; and letters regarding a controversy surrounding credit for bringing Hofmann to U.C. Berkeley, including a copy of a letter from John Haley to Paul Cummings; from Wessels to Haley, 1978; and from Wessel's brother-in-law Willis Foster to James Elliott, Director, University Art Museum, 1986.
Included in the printed material are an issue of The Fortnightly (Feb. 26, 1932) which Wessels helped found and served as art editor, and The Argonaut (July 16, 1937), containing Wessels' weekly column on art.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, lecturer, critic, and teacher; Berkeley, Calif. Born Captown, South Africa. Studied with Hans Hofmann in Munich. Professor of Art at University of California at Berkeley.
Provenance:
Donated 1991 by Willis Foster, Wessels' brother-in-law.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Painters -- California  Search this
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.wessglen
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-wessglen

The Zorach Family papers

Creator:
Zorach Family  Search this
Names:
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Brooklyn Museum  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Ipcar, Dahlov, 1917-2017  Search this
Newman, Arnold, 1918-2006  Search this
Partridge, Roi, 1888-1984  Search this
Zorach, Marguerite, 1887-1968  Search this
Zorach, Tessim  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
4.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Prints
Articles
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Notes
Writings
Date:
1900-1987
Summary:
The Zorach Family papers measure 4.4 linear feet and consist of materials relating to the lives and careers of sculptor and painter William Zorach, his wife painter and weaver Marguerite, and their children, painter and multi-media artist Dahlov Ipcar and collector and art dealer Tessim Zorach. The bulk of the papers consists of letters to Tessim regarding his parent's artwork. Additional materials include scattered letters to William Zorach; writings and notes by William, Marguerite, and Tessim; a sketchbook and drawings by William; prints by Marguerite; Marguerite's scrapbook; printed materials; and photographs of the Zorach family and of William Zorach in his studio and at work.
Scope and Content Note:
The Zorach Family papers measure 4.4 linear feet and consist of materials relating to the lives and careers of sculptor and painter William Zorach, his wife painter and weaver Marguerite, and their children, painter and multi-media artist Dahlov Ipcar and collector and art dealer Tessim Zorach. The bulk of the papers consists of letters to Tessim regarding his parent's artwork. Additional materials include scattered letters to William Zorach; writings and notes by William, Marguerite, and Tessim; a sketchbook and drawings by William; prints by Marguerite; Marguerite's scrapbook; printed materials; and photographs of the Zorach family and of William Zorach in his studio and at work.

The majority of correspondence is between Tessim Zorach and various museums and galleries concerning exhibitions and donations of his parents' works of art. There are scattered letters to William Zorach among the correspondence. Business records consist of materials relating to the Collection of the Zorach Children, including lists of works of art by the Zorach's, a file relating to an exhibition of Zorach artwork at the Brooklyn Museum, and photographs of works of art considered for donation.

Writings and Notes include a typescript of an article written by Marguerite Zorach, writings by William Zorach, a typescript of Young Poems by William and Marguerite, as well as articles written by others about the Zorachs. Artwork by Marguerite Zorach includes two prints and a tracing. Also found is one sketchbook, and additional drawings by William Zorach. There is one unsigned lithograph.

The majority of exhibition announcements, catalogs, and clippings concern William and Marguerite Zorach although there are two announcements for Dahlov Ipcar. There is one scrapbook of clippings about Marguerite.

The papers include photographs of Marguerite and William Zorach, their parents, baby photos of Tessim and Dahlov, family pictures of the Zorachs, and of Marguerite and William in their studios. There are several folders of William Zorach working in his studios and additional photos of him carving a relief sculpture and a sculpture for the Southwest Bank. Most of these photographs contain detailed annotations written by William Zorach about the work. There is one folder of photographs of William in France in 1910-1911, including one of Zorach in Roi Partridge's studio. There is one photograph of Zorach taken by Ansel Adams in Yosemite, a photo of Zorach working by Arnold Newman, and several taken by Imogen Cunnigham.

Other photographs are of works of art, most of which depict William's works.

Artifacts include Marguerite's batik tools and approximately fifty commercially made printing blocks.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Information, circa 1907-1969 (Box 1, 6; 3 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1922-1982 (Box 1-2; 1.75 linear feet)

Series 3: Business Records, 1967-1971, circa 1960s-1970s (Box 2-3; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings and Notes, circa 1930s-1973, 1987 (Box 3; 8 folders)

Series 5: Artworks, 1900-circa 1920s (Box 3, 6; 12 folders)

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1922-1953 (Box 3; 1 folder)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1912-1982 (Box 3; 0.25 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, 1908-1966 (Box 3-5; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 9: Artifacts, circa 1910s, circa 1950s (Box 4; 0.5 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
William Zorach (1887-1966) was a modernist painter and sculptor working primarily in New York city, along with his wife Marguerite (1887-1968) who worked as a fauvist painter, printmaker, and textile artist. Their children were painter Dahlov Ipcar (1917-) and art collector Tessim Zorach (1915-1995.)

Born in Lithuania, William Zorach immigrated to the United States where his family settled in Cleveland, Ohio. An early interest in art led to a printmaking apprenticeship. He then moved to New York City and enrolled in the National Academy of Design where he studied painting and drawing. In 1910, Zorach traveled to Paris to study and where he met his wife Marguerite Thompson at the La Palette art school. Marguerite grew up in Fresno, California and studied art at Stanford University. Both artists were heavily influenced by the fauvist and cubist art movements.

Returning to America, Marguerite and William married and both continued to create and experiment with varied media. Their paintings were featured in the 1913 New York City Armory Show and they are credited with being among the first artists to introduce European modernist styles to American modernism. The Zorachs were very close both as a couple and as working active artists.

In the 1920s, Marguerite began to experiment with textiles and created large, fine art tapestries and hooked rugs. Also, she used batik dying techniques on fabrics. William also expanded his genre by creating direct sculpture in 1918, which would become his primary medium.

In 1915, William and Marguerite started a family with their son, Tessim. Two years later, their daughter Dahlov was born. The Zorachs divided the year and lived in New York City, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. In 1923, the family bought a farm on Georgetown Island, Maine where they lived, worked, and entertained friends.

Dahlov and Tessim were exposed to art from an early age. Dahlov showed artistic promise as a child and her parents supported her creativity by allowing her to express herself without formal training. Dahlov pursued painting and later became an illustrator for children's books. Additionally, she wrote fantasy novels and short stories. Dahlov married Adolf Ipcar in 1936. Like the rest of his family, Tessim Zorach developed an interest of art and along with his wife Peggy, he amassed a large private collection of ancient to modern art.

William and Marguerite continued to sculpt and paint until their deaths in 1966 and 1968, respectively.

Together, Dahlov and Tessim established the Collection of the Zorach Children which coordinated donations of their parents' art to many museums throughout the United States and the world. The artwork of both artists is found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Delaware Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Farnsworth Art Museum, Portland Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Philips Collection, and educational institutions such as Colby College, University of Vermont, Williams College, Bowdoin College, and the University of Virginia. In addition William has works associated with many public buildings, among them: Radio City Music Hall, New York City Municipal Court, the U.S. Post Office in Washington D.C. as well as Farleigh Dickinson University.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art holds the Dahlov Ipcar papers, 1906-1997. Also found is one oral history interview with William Zorach conducted by by John D. Morse on April 2, 1959 and an oral history interview with Dahlov Ipcar conducted by Robert F. Brown on November 13, 1979.

The bulk of William Zorach's papers are held by the Library of Congress.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming on reels NY59-1-NY59-4 and NY59-19. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and are now held by the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division. This material is not described in the collection container inventory or finding aid.
Provenance:
William Zorach lent papers for microfilming to the Archives of American Art in 1959. Tessim Zorach donated materials between 1976-1987.
Restrictions:
Use of originals 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:
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Weavers  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Artist couples  Search this
Women painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Prints
Articles
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Notes
Writings
Citation:
The Zorach Family papers, 1900-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.zorazora
See more items in:
The Zorach Family papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-zorazora

Aaron Siskind papers

Creator:
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Names:
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Arnheim, Rudolf  Search this
Caponigro, Paul, 1932-  Search this
Chermayeff, Ivan  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Jachna, Joseph D.  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
Lewis, Golda, d. 2005  Search this
Ostrow, Stephen E.  Search this
Robbins, Daniel  Search this
Savage, Naomi, 1927-2005  Search this
Shestack, Alan  Search this
Teller, Jane  Search this
Weber, Hugo, 1918-1971  Search this
Extent:
1,257 Items ((on 2 microfilm reels))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1967-1977
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence; biographical information; financial papers; clippings; exhibition catalogs and announcements. Correspondents include Ansel Adams, Rudolf Arnheim, Paul Caponigro, Ivan Chermayeff, Imogen Cunningham, Joseph Jachna, Gyorgy Kepes, Golda Lewis, Stephen Ostrow, Daniel Robbins, Naomi Savage, Alan Shestack, Jane Teller, and Hugo Weber, among others.
Biographical / Historical:
Photographer; Providence, R.I., Born 1903. Died 1991.
Provenance:
Lent for microfilming 1977 by Aaron Siskind.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Photographers -- Rhode Island -- Providence  Search this
Topic:
Photography  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.siskaaro
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-siskaaro

Roi Partridge papers

Creator:
Partridge, Roi, 1888-1984  Search this
Names:
National Academy of Design (U.S.)  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Anderson, Sherwood, 1876-1941  Search this
Arms, John Taylor, 1887-1953  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Hunter, Dard, 1883-1966  Search this
Jacques, Bertha  Search this
Linsky, Elizabeth  Search this
Neuhaus, Eugen, 1879-1963  Search this
Partridge, Roi, 1888-1984  Search this
Extent:
1 Linear foot
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Travelogs
Scrapbooks
Christmas cards
Drafts (documents)
Photographs
Notes
Date:
1909-2003
bulk 1909-1984
Summary:
The papers of California printmaker and educator Roi Partridge measure 1.0 linear foot and date from 1909-2003, with the bulk of the material dated 1909-1984. Found here are scattered correspondence, notes and writings, a scrapbook, printed material, and photographs. Several of the documents date from the time Partridge was married to photographer Imogen Cunningham, particularly family correspondence and a travel log of family car camping trips to the west. The same travel log documents one sketching trip Partridge made with Eugen Neuhaus.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of California printmaker and educator Roi Partridge measure 1.0 linear foot and date from 1909-2003, with the bulk of the material dated 1909-1984. Found here are scattered correspondence, notes and writings, a scrapbook, printed material, and photographs. Several of the documents date from the time Partridge was married to photographer Imogen Cunningham, particularly family correspondence and a travel log of family car camping trips to the west. The same travel log documents one sketching trip Partridge made with Eugen Neuhaus.

General and family correspondence consists largely of incoming letters with some copies and drafts of outgoing letters. General correspondence is mainly professional in nature and documents exhibitions, commissions, teaching, memberships in artists' organizations, and participation in the WPA Public Works of Art Project. A small number of letters from friends concerning personal and social matters are scattered throughout. Among the correspondents are Ansel Adams, Sherwood Anderson, John Taylor Arms, Hollywood Riviera Galleries, Dard Hunter, the Estate of Bertha Jacques [Elizabeth Linsky, executor], National Academy of Design, and Print Makers Society of California. Family correspondence includes letters to Roi Partridge from family members. Letters to Gryffyd's family are from Imogen Cunningham and Roi Partridge; letters from others about family members are also included.

Among the notes and writings are a travel log that documents car camping trips through California and New Mexico taken by Roi Partridge, Imogen Cunningham, and their three sons between 1924 and 1926. The volume also includes Roi's account of a 1926 sketching trip taken with Eugen Neuhaus along the California coast.

A scrapbook contains clippings and feature articles about Roi Partridge, along with exhibition announcements and reproductions. Additional printed material is about or mentions Roi Partridge and his family, Ansel Adams, and Imogen Cunningham. There are also family Christmas cards with reproductions of etchings and drawings by Roi Partridge.

Photographs are of people and art work, including photographs of Roi and May Ellen Partridge, and Donald Bear, the first Director of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (Janet Lineberger - later Mrs. Gryffyd Partridge - served as his assistant in the early 1940s). There are numerous photographs and negatives of art work by Roi Partridge (with appraisal and catalog information), and a photograph of Peter Blos' portrait of Partridge.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 5 series:

Series 1: Correspondence, circa 1909-1993 (Box 1; 0.3 linear ft.; reel 5028)

Series 2: Notes and Writings, 1924-1964 (Box 1; 5 folders.; reel 5028)

Series 3: Scrapbook, 1922-1977 (Box 1; 0.1 linear ft.)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1913-2003 (Box 1; 0.25 linear ft.; reel 5028)

Series 5: Photographs, 1940-1987 (Box 1; 0.3 linear ft.; reel 5028)
Biographical Note:
Roy George Partridge (later known as Roi) was born in Centralia, Washington, in 1888, the son of a newspaper publisher and a pianist mother who accompanied silent films in Seattle movie houses. His mother enrolled him in a drawing and painting course at age 10. By 1907, the family had moved to Kansas where Partridge enrolled in studio courses at the newly established Fine Arts Institute of Kansas City. From there he then went to New York City to study at the school of the National Academy of Design during 1909 and 1910.

In 1910, with an art student friend from Seattle and enough cash to last a month, Partridge traveled to Europe and through a severe economy and by selling his etchings, managed to stay for four years. Between 1910 and 1914, he studied etching with Brockhoff in Munich, and rented a studio in Paris from 1911-1914. Once he had produced a sufficient number of prints, his friends John Butler and Clare Shepard arranged for an exhibition of his work in Seattle. They were assisted by Imogen Cunningham who sent her photo to Partridge and began corresponding with him.

The outbreak of World War I forced Partridge's return to Seattle where he and Imogen Cunningham finally met face to face. They were married within a matter of months. In their early years together, Roi managed to earn a living selling his prints and Imogen worked for Edward S. Curtis, whose photographs of American Indians had not yet achieved recognition. The couple soon produced three sons, Gryffyd and twins Padraic and Rondal. The family soon moved to San Francisco where Partridge worked as an artist in an advertising agency that also employed Maynard Dixon. During this time, he became friendly with the young Dorothea Lange who worked at the shop where Partridge had his film developed. After their marriage, Dixon and Lange established a close, long term friendship with the Partridge family.

In 1920, Partridge joined the faculty of Mills College as an art instructor, teaching design, painting, printmaking, lettering, and photography for 26 years. Partridge was such a popular teacher that the number of art students rose sharply and, for a time, art became the institution's most popular major. He was named chairman of the Art Department in 1923, and served as the first director of the college's art gallery from 1925 through 1935.

While teaching, Partridge remained an active artist and participated in exhibitions throughout the country at venues such as the Honolulu Art Academy, de Young Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Toronto Art Gallery, and the Museum of Modern Art. Among the prizes and medals awarded him were: Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, Seattle (1909), National Academy of Design (1910), Panama Pacific Exposition (1915), Art Institute of Chicago (191), Brooklyn Museum (1921), San Francisco Museum (1921), Los Angeles Museum of Art (1922, 1925, 1929), California Society of Print Makers (1929), and Library of Congress (1943). Partridge is represented in the permanent collections of many museums, colleges, and libraries, among them: Walker Art Gallery, Honolulu Academy of Art, San Diego Fine Arts Society, Milwaukee Art Gallery, Mills College, Scripps College, New York Public Library, and Library of Congress. Partridge also illustrated several books, and The Graphic Art of Roi Partridge: a Catalogue Raisonné by Anthony R. White was published in 1988.

Imogen Cunningham and Roi Partridge, both strong-willed and not given to compromise, divorced in 1934. They reconciled in the 1960s and remained on friendly terms until her death in 1976. Partridge's second wife, Marian Lyman, died in 1940. The following year, he married May Ellen Fisher, a teacher, who survived him.

In addition to his professional activities, Partridge pursued a wide variety of other interests. During the 1920s, he, Imogen, and their boys took numerous camping trips throughout California and New Mexico. With his third wife, May Ellen, he became an avid folk dancer and enthusiastic gardener, raised chickens and chinchillas, and kept bees. They had the opportunity to travel to Hawaii and Japan. In Japan, Partridge expanded his Japanese print collection which was eventually donated to the Mills College Art Gallery.

Roi Partridge died in Walnut Creek, California, on January 25, 1984.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art holds the papers of Imogen Cunningham, Partridge's first wife, which contain additional Partridge family correspondence and photographs. An untranscribed oral history interview of Roi Partridge conducted by Steve Steinberg in 1980 is also available.
Separated Material:
A portion of the gifts received from Gryffyd Partridge were separated and filed with the Imogen Cunningham papers, some of which had been earlier donated by Gryffyd.
Provenance:
Gryffyd Partridge donated his father's papers to the Archives of American art in 1992 and 1995. A final gift was received from Janet [Mrs. Gryffyd] Partridge in 2003.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Patrons must use microfilm copy. Use of the unmicrofilmed 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.
Topic:
Printmakers -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Etchers -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Genre/Form:
Travelogs
Scrapbooks
Christmas cards
Drafts (documents)
Photographs
Notes
Citation:
Roi Partridge papers, 1909-2003 (bulk 1909-1984). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.partroi
See more items in:
Roi Partridge papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-partroi

Photographs of Imogen Cunningham

Creator:
Kurabi, Louise Katzman, 1949-  Search this
Names:
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976 -- Photographs  Search this
Extent:
12 Items
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1975
Scope and Contents:
Eleven black and white and color photographs of Imogen Cunningham taken in her home in San Francisco on the occasion of Paul Karlstrom's and Louise Katzman Kurabi's (Archives of American Art) interview with her and one CD of the images.
Biographical / Historical:
Louise Katzman Kurabi (1949- ) is a photographer in Bellevue, Washington.
Provenance:
One photograph donated 1975 by Louise Katzman Kurabi. Additional prints and the images on CD donated 2016 by Kurabi.
Topic:
Photographers -- California -- San Francisco -- Photographs  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women photographers  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.kuraloui
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kuraloui

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