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Oral history interview with Ruben Torres-Llorca, 1998 January 31

Interviewee:
Torres Llorca, Rubén, 1957-  Search this
Torres Llorca, Rubén, 1957-  Search this
Interviewer:
Martínez, Juan A  Search this
Subject:
Bedia, José  Search this
Rodríguez Brey, Ricardo  Search this
Instituto Superior de Arte (Cuba)  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Artists -- Florida -- Miami -- Interviews  Search this
Latino and Latin American artists  Search this
Expatriate artists -- Florida -- Miami -- Interviews  Search this
Art, Cuban  Search this
Cuban American art  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Florida -- Miami  Search this
Cuban American artists  Search this
Theme:
Latino and Latin American  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13547
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216458
AAA_collcode_torres98
Theme:
Latino and Latin American
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_216458
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Ruben Torres-Llorca

Interviewee:
Torres Llorca, Rubén, 1957-  Search this
Interviewer:
Martínez, Juan A.  Search this
Names:
Instituto Superior de Arte (Cuba)  Search this
Bedia, José, 1959-  Search this
Rodríguez Brey, Ricardo, 1955-  Search this
Extent:
133 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
1998 January 31
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Ruben Torres-Llorca conducted 1998 January 31, by Juan A. Martínez, in Torres Llora's home/studio, Miami, Florida, for the Archives of American Art.
Torres Llora discusses his early interest in art; his father, whom he never met, who was a talented commercial artist; studying art at San Alejandro Academy of Art, Havana and fellow students Jose Bedia and Ricardo Rodriguez Brey; graduate studies at Havana's Instituto Superior del Arte; participating in the "Volumen I" exhibition in 1981; travels to Mexico, where he began sculpture and installations; returning to Cuba and curating exhibitions of younger artists; moving to Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and since 1993, Miami; artistic influences, including literature, anthropology, sociololgy, film, and other disciplines on him; his mixed media figurative objects of the 1990s which tell a narrative, are socially oriented, and at best, provide a shared experience for the viewer.
Biographical / Historical:
Ruben Torres-Llorca (1957-) is a Cuban born painter and sculptor in Miami, Florida.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 6 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. Funding for this interview provided by Smithsonian Institution's Latino Pool Fund.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Artists -- Cuba  Search this
Topic:
Artists -- Florida -- Miami -- Interviews  Search this
Latino and Latin American artists  Search this
Expatriate artists -- Florida -- Miami -- Interviews  Search this
Art, Cuban  Search this
Cuban American art  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Florida -- Miami  Search this
Cuban American artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.torres98
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-torres98

Oral history interview with Margarita Cano, 1998 April 22

Interviewee:
Cano, Margarita, 1932-  Search this
Cano, Margarita, 1932-  Search this
Interviewer:
Martínez, Juan A  Search this
Subject:
Cano, Pablo  Search this
Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture (Miami, Fla.)  Search this
Miami-Dade Public Library  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Artists -- Florida -- Miami -- Interviews  Search this
Curators -- Florida -- Miami -- Interviews  Search this
Expatriate artists -- Florida -- Miami  Search this
Cuban American artists  Search this
Cuban American art  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Florida -- Miami  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Latino and Latin American artists  Search this
Theme:
Latino and Latin American  Search this
Women  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)5446
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216461
AAA_collcode_cano98
Theme:
Latino and Latin American
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_216461
Online Media:

Donald H. Sultner-Welles Collection

Collector:
Sultner-Welles, Donald H. (Sultner, Donald Harvey), 1914-1981  Search this
Printer:
Janus, Allan  Search this
Interviewee:
Hanfstaengl, Erna  Search this
Names:
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra  Search this
Chautauqua Institute  Search this
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation  Search this
Holland-America Cruises  Search this
Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945  Search this
Extent:
87.6 Cubic feet (331 boxes, 2 map-folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Passports
Photographs
Travelogs
Receipts
Ephemera
Files
Filmstrips
Lecture notes
Personal papers
Silver-dye bleach process
Contracts
Notebooks
Prints
Press releases
Ships' passenger lists
Project files
Magnetic tapes
Posters
Postcards
Vertical files
Dye destruction process
Travel diaries
Letters (correspondence)
Professional papers
Bank statements
Correspondence
Audiotapes
Series 12.
Clippings
Card files
Concert programs
Dye destruction photoprints
Biography files
Awards
Business records
Birthday cards
Date:
circa 1790-1981
bulk 1945-1980
Scope and Contents:
This collection is primarily the work of one individual, Donald Harvey Sultner, known professionally as Donald Sultner-Welles (1914-1981). The collection forms a written and visual record of Sultner's family, life, and career from 1913-1980. Its major strength is Sultner's photographic documentation of the world during his travels, ca. 1950-1980. Work by other photographers and artists, correspondence, greeting cards, and contemporary memorabilia and ephemera are included, along with fewer than fifty examples of earlier materials, ca. 1790-1900, collected by Sultner.

The entire collection reflects Sultner's lifework and interests. Housed in boxes the collection is organized into eleven series: Personal Papers; Professional Papers; Lecture Materials; Biographical Materials; Transparencies; Photoprints; Photonegatives; Prints, Drawings, Mixed Media; Audio Tapes; Miscellaneous; and Steve Eyster Addenda. The arrangement within each series is based as closely as possi-ble on Sultner's own organization of the materials. However, in several instances similar materials were found separated and have been placed together. In addition, obvious filing mistakes and spelling errors have been corrected. The spelling of geographic place names is based on Official Standard Names prepared by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, Office of Geography, U.S. Department of the Interior. Not all names given by Sultner were found in the gazetteers, so there may be errors.

The bulk of the collection consists of 2-1/4-inch by 2-1/4-inch color transparencies (Series 5). However, the manuscript materials (Series 1-4) provide a detailed complement to the transparencies. For example, from the mid-1950s until the late 1970s, Sultner kept a travel diary (Se-ries 1). Written on the backs of postcards, this stream-of-consciousness journal reflects not only his daily trips, but his impressions of the countries and thoughts on his photography. A juxtaposition of cards with images is especially useful in understanding what Sultner photographed as well as why and how he photographed it. Sultner's professional corre-spondence (Series 2) documents the various types of groups before which he performed and equipment manufacturers dealt with for cameras, projectors, and so on. Notes, drafts, and final lectures (Series 3) present the performance side of Sultner. This material, when viewed with tapes of concerts and slides, begins to recreate the photo-concert as Sultner presented it. Scrapbooks (Series 4), kept by Sultner from the 1940s to the 1980s, present Sultner's life and career in chronological fashion.

The transparency portion of the collection (Series 5), containing over 87,000 images, is especially rich because of its documentation of the countries of the world. People are seen at their daily tasks, such as washing clothes, marketing, shopping, and eating. Cities are documented as they changed over the years. Two areas in particular will be of spe-cial interest to European and Asian researchers. The first is Sultner's USIS Asian tour in 1959. He visited Japan, Java, India, Korea, the Phil-ippines, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. The serene, prewar cities and coun-tryside of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam evince nothing of the devastation to come in the 1960a and 70s.

The second area of interest is Sultner's passion for documenting archi-tecture. As a guest of the German government in 1954, Sultner documented the devastation of World War II and photographed both the reconstruction of bombed buildings and the construction of buildings reflecting "new" postwar architectural styles. In addition to photographing post-WW II styles, throughout his career Sultner documented Palladian, baroque and Rococo architecture. This interest manifested itself in several of his lectures.

A third subject area of interest to Sultner was gardens. Among his first lectures following his USIS tour was "Gardens of the World." Sultner de-veloped this theme into an ongoing commitment to ecology, culminating in a filmstrip, "The Time is Now" (Series 10), prepared for the Hudson River Conservation Society in the 1960s. Carl Carmer, a noted author, wrote the text for the filmstrip. Sultner's taped interviews, lectures, and program music (Series 9) complement the transparencies. During his USIS-sponsored Asian tour in 1959, Sultner recorded impressions of his trip on tape. Interviews with people living in the countries he visited, radio interviews, and his own personal reflections are included. Of particular interest are his "No Harm Asking" interviews in Manila (tape #2), his interview of two French hotel managers in Saigon discussing post-French control conditions (tape #9), and--perhaps the most unusual--his discussion with Erna Hanfstaengl about her personal relationship with Adolf Hitler (tape #107). Scripts for lectures (Series 3) round out the documentation of Sultner's profes-sional work.

Because of the arrangement of the transparencies, it is necessary to check several areas for the same subject. For example, Vietnam images are in the "World" section alphabetically under Vietnam (box 81). Sult-ner also lectured on Vietnam, so there are Vietnamese images in the "framed subjects" (Boxes 137-138). Another example, perhaps more compli-cated, but more common to Sultner, was his distinguishing between images of unidentified "People" and identified "Portraits." Transparency stud ies of human beings will be found under the subseries "People." "Subjects --Portraits," various countries in the subseries "World," and "Lectures." There are also individuals in the black-and-white photoprints (Series 6), and photonegatives (Series 8). The painter and print-maker Charles Shee-ler appears in a number of locations, as does tenor Roland Hayes. Another area of complexity with regard to people concerns the transparencies and negatives. Sultner interfiled his transparencies and negatives of iden-tified individuals. For appropriate storage, these two different formats have been arranged in separate series. Therefore, instead of container lists for the two series, there is a combined alphabetical index to both (pp. 166-206).

Of tangential interest are the photoprints (Series 6), etchings, wood-cuts, and other prints (Series 8) collected by Sultner. One particular subseries of interest contains photographs presented to Sultner by Asian photographers during his 1959 tour. Over 45 images were given to Sultner and represent the standards of camera-club photography in the 1950s. Thesecond subseries consists of over 25 prints by the Italian-American art-ist Luigi Lucioni (1900- ). For further information on this artist,see The Etchings of Luigi Lucioni, -A Catalogue Raisonne', by Stuart P.Embury (Washington, 1984). Lucioni also painted Sultner's portrait in1952 and the "People" section of the transparencies contains a number of images of Lucioni at work. Another significant category is the Japanese prints, including two by a major nineteenth-century artist, Ando Hiro-shige (1797-1858).
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into eleven series.

Series 1: Personal Papers, 1923-1981

Series 2: Professional Papers, 1954-1980

Series 3: Lecture Materials, 1952-1980

Series 4: Biographical Materials, 1954-1980

Series 5: Transparencies, 1947-1980

Series 6: Photoprints, 1913-ca. 1980

Series 7: Photonegatives, 1929-1981

Series 8: Prints, Drawings, Mixed Media, ca. 1790-1979

Series 9: Audio Tapes, 1947-1980

Series 10: Miscellaneous, 1947-1980

Series 11: Steve Eyster Addenda, 1937-1980
Biographical / Historical:
Donald Harvey Sultner was bom in York, Pennsylvania, on April 13, 1914, the son of Lillian May Arnold Sultner and Harvey A. Sultner. In 1923 Sultner attended the Lewis Institute in Detroit, Michigan, to overcome a speech impediment. He entered the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1932 and graduated in 1936. Sultner studied merchandising and sang in the glee club, then under the direction of composer Harl MacDonald. Sultner, a baritone, continued his interest in music and studied voice with Reinald Werrenrath and with Florence Benedict and Bruce Benjamin in New York City. In the late 1940s and early 1950s he appeared in concert with accompanists at schools, clubs, and resort hotels along the East Coast. It appears that photography was always an important part of Sultner's life. Using a small format (120) camera, he recorded his vacation travels around the United States and Canada, parties, and his family. While living in New York, Sultner continued photographing friends and family and began photographing the famous people he encountered on his concert tours. In the early 1950s he began taking 2-1/4-inch by 2-1/4-inch color transparencies (slides) of landscapes and architecture as he traveled giving concerts.

Sultner, who had taken the stage name of "Sultner-Welles," began what was to be his lifework as a professional "photo-lecturer" in 1952. He illustrated his talks on nature, art, architecture, and the environment with his color slides. In 1954 Sultner toured West Germany as a guest of the Bonn government, and in 1959 he lectured in Asia under the auspices of the U.S. State Department. He was dubbed the "camera ambassador." Constantly adding new material to his collection of slides, Sultner traveled extensively throughout the United States, speaking before garden clubs, cultural organi-zations, and schools. He also appeared aboard various ships of the Holland-America line during a number of cruises abroad.

Sultner had established his performance style by the early 1960s. He expanded his lectures to include a combination of art, words, and music. The expanded presentation resulted in the "photo-concert," a unique synthesis of light and sound that Sultner frequently per-formed with a symphony orchestra. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra commissioned "Concertino for Camera and Orchestra" by Eric Knight with Sultner in mind. The world premiere was in Baltimore in March 1979. While he spoke on many art, garden, and architectural topics, Sultner specialized in subjects relating to the baroque and rococo periods and Palladian architecture.

Sultner died of cancer in York, Pennsylvania, on March 25, 1981, at the age of 67.

1914 -- April 13, born York, Pennsylvania.

1929 -- In Detroit at Lewis Institute to overcome a speech impediment.

1932 -- To University of Pennsylvania.

1935 -- Summer trip to Roanoke (VA), Picketts, Hershey (PA); fall trip to New England for fraternity (AXP) convention.

1936 -- Spring glee club trip; graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; summer trips to Newport News (VA), northern trip to Canada, Picketts (PA).

1937 -- Fall trip to Williamsburg (VA), Duke University (NC); Sultner family begins building "Glen Hill" (Dover, PA).

1938 -- Summer at home, and Picketts (PA), Camp Pratt.

1939 -- Spring trip to Washington, D.C.; September trip to The Homestead (WV), Hot Springs (WV), Virginia; Lake Mohonk (NY).

1940 -- Summer trip to New Orleans, Blowing Rock (NC); winter trip to Skytop Club (NY); fall trip to Atlantic City (NJ), Philadelphia (PA), Annapolis (MD).

1941 -- Winter 1941-42 appearance in "Hit the Deck." Lake Mohonk (NY) with Ted Walstrum (Sept. 22-23); Skytop Club (NY) (February); summer trip to Canada, Lake Chazy (NY) (Aug. 17-23).

1942 -- Spring in Atlantic City (NJ); summer to Buck Hill Falls, Lakes Chazy and Mohonk.

1943 -- Summer trip to Mohonk (NY).

1944 -- Summer: To Toronto (Ontario), Muskoka Lake, Bigwin Island, Montreal (Quebec), Mohonk (NY).

1945 -- Summer: To Winnepesauke (ME), Woodstock (NY), Ogunquit (ME), Bridgeport (CT).

1946 -- To Mohonk (NY), Ogunquit (ME), Old Saybrook (CT), Nantucket (RI).

1947 -- Singing tour of Canada and New England; winter-spring tour to Georgia and Florida.

1948 -- To Florida and Nassau, Feb.-Mar., Vermont, July-Aug.; Nassau-Havana-Miami-Bermuda, October.

1949 -- Singing tour of North and South Carolina.

1950 -- Summer trip to South.

1951 -- To District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, [New Jersey?], New York, Vermont.

1952 -- January 9: first public photo-concert, Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts, Philadelphia; trips to Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont.

1953 -- To Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont.

1954 -- Guest of German government for a study tour in the fall. To District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia.

1955 -- To Holland; Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia.

1956 -- To California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia.

1957 -- Holland-America Cruise to Germany, Austria, Italy. To Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia.

1958 -- Holland-America Cruises to Germany, Austria, Holland, Italy, Switzerland. To Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota., Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Wisconsin.

1959 -- United States Information Service (USIS)-sponsored tour of Asia: Burma, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaya, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam. Also visited Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Greece, Iran, Italy, Spain; Alaska, California, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania.

1960 -- Holland-America Cruise to Austria, Belgium, Caribbean, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Morocco. To Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin.

1961 -- To Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland; Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode.Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin.

1962 -- Portfolio, "Autumn in Vermont," with introduction by Carl Carmer, published in Autumn issue of Vermont Life. Holland-America Cruise to Denmark, England, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Sweden. To Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia.

1963 -- Holland-America Cruise to Caribbean, Canada, Sweden, Thailand. To Alabama, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, N;w York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington.

1964 -- Holland-America Cruise to Germany, Canada, England, Holland, Wales. To Delaware, District of Columbia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia.

1965 -- Holland-America Cruise to Austria, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Holland, Portugal, Wales. To Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Indiana, Kentucky, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia.

1966 -- Holland-America Cruise to Caribbean, Germany, France, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland. To New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia.

1967 -- Holland-America Cruise to Caribbean, Austria, Denmark, England, Germany, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, Wales. To Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia.

1968 -- To Germany; Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia.

1969 -- To England, France, Germany, Holland, Switzerland; Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia.

1970 -- Holland-America Cruise to Caribbean, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden. To Alabama, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia.

1971 -- Holland-America Cruise to Caribbean, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Portugal, Sweden. To Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania.

1972 -- Holland-America Cruise to Asia, Pacific, Caribbean, Africa, Austria, Italy, Japan, Thailand, Turkey. To California, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia.

1973 -- Holland-America Cruise to Austria, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Iceland, Sweden. To California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont.

1974 -- To Germany, Switzerland; California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia.

1975 -- To Austria; California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia.

1976 -- To Canada; Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah.

1977 -- To Canada, Germany; New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia.

1978 -- To Scotland; Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina.

1979 -- To England; Florida.

1980 -- To Florida.

1981 -- March 25: Sultner dies of cancer, York, Pennsylania.
Introduction:
The Donald H. Sultner-Welles Collection, ca. 1790-1981, came to the National Museum of American History in 1982 from the estate of Mr. Sultner. The collection was created by Sultner over his adult life and represents one of the most extensive collections of color transparencies created by one individual and held in a public repository. Sultner's emphasis was on world culture. He took the majority of his photographs in the eastern United States, western Europe, and Asia. Gardens, architecture, and people are the three major subject areas represented in the collection. Of additional interest are Sultner's taped impressions of his 1959 United States Information Service (USIS)-sponsored Asian tour. The collection occupies 309 boxes and covers more than 83 cubic feet.

The Donald H. Sultner-Welles Collection is open to researchers in the Archives Center, third floor east, of the National Museum of American History, between 12th and 14th Streets, on Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20560. The Archives Center is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Written and telephone (202/357-3270) inquiries are welcome and researchers are encouraged to contact the Archives Center before their arrival. The FAX number is 202/786-2453.

This is the eleventh in a series of occasional guides to collections in the Archives Center. Finding aids to other collections are available. The Guide to Manuscript Collections in the National Museum of History and Technology (1978) and an updated compilation contain brief descriptions of all archival holdings in the Museum. All current Archives Center holdings are available for search on the Smithsonian Institution Bibliographic Information System (SIBIS), an online database.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but a portion of the collection is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.

A small number of letters and photographs are restricted until the year 2031. Identification list in box.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Portraits -- 20th century  Search this
Lecturers  Search this
Photographers  Search this
Gardens -- Photographs -- 1300-1980  Search this
Architecture -- Photographs -- 1300-1980  Search this
Travel photography -- 1950-2000  Search this
Genre/Form:
Passports
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Acetate film
Travelogs
Receipts -- 20th century
Ephemera
Files
Filmstrips
Lecture notes
Personal papers -- 20th century
Silver-dye bleach process
Contracts
Notebooks
Prints
Press releases
Ships' passenger lists
Project files
Magnetic tapes
Posters
Postcards
Vertical files
Dye destruction process
Travel diaries
Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Professional papers
Bank statements
Correspondence -- 1930-1950
Photographs -- Phototransparencies -- 20th century
Audiotapes -- 1940-1980
Series 12. -- Cibachrome (TM)
Photographs -- 20th century
Clippings
Card files
Concert programs
Dye destruction photoprints
Biography files
Awards
Business records
Birthday cards
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0145
See more items in:
Donald H. Sultner-Welles Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0145
Online Media:

Demi and Arturo Rodríguez papers

Creator:
Rodríguez, Arturo, 1956-  Search this
Demi, 1955-  Search this
Names:
Goldman, Shifra M., 1926-2011  Search this
Hassold, Cris  Search this
Kohen, Helen L.  Search this
Verdecia, Carlos, 1955-  Search this
Wojnarowicz, David  Search this
Extent:
6.42 Linear feet
12.79 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Drawings
Interviews
Sketchbooks
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Date:
circa 1957-2016
Summary:
The papers of Cuban born Miami painters Demi and Arturo Rodríguez measure 6.42 linear feet and 12.79 GB and date from 1957 to 2016. The collection documents Arturo Rodríguez's career, travels, and childhood as well as the artwork of Demi, Rodriquez's wife and partner, and their relationship. Included are biographical materials, correspondence, interviews, writings, project and exhibition files, personal business records, printed and digital material, artwork, and photographic materials.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Cuban born Miami painters Demi and Arturo Rodríguez measure 6.42 linear feet and 12.79 GB and date from 1957 to 2016. The collection documents Arturo Rodríguez's career, travels, and childhood as well as the artwork of Demi, Rodriquez's wife and partner, and their relationship. Included are biographical materials, correspondence, interviews, writings, project and exhibition files, personal business records, printed and digital material, artwork, and photographic materials.

Personal and professional correspondence is with artists, curators, galleries, museums, art historians, and collectors, including Shifra M. Goldman, Cris Hassold, Helen L. Kohen, collectors Judith and Bill Ladner, Minuca Villaverde, and others. Interviews include video and sound recordings of Demi and Arturo discussing lives and artwork, as well as one interview with Carlos Verdecia Jr. about Arturo. Writings include statements on artwork and autobiographical essays, lectures and talks, and notes. Project files concern the exhibitions The Rage of Children (1991), Walls & Murals: Mike Glier, Arturo Rodríguez & David Wojnarowitz, and Far from Cuba. Other documentation includes a project overview for the Joan Mitchell Foundation, artwork for music album covers, and plans for a retrospective of Demi and Arturo's work that was cancelled due to lack of support.

Personal business records consist of files for donations, financial investments, gallery consignments, receipts, sales lists, and collector information. Printed material includes clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, journal and magazines, posters, programs, and several children's books illustrated by Arturo using the pseudonym Hieronimus Fromm. Artwork includes drawings and comics by Arturo, collages, drawings and sketches, and 30 sketchbooks belonging to Demi and Arturo. Photographic materials depict Demi and Arturo together and with others, Demi and Arturo's home and studio, exhibitions, still lives, travel, and works of art.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as nine series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1957-2013 (Box 1; 4 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1978-2015 (Box 1; 0.8 linear feet, ER01; 0.023 GB)

Series 3: Interviews, 1991-2010 (Boxes 1-2; 0.5 linear feet, ER02-ER07; 6.01 GB)

Series 4: Writings, circa 1975-2015 (Box 2; 0.3 linear feet, ER08; 0.012 GB)

Series 5: Project and Exhibition Files, 1986-2015 (Box 2; 0.8 linear feet, ER09-ER11; 0.607 GB)

Series 6: Personal Business Records, 1988-2012 (Boxes 2-3; 0.4 linear feet; ER12; 0.007 GB)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1979-2016 (Boxes 3-4, 7, OV 8; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 8: Artwork, 1963-2016 (Boxes 4-5, 7, OV 8; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 9: Photographic Material, 1977-2012 (Boxes 5-7; 1.5 linear feet, ER13-ER29; 6.13 GB)
Biographical / Historical:
Demi (1955- ) and Arturo Rodríguez (1956- ) are painters in Miami, Florida.

Demi was born in Camagüey, Cuba. In 1961, her father was executed by the Cuban government. Demi's mother struggled to take care of Demi and her sisters alone and Demi was sent to live with relatives in Puerto Rico in 1962. She came to the U.S. in 1971 where she was able to join her sisters and mother. Eventually Demi settled in Miami in 1978. She attended Miami-Dade College where she studied drama with the Prometeo Theater Group. In 1980, she met Arturo at one of his exhibitions. They married in 1984. Demi worked as a bookkeeper before she knew she could draw and paint. Her first attempts at creating art were in 1984 using a wedding photograph of herself and Arturo as her subject. Her first exhibition was in 1987 at the Cuban Museum in Miami. As she developed as an artist, children became the prime subjects in Demi's paintings. She was the recipient of the Florida State Visual Artist Grant for 1992 to 1993.

Arturo Rodríguez was born in Ranchuelo, Cuba, and showed an interest in art as a small child. Arturo and his family were exiled to Spain in 1971. While in Spain, his visits to see the paintings of Goya and Velázquez at the Prado Museum helped solidify his interest in art. Rodríguez settled in Miami with his family in 1973 where he eventually attended Miami Dade College. Arturo's works are often influenced by his relationship with Demi. In 1995, he created a series of collages using images of Demi as a way to deal with her cancer diagnosis. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious Cintas Foundation Fellowship, Florida Arts Council Fellowships, and a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant.
Related Materials:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Demi conducted on November 20, 1997 and an oral history interview with Arturo Rodríguez conducted on November 14, 1997 at Demi and Arturo's home/studio in Miami, F.L. by Juan A. Martínez for the Archives of American Art.
Provenance:
The papers were donated by Demi and Arturo Rodríguez in increments from 1997 to 2016.
Restrictions:
One folder of samples of payments for sales is ACCESS RESTRICTED; use requires written permission. Contact Reference Services for more information.

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings and born-digital records with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Rights:
Photograph of Demi by Ramon Guerrero: Authorization to publish, quote or reproduce requires written permission from Demi. Contact Reference Services for more information.
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 -- Florida -- Miami  Search this
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Cuban American artists  Search this
Latino and Latin American artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Interviews
Sketchbooks
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Citation:
Demi and Arturo Rodríguez papers, circa 1957-2016. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.rodrartu
See more items in:
Demi and Arturo Rodríguez papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-rodrartu

Oral history interview with Margarita Cano

Interviewee:
Cano, Margarita, 1932-  Search this
Interviewer:
Martínez, Juan A.  Search this
Names:
Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture (Miami, Fla.)  Search this
Miami-Dade Public Library  Search this
Cano, Pablo  Search this
Extent:
45 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1998 April 22
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Margarita Cano conducted 1998 April 22, by Juan A. Martínez, in Cano's home, Miami, Florida, for the Archives of American Art.
Cano recounts her interest in art, which developed after graduating as a science major at the University of Havana; arriving in Miami around 1962, where she found work at the main Public Library of Dade County, instituting an arts program focusing on the work of African American and Cuban American artists, which included building a permanent collection of local artists' work and arranging exhibitions; her work on the board of the Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture, including organizing the pivotal exhibition "The Miami Generation: Nine Cuban American Artists" in 1983; her own art, mostly painting on wood using a miniature style and reflecting mostly Cuban scenes; her son Pablo Cano, a successful artist; and her views on her Cuban background and her North American cultural identity.
Biographical / Historical:
Margarita Cano (1932-) is a painter, librarian, and curator in Miami, Florida. Born in Havana, Cuba.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound cassette. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 55 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. Funding for this interview provided by the Smithsonian Institution's Latino Pool Fund.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Artists -- Cuba  Search this
Topic:
Artists -- Florida -- Miami -- Interviews  Search this
Curators -- Florida -- Miami -- Interviews  Search this
Expatriate artists -- Florida -- Miami  Search this
Cuban American artists  Search this
Cuban American art  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Florida -- Miami  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Latino and Latin American artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.cano98
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cano98

Giulio V. Blanc papers

Creator:
Blanc, Giulio V.  Search this
Names:
Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture (Miami, Fla.)  Search this
Brito, Maria, 1947-  Search this
Cano, Margarita, 1932-  Search this
Cano, Pablo  Search this
Carreño, Mario  Search this
Carulla, Ramón, 1938-  Search this
Demi, 1955-  Search this
Garcia, Hernan, 1935-  Search this
Gattorno, Antonio  Search this
Gaztelu, A. (Angel)  Search this
Goldman, Shifra M., 1926-2011  Search this
Gómez-Peña, Guillermo  Search this
Lam, Wifredo  Search this
Larraz, Julio  Search this
Libin, Victoria  Search this
Macia, Carlos A., 1951-1994  Search this
Martínez-Cañas, María  Search this
Riverón, Enrique  Search this
Rodríguez, Arturo, 1956-  Search this
Sánchez, Juan, 1954-  Search this
Sí, Juan  Search this
Trasobares, César  Search this
Vater, Regina  Search this
Vázquez Lucio, Oscar E. (Oscar Edgardo), 1932-  Search this
Interviewee:
Cabrera, Lydia  Search this
Gómez Sicre, José  Search this
Extent:
11 Linear feet
0.001 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Sound recordings
Date:
1920-1995
Summary:
The dates for the Giulio V. Blanc papers range from 1920-1995. Measuring a total of eleven linear feet and 0.001 GB, the collection provides documentation of the art exhibitions Blanc curated during his career, including original writings and exhibition catalogs. The extensive artists files in the collection provide information on numerous Latin American and Caribbean artists. The collection also provides historical information on the life and culture of Cuba.
Scope and Content Note:
The Giulio V. Blanc papers measure approximately 11 linear feet and 0.001 GB and date from 1920 to 1995. Compiled by Blanc since the beginning of his curatorial, writing, and research career in the 1980s, the papers consist primarily of artist files on Cuban, Cuban-American, and Latin American artists (1920-1995 and undated). Also found is biographical information (1994-1995), interviews by Blanc (1984-1987, 1994) and miscellaneous letters from artists and friends (1983-1995 and undated).

The first series, Biographical Files, 1994-1995 includes information about Blanc's career. Series 2: Miscellaneous Letters, 1983-1995, undated, consists of letters from artists and friends on various topics. Series 3: Artist Files, 1920-1995, undated, represents the bulk of the collection (approximately 300 artists in all, 6 linear feet), and contain materials either collected by Blanc or received by Blanc from the artists themselves. These consist of biographical material about the artist, usually two or three paragraphs written by Blanc, scattered resumes and copies of fellowship applications. Also found are newspaper clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and letters or correspondence between Blanc and the artists. Of special interest in this series are numerous taped interviews with celebrated Cuban artists and art historians such as José Gómez Sícre, founder and first director of the Art Museum of the Americas, Organization of American States. Gómez-Sícre describes his early career and involvement with acquisitions for the museum's permanent collection as well as his working relationship with Alfred H. Barr, first director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Gómez-Sícre's notable book, Pintura Cubana de Hoy, published in Havana in 1944 is included in the files.

Elena Peláez de Medero, another interviewee, discusses her sister, Cuban painter Amelia Peláez (1896-1968). Blanc interviewed Elena Peláez in Miami for his 1988 exhibition Amelia Peláez: A Retrospective. The Peláez file includes Blanc's correspondence with her as well as copies of rare 1930s and 1940s exhibition catalogs from Amelia Peláez's early career. Among the catalogs is a copy of Modern Cuban Painters from the 1944 exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Also found are rare French, German and Spanish newspaper clippings on Peláez dating back to the 1920s. Of interest is a copy of Amado Blanco's 1937 poetry book, Poema desesperado. Published in Havana, the book is dedicated to the memory of Federico García Lorca and includes illustrations by Peláez.

Another prominent artist whom Blanc interviewed was Enrique Riverón (b. 1901) leader of the Cuban vanguardia. He was a member of El Grupo de Montparnasse, a talented group of painters and writers living in the southern district of Paris in the late 1920s, an area noted for its boisterous after-hour activities. The interview was published in the Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts in 1997. Also found in the papers are illustrated letters and greeting cards addressed to Blanc and his parents, Baron Lodovico Blanc and María V. Blanc.

Series 4: Exhibition Files, 1977-1995, undated, consists primarily of material Blanc compiled for exhibitions he curated. Found here are letters from museum directors, artists and colleagues, drafts and finished essays for exhibition catalogs, and printed material such as newspaper clippings of art reviews. This series also includes files on exhibitions Blanc did not curate.

Series 5: Subject Files, 1933-1995, undated, are files relating to Cuban art, culture, and society, the Cuban revolution, book projects, Biennials in Havana and São Paulo, the 1988 controversy surrounding the Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture (Miami, FL) and other topics. Found are letters, drafts of writings, notes, printed material such as newspaper clippings and magazine articles, press releases, and exhibition announcements.

Particularly extensive is the documentation about the 1980s conflict at the Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture. In April 1988, a fund-raising auction at the 24-year-old 'little Havana' institution resulted in heated disputes that escalated to violence. The works auctioned were by Cuban artists still living on the island. Many in Miami's Cuban community considered these artists to be supporters of the Communist regime and were outraged. One of the disputed works purchased the night of the auction, a drawing by Manuel Mendive, was taken across the street by its successful bidder and burned. In addition, the museum building was damaged by a pipe bomb shortly after the sale. In the National Public Radio news story (available in Blanc's papers on audio cassette) Helen Kohen, critic for the Miami Herald commented, "We're not talking about paintings. We're talking about `my brother's in jail'. That's what we're talking about." The situation intensified quickly; transcending local politics and involving the Treasury and Justice Departments, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Sotheby's and Christie's auction houses. Ramón Cernuda, the museum vice-president who organized the auction also had his personal collection of Cuban art impounded by the FBI. A second bombing took place in 1989 to protest an exhibition of Cuban artists who came to the U. S. during the early 1980s Mariel boatlift.

The seriousness of the conflicts in the Miami museum prompted the Museum of Modern Art in New York to withdraw an offer to lend three paintings to the Cuban museum for the 1988 exhibition Amelia Peláez: A Retrospective scheduled to open later that year. Curated by Giulio Blanc, it was the first U.S. retrospective of this important Cuban artist and the exhibition helped situate her work. The Cuban Museum of Art in Daytona Beach, an institution that helped start the Miami museum, also withdrew an offer to lend "Amelias". The result was an exhibition devoid of works owned by the Museum of Modern Art, important paintings created after 1963, the year President Kennedy imposed economic sanctions on Cuba.

To publicize the Peláez exhibition and boost attendance, the museum placed a public invitation in the Spanish section of the Miami Herald. The half page ad, also found in the Blanc papers, lists more than 100 intellectuals and professionals who supported the exhibition. Blanc stated in a letter to the Miami Herald, "It is horrifying to think there are those in Miami who would burn a painting for the sake of politics. This was the same reasoning utilized by Joseph Goebbels when he made bonfires of books and paintings by anti-Nazi and `degenerate' artists and writers in 1930s Germany... One can only pity the ignorance of those who play into the hands of the Castro regime by resorting to uncivilized tactics that can only hurt the image of the Cuban-exile community and of Miami in general."

The files concerning the Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture contain exhibition announcements, copies of court orders, press releases and correspondence between Blanc and the Museum of Modern Art in New York regarding the museum and the Peláez exhibition. Also included are a great number of newspaper articles printed in two of Miami's major newspapers, the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald which covered the story until it was resolved in the early 1990s. Offering additional information on the controversy are a number of letters addressed to either Blanc or his parents from artists and friends expressing either discontent with the museum's state of affairs or gratitude for the Blanc's financial support during the museum's reconstruction. These provide remarkable insight into a relatively heterogeneous Cuban community.

Series 6: Sound Recordings, 1992, 1994 consists of two untranscribed audio cassette tapes. One is of the 1992 College Art Association's session: Artistic Voices of Latin America: The Aesthetics of Anti-Colonialism held in Chicago, Illinois in which Giulio V. Blanc was a panelist. The other is a rare 1994 interview conducted by Blanc with poet-priest Monseñor Angel Gaztelu, a friend of many Cuban writers and artists, and who presided over Peláez's funeral service in 1968.

The last series, Series 7: Photographs, 1981-1993, undated, includes black and whiteportraits of artists, group shots of Blanc with "Miami Generation" artists María Brito, Pablo Cano, María Martínez-Cañas, Carlos Macía, Arturo Rodríguez, and César Trasobares, and photos of other artists.
Arrangement:
The Giulio V. Blanc papers are arranged into seven series primarily according to type of material. Within each series, materials are arranged chronologically, except for Artist Files and Subject Files which are arranged alphabetically by either name or subject.

Series 1: Biographical Files, 1994-1995, undated (box 1; 3 folders)

Series 2: Miscellaneous Letters, 1983-1995, undated (box 1; 3 folders)

Series 3: Artist Files, 1920-1995, undated (boxes 1-8, ER01; 6 linear ft., 0.001 GB)

Series 4: Exhibition Files, 1977-1995, undated (box 8; 1 linear foot)

Series 5: Subject Files, 1933-1995, undated (boxes 8-12; 2.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Untranscribed Sound Recordings, 1992-1994 (box 12; 2 folders)

Series 7: Photographs, 1981, 1993, undated (box 12; 2 folders)
Biographical Note:
Cuban born independent curator, critic, art historian and consultant Giulio V. Blanc (1955-1995) specialized in Cuban and Latin American art history and in his lifetime collected a wealth of material on the subject. Through his numerous exhibitions and keen articles appearing in national and international art journals, Blanc became a leading authority on Latin American art and successfully established himself as a link between Cuban and Cuban-American artists and US galleries and museums. The Miami Generation (1983) and Amelia Peláez: A Retrospective (1988) are two significant exhibitions Blanc curated for Miami's Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture in addition to the celebrated Wifredo Lam and His Contemporaries, 1938-1952 (1992) for New York's Studio Museum in Harlem. Giulio V. Blanc was among the key figures that catapulted Latin American art onto the mainstream in the early 1980s.

Giulio V. Blanc was born in Havana in 1955 to Baron Lodovico Blanc and María V. Blanc. The Blanc name hails from Italy and the title of Baron was awarded to Alberto Blanc, Lodovico Blanc's grandfather, while he was Secretary of State in 1873 under Victor Emmanuel II of Italy. As young advocates of Cuban culture, the Blanc's collected a number of paintings by Cuban artists but were forced to leave behind the works of Cuban masters such as Carlos Enríquez, Victor Manuel, René Portocarrero, Fidelio Ponce and others to facilitate an uncomplicated exodus from the country during the revolution. Lodovico and María were in their thirties and Giulio was five years old when the family settled in Miami.

Giulio Blanc completed his undergraduate education at Harvard and proceeded to Brown University and the Institute of Fine Arts in New York for graduate work (1979-1980). During his career, he served as an independent curator and consultant to The Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture (Miami), The Metropolitan Museum (Miami), and The Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art (New York) among others. He also lectured on Latin American art history at the Art Museum of the Americas, OAS (Organization of American States), Washington, DC, The University of Miami, and El Museo Nacional de Arte in La Paz, Bolivia. In addition, he worked as a consultant in the Latin American Paintings Department at Sotheby's auction house in New York and served on the editorial board of the magazine Art Nexus. Blanc was pursuing a doctoral degree in art history at the City University of New York before his premature death in 1995 at the age of thirty-nine.

1955 -- Born November 1 in Havana, Cuba to Baron Lodovico and Baroness María V. Blanc, young collectors of Cuban art. The title of Baron was awarded to Alberto Blanc, Lodovico Blanc's grandfather, in 1873 while Alberto was Secretary of State under Victor Emmanuel II of Italy.

1960 -- The Blanc family migrates to the United States because of the escalating revolution. Lodovico and Maria V. Blanc are in their thirties when they flee the island. The works of Cuban painters such as Carlos Enríquez, Victor Manuel, René Portocarrero, Fidelio Ponce and others were left behind to facilitate an uncomplicated exodus.

1976 -- Giulio V. Blanc serves as research assistant for one year at the Tozzer Library, Peabody Museum, Harvard University.

1977 -- Graduates cum laude from Harvard College with a B.A. in Archeology.

1979 -- Graduates from Brown University with a M.A. in Archeology. Was a research assistant until 1980 at the Gallery of the Center for Inter-American Relations, New York city.

1980 -- Receives a certificate in Museum Studies from the Graduate School of Arts and Science, New York University. Curates Emilio Sánchez: Lithographs which opens at the Pagoda, Ransom-Everglades School, Coconut Grove, Florida. Co-curates Cuba in the Nineteenth Century for Miami's Miami-Dade Public Library.

1981 -- Joins the Latin American Paintings Department, Sotheby's Auction House, New York and serves for two years.

1982 -- Co-curates Young Hispanics, USA which opens at the Lehigh University Museum, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and curates Ten Out of Cuba for INTAR Latin American Gallery in New York.

1983 -- Curates Cuban Fantasies at the Kouros Gallery in New York and Pablo Cano en Paris for the 4 Place de Saussaies in Paris, France. Also curates The Miami Generation: Nine Cuban-American Artists for the Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture in Miami and the Meridian House in Washington, DC.

1984 -- Serves as independent curator and consultant to Miami's Metropolitan Museum and Art Center and The Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture; The Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art in New York and other institutions. Lectures at the Art Museum of the Americas (Organization of American States) in Washington, DC; The University of Miami; The Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture (Miami); The Center for the Fine Arts (Miami); Rockland Center for the Arts (West Nyack, NY); and the National Museum of Art, La Paz, Bolivia. Curates Young Collector's of Latin American Art which opened at Miami's Metropolitan Museum and Art Center.

1985 -- Curates Dancing Faces: An Exhibition of Mexican Masks for the Metropolitan Museum and Art Center in Miami and Nuevas Vistas: Latin American Paintings which opens at the Wistariahurst, Holyoke, Massachusetts. Curates Architecture in Cuban Painting, for the Miami Dade Public Library.

1986 -- Receives and M.A. in Art History at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts. Curates Carlos Enríquez for the Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture, Miami, Florida and Into the Mainstream: Ten Latin American Artists Working in New York for the Jersey City Museum in Jersey City, New Jersey.

1987 -- The exhibition Aurelia Muñoz: Selections, curated by Blanc, opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Miami, Florida. Serves as juror for Expresiones Hispanas: Coors National Hispanic Art Exhibition, Denver, Colorado. Curates Visions of Self: The American Latin Artist for the Miami-Dade Community College gallery.

1988 -- Receives a grant from the NY State Council on the Arts for research on Cuban artist Wifredo Lam for the exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. Enrolls in the art history Ph.D. program at the City University Graduate Center, New York city. First bombing of the Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture in Miami takes place. Blanc's Amelia Peláez: A Retrospective successfully opens at the Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture despite much controversy.

1989 -- Curates Urgent Dream: New Work by Mario Bencomo at the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art (MoCHA), New York. Second bombing of the Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture, Miami FL.

1990 -- New York correspondent for Arte en Colombia, Bogota. Serves as adjunct lecturer at Queens College (CUNY) for the Fall semester. Curates the exhibition, The Post-Miami Generation for the Inter-American Gallery in Miami, Florida. Co-curates Figurative Perspectives: Six Artists of Latin American Background for the Rockland Center for the Arts, West Nyack, NY.

1991 -- Visiting scholar at University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Writes a small play, Tía Carmela: A Cuban Tragicomedy, illustrated by Cuban artist and friend Pablo Cano.

1995 -- Dies at the age of forty of AIDS related complications.
Related Materials:
Papers of Giulio V. Blanc, 1930-1982, are also located at the University of Miami Archival Collections.
Provenance:
Margherite Blanc, sister of Giulio V. Blanc, donated her brother's papers in 1998 to the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. This collection, along with numerous other Latino collections, was acquired through the 1996 Latino Art Documentation Project in South Florida. Initiated to chronicle the thriving art scene so apparent in the city's galleries, museums, and private collections, the project resulted in numerous acquisitions described in the revised edition of the Papers of Latino and Latin American Artists. Both the project and the publication were made possible, in part, with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution's Center for Latino Initiatives.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. research facility.
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 historians -- Florida -- Miami  Search this
Topic:
Cuban American art  Search this
Art, Latin American  Search this
Artists -- Cuba  Search this
Cuban American artists  Search this
Latino and Latin American artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Citation:
Giulio V. Blanc papers, 1920-1995. Smithsonian Institution. Archives of American Art.
Identifier:
AAA.blangiul
See more items in:
Giulio V. Blanc papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-blangiul
Online Media:

Alexander Liberman papers

Creator:
Liberman, Alexander, 1912-1999  Search this
Names:
André Emmerich Gallery  Search this
Bennington College  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Beaton, Cecil Walter Hardy, Sir, 1904-  Search this
Cartier-Bresson, Henri, 1908-  Search this
Chernow, Burt  Search this
Dalí, Salvador, 1904-  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Dietrich, Marlene  Search this
Emmerich, André  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Hopps, Walter  Search this
Klein, William  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Leibovitz, Annie, 1949-  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Mulas, Ugo  Search this
Namuth, Hans  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Newton, Helmut, 1920-  Search this
Parks, Gordon, 1912-2006  Search this
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Penn, Irving  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Ritts, Herb  Search this
Snowdon, Antony Armstrong-Jones, Earl of, 1930-  Search this
Steichen, Edward, 1879-1973  Search this
Vogel, Lucien  Search this
Vreeland, Diana  Search this
Extent:
59 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drafts (documents)
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Interviews
Photographs
Sketches
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Video recordings
Date:
circa 1912-2003
Summary:
The papers of sculptor, painter, and publishing executive Alexander Semeonovitch Liberman date from circa 1913-2003 and measure 59 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical materials; correspondence with family, galleries, museums, and many artists; numerous recorded interviews and transcripts with and by Liberman, including one of Walter Hopps; writings and writing project files; extensive subject files maintained by Liberman; exhibition files; printed materials; scattered drawings; and extensive photographs of Liberman's artwork, exhibitions, Liberman, and of Liberman with notable artists, dealers, collectors, and critics. Many of the photographs were taken by noted photograhers. Also found within the papers are unidentified sound and video recordings. Additional sound and video recordings have been integrated into other series.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of sculptor, painter, and publishing executive Alexander Semeonovitch Liberman date from circa 1913-2003 and measure 59 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical materials; correspondence with family, galleries, museums, and many artists; numerous recorded interviews and transcripts with and by Liberman, including one of Walter Hopps; writings and writing project files; extensive subject files maintained by Liberman; exhibition files; printed materials; scattered drawings; and extensive photographs of Liberman's artwork, exhibitions, Liberman, and of Liberman with notable artists, dealers, collectors, and critics. Many of the photographs were taken by noted photograhers. Also found within the papers are unidentified sound and video recordings. Additional sound and video recordings have been integrated into other series.

Biographical materials include awards, biographies and chronologies, family history materials, membership cards, writings by Liberman's mother, and a scrapbook about his father.

Correspondence is extensive and concerns both personal and professional affairs. It is with artists and photographers, art magazines, organizations and museums, art collectors, businesses, and family. Notable correspondents include Cecil Beaton, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Burt Chernow, Salvador Dali, Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Barnett and Annalee Newman, Additional correspondence is found within the subject files compiled and organized by Liberman (series 6).

There are sound and video recordings and transcripts of interviews with and by Liberman, most completed for broadcast television and radio shows. Of particular interest are sound cassettes, a sound tape reel, and a transcript of an interview with Walter Hopps by Liberman.

Writings by Liberman include essays, short stories, and a play entitled 2+1. Writing project files were organized by Liberman for writing projects for which he was the author, collaborator, or subject. There are numerous files concerning Barbara Rose's book about Liberman Alexander Liberman that also include recorded interviews with Liberman and transcripts. Other books for which there are files include The Art and Technique of Color Photography, The Artist in His Studio, Vogue: The First 100 Years, Vogue History of Fashion Photography, and others.

Subject files were organized by Liberman for a wide variety of work projects, activities, topics, and entities of interest. Files cover commissions, the filming and distribution of the 1981 documentary film Alexander Liberman: A Lifetime Burning, Liberman's personal collection of art, gifts of artwork, and his relationship with galleries and dealers, particularly André Emmerich Gallery.

Exhibition files document exhibitions of Liberman's artwork, and include those held at André Emmerich Gallery, Bennington College, the Guggenheim, Museum of Modern Art, among other venues. Files contain correspondence, contracts, photographs, plans and drawings, notes, etc. Also found are inventory records of Liberman's artwork in the form of lists, index cards, bound registers, and notes.

Ten linear feet of printed materials include exhibition announcements and catalogs, books and book flyers, brochures, calendars, clippings, postcards, posters, press releases, and other materials.

There are scattered drawings and sketches found within the papers, some of which are sketches of sculpture pieces.

Nearly one-half of the collection is comprised of photographs of Liberman and his artwork, and of artists and colleagues, many of which were taken by noted photographers, including Cecil Beaton, Henri Cartier-Bresson, William Klein, Henri Lartique, Annie Leibowitz, Inge Morath, Ugo Mulas, Hans Namuth, Helmut Newton, Gordon Parks, Irving Penn, Herb Ritts, and Lord Snowden, among others. Subjects of note found in the photographs include Alfred Barr, Salvador Dali, Marlene Dietrich, Willem de Kooning, Andre Emmerich, Helen Frankenthaler, Clement Greenberg, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Betty Parsons, Pablo Piccaso, Edward Steichen, Lucien Vogel, and Diana Vreeland, among many others.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into twelve series. Photographs retain Liberman's original numerical and alpha schemas and the corresponding indexes are found in the Inventory Records in Series 8.

Series 1: Biographical Materials, circa 1930s-1999 (1 linear foot; Box 1, 56)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1944-1997 (4 linear feet; Boxes 1-5, 56, OV 65)

Series 3: Interviews, 1946-1996 (1.4 linear feet; Boxes 5-7, 56)

Series 4: Writings, 1948-1995 (0.9 linear feet; Boxes 7-8)

Series 5: Writing Project Files, 1951-1997 (1.8 linear feet; Boxes 8-9, 56)

Series 6: Subject Files, 1946-2000 (6 linear feet; Boxes 9-15, 56, OV 66-67)

Series 7: Exhibition Files, 1954-1991 (0.7 linear feet; Boxes 15-16, 56, OV 68)

Series 8: Inventory Records, 1938-1998 (6 linear feet; Boxes 16-22)

Series 9: Printed Materials, 1932-2003 (10 linear feet; Boxes 22-31, 56-57, OV 69)

Series 10: Artwork, circa 1940s-1990s (0.4 linear feet; Boxes 32, 57, OV 70)

Series 11: Photographic Materials, circa 1912-1999 (26 linear feet; Boxes 32-55, 57-64, OVs 71-77)

Series 12: Unidentified Sound and Video Recordings, circa 1941-1999 (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 55, 64)
Biographical / Historical:
Alexander S. Liberman (1912-1999) was a sculptor, painter, photographer, graphic designer, writer, and publishing executive who worked primarily in New York City. He held senior positions at Condé Nast Publications for 32 years.

Alexander Semeonovitch Liberman was born in 1912 in Kiev Russia. He was educated in London and the École des Beaux Art in Paris. He began his journalistic career in Paris at VU magazine owned by Lucien Vogel and there he befriended photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brassai, Robert Capa, and André Kértesz. He served in the French army for a short time in 1940, but he and his family fled Paris in 1941 to New York City. Condé Nast hired Liberman in 1941 as an assistant to the art director of Vogue magazine. Liberman became art director in 1943 and editorial director of Condé Nast Publications in 1962, a position he held until his retirement in 1994.

Liberman was also a photographer whose subjects included Georges Braque, Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Marlene Dietrich, among others, many represented in his 1960 book entitled The Artist in his Studio and Marlene: An Intimate Photographic Memoir (1992). He was also the subject of the work of noted photographers Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Gordon Parks, Lord Snowden, Jill Krementz, Henri Lartique, Annie Leibovitz, and Hans Namuth.

Liberman took up painting and sculpting in the 1950s. Although his first exhibition was at the Betty Parsons Gallery, he was primarily associated with the André Emmerich Gallery in New York City. His monumental sculptures were mostly assembled from industrial parts and painted and can be seen in museums and public sites worldwide.

Liberman was briefly married to Hildegarde Sturm. He married his second wife Tatiana Yacovleff du Plessix in 1942. Before their marriage, they fled occupied France together. She was a noted hat designer, working for Henri Bendel and Saks, where she became known as Tatiania of Saks. She died in 1991 and, in 1992, Liberman married Melinda Pechangco, a nurse who had earlier cared for Tatiania. Alexander Liberman died in 1999 in Miami, Florida.
Related Materials:
Related collections found at the Archives of American Art include the Dodie Kazanjian and Calvin Tomkins research materials on Alexander Liberman and numerous collections of gallery records.
Provenance:
The Alexander Liberman papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Liberman Art Partners in 2010 via Dodie Kazanjian.
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 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.
Occupation:
Publishers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Graphic designers  Search this
Topic:
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Photography  Search this
Sculptors -- France -- Paris  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Fashion photography  Search this
Painters -- France -- Paris  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Photographers -- France -- Paris  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drafts (documents)
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Interviews
Photographs
Sketches
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Video recordings
Citation:
Alexander Liberman Papers, circa 1912-2003. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.libealex
See more items in:
Alexander Liberman papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-libealex
Online Media:

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana

Creator:
Warshaw, Isadore, 1900-1969  Search this
Extent:
1,150 Cubic feet (approximately. Series 1 contains approximately 1108 cubic feet consisting of approximately 2050 boxes, approximately 326 oversize boxes, and map case material. Additional material in Series 2-4 is unquantified. With also, some digital images of select collection materials.)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Posters
Letterheads
Advertisements
Maps
Business ephemera
Calendars
Trade cards
Broadsides
Ephemera
Stationery
Advertising cards
Sheet music
Photomechanical prints
Sales catalogs
Chromolithographs
Place:
business ephemera -- Adirondack Mountains (N.Y.)
Albany (N.Y.)
Date:
circa 1708-1977
Scope and Contents:
The Warshaw Collection consists of approximately 1,150 cubic feet of material currently contained in approximately 2,050 vertical document boxes, approximately 326 flat oversize boxes, 34 map case drawers of oversize materials, 56 volumes of photographic photo prints, 17 boxes of 4 x 5 color transparencies and black and white photonegatives, 11 boxes of stereographs, and a videodisc. It consists of a large body of business ephemera. Ephemera is used to refer to the transient everyday items which are usually printed on paper however in some cases fabric, leather and wood have been used. This material is manufactured for a specific limited use and then meant to be thrown away. The collection also contains samples of ephemera that were meant to be saved for a short period of time and discarded later such as stock certificates. This material dates from the late eighteenth century to about 1977, but the bulk of the material is late from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The largest advertising history collection in the Archives Center, the Warshaw Collection is organized into five major categories: I. Business Ephemera -- - Vertical Files, II. Business Ephemera - - Oversize, III. Other Collection Divisions, IV. Isadore Warshaw Personal Papers and V. Photographic Reference Materials. Scope and content notes and a detailed description of the contents for all of these divisions are found in the following sections of the register.

Series 1: Business Ephemera, circa 1724-1977, makes up the largest portion of the collection. It is divided into 538 subject and geographic categories created by Mr. Warshaw and is contained in 2,050 vertical document boxes. Materials include vast numbers of advertising cards, scraps, stock cards, trade catalogs, price lists, menus, pamphlets, labels, lithographs, photographs, business letterheads, bills, receipts, greeting cards, post cards, calendars, printed advertisements, periodicals, newspaper clippings, broadsides, shipping documents, handbills, premiums, promotional items, announcements, business cards, packaging and point of purchase displays.

II. BUSINESS EPHEMERA - - OVERSIZE FILES, ca. 1850-1960, consists of approximatley 326 flat oversize boxes and 34 map case drawers of materials. Materials include posters, newspapers, point of purchase displays, packaging, printed advertisements, periodical illustrations, lithographs, labels, shipping documents, promotional items, trade catalogs, pattern sheets, maps, art reproductions, fashion design drawings, membership certificates and price lists. The material is organized by the same subject and geographical categories as materials in the vertical document boxes.

III. OTHER COLLECTION DIVISIONS, ca. 1790-1957, represents a significant accumulation of one type of material rather than a mix of various types of ephemera. Materials generally relate to one subject. Most of the material is stored in flat oversize boxes. Materials include cinema lobby cards, fire insurance maps, photographs and scrapbooks of liquor and wine labels.

IV. ISADORE WARSHAW PERSONAL PAPERS, ca. 1917-1966, consists of three document boxes of materials relating to how Mr. Warshaw maintained the collection as a business. Most of this material is correspondence sent to him in response to his research inquiries. A smaller portion of the material is printed advertisements and circulars created by Mr. Warshaw to advertise his services and the collection. Magazine articles, letterhead stationery and photographs make up the remainder of the material.

V. PHOTOGRAPHIC REFERENCE MATERIAL, consists of photographs, slides and transparencies of items found in the collection. These materials were created for a number of purposes. Some were created in response to requests by researcher for images to be used in publications, exhibitions, and for other purposes. Others were created as a quick reference source for researchers. Several thousand photographic images from the Warshaw Collection were also transferred to an experimental videodisc by the Institution's Office of Photographic and Printing Services (OPPS). The videodisc is available for viewing on equipment in the Archives Center.

Use of the prints, slides, and videodisc reduces wear and tear on the collection, permits rapid searching through many images, and assures the researcher - - in most cases that a photographic negative of transparency already exists, and that copies can be reproduced relatively quickly and inexpensively. Searching the collection's photographic reproductions is especially appropriate for researchers who want to see general images of subjects such as "women in advertising" or an advertisement from a particular year.

The Warshaw Collection originally contained books, three-dimensional objects and food crate labels. Those books that did not directly relate to the collection were transferred to the Smithsonian Libraries. Remaining publications are stored in the Business Ephemera-Vertical Files document boxes within the appropriate subject category.

Mr. Warshaw collected three-dimensional objects to illustrate packaging, to convey information about product content, shape and size, and to document advertising in three-dimensional forms. Such items included hair product packaging, games, patent medicine containers, cosmetics, tobacco tins, food containers, and liquor bottles. There were also a number of objects, mostly made of glass, tin, and wood, including trays and stained glass signs advertising products such as patent medicine, tobacco, phonographs, refrigerators, stoves, hair products, meat, agricultural tools and implements, whiskey, bakery goods, and beer. Some of these objects were framed. All these objects have been transferred to the appropriate divisions in the Museum. Information on the locations of these items can be obtained in the Archives Center reference room.

Food crate labels were once an important advertising device. Used to develop loyalty to particular growers, these labels were appealing because of the commercial artwork. Some of the labels were mounted on wood. These labels also were transferred to a curatorial unit. The un-mounted labels are in the "foods" section of the Business Ephemera - - Vertical Files.

Research Strengths and Limitations

The strength of the Warshaw Collection lies in its size, its variety, and its extraordinarily rich visual imagery. These images illustrate how Americans perceived themselves or wished to be perceived, how they saw others, their work patterns, their recreation habits, and other aspects of American culture from the late eighteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. They provide an alternative source to written and printed historical materials, sometimes conveying information about values and practices not otherwise documented. These images stand as a powerful reminder that the origins of modern, visual mass communications go much farther back than the invention of television.

Most of the imagery, of course, is a vision of American life as seen through the eyes of advertising agencies and of the businesses they represented. Researchers working with the collection find it an especially rich source for examining the dynamic relationship between advertising and American culture over the centuries.

There are some problems, however, interpreting American culture through these materials. Most of the advertisements in the collection represent Anglo-American mainstream culture. African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans and members of other ethnic groups are only occasionally depicted in the advertisements. Much of this imagery is stereotypical and fails to recognize ethnic groups as consumers. Despite these limitations the ethnic imagery offers penetrating insights into American culture and its changing values and tastes. The Archives Center's Ethnic Imagery Project has identified thousands of items within the Warshaw Collection, and in other Center collections, which depict race and ethnicity. The Project also is seeking to expand the range of such imagery within the Center's collections to provide a better rounded view of how Americans see themselves and each other.

There are few indications in the collection of consumer response. The materials mostly consist of end products, what customers received. Testimonials and celebrity endorsements are among the materials but do not constitute a large portion of it, nor do they appear in every subject category. There is also little documentation on the success or failure of advertisements. Evidence about advertisers' decisions to use specific advertisements is extremely rare.

There is no complete history of any one company represented in the collection. For many of the businesses, the material consists of fragments of the advertising materials created to sell their products or services. Biographical information on founders or the early developments of the company may be included on letterhead stationery or bills and receipts but not always. Occasionally one finds company publications that discuss the history of the business. These were usually produced for anniversaries and more often for larger companies that had existed for a long time, such as Proctor & Gamble.

Most of the businesses represented in the Collection were east of the Mississippi River. This is probably due to the collecting possibilities for Mr. Warshaw. It also may be due to the concentration of many industries in this region.

Despite its limitations, the Warshaw Collection is the most heavily used collection in the Archives Center. Researchers in the Collection often find information unavailable elsewhere. Researchers in the Collection have included academic historians, Smithsonian curatorial staff , and outside museum staff interested in the collection for exhibition purposes. Smithsonian Shops buyers and others interested in motifs for licensed products, collectors and hobbyists find the collection a rich source for such research.
Series 1: Business Ephemera:
Dates -- circa 1544-1988

Contents -- Series 1: Business Ephemera1.1: Subject Categories1.2: Geographical Categories
Series 2: Other Collection Divisions:
Dates -- circa 1850-1957

Contents -- Series 2: Other Collection Divisions2.1: Business Records [Obsolete as of 2017]2.2: Cinema Lobby Cards2.3: Fire Insurance Maps2.4: Liquor and Wine Labels and Advertisements2.5: Photographs2.6: Stereographs2.7: Sheet Music2.8: Rewards and Wanted Posters
Series 3: Isadore Warshaw Personal Papers:
Dates -- circa 1917-1966

Contents -- Series 3: Isadore Warshaw Personal Papers3.1: Correspondence3.2: Secondary Writings about Warshaw and the Collection3.3: Business Materials3.4: Miscellaneous
Series 4: Photographic Reference Material:
Dates -- undated

Contents -- Series 4: Photographic Reference Material4.1: Photoprints4.2: 35mm color slides4.3: Color transparencies4.4: Videodisc
Arrangement note:
The collection is divided into four series.

Series 1: Business Ephemera

Series 2: Other Collection Divisions

Series 3: Isadore Warshaw Personal Papers

Series 4: Photographic Reference Material
Biographical / Historical:
The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana is the result of the foresight and energy of Isadore Warshaw. Warshaw believed that the history of America was closely tied to the history of American business. He observed, however, that the business community often looked to the future rather than the past and tended not to retain historical company records. As a result, a number of businesses had no coherent record of their past. Warshaw realized that these records could be of value one day.

"Sonny" Warshaw, as he was known to family and friends, was born June 12, 1900 and reared in Albany, New York, the second youngest of ten children of Rubin and Ray (Mackler) Warshaw. Although he received little formal education, he started in business as a book scout in 1915 searching for rare publications for dealers and collectors. Later he became a rare book dealer and collector himself. His hobbies included sketching and painting, and several pieces of this self-taught artist's work were exhibited in local banks.

Warshaw's interest in collecting business ephemera began in 1928 when an important event inspired him. In the process of searching for books, he often ran across various pieces of ephemera. In these posters, labels, ledgers, invoices, calendars, business cards, correspondence on letterhead stationery, and advertising cards, he could see the romantic side of big business. One day he ran across an invoice signed by John Forsythe, founder of a New York haberdashery, and sent it to the store. In reponse, he received a thank-you note along with an invitation to select six shirts in appreciation for the item he found. This combination of events encouraged Warshaw to begin a lifelong mission. He opened an office at 61 Columbia Street in Albany, New York, announcing to the business community that he had their history and would make it available.

In 1942, Isadore Warshaw moved from Albany to New York City where he opened an office at 752 West End Avenue. In 1944, he married Augusta Levy, a former buyer for a group of women's ready-to-wear shops in Miami, Florida. They had no children. A portion of their apartment was used as an office where Mrs. Warshaw handled all the correspondence. The Warshaws lived with the fear of a fire destroying the collection because this was their sole source of income. Insurance companies informed them that in order to insure the collection, each piece would have to be counted. As a result, the collection was never insured. A fire did occur once in the building but only a small portion of their vast holdings suffered from smoke damage.

Warshaw spent a great deal of time at the New York Public Library, museums, and historical societies, gathering ideas and information relating to his business pursuits. He never referred to his time spent researching and collecting as a hobby. As his business began to grow, he relied on as many as forty scouts across the country to hunt for material. He acquired material from companies going out of business, buildings about to be demolished, garage sales, auctions, antique shows, stamp dealers and collectors, old safes, small country merchants, and bookstores. He also advertised in catalogues for the book industry throughout the country.

Warshaw's approach at first was to purchase pieces of Americana in hope of finding a buyer. He mailed thousands of advertisements to his five hundred corporate clients. Rejected items went to a brownstone building that he referred to as his warehouse. Warshaw later discovered that there was more profit in renting materials or selling reproduction rights to the very materials he had once carted away. Companies rented objects or entire packaged displays to commemorate anniversaries, for sales conventions, annual reports, trade shows, lectures, and window displays. A few of his major clients included Johnson & Johnson, Kaiser Steel Company, the Riegel Paper Company, the American Can Company, and the Western Electric Company. Reward posters and gold-rush prints were used as props for TV westerns.

Warshaw used the collection to do various kinds of research for a number of businesses. Sometimes he investigated the history of a firm to supply it with founding dates. He found evidence of expansion and product diversification in various documents in the collection. For example, company records showed that Procter and Gamble began as a soap and candle manufacturer before it expanded to a wide variety of products.

Warshaw also had clients outside the business community. Members of the legal profession relied on his collection for various purposes. Lawyers contacted him when they wanted to convert personal property from estates to cash, and he also served as an expert witness, providing evidence in disputes involving trademarks, copyrights, and slogans.

American Heritage, Life, and other publications wishing to illustrate articles found graphics in the collection. Warshaw swapped items with local libraries and historical societies. Joseph N. Kane used the collection to document information for his book, Famous First Facts. Commenting on the many uses of his collection, Warshaw stated:

I have been fortunate. As a collector of things that now document the rapid growth of industry, I have been able to find wide use for my collection. People are beginning to realize that while the romance of war, fashion and science, for instance, is well preserved in swords, wax dolls, and fascinating models...the romance of business in the form of ledgers, sample books, posters, and tin cans tends to perish in debris. Now people come to me to illustrate histories and to get pictures of things as they were.

As Warshaw aged, he began to look for a buyer for the collection. Ralph M. Hower, at one time a professor of business at Harvard, recommended that the collection be purchased and indexed by the Baker Library at Harvard's Business School. He regarded it as a wealth of evidence on such topics specialization, diversification, and integration of business firms and the location of trade and industry.

Discussions about the Warshaw Collection among the staff of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History (then the Museum of History and Technology) began in 1961. The primary reason for the Museum's interest in purchasing the collection was to prevent the dispersal of a unique resource that could never be assembled again. In the opinions of Smithsonian staff, it provided evidence of things that could be found nowhere else.

Although negotiations for buying the collection and bringing it to the Museum began in 1966, the collection was not actually purchased and transported to the Museum until August 1967. Warshaw had moved his business several times and at the time of the sale, it was located in three rooms on the second floor of 270 West 96th Street in New York. Packing the collection took four days and it was transported to Washington by two tractor trailers.

When the collection arrived at the Museum, it consisted primarily of advertising ephemera. There were also a number of three-dimensional objects, including shoes, clothing, jewelry, furs, ashtrays, coffee and tobacco tins, carpets, patent medicines, cosmetics, hair products, paperweights, whiskey bottles, and food packages. The collection was divided into hundreds of subject headings created by Warshaw. Some of Warshaw's personal papers revealing his business transactions were included, as well as advertisements used by Warshaw to solicit business from manufacturers and retailers. Most of the rest of Warshaw's own papers were destroyed by Mrs. Warshaw when she left New York in 1973.

Following the sale of the collection to the Museum, Warshaw found himself unable to relinquish his life's work. He continued to do research for a number of old clients, relying on such sources as the public library, historical societies, collectors, and dealers in this type of material. In the process he acquired additional material. The volume of this portion of the collection was equal to the size of a station wagon. It was offered to the Museum by Mrs. Warshaw in 1971, and Museum staff went to the New Jersey home of Mrs. Warshaw's brother to pick up the new collection in November 1971.

Curators from the Museum were encouraged to spend time with the collection after its arrival to determine its content in their subject areas. At that time the collection was stored in shirt boxes. Efforts were made to put the materials in vertical document boxes, keeping them in the subject categories created by Warshaw. As time went on, it was clear that the method used by Warshaw was not adequate for research use. Warshaw located materials by hunch rather than by system and there was little cross-referencing in the collection. Not only was it inaccessible to outside researchers, but many of the objects were fragile and required more protection than they had in their original storage containers.

When the Archives Center was established in 1982, it was intended to be a repository for documents and other archival material in the Museum, assuring proper storage and a place where researchers could come to use collections.

The Warshaw Collection was one of the greatest concerns of the Archives Center because of its heavy use. In 1983 the Archives Center and the Division of Conservation worked together to develop a plan to integrate archival principles with conservation methods and techniques, thus taking the first steps in creating a re-housing project.

The first part of the re-housing project began with a survey of the collection to analyze content and condition of the materials. Faith Zieske, a conservator, conducted the survey. She chose a standard statistical analytical method, randomly using 70 vertical document boxes as samples, to analyze the entire collection. Zieske consulted both the Library of Congress Preservation Office and the conservation staff of the Folger Shakespeare Library. A plan was then developed for implementing the survey. After examining the results of the survey, Zieske developed a phased plan for reorganizing and preserving the collection.

Conservation technician Carolyn Long and museum specialist Lorene Mayo began the pilot project in the summer of 1983, testing recommendations made in the survey. During this period Long wrote guidelines for handling the collection. Long and Mayo also developed new storage containers for housing objects of unusual shape.

As the re-housing project developed, finding aids were created for the processed portions of the collection. This was a crucial step that allowed staff and researchers to find items without actually going through the collection. Archives Center staff continue to develop means of making the collection more accessible to researchers who come to the Museum to use the collection, as well as to increase awareness of the existence of the collection in the research community outside the Museum.

List of Sources

"Cashing In On Old Office Records." Business Week, (December 6, 1958).

"A Glimpse at Industrial Advertising of the 80's." Industrial Marketing, (February 1946).

Interview by Vanessa Broussard-Simmons with Mrs. Augusta Levy Warshaw and Correspondence in Control File for Warshaw Collection.

Kahn, Joseph. "Trademark Detective: The Colorful Past of American Business is the 'Beat' of a Sleuth Who has Pioneered a New Kind of History." The Rotarian, ( December 2, 1957) .

Kramer, A. Stanley. "What's Old on Madison?" Madison Avenue. (March 1961).

Menuez, Caroline Bird. "There's Gold in Your Attic." Esquire, (1946).
General:
Several specific companies or proprietors repeatedly appear in various subseries of this collection. These records were dispersed through many subseries and prior arrangement efforts, including those done by the collector as well as post-acquisition staff, which focused on a category or business name of the vendors rather than retaining the record source original provenance and order. As of 2016, there is not a plan to cull through the collection and reconstitute such records, however if such an effort was made, it would likely result in reasonably comprehensive business records for several entities. A few have been noted here but an exhaustive survey of the collection in regards to the this trend of dispersal has not been conducted.

Jacob House (occasionally with variant spellings), which often account for some of the earliest business record within the Warshaw Business Americana Collection, particularly those documents dating in the 1700s and early 1800s.

Luddington, F.L. ... (see Hardware)

Stemmeler...(see Whiskey...)

[Note to be completed, NB 2016-10-18]
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Archives Center Collection of Business Americana (AC0404)
Provenance:
The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Accession AC0060, was purchased from Isadore Warshaw in 1967. Warshaw continued to accumulate similar material until his death, which was donated in 1971 by his widow, Augusta. For a period after acquisition, related materials from other sources (of mixed provenance) were added to the collection so there may be content produced or published after Warshaw's death in 1969. This practice has since ceased.
Restrictions:
Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalogs restricted due to fragile condition. Researchers should consult microfilm in NMAH library for 1880-1983 editions, drawer 692.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Insurance, Fire -- Maps  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Fires -- Insurance  Search this
Genre/Form:
Posters
Letterheads
Advertisements
Maps
Business ephemera
Calendars
Trade cards
Broadsides
Ephemera
Stationery
Advertising cards
Sheet music
Photomechanical prints
Sales catalogs
Chromolithographs
Citation:
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0060
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0060
Online Media:

The Unsolved Murder of Civil Rights Activist Harry Moore

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Interviews
Blog posts
Published Date:
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 19:26:45 +0000
Topic:
Custom RSS  Search this
See more posts:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_8514f1f2efdee4866efd5d09c9126001

Art Basel : year 47 / editorial committee: Clément Dirié, Gilles Gavillet, Marc Spiegler

Title:
Year 47
Editor:
Spiegler, Marc  Search this
Dirié, Clément  Search this
Gavillet, Gilles  Search this
Author:
International Art Fair (47th : 2016 : Basel, Switzerland)  Search this
Subject:
International Art Fair (47th : 2016 : Basel, Switzerland)  Search this
Physical description:
784 pages : illustrations ; 30 cm
Type:
Directories
Catalogs
Exhibitions
Exhibition catalogs
Date:
2017
21st century
Topic:
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Art, Modern  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1079540

How Three Amateur Jewel Thieves Made Off With New York’s Most Precious Gems

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Interviews
Blog posts
Published Date:
Tue, 25 Feb 2014 17:50:03 +0000
Topic:
Search this
See more post:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_be8c65f3769858e9e97739ba671353d6

Victor Gruschka Springer

Author:
Smith, David G  Search this
Co-interviewer:
Bowman, Inci  Search this
Subject:
Williams, Jeffrey T  Search this
Springer, Victor Gruschka 1928-  Search this
Talbot, Frank  Search this
Schultz, Leonard P (Leonard Peter) 1901-  Search this
Rivas, Luis Rene  Search this
Voss, Gilbert L  Search this
Hubbs, Clark  Search this
Hutton, Robert F (Robert Franklin)  Search this
Axelrod, Herbert R  Search this
Gibbs, Robert H. Jr  Search this
Lachner, Ernest A  Search this
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)  Search this
American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists  Search this
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Division of Fishes  Search this
Physical description:
Number of pages: 9; Page numbers: 431-439
Place:
Australia
Fiji
Indonesia
Pacific Ocean
Philippines
Islands of the Pacific
Taiwan
Dominica
West Indies
Indian Ocean
Indo-Pacific Region
Red Sea Region
Caroline Islands
Red Sea
Rotuma Island (Fiji)
Date:
May 2005
Topic:
Biogeography  Search this
Biography  Search this
Vertebrates  Search this
Marine biology  Search this
Marine sciences  Search this
Societies  Search this
Plate tectonics  Search this
Learned institutions and societies  Search this
Smithsonian Institution--Employees  Search this
Fishes  Search this
Ichthyology  Search this
Scientific expeditions  Search this
Oral biography  Search this
Oral history  Search this
Blenniella  Search this
Blenniidae  Search this
Malacoctenus  Search this
Labrisomidae  Search this
Discovery and exploration  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Archives - History Div
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sic_11759

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