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N W Ayer Advertising Agency Records

Creator:
Ayer (N W) Incorporated.  Search this
Names:
American Telephone and Telegraph Company -- Advertisements  Search this
Cunningham & Walsh.  Search this
Hixson & Jorgenson  Search this
United Air Lines, Inc. -- Advertisements  Search this
Ayer, Francis Wayland  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia , 1887-1986  Search this
Extent:
270 Cubic feet (1169 boxes )
7 Film reels (1463 boxes, 18 map-folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Film reels
Business records
Interviews
Oral history
Print advertising
Proof sheets
Proofs (printed matter)
Scrapbooks
Trade literature
Tear sheets
Advertisements
Date:
1817-1851
1869-2006
Summary:
Collection consists of records documenting one of the oldest advertising agencies created in Philadelphia. The company then moves to New York and expanses to international markets. During its history NW Ayer & Sons acquires a number of other advertising agencies and is eventually purchased. The largest portion of the collection is print advertisements but also includes radio and television. NW Ayer is known for some of the slogans created for major American companies.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists primarily of proof sheets of advertisements created by NW Ayer & Son, Incorporated for their clients. These materials are in series one through thirteen and consist primarily of print advertisements. There are also billboards, radio and television commercials. The advertisements range from consumer to corporate and industrial products. The majority of the advertisements were created for Ayer's New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and international offices. Printed advertisements created by Cunningham & Walsh, Hixson & Jorgensen and Newell-Emmett are also included among these materials. Researchers who are interested in records created by Ayer in the course of operating an advertising agency will find these materials in Series fourteen-nineteen.

Series fourteen consists of advertisements created by NW Ayer & Son to promote their services to potential clients.

Series fifteen are scrapbooks of some of the earliest advertisements created by the company. Series sixteen are publications. Some of the publications were created by Ayer while others were about Ayer or the advertising industry in general. Provides good background materials and puts the company in perspective. Series eighteen are the legal records. Materials relating to employees including photographs, oral histories etc. are found in series nineteen.

Series twenty is one of the smallest amounts of materials and includes information relating to the history of NW Ayer & Son.

The container lists for series one-thirteen are part of a database and are searchable. The list has been printed for the convenience of the researcher and is included in this finding aid. Series fourteen-twenty container lists are also a part of the finding aid but are not in a searchable format.

Series 1, Scrapbooks of Client Advertisements, circa 1870-1920, is arranged into three boxes by chronological date. There are two bound scrapbooks and one box of folders containing loose scrapbook pages. NW Ayer & Son compiled an assortment of their earliest ads and placed them into scrapbooks. Besides the earliest advertisements, the scrapbooks contain requests to run advertisements, reading notices and listings of papers Ayer advertised in. The early advertisements themselves range from medical remedies to jewelry to machines to clothing to education and more. Most of the advertisements in the bound scrapbooks are dated.

Series 2, Proofsheets, circa 1870-1930, NW Ayer was fond of creating scrapbooks containing proofsheets. The series contains proofsheets created between 1892 and 1930, organized into 526 boxes. For convenience of storage, access and arrangement, the scrapbooks were disassembled and the pages placed in original order in flat archival storage boxes. The proofsheets are arranged by book number rather than client name. Usually the boxes contain a listing of the clients and sometimes the dates of the advertisements to be found within the box.

Series 3, Proofsheets, circa 1920-1975, is organized into 532 oversize boxes, and contain proofsheets and tearsheets created between 1920 and 1972. Within this series, materials are arranged alphabetically by company name (occasionally subdivided by brand or product), and thereunder chronologically by date of production. Many major, national advertisers are represented, including American Telephone & Telegraph, Armour Company, Canada Dry, Cannon Mills, Carrier Corporation, Domino Sugar, Caterpillar tractor company, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, Goodyear, Hills Bros. Coffee, Ladies Home Journal, National Dairy, Plymouth (Chrysler Corporation), Steinway, TV Guide, United Airlines and the United States Army. Also contained in this series are three scrapbooks of client advertisements including Canada Dry, Ford Motor, and Victor Talking Machine.

Series 4, 2001 Addendum, circa 1976-2001, is organized into ninety three oversized boxes,one folder and contains proofsheets for select Ayer clients, created between 1975 and 2001. Within this series, materials are arranged alphabetically by client name and there under chronologically by date of production. Major national advertisers represented include American Telephone & Telegraph, Avon, the United States Army, DeBeers Consolidated Diamond Mines, Dupont, TV Guide, Sealtest, Kraft Foods, Gillette, General Motors, Cannon Mills.

Series 5, Billboards, circa 1952-1956, consists of mounted and un-mounted original art/mock-ups. Twenty-two pieces of original art created as mock-ups for Texaco billboards.

Series 6, Film and Video Commercials, 1967-1970,

Series 7, Radio and Television Materials, 1933-1993, undated, is arranged into eight boxes and includes radio scripts, television scripts, and story boards for commercials.

Subseries 7.1, Scripts and storyboards for Radio and Television Commercials, dates Scripts for radio and television commercials includes title, date, length of commercial, advertising agency, client information

NW Ayer's radio and television materials mainly focus on the American Telegraph and Telephone account. Some of Ayer's materials relate to Bell Telephone Hours.

Storyboards are used in television and film to assist the director in working with crew to tell the story. To show the viewer through the use of figures, visual effects and camera angles. When directors first start thinking about their storyboard they create a story in their mind. They think of all the camera angles, visual effects and how the figures will interact in their mind. They try to create an extraordinary story in their head to attract the viewer (YOU) In order for the storyboard to be entirely effective it can't be a passive document. When done properly, a storyboard serves as a central design, meeting the needs of many team members including graphics artists, video personnel and programmers.

Another function of a storyboard is to help the team communicate during the training development process. This communication is very important in working with a large team as in the movie King, produced in 1996. Figures help the director explain to the crew how they are going to record the film and how to present it to the audience. Sometimes the director wants special effects to be added to the film, but his budget might not be that big so the director will have to change the story to fit their budget.

The Visual Effects are an important part in the storyboards it adds a special touch of creativity to your film. Camera angles are an important expects in your film because the camera angles determine where the viewing audience will look. If you want your audience to look at a certain object you must turn their attention to it by focusing on that object and maybe you might try blocking something out. Then you will have your audience's attention and you may do whatever else you have to, it could be scaring them are just surprising them or whatever you do.

Also included is talent information and log sheets relating to the storage of the commercials.

Bell Telephone Hour Program, 1942-[19??], The Bell Telephone Hour, also known as The Telephone Hour, was a five minute musical program which began April 29, 1940 on National Broadcasting Company Radio and was heard on NBC until June 30, 1958. Sponsored by Bell Telephone showcased the best in classical and Broadway music, reaching eight to nine million listeners each week. It continued on television from 1959 to 1968.

Earlier shows featured James Melton and Francia White as soloists. Producer Wallace Magill restructured the format on April 27, 1942 into the "Great Artists Series" of concert and opera performers, beginning with Jascha Heifetz. Records indicate that the list of talents on the program included Marian Anderson, Helen Traubel, Oscar Levant, Lily Pons, Nelson Eddy, Bing Crosby, Margaret Daum, Benny Goodman, José Iturbi, Gladys Swarthout and .The series returned to radio in 1968-1969 as Bell Telephone Hour Encores, also known as Encores from the Bell Telephone Hour, featuring highlights and interviews from the original series.

National Broadcasting television specials sponsored by the Bell System, 1957-1987includes information relating to Science series, Bell system Theshold Series, Bell telephone hour and commercial and public sponsored programs

Series 8, Chicago Office Print Advertisements, 1954-1989, is arranged alphabetically by the name of the client in ninety boxes and six oversize folders. Clients include Illinois Bell Telephone (1955-1989), Microswitch (1969-1989), Teletype (1975-1984), John Deere (1974-1989) and Caterpillar (1966-1972) are particularly well represented. Other clients of interest include Dr. Scholl's shoes (circa 1968-1972), the Girl Scouts (1976-1980), Sunbeam Personal Products Company (1973-1981), Bell and Howell (1974-1983) and Alberto Culver shampoos (1967-1971), Honeywell, Incorporated, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Associations, Kraft, Incorporated, Sears, Roebuck and Company, and YMCA.

Series 9, Los Angeles Office Materials, 1950s-1987, include printed advertisements created by this office and information relating to the employees.

Subseries 9.1, Print Advertisements, 1977-1987, printed advertisements arranged in one box alphabetically by client. There is a sparse sampling of clients from this particular Ayer branch office. The majority of the advertisements contained within this series are from Pizza Hut (1986-1987). Also included are Computer Automation (1977-1978), State of the Art, Incorporated (1982) and Toshiba (1986).

Subseries 9.2, Personnel Files, 1950s-1970s, includes cards of employees who worked in the Los Angeles office. Information on the cards includes name, address, telephone number, birthday, date hired, departure date and why (retired, terminated, resigned, etc) and position. Not all cards have all information. There is also a photograph of the employees on the cards.

Series 10, Foreign Print Advertisements, 1977-1991, undated, NW Ayer maintained partnerships with international companies such as Sloanas Ayer in Argentina, Connaghan & May Paton Ayer in Australia, Moussault Ayer in Belgium, NW Ayer, LTD. in Canada, GMC Ayer in France, Co-Partner Ayer in Germany, Wong Lam Wang in Hong Kong, MacHarman Ayer in New Zealand, Grupo de Diseno Ayer in Spain, Nedeby Ayer in Sweden, and Ayer Barker in United Kingdom. This group of material is a small sampling of advertisements created from these International offices. It is arranged alphabetically by client. There are quite a few automobile advertisements (i.e. Audi, Fiat, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen). In addition there are numerous advertisements for various personal items from MacLean's toothpaste to Quick athletic shoes to Labello lip balm, etc. Most of the advertisements have the creator's name printed on the advertisements.

Series 11, Cunningham & Walsh, Incorporated Materials, 1915-1987, undated contains 98 boxes 11 folders materials from the New York advertising agency acquired by NW Ayer in the 1960s. The company began with Newel-Emmett, an agency of nine men which broke up in 1949. Two of the men Fred Walsh and Jack Cunningham formed this agency in bearing their names in 1950. The agency created "let your fingers for the walking campaign for American Telephone & Telegraph, Mother Nature for Chiffon, and Mrs. Olson for Folgers's coffee and let the good times roll for Kawasaki motorcycle. In 1986, NW Ayer Incorporated purchased Cunningham & Walsh Incorporated.

Subseries 11.1, Print Advertisements, 1915-1987, are contained in ninety eight boxes of primarily print advertisements arranged alphabetically by client name. Clients that are particularly well represented are Graybar (electrical implements, circa1926-1937), Johns-Manulle (circa1915-1971), Smith and Corono typewriters (circa 1934-1960), Sunshine Biscuit Company (circa 1925-1961), Texaco Company (circa 1936-1961), Western Electric (circa 1920- 1971) and Yellow Pages (circa 1936-1971). Cunningham and Walsh also represented several travel and tourism industry clients, including Cook Travel Services (circa 1951-1962), Italian Line (circa 1953-1961), Narragansett and Croft (circa 1956-1960) and Northwest Airlines (circa 1946-1955). There are photographs of Texaco advertisements dating from 1913-1962. There is also a scrapbook of advertisements from the Western Electric Company dating from 1920-1922.

Subseries 11.2, Radio and Television Advertisements, 1963-1967, consist of materials created for Western Electric. Materials are arranged in chronological order.

Subseries 11.3, Company Related Materials, 1962-1986, undated include client lists, information relating to NW Ayer purchase and annual report 1962.

Series 12, Hixson & Jorgensen Materials, 1953-1971, a Los Angeles advertising company, merged with Ayer in 1969. This series is housed in one box. Within the box are four scrapbooks and folders with a hodgepodge of materials relating to advertising. Of most interest are the scrapbooks. Two scrapbooks deal with Hixson and Jorgensen's self promotion ad campaign "the right appeal gets action" (1953-1957). The other two scrapbooks contain news clippings about the company and its activities (1959-1971).

Series 13, Newell-Emmet, 1942-1957, founded in 1919 and governed in the 1940s by a partnership of nine men. The partnership broke up in 1949 when the men went their separate ways. The materials consist of print advertisements for one of client, Permutit Company, a water conditioning company. The materials are arranged in one box in chronological order.

Series 14, House Print Advertisements, 1870-1991, 16 boxes consists of advertisements or self-promotion advertisements to campaign for new clients. The series is arranged chronologically by date into fifteen boxes. Within the series are two scrapbooks containing self promotion ads from 1888-1919 and 1892-1895. Numerous house ads relate to Ayer's "Human Contact" campaign. In addition to the self promotion ads, Ayer ran advertisements expounding about particular concepts or themes for example, one month the concept would "understand" while another month would be "teamwork" and yet another would be on "imagination". Some of the self promotion ads target specific groups like Philadelphia businessmen. Other advertisements incorporate the fine arts.

Series 15, Scrapbooks, 1872-1959, relates to company events, records and news clippings about Ayer's history. The six boxes are arranged by chronological date. Two of the boxes focus solely on the death of founder F.W. Ayer (1923). Another box houses a scrapbook that showcases Ayer's annual Typography Exhibition (1931-1959). One box contains a scrapbook that specifically deals with correspondences relating to Ayer's advertising. Yet another box's contents are folders of loose pages from scrapbooks that have newspaper clippings, order forms, correspondences and other company records. In one box, a bound scrapbook houses a variety of materials relating to Ayer and advertising (i.e. newspaper clippings, competitor's advertisements, NW Ayer's advertisements, correspondences for advertisements, clippings regarding the "theory of advertising."

Series 16, Publications, 1849-2006, are housed in thirty four boxes and are arranged into three main categories.

Subseries 16.1, House Publications, 1876-1994, covers diverse topics; some proscriptive works about the Ayer method in advertising, some commemorating people, anniversaries or events in the life of the agency. Materials consist of scattered issues of the employee newsletter The Next Step 1920-1921. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date of publication. Ayer in the News, The Show Windows of an Advertising Agency, 1915, book form of advertisements published on the cover of Printer's Ink, highlighting Ayer's relations with advertisers. The Story of the States, 1916, Reprint in book form of a series of articles published in Printer's Ink for the purpose of adding some pertinent fact, progressive thought and prophetic vision to the Nationalism of Advertising highlights major businesses, manufacturer, natural resources and other qualities or attractions of each state. The Book of the Golden Celebration, 1919, includes welcome address and closing remarks by founder F. Wayland Ayer, The Next Step, 1920 employee newsletter with photographs, employee profiles, in-house jokes, etc., Advertising Advertising: A Series of Fifty-two Advertisements scheduled one time a week. Twenty-seven, thirty and forty inches, a day of the week optional with publisher, 1924

Subseries 16.2, Publications about NW Ayer, 1949-2006, includes a book first published in 1939. Includes articles, documenting events and is arranged chronologically by date of publication.

Subseries 16.3, General Publications about Advertising, 1922-1974, are arranged chronologically by date of publication and relate primarily to the history of advertising.

Subseries 16.4, Publications about Other Subjects, 1948-1964, include four books about the tobacco industry primarily the history of the American Tobacco Company and Lorillard Company from the Cunningham and Walsh library.

Series 17, Business Records, circa 1885-1990s

Subseries 17.1, Contracts, 1885-1908, undated, are arranged alphabetically and span from 1885-1908. The majority of the contracts are with newspaper and magazine publishers from around the country.

Subseries 17.2, General client information, 1911-1999, undated, including active and cancelled lists with dates, client gains, historical client list, (should move this to series 20) Ayer Plan User Guide Strategic Planning for Human Contact, undated

Subseries 17.3, Individual Client Account Information, 1950s-1990s, undated, contain information used by Ayer to create advertisements for some of its clients. American Telephone &Telegraph Corporate Case History, American Telephone &Telegraph Corporate advertisement memo, commissioned artists for DeBeers advertisements, DeBeers information relating to the creative process and photography credits, a case history for DeBeers Consolidated Mines, Ltd., The Diamond Engagement Ring, Managing Communication at all levels, DuPont publications, JC Penny Marketing Communication Plan Recommendation, Leaf, Incorporated, Saturn presentation, and USAREC oral presentation.

Subseries 17.4, Potential Clients, 1993, includes grouping has a questionnaire sent to Ayer by a potential client. Questionnaire response for Prudential Securities, 1993 Prudential Securities advertising account review, 1993.

Subseries 17.5, Financial Records, 1929-1938, includes balance sheet, 1929 May 1 Balance sheet and adjustments Consolidated statement of assets and liabilities, Expenses 191936-37 Business review and expenses, 1937 and 1938 Business review and expenses comparative statement, 1937 and 1938.

Series 18, Legal Records, circa 1911-1982, Ayer's legal records are arranged by twelve subject groupings within four boxes. The twelve groupings are advertising service agreements (circa 1918-1982), bylaws, copyright claims, correspondences, international correspondences, dissolution of trusts, stock information, agreements between partners, incorporation materials, reduction of capital, property information and miscellaneous materials. The bulk of the materials are the advertising service agreements. These agreements are between Ayer and their clients and state the services Ayer will offer and at what cost. The bylaws are Ayer's company bylaws from 1969 and 1972. The copyright claims are certificates stating Ayer's ownership over certain published materials (i.e. "Policy", Media Equalizer Model, and Don Newman's Washington Square Experiment). The correspondences relate to either the voting trust and receipts for agreement or the New York Corporation. The international correspondences are from either Ayer's Canadian office or London office. The dissolutions of trusts contains materials about the dividend trust of Wilfred F. Fry, the investment trust of Winfred W. Fry, the voting trust, and the New York corporation. The stock information has stock certificates and capital stock information. The agreements between partners (1911-1916) specify the terms between F.W. Ayer and his partners. The incorporation materials (circa 1929-1977) deal with Ayer advertising agency becoming incorporated in the state of Delaware. The reduction of capital grouping is a notification that shares of stock have been retired. The property information grouping contains property deeds and insurance policy (circa 1921-1939), a property appraisal (1934), and a bill of sale (1948). The miscellaneous grouping contains a house memo regarding a set of board meeting minutes and a registry of foreign companies in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1929-1954).

Subseries 18.1, Advertising Service Agreements, 1918-1982

Subseries 18.2, Bylaw Materials, 1969-1972

Subseries 18.3, Copyright Claims, 1962-1969

Subseries 18.4, Correspondence, 1928-1933

Subseries 18.5, International Office Correspondence, 1947-1948

Subseries 18.6, Dissolution of Trusts, 1934-1937

Subseries 18.7, Stock Information, 1934-1974

Subseries 18.8, Agreements between Partners, 1911-1916

Subseries 18.9, Incorporation Materials, 1929-1977

Subseries 18.10, Certificates of Reduction of Capital, 1937; 1975

Subseries 18.11, Property Information, 1921-1948

Subseries 18.12, Miscellaneous Materials, 1929-1977

Series 19, Personnel Records, circa 1889-2001, are arranged into eight groupings within eight boxes. The groupings are employee card files, photographs, Ayer alumni, biographies, speeches, recollections, oral histories, and miscellaneous. Typed manuscript of book A Copy Writer Speaks by George Cecil, NW Ayer, Incorporated copy head 1920s-1950s

Subseries 19.1, Employee card files, circa 1892-1915; 1929-1963, consists of index cards with the name, age, job title, date and wage increases, date of hire/fire, as well as remarks about the employee's service and/or reasons for seeking or leaving the job. Materials are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the employee within three boxes.

Subseries 19.2, Photographs, circa 1924-1984, undated, are housed in two boxes. The photographs grouped together by subjects i.e. personnel, company events, Ayer buildings, and miscellaneous. This grouping primarily consists of personnel photographs. Includes a glass plate negative dated 1924 of NW Ayer.

Subseries 19.3, Ayer Alumni, circa 1989-98, include employees who have left Ayer. There is a listing of Ayer "graduates" and their current job. Emeritus, Ayer's alumni newsletter 1989-1996, makes up the majority of materials in this grouping. The newsletter keeps the alumni up to date with the happenings of Ayer and what has become of former Ayer employees. Emeritus is a quarterly newsletter devoted to the activities, thoughts and feelings of Ayer alumni a body of people who consists of retirees and former employees.

Subseries 19.4, Biographical Information, circa 1889-1994, undated, prominent members of Ayer's operations had biographical sketches completed of them. This was true for the bio sketches of Robert Ervin, Louis T. Hagopian, and George A. Rink. There is a substantial file on Dorothy Dignam ("Mis Dig"), a leading woman in the advertising world from the 1930s to the 1950s. Also of interest is a video ("The Siano Man") compiled by Ayer employees to commemorate Jerry Siano's retirement from Ayer in 1994. The series is arranged alphabetically by last name.

Subseries 19.5, Speeches, circa 1919-1931; 1975, contains speeches made by Wilfred W. Fry and Neal W. O'Connor. Wilfred W. Fry had various speaking engagements connected with Ayer. Contained in this group is a sampling of his speeches from 1919 to 1931. Neal O'Connor's speech "Advertising: Who Says It's a Young People's Business" was given at the Central Region Convention for the American Association of Advertising Agencies in Chicago on November 6, 1975. The speeches are arranged alphabetically by the speaker's last name.

Subseries 19.6, Recollections, 1954-1984, undated, are arranged alphabetically by last name. These are recollections from Ayer employees about the company and its advertisements. Some recollections are specifically about certain types of advertisements, like farm equipment while others reflect on F. W. Ayer and the company.

Subseries 19.7, Oral History Interview Transcripts, 1983-1985; 1989-1991, include interviews with key NW Ayer personnel, conducted by Ayer alumnae Howard Davis, Brad Lynch and Don Sholl (Vice President creative) for the Oral History Program. The materials are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the interviewee.

Subseries 19.8, Oral History Interview Audio Tapes, 1985-1990, include interviews on audiotape the materials are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the interviewee.

Subseries 19.9, Internal Communications, 1993-1999, includes information sent to employees relating to retirements, management changes, awards won by the company, promotions, potential new accounts, free items, grand opening of Ayer Café, donation events, sponsorship programs, holiday schedules, discounts for employees from clients, Ayer joins MacManus Group.

Subseries 19.10, General Materials, 1940; 1970, includes agency directory entry including a list of the employees, 1970s, annual banquet program for the Curfew Club May 22, 1940 a group formed by the Philadelphia employee in 1938. It sponsored numerous sports, social and educational activities. Groups were formed in public speaking, music appreciation and a series of talks on Monday evenings title the modern woman. The front page was a series of talks for general interest. A list of officers, 1991, Twenty five year club membership, 1973 December 1, List of NW Ayer graduates, 1970, List of Officers, 1991 May 31, Obituary for Leo Lionni, 1999 October 17, List of photographers of advertisements, 2001

Series 20, Background and History Information, 1817-1999, undated includes a chronology, 1817-1990, quick reference timeline, 1848-1923, loose pages from a scrapbook containing examples of correspondence, envelopes, advertisements dating from 1875-1878; slogans coined by NW Ayer & Sons, Incorporated, 1899-1990, history of management, 1909-1923, articles and photographs about the building and art galleries, 1926-1976, publications about the Philadelphia building, 1929, pamphlet relating to memories of NW Ayer & Sons, Incorporated, 1930s-1950s, television history, 1940-1948, Article about the history of the company, 1950 January, pocket guide, 1982, AdWeek reports about standings for advertising agencies, information relating to Human Contact which is NW Ayer's Information relating to Human Contact, undated which is their philosophy on advertising.

Series 21, Materials Created by other Advertising Agencies, 1945-1978, undated, consists of print advertisements collected by Ayer from other major advertising companies. The companies include Doyle Dane Bernback, Incorporated, Leo Burnett Company, Grey Advertising Agency, D'Arcy Ad Agency, Scali, McCabe, Sloves, Incorporated and Erwin Wasey Company. The materials are arranged in alphabetical order by client and include products from Ralston Purina and Van Camp (Chicken of the Sea), Kellogg, American Export Lines and No Nonsense Fashions.

Series 22, 2010 Addendum of Print Advertisements, circa 1879s-1999, undated, includes material given to the Archives Center in 2010. It is organized into seventy one oversized boxes and contains proofsheets of print advertisements for select Ayer clients. These are arranged alphabetically by client name and include substantial quantities of materials from American Telephone &Telegraph (1945-1996), Bahamas Ministry of Tourism (1967-1987), Carrier (1971-1981), Citibank (1973-1991), DeBeers (1940s-1960s and1990s), Electric Companies Advertising Program [ECAP] (1942-1970s), General Motors (1989-1998), J.C. Penney (1983-1986), Newsweek (1966-1975), and Proctor and Gamble (1980s-1890s). There are also numerous other clients represented by smaller quantities of materials.

Subseries 22.1, Print Advertisements, 1930-1990, undated

Subseries 22.2, Print Advertisements on Glass Plate Negatives, 1879-1881, undated, include Cannon towels, Cheny Brothers silks, Cornish & Company organs and pianos, Enterprise Manufacturing Company, 1879 sad iron, an ad from Harper's Weekly 1881 for ladies clothing, Ostermoor & Company mattresses, Pear's soap, Porter's cough balsam, Steinway pianos.

Series 23, Microfilm of Print Advertisements, circa 1908-1985, consists of three boxes of printed advertisements for the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. Some of the same advertisements might also be found in series two, three and four.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into twenty-three series.

Series 1: Scrapbooks of Client Print Advertisements, circa 1870-1920

Series 2: Proofsheets, circa 1870-1930

Series 3: Proofsheets, circa 1920-1975

Series 4: 2001 Addendum, circa 1976-2001

Series 5: Billboards, circa 1952-1956

Series 6: Audiovisual Materials

Series 7: Radio and Television Materials, 1933-1993, undated

Series 8: Chicago Office Print Advertisements, 1954-1989

Series 9: Los Angeles Office Materials, 1950s-1987

Subseries 9.1: Printed Advertisements, 1977-1987

Subseries 9.2: Personnel Files, 1950s-1970s

Series 10: Foreign Print Advertisements, 1977-1991, undated

Series 11: Cunningham & Walsh Incorporated Materials, 1915-1987, undated

Subseries 11.1: Printed Advertisements, 1915-1987

Subseries 11.2: Radio and Television Advertisements, 1963-1967

Subseries 11.3: Company Related Materials, 1962-1986, undated

Series 12: Hixson & Jorgensen Materials, 1953-1971, undated

Series 13: Newell-Emmet, 1942-1957

Series 14: House Print Advertisements, 1870-1991

Series 15: Scrapbooks, 1872-1959

Series 16: Publications, 1849-2006

Subseries 16.1: House Publications, 1876-1994

Subseries 16.2: Publications about NW Ayer, 1949-1995

Subseries 16.3: General Publications about Advertising, 1922-2006

Subseries 16.4: Publications about other Subjects, 1948-1964

Series 17, Business Records, circa 1885-1990s

Subseries 17.1: Contracts, 1885-1908, undated

Subseries 17.2: General Client Information, 1911-1999, undated

Subseries 17.3: Individual Client Account Information, 1950s-1990s, undated

Subseries 17.4: Potential Clients, 1993

Subseries 17.5: Financial Records, 1929-1938

Series 18: Legal Records, circa 1911-1984

Subseries 18.1: Advertising Service Agreements, 1918-1982

Subseries 18.2: Bylaw Materials, 1969-1972

Subseries 18.3, Copyright Claims, 1962-1969

Subseries 18.4: Correspondence, 1928-1933

Subseries 18.5: International Office Correspondence, 1947-1948

Subseries 18.6: Dissolution of Trusts, 1934-1937

Subseries 18.7: Stock Information, 1934-1974

Subseries 18.8: Agreements between Partners, 1911-1916

Subseries 18.9: Incorporation Materials, 1929-1977

Subseries 18.10: Certificates of Reduction of Capital, 1937; 1975

Subseries 18.11: Property Information

Subseries 18.12: Miscellaneous Materials, 1929-1977

Series 19: Employee Materials, circa 1889-2001

Subseries 19.1: Employee Card files, circa 1892-1915; 1929-1963

Subseries 19.2: Photographs, circa 1924-1984, undated

Subseries 19.3: Alumni Publications, circa 1989-1998

Subseries 19.4: Biographical Information, circa 1889-1994

Subseries 19.5: Speeches, circa 1919-1931; 1975

Subseries 19.6: Recollections, 1954-1984, undated

Subseries 19.7: Oral History Interview Transcripts, 1983-1985; 1989-1991

Subseries 19.8: Oral History Audiotapes, 1985-1990

Subseries 19.9: Internal Communications, 1993-1999

Subseries 19.1: General Materials, 1940-2001

Series 20: History and Background Information about the Company, 1817-1999, undated

Series 21: Materials Created by other Advertising Agencies, 1945-1978, undated

Series 22: 2010 Addendum of Print Advertisements, circa 1879s-1990s, undated

Subseries 22.1: Print Advertisements, 1930-1990, undated

Subseries 22.2: Print Advertisements on Glass Plate Negatives, 1879-1881, undated

Series 23: Microfilm of Print Advertisements, circa 1908-1985
Biographical / Historical:
Founded in Philadelphia in 1869, NW Ayer & Son is one of the oldest and largest advertising agencies in America. For most of its history, it was the undisputed leader and innovator in the field of advertising. In 1876, NW Ayer & Son pioneered the "open contract", a revolutionary change in the method of billing for advertising which became the industry standard for the next hundred years. NW Ayer pioneered the use of fine art in advertising and established the industry's first art department. It was the first agency to use a full-time copywriter and the first to institute a copy department. The agency relocated to New York City in 1974. During its long history, the agency's clients included many "blue-chip" clients, including American Telephone & Telegraph, DeBeers Consolidated Diamond Mines, Ford Motor Company, Nabisco, R. J. Reynolds and United Airlines. However, in later years, the Ayer's inherent conservatism left the agency vulnerable to the creative revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, the advertising industry restructuring of the 1980s and the economic recession of the early 1990s. The agency was bought out by a Korean investor in 1993. In 1996, NW Ayer merged with another struggling top twenty United States advertising agency, Darcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles, under the umbrella of the McManus Group. Ayer continues to operate as a separate, full-service agency.

Through a series of buyouts and mergers, Ayer traces its lineage to the first advertising agency founded in the United States, a Philadelphia agency begun by Volney Palmer in 1841. Palmer began his career in advertising as a newspaper agent, acting as middleman between newspaper publishers and advertisers across the country. By 1849, Palmer had founded his own newspaper, V. B. Palmer's Register and Spirit of the Press, and had developed a complete system of advertising which included securing advertising space and placing ads in scores of commercial, political, religious, scientific and agricultural journals across the country. Palmer went one step further than the "space jobbers" of the day when he began offering "advertisements carefully drawn for those who have not the time to prepare an original copy." Always an enthusiastic promoter of advertising as an incentive to trade and American economic growth, Palmer promised advertisers that "every dollar paid for advertising in country newspapers will pay back twenty-fold" and encouraged skeptical consumers that "he who wishes to buy cheap should buy of those who advertise." When Palmer died in 1863, the agency was bought by his bookkeeper, John Joy, who joined with another Philadelphia advertising agency to form Joy, Coe & Sharpe. That agency was bought out again in 1868 and renamed Coe, Wetherill & Company. In 1877, Coe, Wetherill and Company was bought out by the newly formed NW Ayer & Son.

Francis Wayland Ayer was an ambitious young schoolteacher with an entrepreneurial streak. Having worked for a year soliciting advertisements on a commission basis for the publisher of the National Baptist weekly, Francis Ayer saw the potential to turn a profit as an advertising agent. In 1869, Ayer persuaded his father, Nathan Wheeler Ayer, to join him in business, and with an initial investment of only $250.00, NW Ayer & Son was born. Notwithstanding a smallpox epidemic in Philadelphia in 1871 and the general economic depression of the early 1870s, the agency flourished. The senior Ayer died in 1873, leaving his interest in the agency to his wife, but Francis W. Ayer bought her out, consolidating his interest in the company's management. In 1877, with Coe, Wetherill & Company (the successor to Palmer's 1841 agency) on the verge of bankruptcy and heavily indebted to Ayer for advertising it had placed in Ayer publications, Ayer assumed ownership of that agency. Thus did NW Ayer lay claim to being the oldest advertising agency in the country.

Both Nathan Wheeler and Francis Wayland Ayer began their careers as schoolteachers, and one of their legacies was a commitment to the cause of education: correspondence schools and institutions of higher learning were historically well-represented among Ayer clients. Just after World War I, the agency was heralded as "co-founder of more schools than any citizen of this country" for its conspicuous efforts to advertise private schools. Well into the 1960s, an "Education Department" at Ayer prepared advertisements for over three hundred private schools, camps and colleges, representing almost half the regional and national advertising done for such institutions. In fact, to its clients Ayer presented advertising itself as being akin to a system of education. In 1886, Ayer began promoting the virtues of the Ayer way advertising with the slogan, "Keeping Everlastingly at It Brings Success."

The agency's goals were simple: "to make advertising pay the advertiser, to spend the advertiser's money as though it were our own, to develop, magnify and dignify advertising as a business." Initially, Ayer's fortunes were tied to newspapers, and the agency began to make a name for itself as compiler and publisher of a widely used American Newspaper Annual. During the first years, Ayer's singular goal was "to get business, place it [in newspapers] and get money for it"; after several years as an independent space broker, however, Francis Ayer resolved "not to be an order taker any longer." This decision led NW Ayer and Son to a change in its mode of conducting business which would revolutionize the advertising industry: in 1876, Ayer pioneered the "open contract" with Diggee & Conard, Philadelphia raised growers and agricultural suppliers. Prior to the open contract, NW Ayer & Sons and most agencies operated as "space-jobbers," independent wholesalers of advertising space, in which the opportunities for graft and corrupt practices were virtually unlimited. In contrast, the open contract, wherein the advertiser paid a fixed commission based on the volume of advertising placed, aligned the advertising agent firmly on the side of the advertiser and gave advertisers access to the actual rates charged by newspapers and religious journals. The open contract with a fixed commission has been hailed by advertising pioneer Albert Lasker as one of the "three great landmarks in advertising history." (The other two were Lasker's own development of "reason-why" advertising copy and J. Walter Thompson's pioneering of sex appeal in an advertisement for Woodbury's soap.) Although the transition to the open contract did not happen overnight, by 1884, nearly three-quarters of Ayer's advertising billings were on an open contract basis. Since Ayer was, by the 1890s, the largest agency in America, the switch to direct payment by advertisers had a significant impact on the advertising industry, as other agencies were forced to respond to Ayer's higher standard. Just as important, the open contract helped to establish N W Ayer's long-standing reputation for "clean ethics and fair dealing" -- a reputation the agency has guarded jealously for over a century. The open contract also helped to establish Ayer as a full service advertising agency and to regularize the production of advertising in-house. From that point forward, Ayer routinely offered advice and service beyond the mere placement of advertisements. Ayer set another milestone for the industry in 1888, when Jarvis Wood was hired as the industry's first full-time copywriter. Wood was joined by a second full time copywriter four years later, and the Copy Department was formally established in 1900. The industry's first Art Department grew out of the Copy Department when Ayer hired its first commercial artist to assist with copy preparation in 1898; twelve years later Ayer became the first agency to offer the services of a full time art director, whose sole responsibility was the design and illustration of ads.

Ayer's leadership in the use of fine art in advertising has roots in this period, but achieved its highest expression under the guidance of legendary art director Charles Coiner. Coiner joined Ayer in 1924, after graduating from the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. Despite early resistance from some clients, Coiner was adamant that "the use of outstanding palette and original art forms bring a greater return in readership, in impact and prestige for the advertiser." To this end, Coiner marshaled the talents of notable painters, illustrators and photographers, including N.C. Wyeth and Rockwell Kent (Steinway), Georgia O'Keefe (Dole), Leo Lionni (DuPont), Edward Steichen (Steinway, Cannon Mills), Charles Sheeler (Ford), and Irving Penn (DeBeers). Coiner believed that there was a practical side to the use of fine art in advertising, and his success (and Ayer's) lay in the marriage of research and copywriting with fine art, an arrangement Coiner termed "art for business sake." Coiner's efforts won both awards and attention for a series completed in the 1950s for the Container Corporation of America. Titled "Great Ideas of Western Man" the campaign featured abstract and modern paintings and sculpture by leading U.S. and foreign artists, linked with Western philosophical writings in an early example of advertising designed primarily to bolster corporate image. In 1994, Charles Coiner was posthumously named to the American Advertising Federation's Hall of Fame, the first full time art director ever chosen for that honor.

Coiner and fellow art director Paul Darrow also created legendary advertising with the "A Diamond Is Forever" campaign for DeBeers; ads featured the work of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and other modernist painters. The "A Diamond is Forever" tagline was written in 1949 by Frances Gerety, a woman copywriter at Ayer from 1943 to 1970. In 1999, Ad Age magazine cited "A Diamond is Forever" as the most memorable advertising slogan of the twentieth century.

Coiner also earned respect for his volunteer government service during World War II; he designed the armbands for civil defense volunteers and logos for the National Recovery Administration and Community Chest. As a founding member of the Advertising Council in 1945, Ayer has had a long-standing commitment to public service advertising. In the mid-1980s, Ayer became a leading force in the Reagan-era "War on Drugs". Lou Hagopian, Ayer's sixth CEO, brokered the establishment of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, a media coalition which generated as much as a million dollars a day in donated advertising space and time to prevent the use and abuse of illegal drugs. Famous names appear among NW Ayer's clientele from the very earliest days of the agency. Retailer John Wanamaker, Jay Cooke and Company, and Montgomery Ward's mail-order business were among the first Ayer clients. The agency has represented at least twenty automobile manufacturers, including Cadillac, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Plymouth, and Rolls-Royce. Other major, long-term clients through the years have included American Telephone & Telegraph, Canada Dry, Cannon Mills, Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Kellogg's, R. J. Reynolds, Steinway and Sons, United Airlines, and the United States Army. By the time of Ayer's hundredth anniversary in 1969, some of these companies had been Ayer clients for decades if not generations, and the longevity of those relationships was for many years a source of Ayer's strength.

But the advertising industry began to change in the late 1960s and 1970s, due in part to a "creative revolution." Small advertising agencies won attention with provocative copywriting and art direction that more closely resembled art than advertising. Advances in market research allowed clients to more narrowly tailor their advertising messages to distinct groups of consumers, and this led to a rise in targeted marketing which could more readily be doled out to specialized small agencies than to larger, established firms like NW Ayer & Son. The civil rights and anti-war movements also contributed to increasing public skepticism with the values of corporate America, and by extension, with some national advertising campaigns. Older, more conservative firms like Ayer were hard pressed to meet these new challenges.

About 1970, in an effort to meet these challenges and to establish a foothold on the West Coast, Ayer bought out two smaller agencies--Hixson & Jorgenson (Los Angeles) and Frederick E. Baker (Seattle). The agency relocated from Philadelphia to New York City in 1974 in an attempt both to consolidate operations (Ayer had operated a New York office since the 1920s) and to be closer to the historic center of the advertising industry. Riding the wave of mergers that characterized the advertising industry in the late 1980s and 1990s, Ayer continued to grow through the acquisition of Cunningham & Walsh in 1986 and Rink Wells in 19xx.

During this transitional period, Ayer received widespread acclaim for its work for the United States Army, which included the widely recognized slogan "Be All You Can Be". Ayer first acquired the Army recruitment account in 1967 and with help from its direct marketing arm, the agency was widely credited with helping the Army reach its recruitment goals despite an unpopular war and plummeting enlistments after the elimination of the draft in 1973. Ayer held the account for two decades, from the Vietnam War through the Cold War, but lost the account in 1986 amid government charges that an Ayer employee assigned to the account accepted kickbacks from a New York film production house. Despite Ayer's position as the country's 18th largest agency (with billings of $880 million in 1985), the loss of the agency's second largest account hit hard.

NW Ayer made up for the loss of the $100 million dollar a year Army account and made headlines for being on the winning end of the largest account switch in advertising history to date, when fast food giant Burger King moved its $200 million dollar advertising account from arch-rival J. Walter Thompson in 1987. Burger King must have had drive-thru service in mind, however, and Ayer made headlines again when it lost the account just eighteen months later in another record-breaking account switch. Another devastating blow to the agency was the loss of its lead position on the American Telegraph and Telephone account. Ayer pioneered telecommunications advertising in 1908, when the agency was selected to craft advertising for the Bell System's universal telephone service. Despite valiant efforts to keep an account the agency had held for most of the twentieth century, and for which they had written such memorable corporate slogans as American Telephone &Telegraph "The Voice with a Smile" and "Reach Out and Touch Someone", the agency lost the account in 1996.

After a wave of mergers and acquisitions in the late 1980s, the economic recession of the early 1990s hit Madison Avenue hard, and Ayer was particularly vulnerable. Despite the agency's long history and roster of "blue-chip" clients, Ayer was not known for cutting-edge creative work. Moreover, though the agency had offices overseas, Ayer had never built a strong multinational presence, and many of the smaller international offices were sold during the financial turmoil of the 1980s. This left a real void in the new climate of global marketplace consolidation. By about 1990, earnings were declining (although Ayer was still among the top twenty United States agencies in billings), and the agency was suffering from client defections, high management turnover, expensive real estate commitments and deferred executive compensation deals, all fallout of the high-flying 1980s. This was the atmosphere in 1993, when W.Y. Choi, a Korean investor who had already assembled a media and marketing empire in his homeland, began looking for an American partner to form an international advertising network. Jerry Siano, the former creative director who had recently been named Ayer's seventh CEO, was in no position to refuse Choi's offer of $35 million to buy the now floundering agency. The infusion of cash was no magic bullet, however. Choi took a wait-and-see approach, allowing his partner Richard Humphreys to make key decisions about Ayer's future, including the purging of senior executives and the installation of two new CEOs in as many years.

The agency's downward trend continued with the loss of another longtime client, the DeBeers diamond cartel in 1995. Adweek reported that Ayer's billings fell from $892 million in 1990 to less than $850 million in 1995. Several top executives defected abruptly, and the agency failed to attract major new accounts. Ayer was facing the loss not merely of revenue and personnel, but the loss of much of the respect it once commanded. Ayer remained among the twenty largest U.S. agencies, but an aura of uncertainty hung over the agency like a cloud. A new CEO was appointed, and Mary Lou Quinlan became the agency's first woman CEO in 1995. A year later, Ayer and another struggling top twenty agency, D'arcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles, combined as part of the McManus Group of companies. In 1998, the McManus Group had worldwide billings of more than $6.5 billion.

Under the McManus Group, Ayer was able to expand its international operations and begin to rebuild a stronger global presence. Several important new clients were won in 1997 and 1998, including Avon, General Motors, Kitchenaid, several Procter & Gamble brands and, most notably, Continental Airlines worldwide accounts. Born in the nineteenth century, Ayer may be one of a very few advertising agencies to successfully weather the economic and cultural transitions of both the twentieth and twentieth first centuries. Ayer was eventually acquired by the Publicis Groupe based in Paris, France which closed down the N.W. Ayer offices in 2002.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana (AC0060)

Hills Bros. Coffee Incorporated Records (AC0395)
Provenance:
The collection was donated by N W Ayer ABH International, April 15, 1975 and by Ayer & Partners, October 30, 1996.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.

Physical Access: Researchers must use microfilm copy. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audiovisual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow.

Technical Access: Viewing the film portion of the collection without reference copies requires special appointment, please inquire; listening to audio discs requires special arrangement. Do not use original materials when available on reference video or audio tapes.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply. Publication and production quality duplication is restricted due to complex copyright, publicity rights, and right to privacy issues. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff. Potential users must receive written permission from appropriate rights holders prior to obtaining high quality copies.
Topic:
Advertising agencies  Search this
advertising  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business records -- 1840-2000
Interviews -- 1980-2000
Oral history -- 1980-1990
Print advertising
Proof sheets
Proofs (printed matter)
Scrapbooks -- 1840-1990
Trade literature
Tear sheets
Advertisements
Citation:
NW Ayer & Sons, incorporated Advertising Agency Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0059
See more items in:
N W Ayer Advertising Agency Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0059
Online Media:

19th Century Pamphlet Collection

Names:
United States. Army -- Civil War, 1861-1865  Search this
United States. Army -- Recruiting, enlistment, etc.  Search this
Douglass, Frederick, 1817?-1895  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Linear feet (1 box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Proceedings
Speeches
Pamphlets
Booklets
Reports
Place:
Washington (D.C.) -- Politics and government
Date:
1838 - 1898
Summary:
This collection, which dates from 1838-1898, contains nine pamphlets and one booklet. The materials cover various subjects relating to African-Americans, including civil rights, education, the Civil War draft and services for freedmen. Several of the pamphlets contain speeches by Frederick Douglass.
Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist at acmarchives@si.edu.
Topic:
Draft -- United States  Search this
Civil rights -- United States  Search this
School integration  Search this
African Americans -- Social conditions  Search this
Segregation in education  Search this
Genre/Form:
Proceedings
Speeches
Pamphlets
Booklets
Reports
Citation:
19th century pamphlet collection, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
ACMA.06-119
See more items in:
19th Century Pamphlet Collection
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-acma-06-119
Online Media:

Ronald S. Korda Collection of Sports and Trading Cards

Creator:
Korda, Ronald S., -1996  Search this
Korda, Catherine  Search this
Extent:
57 Cubic feet (259 boxes, 1 oversized folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Programs
Posters
Stickers
Collecting cards
Albums
Baseball cards
Date:
1952-1996
Summary:
Sports and trading cards, 1952-1996, amassed by card collector Ronald S. Korda. The sports cards are subdivided by sport. Baseball cards, (1952-1996), comprise the vast majority of the sports cards, while football (1968-1996) and hockey (1968-1996) are the two next largest subseries. There are lesser quantities of cards for basketball, and only a few each for all other sports, such as racing, skiing, etc. Non-sports cards cover a large variety of popular culture topics, including motion pictures, television programs, popular music, toys, games, cars and trucks, comics, fantasy art, and many other subjects. Some ephemeral items are also included in the collection, such as sticker albums, posters and programs
Scope and Contents:
This collection is divided into two main series, Series I, Sports; and Series II, Non-Sports.

Series I, Sports, comprises more than 90% of the collection. Within Series I, the collection is divided into seven subseries:

Subseries A: Baseball;

Subseries B: Football;

Subseries C: Hockey;

Subseries D: Basketball;

Subseries E: Other Sports;

Subseries F: Sports programs, schedules and other paper ephemera; toys, souvenirs and novelty items;

Subseries G: Sports card packaging.

Subseries A is the largest, with baseball cards making up approximately 70% of the entire Korda collection. Within the first three subseries, the cards are further subdivided into cards in sets, which are sleeved, and cards in packs, which are stored in card-sized boxes. Subseries D and E are in packs only. Both cards in sets and in packs have been arranged alphabetically by manufacturer, and thereunder, chronologically. Within sets, cards are arranged in numerical order by card number. In cases where, for baseball cards, titles of sets were unclear or ambiguous, the reference book Sports Collector's Digest's Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards (which in this finding aid will be referred to as Standard Catalog) was used to determine how card sets should be titled. Likewise, in the rare cases in which cards were not numbered within sets, the order used was that given in Standard Catalog. In the case of football and hockey, Beckett's Football Card Monthly and Beckett's Hockey Card Monthly were used as reference guides.

Series II: Non-Sports, is arranged into twenty three subseries:

Subseries A: Mass Media and Entertainment

Subseries B: Education

Subseries C: Comic Books and Strips

Subseries D: Toys and action figures

Subseries E: Literature

Subseries F: Automotive Themes

Subseries G: Crime and Law Enforcement

Subseries H: Military Topics

Subseries I: Biography

Subseries J: Fine Arts

Subseries K: Adult Themes

Subseries L: Beauty Contests

Subseries M: Video Games

Subseries N: Parodies

Subseries O: Product Advertising

Subseries P: Fantasy Art

Subseries Q: Monsters

Subseries R: Card Games

Subseries S: Stickers, patches and tattoos

Subseries T: Toys, games, puzzles, post cards and posters

Subseries U: Pogs, caps and gum wrappers

Subseries V: Oversize of above topics

Subseries W: Non-card items, relating to above topics

Subseries 1, Mass media and entertainment, is the largest of the non-sports categories, comprising movies, television and music. Other subseries are similarly subdivided. Unlike the majority of the sports cards, the non-sports cards are stored in small, card-sized cartons, which have been assigned the letters A through DD, and are stored in 4 Paige boxes and 1 DB. They are listed here according to titles of packs.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into two series.

Series 1: Sports

Series 2: Non-sports
Biographical note:
Ronald Korda, an employee of NBC television and a man of modest, middle class means, began assembling his card collection in childhood after receiving a pack of cards as a party favor. After that initial inspiration, he began his collecting hobby which was his passion until his death in March, 1996. In the early years of his hobby, he collected baseball cards, later expanding to other sports as well as cards on diverse popular culture topics. Among these topics are films, television, popular music, science and nature, comics and magazines, toys and action figures, games, and products, and in addition to cards, there are stickers, sticker albums, tattoos, gum wrappers, puzzles, games and other novelty items. Numerous foreign issues are included. He amassed his collection by attending cards and collectibles shows and seeking out reputable dealers, and by purchasing factory sets when they became available. He was selective and careful, and in the case of the sports cards, succeeded in acquiring complete sets of virtually every series which he collected. (With the non-sports cards, he tended to collect samples rather than entire sets.) This thoroughness is what makes this collection rare and possibly unique among any card collections in public or private hands. With few exceptions, there are no cards missing, and virtually all are in mint or near mint condition. The Kordas could have sold their collection for a fortune, but felt it important that the collection stay together as a unit. Mr. Korda, in an emotional article entitled "Collections Should Live Forever" written for Baseball Hobby News, referred to his collection as "my card family" and expressed the fear that the family would be split up after he died. He approached the Smithsonian late in 1995. Just days before the Archives Center was to acquire the collection, Mr. Korda died. Finalization of his gift was completed by his wife.
History:
Although baseball and other trading cards date back to the nineteenth century, with some of the earliest accompanying packages of tobacco, they gained great popularity during the Depression with the advent of the bubble gum card. In the post-World War II years, and especially during the prosperous decade of the 1950s, they began to enjoy tremendous popularity, as the technology for producing them improved. The market rapidly expanded, and cards for other sports and other topics became popular, just as competition among manufacturers was heating up. The earliest trading cards accompanied packs of tobacco, but were eventually used to advertise gum, cookies, soft drinks, baked goods, hot dogs, and numerous other products. Card manufacturers, such as Topps, changed card formats with each new set, varying the presentation of statistics, vertical and horizontal orientation, use of action shots, candid shots and portraits, and inclusion of puzzles, games, fold-outs, and other novelties. They also added new features, such as trivia questions, cartoons, and holograms. As the hobby has changed, so have trading cards. Today's glossy, high-tech trading cards bear little resemblance to the tobacco cards of the 19th century or even to the cards produced during the "golden age" of cards in the 1950s. This collection represents a very diverse sampling of the card hobby from the 1950s to the 1990s.
Separated Materials:
Some card packaging was transferred to the Museum's Division of Cultural History.

add accession numbers
Provenance:
The entire collection was donated to the Archives Center in April, 1996 by Mr. Korda's widow, Catherine Korda. Some of the card packaging was transferred by the Archives Center to the Division of Cultural History.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.

Use of this collection by researchers requires compliance with security procedures more stringent than those required for other collections in the Archives Center. This is due to the high value and rarity of some of the items in this collection. Autographed items, and cards valued at higher than $300 by Standard Catalog and Beckett's are stored separately, and may be seen only with special permission from the Reference Archivist, and then only in cases (such as photography or scanning) where it is deemed a necessity.

Color photocopies have been placed in sleeves where these items would normally be stored. When using card boxes, only six at a time may be requested from the Reference Archivist, and unlike other collections, may not be reserved in advance (i.e., on each separate research visit, a researcher must request boxes only for that visit.)

Card sleeves may be taken out of the binders for photocopying only with the permission and the supervision of the Reference Archivist. Cards may not be taken from sleeves, except with the permission and supervision of the Collection Specialist. This may involve making advance arrangements with the Collection Specialist. These procedures are necessary for the preservation of this exceptional collection in perpetuity.
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:
Popular music  Search this
Popular culture  Search this
Sports -- Collectibles  Search this
Sports -- 1950-2000  Search this
Sports cards  Search this
Television programs  Search this
Football cards  Search this
Television personalities  Search this
Collectibles  Search this
Football  Search this
Collectors and collecting  Search this
Basketball  Search this
Baseball players  Search this
Cards  Search this
Basketball cards  Search this
Baseball  Search this
Hockey players  Search this
Motion pictures  Search this
Football players  Search this
Hockey  Search this
Genre/Form:
Programs -- Sports
Posters -- 20th century
Stickers
Collecting cards
Albums
Baseball cards -- 1950-2000
Baseball cards
Citation:
Ronald S. Korda Collection of Sports and Trading Cards, 1952-1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Gift of Catherine Korda.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0545
See more items in:
Ronald S. Korda Collection of Sports and Trading Cards
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0545
Online Media:

Robert Rosenblum Papers

Creator:
Rosenblum, Robert  Search this
Names:
Columbia University -- Faculty  Search this
Harry N. Abrams, Inc.  Search this
Los Angeles County Museum of Art  Search this
Musée d'Orsay  Search this
National Museum of American Art (U.S.)  Search this
New York University -- Faculty  Search this
Princeton University -- Faculty  Search this
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum  Search this
University of Michigan -- Faculty  Search this
Yale University -- Faculty  Search this
Becraft, Melvin E.  Search this
Ingres, Jean-Auguste-Dominique, 1780-1867  Search this
Kramer, Hilton  Search this
Rockwell, Norman, 1894-1978  Search this
Rosenquist, James, 1933-  Search this
Extent:
38.3 Linear feet
1.17 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Video recordings
Collages
Sound recordings
Sketches
Interviews
Transcripts
Date:
circa 1927-2009
bulk 1950-2006
Summary:
The papers of art historian, curator, and professor Robert Rosenblum measure 38.3 linear feet and 1.17 GB and date from circa 1927 to 2009, with the bulk dating from 1950 to 2006. They include biographical material, extensive personal and professional correspondence; lectures, writings, and writing project files by Rosenblum and others; exhibition files; research reference files; teaching files; personal business records; printed and digital material; photographs; and artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of art historian, curator, and professor Robert Rosenblum measure 38.3 linear feet and 1.17 GB and date from circa 1927 to 2009, with the bulk dating from 1950 to 2006. They include biographical material, extensive personal and professional correspondence; lectures, writings, and writing project files by Rosenblum and others; exhibition files; research reference files; teaching files; personal business records; printed and digital material; photographs; and artwork.

Biographical materials include Rosenblum's bibliography and resume materials, various school related ephemera and diplomas, a transcript of an interview with Amy Newman for Artforum, and a digital video recording of a Josef Levi interview. Extensive personal and professional correspondence is with friends, family, colleagues, publishers, museums, and others. Some of the correspondents include Melvin Becraft, the Guggenheim, Harry Abrams, Inc., Hilton Kramer, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the National Museum of American Art. Also found are numerous postcards.

Lectures, writings, and writing project files document Rosenblum's prolific writing and speaking career, and include notes, copies, and manuscript drafts of lectures, articles, catalog essays, and books, as well as additional materials related to the writings and the publication of books, such as as correspondence, editing feedback, photographs, and lists of photographs. There are manuscript, notes, and other materials related to many of Rosenblum's notable books, including Transformations in Late Eighteenth-Century Art, Paintings in the Musee D'Orsay, 19th-Century Art, The Dog in Art, Ingres, Modern Painting and the Northern Tradition, and others. Also found are Rosenblum's dissertation and other student writings. There is also a series containing writings by or about others, such as students and colleagues.

Rosenblum planned and facilitated numerous exhibitions that are well-documented within the exhibition files, including French Painting, 1774-1830: The Age of Revolution (1974), 1900: Art at the Crossroads (2000), Norman Rockwell: Pictures for the American People (2001), Best in Show: Dogs in Art from the Renaissance to the Present (2006), and Citizens and Kings: Portraits in the Age of Revolution, 1760-1830 (2007), among many others. Contents of each exhibition file vary considerably but often include correspondence, lists of artwork, proposals, notes, catalog drafts and outlines (see also series 3), and printed materials. There are a few sound cassettes, including a recorded interview with James Rosenquist with transcripts. Also included are digital photographs of Norman and Irma Braman Collection exhibition.

Research reference files cover a wide variety of art related topics, but are arranged within a separate series because they are not related to specific named projects as are the files in Series 3. These files contain research notes, bibliographies, and syllabi kept by Rosenblum presumably for a variety of publications, research interests, and teaching references.

Teaching files and class notes document Rosenblum's professorial career at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University, University of Michigan, Yale College, and Yale University, and include a variety of course materials.

Personal business records consist of various financial and legal documents, expense and income records, publishing and speaking contracts, and royalties received.

The papers also include a variety of printed materials, photographs, student sketches by Rosenblum, and an unidentified collage.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 11 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1927-2006 (0.5 linear feet; Box 1, 1.00 GB; ER02)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1927-2006 (4.5 linear feet; Boxes 1-5)

Series 3: Lectures, Writings, and Writing Project Files, 1940-2006 (13.5 linear feet; Boxes 5-16, OV 39-41, 0.063 GB; ER01)

Series 4: Writings by Others, circa 1954-2006 (2.9 linear feet; Boxes 16-19)

Series 5: Exhibition Files, circa 1965-circa 2006 (5.2 linear feet; Boxes 19-24, 0.109 GB; ER03)

Series 6: Research Files, circa 1927-2006 (2.9 linear feet; Boxes 24-27)

Series 7: Teaching Files and Class Notes, 1955-2006 (4.3 linear feet; Boxes 27-31)

Series 8: Personal Business Records, 1951-2009 (4.4 linear feet; Boxes 31-36)

Series 9: Printed Material, 1927-2009 (2.4 linear feet; Boxes 36-38)

Series 10: Photographs, circa 1950s-circa 2000 (0.3 linear feet; Box 38, OV 41)

Series 11: Artwork, circa 1940s-circa 1980s (0.1 linear feet; Box 38)
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Rosenblum (1927-2006) was an art historian, curator, and professor who worked primarily in New York City.

Rosenblum received his B.A. from Queens College, his M.A. from Yale, and his Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Art at New York University in 1956. He spent a year teaching art at the University of Michigan before becoming an associate professor at Princeton, ultimately accepting a Professor of Fine Arts position at NYU in 1966, where he spent the rest of his professorial career interspersed with visiting professorships at Oxford University and Yale University. Rosenblum was named Henry Ittleson, Jr. Professor of Modern European Art at NYU in 1976, and received the Frank Jewett Mather Award for Distinction in Art Criticism in 1981. After being appointed Stephen and Nan Swid Curator of 20th-Century Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1996, Rosenblum went on to curate such exhibitions as 1900: Art at the Crossroads (2000) and Norman Rockwell: Pictures for the American People (2001). Prior to this appointment, he was one of the organizers of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's French Painting, 1774-1830: The Age of Revolution (1974). He received a Distinguished Teaching Award from NYU in 2005, and continued to curate, lecture, teach, and write.

Rosenblum was a prolific author, and his seminal works include: Cubism and Twentieth-Century Art (1959), Transformations in Late Eighteenth-Century Art (1967), Modern Painting and the Northern Romantic Tradition: Friedrich to Rothko (1975), and 19th-Century Art (co-authored with H.W. Janson, 1984).

Rosenblum married Jane Kaplowitz in 1978. He died in New York City in 2006.
Provenance:
The papers were donated in multiple accessions by Robert Rosenblum between 1986 and 2003, and by his widow, Jane Kaplowitz between 2010 and 2013.
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 and electronic media with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Robert Rosenblum papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Occupation:
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art museum curators  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art -- 19th century  Search this
Art -- 18th century  Search this
Painting, Modern  Search this
Portraits  Search this
Dogs in art  Search this
Painting, French  Search this
Photographs  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Video recordings
Collages
Sound recordings
Sketches
Interviews
Transcripts
Citation:
Robert Rosenblum Papers, circa 1927-2009, bulk 1950-2006. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.roserobe
See more items in:
Robert Rosenblum Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-roserobe
Online Media:

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Women

Creator:
Warshaw, Isadore, 1900-1969  Search this
Extent:
1.45 Cubic feet (consisting of 3 boxes, 2 folders, 2 oversize folders, 1 map case folder, plus digital images of some collection material.)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Speeches
Monographs
Newsclippings
Fliers (printed matter)
Clippings
Newspaper clippings
Books
Realia
Magazines (periodicals)
Plates (illustrations)
Programs
Application forms
Illustrations
Concert programs
Signs (declaratory or advertising artifacts)
Booklets
Publications
Transcriptions
Certificates
Pamphlets
Date:
1787-1964
Summary:
A New York bookseller, Warshaw assembled this collection over nearly fifty years. The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana: Accounting and Bookkeeping forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Subseries 1.1: Subject Categories. The Subject Categories subseries is divided into 470 subject categories based on those created by Mr. Warshaw. These subject categories include topical subjects, types or forms of material, people, organizations, historical events, and other categories. An overview to the entire Warshaw collection is available here: Warshaw Collection of Business Americana
Scope and Contents:
The subject category Women documents the Suffrage Movement within the United States, as well as aspects of women's lives and societal contributions. This includes information about women's social lives, fashion, health, occupations, as well as commentary about the roles and expectations of many women in society. There is a notable shortage of material related to women of color.

Women includes newslippings, and material related to pro and anti-Suffrage efforts such as fliers, speeches, monographs, and realia. Outside of Suffrage-related topics, Women also includes artistic prints and images of women, poems about women, and serial publications related to women's issues or oriented towards an audience of women.

Women includes a span of subject materials related to more specfic aspects of women's lives and social commentary. This includes historical overviews of notable women's lives, guides to aspects of womanhood, fashion documentation, literature to promote good health, and background about the role of women in varied trades.

No single subtopic is explored in particular depth, though Women offers general information about various aspects of women's lives and varied social and political environments.
Arrangement:
Women is arranged in three subseries.

Suffrage Movement

Genre

Subject
Forms Part Of:
Forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana.

Series 1: Business Ephemera

Series 2: Other Collection Divisions

Series 3: Isadore Warshaw Personal Papers

Series 4: Photographic Reference Material
Provenance:
Women is a portion of the Business Ephemera Series of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Accession AC0060 purchased from Isadore Warshaw in 1967. Warshaw continued to accumulate similar material until his death, and it 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 since Warshaw's death in 1969. This practice has since ceased.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Some items may be restricted due to fragile condition.
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.
Occupation:
Composers  Search this
Composers -- 20th century  Search this
Topic:
Fashion -- United States -- History -- 20th century  Search this
Women iron and steel workers  Search this
Fashion -- 20th century  Search this
Women laborers  Search this
United States-Social life and customs  Search this
Health  Search this
Suffragists  Search this
Religion  Search this
Women musicians  Search this
Women -- Social life and customs -- 19th century  Search this
Children  Search this
Industry  Search this
Labor  Search this
Childbirth  Search this
Dress  Search this
Fashion design  Search this
Marriages  Search this
Steel industry and trade  Search this
Women -- Political activity  Search this
Journalism  Search this
Social interaction  Search this
Industry -- U.S.  Search this
Women -- Employment  Search this
Women -- Civil rights  Search this
Women -- Health and hygiene  Search this
Children and childbirth  Search this
Clubs  Search this
Women's music  Search this
Social norms  Search this
Women -- Organizations  Search this
Clothing and dress  Search this
Women  Search this
Women's suffrage -- United States  Search this
Women's rights  Search this
Child rearing  Search this
Musical performances  Search this
Women employees  Search this
Women's rights -- United States  Search this
Marriage and family -- women, status of  Search this
Marriage  Search this
Women -- Suffrage  Search this
Mental health  Search this
Banking  Search this
Women in music  Search this
Marriage and family  Search this
Women -- Societies and clubs  Search this
Hygiene  Search this
Fashion  Search this
War  Search this
Banks and banking, American -- 19th century  Search this
Music  Search this
Health education  Search this
Women -- Education  Search this
Journalists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Speeches
Monographs
Newsclippings
Fliers (printed matter)
Clippings
Newspaper clippings
Books
Realia
Magazines (periodicals)
Plates (illustrations)
Programs
Application forms
Illustrations
Concert programs
Signs (declaratory or advertising artifacts)
Booklets
Publications
Transcriptions
Certificates
Pamphlets
Citation:
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Women, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0060.S01.01.Women
See more items in:
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Women
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0060-s01-01-women
Online Media:

Balcomb and Gertrude Greene papers

Creator:
Greene, Balcomb, 1904-1990  Search this
Names:
United States. Works Progress Administration  Search this
Gallatin, A. E. (Albert Eugene), 1881-1952  Search this
Greene, Gertrude, 1904-1956  Search this
Greene, Terryn  Search this
Extent:
9.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Short stories
Collages
Photographs
Poems
Theses
Articles
Interviews
Lecture notes
Sound recordings
Drawings
Sketchbooks
Video recordings
Date:
circa 1880s-2009
Summary:
The Balcomb and Gertrude Greene papers, circa 1880s-2009, bulk circa 1905-1990, measure 9.8 linear feet. Balcomb Greene's career as a painter, educator, and writer - and to a lesser extent his personal life - is documented by biographical material, letters, subject files,writings, artwork, audio-visual recordings, printed material, and photographs. Documentation about sculptor Gertrude Greene, from 1926 until her death in 1956, consists of printed material, photographs, two letters to her, and a brief handwritten list of paintings and constructions.
Scope and Content Note:
The Balcomb and Gertrude Greene papers, circa 1880s-2009, bulk circa 1905-1990, measure 9.8 linear feet. Balcomb Greene's career as a painter, educator, and writer - and to a lesser extent his personal life - is documented by biographical material, letters, subject files,writings, artwork, audio-visual recordings, printed material, and photographs. Documentation about sculptor Gertrude Greene, from 1926 until her death in 1956, consists of printed material, photographs, two letters to her, and a brief handwritten list of paintings and constructions.

All biographical material relates to Balcomb Greene. Letters are almost exclusively incoming letters; two copies of outgoing letters written by Terryn Greene are included. Those addressed to Balcomb Greene regard articles, his will, an appraisal of a painting by him, and greeting cards with notes from friends. The two letters addressed to Gertrude Greene are photocopies. One from A. E. Gallatin concerns her work selected for the permanent collection of the Museum of Living Art at New York University; the other, a fragment from an unidentified correspondent, is about American Abstract Artists dues and exhibitions. The letters addressed to Terryn Greene concern her husband's career or mention him.

Subject files relate to activities and topics of interest to Greene or aspects of Greene's career; some concern estate matters. Of particular interest are: "Balcomb and Gertrude Greene in the WPA," consisting of Terryn Greene's research correspondence on the subject; and a file documenting a Judith Rothschild Foundation grant for conservation of paintings damaged in the 1996 fire that destroyed Balcomb Greene's studio.

Writings are by Balcomb Greene, Gertrude Greene, and other authors. Balcomb's writings include articles, novels, short stories, poems, journal entries, lecture notes, student writings, and a thesis. Gertrude Greene's writings consist of a handwritten list of paintings and constructions, noting the dimensions, date, and price of each piece. The writings of other authors are about Balcomb and Gertrude Greene. They include notes for an interview, a poem, student papers, and a thesis.

Art work consists of a collage probably by Balcomb Greene, and a sketchbook containing two of his drawings dated January 1976. Another drawing is signed [H?.] R. Balcomb Greene's register of paintings documents each completed painting on a separate sheet containing a small photograph or sketch, title, date of execution, and code or negative number, along with notes relating to exhibitions, loans, and ownership; some sheets bear the notation "destroyed." The register is incomplete, and the surviving portion bears evidence of the 1996 fire that gutted his studio. The least damaged portion documents works from 1941-1948, 1963-1964, and 1980-1982; the remaining part of the register consists of partial pages that are missing titles, dates of execution, or other salient information.

Exhibition catalogs and articles from newspapers and periodicals represent the majority of the printed material about or mentioning Balcomb and Gertrude Greene. In addition, there are articles by Balcomb published in a number of periodicals. Museum publications, annual reports, bulletins and newsletters mention the Greenes. Also found are issues of Art Front, 1934-1938 (Balcomb served on the editorial board and contributed articles), and his well-used copy of Modern Art by Katherine S. Drier.

Audio-visual recordings consist of interviews with Balcomb Greene and a "McCarthy tape" (Balcomb and Terryn helped organize "Montauk's Day for McCarthy"). Among the video recordings is a videocassette of Greene's 1990 memorial service.

Photographs are of art work, events, exhibition installations, miscellaneous subjects, people, and places. Art work of both Balcomb and Gertrude is documented. Among the photographs of people are images of Balcomb Greene, Gertrude Greene, Terryn Greene, family, friends and other individuals (identified and unidentified). Greene family photographs, some surviving from the 19th century, portray three generations. Photographs of events include documentation of the damage caused by the 1996 fire that destroyed Balcomb Greene's studio. Installation photographs document exhibitions that featured Balcomb Greene, the couple, and Gertrude Greene. Of particular interest is a view of Gertrude's contribution to the American Abstract Artists' 1937 show at Squibb Gallery. Miscellaneous subjects are Greene's Rolls Royce and pets. Places recorded include Greene's boyhood homes and churches, the house Balcomb built at Montauk, Gertrude's studio, and travel pictures of Europe and Asia. Also found are a small number of negatives, 35-mm slides, and color transparencies of art work, miscellaneous subjects, and people.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1926-1981 (Box 1; 0.2 linear ft.)

Series 2: Letters, 1936-2005 (Box 1; 3 folders)

Series 3: Subject Files, 1939-2008 (Box 1; 0.2 linear ft.)

Series 4: Writings, circa 1927-1984 (Boxes 1-3; 2.1 linear ft.)

Series 5: Art Work, 1976 (Box 3; 2 folders)

Series 6: Register of Paintings, undated (Box 3; 0.4 linear ft.)

Series 7: Printed Material, circa 1930-2009 (Boxes 4-7, 11, OV 12; 3.9 linear ft.)

Series 8: Audio-visual Recordings, 1963-1990 (Box 7; 0.3 linear ft.)

Series 9: Photographs, circa 1880s-1996 (Boxes 7-11; 2.6 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Balcomb (1904-1990) and his wife Gertrude (1904-1956) were painters in New York, N.Y. John Wesley Greene (known professionally as Balcomb Greene), born May 22, 1904 in Millville, New York, was the youngest child of Reverend Bertram Stillman Greene, a Methodist minister. After his wife died in 1907, Reverend Greene and the children moved several times when he accepted assignments at small town churches in Iowa, South Dakota, and Colorado.

The recipient of a scholarship for sons of Methodist ministers, Greene entered Syracuse University in 1922, intending to become a minister. He studied philosophy, psychology, literature, and art, eventually deciding to pursue a career as a writer. When visiting the Metropolitan Museum during his senior year, Greene was introduced to Gertrude Glass by her cousin. They married soon after his graduation in 1926.

The newlyweds moved to Austria where he had a fellowship to study psychology at the University of Vienna. Greene was very interested in Freud's work and hoped to become his student; although he attended Freud's lectures and met the eminent psychologist once, this ambition was not realized. After returning to New York in 1927, Greene began studying for a master's degree in English literature at Columbia University. He specialized in the novel, and wrote three (none were published). When his thesis about prostitutes as portrayed in seventeenth century literature was submitted, Greene's major professor was on sabbatical; although the subject had been approved, the interim replacement rejected it as unsuitable. Greene left Columbia without obtaining a degree.

Greene then accepted a position at Dartmouth College where he taught literature from 1928-1931. The Greenes spent summers together in the city and visited frequently throughout the academic year. He continued writing and in 1930 began painting. Because there were already two artists named John Green then in New York, Greene soon adopted the name Balcomb (his maternal grandmother's maiden name). Although he was known as Balcomb for the remainder of his life, his name was never changed legally.

Balcomb Greene's first solo exhibition was held at Dartmouth College in 1931. After his resignation from the Dartmouth faculty in 1931, Balcomb and Gertrude spent a year in Paris. She found a studio and set to work. He planned to write, but was distracted by the desire to paint. He began independent study at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and in 1932 exhibited his work in Paris. Throughout the 1930s and into the 1940s Greene produced very flat geometric abstractions, adding biomorphic and anthropomorphic forms over time. By the mid-1940s, he found himself bored by pure abstraction and introduced figures, focusing on mass and space rather than line.

Greene quickly established himself as an artist, developed a wide circle of friends and was recognized as a leader of the abstract movement. He and Gertrude were both drawn to political causes that affected artists; along with friends they began the Unemployed Artists' Group (which later became the Artists' Union) and staged public demonstrations demanding government assistance so that artists would not be completely dependent on private patronage. He published articles in Art Front, the magazine of the Artist's Union, and served on its editorial board between 1935 and 1936. Balcomb and Gertrude Greene were among the founding members of American Abstract Artists; he served as the group's first chairman.

Like many artists during the Great Depression, Balcomb Greene found it very difficult to maintain a steady income. During this period he held many different jobs, among them: writing for the sensationalist newspapers Broadway Brevities and Graft, serving on the crew of a schooner searching for pirate gold in the South Pacific, and working at the non-profit Emily Francis Contemporary Gallery. Eventually, he secured a teaching position with the Federal Art Project. He later switched to the mural section where assignments included painting murals for the Williamsburg Housing Project in Brooklyn and the Federal Hall of Medicine at the 1939 World's Fair, and designing a stained glass window for a school in the Bronx.

Because he did not want to support his career by teaching painting, in 1940 Balcomb Greene began graduate work in art history at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. He earned a master's degree in 1942 and that same year began teaching history of art and culture at Carnegie Institute of Technology, a position he held until 1959. Gertrude set up a studio in their Pittsburgh home, but continued to maintain her New York studio, commuting between the two cities until war conditions made the trip too difficult. They returned to New York each summer, and in 1947 bought property on Long Island at Montauk Point where Balcomb constructed a modern house of cement blocks.

In addition to teaching and painting, Greene continued to write. Several articles about art and philosophy appeared between 1936 and 1950 in publications such as Art Front, College Art Journal, Art News, and Art Journal. He also wrote many poems. During his tenure at Carnegie Tech Balcomb Greene worked on but did not complete a book tentatively titled "The Villain and the School" and formulated ideas for another.

While Gertrude was terminally ill with cancer, and after her death in 1956, Balcomb reduced his teaching commitments, staying in Pittsburgh for only one semester each year. After retiring in 1959, he painted at Montauk and traveled. While in Paris, Greene met journalist Terryn Trimpen, whom he married in 1961.

Balcomb Greene was represented by Bertha Schaefer Gallery, Saidenberg Gallery and ACA Gallery, in New York, and by the Harmon-Meek Gallery in Naples, Florida. He exhibited widely, participating in the annual exhibitions of the Whitney Museum of American Art and Art Institute of Chicago, and in group shows at the Walker Art Center, Brooklyn Museum, and other venues. Solo shows included exhibitions at the Forum Gallery, ACA Gallery, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York; Fairweather-Hardin Gallery, Chicago; and the Oceanographic Institute and Harmon-Meeks Gallery in Florida. Greene's work is in the permanent collections of many museums, among them the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

During the last five years of his life, Balcomb Greene was in frail health and unable to paint. He died November 12, 1990 at his Montauk Point home.

Gertrude Glass (who worked as an artist using her married name Gertrude Greene) was the daughter of Siegfried and Berta Glass, prosperous Latvian immigrants who owned a Brooklyn department store. At age 18, Gertrude and an older sister left home and organized a pre-school. From 1924 to 1928, Gertrude attended evening sculpture classes at the newly opened Leonardo Da Vinci Art School, a very traditional school in Manhattan that offered free instruction. Although the school itself was conservative, there Gertrude met and identified with a group of fairly radical students who were interested in the abstract art then emerging.

Glass and Greene were married in 1926 and spent the next year in Vienna. Upon returning to New York, she continued to make sculpture. Once they relocated to New Hampshire Gertrude was able to have her own sculpture studio. New Hampshire did not suit her and she gradually drifted back to the art world of New York. After Balcomb resigned from the Dartmouth faculty in 1931, the couple spent a year in Paris. They met many artists and frequented galleries where they saw the latest contemporary art. Gertrude worked on her sculpture and Balcomb, who had planned to write, began concentrating on painting; this was the only time the two shared a studio. When they moved to Pittsburgh, Gertrude kept her New York studio, expecting to commute regularly between the two cities, but war constraints soon made that plan impractical.

Gertrude Greene was active in liberal political causes, especially ones that affected artists and encouraged the formation of WPA programs to help struggling artists. She was an active member of the Federation of Painters and Sculptors, the Artists' Union, and a founding member of American Abstract Artists. As AAA's first paid employee, Gertrude served as gallery attendant. Before moving to Pittsburgh, both Greenes were very active on AAA committees, worked to further acceptance of abstract art, and picketed on many occasions. Typical of AAA actions was a 1937 demonstration against Museum of Modern Art exhibition policies that gave short shrift to abstract work by American artists.

Gertrude Greene was among the very earliest of American artists - quite possibly the first - to produce non-objective relief sculptures in the early 1930s. Over time, she absorbed Cubist tradition and ideas of the Russian Constructivists, synthesizing them into her own work. By the 1940s, she had become interested in Mondrian and Neo-Plasticism, influences that are reflected in her constructions of the period. Her final sculpture was produced in 1946 and for the remainder of her career she focused exclusively on abstract painting.

She participated in many group exhibitions, the first of which was at Wildenstein Gallery in 1945. Grace Borgenicht Gallery presented the first solo exhibition of Gertrude Greene's work in 1952, and another was held at the Bertha Schaefer Gallery in 1955. In 1982, there was a major retrospective of her work at ACA Gallery. Gertrude Greene's work is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Mass.

Gertrude Greene's health began deteriorating in 1956; eventually, cancer was diagnosed. Later that year, on November 25, she died at a New York City hospital.
Related material:
Among the Bertha Schaefer papers and gallery records, 1914-1975, owned by the Archives of American Art are 58 letters from Balcomb Greene about sales and exhibitions (reel 271), and a scrapbook containing printed material about him (reel 42).

The holdings of the Archives of American Art include several interviews with Balcomb Greene. In 1972, he was interviewed by Paul Cummings for the Archives of American Art's oral history program (reel 4210). Greene is included among the Karl E. Fortess taped interviews with artists conducted 1963-1985 (not transcribed). Marian L. Gore's "Art Scene" interviews aired on Los Angeles radio station KPFK, 1962-1964, include one with Balcomb Greene (not transcribed). An interview with Balcomb Greene (transcribed) is among the Brooklyn Museum interviews of artists conducted by Arlene Jacobowitz, circa 1965-1985. The Anne Bowen Parsons collection of interviews on art, 1967-1968, contains an interview with Balcomb Greene (transcribed). Susan C. Larsen's interview with Balcomb Greene is part of oral history interviews relating to the American Abstract Artists Group, 1973-1978 (not transcribed).

Also available at the Archives of American Art is a video recording (VHS videocassette) "Balcomb Greene: 50 Years of Painting, Harmon Gallery," edited and directed by George Mauro, 1982.
Provenance:
Donated in 2009 by Terryn Trimpen Greene, widow of Balcomb Greene.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Balcomb and Gertrude Greene papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Short stories
Collages
Photographs
Poems
Theses
Articles
Interviews
Lecture notes
Sound recordings
Drawings
Sketchbooks
Video recordings
Citation:
Balcomb and Gertrude Greene papers, circa 1880-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.greebalc2
See more items in:
Balcomb and Gertrude Greene papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-greebalc2
Online Media:

Drawing, Felt Tip Pen on Paper

Artist:
Chrystal Jackson  Search this
Medium:
Drawing, Felt Tip Pen on Paper
Dimensions:
2-D - Unframed (H x W): 15.2 × 22.9cm (6 × 9 in.)
Type:
ART-Drawings
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Credit Line:
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Inventory Number:
A19781242000
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/nv9d7da7bd2-e264-48f1-8519-ba8c347cb1f4
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19781242000
Online Media:

Drawing, Felt Tip Pen on Paper

Artist:
Chrystal Jackson  Search this
Medium:
Drawing, Felt Tip Pen on Paper
Dimensions:
2-D - Unframed (H x W): 22.5 × 14cm (8 7/8 × 5 1/2 in.)
Type:
ART-Drawings
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Credit Line:
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Inventory Number:
A19781246000
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/nv905b2d153-4f66-43ea-a35c-d73acc31d900
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19781246000
Online Media:

London Library of Recorded English records

Editor:
Compton, Joseph, 1891-  Search this
Clinton-Baddeley, V.C. (Victor Clinton), 1900-1970  Search this
Extent:
1.25 Cubic feet (11 legal folders, 6 cassette tapes, 18 sound discs (vinyl))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Lyric poetry
Narrative poetry, english
English poetry
Date:
1949-2010
bulk 1950-1965
Summary:
London Library of Recorded English was a 6-volume Anthology of English Literature, consisting of poetry spanning 16th-20th century England, read aloud by well-known British poets, scholars, and actors. The first four recordings were edited by poet-scholars V.C. Clinton-Baddeley and Joseph Compton, and when it was acquired by Britam Agencies in 1955, Clinton-Baddeley stayed on to create two more releases. The collection contains 6 LP recordings, as well as the business papers associated with the creation and management of the Anthology.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged in two series: 1. Papers, 1949-2010, arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically thereafter, and 2. Audiorecordings, 1956-1965, arranged chronologically.
Biographical / Historical:
The London Library of Recorded English had roots in V.C. Clinton-Baddeley's 1937 recordings of poetry broadcasts with W.B. Yeats for the BBC. In 1940, during World War II, Clinton-Baddeley helped prepare British propaganda on gramophone discs for the use of foreign radio stations. A portion of these recordings were dedicated to "cultured propaganda," and this included recordings of English poetry produced by Clinton-Baddeley and read by himself and other well-known readers.

During the war, Clinton-Baddeley was speaking to Joseph Compton, a prominent specialist in English literature education, about the propaganda records. Compton believed that recordings of literature would be in demand in schools. When the war ended, E.J. Vetter, a recording engineer told Clinton-Baddeley that he would be setting up a small recording studio where it would be possible to make some poetry recordings. Compton soon got on board, and the recording studio, which was a part of United Programmes Limited (UPL) of London, England, would support the production of the recordings.

The first four volumes (called "books") of the anthology were made with UPL in the late 1940s. These were directed by Clinton-Baddeley and engineered by Vetter and J. Bramhall. Compton made selections and provided literary criticism. Both Clinton-Baddeley and Compton were considered editors of the series.

UPL went into receivership and in 1950, Edgar J. Grande, receiver for UPL, appointed Britam Agencies, Inc. (Britam) sole agent in the U.S.A. and Canada for the sale of the recordings (twenty-four 78rpm records per set) to be imported from England. The recordings were sold to schools, colleges, and libraries.

In 1955, UPL and Grande arranged with Britam to purchase the LLRE free and clear. Britam re-engineered the recordings and converted them into 4 LPs, manufactured by Columbia Records and sold under the Alpha Records label.

In 1963, Clinton-Baddeley and Irwin Breslauer of Britam agreed to a plan to produce two additional LP records (Books V and VI). All six volumes were marketed as a package, and later, as a set of six cassette tapes. The LLRE then went dormant, with no effort being made towards sales, as the principals of Britam, Irwin Breslauer and Norman Breslauer were occupied with other business.

The collection was donated to the the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in 2010.
Provenance:
This collection was donated in memory of Lewis R. Breslauer to Smithsonian Folkways Recordings/Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in January, 2010. The donation included all right, title, and interest in and to the recordings, papers, and historical materials, as well as all intellectual property rights.
Restrictions:
Access by appointment only. Contact the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections at (202) 633-7322 or rinzlerarchives@si.edu for additional information.
Rights:
Copyright restrictions apply. Contact archives staff at (202) 633-7322 or rinzlerarchives@si.edu for additional information.

Restrictions may apply concerning the use, duplication, or publication of items in these collections. Consult the archivists for additional information.
Genre/Form:
Lyric poetry
Narrative poetry, English
English poetry -- 19th century
English poetry -- 17th century
English poetry -- 18th century
English poetry -- Early modern, 1500-1700
Citation:
London Library of Recorded English records, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
CFCH.LLRE
See more items in:
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Archival Repository:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-cfch-llre
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