Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Search Results

Collections Search Center
185 documents - page 1 of 10

Charles W. White papers, 1933-1987, bulk 1960s-1970s

Creator:
White, Charles, 1918-1979  Search this
White, Charles, 1918-1979  Search this
Subject:
White, Frances Barrett  Search this
Catlett, Elizabeth  Search this
Barthé, Richmond  Search this
Heritage Gallery  Search this
Otis Art Institute  Search this
Belafonte Enterprises  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Scrapbooks
Topic:
African American artists  Search this
Theme:
Diaries  Search this
African American  Search this
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9350
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211546
AAA_collcode_whitchar
Theme:
Diaries
African American
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211546
Online Media:

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 (1463 boxes, 33 map-folders, 7 films)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
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:

John Corbett, Pandemic Oral History Project, Archives of American Art, 2020

Creator:
Archives of American Art  Search this
Type:
Interviews
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2020-12-28T14:26:28.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
See more by:
SmithsonianAAA
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianAAA
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_c-LJFgzCBbM

Oral history interview with Richard Gray, 2007 Dec. 9

Interviewee:
Gray, Richard, 1928-2018  Search this
Gray, Richard, 1928-2018  Search this
Interviewer:
McElhinney, James, 1952-  Search this
Subject:
Boris, Harry  Search this
Fabricant, Andrew  Search this
Gray, Paul  Search this
Klamen, David  Search this
Plensa, Jaume  Search this
Louis, Morris  Search this
De Kooning, Willem  Search this
Olitski, Jules  Search this
Gaudí, Antoni  Search this
Emmerich, André  Search this
Stone, Allan  Search this
Noland, Kenneth  Search this
University of Illinois.  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Color-field painting  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews  Search this
Theme:
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13670
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)274486
AAA_collcode_gray07
Theme:
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_274486
Online Media:

Oral history interview with John Corbett

Interviewee:
Corbett, John, 1963-  Search this
Interviewer:
Proctor, Jacob  Search this
Names:
Corbett vs. Dempsey (Gallery)  Search this
Pandemic Oral History Project  Search this
Extent:
1 Item ((23 min.), digital, mp4)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Video recordings
Date:
2020 July 2
Scope and Contents:
An interview with John Corbett conducted 2020 July 2, by Jacob Proctor, for the Archives of American Art's Pandemic Oral History Project at Corbett's office in Chicago, Illinois.
Biographical / Historical:
John Corbett (1963- ) is a writer and curator in Chicago, Illinois. He is the co-owner of Corbett vs. Dempsey gallery.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
This interview is open for research.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its Oral History Program interviews available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. Quotation, reproduction and publication of the audio is governed by restrictions. If an interview has been transcribed, researchers must quote from the transcript. If an interview has not been transcribed, researchers must quote from the audio recording. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Gallery owners -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Authors -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Topic:
Pandemics  Search this
COVID-19 (Disease)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Video recordings
Identifier:
AAA.corbet20
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-corbet20
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Alanna Heiss

Interviewee:
Heiss, Alanna  Search this
Interviewer:
McElhinney, James Lancel, 1952-  Search this
Creator:
Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project  Search this
Names:
Biennale di Venezia  Search this
Clocktower Gallery  Search this
Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project  Search this
Institute for Art and Urban Resources  Search this
Lawrence University  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
New Museum (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center  Search this
University of Chicago -- Students  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Finkelpearl, Tom  Search this
Gill, Brendan, 1914-1997  Search this
Highstein, Jene, 1942-2013  Search this
Matta-Clark, Gordon, 1943-1978  Search this
Nonas, Richard, 1936-  Search this
Extent:
80 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2010 June 15-October 28
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Alanna Heiss conducted 2010 June 15 and October 28, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art's Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts project, at Art International Radio, on Leonard Street, in New York, New York.
Heiss speaks of the Clocktower Gallery and the AIR offices; New York galleries and museums and the economic depression of the 1970s; art shows in Germany, France, Switzerland, and England and the role of foreign and West Coast curators in New York shows during the 1960s; founding the Institute for Art and Urban Resources with Brendan Gill; her lack of interest in collecting and the problems she feels it poses for organizations showing art; her attitudes about displaying art in the 1970s; growing up in a small town in Southern Illinois; spending summers as a child in South Dakota; her musical training; art in relation to Midwestern cultural values; her work on the exhibition "Stalin's Choice: Soviet Socialist Realism, 1932-1956" in 1993; her degree in music and the philosophy of aesthetics from Lawrence University; taking classes at the University of Chicago; moving to New York and deciding to focus on visual arts; her time in Europe and the various jobs she took while abroad including teaching, inspecting monuments for the Society for Ancient Buildings and Monuments, writing about animals, selling and transporting used cars, and serving as an artist liaison; and the exhibitions she saw during her travels.
Heiss also discusses trips she made across the United States after returning from Europe; working as a band road crew manger; her work in 1993 on the John Cage tribute show for the Venice Biennale called "Il Suono Rapido delle Cose" and the album produced in conjunction with the show called Caged/Uncaged - A Rock/Experimental Homage To John Cage; her marriage to the artist Jene Highstein and their friendships with the artists Richard Nonas and Gordon Matta-Clark; her return to New York from Europe around 1970 and her use of old or abandoned real estate as locations for contemporary art exhibitions; her first show, "Under the Brooklyn Bridge" in 1971; founding PS1; her work as a parole officer and her exposure to the culture of Harlem; the various shows held at PS1; urban art spaces in New York including the New Museum and the Coney Island Sculpture Museum; her exhibition space on Bleecker Street in New York; her disenchantment with the idea of community art; her work with Tom Finkelpearl; the way she publicized exhibitions; the underground culture of the 1970s; and the relationship between the Museum of Modern Art and PS1 and their eventual merger.
Biographical / Historical:
Alanna Heiss (1943-) is director of Art International Radio in New York, New York. James McElhinney (1952-) is an artist and educator in New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound disc. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 39 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Occupation:
Teachers  Search this
Arts administrators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Gallery directors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.heiss10
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-heiss10

Guide to 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Oral History Collection

Creator:
Turner, Reginald  Search this
Names:
Arnold, Juanita Burnett, (1909-2005)  Search this
Bates, J. B., 1916-2008  Search this
Campbell-Webster, Beatrice  Search this
Clark, Otis Granville, (1903-2012)  Search this
Eddy, Clyde, (1911-2008)  Search this
Ellsworth, Scott  Search this
Franklin, Archie Jackson, (1915-2006)  Search this
Franklin, Jimmie Lilly, (1915-2009)  Search this
Franklin, John Hope  Search this
Gates, Eddie Faye  Search this
Holloway, Robert, (1918-2010)  Search this
Hooker, Olivia J., Dr., (1915-2018)  Search this
Jackson, Eunice Cloman, (1903-2004)  Search this
Knight, Thelma Thurman, (1915-2009)  Search this
McCondichie, Eldoris Mae Ector, (1911-2010)  Search this
O'Brien, William [Bill]  Search this
Ogletree, Charles, Jr.  Search this
Rogers, Jewel Smitherman, (1918-2010)  Search this
Rogers, John Washington, Jr.  Search this
Young, Wess Hubert, (1917-2014)  Search this
Extent:
1.38 Terabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Terabytes
Oral history
Place:
Tulsa (Oklahoma)
Date:
2004-2007
Scope and Contents:
The Guide to 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Oral History Collection documents the survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre as well as their journey to acknowledgment, justice, and restitution. This digital collection is an edited version of a larger collection created by Reginald Turner, Executive Director and Founder of The Tulsa Project, Inc. The collection consists of interview videos of individual survivors, their descendants, riot witnesses, historians, community supporters as well as the legal proceedings for U.S. government acknowledgement of the massacre and its subsequent devastation. This collection serves to bear witness to one of the most infamous episodes of American history, allowing those who lived through it to convey their experiences directly in their own words.
Biographical / Historical:
In 1921, one of the most devastating race massacres in American history occurred in Tulsa, Oklahoma. From May 31 to June 1, mobs of white Tulsa residents ransacked, pillaged, bombed, and burned over 1,000 homes, businesses, and churches and murdered scores of African Americans in the Tulsa's Black community of Greenwood. The history of this event was hidden in plain sight for many generations, invariably vanished from or never placed in the history books across the country. Generations of Tulsa's universal community began to learn of this tragic event over the course of the last few decades through the efforts of the survivors and their supporters. The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Oral History Collection alongside the great work of The Tulsa Project, Inc. sheds light on a community of resilience grappling with complex questions of history and memory, justice and law, reparation and reconciliation.

In the decades that followed, just a partial list of cities exhibits the expansive and dizzying geographic and temporal scope of organized white violence that continued with little recourse or reproach well into twentieth century. Such cities include: Colfax, Louisiana (1873); Clinton, Mississippi (1875); Hamburg, South Carolina (1876); Thibodaux, Louisiana (1887); Omaha, Nebraska (1891); Wilmington, NC (1898); Atlanta, Georgia (1906); and East St. Louis, Missouri (1917). In the summer of 1919, the U.S. was rocked by the white supremacist violence and attacks against over thirty Black communities across the country. This period of overwhelming racial violence was dubbed, "Red Summer" and affected major Black communities in Washington, DC; Chicago, Illinois, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland; Clarksdale, Mississippi; and Omaha, Nebraska as well as many others. In these cities like Tulsa, mob violence devastated Black communities through the destruction of property and livelihoods.

The Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma is rooted in the history of westward expansion of the United States in early 19th century. Beginning in 1830s, the first African Americans came to the Oklahoma Territory with Native Americans along the Trail of Tears, the U. S government sanctioned removal of American Indians from their native territory across the country. Some of the African American travelers were enslaved while free Blacks traveled through treacherous conditions alongside white travelers. Dubbed the "Oil Capital of the World" and "Magic City," Tulsa experienced booming economic growth and prosperity during the early 1900s. During the era of post-Emancipation until the onset of the 20th century, African Americans were a part of a newer wave of migration that came to Tulsa from all over the country, including other parts of the Oklahoma Territory.

More than 50 all-Black settlements were established in Oklahoma territory during this era, including Tatums, Langston, Rentiesville, Boley, as well as Black communities of larger cities such as Muskogee, Okmulgee, and Tulsa. By 1900, African Americans composed seven percent of the combined Oklahoma and Indian Territories and five percent of Tulsa's population. In 1905, the Tulsa's Greenwood community was sold to African American settlers. Many of Greenwood's founding families were of mixed-race heritage as result of multiracial migration patterns and organic cultural adaptation to Oklahoma's natural resources and environment. The Perrymans, one of Tulsa's founding families, included Muskogee (Creek), African American, and white members.

In 1907, Oklahoma was admitted into the United States, and the legislature immediately began implementing restrictive race laws. Many mixed-race families lived in the Oklahoma Territory in the late 1800s. But dividing lines between the races were drawn more sharply after Oklahoma became a state. Oklahoma had one of the strictest sets of Jim Crow laws that divided the country, especially in Tulsa. Black Tulsans formed their community along Greenwood and Archer streets and quickly began to thrive as homes, churches and businesses were built and further developed. The community took shape with the construction and proliferation of African American owned cafes, grocery stores, beauty parlors, movie theaters, and dentist, lawyers, and doctor offices. By close of World War I, 10,000 individuals lived in Tulsa's Greenwood District, considered to be one of the most prosperous African American communities in America at the time. Educator, activist, and statesman Booker T. Washington dubbed the district, "Negro Wall Street." Later coined as "Black Wall Street" in the 1950s as scholarship began developing around the massacre.

After World War I, Black veterans returned to seek a "double victory" by securing freedom and equality at home, striking fear among white supremacists. This fear left white Tulsans blaming the prosperity of "Black Wall Street" for the lack to employment opportunities and other misfortunes among the white community. Tulsa city founder and prominent businessman, W. Tate Brady, despite his support of African American financial independence, was a member of white supremacy terrorist group, the Klu Klux Klan (KKK) as well as an active member in the Sons of the Confederate Veterans. A resolute white supremacist, Brady's mansion's design was inspired by the Virginia home of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. He welcomed KKK founder, Nathan Bedford Forrest to that same home in 1915. It was Brady's active membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans that brought the organization's 28th annual convention to the city in 1918. The latter circumstances along with the ongoing racial tensions set the stage for 1921 massacre.

On May 30, 1921, Dick Rowland, a 19-year-old African American shoe shiner was accused of assaulting a 17-year-old white woman, Sarah Page. Rowland went inside the Drexel Building to use the restroom, the only bathroom allowed to African Americans in downtown Tulsa. Page was an elevator operator in the building. It is unclear if Rowland tripped or the elevator stopped suddenly, but he had physical contact with Page. Page screamed assault and a scared Rowland immediately fled. The next morning on May 31, Rowland was arrested and jailed in the city's courthouse. Later that afternoon, the city's most popular newspaper, Tulsa Tribune printed the story, "Nab Negro for Attacking Girl in Elevator" that claimed Rowland raped Page. Also printed was an editorial with the title, "To Lynch Negro Tonight," which no doubt influenced the rumors of a possible lynching of Rowland as the evening approached.

A large mob of thousands continued to grow over the course of the night outside the courthouse. African American WWI veterans and other members of the Greenwood community began to set up defenses outside the courthouse in order to protect Rowland. Tensions rose and soon an individual fight broke out and a gun was fired. The now weaponized white mob began to move about Greenwood armed with torches, guns, and other weaponry. Some survivors recall aerial bombs released overhead from small planes. The terror was directed at every visible African American in the vicinity, many fled for their lives while their homes and livelihoods were demolished. Historical research has not rendered an accurate number of lives lost in the massacre; it is believed that over 300 African Americans were murdered. Over 35 blocks of homes and businesses were destroyed with damages estimated to be over 1.5 million dollars.

On June 1st, the Oklahoma National Guard arrived, and martial law was declared. They arrested over 6,000 African Americans including children and illegally held them in detention centers throughout Tulsa. They were only released if a white person named them as an employee. Martial law ended on June 3rd, but African Americans were required to carry "green cards" once released from the detention centers as a mechanism to the police the Black population. The next week, Oklahoma governor James B.A. Robertson ordered an inquiry into the massacre. Only 85 people were indicted, mostly African Americans citizens. Rowland was released from jail and not charged for any crimes. Page recanted her claim as well.

Residents of Greenwood filed over 1400 lawsuits for damaged property. Insurance companies denied all claims based on a "riot clause." 1,000 Black Tulsans were forced to live in tents provided by the Red Cross from 1921-1922 because their homes were demolished. Historians estimate that over 700 families left Tulsa and never returned. However, many stayed and worked to rebuild the Greenwood community but experienced great difficulty as the city government actively tried to prevent African Americans from returning to their homes. Zoning regulations were put into effect that would make Greenwood only a commercial area, making it virtually impossible to live there. B.C. Franklin, businessman and father of historian John Hope Franklin, led the charge and filed a suit against the City of Tulsa before the Oklahoma Supreme Court and won, allowing Greenwood to rebuild.

Dozens of Black-owned businesses were rebuilt in Greenwood within a year of the riot, and hundreds more followed over the next three decades. The Oklahoma Eagle newspaper founded in 1922, replacing the community's former Black newspaper, The Tulsa Star that was destroyed by the riot. The Oklahoma Eagle, founded directly after the massacre, reported on African American community, as well as all facets of the massacre, since white newspapers refused to acknowledge the incident. In 1925, in a display of courage, the National Negro Business League held its 26th annual convention in Greenwood. By the 1950s, Greenwood was a thriving Black community despite racial segregation and inequality. Greenwood's mid-century renaissance was a rare occurrence as employment opportunities and fair treatment outside of the Greenwood remained limited. The Tulsa NAACP chapter, along with other activist groups, was formed to fight inequality and racism in wider Tulsa. Despite advances of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, redlining and urban renewal projects dwindled the former Greenwood improvements leaving the area and its residents impoverished and highly segregated.

After suffering decades of aftereffects from the massacre, Tulsa's African American community demanded justice and reparations from the state of Oklahoma and the U.S. government. In 1997, African American state lawmakers, Representative Don Ross and Senator Maxine Horner, co-sponsored an Oklahoma House Bill to create the Tulsa Race Riot Commission. The Commission was tasked with finding survivors and recording their testimony, gaining accurate accounts of property losses and values, and then make recommendations for reparations. In addition, they worked with forensic anthropologists and archeologists tasked with locating mass graves of massacre victims. In 2001, the committee concluded that each survivor should receive $200,000 and up to $100,000 in property claims. Unfortunately, these recommendations were not passed leaving survivors and descendants with little prospects for restitution.

In 2003, over 200 Tulsa massacre survivors filed a suit against the state of Oklahoma in the case, Alexander, et al., v. Oklahoma, et al. Survivors and their descendants served as plaintiffs and recounted their experiences during and after the massacre. The legal team was led by esteemed lawyer and educator Charles Ogletree and celebrity lawyer Johnnie Cochran. The suit demanded restitution for the damages and injuries done by the state of Oklahoma and the city of Tulsa. The main argument declared violations of the 14th Amendment of the U. S. Constitution including "deprivation of life and liberty [and property] and the privileges and immunities of United States citizenship". In addition, plaintiffs wanted to establish a scholarship fund to ensure future generations learn the history of the massacre for years to come. The judge ruled against the survivors, claiming that the statute of limitations had passed. In 2005, the lawyers tried yet again for justice by bringing the case to the U. S. Supreme Court, but the court declined to hear the appeal. A few survivors were given the opportunity to speak at a briefing in front of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and other leaders on Capitol Hill, the same year with no action taken.

Over the years, Tulsa cultural institutions and organizations were developed to preserve the legacy of the African American community in Greenwood, Tulsa and the state of Oklahoma. The Greenwood Cultural Center and Mabel B. Little House have showcased the heritage of the community since the 1990s. In 2008, lawyer and filmmaker, Reginald Turner founded The Tulsa Project, Inc., a non-profit group committed to raising funds and awareness on behalf of massacre survivors and their descendants. The same year, Turner filmed interviews of massacre survivors that were later compiled in a documentary entitled, "Before They Die!" The interviews took place from 2004 to 2007 and featured survivors' efforts for justice, government hearings, and legal proceedings as well as Tulsa Commission meetings. The film's sales go towards compensating survivors and serve as an educational tool exhibited in schools, churches, and civic organizations around the country. In 2010, the John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park opened in Greenwood to help memorialize the massacre survivors and educate the community. In 2018, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum called for the opening another investigation into the location of mass graves. In 2019, the Tulsa Race Massacre was added to the Oklahoma Education department curriculum and taught in classrooms.

As the massacre approaches its 100th anniversary in 2021, there are continuing advances for greater education about the massacre and the restitution of justice for the victims, survivors, and descendants of the one of the darkest times in American history.

Historical Timeline

1900 -- African Americans composed seven percent of Oklahoma territory and five percent of the Tulsa population.

1905 -- The Greenwood area in Tulsa was sold to African American Settlers.

1907 -- Oklahoma was made a state.

1917-1918 -- World War I veterans returned home seeking freedom and equality. In 1918, Tulsa hosted the 28th Annual Sons of the Confederacy Convention.

1919 -- "Red Summer," Over 30 race riots occurred over the course of 10 months in states across America.

1920 -- The wealth and prosperity of the Greenwood community, nicknamed "Black Wall Street," led to it to becoming one of the most financially prosperous African American communities in America.

1921: Tulsa Race Riot also known Tulsa Race Massacre takes place from May 30th to June 1st, in the Greenwood community of Tulsa. -- May 30: Dick Rowland, an African American shoe shiner is accused of assaulting Sarah Page, a white elevator operator. May 31: Rowland was arrested and brought to the courthouse jail. Afternoon: The Tulsa Tribune printed a story, "Nab Negro for Attacking Girl in Elevator" that Rowland raped Page and printed the editorial, "To Lynch Negro Tonight." 4:00 pm: Talk and rumors of lynching Rowland had spread. Police and Fire commissions J.M. Adkison phoned to warn Sheriff Willard McCullough of a possible incident. 7:30: A large white mob, numbering in the hundreds, gathered at the courthouse demanding Rowland be released to them. 9:30 pm: The mob had grown to two thousand. Members of the Greenwood community, many World War I veterans, set up defenses at the courthouse in order to protect Rowland from any impending violence from the mob. 10:00 pm: A fight broke out and a gun was fired. The mob began attacking and shooting all African Americans. June 1 12:00-1:30 am: Gunfire occurred between the white and African American commercial businesses across Fisco yards. 1:00-4:00 am: Over 35 blocks were destroyed, including 1200 homes, and an estimated 300 African Americans were murdered. However, the exact number is unknown. 9:00 am: The Oklahoma National Guard arrived. 11:30 am: Government declared martial law, by this point most of the fighting had already stopped. The final altercation occurred at Noon when the mob fired on African Americans near the Santa Fe railroad tracks. The National guard gathered and arrested nearly all the Greenwood residents, over 6000, detaining them in the Convention Center, sports arenas, and fairgrounds. 6:00 pm: All businesses were ordered to close, and a curfew was put into effect beginning at 7:00. June 3: Martial law ended. African Americans were required to carry "green cards" to leave the detention centers until July. June 8-20: Governor James B. A. Robertson ordered an inquiry of events by a Grand Jury examining the role of the police and sheriff departments. The all-white jury indicted over 85 people, the majority African American, for rioting and illegally carrying weapons. Five city police officers, including the Tulsa Chief of Police, John Gustafson, were also indicted and later fired. June 8-July 30: 1400 lawsuits were filed by African Americans for damaged commercial and/or personal property. The insurance companies invoked a "riot clause" that dismissed almost all the claims. Rowland was released and was not charged for any crime.

1922 -- Mary E. Jones Parrish was hired by the Inter-Racial Commission to write an account of the Race Riot. She was a teacher and journalist living with her daughter in Tulsa at the time of the massacre. Parrish interviewed survivors of the riot, collecting oral histories, photographs and a listing of property loses, publishing her findings in Events of the Tulsa Disaster. This was the first book published about the race riot. A large reconstruction effort began in Greenwood, and 80 businesses opened.

1925 -- National Negro Business League holds national convention in Tulsa, celebrating the rebuilding of Greenwood.

1931 -- Buck Colbert Franklin writes an unpublished memoir of the massacre entitled: The Tulsa Riot and Three of its Victims. It was later published by his son, John Hope Franklin and grandson, John W. Franklin in 1997.

1946 -- The first general history of the riot was published by Loren L. Gill, from the University of Tulsa. Although conducting many oral histories and research, some of his conclusions were later found to be incorrect.

1975 -- The Tulsa Race War of 1921 by Rudia M. Halliburton, Jr. was published. Halliburton was a professor at Northeastern State University and his work featured a collection of photographs, many from his students, of the riot.

1997 -- The Tulsa Race Riot Commission is established to study the riot and recommended reparations for survivors and their descendants. The city didn't comply.

1998 -- The Commission recommends archeological search for mass graves. This was approved in February 1999. A potential mass grave was found in Oaklawn Cemetery.

2003 -- Court case, Alexander, et al., v. Oklahoma, et al, was filed by over 200 survivors of the massacre. The suit was denied because the statute of limitations had passed.

2005 -- The survivors and lawyers attempted to repeal the decision in the Supreme Court, but the Court decided not to accept a case.

2010 -- John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park opened in Greenwood to help memorialize and educate the community about the race massacre.
Provenance:
Acquired as a gift from The Tulsa Project, Inc. (Reginald Turner, J.D.Clement & The Lomax Company).
Rights:
The copyright law of the United States (title 17, United States Code) governs the making reproductions of copyrighted material. Any reproductions of these materials are not to be used for any purpose other than research or educational use. It is the responsibility of the user to pursue the copyright owner, The Tulsa Project, Inc . for permission to use and publish the materials from this collection for use beyond private study, scholarship or research. Any reproduction of materials of this collection must include the copyright notice: © The Tulsa Project, Inc.
Topic:
Race relations  Search this
Tulsa Race Massacre, Tulsa, Okla., 1921  Search this
Hate crimes  Search this
Race discrimination  Search this
Violence  Search this
Race riots  Search this
Justice  Search this
Activism  Search this
Law  Search this
Identity  Search this
American South  Search this
American West  Search this
Genre/Form:
Oral history
Citation:
Guide to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Oral History Collection, 2004-2007. National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAAHC.A2014.240
See more items in:
Guide to 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Oral History Collection
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmaahc-a2014-240

Oral history interview with Katharine Kuh

Topic:
Saturday review
Interviewee:
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Interviewer:
Berman, Avis  Search this
Creator:
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.)  Search this
First National Bank of Chicago -- Art collections  Search this
Katharine Kuh Gallery (Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Vassar College  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Albright, Ivan, 1897-1983  Search this
Archipenko, Alexander, 1887-1964  Search this
Arensberg, Louise S. (Louise Stevenson), 1879-1953  Search this
Arensberg, Walter, 1878-1954  Search this
Avery, Milton, 1885-1965  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Berenson, Bernard, 1865-1959  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Ernst, Max, 1891-1976  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
Klee, Paul, 1879-1940  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, 1886-1969  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946  Search this
Mérida, Carlos, 1891-1984  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Paepcke, Walter Paul, 1896-1960  Search this
Porter, Eliot, 1901-1990  Search this
Ray, Man, 1890-1976  Search this
Rich, Daniel Catton, 1904-1976  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Stamos, Theodoros, 1922-1997  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Tamayo, Rufino, 1899-  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Weston, Edward, 1886-1958  Search this
Extent:
313 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1982 Mar. 18-1983 Mar. 24
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Katharine Kuh conducted 1982 Mar. 18-1983 Mar. 24, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.
Kuh speaks of her invalid childhood in Chicago, the development of her interest in art, classes in art history at Vassar College, and her career as curator of modern art at the Art Institute of Chicago. She recalls in particular the "Sanity in Art" movement against modern art in Chicago. Kuh describes her relationship with Mark Rothko and Rothko's relationships with Mark Tobey, Clyfford Still, Kate Rothko, Theodoros Stamos, Milton Avery, Stanley Kunitz, and Hans Hofmann.
Kuh discusses her parents, the family silk business, travelling in Europe as a child, life in Chicago, the effects of polio and other illnesses on her interests, and her student years at Vassar College. She remembers visiting Bernard Berenson in Italy with her family and again with Daniel Catton Rich, with whom she worked very closely at the Art Institute of Chicago. She speaks of the Katharine Kuh Gallery, which she started in the mid-1930s and its place in the vanguard of the Chicago art scene.
Kuh remembers the effects of the stock market crash on her personal situation, her marriage to businessman George Kuh, distaste for life in the suburbs, and her divorce. She discusses the Katharine Kuh Gallery and the actions taken against her business by members of the reactionary "Sanity in Art" movement (including a very funny anecdote concerning Carlos Merida). She speaks of the classes in modern art that she taught at her gallery and of some of the artists she exhibited there, including the photographers Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Weston.
Kuh remembers the McCarthy era and the political conservatism in Chicago, including her testimony on behalf of Bill Zimmerman, Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs. She criticizes blockbuster exhibitions and the changes in the role of a museum curator. She reminisces about building the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago and the art education program she ran there, and recalls Stuart Davis, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Gyorgy Kepes, and Ivan Albright.
Kuh remembers Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Marcel Duchamp, as well as the collectors Walter Paepcke and Walter and Louise Arensberg (whose collection she surveyed in their home for an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago).
Kuh focuses on her memories of Mark Rothko, recalling when they met, their friendship, his manner of working, his feelings about his work, and his worries towards the end of his life. She talks about Clyfford Still, Barnett Newman, and Mark Tobey. Some parts of this tape repeat what she said earlier.
Kuh continues discussing Rothko, particularly his Houston chapel murals and the retrospective exhibition at MOMA in 1961. She remembers visiting Rothko's studio and describes his working methods. She relates Rothko's views on other artists, including Milton Avery, Clyfford Still, Turner, Robert Motherwell, and Adolf Gottlieb; parts repeat things said before. Kuh also discusses Rothko's wife and daughter.
Kuh recounts building the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago and speaks of the museum staff, trustees, and donors. She remembers Alfred Barr at MOMA.
Kuh continues speaking about the Art Institute of Chicago, describing the circumstances of her resignation and subsequent move to New York. She talks of knowing Peggy Guggenheim, Max Ernst, and Fernand Leger.
Kuh describes her work as a consultant to college museums and her writings. She discusses the field of art criticism and her career as art editor at Saturday Review. She recalls Clyfford Still's retrospective exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and his death.
Kuh describes her work as a collector for the First National Bank of Chicago.
Kuh recounts more about her work at Saturday Review and her resignation. She goes into great detail about her travels in Alaska and British Columbia surveying Northwest Indian art for a government report. She speaks again about the McCarthy era.
Kuh speaks again about the Katharine Kuh Gallery and the artists she exhibited there, including Josef Albers (and his Black Mountain College), Alexander Archipenko, Stuart Davis, Paul Klee, Alexander Calder, and Man Ray.
Kuh continues her discussion of artists she exhibited at the Katharine Kuh Gallery, including Mark Tobey, Paul Klee, and Isamu Noguchi.
Kuh continues talking about artists she exhibited at the Katharine Kuh Gallery, including David Smith, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Eliot Porter, Rufino Tamayo, and Jack Tworkov.
Biographical / Historical:
Katharine Kuh (1904-1994) was an art consultant, curator, and critic from Chicago and New York City.
General:
Originally recorded on 16 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 31 digital wav files. Duration is 21 hrs., 52 min.
Provenance:
This interview was conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and his Times oral history project, with funding provided by the Mark Rothko Foundation.
Others interviewed on the project (by various interviewers) include: Sonia Allen, Sally Avery, Ben-Zion, Bernard Braddon, Ernest Briggs, Rhys Caparn, Elaine de Kooning, Herbert Ferber, Esther Gottlieb, Juliette Hays, Sidney Janis, Buffie Johnson, Jacob Kainen, Louis Kaufman, Jack Kufeld, Stanley Kunitz, Joseph Liss, Dorothy Miller, Betty Parsons, Wallace Putnam, Rebecca Reis, Maurice Roth, Sidney Schectman, Aaron Siskind, Joseph Solman, Hedda Sterne, Jack Tworkov, Esteban Vicente and Ed Weinstein. Each has been cataloged separately.
Restrictions:
Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Rights:
Authorization to quote or reproduce for the purposes of publication requires written permission from Avis Berman. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Art critics -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art museum curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art museum curators -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.kuh82
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kuh82

Gyorgy Kepes papers

Creator:
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
Names:
Center for Advanced Visual Studies  Search this
Illinois Institute of Technology  Search this
Saidenberg Gallery  Search this
Triennale di Milano (Milan, Italy)  Search this
Arnheim, Rudolf  Search this
Bertoia, Harry  Search this
Blee, Michael  Search this
Boghosian, Varujan  Search this
Brazdys, Konslancija  Search this
Burgess, Lowry, 1940-  Search this
Burnham, Jack, 1931-  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Chermayeff, Serge, 1900-  Search this
Dreyfuss, Henry, 1904-1972  Search this
Eames, Charles  Search this
Eames, Ray  Search this
Egawa, Kazuhiko  Search this
Entwhistle, Clive  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-  Search this
Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969  Search this
Hayter, Stanley William, 1901-1988  Search this
Hélion, Jean, 1904-1987  Search this
Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005  Search this
Kepes, Juliet  Search this
Kowalski, Piotry  Search this
Lynch, Kevin, 1918-1984  Search this
McLuhan, Marshall, 1911-1980  Search this
Mead, Margaret, 1901-1978  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, Sibyl, 1905-  Search this
Nusberg, Lev, 1937-  Search this
Osborn, Robert Chesley, 1904-1994  Search this
Piene, Otto, 1928-  Search this
Read, Herbert Edward, Sir, 1893-1968  Search this
Richards, I. A. (Ivor Armstrong), 1893-1979  Search this
Rickey, George  Search this
Saarinen, Eero, 1910-1961  Search this
Sonfist, Alan  Search this
Steinberg, Saul  Search this
Tacha, Athena, 1936-  Search this
Takis, Vassilakis  Search this
Tange, Kenzō, 1913-  Search this
Thiel, Philip  Search this
Tovish, Harold, 1921-2008  Search this
Tsʻai, Wen-ying, 1928-  Search this
Wolff, Robert Jay, 1905-  Search this
Wurster, William Wilson  Search this
Zvilna, Jēkabs, 1913-1997  Search this
Faculty:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology  Search this
Extent:
21.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Caricatures
Designs
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Sound recordings
Place:
Times Square (New York, N.Y.)
Date:
1909-2003
bulk 1935-1985
Summary:
The papers of Hungarian-born artist, art theorist, and educator, Gyorgy Kepes, measure 21.2 linear feet and date from 1909-2003, with the bulk of the material dating from the 1935-1985. The papers document Kepes's career as an artist and educator, and as founder of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), through biographical material, correspondence, writings by Kepes and others, project files, exhibition files, printed material, sketchbooks, artwork, sound recordings and motion picture films, and photographic material.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Hungarian-born artist, art theorist, and educator, Gyorgy Kepes, measure 21.2 linear feet and date from 1909-2003, with the bulk of the material dating from the 1935-1985. The papers document Kepes's career as an artist and educator, and as founder of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), through biographical material, correspondence, writings by Kepes and others, project files, exhibition files, printed material, sketchbooks, artwork, sound recordings and motion picture films, and photographic material.

Correspondence provides a wide range of documentation on all aspects of Kepes's career including his collaborations and friendships with artists, architects, writers, scientists, and fellow educators including Rudolf Arnheim, Alexander Calder, Henry Dreyfuss, Charles and Ray Eames, Clive Entwhistle, R. Buckminster Fuller, Walter Gropius, S. W. Hayter, Jean Hélion, Laszlo and Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, Lev Nussberg, Robert Osborn, George Rickey, Saul Steinberg, Kenzo Tange, Robert Jay Wolff, and Jekabs Zvilna. Correspondence also documents the evolution of Kepes's vision for the Center for Advanced Visual Studies, which he established in 1967, and his subsequent leadership of CAVS at M.I.T. Records document his collaborations with students and fellows including Lowry Burgess, Jack Burnham, Piotry Kowalski, Margaret Mead, Otto Piene, Alan Sonfist, Athena Tacha, Vassilakis Takis, Philip Thiel, Harold Tovish, and Wen-Ying Tsai. Correspondents also include people who contributed to Kepes's Vision + Value series, including Michael Blee, Kazuhiko Egawa, Jean Hélion, and others. Correspondence includes three motion picture films, including what appears to be an early version of Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames.

Writings include notes and manuscripts for articles and essays in which Kepes explored ideas evident in his books The New Landscape and Language of Vision, and submitted to publications such as Daedalus, Design, Domus, and Leonardo. Writings also include manuscripts for lectures, and draft manuscripts documenting Kepes's collaborative work with fellow M.I.T. professor Kevin Lynch on city planning, which culminated in Lynch's research project "The Perceptual Form of the City."

A small group of "Times Square Project" files documents Kepes's proposal for a lightscape in Times Square that was ultimately not realized.

Teaching files include sound recordings of circa five symposia and discussions held at M.I.T., the Illinois Institute of Technology, and elsewhere, some featuring Kepes and including Philip Johnson, Eero Saarinen and others.

Exhibition files include documentation of three exhibitions, including Light as a Creative Medium (1968) and a Kepes exhibition at Saidenberg Gallery (1968). They also record Kepes's involvement in designing the 1968 Triennale di Milano.

Printed material includes a substantial collection of announcements and catalogs for Kepes exhibitions, lectures, and other events, and includes catalogs and announcements for scattered exhibitions of his wife, artist and illustrator, Juliet Kepes. Clippings from newspapers and magazines include articles about Kepes, and contain some copies of published writings and designs by him. The series also includes sound recordings and motion picture films containing original material for a CBS television series "The 21st Century," probably as part of the episode "Art for Tomorrow," which appear to feature M.I.T. fellows Jack Burnham and Vassilakis Takis. Another motion picture film of an Italian documentary "Operazione Cometa" can also be found here.

Two sketchbooks contain pen and ink and painted sketches by Kepes. Artwork by Kepes includes original poster designs, caricatures, and many pencil, and pen and ink sketches and paintings on paper and board, including designs for stained glass. Artwork by others includes ink on mylar sketches by D. Judelson and Konstancija Brazdys, and a sketch by Harold Tovish. Also found are circa seventeen motion picture films and four sound recordings, the majority of which are untitled and by unidentified artists, but include films by M.I.T. fellows Otto Piene, Vassilakis Takis, Philip Thiel, Harold Tovish, Wen-Ying Tsai, and others.

Photographs are of Kepes, Juliet Kepes, and other family members; students, colleagues, and friends, including R. Buckminster Fuller, Serge Chermayeff, Harry Bertoia, Varujan Boghosian, Alexander Calder, Marchall McLuhan, Margaret Mead, Herbert Read, I. A. Richards, Saul Steinberg, and William Wurster; and of Kepes in his studio. There are also photos of exhibition installations in which Kepes's work appeared or which he designed, and photos of his artwork and of images for publications which he wrote or edited. Photos by others include artwork by established artists and work by students, as well as photographs arranged by subjects such as cityscapes, forms found in nature, light patterns, mechanical devices, and photomicrographs. A collection of lantern slides with similar content to the photos of artwork and photos by subject is also found in this series and includes a lantern slide of Picasso creating a design with light.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as eleven series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1940-circa 1980 (0.25 linear feet; Boxes 1, 28)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1936-1984 (5.7 linear feet; Boxes 1-7, 28 OV 33, FCs 39-41)

Series 3: Interviews and Transcripts, 1954-1970 (4 folders; Box 7)

Series 4: Writings and Notes, 1948-circa 1980s (1.4 linear feet; Boxes 7-8, 28)

Series 5: Times Square Project Files, 1972-1974 (6 folders; Box 9)

Series 6: Teaching Files Sound Recordings, circa 1953-1972 (0.7 linear feet; Box 9)

Series 7: Exhibition Files, 1958-1973 (0.4 linear feet; Boxes 9-10)

Series 8: Printed Material, circa 1922-1989 (3.6 linear feet; Boxes 10-12, 28-29, OVs 35, 37, FCs 42-49)

Series 9: Sketchbooks, circa 1940s-circa 1970s (2 folders; Box 12)

Series 10: Artwork and Moving Images, circa 1924-2003 (2.5 linear feet; Boxes 12, 13, OVs 33-36, 38, FCs 50-62)

Series 11: Photographs, 1909-1988 (10.4 linear feet; Boxes 13-32)
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, designer, art theorist, and educator, Gyorgy Kepes (1906-2001), was born in Selyp, Hungary, and studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest. He worked with Moholy-Nagy in Berlin and London before joining him at the New Bauhaus (later the Chicago Institute of Design) in 1937.

Kepes taught courses at the New Bauhaus from 1937 to 1945, and published Language of Vision in 1944, summarizing the educational ideas and methods he had developed during his time at the institute. In 1946 he accepted a teaching position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) where he initiated a program in visual design.

In 1956 Kepes published The New Landscape in Art and Science, in which he presented images from nature that were newly accessible due to developments in science and technology, and explored his ideas for a common language between science and the visual arts.

In 1965, these ideas were apparent in Kepes's proposal of an expanded visual arts program at M.I.T., which would "build new as yet undetermined bridges between art and engineering and science," according to the minutes of an M.I.T. Art Committee meeting in March of that year. Kepes's vision dovetailed with M.I.T.'s vested interest in promoting the arts, and faculty and administrators were open to the argument that "The scientific-technical enterprise needs schooling by the artistic sensibilities." In 1967, they appointed Kepes Director of M.I.T.'s Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS).

Kepes retired from the regular faculty at M.I.T. in 1967, to focus on his role as director of CAVS, where he worked to provide artists with opportunities for exploring new artistic forms on a civic scale through a working dialogue with scientists and engineers. Early fellows of the center included Maryanne Amacher, Joan Brigham, Lowry Burgess, Jack Burnham, Piotry Kowalski, Otto Piene, Vassilakis Takis, and Wen-Ying Tsai.

In 1965-1966 Kepes edited a six-volume series entitled Vision + Value, published by George Braziller, Inc. Each volume featured essays that centered around a core theme: The Education of Vision; Structure in Art and Science; The Nature and Art of Motion; Module, Symmetry, Proportion, Rhythm; Sign, Image, Symbol; and Man-Made Object. Contributions came from prominent artists, designers, architects, and scientists of the time including Rudolf Arnheim, Saul Bass, Marcel Breuer, John Cage, R. Buckminster Fuller, Johannes Itten, Marshall McLuhan, and Paul Rand.

Kepes experimented widely with photography, producing abstract images through the application of fluids and objects to photographic paper. He also took commercial work throughout his career, producing designs for all kinds of objects, including books and stained glass windows for churches. He returned to painting in the 1950s, and his development as a painter continued throughout his career at M.I.T., where he remained until his retirement in 1974, and beyond. His paintings, which were abstract and often incorporated organic shapes and hints of landscapes, can be found in museums such as the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Kepes received many awards during his lifetime, including a Guggenheim Fellowship (1958); the Gold Star Award of the Philadelphia College of Art (1958); the National Association of Art Colleges Annual Award (1968); the California College of Art Award (1968); and the Fine Arts Medal from the American Institute of Architects (1968). In 1973 he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an associate member, and became a full academician in 1978. He was a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Related Materials:
Additional papers of Gyorgy Kepes can be found at Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Advanced Visual Studies Special Collection.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reel 1211) including ninety-eight letters to Kepes from colleagues, 1946-1974. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Gyorgy Kepes lent papers for microfilming in 1974 and donated material to the Archives of American Art in a series of gifts between 1974 and 1993.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Rights:
Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce requires written permission from Juliet Kepes Stone or Imre Kepes. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Artists' studios--Photographs  Search this
City planning  Search this
Educators--Massachusetts--Cambridge  Search this
Motion pictures (visual works)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Caricatures
Designs
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Sound recordings
Citation:
Gyorgy Kepes papers, 1909-2003, bulk 1935-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kepegyor
See more items in:
Gyorgy Kepes papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kepegyor

Ruth Law Scrapbook

Collection Creator:
Law, Ruth  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1916-1918
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Collection Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Collection Citation:
Ruth Law Collection, Acc. NASM.XXXX.0387, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Ruth Law Collection
Ruth Law Collection / Series 1: Ruth Law Scrapbook
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-xxxx-0387-ref517
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Ruth Law Scrapbook digital asset number 1

Correspondence -- United China Relief Memos

Collection Creator:
Ya-Ching, Lee  Search this
Container:
Box 4, Folder 3
Type:
Archival materials
Text
Date:
1941 - 1943
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Collection Citation:
Lee Ya-Ching Papers, NASM.2008.0009, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Lee Ya-Ching Papers
Lee Ya-Ching Papers / Series 2: Professional
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-2008-0009-ref38
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Correspondence -- United China Relief Memos digital asset number 1

Official Duties, Personnel, Integration (see also oversized, Box 163)

Collection Creator:
Davis, Benjamin O., Jr., 1912-  Search this
Container:
Box 9, Folder 20
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Collection Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Collection Citation:
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Collection, Acc. 1992.0023, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Benjamin O. Davis Jr. Collection
Benjamin O. Davis Jr. Collection / Series 2: Military Career / 2.3: Materials Arranged by Posting / 2.3.13: Far East Air Force (FEAF) Headquarters (Tokyo, Japan), Director of Operations and Training
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1992-0023-ref1897
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Official Duties, Personnel, Integration (see also oversized, Box 163) digital asset number 1

Social (see also oversized, Box 154)

Collection Creator:
Davis, Benjamin O., Jr., 1912-  Search this
Container:
Box 11, Folder 7
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Collection Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Collection Citation:
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Collection, Acc. 1992.0023, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Benjamin O. Davis Jr. Collection
Benjamin O. Davis Jr. Collection / Series 2: Military Career / 2.3: Materials Arranged by Posting / 2.3.13: Far East Air Force (FEAF) Headquarters (Tokyo, Japan), Director of Operations and Training
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1992-0023-ref1915
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Social (see also oversized, Box 154) digital asset number 1

Ellen Lanyon papers, circa 1880-2015, bulk 1926-2013

Creator:
Lanyon, Ellen, 1926-2013  Search this
Lanyon, Ellen, 1926-2013  Search this
Subject:
Lippard, Lucy R.  Search this
Kozloff, Joyce  Search this
Stevens, May  Search this
Nilsson, Gladys  Search this
Stuart, Michelle  Search this
Grooms, Red  Search this
Petlin, Irving  Search this
Spector, Buzz  Search this
Schapiro, Miriam  Search this
Rockburne, Dorothea  Search this
Hunt, Richard  Search this
Chicago, Judy  Search this
Plunkett, Edward M. (1922-2011)  Search this
Golub, Leon  Search this
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art  Search this
Ox-Bow Summer School of Painting  Search this
Landfall Press  Search this
Type:
Electronic records (digital records)
Sketches
Interviews
Collages
Paintings
Sound recordings
Prints
Video recordings
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Transcriptions
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Topic:
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Printmakers -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Feminism and art  Search this
Art -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Muralists -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Theme:
Women  Search this
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9118
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211312
AAA_collcode_lanyelle
Theme:
Women
Lives of American Artists
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211312
Online Media:

Ellen Lanyon papers

Creator:
Lanyon, Ellen  Search this
Names:
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art -- Faculty  Search this
Landfall Press  Search this
Ox-Bow Summer School of Painting  Search this
Chicago, Judy, 1939-  Search this
Golub, Leon, 1922-2004  Search this
Grooms, Red  Search this
Hunt, Richard, 1935-  Search this
Kozloff, Joyce  Search this
Lippard, Lucy R.  Search this
Nilsson, Gladys, 1940-  Search this
Petlin, Irving, 1934-  Search this
Plunkett, Edward M. (1922-2011)  Search this
Rockburne, Dorothea  Search this
Schapiro, Miriam, 1923-2015  Search this
Spector, Buzz  Search this
Stevens, May  Search this
Stuart, Michelle, 1933-  Search this
Extent:
62.6 Linear feet
84.47 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Electronic records (digital records)
Sketches
Interviews
Collages
Paintings
Sound recordings
Prints
Video recordings
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Transcriptions
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Date:
circa 1880-2015
bulk 1926-2013
Summary:
The papers of artist Ellen Lanyon measure 62.6 linear feet and 84.47 GB and date from circa 1880-2015, bulk 1926-2013. Biographical material; correspondence; interviews; writings; journals; project files; teaching files; exhibition files; personal business records; printed and broadcast material; scrapbooks; photographic material; artwork; sketchbooks; as well as sound and video recordings and digital material, provide a comprehensive view of Lanyon's career and of art circles in Chicago and New York. Correspondence with artists and friends make up a significant portion of the collection. Project and exhibition files reflect her professional and artistic career. Thousands of slides and photographs document her life and artwork over seven decades, and over seventy sketchbooks are filled with student sketches, portraits of friends and family, and preliminary drawings.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of artist Ellen Lanyon measure 62.6 linear feet and 84.47 GB and date from circa 1880-2015, bulk 1926-2013. Biographical material; correspondence; interviews; writings; journals; project files; teaching files; exhibition files; personal business records; printed and broadcast material; scrapbooks; photographic material; artwork; sketchbooks; as well as sound and video recordings and digital material, provide a comprehensive view of Lanyon's career and of art circles in Chicago and New York.

Biographical material documents Lanyon's major life events and includes calendars; addresses and contacts; life documents; awards; diplomas and school records; resumes; horoscope readings and natal chart; residence documents; personal memorabilia; family papers and memorabilia; digital material; and items relating to Lanyon's memorial.

Correspondence, both personal and professional, consists of letters, postcards, holiday and greeting cards exchanged with family, friends, artists, collectors, publishers, print shops, museums, galleries, and cultural and educational institutions. Some material is in digital format. Notable correspondents include Judy Chicago, Leon Golub, Red Grooms, Richard Hunt, Joyce Kozloff, Lucy Lippard, Gladys Nilsson, Irving Petlin, Edward Plunkett, Dorothea Rockburne, Miriam Schapiro, Buzz Spector, May Stevens, and Michelle Stuart.

Fourteen interviews are with Ellen Lanyon conducted by various interviewers on behalf of a number of organizations and consist of transcripts, sound recordings, and video recordings, some in digital format.

Writings include general writings, lectures, presentations, and thirty-seven notebooks by Lanyon. A few writings by others about Lanyon and several sound recordings of lectures by other artists are also found here.

Twenty-five journals intermittently record Lanyon's reflections on her day-to-day life including her work, obligations, and relationships.

Project files include professional activities and files documenting projects and commissions. Files may contain project proposals, correspondence, printed and digital material, applications, contracts, research notes, invoices, receipts, notebooks, sketches, plans, organizational records, and photographic material. Three multi-year projects are extensively documented, including theMiami Metamorphosis mural, Riverwalk Gateway mural, and Hiawatha Rail Line mural.

Teaching files consist of correspondence, memoranda, course descriptions and proposals, rosters, administrative documents, and printed material from a number of institutions, including Cooper Union, where Lanyon taught from the 1970s to her retirement in 1993.

Exhibition files include files for individual exhibitions, exhibitions by women artists, and chronological files. Files may contain correspondence, inventories, consignment records, layout plans, printed and digital material, and photographic material.

Personal business, inventory, and estate records document the financial and administrative history of Lanyon's career and artworks.

Printed material, broadcast material, and published video recordings document Lanyon's career, art movements in Chicago and New York, and the women's movement in art. Files may contain books, booklets, broadsides, radio and television broadcasts, brochures, exhibition announcements and catalogs, lecture announcements, news and magazine clippings, newspapers and newsletters, periodicals, press releases, programs, video recordings, digital material, source material, and posters.

Eight scrapbooks contain predominantly clippings and exhibition material documenting Lanyon's career.

Photographic material consists of thousands of prints, slides, transparencies, digital photographs, and negatives of Lanyon, family, friends, artists, places, and artwork.

A small number of artworks include a self-portrait Lanyon carved in wood, a childhood painting, a photo collage, sketches, and one folder of assignments for an art course. Artworks by others are a hand colored photograph album by Marcia Palazzolo and prints distributed by Landfall Press.

Seventy-one sketchbooks are filled with student sketches, portraits of friends and family, and preliminary drawings done in pencil, watercolor, and colored pencil.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as fifteen series

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1880-2014, bulk 1926-2015 (5.3 linear feet; Box 1-6, 62, 3.94 GB; ER01-ER04)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1936-2013 (14.3 linear feet; Box 6-20, 1.51 GB; ER05-ER11)

Series 3: Interviews, circa 1975-2012 (0.7 linear feet; Box 20-21, 7.07 GB; ER12-ER19)

Series 4: Writings, Lectures, and Notebooks, circa 1947-2015 (3.2 linear feet; Box 21-24, 0.712 GB; ER20-ER24)

Series 5: Journals, 1967-2013 (1 linear foot; Box 24-25)

Series 6: Project Files, 1952-2014 (5.8 linear feet; Box 25-31, 62, OV 66, 13.42 GB; ER25-ER32)

Series 7: Teaching Files, 1953-2010 (0.9 linear feet; Box 31)

Series 8: Exhibition Files, circa 1944-2013 (2.7 linear feet; Box 32-34, 63, 3.87 GB; ER33-ER37)

Series 9: Personal Business, Inventory, and Estate Records, circa 1950-2015 (3 linear feet; Box 34-37, 9.10 GB; ER38-ER46)

Series 10: Printed and Broadcast Material, and Published Video Recordings, 1937-2013 (13.3 linear feet; Box 37-49, 63, OV 67-77, 2.18 GB; ER47-ER49)

Series 11: Scrapbooks, 1946-2013 (0.6 linear feet; Box 49-50)

Series 12: Photographic Material, circa 1920-2015 (7.7 linear feet; Box 50-57, 63, 42.44 GB; ER50-ER71)

Series 13: Artwork, circa 1938-1979 (0.2 linear feet; Box 58, 63)

Series 14: Sketchbooks, circa 1940-2010 (3.4 linear feet; Box 58-60, 64, 65)

Series 15: Unidentified Sound and Video Recordings, and Electronic Records, circa 1974-2013 (0.5 linear feet; Box 60-61)
Biographical / Historical:
Ellen Lanyon (1926-2013) was an American painter and printmaker working in Chicago and New York. She was born in Chicago, Illinois to Howard and Ellen (Nellie) Lanyon. Lanyon received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1948 and married classmate and artist Roland Ginzel that same year. In 1950, she received her MFA from the University of Iowa. As part of her post graduate work, Lanyon studied at the Courtauld Institute, University of London on a Fulbright Fellowship.

In the late 1940s, Lanyon began exhibiting her work and was featured in several Chicago and Vicinity Annual shows as well as the Momentum exhibitions. Influenced by surrealism, magic realism, and the work of the Chicago Imagists and the Hairy Who, Lanyon's subjects range from portraits of friends and family, to objects from her collection of curios, to flora and fauna. She produced paintings, drawings, print editions, artist's books, and some ceramics. In addition to her own artwork, Lanyon took on numerous commissions including the Riverwalk Gateway murals in Chicago, the Hiawatha Transit murals in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and a variety of illustration work.

Lanyon was active in many professional organizations and women's organizations including the College Art Association (CAA) and the Women's Caucus for Art. She organized panels at CAA, contributed writings and editing to journals, including Heresies, and served on a variety of panels and juries. Lanyon was also on the Board of the Ox-Bow Summer School of Painting, which she attended in her youth. Over the course of her career, she taught at many colleges and universities, including Cooper Union, where she was Associate Professor.

Throughout her career, Lanyon participated in exhibitions around the country, including a retrospective of her work at the National Museum for Women in the Arts in 1999. She was also the recipient of many awards and grants including the Logan Price and a National Endowment for the Arts grant.

Lanyon and Ginzel had two children, Andrew and Lisa Ginzel.
Related Materials:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Ellen Lanyon conducted by James Crawford in 1975.
Provenance:
A majority of the collection was donated in 2015 by Andrew Ginszel, Ellen Lanyon's son and executor. Lanyon also donated material in 1990. Portions of the collection were lent for microfilming from 1977-1981 by Lanyon and subsequently donated.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Printmakers -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Feminism and art  Search this
Art -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Muralists -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Genre/Form:
Electronic records (digital records)
Sketches
Interviews
Collages
Paintings
Sound recordings
Prints
Video recordings
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Transcriptions
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Ellen Lanyon papers, circa 1880-2015, bulk 1926-2013. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.lanyelle
See more items in:
Ellen Lanyon papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-lanyelle
Online Media:

Senga Nengudi papers, 1947, circa 1962-2017

Creator:
Nengudi, Senga, 1943-  Search this
Nengudi, Senga, 1943-  Search this
Subject:
Hassinger, Maren  Search this
Hammons, David  Search this
Banks, Cheryl  Search this
McCullough, Barbara  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Drawings
Sketchbooks
Topic:
African American artists  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Theme:
African American  Search this
Women  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)17614
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)397342
AAA_collcode_nengseng
Theme:
African American
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_397342
Online Media:

Senga Nengudi papers

Creator:
Nengudi, Senga, 1943-  Search this
Names:
Banks, Cheryl  Search this
Hammons, David, 1943-  Search this
Hassinger, Maren  Search this
McCullough, Barbara  Search this
Extent:
12.8 Linear feet
11.24 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Drawings
Sketchbooks
Date:
1947
circa 1962-2017
Summary:
The papers of African American conceptual and performance artist Senga Nengudi measure 12.8 linear feet and 11.24 gigabytes and date from circa 1962 to 2017, with a folder of printed material dating from 1947. The collection contains biographical material including education and family records, the kimono Nengudi wore during her wedding to Ellioutt Fittz, certificates, interview transcripts, and address books; calendars and journals chronicling Nengudi's appointments, thoughts, and artistic practice; and correspondence with friends and other artists including Maren Hassinger, Cheryl Banks, and David Hammons. Also included is family correspondence, including letters between Senga Nengudi (then Sue Irons) and her mother when Nengudi was living in Japan. The collection also contains writings by Senga Nengudi and others; material related to professional activities including teaching files, gallery files, and files related to exhibitions, projects, and performances; printed material including exhibition and event announcements and catalogs, clippings, magazines, and other published material; a scrapbook primarily containing photographs and printed material; photographic material depicting Senga Nengudi, works of art, and other individuals; artwork by Nengudi and others, including Maren Hassinger; and audio and video recordings, including recordings of performances.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of African American conceptual and performance artist Senga Nengudi measure 12.8 linear feet and 11.24 gigabytes and date from circa 1962 to 2017, with a folder of printed material dating from 1947. The collection contains biographical material, including education and family records, the kimono Nengudi wore during her wedding to Ellioutt Fittz, certificates, interview transcripts, and address books; calendars and journals chronicling Nengudi's appointments, thoughts, and artistic practice; and correspondence with friends and other artists including Maren Hassinger, Cheryl Banks, and David Hammons. Also included is family correspondence, including letters between Senga Nengudi (then Sue Irons) and her mother when Nengudi was living in Japan. The collection also contains writings by Senga Nengudi and others; material related to professional activities including teaching files, gallery files, and files related to exhibitions, projects, and performances; printed material including exhibition and event announcements and catalogs, clippings, magazines, and other published material; a scrapbook primarily containing photographs and printed material; photographic material depicting Senga Nengudi, works of art, and other individuals; artwork by Nengudi and others, including Maren Hassinger and Barbara McCullough; and audio and video recordings, including recordings of performances.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as ten series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1962-2006, 2017 (Box 1, Box 14; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 2: Calendars and Journals, 1967-2016 (Boxes 1-6; Box 15; 5.7 linear feet)

Series 3: Correspondence, 1966-2017 (Boxes 6-8; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings, 1964-2010 (Box 8; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 5: Professional Activities, 1966-2017 (Boxes 8-10, Box 15; 1.9 linear feet, ER01-ER06; 11.10 GB)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1947, 1963-2017 (Boxes 10-12, Box 15; 1.4 linear feet, ER07; 0.143 GB)

Series 7: Scrapbook, 1974-1976 (Box 15; 1 folder)

Series 8: Photographic Material, circa 1962-2007 (Box 12, Box 15; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 9: Artwork, circa 1960s-2004, 2014, undated (Box 12, Box 15; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 10: Audio and Video Recordings, circa 1974-1998 (Boxes 12-13; 0.4 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Senga Nengudi (1943- ) is an African American conceptual and performance artist in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Born Sue Irons in Chicago, Illinois, she earned a bachelor's degree in art with a minor in dance from California State University, Los Angeles. From 1966 to 1967 she studied Japanese culture at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. This study deeply influenced her artistic practice. Upon her return from Japan in 1967, she pursued her master's degree in sculpture at California State University, which she received in 1971.

After receiving her master's degree, she moved to New York to continue her career as an artist, showing at Just Above Midtown Gallery and teaching at the Children's Art Carnival in Harlem. Throughout her career, Nengudi has collaborated and shown with Maren Hassinger, David Hammons, Barbara McCullough, Suzanne Jackson, John Outterbridge, and Bettye Saar. Nengudi is best known for "stationary performance objects," particularly her RSVP series, objects composed of nylon mesh and sand that refer to the flexibility of the female figure. The series debuted in the 1970s and Nengudi returned to it, adding on A.C.Q. to exhibit it at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017. Also in 2017, Senga Nengudi: Improvisational Gestures opened at the DePaul Art Museum. This was the first solo museum survey for the artist and featured work from the 1970s to 2017.
Related Materials:
The Amistad Research Center also holds 4.5 linear feet of the Senga Nengudi papers, 1966-2017.
Provenance:
The Senga Nengudi papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2018 and 2019 by Senga Nengudi.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.

Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Conceptual artists -- Colorado -- Colorado Springs  Search this
Performance artists -- Colorado -- Colorado Springs  Search this
Topic:
African American artists  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Drawings
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Senga Nengudi papers, 1947, circa 1962-2017. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.nengseng
See more items in:
Senga Nengudi papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-nengseng
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Alanna Heiss, 2010 June 15-October 28

Interviewee:
Heiss, Alanna, 1943-  Search this
Heiss, Alanna, 1943-  Search this
Interviewer:
McElhinney, James, 1952-  Search this
Subject:
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Finkelpearl, Tom  Search this
Gill, Brendan  Search this
Highstein, Jene  Search this
Matta-Clark, Gordon  Search this
Nonas, Richard  Search this
Clocktower Gallery  Search this
Institute for Art and Urban Resources  Search this
Lawrence University  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
New Museum (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center  Search this
University of Chicago  Search this
Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project  Search this
Biennale di Venezia  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Theme:
Women  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)15902
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)296450
AAA_collcode_heiss10
Theme:
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_296450
Online Media:

Oral history interview with LeRoy Winbush, 1988 November 5-11

Interviewee:
Winbush, LeRoy, 1915-2007  Search this
Winbush, LeRoy, 1915-2007  Search this
Interviewer:
DeBose, Frank  Search this
Subject:
South Side Community Art Center  Search this
African-American Artists in Chicago Oral History Project  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
African American artists  Search this
Designers -- Illinois -- Interviews  Search this
Theme:
African American  Search this
Architecture & Design  Search this
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11442
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211897
AAA_collcode_winbus88
Theme:
African American
Architecture & Design
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_211897

Oral history interview with Merlin F. Pollock, 1979 July 30 and 1980 July 30

Interviewee:
Pollock, Merlin F., 1905-1996  Search this
Pollock, Merlin F., 1905-1996  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F  Search this
Subject:
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Federal Art Project (Ill.)  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Mural painting and decoration, American -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Arts administrators -- Illinois -- Interviews  Search this
Muralists -- United States -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12533
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211981
AAA_collcode_polloc79
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_211981
Online Media:

Modify Your Search







or


Narrow By