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William Chapin Seitz papers

Creator:
Seitz, William Chapin  Search this
Names:
University of Virginia -- Faculty  Search this
Ashton, Dore  Search this
Banks-Woodson, Ellen  Search this
Barr, Alfred Hamilton, 1902-  Search this
Baziotes, William, 1912-1963  Search this
Conner, Bruce  Search this
D'Harnoncourt, Rene, 1901-1968  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Elliott, Philip Clarkson, 1903-1985  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Krebs, Rockne, 1938-2011  Search this
Monet, Claude, 1840-1926  Search this
Rosati, James, 1912-1988  Search this
Segal, George, 1924-2000  Search this
Seitz, Irma  Search this
Stella, Frank  Search this
Extent:
32.5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Resumes
Poems
Photographs
Awards
Sound recordings
Interviews
Sketches
Notebooks
Drafts (documents)
Lectures
Date:
circa 1930-1995
Summary:
The papers of educator, painter, and art historian William Chapin Seitz measure 32.5 linear feet and date from circa 1930-1995. The collection includes biographical information, correspondence, notebooks, subject and people files, thesis research files, interviews and lecture recordings, teaching files, personal business records, scattered printed materials, photographs, and artwork. The bulk of the papers focus on Seitz's research and teaching career.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of educator, painter, and art historian William Chapin Seitz measure 32.5 linear feet and date from circa 1930-1995. The collection includes biographical information, correspondence, notebooks, subject and people files, thesis research files, interviews and lecture recordings, teaching files, personal business records, scattered printed materials, photographs, and artwork. The bulk of the papers focus on Seitz's research and teaching career.

Biographical materials consist of resumes and CV's, identification cards including one from the WPA, documents from the memorial held at the University of Virginia for Seitz, poetry written by Irma for William on their wedding anniversaries, and x-rays.

The majority of Seitz's correspondence is professional and concerns job offers and opportunities, lectures requests, recommendation letters for Seitz and for others by Seitz, the Kress Fellowship, exhibitions, awards, and organizations. Also found are posthumus materials to Irma Seitz concerning book royalites. Personal correspondence is scattered and includes condolence letters sent to Irma.

Personal business records focus on Seitz's personal art collection, copyright information, publishing records including royalty statements, reports, scholarship and fellowship information, and professional organization membership records.

The bulk of the collection consists of research and writing files which include notebooks, subject and people files, thesis research files and drafts, general research which include writings by Seitz, card files, and recordings of lectures and interviews. Subject and people files may include correspondence, printed materials, research notes, photographs, works of art, and writings concerning and by artists, art historians, curators, subjects, and art movements. Research files are found for Dore Ashton, Alfred H. Barr Jr., William Baziotes, Bruce Conner, Rene D'Harnoncourt, Marcel Duchamp, Arshile Gorky, Adolph Gottlieb, Rockne Krebs, George Segal, James Rosati, and Frank Stella among many others. Also found are research materials on Claude Monet, some of which are written in French.

Teaching files contains extensive reference material likely used by Seitz during his career as well as correspondence, exams, and lecture materials used in specific classes.

Printed material is scattered and includes clippings, exhibition announcements, and articles. Exhibition announcements and catalogs are for Seitz's personal works and for exhibitions he curated.

The bulk of the photographs are of works of art by William Seitz, Irma Seitz, and others which were likely owned by Seitz. Also found are phtographs of exhibition installations at the Univeristy of Virginia and scattered photographs of Seitz with others.

Artwork include several pencil sketches by Seitz, two works by Ellen Banks-Woodson, and a sketch by Phil Elliott.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged as 8 series:

Series 1: Biographical Information, 1930s-1974 (Box 1; 7 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1945-1995 (Boxes 1-2; 1.6 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, circa 1947-1990 (Boxes 2-3; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 4: Research and Writing Files, 1940s-1970s (Boxes 4-26; 23.5 linear feet)

Series 5: Teaching Files, 1945-1970s (Boxes 27-31, OV 34-35; 5 linear feet)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1937-1984 (Boxes 31-2; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 7: Photographs, 1940s-1981 (Box 32, 33; 11 folders)

Series 8: Artwork, circa 1950s-1972 (Box 32, 33; 6 folders)
Biographical/Historical note:
William Chapin Seitz (1914-1974) was an art historian and scholar, painter, educator, and museum curator who worked primarily in New York and Virginia. He completed the first dissertation on Abstract Expressionism while a student at Princeton University in 1955.

Born in 1914 in Buffalo, New York, William Chapin Seitz studied at the Albright Art School at the University of Buffalo and the Art Institute of Buffalo. Seitz met artist Irma J. Siegelman, whom he married in 1938. Due to the Depression, he left school and worked with the Federal Arts Project in New York City in the 1930s and worked as an aircraft fuel cell deigner for the Hewitt Rubber Company during World War II. Returning to the University of Buffalo after the war, Seitz completed his undergraduate degree and remained by accepting a teaching job.

Although he saw success as a painter and exhibited in one-man shows, Seitz focused his career in academia and enrolled at Princeton University for a graduate degree in Art History. Princeton faculty held divided views on Seitz's desire to write a dissertation on the Abstract Expressionist movement and debated the subject for over a year. Seitz's dissertation topic was eventually approved and in addition to writing the first dissertation on Abstract Expressionism, Seitz received the first PhD in Modern Art from Princeton. Seitz remained at Princeton as an assistant professor and advised students such as Frank Stella.

In 1960, he accepted a job as a curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. At MOMA, Seitz curated The Art of Assemblage (1961), The Responsive Eye (1965), and an exhibition on Monet (1960). Other MOMA exhibitions focused on artists Mark Tobey, Arshile Gorky, and Hans Hofmann. Additionally, he served as director of the Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University from 1965-1970. During that time, Seitz organized the United States exhibition at the Ninth Biennial in Sao Paulo (1967) and the Seventh Biennial of Canadian Painting (1968). In 1971, Seitz returned to teaching at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia and was the Visiting Kress Professor at the National Gallery of Art from 1972-1973.

In addition to his successes in painting, education, and the curatorial field, Seitz was an accomplished writer. He published many articles, essays, and books on art and artists including Art in the Age of Aquarius, on which he worked until his death.

William Seitz died of cancer in 1974.
Related Archival Materials note:
The Museum of Modern Art Archives in New York City holds the William C. Seitz papers which contain exhibition files and records relating to an interview with Marcel Duchamp. Correspondence relating to the debate concerning the viability of Seitz's dissertation are found in the Alfred H. Barr, Jr. papers also at the Museum of Modern Art Archives.
Provenance:
The William Chapin Seitz papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Seitz's widow, Irma Seitz, in 1975 and 2003. A transcript of an interview with Mark Tobey by Seitz was donated by Rebecca Massie Lane in 1988. Seitz gave these transcripts to Lane for her graduate work and they remined in her possession after his death.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The William Chapin Seitz papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Painters -- Virginia -- Charlottesville  Search this
Educators -- Virginia  Search this
Art historians -- Virginia -- Charlottesville  Search this
Genre/Form:
Resumes
Poems
Photographs
Awards
Sound recordings
Interviews
Sketches
Notebooks
Drafts (documents)
Lectures
Citation:
William Chapin Seitz papers, circa 1930-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.seitwill
See more items in:
William Chapin Seitz papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-seitwill
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Virginia Cuthbert

Interviewee:
Cuthbert, Virginia, 1908-2001  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Elliott, Philip Clarkson, 1903-1985  Search this
John, Augustus, 1878-1961  Search this
Luks, George Benjamin, 1867-1933  Search this
Ritchie, Andrew Carnduff  Search this
Saint-Gaudens, Homer, b. 1880  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette ((90 min.), analog.)
40 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound cassettes
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1995 August 28
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Virginia Cuthbert conducted 1995 August 28, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art, in Cuthbert's home, Buffalo, New York.
Virginia Cuthbert discusses her family background in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area; and her father's love of art and acquaintance with Homer Saint-Gaudens, Director of the Carnegie Museum of Art; her very early art education and, later, her study in Europe on a Syracuse University fellowship; her brief study with Felice Carena in Florence and critiques of her work in London by Augustus John and Colin Gill; her study and friendship in New York with George Luks and the beginning of a long friendship with the composer, Virgil Thompson; graduate study in fine arts at the University of Pittsburgh; her engagement to the future museum director, Andrew Ritchie, its breaking-off, and her marriage to Philip Elliott; her further study at the Carnegie Institute with Alexander Kostellow; and a sketching trip to France and Spain.
Biographical / Historical:
Virginia Cuthbert (1908-2001) was a painter from Buffalo, New York and Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
General:
Due to a stroke in 1994, Ms. Cuthbert's voice is not clearly audible.
Originally recorded on 1 sound cassette. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav file. Duration is 1 hr., 26 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Topic:
Painters -- New York (State) -- Buffalo -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh -- Interviews  Search this
Women painters -- New York (State) -- Buffalo -- Interviews  Search this
Women painters -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.cuthber95
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cuthber95

Virginia Cuthbert and Philip Clarkson Elliott papers

Creator:
Cuthbert, Virginia, 1908-2001  Search this
Elliott, Philip Clarkson, 1903-1985  Search this
Extent:
4.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketchbooks
Date:
1913-1996
Scope and Contents:
Biographical material; correspondence; exhibition material; writings; clippings; printed materials; photographs and negatives of the Elliotts, friends, and colleagues, and of work; appraisals of work; documents regarding gifts of work; sketches and sketchbooks, and prints. The papers provide thorough documentation on the painting career of Virginia Cuthbert, and to a lesser degree that of her husband, as well as the artistic communities of Pittsburgh, Pa. in the 1930s, and Buffalo, N.Y. in the 1940s through the 1980s.
Biographical / Historical:
Virginia Cuthbert Elliott (known professionally as Virginia Cuthbert) was a notable painter, first in Pittsburgh, Pa., and later Buffalo, N.Y. Her husband Philip Elliott (1903-1985), a painter and photographer, taught at the Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, N.Y., 1941-1969.
Provenance:
Donated 1997 by Virginia Cuthbert.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State) -- Buffalo  Search this
Painters -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh  Search this
Art teachers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Photographers -- New York (State) -- Buffalo  Search this
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh  Search this
Women painters -- New York (State) -- Buffalo  Search this
Women painters -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Identifier:
AAA.cuthvirg
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cuthvirg

Virginia Cuthbert and Philip Clarkson Elliott papers, 1913-1996

Creator:
Cuthbert, Virginia, 1908-2001  Search this
Elliott, Philip Clarkson, 1903-1985  Search this
Type:
Sketchbooks
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh  Search this
Women painters -- New York (State) -- Buffalo  Search this
Women painters -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6138
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216359
AAA_collcode_cuthvirg
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Women
Lives of American Artists
Photography
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_216359

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