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Wavelength

Artist:
Michael Snow, Canadian, b. Toronto, Ontario, 1929–2023  Search this
Medium:
16 mm film with color and sound
Dimensions:
running time: 00:45:00
Type:
Film
Date:
1967
Credit Line:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Joseph H. Hirshhorn Purchase Fund, 2010
Accession Number:
10.7
See more items in:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/py238830f7d-eb0e-41ae-9ce2-18fc9eb4fde0
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hmsg_10.7

Joseph Cornell Study Center Collection

Artist:
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Names:
Benton, Elizabeth Cornell  Search this
Cornell, Robert  Search this
Extent:
196.8 Linear feet
186 Nitrate negatives
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Nitrate negatives
Photographs
Place:
New York, New York
Date:
1750-1980, bulk 1930-1972
Summary:
The Joseph Cornell Study Center collection measures 196.8 linear feet and dates from 1750 to 1980, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930 to 1972. Documenting the artistic career and personal life of assemblage artist Joseph Cornell (1903-1972), the collection is primarily made up of two- and three-dimensional source material, the contents of the artists' studio, his record album collection, and his book collection and personal library. The collection also includes diaries and notes, financial and estate papers, exhibition materials, collected artifacts and ephemera, photographs, correspondence, and the papers of Robert Cornell (1910-1965) and Helen Storms Cornell (1882-1966), the artist's brother and mother.
Scope and Contents:
The Joseph Cornell Study Center collection measures 196.8 linear feet and dates from 1750 to 1980, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930 to 1972. Documenting the artistic career and personal life of assemblage artist Joseph Cornell (1903-1972), the collection is primarily made up of two- and three-dimensional source material, the contents of the artists' studio, his record album collection, and his book collection and personal library. The collection also includes diaries and notes, financial and estate papers, exhibition materials, collected artifacts and ephemera, photographs, correspondence, and the papers of Robert Cornell (1910-1965) and Helen Storms Cornell (1882-1966), the artist's brother and mother.

Correspondence is with collectors, museums, galleries, artists, friends, family, charity organizations, admirers and those admired by Cornell, and World War II European pen pals. Discussions about the appreciation, donation, sale, purchase, and exhibition of Cornell's works are frequent, with the inclusion of shipping and loan documentation or notices of payment installments. Galleries and museums frequently request that Cornell agree to an exhibition, which he often declines, and fans request free works be mailed or affordable works be sold to them. With friends, artists, and those he admired, Cornell discussed topics that fascinate him, included bits of poetry or philosophical musings, sent clippings or a collaged letter, and occasionally discussed a project or work in process. After World War II, when so many were displaced by the war in Europe, Cornell answered ads for pen pals in the "Christian Science Monitor," often responding to requests for clothing or other goods, and sometimes exchanging many letters over several years. Family correspondence is with his mother, sisters, brother, and others, and often notes activities of the day, foods eaten, and general musings, as well as occasionally mentioning a project or artwork. Correspondents of note include Stan Brakhage, Betty Freeman, Charles Henri Ford, Allegra Kent, Yayoi Kusama, Roberto Matta, Marianne Moore, Octavio Paz, Sonia Sekula, Pavel Tchelitchew, Parker Tyler, Dorothea Tanning, and Betsy von Furstenberg, among others.

Cornell was often preoccupied with his thoughts, feelings, memories, a project or thematic "exploration," and jotted notes on seemingly any surface available. Notes and musings are on napkins, the backs of envelopes, newspaper clippings, and paper bags from record and magazine stores. Frequently, an observation would trigger a lengthy nostalgic moment, or a "feé," fairy-like child or girl, would capture his imagination and lead him to thoughts of 18th-century ballerinas and silent film stars. Cornell wrote longer diary notes, sometimes expanding on an earlier notation or emotion, and often wrote when he experienced trouble sleeping or woke early. Drafted letters to imaginary muses or admired individuals are interspersed among diaries, often revealing Cornell's yearnings to find emotional intimacy and human connection. Over time, Cornell revisited his notes and occasionally made further notations about renewed thoughts on a topic, dating the note with "revisited" or "reviewed." Notes are often written in a stream-of-consciousness style, for example, jumping from the mention of a record album or composer, to a ballerina of the same period, a note about a French poet, the memory of childhood, or an observation made earlier in the day, all in the space of a few lines. Notes about artistic processes or meanings behind works or images do occasionally emerge from the tangled, poetic notations. Notes also often provide insights into Cornell's internal emotional state and give clues about his intentions behind an artwork or a particular thematic fixation.

Financial materials document Cornell's professional and personal business activities, including the sale of artworks, annual expenses for supplies and household incidentals, payments and schedules for personal assistants, receipts for donations to charities and nonprofits, and tax documents. There is also information about who worked as assistants, or "helpers," in his later years and where Cornell purchased art supplies. Additionally, specific details are documented through receipts and invoices, such as what kind of paint he purchased. Estate records include preparations made for Cornell's artworks after his death, and clippings about other deceased artist's estates show that he thought often about such arrangements in his later years.

Exhibition files highlight several select solo exhibitions for Cornell, as well as preparations and planning for the "Robert Cornell: Memorial Exhibition" in honor of his brother in 1966. Also included are several early exhibition catalogs and announcements, including "Surréalisme" (January 9-29, 1932) and "Exhibition of Objects (Bibloquet) by Joseph Cornell" (December 6-31, 1939) at the Julien Levy Gallery, and "Romantic Museum: Portraits of Women, Constructions and Arrangements by Joseph Cornell" (December 1946) at the Hugo Gallery.

Film projects and collected film materials consist of files related to Cornell's various experimental film projects: "Aviary," "Cappuccino," "Centuries of June," "Fable for Fountains," "Nymphlight," "Serafina's Garden," and unrealized film scenario "Monsieur Phot." Files include film-making notes, correspondence, and photographs. Cornell's interest in film also led him to collect film-related materials, such as film stills, film posters, and screening programs. Scattered correspondence documents the interest other institutions and individuals had in purchasing and viewing his collection. Though most of his collected film stills and movie posters were donated to the Anthology Film Archives, film stills from "Escape Me Never" (1935) and "The Passion of Joan of Arc" (1928) are still within the collection, as well as film-screening programs for Cornell's collection of films.

Writing and design projects document Cornell's work authoring articles and designing issues of specialty dance magazine "Dance Index," and his layouts for popular magazines like "Good Housekeeping," "House and Garden," and "Mademoiselle." Other writing projects include brochures dedicated to opera singers Maria Malibran and Giulia Grisi, "Maria" and "Bel Canto Pet." Materials used for these brochures, such as copper photo engraving plates, are also found. Design work includes a series of Christmas cards created with The Museum of Modern Art as well as traced patterns ("textile tracings") and design clippings from Cornell's time working as a "textile designer" for Traphagen Commercial Textile Studio.

Cornell acquired troves of source material from bookstalls, antique stores, sporting good and department stores, hardware stores, and magazine and record shops. He kept boxes and files of material on admired individuals, such as actresses, artists, dancers, and singers, as well as on art projects or thematic "explorations." Files are on general topics such as American history, scientific phenomena, animals, plants, and humankind, as well as on series of artworks, such as "Castles," "Homage to the Romantic Ballet," and "Medici Slot Machines." Focused "exploration" projects include "Celestial Theatre," "Colombier," "GC 44," and "Switzerland," among others. Materials include photographs, photostats, maps, book fragments, autographed letters, notes, collage clippings and cutouts, collected prints and engravings, box and collage fragments, and scattered artifacts.

Collected ephemera includes large amounts of blank postcards and greeting cards, stamps, collected bus and train tickets, food labels and packaging, decals, and other materials. Artifacts are three-dimensional collected objects and source objects, which include found objects from the streets, dried flowers, and pieces of nature gathered from walks around his neighborhood. Cornell may have gathered materials because they inspired a memory or nostalgic feeling, or because they fit with a bin of other similar objects to select from for an artwork in progress.

Photographs found within the collection are of Cornell at work and as a child with family. Also found are assorted personal and family photographs, photographs of Cornell's attic and garage storage, and photographs of his Utopia Parkway house. Photographs of artwork include few installation photographs, in addition to photographs of Cornell's boxes and collages. Collected photographic materials include vintage photographs, such as tintypes, a cyanotype, stereoscopic glass slides, albumen prints, cabinet cards, and cartes-de-visite. Cornell also collected cased photographs, such as daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and one opalotype. Negatives and photostats were often produced from various prints and even other photographs and used in Cornell's boxes and collages. Images are of men and women, actors, authors, dancers, performers, well-known men and women, royalty, places, and artwork. Photographs of note include those by Hans Namuth of Willem and Lisa de Kooning and of Edward Hopper's bedroom; photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson; a photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron; photographs by Brassai; and a photogravure by Alfred Stieglitz from "Camerawork."

Also found in the collection are works of art by others, including a sketch by Pavel Tchelitchew, as well as artwork by Cornell, such as unfinished collages, Rorschach drawings or ink blots, and childhood artwork. Printed material includes assorted bulletins, flyers, exhibition materials for other artists, journals, and sent printed membership and charity materials. Magazines, including "View," are also included, and often have annotations by Cornell or a note to "cut" or "review" with page numbers. A large amount of magazine and newspaper clippings are in the collection, sometimes collected with a group of like material by Cornell, and at other times simply gathered in heaps. Occasional annotations are also found on the clippings.

Cornell's personal library and book collection includes over 2500 titles, ranging from fiction, poetry, and cinema, to history, science, and travel. Notable among the titles are "Baedeker's" travel guides that Cornell often sourced for his "Hotel" box series, as well as an influential publication by Max Ernst, "La Femme 100 têtes," which includes a typed letter and exhibition flyer tucked within. Books often have annotations, some fairly extensive, by Cornell, and assorted collected items, notes, and correspondence tucked between pages. Pages were often cut by Cornell, either to make photostats and use in a box, or to file with other thematic "explorations." A wide range of authors and topics provide insight into Cornell's interests and to ideas behind artwork and diary notes. Cornell's collection of record albums includes over 145 records. These contain inserted notes and clippings and are often referenced in diary notes Cornell made, noting a recent album or song listened to while at work in his studio.

The papers of Cornell's mother, Helen Storms Cornell, and his brother, Robert Cornell, are also included in the collection. Both lived with Cornell his whole life, spending the most time with him at their home at 3708 Utopia Parkway. Financial materials document shared responsibilities for billing, utilities, household fixes and chores, and expenditures, and Helen kept detailed financial records in a series of ledgers. Robert notes when he borrowed money from Cornell, or when he means to pay Cornell back for the purchase of a typewriter. Activities documented in diaries also occasionally cross paths with Cornell, noting his visitors or an exchange of letters continued after introductions through Cornell. Personal activities, such as Robert's interest in his train collection and his drawing projects and cartoon series, are also documented.
Arrangement:
The Joseph Cornell Study Center Collection is arranged into 15 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1917-1972 (Boxes 1, 98, OV118; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1813, 1934-circa 1973 (Boxes 1-8, 86; 6.5 linear feet)

Series 3: Diaries and Notes, 1940-1976 (Boxes 8-10, 98-99, 135, OV108, OV119; 3.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Personal Business and Estate Records, 1950-1978 (Boxes 10-14; 4.1 linear feet)

Series 5: Exhibition Files, 1932-1973 (Box 14; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Film Projects and Collected Film Materials, circa 1924-1972 (Boxes 14-16, 100, 133; 1.6 linear feet)

Series 7: Writing and Design Projects, circa 1910s, 1936-1962 (Boxes 16-18, 86, 100, 131-132, OV109-OV111, OV120-OV122; 3.6 linear feet)

Series 8: Source Material, 1750-circa 1911, 1926-1972 (Boxes 19-49, 86-92, 96, 100-105, 126-130, 132-137, OV112-OV115, OV125; 42.2 linear feet)

Series 9: Artifacts and Ephemera, 1768, circa 1839-1972 (Boxes 49-52; 3.2 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographic Material, circa 1800s-1972 (Boxes 52-56, 80-86, 93, 106, 128, 133, OV116, OV123-OV124; 7.5 linear feet)

Series 11: Artwork, circa 1810-1972 (Boxes 56-57, 107, OV117; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 12: Printed Material, 1855-1972 (Boxes 57-76, 94-96, 107; 16 linear feet)

Series 13: Book Collection and Personal Library, 1722-1980 (99.8 linear feet)

Series 14: Record Album Collection, circa 1925-1974 (3.2 linear feet)

Series 15: Cornell Family Papers, 1910-1980 (Boxes 77-79, 97, 107; 3.2 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Joseph Cornell (1903-1972) was a self-taught assemblage and collage artist, and filmmaker, active in New York City. He was born in Nyack, New York on December 24, 1903, and died of heart failure at his home in Queens, New York on December 29, 1972. The oldest of four children, he was born Joseph I. Cornell to his mother, Helen Storms Cornell (1882-1966), and his father, Joseph I. Cornell (1875-1917). Cornell had two younger sisters, Elizabeth ("Betty") Cornell Benton (1905-2000) and Helen ("Sissy") Cornell Jagger (1906-2001), as well as one brother, Robert Cornell (1910-1965), who had cerebral palsy.

Cornell attended the Phillips Academy, a preparatory boarding school in Andover, Massachusetts, beginning shortly after his father's death in 1917. He attended for four years but did not receive a diploma, and soon began work as a textile salesman for the William Whitman Company in Manhattan. His work took him, by foot, through the city, visiting secondhand bookshops on Fourth Avenue, browsing music stores and magazine shops, and catching early shows at the Metropolitan Opera House. He would occasionally wait outside the stage doors for favorite singers and dancers to emerge, requesting signatures on photographs or bits of costumes.

Around 1926, Cornell joined the Christian Science Church, joined by his brother Robert shortly thereafter, and both continued to be lifelong members. Cornell kept a number of books in his personal library on Christian Science teachings and regularly subscribed to "The Christian Science Monitor."

After living in several rental houses in Bayside, New York, Cornell's mother purchased a house for the family in 1929 in Flushing, Queens. Cornell, along with his mother and brother, would live at 3708 Utopia Parkway, for the rest of their lives. His two sisters soon married and moved away, eventually settling in Westhampton, Long Island and in the poultry-farming business.

With no formal art training to speak of, Cornell's first work was a Max Ernst-inspired collage, "Untitled (Schooner)," created in 1931. He was especially inspired by Ernst's collage novel, "La Femme 100 têtes," published in 1929. French artist Odilon Redon was also among the few artists Cornell named as an influence on his art. His first sculptural works were small, cardboard pill boxes with bits of ephemera, costume adornments, and nature hidden inside. Cornell also created a series of glass bell jar works, placing small trinkets and Victorian-era-like compositions within. It was these early collages and bell jar works that were included in Cornell's debut exhibition, "Surréalisme" (January 9-29, 1932), a group show at the Julien Levy Gallery. Cornell designed the announcement for the show and exhibited alongside Max Ernst, Man Ray, Pierre Roy, Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Eugène Atget, George Platt Lynes, Jean Cocteau, and Salvador Dalí. Months later, Cornell was invited to have his first solo show, "Objects by Joseph Cornell: Minutiae, Glass Bells, Shadow Boxes, Coups d'Oeil, Jouets Surréalistes" (November 26-December 30, 1932), also at the Julien Levy Gallery.

In 1932, after eleven years of work, Cornell was laid off from the William Whitman Company due to the Great Depression. Soon after, he took on more responsibility in the church, working part-time as an attendant in the Christian Science Reading Room in Great Neck, New York. Beginning in 1933, he taught Sunday school classes for three years and in 1935, became the Sunday school librarian. However, his religious activities and artistic ventures continued to remain separate.

In the early 1930s, Cornell progressed from movie lover to filmmaker. When Julien Levy began his New York Film Society in 1933, holding screenings of various experimental films in the gallery, Cornell began buying and collecting films and film stills in earnest. He set up a 16-millimeter projector in his home to screen favorites, such as those by Georges Méliès, D.W. Griffith, and Louis Feuillade. His collection quickly grew to over 2,500 film stills and several hundred films, and included silent era films, such as nature documentaries, goofy newsreels, travelogues, early cartoons, and slapstick comedies, as well as several feature films. In 1933, Cornell wrote a screenplay, or "scenario," entitled "Monsieur Phot." Between 1935 and 1937, Cornell also occasionally created publicity photomontages for Universal and Columbia studios. Of the nearly thirty films Cornell created, periods of activity can generally be separated into two areas: collage films of the late 1930s, consisting of combined elements from films in his own collection, and films he directed in the 1950s, which were collaborations with other filmmakers set in New York City. "Rose Hobart," Cornell's most celebrated collage film, was created and shown in the Julien Levy Gallery in 1936 and includes clipped footage from "East of Borneo." Later films were directed and filmed with cinematographers Stan Brakhage, Rudy Burckhardt, and Larry Jordan.

In 1934, Cornell began a job at the Traphagen Commercial Textile Studio as a "textile designer," a job he held for six years. Continuing to work at his kitchen table in the evenings, Cornell completed his first assemblage box construction, "Untitled (Soap Bubble Set)," in 1936. It was first exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art's show, "Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism" (December 9, 1936-January 17, 1937). This work was also the first to be acquired by a museum, purchased for $60.00 by the Wadsworth Atheneum in Massachusetts in 1938. Cornell's European debut was also in 1938, as one of three Americans represented in the "Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme" (January 17-Febuary 24, 1938) at the Galerie Beaux-Arts in Paris, alongside Man Ray and Anne Clark.

At the end of 1939, Cornell began corresponding with poet Charles Henri Ford, founder of avant-garde magazine "View," Pavel Tchelitchew, and Parker Tyler. After his "Soap Bubble Sets," this period saw the development of Cornell's homages to singers and actresses, including "Untitled (Fortune-Telling Parrot for Carmen Miranda)," the destroyed "Garbo (Greta Garbo in the Legendary Film 'The Crystal Mask,' c. 1845)," and "Dressing Room for Gilles." He also began using photostats of art reproduction prints, as with the print of Jean Antoine-Watteau's painting, "Pierrot" (circa 1719), used in his "Gilles" box.

In the 1940s, the Romantic ballet emerged as Cornell's new topic of interest. Through his friend Pavel Tchelitchew, Cornell was introduced to the School of American Ballet and New York City Ballet founders, Lincoln Kirstein and George Balanchine. Cornell collected dance memorabilia and had a great love of the Romantic ballet. His favorite dancers were primarily ballerinas of the nineteenth century, including Fanny Cerrito, Marie Taglioni, Fanny Elssler, Lucille Grahn, and Carlotta Grisi. Cornell's "Homage to the Romantic Ballet" works largely took the shape of jewel-box style wooden boxes with glass overlays and included bits of velvet, tulle, sequins, crystals, and chiffon, occasionally collected from dancers themselves. His most well-known work of this series is "Taglioni's Jewel Casket" (1940). Cornell also admired several living ballet dancers, including Tamara Toumanova, Zizi Jeanmaire, and Allegra Kent, who would all make their way into Cornell's box works and/or collages. Collecting for the "exploration," "Portrait of Ondine," Cornell's cased portfolio dedication to Fanny Cerrito and her role in the ballet "Ondine," began in the 1940s, though not completed until around 1960.

In late 1940, Cornell quit his job at Traphagen to concentrate on freelance commercial magazine design and editorial work during the day and his artwork at night. That same year, Charles Henri Ford started "View" magazine to promote Surrealists and Neo-Romantics in New York City and often asked Cornell to contribute. Published in the December 1941-January 1942 issue, one of his early contributions was a collage dedication to stage actress Hedy Lamarr: "Enchanted Wanderer: Excerpt from a Journey Album for Hedy Lamarr" (1941). Along with writing the accompanying text, he created a photomontage of Lamarr with her face overlaying the painted portrait of a Renaissance boy by Italian painter Giorgione. Peggy Guggenheim, at the advice of Marcel Duchamp, purchased multiple Cornell works prior to opening her new gallery, Art of This Century. Cornell also befriended Roberto Matta Echaurren, another Surrealist living in exile, who introduced him to Robert Motherwell.

After deciding to fully dedicate his time to his art in early 1940, he set up a studio in his basement. Complete with floor-to-ceiling wooden shelving, he kept his large collection of boxed source material stacked with handwritten labels in cardboard boxes. Themed folders of materials such as "Stamps" or "Maps" were kept in stacks and works in progress and finished works were stored in the basement, garage, and attic. Entering a renewed period of productivity, Cornell embarked on many new and important box projects in 1942. One of the first boxes created in his new basement studio, and the first of the "Penny Arcade" or "Medici Slot Machine" series, was "Medici Slot Machine" (1942), which includes a photostat of "Portrait of Marquess Massimiliano Stampa" (1557) by Sofonisba Anguissola. Another work from this time is the first of his "Castle" or "Palace" series, "Setting for a Fairy Tale" (1942), which uses a photostat of a French building from Jacques Androuet du Cerceau's book, "Les Plus excellents bastiments de France" (1576). "Untitled (Pharmacy)" (circa 1942) was the first of his "Pharmacy" series and included twenty-two apothecary jars. Cornell tended to work in series and created thirteen "Palace" boxes between 1942 and 1951, and ultimately created six "Pharmacy" works.

In 1943, Cornell began working at an electronics company, the Allied Control Company, Inc., to do his part to contribute to the defense effort during the war. He also sent correspondence and care packages to displaced Europeans, who listed their needs in "The Christian Science Monitor." Influenced by World War II, one of his strongest works to emerge in 1943 was "Habitat Group for a Shooting Gallery." Another notable work to come out of this period, "The Crystal Cage (Portrait of Berenice)," was an excerpt from one of his album "explorations" that was published in the January 1943 issue of "View."

Cornell left his job at Allied Control in 1944, but soon began working at the Garden Centre in Flushing, owned by a fellow Christian Scientist. Cornell was often nostalgic for this time in his life, devoting an entire "exploration" of material fondly remembered as "GC 44." He rode a bicycle to work and enjoyed collecting trips gathering dried grasses, driftwood, shells, and other relics of nature on the same bicycle as he rode through the streets of Queens. During this time, he continued to tend to his projects for "Dance Index," a magazine founded in 1942 by Lincoln Kirstein, but taken over by Donald Windham in 1944. Cornell designed several covers for the magazine and was given control of the entire summer 1944 issue, which he devoted to the Romantic ballet. He also devoted a special 1945 issue to Hans Christian Andersen, making great use of the New York Public Library Picture Collection.

Throughout the 1940s, Cornell continued to support himself with commercial design work for magazines like "Vogue," "Good Housekeeping," "Harper's Bazaar," "Town & Country," and "Mademoiselle." In 1946, after thirteen years at the Julien Levy Gallery, he joined the Hugo Gallery. In December 1946, Cornell's solo exhibition, "Romantic Museum at the Hugo Gallery: Portraits of Women by Joseph Cornell," celebrated his favorite movie stars, singers, and ballet dancers, and included his work created for the show, "Untitled (Penny Arcade Portrait of Lauren Bacall)." Cornell's "Greta Garbo" box, as well as "Souvenir for Singleton," an homage to Jennifer Jones and her role in the film "Love Letters," were also included in the show. In late 1948, his West Coast debut was in the exhibition, "Objects by Joseph Cornell," held at the Copley Gallery. The end of the 1940s saw the final issue of "View" magazine in 1947, the closure of the Julien Levy Gallery in April 1949, and Cornell's departure from the Hugo Gallery after his last show in November 1949.

In late 1949, Cornell joined the Charles Egan Gallery, known primarily for showing Abstract Expressionists. At this time, Cornell was working on a new series of boxes known as his "Aviary" works, most of which include a white-painted box with cutouts of birds mounted on wood. Though he had worked on bird-related boxes before, including an "Owl" series in the mid-1940s, his "Fortune Telling Parrot" (1939), and "Object 1941" (1941), these newer works were stripped of French elements and left "clean and abstract" by design. His first show at the Egan Gallery, "Aviary by Joseph Cornell" (December 7, 1949-January 7, 1950), included twenty-six "Aviary" works, nearly all created in 1949. Donald Windham agreed to write the foreword for the exhibition catalog, a single folded sheet, and Cornell gave him one of the boxes in the show, "Cockatoo: Keepsake Parakeet," in appreciation. Through the Egan Gallery, Cornell became friends with a new group of artists, including Franz Kline, Jack Tworkov, and Willem de Kooning. Cornell also held two screenings of a selection of his collected films at Subjects of the Artist, an art school founded by Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, David Hare, and William Baziotes.

In 1950, Cornell's second show at the Egan Gallery, "Night Songs and Other New Work" (December 1, 1950-January 13, 1951), introduced his new "Observatory" series. These works are largely defined by stark, whitewashed spaces with astronomical charts and constellations replacing colorful birds. The Museum of Modern Art purchased its first Cornell work from this show in early 1951, "Central Park Carrousel, in Memoriam" (1950).

For three months in 1951, Cornell was beset by various ailments and had trouble finding the energy to create new work. He worried more for his aging mother and the health of his brother. After a monthlong vacation with his sisters in Westhampton, he returned with renewed interest in Emily Dickinson's poetry. His whitewashed boxes took on a new form in his newest "Dovecote" series, using grids and circular cutouts. The works then transformed into homages to Dickinson, notably "Toward the Blue Peninsula: For Emily Dickinson" (circa 1953), and then to his "Hotel" series. Cornell's "Hotel" boxes include photostats of vintage European ads for hotels collected from vintage travel guides, especially "Baedeker's," adhered to the back walls of the boxes. Another new series of work, his "Juan Gris" series, was dedicated to Cubist artist Juan Gris. Between 1953 and the mid-1960s, Cornell created at least fifteen "Juan Gris" boxes, which often include a cutout of a white cockatoo in a Cubist-collage habitat. Cornell's third and last show at Egan Gallery, "Night Voyage" (February 10-March 28, 1953), included some of these newest works. After leaving Egan Gallery, his work was introduced to Chicago collectors in a solo show at the Frumkin Gallery, "Joseph Cornell: 10 Years of His Art" (April 10-May 7, 1953), which included nearly thirty pieces. Cornell's first museum retrospective was this same show held at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (July 12-August 30, 1953).

As New York City continued to change, Cornell grew more nostalgic for the city he had explored since the 1920s. The impending closure of the Third Avenue El train prompted him to dream up a film project to capture its last days, resulting in "Gnir Rednow," a reworking of Stan Brakhage's 1955, "Wonder Ring." During this time, Cornell joined the Stable Gallery, run by Eleanor Ward, interacting often with Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, and Joan Mitchell, remaining there until the end of the 1950s. His astronomy-themed exhibition, "Winter Night Skies" (December 12, 1955-January 13, 1956), included his "Night Skies" series of work with celestial chart fragments, Greek mythological figures, and paint-splattered "windows" representative of star-filled night skies. In 1956, he became aware of ballerina Allegra Kent, and began a series of work devoted to her, the first of which was "Via Parmigianino (Villa Allegra)" (1956), which included a photostat of a painting by Parmigianino, "The Madonna of the Long Neck" (circa 1540). In late 1957, after two years, Cornell had his last show at Stable Gallery, "Joseph Cornell: Selected Works" (December 2-31, 1957), consisting of a series of "Sand Fountain" boxes and "Space Object" or "Celestial Navigation" works. The "Sand Fountain" boxes included different colors of sand meant to flow within, often from the tops into cordial glasses. His "Celestial Navigations" included galaxy-like compositions set within the boxes, with rolling, painted cork balls, metal rings, and constellation charts, sometimes hovering over cordial glasses or clay pipes. This last Stable Gallery show earned him his first published profile, written by Howard Griffin for the December 1957 issue of "Art News." Also in 1957, he won the Kohnstamm Prize for Construction at the Art Institute of Chicago's 62rd Annual Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture.

Towards the end of the 1950s, Cornell spent less time creating new bodies of work, and focused more on revisiting previous series and reviewing piles of collected source material. In 1959, Cornell returned to making collages, frequently sourcing popular magazines. In December 1959, Cornell was awarded $1,500 for his "Orion" collage, entered in the Art Institute of Chicago's "63rd American Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture." Also in December, he was offered a show at Bennington College in Vermont, which he titled, "Bonitas Solstitialis: Selected Works by Joseph Cornell and an exploration of the Colombier" (November 20-December 15, 1959). The show included one of his newest "explorations" of collected material related to "colombier," or pigeon houses.

By 1962, Cornell was working diligently on new collages, using Masonite boards and colorful magazine clippings. He also began creating collages using nude images interspersed with constellation clippings or hazy blue dyes. As in previous decades and art movements, Cornell became acquainted with new artists, spending less time in the city and more time hosting visitors at his Utopia Parkway home. Visitors included artists Walter De Maria, Robert Whitman, Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, and Robert Indiana. Tony Curtis also became a frequent visitor and friend, introduced by Richard Feigen in 1964. The early 1960s was also the first time Cornell put out an advertisement for assistants in the "Long Island Star-Journal," employing a number of young men and women who helped organize clippings and run errands. Cornell also met Joyce Hunter, a young runaway waitress at a city coffee shop, who would occupy his thoughts and diary notes for the next several years. When she was murdered at the end of 1964, Cornell paid for her funeral. He went on to make several "Penny Arcade" collages in memoriam to her, including, "Penny Arcade (re-autumnal)" (1964).

In 1964, Cornell began friendships with several women including artist Carolee Schneeman, who was his first assistant in the early 1960s. He also met artist Yayoi Kusama through art dealer Gertrude Stein. After becoming friends, she visited him often and they exchanged letters and notes. As he did with other artist friends, Cornell supported her by purchasing several of her early watercolor paintings, and they stayed connected until his death in 1972.

Cornell's life greatly changed in 1965 with the death of his brother, Robert. By this time, his mother lived with his sister in Long Island, and Cornell was alone in the Utopia Parkway house for the first time. He exchanged frequent letters and phone calls with his mother and devoted much time to thinking about Robert and Joyce, often aligning them in his diary notations. Cornell also created a series of collages dedicated to his brother's memory, incorporating photostats of Robert's hundreds of drawings into Cornell's work, as with the later collage, "The Heart on the Sleeve" (1972). Cornell's "Time Transfixed" series of collages were also dedications to Robert's memory, referencing Magritte and Robert's love of trains. He mounted an exhibition, "Robert Cornell: Memorial Exhibition" (January 4-29, 1966), at the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery, where he showed Robert's artwork alongside his newly created collage dedications.

After Robert's death, Cornell relied more heavily on assistants, going through many part-time "helpers." In October 1966, Cornell's mother died, adding her to his constant thoughts and diaries. Though he was still grieving, he was given two major retrospectives in 1967. The first was at the Pasadena Art Museum, put on by James Demetrion and Walter Hopps, "An Exhibiton of Works by Joseph Cornell" (January 9-February 11, 1967). The second retrospective was at the Guggenheim Museum just three months later, "Joseph Cornell" (May 4-June 35, 1967), organized by Diane Waldman. After these shows, he was highlighted in the December 15, 1967 issue of "Life" in the article, "The Enigmatic Bachelor of Utopia Parkway."

In 1968, Cornell was given an "award of merit," which included a medal and $1,000, by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He was also given a medal and $1,000 by the Brandeis University Creative Arts Awards in the painting category, along with an exhibition. Days later, "The New York Times" announced Cornell the winner, along with Donald Judd, of India's first Triennale of Contemporary World Art. The Brandeis exhibition, "Boxes and Collages by Joseph Cornell" (May 20-June 23, 1968), was organized by William Seitz and concentrated on Cornell's more recent 1960s collages. Cornell was also included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's hundredth anniversary show, "New York Painting and Sculpture: 1940 to 1970" (October 18, 1969-February 1, 1970), where twenty-two of Cornell's boxes were shown in their own gallery. At the end of 1970, Cornell was given a solo show at the Metropolitan, "Collages by Joseph Cornell" (December 10, 1970-January 24, 1971), which included forty-five of his newest collages.

Now preferring to stay closer to his home in Flushing, Cornell was more interested in sharing his art with young adults and children, than an adult audience. He hosted a group of high school students, sponsored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's education department, at his home in conjunction with his collage show (1970-1971). He also showed his work in the art department of Queens College of the City University of New York. Cornell still hosted visitors on occasion, having Yoko Ono and John Lennon at his home at least once. Leila Hadley, Betsy von Furstenberg, and Anne Jackson also made frequent visits. With his deteriorating health, Cornell worried about what would happen to his work after his death and hired lawyer Harry Torczyner to help him plan his estate and get his affairs in order.

In 1972, Cornell had a show at the Cooper Union, a college in New York, specifically for children. He displayed his boxes and collages at child-height and had cherry soda and brownies at the opening reception on February 10. He then held a show at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, also for children: "Children's Preview of the Exhibition of Joseph Cornell – Collages and Boxes (April 18-June 17, 1972). In the winter of 1972, at the request of the Phoenix House drug treatment and prevention program, Cornell contributed to a charity project compiling limited-edition lithographic prints for a portfolio, which included artists like David Hockney, James Rosenquist, and Ellsworth Kelly.

On December 29, 1972, a week after turning sixty-nine, Cornell died of heart failure at his home. He was cremated and interred near the graves of his mother, father, and brother, overlooking the Hudson River in Nyack, New York.

Works Cited:

1. Hartigan, Lynda Roscoe. "Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination." New Haven, Connecticut and London: Yale University Press, 2007. Exhibition Catalog.

2. McShine, Kynaston. "Joseph Cornell." New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1980.

3. San Francisco Cinematheque and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "Joseph Cornell: Films." 2007. Exhibition Program. (Presented in conjunction with SFMOMA's exhibition of "Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination").

4. Schaffner, Ingrid and Lisa Jacobs. "Julien Levy: Portrait of an Art Gallery." Cambridge, Massachusetts and London: The MIT Press, 1998.

5. Solomon, Deborah. "Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell." New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997.
Separated Materials:
The Smithsonian Archives of American Art houses the Joseph Cornell papers, 1804-1986, bulk 1939-1972.
Provenance:
The Joseph Cornell Study Center collection was donated to the Smithsonian American Art Museum by Joseph Cornell's sister and brother-in-law, Elizabeth Cornell Benton and John A. Benton, in 1978, which prompted the creation of the Joseph Cornell Study Center. Additional materials were donated in installments by the artist's estate, the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, from 1985 to 1997. Elizabeth and John A. Benton originally donated 66 linear feet of three-dimensional and non-textual source material and 50 linear feet of books to the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, which were subsequently transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Joseph Cornell Study Center in 1994 and 1995.
Restrictions:
Access to the collection requires an advanced appointment. Contact collection staff at least two weeks prior to preferred date, at AmericanArtCornellStudy@si.edu.

Series 9: Artifacts and Ephemera, Series 13: Personal Library and Book Collection, and Series 14: Record Album Collection, are still undergoing processing and preservation and may not be available for research use. Record albums are unavailable for playback. Contact collection staff for full lists of publications and record albums.
Rights:
Unpublished materials are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Occupation:
Collagists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Assemblage (Art)  Search this
Assemblage artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Found objects (Art)  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Celebrities  Search this
Filmmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1900-1950 -- Photoprints -- Silver gelatin
Photographs -- 1860-1870 -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver albumen -- Cartes-de-visite
Photographs -- Daguerreotypes -- 1840-1860
Citation:
Joseph Cornell Study Center collection, 1750-1980, bulk 1930-1972. Joseph Cornell Study Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Identifier:
SAAM.JCSC.1
See more items in:
Joseph Cornell Study Center Collection
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ih7d97fc249-474d-41bf-953d-5305df1e4c06
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-saam-jcsc-1

Claudia (ca. 1965)

Creator:
Human Studies Film Archives  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2012-05-14T14:44:37.000Z
YouTube Category:
Film & Animation  Search this
Topic:
Anthropology  Search this
See more by:
HSFAFilmClips
Data Source:
Human Studies Film Archives
YouTube Channel:
HSFAFilmClips
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_dq8p6RNuki0

"Standish Lawder, NPG lecture hall, 4/24/70." Recording of Lawder, an art history professor at Yale University, introducing one of the "Creative Screen" series of five experimental film screenings shown to accompany the Explorations exhibition, April-M...

Container:
Box 285 of 287
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 321, National Museum of American Art, Office of Program Support, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 18: Audio-Visual Material / Box 285
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0321-refidd1e20242

Experimental Films from America. Out-takes of film titles. 4 film spools, 16 mm. film.

Container:
Box 285 of 287
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 321, National Museum of American Art, Office of Program Support, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 18: Audio-Visual Material / Box 285
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0321-refidd1e20271

"Experimental Films from America, Program 1." Four films from New Vein exhibition. 16 mm. film.

Container:
Box 286 of 287
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 321, National Museum of American Art, Office of Program Support, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 18: Audio-Visual Material / Box 286
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0321-refidd1e20617

"Experimental Films from America, Program 2." Four films from New Vein exhibition. 16 mm. film.

Container:
Box 286 of 287
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 321, National Museum of American Art, Office of Program Support, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 18: Audio-Visual Material / Box 286
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0321-refidd1e20632

Marisol

Collection Creator:
Stable Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 9
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1961-1965
Collection 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.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Stable Gallery records, 1916-1999, bulk 1953-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Stable Gallery records
Stable Gallery records / Series 2: Artist Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9b90b509a-b41a-4774-895d-c05868156a96
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-stabgall-ref51

Arthur L. and Joyce Lyon Dahl papers, 1926-1988

Creator:
Dahl, Arthur L., 1942-  Search this
Dahl, Joyce Lyon  Search this
Subject:
Willard, Marian  Search this
Wummer, John  Search this
Barnett, Arthur  Search this
Guérin, Jacques  Search this
Hallsten, Pehr  Search this
Johnson, Dan Rhodes  Search this
Malraux, André  Search this
Mathieu, Georges  Search this
Seitz, William C. (William Chapin)  Search this
Seligman, Otto D.  Search this
Speyer, Darthea  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Type:
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Arthur L. and Joyce Lyon Dahl papers, 1926-1988. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Artists and patrons -- France -- Paris  Search this
Theme:
Patronage  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7113
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209247
AAA_collcode_dahlarth
Theme:
Patronage
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209247

Robert Fried papers, 1959-1975

Creator:
Fried, Robert, 1937-  Search this
Subject:
Jagger, Mick  Search this
Leary, Timothy Francis  Search this
Leibovitz, Annie  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Robert Fried papers, 1959-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Experimental films  Search this
Hallucinogenic drugs  Search this
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)8242
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)210413
AAA_collcode_frierobe
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_210413

Hans Theo Richter papers, [ca. 1914-1981]

Creator:
Richter, Hans, 1888-1976  Search this
Subject:
Calder, Alexander  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel  Search this
Ernst, Max  Search this
Ray, Man  Search this
Citation:
Hans Theo Richter papers, [ca. 1914-1981]. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Experimental films  Search this
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)8333
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)210505
AAA_collcode_richhans
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_210505

[Experimental films] [motion picture], undated

Creator:
Kofler, Anne  Search this
Subject:
Moholy-Nagy, László  Search this
Morris, Robert  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert  Search this
Richter, Hans  Search this
Vanderbeek, Stan  Search this
Type:
Video recordings
Citation:
[Experimental films] [motion picture], undated. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Experimental films -- United States  Search this
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10820
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)214560
AAA_collcode_koflanne
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_214560

Los Angeles Independent Film Oasis records, 1976-1981

Creator:
Los Angeles Independent Film Oasis  Search this
Subject:
Friedman, Roberta  Search this
Fisher, Morgan  Search this
Halpern, Amy  Search this
Gerry, Lyn  Search this
Gehry, Leslie  Search this
O'Neill, Pat  Search this
O'Neill, Beverly  Search this
Möritz, William  Search this
Citation:
Los Angeles Independent Film Oasis records, 1976-1981. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Experimental films  Search this
Filmmakers -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Theme:
Art organizations  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6526
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215788
AAA_collcode_losangei
Theme:
Art organizations
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_215788
Online Media:

Robert A. Nelson collection of photographs relating to films Plastic Haircut and The Great Blondino, 1963-1966

Creator:
Nelson, Robert A.  Search this
Subject:
Nelson, Robert A.  Search this
Wiley, William T.  Search this
Fulton, Jack  Search this
Citation:
Robert A. Nelson collection of photographs relating to films Plastic Haircut and The Great Blondino, 1963-1966. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Experimental films  Search this
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6286
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)220239
AAA_collcode_nelsrobe
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_220239

25th New York Queer Experimental Film Festival

Series Donor:
Becker, John M.  Search this
Gay Officers Action League. GOAL  Search this
Heritage of Pride (HOP)  Search this
Rohrbaugh, Richard  Search this
Series Creator:
Hirsch, Leonard  Search this
Guest, Barbara  Search this
Barna, Joseph T.  Search this
Guest, Michael E.  Search this
Container:
Box 146, Folder 11
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
2012
Series Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.

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

Do not use original materials when available on reference video or audio tapes.
Series Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Series Citation:
Archives Center Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Archives Center Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Collection
Archives Center Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Collection / Series 4: Advertising, Business, and Publications / 4.3: Television, Theater, and Motion Pictures
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8bd68aad8-29bb-4752-af55-b4f9a50db9f8
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1146-ref479

Exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art

Creator:
Finch College. Museum of Art  Search this
Varian, Elayne H.  Search this
Names:
Acconci, Vito, 1940-  Search this
Anderson, David K., 1935-  Search this
Benglis, Lynda, 1941-  Search this
Benyon, Margaret, 1940-  Search this
Bochner, Mel, 1940-  Search this
Brooks, James, 1906-1992  Search this
Castelli, Leo  Search this
Chase, Doris, 1923-  Search this
Cross, Lloyd G.  Search this
Davis, Douglas  Search this
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Feigen, Richard L., 1930-  Search this
Glimcher, Arnold B.  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Graham, Dan, 1942-  Search this
Hollander, Irwin  Search this
Insley, Will, 1929-2011  Search this
Jackson, Martha Kellogg  Search this
Janis, Sidney, 1896-1989  Search this
Kirby, Michael  Search this
Levine, Les, 1935-  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-1997  Search this
Mazur, Michael, 1935-2009  Search this
Meyer, Ursula, 1915-  Search this
Nauman, Bruce, 1941-  Search this
O'Doherty, Brian  Search this
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Richter, Hans, 1888-1976  Search this
Siegelaub, Seth, 1941-  Search this
Smith, Tony, 1912-1980  Search this
Sonfist, Alan  Search this
Weiner, Sam  Search this
Wise, Howard  Search this
Extent:
20.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Transcripts
Interviews
Photographs
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Museum records
Date:
1943-1975
bulk 1964-1975
Summary:
The exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art measure 20.9 linear feet and date from 1943 to 1975, with the bulk of records dating from the period its galleries were in operation, from 1964 to 1975. Over two-thirds of the collection consists of exhibition files, which contain a wide range of documentation including artist files, checklists, correspondence, writings, photographs, interviews, numerous films and videos, artist statements, printed materials, and other records. Also found within the collection are administrative records of the museum, artist files, and papers of the Contemporary Wing's director and curator, Elayne Varian, which were produced outside of her work at Finch College.
Scope and Contents:
The exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art measure 20.9 linear feet and date from 1943 to 1975, with the bulk of records dating from the period its galleries were in operation, from 1964 to 1975. Over two-thirds of the collection consists of exhibition files, which contain a wide range of documentation including artist files, checklists, correspondence, writings, photographs, interviews, numerous films and videos, artist statements, printed materials, and other records. Also found within the collection are administrative records of the museum, artist files, and papers of the Contemporary Wing's director and curator, Elayne Varian, which were produced outside of her work at Finch College.

Administrative records include records relating to the general operation of the Contemporary Wing concerning fundraising, professional associations, budget, contact information for artists, donors, and lenders to exhibitions. Also found are records of the permanent collection of artworks acquired by the museum between 1964 and 1975 from contemporary artists and collectors of contemporary art.

Artist files contain basic biographical information on over 150 contemporary artists, with scattered correspondence, photographs, technical information about artworks, artist statements, and other writings. Artist files also include an incomplete run of artist questionnaires gathered by the New York Arts Calendar Annual for 1964.

Elayne Varian's personal papers include curatorial records, a course schedule and syllabus related to her teaching activities, and various writings. Curatorial projects documented in Varian's papers include three programs produced outside of Finch College, including a juried show at the New York State Fair in 1967, a film series at Everson Museum of Syracuse University, and an exhibition at Guild Hall in East Hampton in 1973. Several of Varian's writing projects involved interviews, which are also found in this series in the form of sound recordings and transcripts. Interview-based writing projects include individual profiles on Brian O'Doherty and Babette Newberger, and interviews conducted for an article on the artist-dealer relationship published in Art in America (January 1970). Dealers interviewed for the latter project include Leo Castelli, Virginia Dwan, John Gibson, Richard Feigen, Arnold Glimcher, Fred Mueller, Martha Jackson, Sidney Janis, Betty Parsons, Seth Siegelaub, and Howard Wise. Artists interviewed include Roy Lichtenstein, Adolph Gottlieb, and Charles Ross.

Exhibition files, comprising the bulk of the collection, document exhibitions held in the Contemporary Wing during its existence from 1964 to 1975. Types of records found in the series include exhibition catalogs, correspondence, loan agreements, lists, contact information, insurance valuations of artworks, photographs, biographical information on artists, clippings, posters, press releases, and other publicity materials. In addition to the rich textual and photographic records found for exhibitions, numerous audiovisual recordings are also found, some of which were made in preparation for an exhibition, some document mounted exhibitions, and others are artworks themselves or components of artworks exhibited in the galleries. Interviews with artists, dealers, and others involved in exhibitions include Alan Sonfist, Mel Bochner, Hans Richter, Ruth Richards, James Brooks and Janet Katz, Margaret Benyon, Irwin Hollander (transcript only), David Anderson, Doris Chase, Will Insley, Michael Kirby, Les Levine, Ursula Meyer, Brian O'Doherty, Charles Ross, Tony Smith, Douglas Davis, Jane Davis, Russ Connor, Les Levine, Michael Mazur, Paul Gedeohn, and physicists Lloyd G. Cross, Allyn Z. Lite, and Gerald Thomas Bern Pethick. Video artworks, recordings of performances, or components of multimedia artworks are found by artists Vito Acconci, Kathy Dillon, Douglas Davis, Dan Graham, Les Levine, Bruce Nauman, Michael Netter, Eric Siegel, and Robert Whitman. A film of the Art in Process: The Visual Development of a Structure (1966) exhibition is found, and video recordings of artists Lynda Benglis, Michael Singer, and Sam Wiener form as part of the documentation for the Projected Art: Artists at Work (1971) exhibition.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 4 series.

Missing Title

Series 1: Administrative Records, 1950-1975 (2 linear feet; Boxes 1-2, 22, OV 23)

Series 2: Artist Files, 1958-1975 (2.4 linear feet; Boxes 3-4, 22, OV 23, FC 27-28)

Series 3: Elayne Varian Personal Papers, 1965-1970 (1.3 linear feet; Boxes 5-6)

Series 4: Exhibition Files, 1943-1975 (14.9 linear feet; Boxes 6-22, OV 24-25, FC 26)
Biographical / Historical:
The Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art, later called simply the "Contemporary Wing," was established in 1964 by the president of Finch College, Roland De Marco, as an extension the Finch College Museum of Art in New York City.

Its mission was to educate art history students at the Manhattan women's college who were interested in working with contemporary art. DeMarco, himself an art collector, hired Elayne Varian as director and curator of the contemporary wing. DeMarco met Varian in the New York office of the prominent international art dealership Duveen Brothers, where she had worked since the mid-1940s, most recently as an art dealer. Varian received her art education in Chicago, where she studied art history and education at the University of Chicago, and took classes in film at the Bauhaus and in fine art the Art Institute of Chicago. Sensitive to emerging art movements in galleries and studios around the city of New York, as the contemporary wing's curator, Varian quickly established a reputation for thoughtfully conceived, cutting-edge exhibitions which were consistently well-received by the press.

Under Varian, the Contemporary Wing carried out a dual mission of showing work of living artists and educating students and the public about the artwork and museum work in general. Varian used the galleries to provide practical training to students interested in a gallery or museum career throughout its existence. For several years, she also maintained an assistantship position for post-graduate museum professionals to gain experience in the field, many of whom went on to careers in museums across New York State.

The Contemporary Wing's best-known exhibitions formed a series of six shows called Art in Process, held between 1965 and 1972. Each of the Art in Process shows took a different medium, including painting, sculpture, collage, conceptual art, installation art, and serial art, and brought the process of art-making into the gallery with the artworks in various ways. For example, for Art in Process V (1972), the show about installation art, the galleries were open to the public for the entire process of its installation, allowing visitors to watch the works take shape. Another show entitled Documentation (1968) exhibited artworks with documentation such as artist's notes, sales records, and conservation records, bringing to light the value of record-keeping in the visual arts. Two exhibitions entitled Projected Art were also innovative, with the first (1966-1967) bringing experimental films from the cinema to the galleries, and the second (1971) showing artists' processes via footage and slides of artists working. Another show, Artists' Videotape Performances (1971), involved both screening of and creation of works in the gallery using a range of experiments with recent video technology. The museum also participated in an experimental broadcast of an artwork entitled Talk Out! by Douglas Davis, in which a telephone in the gallery allowed visitors to participate in its creation while it was broadcast live from Syracuse, NY. Other exhibitions that showcased experimentation in art included N-Dimensional Space (1970), on holography in art, Destruction Art(1968), on destructive actions being incorporated into contemporary art-making, and Schemata 7 (1967), a show about the use of environments in contemporary art, whose working title was "Walk-in Sculpture."

Other popular exhibitions at the Contemporary Wing included shows on Art Deco (1970) and Art Nouveau (1969). Several shows mined the private collections of prominent contemporary art collectors including Martha Jackson, Betty Parsons, George Rickey, Paul Magriel, Jacques Kaplan, Josephine and Philip Bruno, and Carlo F. Bilotti. A number of exhibitions featured contemporary art from overseas including Art from Belgium (1965), Art from Finland (1973), Seven Swedish Painters (1965), and Art in Jewelry (1966), which featured mainly international jewelry artists. Retrospective exhibitions of Hans Richter, Hugo Weber, and James Brooks were also held.

Hundreds of contemporary artists were shown at the Contemporary Wing in the eleven years of its existence, including many who came to be leading figures in contemporary art, and some who already were, including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Mel Bochner, Eva Hesse, Lynda Benglis, Bruce Nauman, Robert Morris, Lawrence Weiner, Robert Smithson, Sol Le Witt, Dan Flavin, Philip Pearlstein, and Yayoi Kusama, to name just a few.

The Contemporary Wing and the entire Finch College Museum of Art shut its doors in 1975, when Finch College closed due to lack of funds. The permanent collection was sold at that time, and the proceeds were used to pay Finch College employee salaries. Elayne Varian went on to the position of curator of contemporary art at the John and Mabel Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida. She died in 1987.
Related Materials:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with curator Elayne Varian conducted by Paul Cummings, May 2, 1975.
Provenance:
The Archives of American Art acquired these records from the Finch College Museum of Art after it closed permanently in June 1975.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Video artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Museum administrators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Museum curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Gallery directors  Search this
Gallery owners  Search this
Genre/Form:
Transcripts
Interviews
Photographs
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Museum records
Citation:
Exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art, 1943-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.finccoll
See more items in:
Exhibition records of the Contemporary Study Wing of the Finch College Museum of Art
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9ed5f13a2-eeb3-452a-8735-204ff25576b5
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-finccoll
Online Media:

Theo Eshetu : the body electric / editors: Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD, Ariane Beyn, and Theo Eshetu ; authors: Ariane Beyn [and five others] ; translations: Jeni Fulton, Jacqueline Todd

Title:
Body electric
Author:
Eshetu, Theo 1958-  Search this
Beyn, Ariane  Search this
Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst Berliner Künstlerprogramm  Search this
Subject:
Eshetu, Theo 1958-  Search this
Physical description:
127 pages : illustrations (chiefly color), portraits ; 24 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Date:
2017
C2017
Topic:
Human figure in art  Search this
Video art  Search this
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1104818

Experimental arts in postwar Japan moments of encounter, engagement, and imagined return Miryam Sas

Title:
Moments of encounter, engagement, and imagined return
Author:
Sas, Miryam  Search this
Physical description:
xvii, 275 pages illustrations 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Japan
Date:
2011
20th century
20e siècle
Topic:
Arts, Japanese  Search this
Avant-garde (Aesthetics)  Search this
Arts japonais  Search this
Avantgarde  Search this
Kunst  Search this
Butô-Tanz  Search this
Theater  Search this
Fotografie  Search this
Japansk konst  Search this
Restrictions & Rights:
Current Copyright Fee: GBP6.15 0. Uk
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1145245

Artists Talk on Art records

Creator:
Artists Talk on Art  Search this
Names:
Barnet, Will, 1911-2012  Search this
Bourgeois, Louise, 1911-2010  Search this
Christo, 1935-  Search this
De Niro, Robert, Sr., 1922-1993  Search this
Denes, Agnes  Search this
Goldberg, Michael, 1924-2007  Search this
Jeanne-Claude, 1935-2009  Search this
Longo, Robert  Search this
Mendieta, Ana, 1948-1985  Search this
Morris, Robert, 1931-2018  Search this
Murray, Elizabeth, 1940-  Search this
Neel, Alice, 1900-1984  Search this
Pavia, Philip, 1915-2005  Search this
Sleigh, Sylvia  Search this
Wilke, Hannah  Search this
Wojnarowicz, David  Search this
Extent:
64.4 Linear feet
317.43 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Photographs
Sound recordings
Scrapbooks
Transcripts
Video recordings
Date:
circa 1974-2018
Summary:
The records of Artists Talk on Art (ATOA) measure 64.4 linear feet and 317.43 gigabytes and date from circa 1974-2018. The bulk of the records consist of extensive video and sound recordings of events organized by the group featuring artists, critics, historians, dealers, curators and writers discussing contemporary issues in the American art world in hundreds of panel discussions, open screenings, and dialogues held in New York City. Events began in 1975 and continue to the present; recordings in the collection date from 1977 and 2016. A smaller group of records include administrative files, panel flyers, three scrapbooks, as well as photographs, slides, and negatives of panel discussions and participants.
Scope and Contents:
The records of Artists Talk on Art (ATOA) measure 64.4 linear feet and 317.43 gigabytes and date from circa 1974-2018. The bulk of the records consist of extensive video and sound recordings of events organized by the group featuring artists, critics, historians, dealers, curators and writers discussing contemporary issues in the American art world in hundreds of panel discussions, open screenings, and dialogues held in New York City. Events began in 1975 and continue to the present; recordings in the collection date from 1977 and 2016. A smaller group of records include administrative files, panel flyers, three scrapbooks, as well as photographs, slides, and negatives of panel discussions and participants.

ATOA's recordings chronicle the American art world, covering critical discussions and significant art world issues over five decades. Thousands of artists such as Will Barnet, Louise Bourgeois, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Robert De Niro, Agnes Denes, Michael Goldberg, Robert Longo, Ana Mendieta, Robert Morris, Elizabeth Murray, Alice Neel, Philip Pavia, Howardena Pindell, Larry Rivers, Sylvia Sleigh, Kahinde Wiley, Hannah Wilke, David Wojnarowicz, and others speak about their work. The original recordings exist in a variety of formats, including U-Matic and VHS videotape, MiniDVs, sound cassettes and sound tape reels. ATOA digitized most of the video and sound recordings prior to donating the collection.

The collection also includes printed histories, board and program committee meeting minutes, financial statements, general correspondence files of the president and chair, attendance statistics, grant files, panel participant release forms, sixteen panel transcripts, a complete set of panel flyers (many are annotated) and other printed materials, three dismantled scrapbooks, as well as photographs, slides, and negatives of panels and panel participants.
Arrangement:
The records are arranged into nine series.

Series 1: Adminstrative Files, 1974-2013 (0.4 linear feet, Box 1)

Series 2: Director's and Chairman's Correspondence, 1977-2006 (0.4 linear feet, Box 1)

Series 3: Grant Files, 1977-2009 (1 linear foot, Boxes 1-2)

Series 4: Panel Release Forms, 1978-2012 (1 linear foot, Boxes 2-3)

Series 5: Panel Transcripts, 1981, 1986, 1988, 2017-2018 (1 folder, Box 3; 0.002 GB, ER01)

Series 6: Printed Materials, 1975-2015 (0.8 linear feet, Boxes 3-4; 0.434 GB, ER02)

Series 7: Scrapbooks, 1975-1989 (0.2 linear feet, Box 4)

Series 8: Photographic Materials, circa 1975-circa 2000 (1 linear foot, Boxes 4-5)

Series 9: Video and Sound Recordings of Events, 1977-2016 (59 linear feet, Boxes 6-65; 317.43 GB, ER03-ER04)
Biographical / Historical:
Established in 1974 and still active in New York, Artists Talk on Art is the art world's longest running and most prolific aesthetic panel discussion series organized by artists for artists. Founded by Lori Antonacci, Douglas I. Sheer, and Robert Wiegand, the forum has presented 6,000 artists in nearly 1,000 documented panels or dialogues. ATOA held its first panel, "Whatever Happened to Public Art," on January 10, 1975 and it drew a "crowd" of 77 people. In the decades that followed, ATOA presented dozens of panels or dialogues a year, tackling such diverse topics as "What is Happening with Conceptual Art," with Louise Lawler and Lawrence Weiner; "Painting and Photography: Defining the Difference," with Sarah Charlesworth, Jack Goldstein, Joseph Kosuth, Barbara Kruger, and Robert Mapplethorpe; "Organizing Arts Activism," with Lucy Lippard; "The Artist and the Epidemic—an information panel about AIDS"; "Cross-generational Views of Feminism"; and hundreds more.
Provenance:
The Artists Talk on Art (ATOA) records, including digital files of the video and sound recordings, were donated to the Archives in 2016 by Douglas Sheer, Chairman of ATOA.
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:
Art critics  Search this
Art dealers  Search this
Art historians  Search this
Artists  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Historians  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sound recordings
Scrapbooks
Transcripts
Video recordings
Citation:
Artists Talk on Art records, circa 1974-2018. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.artitalk
See more items in:
Artists Talk on Art records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9c4de66ef-397b-4e6e-9fde-d6deca12fa3a
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-artitalk
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Artists Talk on Art records digital asset number 1
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Bruce Conner, 1974 March 29

Interviewee:
Conner, Bruce, 1933-2008  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J  Search this
Subject:
Guilbaut, Serge  Search this
Berman, Wallace  Search this
DeFeo, Jay  Search this
Ginsberg, Allen  Search this
Hedrick, Wally  Search this
Kienholz, Edward  Search this
McClure, Michael  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Bruce Conner, 1974 March 29. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Art -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Beat generation  Search this
Bohemianism -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Experimental films  Search this
Filmmakers -- California -- San Francisco -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- California -- San Francisco -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13116
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212117
AAA_collcode_conner74mar
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212117
Online Media:

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