An interview of Dorothy Canning Miller conducted 1981 May 14, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.
Miller talks about the first time she, with Alfred Barr, saw Mark Rothko's work in Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors exhibitions. She remembers her first visit to Rothko's studio and frequent conversations at an Italian restaurant near the studio. Miller recounts incidents involving Rothko and Clyfford Still while she was organizing the show "15 Americans" and others at the Museum of Modern Art. She recalls the relationship between Rothko and Still, their split, her own split with Still, and the psychological changes she noted in Rothko. She recalls Holger Cahill, Alfred Barr, Barnett Newma, Robert Motherwell, Clyfford Still, Howard Putzel, Carla Panicali, de Kooning, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Dorothy Miller (1904-2003) was an art museum curator and art consultant from New York, N.Y.
Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 24 min.
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, Katharine Kuh, Stanley Kunitz, Joseph Liss, 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.
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
The papers of modernist painter and printmaker George Constant measure 4.6 linear feet and date from 1912-2007, with the bulk of the material dating from 1932-1978. They consist of biographical material, inventories of artwork, audio interviews and recorded statements on art, personal and business related correspondence, holiday cards, printed material, an exhibition related video recording, and photographs of Constant, his family and friends, and his work.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of modernist painter and printmaker George Constant measure 4.6 linear feet and date from 1912-2007, with the bulk of the material dating from 1932-1978. They consist of biographical material, inventories of artwork, audio interviews and recorded statements on art, personal and business related correspondence, holiday cards, printed material, an exhibition related video recording, and photographs of Constant, his family and friends, and his work. A small portion of the correspondence and printed materials are written in Greek.
Biographical material includes artist statements written and recorded by Constant, two audio interview recordings discussing his philosophies on art and his work, inventories of artwork, personal property deeds and legal correspondence, and other miscellaneous material.
Correspondence is predominantly in the form of business and personal letters, postcards, and holiday cards received from family and friends. These include correspondence from Constant's daughter, Georgette Preston, and extended family members. Other frequent personal correspondents include Milton and Sally Avery, Lewis Balamuth, Margaret Brunning, David Burliuk, Nathaniel Burwash, Rhys Caparn, Julia Shaw Patterson Carnell, Phillip Cavanaugh, Morris Davidson, Charles Eaton, Vilko Gecan, Marchal Landgren, Roy Neuberger, Walter Pach, Nell Perret, Constantine Pougialis, Wallace Putnam and Consuelo Kanaga, Hi Simons, and Helen Slosberg. Business related correspondents include Audubon Artists, Art Institute of Chicago, Brooklyn Museum, Carnegie Institute, Dayton Art Institute, Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors, Ferargil Galleries, Guild Hall, Heckscher Museum, Lyman Allyn Museum, Metropolitan Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Spanish Refugee Appeal, and the Whitney Museum. Other business correspondence related to Constant's work with the WPA are also included in the series.
Printed material includes books and booklets on American and Greek art, including a limited print edition of George Constant by George Constant, clippings and articles reviewing Constant's work, exhibition announcements and catalogs of Constant's shows, periodicals profiling his artwork, and dance and theater related programs that Constant consulted on.
Photographs include black and white prints of Constant and his family and friends in St. Louis, Missouri, Dayton, Ohio, and in and around his studio in Shinnecock Hills, New York. The collection also includes photo stills from his 1965 exhibition at the Parrish Art Museum and a comprehensive set of black and white prints, a handful of color prints, and several color slide sheets of Constant's artwork from the 1920s to 1978.
The collection is arranged into 4 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1923-2007 (Box 1; 17 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1930-1979 (Box 1-2; 1.4 linear feet)
Series 3: Printed Material, 1927-2005 (Box 2-3; 2 linear feet)
Series 4: Photographic Material, 1912-1978 (Box 4-6; 1 linear foot)
Greek American George Zachary Constant (1892-1978) worked from his studios in Shinnecock Hills, and New York City, New York as a painter and printmaker. A founder and lifelong member of the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors, Constant worked for the Work Projects Administration (WPA) during the Depression and early years of World War II, and exhibited regularly at major galleries and museums from the 1920s to 1970s.
Born in Arahova, Greece, Constant was raised by his two uncles after the death of his parents in 1896. In school and at the monestary one of his uncles led, Constant showed an early interest in classical Greek aesthetics. At the age of eighteen, he immigrated to the United States and continued his art studies at Washington University before transferring to the Art Institute of Chicago. From 1918 to 1922, Constant taught at the Dayton Art Institute and continued to produce and exhibit his work locally. In 1922, he moved to New York, joined the Society of Independent Painters, and became close friends with Society founder and art critic Walter Pach. During the 1920s, his etchings were shown at the Valentine and Downtown Galleries, and at the New Art Circle of J.B. Neumann, where he presented his first one man gallery show in 1929.
From the 1930s to 1940s, Constant produced prints, watercolors, and oil paintings for the WPA, many of which were purchased by museums and public institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Museum. During this same period, Constant exhibited his work at the Boyer Gallery in the late 1930s, and at the Ferargil Gallery from the 1940s to early 1950s. In the decade between 1955 and 1965, Constant also worked on color and set design for seventeen dance productions created by the choreographer Alwin Nikolais. In the last two decades of his career, Constant produced works from his studio in Shinnecock Hills, New York and continued to exhibit at numerous galleries, including Grace Borgenicht Gallery, Guild Hall, Mari Galleries, Tirca Karlis Gallery, and Artium Gallery.
The papers of George Constant were donated by the artist in 1969 and 1978. Additional materials were donated in 2001 and 2007 by his daughter Georgette Preston.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
This series consists of scattered documentation of Alice Trumbull Mason's career as an artist and her active membership in many art organizations. Included are brief resumes and biographies that provide information about her memberships, exhibitions, awards, representation in permanent collections, and other professional information. Also found here is her Guggenheim fellowship application. Other professional records include scattered exhibition records and records of her work as an officer in the American Abstract Artists group that includes letters to members written by Mason, lists of members, press releases, reports, and letters to her from the vice president, Esphyr Slobodkina. Mason's active participation in other art organizations, such as the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors and the International Association of Plastic Arts, is documented here through reports to members, brochures, newsletters, meeting minutes, and other membership information. This series also includes some of Mason's personal financial records as well as a few legal documents.
Microfilm reel and frame numbers are noted at folder headings.
The collection is partially microfilmed. Use of material not microfilmed requires an appointment.
Alice Trumbull Mason papers, 1921-1977. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art
Series includes two painted sketches and one pen sketch of abstract designs and a landscape. Biographical materials include resumes and bookplates designed by Klavun. Correspondence is with the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors, Jacob Javits, and the New York Studio School and includes a mix of personal and professional correspondence. Photographs depict Klavun with her work and Klavun's home on Commerce Street in New York City; exhibitions at Bertha Schaefer Gallery; and works of art. Printed materials concern Klavun's career and include clippings and exhibition announcements and catalogs.
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Elizabeth Klavun papers, 1952-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Processing of this collection received support from the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative.
1.8 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 2 reels))
Scope and Contents:
Biographical material, correspondence, notes, writings, photographs, business and financial records, works of art, and printed material document the career of painter and educator Michael Loew.
REEL N68-94: Biographical material, 1957-1967, includes 5 biographical sketches, a bibliography of Loew's publications, and an artist's statement. Correspondence, 1935-1968, is with colleagues, galleries, and educational institutions. There are one or two letters each from colleagues Josef Albers, Willem de Kooning, Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Johnson, Richard Lahey, George L.K. Morris, and Clifford Odets. Nine letters relate to Loew's work for the U.S. Works Progress Administration and the New York World's Fair. Writings, 1966, consist of several drafts for essay "Is It the Function of the Artist to Communicate with his Audience." A contract, 1938, is between Loew and Willem de Kooning and the New York World's Fair 1939 Inc. Printed material, 1944-1968, consists of exhibition announcements and catalogs. Photographs, 1960-1964, are of Loew and his art works. Notes consist of 2 undated notebooks and a typescript concerning Josef Albers. A scrapbook, 1938-1965, contains 4 photographs of art works, clippings, and exhibition announcements and catalogs.
REEL 5053: Correspondence, 1944-1990, is with galleries, including the Holland-Goldowsky Gallery, educational institutions, including the University of California at Berkeley, and colleagues including Dorothy Dehner, Burt Hasen, and Aaron Siskind. Correspondence, 1956-1957, with Rockwell Kent concerns the rental of Kent's Monhegan Island cabin. One letter, 1959, includes 3 photographs of Loew, Louis Kahn, Allan Kaprow, and George McNeil. Lecture notes are for an Artists Equity symposium, 1956, and a panel discussion on painting, 1968. Writings, 1968-1979, consist of 3 essays by Loew and tributes written to Sarah Freedman McPherson by Loew and others. Printed material, 1932-1992, consists of clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and a book "The Artist's World" by Fred W. McDarrah. Photographs, 1930-1979, are of Loew, his friends, and his art works. One photograph is of Alfred Jensen, Theodore Schempp, Max Schnitzler, and Loew in Tunis, 1930.
UNMICROFILMED Biographical material incudes curriculum vita, obituaries, and birth announcements of Jonathan Loew, Michael Loew's son. Correspondence is with Willem and Elaine de Kooning. Writings include notes and a transcription of Loew's 1966 MoMA talk Must the Artist Communicate with his Audience, drafts of an article by Loew regarding Joseph Albers NEA and Guggenheim grant applications. Photographs are of Loew, his artwork, and his travels in Mexico as well as a color photograph of Loew and Willem de Kooning in de Kooning's studio taken by Rose Slivka. Artwork includes original off-prints for book covers. Business files relate to the 1939 World's Fair mural commission and include information about gifts of artwork to museums. Financial material includes a sales record book and records of sales with the Marilyn Pearl and Landmark galleries. Also included are literature and directories from the Federation of Modern Painters & Sculptors, exhibition announcements,and newspaper clippings.
Biographical / Historical:
Born in New York City, Michael Loew (1907-1985) studied at the Art Students League from 1926-1929, Academie Scandinave in Paris from 1929-1930, the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Art from 1947-1949, and at the Atelier Fernand Leger from 1949-1950. Loew worked as a stained glass artist from 1926 to 1929, and painted murals with Willem de Kooning for the New York World's Fair of 1939. Between 1956 and 1966, he taught painting at the Portland (Oregon) Art Museum, University of California at Berkeley, and at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
Material on reel N68-94 lent for microfilming 1968 by Michael Loew; approximately 50 letters and an artists' statement were later received in subsequent donations. Additional papers were donated in 1981-1982 by Loew, and in 1994 and 2008 by his widow, Mildred C. Loew, a portion of which was microfilmed on reel 5053. The photograph of Loew and de Kooning taken by Rose Slivka was donated by Loew's niece, Jackie Cohen, in 2007.
Microfilmed portion must be accessed on film. Use of original papers requires an appointment.