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.
Oscar W. Richards Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
The Leo Castelli Gallery records measure 214.7 linear feet and 0.001 GB and date from circa 1880-2000, with the bulk of the materials dating from the gallery's founding in 1957 through Leo Castelli's death in 1999. The major influence of dealer Leo Castelli and his gallery on the development of mid-to-late twentieth century modern art in America is well-documented through business and scattered personal correspondence, administrative files, exhibition files, extensive artists' files and printed materials, posters, awards and recognitions, photographs, and sound and video recordings. Also included are records for the subsidiary firms of Castelli Graphics and Castelli/Sonnabend Tapes and Films.
Scope and Content Note:
The Leo Castelli Gallery records measure 214.7 linear feet and 0.001 GB and date from circa 1880-2000, with the bulk of the materials dating from the gallery's founding in 1957 through Leo Castelli's death in 1999. The major influence of dealer Leo Castelli and his gallery on the development of mid-to-late twentieth century modern art in America is well-documented through business and scattered personal correspondence, administrative files, exhibition files, extensive artists' files and printed materials, posters, awards and recognitions, photographs, and audio and video recordings. Also included are records for the subsidiary firms of Castelli Graphics and Castelli/Sonnabend Tapes and Films.
The records document the gallery's daily business operations, exhibitions, spaces/buildings, collaborations and joint ventures with other galleries and museums, and its relationship with many artists, dealers, and clients. Artists particularly well-represented throughout the collection include Hanne Darboven, Dan Flavin, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Richard Serra, Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, and Lawrence Weiner.
Records pre-dating the gallery's establishment in 1957 are primarily newspaper and magazine clippings related to artists, personal photographs and photographs of works of art, and scattered personal business records of Leo Castelli.
General Correspondence is extensive at circa 25 linear feet and consists primarily of the gallery's and Leo Castelli's named and subject correspondence files concerning the gallery's daily operations, exhibitions, artwork installation and fabrication, appraisals, inquiries, loans, sales, consignments, personal and business relationships with artists, and other topics. The general correspondence is arranged either by name of correspondent or topic, and is with museums and galleries, collectors, business associates, artists, employees, and friends. Notes, scattered photographs and slides, and printed materials are often found as enclosures. Leo Castelli's personal correspondence is also found here and consists primarily of solicitations, requests for advice, notes of thanks, congratulations, and invitations.
Letters written by artists in the gallery's stable are somewhat limited. There are scattered letters from artists Christo, Chryssa, Nassos Daphnis, Hanne Darboven, Marisol, Dan Flavin, Jasper Johns, Frederick Kiesler, Robert Morris, Hans Namuth, Bruce Nauman, Nam June Paik, Ray Parker, James Rosenquist, Edward Ruscha, Salvatore Scarpitta, Frank Stella, Cy Twombly, and Jack Tworkov. There are also letters about artists in this series filed under the artists' name.
Collectors and dealers represented within the correspondence include the De Menil family, Mrs. Henry Epstein, Ben Heller, Giuseppe Panza, Alan Power, John and Kimiko Powers, Robert and Carolyn Rowan, Robert and Ethel Scull, and Burton and Emily Tremaine. Museums and galleries for which there is considerable correspondence includes the Dwan Gallery, Ferus Gallery, the Jewish Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Sidney Janis Gallery, Stedelijk Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Ileana Sonnabend Galerie.
The materials arranged in General Correspondence were originally marked by the gallery as "correspondence" files upon accessioning, and, are thus arranged into their own series. However, in some cases, there appears to be little difference between the General Correspondence and the Administrative Files. Thus, researchers are encouraged to reference both series.
Administrative Files document a wide variety of the gallery's activities and business. Essentially, these are files that were arranged by the gallery according to subject or topic and cover almost all activities except specific exhibitions. These files include records and correspondence about buildings and space, advertising, appraisals, auctions, consignments, loans, miscellaneous business correspondence, index cards, business arrangements with artists, information about artists, interviews with artists (transcripts), history of the gallery, mailings, photograph requests, shipping, and other topics. Few items are in digital format. There are staff notebooks and files and Leo Castelli's notebooks and notes from the late 1950s through the early 1990s. Extensive outgoing chronological correspondence filed in this series dates from 1964-1977. Also found are transcripts of interviews with Leo Castelli, biographical material, some of it in digital format, and scattered photographs.
Researchers should note that the Administrative Files often overlap and complement the General Correspondence. However, they focus slightly more distinctly on gallery business activities and are arranged mostly by subject or topic, except for the chronological business correspondence. Researchers are encouraged to reference both series. For example, correspondence with and about Jasper Johns may be found in both series, but the administrative files most likely focus on a specific loan, consignment, or business activity or transaction.
Exhibition files provide a thorough history of the gallery's exhibitions, as well as the fabrication and installation of artwork for exhibitions. These files include correspondence, exhibition catalogs, guest books, lists of exhibitions by artist and by year, press releases, sketches and notes, and scattered financial records. Photographs document over 650 exhibitions at Leo Castelli Gallery, including The Ninth Street Show organized by Castelli in 1951, and over 200 exhibitions at other galleries.
Extensive artists' files comprise approximately 40% of the records and are a rich resource of printed and compiled information about the careers of over 120 artists and their relationship with Leo Castelli and the gallery. There are exhibition announcements and catalogs, flyers, invitations, magazine articles and clippings, newspaper clippings, posters, press releases, photographs, and a handful of books. Nearly half of the series is comprised of black and white photographs of artwork, presumably handled by the Leo Castelli Gallery.
Additional printed materials include exhibition announcements, flyers, invitations, magazine articles and clippings, newspaper clippings, press releases, and exhibition posters. Exhibition catalogs are filed with the exhibitions files. The general archives files provide a chronological history of the gallery and its exhibitions. There are also files concerning Leo Castelli and numerous art-related topics. Exhibition posters are found here as well.
Artwork is limited and includes a few works of art and signed posters. Artists represented here include photographer Gianfranco Gorgoni, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Richard Serra and Andy Warhol, as well as others.
The records of the subsidiary Castelli Graphics New York consist of correspondence and administrative files relating to general operations and the sale and loan of prints. Also found are exhibition files, sales records, and scattered financial records. The series provides a wealth of information about Castelli Graphics collaborations with Multiples Inc. in the 1970s.
Also found in the collection are records of Castelli/Sonnabend Tapes and Films, a joint business venture between Leo Castelli Gallery and Sonnabend Gallery from 1974-1985. Records include correspondence, administrative files, exhibition files, artists' files, printed materials, sales and rental records, photographs, and financial records.
The importance and stature of Leo Castelli and the Leo Castelli Gallery to the arts community in New York City and beyond is documented by numerous awards and recognitions, such as framed and unframed certificates, plaques, statues, medals, and scattered photographs.
Nearly seven linear feet of photographs include professional black and white original prints, scattered color photographs, color transparencies, slides and negatives, and disassembled photo albums. The photographs primarily depict social and art events and functions; family and friends of Leo Castelli; and portraits of Leo Castelli and artists and of Leo Castelli with artists, including Richard Artschwager, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Bruce Nauman, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Salvatore Scarpitta, Richard Serra, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol. Photographs of exhibitions and exhibition installations are filed with the exhibition files.
Sound and video recordings include sound and video art, performances, interviews with artists and Leo Castelli, recordings from and of exhibitions, and television publicity recorded on sound cassettes, phonograph records (vinyl and lacquer), videocassettes (U-matic, VHS, Betamax), and videocartridges. Artists represented include Vito Acconci, Robert Barry, Barbara Bloom, Hannah Collins, Hanne Darboven, Dan Flavin, Laura Grisi, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Bruce Nauman, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha, Salvatore Scarpitta, Doug and Mike Starn, and Lawrence Weiner, among others.
See Index for list of Exhibitions at the Leo Castelli Gallery and Castelli Graphics
The collection is arranged as 11 series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1948-1999, bulk 1957-1997 (24.4 linear feet; Boxes 1-23, 191, OVs 233-236)
Series 2: Administrative Files, 1941-1999, bulk 1970s-1990s (17.3 linear feet; Boxes 24-39, 192-193, OVs 237-238, 0.001 GB; ER01-ER02)
Series 3: Exhibition Files, 1951-1999, bulk 1957-1998 (18.7 linear feet; Boxes 40-56, 192, 194-196, 308-309, OVs 239-241, 280)
Series 4: Artists Files, 1913-1999, bulk 1960s-1990s (80.8 linear feet; Boxes 57-133, 197-208, OVs 242-243)
Series 5: Printed Materials, 1949-1998 (23.5 linear feet; Boxes 134-153, 209-211, OVs 244-274, 276, 300, 304-305, RDs 301-303,306)
Series 6: Artwork, circa 1960s-1990s (1.8 linear feet; Boxes 153, 212-213, OVs 275, 277-278, 307)
Series 7: Castelli Graphics, circa 1950-1999, bulk mid 1970s-early 1990s (16 linear feet; Boxes 154-169)
Series 8: Castelli/Sonnabend Tapes + Films, 1969-1998 (5.6 linear feet; Boxes 170-174, 214, OVs 279-281)
Series 9: Awards and Recognition, 1962-1998 (6.9 linear feet; Boxes 175-176, 215-228, OVs 282)
Series 10: Photographs, circa 1880-1997, bulk 1960s-1990s (6.6 linear feet; Boxes 177-180, 229-231, OVs 283-299)
Series 11: Sound and Video Recordings, 1959-2000 (9.7 linear feet; Boxes 181-190, 232)
Leo Castelli (1907-1999) was one of America's most noted contemporary art dealers and opened the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City in 1957. The gallery showcased cutting edge American contemporary art, including Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Neo-Dada, Pop Art, Op Art, Color Field painting, Hard-edge painting, Lyrical Abstraction, Minimal Art, Conceptual Art, and Neo-expressionism, among other movements.
Leo Castelli was born as Leo Krauss on September 4, 1907 in Trieste, of Italian and Austro-Hungarian Jewish origin. He married art dealer Ileana Sonnabend in 1932 and the couple lived in Paris up until World War II. They had a daughter, Nina Castelli Sundell. In Paris, Castelli opened his first gallery in 1939. At that time, he was interested in the European Surrealists.
For years after Castelli moved to New York, he worked in his father-in-law's garment business. However, he organized his first American exhibition in 1951, the famous Ninth Street Show of 1951, a seminal event of Abstract Expressionism.
In 1957, he opened the Leo Castelli Gallery in his townhome on E. 77th Street between Madison and Fifth Avenues in New York City. Castelli initially featured European Surrealism, but also curated exhibitions of American Abstract painters, including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Cy Twombly, Friedel Dzubas, and Norman Bluhm.
In 1958, Castelli discovered Pop artists Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns and forged a life-long nurturing relationship with both artists. The gallery then began focusing more on Pop Art, Minimalism and Conceptual Art. Beginning in the early 1960s, Castelli's stable included Richard Artschwager, Lee Bontecou, Chryssa, John Chamberlain, Ronald Davis, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly, Joseph Kosuth, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Larry Poons, James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha, Salvatore Scarpitta, Richard Serra, Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, and Lawrence Weiner.
Leo and Ileana divorced in 1959, and Ileana returned to Europe. She later moved back to New York and opened a gallery close to Castelli's. The two remained close and together they established the joint venture of Castelli-Sonnabend Films and Tapes to accommodate artists interested in new media.
In the 1970s Leo Castelli opened a downtown SoHo branch of the Leo Castelli Gallery at 420 West Broadway. In the 1980s he opened a second larger downtown exhibition space on Greene Street also in SoHo.
Leo Castelli's second wife was Antoinette Castelli, with whom he also opened Castelli Graphics, an art gallery devoted to prints and photographs, mostly those by Castelli artists. The couple also had a son together, Jean-Christophe Castelli. In 1995 Leo Castelli married Italian art historian Barbara Bertozzi Castelli. She directs the Leo Castelli Gallery today, showing many of the same artists of the gallery's past.
Leo Castelli's unparalleled eye for quality, combined with his extraordinary skill for nurturing and promoting new art and artists, secured his position as one of the most respected and influential advocates of contemporary art for nearly five decades.
List of Exhibitions:
Below is a chronological listing of over 850 exhibitions and events held at the Leo Castelli Gallery from 1957 to 1999; included are exhibitions at 4 E 77 St (1957-1989), 65 Thompson (1989-1994), 108th St Warehouse (1968-1970), 142 Greene St (1980-1988), 420 W Broadway (1971-1999), and 578 Broadway (1988-1997). Castelli Graphics exhibitions from 1969-1996 and Castelli/Sonnabend Tapes and Films exhibitions from 1974-1984 are also included and are noted when known.
Note that this list is not comprehensive. In particular, Castelli Graphics exhibitions from the 1980s and early 1990s are incomplete. Sources used to compile this index include exhibition schedules and lists, installation photographs, announcements, clippings, and other printed materials from the Leo Castelli Gallery records, and the Leo Castelli Gallery website (www.castelligallery.com).
Exhibitions are listed in chronological order by title, if known, and gallery address.
1957 SeasonFeb. -- First Exhibition: de Kooning, Delaunay, Dubuffet, Giacometti, Hartley, Leger, Mondrian, Picabia, Pollock, David Smith, van Doesburg; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 4-23, 1957 -- Jon Schueler; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 25 - Apr. 13, 1957 -- Viseux; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 15 - May 4, 1957 -- Paul Brach; 4 E 77 St
May 6-25, 1957 -- New Work: Bluhm, Budd, Dzubas, Johns, Leslie, Louis, Marisol, Ortman, Rauschenberg, Savelli; 4 E 77 St
1957-1958 SeasonOct. 1-26, 1957 -- Norman Bluhm; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 28 - Nov. 16, 1957 -- Horia Damian; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 18 - Dec. 14, 1957 -- Marisol; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 17, 1957 - Jan. 18, 1958 -- Collector's Annual; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 20 - Feb. 8, 1958 -- Jasper Johns; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 10 - Mar. 1, 1958 -- Friedel Dzubas; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 4-29, 1958 -- Robert Rauschenberg; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 1-26, 1958 -- Giuseppe Capogrossi; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 29 - May 31, 1958 -- Pioneers 1910-1950: de Kooning, Delaunay, Domela, Dubuffet, Giacometti, Hartley, Kandinsky, Leger, Miro, Picabia, Pollock, Schwitters, Smith, van Doejburg; 4 E 77 St
1958-1959 SeasonSept. 30 - Oct. 25, 1958 -- Angelo Savelli; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 28 - Nov. 22, 1958 -- Group Exhibition: Bluhm, Brach, Dzubas, Johns, Marisol, Rauschenberg, Schueler; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 25 - Dec. 20, 1958 -- Esteban Vicente, Drawings; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 6-24, 1959 -- Nassos Daphnis; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 27 - Feb. 14, 1959 -- Salvatore Scarpitta, Extramurals; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 17 - Mar. 7, 1959 -- Al Newbill; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 10-28, 1959 -- Gabriel Kohn; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 31 - Apr. 18, 1959 -- Norman Bluhm, Jean Dubuffet, and Robert Rauschenberg; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 21 - May 9, 1959 -- Jon Schueler; 4 E 77 St
May 12-30, 1959 -- Group Exhibition: Brach, Dzubas, Johns, Sander, Twombly; 4 E 77 St
1959-1960 SeasonOct. 6-17, 1959 -- Opening Exhibition of the New Gallery: Bluhm, Brach, Daphnis, Johns, Kohn, Rauschenberg, Sander, Scarpitta, Stella, Twombly; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 20 - Nov. 7, 1959 -- Work in Three Dimensions: Chamberlain, Follet, Giles, Johns, Klein, Kohn, Marisol, Nevelson, Ortman, Rauschenberg, Scarpitta; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 10-28, 1959 -- Ludwig Sander; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 1-26, 1959 -- Paul Brach; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 5-23, 1960 -- William Giles; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 26 - Feb. 13, 1960 -- Norman Bluhm; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 15 - Mar. 5, 1960 -- Jasper Johns; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 8-26, 1960 -- Nassos Daphnis; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 29 - Apr. 16, 1960 -- Robert Rauschenberg; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 19 - May 7, 1960 -- Salvatore Scarpitta; 4 E 77 St
May 10-28, 1960 -- Edward Higgins; 4 E 77 St
May 31 - June 25, 1960 -- Summary 1959-1960: Bluhm, Bontecou, Daphnis, Higgins, Johns, Kohn, Langlais, Rauschenberg, Sander, Scarpitta, Stella, Twombly, Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
1960-1961 SeasonSept. 27 - Oct. 15, 1960 -- Frank Stella; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 18 - Nov. 5, 1960 -- Cy Twombly; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 9 - Dec. 3, 1960 -- Lee Bontecou; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 6, 1960 - Jan. 7, 1961 -- Robert Rauschenberg, 34 Illustrations for Dante's Inferno; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 10-28, 1961 -- Frederick Kiesler; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 31 - Feb. 25, 1961 -- Jasper Johns, Drawings and Sculpture; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 28 - Mar. 18, 1961 -- Jack Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 21 - Apr. 8, 1961 -- Bernard Langlais; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 11-29, 1961 -- Yves Klein, Le Monochrome; 4 E 77 St
May 2-20, 1961 -- Ludwig Sander; 4 E 77 St
May 23 - June , 1961 -- Sculpture and Relief: Bontecou, Chamberlain, Higgins, Scarpitta; 4 E 77 St
1961-1962 SeasonSept. 22 - Oct. 14, 1961 -- An Exhibition in Progress: Bontecou, Chamberlain, Daphnis, Higgins, Johns, Langlais, Moskowitz, Rauschenberg, Scarpitta, Stella, Twombly, Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 17 - Nov. 4, 1961 -- Nassos Daphnis; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 7 - Dec. 5, 1961 -- Robert Rauschenberg; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 8, 1961 - Jan. 10, 1962 -- Group Exhibition: Bontecou, Johns, Langlais, [Lichtenstein], Scarpitta, Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 13 - Feb. 6, 1962 -- John Chamberlain; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 10 - Mar. 3, 1962 -- Roy Lichtenstein; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 10 - Apr. 5, 1962 -- Robert Moskowitz; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 7-21, 1962 -- Group Exhibition: Bontecou, Chamberlain, Daphnis, Higgins, Rauschenberg, Scarpitta, Stella; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 28 - May 19, 1962 -- Frank Stella; 4 E 77 St
May 26 - June 30, 1962 -- Drawings: Bontecou, Johns, Lichtenstein, Moskowitz, Rauschenberg, Stella, Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
1962-1963 SeasonSept. 22 - Oct. 13, 1962 -- Group Exhibition: Chamberlain, Higgins, Johns, Klapheck, Rauschenberg, Scarpitta, Stella, Tinguely, Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 16 - Nov. 7, 1962 -- John Chamberlain and Frank Stella; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 10 - Dec. 6, 1962 -- Lee Bontecou; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 8, 1962 - Jan. 9, 1963 -- Gerald van de Wiele; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 12 - Feb. 7, 1963 -- Jasper Johns; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 9 - Mar. 7, 1963 -- Jack Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 9-30, 1963 -- Nassos Daphnis; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 2-25, 1963 -- Group Exhibition: Chamberlain, Higgins, Kiesler, Lichtenstein, Moskowitz, Rauschenberg, Stella, Twombly; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 27 - May 16, 1963 -- Salvatore Scarpitta; 4 E 77 St
May 20 - June 30, 1963 -- Group Drawing Exhibition: Bontecou, Daphnis, Johns, Lichtenstein, Moskowitz, Rauschenberg, Stella, Tworkov, van de Wiele; 4 E 77 St
1963-1964 SeasonSept. 28 - Oct. 24, 1963 -- Roy Lichtenstein; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 26 - Nov. 21, 1963 -- Robert Rauschenberg; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 23, 1963 - Jan. 2, 1964 -- Edward Higgins; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 4 - Feb. 6, 1964 -- Frank Stella; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 8 - Mar. 12, 1964 -- Group Exhibition: Chamberlain, Johns, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, Stella; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 14 - Apr. 9, 1964 -- Cy Twombly; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 11-30, 1964 -- John Chamberlain; 4 E 77 St
May 2 - June 3, 1964 -- Introducing Artschwager, Christo, Hay, Watts; 4 E 77 St
June 6-30, 1964 -- Group Exhibition: Chamberlain, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, Scarpitta, Stella, Twombly, Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
1964-1965 SeasonSept. 26 - Oct. 22, 1964 -- Group Exhibition: Artschwager, Lichtenstein, Rosenquist, Stella, Warhol; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 24 - Nov. 19, 1964 -- Roy Lichtenstein, Landscapes; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 21 - Dec. 28, 1964 -- Andy Warhol, Flower Paintings; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 9-27, 1965 -- John Chamberlain, Paintings; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 30 - Feb. 24, 1965 -- Richard Artschwager; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 27 - Mar. 24, 1965 -- Nassos Daphnis; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 27 - Apr. 14, 1965 -- Salvatore Scarpitta, Racing Cars; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 17 - May 13, 1965 -- James Rosenquist, F-111; 4 E 77 St
May 15 - June 9, 1965 -- Robert Rauschenberg, Oracle; 4 E 77 St
1965-1966 SeasonOct. 2-21, 1965 -- Group Exhibition: [Chamberlain], Johns, Lichtenstein, Poons, Rauschenberg, Stella, [Warhol]; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 23 - Nov. 17, 1965 -- Robert Bart; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 20 - Dec. 11, 1965 -- Roy Lichtenstein, Brushstrokes and Ceramics; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 14, 1965 - Jan. 5, 1966 -- Benefit Drawing Exhibition for the Foundation for the Contemporary Performance Arts; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 14, 1965 - Jan. 5, 1966 -- Group Exhibition; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 8 - Feb. 2, 1966 -- Jasper Johns; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 5 - Mar. 2, 1966 -- Donald Judd; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 12 - Mar. 2, 1966 -- Cy Twombly, Drawings; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 5 - Apr. 2, 1966 -- Frank Stella; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 6-27, 1966 -- Andy Warhol, Wallpaper and Clouds; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 30 - May 25, 1966 -- James Rosenquist; 4 E 77 St
May 28 - June 13, 1966 -- Christo, Storefront; 4 E 77 St
June 14-30, 1966 -- Group Exhibition: Bontecou, Johns, Judd, Lichtenstein, Poons, Rauschenberg, Rosenquist, Stella, Warhol; 4 E 77 St
1966-1967 SeasonOct. 8 - Nov. 8, 1966 -- Lee Bontecou; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 12 - Dec. 3, 1966 -- Edward Higgins; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 6-10, 1966 -- Benefit Group Exhibition for Experiments in Art and Technology, Inc.; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 7, 1966 - Jan. 5, 1967 -- Stanley Landsman; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 14, 1966 - Jan. 5, 1967 -- Group Exhibition: Artschwager, Lichtenstein, Rosenquist, Warhol; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 20 - May 18, 1996 -- James Rosenquist, Horizon Home Sweet Home; 420 W Broadway
Apr. 20 - May 24, 1996 -- Roy Lichtenstein, Eight New Prints; 578 Broadway
May 28 - July 26, 1996 -- Ralph Gibson, Infanta; 420 W Broadway
May 28 - July 26, 1996 -- Group Drawing Exhibition, Works on Paper: Chryssa, Daphnis, Darboven, Johns, Lichtenstein, Morris, Nauman, Rauschenberg, Ruscha, Serra, Stella, Sonnier, Therrien, Weiner; 420 W Broadway
June 1 - July 26, 1996 -- Summer Group Show: Johns, Kosuth, Lichtenstein, Ruscha, Stella, Therrien; 578 Broadway
1996-1997 SeasonSept. 14 - Oct. 12, 1996 -- Gianfranco Gorgoni, 25 Years of Artists Portraits; 578 Broadway
Feb. 15 - Mar. 15, 1997 -- Lawrence Weiner, Then Now + Then; 420 W Broadway
Mar. 1-22, 1997 -- Dan Flavin; 578 Broadway
Mar. 22 - Apr. 26, 1997 -- Keith Sonnier, Alternating Currents; 420 W Broadway
Mar. 29 - Apr. 5, 1997 -- The Printmaking Workshop Benefit Exhibition and Auction; 420 W Broadway
Apr. 17 - May 17, 1997 -- Columbia University MFA Exhibition; 420 W Broadway
May 3 - June 7, 1997 -- Edward Ruscha, Cityscapes and "O" Books; 420 W Broadway
July - Sept., 1997 -- Summer Group Show: Kosuth, Morris, Serra; 420 W Broadway
1997-1998 SeasonSept. 27 - Oct. 18, 1997 -- Joseph Kosuth; 420 W Broadway
Oct. 25 - Nov. 15, 1997 -- 40 Years of Exploration and Innovation Part 1: Bontecou, Chryssa, Cornell, Johns, Lichtenstein, Oldenburg, Rauschenberg, Rosenquist, Ruscha, Twombly, Warhol; 420 W Broadway
Nov. 22 - Dec. 13, 1997 -- 40 Years of Exploration and Innovation Part 2: Daphnis, Flavin, Judd, Kelly, Morris, Serra, Stella, Therrien, Waldman; 420 W Broadway
Jan. 10-31, 1998 -- 40 Years of Exploration and Innovation Part 3: Barry, Darboven, Dibbets, Grisi, Huebler, Kosuth, Nauman, Scarpitta, Sonnier, Starn Twins, Weiner; 420 W Broadway
Feb. 7 - Mar. 14, 1998 -- Dan Flavin, Some Drawings and Installations of Fluorescent Light; 420 W Broadway
Mar. 28 - Apr. 25, 1998 -- Hannah Collins, True Stories; 420 W Broadway
May 2 - June 6, 1998 -- Mike and Doug Starn, Black Hole Sun Burned; 420 W Broadway
June 24 - Aug. 29, 1998 -- Summer Show; 420 W Broadway
1998-1999 SeasonSept. 26 - Oct. 31, 1998 -- Robert Morris, The Rationed Years; 420 W Broadway
Nov. - Dec., 1998 -- Joseph Kosuth, Richard Serra, Keith Sonnier; 420 W Broadway
Jan. - Feb. 1999 -- Robert Rauschenberg, Arcadian Survey; 420 W Broadway
Available in the Archives of America Art are three oral history interviews with Leo Castelli. Paul Cummings interviewed Castelli between May 14, 1969 and June 8, 1973; Barbara Rose in July, 1969; and Andrew Decker on May 22, 1997.
The Archives of American Art also holds items lent for microfilming (reel N68) including printed material. Lent material was returned to the lender and is not described in the collection container inventory.
Leo Castelli loaned printed material for microfilming in 1968. Leo Castelli's wife, Barbara Bortuzzo Castelli, and his children, Nina Castelli Sundell and Jean-Christophe Castelli, donated the Leo Castelli Gallery records to the Archives of American Art in 2007.
Use of original records requires an appointment.
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- History -- New York (State)New York Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- History -- New York (State)New York Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State)
Leo Castelli Gallery records, circa 1880-2000, bulk 1957-1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the partial digitization of this collection was provided by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.
Original documents and papers generated by William J. Hammer and by various companies and individuals with whom he was associated. Includes material related to the research and inventions of Edison, Bell, Tesla, the Curies, etc.
Scope and Contents:
This collection includes original documents and papers generated by Hammer and by various companies and individuals and various secondary sources assembled by Hammer between 1874 and 1934. Hammer's lifelong association with the foremost scientists of his day -- Edison, Bell, Maxim, the Curies, the Wright brothers, and others - afforded him a unique opportunity to collect materials about the development of science along many lines.
This collection, which includes rare historical, scientific, and research materials, was donated by the International Business Machine Corporation to the Museum of History and Technology in 1962 and held by the Division of Electricity. In 1983 it was transferred to the -Archives Center. The collection was badly disorganized when received and contained many fragile documents in poor condition. The collection was organized and arranged as reflected in this register.
The collection documents in photographs, manuscripts, notes, books, pamphlets, and excerpts, the beginnings of electrical technology. In its present state, it comprises four series: Series 1 contains twenty-two boxes of the William J. Hammer Papers, containing both biographical and autobiographical material; Series 2 has twenty boxes of material on Edison; Series 3 consists of thirty-three boxes of reference material; and Series 4 holds twenty-one boxes of photographs and portraits. See the container list beginning on page 39 for more detailed information on the contents of the collection.
Most of the material in the collection is chronologically arranged. However, in some cases alphabetical arrangement has been employed, for example, in the arrangement of portraits of eminent men of electrical science (Series 4, Boxes 78-80, 100-101), and the arrangement of publications (by authors' last names).
Hammer did original laboratory work upon selenium, radium, cathode rays, x-rays, ultra-violet rays, phosphorescence, fluorescence, cold light, and wireless. These aspects of his career are reflected in many parts of the collection: in Series 1 there are articles, notes, diagrams, sketches, graphs,, and correspondence; in Series 3 articles, magazines, news clippings, and bound pamphlets. Tie contributed many technical writings, some of which are found in Series 1.
Papers detailing Hammer's aeronautical activities were transferred to the National Air and Space Museum. They consist of two scrapbooks and one cubic foot of aeronautical photographs of balloons, airplanes, and gliders and one-half cubic foot of correspondence. For further information contact the National Air and Space Museum Archives at (202) 357-3133.
The collection is divided into four series.
Series 1: William J. Hammer Papers, 1851-1957
Series 2: Edisonia, 1847-1960
Series 3: Reference Materials, 1870-1989
Series 4: Photographs, 1880-1925
Biography of William J. Hammer:
William Joseph Hammer, assistant to Thomas Edison and a consulting electrical engineer, was born at Cressona, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, February 26, 1858, and died March 24, 1934. His parents were Martha Augusta Bech (1827-1861) and William Alexander Hammer (1827-1895). He attended private and public schools in Newark, New Jersey, and university and technical school lectures abroad.
On January 3, 1894, Hammer married Alice Maud White in Cleveland, Ohio. They had one daughter, Mabel (Mrs. Thomas Cleveland Asheton). Alice Hammer died in 1906.
In 1878 Hammer became an assistant to Edward Weston of the Weston Malleable Nickel Company. In December 1879 he began his duties as laboratory assistant to Thomas Edison at Menlo Park, New Jersey. He assisted in experiments on the telephone, phonograph, electric railway, ore separator, electric lighting, and other developing inventions. However, he worked primarily on the incandescent electric lamp and was put in charge of tests and records on that device. In 1880 he was appointed Chief Engineer of the Edison Lamp Works. In this first year, the plant under general manager Francis Upton, turned out 50,000 lamps. According to Edison, Hammer was "a pioneer of Incandescent Electric Lighting"! (Hammer's memoranda and notes, Series 2).
In 1881 Edison sent Hammer to London as Chief Engineer of the English Electric Light Co. In association with E. H. Johnson, general manager, Hammer constructed the Holborn Viaduct Central Electric Light Station in London. This plant included three, thirty-ton "Jumbo" steam-powered dynamos (generators), and operated 3,000 incandescent lamps. Holborn was the first central station ever constructed for incandescent electric lighting. Hammer began its operation on January 12, 1882, by lighting the Holborn Viaduct.
In 1882 Hammer also installed a large isolated lighting plant containing twelve Edison dynamos at the Crystal Palace Electric Exposition and the Edison Exhibit at the Paris Electrical Exposition.
At this time Hammer also designed and built the first electric sign. The sign spelled the name "Edison" in electric lights, and was operated by a hand controlled commutator and a large lever snap switch. It was erected over the organ in the Crystal Palace concert hall.
In 1883 Hammer became Chief Engineer for the German Edison Company (Deutsche Edison Gesellschaft), later known as Allegemeine Elektricitaets Gesellschaft. Hammer laid out and supervised the installations of all Edison plants in Germany. While in Berlin he invented the automatic motor-driven "flashing" electric lamp sign. The sign, which flashed "Edison" letter by letter and as a whole, was placed on the Edison Pavilion at the Berlin Health Exposition in 1883.
On his return to the United States in 1884, Hammer took charge of some of Edison's exhibits, including Edison's personal exhibit, at the International Electrical Exhibition held under the authority of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. There he built the first flashing "Column of Light." He also became confidential assistant to E. R. Johnson, president of the parent Edison Electric Light Company. Together with Johnson and Frank J. Sprague, he became an incorporator of the Sprague Electric Railway and Motor company. He also was elected a trustee and the company's first secretary.
Hammer installed an all-electric house at Newark, New Jersey in 1884 and he devised various electrical devices and contrivances for an unusual party for friends and colleagues. (See "Electrical Diablerie" beginning on page 6).
At the end of 1884 Hammer became chief inspector of central stations of the parent Edison Electric Light Company. For over two years he made financial, mechanical, and electrical reports on the various stations throughout the United States. During 1886-87 he was chief engineer and general manager of the Boston Edison Electric Illuminating Company. He also acted as contractor for the company. He laid $140,000 of underground tubing and installed Sprague Electric Motors.
In 1888, acting as an independent engineer, he was placed in charge of completing the 8,000 light plant of the Ponce de Leon Hotel in St.Augustine Florida. At the time this was the largest isolated incandescent lighting plant ever constructed. Also in 1888 Hammer was appointed consulting electrical engineer to the Cincinati Centennial Expostition, and as a contractor designed and installed over $40,000 worth of electrical effects.
Hammer was appointed Edison's personal representative remarked, "There are a lot of crowned heads in the Edison business. How many of them am I subservient to?" Mr. Edison answered "You take no instructions except from Thomas A. Edison." Hammer asked "What are your instructions?" Mr. Edison replied, 'Hammer, I haven't any. Go and make a success of it.' In Paris he set up and operated all of Edison's inventions, which embraced nineteen departments and covered 9,800 square feet of space. He also built a huge Edison lamp forty-five feet high employing 20,000 lamps. Edison remarked, 'He had entire charge of my exhibit at the Paris Exposition, which was very successful." This was the largest individual exhibit at the Exposition, costing $100,000. Mr. Edison replied, "I want you to go right out and have a card engraved William J. Hammer, Representative of Thomas A. Edison. You are the only representative I have here," and he complimented him on his work adding, "The French government will do something handsome for you for your work." Hammer replied that he would not raise his hand to get it and did not believe in giving such honors to people who seek them. Mr. Edison said, "You are wrong. You are a young man and such things are valuable. At any rate if there's anyone in this exhibition who deserves recognition, you do, and I'm going to see you get it' (Hammer's memoranda and notes, Series 2). Thirty-four years later, in 1925, through the personal influence of Edison, Hammer was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by the French government.
In 1890 Hammer returned to the United States and opened an office as a consulting electrical engineer. He was in private practice until 1925, making reports, conducting tests, and giving expert testimony in patent suits.
On January 31, 1890, Hammer formed the Franklin Experimental Club of Newark where boys could come and carry on experiments, build apparatus, and listen to lectures. Hammer equipped the laboratory at his own expense. One side was an electrical laboratory and the other a chemical laboratory. About forty-five boys joined. Each boy had a key to the club and a section of a bench with his own drawer for keeping notes, tools, and other equipment. In 1892 the structure was destroyed by fire from a saloon next door, ending Hammer's plans for a large and useful institution.
In 1896 Hammer was elected president of the National Conference of Standard Electrical Rules, which prepared and promulgated the "National Electric Code."
In 1902 in Paris, Hammer visited Pierre and Marie Curie, the discoverers of radium and polonium. They gave him nine tubes of radium and one of polonium to bring back to the United States. He also acquired some sulphide of zinc, with which he mixed radium carbonates, producing a beautifully luminous powder. This was the first radium-luminous material ever made. By mixing the powder with Damar varnish he produced the first radium-luminous paint. He was also the first person to make colored (and white) luminous materials. In 1907 he invented and patented a process for producing colored phosphorescent materials by combining phosphorescent and fluorescent substances.
Back in the United States in the fall of 1902 and into 1903, Hammer applied his radium-luminous materials to thirty different objects: luminous dials for clocks and watches, toys, artificial flowers, radium luminous gun sights, taps and pulls for lamp sockets, switches, keyholes, push buttons, telephone transmitters, poison bottle labels, a small plaster figure, push pins, and writing implements among others. He did not patent the invention due to the scarcity and high cost of radium, but later in an important suit involving foreign and American patents of radium-luminous materials, his testimony and that of other noted scientists and professionals of the day who had visited his home and laboratory proved that his work completely anticipated that of all inventors both in the United States and abroad. In 1902 he was one of the first persons to be burned with radium.
Hammer gave eighty-eight lectures on the Curies' work and on radium and radioactive substances. He wrote the first book published on radium, Radium and other Radioactive Substances, 1903. Hammer proposed and used radium for cancer and tumor treatment, successfully treating and curing a tumor on his own hand in July 1903. Tie also supplied several hospitals with radioactive water he had made and conducted extensive experiments with x-rays, cathode-rays, radium-rays, ultraviolet lights, phosphorescence, fluorescence, and cold-light. He was probably the first to suggest many wartime uses for radium-luminous materials, such as airplanes, instruments, markers, barbed-wire, and landing fields.
Hammer also did important work with selenium, a nonmetallic element that resembles sulphur and tellurium chemically. It is obtained chiefly as a by-product in copper refining, and occurs in allotropic forms. A grey stable form varies in electrical conductivity depending on the intensity of its illumination and is used in electronic devices. Hammer invented selenium cells and apparatus, and suggested industrial uses for selenium and other light-sensitive cells.
In 1886 Hammer devised a system for automatically controlling street and other lights by use of a selenium cell. In 1892 he designed a torpedo that could be steered by searchlight and selenium cell. In the early 1900s he suggested many other uses for "light" cells, including burglar alarms, dynamo control, buoy, railroad signaling, automatic gun firing, transmission of music, stethoscope recorder, automatic operating shutters, automatic boiler feed, snow recorder, and electric motor control.
At the St. Louis Exposition of 1904 Hammer was Chairman of the Jury for Telegraphy, Telephony, and Wireless. He was also a member of the "Departmental" Jury ("Applied Science: Electricity") and of the committee appointed to organize the International Electrical Congress at St. Louis in 1904.
In 1906 Hammer received the "Elliott Cresson" gold medal from the Franklin Institute for his "Historical Collection of Incandescent Electric Lamps," accumulated over thirty-four years. This collection received a special silver medal at the International Electrical Exposition at the Crystal Palace, London, England, in 1882, and "the Grand Prize" at the St. Louis Exposition of 1904.
During the First World war Hammer served as a major on the General Staff of the, Army War College, Washington, D.C., where he was attached to the Inventions Section of the War Plans Division and later to the operations Division at the war Department in charge of electrical and aeronautical war inventions. He did special work at the U.S. Patent office, marking and delaying patents that might be useful to the enemy and served on the Advisory Board of Experts attached to the Alien Property Commission. He was elected Historian general of the Military order of the World War (1926-1928) and was a member of the Society of American Military Engineers.
Hammer was an early aeronautics enthusiast and became the owner of one of the first airplanes sold in the United States to an individual. Even in his last few years of his life, Hammer's interest in airplanes did not wane. In 1931, by the permission of the Secretary of the -Navy, Hammer made a twelve-hour flight in the Los Angeles dirigible from the Lakehurst, New Jersey airdrome along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean to New York, flying over New York City at night.
Hammer served on numerous committees. In 1916 he was a member of a special committee, appointed by the Aeronautical Society of America. one of his responsibilities on this committee was to recommend methods for the formation of a reserve force of civilian aviators for the Army. At the start of World War I, Hammer was appointed chairman of a committee on camouflage by the Aeronautical Society. During the war, he flew airplanes and tested sound devices and was also among the first five selected out of thousands for the dissemination of propaganda into many countries. He also examined documents and papers captured from spies and prisoners of war to see if these material contained any technical matter of value to the U. S. Army.
Hammer traveled extensively as a delegate of the Military Order of World War I. For example, in 1922 he attended the aeronautical Congress and Flying Meet in Detroit, Michigan. In the same year he also attended Immigration Conferences of the National Civic Federation in New York.
Between 1922 and 1928 Hammer intensified his efforts in collecting and organizing autographed portraits of eminent scientific men, a project he had been working on for over forty-five years. Tie displayed many of these portraits with his Historical Collection of Incandescent Electrical Lamps in -his New York home. At this time he also prepared an elaborate bibliography on selenium and its industrial and scientific applications.
Major William Joseph Hammer, described by Edison as "my most valuable assistant at Menlo Park" died of pneumonia March 24, 1934.
N.Y. World, January 3, 1885 and Newark, N.J. Daily Advertiser and Journal, January 3, 1885
Some years ago, (1884) on New Year's eve, an entertainment was given at the home of Mr. William J. Hammer, in Newark, N.J., which, for the display of the powers of electricity has seldom, if ever, been equaled. Mr. Hammer, who has for years been associated with Mr. Edison, both in this country and in Europe, desiring to give his old classmates, the "Society of Seventy-Seven," a lively and interesting time, invited them to "an electrical dinner"at his home.
The invitations which were sent out were written upon Western Union telegram blanks with an Edison electric pen. When the guests arrived and entered the gate, the house appeared dark, but as they placed foot upon the lower step of the veranda a row of tiny electric lights over the door blazed out, and the number of the house appeared in bright relief. The next step taken rang the front door bell automatically, the third threw open the door, and at the same time made a connection which lit the gas in the hall by electricity.
Upon entering the house the visitor was invited to divest himself of his coat and hat, and by placing his foot upon an odd little foot-rest near the door, and pressing a pear-shaped pendant hanging from the wall by a silken cord, revolving brushes attached to an electric motor brushed the mud and snow from his shoes and polished them by electricity. As he was about to let go of the switch or button, a contact in it connected with a shocking coil, caused him to drop it like a hot potato. Up-stairs was a bedroom which would be a fortune to a lazy man; he had only to step on the door sill and the gas was instantly lighted. The ceiling was found to be covered with luminous stars, arranged to represent the principal constellations in the heavens-while comets, moons, etc., shone beautifully in the dark. By placing one's head on the pillow, the gas, fifteen feet away, would be extinguished and the phosphorescent stars on the ceiling would shine forth weirdly, and a phosphorescent moon rose from behind a cloud over the mantel and slowly describing a huge arch disappeared behind a bank of phosphorescent clouds on the other side of the room; by pressing the toe to the foot-board of the bed the gas could again be relit.
Pouring a teacup of water into the water clock on the mantel and setting the indicator would assure the awakening of the sleeper at whatever hour he might desire. There was also in the hall outside the room a large drum, which could be set to beat by electricity at the hour when the family wished to arise. The whole house was fitted throughout with electric bells, burglar alarms, fire alarms, telephones, electric cigar lighters, medical coils, phonographs, electric fans, thermostats, heat regulating devices, some seven musical instruments, operated by electricity, etc.
Upon the evening referred to nearly every. piece of furniture in the parlor was arranged to play its part. Sit on one chair and out went the gas, take another seat and it would light again; sitting on an ottoman produced a mysterious rapping under the floor; pressure on some chairs started off drums, triangles, tambourines, cymbals, chimes and other musical instruments; in fact, it seemed unsafe to sit down anywhere. The quests stood about in groups and whispered, each hoping to see his neighbor or a new comer caught napping.
One visitor (Brown) secured an apparently safe seat, and was telling a funny story--he had left electricity far behind--but just as he reached the climax, a pretty funnel-shaped Japanese affair like a big dunce cap, that seemed but a ceiling ornament which was held in place by an electromagnet, dropped from overhead and quietly covered him up, thus silently extinguishing the story and the story-teller.
A big easy chair placed invitingly between the folding doors joining the double, parlors sent the unwary sitter flying out of its recesses by the sudden deafening clamor of twenty-one electric bells hidden in the folds of the draperies hanging in the doorway. In a convenient position stood the silver lemonade pitcher and cup, the former was filled with the tempting beverage, but no matter how much a guest might desire to imbibe one touch convinced him that the pitcher and cup were so heavily charged with electricity as to render it impossible for him to pour out a drink or even to let go until the electricity was switched off from the hidden induction coil.
Some one proposed music, and half a selection had been enjoyed when something seemed to give way inside the piano, and suddenly there emanated from that bewitched instrument a conglomeration of sounds that drowned the voices of the singers, and the keys seemed to beat upon a horrible jangle of drums, gongs and various noise-producing implements which were fastened inside of and underneath the piano.
After the guest were treated to a beautiful display of electrical experiments, under the direction of Mr. Hammer, and Professor George C. Sonn, they were escorted to the dining-room, where an electrical dinner had been prepared and was presided over by 'Jupiter," who was in full dress, and sat at the head of the table, where by means of a small phonograph inside of his anatomy he shouted, "Welcome, society of Seventy-Seven and their friends to Jove's festive board." The menu was as follows: "Electric Toast," "Wizard Pie," "Sheol Pudding," "Magnetic Cake," "Telegraph Cake," "Telephone Pie," "Ohm-made Electric Current Pie," "Menlo Park Fruit," "Incandescent Lemonade," "'Electric Coffee" and "Cigars," etc., and music by Prof. Mephistopheles' Electric Orchestra.
About the table were pretty bouquets, and among the flowers shone tiny incandescent lamps, while near the center of the table was placed an electric fan which kept the air cool and pure, and at each end was a tiny Christmas tree lighted with small incandescent lamps, planted in a huge dish of assorted nuts and raisins. Each lamp had a dainty piece of ribbon attached to it upon which the initials of the Society and the date were printed, and each guest received a lamp to take away with him as a souvenir of the occasion. Plates of iced cakes made in the form of telephones, switches, bells, electric lamps, batteries, etc., stood on each side of the center piece.
Promptly at 12 o'clock, as the chimes of the distant churches came softly to the ears of the assembled quests, pandemonium seemed to change places with the modest dining-room. A cannon on the porch, just outside the door, and another inside the chimney, were unexpectedly discharged; and at this sudden roar, every man sprang back from the table; the lights disappeared; huge fire-gongs, under each chair beat a tattoo. The concussion produced by the cannon in the fireplace caused several bricks to come crashing down the chimney, and as the year of 1884 faded away, the table seemed bewitched. The "Sheol Pudding" blazed forth green and red flames illuminating the room, tiny tin boxes containing 'Greek" fire which had been placed over each window and door were electrically ignited by spirals of platinum iridium wire heated by a storage battery and blazed up suddenly; the "Telegraph Cake" clicked forth messages said to be press reports of the proceedings (it was also utilized to count the guests and click off the answers to various questions put to it); bells rang inside the pastry; incandescent lamps burned underneath the colored lemonade; the thunderbolt pudding discharged its long black bolts all over the room (long steel spiral springs covered with black cloth) and loud spirit rapping occurred under the table. The silver knives, forks and spoons were charged with electricity from a shocking coil and could not be touched, while the coffee and toast (made by electricity) were made rapidly absorbed; the "Magnetic Cake' disappeared; the "Wizard" and "Current Pies' vanished, and 'Jupiter" raising a glass to his lips began to imbibe.
The effect was astonishing! The gas instantly went out, a gigantic skeleton painted with luminous paint appeared and paraded about the room, while Jupiter's nose assumed the color of a genuine toper! His green eyes twinkled, the electric diamonds in his shirt front (tiny lamps) blazed forth and twinkled like stars, as he phonographically shouted "Happy New Year'. Happy New Year!" This "Master of Cererionies' now becoming more gentle, the guests turned their attention to the beautiful fruit piece, over four feet high, that stood in the center of the table. From the fruit hung tiny electric lamps, and the whole was surmounted by a bronze figure of Bartholdils "Statue of Liberty;" uplifted in "Miss Liberty's" right hand burned an Edison lamp no larger than a bean.
The dinner finished, and there was much that was good to eat, notwithstanding the "magical" dishes which they were first invited to partake of, speeches were delivered by Messrs. Hammer, Rutan, McDougall, 'Brown, Duneka, and Dawson, and an original poem was read by Mr. Van Wyck. Upon repairing to the parlors the guest saw Mr. Hammer's little sister, May, dressed in white and mounted upon a pedestal, representing the "Goddess of Electricity:" tiny electric lamps hung in her hair, and were also suspended as earrings, while she held a wand surmounted by a star, and containing a very small electric lamp.
Not the least interesting display of electricity took place in front of the house, where a fine display of bombs, rockets, Roman candles, Greek fire and other fireworks were set off by electricity, which was by the way, the first time this had been accomplished. The guests were requested to press button switches ranged along the front veranda railing thus causing electricity from a storage battery to heat to a red heat tiny platinum iridium spirals attached to each fuse of the various pieces of fireworks thus sending up rocket after rocket, as well as igniting the other pieces which had been placed in the roadway in front of the house.
An attempt was made to send up a large hot air balloon to which was attached a tiny storage battery and an incandescent signal lamp but a sudden gust of wind caused the ballon to take fire as it rose fr(xn the ground. This constituted the only experiment made during the evening which was not an unqualified success. The innumerable electrical devices shown during the progress of the dinner were all operated by Mr. Hammer, who controlled various switches fastened to the under side of the table and attached to a switchboard, which rested on his lap, while the two cannons were fired by lever switches on the floor, which he operated by the pressure of the foot. Electricity was supplied by primary and storage batteries placed under the table. After an exhibition of electrical apparatus and experiments with a large phonograph, the guests departed with a bewildered feeling that somehow they had been living half a century ahead of the new year."
Expositions and Exhibitions:
The many Expositions held at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries were important for the Edison Electric Company's future business. In particular the Paris Electrical Exposition, 1881, and the Crystal Palace Exposition in London in 1892 were introductions for the company's international business enterprises. Edison, therefore, sent his ablest men from the Menlo Park staff (Batchelor, Hammer, Jehl, Johnson) to Europe to oversee the installation and promotion of the company's exhibits.
THE INTERNATIONAL PARIS EXPOSITION OF 1881
The International Paris Electrical Exposition was held during the summer of 1881. Many of Edison's electric lighting systems, ranging from arc lights to incandescent devices, were exhibited. A model of the Edison central-station lighting system showed an arrangement of incandescent lights within a complete electrical distributing system, including novel appliances and controls of the Edison system. "The completeness of its conception made a profound impression on the foremost European electrical engineers of that era." (Josephson, Matthew. Edison, A Biography. p. 252). Edison also exhibited his first "Jumbon generator. It was "direct-connected" to its driving engine, another area in which Edison pioneered. Edison improved upon the original design of William Wallace's "Telemachon' - a generator coupled to a water-powered turbine. Wallace had earlier in the decade produced the first dynamo in America.
Charles Batchelor headed the Edison exhibits within Paris. Edison received many gold medals and diplomas and was awarded the ribbon of the Legion of Honor.
The William J. Hammer Collection contains various reports and catalogues exhibited at the International Exposition of Electricity. (Series 3, Box 44, Folders 1-4)
THE CRYSTAL PALACE EXHIBITION OF 1882
At the Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1882 in London, Edison displayed a great many of his inventions, including: the steam dynamo; specimens of street pipes and service boxes used in the Edison underground system of conductors, and the system of house conductors with devices for preventing abnormal increase of energy in house circuits; apparatus for measuring the resistance of his lamps, for measuring the energy consumed in lamps, and rheostats for restoring currents; also thermogalvano-meters, carbon rheostats, dynamometers, photometers, carbon regulators, Weber meters,, current regulators, and circuit breakers for controlling electric light circuits; the carbon relay, the pressure relay, and the expansion relay; the telegraph system in Morse characters; and the Roman character automatic telegraph.
Thomas Edison also exhibited the carbon telephone, the musical telephonograph, telephone repeater, and numerous apparatus for demonstrating the method of varying the resistance of a closed circuit by contact with carbon, illustrative of the experimental factors of the Edison carbon transmitter. Incandescent lamps, the process of the manufacture of lamps, and various designs of electric light chandeliers were also on display.
Hammer won the silver medal at the exposition for the first complete development of the incandescent electric lamp from its initial stages to date. At the exhibition the first hand-operated flashing electric lamp sign was displayed, which was invented and built by Hammer.
The collection contains photographs of the Edison dynamo, and the Edison Electric Lighting Plant of 1882 erected by Hammer. The official Catalogue of the International Electric and Gas Exhibition, and various articles from the Daily Telegraph, Daily Chronicle, and Daily News are also included within the collection (Series 4, Box 99 and Series 3, Box 42, Folder 1-2).
THE BERLIN EXPOSITION OF 1883.
The Berlin Exposition of 1883 had the first motored flashing electric sign designed, built and operated by Hammer. The electric sign spelled out the word "Edison" letter by letter and was used on the Edison pavilion in the Health Exposition. It has most features of today's flashing sign.
The collection contains two photographs of the first flashing sign (Series 4, Box 99).
THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE INTERNATIONAL ELECTRICAL EXHIBITION OF 1884
The Franklin Institute International Electrical Exhibition was held in Philadelphia from September 2 to October 14, 1884. Many of Edison's companies had display booths at the exhibition. The Edison Electric Light Company showed in operation their system of house lighting as supplied from a central station. The Edison Company for Isolated Lighting exhibited their system of lighting factories, hotels, hospitals, and other places situated beyond the reach of a central lighting station. A full assortment of Edison lamps and dynamos also made up parts of other exhibits. Also displayed at the exhibition was the first flashing column of light, which Hammer designed and built.
Included within the collection are a variety of photographs of the exhibitions. Four pamphlets also are contained in the collection (Series 3, Box 1, Folder 3), (Series 4, Box 99).
THE EXPOSITION OF THE OHIO VALLEY AND THE CENTRAL STATES OF 1888
The Exposition of the Ohio Valley and Central States, in Cincinnati from July 4 to October 27, was in honor of the one hundredth anniversary of the settlement of Cincinnati. The exposition showed the progress and ramifications of the first hundred years of this settlement.
The space occupied by permanent buildings was greater than that covered by any building for exhibiting purposes on the Western continent. T',ie exposition developed the Electric Light Plant to make a special feature of electric lighting in the evening. Several companies used this opportunity to make exhibits of their apparatus and for their equipment to be used for illumination. The Edison Lamps were used for displays in showcases and pavilions of exhibitors of the Park Building.
The collection contains photographs of the halls of the exposition and a poster which is a souvenir of the electrical display of the exposition. An official Guide of the Centennial Exposition of the Ohio Valley and Central States is included within the collection. (Series 4, Box 99), (Series 3, Box 42, Folder 4).
THE SUMMER CARNIVAL AND ELECTRICAL EXHIBITION, ST. JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK, 1889
The Summer Carnival and Electric Exhibition held at St. John, New Brunswick, Canada was to celebrate the opening of the Canadian Pacific Short Line to St. John and Portland. The Electrical Exhibition was the most popular of the displays present, containing the Monster Edison Lanm, the Mysterious Electric Fountain, and many other inventions.
The William J. Hammer Collection contains a poster that illustrates some of the leading exhibits at the Electrical Exhibition (Series 4, Box 99).
PARIS UNIVERSAL EXPOSITION OF 1889
The Universal Exposition of 1889 held in Paris was larger than all previous expositions held there. The famous Eiffel Tower was its principal attraction.
A large portion of the exhibit hall within the Palace of Mechanical Industries contained Thomas Edison's electrical inventions, including various electric lamps for use in houses. Variations of the telephone also were shown. During the Paris Exposition Europeans were exposed to the phonograph for the first time. Hammer represented Edison's interests at the Paris Exhibition.
The collection contains articles from New York World, New York Herald and Electrical World on Edison's exhibits at the Paris Exposition (Series 3, Box 44, folder 6). A scrapbook of photographs from the exhibition showing exhibit buildings and halls and loose photographs showing Edison's exhibits are included in the collection (Series 4, Box 98).
THE CRYSTAL PALACE EXHIBITION OF 1892
The Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1892 was held in London. Hammer displayed a great variety of products in the machine room of the Electrical Exhibition. Sockets for controlling individual incandescent lamps on alternating currents and the Ward Arc Lamp for use on incandescent circuits were just a few of the items displayed. Edison's companies displayed specimens of all types of incandescent electric lamps for public and private illumination. They also displayed primary batteries for use in telegraphy, telephony, household work, and engines.
The William, J. Hammer Collection contains a variety of photographs of the electrical exhibition. The Official Catalogue and Guide of the Electrical Exhibition is also contained within the collection (Series 4, Box 99), (Series 3, Folder 2, Box 42).
LOUISIANA PURCHASE EXPOSITION, 1904
The Louisiana Purchase Expostition of 1904, held in St. Louis, Missouri from April 30 to December 1, celebrated the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase. The nineteen million people who attended made it the largest exposition ever. The year 1904 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of Edison's invention of the carbon filament lamp and central power station system.
F.J.V. Skiff, the exhibits classifier for the fair, developed a twofold classificatory arrangement. He organized exhibits in a sequential synopsis corresponding to the sixteen different departments of the exposition. The principal exhibition buildings were built in the shape of a fan. The departments of education, art, liberal arts, and applied sciences-including electricity - headed the classification, Skiff noted, because they "equip man for the battle and prepare him for the enjoyments of life.' Departments devoted to displays of raw materials such as agriculture, horticulture, !inning, forestry, fish and game came next. Anthropology, social economy, and physical culture concluded the classification.
The Hammer collection contains photographs of Hammer with other Chairmen of Domestic and Foreign Jurors of the Electricity Section of the International Jury of Awards of the Louisiana Exposition and Hammer as chairman of the jury on telegraphy, telephony, and wireless. (Series 4, Box 102). A pamphlet by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company on the exhibit of the Radiophone at the Department of Applied Science is also part of the collection (Series 3, Box 42, Folder 5).
THE PANAMA-PACIFIC EXPOSITION OF 1915
The Panama Pacific Exposition celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal and the four hundredth anniversary of the European discovery of the Pacific Ocean. It was held in San Francisco from February 20 to December 4, 1915. Approximately nineteen million people attended the exposition.
The eleven main buildings of the exposition were grouped around a central court of the Sun and Stars at the entrance of which was the famous Tower of Jewels. The main group of exhibits comprised the Palaces of Education, Liberal Arts, Manufactures, Varied Industries, Mines,
Transportation, Agriculture, Horticulture and all kinds of food products. During the exposition special days were set aside to honor industrialists Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. The Pacific Gas and Electric Company provided a large searchlight to flash out a Morse code greeting on the nighttime sky for their arrival.
The William J. Hammer Collection contains a pamphlet on the "Illumination of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition." The pamphlet describes the lighting of the exposition, and the use of arc lamps ' searchlights, incandescent electric lamps, and gas lamps (Series 4, Box 99), (Series 3, Box 43).
Collection donated by IBM, 1962.
Collection is open for research.
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.
The collection consists of correspondence (both of Nicola Tesla and Kenneth Swezey), copies of patents, articles, pamphlets, brochures, stamps, newsletters, and manuscripts, from 1890-1972 collected and assembled by Swezey.
Scope and Contents:
The Swezey papers are divided into four series: Series 1: Correspondence and Subject Files, Series 2: Tesla Photographs, Series 3: Publications and Series 4: Research Notes. Series 4: Research Notes is housed in a small metal box and contains Swezey's research notes presumably for his incomplete biography of Tesla. Series 1: Correspondence and Subjects Files is arranged alphabetically and is composed of correspondence, copies of patents, articles, pamphlets, brochures, stamps, newsletters and manuscripts. The folders within this series are titled and include a diverse combination of correspondence between Swezey and Tesla, and between Swezey and his colleagues, companies, government officials, museum curators, and Tesla's admirers. Box 19 contains photographs of Tesla, his inventions, his laboratories and personal photographs. Boxes 20-26 include bibliographies, biographies and articles.
The collection is strong in articles from magazines such as Electrical Experimentor, newspaper clippings, articles regarding electricity, power, radio, pamphlets, and brochures.
The collection generally follows Swezey's arrangement and is somewhat inconsistent in terms of organization. However, the folder titles are fairly specific and should give the researcher direction. The materials within the folders are arranged chronologically. While some photo prints have been placed together in Series 2, there are also a large number of photo prints throughout the collection, according to Swezey's original arrangement.
The collection provides an overview of Tesla's unusual personality and Swezey's intense preoccupation with Tesla. The collection also provides insight into Tesla's way of life, philosophies, personality and a general overview of his inventions and how society reacted to this prolific and unusual inventor.
The collection is divided into four series.
Series 1: Correspondence and Subject Files, 1891-1988
Series 2: Tesla Photographs, 1983; 1943
Series 3: Publications, 1959-1970
Series 4: Research Notes, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was born in Smiljan, Lika, now Yugoslavia and emigrated to America in 1884. He worked at the Edison Machine Works as a dynamo designer where he was promised a salary of $18.00 a week, with a completion bonus of $50,000. He realized at the end of the year the bonus had been a practical joke and he resigned.
By 1887, he accumulated enough money to build a laboratory and start working on models of motors. Shortly thereafter, he developed his famous polyphase, alternating current motor, using an alternating current instead of the direct current used up until this point. Tesla's motor kept "exact step with the rotations of the field, regardless of load; this was the first polyphase synchronous motor." (Science, Swezey, vol. 127 p.1149) The induction motor which he later invented developed a high torque in starting, built up speed, and could maintain speed with varying loads. In 1888, Tesla received his first patents from the U.S. Patent Office.
George Westinghouse quickly recognized Tesla's lucrative ideas, and hired him. Westinghouse was awarded the important Niagara Falls Power contract using Tesla's patents for his turbine engine utilizing the polyphase system. After a year, despite his very high salary with Westinghouse, Tesla decided to go back to working in his private lab in New York. He experimented with high frequency currents which led to many discoveries, including the famous Tesla coil the forerunner of fluorescent and neon lighting.
At the same time he started delving in the new field of science, telautomatics, now called automation. He built and demonstrated model boats controlled by wireless radio impulses and the first radio controlled torpedo (the forerunner of the guided missile)
One of Tesla's dreams was to transmit electric signals all over the world without using wires . In 1899, he began building a demonstration plant for wireless transmission at his Shoreham, Long Island laboratory. Despite never completing the plant due to lack of funds, his vision earned him the name "father of radio".
In Tesla's latter years he worked on inventions and ideas which he could not afford to develop and became more eccentric and withdrawn from society. He died January 7, 1943 at the age of 87.
Although Tesla was well regarded in his time, he was never revered in this country as he was in Yugoslavia. Most of Tesla's original documents and correspondence are in Belgrade, Yugoslavia at the Nikola Tesla Museum. The Library of Congress Manuscript Division holds 7 reels of microfilm of these materials.
Kenneth M. Swezey (1905-1972) wrote for the New York Sun in his late teens and early twenties. At this time he met and became friends with Nikola Tesla. Swezey regarded him as an unsung electrical genius and collected Tesla materials from 1921-1972. In his capacity as writer for various publications he frequently wrote about Tesla and his scientific advancements. Privately he spent a large part of his time memorializing him, eg. he started the Tesla Society. He also organized anniversary celebrations commemorating Tesla, etc.
Swezey also wrote science books, among them: Formulas, Methods, Tips and Data for Home and Workshop, 1969; Science Shows You How, 1964 and After Dinner Science. When Mr. Swezey died in 1972, the Smithsonian Institution acquired his collection.
Kenneth Swezey felt that the United States should honor Tesla and spent most of his life trying to memorialize him. He was instrumental in organizing a celebration of Tesla's 75th anniversary with the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, soliciting admiring statements from both individuals and corporations, for the unpublished pamphlet, "Tribute to Nikola Tesla." Some of Mr. Swezey's other Tesla related activities included: forming the Tesla Society, organizing and designing the 100th anniversary celebration, successfully lobbying for the naming of ships, schools, and a unit of measurement after Tesla, and the striking of a stamp commemorating Tesla.
The collection was donated by Robert MacCrate, Attorney, Sullivan and Cromwell in 1972.
Collection is open for research.
Series 1: Leland Anderson correspondence, box 2 is restricted by the donor until 2030.
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.
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Destini T. Riley, Nicholas Pilarski, Lattina Lennon Riley, Sarah M. Bassett, Kathleen Lingo and The New York Times Company
United States of America -- New York -- Westchester County -- Bedford
Scope and Contents:
Lockwood Garden related holdings consist of 2 folders (19 35 mm. slides; 2 photoprints; 1 120 mm. transparency; 29 negatives), The folders include worksheets, an abbreviated garden plan, a plan of the parterre garden, photocopies of articles about the garden, and a letter from Henrietta Lockwood to Nelva M. Weber.
This garden in Westchester County was established in 1938 on an old farm. The owners, John and Henrietta Lockwood, began a process of remodeling, design, and land development that continued for over 60 years until Mrs. Lockwood's death. Growing places may be found throughout the multi-acre property (of the eventual 100+ acres all but 13 have been deeded to a local nature conservancy). A lean-to greenhouse on the north end of the kitchen wing provides the winter display area for streptocarpus, camellias and other potted plants. It is here that seeds of all sorts are sown and grown under fluorescent light until they are large enough to be taken to the much larger greenhouse across the drive. A winding path through a grassy meadow planted with apple trees leads from the house to the flower and vegetable gardens. The site now features a patterned design based on a medieval, four-part parterre garden--two diamond shapes and two round--using bricks as edging for the beds, and also includes four iron umbrella tripods that serve as supports for clematis. Beyond the flower garden is an extensive vegetable garden and berry patch that produce fresh summer harvests for the table as well as the freezer. Many varieties of clematis are found tumbling informally atop stone walls, weaving through bushes and climbing obediently up the tan house walls, reflecting the owner's passion for this plant. Daphne is another particular favorite.
Each fall on the east side of the guest house an ingenious portable greenhouse is erected to house many tender potted plants, particularly winter-flowering camellias. Nearby a rock ledge forms a terrace for the guest house; beyond is a severe drop into the cool, dark woods. Featured plants in this area include yellow corydalis, mimosa trees, ferns, and woodland flowers. Just outside the guest house potted fig trees and an arbor of grapes provide shade. Inside the main house is a tiny greenhouse. To the rear of the house, along the edge of the brick terrace, blue pansies bloom with spring flowers and are later joined by pots of standard fuchsias and roses. The old well house still stands in the middle of a brick terrace surround by white alyssum volunteers. Beautiful clay pots of unusual collected plants are everywhere. This is a perfect country garden with its meadow views and unusual plant combinations, a tribute to its owners' lifelong devotion to its design, development, and care.
Persons associated with the garden include: John E. and Henrietta Sedgwick Lockwood (former owners, 1938-2001); the Bulloch family (former owners, before 1938); Nelva M. Weber (landscape architect); and Robin Zitter (horticulturist and gardener, 1984 to date).
See others in:
Maida Babson Adams American Garden Collection, ca. 1960-1994.
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