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The Tree: Stele

Artist:
Raoul Ubac, Belgian, b. Malmedy, Wallonia, 1910–1985  Search this
Medium:
Slate on wood base
Dimensions:
64 1/8 x 38 1/2 x 18 in. (162.9 x 97.8 x 45.7 cm)
Type:
Sculpture
Date:
1961
Credit Line:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1972
Accession Number:
72.303
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Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/py25becc9dd-276c-4ca6-913e-6e5a23fa160c
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hmsg_72.303

Diptych: Study of the Human Body -- From a Drawing by Ingres

Artist:
Francis Bacon, British, b. Dublin, Ireland, 1909–1992  Search this
Medium:
Oil and transfer type on canvas
Dimensions:
left panel: 78 1/8 × 58 1/4 in. (198.2 × 147.9 cm) right panel: 78 1/8 × 58 1/4 in. (198.2 × 147.5 cm)
Type:
Painting
Date:
1982-1984
Credit Line:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Gift of Marlborough International Fine Art and the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation, by exchange, 1989
Accession Number:
89.21
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Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection
School:
School of London
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/py2c5ece9ec-c279-48c2-8082-6fc49c7fd756
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hmsg_89.21

Little Horse

Artist:
Georges Braque, French, b. Argenteuil, 1882–1963  Search this
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
7 1/2 x 2 x 7 in. (19 x 5 x 17.7 cm) BASE: 1 1/2 x 2 1/4 x 5 3/4in. (3.8 x 5.7 x 14.6cm)
Type:
Sculpture
Date:
1939/(cast 1955)
Credit Line:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966
Accession Number:
66.615
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Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/py20d2c9d77-bc24-485b-bdb0-ca7ad190ac2d
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hmsg_66.615

The White Peacock

Artist:
Jean Chauvin, French, b. Rochefort–sur–Mer, 1889–1976  Search this
Medium:
Stone
Dimensions:
13 x 8 1/2 x 7 7/8 in. (32.7 x 21.5 x 19.8 cm) base: 2 7/8 in. (7.3 cm) high
Type:
Sculpture
Date:
(1946)
Credit Line:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966
Accession Number:
66.892
See more items in:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/py2804401ce-f2bb-42d2-bd39-04971b874a8e
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hmsg_66.892

Big Black Disc

Artist:
Alexander Calder, American, b. Lawnton, Pennsylvania, 1898–1976  Search this
Medium:
Ink on paper
Dimensions:
19 1/16 × 24 15/16 in. (48.4 × 63.3 cm)
Type:
Drawing
Date:
(c. 1930)
Credit Line:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, The Joseph H. Hirshhorn Bequest, 1981
Accession Number:
86.727
See more items in:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection
School:
American Abstraction (Mid-Century)
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/py24bbf7fee-5afb-41c1-b55b-857ec4456aba
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hmsg_86.727

Elephant

Artist:
Alexander Calder, American, b. Lawnton, Pennsylvania, 1898–1976  Search this
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
6 X 4 X 9 3/8 IN. (15.2 X 10.1 X 23.7 CM.)
Type:
Sculpture
Date:
(1930/cast 1966)
Credit Line:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, The Joseph H. Hirshhorn Bequest, 1981
Accession Number:
86.742
See more items in:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection
School:
American Abstraction (Mid-Century)
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/py26ee31c17-9828-4711-ab1d-ba8a8644efd8
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hmsg_86.742

Nude Seated on Her Hands

Artist:
Alexander Calder, American, b. Lawnton, Pennsylvania, 1898–1976  Search this
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
4 1/4 X 5 5/8 X 6 1/8 IN. (10.6 X 14.4 X 16.7 CM.)
Type:
Sculpture
Date:
(1930/cast 1966)
Credit Line:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, The Joseph H. Hirshhorn Bequest, 1981
Accession Number:
86.743
See more items in:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection
School:
American Abstraction (Mid-Century)
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/py2c95b27a5-4733-4c70-82db-0311fc620809
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hmsg_86.743

Acrobat (The Weight Lifter)

Artist:
Alexander Calder, American, b. Lawnton, Pennsylvania, 1898–1976  Search this
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
8 1/2 X 6 7/8 X 1 1/2 IN. (23.2 X 17.3 X 3.7 CM.) ON BASE: 7/8 X 8 X 3 1/2 IN. (2.2 X 20.2 X 8.9 CM.)
Type:
Sculpture
Date:
(1930/cast 1966)
Credit Line:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, The Joseph H. Hirshhorn Bequest, 1981
Accession Number:
86.745
See more items in:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection
School:
American Abstraction (Mid-Century)
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/py284d79c9d-b4d5-4f8c-8026-777a96de5296
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hmsg_86.745

Horse I

Artist:
Alexander Calder, American, b. Lawnton, Pennsylvania, 1898–1976  Search this
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
4 X 4 1/4 X 8 1/4 IN. (10.2 X 10.8 X 20.9 CM.)
Type:
Sculpture
Date:
(1930/cast 1966)
Credit Line:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, The Joseph H. Hirshhorn Bequest, 1981
Accession Number:
86.747
See more items in:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection
School:
American Abstraction (Mid-Century)
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/py26aea8892-bf5e-4cc1-8124-a3dac4fb0fd8
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hmsg_86.747

Donkey

Artist:
Alexander Calder, American, b. Lawnton, Pennsylvania, 1898–1976  Search this
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
4 1/2 X 1 7/8 X 6 IN. (11.5 X 4.7 X 15.1 CM.)
Type:
Sculpture
Date:
(1930/cast 1966)
Credit Line:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, The Joseph H. Hirshhorn Bequest, 1981
Accession Number:
86.750
See more items in:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection
School:
American Abstraction (Mid-Century)
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/py22d9799f0-f14f-455e-95f8-1fa6012499b9
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hmsg_86.750

Hans Hofmann papers

Creator:
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Names:
Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts  Search this
Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts (Provincetown, Mass.)  Search this
Amgott, Madeline  Search this
Dickey, Tina, 1954-  Search this
Hawthorne, Charles Webster, 1872-1930  Search this
Hofmann, Maria, 1885-1963  Search this
Hofmann, Renate Schmitz, 1930-1992  Search this
Mauer, Alfred  Search this
Extent:
29.92 Linear feet
5 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Scrapbooks
Transcripts
Interviews
Photographs
Date:
circa 1904-2011
Summary:
The papers of painter, teacher, and writer Hans Hofmann measure 29.92 linear feet and 5.00 GB and date from circa 1904 to 2011, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1945 to 2000. The majority of the papers were created after 1932 and document Hofmann's life and professional career after settling in the United States. Among his papers are personal and professional correspondence; records of his schools in Munich, New York City, and Provincetown, Mass.; writings and notes; financial records; photographs; printed matter; estate records; and a small number of personal papers of his second wife, Renate Schmitz Hofmann. Hofmann's personal papers are augmented by a large selection of printed matter, including exhibition catalogs, articles, news clippings, and monographs about Hofmann and modern art, as well as documentary projects including Tina Dickey's compilation of oral histories and records of Hofmann's students, and research materials, sound and video recordings, digital material, and motion picture film created and gathered by Madeline Amgott during the production of two video documentaries about Hans Hofmann released in 1999 and 2002. Hofmann's Library was acquired with his papers; inscribed/annotated volumes have been retained with the collection.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter, teacher, and writer Hans Hofmann measure 29.92 linear feet and 5.00 GB and date from circa 1904 to 2011, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1945 to 2000. The majority of the papers were created after 1932 and document Hofmann's life and professional career after settling in the United States. Among his papers are personal and professional correspondence; records of his schools in Munich, New York City, and Provincetown, Mass.; writings and notes; photographs; address and appointment books; artifacts; artwork; biographical information; interview transcripts; sales and estate records; and a small number of personal papers of his second wife, Renate Schmitz Hofmann. Hofmann's personal papers are augmented by a large selection of printed matter, including exhibition catalogs, articles, news clippings, and monographs about Hofmann and modern art, as well as documentary projects including Tina Dickey's compilation of oral histories and records of Hofmann's students, and research materials, sound and video recordings, digital materials, and motion picture film created and gathered by Madeline Amgott during the production of two video documentaries about Hans Hofmann released in 1999 and 2002. Hofmann's Library was acquired with his papers; inscribed/annotated volumes have been retained with the collection.

Correspondence, 1914-1966 (Series 1), consists mainly of incoming letters about professional matters and personal business. A large portion of the letters are from museum directors and curators regarding the exhibition, loan, sale or donation of Hofmann's work; publishers, editors, and others preparing catalogs or biographical works; and galleries that showed Hofmann's paintings or represented him. Also among the correspondents are students and former students, art historians, art critics, fans, and friends. Family correspondents are a sister-in-law, nieces, and a nephew in Germany. Additional correspondence concerning administrative matters, and requests for catalogs, transcripts and recommendations are among the Records of the School of Fine Arts (Series 2). Financial Records (Series 4) contain a small amount of correspondence regarding banking, taxes, and Social Security. Estate Records (Series 9) include correspondence relating to taxes, the sale of Hofmann's Provincetown house, and various legal documents. Correspondence among the Papers of Renate Schmitz Hofmann (Series 10) include condolence letters, and a small number of personal letters and business correspondence regarding Hofmann's estate.

School of Fine Arts Records, 1915-1965 (Series 2), include a very small number of items relating to the Hans Hofmann Schule fur Bildende Kunst that operated in Munich from 1915 until 1933. These are printed prospectuses, a financial record, 1925; and "Italian Schools of Painting: The Renaissance in Italy," a printed chart, probably used as a teaching aid. Other items relating to the Munich school are photographs (Series 6) of Hans Hofmann with students in the 1920s, including some taken during the summer course in Capri, circa 1925. Travel photographs, 1920s, may have been taken while teaching summer courses in Europe, and an unidentified photograph, undated, of an exhibition installation in Germany may be school-related.

The Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts was established in New York in 1933, and his summer school in Provincetown, Mass., opened in 1934; both operated continually until Hofmann closed them in 1958 in order to paint full-time. Records of these schools are more substantial, but still quite incomplete. They consist of administrative files containing accreditation records, correspondence, model bookings, inquiries from prospective students, and printed matter about the schools. Financial records are comprised of expense statements and an analysis of income from the 1956 summer session. Student records consist of student ledgers, registration and payment records, and requests for transcripts and recommendations. Miscellaneous items are student artwork and notes. Records postdating the schools' closing are inquiries from prospective students and requests from former students for transcripts or recommendations. Additional letters from former students about matters other than transcripts and recommendations are filed with Correspondence (Series 1).

Writings, circa 1904-1965 (Series 3), are published and unpublished manuscripts by Hans Hofmann and other authors. Hoffman wrote extensively about his philosophy of painting, about himself as a teacher and an artist, and about modern art. Included are manuscripts, drafts, and revisions of Hofmann's book, Das Malerbuch: Form und Farbe in Gestaltung, circa 1904-[1952?], Search for the Real in the Visual Arts and Other Essays, published in 1948, and The Painter and His Problems-A Manual Dedicated to Painting, 1963. Articles and Essays include the constituent essays of Search for the Real in the Visual Arts and Other Essays and others on theoretical aspects of painting, Alfred Maurer, and Charles W. Hawthorne. Talks and Lectures consist of notes, outlines, and some complete texts of Hofmann's speeches. Miscellaneous Writings are shorter, informative pieces, mostly unpublished. Representative titles include: "I Am Often Asked to Explain My Work," 1946, and "About the Relation of Students and Teachers," undated. Poems by Hofmann include some written to Miz Hofmann. Notes and Lists include notes on specific works of art and lists of paintings for exhibitions, framing, and shipping.

Financial Records, 1927-1966 (Series 4), consist mainly of banking records and tax returns with supporting documentation. There are also statements of assets and liabilities, and a few subject files concerning financial matters such as "House Expenses," "Social Security," and "University of California-Financial Standing With." Additional tax records are among the documents of the Estate of Hans Hofmann (Series 9), and expenses are recorded in his 1932 appointment book (Series 5).

Miscellaneous Records, 1906-1966 (Series 5) include Addresses and Appointment Books. Artifacts are a leather wallet and 6 photogravure blocks. Artwork consists of 4 sketches and block prints of 3 red shapes, one the numeral 5. Included with Biographical Information are birth and marriage certificates, immigration and naturalization papers, wills, Hofmann and Wolfegg family documents, biographical notes and chronologies, and a bibliography of writings on and by Hofmann. Interview Transcripts are of 3 interviews with Hofmann conducted for various purposes. Sales Records include lists of paintings sold through galleries and privately, and a list of prices computed by canvas size.

Photographs, circa 1925-1966 (Series 6) are of People, Events, Places, Works of Art, and Miscellaneous Subjects; also, Oversize Photographs. People include views of Hofmann alone and with Miz, students, and others; Miz Hofmann; Renate Schmitz Hofmann; and the Hofmann family. Also, there are pictures of identified and unidentified individuals and groups. Events recorded are "Forum 49" at Gallery 200, exhibition installations, openings, and ceremonies for honorary degrees awarded Hofmann. Photographs of places include Miz Hofmann's Munich apartment; interior and exterior views of Hofmann's Provincetown house; exterior views of the Provincetown school; Hofmann's New York studio; and unidentified houses and landscapes. Travel pictures are of Italy, Mexico, California [?], and unidentified locations. Photographs of works of art by Hofmann are mainly 35-mm color slides of works completed from 1935 to 1965. There are also photographs of works by other artists and Hofmann students. Teaching materials are photographs of Old Masters paintings, drawings, and Classical sculpture, some marked to indicate line, form, or proportion. Miscellaneous subjects are a dog, cat, and doll; also, a cover design for Search for the Real in the Visual Arts. The oversize photographs include portraits of Hans Hofmann and Miz, and works of art by Hofmann students.

Printed Matter, 1930-1978 (Series 7), contains articles, essays and a letter to the editor by Hans Hofmann; the remaining material by other authors is categorized by type. Exhibition Catalogs and Related Items (mainly announcements and invitations), 1931-1978, undated, are from group and solo shows that featured the work of Hans Hofmann; also, catalogs and announcements of other artists' exhibitions collected by Hofmann. Newspaper clippings and articles from periodicals include reviews, feature articles, articles with brief references to Hofmann or reproductions of his work, and obituaries. Others are on art-related topics and miscellaneous subjects. Miscellaneous printed matter includes a variety of items such as brochures about art courses (not the Hofmann school), reproductions of works by Hofmann and other artists, book prospectuses, and statements. Art Museum: A Center for Cultural Study, a prospectus showing models and drawings of the proposed University Art Museum, Berkeley, notes the location of its Maria and Hans Hofmann Wing. A Scrapbook, 1944-1962, contains clippings, exhibition reviews, and some catalogs, checklists, and invitations. Nineteen books that mention or are about Hofmann are a part of this series.

Hans Hofmann's Library (Series 8) of art books and general literature was acquired with his papers. Inscribed and annotated volumes have been retained. Books about or mentioning Hofmann are among Printed Matter (Series 7). All other books and periodicals (376 items) were transferred to the Library of the Smithsonian's American Art Museum.

Estate of Hans Hofmann, 1945-1974 (Series 9), consists of records of Hofmann's attorney and co-executor, Robert Warshaw, and includes correspondence and legal documents concerning taxes, the Provincetown house, and miscellaneous business matters.

Papers of Renate Schmitz Hofmann, 1962-1967 (Series 10), include notes, correspondence, condolence letters and records regarding Hans Hofmann's funeral, and information about the theft of Hofmann paintings from his Provincetown house in 1966.

Hans Hofmann Documentary Projects, 1944-2011 (Series 11) includes research materials compiled by Tina Dickey concerning Hofmann's students, correspondence as well as primary source and supplementary research materials produced and gathered by Madeline Amgott for two video documentaries on Hofmann released in 1999 and 2002. Original and edited audiovisual recordings are included in the series, as well as primary source material gathered from a variety of sources. Some material is in digital format.
Arrangement:
The Hans Hofmann papers are arranged into 11 series. Correspondence (Series 1), Financial Records (Series 4), and Papers of Renate Schmitz Hofmann (Series 10) are arranged alphabetically by folder title. Unless noted otherwise, material within each folder is arranged chronologically.

Series 1: Correspondence, 1914-1966 (3 linear feet; Box 1-3)

Series 2: School of Fine Arts records, 1915-1965 (2 linear feet; Box 4-5)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1904-1965 (2.5 linear feet; Box 6-8)

Series 4: Financial records, 1927-1966 (0.5 linear feet; Box 8)

Series 5: Miscellaneous records, 1906-1966 (0.8 linear feet; Box 9)

Series 6: Photographic materials, circa 1925-1965 (1.5 linear feet; Box 9-10, Box 19, MGP 1)

Series 7: Printed material, 1928-1978 (5.2 linear feet; Box 11-15, Box 20)

Series 8: Hans Hofmann Library (2.5 linear feet; Box 16-18, Box 20)

Series 9: Estate of Hans Hofmann, 1945-1974 (0.5 linear feet; Box 18)

Series 10: Papers of Renate Schmitz Hofmann, 1962-1967 (0.1 linear feet; Box 18)

Series 11: Hans Hofmann Documentary Projects, 1944-2011 (12.3 linear feet; Box 19, 21-31, FC 32-44, 5.00 GB; ER01-ER04)
Biographical Note:
German-born Hans Hofmann (1880-1966), a leading figure of the 20th century art world, was the first painter to be called an Abstract Expressionist. An esteemed and influential teacher, Hofmann operated his own school in Munich and later in New York City and Provincetown, Mass. He wrote extensively on theoretical aspects of modern art, and about himself as an artist and teacher, and was in demand as a speaker. Hofmann alternated among a variety of styles and techniques throughout his career. Many paintings combine Fauve-inspired color and Cubist structure; influenced by the Surrealist's automatism, much of Hofmann's abstract work often uses poured and spattered paint.

Johann (Hans) Georg Albert Hofmann showed musical and artistic talent as a boy and excelled in the study of science and mathematics. Technical knowledge acquired through working as assistant to the Director of Public Works of the State of Bavaria enabled him, while still a teenager, to invent several mechanical devices. Hofmann attended Moritz Heymann's Munich art school in 1898. Willi Schwarz, one of his teachers during this period, introduced him to Impressionism, and by visiting galleries Hofmann's awareness of contemporary art movements expanded. Schwarz also introduced him to art collector Phillip Freudenberg whose patronage made a move to Paris possible.

Hofmann arrived in Paris in 1904 and began attending evening sketch classes at the Académie Colarossi and the Académie de la Chaumière where Matisse was among his fellow students. During his 10 years in Paris, Hofmann established a close friendship with Robert Delaunay and met Braque, Arthur B. Carles, Léger, Picasso, and Leo Stein. He painted Cubist landscapes, still lifes, and figure studies, and participated in group shows with Neue Sezessions, Berlin, 1908 and 1909. In 1910, the Paul Cassierer Gallery, Berlin, presented Hofmann's first solo exhibition.

When World War I broke out, Hofmann was visiting Germany. War conditions prevented his return to Paris and terminated Freudenberg's financial assistance. Disqualified for military service due to a lung condition, Hofmann decided to earn his living by teaching. The Hans Hofmann Schule für Bildende Kunst in Munich opened in 1915 and was a success from its earliest days. Beginning in 1917, summer courses were offered in locations such as Italy, France, Bavaria, and Dalmatia. After the war, Hofmann's school began to attract American students including Carl Holty, Alfred Jensen, Louise Nevelson, Worth Ryder, Vaclav Vytlacil, and Glenn Wessels.

Hofmann first came to the United States in 1930, when former student Worth Ryder, art department chairman at the University of California, Berkeley, invited him to teach the summer session at Berkeley. He returned to California the following year, teaching a semester at the Chouinard School of Art, Los Angeles, followed by another summer session at Berkeley. Hofmann moved to New York in 1932 because of the political situation at home and at the urging of his wife, who was to remain in Germany until 1939.

While Hofmann served as guest instructor at the Thurn School of Art, Gloucester, Mass., during the summers of 1932 and 1933, his Munich school offered summer sessions taught by Edmund Daniel Kinzinger. Its 1933 prospectus noted, "Mr. Hofmann will probably conduct the summer school personally..." But he did not return, and the school closed in the fall of 1933.

Hofmann taught at Art Students League in the fall of 1932. The Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts opened in New York City in the autumn of 1933, operating in several locations before moving to permanent quarters at 52 West 8th Street in 1938. He established the summer school at Provincetown, Mass. in 1934. Firsthand knowledge of Picasso, Matisse, and european modern art trends, along with his theories and the freedom he offered students, made Hofmann a widely admired, influential, and important teacher. Among his students were: Burgoyne Diller, Ray Eames, Helen Frankenthaler, Red Grooms, Harry Holtzman, Allen Kaprow, Lillian Kiesler, Lee Krasner, George McNeil, Irene Rice Pereira, and Richard Stankiewicz. In addition, art critic Clement Greenberg was significantly influenced by Hofmann's lectures on artistic theory. Both schools flourished until Hofmann decided to close them in 1958; after teaching for 43 consecutive years, he wanted to paint full-time.

In his writings, Hofmann expanded on theories regarding form, color, and space developed during his years in Paris. His most important text, Das Malerbuch: Form und Farbe in Gestaltung, based on notes begun in Paris circa 1904, was written during his second summer at Berkeley, 1931. That same year, Glenn Wessels translated it into English as Creation in Form and Color. Although Hofmann produced additional notes and revisions over the next two decades, the manuscript remains unpublished. Hofmann wrote essays and articles, many of which were published. A collection of Hofmann's writings, Search for the Real and Other Essays, was published in conjunction with his 1948 retrospective exhibition at the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Mass., the first solo show of an Abstract Expressionist to be organized by a museum. Other published and unpublished articles, essays, and shorter writings that elucidate his theoretical concerns include: "The Mystification of the Two- and Three-Dimensional in the Visual Arts," 1946; "Pictorial Function of Colours," 1950; "Space Pictorially Realized Through the Intrinsic Faculty of the Colours to Express Volume," 1951; "The Color Problem in Pure painting-Its Creative Origin," 1955; "The Creative Process-Its Physical and Metaphysical Performing," 1956; "Nature as Experience and Its Pictorial Realization," undated; and "Pure Colour Space," undated.

Hofmann's lectures to his own students, and talks presented to art groups and the general public addressed many of the same themes. He gave his first American lecture in 1930 at the University of Minnesota, and presented talks to a variety of groups while in California. Hofmann was a frequent speaker at the Provincetown Art Association, and participated in the "Forum 49" series he helped to organize at Gallery 200 in Provincetown, 1949.

In the last decade of his life, Hofmann produced a large number of paintings. He was represented in the XXX Venice Biennale, 1960, and major retrospective exhibitions were organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1957, and the Museum of Modern Art, 1963. In 1963, he made a gift of 45 paintings to the University of California, Berkeley, and funded construction of a wing to house them in the soon-to-be-built University Art Museum. Hans Hofmann died in New York City on Feb. 17, 1966.

1880 -- Hans Hofmann is born in Weissenburg, Bavaria, on 21 March, the son of Theodor and Franziska Hofmann.

1886 -- The family moves to Munich, where Theodor becomes a government official. Hans studies mathematics, science, and music at the gymnasium. He plays the violin, piano and organ and begins to draw.

1896 -- With his father's help, finds a position as assistant to the director of public works of the State of Bavaria. Develops his technical knowledge of mathematics, resulting in several scientific inventions, including an electromagnetic comptometer.

1898 -- Studies with Willi Schwarz at Moritz Heymann's art school in Munich, where he is introduced to Impressionism.

1900 -- Meets Maria (Miz) Wolfegg, his future wife.

1903 -- Through Willi Schwarz, he meets the nephew of a Berlin collector, Philipp Freudenberg, who becomes his patron from 1904-1914 and enables him to live in Paris.

1904 -- Frequents the Café du Dome, a haunt of artists and writers, with Jules Pascin, a friend from Moritz Heymann's school. Miz joins him in Paris. Attends evening sketch class at the Académie de la Grand Chaumière and the Académie Colarossi. Meets Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Henri Matisse.

1908 -- Exhibits with the Neue Sezession in Berlin and again in 1909. Miz designs scarves with Sonia Delaunay (then Sonia Uhde).

1910 -- First one-person exhibition held at Paul Cassirer Gallery, Berlin. Meets Robert Delaunay, with whom he designs patterns for Sonia Delaunay's Cubist fashions. During their close friendship, both men develop as colorists.

1914 -- Hans and Miz leave Paris for Corsica so that Hans can regain his health during a bout of what turned out to be tuberculosis. Called to Germany by the illness of his sister Rosa, they are caught on the Tegernsee by the outbreak of World War I.

1915 -- Disqualified for the army due to the after effects of his lung condition, and with the assistance of Freudenberg terminated by the war, Hofmann decides to earn a living teaching. In the spring, he opens the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts at 40 Georgenstrasse, Munich.

1918-29 -- After the war his school becomes known abroad and attracts foreign students such as Worth Ryder, Glenn Wessels, Louise Nevelson, Vaclav Vytlacil, Carl Holty, Alfred Jensen, and Ludwig Sander. Holds summer session at Tegernsee, Bavaria (1922), Ragusa (1924), Capri (1925-1927), St. Tropez (1928-1929). Makes frequent trips to Paris. Has little time to paint but draws continually.

1924 -- Marries Miz Wolfegg on 5 June.

1929 -- A series of his drawings is reproduced by a photographic process known as Lichtdrucke.

1930 -- At the invitation of Worth Ryder, teaches in a summer session at the University of California, Berkeley, where Ryder is chairman of the Department of Art. Returns to Munich for the winter.

1931 -- In the spring, teaches at the Chouinard School of Art, Los Angeles, and again at Berkeley in the summer. Wessels helps him with the first translation of his book Form und Farbe in der Gestaltung, begun in 1904. Exhibits a series of drawings at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, his first show in the United States.

1932 -- Returns to the Chouinard School of Art in the summer. Advised by Miz not to return to Munich because of a growing political hostility to intellectuals, settles in New York. Vaclav Vytlacil helps arrange a teaching position for him at the Art Students League.

1932-33 -- Summer sessions at the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts continue in St. Tropez (1932) and Murnau (1933), taught by Edmund Daniel Kinzinger. The school closes in the fall of 1933, and Miz gives up the lease in 1936.

1933 -- Spends the summer as guest instructor at the Thurn School of Art in Gloucester, Mass. In the fall, opens the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts at 444 Madison Avenue in New York. After a prolonged period of drawing, begins to paint again.

1934 -- Upon the expiration of his visa, travels to Bermuda to return with a permanent visa. Opens a summer school in Provincetown, Mass. The Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts opens at 137 East 57th Street in New York. In 1936, the Hofmann School moves to 52 West 9th Street.

1938 -- The Hofmann School moves to 52 West 8th Street. A planned European summer session (traveling to Paris, the Cote d'Azure, Italy, and Capri) is called off after Hitler moves into Austria in the Spring. Delivers a lecture series once a month at the school in the winter of 1938-39, which is attend by the vanguard of the New York art world, including Arshile Gorky and Clement Greenberg.

1939 -- Miz Hofmann arrives in America. After a stay in New Orleans, joins her husband in Provincetown. They spend five months each summer in Provincetown and the rest of the year in New York.

1941 -- Becomes an American citizen. Delivers an address at the annual meeting of the American Abstract Artists at the Riverside Museum. One-person exhibition at the Isaac Delgado Museum of Art, New Orleans.

1942 -- Hofmann's former student Lee Krasner introduces him to Jackson Pollock.

1944 -- First exhibition in New York at Art of This Century Gallery, arranged by Peggy Guggenheim. "Hans Hofmann, Paintings, 1941-1944" opens at the Arts Club in Chicago and travels on to the Milwaukee Art Institute in January 1945. Howard Putzel includes Hofmann in "Forty American Moderns" at 67 Gallery, New York. He is also included in "Abstract and Surrealist Art in America" at the Mortimer Brandt Gallery, New York (arranged by Sidney Janis in conjunction with publication of Janis's book of the same title).

1947 -- Exhibitions at Betty Parsons Gallery in New York, in Pittsburgh, and at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. The Texas show travels to Denton, Tex.; Norman, Okla.; and Memphis, Tenn. Begins to exhibit with the Kootz Gallery in New York. Kootz holds a one-person show of Hofmann's work each year until his death (with the exception of 1948 and 1956).

1948 -- Retrospective exhibition a the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Mass., in conjunction with publication of his book, Search For the Real and Other Essays.

1949 -- Travels to Paris to attend the opening of his exhibition at the Galerie Maeght and visits the studios of Picassso, Braque, Constantin Brancusi, and Joan Miro. Helps Fritz Bultman and Weldon Kees organize Forum 49, a summer series of lectures, panels, and exhibitions at Gallery 200 in Provincetown.

1950 -- Participates in a three-day symposium at Studio 35 in New York with William Baziotes, James Brooks, Willem de Kooning, Herbert Ferber, Theodoros Stamos, David Smith, and Bradley Walker Tomlin. Joins the "Irascibles"-a group of Abstract Expressionists-in an open letter protesting the exclusion of the avant-garde from an upcoming exhibition of American art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

1951 -- Juries the 60th Annual Exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago with Aline Louchheim and Peter Blume.

1954 -- One-person exhibition held at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

1955 -- Designs mosaic murals for the lobby of the new William Kaufmann Building, architect William Lescaze, at 711 Third Avenue, New York. Retrospective held at the Art Alliance in Philadelphia.

1957 -- Retrospective exhibitions held at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, which then travel to Des Moines, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Minneapolis, Utica, and Baltimore.

1958 -- Hofmann ceases teaching to devote himself full time to painting. He moves his studio into the New York and Provincetown schools. Completes a mosaic mural for the exterior of the New York School of Printing (Kelley and Gruzen, architects) at 439 West 49th Street.

1960 -- Represents the United States with Philip Guston, Franz Kline, and Theodore Roszak at the XXX Venice Biennale.

1962 -- Retrospective exhibition opens in Germany at the Frankische Galerie am Marientor, Nuremberg, and travels to the Kolnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, and the Kongreilhalle, Berlin. In Munich, Neue Galerie im Kunstlerhaus presents "Oils on Paper, 1961-1962." Awarded an honorary membership in the Akademie der Bildenden Kunste in Nuremberg and an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree by Dartmouth College in Hanover, N. H.

1963 -- Miz Hofmann dies. Retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art organized by William Seitz travels throughout the United States and internationally to locations in South America and Europe, including Stuttgart, Hamburg, and Bielefeld. Signs a historic agreement to donate 45 paintings to the University of California at Berkeley and to fund the construction of a gallery in his honor at the new university museum, then in the planning stage. The exhibition "Hans Hofmann and His Students," organized by the Museum of Modern Art, circulates in the United States and Canada.

1964 -- Awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley. Serves on the jury for the 1964 Solomon Guggenheim International Award. Becomes a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, New York. Renate Schmitz inspires the Renate series.

1965 -- Awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree by Pratt Institute, New York. Marries Renate Schmitz on 14 October.

1966 -- Hans Hofmann dies on 17 February in New York.
Related Material:
The holdings of the Archives of American Art include papers and oral history interviews of many former students and friends of Hofmann; among these collections are correspondence, photographs, reminiscences, writings, and printed items relating to Hofmann and his school. The Lillian Kiesler Papers, 1920s-1990s include records of the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts. Researchers are advised to conduct a name search in the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS).

Other Hans Hofmann Papers, 1929-1976 (1.65 linear ft.) are owned by The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley (Collection number: BANC MSS 80/27 c). An inventory is available on The Bancroft Library's website at http//www.lib.berkeley.edu/BANC/
Separated Materials:
Monographs and periodicals (376 items) from Hofmann's Library not directly related to the artist were transferred to the Library of the Smithsonian's American Art Museum in 2001. The Library retained relevant volumes, dispersed others to appropriate libraries within the Smithsonian Institution, and made final decisions regarding disposition of any remaining items.
Provenance:
Renate Schmitz Hofmann, widow of the artist, donated to the Archives of American Art 313 35-mm color slides of work by Hans Hofmann in 1974. The remainder of the collection was a gift of the Estate of Hans Hofmann in 1997. Tina Dickey donated her research material in 2000 and 2001 under the auspices of the Renate, Hans, and Maria Hofmann Trust. In 2006, additional manuscripts, notes, and illustrations for Hofmann's Das Malerbuch: Form und Farbe in der Gestaltung were received from the Trust. In 2015, the Trust donated additional correspondence, research and video production materials related to two documentaries on Hans Hofmann by Madeline Amgott. 13.0 linear ft. books, exhibition catalogs, and periodicals (376 items) from Hofmann's library, received with the collection, were transferred to the Smithsonian's American Art Museum-National Portrait Gallery Library.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
Max Spoerri interview: Authorization to quote or reproduce for purposes of publication requires written permission from Max Spoerri. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters  Search this
Art teachers  Search this
Topic:
Motion pictures (visual works)  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- Massachusetts  Search this
Art schools -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Art schools -- Massachusetts -- Provincetown  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art students -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Scrapbooks
Transcripts
Interviews
Photographs
Citation:
Hans Hofmann papers, circa 1904-2011, bulk 1945-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.hofmhans
See more items in:
Hans Hofmann papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-hofmhans
Online Media:

Agnes Rindge Claflin papers concerning Alexander Calder

Creator:
Claflin, Agnes Rindge, 1900-1977  Search this
Names:
Vassar College  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Potcards
Manuscripts
Photographs
Illustrated letters
Date:
1936-circa 1970s
Summary:
The papers of arts administrator, collector, and educator Agnes Rindge Claflin concerning Alexander Calder measure 0.2 linear feet and date from 1936-circa 1970s. Included are five letters, two of which are illustrated, and one postcard from Alexander Calder to Claflin; two handwritten manuscripts by Calder, one untitled and "A Propos of Measuring a Mobile," 1943; an invitation to a Calder exhibition at Galerie Maeght, Paris, 1952; and 14 photographs of Calder, of Calder and Claflin in Calder's studio, of Calder's art work, and of a Calder exhibition installation at Vassar Art Gallery, 1942. Transcriptions of three of the letters and both manuscripts are also included.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of arts administrator, collector, and educator Agnes Rindge Claflin concerning Alexander Calder measure 0.2 linear feet and date from 1936-circa 1970s. Included are five letters and one postcard from Alexander Calder to Claflin, two of which are illustrated; two handwritten manuscripts by Calder, one untitled and "A Propos of Measuring a Mobile," 1943; an invitation to a Calder exhibition at Galerie Maeght, Paris, 1952; and 14 photographs of Calder, of Calder and Claflin in Calder's studio, of Calder's art work, and of a Calder exhibition installation at Vassar Art Gallery, 1942. One photograph depicting an event is possibly the opening of the Calder exhibition at Vassar Art Gallery, 1942. Also included are two polaroid photographs most likely from the 1970s. Transcriptions of three of the letters and both manuscripts are also included.
Arrangement:
Due to the small size of the collection, items are organized into one series of 23 folders:

Series 1: Agnes Rindge Claflin Papers Concerning Alexander Calder, 1936-circa 1970s (Box 1; 23 folders)
Biographical Note:
Agnes Rindge Claflin (1900-1977) was an arts administrator, collector, and educator who spent the majority of her career at Vassar College as a professor and serving as director of its art gallery for 28 years.

Claflin was born Agnes Millicent Rindge in Grand Rapids, Michigan on May 19, 1900. She graduated from the Madeira School in 1917, attended Mount Holyoke College for two years, and graduated magna cum laude from Radcliffe College. Afterwards, Claflin briefly taught at Vassar College before returning to Radcliffe and earning her M.A. and Ph.D. She rejoined the Vassar College faculty in 1928 and served as the director of the Vassar Art Gallery from 1934-1962. Claflin published Sculpture in 1929 and in the 1930s she began writing articles for several different publications. At the request of Alfred Barr, she joined the Advisory Committee for the Museum of Modern Art in 1941 and became the Assistant Executive Vice President from 1943-1944. Claflin held a number of other positions in art organizations such as the Commission on Arts of the American Association of Colleges (1939), Art in America (1940-1943), Art Division of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs (1941-1942), American Federation of Arts (1944-1945), and Committee on Fellowships of the College Art Association (1945-1948). She married Philip W. Claflin, a captain in the U.S. Army, in 1945. Throughout her career, Claflin lectured at organizations and universities across the United States, including the Chicago Art Institute, Columbia University, New York University, Yale University, and many others. Agnes Claflin died on June 12, 1977.

Claflin and Calder were colleagues and friends. In 1942, the Vassar Art Gallery hosted a Calder exhibition installation. The following year, Claflin wrote and narrated a short film, "Alexander Calder: Sculpture and Constructions," which was presented with the Museum of Modern Art's Calder exhibition of the same year.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art holds several collections related to the Agnes Rindge Claflin papers concerning Alexander Calder, including the Alexander Calder papers which have been fully digitized; Alexander Calder letters and photographs microfilmed on reel 4781; Alexander Calder letter microfilmed on reel 2787, frames 963-970; and an oral history interview with Alexander Calder, October 26, 1971, available as a transcript online.
Provenance:
The collection was donated in 1981 by Philip W. Claflin, widower of Agnes Rindge Claflin.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
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:
Arts administrators -- New York (State)  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Genre/Form:
Potcards
Manuscripts
Photographs
Illustrated letters
Citation:
Agnes Rindge Claflin papers concerning Alexander Calder, 1936-circa 1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.clafagne
See more items in:
Agnes Rindge Claflin papers concerning Alexander Calder
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-clafagne
Online Media:

Perls Galleries records

Creator:
Perls Galleries  Search this
Names:
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Fujikawa Gallery  Search this
Galerie Maeght  Search this
James Corcoran Gallery  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
National Gallery of Art (U.S.)  Search this
Pierre Matisse Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
Austin, Darrel, 1907-  Search this
Cafritz, Gwendolyn  Search this
Cafritz, Morris, 1886?-1964  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Canaday, John, 1907-1985  Search this
De Menil, Adelaide  Search this
Dudensing, F. Valentine, 1892-1967  Search this
Ford, Henry, 1917-1987  Search this
Garbo, Greta, 1905-1990  Search this
Hitchcock, Alfred, 1899-  Search this
Luce, Claire  Search this
Luce, Henry, III, 1925-2005  Search this
Miró, Joan, 1893-  Search this
Perls, Klaus  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Priebe, Karl J., 1914-1976  Search this
Streisand, Barbra  Search this
Extent:
79.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Illustrated letters
Drawings
Photographs
Date:
1937-1997
Summary:
The records of the Perls Galleries measure 79.6 linear feet and date from 1937 to 1997. Founded by Klaus Perls in 1937 and operating until 1997, the gallery dealt primarily in modern French art and the artwork of Alexander Calder. Found within the records are extensive correspondence (circa 44 linear feet) with artists, dealers, galleries, museums, and collectors; photographs and negatives of inventory and other artwork; exhibition files, scattered financial records; and exhibition catalogs and clippings.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of the Perls Galleries measure 79.6 linear feet and date from 1937 to 1997. Founded by Klaus Perls in 1937 and operating until 1997, the gallery dealt primarily in modern French art and the artwork of Alexander Calder. Found within the records are extensive correspondence (circa 44 linear feet) with artists, dealers, galleries, museums, and collectors; photographs and negatives of inventory and other artwork; exhibition files, scattered financial records; and exhibition catalogs and clippings.

Correspondence primarily discusses sales (and includes invoices), loans, and exhibitions, as well as more routine activities such as gallery maintenance, the printing of exhibition catalogs and letterhead, and the shipment, framing, or restoration of artwork. Many letters enclose photographs, negatives, or slides of artwork, and clippings. A few letters contain oversize architectural or engineering drawings, and a small handful of letters are illustrated.

Correspondents include artists such as Darrell Austin, Joan Mir, Pablo Picasso, and Karl Priebe; galleries such as the Corcoran Gallery, Fujikawa Galleries, Galerie Maeght, and the Pierre Matisse Gallery; museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, and the Whitney Museum of Modern Art; collectors such as Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz, Adelaide de Mnil, Valentine Dudensing, and Henry Ford, II; and celebrity clients such as Greta Garbo, Alfred Hitchcock, Henry and Clare Booth Luce, and Barbra Streisand.

The records contain nearly thirty-two linear feet of photographs and negatives. Photographs are of artists and the inventory of the gallery's artwork. Additional photographs represent artwork either by artists not represented by the gallery or not included in the gallery's inventory. Most of the photographs are black and white. Over fifteen linear feet of negatives are of gallery stock. Photographs are also found in the exhibition files.

There is a relatively small amount of records relating to exhibitions, loans, and sales. Found are exhibition lists, schedules, invitations and announcements, photographs of exhibition installations, press releases, and records of loans to other institutions and galleries. Sales records include artist lists, inventory lists, invoices, pick up and delivery receipts, and price lists.

Printed materials include a large number of clippings and an incomplete run of catalogs from Perls Galleries exhibitions between 1939 and 1980.

The collection also includes ten original pencil drawings from John Canaday's series entitled My Beautiful Girls and a reproduction of eight drawings from the same series
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1937-1995 (Boxes 1-44, OV 81-83; 43.6 linear feet)

Series 2: Negatives, circa 1937-1995 (Boxes 44-59; 15.7 linear feet)

Series 3: Photographs, circa 1937-1995 (Boxes 60-75, OV 84; 16.1 linear feet)

Series 4: Exhibition, Loan, and Sales Records, 1937-1995 (Boxes 76-78; 2.1 linear feet)

Series 5: Clippings Files, 1943-1989 (Box 78; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Exhibition Catalogs, 1939-1980 (Boxes 78-79; 1.4 linear feet)

Series 7: Drawings by John Canaday, circa 1967-1972 (Box 80; 0.3 linear feet)
Historical Note:
Klaus Perls (b. 1912, d. 2008) formally opened Perls Galleries in New York in 1937, and ran it with his wife Amelia until its closing in 1997. The gallery dealt in contemporary French artists of the School of Paris, such as Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso, but also acted as the primary representative of Alexander Calder beginning in 1954. In the 1970s Mr. Perls developed an interest in art from Benin and built an important collection of African sculpture, some of which was later donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Amelia Perls died in 2002, and Klaus Perls died in 2008.

Klaus Perls was born in 1912 in Berlin in a house Mies van der Rohe designed for his parents, who owned an art gallery specializing in Impressionists, post-Impressionists, Old Master paintings, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and African sculpture. Perls studied Art History in Hamburg and Munich but completed his PhD in Basel, Switzerland in 1933 after the Nazi government stopped awarding degrees to Jews. His dissertation covered the complete works of 15th-century French painter Jean Fouquet.

Before moving to New York in 1935, Perls worked for his mother, Kaethe Perls, in her Paris gallery that she opened in 1932 after splitting up with Klaus' father Hugo. He spent his first two years in New York selling paintings through other art dealers, primarily paintings shipped or recommended to him by his mother from Paris that were not selling well in the Depression-era French art market. These were primarily the work of Maurice Utrillo, Marie Laurencin, Raoul Dufy and Maurice de Vlaminck. In 1937 he formally established his own gallery, the Perls Galleries, on East 58th Street and continued to specialize in French and European contemporary art. Around the same time, his older brother Frank opened a gallery in Beverly Hills, California.

Klaus Perls was familiar with other New York dealers specializing in modern European art such as Valentine Dudensing and Pierre Matisse, but he tried to distinguish himself by catering to young collectors. When the war restricted the international art trade and his mother was forced to flee France during the Occupation, Perls began dealing in contemporary American artists such as Darrel Austin and Karl Priebe.

Perls married Amelia Blumenthal, fondly known as "Dolly," in 1940, and she became his business partner.

After the war, the international art market exploded, and the Perls made frequent buying trips to Europe. The Perls Galleries continued to sell primarily contemporary French art and gained an early reputation as a staunch defender of modern art by European artists such as Picasso, Modigliani, Braque, Lger, Soutine and Pascin. Perls prepared catalogues raisonns on Soutine and Pascin.

Klaus Perls was one of the founding members of the Art Dealer's Association, whose initial mission was to clean up the reputation of the art market following a series scandals involving fake antiquities that flourished in the 1960's. Perls was the Association's second president, after Pierre Matisse.

In 1954 Perls Galleries moved to 1016 Madison Avenue, a building that served as both gallery and home for the Perls. The same year Perls became Alexander Calder's dealer after the death of Calder's previous dealer, Curt Valentin. Perls explained his inclusion of Calder, a rare American among his stable of European artists, by saying that Calder's roots lay in France and that Calder bridged Europe and America the way Perls felt he did himself. In 1970, Calder designed the terrazzo sidewalk in front of the gallery and often resided in the Perls' home during long visits to New York City. Perls Galleries later handled Calder's estate and functioned as a quasi-archives of Calder's works, holding more than 7,000 negatives depicting Calder's art and preparing a Calder catalogue raisonn.

Klaus was named as a third-party defendant in the 1969 World War II looted art case Menzel v. List. When Erna Menzel sued Albert List for ownership of a Chagall painting confiscated from Menzel by the Nazis, List in turn sued Perls, who had sold him the painting in 1955, having purchased it himself from a Paris art dealer. The court awarded the Chagall painting to Menzel and ordered Perls to pay List the appreciated value of the painting.

Perls began building an important collection of African artwork and fell in love with art from Benin in the 1970's. In 1991 he donated more than 150 pieces of royal art from Benin to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Perls closed their gallery in 1997; Amelia Perls died in 2002, and Klaus Perls died in 2008.
Related Material:
Among the resources relating to the Perls Galleries in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Klaus Perls done by Mona Hadler on January 19, 1993.
Provenance:
The records were donated in 1997 by Douglas Mayhew, associate and legal representive of Klaus G. and Amelia B. Perls.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Art, Modern  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York
Genre/Form:
Illustrated letters
Drawings
Photographs
Citation:
Perls Galleries records, 1937-1997. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.perlgall
See more items in:
Perls Galleries records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-perlgall
Online Media:

G

Collection Creator:
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Extent:
(2 folders)
Container:
Box 21, Folder 57-58
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1949-1978
Scope and Contents note:
Galeria Juana Mordo

Galerie Anderson-Mayer

Galerie Balzac

Galerie Biedermann

Galerie Bischofberger

Galerie Claude Bernard

Galerie Guy Dorkens

Galerie Illien

Galerie im Griechenbeisl

Galerie Jeanne Bucher

Galerie Kunst der Gegenwert

Galerie Lucie Weill

Galerie Maeght

Galerie Paul Facchetti

Galerie R.G. Michel

Galerie Simone Stern

Galleria Cadario

Galleria D'Arte de Naviglio

Galleria Margutta

Galleria Pater

Gallery III

The Gallery of Modern Art

The Gallery Upstairs

The Gallery of Sarasota

George Peabody College for Teachers

George Washington University

Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia

Gimpel Fils

Gimpel Weitzenhoffer Ltd.

Goddard-Riverside Community Center

Graphic Gallery

Gres Gallery

Grinnell College

Guild Hall

Gump's
Collection 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 audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
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:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers, 1916-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers / Series 3: Correspondence Files / 3.1: Institutions and Dealers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-parsbett-ref822
Online Media:

Perls Galleries records, 1937-1997

Creator:
Perls Galleries  Search this
Subject:
Austin, Darrel  Search this
Miró, Joan  Search this
Luce, Henry, III  Search this
Luce, Claire  Search this
Picasso, Pablo  Search this
Streisand, Barbra  Search this
Priebe, Karl J.  Search this
De Menil, Adelaide  Search this
Cafritz, Gwendolyn  Search this
Canaday, John  Search this
Perls, Klaus  Search this
Hitchcock, Alfred  Search this
Garbo, Greta  Search this
Ford, Henry  Search this
Dudensing, F. Valentine  Search this
Cafritz, Morris  Search this
Calder, Alexander  Search this
James Corcoran Gallery  Search this
Galerie Maeght  Search this
National Gallery of Art (U.S.)  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Fujikawa Gallery  Search this
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
Pierre Matisse Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Type:
Illustrated letters
Drawings
Photographs
Topic:
Art, Modern  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6120
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216333
AAA_collcode_perlgall
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_216333
Online Media:

Correspondence

Collection Creator:
Perls Galleries  Search this
Extent:
(Boxes 1-44, OV 81-83; 43.6 linear feet)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1937-1995
Scope and Contents note:
This series consists of original incoming correspondence and duplicate copies of outgoing correspondence documenting gallery exhibits, loans, sales, and routine maintenance activities. Correspondence is with artists, galleries, museums, collectors, dealers, publications, and staff while the Perls traveled. Also found is correspondence concerning routine business affairs such as framing, restoration, and shipping; gallery-related services such as locksmiths and window and drapery cleaners; and business-related services such as accounting, taxes, and legal representation. A handful of project files relating to the commission or installation of Calder sculptures in public spaces follows the Calder correspondence file.

Significant correspondents include artists Darrell Austin, Joan Mir, Pablo Picasso, and Karl Priebe; galleries such as the Corcoran Gallery, Fujikawa Galleries, Galerie Maeght, and the Pierre Matisse Gallery; museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, and the Whitney Museum of Modern Art; collectors such as Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz, Adelaide de Mnil, Valentine Dudensing, and Henry Ford, II; and celebrity clients such as Greta Garbo, Alfred Hitchcock, Henry and Clare Booth Luce, and Barbra Streisand.

Many letters enclose photographs, negatives, or slides of artwork and contain requests for the artwork to be identified, authenticated, or appraised. Additional letters enclose clippings mentioning Perls or the gallery, or discussing artists collected by Perls, notable art world figures or trends, or exhibitions at Perls Galleries or other galleries including artwork loaned by Perls Galleries. A few letters include oversize architectural or engineering drawings, usually relating to the installation of Calder stabiles.

A small handful of letters from Carol Blanchard, Robert and Elodie Osborn, and Karl Priebe are illustrated, and original artwork can be found in the Adelaide Milton de Groot file.

Many of the correspondence files include copies of invoices for artwork sold and occasional provenance information, useful to supplement the relatively small amount of sales records in the collection.

Two color photographs of Calder painting one of his sculptures can be found in the Marcel Fleiss file, and a black and white photograph of Calder standing in front of the terrazzo sidewalk he designed for the Perls Galleries entrance can be found in the Newsweek Magazine file.

Court records and attorney correspondence regarding the 1969 World War II looted art case Menzel v. List can be found in the Ralph F. Colin, Allan D. Emil, and Albert A. List files.
Arrangement note:
Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent and thereunder approximately in reverse chronological order. Each alphabetical section is completed by miscellaneous files containing correspondence with individuals and organizations, also arrange alphabetically, with whom Perls Galleries exchanged fewer than five letters.

Many of the records in this series are brittle and require careful handling. Many of the records alphabetized under the letter G have suffered from previous water damage.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
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:
Perls Galleries records, 1937-1997. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.perlgall, Series 1
See more items in:
Perls Galleries records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-perlgall-ref14

Galerie Maeght

Collection Creator:
Perls Galleries  Search this
Container:
Box 15, Folder 38
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1975-1982
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
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:
Perls Galleries records, 1937-1997. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Perls Galleries records
Perls Galleries records / Series 1: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-perlgall-ref755

Galerie Maeght

Collection Creator:
Perls Galleries  Search this
Container:
Box 15, Folder 39
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1972-1974
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
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:
Perls Galleries records, 1937-1997. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Perls Galleries records
Perls Galleries records / Series 1: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-perlgall-ref756

Galerie Maeght

Collection Creator:
Perls Galleries  Search this
Container:
Box 15, Folder 40
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1967-1971
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
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:
Perls Galleries records, 1937-1997. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Perls Galleries records
Perls Galleries records / Series 1: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-perlgall-ref757

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