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.
Lucy R. Lippard papers, 1930s-2007, bulk 1960s-1990s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art
An interview of Joseph A. Helman conducted 2010 January 4, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art, at Helman's home in New York, New York.
Helman recalls three major events from his early life--the exhibition "Masterpieces from the Berlin Museums: 1948-1949," the film "Lust for Life," and collecting--that led to his career as an art dealer; buying his first painting, which was a Jasper Johns work; meeting the art dealer Leo Castelli; opening his first gallery in St. Louis in 1969; selling his gallery to Ronald Greenberg and moving to Italy with his family; attending the Sotheby's auction of the Robert C. Scull Collection in 1973; teaming up with Irving Blum to open the Blum Helman Gallery in New York City; organizing exhibitions of established and emerging artists. Helman speaks about his relationship with Emily Rauh Pulitzer and the St. Louis Art Museum; his Happening with Allan Kaprow; the story behind Claes Oldenburg's drawing Tongue Cloud, over St. Louis, 1975; discovering the work of Ralston Crawford; introducing American art to Spain. In addition, Helman discusses the contemporary art market; collectors and the process of collecting; and the redefinition of Pop art to include British and American artists of the 1980s. Throughout the interview Helman mentions the various artists he has represented, exhibited or collected such as Richard Serra, Robert Rauschenberg, Josef Albers, Roy Lichtenstein, Ellsworth Kelly, Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Ronald Davis, and Bryan Hunt.
Biographical / Historical:
Joseph A. Helman (1937- ) is an art dealer and collector in New York, New York.
Originally recorded on 1 sound disc. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr.,19 min.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Search this
1.8 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 2 reels))
Scope and Contents:
Biographical material, correspondence, notes, writings, photographs, business and financial records, works of art, and printed material document the career of painter and educator Michael Loew.
REEL N68-94: Biographical material, 1957-1967, includes 5 biographical sketches, a bibliography of Loew's publications, and an artist's statement. Correspondence, 1935-1968, is with colleagues, galleries, and educational institutions. There are one or two letters each from colleagues Josef Albers, Willem de Kooning, Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Johnson, Richard Lahey, George L.K. Morris, and Clifford Odets. Nine letters relate to Loew's work for the U.S. Works Progress Administration and the New York World's Fair. Writings, 1966, consist of several drafts for essay "Is It the Function of the Artist to Communicate with his Audience." A contract, 1938, is between Loew and Willem de Kooning and the New York World's Fair 1939 Inc. Printed material, 1944-1968, consists of exhibition announcements and catalogs. Photographs, 1960-1964, are of Loew and his art works. Notes consist of 2 undated notebooks and a typescript concerning Josef Albers. A scrapbook, 1938-1965, contains 4 photographs of art works, clippings, and exhibition announcements and catalogs.
REEL 5053: Correspondence, 1944-1990, is with galleries, including the Holland-Goldowsky Gallery, educational institutions, including the University of California at Berkeley, and colleagues including Dorothy Dehner, Burt Hasen, and Aaron Siskind. Correspondence, 1956-1957, with Rockwell Kent concerns the rental of Kent's Monhegan Island cabin. One letter, 1959, includes 3 photographs of Loew, Louis Kahn, Allan Kaprow, and George McNeil. Lecture notes are for an Artists Equity symposium, 1956, and a panel discussion on painting, 1968. Writings, 1968-1979, consist of 3 essays by Loew and tributes written to Sarah Freedman McPherson by Loew and others. Printed material, 1932-1992, consists of clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and a book "The Artist's World" by Fred W. McDarrah. Photographs, 1930-1979, are of Loew, his friends, and his art works. One photograph is of Alfred Jensen, Theodore Schempp, Max Schnitzler, and Loew in Tunis, 1930.
UNMICROFILMED Biographical material incudes curriculum vita, obituaries, and birth announcements of Jonathan Loew, Michael Loew's son. Correspondence is with Willem and Elaine de Kooning. Writings include notes and a transcription of Loew's 1966 MoMA talk Must the Artist Communicate with his Audience, drafts of an article by Loew regarding Joseph Albers NEA and Guggenheim grant applications. Photographs are of Loew, his artwork, and his travels in Mexico as well as a color photograph of Loew and Willem de Kooning in de Kooning's studio taken by Rose Slivka. Artwork includes original off-prints for book covers. Business files relate to the 1939 World's Fair mural commission and include information about gifts of artwork to museums. Financial material includes a sales record book and records of sales with the Marilyn Pearl and Landmark galleries. Also included are literature and directories from the Federation of Modern Painters & Sculptors, exhibition announcements,and newspaper clippings.
Biographical / Historical:
Born in New York City, Michael Loew (1907-1985) studied at the Art Students League from 1926-1929, Academie Scandinave in Paris from 1929-1930, the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Art from 1947-1949, and at the Atelier Fernand Leger from 1949-1950. Loew worked as a stained glass artist from 1926 to 1929, and painted murals with Willem de Kooning for the New York World's Fair of 1939. Between 1956 and 1966, he taught painting at the Portland (Oregon) Art Museum, University of California at Berkeley, and at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
Material on reel N68-94 lent for microfilming 1968 by Michael Loew; approximately 50 letters and an artists' statement were later received in subsequent donations. Additional papers were donated in 1981-1982 by Loew, and in 1994 and 2008 by his widow, Mildred C. Loew, a portion of which was microfilmed on reel 5053. The photograph of Loew and de Kooning taken by Rose Slivka was donated by Loew's niece, Jackie Cohen, in 2007.
Microfilmed portion must be accessed on film. Use of original papers requires an appointment.
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.
Periodicals, and phonographs from Robert Smithson's personal library are currently stored offsite. Contact References Services for more information.
The donor has retained all intellectual property rights, including copyright, that they may own in the following material: two holiday cards found in box 11, folders 23-24.
Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers, 1905-1987, bulk 1952-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.