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Paul Kelpe papers

Creator:
Kelpe, Paul, 1902-1985  Search this
Extent:
2 microfilm reels
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Microfilm reels
Date:
1927-1980
Scope and Contents:
A list of exhibitions, 1980; printed material, including clippings, exhibition catalogs, a book cover reproduction of a painting by Kelpe, and a book AMERICAN ABSTRACT ARTISTS 1936-1966, which mentions Kelpe.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, instructor, art historian; Chicago, Ill. and Austin, Texas.
Provenance:
Microfilmed as part of the Archives of American Art's Texas project.
Lent for microfilming 1983 by Paul Kelpe.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Art teachers -- Texas -- Austin  Search this
Painters -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Painters -- Texas -- Austin  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Art, Abstract  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.kelppaul
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kelppaul

Alice Trumbull Mason papers

Creator:
Mason, Alice Trumbull, 1904-1971  Search this
Names:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Kelpe, Paul, 1902-1985  Search this
Lassaw, Ibram, 1913- -- Photographs  Search this
Extent:
1.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Poetry
Date:
1921-1977
Summary:
The papers of abstract artist Alice Trumbull Mason date from 1921 to 1977 and measure 1.3 linear feet. The collection documents her career as a painter, particularly her role as one of the founders of the American Abstract Artists group, through biographical materials; correspondence with family, friends, fellow artists, art galleries, museums, and organizations; writings and notes, including notebooks of poetry and other creative writings; a small amount of printed material; photographs of Mason, friends, and her artwork; and original artwork, including five sketchbooks.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of abstract artist Alice Trumbull Mason date from 1921 to 1977 and measure 1.3 linear feet. The collection documents her career as a painter, particularly her role as one of the founders of the American Abstract Artists group, through biographical materials; correspondence with family, friends, fellow artists, art galleries, museums, and organizations; writings and notes, including notebooks of poetry and other creative writings; a small amount of printed material; photographs of Mason, friends, and her artwork; and original artwork, including five sketchbooks.

Biographical material consists of resumes, passports, exhibition files, as well as documentation of her membership and active participation in art organizations, including her work as an officer in the American Abstract Artists group. Also found here are scattered personal financial and legal records. Personal and professional correspondence is with family members, including many detailed letters between her and her husband Warwood, fellow artists, including Paul Kelpe, art organizations, curators, museums, galleries, and others. Professional correspondence generally discusses selection of exhibition and awards, sale of artwork, and art events. Writings and notes, mostly from the 1920s and 1930s, consist of Mason's notes on art history and her creative writings, including poetry and "abstract writing." Also found are a few writings about abstract art and various notes and lists.

Printed material includes news clippings on topics of interest to Mason, and other miscellaneous items such as brochures, and exhibition announcements. Photographs include several portraits of Mason with her artwork, photographs of friends including artist Ibram Lassaw, photographs of an American Abstract Artists exhibition, and artwork by her and others. Original artwork found in this collection includes five sketchbooks belonging to Mason, including two that document her travels through Greece and Italy, and other loose drawings.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 6 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1925-1968 (Box 1, OV 3; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1922-1977 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1921-1965 (Box 1; 6 folders)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1936-1974 (Box 1; 2 folders)

Series 5: Photographs, 1920s-1967 (Box 1, OV 3; 5 folders)

Series 6: Artwork, 1924-1963 (Box 1-2, OV 3; 0.4 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Alice Trumbull Mason was born in 1904 in Litchfield, Connecticut. Her mother, Anne Leavenworth Train, was an accomplished artist before she met Alice's father, William Trumbull, a descendent of the Revolutionary War era painter, John Trumbull. Alice spent much of her childhood in Europe with her family. From 1921 to 1922 they lived in Florence and Rome where she studied at the British Academy. In 1923 she continued her studies with painter Charles W. Hawthorne at the National Academy of Design in New York and from 1927 to 1928 attended courses at the Grand Central Art Galleries taught by Arshile Gorky. Gorky inspired her interest in abstract painting, and Mason painted her first non-objective works in 1929. In 1928 she returned to Italy and Greece and was greatly influenced by ancient art, Byzantium, and Italian primitives. She married Warwood Mason, a merchant seaman, in 1930 and her daughter Emily was born in 1932 and her son Jonathan in 1933. During this period she stopped painting and devoted her creative energy to writing poetry inspired by American avant-garde writers.

Mason began painting again in 1934 and was recognized as a key figure of American abstraction. In 1935 she met and became close friends with fellow artist Ibram Lassaw, and they, along with several other artists, began to meet on a regular basis which led to the first American Abstract Artists group exhibition in 1937. Mason remained very active in the group and served as treasurer in 1939, secretary from 1940 to 1945, and president from 1959 to 1963. She was also an activist for abstract art, protesting the decisions of the Museum of Modern Art several times for excluding abstract artists from exhibitions. During the 1940s her paintings and concept of "architectural abstraction" was influenced by the arrival of Piet Mondrian in New York. Also in the 1940s she had two one-woman shows, but throughout her career she felt there was a bias against women in the New York art world and most often she participated in AAA group shows. Her work would be viewed as an important bridge for future abstract and conceptualist artists. In 1958 her son died, and though she continued to paint and participate in exhibitions, she never recovered from this tragedy and in the late 1960s withdrew into seclusion until her death in 1971.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is a collection of interviews by Ruth Bowman of members of the American Abstract Artists group conducted between 1963-1965, that includes an interview with Alice Trumbull Mason. The Archives of American Art also houses 2.3 linear feet of the records of the American Abstract Artists group.
Separated Material:
A portion of the material donated by Alice Trumbull Mason in 1969 relating to her involvement with the American Abstract Artists was separated and filed with the American Abstract Artists records at the Archives of American Art. Files of news clippings and exhibition catalogs were transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery Library after microfilming.
Provenance:
A portion of this collection was donated by Alice Trumbull Mason in 1969. Additional material was donated from 1972 to 1977 by Mason's daughter, Emily Mason Kahn.
Restrictions:
The collection is partially microfilmed. Use of material not microfilmed requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Alice Trumbull Mason papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Women painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Poetry
Citation:
Alice Trumbull Mason papers, 1921-1977. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.masoalic
See more items in:
Alice Trumbull Mason papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-masoalic
Online Media:

Esphyr Slobodkina papers

Creator:
Slobodkina, Esphyr, 1908-2002  Search this
Bolotowsky, Ilya, 1907-1981  Search this
Names:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Eckstein, Ruth, 1916-  Search this
Kelpe, Paul, 1902-1985  Search this
Morris, George L. K., 1905-1975  Search this
Rabkin, Leo  Search this
Tedlie, Harry  Search this
Extent:
1.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
circa 1925-1995
Summary:
The papers of painter, sculptor, author, and illustrator Esphyr Slobodkina measure 1.9 linear feet and date from circa 1925 to 1995. Found within the papers are personal and professional correspondence, including letters from Ilya Bolotowsky, George L.K. Morris, and Paul Kelpe; writings, including a copy of the autobiography Notes for a Biographer (vol. 1); printed materials; photographs; and material on the American Abstract Artists, including administrative records, business correspondence, and publications.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter, sculptor, author, and illustrator Esphyr Slobodkina measure 1.9 linear feet and date from circa 1925 to 1995. Found within the papers are personal and professional correspondence, including letters from Ilya Bolotowsky, George L.K. Morris, and Paul Kelpe; writings, including a copy of the autobiography Notes for a Biographer (vol. 1); printed materials; photographs; and material on the American Abstract Artists, including administrative records, business correspondence, and publications.

Correspondence is primarily with Slobodkina's family, friends, and business associates. The series includes significant correspondence from her first husband, Ilya Bolotowsky, as well as abstract artists George L.K. Morris, Paul Kelpe, Ruth Eckstein, Leo Rabkin, and Harry Tedlie. The series also includes correspondence regarding her published works.

Writings consist of 3 essays by Slobodkina on abstract art, the autobiography Notes for a Biographer (vol. 1), the edited folio Ilya Bolotowsky, and a small notebook kept by Ilya Bolotowsky during the 1920s-30s.

Printed material includes clippings; samples of announcements and cards designed by Slobodkina; exhibition announcements and catalogs; and press releases.

Photographs are of Slobodkina and her paintings and sculptures, as well as photographs of artwork by other abstract artists.

American Abstract Artists' records includes administrative material, correspondence, writings, selected exhibitions, and printed material dating from 1936 to 1996.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 5 series.

Series 1: Correspondence, 1934-1992 (0.4 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 2: Writings, circa 1920-1985 (6 folders; Box 1)

Series 3: Printed material, circa 1939-1994 (7 folders; Box 1, OV 4)

Series 4: Photographs, circa 1925-1970 (3 folders; Box 1)

Series 5: American Abstract Artists, circa 1936-1995 (0.9 linear feet, Box 1-3, OV 4)
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, sculptor, author, and illustrator Esphyr Slobodkina (1908-2002) lived and worked in New York City, Great Neck, and Long Island, New York and was known for her abstract art and her children's books, including the seminal Caps For Sale.

Slobodkina was born in Chelyabinsk, Siberia to Solomon Slobodkin and his wife, Itta Agranovich. After the Russian Revolution and Civil War of 1917-1918, her family immigrated to Harbin, Manchuria where her father found work with Standard Oil and her mother contributed to the family's finances by working as a dressmaker. After graduating from high school in 1927, Slobodkina immigrated to the United States to join her brother in New York City where she enrolled at the National Academy of Design.

At the Academy, Slobodkina met her future husband, the artist and fellow Russian émigré Ilya Bolotowsky. In 1936, they became founding members of the American Abstract Artists, an artist run organization that worked to advance abstract art at a time when few opportunities to exhibit their works existed. She served as the organization's first secretary and later served as treasurer, president, and institutional bibliographer.

In 1937, Slobodkina met the children's author Margaret Wise Brown. After seeing her work, Brown invited Slobodkina to illustrate The Little Fireman, the first of their many collaborations together. In 1940, Slobodkina's first published book, Caps For Sale, was released and has remained in print for over 70 years. It won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1958 and is considered a classic of children's literature.

Slobodkina and Bolotowsky divorced in 1938, after which she continued to produce abstract mixed media paintings and sculptures. Her first major one-person show was organized by the gallery owner A.E. Gallatin in 1940. Through the 1940s and into 1970s, Slobodkina regularly contributed to group exhibitions and her works are owned by numerous institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and Hillwood Art Museum.

In addition to publishing children's books, Slobodkina authored three volumes of her autobiography, Notes for a Biographer (1976-1983) and edited American Abstract Artists: Its Publications, Catalogs, and Membership (1979) and the folio Ilya Bolotwosky (1985). Active until the end of her life, she oversaw the production of musical audio recordings for her 20 children's books well into her 80s, and at the age of 90, designed a museum financed through the Slobodkina Foundation. She died at her home in Glen Head, Long Island in 2002.
Related Materials:
The Archives also holds the American Abstract Artists records.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds materials lent for microfilming (N70-61) including a travel album, printed material, notes, McDowell colony correspondence, and an American Abstract Artists financial ledger. Lents materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.

Additionally, 69 rolled drawings on tracing paper were transferred to Hillwood Art Museum in 2006.
Provenance:
Esphyr Slobodkina loaned a portion of her papers for microfilming and donated material in 1970. She gave additional papers between 1995 and 1996.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Esphyr Slobodkina papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Sculptors -- New York (State)  Search this
Women artists -- New York  Search this
Authors -- New York  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State)  Search this
Painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Painting, Abstract -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Esphyr Slobodkina papers, circa 1925-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.slobesph
See more items in:
Esphyr Slobodkina papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-slobesph

Paul Kelpe papers, 1927-1980

Creator:
Kelpe, Paul, 1902-1985  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Art, Abstract  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10532
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)214004
AAA_collcode_kelppaul
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_214004

Paul Kelpe: artist file, [photographs]

Artist:
Kelpe, Paul 1902-1985  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Artist files
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Image number:
VFM VF001634
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_140159

Paul Kelpe : paintings and works on paper, 1925-1935 / essay by Susan Weininger

Title:
Paintings and works on paper, 1925-1935
Author:
Kelpe, Paul 1902-1985  Search this
Weininger, Susan  Search this
Valerie Carberry Gallery  Search this
Subject:
Kelpe, Paul 1902-1985  Search this
Physical description:
31 p. : col. ill. ; 27 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
2007
Call number:
ND237.K455 A4 2007
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_826007

4 painters : Albers, Dreier, Drewes, Kelpe

Subject:
Albers, Josef  Search this
Dreier, Katherine Sophie 1877-1952  Search this
Drewes, Werner 1899-1985  Search this
Kelpe, Paul 1902-1985  Search this
Physical description:
[8] leaves : ill. ; 18 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1936
1936]
Call number:
ND212 .F772 1936
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_459721

Paul Kelpe : abstractions and constructions, 1925-1940

Title:
Abstractions and constructions, 1925-1940
Author:
Kelpe, Paul 1902-1985  Search this
Guchte, Maarten van de  Search this
Manthorne, Katherine  Search this
Krannert Art Museum  Search this
Subject:
Kelpe, Paul 1902-1985 Exhibitions  Search this
Physical description:
40 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 27 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Place:
United States
Date:
1990
[1990]
Topic:
Art, Abstract  Search this
Call number:
N40.1.K295 G92 1990
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_487537

Construction with Lock and Key (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Kelpe, Paul 1902-1985  Search this
Medium:
Construction of painted wood, metal parts, key, and oil on fiberboard panel with painted wood frame
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Smithsonian Institution Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Independence Avenue at 8th Street, S.W Washington District of Columbia 20560 Accession Number: 83.136
Date:
1927
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS 61570452
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_415689

Machine Elements, (painting)

Painter:
Kelpe, Paul 1902-1985  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Type:
Paintings
Owner/Location:
Newark Museum 49 Washington Street Newark New Jersey 07101 Accession Number: 78.164
Date:
1934
Topic:
Architecture--Machine  Search this
Control number:
IAP 31820778
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_447055

Man and Machinery #35, (painting)

Painter:
Kelpe, Paul 1902-1985  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Type:
Paintings
Owner/Location:
Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens 829 Riverside Avenue Jacksonville Florida 32204
Date:
1934
Topic:
Architecture--Machine  Search this
Figure male  Search this
Control number:
IAP 09360080
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_463124

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