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Oral history interview with Earl Krentzin

Interviewee:
Krentzin, Earl, 1929-  Search this
Interviewer:
Yager, Jan, 1951-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Wayne State University -- Students  Search this
Extent:
48 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2002 August 30-31
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Earl Krentzin conducted 2002 August 30-31, by Jan Yager, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan.
Krentzin speaks of his family and childhood; the education he received in Detroit, Michigan; attending Wayne State University then Cranbrook Academy of Art; deciding to major in metalwork; being exposed to Dick Thomas at Cranbrook; meeting his wife, Lorraine Wolstein at Wayne; their son Alexander; receiving a Fulbright in 1957 and 1958 and traveling to the Royal College of Art in London; visiting the museums in England and traveling throughout Europe during their time abroad; the different places he has lived in the United States; winning the Founder' Prize at the Michigan Craft Show as well as the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award; the different types of things that he and his wife collect; a gallery manager named Margaret Conzelman; Lawrence Fleischman and his insistence on Krentzin having a show in New York; the James Graham & Sons Gallery and Kennedy Gallery; and the "Young Americans Show" at the American Craft Museum and "Fiber, Clay and Metal" in St. Paul, Minnesota.
He also discusses, his interest in the English magazine, "Country Life;" flea markets in the Detroit area; trades and barters with fellow artists; the 1964 World Crafts Conference at Columbia University, organized by Stanley Lechtzin; the Michigan Silversmiths Guild; the Henry Ford Museum and Detroit Historical Society; how his process has remained the same and his pieces have only gotten a little bit larger; the commission for the Westland Shopping Center in Westland, Michigan; the jewelry he creates; the little figures, he calls "creatures," in his work; Larry Fleischman and his Krentzin collection; the important encouragement from his wife Lorraine; the significance of university training, and his disapproval of students immediately attending RISD or Cranbrook after high school; his fascination with Medieval European metalwork, Japanese metalwork, and the Bauhaus as well; the Archives of American Art and its beginnings in Detriot; he concludes with a discussion about natural objects, such as ivory or exotic woods, and the debate of their usage, then and now. Krentzin also recalls Robert Eaton, Dick Thomas, Lillian Wallick Elliott, Karl Fox, Mike Vizzini, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Earl Krentzin (1929- ) is a metalsmith from Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. Jan Yager is an artist from Phildelphia, Pennsylvania.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 10 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 54 min.
Provenance:
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.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Metal-workers -- Michigan -- Interviews  Search this
Metal-work -- Study and teaching -- Michigan  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.krentz02
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-krentz02

Walt Kuhn Family papers and Armory Show records

Creator:
Kuhn, Walt, 1877-1949  Search this
Names:
Armory Show (1913: New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Association of American Painters and Sculptors (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
International Exhibition of Modern Art  Search this
Kit Kat Club (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Penguin Club (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Davies, Arthur B. (Arthur Bowen), 1862-1928  Search this
Kuhn, Brenda, 1911-  Search this
Kuhn, Vera, d. 1961  Search this
Oldfield, Otis, 1890-1969  Search this
Pach, Walter, 1883-1958  Search this
Quinn, John, 1870-1924  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Photographer:
Rainford, Percy  Search this
Weston, Edward, 1886-1958  Search this
Extent:
31 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Date:
1859-1984
bulk 1900-1949
Summary:
The Walt Kuhn Family papers and Armory Show records measure 31 linear feet and date from 1859 to 1984, with the bulk of material dating from 1900 to 1949. Papers contain records of the legendary Armory Show of 1913, also known as the International Exhibition of Modern Art, which introduced modern European painting and sculpture to the American public. Papers also contain records of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors (AAPS), the artist-run organization that mounted the Armory Show; records of the New York artists' clubs the Kit Kat Club (founded 1881) and the Penguin Club (founded 1917); and the personal and family papers of New York artist Walt Kuhn (1877-1949), one of the primary organizers of the Armory Show.
Scope and Contents note:
The Walt Kuhn Family papers and Armory Show records measure 31 linear feet and date from 1859 to 1984, with the bulk of material dating from 1900 to 1949. Papers contain records of the legendary Armory Show of 1913, also known as the International Exhibition of Modern Art, which introduced modern European painting and sculpture to the American public. Papers also contain records of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors (AAPS), the artist-run organization that mounted the Armory Show; records of the New York artists' clubs the Kit Kat Club (founded 1881) and the Penguin Club (founded 1917); and the personal and family papers of New York artist Walt Kuhn (1877-1949), one of the primary organizers of the Armory Show.

As Secretary for the AAPS, Kuhn retained the bulk of existing records of that organization and of the Armory Show. Minutes and correspondence make up most of the AAPS records (Series 2), as well as documents related to John Quinn's legal brief against a tariff on imported works of living artists. Armory Show Records (Series 1) include personal letters, voluminous business correspondence, a record book, miscellaneous notes, inventories and shipping records, two large scrapbooks, printed materials, a small number of photographs, and retrospective accounts of the show. The printed materials and photographs in Kit Kat Club and Penguin Club Records reflect Kuhn's deep involvement in those clubs.

The Walt Kuhn Family Papers (Series 4) contain records of his artwork, career, travels, personal and professional associations, family members, and work in vaudeville, film, and interior design. Notable among the family papers are illustrated letters and other cartoons; sketches, drawings, watercolors, and prints; candid letters from Walt to Vera Kuhn discussing art scene politics and personalities in New York, Paris, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Florida, and the Midwest; general correspondence with artists, dealers, collectors, journalists, writers, models, and fans; notes in index card files containing biographical anecdotes of the Kuhns' many contacts; provenance files that document the origin and fate of Kuhn's paintings, sculptures, and prints; papers relating to Kuhn's exhibitions and his relationships with the Marie Harriman Gallery and Durand-Ruel Gallery; and photographs and drawings depicting Kuhn's early years in Munich, Germany and Fort Lee, New Jersey; trips to Nova Scotia, New England, the Western United States, and Europe; New York and summer studios, among other subjects.
Arrangement:
This collection has been arranged into 4 series, with multiple subseries in Series 1 and 4.

Series 1: Armory Show Records, 1912-1963 (Boxes 1-2, 27-31, 56, OV 36; 3.6 linear feet)

Series 2: Association of American Painters and Sculptors (AAPS) Records, 1911-1914, undated (Box 3; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 3: Kit Kat Club and Penguin Club Records, 1909-1923, undated (Box 3, 32, 56, OVs 37-38; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Walt Kuhn Family Papers, 1859-1984, undated (Box 3-26, 32-35, 56-57, OVs 39-55, 58; 26.7 linear feet)

In general, documents are arranged chronologically, alphabetically, or by type of material. Copy negatives and copy prints made from documents in this collection have been filed separately from originals, in a folder marked "copy." Duplicates of original records made or obtained by the Kuhns have been filed separately as well.

Existing envelopes are filed in front of correspondence and enclosures directly after. Correspondence in the Armory Show Records and AAPS Records is arranged alphabetically, and correspondents are listed in the box inventory following series descriptions below.
Biographical/Historical note:
Walt Kuhn (1877-1949) was an etcher, lithographer, and watercolorist, as well as being a teacher, an advisor to art collectors, an organizer, and a promoter of modern art. He played a key role in the art scene of New York City in the early 20th century, and was among the small group that organized the infamous Armory Show of 1913, officially known as the International Exhibition of Modern Art, held at the 69th Regiment Armory building in New York City. After the Armory Show, Kuhn went on to a distinguished career as a painter. He was best known for his sober oil portraits of show people, clowns, acrobats, and circus performers, but was equally prolific in landscapes, still lifes, and figure and genre drawings.

Walt Kuhn was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1877. After a brief career as a bicycle shop owner in downtown Brooklyn, Kuhn traveled West in 1899 to San Francisco, CA and earned his living as a cartoonist for newspapers such as Wasp. After two years in California, he moved back East and then on to Europe to pursue further art training. He briefly attended the Académie Colarossi studio in Paris, but quickly moved to Munich where he joined the class of Heinrich von Zügel in the Royal Academy.

Kuhn returned to New York City in 1904 and took up an active role in the art scene there, participating in the Salmagundi Club and the Kit Kat Club, teaching at the New York School of Art, and cartooning for Life, Judge, Puck, and other publications. In 1910, he participated in an exhibition of Independent Artists on 35th St. with Robert Henri and met artist Arthur B. Davies.

In 1911, when the National Academy of Design opened their annual exhibition, Kuhn, Henry Fitch Taylor, Elmer MacRae, and Jerome Myers were exhibiting at Clara Potter Davidge's Madison Gallery. To these four young artists, the Academy exhibition was typically lackluster, and the attention it received was unwarranted. Sensing that they were not alone in their attitude, they decided to organize. They invited a dozen other artists to join them, thus forming the Association of American Painters and Sculptors (AAPS). The group elected Kuhn Secretary and Arthur B. Davies President, and with the help of attorney and art collector John Quinn, they incorporated and began raising funds for an independent exhibition the following year.

In September of 1912, at Davies' suggestion, Kuhn traveled to Cologne, Germany to view the Sonderbund Internationale Kunst-Austellung. There he saw presented, in overwhelming volume, the work of his European contemporaries and their modern antecedents, the post-impressionists. He immediately began selecting and securing artwork for the upcoming AAPS exhibition. Kuhn traveled through Germany, Holland, France, and England, visiting private collectors, dealers, and artists. In Paris, Kuhn was joined by Davies and American artist and art agent Walter Pach. Kuhn and Davies sailed for New York in November, leaving the details of European arrangements to Pach.

The resulting Armory Show exhibition opened in New York in February 1913, and a selection of the foreign works traveled to Chicago and Boston in March and April. It included approximately 1300 American and European works of art, arranged in the exhibition space to advance the notion that the roots of modernism could be seen in the works of the old masters, from which the dramatically new art of living artists had evolved. Savvy and sensational publicity, combined with strategic word-of-mouth, resulted in attendance figures over 200,000 and over $44 thousand in sales. The Armory Show had demonstrated that modern art had a place in the public taste, that there was a market for it and legitimate critical support as well.

During the first World War, Kuhn stayed in NY and was active in the Kit Kat Club, an artists' club founded in 1881, which provided its members with collective studio space, live models, exhibitions, and an annual costume ball. In 1917, Kuhn founded another group called the Penguin Club, which had similar objectives to the Kit Kat Club, but with Kuhn himself as the gatekeeper. In addition to exhibitions and costume balls, the Penguin Club held summer outings and stag dinners, and maintained collective studio and exhibition space on East 15th Street in Manhattan. Its members included Americans and European artists displaced by the war in Europe. In the 1920s, Kuhn expanded a few sketches he had written for Penguin Balls into full-blown vaudeville productions, some of which were incorporated into larger musical revues such as The Merry Go Round and The 49ers and traveled around the country. Kuhn's theater work continued until 1928, and his fascination with show business continued to influence him throughout his life.

In the 1920s and 1930s, Kuhn gradually achieved recognition for his artwork, with sales to private collectors and dealers including Edith Halpert, Merritt Cutler, Lillie Bliss, John Quinn, and Marie Harriman. Kuhn also promoted other young painters whose work he liked, including Otis Oldfield, Lily Emmet Cushing, John Laurent, Frank di Gioia, and the self-taught Vermont artist Patsy Santo. Sometimes artists would contact him by mail, asking for lessons or advice. His lengthy letters to students offer coaching in technique and subject matter, as well as in the overall problem of success in art.

In 1929, Kuhn moved into the 18th St. studio that he would keep until the end of his life. He kept a rack of costumes in the studio, mostly made by Vera Kuhn, and his models, many of them stage and circus performers, would come and sit for Kuhn's portraits. The same year his painting The White Clown was exhibited at the newly established Museum of Modern Art in New York, bringing intense publicity and sales interest. Around this time, Kuhn began to receive the support of collector Duncan Phillips and curator Juliana Force of the Whitney Museum of American Art, both of whom made purchases and consistently exhibited his work.

Marie Norton Whitney Harriman, second wife of railroad magnate and diplomat W. Averell Harriman, shared a professional liaison with Kuhn that would take many forms and last until his death. Soon after the success of The White Clown, Kuhn established a relationship with the Marie Harriman Gallery, where he participated in group and solo shows during the height of his career. Kuhn also traveled with the Harrimans to Europe in 1931, where the three visited important private collections and acquired many valuable modern paintings for the Harrimans. Their collection, so heavily influenced by Kuhn's ideas about art, would eventually go to the National Gallery of Art.

Kuhn was an artist who understood the art business and never shied away from it. For Kuhn, promoting the ideas and practitioners of a certain brand of modernism was an expression of both aesthetic ideology and pragmatic self-interest. His contribution to the public discourse on modernism situated his own work at the heart of art history and the marketplace. Regardless of his motivations, he was indisputably a key player at a pivotal time in American art, when academic art was riotoulsy overturned to make way for modernism. His paintings are now held in major museum collections around the country, where most of them arrived with bequests from the collectors Kuhn had cultivated so carefully in his lifetime.

Sources consulted for this biography include The Story of the Armory Show (1988) by Milton W. Brown, Walt Kuhn, Painter: His Life and Work (1978) by Philip Rhys Adams, and "Walt Kuhn" by Frank Getlein, in the 1967 catalog of the Kennedy Galleries, Inc.
Related Archival Materials note:
The Archives of American Art holds the papers of Walter Pach, the European representative of the Armory Show.
Provenance:
The Walt Kuhn Family papers and Armory Show records were loaned for microfilming and later donated to the Archives of American Art by Walt Kuhn's daughter Brenda Kuhn in several installments between 1962 and 1979. An additional accession of letters, photographs, and an artifact was purchased by the Archives in 2000. Another addition was donated by Terry DeLapp, Kuhn's dealer, in 2015.
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.
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:
Etchers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Watercolorists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Lithographers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Societies, etc. -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
New York school of art  Search this
Modernism (Art)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Citation:
Walt Kuhn Family papers and Armory Show records, 1859-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kuhnwalt
See more items in:
Walt Kuhn Family papers and Armory Show records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kuhnwalt
Online Media:

Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers

Creator:
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Names:
Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Esther Gentle Reproductions  Search this
Kennedy Galleries  Search this
Paul Rosenberg & Co.  Search this
Bedwell, Bettina, 1889-1947  Search this
Biddle, George, 1885-1973  Search this
Boyle, Kay, 1902  Search this
Burlin, Paul, 1886-1969  Search this
Carton, Norman, 1908-1980  Search this
Coates, Robert M. (Robert Myron), 1897-1973  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
De Rochemont, Richard  Search this
Dehn, Adolf, 1895-1968  Search this
Dos Passos, John, 1896-1970  Search this
Gentle, Esther, 1900-  Search this
Gonzalez, Xavier, 1898-1993  Search this
Griffin, John Howard, 1920-  Search this
Guthrie, Ramon, 1896-  Search this
Gwathmey, Robert, 1903-1988  Search this
Hall, William Weeks, 1894-1958  Search this
Hayter, Stanley William, 1901-  Search this
Hiler, Hilaire, 1898-1966  Search this
Hirsch, Joseph, 1910-1981  Search this
Hirsch, Stefan, 1899-1964  Search this
Holty, Carl, 1900-1973  Search this
Hélion, Jean, 1904-1987  Search this
Kronberg, Louis, 1872-1965  Search this
Lebrun, Rico, 1900-1964  Search this
Leepa, Allen, 1919-2009  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques, 1891-1973  Search this
Ludgin, Earle, 1898-1981  Search this
Malcolm, Thalia Westcott, b. 1878  Search this
Miller, Henry, 1891-  Search this
Miró, Joan, 1893-  Search this
Nordfeldt, Bror Julius Olsson, 1878-1955  Search this
Peake, Channing, 1910-  Search this
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Ruvolo, Feliz  Search this
Stark, Jack Gage, 1882-1950  Search this
Watkins, Franklin Chenault, 1894-1972  Search this
Weller, Allen S. (Allen Stuart), 1907-1997  Search this
Extent:
26.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketches
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Interviews
Date:
1891-1986
Summary:
The Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers measure 26.3 linear feet and date from 1891 through the 1980s. The collection documents Rattner's life and career as an artist through interviews, extensive correspondence, gallery files, studio notebooks, writings, notes, date books and diaries, photographs, and works of art.
Scope and Content Note:
Abraham Rattner's papers provide insight into an important time for twentieth century American art and culture. By studying Rattner's papers, the researcher may view the beginnings of Modernism, the cultural change that pushed the boundaries of artistic and literary traditions and provided new ways in which to express ourselves.

The Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers measure 26.3 linear feet and date from 1891 through the 1980s. The collection documents Rattner's life and career as an artist through interviews, extensive correspondence, gallery files, studio notebooks, writings, notes, date books and diaries, photographs, and works of art.

The biographical files contain documents such as Rattner's birth certificate, travel visas, his senior yearbook from 1912 which shows some of his early art work, and some of his awards. His birth certificate is of particular interest since it shows Rattner's birth date to be 1893 instead of the recognized 1895.

The correspondence offers great insight into the thoughts of many American and European artists and writers during the 1930s and 1940s. Rattner, a prolific writer, expressed many of his own thoughts and concerns through his letters, many of which are included in this collection. The vast amount of correspondence include letters from notable figures such as George Biddle, Kay Boyle, Paul Burlin, Norman Carton, Robert Coates, Stuart Davis, Adolph Dehn, Richard de Rochemont, John Dos Passos, Xavier Gonzales, John Howard Griffin, Ramon Guthrie, Robert Gwathmey, Weeks Hall, Stanley W. Hayter, Jean Helion, Hilaire Hiler, Joseph Hirsch, Stefan Hirsch, Carl Holty, Louis Kronberg, Rico Lebrun, Jacques Lipchitz, Earle Ludgin, Thalia Wescott Malcolm, Henry Miller, Joan Miro, Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt, Channing Peake, Henry Varnum Poor, Felix Ruvolo, Waverly Root, Jack Gage Stark, Frank C. Watkins, and Allen Weller, among others.

Rattner was engaged in a wide range of special art projects, and he kept detailed files on these projects. The projects spanned from 1940 through 1973 and included endeavors such as illustrations for Life magazine, stained-glass designs, mosaic and tapestry projects, as well as special paintings such as Victory--Jerusalem the Golden and The Gallows of Baghdad. Rattner's papers also detail the history of a fresco painted by Paul Gauguin entitled Joan d'Arcwhich Rattner purchased in France in 1925.

Rattner's forty year friendship with the writer Henry Miller is chronicled throughout the collection in the forms of correspondence, writings, printed material, phototographs and artwork. Their correspondence ranges from 1938 through 1978 and offers great insight into their relationship. Rattner and Miller's road trip from New York to New Orleans in 1940-1941 is documented in the series entitled Special Projects. Also included in the collection are printed material, such as biographical material on Miller, Miller's writings, literary announcements and reviews; Miller's writings on Rattner; and photographs of Miller.

The gallery files contain correspondence, receipts, and notes regarding the galleries which represented Rattner. Those galleries included the Rosenberg Gallery, the Downtown Gallery, and the Kennedy Gallery. A small series of exhibition files contain material about exhibitions held outside of Rattner's representative galleries.

Rattner's writings proved to be an outlet for his thoughts on painting, his inspirations, frustrations, and sadness. In addition to painting, Rattner was able to express his creativity through writing poetry. Writing also helped him work through his depression over the death of his first wife Bettina Bedwell.

He also kept finely detailed studio notebooks. The original order has been maintained, and they trace the history of almost each painting, drawing, and study attempted by Rattner. The notebooks often provide information regarding whether the work was sent to a gallery or given as a gift. Sometimes they contain correspondence or writings that reveal the inspiration for a work. They have been arranged in chronological order, according to Rattner's own filing system.

Rattner retained receipts for most of his art expenses. Arranged by decade, these receipts show the type of paint, colors, types of paper and brushes that he used.

Rattner also kept many household files and personal financial records. Household files contain insurance records, warranties and rental agreements, while the financial records contain returned checks and bank statements. Some bank statements from Esther Gentle Reproductions are also included. The household files and financial records are not filmed.

The date books and diaries reveal the aspects of daily life and the personal thoughts of Rattner and Esther Gentle. In many cases, Rattner shared his date books and diaries with Gentle. The early diaries are fascinating, especially the 1939 diary that discloses the Rattners' last days in France before escaping Nazism and returning to the United States.

Rettner's scrapbooks span from 1938 to 1952 and contain newspaper and magazine clippings that mention the artist or his work.

The printed material covers a period from 1930s through the 1980s and includes exhibition catalogs, exhibition announcements, clippings, and miscellaneous material such as an autograph book from 1969 and a map of Israel that shows Rattner's travel route. There is a large amount of unfilmed printed material that is listed in the series description.

Writings by others consists of writings on Rattner and other topics.

The collection contains many photographs taken of Rattner and taken by him, as well as photos of family, friends, his studio, travels, and photographs of Rattner's art. Photographs of notable people include Henry Miller, Joan Miro, John Dos Passos, Archibald MacLeish, and Malcolm Cowley, among others.

The amount of Rattner's art work included in the collection is small, but it is significant because it provides examples of his very early work, dating from 1912-1914. Some later studies are also present, as well as a number of random sketches. Color was very important to Rattner, and some of his color studies from the 1940s are also included. Art work by other artists is comprised of some small paintings by Max Weber, a water color by Henry Miller, a painting by Ken Buryd, as well as some work by unknown artists.

In addition to tracing Rattner's life and career, the collection also documents the lives of Rattner's two wives, Bettina Bedwell and Esther Gentle. Both women had profound effects on Rattner's work. Among Bettina Bedwell's papers are her diary, fashion sketches, and correspondence. Esther Gentle's papers include correspondence, writings, as well as papers documenting her business Esther Gentle Reproductions. There are a small amount of papers relating to Allen Leepa, Rattner's stepson with Esther Gentle.

See index for list of correspondents from various series.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into twenty-four series based primarily on type of document or special project. Though concentrated in its own series, additional correspondence is scattered throughout the collection and may be found in special project files, gallery files, exhibition files, studio notebooks, and scrapbooks. The correspondence has been divided into two subseries, one chronological and the other according to Rattner's subject-oriented filing system. Special art projects have been organized by project, and placed in chronological order. The studio notebooks have also been divided into subseries, and all notebook pages maintain Rattner's original order. The first subseries of notebooks reflects Rattner's numbering system, while the second subseries is arranged chronologically. The vast amount of printed material has been divided into subseries, and all of the unfilmed printed material has been organized chronologically at the end of the series.

Within each series, material is arranged either in chronological order, or in some cases, according to Abraham Rattner's own organizational system.

Oversized materials from various series are housed in oversized folders 33-45 and are noted in the Series Description/Container Listing with see also/see references or in the container columns.

Series 1: Biographical Files, 1893-1978, undated (box 1; 0.2 linear ft.)

Series 2: Interviews, 1957-1975, undated (box 1; 7 folders)

Series 3: Correspondence Files, 1933-1978, undated (boxes 1-5; 4.3 linear ft.)

Series 4: Special Projects, 1940-1987, undated (boxes 5-6, ovs 33-35; 1.5 linear ft.)

Series 5: -- Joan d'Arc -- Fresco painted by Paul Gaugin, 1925-1963, undated (box 7, ov 36; 12 folders)

Series 6: Gallery Files, 1942-1975 (boxes 7-8; 1.5 linear ft.)

Series 7: Exhibition Files, 1963-1978 (boxes 7, 9; 9 folders)

Series 8: Writings, 1940-1972, undated (box 9; 0.9 linear ft.)

Series 9: Studio Notebooks, 1935-1975, undated (boxes 10-11; 1.9 linear ft.)

Series 10: Art Expenses, circa 1940-1970 (boxes 11-13; 0.7 linear ft.)

Series 11: Household Files, 1940-1970, undated (box 13; 0.8 linear ft.)

Series 12: Financial Records, 1933-1963 (boxes 13-14; 0.7 linear ft.)

Series 13: Notes and Lists, 1936-1972, undated (box 14; 0.5 linear ft.)

Series 14: Address Books, 1939-1977, undated (box 15; 1.0 linear ft.)

Series 15: Date Books/Diaries, 1937-1977, undated (boxes 16-17; 1.6 linear ft.)

Series 16: Scrapbooks, 1938-1952 (boxes 18-22; 1.5 linear ft.)

Series 17: Printed Material, 1920s-1980s, undated (boxes 23-26; 3.6 linear ft.)

Series 18: Writings by Others, 1945-circa 1980, undated (box 26; 20 folders)

Series 19: Photographs, 1891-1970s, undated (boxes 27-29; 1.6 linear ft.)

Series 20: Works of Art by Rattner, 1912-1914, 1940-1967, undated (box 30, ovs 37-44; 2.4 linear ft.)

Series 21: Works of Art by Others, undated (box 30, ov 45; 7 folders)

Series 22: Bettina Bedwell Papers, 1932-1947, undated (box 31; 0.4 linear ft.)

Series 23: Esther Gentle Papers, 1921-1984, undated (boxes 31-32; 1.3 linear ft.)

Series 24: Allen Leepa Papers, 1952-1969, undated (box 32; 8 folders)
Biographical Note:
Abraham Rattner was born in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1895. His parents immigrated to the United States to escape antisemitism in Czarist Russia. He was the second of six children, including his eldest brother Louis, younger brothers Manuel (Manny) and Harry, and his younger sisters Rose and Jennie.

Rattner's parents encouraged him to paint at a young age, and as he grew up, painting became a part of his daily life. He graduated from Poughkeepsie High School in 1912 and left to study architecture at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. At night, he took art courses at the Corcoran School of Art. He soon became a full-time art student, and applied for a scholarship to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. He was accepted in 1919 and supported himself by doing illustrations for Philadelphia newspapers.

In 1917, World War I interrupted his studies. Rattner entered the United States Army in France where he became Sergeant of camouflage section, 40th Engineers. Camouflage, reflecting aspects of modern art in its form and pattern, made use of Rattner's artistic skills. During the second battle of the Marne, Rattner injured his back and returned to the States with an ailment that would affect him for the rest of his life.

Rattner returned to the Pennsylvania Academy and was awarded the Cresson scholarship to study art in Europe. He traveled for one year, then settled in Paris for the next twenty years. Those twenty years in Paris became the most formative for Rattner because he was able to study and experiment with Futurism, Cubism, and Expressionism. Post World War I Paris was the center of modern culture for Americans disillusioned by the destruction of the war. Expatriate writers, poets, and artists were searching for a culture that shunned the traditions of the past and exchanged ideas with one another at the lively Paris cafes and salons.

In 1924, Abraham Rattner married Bettina Bedwell, an American art student and fashion illustrator. Bettina became the Paris fashion correspondent for the New York News-Chicago Tribune Syndicate. In 1927, Rattner was a member of the Minotaure group, along with Picasso, Miro, Giacometti, Le Corbusier, Braque, Dali, and Reverdy. He also illustrated an article for Jon Dos Passos in Verve magazine in 1931.

Rattner's first one-man show was in 1935 at the Galerie Bonjean in Paris, which was followed by one-man shows at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York, the Arts Club of Chicago, and the Courvoisier Gallery in San Francisco.

The threat of Hitler and Nazism forced Rattner and his wife to flee Paris in 1939. Arriving in New York in early 1940, Rattner agreed to take a trip by car with the writer Henry Miller. Their route took them from New York to New Iberia, Louisiana via the East coast and Southern states. Their mission was to rediscover America, with Henry Miller writing about their experiences and Rattner sketching the scenery. Rattner's friendship with Henry Miller was an important one that lasted throughout his life.

During the 1940s, Rattner's art was widely exhibited. In 1941, he joined the Rosenberg Gallery in New York, and remained with the gallery for fourteen years. He won awards for his work such as the Temple Gold Medal in 1945 and second prize in the Pepsi-Cola Fourth Annual Art Competition in 1946. In 1947, Bettina Bedwell suddenly died due to a kidney infection, sending Rattner into a spiral of grief and depression. To escape depression, from 1947-1949, he taught at the New School for Social Research in New York.

In 1949, Rattner married Esther Gentle, an artist and business woman who ran an art reproductions business. In 1951, the Rattners moved to Rome where he worked as Artist in Residence at the American Academy. The next year, they moved to Illinois where he was the Artist in Residence at the University of Illinois. Ratter was awarded first prize in 1953 at the 23rd Corcoran Biennial Exhibition and also served as Vice-President of Artists' Equity. In 1956, Rattner was the Distinguished Visiting Professor at Michigan State University, and along with his stepson, Allen Leepa, established an art school on Long Island. In 1957, Rattner left the Rosenberg Gallery to join the Downtown Gallery. He felt he would professionally profit from representation by the well-known Edith Halpert; however, the next twelve years reflected a tumultuous relationship between the artist and the gallery owner.

In 1957, Rattner reached out to other forms of art and design. He experimented with mosaic, tapestry and stained-glass. He designed mosaic columns and tapestries for the Fairmont Temple Anche Chesed in Cleveland and a mosaic for a friary and college in Centerville, Ohio. His stained-glass designs were highly celebrated and respected. His most famous stained-glass piece was the window for the Chicago Loop Synagogue. For this piece, Rattner spent two years traveling to Paris to design and supervise every process involved in the design and installation of the window.

Rattner felt that while his paintings during the 1940s and 1950s were romantic and self-reflective, the 1960s marked a new inspirational period in his work. His painting reflected religious comment, bringing Rattner back in touch with his Jewish heritage, as well as reflecting a sense of social protest. In 1968, Rattner exhibited his painting Victory--Jerusalem the Golden to honor the celebration of Israel's twentieth anniversary of independence. It was also in 1968 that Rattner left the Downtown Gallery for the Kennedy Gallery. In 1969, he painted The Gallows of Baghdad series as a protest to the hanging of nine Jews by Iraqi authorities.

The 1970s marked a time of many exhibitions. In 1976, the National Collection of Fine Arts in Washington, D.C. sponsored an exhibition of his designs for stained-glass entitled "...and let there be light". Also, from 1976 through 1977, "Our America" exhibited Rattner's drawings from his 1940 U.S.A. trip with Henry Miller in England and in the United States. In 1977, Michigan State University bestowed upon him the Honorary Degree for Humanity. On February 14, 1978, Abraham Rattner died due to heart failure.

1893 -- Born June 8th in Poughkeepsie, New York.

1912 -- Graduated from Poughkeepsie High School.

1914-1917 -- Student at George Washington University, Corcoran School of Art and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

1917 -- Enlisted in the United States Army in France as Sergeant, camouflage section, 40th Engineers. Fought at Seicheprey, second battle of the Marne, and Chateau-Thierry.

1919 -- Returned to Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Awarded Cresson traveling fellowship to Europe.

1920 -- Traveled in France, Spain, England, Belgium and Holland.

1921 -- Art student in Paris at Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Grand Chaumiere, and Academie Ranson.

1922 -- Lived and painted in Giverny, France.

1923 -- Returned to Paris.

1924 -- Married Bettina Bedwell, Paris fashion correspondent for the New York News-Chicago Tribune news syndicate. Exhibited at Salon d'Automne and Salon des Independants.

1927 -- Member of the Minotaure group in Paris.

1931 -- Illustrated article, "Fire," by John Dos Passos for Verve magazine.

1935 -- First one-person show at Galerie Bonjean, Paris. French government purchased Card Party for Museum of Impressionism, The Louvre.

1936 -- One-person show at Julien Levy Gallery, New York (also 1939, 1941); Arts Club of Chicago; Courvoisier Gallery, San Francisco (also 1941).

1940 -- Returned to the United States following Nazi invasion of France. Traveled with Henry Miller from New York to New Iberia, Louisiana.

1941 -- One-person shows: Stendahl Gallery, Los Angeles; Faulkner Memorial Art Gallery, Santa Barbara (also 1943); Paul Rosenberg Gallery, New York (also 1942, 1944, 1946, 1948-1950, 1952, 1956); Studio, New York.

1945 -- Awarded the Temple Gold Medal from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Wrote "An American in Paris" for Magazine of Art.

1946 -- Awarded second prize at the Pepsi-Cola Fourth Annual Art Competition.

1947 -- Death of Bettina Bedwell Rattner.

1948 -- Taught at the New School for Social Research, New York.

1949 -- Married Esther Gentle. Visiting artist at Yale University and at the Brooklyn Museum School. Awarded honorable mention at the Carnegie Institute Exhibition of American Painting.

1950 -- Awarded the Purchase Prize at the University of Illinois Biennial Exhibition.

1951 -- Artist in residence at the American Academy in Rome.

1952 -- Artist in residence at the University of Illinois.

1953 -- Awarded first prize at the 23rd Corcoran Biennial Exhibition. Served as Vice-President of Artists' Equity.

1954 -- Taught at the Art Students League. Panelist at the Design Conference in Aspen, Colorado.

1955 -- Exhibited drawings at the Chicago Art Institute.

1956 -- Distinguished Visiting Professor at Michigan State University. Established an art school in East Hampton and Sag Harbor, Long Island.

1957 -- Designed mosaic columns and tapestries for the Fairmont Temple Anche Chesed in Cleveland. One-person show at Downtown Gallery, New York (also 1958-1967).

1958 -- Designed mosaic wall for St. Leonard's Friary and College in Centerville, Ohio. Designed stained-glass windows for the Flint Institute of Arts, Michigan. Began designs for stained-glass window for the Chicago Loop Synagogue. Exhibited with Alexander Calder at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Elected member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Awarded the Butler Memorial Prize at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

1959 -- Retrospective exhibition circulated by the American Federation of Arts. Exhibited at the Whitney Museum of Art.

1964 -- Exhibited at the Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland.

1968 -- Exhibited painting entitled Victory--Jerusalem the Golden at the celebration of Israel's 20th anniversary of independence.

1969 -- One-person shows: Kennedy Galleries, New York; Galerie Weil, Paris ( Baghdad Hangings), Galerie Belgique, Brussels ( Baghdad Hangings).

1970 -- Film commissioned by ABC-TV entitled "The Long Prayer of Abraham Rattner."

1972 -- Beggar's Opera lithographs exhibited at Circle Gallery, Chicago.

1976 -- Displayed stained-glass on religious themes with the National Collection of Fine Arts in Washington, D.C.

1977 -- "Our America" exhibition in England and the United States. Awarded Honorary Degree for Humanity from Michigan State University.

1978 -- Died on February 14th.
Index: List of Major Correspondents in Various Series:
These correspondents will be found in the following series: Correspondence, Special Projects, Gallery Files, Studio Notebooks, and Scrapbooks: Edward Albee, 1928-

John Anderson, 1904-

Bettina Bedwell, 1889-1947

Carl Beiber

George Belmont

George Biddle, 1885-1973

Kay Boyle, 1902-1992

Brassai, 1899-

Paul Burlin, 1886-1969

McClure Capps "Mac"

Norman Carton, 1908-1980

Jack Chapman

G. Alan Chidsey

Frederick Childs

Robert Coates, "Bob" 1897-1973

Malcolm Cowley, 1898-1989

Salvador Dali 1904-1989

Paul Damaz

Bernard Davis

Stuart Davis, 1894-1964

Adolph Dehn, 1895-1968

Richard de Rochemont

John Dos Passos, 1896-1970

Armand and Suzi D'usseau

Rene Lefebore Foinet

Gisele Freund, 1912-

Emily Genauer, 1911-

Esther Gentle, 1905-1984

Alberto Giacometti, 1901-1966

Xavier Gonzales, 1898-1993

John Howard Griffin

Ramon Guthrie, 1896-1973

Robert Gwathmey 1903-1988

Weeks Hall

Edith Gregor Halpert, 1900-1970

Stanley W. Hayter, 1901-1988

Nathan Hecht

Jean Helion, 1904-1987

William H. Henrick

Henry Herschkvitz

Hilaire Hiler, 1898-1966

Joseph Hirsch "Joe," 1910-1981

Stefan Hirsch, 1889-1964

Carl Holty, 1900-1973

Etienne Hubert

Arno Hummucher

Frederick I. Kann "Fred," 1886-

L.J. Konigsberg "Leib"

Louis Kronberg, 1872-1965

Alexandra Laks

Rico Lebrun (Fredrico), 1900-1964

Allen Leepa, 1919-

Isadore Levy

Julian Levy, 1906-1981

Jacques Lipchitz, 1891-1973

Ward Lockwood, 1894-1963

Jean Louste

Earle Ludgin, 1898-1981

Thalia Wescott Malcolm, 1888-

Reginald Marsh, 1898-1954

Archibald McLeish, 1892-

Henry Miller, 1891-1980

Joan Miro, 1893-1983

Gloria Nardin

Anais Nin, 1903-1977

Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt "B.J.O.," 1878-1955

Hugh O'Neill

Channing Peake, 1910-1989

Gabor Peferdi

Irving Penn

Peter Pollack, 1911-1978

Henry Varnum Poor 1888-1970

Andre Raizorkacs

Robert Rey

Maurice Reynal

Raymond Reynal

Hans Richter, 1888-1976

Edward Roditi

Shelden Rodman, 1909-

Waverly Root, 1903-1982

Felix Emmanuele Ruvolo, 1912-

Frank Sedlak

Paul Shapiro

Jack Gage Stark, 1882-1950

Barrie Stavis

Ike Stoeffle

Benjamin Ellis Tepper

David Turnbull

Alfredo Valente

Siegfried Wang

Frank C. Watkins (Franklin Chenault), 1894-1972

Allen Weller, 1907-
Separated Materials note:
Loaned material, including notebooks, writings, and some correspondence, were returned to Abraham Rattner after microfilming. This material is now part of the Abraham Rattner notes collection at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art at St. Petersburg College. Loaned material is available on reels D203-D205, D205A-D205B, and reel 1212, but is not described in this finding aid.
Provenance:
The collection was given to the Archives of American Art in stages by Abraham Rattner 1972-1983, by Esther Gentle 1986-1987, and by Gene Allen in 1992. The donated material that was previously filmed has been integrated and refilmed includes reels D203 and D205C-D205D. The material found on reels D205A-D205B was loaned by Rattner and the material found on reel 1212 was loaned by his sister, Jennie Allen.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use of unmicrofilmed portion 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:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Artist couples  Search this
Painters -- France -- Paris  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- France -- Paris  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketches
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Interviews
Citation:
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers, 1891-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.rattabra
See more items in:
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-rattabra

General Winfield Scott

Artist:
William Rush, 4 Jul 1756 - 17 Jan 1833  Search this
Sitter:
Winfield Scott, 13 Jun 1786 - 29 May 1866  Search this
Medium:
Plaster
Dimensions:
Object w/out socle: 61 x 54.6 x 34.3cm (24 x 21 1/2 x 13 1/2")
Socle footprint: 54.6 x 34.3cm (21 1/2 x 13 1/2")
Type:
Sculpture
Date:
c. 1814
Topic:
Costume\Dress Accessory\Epaulet  Search this
Winfield Scott: Male  Search this
Winfield Scott: Literature\Writer  Search this
Winfield Scott: Politics and Government\Presidential Candidate  Search this
Winfield Scott: Politics and Government\Public Official  Search this
Winfield Scott: Military\Army\Officer\General  Search this
Winfield Scott: Military\Army\Officer\War of 1812  Search this
Winfield Scott: Military\Army\Officer\Mexican War  Search this
Winfield Scott: Congressional Gold Medal  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.73.19
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition:
American Origins
On View:
NPG, East Gallery 142
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm4323f6fc5-e437-45fd-9150-5593b014cf95
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_NPG.73.19

William Clark

Artist:
George Catlin, 26 Jul 1796 - 23 Dec 1872  Search this
Sitter:
William Clark, 1 Aug 1770 - 1 Sep 1838  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
72.4 x 59.7cm (28 1/2 x 23 1/2")
Frame: 87.9 x 75.6 x 8.3cm (34 5/8 x 29 3/4 x 3 1/4")
Type:
Painting
Place:
United States\Missouri\Saint Louis City\Saint Louis
Date:
1832
Topic:
Interior  Search this
Printed Material\Book  Search this
Printed Material\Document  Search this
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Table  Search this
Equipment\Drafting & Writing Implements\Writing implement\Pen\Quill  Search this
Architecture\Door  Search this
Home Furnishings\Globe  Search this
Container\Inkwell  Search this
William Clark: Male  Search this
William Clark: Natural Resources\Explorer  Search this
William Clark: Politics and Government\Governor\Territorial Governor\Missouri  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.71.36
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition:
American Origins
On View:
NPG, East Gallery 124
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm4863b3d40-5951-4e01-9de2-0043b59f235c
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_NPG.71.36

Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers, 1891-1986

Creator:
Rattner, Abraham, 1893-1978  Search this
Gentle, Esther, 1900-1992  Search this
Subject:
Gwathmey, Robert  Search this
Guthrie, Ramon  Search this
Griffin, John Howard  Search this
Hiler, Hilaire  Search this
Hayter, Stanley William  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques  Search this
Hall, William Weeks  Search this
Hélion, Jean  Search this
Holty, Carl  Search this
Hirsch, Stefan  Search this
Leepa, Allen  Search this
Lebrun, Rico  Search this
Kronberg, Louis  Search this
Bedwell, Bettina  Search this
Burlin, Paul  Search this
Carton, Norman  Search this
Boyle, Kay  Search this
Gonzalez, Xavier  Search this
De Rochemont, Richard  Search this
Dehn, Adolf  Search this
Coates, Robert M. (Robert Myron)  Search this
Gentle, Esther  Search this
Dos Passos, John  Search this
Davis, Stuart  Search this
Biddle, George  Search this
Hirsch, Joseph  Search this
Weller, Allen S. (Allen Stuart)  Search this
Ruvolo, Feliz  Search this
Watkins, Franklin Chenault  Search this
Stark, Jack Gage  Search this
Nordfeldt, Bror Julius Olsson  Search this
Poor, Henry Varnum  Search this
Peake, Channing  Search this
Miró, Joan  Search this
Malcolm, Thalia Westcott  Search this
Ludgin, Earle  Search this
Miller, Henry  Search this
Kennedy Galleries  Search this
Esther Gentle Reproductions  Search this
Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Paul Rosenberg & Co.  Search this
Type:
Sketches
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Interviews
Topic:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Artist couples  Search this
Painters -- France -- Paris  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- France -- Paris  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9183
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211378
AAA_collcode_rattabra
Theme:
Diaries
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211378
Online Media:

Kennedy Galleries

Collection Creator:
Terry Dintenfass, Inc.  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 7
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1972-1977
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. Research Center.
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:
Terry Dintenfass, Inc. records, 1947-1987, bulk 1961-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Terry Dintenfass, Inc. records
Terry Dintenfass, Inc. records / Series 3: Exhibition Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-terrdint-ref250

Correspondence

Collection Creator:
Soyer, Raphael, 1899-1987  Search this
Extent:
(Box 1-2; 1.0 linear foot)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1940-1988
Scope and Contents note:
Raphael Soyer's correspondence spans over forty years, with the bulk of it dating between 1960 and his death in 1987. Letters are arranged chronologically and the majority are incoming to Soyer, but there are also scattered drafts of outgoing letters. Soyer was friends with many artists and cultural figures, and his personal correspondence includes letters to and from artists such as Lambro Ahlas, Benny Andrews, Rudolf Baranik, Leonard Baskin, George Biddle, Peter Blume, Aaron Bohrod, John Bratby, Alex Brook, David Burliuk, Marc Chagall, Peter De Francia, Otto Dix, Guy Du Bois, Philip Evergood, Josef Herman, Joseph Hirsch, Edward Hopper, Jacob Kainen, R. B. Kitaj, Leon Kroll, Joe Lasker, Jack Levine, Jacques Lipchitz, Henry Varnum Poor, Fairfield Porter, Max Weber, and numerous others. Soyer also corresponded with many writers such as Erskine Caldwell, Allen Ginsberg, Marianne Moore, and Isaac Bashevis Singer.

Also found here is correspondence with the Forum Gallery which represented him and dealer Bella Fishko. There is also correspondence with numerous galleries, museums, and schools which exhibited his work or requested his work for potential exhibitions. Additionally, there is correspondence with students and publishers, mostly requests for him to lecture or write articles, and business correspondence on the sale, donation, or commission of his work. Soyer corresponded with many art historians and critics, curators, gallery owners, and collectors, such as Andrei Chegodaev, Lloyd Goodrich, Joseph Hirshhorn, Abram Lerner, and Carl Zigrosser, as well as arts and social organizations. The collection includes very little family correspondence. Some of the letters are in Russian.

See Appendix for a list of correspondents in Series 2.
Arrangement note:
This series has been scanned in its entirety.
Appendix: Correspondents in Series 2:
A. S. Barnes & Company, Inc.: 1965, 1976

Abeles, Sigmund: 1981, 1987

Abram, Carl Fisher: 1986

ACA Galleries: 1981, 1985

Ackerberg, Sanders: 1974

Ahlas, Lambro: 1964, 1965, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1978-1980, 1985, 1986, undated

Alderson, Cella: undated

Alexander, Sidney: 1962, 1978, undated

Algase, Benjamin: 1981

Allen, Mary: 1980

Allentuck, Dan: 1986

Allinson, Jane: 1985

American Academy and Institute of Arts and letters: 1981, 1987

American Art Journal -- : 1970

American Contemporary Art Gallery: 1968

Amsden, Floyd T.: 1978

Andrews, Benny: 1965, 1972, 1974

Arikha, Avigdor: 1985-1987, undated

Art Dealers Association of America, Inc.: 1984

Art Harris Gallery: 1972, 1974

Art New -- s: 1953, 1963

Art Students League of New York: 1968

Artists for Core: 1966

Ashkenazy, Arnold: 1984, 1986

Associated American Artists: 1961, 1965, 1968

Atelier Royce: 1977

Bakshi, Ralph: 1978

Baranik, Rudolf: 1961, 1962, 1964, 1973, 1974, undated

Baskin, Leonard: 1963, 1964, undated

Bearden, Romare: undated

Bender, William H., Jr.: 1967

Berman, Saul: 1970, undated

Bernstein, Bo: 1973

Bezalel National Museum: 1963

Biddle, George: 1957, 1962, 1966, 1967, 1971

Biegle, Peter: undated

Bloch, Maurice: 1981

Bloch, Robert: 1984, 1985, undated

Blume, Peter: 1967, 1969

Bohrod, Aaron: 1954, 1960, 1977, 1979

Boston Public Library: 1963

Boston University: 1961, 1965

Bouche, Louis: 1960

Bowdoin College Museum of Art: 1964, 1968

Boyle, Kay: 1983

Bratby, John: 1962, 1965-1968, 1970, 1973, 1974, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, undated

Braun, Walter: 1977

Brook, Alex: 1969, 1977

Brooklyn Association for Mental Health, Inc.: 1969

Brooklyn Community Counseling Center: 1964

Brooklyn Museum: 1966, 1986

Brooks, Van Wyck: 1962, undated

Brown, Margaret Root: 1962

Browne, Renni: undated

Bulla, Clyde Robert: 1978

Burliuk, David Marussia: 1959-1961, 1963, 1966

Burliuk, Nicholas: 1967, 1982, 1983, undated

Burston Graphic Centre, Jerusalem: 1975

Butler Institute of American Art: 1963, 1984, 1987

Butler, Joseph G.: 1963

Caldwell, Virginia: 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, undated

Carvalho, Milton A.: 1968, 1969

Castellon, Hieda: 1977

Centre Culturel Americain: 1979

Chagall, Marc: 1955, 1957

Chapnick, Paul: 1980

Charnow, Miriam: 1964

Chegodaev, A.: 1965, 1966, 1969, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1979, undated

Chernow, Burt: 1966

Chicago Tribune -- : 1953

Chute, Marchette: 1961, 1966, 1969, 1981

Ciardi, John: 1966, 1969

Cogen, Charlie: 1975

Cohen, Arthur: 1975-1977, 1979, 1980

Coleman, Edward: 1975

Connellan, Carl: 1972

Constructionist -- : 1966

Copper, Dennis: 1976

Corbin, Douglas: 1981

Corcoran Gallery of Art: 1943, 1951

Cornell University: 1962, 1965

Dale, Marion: 1972

De Francia, Peter: 1961, 1968, 1976, 1981, 1984, 1986

De Groot, P.: 1965

Delbanco, Kurt: 1981

Deldeo, Salvatore: 1979

Detroit Institute of Arts: 1963

Diamond, David: 1977

Dickinson, Edwin: undated

Dickinson, Sidney: 1959

Dix, Otto: 1963

Dmitrievitch, Andrei: 1976, undated

Dobkin, John: 1983, undated

Du Bois, Guy: 1951, 1953, 1955

Eaton, Charles Edwar: 1978, 1979

Edel, Leon: 1969

Edgeworth, Richard C.: 1984, 1986

Evergood, Philip: 1941, 1954, 1967, undated

Everson Museum of Art: 1976, 1977

Feinberg, Charles E.: 1947

Feinberg, Paul: 1986

Fiala, Vaclav: 1975, 1978

Fisher, Jacob: 1979

Flaig, Bea: 1981

Floch, Joseph: 1962, undated

Fogg Art Museum: 1974, 1975

Ford Foundation: 1962

Forum Gallery (Bella Fishko): 1961-1963, 1966-1968, 1970, 1973-1975, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1986, undated

Frankenstein, Alfred V.: 1971

Franklin, Elaine: 1974

Freifeld, Eric: 1968, 1972, 1978

Friends of Art: 1985

Fuks, Leo: 1975

Furth, Dora: 1973, 1975-1977

Garrett, Adams: 1982, 1986

George Mason University: 1980

Georgia Museum of Art: 1968, 1983

Gibbs, Charles: 1972

Gillette, Henry: 1981

Ginsberg, Allen: 1968

Gladstein, Sheldon: 1987

Glaser, Mary Todd: 1965

Goldsmith, Morton G.: 1964

Gonzales, Xavier: 1982

Goodrich, Lloyd: 1963, 1967, 1971, 1981, undated

Goshans, Werner: 1977, 1981, 1982

Grant, Quentin: 1979

Grausman, Philip: 1965, undated

Gray, Don: 1984

Grossman, Emery: 1964

Grosz, George: 1956, 1957

Guggenheim Museum: 1980

Guttuso, Renato: 1962, 1963, undated

Gwathney, Bob: undated

Halegua, Lillian: 1967, 1977

Halper, Albert: 1972

Harmon, Lily: 1981

Harris, Victor: 1977

Harriton, Abe: 1981

Harry N. Abrams, Inc.: 1964, 1969, 1971

Harvard University: 1962

Hautzig, Debbi: 1978

Hebrew Union College: 1983

Hecht, Fels: 1984, 1987

Heckscher Museum: 1977, 1987

Herman, Josef: 1967, 1976, 1983, undated

Hills, Patricia: 1981, 1982, 1985

Hirsch, Joseph: 1960, 1964, 1966, 1977, 1979, 1981

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden: 1975, 1979-1983

Hirshhorn, Joseph: 1965, 1968, 1969

Hoag, Paul Sterling: 1954

Hoffman, Gladys: 1961

Hollfelder, Jack: 1983

Homar, Lorenzo: 1979, 1980

Hopper, Edward: 1960-1963, undated

Horn, Lex: 1964

Horowitz, Brenda: 1984

Hosbach, Marguerette: 1973

Hutchins, Robert: 1984, undated

Jackson, Harry: 1966

Jackson, Valentina: 1979

Jewish Museum: 1974, 1981, 1982

Johns, Judith: 1982

Jones, Kathryn: 1986

Jones, Wilma: 1960

Josephson, Matthew: 1969, 1970

Kainen, Jacob: 1968, 1969

Kalet, Maureen: 1982

Kalischer, Nathan: 1979

Kane, Doris: 1975

Kaplan, Kathy Walden: 1983

Karlstrom, Paul: 1972

Kearney, John: 1984, undated

Kennedy Galleries, Inc.: 1980

King, Barry: 1985

King, Raymond: 1986

Kitaj, R. B and Sandra: 1979-1985, 1987, undated

Klemeri, Diana: 1982

Knaths, Karl: 1953

Kroll, Leon: 1945, 1961, 1964

Kuniyoshi, Yasuo: undated

Kunstverein in Hamburg: 1980

Landau, Ellen G.: 1982

Lasansky, Leonardo: 1986

Lasker, Joe: 1955, 1962, 1968, 1970, 1985, undated

Leiser, Erwin: 1980

Lerner, Abram (Al): 1958, 1985

LeRoy, Marvyn: 1968

Lesser, Gerson: 1979

Levin, Eli: 1977

Levin, Gail: 1985

Levine, David: 1963, 1971

Levine, Jack: 1963, 1986

Levine, Sheldon: 1987

Levy, Alan; 1982, 1983, 1985

Lipchitz, Jacques: 1962, undated

Loeb, Albert: 1980

Long, Rose: 1986

Loyola Marymount University: 1985, 1986

Ludgin, Earle: 1966

Lyons, Leonard: 1963

Maass, John: 1986

Maryland Institute, College of Art: 1975

Mayer, Bena Frank: 1967

Mayer, Bernadette: 1981

Mazo, Joe: 1984

McBain, Gertrude: 1986, undated

McDaniel, Aletha: 1982

Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1978-1980, 1982-1984, 1986

Meyers, Bill: 1962, undated

Miami Herald -- : 1972

Milwaukee Art Museum: 1983

Minnigerode, C. Powell: 1940

Mishkan Le'Omanut, Museum of Art: 1964

Mondale, Joan: 1977

Moore, Marianne: 1960, 1968

Morgan, Bill: 1984

Morlan, Nina: 1983

Mourlot, Liliane: 1967

Mumford, Lewis: 1965

Museum of Modern Art: 1953, 1961, 1962, 1966

Museum Tel Aviv: 1962, 1972, 1973

Myers, Neil: 1973

Nathan, Helmuth: 1967

National Academy of Design: 1970, 1977, 1981, 1984

National Arts Club: 1978

National Council of American-Soviet Friendship, Inc.: 1968

Neel, Alice & Neel Family: 1969, 1985

Neugass, Ludwig: 1965

New Republic Book Company, Inc.: 1976, 1977

New School for Social Research: 1980

New York Times -- : 1959, 1972, undated

Newark Public Library: 1981

Newman, John: 1984

Nichols, Norma: 1982

Nordness, Leo: 1961

Otis, Elizabeth R.: 1963

Palevsky, Jaon: 1980

Papazian, Gilbert: 1977, 1978, 1980, 1987

Parrish Art Museum: 1980

Pembroke Gallery: 1983

Penney, Charles: 1981

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts: 1948

Pennsylvania State University: 1977, 1982, 1983

Perlis, Don: 1979

Perlman, Bennard: 1977

Petrovsky, Mira & Vladimir: 1975, undated

Pink, Marilyn: 1986

Poor, Henry Varnum & Annie: 1957, 1960, 1962, 1966, 1969, 1975, 1985, undated

Porter, Fairfield: 1956, undated

Portland Art Museum: 1985

Provincetown Art Association: 1984

Queens Child Guidance Center, Inc.: 1970

Quirt, Eleanor: 1981, 1985, undated

Randolph-Macon Woman's College: 1985

Random House, Inc.: 1968, 1969, 1976

Rappin, Adrian: 1976

Rewald, John & Alice: 1963, 1966, 1982, undated

Rhode Island School of Design: 1971

Robbins, Warren: 1983, 1984, 1985

Rogers, Leo M.: 1961

Rose, Herman: 1962, undated

Rosenberg, James N.: 1969

Rosenkranz, Rita: 1987

Rosner, Stanley: 1969

Roszak, Theodore: 1977

Roth, Audrey M.: 1978

Rothwell, Jed: 1987

Rozmaryn, Jack: 1974

Russell, Rhoda Winter: 1980

Saint John's University: 1981

Salisbury, Harrison: 1975

Salpeter, Harry: 1964, undated

San Antonio Museum Association: 1980

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: 1982

Sandler, Marc J.: 1962

Sarnewitz, Lyle Evan: 1984

Schiff, Sidney: 1984

Schlang, Joseph: 1965

Schoen, Jason: 1985, 1986

Schrag, Karl: 1969, undated

Schrag, Raymond: 1986

Seyffert, Richard: 1979

Shannon, Joe: 1981

Shapiro, David: 1979

Shubert, Katherine: 1967

Singer, Isaac B.: 1978, undated

Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture: 1981

Sleigh, Sylvia: 1984

Smith, Mrs. Wallace (Kelcey): 1985

Smith, Vincent D.: 1976, 1981

Smithsonian Institution (National Collection of Fine Arts): 1968, 1973, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1985-1987

Sonnemann, Nell: 1972, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1986

Styron, William: 1969

Swanson, Mary T.: 1979

Syracuse University: 1965, 1973

Taliano, A. D.: 1978, 1981, undated

Tapper, Joan: 1977

Thaler, Jesse: 1978

Tinsley, Betty: 1961

Todd, Ellen: 1986

Todorchev, Anne: 1979, 1980

Tolskaya, Leidmila: 1965, 1967

Toney, Anthony: 1955

United American Artists: 1940

United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York: 1970, 1974

University of California, Berkeley: 1966

University of Maryland: 1968

University of Minnesota: 1985, 1986

University of Texas: 1969

Van der Tweel, L. H.: 1975

Van Devanter, Ann C.: 1973

Vereisky, Oriest: undated

Vincent Price Collection: 1964

Walsh, Alexandria: 1977

Warner, Keith: 1944

Warshaw, Howard: 1953

Washburn, Gordon B.: 1967

Weber, Max: 1954, undated

Wertham, Fredric: 1967

West, Michael: 1967

Wheelock, Susan; 1976

Whitney Museum of American Art: 1950, 1966, 1969, 1977, 1979, 1981-1983, 1985

Wichita Art Museum: 1977

Wigglesworth, Anne Parker: 1983

William A. Farnsworth Library and Art Museum, 1981, 1985-1987, undated

Winer, Arthur: 1976

Wolff, Theodore: 1981

Worcester Art Museum (Francis Henry Taylor): 1957

Yeshiva University: 1967, 1974

Zabriskie, Virginia: 1979

Zigrosser, Carl: 1941, 1969
Collection Restrictions:
Use of the 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:
Raphael Soyer papers, 1933-1989. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.soyeraph, Series 2
See more items in:
Raphael Soyer papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-soyeraph-ref33

Millard Sheets papers

Creator:
Sheets, Millard, 1907-1989  Search this
Names:
Dalzell Hatfield Galleries  Search this
Millard Sheets & Associates Designs  Search this
Sheets, Mary Baskerville  Search this
Extent:
27.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Slides (photographs)
Photographs
Date:
circa 1907-2000
Summary:
The Millard Sheets papers comprise 27.6 linear feet of material dating from circa 1907 to 2000 with bulk dates spanning 1956 to 1981. The collection documents Sheets's career as a designer, painter, and muralist, and his personal and professional interests through correspondence, writings, lectures, printed material, drawings, slides, photographs, and ephemera. A small addition donated 2018 by Carolyn Owen-Toole, Sheet's daughter. There is a 4.6 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated 2018 that includes writings; sketchbooks and sketches; photographs and negatives of works of art, images of Millard Sheets and others; printed material, including two scrapbooks; and scattered correspondence regarding Sheet's projects.
Scope and Content Note:
The personal papers of Millard Sheets (1907-1990) measure 27.6 linear feet and date from circa 1907-2000, with bulk dates of 1956-1981. The collection reflects Sheets's career as a designer, painter, and muralist, as well as his other personal and professional interests, through correspondence, writings, lectures, clippings, blueprints, drawings, slides, photographs, and ephemera.

The Project Files comprise the largest group of materials in the collection and document design work undertaken by Sheets through his company Millard Sheets & Associates Designs. Sheets and his associates produced concept drawings and blueprints and supervised the construction for a wide range of design projects that ranged in scale from architectural plans for private residences to bid proposals for shopping malls and financial institutions located in California and the Southwest.

Sheets designed interior and exterior plans for over forty Home Savings and Loan bank branches in California. The distinctive modular design which Sheets created and then customized by integrating interior and exterior art elements that highlighted local historical events or natural features became synonymous with the image of Home Savings and Loan. Sheets also teamed up with the architect Edward Durrell Stone to produce a proposal for the Capitol Mall Project, an urban renewal project for the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Sacramento. Researchers will find correspondence, job costs and billing statements, and notes that trace the development of these and other building construction projects. In some instances the documents are supplemented by blueprints, photographs, and/or drawings of the project, but in many cases, visual documentation is missing.

The Project Files also document work done by Millard Sheets on public projects such as the Family of Man mural in the Los Angeles City Hall Annex, a mosaic dome in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., and the Word of Life mural at the University of Notre Dame, Ind., along with numerous other murals and mosaics created for private individuals and corporations.

The Correspondence Series primarily reflects the interaction between Sheets and his clients, colleagues, and personal acquaintances. These files will prove valuable to researchers who are interested in the way that Sheets's beliefs about the role of art in everyday life impacted the way he conducted business and managed both large and small design projects. The correspondence also reflects Sheets's interest in popular American culture, travel, political issues of the day, and art collecting.

The Membership Files document the wide variety of interests that Sheets maintained through active membership in associations and organizations. The material in this series consists primarily of correspondence, minutes of meetings, and notes which Sheets created or used as he served as a board member or trustee on a number of organizational boards, such as the California Institute of the Arts, the Claremont Colleges, Virginia Steele Scott Foundation, Webb School of California, and Goodwill Industries of Southern California.

Also found in this series is material that documents his interest and participation in various recreational and professional organizations. Sheets maintained a long association with the Economic Roundtable, a group of businessmen who met regularly to give presentations and share discussion on contemporary political and social issues. Sheets was a frequent speaker and his talks given at the Economic Roundtables can be found in Lectures and Speeches, a subseries of the Writings Series.

Included in the Millard Sheets & Associates Designs, Inc. series are records that reflect the day-to-day operations of Sheets's design firm. Found here are chronological copies of correspondence that were sent out, files Sheets maintained on various independent contractors that the design firm frequently used, resumes and letters of recommendation that Sheets received regarding potential employees, as well as records relating to the cost and maintenance of Sheets's office building.

The Teaching and Workshop Files document the instructional activities undertaken by Sheets throughout his career in the arts. Although Sheets became pivotal in establishing a regionally recognized art department at Scripps College in Claremont, California, the files that reflect his academic position there are limited in scope and depth. Researchers will find more substantive the files that he maintained on the numerous art demonstrations and paintings workshops that he conducted privately throughout his career. Sheets traveled extensively around the world through his teaching activities and the files in this series track his path.

Closely related to the Teaching and Workshop Files is the Painting Trips series. The material in these files document Sheets's service as an American Specialist in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the USIS, Department of State. Sheets served two times as a cultural arts representative in Turkey in 1960 and in the former USSR in 1961. Sheets also made numerous trips to South East Asia, which had proved an area of fascination for him since his experiences as a war correspondent in Burma and India in World War II. The files in this series document his painting trips to Tahiti, the Pacific Ocean Rim, and Hawaii. Also found are files that detail his painting activities in Mexico.

The Exhibition Files reflect the records that Sheets maintained regarding his participation in art exhibitions, as well as his files on art shows that he personally directed or organized for public or private groups or organizations. Although Sheets exhibited his work predominantly in the West and Southwest, the files in this series demonstrate that he exhibited both nationally and internationally as well.

Also found within the records for this series are files relating to Sheets's representation of his artwork through established galleries and art agents. The Dalziel Hatfield Galleries of Los Angeles, California, served as his primary agent for most of his painting career. Correspondence between Sheets and the Hatfields provide insight into Sheets's development into a regionally and nationally significant watercolorist and painter. The files relating to the Kennedy Galleries in New York and the Circle Gallery in Chicago reflect Sheets's efforts to maintain a national presence in the arts community.

The Jury Files document Sheets's involvement as a juror in regional, as well, as national shows. The files reveal the great variety of professional watercolor and painting exhibitions in which Sheets participated as either a jury panelist or solo judge.

The Writings Files provide an excellent source for researchers interested in Sheets's philosophical beliefs about the relationship between art and everyday life. His articles, lectures, and speeches predominantly address the role of the artist, the relationships that exist between artists and the community, and the role that art can play in making a fuller, more productive life. Also found in the files of this series are articles written by others about Sheets.

The Biographical Material series provides a short introduction to Millard Sheets. The files consist of the calendars maintained by Sheets and his wife and staff, which were used to coordinate his many commitments and appointments. Also found in the files of this series are family chronologies that were created by Mary Baskerville Sheets. Medical records and resumes provide personal information about Sheets's background and health. A small file of military memorabilia provides information about Sheets's contributions to the war effort in World War II.

The Printed Matter series documents family activities and personalities through publicity clippings. Also found are exhibition catalogs and announcements that Sheets saved regarding other artists. Miscellaneous interests and activities of Sheets are found through magazine articles, brochures, and flyers.

The Photographs series includes photographic documentation for Sheets's artwork, horses, and major projects. A small group of photographs of Sheets are also in this series.

The files in the Artwork series include original drawings by Mary Baskerville Sheets and Millard Sheets.

There is a 4.6 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated 2018 that includes writings; sketchbooks and sketches; photographs and negatives of works of art, images of Millard Sheets and others; printed material, including two scrapbooks; and scattered correspondence regarding Sheet's projects.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into fifteen series. Small series, such as Biographical Material are generally based on type of document. Larger series, such as Correspondence or Project Files, are arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent or project. General correspondence has been made into its own series, but other series or subseries may also contain some correspondence. Within particular series, materials have been further divided into subseries which represent particular aspects of the project or event. For example, the Writings Series is further divided into subseries of books and articles, eulogies, and lectures and speeches. An outline listing series and subseries titles and dates follows.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1907-1982, undated (boxes 1-2; 1.25 linear ft.)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1929-1990, undated (boxes 2-4; 2.75 linear ft.)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1933-1980, undated (boxes 5-6; 1.25 linear ft.)

Series 4: Membership Files, 1946-1982, undated (boxes 6-8; 2.5 linear ft.)

Series 5: Millard Sheets & Associates Designs, 1934-1982, undated (boxes 8-9; 1.0 linear ft.)

Series 6: Project Files, 1956-1981, undated (boxes 9-18; 8.25 linear ft.)

Series 7: Teaching and Workshop Files, 1932-1982 (box 18; 0.5 linear ft.)

Series 8: Painting Trips, 1959-1980, undated (box 18; 16 folders)

Series 9: Exhibition Files, 1932-1937, 1951-1988, undated (box 19; 0.75 linear ft.)

Series 10: Jury Files, 1941-1982 (boxes 19-20; 42 folders)

Series 11: Writings, 1936-1988, undated (boxes 20-22; 2.5 linear ft.)

Series 12: Printed Matter, 1936-1922, undated (boxes 22-23; 20 folders)

Series 13: Photographs, 1934-1983, undated (box 23; 17 folders)

Series 14: Artwork, circa 1929, undated (box 23; 2 folders)

Series 15: Unprocessed Addition, circa 1930-2000 (boxes 24, 26-30, OV25: 4.6 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
"Your painting is a measure of your mind"-Millard Sheets

Millard Sheets, as one of the founding members of the "California Scene Painters," exerted a lasting influence upon subsequent generations of Western painters. He and the small group of painters who worked in California during the 1930s and 1940s, developed a new style of watercolor painting that was at the forefront of the American watercolor movement of the time, and that later gave rise to a subsequent generation of painters who became known as the California Regionalist school.

Sheets was born in Pomona, California on June 24, 1907. His mother died in childbirth, and his father, John Sheets, unprepared to raise a baby alone, sent Millard to Pomona, California to be raised by his maternal grandparents, Lewis and Emma Owen. Sheets's grandfather proved to be a guiding force in his life, and when Sheets's father remarried and offered Millard the opportunity to return to the Sheets household, Millard chose instead to remain with his grandparents.

Sheets's love of horses can be directly traced back to his childhood years spent living at his grandfather's horse ranch. Millard rode his first horse when he was three years old. Throughout his life, Sheets returned to the theme of horses in his paintings, as well as maintaining a private stable of horses, and raising and breeding racehorses.

His interest in art also began in childhood. When he was still a young boy, his two maternal aunts encouraged him to play with crayons and pencils. Sheets took his first painting lesson from a neighbor at the age of seven, and by 1919 he had already submitted artwork to the copy division of the Los Angeles County Fair fine arts show competition. He submitted a drawing he had copied of a tinted photograph of Lake KIlarney, California. Sheets won first prize in his division.

It was through this competition that Millard met Theodore B. Modra, a Polish artist who had retired to the Pomona area. After giving Sheets a lecture on the evils of copying art, Modra offered to give him art lessons.

Sheets continued to pursue his interest in art and enrolled in the Choinard School of Art in Los Angeles, California. By the time that he graduated in 1929, Sheets had also managed to come to the attention of Dalzell and Ruth Hatfield of the Dalzell Hatfield Galleries in Los Angeles, California. The Hatfields were one of the most influential art dealers in Southern California, and that same year, they sponsored Sheets in his first one-man exhibition in 1929. The exhibition brought Sheets to the attention of Western Coast art critics and launched Sheets on his painting career.

In 1929 Sheets also learned that he had won second place in the annual Edgar B. Davis art competition held in San Antonio, Texas. The award came with a cash prize and Sheets made plans to travel to Europe to study and paint. Shortly before his departure, however, he met an art student, Mary Baskerville, and they began a whirlwind romance. With Baskerville's enthusiastic support for European plans, and with her promise that she would wait for him, Sheets departed for New York and then Europe.

While overseas during 1929 and 1930, Sheets studied under Dorfinant, a master printer in Paris. Through his work at this studio workshop, he met Henri Matisse.

Five months after Millard returned to the California in 1930, Sheets and Mary Baskerville married. Sheets worked as the director of the Fine Arts Exhibition of the Los Angeles County Fair. In 1932 Sheets returned to school to study art and humanities at Scripps College in Claremont, California. After graduating from Scripps, school officials approached Sheets with an offer to set up a separate fine arts program and asked him to chair the new department. This was the beginning of a twenty year association with the school. In 1938, he also became the Director of Art at Claremont Graduate School.

Sheets left the school during the years of World War II to serve as a war-time artist and journalist for Life magazine, and from 1943-1944 was stationed on the Burma-India Front. His experiences in Asia appeared to affect him deeply. In contrast to his earlier works which featured backgrounds with neutral tones and brilliant shades that highlighted and punctuated the compositions, the paintings from the wartime featured somber tones. Sheets remarked of this time:

During the fighting and the time I spent in the C-B-1 theater, I was too shaken and intellectually stunned to do any complete paintings. I made many, many sketches, though, as well as a real effort to remember each scene that particularly affected me. Then, once I returned to America, I painted frantically, for months, exorcising demons. [Lovoos, Janice and Edmund F. Penney, Millard Sheets: One-Man Renaissance, Northland Press, Flagstaff, AZ, 1984]

Sheets returned from the war in 1944 and resumed his position at Scripps College until 1955 when he was approached by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and asked to overhaul the fledgling Los Angeles County Art Institute. Sheets accepted the position and spent the next five years reshaping the mission and format of the school, renaming it the Otis Art Institute. In the years after Sheets left the directorship, the school eventually became part of the Parson's School of Design on the West Coast.

In 1953 Sheets founded the Millard Sheets Designs company. He hired between twenty-five and thirty artisans for large projects, with Susan Hertel, a former student of his, serving as his assistant in all the operations of the design studio. The working staff included engineers, registered architects, draftsmen, and artists, and the projects that the firm produced included murals, mosaics, stained glass, and sculpture for private homes and public and commercial businesses.

The design studio completed several major architectural projects throughout the late 1950s through the mid 1970s, including the design and construction of Cal Aero, a flight training school for the US Air Force, the National American Insurance Company offices for the California financier, Howard Ahmanson, Ahmanson Bank and Trust Company in Beverly Hills, many Home Savings and Loan Association Buildings, private residences, and the Scottish Rite Memorial Temples in Los Angeles and San Francisco, among many other projects.

Sheets also designed and completed mural and mosiac work for numerous public buildings in the Los Angeles area, as well as across the nation. Many of the murals and mosiacs were for those buildings designed by his firm while others were done as independent commissions.

In 1968 Sheets first proposed the murals he designed for the Los Angeles City Hall. His design was approved and he was awarded a commission to complete The Family of Man murals over the two main entrances to the Los Angeles City Hall. The murals were completed in 1971 and installed in 1972. Sheets also designed mosiacs and murals for the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, the Library at Notre Dame University, the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple in Los Angeles, several Home Savings and Loan Association buildings in the Los Angeles area, the Detroit Public Library, and the Dome of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.

During the early 1960s Sheets participated in the American Specialist Program of the US Department of State. His first assignment was to Turkey in 1960, where he served as a visiting artist. The following year he went to the USSR in the same capacity.

During the early to mid 1950s Sheets became involved with Columbia Pictures and was technical advisor and production designer for a few years.

Millard Sheets was a member of the National Watercolor Society, the American Watercolor Society, the National Academy of Design, the Society of Motion Picture Art Directors, and the Century Association. Sheets actively promoted his own work and was a businessman, an active and prolific artist, instructor, and designer. Millard Sheets died on March 31, 1989 in Gualala, California.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reels LA 10) including a biographical sketch, career resume, and a list of sheets' work prepared in 1964. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Millard Sheets lent material for microfilming in 1965. Mary B. Sheets, Millard's widow, donated the papers to the Archives of American Art in 1992. Carolyn Owen-Toole, Sheet's daughter, gave a small addition of material in 2018.
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.
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 -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art -- California  Search this
Art and society  Search this
Horses -- Breeding  Search this
Watercolorists -- California  Search this
Muralists -- California  Search this
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Designers -- California  Search this
Genre/Form:
Slides (photographs)
Photographs
Citation:
Millard Sheets papers, circa 1907-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.sheemill
See more items in:
Millard Sheets papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-sheemill
Online Media:

Kennedy Galleries, New York, N.Y.

Collection Creator:
Sheets, Millard, 1907-1989  Search this
Container:
Box 19, Folder 76
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1980-1981
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.
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:
Millard Sheets papers, circa 1907-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Millard Sheets papers
Millard Sheets papers / Series 9: Exhibition Files / 9.3: Galleries
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-sheemill-ref779

John Marin Estate

Collection Creator:
Richard York Gallery  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1998-2002
Scope and Contents note:
John Marin Estate records includes correspondence and lists from an inventory taken in 2001 compared with 1998 artwork in-take records from Kennedy Galleries. Records related to the consignment and sale of Marin's artwork are found in Artists' Artwork Files.

Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject.
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:
Richard York Gallery records, circa 1865-2005, bulk 1981-2004. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.richyorg, Subseries 4.1
See more items in:
Richard York Gallery records
Richard York Gallery records / Series 4: Estate Records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-richyorg-ref6655

Kennedy Galleries

Collection Creator:
Richardson, Edgar Preston, 1902-1985  Search this
Richardson, Constance, 1905-  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 32
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1966-1969
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. 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:
Edgar P. Richardson papers, 1814-1996, bulk 1921-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
E.P. (Edgar Preston) and Constance Richardson papers
E.P. (Edgar Preston) and Constance Richardson papers / Series 3: Correspondence / 3.1: General
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-richedga-ref173

U.S.A. trip, Kennedy Gallery exhibition

Collection Creator:
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 82
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1979
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use of unmicrofilmed portion 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:
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers, 1891-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers / Series 4: Special Projects
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-rattabra-ref267

Gallery Files

Collection Creator:
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Extent:
(boxes 7-8; 1.5 linear ft.)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1942-1975
Scope and Contents note:
These files relay Rattner's relationships with the galleries that represented his art work. The papers include correspondence, inventories, purchase slips, and Rattner's records and notes regarding the Rosenberg Gallery, the Downtown Gallery, the Kennedy Galleries and the Circle Gallery.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use of unmicrofilmed portion 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:
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers, 1891-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.rattabra, Series 6
See more items in:
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-rattabra-ref300

Kennedy Galleries

Collection Creator:
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Container:
Box 7, Folder 40-41
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1968-1975
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use of unmicrofilmed portion 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:
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers, 1891-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers / Series 6: Gallery Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-rattabra-ref303

Outgoing artwork: Kennedy Gallery exhibition

Collection Creator:
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Container:
Box 11, Folder 14
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1968
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use of unmicrofilmed portion 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:
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers, 1891-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers / Series 9: Studio Notebooks / 9.2: Studio Notebooks Chronologically Arranged
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-rattabra-ref375

Exhibition Photographs

Collection Creator:
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1950s-1970s, undated
Scope and Contents note:
Photographs of Rattner and others attending exhibitions of his work are found here. Exhibitions included are the Carnegie Institute; the Downtown Gallery; Corcoran Gallery of Art; the Kennedy Gallery; "...and there was light," an exhibition of Rattner's stainedglass designs for the Chicago Loop Synagogue; and photographs from the exhibition "Our America."
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use of unmicrofilmed portion 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:
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers, 1891-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.rattabra, Subseries 19.3
See more items in:
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers / Series 19: Photographs
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-rattabra-ref544

Kennedy Gallery exhibition

Collection Creator:
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Container:
Box 27, Folder 35
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use of unmicrofilmed portion 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:
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers, 1891-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers / Series 19: Photographs / 19.3: Exhibition Photographs
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-rattabra-ref551

Albert Reese (see also Kennedy Galleries)

Collection Creator:
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Container:
Box 14
Reel 5928, Frame 320-363
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1975-1982
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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:
Prentiss Taylor papers, 1885-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Prentiss Taylor papers
Prentiss Taylor papers / Series 10: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-taylpren-ref1336

Kennedy Galleries (see also Albert Reese)

Collection Creator:
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Extent:
(5 folders)
Container:
Box 11
Reel 5923, Frame 917-1047
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1946-1980
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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:
Prentiss Taylor papers, 1885-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Prentiss Taylor papers
Prentiss Taylor papers / Series 10: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-taylpren-ref934

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