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Oral history interview with Katharine Kuh

Topic:
Saturday review
Interviewee:
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Interviewer:
Berman, Avis  Search this
Creator:
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.)  Search this
First National Bank of Chicago -- Art collections  Search this
Katharine Kuh Gallery (Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Vassar College  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Albright, Ivan, 1897-1983  Search this
Archipenko, Alexander, 1887-1964  Search this
Arensberg, Louise S. (Louise Stevenson), 1879-1953  Search this
Arensberg, Walter, 1878-1954  Search this
Avery, Milton, 1885-1965  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Berenson, Bernard, 1865-1959  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Ernst, Max, 1891-1976  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
Klee, Paul, 1879-1940  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, 1886-1969  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946  Search this
Mérida, Carlos, 1891-1984  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Paepcke, Walter Paul, 1896-1960  Search this
Porter, Eliot, 1901-1990  Search this
Ray, Man, 1890-1976  Search this
Rich, Daniel Catton, 1904-1976  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Stamos, Theodoros, 1922-1997  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Tamayo, Rufino, 1899-  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Weston, Edward, 1886-1958  Search this
Extent:
313 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1982 Mar. 18-1983 Mar. 24
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Katharine Kuh conducted 1982 Mar. 18-1983 Mar. 24, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.
Kuh speaks of her invalid childhood in Chicago, the development of her interest in art, classes in art history at Vassar College, and her career as curator of modern art at the Art Institute of Chicago. She recalls in particular the "Sanity in Art" movement against modern art in Chicago. Kuh describes her relationship with Mark Rothko and Rothko's relationships with Mark Tobey, Clyfford Still, Kate Rothko, Theodoros Stamos, Milton Avery, Stanley Kunitz, and Hans Hofmann.
Kuh discusses her parents, the family silk business, travelling in Europe as a child, life in Chicago, the effects of polio and other illnesses on her interests, and her student years at Vassar College. She remembers visiting Bernard Berenson in Italy with her family and again with Daniel Catton Rich, with whom she worked very closely at the Art Institute of Chicago. She speaks of the Katharine Kuh Gallery, which she started in the mid-1930s and its place in the vanguard of the Chicago art scene.
Kuh remembers the effects of the stock market crash on her personal situation, her marriage to businessman George Kuh, distaste for life in the suburbs, and her divorce. She discusses the Katharine Kuh Gallery and the actions taken against her business by members of the reactionary "Sanity in Art" movement (including a very funny anecdote concerning Carlos Merida). She speaks of the classes in modern art that she taught at her gallery and of some of the artists she exhibited there, including the photographers Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Weston.
Kuh remembers the McCarthy era and the political conservatism in Chicago, including her testimony on behalf of Bill Zimmerman, Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs. She criticizes blockbuster exhibitions and the changes in the role of a museum curator. She reminisces about building the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago and the art education program she ran there, and recalls Stuart Davis, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Gyorgy Kepes, and Ivan Albright.
Kuh remembers Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Marcel Duchamp, as well as the collectors Walter Paepcke and Walter and Louise Arensberg (whose collection she surveyed in their home for an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago).
Kuh focuses on her memories of Mark Rothko, recalling when they met, their friendship, his manner of working, his feelings about his work, and his worries towards the end of his life. She talks about Clyfford Still, Barnett Newman, and Mark Tobey. Some parts of this tape repeat what she said earlier.
Kuh continues discussing Rothko, particularly his Houston chapel murals and the retrospective exhibition at MOMA in 1961. She remembers visiting Rothko's studio and describes his working methods. She relates Rothko's views on other artists, including Milton Avery, Clyfford Still, Turner, Robert Motherwell, and Adolf Gottlieb; parts repeat things said before. Kuh also discusses Rothko's wife and daughter.
Kuh recounts building the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago and speaks of the museum staff, trustees, and donors. She remembers Alfred Barr at MOMA.
Kuh continues speaking about the Art Institute of Chicago, describing the circumstances of her resignation and subsequent move to New York. She talks of knowing Peggy Guggenheim, Max Ernst, and Fernand Leger.
Kuh describes her work as a consultant to college museums and her writings. She discusses the field of art criticism and her career as art editor at Saturday Review. She recalls Clyfford Still's retrospective exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and his death.
Kuh describes her work as a collector for the First National Bank of Chicago.
Kuh recounts more about her work at Saturday Review and her resignation. She goes into great detail about her travels in Alaska and British Columbia surveying Northwest Indian art for a government report. She speaks again about the McCarthy era.
Kuh speaks again about the Katharine Kuh Gallery and the artists she exhibited there, including Josef Albers (and his Black Mountain College), Alexander Archipenko, Stuart Davis, Paul Klee, Alexander Calder, and Man Ray.
Kuh continues her discussion of artists she exhibited at the Katharine Kuh Gallery, including Mark Tobey, Paul Klee, and Isamu Noguchi.
Kuh continues talking about artists she exhibited at the Katharine Kuh Gallery, including David Smith, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Eliot Porter, Rufino Tamayo, and Jack Tworkov.
Biographical / Historical:
Katharine Kuh (1904-1994) was an art consultant, curator, and critic from Chicago and New York City.
General:
Originally recorded on 16 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 31 digital wav files. Duration is 21 hrs., 52 min.
Provenance:
This interview was conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and his Times oral history project, with funding provided by the Mark Rothko Foundation.
Others interviewed on the project (by various interviewers) include: Sonia Allen, Sally Avery, Ben-Zion, Bernard Braddon, Ernest Briggs, Rhys Caparn, Elaine de Kooning, Herbert Ferber, Esther Gottlieb, Juliette Hays, Sidney Janis, Buffie Johnson, Jacob Kainen, Louis Kaufman, Jack Kufeld, Stanley Kunitz, Joseph Liss, Dorothy Miller, Betty Parsons, Wallace Putnam, Rebecca Reis, Maurice Roth, Sidney Schectman, Aaron Siskind, Joseph Solman, Hedda Sterne, Jack Tworkov, Esteban Vicente and Ed Weinstein. Each has been cataloged separately.
Restrictions:
Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Rights:
Authorization to quote or reproduce for the purposes of publication requires written permission from Avis Berman. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Art critics -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art museum curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art museum curators -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.kuh82
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw941cbbacd-01e0-402c-828e-c3909d220c9b
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kuh82
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Thomas M. Messer

Interviewee:
Messer, Thomas M.  Search this
Interviewer:
Decker, Andrew  Search this
Names:
American Federation of Arts  Search this
Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Národní galerie v Praze  Search this
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum  Search this
Guggenheim, Harry Frank, 1890-1971  Search this
Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898-1979  Search this
Kandinsky, Wassily, 1866-1944  Search this
Klee, Paul, 1879-1940  Search this
Extent:
83 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1994 Oct.-1995 Jan
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Thomas M. Messer conducted 1994 Oct.-1995 Jan., by Andrew Decker, for the Archives of American Art, at the Americas Society, New York, N.Y.
Messer speaks about his youth in pre-World War II Czechoslavakia, his directorship of the American Federation of Arts; the Roswell Museum in Roswell, N.M.; the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. He discusses his collecting interests in connection with the development of the Guggenheim, particularly Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky; his working relationship with Harry, Peter, and Peggy Guggenheim; numerous exhibitions; and the acquisitions of several major collections. Finally, he comments on post-retirement projects, particularly at the National Gallery of Prague.
Biographical / Historical:
Thomas M. Messer (1920- ) is a museum director in New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 7 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 12 digital wav files. Duration is 7 hrs., 23 min.
End of interview session Jan. 24, 1995 (Tape 6, side B) not recorded due to equipment malfunction.
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.
Topic:
Art museum directors -- United States -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.messer94
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw957ef0735-6683-46b1-93aa-e18758e8ec21
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-messer94
Online Media:

State Bauhaus in Weimar 1919-1923 edited by Lars Müller ; essay by Astrid Bähr ; with complete English translation

Title:
State Bauhaus in Weimar 1919 to 1923
Bauhaus
Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar, 1919-1923 / die Herausgabe dieses Werkes besorgte das Staatliche Bauhaus in Weimar und Karl Nierendorf in Köln
Editor:
Müller, Lars 1955-  Search this
Nierendorf, Karl  Search this
Writer of introduction:
Bähr, Astrid  Search this
Contributor:
Reding, Christoph  Search this
Wild, Max  Search this
Gropius, Walter 1883-1969  Search this
Author:
Kandinsky, Wassily 1866-1944 Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar 1919-1923  Search this
Klee, Paul 1879-1940 Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar 1919-1923  Search this
Grunow, Gertrud 1870-1944 Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar 1919-1923  Search this
Subject:
Klee, Paul 1879-1940 Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar 1919-1923  Search this
Kandinsky, Wassily 1866-1944 Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar 1919-1923  Search this
Grunow, Gertrud 1870-1944 Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar 1919-1923  Search this
Bauhaus  Search this
Bauhaus  Search this
Physical description:
2 volumes (39 pages, 1 unnumbered page; 225 pages, 1 unnumbered page) illustrations (some color), plans 25 x 26 cm + 1 leaf (4 unnumbered pages ; 32 x 40 cm, folded to 16 x 20 cm)
Type:
Books
Facsimiles
History
Place:
Germany
Weimar (Thuringia)
Allemagne
Weimar (Thuringe)
20th century
Weimar (Thuringia, Germany)
Date:
2019
20th century
20e siècle
Germany
Topic:
Art, German  Search this
Art--Study and teaching (Higher)--History  Search this
Design--History  Search this
Avant-garde (Aesthetics)--History  Search this
Art allemand  Search this
Design--Histoire  Search this
Art--Study and teaching (Higher)  Search this
Intellectual life  Search this
Design  Search this
Avant-garde (Aesthetics)  Search this
Call number:
N332.B38 S72 2019
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1155059

Katharine Kuh papers

Creator:
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Names:
Albright-Knox Art Gallery  Search this
Art Institute of Chicago -- Faculty  Search this
Biennale di Venezia  Search this
Katharine Kuh Gallery (Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Albright, Ivan, 1897-1983  Search this
Archipenko, Alexander, 1887-1964  Search this
Arensberg, Louise S. (Louise Stevenson), 1879-1953  Search this
Arensberg, Walter, 1878-1954  Search this
Arp, Jean, 1887-1966  Search this
Barnet, Will, 1911-  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Biddle, George, 1885-1973  Search this
Breuer, Marcel, 1902-  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Campoli, Cosmo  Search this
Chagall, Marc, 1887-1985  Search this
Chavez Morado, José, 1909-2002  Search this
Chermayeff, Serge, 1900-  Search this
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Cox, Richard  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
Day, Worden, 1916-1986  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Dickinson, Edwin Walter, 1891-1978  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean, 1901-  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Elizabeth, Queen of Great Britain, II, 1926-  Search this
Ernst, Jimmy, 1920-1984  Search this
Falkenstein, Claire, 1908-1997  Search this
Feitelson, Lorser, 1898-1978  Search this
Friendly, Fred W.  Search this
Giacometti, Alberto, 1901-1966  Search this
Golub, Leon, 1922-2004  Search this
Goto, Joseph, 1920-  Search this
Grabe, Klaus  Search this
Graves, Robert, 1895-1985  Search this
Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898-1979  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Hare, David, 1917-  Search this
Hare, Denise Browne  Search this
Hayter, Stanley William, 1901-1988  Search this
Hirshhorn, Joseph  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Hélion, Jean, 1904-1987  Search this
Inverarity, Robert Bruce, 1909-1999  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-  Search this
Kandinsky, Wassily, 1866-1944  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
Kepes, Juliet  Search this
Klee, Paul, 1879-1940  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Knox, Seymour H., 1898-1990  Search this
Le Corbusier, 1887-1965  Search this
Lundeberg, Helen, 1908-1999  Search this
Lye, Len, 1901-1980  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, 1886-1969  Search this
Millier, Arthur, 1893-  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Mérida, Carlos, 1891-1984  Search this
Nutting, Muriel Leone Tyler, b. 1892  Search this
Nutting, Myron Chester, 1890-1972  Search this
O'Higgins, Pablo, 1904-  Search this
Orozco, José Clemente, 1883-1949  Search this
Ozbekhan, Hasan, 1921-2007  Search this
Perkins, Frances  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Putnam, Wallace, 1899-1989  Search this
Ray, Man, 1890-1976  Search this
Rich, Daniel Catton, 1904-1976  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Sandberg, Carl  Search this
Seligmann, Kurt, 1900-1962  Search this
Shackelford, Shelby  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Spaeth, Otto, d. 1966  Search this
Sterne, Hedda, 1916-  Search this
Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-  Search this
Tanning, Dorothea, 1910-2012  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Winston, Harry Lewis  Search this
Woolf, Olga  Search this
Young, Victor  Search this
Photographer:
Pollack, Peter, 1909-1978  Search this
Extent:
12 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Illustrated letters
Resumes
Travel diaries
Minutes
Calendars
Visitors' books
Photographs
Paintings
Awards
Drawings
Sound recordings
Collages
Scrapbooks
Lithographs
Prints
Wills
Watercolors
Poetry
Lecture notes
Lectures
Sales records
Date:
1875-1994
bulk 1930-1994
Summary:
The papers of art historian, dealer, critic, and curator Katharine Kuh measure 12 linear feet and date from 1875-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930-1994. The collection documents Kuh's career as a pioneer modernist art historian and as the first woman curator of European Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues; personal business records; artwork by various artists; a travel journal; writings by Kuh and others; scrapbooks; printed material; photographs of Kuh and others; and audio recordings of Kuh's lectures and of Daniel Catton Rich reading poetry.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of art historian, dealer, critic, and curator Katharine Kuh measure 12 linear feet and date from 1875-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930-1994. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues; personal business records; artwork by various artists; a travel journal; writings by Kuh and others; scrapbooks; printed material; photographs of Kuh and others; and audio recordings of Kuh's lectures and of Daniel Catton Rich reading poetry.

Biographical material consists of copies of Kuh's birth certificate, resumés, passports, award certificates, honorary diplomas, and address books listing information about several prominent artists and colleagues.

Four linear feet of correspondence offers excellent documentation of Kuh's interest in art history, her travels, her career at the Art Institute of Chicago, her work as a corporate art advisor, and as an author. There are letters from her mother Olga Woolf, friends, and colleagues. There is extensive correspondence with various staff members of the Art Institute of Chicago, the First National Bank of Chicago, and The Saturday Review. Also of interest are letters from artists and collectors, several of whom became life-long friends including Walter and Louise Arensberg, Cosmo Campoli, Serge Chermayeff, Richard Cox, Worden Day, Claire Falkenstein, Fred Friendly, Leon Golub, Joseph Goto, David Hare, Denise Brown Hare, Jean Hélion, Ray Johnson, Gyorgy and Juliet Kepes, Len Lye, Wallace Putnam, Kurt Seligmann, Shelby Shackelford, Hedda Sterne, and Clyfford Still. Many letters are illustrated with original artwork in various media.

There are also scattered letters from various artists and other prominent individuals including Josef Albers, George Biddle, Marcel Breuer, Joseph Cornell, Stuart Davis, Edwin Dickinson, Joseph Hirshhorn, Daniel Catton Rich, and Dorothea Tanning.

Personal business records include a list of artwork, Olga Woolf's will, inventories of Kuh's personal art collection, miscellaneous contracts and deeds of gift, receipts for the sale of artwork, files concerning business-related travel, and miscellaneous receipts.

Artwork in the collection represents a wide range of artist friends and media, such as drawings, watercolors, paintings, collages, and prints. Included are works by various artists including lithographs by David Hare and a watercolor set, Technics and Creativity, designed and autographed by Jasper Johns for the Museum of Modern Art, 1970.

Notes and writings include annotated engagement calendars, travel journals for Germany, a guest book for the Kuh Memorial gathering, and many writings and notes by Kuh for lectures and articles concerning art history topics. Of interest are minutes/notes from meetings for art festivals, conferences, and the "Conversations with Artists Program (1961). Also found are writings by others about Kuh and other art history topics.

Six scrapbooks contain clippings that document the height of Kuh's career as a gallery director and museum curator. Scrapbook 6 contains clippings about Fernand Léger, the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1953.

Additional printed material includes clippings about Kuh and her interests, a comprehensive collection of clippings of Kuh's articles for The Saturday Review, exhibition announcements and catalogs, calendars of events, programs, brochures, books including Poems by Kuh as a child, and reproductions of artwork. Of particular interest are the early and exhibition catalogs from the Katharine Kuh Gallery, and rare catalogs for artists including Jean Arp, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Jean Dubuffet, Marcel Duchamp, Stanley William Hayter, Hans Hofmann, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Franz Kline, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Pablo Picasso.

Photographs provide important documentation of the life and career of Katharine Kuh and are of Kuh, family members, friends, colleagues, events, residences, and artwork. Several of the photographs of Kuh were taken by Will Barnet and Marcel Breuer and there is a notable pair of photo booth portraits of Kuh and a young Ansel Adams. There are also group photographs showing Angelica Archipenko with Kuh; designer Klaus Grabe; painters José Chavez Morado and Pablo O'Higgins in San Miguel, Mexico; Kuh at the Venice Biennale with friends and colleagues including Peggy Guggenheim, Frances Perkins, Daniel Catton Rich, and Harry Winston; and "The Pre-Depressionists" including Lorser Feitelson, Robert Inverarity, Helen Lundeberg, Arthur Millier, Myron Chester Nutting, and Muriel Tyler Nutting.

Photographs of exhibition installations and openings include views of the Katharine Kuh Gallery; Fernand Léger, Man Ray, and László Moholy-Nagy at the Art Institute of Chicago; and Philip Guston, Jimmy Ernst, Seymour H. Knox, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. There are also photographs depicting three men posing as Léger's "Three Musicians" and the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the Art Institute of Chicago. There is a photograph by Peter Pollack of an elk skull used as a model by Georgia O'Keeffe.

Additional photographs of friends and colleagues include Ivan Albright, Alfred Barr, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Willem De Kooning, Edwin Dickinson, Marcel Duchamp, Claire Falkenstein, Alberto Giacometti, poet Robert Graves with Len Lye, Philip Johnson, Gyorgy and Juliet Kepes, Carlos Mérida, José Orozco, Hasan Ozbekhan, Pablo Picasso, Carl Sandberg, Ben Shahn, Otto Spaeth, Hedda Sterne, Adlai Stevenson, Clyfford Still, Mark Tobey, and composer Victor Young.

Photographs of artwork include totem poles in Alaska; work by various artists including Claire Falkenstein, Paul Klee, and Hedda Sterne; and work donated to the Guggenheim Museum.

Four audio recordings on cassette are of Katharine Kuh's lectures, including one about assembling corporate collections, and of Daniel Catton Rich reading his own poetry. There is also a recording of the Second Annual Dialogue between Broadcasters and Museum Educators.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series. Undated correspondence, artwork, and photographs of individual artists are arranged alphabetically. Otherwise, each series is arranged chronologically.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1945-1992 (Box 1; 16 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1908-1994 (Boxes 1-5, 13-14, OV 15; 4.0 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1941-1989 (Box 5; 19 folders)

Series 4: Artwork, 1931-1986 (Boxes 5, 13-14, OVs 15-23; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 5: Notes and Writings, 1914-1994 (Boxes 5-7; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1935-1953 (Box 7; 8 folders)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1916-1992 (Boxes 7-10, 13, OV 22; 3.0 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, 1875-1993 (Boxes 10-13; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 9: Audio Recordings, 1977 (Box 12; 1 folder)
Biographical Note:
Katharine Kuh (1904-1994) worked primarily in the Chicago area as an modern art historian, dealer, critic, curator, writer, and consultant. She operated the Katharine Kuh Gallery from 1935-1943 and was the first woman curator of European and Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Katharine Kuh (née Woolf) was born on July 15, 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri, the youngest of the three daughters of Olga Weiner and Morris Woolf, a silk importer. In 1909, the family moved to Chicago, Illinois. While traveling with her family in Europe in 1914, Katharine contracted polio, causing her to spend the next decade in a body brace. During this time of restricted movement, she developed an interest in art history through the collecting of old master prints.

After her recovery, Katharine Woolf attended Vassar College where one of her professors, Alfred Barr, encouraged her to study modern art. She graduated from Vassar in 1925 and received a master's degree in art history from the University of Chicago in 1929. Later that year, she moved to New York to pursue a Ph.D. in Renaissance and medieval art at New York University.

In 1930, Katharine Woolf returned to Chicago and married businessman George Kuh and began to teach art history courses in the suburbs of Chicago. After divorcing George Kuh in 1935, she opened the Katharine Kuh Gallery, the first gallery devoted to avant-garde art in Chicago. It was also the first gallery to exhibit photography and typographical design as art forms, and featured the work of Ansel Adams, Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, Wassily Kandinsky, Fernand Léger, and Man Ray, among others. From 1938 to1940, Kuh was the Visiting Professor of Art at the University School of Fine Arts, San Miguel, Mexico.

After the Katharine Kuh Gallery closed in 1943, Kuh was hired by museum director Daniel Catton Rich to fill a position in public relations at the Art Institute of Chicago. During the following years, Kuh edited the museum's Quarterly publication, took charge of the museum's Gallery of Interpretive Art, and began a long term relationship with Rich. In 1946, Kuh was sent on a special mission for the U. S. Office of Indian Affairs to make a detailed study of Native American totemic carvings in Alaska.

In 1949, Kuh persuaded Mr. and Mrs. Walter Arensberg of Los Angeles to exhibit their collection of modern art, creating the first post-war exhibition of modern art in Chicago. She published her first book Art Has Many Faces in 1951, and in the following year, she began writing art criticism for The Saturday Review. In 1954, Kuh was appointed the first woman curator of European Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute. She assembled the American contribution for the Venice Biennale in 1956 and during these years, Kuh helped acquire many of the works of modern art currently in the museum's collection.

A year following Daniel Catton Rich's 1958 resignation from the Art Institute of Chicago, Kuh also resigned and pursued a career in New York as an art collection advisor, most notably for the First National Bank of Chicago. In 1959, Kuh was made art critic for The Saturday Review, and she continued to publish books, including The Artist's Voice in 1962, Break-Up: The Core of Modern Art in 1965, and The Open Eye: In Pursuit of Art in 1971.

Katharine Kuh died on January 10, 1994 in New York City.
Provenance:
The Katharine Kuh papers were donated in several installments from 1971 to 1989 by Katharine Kuh and in 1994 by her estate. Artwork was donated in 1995 by Kuh's former employer, the Art Institute of Chicago.
Restrictions:
Authorization to quote, publish or reproduce requires written permission until 2019. Contact the Archives of American Art Reference Services department for additional 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:
Authors -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art historians -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art dealers -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art critics -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Curators -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art consultants -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Topic:
Art, Abstract -- United States  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Women art dealers  Search this
Women art historians  Search this
Women museum curators  Search this
Women authors  Search this
Women art critics  Search this
Function:
Art festivals
Genre/Form:
Illustrated letters
Resumes
Travel diaries
Minutes
Calendars
Visitors' books
Photographs
Paintings
Awards
Drawings
Sound recordings
Collages
Scrapbooks
Lithographs
Prints
Wills
Watercolors
Poetry
Lecture notes
Lectures
Sales records
Citation:
Katharine Kuh papers, 1875-1994, bulk 1930-1994. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kuhkath
See more items in:
Katharine Kuh papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw987a0763e-de6c-4f9e-b143-4875b3a2244a
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kuhkath
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Robert Winokur

Interviewee:
Winokur, Robert, 1933-  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Alfred University -- Students  Search this
Helen Drutt Gallery  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (U.S.)  Search this
North Texas State University -- Faculty  Search this
Tyler School of Art -- Faculty  Search this
Tyler School of Art -- Students  Search this
Babu, Victor, 1936-  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Ferguson, Ken, 1928-2004  Search this
Giacometti, Ignazio  Search this
Hamada, Shōji, 1894-1978  Search this
Hay, Dick  Search this
Klee, Paul, 1879-1940  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Levy, Marge  Search this
Minter, Myrna  Search this
Notkin, Richard  Search this
Randall, Theodore, 1914-1985  Search this
Reitz, Don, 1929-2014  Search this
Rhodes, Daniel, 1911-1989  Search this
Schulman, Norman, 1924-  Search this
Staffel, Rudolf, 1911-2002  Search this
Vavrek, Ken  Search this
Voulkos, Peter, 1924-2002  Search this
Wildenhain, Marguerite  Search this
Wood, John, 1922-2012  Search this
Extent:
7 Items (Sound recording: 7 sound files (5 hr., 35 min.))
159 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2011 July 23-24
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Robert Winokur conducted 2011 July 23 and 24, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Winokur's home and studio, in Horsham, Pennsylvania.
Robert speaks of his mother earning an award for her artwork; his father and other family members being Communists and having to distance himself in being identified with them; his mother making ceramic jewelry while his father was working as a welder at Cramps Shipyard in Philadelphia during World War II; feeling like he had an attention deficit disorder of some kind, which prevented him from doing well in school, so he took ceramics classes in high school to bring his grades up; starting in painting at the Tyler School of Art, finishing in sculpture, clay, and ceramics; appreciating the Abstract Expressionist work of Franz Kline; of the opinion that one learns art by doing and that the teachers are there to direct you only; feeling that he did not have the freedom to experiment with clay as he wished at Alfred University, School of Art and Design for fear of being compared to Peter Voulkos; his first job teaching at North Texas State University in Denton, Texas; teaching in Peoria, Illinois for a year; beginning Cape Street Pottery in Ashfield, Massachusetts; when he began salt firing and working more in sculptural forms; his work influenced by Abstract Expressionism, Paul Klee, Willem de Kooning, Ignazio Giacometti, Zen master calligraphers, Peter Voulkos, and others; feeling that the computer cannot, as of yet, produce the quality of art that humans can through repetition; that the process of creating is more important than the subject; starting his 30-year teaching career at Tyler School of Art in 1966; that students today are approaching ceramics conceptually and academically rather than through a relationship with the material; the beginning of NCECA [National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts]; and how he enjoys making what he wants to, now that he is retired. Robert also recalls Rudolf Staffel, John Wood, Ted Randall, Daniel Rhodes, Shoji Hamada, Marguerite Wildenhain, Ken Ferguson, Norm Schulman, Victor Babu, Myrna Minter, Don Reitz, Helen Drutt English, Richard Notkin, Dick Hay, Marge Levy, and Ken Vavrek.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Winokur (1933- ) is a ceramist in Horsham, Pennsylvania. Mija Riedel (1958- ) is an independent scholar in San Francisco, California.
General:
Originally recorded as 7 sound files. Duration is 5 hr., 35 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.
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Ceramicists -- Pennsylvania -- Interviews  Search this
Ceramics -- Study and teaching  Search this
Communism  Search this
Painting -- Study and teaching  Search this
Sculpture -- Study and teaching  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Ceramics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.winokr11
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9bbe0c1c7-246e-45b7-966f-6278587c8612
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-winokr11
Online Media:

Paul Klee and primitive art / James Smith Pierce

Author:
Pierce, James Smith  Search this
Subject:
Klee, Paul 1879-1940  Search this
Physical description:
192 p. ; 21 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1976
Topic:
Primitivism in art  Search this
Call number:
ND588.K5P53 1976X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_202850

Oral history interview with Anni Albers

Interviewee:
Albers, Anni  Search this
Interviewer:
Fesci, Sevim  Search this
Names:
Bauhaus  Search this
Klee, Paul, 1879-1940  Search this
Extent:
20 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1968 July 5
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Anni Albers conducted 1968 July 5, by Sevim Fesci, for the Archives of American Art, in New Haven, Connecticut.
Albers speaks of her educational background; Paul Klee as a teacher; color in weaving; techniques and materials; Peruvian and European textiles; her "sound-absorbing" textile designed for the Bauhaus auditorium; and her weaving workshop at Black Mountain College. She reminisces about the Bauhaus in the 1920s.
Biographical / Historical:
Anni Albers (1899-1994) was a weaver from New Haven, Connecticut.
General:
Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 40 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives' 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 others.
Occupation:
Art teachers -- Connecticut -- New Haven  Search this
Authors -- Connecticut -- New Haven  Search this
Printmakers -- Connecticut -- New Haven  Search this
Weavers -- Connecticut -- New Haven  Search this
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Women authors  Search this
Women educators  Search this
Women printmakers  Search this
Women textile artists  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.albersa68
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw91499ea5d-a113-4db4-901d-d969049c126e
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-albersa68
Online Media:

(No title given) [art work] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Klee, Paul 1879-1940  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Topic:
Sordenberg  Search this
Image number:
ROS R0001808
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_131261

(No title given) [art work] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Klee, Paul 1879-1940  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Topic:
Sordenberg  Search this
Image number:
ROS R0001812
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_131265

(No title given) [art work] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Klee, Paul 1879-1940  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Topic:
Robert Elkon Gallery  Search this
Image number:
ROS R0002669
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_132121

(No title given) [art work] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Klee, Paul 1879-1940  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Image number:
ROS R0002813
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_132263

(No title given) [art work] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Klee, Paul 1879-1940  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Image number:
ROS R0003644
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_133091

(No title given) [art work] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Klee, Paul 1879-1940  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Image number:
ROS R0003652
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_133099

(No title given) [art work] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Klee, Paul 1879-1940  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Image number:
ROS R0003653
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_133100

(No title given) [art work] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Klee, Paul 1879-1940  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Image number:
ROS R0003661
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_133108

(No title given) [art work] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Klee, Paul 1879-1940  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Image number:
ROS R0003663
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_133110

(No title given) [art work] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Klee, Paul 1879-1940  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Image number:
ROS R0003667
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_133114

(No title given) [art work] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Klee, Paul 1879-1940  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Image number:
ROS R0003668
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_133115

(No title given) [art work] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Klee, Paul 1879-1940  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Image number:
ROS R0003701
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_133148

(No title given) [art work] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Artist:
Klee, Paul 1879-1940  Search this
Photographer:
Rosenblum, Walter 1919-2006  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Topic:
New Gallery  Search this
Image number:
ROS R0004209
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_133655

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