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Gerbino, Rosario

Collection Creator:
Jacques Seligmann & Co  Search this
Container:
Box 40, Folder 42
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1935-1937
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:
Jacques Seligmann & Co. records, 1904-1978, bulk 1913-1974. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Jacques Seligmann & Co. records
Jacques Seligmann & Co. records / Series 1: Correspondence / 1.3: General Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-jacqself-ref9847
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Oral history interview with Isamu Noguchi, 1973 Nov. 7-Dec. 26

Interviewee:
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul, 1933-1997  Search this
Subject:
Itō, Michio  Search this
Barnard, George Grey  Search this
Becker, John Bruere  Search this
Borglum, Gutzon  Search this
Brancusi, Constantin  Search this
Breton, André  Search this
Brummer, Joseph  Search this
Cahill, Holger  Search this
Calder, Alexander  Search this
Calder, Alexander Stirling  Search this
Collier, John, Jr.  Search this
Covarrubias, Miguel  Search this
Davis, Stuart  Search this
De Kooning, Willem  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel  Search this
Egan, Charles  Search this
Fraser, James Earle  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster)  Search this
Gorky, Arshile  Search this
Graham, John  Search this
Graham, Martha  Search this
Gregory, Peter Ronald  Search this
Guston, Philip  Search this
Hare, David  Search this
Hasegawa, Saburō  Search this
Hopkins, Harry Lloyd  Search this
Kahn, Louis I.  Search this
Kantor, Morris  Search this
Kline, Franz  Search this
Knoll, Hans  Search this
Léger, Fernand  Search this
Levy, Julien  Search this
McMahon, Audrey  Search this
Moore, Henry, 1898-1986  Search this
Neumann, J. B. (Jsrael Ber)  Search this
Price, Edison A.  Search this
Raymond, Antonin  Search this
Reynal, Jeanne  Search this
Rivera, Diego  Search this
Ruellan, Andrée  Search this
Ruotolo, Onorio  Search this
Schoen, Eugene  Search this
Shoji, Sadao  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred  Search this
Taniguchi, Yoshirō  Search this
Ward, Eleanor  Search this
Zorach, William  Search this
Artists' Union (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Bollingen Foundation  Search this
Brummer Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Japanese American Citizens' League  Search this
Leonardo da Vinci Art School  Search this
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill  Search this
UNESCO  Search this
Japanese American Citizens' League  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
Japan -- Description and Travel
Italy -- description and travel
Egypt -- description and travel
India -- description and travel
Topic:
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Sculpture, American  Search this
Gardens, Japanese  Search this
Japanese American art  Search this
Japanese American artists  Search this
Asian American sculptors  Search this
Theme:
Asian American  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11906
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216546
AAA_collcode_noguch73
Theme:
Asian American
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_216546
Online Media:

Onorio Ruotolo papers, 1917-1958

Creator:
Ruotolo, Onorio, 1888-1966  Search this
Ruotolo, Onorio, 1888-1966  Search this
Subject:
Winwar, Frances  Search this
Topic:
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Theme:
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9222
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211417
AAA_collcode_ruotonor
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211417

Vincent La Gambina papers, 1925-1973

Creator:
La Gambina, Vincent, 1909-1994  Search this
La Gambina, Vincent, 1909-1994  Search this
Subject:
Olinsky, Ivan G. (Ivan Gregorewitch)  Search this
Federal Art Project  Search this
Topic:
Painting, American  Search this
Mural painting and decoration  Search this
Theme:
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7828
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209995
AAA_collcode_lagavinc
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209995

Oral history interview with Isamu Noguchi

Interviewee:
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Names:
Artists' Union (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Bollingen Foundation  Search this
Brummer Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Japanese American Citizens' League  Search this
Japanese American Citizens' League  Search this
Leonardo da Vinci Art School  Search this
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill  Search this
UNESCO  Search this
Barnard, George Grey, 1863-1938  Search this
Becker, John Bruere, 1915-  Search this
Borglum, Gutzon, 1867-1941  Search this
Brancusi, Constantin, 1876-1957  Search this
Breton, André, 1896-1966  Search this
Brummer, Joseph  Search this
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Calder, Alexander Stirling, 1870-1945  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Collier, John, Jr., 1913-1992  Search this
Covarrubias, Miguel, 1904-1957  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Egan, Charles, 1911-  Search this
Fraser, James Earle, 1876-1953  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-1983  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Graham, John, 1887-1961  Search this
Graham, Martha  Search this
Gregory, Peter Ronald, 1947-  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Hare, David, 1917-1992  Search this
Hasegawa, Saburō, 1906-1957  Search this
Hopkins, Harry Lloyd, 1890-1946  Search this
Itō, Michio, 1893-1961  Search this
Kahn, Louis I., 1901-1974  Search this
Kantor, Morris, 1896-1974  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Knoll, Hans  Search this
Levy, Julien  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
McMahon, Audrey, 1900?-1981  Search this
Moore, Henry, 1898-1986  Search this
Neumann, J. B. (Jsrael Ber)  Search this
Price, Edison A., d. 1997  Search this
Raymond, Antonin, 1888-  Search this
Reynal, Jeanne, 1903-  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Ruellan, Andrée, 1905-2006  Search this
Ruotolo, Onorio, 1888-1966  Search this
Schoen, Eugene, 1880-1957  Search this
Shoji, Sadao, 1937-  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Taniguchi, Yoshirō, 1904-  Search this
Ward, Eleanor, 1912-1984  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
148 Pages (Transcript)
1 Item (Audio excerpt: 1 sound file (5 min. 29 sec.), digital)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
Japan -- Description and Travel
Italy -- description and travel
Egypt -- description and travel
India -- description and travel
Date:
1973 Nov. 7-Dec. 26
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Isamu Noguchi conducted 1973 Nov. 7-Dec. 26, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
NOVEMBER 7, 1973 session: Noguchi discusses his family background; growing up in Japan; returning to the United States in 1917; his identity as an artist; Gutzon Borglum; Columbia University and studying pre-med; attending Leonardo da Vinci Art School; apprenticing to Onorio Ruotolo; quitting Columbia to become a sculptor; Guggenheim Fellowship in 1927; J.B. Neumann; Alfred Stieglitz; George Grey Barnard; James Earle Fraser; Brummer and the Brummer Gallery; studying at Chaumiere and Collarosi; working with Brancusi; meeting Sandy Calder in Paris; Stuart Davis; Morris Kantor; Andrée Ruellan; his work, "Sphere"; reacting against Brancusi; Eugene Schoen's; his Carnegie Hall studio; Michio Ito; Martha Graham; Buckminster Fuller; traveling in China and Japan; meeting Chi Pai Shi; John Becker; his works, "Play Mountain," "Monument to the Plow," "Monument to Ben Franklin," and "Orpheus" for Balanchine; designing for the stage; Audrey McMahon; Harry Hopkins; Holger Cahill; Mexico; Diego Rivera; Miguel Covarrubias; and the Artists Union.
DECEMBER 10, 1973 Session: His reaction to the Spanish Civil War- avoided direct involvement; Stuart Davis; Gorky; Andre Breton; David Hare; Marcel Duchamp; John Graham; Julien Levy; his artist friends dying at the peak of their success; Leger; Stirling Calder; associating himself with the laboring class; Buckminster Fuller; being American; expanding the possibilities of sculpture; his Associated Press Building project in Rockefeller Center, it being done in stainless steel instead of bronze; John Collier; Japanese-American Citizens League; organizing Nisei Artists and Writers Mobilization for Democracy; Jeanne Reynal; going to Poston, Ariz. to assist with American Indian Service camp under John Collier and becoming an internee there; returning to New York in 1942; Bollingen Foundation; trip around the world in 1949; and Philip Guston.
DECEMBER 18, 1973 session: Best work in studio; reaction against expressionism; artists protesting against the Establishment; his objection to the WPA, influenced by William Zorach; exhibiting in group show called, "Fourteen Americans at the Museum of Modern Art"; show at Egan Gallery in 1949; accepting art in its most aesthetically pure form without reference to social issues; movement in Japan since war to get away from refinement of Japan; Yoshiro Hiro responsible for Gutai and the happenings; his work, "Monument to Heroes," using bones; his work takes years to do; materials used in his work; his work, "Cronos"; doing theater stage sets for the Library of Congress including, "Appalachian Spring" and "Herodiade"; wants a given space which he can call his own and do something with it, has to be a work of art.
DECEMBER 26, 1973 Session: Show with Charles Egan in 1948 arranged by de Kooning; applying to the Bollingen Foundation to write a book on leisure, which was never written; traveling to Italy, Egypt, and India for two years; being removed from the New York scene with Franz Kline and de Kooning; his light objects; sculpture as environment; respect for material; Mondrian and his art deriving from nature; his time in Japan in 1931; visiting Japan in 1951; working in stone; projects in Japan; Taniguchi; Antonin Raymond; designing Japanese gardens; discovery of Zen; Hasegawa Saburo; Skidmore; Hans Knoll; Edison Price; Italy in the 1960s; Peter Gregory; Henry Moore; Louis Kahn; UNESCO; Noguchi Foundation and Plaza Company; Shoji; Eleanor Ward; and his autobiography, "A Sculptor's World."
Biographical / Historical:
Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988) was a Japanese American sculptor based in Long Island City, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hrs., 25 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are 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.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Sculpture, American  Search this
Gardens, Japanese  Search this
Japanese American art  Search this
Japanese American artists  Search this
Asian American sculptors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.noguch73
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-noguch73

Vincent La Gambina papers

Creator:
La Gambina, Vincent, 1909-1994  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project  Search this
Olinsky, Ivan G. (Ivan Gregorewitch), 1878-1962  Search this
Extent:
0.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1925-1973
Scope and Contents:
Two letters from Ivan Olinsky; photographs of La Gambina and his paintings, one of a mural executed in 1937 for the W.P.A.; awards; two notes from Sedrig Dickinson; catalogs, clippings, and a copy of the Annual Magazine of the Leonardo Da Vinci Art School, 1925 which flourished during the 1920's and 1930's.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, mural painter; Brooklyn, N.Y.
Provenance:
Donated 1976 by Vincent La Gambina.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Muralists -- New York (State) -- Brooklyn  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Brooklyn  Search this
Topic:
Painting, American  Search this
Mural painting and decoration  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.lagavinc
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-lagavinc

Elaine de Kooning papers

Creator:
De Kooning, Elaine  Search this
Names:
Chessman, Caryl, 1921-1960  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963  Search this
Extent:
1.1 Linear feet
0.003 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Photographs
Transcripts
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Date:
circa 1959-2013
Summary:
The scattered papers of Abstract Expressionist painter Elaine de Kooning are dated circa 1959-2013 and measure 1.1 linear feet and 0.003 GB. Found within the papers are letters, writings, a sketch of John F. Kennedy, notes, a sound recording, a few documents regarding Willem de Kooning, transcripts of interviews of de Kooning, transcripts of recorded conversations between de Kooning and others, and transcripts of lectures by de Kooning and others. There are a few photographs of de Kooning and of de Kooning with others, including John F. Kennedy, artist James Bohary, and Ad Reinhardt, and of artwork. Most of the transcripts and few photographs are digitized. Also found are printed materials and two scrapbooks containing a variety of documents about de Kooning's protest against the death penalty and efforts to save the life of convicted criminal Caryl Chessman.
Scope and Contents:
The scattered papers of Abstract Expressionist painter Elaine de Kooning are dated circa 1959-2013 and measure 1.1 linear feet and 0.003 GB. Found within the papers are letters, writings, a sketch of John F. Kennedy, notes, a sound recording, a few documents regarding Willem de Kooning, transcripts of interviews of de Kooning, transcripts of recorded conversations between de Kooning and others, and transcripts of lectures by de Kooning and others. There are a few photographs of de Kooning and of de Kooning with others, including John F. Kennedy, artist James Bohary, and Ad Reinhardt, and of artwork. Most of the transcripts and few photographs are digitized. Also found are printed materials and two scrapbooks containing a variety of documents about de Kooning's protest against the death penalty and efforts to save the life of convicted criminal Caryl Chessman.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 5 series:

Series 1: Personal Papers, circa 1960s-1989 (Boxes 1, 3; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Interviews, Conversations, and Lectures, 1978-1988 (Box 1, ER01; 0.3 linear feet, 0.001 GB)

Series 3: Photographs, circa 1960s (Box 2, ER02; 4 folders, 0.002 GB)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1961-1982 (Boxes 2-3; 5 folders)

Series 5: Scrapbooks, circa 1959-1962 (Boxes 2-3: 0.3 linear ft.)
Biographical / Historical:
Elaine de Kooning (1918-1989) was an Abstract Expressionist painter, teacher and writer who lived and worked in New York City and East Hampton, N.Y.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, de Kooning studied briefly at Hunter College before enrolling at the Leonardo da Vinci Art School in New York City. She had her first solo exhibition in 1952 at the Stable Gallery in New York and has paintings in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and other institutions. She taught at Yale University, Carnegie Mellon Institute, University of Pennsylvania and other colleges and art schools. Elaine de Kooning died of lung cancer in 1989 at Southampton Hospital in Southampton, New York. Willem de Kooning, her husband of 48 years, survived her.
Related Materials:
Among the holding of the Archives is an oral history interview conducted in 1981 by Phyllis Tuchman, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project. Also found is a collection of Elaine and Willem de Kooning financial records.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art in 2003 by Denise Lassaw, de Kooning's goddaughter and her mother Ernestine Lassaw, and in 2013-2015 by Denise Lassaw. Interview transcripts and lectures were donated in 2015 by Doris Aach, a friend who transcribed them for de Kooning.
Restrictions:
Use of original materials requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Art teachers -- New York (State)  Search this
Painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Topic:
Artists -- Political activity  Search this
Capital punishment  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Women artists -- New York (State)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Transcripts
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Citation:
Elaine de Kooning papers, circa 1959-1989. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.dekoelas
See more items in:
Elaine de Kooning papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-dekoelas
Online Media:

Onorio Ruotolo papers

Creator:
Ruotolo, Onorio, 1888-1966  Search this
Names:
Winwar, Frances, 1900-  Search this
Extent:
0.6 Linear feet ((on partial microfilm reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1917-1958
Scope and Contents:
Letters, writings, photographs and scrapbooks.
UNMICROFILMED: Letters, most are which are from Ruotolo's son Lucio who writes while serving in WWII and while attending Oxford University, and five letters from writer Frances Winwar; 1 poem and a book of poetry by Ruotolo; a biography of Augusto Bellanca and a book of Bellanca's poetry; a manuscript "Quando Canta Il Gallo" by A. Giovannitti; and 26 photographs, including photos of Ruotolo, Ruotolo's work, and of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America conventions.
REEL 2526: Two scrapbooks of clippings, 1917-1954.
Biographical / Historical:
Sculptor; New York, N.Y. Director of the Leonardo da Vinci Art School.
Provenance:
The donor, Marilyn Dorato, found the papers in the basement of 20 Bank St., N.Y., N.Y. when she purchased the home. The two scrapbooks were discarded after microfilming due to their poor condition.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Topic:
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.ruotonor
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-ruotonor

Balcomb and Gertrude Greene papers

Creator:
Greene, Balcomb, 1904-1990  Search this
Names:
United States. Works Progress Administration  Search this
Gallatin, A. E. (Albert Eugene), 1881-1952  Search this
Greene, Gertrude, 1904-1956  Search this
Greene, Terryn  Search this
Extent:
9.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Short stories
Collages
Photographs
Poems
Theses
Articles
Interviews
Lecture notes
Sound recordings
Drawings
Sketchbooks
Video recordings
Date:
circa 1880s-2009
Summary:
The Balcomb and Gertrude Greene papers, circa 1880s-2009, bulk circa 1905-1990, measure 9.8 linear feet. Balcomb Greene's career as a painter, educator, and writer - and to a lesser extent his personal life - is documented by biographical material, letters, subject files,writings, artwork, audio-visual recordings, printed material, and photographs. Documentation about sculptor Gertrude Greene, from 1926 until her death in 1956, consists of printed material, photographs, two letters to her, and a brief handwritten list of paintings and constructions.
Scope and Content Note:
The Balcomb and Gertrude Greene papers, circa 1880s-2009, bulk circa 1905-1990, measure 9.8 linear feet. Balcomb Greene's career as a painter, educator, and writer - and to a lesser extent his personal life - is documented by biographical material, letters, subject files,writings, artwork, audio-visual recordings, printed material, and photographs. Documentation about sculptor Gertrude Greene, from 1926 until her death in 1956, consists of printed material, photographs, two letters to her, and a brief handwritten list of paintings and constructions.

All biographical material relates to Balcomb Greene. Letters are almost exclusively incoming letters; two copies of outgoing letters written by Terryn Greene are included. Those addressed to Balcomb Greene regard articles, his will, an appraisal of a painting by him, and greeting cards with notes from friends. The two letters addressed to Gertrude Greene are photocopies. One from A. E. Gallatin concerns her work selected for the permanent collection of the Museum of Living Art at New York University; the other, a fragment from an unidentified correspondent, is about American Abstract Artists dues and exhibitions. The letters addressed to Terryn Greene concern her husband's career or mention him.

Subject files relate to activities and topics of interest to Greene or aspects of Greene's career; some concern estate matters. Of particular interest are: "Balcomb and Gertrude Greene in the WPA," consisting of Terryn Greene's research correspondence on the subject; and a file documenting a Judith Rothschild Foundation grant for conservation of paintings damaged in the 1996 fire that destroyed Balcomb Greene's studio.

Writings are by Balcomb Greene, Gertrude Greene, and other authors. Balcomb's writings include articles, novels, short stories, poems, journal entries, lecture notes, student writings, and a thesis. Gertrude Greene's writings consist of a handwritten list of paintings and constructions, noting the dimensions, date, and price of each piece. The writings of other authors are about Balcomb and Gertrude Greene. They include notes for an interview, a poem, student papers, and a thesis.

Art work consists of a collage probably by Balcomb Greene, and a sketchbook containing two of his drawings dated January 1976. Another drawing is signed [H?.] R. Balcomb Greene's register of paintings documents each completed painting on a separate sheet containing a small photograph or sketch, title, date of execution, and code or negative number, along with notes relating to exhibitions, loans, and ownership; some sheets bear the notation "destroyed." The register is incomplete, and the surviving portion bears evidence of the 1996 fire that gutted his studio. The least damaged portion documents works from 1941-1948, 1963-1964, and 1980-1982; the remaining part of the register consists of partial pages that are missing titles, dates of execution, or other salient information.

Exhibition catalogs and articles from newspapers and periodicals represent the majority of the printed material about or mentioning Balcomb and Gertrude Greene. In addition, there are articles by Balcomb published in a number of periodicals. Museum publications, annual reports, bulletins and newsletters mention the Greenes. Also found are issues of Art Front, 1934-1938 (Balcomb served on the editorial board and contributed articles), and his well-used copy of Modern Art by Katherine S. Drier.

Audio-visual recordings consist of interviews with Balcomb Greene and a "McCarthy tape" (Balcomb and Terryn helped organize "Montauk's Day for McCarthy"). Among the video recordings is a videocassette of Greene's 1990 memorial service.

Photographs are of art work, events, exhibition installations, miscellaneous subjects, people, and places. Art work of both Balcomb and Gertrude is documented. Among the photographs of people are images of Balcomb Greene, Gertrude Greene, Terryn Greene, family, friends and other individuals (identified and unidentified). Greene family photographs, some surviving from the 19th century, portray three generations. Photographs of events include documentation of the damage caused by the 1996 fire that destroyed Balcomb Greene's studio. Installation photographs document exhibitions that featured Balcomb Greene, the couple, and Gertrude Greene. Of particular interest is a view of Gertrude's contribution to the American Abstract Artists' 1937 show at Squibb Gallery. Miscellaneous subjects are Greene's Rolls Royce and pets. Places recorded include Greene's boyhood homes and churches, the house Balcomb built at Montauk, Gertrude's studio, and travel pictures of Europe and Asia. Also found are a small number of negatives, 35-mm slides, and color transparencies of art work, miscellaneous subjects, and people.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1926-1981 (Box 1; 0.2 linear ft.)

Series 2: Letters, 1936-2005 (Box 1; 3 folders)

Series 3: Subject Files, 1939-2008 (Box 1; 0.2 linear ft.)

Series 4: Writings, circa 1927-1984 (Boxes 1-3; 2.1 linear ft.)

Series 5: Art Work, 1976 (Box 3; 2 folders)

Series 6: Register of Paintings, undated (Box 3; 0.4 linear ft.)

Series 7: Printed Material, circa 1930-2009 (Boxes 4-7, 11, OV 12; 3.9 linear ft.)

Series 8: Audio-visual Recordings, 1963-1990 (Box 7; 0.3 linear ft.)

Series 9: Photographs, circa 1880s-1996 (Boxes 7-11; 2.6 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Balcomb (1904-1990) and his wife Gertrude (1904-1956) were painters in New York, N.Y. John Wesley Greene (known professionally as Balcomb Greene), born May 22, 1904 in Millville, New York, was the youngest child of Reverend Bertram Stillman Greene, a Methodist minister. After his wife died in 1907, Reverend Greene and the children moved several times when he accepted assignments at small town churches in Iowa, South Dakota, and Colorado.

The recipient of a scholarship for sons of Methodist ministers, Greene entered Syracuse University in 1922, intending to become a minister. He studied philosophy, psychology, literature, and art, eventually deciding to pursue a career as a writer. When visiting the Metropolitan Museum during his senior year, Greene was introduced to Gertrude Glass by her cousin. They married soon after his graduation in 1926.

The newlyweds moved to Austria where he had a fellowship to study psychology at the University of Vienna. Greene was very interested in Freud's work and hoped to become his student; although he attended Freud's lectures and met the eminent psychologist once, this ambition was not realized. After returning to New York in 1927, Greene began studying for a master's degree in English literature at Columbia University. He specialized in the novel, and wrote three (none were published). When his thesis about prostitutes as portrayed in seventeenth century literature was submitted, Greene's major professor was on sabbatical; although the subject had been approved, the interim replacement rejected it as unsuitable. Greene left Columbia without obtaining a degree.

Greene then accepted a position at Dartmouth College where he taught literature from 1928-1931. The Greenes spent summers together in the city and visited frequently throughout the academic year. He continued writing and in 1930 began painting. Because there were already two artists named John Green then in New York, Greene soon adopted the name Balcomb (his maternal grandmother's maiden name). Although he was known as Balcomb for the remainder of his life, his name was never changed legally.

Balcomb Greene's first solo exhibition was held at Dartmouth College in 1931. After his resignation from the Dartmouth faculty in 1931, Balcomb and Gertrude spent a year in Paris. She found a studio and set to work. He planned to write, but was distracted by the desire to paint. He began independent study at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and in 1932 exhibited his work in Paris. Throughout the 1930s and into the 1940s Greene produced very flat geometric abstractions, adding biomorphic and anthropomorphic forms over time. By the mid-1940s, he found himself bored by pure abstraction and introduced figures, focusing on mass and space rather than line.

Greene quickly established himself as an artist, developed a wide circle of friends and was recognized as a leader of the abstract movement. He and Gertrude were both drawn to political causes that affected artists; along with friends they began the Unemployed Artists' Group (which later became the Artists' Union) and staged public demonstrations demanding government assistance so that artists would not be completely dependent on private patronage. He published articles in Art Front, the magazine of the Artist's Union, and served on its editorial board between 1935 and 1936. Balcomb and Gertrude Greene were among the founding members of American Abstract Artists; he served as the group's first chairman.

Like many artists during the Great Depression, Balcomb Greene found it very difficult to maintain a steady income. During this period he held many different jobs, among them: writing for the sensationalist newspapers Broadway Brevities and Graft, serving on the crew of a schooner searching for pirate gold in the South Pacific, and working at the non-profit Emily Francis Contemporary Gallery. Eventually, he secured a teaching position with the Federal Art Project. He later switched to the mural section where assignments included painting murals for the Williamsburg Housing Project in Brooklyn and the Federal Hall of Medicine at the 1939 World's Fair, and designing a stained glass window for a school in the Bronx.

Because he did not want to support his career by teaching painting, in 1940 Balcomb Greene began graduate work in art history at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. He earned a master's degree in 1942 and that same year began teaching history of art and culture at Carnegie Institute of Technology, a position he held until 1959. Gertrude set up a studio in their Pittsburgh home, but continued to maintain her New York studio, commuting between the two cities until war conditions made the trip too difficult. They returned to New York each summer, and in 1947 bought property on Long Island at Montauk Point where Balcomb constructed a modern house of cement blocks.

In addition to teaching and painting, Greene continued to write. Several articles about art and philosophy appeared between 1936 and 1950 in publications such as Art Front, College Art Journal, Art News, and Art Journal. He also wrote many poems. During his tenure at Carnegie Tech Balcomb Greene worked on but did not complete a book tentatively titled "The Villain and the School" and formulated ideas for another.

While Gertrude was terminally ill with cancer, and after her death in 1956, Balcomb reduced his teaching commitments, staying in Pittsburgh for only one semester each year. After retiring in 1959, he painted at Montauk and traveled. While in Paris, Greene met journalist Terryn Trimpen, whom he married in 1961.

Balcomb Greene was represented by Bertha Schaefer Gallery, Saidenberg Gallery and ACA Gallery, in New York, and by the Harmon-Meek Gallery in Naples, Florida. He exhibited widely, participating in the annual exhibitions of the Whitney Museum of American Art and Art Institute of Chicago, and in group shows at the Walker Art Center, Brooklyn Museum, and other venues. Solo shows included exhibitions at the Forum Gallery, ACA Gallery, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York; Fairweather-Hardin Gallery, Chicago; and the Oceanographic Institute and Harmon-Meeks Gallery in Florida. Greene's work is in the permanent collections of many museums, among them the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

During the last five years of his life, Balcomb Greene was in frail health and unable to paint. He died November 12, 1990 at his Montauk Point home.

Gertrude Glass (who worked as an artist using her married name Gertrude Greene) was the daughter of Siegfried and Berta Glass, prosperous Latvian immigrants who owned a Brooklyn department store. At age 18, Gertrude and an older sister left home and organized a pre-school. From 1924 to 1928, Gertrude attended evening sculpture classes at the newly opened Leonardo Da Vinci Art School, a very traditional school in Manhattan that offered free instruction. Although the school itself was conservative, there Gertrude met and identified with a group of fairly radical students who were interested in the abstract art then emerging.

Glass and Greene were married in 1926 and spent the next year in Vienna. Upon returning to New York, she continued to make sculpture. Once they relocated to New Hampshire Gertrude was able to have her own sculpture studio. New Hampshire did not suit her and she gradually drifted back to the art world of New York. After Balcomb resigned from the Dartmouth faculty in 1931, the couple spent a year in Paris. They met many artists and frequented galleries where they saw the latest contemporary art. Gertrude worked on her sculpture and Balcomb, who had planned to write, began concentrating on painting; this was the only time the two shared a studio. When they moved to Pittsburgh, Gertrude kept her New York studio, expecting to commute regularly between the two cities, but war constraints soon made that plan impractical.

Gertrude Greene was active in liberal political causes, especially ones that affected artists and encouraged the formation of WPA programs to help struggling artists. She was an active member of the Federation of Painters and Sculptors, the Artists' Union, and a founding member of American Abstract Artists. As AAA's first paid employee, Gertrude served as gallery attendant. Before moving to Pittsburgh, both Greenes were very active on AAA committees, worked to further acceptance of abstract art, and picketed on many occasions. Typical of AAA actions was a 1937 demonstration against Museum of Modern Art exhibition policies that gave short shrift to abstract work by American artists.

Gertrude Greene was among the very earliest of American artists - quite possibly the first - to produce non-objective relief sculptures in the early 1930s. Over time, she absorbed Cubist tradition and ideas of the Russian Constructivists, synthesizing them into her own work. By the 1940s, she had become interested in Mondrian and Neo-Plasticism, influences that are reflected in her constructions of the period. Her final sculpture was produced in 1946 and for the remainder of her career she focused exclusively on abstract painting.

She participated in many group exhibitions, the first of which was at Wildenstein Gallery in 1945. Grace Borgenicht Gallery presented the first solo exhibition of Gertrude Greene's work in 1952, and another was held at the Bertha Schaefer Gallery in 1955. In 1982, there was a major retrospective of her work at ACA Gallery. Gertrude Greene's work is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Mass.

Gertrude Greene's health began deteriorating in 1956; eventually, cancer was diagnosed. Later that year, on November 25, she died at a New York City hospital.
Related material:
Among the Bertha Schaefer papers and gallery records, 1914-1975, owned by the Archives of American Art are 58 letters from Balcomb Greene about sales and exhibitions (reel 271), and a scrapbook containing printed material about him (reel 42).

The holdings of the Archives of American Art include several interviews with Balcomb Greene. In 1972, he was interviewed by Paul Cummings for the Archives of American Art's oral history program (reel 4210). Greene is included among the Karl E. Fortess taped interviews with artists conducted 1963-1985 (not transcribed). Marian L. Gore's "Art Scene" interviews aired on Los Angeles radio station KPFK, 1962-1964, include one with Balcomb Greene (not transcribed). An interview with Balcomb Greene (transcribed) is among the Brooklyn Museum interviews of artists conducted by Arlene Jacobowitz, circa 1965-1985. The Anne Bowen Parsons collection of interviews on art, 1967-1968, contains an interview with Balcomb Greene (transcribed). Susan C. Larsen's interview with Balcomb Greene is part of oral history interviews relating to the American Abstract Artists Group, 1973-1978 (not transcribed).

Also available at the Archives of American Art is a video recording (VHS videocassette) "Balcomb Greene: 50 Years of Painting, Harmon Gallery," edited and directed by George Mauro, 1982.
Provenance:
Donated in 2009 by Terryn Trimpen Greene, widow of Balcomb Greene.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
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:
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Genre/Form:
Short stories
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Citation:
Balcomb and Gertrude Greene papers, circa 1880-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.greebalc2
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Published Date:
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