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Oral history interview with Sylvan Cole

Interviewee:
Cole, Sylvan  Search this
Interviewer:
Berman, Avis  Search this
Names:
Associated American Artists  Search this
Barnet, Will, 1911-2012  Search this
Drewes, Werner, 1899-1985  Search this
Florsheim, Richard A., 1916-1979  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Hockney, David  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Hopper, Edward, 1882-1967  Search this
Johnson, Una E.  Search this
Kainen, Jacob  Search this
Levine, Jack, 1915-2010  Search this
Lewenthal, Reeves, 1909-1987  Search this
Lieberman, William Slattery, 1924-  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Soyer, Raphael, 1899-1987  Search this
Extent:
83 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2000 June-October
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Sylvan Cole conducted 2000 June-October, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art.
The interviews took place over five sessions in New York, New York. Cole discusses the history of Associated American Artists, the gallery for whom he began working in 1946, and its marketing techniques, customer base, and personalities, such as its founder, Reeves Lewenthal. He also traces his own development as a dealer in prints after he left AAA and recalls many artists and other figures in the art world, including Will Barnet, Werner Drewes, Richard Florsheim, Helen Frankenthaler, David Hockney, Hans Hofmann, Edward Hopper, Una Johnson, Jacob Kainen, Jack Levine, William S. Lieberman, Robert Motherwell, and Raphael Soyer.
Biographical / Historical:
Sylvan Cole (1918-2005) was an art dealer and writer of New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 5 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 10 digital wav files. Duration is 7 hr., 6 min.
Sound quality is fair; beginning and endings of tapes tend to be garbled and low.
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:
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Prints -- Marketing  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.cole00
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cole00

Oral history interview with Federico Castellon

Interviewee:
Castellón, Federico, 1914-1971  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Names:
Associated American Artists  Search this
Columbia University -- Faculty  Search this
Weyhe Gallery  Search this
Ames, Elizabeth  Search this
Cole, Sylvan  Search this
Dintenfass, Terry, 1920-  Search this
Fleischman, Lawrence A. (Lawrence Arthur), 1925-1997  Search this
Lewenthal, Reeves, 1909-1987  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Zigrosser, Carl, 1891-  Search this
Extent:
104 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1971 April 7-14
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Federico Castellon conducted 1971 April 7-14, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art. Castellon speaks of his childhood; his early interest in art; contact with Diego Rivera and the Weyhe Gallery in 1933; studying in Madrid and Paris; his involvement with the Spanish military; teaching at Columbia; traveling in Italy and in the Southwestern U.S.; making his first prints; his involvement with the Associated American Artists Gallery; printmaking methods and techniques; his publications; subject matter and surrealism in his work; his working routine; one-man exhibitions; collecting prints; other printmakers; aesthetics. He recalls Diego Rivera, Carl Zigrosser, Elizabeth Ames, Reeves Lowenthal, Sylvan Cole, Terry Dintenfass, Lawrence Fleischman, the Weyhe Gallery, and the Associated American Artists Gallery.
Biographical / Historical:
Federico Castellon (1914-1971) was a printmaker and painter from Brooklyn, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 16 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.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Prints -- Technique  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Hispanic American artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.castel71
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-castel71

Associated American Artists records

Creator:
Associated American Artists  Search this
Names:
Lewenthal, Reeves, 1909-1987  Search this
Liederman, Maurice J.  Search this
Wood, Grant, 1891-1942  Search this
Extent:
55 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Date:
circa 1934-1983
Summary:
The records of the Associated American Artists measure 55 linear feet and date from circa 1934 through 1983. The organization was founded in 1934 to stimulate interest in prints throughout the United States by promoting the sale of prints through department stores and other venues. Later, other genres of works of art were added and the department store abandoned in favor of a New York headquarters. The records contain voluminous files on artists; dealers, galleries, and museums; and clients. Also found is business correspondence, financial records, sales and exhibition catalogs, thirteen dismantled scrapbooks, and posters.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of the Associated American Artists measure 55 linear feet and date from circa 1934 through 1983. They document the organization's work producing and selling limited-edition prints by American artists. The records contain voluminous files on artists; dealers, galleries, and museums; and clients. Also found is business correspondence, financial records, sales and exhibition catalogs, thirteen dismantled scrapbooks, and posters.

The dates of the records include the portion that was loaned to the Archives in 1965-1966 and microfilmed on reels D254-D256.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 9 series:

Series 1: Artist Files,1951-1983 (Box 1-19; 18.5 linear feet)

Series 2: Dealers, Galleries and Museums, circa 1958-1980 (Box 19-29; 10.5 linear feet)

Series 3: Client Files, circa 1958-1980 (Box 29-48; 19 linear feet)

Series 4: Business Correspondence, 1959-1980 (Box 48-49; 2 linear feet)

Series 5: Financial Records, 1960-1981 (Box 50-51; 1 linear feet)

Series 6: Sales Catalogs, 1955-1979 (Box 51-53; 2 linear feet)

Series 7: Exhibition Catalogs, 1950-1978 (Box 54; 1 linear foot)

Series 8: Scrapbooks, 1958-1980 (Box 55-57; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 9: Posters, circa 1960s-1970s
Historical Note:
The Associated American Artists was created in 1934 with the mission of bridging the gap between artists and their audiences by making fine art affordable, accessible, and attractive for the general American public. The A.A.A. offered new editions of prints to collectors at very reasonable prices. This was accomplished by publishing limited-edition prints of etchings and lithographs by American artists that sold for as little as five dollars each. The organization commissioned original graphic art from many notable American artists, whose art often reflected or commented on the social ideas of the era. All lithographs and etchings were produced in editions ranging from 125 to 250 impressions. Between 1934 and 1945, the organization published more than 600 limited-edition prints. An early collaboration allowed the prints to be displayed and sold in fifty department stores nationwide. Later, the department stores were abandoned in favor of a headquarters in a gallery in New York City. By the 1950s, the organization began to design fabrics as well.

The organization was also notable for its innovative use of modern merchandising and advertising techniques to sell and introduce high-quality artwork to a broad audience. New products were introduced in newspaper articles and magazines that targeted both the public and professional trade audiences. Prints were also advertised on the back of periodicals, which introduced the art to an even wider audience across the country.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming on reels D254-D256 and 3176. Reels D254-D256 include material related to the Associated American Artists' records that were returned to the lender. Reel 3176 contains photocopies of correspondence between Grant Wood, Reeves Lewnthal, and Maurice Liederman and that were discarded after microfilming. This material is not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Sylvan Cole and Adolf Dehn loaned the Archives of American Art related Associated American Artists' records for microfilming on reels D254-D256 in 1965-1966. Mrs. Allan Kine gave photocopies of correspondence on reel 3176 to the Archives in 1974. The Associated American Artists donated all other material begining in the late 1970s through 1988.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C., facility.
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 galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists -- United States  Search this
Art -- Marketing  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Citation:
Associated American Artists records, circa 1934-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.assoamea
See more items in:
Associated American Artists records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-assoamea
Online Media:

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