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John D. Graham papers, 1799-1988, bulk bulk 1890-1961

Creator:
Graham, John D. (John Dabrowsky), ca. 1887-1961  Search this
Subject:
Picasso, Pablo  Search this
Ultra Violet  Search this
Burliuk, David  Search this
Davis, Stuart  Search this
Gilot, Francoise  Search this
Gorchov, Ron  Search this
Gorky, Arshile  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Kitaj, R. B.  Search this
Mayer, Jack  Search this
Type:
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists as authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Antiques  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7215
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209352
AAA_collcode_grahjohn
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Diaries
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209352
Online Media:

Papers of and relating to John D. Graham, [ca. 1950-1960]

Creator:
Graham, John D. (John Dabrowsky), ca. 1887-1961  Search this
Subject:
Graham, John  Search this
Mayer, Jack  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Avant-garde (Aesthetics) -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Cubism -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Surrealism -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6629
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215940
AAA_collcode_grahjohp
Theme:
Art Theory and Historiography
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_215940

Papers of and relating to John D. Graham

Creator:
Graham, John, 1887-1961  Search this
Names:
Graham, John, 1887-1961  Search this
Mayer, Jack  Search this
Extent:
Partial microfilm reel.
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Date:
[ca. 1950-1960]
Scope and Contents:
Corrected and annotated mss. by Graham "Art History" with related notes (ca. 350 p. total); an autobiographical sketch, entitled "Autoportrait" (3 p. typescript); and an 8 p. summary by Angus Deming of an interview she conducted with Graham, Sept. 1960 in Paris.
Biographical / Historical:
Jack Mayer was an art dealer and owner of Gallery Mayer, New York, which handled the work of painter John Graham. Graham, born Ivan Gratsianovitch Dombrovski in Kiev, Russia in 1886 (baptised in 1881, hence the use of that year on many authoritative sources), came to N.Y. in 1920 and was a central figure among American avant-garde artists, especially from the late 1920s to 1940s. Graham was also a collector of African art which inspired an interest in primitivism in his work. Graham moved to Mexico in 1936. In 1937 he published Systems and Dialectics of Art, stimulating American artists interest in primitive art.
Provenance:
Lent for microfilming by Jack Mayer, 1971.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Avant-garde (Aesthetics) -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Cubism -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Surrealism -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.grahjohp
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-grahjohp

John D. Graham papers

Creator:
Graham, John, 1887-1961  Search this
Names:
Burliuk, David, 1882-1967  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
Gilot, Francoise, 1921-  Search this
Gorchov, Ron  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948 -- Photographs  Search this
Kitaj, R. B.  Search this
Mayer, Jack  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973 -- Photographs  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Ultra Violet  Search this
Extent:
11.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Date:
1799-1988
bulk 1890-1961
Summary:
The papers of painter, collector, and writer John Graham measure 11.2 linear feet and date from 1799 to 1988, with the bulk of materials dating from 1890 to 1961. Papers document the life of John Graham, born Ivan Dombrowsky, through personal documents related to military service and family history, passports, artifacts, correspondence, appointment books, financial records, inventories, wills, extensive writings and notes, books, clippings, exhibition catalogs, photographs of Graham and his family and friends, and artwork created and collected by Graham.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of painter, collector, and writer John Graham measure 11.2 linear feet and date from 1799 to 1988, with the bulk of materials dating from 1890 to 1961. Papers document the life of John Graham, born Ivan Dombrowsky, through personal documents related to military service and family history, passports, artifacts, correspondence, appointment books, financial records, inventories, wills, extensive writings and notes, books, clippings, exhibition catalogs, photographs of Graham and his family and friends, and artwork created and collected by Graham.

Biographical Materials and Artifacts include passports and other official documents, as well as records related to Graham's family, military service, and medical history. Among the artifacts are paint pots and a palette. Correspondence is with art and antique dealers and collectors, and includes significant correspondence and related documents of Jack Mayer, Graham's agent from the late 1950s. Several artists and famous friends are represented in Graham's correspondence including David Burliuk, Stuart Davis, Ultra Violet, Francoise Gilot, R.B. Kitaj, Marc Tobey, and Ron Gorchov.

Personal Business Records contain appointment books spanning 1931 to 1961 which record appointments but were also used as notebooks and sketchbooks. Other Business Records include inventories of Graham's books and antiques made by Graham, records of antique-related transactions, wills of Graham and his last wife, Marianne Strate, and extensive personal financial records from the last few years of his life.

Graham's writings are found scattered throughout the collection, as is his artwork. The Writings series is dominated by Graham's lengthy book projects, found in multiple drafts. The author's annotated published works are also found, as well as typescripts of several published essays by and about Graham. Lists, notes, and writings on a wide range of subjects are found on loose pages and in notebooks dated from 1931 to 1961. Among the Printed Materials are many annotated books from Graham's library, some of which contain drawings, and clippings and exhibition catalogs related to Graham's career going back to the 1920s. Reference files of printed ephemera and clippings collected by Graham are found on a variety of subjects, some of which contain pictorial subjects used in Graham's paintings.

Photographs depict Graham from childhood through his last years in cabinet card portraits, passport photographs, and snapshots. Photographs are also found of his parents, his five wives and four children, and a number of famous friends including Pablo Picasso, Françoise Gilot, their children, and Arshile Gorky. Artwork includes Graham's sketchbooks of 1934, 1960, and 1961, loose sketches, and a collection of file folders with many symbols and illustrations. Also found among the artwork are antique and contemporary prints and drawings collected by Graham.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged into 7 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials and Artifacts, 1799, 1822, 1891-1961 (Boxes 1, 11-12, 17; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1932-1988 (Box 1; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, circa 1931-1962 (Boxes 1-3; 1.4 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings, 1839, circa 1923-1986 (Boxes 3-5, OV 13; 2.9 linear feet)

Series 5: Printed Materials, circa 1885-1961 (Boxes 6-9, OV 14; 3.7 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1860-1985 (Box 9-10, 17, OV 15; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1852-1961 (Box 10, OV 16; 1 linear foot)
Biographical/Historical note:
The Russian émigré painter and writer John Graham, born Ivan Dombrowsky, was born in Kiev in 1886, 1887, or 1888. All three conflicting dates are found on various legal papers, licences, and passports. His parents were of minor nobility but with little means. He attended law school and served in the Circassian Regiment of the Russian army, earned the Saint George's Cross during World War I, and was imprisoned as a counterrevolutionary by the Bolsheviks after the assassination of Czar Nicholas II and his family in 1918. He fled for a time to his mother's native Poland, and finally in 1920, he emigrated with his second wife Vera and their son Nicholas to the United States. He began calling himself John in the US, and had his name officially changed to John Graham upon becoming a United States citizen in 1927. The name Graham may have been a transliteration of his father's name, Gratian. Graham is often described as a quixotic figure who cultivated a larger-than-life persona in the artistic circles of New York in the first half of the twentieth century through his authoritative philosophical and aesthetic arguments on the one hand, and his often fabulous tales of his early life on the other, including a story he wrote of his origins in which he was dropped as an infant onto a rock in the Caspian Sea by an enormous eagle.

In New York, Graham studied at the Art Students League, taking classes with John Sloan, William von Schlegell, and Allen Tucker. Among his fellow students were Dorothy Dehner and David Smith, Adolph Gottlieb, Alexander Calder, and Elinor Gibson, who married Graham in 1924. The couple lived briefly in Elinor's native Baltimore, Maryland, where he met Etta and Claribel Cone, collectors of modern European paintings. It may have been the Cone sisters who introduced Graham to their circle of avant-garde artists and art collectors in Paris in the late 1920s. Whatever its origin, Graham's early style has been compared to Cezanne, Braque, Derain, and Chirico, and his frequent trips to Europe made him a conduit for current art ideas and trends for the American artists who knew him.

Graham exhibited his paintings steadily in the late 1920s and early 1930s, including shows at the Society of Independent Arists (New York) in 1925, the Modernist Galleries (Baltimore) in 1926, Galerie Zaborowski (Paris) in 1928 and 1929, at Dudensing Galleries (New York) and Phillips Memorial Gallery (Washington) in 1929, the First Biennial at the Whitney Museum in 1932, and at 8th Street Gallery (New York) in 1933. During this period Graham and his wife Elinor lived in Paris, New York City, New Jersey, and upstate New York. He spent a year teaching at Wells College in Aurora, New York, where he also executed a series of wall panels in 1932. Graham's friendships with other artists during this period included Arshile Gorky, Stuart Davis, and Willem de Kooning. De Kooning is said to have called Davis, Gorky, and Graham the "three smartest guys on the scene."

Graham's European travels also enabled him to earn a living by buying primitive sculpture and antiques for collectors and dealers. In the 1930s he bought African Art for Vanity Fair editor and art collector Frank Crowninshield, and in 1936, Graham arranged an exhibition of Crowninshield's collection at Jacques Seligmann gallery. Graham and Elinor Gibson divorced in 1934 and he married Constance Wellman in Paris in 1936. They lived in Brooklyn Heights near Adolph Gottlieb, David Smith, and Dorothy Dehner, and worked for Hilla Rebay in her formation of the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, which became the Guggenheim Museum. Suffering financial hardship in the late years of the Depression, Constance and Graham lived in Mexico for several stretches of time, and Graham published several articles on Mexico and Mexican Art, and an essay entitled "Primitive Art and Picasso" in Magazine of Art.

Graham was a prolific writer, but only a few of his written works found their way into print. Aside from his essays, published works include a small book of poetry, Have It!, published in 1923, and a book which presented Graham's personal theories of art entitled System and Dialectics of Art, published in 1937 by Delphic Studios, an eclectic New York gallery and small press run by Alma Reed. The book was influential for a younger generation of American artists; Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner in particular both expressed appreciation for Graham's ideas. For decades, Graham worked on several other major written works which were not published, including a highly stylized, symbolist work about his childhood and an encyclopedic collection of short, didactic essays on a wide range Grahamiam themes, a work which Graham usually referred to as Orifizio Mundi.

In 1942, Graham organized the exhibition "French and American Painters" at McMillen Gallery (New York) which showed Modigliani, Picasso, Braque, Rouault, and Matisse, alongside the Americans Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Stuart Davis, David Burliuk, and Walt Kuhn, among others. The show was well-received critically and, as it was Jackson Pollock's first public exhibition and Willem de Kooning's second, and the occasion of Pollock and Lee Krasner's meeting, could be considered a watershed event in contemporary American art.

Graham's own style made a pronounced shift away from abstraction in the 1940s. He began referencing renaissance art in his paintings, incorporating occult symbols, and signing them "Ioannus Magus," or "Ioannus San Germanus." His marriage to Constance ended acrimoniously around this time. He met Marianne Strate, a bookbinder, through her daughter Ileana Sonnabend and son-in-law Leo Castelli. They lived in Southampton, New York, where Graham was close to the Castellis, Paul Brach, Miriam Schapiro, and where he renewed his friendship with Willem de Kooning, who had a studio in Castelli's East Hampton home in the early 1950s. Marianne died in 1955.

Graham exhibited at the Stable Gallery in 1954, and at the newly-opened, uptown Whitney Museum of American Art in 1955. Jack Mayer became Graham's dealer in the late 1950s, held exhibitions at his Madison Avenue gallery, Gallery Mayer, in 1960, and arranged for an exhibition at the Tennessee Fine Arts Center in 1961, shortly before Graham's death. Graham left the United States for the last time in 1959, lived in Paris for two years, and died in June 1961 in a hospital in London. Gallery Mayer held a memorial exhibition at the end of 1961. Retrospective exhibitions of Graham's work have been held at the Art Institute of Chicago (1963), the Museum of Modern Art (1968), the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (1969), and the Phillips Collection (1987).
Separated Materials note:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reel 5049) including six volumes of notebooks and several loose sketches. Loaned materials were returned to MoMA and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The papers of John Graham were given to the Archives of American Art in five separate accessions between 1985 and 1988. The bulk of papers were donated by Graham's son, John David Graham, in 1985, with later additions from Patricia Graham, the widow of John David Graham, in 1986, 1987, and 1988, via the Andre Emmerich Gallery, Inc. The Department of Prints and Drawings of the Museum of Modern Art donated more papers and loaned additional materials for microfilming in 1986.
Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Rights:
The John Graham papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists as authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Antiques  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Citation:
John Graham Papers, 1799-1988. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.grahjohn
See more items in:
John D. Graham papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-grahjohn
Online Media:

Mayer, Jack (Gallery Mayer)

Collection Creator:
Graham, John, 1887-1961  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 54
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1959-1960
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Collection Rights:
The John Graham papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
John Graham Papers, 1799-1988. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
John D. Graham papers
John D. Graham papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-grahjohn-ref79

Mayer, Jack (Gallery Mayer)

Collection Creator:
Graham, John, 1887-1961  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 55
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1961
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Collection Rights:
The John Graham papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
John Graham Papers, 1799-1988. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
John D. Graham papers
John D. Graham papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-grahjohn-ref870

Mayer, Jack (Gallery Mayer)

Collection Creator:
Graham, John, 1887-1961  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 56
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1988
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Collection Rights:
The John Graham papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
John Graham Papers, 1799-1988. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
John D. Graham papers
John D. Graham papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-grahjohn-ref871

Mayer, Jack P.

Collection Creator:
André Emmerich Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 8, Folder 64
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1962-1967
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Access of diaries and appointment books required written permission.
Collection Rights:
The André Emmerich Gallery records and André Emmerich papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
André Emmerich Gallery records and André Emmerich papers, circa 1929-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
André Emmerich Gallery records
André Emmerich Gallery records / Series 1: General Correspondence Files / 1.1: Galleries/Museums/Clients
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-andremmg-ref555

M

Collection Creator:
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Container:
Box 23, Folder 47-49
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1949-1978
Scope and Contents note:
Maas, Willard

Mackery, Frank

Macy, Gertrude

Maddrell, Paul W.

Malone, Mrs. Adrian

Mark, Grant

Markowski, Eugene

Matsner, Eric M.

Matta, Malitte

Matthews, Thomas A.

Mayer, Jack P.

Mazoh, Stephen

McCarthy, Eugene

McCloughan, Loraine

McGinnis, Lucille

McIntosh, Michael

McKean, Margaret

Melikian, Mary

Mellon, Bunny (Mrs. Paul)

Menkin, Marie

Merrill, Charles

Merrilld, Knud

Metz, Gwen

Meyer, J. J. De Lucio

Meyerhoff, Natalie R.

Miller, Dorothy

Miller, Peter

Miller, Mrs. C. Earl

Miller, Richard

Miller, Stephen R.

Mills, Margaret

Miner, Laura

Mobutu, President (de la Republique de Kinshasa)

Moline, Giselle

Moorman, Peggy

Morley, Grace

Moscowitz, Morris

Motherwell, Robert

Mullen, Russ

Murchison, John D.

Murdock, Robert M.

Murray, Natalie Danesi

Murray, Robert

Myers, Winslow
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers, circa 1920-1991, bulk 1946-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-parsbett-ref987
Online Media:

Die Vereinten Nationen in der Philatelie Österreichs, 1946-1979 / von Ingo Dickert, Jack I. Mayer, Franz Stefka = The United Nations in Austrian philately / by Ingo Dickert, Jack I. Mayer, Franz Stefka

Title:
United Nations in Austrian philately
Author:
Dickert, Ingo  Search this
Mayer, Jack I  Search this
Stefka, Franz  Search this
Subject:
United Nations On postage stamps  Search this
Physical description:
47 p. : ill. ; 21 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Austria
Date:
1979
C1979
Topic:
Postmarks  Search this
Call number:
HE6185.A9 D53 1979
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1013622

Receiving, dispatching, free frank & bar code marks and labels of the United Nations, its agencies & its predecessors / by B. Clement, Jr. and Jack I. Mayer

Author:
Clement, Blanton  Search this
Mayer, Jack I  Search this
Subject:
United Nations Postal service  Search this
Physical description:
v. (loose-leaf) : ill. ; 28 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
2003
C2003-
Topic:
Postmarks  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_936651

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