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Oral history interview with Boris Mirski, 1973 June 19

Interviewee:
Mirski, Boris, 1898-1974  Search this
Mirski, Boris, 1898-1974  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12088
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215701
AAA_collcode_mirski73
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_215701

Oral history interview with Alan Fink

Interviewee:
Fink, Alan, 1925-  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Mirski, Boris, 1898-1974  Search this
Swan, Barbara, 1922-  Search this
Extent:
2 Sound cassettes (Sound recording (2 1/2 hrs.), analog)
45 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound cassettes
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1997 Jan. 22 and Jan. 29
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Alan Fink conducted 1997 Jan. 22 and Jan. 29, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art, at Fink's Alpha Gallery, Boston, Mass.
JANUARY 22, 1997 SESSION: Fink discusses his childhood, early education, and first profession; traveling in Europe and meeting his future wife, the painter, Barbara Swan; and becoming interested in art.
JANUARY 29, 1997 SESSION: Coming to Boston in 1951 largely because Barbara Swan was there; first work as a gallery manager (1951-1967) for Boris Mirski; the New York dealer, Edith Halpert with whom he worked closely; the painter and head of Brandeis University art department, Mitchell Siporin; Leonard Baskin, and David Aronson; the lack of support for young local artists from Boston institutions; the major local collector of young local artists, Jerry Goldberg and Abe Pollin who followed his example; the increased number of Boston art galleries in the 1960s as art collecting grew; great success of a show of African masks at Mirski Gallery; his last years with Mirski; opening of his Alpha Gallery in September 1967; and taking on some of Mirski's artists, including Michael Mazur, Robert Birmelin, Philip Gausman, Barbara Swan, Marianna Pineda, Harold Tovish, Elbert Weinberg, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Alan Fink (1925-) is an art dealer in Boston, Mass. and is married to Barbara Swan.
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.
Occupation:
Art dealers -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.fink97
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-fink97

Boris Mirski Gallery records

Creator:
Boris Mirski Gallery (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Names:
Aronson, David, 1923-2015  Search this
Baskin, Leonard, 1922-2000  Search this
Bloom, Hyman, 1913-  Search this
Geller, Esther  Search this
Lebrun, Rico, 1900-1964  Search this
Mazur, Michael, 1935-2009  Search this
Mirski, Boris, 1898-1974  Search this
Polonsky, Arthur  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Siporin, Mitchell, 1910-1976  Search this
Swan, Barbara, 1922-  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Extent:
6.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
circa 1936-2000
bulk 1945-1972
Summary:
The Boris Mirski Gallery records measure 6.2 linear feet and date from 1936-2000, bulk 1945-1972. They include gallery administrative files; artist files including correspondence, exhibition and loan paperwork as well as photographic documentation of artwork; gallery correspondence; financial materials including outgoing and incoming invoices and sales records; printed materials promoting the gallery and its artists; press materials; and a number of photographs of Boris Mirski at events and with others, as well as photographs of artwork. Artists particularly well represented in the collection include David Aronson, Leonard Baskin, Hyman Bloom, Esther Geller, Rico Lebrun, Michael Mazur, Arthur Polonsky, Ben Shahn, Mitchell Siporin, Barbara Swan, and Karl Zerbe.
Scope and Contents:
The records of the Boris Mirski Gallery, which showed the avant-garde art of the Boston Expressionist school, as well as New York and international modern art styles and non-western art, measure 6.2 linear feet and date from 1936-2000, bulk 1945-1972. They include gallery administrative files; artist files including correspondence, exhibition and loan paperwork as well as photographic documentation of artwork; gallery correspondence; financial materials including outgoing and incoming invoices and sales records; printed materials promoting the gallery and its artists; press materials; and a number of photographs of Boris Mirski at events and with others, as well as photographs of artwork. Artists particularly well represented in the collection include David Aronson, Leonard Baskin, Hyman Bloom, Esther Geller, Rico Lebrun, Michael Mazur, Arthur Polonsky, Ben Shahn, Mitchell Siporin, Barbara Swan, and Karl Zerbe.

The administrative files cover a number of topics including documents related to various properties, mortgages, and insurance, copyrights, legal cases, administrative events, and select group exhibitions at the gallery.

The artist files document each gallery artist's exhibition history in the gallery and include correspondence with the artist as well as files documenting significant outside exhibitions, projects and the placement of artworks. While exhibiting artists showed a range of sculpture, painting, and drawing at the gallery, there was a tendency towards highly expressive figurative artwork sometimes referred to as Boston Expressionism, often associated with the first generation Jewish American experience.

The gallery correspondence, primarily with patrons and institutions, is arranged alphabetically with select regular correspondents of the gallery having their own file, in addition to a folder of holiday cards.

The financial files include both outgoing and incoming transactions as invoices and sales records, organized by patron or vendor.

The printed materials are a records of the printing activities of the gallery as well as a press archive, with select printed materials from outside the gallery reflecting the activities of the gallery and gallery artists.

The photographic materials include both images that include the gallerist as well as images that document artworks.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 6 series.

Series 1: Administrative Files, circa 1948-1995 (0.5 Linear feet; Box 1)

Series 2: Artist Files, circa 1945-2000 (2.7 Linear feet; Boxes 1-4, OV 7)

Series 3: Gallery Correspondence, circa 1936-1976 (1 Linear feet; Boxes 4-5)

Series 4: Financial Files, circa 1958-1974 (1.2 Linear feet; Boxes 5-6)

Series 5: Printed Material, circa 1944-1981 (0.7 Linear feet; Box 6, OV 8)

Series 6: Photographic Material, circa 1945-1976 (0.1 Linear feet; Box 6)
Biographical / Historical:
The Boris Mirski Gallery (est.1944; closed 1979) was a gallery in Boston, Massachusetts owned and operated by Boris Mirski (1898-1974). The gallery evolved out of various businesses owned by Mirski from the late 1910s, including his first formal gallery established alongside a framing shop on Charles Street in Beacon Hill in 1927. The gallery moved to its final incarnation on the lower level of 166 Newbury in 1972, and closed in 1979 following the gallerist's death in 1974.

Boris Chaim Mirski, born 1898, immigrated to the United States at the age of fourteen, leaving behind his troubled youth as a Lithuanian Jew in a harsh political climate that included frequent pogroms. At the advice of his mother, an activist in the resistance, Boris acquired a number of marketable skills including metalwork and framing, which allowed him to establish a lucrative business while he developed opportunities to show art that interested him. Early in his career this included a home for non-western and "primitive" art styles from around the globe, as well as the work of emerging local artists. Mirski's gallery created opportunities for artists working against the generally conservative tradition of the Boston School, and helped establish an identity for the local avant-garde. The gallery program had strong ties with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston alumni and faculty, and frequently hosted exchange shows with New York City's Downtown Gallery, whose director Edith Halpert acted as a mentor. While exhibiting artists showed a range of sculpture, painting, and drawing at the gallery, there was a tendency towards highly expressive figurative artwork sometimes referred to as Boston Expressionism, often associated with the first generation Jewish American experience. Gallery artists included David Aronson, Leonard Baskin, Hyman Bloom, Esther Geller, Rico Lebrun, Michael Mazur, Arthur Polonsky, Ben Shahn, Mitchell Siporin, Barbara Swan, and Karl Zerbe.
Related Materials:
Related materials include Archives of American Art's Oral history interview with Boris Mirski, 1973 June 19.
Provenance:
The Boris Mirski Gallery records were donated by Deborah Mirski Brown, Boris Mirski's daughter from 1989-1996, with additions in 2007 and 2017.
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.
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:
Expressionism (Art)  Search this
Jewish artists  Search this
Modernism (Art)  Search this
New York school of art  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- Massachusetts
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Boris Mirski Gallery records, 1936-2000, bulk 1945-1972. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.mirsbori
See more items in:
Boris Mirski Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mirsbori

Bruce Anthony King photographs and printed material

Creator:
King, Bruce Anthony, 1934-  Search this
Names:
Baskin, Leonard, 1922-2000  Search this
Castano, Giovanni, 1896-1978  Search this
Hallam, Beverly, 1923-2013  Search this
Hugo, Harold  Search this
Janowitz, Joel, 1945-  Search this
Laurent, John, 1947-  Search this
McKee, Todd  Search this
Mirski, Boris, 1898-1974  Search this
Morgan, Maud, 1903-1999  Search this
Plamondon, Peter M.  Search this
Smart, Mary, 1915-  Search this
Vose, Robert C. (Robert Churchill), 1911-1998  Search this
Extent:
0.3 Linear feet ((on 2 microfilm reels))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1974-1986
Scope and Contents:
Photographs of artists (1974-1976) and miscellaneous printed material concerning King's photographs (1976-1986).
REEL 906: One hundred three photographs by King are of Leonard Baskin, his family, his studio, and his home.
REEL 1817: Six photographs of Harold Hugo, and 2 photographs of Boris Mirski (1974); previously microfilmed under Photos of Artists II and subsequently scanned.
Unfilmed: Photographs of artists (1976-1977) include Giovanni (John) Castano, Beverly Hallam and Mary-Leigh Smart, John Laurent, Judy and Todd McKee and their children, Peter Plamondon and his studio, and Robert C. Vose. Printed material includes photocopies of King's photographs of Joel Janowitz and Maud Morgan. Printed material containing photographs by King includes a book VISION AND REVISION (1979), a magazine SPECTRUM (Spring/Summer 1985), and a calendar NEW ENGLAND IMAGES (1986).
Biographical / Historical:
Photographer, born 1934.
Provenance:
Donated by Bruce Anthony King, 1975 and 1985.
Occupation:
Photographers  Search this
Topic:
Portrait photography -- Photographs  Search this
Artists -- United States -- Photographs  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.kingbruc
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kingbruc

Oral history interview with Boris Mirski

Interviewee:
Mirski, Boris, 1898-1974  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Extent:
34 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1973 June 19
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Boris Mirski conducted 1973 June 19, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Mirski discusses the creative life of Jews in general and briefly touches upon his own background and career as an art dealer.
Biographical / Historical:
Boris Mirski (1898-1974) was an art dealer from Boston, Mass.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 1 digital wav file. Duration is 1 hr., 24 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
Transcript: available for use in AAA's Washington, D.C. office and through interlibrary loan.
Occupation:
Art dealers -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.mirski73
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mirski73

Ainu 5 [edit], 1965 [sound recording]

Creator:
Hilger, Marie Inez Sister 1891-1977  Search this
Editor:
Midori Yamaha  Search this
Performer:
Toroshino Kaizawa  Search this
Shigeru Kayano  Search this
Mirski, Boris 1898-1974  Search this
Physical description:
1 reel; 5 inch
Culture:
Ainu  Search this
Type:
Narration
Place:
Japan
Noboribetsu-shi (Japan)
Date:
1965
Topic:
Ainu--Speeches  Search this
Ethnology  Search this
Language and languages--Documentation  Search this
Local number:
Hilger Sound Recording 12
See more items in:
Sister Marie Inez Hilger Sound Recordings 1952-1973
Data Source:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_271509

Ainu 7 (Original), June 17, 1965 [sound recording]

Creator:
Hilger, Marie Inez Sister 1891-1977  Search this
Performer:
Ume Kaizawa  Search this
Mirski, Boris 1898-1974  Search this
Toroshino Kaizawa  Search this
Physical description:
1 reel; 5 inch
Culture:
Ainu  Search this
Type:
Speeches
Place:
Japan
Noboribetsu-shi (Japan)
Date:
1965
June 17, 1965
Topic:
Ainu--Speeches  Search this
Ethnology  Search this
Language and languages--Documentation  Search this
Local number:
Hilger Sound Recording 7
See more items in:
Sister Marie Inez Hilger Sound Recordings 1952-1973
Data Source:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_271514
Online Media:

Ainu 5 (Original), September 14, 1965 [sound recording]

Creator:
Hilger, Marie Inez Sister 1891-1977  Search this
Speaker:
Toroshino Kaizawa  Search this
Shigeru Kayano  Search this
Mirski, Boris 1898-1974  Search this
Physical description:
1 reel; 5 inch
Culture:
Ainu  Search this
Type:
Speeches
Place:
Japan
Noboribetsu-shi (Japan)
Date:
1965
September 14, 1965
Topic:
Ainu--Speeches  Search this
Ethnology  Search this
Language and languages--Documentation  Search this
Local number:
Hilger Sound Recording 5
See more items in:
Sister Marie Inez Hilger Sound Recordings 1952-1973
Data Source:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_271516

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