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Oral history interview with Joseph A. Helman

Interviewee:
Helman, Joseph A., 1937-  Search this
Interviewer:
McElhinney, James Lancel, 1952-  Search this
Creator:
Widgeon Point Charitable Foundation  Search this
Names:
Blum Helman Gallery  Search this
Sotheby's (Firm)  Search this
St. Louis Art Museum  Search this
Widgeon Point Charitable Foundation  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Blum, Irving, 1930-  Search this
Castelli, Leo  Search this
Crawford, Ralston, 1906-1978  Search this
Davis, Ronald, 1937-  Search this
Greenberg, Ronald K.  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Kaprow, Allan  Search this
Kelly, Ellsworth, 1923-  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-1997  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Pulitzer, Emily Rauh  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Saarinen, Eero, 1910-1961  Search this
Scull, Robert C.  Search this
Serra, Richard, 1938-  Search this
Stella, Frank  Search this
Warhol, Andy, 1928-1987  Search this
Extent:
4 Items (Sound recording: 4 wav files (2 hr.,19 min.), digital)
53 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Italy -- description and travel
Date:
2010 January 4
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Joseph A. Helman conducted 2010 January 4, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art, at Helman's home in New York, New York.
Helman recalls three major events from his early life--the exhibition "Masterpieces from the Berlin Museums: 1948-1949," the film "Lust for Life," and collecting--that led to his career as an art dealer; buying his first painting, which was a Jasper Johns work; meeting the art dealer Leo Castelli; opening his first gallery in St. Louis in 1969; selling his gallery to Ronald Greenberg and moving to Italy with his family; attending the Sotheby's auction of the Robert C. Scull Collection in 1973; teaming up with Irving Blum to open the Blum Helman Gallery in New York City; organizing exhibitions of established and emerging artists. Helman speaks about his relationship with Emily Rauh Pulitzer and the St. Louis Art Museum; his Happening with Allan Kaprow; the story behind Claes Oldenburg's drawing Tongue Cloud, over St. Louis, 1975; discovering the work of Ralston Crawford; introducing American art to Spain. In addition, Helman discusses the contemporary art market; collectors and the process of collecting; and the redefinition of Pop art to include British and American artists of the 1980s. Throughout the interview Helman mentions the various artists he has represented, exhibited or collected such as Richard Serra, Robert Rauschenberg, Josef Albers, Roy Lichtenstein, Ellsworth Kelly, Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Ronald Davis, and Bryan Hunt.
Biographical / Historical:
Joseph A. Helman (1937- ) is an art dealer and collector in New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound disc. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr.,19 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:
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Art, American -- Spain  Search this
Pop art  Search this
Happenings (Art)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.helman10
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-helman10

Oral history interview with Robert Breer

Interviewee:
Breer, Robert  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Names:
Bonino Gallery  Search this
Galerie Denise René  Search this
PepsiCo, Inc.  Search this
Stanford University -- Students  Search this
United States. Army  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Tinguely, Jean, 1925-  Search this
Extent:
65 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
1973 July 10
Scope and Contents:
Interview of Robert Breer conducted 1973 July 10, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
Breer speaks of his boyhood in Detroit; his family, and its activities in early auto engineering; attending Stanford University and drawing cartoons for its daily paper; Stanford's art department, his U.S. Army service; the influence of the Tannerhill collection; going to Paris and the art scene there in the 1950s; Galerie Denise René; making his first films in 1952; the experimental film movement and his involvement in it; Studio Parnene and its showings of his films; showings in America; tachism; his return to the United States; the Brussels Fair Film Festival; mutascopes; early sculptures; his "Bent Whale" transitional piece; kinetic sculpture; Tinguely and Oldenburg films; descriptions of some of his sculptures; his design for the Pepsi Cola Pavilion at the Japan Expo in 1970; the Bonino Gallery.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Breer (1926-2011) was a sculptor and filmmaker from Tappacu, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 43 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 others.
Topic:
Art informel  Search this
Filmmakers -- Interviews  Search this
Kinetic sculpture  Search this
Sculptors -- Interviews  Search this
Sculpture  Search this
Function:
Film festivals
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.breer73
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-breer73

William J. Eisenlord photographs

Creator:
Eisenlord, William J., 1926-1997  Search this
Names:
City Lights Bookstore (San Francisco, Calif.) -- Photographs  Search this
San Francisco Museum of Art  Search this
Berman, Shirley  Search this
Berman, Wallace, 1926-1976  Search this
Broughton, James  Search this
Castelli, Leo  Search this
Castellón, Rolando  Search this
DeRoux, Kenneth  Search this
Ferlinghetti, Lawrence  Search this
Green, Mark L., 1932-2004  Search this
Herms, George, 1935-  Search this
Hirschman, Jack, 1933-  Search this
Larsen, Michael, 1941-  Search this
LeBlanc, Peter, 1930-  Search this
Linhares, Philip E.  Search this
McClure, Michael  Search this
Micheline, Jack, 1929-1998  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929- -- Photographs  Search this
Pomada, Elizabeth  Search this
Rexroth, Kenneth, 1905-1982  Search this
Selz, Peter Howard, 1919-  Search this
Stiles, Knute, 1923-  Search this
Photographer:
Nyberg, Ed  Search this
Extent:
0.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Place:
San Francisco Calif. -- Photographs
Date:
1953-1976
Summary:
The photographs of San Francisco photographer William J. Eisenlord measure 0.3 linear feet and date from 1953-1976. Photographs depict the City Lights Bookstore of San Francisco, California and the exhibition opening of "Poets of the Cities" at the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1976. Also included are photographs of jazz and beat poetry performances taken by Ed Nyberg in 1957.
Scope and Contents note:
The photographs of San Francisco photographer William J. Eisenlord measure 0.3 linear feet and date from 1953-1976. Photographs depict the City Lights Bookstore of San Francisco, California and the exhibition opening of "Poets of the Cities" at the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1976. Also included are photographs of jazz and beat poetry performances taken by Ed Nyberg in 1957.

City Lights Bookstore was a popular meeting ground for many people associated with the Beat literary movement in San Francisco. The collection includes one exterior window photograph of the bookstore taken the year of its founding in 1953, and fifteen interior photographs of the store taken circa 1959. The interior shots include images of bookstore founder Lawrence Ferlinghetti, bookstore manager Shigeyoshi Murao, and various customers browsing the stacks.

The photographs taken at the "Poets of the Cities" exhibition opening on January 30, 1976 at the San Francisco Museum of Art include notable figures Jack Micheline, Claes Oldenburg, James Broughton, Phil Linhares, Mark and Sally Green, Michael Larsen, Elizabeth Pomada, Ken deRoux, Peter and Minette LeBlanc, Jack Hirschman, Rolando Castellon, Knute Stiles, Michael and Joanna McClure, Byron Meyer, Peter Selz, Leo Castelli, George Herms, and Shirley and Wallace Berman.

Also included are ten photographs taken in 1957 by Ed Nyberg at The Jazz Cellar, a popular San Francisco beat nightclub. Notable figures include Kenneth Rexroth, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Grover Sales Jr., Sonny Wayne, and Bill Weisjahn.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged as 2 series:

Series 1: William J. Eisenlord Photographs, 1953-1976 (Box 1; 15 folders)

Series 2: Ed Nyberg Photographs, 1957 (Box 1; 1 folder)
Biographical/Historical note:
William J. Eisenlord (1926-1997) worked as a photographer in San Francisco, California. He was an acquaintance of photographer, poet, and journalist Mark Green. Together with business partner Thayne Riggs, Eisenlord opened the Omnibus Gallery in Sacramento, California in 1980.
Provenance:
The William J. Eisenlord photographs were donated to the Archives of American Art in two installments, in 1976 and 1977, by William J. Eisenlord.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers 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.
Topic:
Poets -- Exhibitions -- Photographs  Search this
Beat generation  Search this
Photographers -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
William J. Eisenlord photographs, 1953-1976. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.eisewill
See more items in:
William J. Eisenlord photographs
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-eisewill
Online Media:

Claes Oldenburg holiday card to Samuel Wagstaff

Creator:
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Wagstaff, Samuel J., 1921-1987  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
196-
Topic:
Animals  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)11792
See more items in:
Samuel J. Wagstaff papers, circa 1932-1985
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_11792
Online Media:

Claes Oldenburg letter to Raymond Saroff

Creator:
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Saroff, Raymond, 1922-  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1974 Sept. 16
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)14097
See more items in:
Raymond Saroff papers, 1953-2009
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_14097
Online Media:

Claes Oldenburg letter to Ellen H. Johnson

Creator:
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Johnson, Ellen H. (Ellen Hulda), 1910-1992  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1969 June 11
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)15095
See more items in:
Ellen Hulda Johnson papers, 1872-2018
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_15095

Claes Oldenburg letter to Ellen H. Johnson

Creator:
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Johnson, Ellen H. (Ellen Hulda), 1910-1992  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1970 May 22
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)15096
See more items in:
Ellen Hulda Johnson papers, 1872-2018
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_15096
Online Media:

Claes Oldenburg postcard to Ellen H. Johnson

Creator:
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Johnson, Ellen H. (Ellen Hulda), 1910-1992  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Place:
Santa Monica, Calif.
Date:
1974 Aug. 17
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)15097
See more items in:
Ellen Hulda Johnson papers, 1872-2018
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_15097
Online Media:

Claes Oldenburg, New York, N.Y. letter to Audrey Sabol

Creator:
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Sabol, Audrey, 1922-  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1962 Oct. 5
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)1862
See more items in:
Audrey Sabol papers, 1962-1967
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_1862

Claes Oldenburg Interviewed by Martin Friedman at Walker Art Center

Creator:
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Friedman, Martin L.  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Subject:
Walker Art Center  Search this
Type:
Videorecording
Date:
1975 April 4
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)19287
See more items in:
Leo Castelli Gallery records, circa 1880-2000, bulk 1957-1999
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_19287

Conversation with Claes Oldenburg

Creator:
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Johnson, Ellen H. (Ellen Hulda), 1910-1992  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Subject:
Oberlin College  Search this
Type:
Sound Recording
Date:
1976 October 12
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)19367
See more items in:
Ellen Hulda Johnson papers, 1872-2018
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_19367

Claes Oldenburg, announcement for the Ray Gun Spex

Creator:
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Subject:
Judson Gallery  Search this
Type:
Printed Materials
Date:
1960 Feb. 29 - Mar. 2
Topic:
Exhibitions  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)509
See more items in:
Ellen Hulda Johnson papers, 1872-2018
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_509
Online Media:

Claes Oldenburg artist's statement for the Environments, situations, spaces catalog

Creator:
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Subject:
Martha Jackson Gallery  Search this
Type:
Writings
Date:
1961 May
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)7971
See more items in:
Ellen Hulda Johnson papers, 1872-2018
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_7971
Online Media:

Ellen H. Johnson letter to Claes Oldenburg, with handwritten responses by Oldenburg

Creator:
Johnson, Ellen H. (Ellen Hulda), 1910-1992  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Johnson, Ellen H. (Ellen Hulda), 1910-1992  Search this
Subject:
Oldenburg, Claes  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1969 July 29
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)9821
See more items in:
Ellen Hulda Johnson papers, 1872-2018
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_9821
Online Media:

Claes Oldenburg letter to Ellen H. Johnson

Creator:
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Johnson, Ellen H. (Ellen Hulda), 1910-1992  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Subject:
Oldenburg, Claes  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1969
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)9822
See more items in:
Ellen Hulda Johnson papers, 1872-2018
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_9822
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Claes Oldenburg, 1965 Feb. 19

Interviewee:
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Interviewer:
Hooton, Bruce Duff, 1928-  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12259
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)214198
AAA_collcode_oldenb65
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_214198

Dwan Gallery records

Creator:
Dwan Gallery  Search this
Names:
Dwan Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Dwan Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Anastasi, William, 1933-  Search this
Andre, Carl, 1935-  Search this
Arakawa, Shusaku, 1936-  Search this
Arman, 1928-2005  Search this
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Flavin, Dan, 1933-  Search this
Goodnough, Robert, 1917-  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Kienholz, Edward, 1927-  Search this
Klein, Yves, 1928-1962  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
LeWitt, Sol, 1928-2007  Search this
Mitchell, Joan, 1926-1992  Search this
Morris, Robert, 1931-2018  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Parker, Raymond, 1922-  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Raysse, Martial, 1936-  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Richenburg, Robert  Search this
Rivers, Larry, 1925-  Search this
Saint-Phalle, Niki de, 1930-  Search this
Scarpitta, Salvatore, 1919-2007  Search this
Smithson, Robert  Search this
Snelson, Kenneth, 1927-2016  Search this
Weber, John, 1932-2008  Search this
Extent:
2.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Slides (photographs)
Date:
1959-circa 1982
bulk 1959-1971
Summary:
The Dwan Gallery records measure 2.3 linear feet and consist primarily of files of exhibitions curated by Virginia Dwan at Dwan Galleries in Los Angeles (1959-1967) and New York (1965-1971). Found within this nearly comprehensive set of exhibition files may be lists of exhibited works, price lists, photographs, slides or color transparencies of installations, invitations, full-size posters, magazine and newspaper clippings and exhibition catalogs.
Scope and Contents:
The Dwan Gallery records measure 2.3 linear feet and consist primarily of files of exhibitions curated by Virginia Dwan at Dwan Galleries in Los Angeles (1959-1967) and New York (1965-1971). Found within this nearly comprehensive set of exhibition files may be lists of exhibited works, price lists, photographs, slides or color transparencies of installations, invitations, full-size posters, magazine and newspaper clippings and exhibition catalogs.

Artists that held exhibitions at the Dwan Gallery in New York and Los Angeles include: Robert Goodnough, Robert Richenburg, Larry Rivers, Philip Guston, Yves Klein, Salvatore Scarpitta, Arakawa, Martial Raysse, Ad Reinhardt, Arman, Franz Kline, Edward Kienholz, Claes Oldenburg, Niki de Sainte Phalle, Joan Mitchell, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Morris, Dan Flavin, Raymond Parker, Kenneth Snelson, Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt, Robert Smithson, and Anastasi. Also, the exhibition files are nearly comprehensive and include: Language to be Looked at and/or Things to be Read annual series (1967-1970), Boxes (1964), Earth Works (1968), My Country 'tis of Thee (1962) and 10 (1967 and 1968). Many of the multiple artist shows were created and organized by gallery director John Weber and/or Virginia Dwan. Many of these exhibition files include full-sized posters and panoramic photos showing installations.

Also found are records created by a consulting firm hired by the Dwan Gallery to inventory the exhibition files prior to donation to the Archives of American Art. These guides appear at the beginning of each series and outline a chronology of exhibitions held at each branch.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into two series:

Series 1: Los Angeles Exhibition Files, 1959-1967, after 1981 (Box 1-2, 5, OV6, OV8; 1.3 linear feet)

Series 2: New York Exhibition Files, 1965-1971, after 1982 (Box 2-4, OV7; 1.0 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
In 1959, Virginia Dwan opened her first gallery on 1091 Broxton Avenue in the Westwood Village neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Her independent wealth allowed her to open a gallery without worrying about business and sales. Three years after opening, the Dwan Gallery moved into a new Westwood Village space especially designed to express the gallery's contemporary aesthetic. In 1965, Virginia Dwan moved to New York City and founded an east coast branch of the Dwan Gallery at 29 West 57th Street.

Early exhibitions at the Dwan Gallery showed Abstract Expressionist artists and works of art from New York which Dwan consigned from other galleries. After traveling to New York and France, Virginia Dwan's interests and tastes manifested in exhibitions by 1961 with Yves Klein. Through Klein, Dwan made connections to other Nouveaux Réalistes artists that the gallery featured in solo and group shows. Later exhibitions featured Land and Minimilist artists. Dwan recognized that many of her shows were not considered salable but continued to show the avant-garde. She saw the gallery as an opportunity to expose the public to different styles of art.

Virginia Dwan maintained a close and personal relationship with many of her artists. She allowed large stipends to gallery artists and invited them to spend time at her home in Malibu, California. When working with artists concentrating on found objects, Dwan would accompany them on scavenger hunts and shopping trips. In the case of Robert Smithson and other Land Art artists, she traveled to offsite locations to visit works of art in progress. Dwan relied on her longtime gallery director, John Weber to interact with collectors as she preferred to maintain her connection with the artists.

The Dwan Gallery Los Angeles closed in mid-1967 but the New York branch remained open. By 1971, Virginia Dwan felt pressure to support her thirteen artists through a period of economic insecurity. She decided to close the gallery secretly and only informed her artists at the last minute. The final exhibition at Dwan Gallery New York closed in June of 1971.
Related Materials:
Also found within the Archives of American Art is an interview with Virginia Dwan conducted March 21 through June 1, 1984 by Charles Stuckey.
Separated Materials:
Dwan Gallery exhibition catalogs that were donated to the Archives in 1989 were transferred to the Smithsonian Institution American Art and National Portrait Gallery Library.

Bard College's Center for Curatorial Studies and Art in Contemporary Culture holds Dwan Gallery materials related to exhibitions in the Library and Archives.
Provenance:
The Dwan Gallery records were donated in 1996 by Virginia Dwan, the former owner of the gallery.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers 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.
Topic:
Art -- New York (State) -- New York -- Exhibitions  Search this
Art -- California -- Los Angeles -- Exhibitions  Search this
Earthworks (Art)  Search this
Minimal art  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Artists -- United States  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- California
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State)
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Slides (photographs)
Citation:
Dwan Gallery records, 1959-circa 1982, bulk 1959-1971. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.dwangall
See more items in:
Dwan Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-dwangall
Online Media:

Robert Scull papers

Creator:
Scull, Robert, 1917-1986  Search this
Names:
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976 -- Photographs  Search this
De Maria, Walter, 1935-2013  Search this
Di Suvero, Mark, 1933-  Search this
Heizer, Michael, 1944-  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Kuehn, Gary, 1939- -- Photographs  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929- -- Photographs  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Samaras, Lucas, 1936-  Search this
Tweddle, John  Search this
Warhol, Andy, 1928-  Search this
Extent:
2.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketches
Date:
1955-circa 1984
bulk 1965-1970
Summary:
The Robert Scull papers measure 2.2 linear feet and date from 1950 to circa 1984, with the bulk of the material dating from 1965 to 1970. Throughout the 1960s, Robert Scull was a wealthy and prominent art collector of Abstract, Pop, and Minimalist art whose collection included works by Michael Heizer, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol, among others. His papers include fourteen annotated appointment books, correspondence, financial and legal records, printed material, and photographs. There is a 0.2 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated in 2020 that includes black and white photographs (and 1 color photograph), snapshots, negatives and negative strips of family, friends artwork and artists; correspondence; and loan forms for works of art.
Scope and Contents:
The Robert Scull papers measure 2.2 linear feet and date from 1950 to circa 1984, with the bulk of the material dating from 1965 to 1970. Throughout the 1960s, Robert Scull was a wealthy and prominent art collector of Abstract, Pop, and Minimalist art whose collection included works by Michael Heizer, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol, among others. His papers include fourteen annotated appointment books, correspondence, financial and legal records, printed material, and photographs. There is a 0.2 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated in 2020 that includes black and white photographs (and 1 color photograph), snapshots, negatives and negative strips of family, friends artwork and artists; correspondence; and loan forms for works of art.

Fourteen appointment books include business dates, notes, and occasional sketches. Notes are on various subjects such as prices for paintings, appointments with art dealers, and visits with artists Mark di Suvero, Michael Heizer, Lucas Samaras, and others. There are sometimes items, i.e., business cards and receipts, interleaved between the pages of the books.

The bulk of the correspondence consists of letters to Robert Scull from various artists, such as Walter De Maria and Michael Heizer. There is limited correspondence with museums and galleries.

Financial and legal records mostly consist of invoices from art dealers to Robert Scull for his purchases of John Tweddle's artwork. Also included are art loan forms and charts tracking payments for various paintings and drawings. There are scattered legal papers on a settlement regarding payments for a group of paintings by Tweddle.

There is one exhibition catalog, Street Painters: Feelism (circa 1982), of printed material.

Photographs are of Robert Scull, friends, art dealers, artists, and art. Notable artists depicted include Alexander Calder, Gary Kuehn, Claes Oldenberg, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, and many others. There are also images of sculptures, paintings, and other artwork by various artists.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 6 series.

Series 1: Appointment Books, 1955-1973 (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 1-3)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1965-circa 1984 (0.2 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 3: Financial and Legal Records, 1969-1980 (0.1 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 4: Printed Material, circa 1982 (1 folder; Box 3)

Series 5: Photographs, 1960-circa 1980 (0.2 linear feet; Boxes 3-4)

Series 6: Unprocessed Addition, 1950-1984 (0.2 linear feet); Box 5)
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Scull (1917-1986) was a prominent New York City and Connecticut collector of contemporary American art primarily during the 1960s.

Robert Scull was born in Manhattan's Lower East Side. He dropped out of high school during the Depression and did various jobs while also taking art courses. He later became a freelance illustrator and industrial designer. When his wife Ethel's father died, the couple inherited a successful taxi business which Scull expanded into the Super Operating Corporation with a fleet of 130 cabs.

Throughout the 1960s, Robert and Ethel Scull were avid art collectors who acquired contemporary American art works through dealers Richard Bellamy and Leo Castelli. Robert Scull's patronage also helped fund art dealer Richard Bellamy's Green Gallery in New York City for five years. Initially the Sculls focused on collecting American Abstract Expressionists and owned works by Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, and others. In 1965, the couple held their first auction and part of the profits helped establish the Robert and Ethel Scull Foundation, dedicated to financially assisting upcoming artists. The foundation commissioned environmental works from Michael Heizer and Walter de Maria and gave the artists stipends and even bought them food and supplies.

Around the mid-1960s, the Sculls also began collecting Pop Art and acquired the works of Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, and Andy Warhol. In 1973, the couple sold 50 works from their personal collection of Pop Art through a Sotheby's auction that yielded $2.2 million - record-breaking for sales of contemporary American art. The Sculls were criticized of social-climbing and profiteering by various people in the media and art world, including the artist Robert Rauschenberg.

In 1975, Robert Scull divorced Ethel and in 1978 he founded the Robert C. Scull Foundation which again assisted younger artists and arts organizations with a focus on contemporary art. Scull remarried and sold his taxi business sometime in the early 1980s, and moved to Warren, Connecticut. He died in 1986.

In 2010, the exhibition Robert and Ethel Scull: Portrait of a Collection was held at Acquavella Galleries in Manhattan.
Related Materials:
The Archives of American Art also has an oral history interview with Robert Scull conducted by Paul Cummings in 1972.
Provenance:
The 14 appointment books in the collection were donated in 1999 by Amy Newman, a writer, who received them from her friend, artist Chuck Close. Close received them from his brother-in-law, who found them in the trash, turned them over to Close, who, in turn, gave them to Newman. Additional papers were donated in 1993 and 2020 by Robert Scull's widow, Stephanie.
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.
Occupation:
Art dealers  Search this
Collectors -- Connecticut  Search this
Collectors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- Connecticut  Search this
Pop art  Search this
Art, Abstract  Search this
Minimal art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketches
Citation:
Robert Scull papers, 1955-circa 1984, bulk dates 1965-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.sculrobe
See more items in:
Robert Scull papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-sculrobe
Online Media:

Waldorf panel on sculpture

Creator:
Waldorf panel on sculpture (1965 : New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Names:
Agostini, Peter  Search this
Barnet, Will, 1911-2012  Search this
De Kooning, Elaine  Search this
Ferber, Herbert, 1906-1991  Search this
Ferren, John, 1905-1970  Search this
Judd, Donald, 1928-1994  Search this
Kiesler, Frederick  Search this
Lassaw, Ibram, 1913-2003  Search this
Mallary, Robert, 1917-1997  Search this
Marsicano, Nicholas, 1908-1991  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Pavia, Philip, 1915-2005  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rosenthal, Rachel, 1926-  Search this
Schwartz, Sal  Search this
Segal, George, 1924-2000  Search this
Slivka, David, 1913-  Search this
Wines, James, 1932-  Search this
Extent:
6 Sound tapes ((partially transcribed), 7 in.)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound tapes
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1965 February 17 and March 17
Scope and Contents:
A two part panel discussion on sculpture (6 7" tapes), partially transcribed on 141 pages. Participants are Peter Agostini, Will Barnet, Elaine De Kooning, Herbert Ferber, John Ferren, Donald Judd, Frederick Kiesler, Ibram Lassaw, Robert Mallary, Nicholas Marsicano, Louise Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi, Claes Oldenburg, Philip Pavia (organizer), Ad Reinhardt, Rachel Rosenthal, Sal Schwartz, George Segal, David Slivka, and James Wines.
Biographical / Historical:
The Waldorf Panel on Sculpture was organized by Philip Pavia, who chose the name in homage to the informal artists' discussions held at the Waldorf Cafeteria on 6th St. in the early to mid 1940s, and which later formed the nucleus to the artists' group known as the Club.
Provenance:
Provenance unknown.
Restrictions:
Use of original recordings requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Occupation:
Sculptors -- United States  Search this
Topic:
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Sculpture, American  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.waldpane
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-waldpane

Oral history interview with Peter Agostini

Interviewee:
Agostini, Peter  Search this
Interviewer:
Roberts, Colette, 1910-  Search this
Names:
Columbia University -- Faculty  Search this
United States. Works Progress Administration  Search this
Bontecou, Lee, 1931-  Search this
Chamberlain, John, 1927-2011  Search this
Chryssa, 1933-2013  Search this
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Cézanne, Paul, 1839-1906  Search this
De Chirico, Giorgio, 1888-  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Demuth, Charles, 1883-1935  Search this
Di Suvero, Mark, 1933-  Search this
Dove, Arthur Garfield, 1880-1946  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean, 1901-1985  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Ferber, Herbert, 1906-1991  Search this
Flannagan, John Bernard, 1895?-1942  Search this
Giacometti, Alberto, 1901-1966  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Hague, Raoul, 1905-1993  Search this
Hare, David, 1917-1992  Search this
Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943  Search this
Hopper, Edward, 1882-1967  Search this
Judd, Donald, 1928-1994  Search this
Kaprow, Allan  Search this
Kienholz, Edward, 1927-  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Kohn, Gabriel, 1910-1975  Search this
Kolbe, Georg, 1877-1947  Search this
La Tour, Onya, 1896-1976  Search this
Lachaise, Gaston, 1882-1935  Search this
Lassaw, Ibram, 1913-2003  Search this
Lippold, Richard, 1915-2002  Search this
Lipton, Seymour, 1903-1986  Search this
Macdonald-Wright, Stanton, 1890-1973  Search this
Maillol, Aristide, 1861-1944  Search this
Manship, Paul, 1885-1966  Search this
Marca-Relli, Conrad, 1913-2000  Search this
Marin, John, 1870-1953  Search this
Marisol, 1930-2016  Search this
Matisse, Henri, 1869-1954  Search this
Melville, Herman, 1819-1891  Search this
Mondrian, Piet, 1872-1944  Search this
Morris, Robert, 1931-2018  Search this
Nakian, Reuben, 1897-1986  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia , 1887-1986  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Pompon, François, 1855-1933  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Roszak, Theodore, 1907-1981  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Samaras, Lucas, 1936-  Search this
Scarpitta, Salvatore, 1919-2007  Search this
Segal, George, 1924-2000  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Smith, Tony, 1912-1980  Search this
Spaventa, George, 1918-  Search this
Stankiewicz, Richard, 1922-1983  Search this
Sugarman, George, 1912-1999  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
99 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
1968
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Peter Agostini conducted in 1968, by Colette Roberts, for the Archives of American Art at 151 Avenue B, New York, New York.
Mr. Agostini speaks of his childhood spent living throughout the five boroughs of New York; his interactions with clients of his father's acting employment agency; his early education in Catholic school and the creative freedom allotted by the nuns; his first feelings of isolation as an artist at the age of seven; the development of a sense of communication as the result of the loss of his mother at the age of three and time spent at a school for orphans; his early realization and vision of artistic destiny; his religious interests which lead to mysticism in his earlier work; his time spent working freely in the DaVinci Studio with Spaventa; the discovery by Hess of his works in Gallerie Grimaud; his attainment of the Longview Grant; his working experience throughout the Depression as part of the WPA casting plaster mannequins while working indirectly with Pollack as well as Marca Relli; his subsequent move to designing department store windows (use of Mondrian-like forms and lines); his feelings of his position as an observer; the importance of communication through art (communication without words); his rejection of the Abstract Expressionist group and choice of independence; the influence of the sculpture of Kolbe and Bache in the thirties; Clement Greenberg's distaste for his work; his feelings about the relative failure to sell his work due its unusual edginess and mystery; his role in the introduction of the work of contemporary European artists (Chausserian, Gauthier, Modrian) to the American group; his description of his own work as "traditionless"; his feelings of self-importance as one of the most original sculptors in the art world; his influence on the younger generation, particularly Marisol; the enslavement to originality that the younger generation faces; his attitudes towards American Art forms and their lack of rebellious spirit; the virtues of the American writers, such as Poe, Whitman, and Melville as American "knapsack" writers; his personal technique which places an emphasis on the "skin" or volume of something; his attempt to create quiet art, or art that merely indicates features; his frustration with teaching and the problems of regurgitated knowledge; the role of Meyer Shapiro in his teaching career at Columbia; the formation of the Club and its similarity to the Cubist's café scene; his opinions on the relationship of sex and sensuality in American art; his personal struggles, including the loss of his second wife and two of his brothers, in addition to the estrangement of his only daughter by his first wife; his feelings on the role of psycho analysis and personal history in a work of art; his present works which feature the "swell." For the majority of the second half of the interview Ms. Roberts asks Mr. Agostini to express his opinions on the work of: Kline; DeKooning; Duchamp; Oldenburg; La Tour; DeChirico; Maillol; Pompon; Rothko; Chardin; Cezanne; Giacometti; Reinhardt; Chryssa; Tony Smith; Segal; Lachaise; Zorach; Manship; Flannagan; Kelly; Lassaw; David Smith; Hare; Lipton; Ferber; Lippold; Roszak; Nakian; Noguchi; Hague; Kohn; di Suvero; Chamberlain; Kaprow; Sugarman; Stankiewicz; Bontecou; Scarpitta; Cornell; Keinholz; Rivera; Judd; Robert Morris; O'Keeffe; Samaras; Mark Tobey; Marin; Pollock; Hartley; Dove; Macdonald-Wright; Demuth; Sheeler; Hopper; Mirot; Matisse; DuBuffet.
Biographical / Historical:
Peter Agostini (1913-1993) was a sculptor from New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 28 digital wav files. Duration is 10 hrs., 37 min.
Transferred from 4 3" reels.
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:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.agosti68
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-agosti68

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