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N W Ayer Advertising Agency Records

Creator:
Ayer (N W) Incorporated.  Search this
Names:
American Telephone and Telegraph Company -- Advertisements  Search this
Cunningham & Walsh.  Search this
Hixson & Jorgenson  Search this
United Air Lines, Inc. -- Advertisements  Search this
Ayer, Francis Wayland  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia , 1887-1986  Search this
Extent:
270 Cubic feet (1169 boxes )
7 Film reels (1463 boxes, 18 map-folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Film reels
Business records
Interviews
Oral history
Print advertising
Proof sheets
Proofs (printed matter)
Scrapbooks
Trade literature
Tear sheets
Advertisements
Date:
1817-1851
1869-2006
Summary:
Collection consists of records documenting one of the oldest advertising agencies created in Philadelphia. The company then moves to New York and expanses to international markets. During its history NW Ayer & Sons acquires a number of other advertising agencies and is eventually purchased. The largest portion of the collection is print advertisements but also includes radio and television. NW Ayer is known for some of the slogans created for major American companies.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists primarily of proof sheets of advertisements created by NW Ayer & Son, Incorporated for their clients. These materials are in series one through thirteen and consist primarily of print advertisements. There are also billboards, radio and television commercials. The advertisements range from consumer to corporate and industrial products. The majority of the advertisements were created for Ayer's New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and international offices. Printed advertisements created by Cunningham & Walsh, Hixson & Jorgensen and Newell-Emmett are also included among these materials. Researchers who are interested in records created by Ayer in the course of operating an advertising agency will find these materials in Series fourteen-nineteen.

Series fourteen consists of advertisements created by NW Ayer & Son to promote their services to potential clients.

Series fifteen are scrapbooks of some of the earliest advertisements created by the company. Series sixteen are publications. Some of the publications were created by Ayer while others were about Ayer or the advertising industry in general. Provides good background materials and puts the company in perspective. Series eighteen are the legal records. Materials relating to employees including photographs, oral histories etc. are found in series nineteen.

Series twenty is one of the smallest amounts of materials and includes information relating to the history of NW Ayer & Son.

The container lists for series one-thirteen are part of a database and are searchable. The list has been printed for the convenience of the researcher and is included in this finding aid. Series fourteen-twenty container lists are also a part of the finding aid but are not in a searchable format.

Series 1, Scrapbooks of Client Advertisements, circa 1870-1920, is arranged into three boxes by chronological date. There are two bound scrapbooks and one box of folders containing loose scrapbook pages. NW Ayer & Son compiled an assortment of their earliest ads and placed them into scrapbooks. Besides the earliest advertisements, the scrapbooks contain requests to run advertisements, reading notices and listings of papers Ayer advertised in. The early advertisements themselves range from medical remedies to jewelry to machines to clothing to education and more. Most of the advertisements in the bound scrapbooks are dated.

Series 2, Proofsheets, circa 1870-1930, NW Ayer was fond of creating scrapbooks containing proofsheets. The series contains proofsheets created between 1892 and 1930, organized into 526 boxes. For convenience of storage, access and arrangement, the scrapbooks were disassembled and the pages placed in original order in flat archival storage boxes. The proofsheets are arranged by book number rather than client name. Usually the boxes contain a listing of the clients and sometimes the dates of the advertisements to be found within the box.

Series 3, Proofsheets, circa 1920-1975, is organized into 532 oversize boxes, and contain proofsheets and tearsheets created between 1920 and 1972. Within this series, materials are arranged alphabetically by company name (occasionally subdivided by brand or product), and thereunder chronologically by date of production. Many major, national advertisers are represented, including American Telephone & Telegraph, Armour Company, Canada Dry, Cannon Mills, Carrier Corporation, Domino Sugar, Caterpillar tractor company, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, Goodyear, Hills Bros. Coffee, Ladies Home Journal, National Dairy, Plymouth (Chrysler Corporation), Steinway, TV Guide, United Airlines and the United States Army. Also contained in this series are three scrapbooks of client advertisements including Canada Dry, Ford Motor, and Victor Talking Machine.

Series 4, 2001 Addendum, circa 1976-2001, is organized into ninety three oversized boxes,one folder and contains proofsheets for select Ayer clients, created between 1975 and 2001. Within this series, materials are arranged alphabetically by client name and there under chronologically by date of production. Major national advertisers represented include American Telephone & Telegraph, Avon, the United States Army, DeBeers Consolidated Diamond Mines, Dupont, TV Guide, Sealtest, Kraft Foods, Gillette, General Motors, Cannon Mills.

Series 5, Billboards, circa 1952-1956, consists of mounted and un-mounted original art/mock-ups. Twenty-two pieces of original art created as mock-ups for Texaco billboards.

Series 6, Film and Video Commercials, 1967-1970,

Series 7, Radio and Television Materials, 1933-1993, undated, is arranged into eight boxes and includes radio scripts, television scripts, and story boards for commercials.

Subseries 7.1, Scripts and storyboards for Radio and Television Commercials, dates Scripts for radio and television commercials includes title, date, length of commercial, advertising agency, client information

NW Ayer's radio and television materials mainly focus on the American Telegraph and Telephone account. Some of Ayer's materials relate to Bell Telephone Hours.

Storyboards are used in television and film to assist the director in working with crew to tell the story. To show the viewer through the use of figures, visual effects and camera angles. When directors first start thinking about their storyboard they create a story in their mind. They think of all the camera angles, visual effects and how the figures will interact in their mind. They try to create an extraordinary story in their head to attract the viewer (YOU) In order for the storyboard to be entirely effective it can't be a passive document. When done properly, a storyboard serves as a central design, meeting the needs of many team members including graphics artists, video personnel and programmers.

Another function of a storyboard is to help the team communicate during the training development process. This communication is very important in working with a large team as in the movie King, produced in 1996. Figures help the director explain to the crew how they are going to record the film and how to present it to the audience. Sometimes the director wants special effects to be added to the film, but his budget might not be that big so the director will have to change the story to fit their budget.

The Visual Effects are an important part in the storyboards it adds a special touch of creativity to your film. Camera angles are an important expects in your film because the camera angles determine where the viewing audience will look. If you want your audience to look at a certain object you must turn their attention to it by focusing on that object and maybe you might try blocking something out. Then you will have your audience's attention and you may do whatever else you have to, it could be scaring them are just surprising them or whatever you do.

Also included is talent information and log sheets relating to the storage of the commercials.

Bell Telephone Hour Program, 1942-[19??], The Bell Telephone Hour, also known as The Telephone Hour, was a five minute musical program which began April 29, 1940 on National Broadcasting Company Radio and was heard on NBC until June 30, 1958. Sponsored by Bell Telephone showcased the best in classical and Broadway music, reaching eight to nine million listeners each week. It continued on television from 1959 to 1968.

Earlier shows featured James Melton and Francia White as soloists. Producer Wallace Magill restructured the format on April 27, 1942 into the "Great Artists Series" of concert and opera performers, beginning with Jascha Heifetz. Records indicate that the list of talents on the program included Marian Anderson, Helen Traubel, Oscar Levant, Lily Pons, Nelson Eddy, Bing Crosby, Margaret Daum, Benny Goodman, José Iturbi, Gladys Swarthout and .The series returned to radio in 1968-1969 as Bell Telephone Hour Encores, also known as Encores from the Bell Telephone Hour, featuring highlights and interviews from the original series.

National Broadcasting television specials sponsored by the Bell System, 1957-1987includes information relating to Science series, Bell system Theshold Series, Bell telephone hour and commercial and public sponsored programs

Series 8, Chicago Office Print Advertisements, 1954-1989, is arranged alphabetically by the name of the client in ninety boxes and six oversize folders. Clients include Illinois Bell Telephone (1955-1989), Microswitch (1969-1989), Teletype (1975-1984), John Deere (1974-1989) and Caterpillar (1966-1972) are particularly well represented. Other clients of interest include Dr. Scholl's shoes (circa 1968-1972), the Girl Scouts (1976-1980), Sunbeam Personal Products Company (1973-1981), Bell and Howell (1974-1983) and Alberto Culver shampoos (1967-1971), Honeywell, Incorporated, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Associations, Kraft, Incorporated, Sears, Roebuck and Company, and YMCA.

Series 9, Los Angeles Office Materials, 1950s-1987, include printed advertisements created by this office and information relating to the employees.

Subseries 9.1, Print Advertisements, 1977-1987, printed advertisements arranged in one box alphabetically by client. There is a sparse sampling of clients from this particular Ayer branch office. The majority of the advertisements contained within this series are from Pizza Hut (1986-1987). Also included are Computer Automation (1977-1978), State of the Art, Incorporated (1982) and Toshiba (1986).

Subseries 9.2, Personnel Files, 1950s-1970s, includes cards of employees who worked in the Los Angeles office. Information on the cards includes name, address, telephone number, birthday, date hired, departure date and why (retired, terminated, resigned, etc) and position. Not all cards have all information. There is also a photograph of the employees on the cards.

Series 10, Foreign Print Advertisements, 1977-1991, undated, NW Ayer maintained partnerships with international companies such as Sloanas Ayer in Argentina, Connaghan & May Paton Ayer in Australia, Moussault Ayer in Belgium, NW Ayer, LTD. in Canada, GMC Ayer in France, Co-Partner Ayer in Germany, Wong Lam Wang in Hong Kong, MacHarman Ayer in New Zealand, Grupo de Diseno Ayer in Spain, Nedeby Ayer in Sweden, and Ayer Barker in United Kingdom. This group of material is a small sampling of advertisements created from these International offices. It is arranged alphabetically by client. There are quite a few automobile advertisements (i.e. Audi, Fiat, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen). In addition there are numerous advertisements for various personal items from MacLean's toothpaste to Quick athletic shoes to Labello lip balm, etc. Most of the advertisements have the creator's name printed on the advertisements.

Series 11, Cunningham & Walsh, Incorporated Materials, 1915-1987, undated contains 98 boxes 11 folders materials from the New York advertising agency acquired by NW Ayer in the 1960s. The company began with Newel-Emmett, an agency of nine men which broke up in 1949. Two of the men Fred Walsh and Jack Cunningham formed this agency in bearing their names in 1950. The agency created "let your fingers for the walking campaign for American Telephone & Telegraph, Mother Nature for Chiffon, and Mrs. Olson for Folgers's coffee and let the good times roll for Kawasaki motorcycle. In 1986, NW Ayer Incorporated purchased Cunningham & Walsh Incorporated.

Subseries 11.1, Print Advertisements, 1915-1987, are contained in ninety eight boxes of primarily print advertisements arranged alphabetically by client name. Clients that are particularly well represented are Graybar (electrical implements, circa1926-1937), Johns-Manulle (circa1915-1971), Smith and Corono typewriters (circa 1934-1960), Sunshine Biscuit Company (circa 1925-1961), Texaco Company (circa 1936-1961), Western Electric (circa 1920- 1971) and Yellow Pages (circa 1936-1971). Cunningham and Walsh also represented several travel and tourism industry clients, including Cook Travel Services (circa 1951-1962), Italian Line (circa 1953-1961), Narragansett and Croft (circa 1956-1960) and Northwest Airlines (circa 1946-1955). There are photographs of Texaco advertisements dating from 1913-1962. There is also a scrapbook of advertisements from the Western Electric Company dating from 1920-1922.

Subseries 11.2, Radio and Television Advertisements, 1963-1967, consist of materials created for Western Electric. Materials are arranged in chronological order.

Subseries 11.3, Company Related Materials, 1962-1986, undated include client lists, information relating to NW Ayer purchase and annual report 1962.

Series 12, Hixson & Jorgensen Materials, 1953-1971, a Los Angeles advertising company, merged with Ayer in 1969. This series is housed in one box. Within the box are four scrapbooks and folders with a hodgepodge of materials relating to advertising. Of most interest are the scrapbooks. Two scrapbooks deal with Hixson and Jorgensen's self promotion ad campaign "the right appeal gets action" (1953-1957). The other two scrapbooks contain news clippings about the company and its activities (1959-1971).

Series 13, Newell-Emmet, 1942-1957, founded in 1919 and governed in the 1940s by a partnership of nine men. The partnership broke up in 1949 when the men went their separate ways. The materials consist of print advertisements for one of client, Permutit Company, a water conditioning company. The materials are arranged in one box in chronological order.

Series 14, House Print Advertisements, 1870-1991, 16 boxes consists of advertisements or self-promotion advertisements to campaign for new clients. The series is arranged chronologically by date into fifteen boxes. Within the series are two scrapbooks containing self promotion ads from 1888-1919 and 1892-1895. Numerous house ads relate to Ayer's "Human Contact" campaign. In addition to the self promotion ads, Ayer ran advertisements expounding about particular concepts or themes for example, one month the concept would "understand" while another month would be "teamwork" and yet another would be on "imagination". Some of the self promotion ads target specific groups like Philadelphia businessmen. Other advertisements incorporate the fine arts.

Series 15, Scrapbooks, 1872-1959, relates to company events, records and news clippings about Ayer's history. The six boxes are arranged by chronological date. Two of the boxes focus solely on the death of founder F.W. Ayer (1923). Another box houses a scrapbook that showcases Ayer's annual Typography Exhibition (1931-1959). One box contains a scrapbook that specifically deals with correspondences relating to Ayer's advertising. Yet another box's contents are folders of loose pages from scrapbooks that have newspaper clippings, order forms, correspondences and other company records. In one box, a bound scrapbook houses a variety of materials relating to Ayer and advertising (i.e. newspaper clippings, competitor's advertisements, NW Ayer's advertisements, correspondences for advertisements, clippings regarding the "theory of advertising."

Series 16, Publications, 1849-2006, are housed in thirty four boxes and are arranged into three main categories.

Subseries 16.1, House Publications, 1876-1994, covers diverse topics; some proscriptive works about the Ayer method in advertising, some commemorating people, anniversaries or events in the life of the agency. Materials consist of scattered issues of the employee newsletter The Next Step 1920-1921. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date of publication. Ayer in the News, The Show Windows of an Advertising Agency, 1915, book form of advertisements published on the cover of Printer's Ink, highlighting Ayer's relations with advertisers. The Story of the States, 1916, Reprint in book form of a series of articles published in Printer's Ink for the purpose of adding some pertinent fact, progressive thought and prophetic vision to the Nationalism of Advertising highlights major businesses, manufacturer, natural resources and other qualities or attractions of each state. The Book of the Golden Celebration, 1919, includes welcome address and closing remarks by founder F. Wayland Ayer, The Next Step, 1920 employee newsletter with photographs, employee profiles, in-house jokes, etc., Advertising Advertising: A Series of Fifty-two Advertisements scheduled one time a week. Twenty-seven, thirty and forty inches, a day of the week optional with publisher, 1924

Subseries 16.2, Publications about NW Ayer, 1949-2006, includes a book first published in 1939. Includes articles, documenting events and is arranged chronologically by date of publication.

Subseries 16.3, General Publications about Advertising, 1922-1974, are arranged chronologically by date of publication and relate primarily to the history of advertising.

Subseries 16.4, Publications about Other Subjects, 1948-1964, include four books about the tobacco industry primarily the history of the American Tobacco Company and Lorillard Company from the Cunningham and Walsh library.

Series 17, Business Records, circa 1885-1990s

Subseries 17.1, Contracts, 1885-1908, undated, are arranged alphabetically and span from 1885-1908. The majority of the contracts are with newspaper and magazine publishers from around the country.

Subseries 17.2, General client information, 1911-1999, undated, including active and cancelled lists with dates, client gains, historical client list, (should move this to series 20) Ayer Plan User Guide Strategic Planning for Human Contact, undated

Subseries 17.3, Individual Client Account Information, 1950s-1990s, undated, contain information used by Ayer to create advertisements for some of its clients. American Telephone &Telegraph Corporate Case History, American Telephone &Telegraph Corporate advertisement memo, commissioned artists for DeBeers advertisements, DeBeers information relating to the creative process and photography credits, a case history for DeBeers Consolidated Mines, Ltd., The Diamond Engagement Ring, Managing Communication at all levels, DuPont publications, JC Penny Marketing Communication Plan Recommendation, Leaf, Incorporated, Saturn presentation, and USAREC oral presentation.

Subseries 17.4, Potential Clients, 1993, includes grouping has a questionnaire sent to Ayer by a potential client. Questionnaire response for Prudential Securities, 1993 Prudential Securities advertising account review, 1993.

Subseries 17.5, Financial Records, 1929-1938, includes balance sheet, 1929 May 1 Balance sheet and adjustments Consolidated statement of assets and liabilities, Expenses 191936-37 Business review and expenses, 1937 and 1938 Business review and expenses comparative statement, 1937 and 1938.

Series 18, Legal Records, circa 1911-1982, Ayer's legal records are arranged by twelve subject groupings within four boxes. The twelve groupings are advertising service agreements (circa 1918-1982), bylaws, copyright claims, correspondences, international correspondences, dissolution of trusts, stock information, agreements between partners, incorporation materials, reduction of capital, property information and miscellaneous materials. The bulk of the materials are the advertising service agreements. These agreements are between Ayer and their clients and state the services Ayer will offer and at what cost. The bylaws are Ayer's company bylaws from 1969 and 1972. The copyright claims are certificates stating Ayer's ownership over certain published materials (i.e. "Policy", Media Equalizer Model, and Don Newman's Washington Square Experiment). The correspondences relate to either the voting trust and receipts for agreement or the New York Corporation. The international correspondences are from either Ayer's Canadian office or London office. The dissolutions of trusts contains materials about the dividend trust of Wilfred F. Fry, the investment trust of Winfred W. Fry, the voting trust, and the New York corporation. The stock information has stock certificates and capital stock information. The agreements between partners (1911-1916) specify the terms between F.W. Ayer and his partners. The incorporation materials (circa 1929-1977) deal with Ayer advertising agency becoming incorporated in the state of Delaware. The reduction of capital grouping is a notification that shares of stock have been retired. The property information grouping contains property deeds and insurance policy (circa 1921-1939), a property appraisal (1934), and a bill of sale (1948). The miscellaneous grouping contains a house memo regarding a set of board meeting minutes and a registry of foreign companies in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1929-1954).

Subseries 18.1, Advertising Service Agreements, 1918-1982

Subseries 18.2, Bylaw Materials, 1969-1972

Subseries 18.3, Copyright Claims, 1962-1969

Subseries 18.4, Correspondence, 1928-1933

Subseries 18.5, International Office Correspondence, 1947-1948

Subseries 18.6, Dissolution of Trusts, 1934-1937

Subseries 18.7, Stock Information, 1934-1974

Subseries 18.8, Agreements between Partners, 1911-1916

Subseries 18.9, Incorporation Materials, 1929-1977

Subseries 18.10, Certificates of Reduction of Capital, 1937; 1975

Subseries 18.11, Property Information, 1921-1948

Subseries 18.12, Miscellaneous Materials, 1929-1977

Series 19, Personnel Records, circa 1889-2001, are arranged into eight groupings within eight boxes. The groupings are employee card files, photographs, Ayer alumni, biographies, speeches, recollections, oral histories, and miscellaneous. Typed manuscript of book A Copy Writer Speaks by George Cecil, NW Ayer, Incorporated copy head 1920s-1950s

Subseries 19.1, Employee card files, circa 1892-1915; 1929-1963, consists of index cards with the name, age, job title, date and wage increases, date of hire/fire, as well as remarks about the employee's service and/or reasons for seeking or leaving the job. Materials are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the employee within three boxes.

Subseries 19.2, Photographs, circa 1924-1984, undated, are housed in two boxes. The photographs grouped together by subjects i.e. personnel, company events, Ayer buildings, and miscellaneous. This grouping primarily consists of personnel photographs. Includes a glass plate negative dated 1924 of NW Ayer.

Subseries 19.3, Ayer Alumni, circa 1989-98, include employees who have left Ayer. There is a listing of Ayer "graduates" and their current job. Emeritus, Ayer's alumni newsletter 1989-1996, makes up the majority of materials in this grouping. The newsletter keeps the alumni up to date with the happenings of Ayer and what has become of former Ayer employees. Emeritus is a quarterly newsletter devoted to the activities, thoughts and feelings of Ayer alumni a body of people who consists of retirees and former employees.

Subseries 19.4, Biographical Information, circa 1889-1994, undated, prominent members of Ayer's operations had biographical sketches completed of them. This was true for the bio sketches of Robert Ervin, Louis T. Hagopian, and George A. Rink. There is a substantial file on Dorothy Dignam ("Mis Dig"), a leading woman in the advertising world from the 1930s to the 1950s. Also of interest is a video ("The Siano Man") compiled by Ayer employees to commemorate Jerry Siano's retirement from Ayer in 1994. The series is arranged alphabetically by last name.

Subseries 19.5, Speeches, circa 1919-1931; 1975, contains speeches made by Wilfred W. Fry and Neal W. O'Connor. Wilfred W. Fry had various speaking engagements connected with Ayer. Contained in this group is a sampling of his speeches from 1919 to 1931. Neal O'Connor's speech "Advertising: Who Says It's a Young People's Business" was given at the Central Region Convention for the American Association of Advertising Agencies in Chicago on November 6, 1975. The speeches are arranged alphabetically by the speaker's last name.

Subseries 19.6, Recollections, 1954-1984, undated, are arranged alphabetically by last name. These are recollections from Ayer employees about the company and its advertisements. Some recollections are specifically about certain types of advertisements, like farm equipment while others reflect on F. W. Ayer and the company.

Subseries 19.7, Oral History Interview Transcripts, 1983-1985; 1989-1991, include interviews with key NW Ayer personnel, conducted by Ayer alumnae Howard Davis, Brad Lynch and Don Sholl (Vice President creative) for the Oral History Program. The materials are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the interviewee.

Subseries 19.8, Oral History Interview Audio Tapes, 1985-1990, include interviews on audiotape the materials are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the interviewee.

Subseries 19.9, Internal Communications, 1993-1999, includes information sent to employees relating to retirements, management changes, awards won by the company, promotions, potential new accounts, free items, grand opening of Ayer Café, donation events, sponsorship programs, holiday schedules, discounts for employees from clients, Ayer joins MacManus Group.

Subseries 19.10, General Materials, 1940; 1970, includes agency directory entry including a list of the employees, 1970s, annual banquet program for the Curfew Club May 22, 1940 a group formed by the Philadelphia employee in 1938. It sponsored numerous sports, social and educational activities. Groups were formed in public speaking, music appreciation and a series of talks on Monday evenings title the modern woman. The front page was a series of talks for general interest. A list of officers, 1991, Twenty five year club membership, 1973 December 1, List of NW Ayer graduates, 1970, List of Officers, 1991 May 31, Obituary for Leo Lionni, 1999 October 17, List of photographers of advertisements, 2001

Series 20, Background and History Information, 1817-1999, undated includes a chronology, 1817-1990, quick reference timeline, 1848-1923, loose pages from a scrapbook containing examples of correspondence, envelopes, advertisements dating from 1875-1878; slogans coined by NW Ayer & Sons, Incorporated, 1899-1990, history of management, 1909-1923, articles and photographs about the building and art galleries, 1926-1976, publications about the Philadelphia building, 1929, pamphlet relating to memories of NW Ayer & Sons, Incorporated, 1930s-1950s, television history, 1940-1948, Article about the history of the company, 1950 January, pocket guide, 1982, AdWeek reports about standings for advertising agencies, information relating to Human Contact which is NW Ayer's Information relating to Human Contact, undated which is their philosophy on advertising.

Series 21, Materials Created by other Advertising Agencies, 1945-1978, undated, consists of print advertisements collected by Ayer from other major advertising companies. The companies include Doyle Dane Bernback, Incorporated, Leo Burnett Company, Grey Advertising Agency, D'Arcy Ad Agency, Scali, McCabe, Sloves, Incorporated and Erwin Wasey Company. The materials are arranged in alphabetical order by client and include products from Ralston Purina and Van Camp (Chicken of the Sea), Kellogg, American Export Lines and No Nonsense Fashions.

Series 22, 2010 Addendum of Print Advertisements, circa 1879s-1999, undated, includes material given to the Archives Center in 2010. It is organized into seventy one oversized boxes and contains proofsheets of print advertisements for select Ayer clients. These are arranged alphabetically by client name and include substantial quantities of materials from American Telephone &Telegraph (1945-1996), Bahamas Ministry of Tourism (1967-1987), Carrier (1971-1981), Citibank (1973-1991), DeBeers (1940s-1960s and1990s), Electric Companies Advertising Program [ECAP] (1942-1970s), General Motors (1989-1998), J.C. Penney (1983-1986), Newsweek (1966-1975), and Proctor and Gamble (1980s-1890s). There are also numerous other clients represented by smaller quantities of materials.

Subseries 22.1, Print Advertisements, 1930-1990, undated

Subseries 22.2, Print Advertisements on Glass Plate Negatives, 1879-1881, undated, include Cannon towels, Cheny Brothers silks, Cornish & Company organs and pianos, Enterprise Manufacturing Company, 1879 sad iron, an ad from Harper's Weekly 1881 for ladies clothing, Ostermoor & Company mattresses, Pear's soap, Porter's cough balsam, Steinway pianos.

Series 23, Microfilm of Print Advertisements, circa 1908-1985, consists of three boxes of printed advertisements for the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. Some of the same advertisements might also be found in series two, three and four.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into twenty-three series.

Series 1: Scrapbooks of Client Print Advertisements, circa 1870-1920

Series 2: Proofsheets, circa 1870-1930

Series 3: Proofsheets, circa 1920-1975

Series 4: 2001 Addendum, circa 1976-2001

Series 5: Billboards, circa 1952-1956

Series 6: Audiovisual Materials

Series 7: Radio and Television Materials, 1933-1993, undated

Series 8: Chicago Office Print Advertisements, 1954-1989

Series 9: Los Angeles Office Materials, 1950s-1987

Subseries 9.1: Printed Advertisements, 1977-1987

Subseries 9.2: Personnel Files, 1950s-1970s

Series 10: Foreign Print Advertisements, 1977-1991, undated

Series 11: Cunningham & Walsh Incorporated Materials, 1915-1987, undated

Subseries 11.1: Printed Advertisements, 1915-1987

Subseries 11.2: Radio and Television Advertisements, 1963-1967

Subseries 11.3: Company Related Materials, 1962-1986, undated

Series 12: Hixson & Jorgensen Materials, 1953-1971, undated

Series 13: Newell-Emmet, 1942-1957

Series 14: House Print Advertisements, 1870-1991

Series 15: Scrapbooks, 1872-1959

Series 16: Publications, 1849-2006

Subseries 16.1: House Publications, 1876-1994

Subseries 16.2: Publications about NW Ayer, 1949-1995

Subseries 16.3: General Publications about Advertising, 1922-2006

Subseries 16.4: Publications about other Subjects, 1948-1964

Series 17, Business Records, circa 1885-1990s

Subseries 17.1: Contracts, 1885-1908, undated

Subseries 17.2: General Client Information, 1911-1999, undated

Subseries 17.3: Individual Client Account Information, 1950s-1990s, undated

Subseries 17.4: Potential Clients, 1993

Subseries 17.5: Financial Records, 1929-1938

Series 18: Legal Records, circa 1911-1984

Subseries 18.1: Advertising Service Agreements, 1918-1982

Subseries 18.2: Bylaw Materials, 1969-1972

Subseries 18.3, Copyright Claims, 1962-1969

Subseries 18.4: Correspondence, 1928-1933

Subseries 18.5: International Office Correspondence, 1947-1948

Subseries 18.6: Dissolution of Trusts, 1934-1937

Subseries 18.7: Stock Information, 1934-1974

Subseries 18.8: Agreements between Partners, 1911-1916

Subseries 18.9: Incorporation Materials, 1929-1977

Subseries 18.10: Certificates of Reduction of Capital, 1937; 1975

Subseries 18.11: Property Information

Subseries 18.12: Miscellaneous Materials, 1929-1977

Series 19: Employee Materials, circa 1889-2001

Subseries 19.1: Employee Card files, circa 1892-1915; 1929-1963

Subseries 19.2: Photographs, circa 1924-1984, undated

Subseries 19.3: Alumni Publications, circa 1989-1998

Subseries 19.4: Biographical Information, circa 1889-1994

Subseries 19.5: Speeches, circa 1919-1931; 1975

Subseries 19.6: Recollections, 1954-1984, undated

Subseries 19.7: Oral History Interview Transcripts, 1983-1985; 1989-1991

Subseries 19.8: Oral History Audiotapes, 1985-1990

Subseries 19.9: Internal Communications, 1993-1999

Subseries 19.1: General Materials, 1940-2001

Series 20: History and Background Information about the Company, 1817-1999, undated

Series 21: Materials Created by other Advertising Agencies, 1945-1978, undated

Series 22: 2010 Addendum of Print Advertisements, circa 1879s-1990s, undated

Subseries 22.1: Print Advertisements, 1930-1990, undated

Subseries 22.2: Print Advertisements on Glass Plate Negatives, 1879-1881, undated

Series 23: Microfilm of Print Advertisements, circa 1908-1985
Biographical / Historical:
Founded in Philadelphia in 1869, NW Ayer & Son is one of the oldest and largest advertising agencies in America. For most of its history, it was the undisputed leader and innovator in the field of advertising. In 1876, NW Ayer & Son pioneered the "open contract", a revolutionary change in the method of billing for advertising which became the industry standard for the next hundred years. NW Ayer pioneered the use of fine art in advertising and established the industry's first art department. It was the first agency to use a full-time copywriter and the first to institute a copy department. The agency relocated to New York City in 1974. During its long history, the agency's clients included many "blue-chip" clients, including American Telephone & Telegraph, DeBeers Consolidated Diamond Mines, Ford Motor Company, Nabisco, R. J. Reynolds and United Airlines. However, in later years, the Ayer's inherent conservatism left the agency vulnerable to the creative revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, the advertising industry restructuring of the 1980s and the economic recession of the early 1990s. The agency was bought out by a Korean investor in 1993. In 1996, NW Ayer merged with another struggling top twenty United States advertising agency, Darcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles, under the umbrella of the McManus Group. Ayer continues to operate as a separate, full-service agency.

Through a series of buyouts and mergers, Ayer traces its lineage to the first advertising agency founded in the United States, a Philadelphia agency begun by Volney Palmer in 1841. Palmer began his career in advertising as a newspaper agent, acting as middleman between newspaper publishers and advertisers across the country. By 1849, Palmer had founded his own newspaper, V. B. Palmer's Register and Spirit of the Press, and had developed a complete system of advertising which included securing advertising space and placing ads in scores of commercial, political, religious, scientific and agricultural journals across the country. Palmer went one step further than the "space jobbers" of the day when he began offering "advertisements carefully drawn for those who have not the time to prepare an original copy." Always an enthusiastic promoter of advertising as an incentive to trade and American economic growth, Palmer promised advertisers that "every dollar paid for advertising in country newspapers will pay back twenty-fold" and encouraged skeptical consumers that "he who wishes to buy cheap should buy of those who advertise." When Palmer died in 1863, the agency was bought by his bookkeeper, John Joy, who joined with another Philadelphia advertising agency to form Joy, Coe & Sharpe. That agency was bought out again in 1868 and renamed Coe, Wetherill & Company. In 1877, Coe, Wetherill and Company was bought out by the newly formed NW Ayer & Son.

Francis Wayland Ayer was an ambitious young schoolteacher with an entrepreneurial streak. Having worked for a year soliciting advertisements on a commission basis for the publisher of the National Baptist weekly, Francis Ayer saw the potential to turn a profit as an advertising agent. In 1869, Ayer persuaded his father, Nathan Wheeler Ayer, to join him in business, and with an initial investment of only $250.00, NW Ayer & Son was born. Notwithstanding a smallpox epidemic in Philadelphia in 1871 and the general economic depression of the early 1870s, the agency flourished. The senior Ayer died in 1873, leaving his interest in the agency to his wife, but Francis W. Ayer bought her out, consolidating his interest in the company's management. In 1877, with Coe, Wetherill & Company (the successor to Palmer's 1841 agency) on the verge of bankruptcy and heavily indebted to Ayer for advertising it had placed in Ayer publications, Ayer assumed ownership of that agency. Thus did NW Ayer lay claim to being the oldest advertising agency in the country.

Both Nathan Wheeler and Francis Wayland Ayer began their careers as schoolteachers, and one of their legacies was a commitment to the cause of education: correspondence schools and institutions of higher learning were historically well-represented among Ayer clients. Just after World War I, the agency was heralded as "co-founder of more schools than any citizen of this country" for its conspicuous efforts to advertise private schools. Well into the 1960s, an "Education Department" at Ayer prepared advertisements for over three hundred private schools, camps and colleges, representing almost half the regional and national advertising done for such institutions. In fact, to its clients Ayer presented advertising itself as being akin to a system of education. In 1886, Ayer began promoting the virtues of the Ayer way advertising with the slogan, "Keeping Everlastingly at It Brings Success."

The agency's goals were simple: "to make advertising pay the advertiser, to spend the advertiser's money as though it were our own, to develop, magnify and dignify advertising as a business." Initially, Ayer's fortunes were tied to newspapers, and the agency began to make a name for itself as compiler and publisher of a widely used American Newspaper Annual. During the first years, Ayer's singular goal was "to get business, place it [in newspapers] and get money for it"; after several years as an independent space broker, however, Francis Ayer resolved "not to be an order taker any longer." This decision led NW Ayer and Son to a change in its mode of conducting business which would revolutionize the advertising industry: in 1876, Ayer pioneered the "open contract" with Diggee & Conard, Philadelphia raised growers and agricultural suppliers. Prior to the open contract, NW Ayer & Sons and most agencies operated as "space-jobbers," independent wholesalers of advertising space, in which the opportunities for graft and corrupt practices were virtually unlimited. In contrast, the open contract, wherein the advertiser paid a fixed commission based on the volume of advertising placed, aligned the advertising agent firmly on the side of the advertiser and gave advertisers access to the actual rates charged by newspapers and religious journals. The open contract with a fixed commission has been hailed by advertising pioneer Albert Lasker as one of the "three great landmarks in advertising history." (The other two were Lasker's own development of "reason-why" advertising copy and J. Walter Thompson's pioneering of sex appeal in an advertisement for Woodbury's soap.) Although the transition to the open contract did not happen overnight, by 1884, nearly three-quarters of Ayer's advertising billings were on an open contract basis. Since Ayer was, by the 1890s, the largest agency in America, the switch to direct payment by advertisers had a significant impact on the advertising industry, as other agencies were forced to respond to Ayer's higher standard. Just as important, the open contract helped to establish N W Ayer's long-standing reputation for "clean ethics and fair dealing" -- a reputation the agency has guarded jealously for over a century. The open contract also helped to establish Ayer as a full service advertising agency and to regularize the production of advertising in-house. From that point forward, Ayer routinely offered advice and service beyond the mere placement of advertisements. Ayer set another milestone for the industry in 1888, when Jarvis Wood was hired as the industry's first full-time copywriter. Wood was joined by a second full time copywriter four years later, and the Copy Department was formally established in 1900. The industry's first Art Department grew out of the Copy Department when Ayer hired its first commercial artist to assist with copy preparation in 1898; twelve years later Ayer became the first agency to offer the services of a full time art director, whose sole responsibility was the design and illustration of ads.

Ayer's leadership in the use of fine art in advertising has roots in this period, but achieved its highest expression under the guidance of legendary art director Charles Coiner. Coiner joined Ayer in 1924, after graduating from the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. Despite early resistance from some clients, Coiner was adamant that "the use of outstanding palette and original art forms bring a greater return in readership, in impact and prestige for the advertiser." To this end, Coiner marshaled the talents of notable painters, illustrators and photographers, including N.C. Wyeth and Rockwell Kent (Steinway), Georgia O'Keefe (Dole), Leo Lionni (DuPont), Edward Steichen (Steinway, Cannon Mills), Charles Sheeler (Ford), and Irving Penn (DeBeers). Coiner believed that there was a practical side to the use of fine art in advertising, and his success (and Ayer's) lay in the marriage of research and copywriting with fine art, an arrangement Coiner termed "art for business sake." Coiner's efforts won both awards and attention for a series completed in the 1950s for the Container Corporation of America. Titled "Great Ideas of Western Man" the campaign featured abstract and modern paintings and sculpture by leading U.S. and foreign artists, linked with Western philosophical writings in an early example of advertising designed primarily to bolster corporate image. In 1994, Charles Coiner was posthumously named to the American Advertising Federation's Hall of Fame, the first full time art director ever chosen for that honor.

Coiner and fellow art director Paul Darrow also created legendary advertising with the "A Diamond Is Forever" campaign for DeBeers; ads featured the work of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and other modernist painters. The "A Diamond is Forever" tagline was written in 1949 by Frances Gerety, a woman copywriter at Ayer from 1943 to 1970. In 1999, Ad Age magazine cited "A Diamond is Forever" as the most memorable advertising slogan of the twentieth century.

Coiner also earned respect for his volunteer government service during World War II; he designed the armbands for civil defense volunteers and logos for the National Recovery Administration and Community Chest. As a founding member of the Advertising Council in 1945, Ayer has had a long-standing commitment to public service advertising. In the mid-1980s, Ayer became a leading force in the Reagan-era "War on Drugs". Lou Hagopian, Ayer's sixth CEO, brokered the establishment of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, a media coalition which generated as much as a million dollars a day in donated advertising space and time to prevent the use and abuse of illegal drugs. Famous names appear among NW Ayer's clientele from the very earliest days of the agency. Retailer John Wanamaker, Jay Cooke and Company, and Montgomery Ward's mail-order business were among the first Ayer clients. The agency has represented at least twenty automobile manufacturers, including Cadillac, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Plymouth, and Rolls-Royce. Other major, long-term clients through the years have included American Telephone & Telegraph, Canada Dry, Cannon Mills, Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Kellogg's, R. J. Reynolds, Steinway and Sons, United Airlines, and the United States Army. By the time of Ayer's hundredth anniversary in 1969, some of these companies had been Ayer clients for decades if not generations, and the longevity of those relationships was for many years a source of Ayer's strength.

But the advertising industry began to change in the late 1960s and 1970s, due in part to a "creative revolution." Small advertising agencies won attention with provocative copywriting and art direction that more closely resembled art than advertising. Advances in market research allowed clients to more narrowly tailor their advertising messages to distinct groups of consumers, and this led to a rise in targeted marketing which could more readily be doled out to specialized small agencies than to larger, established firms like NW Ayer & Son. The civil rights and anti-war movements also contributed to increasing public skepticism with the values of corporate America, and by extension, with some national advertising campaigns. Older, more conservative firms like Ayer were hard pressed to meet these new challenges.

About 1970, in an effort to meet these challenges and to establish a foothold on the West Coast, Ayer bought out two smaller agencies--Hixson & Jorgenson (Los Angeles) and Frederick E. Baker (Seattle). The agency relocated from Philadelphia to New York City in 1974 in an attempt both to consolidate operations (Ayer had operated a New York office since the 1920s) and to be closer to the historic center of the advertising industry. Riding the wave of mergers that characterized the advertising industry in the late 1980s and 1990s, Ayer continued to grow through the acquisition of Cunningham & Walsh in 1986 and Rink Wells in 19xx.

During this transitional period, Ayer received widespread acclaim for its work for the United States Army, which included the widely recognized slogan "Be All You Can Be". Ayer first acquired the Army recruitment account in 1967 and with help from its direct marketing arm, the agency was widely credited with helping the Army reach its recruitment goals despite an unpopular war and plummeting enlistments after the elimination of the draft in 1973. Ayer held the account for two decades, from the Vietnam War through the Cold War, but lost the account in 1986 amid government charges that an Ayer employee assigned to the account accepted kickbacks from a New York film production house. Despite Ayer's position as the country's 18th largest agency (with billings of $880 million in 1985), the loss of the agency's second largest account hit hard.

NW Ayer made up for the loss of the $100 million dollar a year Army account and made headlines for being on the winning end of the largest account switch in advertising history to date, when fast food giant Burger King moved its $200 million dollar advertising account from arch-rival J. Walter Thompson in 1987. Burger King must have had drive-thru service in mind, however, and Ayer made headlines again when it lost the account just eighteen months later in another record-breaking account switch. Another devastating blow to the agency was the loss of its lead position on the American Telegraph and Telephone account. Ayer pioneered telecommunications advertising in 1908, when the agency was selected to craft advertising for the Bell System's universal telephone service. Despite valiant efforts to keep an account the agency had held for most of the twentieth century, and for which they had written such memorable corporate slogans as American Telephone &Telegraph "The Voice with a Smile" and "Reach Out and Touch Someone", the agency lost the account in 1996.

After a wave of mergers and acquisitions in the late 1980s, the economic recession of the early 1990s hit Madison Avenue hard, and Ayer was particularly vulnerable. Despite the agency's long history and roster of "blue-chip" clients, Ayer was not known for cutting-edge creative work. Moreover, though the agency had offices overseas, Ayer had never built a strong multinational presence, and many of the smaller international offices were sold during the financial turmoil of the 1980s. This left a real void in the new climate of global marketplace consolidation. By about 1990, earnings were declining (although Ayer was still among the top twenty United States agencies in billings), and the agency was suffering from client defections, high management turnover, expensive real estate commitments and deferred executive compensation deals, all fallout of the high-flying 1980s. This was the atmosphere in 1993, when W.Y. Choi, a Korean investor who had already assembled a media and marketing empire in his homeland, began looking for an American partner to form an international advertising network. Jerry Siano, the former creative director who had recently been named Ayer's seventh CEO, was in no position to refuse Choi's offer of $35 million to buy the now floundering agency. The infusion of cash was no magic bullet, however. Choi took a wait-and-see approach, allowing his partner Richard Humphreys to make key decisions about Ayer's future, including the purging of senior executives and the installation of two new CEOs in as many years.

The agency's downward trend continued with the loss of another longtime client, the DeBeers diamond cartel in 1995. Adweek reported that Ayer's billings fell from $892 million in 1990 to less than $850 million in 1995. Several top executives defected abruptly, and the agency failed to attract major new accounts. Ayer was facing the loss not merely of revenue and personnel, but the loss of much of the respect it once commanded. Ayer remained among the twenty largest U.S. agencies, but an aura of uncertainty hung over the agency like a cloud. A new CEO was appointed, and Mary Lou Quinlan became the agency's first woman CEO in 1995. A year later, Ayer and another struggling top twenty agency, D'arcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles, combined as part of the McManus Group of companies. In 1998, the McManus Group had worldwide billings of more than $6.5 billion.

Under the McManus Group, Ayer was able to expand its international operations and begin to rebuild a stronger global presence. Several important new clients were won in 1997 and 1998, including Avon, General Motors, Kitchenaid, several Procter & Gamble brands and, most notably, Continental Airlines worldwide accounts. Born in the nineteenth century, Ayer may be one of a very few advertising agencies to successfully weather the economic and cultural transitions of both the twentieth and twentieth first centuries. Ayer was eventually acquired by the Publicis Groupe based in Paris, France which closed down the N.W. Ayer offices in 2002.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana (AC0060)

Hills Bros. Coffee Incorporated Records (AC0395)
Provenance:
The collection was donated by N W Ayer ABH International, April 15, 1975 and by Ayer & Partners, October 30, 1996.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.

Physical Access: Researchers must use microfilm copy. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audiovisual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow.

Technical Access: Viewing the film portion of the collection without reference copies requires special appointment, please inquire; listening to audio discs requires special arrangement. Do not use original materials when available on reference video or audio tapes.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply. Publication and production quality duplication is restricted due to complex copyright, publicity rights, and right to privacy issues. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff. Potential users must receive written permission from appropriate rights holders prior to obtaining high quality copies.
Topic:
Advertising agencies  Search this
advertising  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business records -- 1840-2000
Interviews -- 1980-2000
Oral history -- 1980-1990
Print advertising
Proof sheets
Proofs (printed matter)
Scrapbooks -- 1840-1990
Trade literature
Tear sheets
Advertisements
Citation:
NW Ayer & Sons, incorporated Advertising Agency Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0059
See more items in:
N W Ayer Advertising Agency Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0059
Online Media:

Vaclav Vytlacil papers

Creator:
Vytlacil, Vaclav, 1892-1984  Search this
Names:
Albers, Josef  Search this
Day, Worden, 1916-1986  Search this
Feigl, Hugo  Search this
Haley, John, 1905-1991  Search this
Jensen, Alfred, 1903-1981  Search this
Larsen, Susan C.  Search this
Lazzell, Blanche, 1878-1956 -- Photographs  Search this
Manoir, Irving K. (Irving Kraut), 1891-1982  Search this
Matter, Mercedes  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957 -- Photographs  Search this
Ryder, Worth, 1884-1960  Search this
Thurn, Ernest  Search this
Vytlacil, Elizabeth Foster, 1899-  Search this
Wessels, Glenn A. (Glenn Anthony), 1895-  Search this
Zalmar  Search this
Extent:
5.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Writings
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Drawings
Sound recordings
Woodcuts
Motion pictures (visual works)
Prints
Etchings
Date:
1885-1990
Summary:
The papers of abstract painter and art instructor Vaclav Vytlacil date from 1885-1990 and measure 5.2 linear feet. Found within the papers are scattered biographical materials, correspondence primarily discussing art school-related matters and the exhibition and sale of Vytlacil's work, scattered business and financial records, and notes and writings including lecture notes. The papers also contain audio recordings of interviews of Vytlacil and his associates, artwork by Vytlacil and others, four scrapbooks, printed material including clippings and exhibition catalogs, and photographs of Vytlacil, his colleagues, and his artwork.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of abstract painter and art instructor Vaclav Vytlacil date from 1885-1990 and measure 5.2 linear feet. Found within the papers are scattered biographical materials, correspondence, scattered business and financial records, and notes and writings including lecture notes. The papers also contain audio recordings of interviews of Vytlacil and his associates, artwork by Vytlacil and others, four scrapbooks, printed material including clippings and exhibition catalogs, and photographs of Vytlacil, his colleagues, and his artwork.

Scattered biographical materials include documents relating to family history and biographical accounts for Vytlacil. Correspondence consists of letters exchanged between Vytlacil and his wife and colleagues including Josef Albers, Worden Day, Hugo Feigl, John Haley, Alfred Jensen, Irving Manoir, Mercedes Matter, Worth Ryder, Ernest Thurn, and Glenn Wessels.

Scattered business and financial records consist of teaching contracts and scattered financial records. Notes and writings include lecture notes, notebooks concerning teaching, minutes of meetings, essays, and writings by others. Three untranscribed sound recordings on cassette contain an interview of Vytlacil by Susan Larsen and interviews of Vytlacil's students and associates.

Artwork consists of drawings and prints by Vytlacil and others, etchings by Betty Vytlacil, and a color woodcut by Zalmar. Four scrapbooks contain printed materials and artwork by students compiled as a get-well gift to Vytlacil. Additional printed materials include numerous clippings, exhibition catalogs, and art school catalogs. Photographs in the collection are of Vytlacil, family members, his artwork, and his colleagues including Blanche Lazzell and Irving Manoir with Diego Rivera. One small motion picture film reel, 8mm, shows views of Manhattan and a family outing.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 10 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1885, 1933-1981 (Box 1; 3 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1911-1985 (Boxes 1-2, 7; 2.0 linear feet)

Series 3: Business Records, 1912-1982 (Box 3; 11 folders)

Series 4: Notes and Writings, 1928-1978 (Boxes 3, 7; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 5: Interviews (Sound Recordings), 1974, 1984 (Box 4; 2 folders)

Series 6: Artwork, 1921-1952 (Boxes 4, 7; 5 folders)

Series 7: Scrapbooks, 1927-1979 (Boxes 4, 7; 4 folders)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1912-1990 (Boxes 4-5, 7; 1.3 linear feet)

Series 9: Photographs, 1906-1976 (Boxes 6-7; 27 folders)

Series 10: Motion Picture Film, circa 1938-1968 (Box FC 8; 1 film reel)
Biographical Note:
Vaclav Vytlacil (1892-1984) was an abstract painter and art instructor who worked primarily in the New York city area. He was also one of the co-founders of the American Abstract Artists group.

Born in New York City of Czech parentage, Vytlacil moved at an early age with his family to Chicago. Beginning in 1906 he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago under Antonin Sterba for approximately 3 years. In 1912 he graduated as William Vytlacil from Crane Technical and English High School. After receiving a scholarship in 1913, Vytlacil returned to New York to study at the Art Students League with John C. Johansen for three years. From 1917 to 1921 Vytlacil was employed as an instructor at the Minneapolis School of Art.

Beginning in 1921 Vytlacil traveled to Paris, Prague, and Munich, deciding to remain in the latter city indefinitely. He enrolled as a student at the Royal Academy of Art in Munich with fellow American art students Worth Ryder and Ernest Thurn. Vytlacil first studied under Karl Kaspar and, a year later, he and Ernest Thurn enrolled at the Hans Hofmann School in Munich. Vytlacil studied with Hofmann sporadically over the next seven years.

On August 18, 1927, Vytlacil married Elizabeth Foster of St. Paul, Minnesota at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy. In the following year, he accepted an invitation to teach at the Art Students League and became an invited lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley during the summer terms of 1928 to 1929. Vytlacil urged Hans Hofmann, with his assistance, to come to the United States to teach at the Art Students League during the 1931-1932 term. Also during the early 1930s, Vytlacil and his wife spent summers in Positano, Italy, and winters in Paris.

In 1935 the Vytlacils returned permanently from Europe to live at 8 West 13th Street in New York City, where they stayed for three years. Vytlacil resumed teaching at the Art Students League, spending the summer sessions teaching at the California College of Arts and Crafts. In the following year he accepted an invitation to teach at the Florence Cane School at Rockefeller Center and continued teaching during the summer session at the California College of Arts and Crafts. It was also during 1936 that Vytlacil co-founded the American Abstract Artists with thirteen other artists.

While continuing to teach at the Art Students League and at the Florence Cane School, Vytlacil began conducting art classes at the Dalton School, where he taught until 1941. In 1938, he moved from New York City to South Mountain Road in New City. Two years later, Vytlacil established his residence and studio in Sparkill, New York, and in 1941, he acquired property in Martha's Vineyard which provided a place to work during the summers.

In 1942, Vytlacil left the Art Students League to become Chairman of the Art Department of Queens College in Flushing, New York. He held this position until 1945, when he accepted an invitation to teach at Black Mountain College. From 1946 to 1951, he returned as instructor at the Art Students League and began selling his artwork through the Feigl Gallery in New York. He also taught at the Minneapolis School of Art in 1947, and at Columbia University in 1950.

From 1952 to 1954, Vytlacil traveled to Colorado to paint and teach at the summer sessions of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. After a summer spent on Monhegan Island, Maine, Vytlacil and his wife spent 1955 in Europe. Upon his return in 1956, he became a guest instructor at the Art Institute of Chicago and, in the following year, he taught a summer session at Boston College.

During the winter months of 1960 and 1961, Vytlacil lived in Oaxaca, Mexico. In 1964, he was a guest instructor at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia.

Vytlacil was a member of the Art Students League of New York, the American Abstract Artists, the Federation of American Painters and Sculptors, and the Audubon Artists.

Vaclav Vytlacil died at his home in Sparkill, New York on January 5, 1984.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are oral history interviews with Vaclav Vytlacil, March 2, 1966 and January 10, 1974, and 19 items microfilmed on reel 2016 relating to a 1975 Montclair Art Museum exhibition organized by Worden Day.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (D295) including correspondence, lecture notes, general notes, clippings, notebooks concerning paintings, photographs of paintings, photographs titled "Vineyard Boats," and two of Mrs. Vytacil's Paris journals. Two dozen of these letters were later donated. All other lent materials remain with the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Vaclav Vytlacil lent the Archives of American Art materials for microfilming in 1966. Vaclav Vytlacil's daughter, Anne Vytlacil, donated the Vaclav Vytlacil papers in several installments from 1989 to 1993.
Restrictions:
Use of the original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Vaclav Vytlacil 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 teachers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Writings
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Drawings
Sound recordings
Woodcuts
Motion pictures (visual works)
Prints
Etchings
Citation:
Vaclav Vytlacil papers, 1885-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.vytlvacl
See more items in:
Vaclav Vytlacil papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-vytlvacl
Online Media:

Peter and Rose Krasnow papers

Creator:
Krasnow, Peter, 1886-1979  Search this
Names:
Peter Krasnow Arts Foundation  Search this
United States. Aircraft Warning Service. Ground Observer Corps  Search this
Blades, Harriet  Search this
Budnick, Dan  Search this
Burton, Leslie  Search this
Clements, Grace, 1905-1969  Search this
Cocker, Conrad  Search this
Danieli, Fidel  Search this
DeLuce, Robert  Search this
Drake, Alfred S.  Search this
Howe, Dudley  Search this
Krasnow, Rose, 1885-1984  Search this
Morley, Grace, 1900-1985  Search this
Noer, Philip  Search this
Owen, Dale  Search this
Owen, Elaine  Search this
Price, Aimée Brown, 1939-  Search this
Raboff, Ernest Lloyd  Search this
Raboff, Ina  Search this
Stone, Irving, 1903-  Search this
Weston, Edward, 1886-1958  Search this
Weston, Edward, 1886-1958 -- Photographs  Search this
Weston, Flora -- Photographs  Search this
Extent:
6.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Sketches
Diaries
Poems
Notes
Essays
Short stories
Prints
Transcripts
Sound recordings
Date:
1914-1984
Summary:
The papers of painter, printmaker, and sculptor Peter Krasnow (1886-1979) and his wife, writer Rose Krasnow (1885-1984), measures 6.9 linear feet and date from 1914 to 1984. Papers include biographical materials, a sound recording, correspondence, essays, poetry, short stories, notes, transcripts of lectures and radio talks, five diaries of Peter Krasnow, personal business records, exhibition catalogs and announcements, clippings, magazines, five sketchbooks, sketches and drawings in multiple media, prints, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter, printmaker, and sculptor Peter Krasnow (1886-1979) and his wife, writer Rose Krasnow (1885-1984), measures 6.9 linear feet and date from 1914 to 1984. Papers include biographical materials, a sound recording, correspondence, essays, poetry, short stories, notes, transcripts of lectures and radio talks, five diaries of Peter Krasnow, personal business records, exhibition catalogs and announcements, clippings, magazines, five sketchbooks, sketches and drawings in multiple media, prints, and photographs.

Biographical materials include documentation of Rose Krasnow's service as a member of the Army Air Forces Ground Observer Corps, programs and other materials from various memorial services, a sound recording with commentary on a Peter Krasnow exhibition, and documentation of a project to publish Rose Krasnow's poetry.

Correspondence consists of Peter and Rose Krasnow's personal and professional correspondence as well as a small amount of third party correspondence. Personal correspondence with friends and family involves health, work, daily events, and other life updates. Professional correspondence with art dealers, curators, gallery and museum directors, collectors, and colleges and universities concerns exhibitions, sales, loans, and donations of artwork. Primary correspondents include Leslie Burton and Harriet Blades, Dan Budnik, Grace Clements, Conrad Crocker, Dudley Howe, Lilly Weil Jaffe, Grace L. McCann Morley, Dale and Elaine Owen, Aimée Brown Price, Ernest and Ina Raboff, Irving Stone, and Edward Weston. There are also numerous scattered letters from artists, writers, curators, critics, museums, arts associations, and Jewish organizations.

Writings and notes are by Peter Krasnow, Rose Krasnow, and others. Writings by Peter Krasnow include a draft autobiography, essays, lectures on wood sculpture, typescripts, notes, and writings on art. Writings by Rose Krasnow include essays, plays, poetry, and short stories. Writings by others consist of essays, lectures, notes, plays, poetry, short stories, and typescripts. Other writers include Grace Clements, Fidel Danieli, Robert DeLuce, Alfred S. Drake, and Philip Noer. There are also five handwritten personal diaries by Peter Krasnow.

Personal business records include Rose Krasnow's bank book from 1980, Peter Krasnow's naturalization certificate and passport, an inventory of paintings on index cards, tax applications for the Peter Krasnow Arts Foundation, materials relating to Peter Krasnow's estate and the purchase of his artwork, and various receipts.

Printed materials include exhibition catalogs and announcements, clippings, bound books, magazines and journals, a Chicago Society of Artists block print calendar, and two printed posters from Peter Krasnow's exhibit at the Galerie Pierre in 1934.

Artwork is mostly by Peter Krasnow, and includes five sketchbooks, sketches and drawings, watercolors, preliminary studies in oil, and prints.

Photographs include personal photographs, photographs of major sculpture projects in progress, and artwork. Personal photographs are of Peter and Rose, family members, and friends, as well as a few scattered images of landscapes and architecture, possibly travel photographs. There are also photographs of Edward and Flora Weston. There are three photograph albums, one contains images of Krasnow's relief sculptures for the Sinai Temple's Kohn Chapel. Two photograph albums were compliled by Susan Ehrlich for Peter and Rose Krasnow. Also found are photographs of works of art. Some of the photographs in the papers were taken by Dan Budnik.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, circa 1942-1983 (Boxes 1, 6; 7 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1930-1984 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1916-1980 (Boxes 1-2; 1.3 linear feet)

Series 4: Diaries, circa 1955-1968 (Box 2-3; 5 folders)

Series 5: Personal Business Records, circa 1914-1982 (Box 3; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 6: Printed Materials, circa 1922-1981 (Boxes 3-4 and OV 9; 1.1 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1918-1980 (Boxes 4-6 and OV 7-8, 10; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 8: Sketchbooks, circa 1918-1973 (Box 5; 5 folders)

Series 9: Photographs, circa 1914-1981 (Boxes 5-6; 0.6 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Peter Krasnow (1886-1979) was a painter, sculptor, and printmaker who lived and worked primarily in Southern California. His wife, Rose Krasnow (1885-1984), was a prolific writer of poems, short stories, and plays.

Peter Krasnow was born on August 20, 1886 in the Ukraine, Russia to Jewish parents. His father's work as an interior designer inspired Krasnow's interest in art.

In 1907, Krasnow emigrated to the United States, first living in Boston. He moved to Chicago in 1908 to attend the Art Institute of Chicago, where he met his future wife, Rose Bloom. To support himself during his studies, Krasnow worked as a security officer and performed other manual jobs. He graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1916 and married Rose that same year.

The Krasnows moved to New York in 1919. In New York, Krasnow experienced some artistic success, participating in group and solo exhibitions at the Whitney Studio Club. During this time period, Krasnow often painted city scenes using a dark color palette.

In 1922, the Krasnows moved to Los Angeles, California. Krasnow built a studio near Glendale in 1923, on land purchased from photographer and friend Edward Weston. The studio also served as the Krasnows' main residence for the rest of their lives. In 1923 in Los Angeles, Krasnow exhibited with the Group of Independent Artists, which included Stanton Macdonald-Wright, Boris Deutsch, Nick Brigante, Ben Berlin, and other noteworthy artists. During his first years in California, Krasnow mostly created watercolor paintings, including a series of landscapes, using a lighter color palette than his earlier works. In the 1920s, Krasnow also accepted commissions for carved wood reliefs at the Temple Emmanu-El in San Francisco and the Sinai Temple in Los Angeles.

Krasnow received a grant in 1931, and he and Rose temporarily relocated to the Dordogne region of France, where they lived until 1934. During this time, Krasnow painted a series of watercolors and paintings of the French landscape. Before returning to the United States, Krasnow exhibited these landscapes at the Galerie Pierre.

After returning to California, Krasnow began creating carved wood sculptures, which he named 'demountables,' often using wood from trees on his property. Krasnow created these sculptures to celebrate the organic shapes inherent in wood.

In 1934, Krasnow returned to painting, this time creating bright, colorful, geometric designs which often incorporated symbolism from his Jewish heritage. Krasnow focused on these paintings through the remaining years of his life. In 1977, Krasnow received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Peter Krasnow died on October 30, 1979 in Los Angeles. Rose Krasnow died five years later, in 1984.
Provenance:
The Peter and Rose Krasnow papers were donated in several increments between 1976 and 1998 by Peter Krasnow, the Estate of Peter Krasnow, and the Peter and Rose Krasnow Foundation.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Peter and Rose Krasnow 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.
Occupation:
Painters -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Topic:
Wood sculpture  Search this
Jewish artists  Search this
Printmakers -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Sculptors -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Sketches
Diaries
Poems
Notes
Essays
Short stories
Prints
Transcripts
Sound recordings
Citation:
Peter and Rose Krasnow papers, 1914-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kraspete
See more items in:
Peter and Rose Krasnow papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kraspete
Online Media:

Robert Schoelkopf Gallery records

Creator:
Robert Schoelkopf Gallery  Search this
Names:
Zabriskie Gallery  Search this
Andrejevic, Milet, 1925-  Search this
Aponovich, James, 1948-  Search this
Bailey, William, 1930-  Search this
Bell, Leland  Search this
Brassaï, 1899-  Search this
Cameron, Julia Margaret Pattle, 1815-1879  Search this
Cartier-Bresson, Henri, 1908-  Search this
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Dawson, Manierre, 1887-1969  Search this
Driggs, Elsie, 1898-1992  Search this
Erlebacher, Martha Mayer  Search this
Evans, Walker, 1903-1975  Search this
Fiske, Gertrude, 1878-1961  Search this
Freund, Gisèle  Search this
Horton, William S., 1865-1936  Search this
Ito, Miyoko, 1918-1983  Search this
Lachaise, Gaston, 1882-1935  Search this
Laderman, Gabriel, 1929-  Search this
Ligare, David  Search this
Matthiasdottir, Louisa  Search this
Matulka, Jan, 1890-1972  Search this
Myers, Ethel  Search this
Nadelman, Elie, 1882-1946  Search this
Schoelkopf, Robert J., 1927-1991  Search this
Stella, Joseph, 1877-1946  Search this
Storrs, John Henry Bradley, 1885-1956  Search this
Wiesenfeld, Paul  Search this
Extent:
29 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gallery records
Illustrated letters
Photographs
Date:
1851-1991
bulk 1962-1991
Summary:
The collection comprises 29 linear feet of records that document the day-to-day administration of the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery from 1962 to 1991, with additional items predating the founding of the gallery from 1851 to 1961. The collection records artist and client relations, exhibitions, and daily business transactions through artist files, correspondence, printed matter, and photographic material.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery comprise 29 linear feet of material from 1851 to 1991, with some items predating the founding of the gallery. The bulk of the records date from 1962 to 1991, providing researchers with fairly comprehensive coverage of the gallery's development and operations from its inception in 1962 until its closure in 1991. Items dated prior to 1962 relate principally to the period of transition during which Robert Schoelkopf ended his partnership with the Zabriskie Gallery and established his own business. There are also some items relating to artists of the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

The collection consists primarily of artist files documenting relations with contemporary artists, representation of deceased artists, and other works of art handled by the gallery. It also chronicles the gallery's exhibition schedule and the day-to-day administration of the business. The types of material that can be found here include correspondence, exhibition inventories, price lists, accounting and consignment records, shipping and insurance records, printed material, and photographs.

The collection is a valuable source of information on twentieth-century American art history, focusing primarily on early-twentieth-century modernists as well as an important group of American realist painters and sculptors from the latter half of the century. The collection illuminates, in detail, the developing market for these schools and, in the case of the latter group, provides personal insights from artists on the realist perspective.

The records also document the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery's significant contribution to the resurgence of interest in fine art photography during the 1960s and 1970s as reflected in an increase in the value of works by important American photographers such as Walker Evans.

Much of the outgoing correspondence from the gallery consists of copies of letters written by Robert Schoelkopf, with additional business being handled by assistant staff and, from the mid-1970s, Schoelkopf's wife, Laura Jane Schoelkopf. The records offer insight into the personalities of the Schoelkopfs and how their congenial and candid management style influenced their relationships with the contemporary artists they represented.
Arrangement:
Originally the collection was organized as one large file arranged alphabetically by folder title, with titles ranging from names of artists to general subject headings such as "Correspondence." During processing it became clear that the gallery delineated operations into three main functions: artist relations, client-dealer relations, and exhibitions. Consequently the collection is arranged as three main series based on these areas of concern. A small group of miscellaneous photographs of artists constitutes an additional series at the end of the collection.

Originally paper records throughout the collection were generally arranged chronologically, although this order was not strictly adhered to. Frequently, correspondence and memoranda were attached to related records going back several years. To preserve the relationship between such documents, records stapled together in this way have been left together. They are arranged in reverse chronological order and filed in the folder corresponding to the primary date (i.e., the date of the first and most recent paper in the group). Researchers should be aware that date ranges provided on folders refer to the primary dates of documents contained therein and that some items in the folder may predate that range. Otherwise, the general chronological scheme has been retained throughout the collection, with undated material placed at the beginning of the appropriate file.

Printed material is arranged in chronological order, with undated material at the beginning of the folder, and may include press releases, exhibition announcements, exhibition catalogs, posters, clippings from newspapers, magazines, and journals, and other publicity material. Large amounts of printed material are broken down into several discrete folder units.

The most consistent labeling system for photographic material apparent throughout the collection was title of work of art. The majority of images are not dated with a printing date or the date that the work of art was produced, and although many of them have a processing number, these are by no means consistent and there are no master lists that can be used to interpret them. Consequently, images are arranged primarily by media type and then alphabetically by title. Untitled images are placed at the beginning of a media group; "the" in a title is ignored. Exceptions to this method are addressed in the appropriate series descriptions.

Files labeled "Photographs of Works of Art" will typically include any or all of the following: black-and-white copy prints, black-and-white transparencies, color transparencies, slide transparencies, Polaroid prints, color snapshots, contact sheets, and separation sheets. Often the same image will be duplicated in several different formats. Any notes on photographic material found in or on the original folder in which the material was filed have been preserved with the material or transcribed onto a sheet of acid-free paper that either encloses or is placed directly before the item to which the information applies.

The designation "General" indicates that a file may contain any or all of the types of material outlined above.

Series 1: Artist Files, 1851-1991, undated (Boxes 1-23; 23 linear ft.)

Series 2: General Business Files, 1960-1991, undated (Boxes 24-28; 4.74 linear ft.)

Series 3: Group Exhibition Files, 1960-1988, undated (Boxes 28-29; 1 linear ft.)

Series 4: Photographs of Artists, undated (Box 29; 0.25 linear ft.)
Historical Note:
Robert Schoelkopf, Jr., was born in Queens, New York, in 1927. He graduated from Yale College in 1951 with a bachelor of arts degree and then taught briefly at his alma mater while conducting graduate research in art history. Schoelkopf began his career in commercial art in 1957 as an independent dealer of American painting and sculpture and became a member of the Art Dealers Association of America in 1958. In 1959 he formed a partnership with Virginia Zabriskie, of the Zabriskie Gallery in New York, which lasted until 1962. The gallery exhibited late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century American painting, together with contemporary painting of a somewhat conservative style.

In 1962 Schoelkopf signed a three-year lease for the fourth floor of a building at 825 Madison Avenue in New York, where he opened the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery. From the outset, Schoelkopf aimed to specialize in American painting of the nineteenth and twentieth century and sculpture of all schools. He predicted a burgeoning market for the Hudson River School in particular, believing that American painting was increasingly perceived as being worthy of serious attention. In a letter dated January 3, 1963, Schoelkopf congratulated John Spencer for his decision to collect nineteenth-century American paintings for the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College, assuring him that "progressive chauvanism [ sic] will operate to elevate prices in American painting. Every year more colleges teach Art History, and soon they shall have reached the level of sophistication and development where they will be obliged (for face) to offer tuition in specifically American art - hitherto neglected of academicians.... I and many other dealers have plans for exhibitions of nineteenth-century American painting, especially the Hudson River School."

Schoelkopf's instincts regarding the Hudson River School were undoubtedly correct, and consequently nineteenth-century American painters formed a permanent mainstay of his inventory. He is perhaps remembered more, however, for his dedication to reviving interest in lesser-known American painters from the turn-of-the-century who were impressionist or modernist in style. Schoelkopf developed something of a reputation for unearthing forgotten talent that, while sometimes mediocre or inconsistent, was occasionally exceptional and certainly worthy of note. He was committed to reinstalling Joseph Stella in the pantheon of major American artists, representing Stella's estate from 1963 to 1971 and holding regular exhibitions of the artist's work from 1962 on. In 1969 the gallery held the first New York exhibition of the paintings of Manierre Dawson, who was subsequently acclaimed by the critics for his important and innovative contributions to modernism. In 1970 Schoelkopf began showing the work of Jan Matulka, an artist whose work had been neglected since the 1930s, and his enthusiastic representation of the Matulka estate paved the way for a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1979.

Schoelkopf's interest in turn-of-the-century artists also extended to sculptors such as John Flannagan, Ethel Myers, Elie Nadelman, and John Henry Bradley Storrs, and he directed considerable energy to furthering Gaston Lachaise's reputation as an artist of major stature. When Lachaise died at the peak of his career in 1935, his estate was left to his wife, Isabel, and in 1957 to Isabel's son, Edward. When Edward died shortly thereafter, John B. Pierce, Jr., a nephew of Isabel Lachaise, was appointed trustee of the estate and formed the Lachaise Foundation. In 1962 Pierce entered an agreement with Robert Schoelkopf and Felix Landau to represent Lachaise's sculpture on the East and West Coasts, respectively. In this capacity Schoelkopf helped to launch a major retrospective of the artist's work at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1964 and a traveling exhibition that began circulating in 1967.

The gallery's other major commitment was to painting and sculpture by contemporary American realists, many of whom worked in a figurative style and explored elements of allegory and classical mythology in their work, presenting landscapes, still lifes, and portraits from a realist perspective. The bulk of the gallery's exhibitions were, in fact, of work by contemporary artists, including metaphysical still-life painter William Bailey, colorist Leland Bell, figurative painter Martha Mayer Erlebacher, landscape and narrative painter Gabriel Laderman, and Icelandic artist Louisa Matthiasdottir. William Bailey was one of the gallery's most commercially successful artists, and his first one-person exhibition in New York was held there in 1968. Demand for Bailey's paintings often far exceeded his output, and by the late 1970s Schoelkopf invariably sold out his exhibitions and had compiled a lengthy waiting list for his work.

In its early years the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery contributed considerably to the development of interest in fine art photography that fostered an increasingly lucrative market for photographic prints during the 1960s and 1970s. In 1965 Schoelkopf began incorporating photography into the gallery's exhibition schedule and, in the spring of 1974, opened a gallery dedicated to photography on the second floor at 825 Madison Avenue. Between 1965 and 1979 Schoelkopf's was the only serious New York gallery dealing in painting and sculpture that also regularly exhibited photography as fine art. His interests lay primarily in antiquarian photography and the work of nineteenth-century and twentieth-century masters including Eugéne Atget, Mathew Brady, James Robertson, and Carleton Watkins. Schoelkopf organized shows examining specific photographic processes, the photogravure and the cyanotype, and presented surveys of genres such as portrait and landscape photography. In 1967 he held the first exhibition in many years of the work of Julia Margaret Cameron, an important figure in the history of Victorian photography, timing it to coincide with a show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that focused on Cameron as one of four Victorian photographers.

Schoelkopf also handled the work of several influential contemporaries, most notably Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, and Gisèle Freund. The gallery held Freund's first exhibition in the United States in 1975 and was, for a time, the only place in New York where one could see and purchase prints by Cartier-Bresson. Schoelkopf began exhibiting Evans's work in 1966 and regularly thereafter, including a 1971 exhibition that coincided with a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art.

In the fall of 1976 the second-floor gallery space was turned over to Marcuse (Cusie) Pfeifer, then the gallery's director, who planned to use it to show the work of young photographers in a gallery under her own name. Schoelkopf continued to hold several photography exhibitions a year in the fourth-floor gallery but decided to concentrate primarily on nineteenth-century masters.

In March 1971 a fire in the building at Madison Avenue resulted in substantial water damage to the gallery space. Although very little of the inventory was destroyed, the incident forced Schoelkopf to close until September. This temporary loss of revenue compounded with a nationwide recession cut into Schoelkopf's financial resources and left him questioning his commission policy and his level of commitment to contemporary work in all media. A letter to artist Adolph Rosenblatt dated May 3, 1971, records how Schoelkopf had become increasingly disenchanted with "all contemporary work" and would begin taking 40 percent commission on sales, instead of 33.3 percent. "Beside the matter of enthusiasm is the matter of economics," Schoelkopf remarked, "and the last year and a half have been really dreadful for the art business."

This difficult period was followed immediately by more prosperous times. January 1973 proved to be the gallery's most successful month to date, encouraging Schoelkopf to purchase a house in Chappaqua, New York, later that year. In November 1974 Schoelkopf wrote to Anthony D'Offay that business "is as slow as it has ever been, but what sales we make are big ones" and revealed that auctions had, at that point, become his primary avenue for trade.

Around 1975 Schoelkopf's wife of eleven years, Laura Jane Schoelkopf, began working in the gallery. Although seemingly dubious of the work at first, she became a considerable asset to the business and reputedly complemented her husband's relationship with the gallery's contemporary artists through her warmth and hospitality, qualities often noted by artists who corresponded regularly with the couple.

The financial instability that characterized the 1970s undoubtedly influenced Schoelkopf's decision to cease exhibiting photography in 1979. By 1978 however, his investment in early-twentieth-century art appeared to be paying off. Jan Matulka, Joseph Stella, and John Henry Bradley Storrs had all been represented in exhibitions at major museums, and sales of their work had increased considerably. Gaston Lachaise's reputation continued to grow, and the traveling exhibition still circulated, garnering far more interest than had originally been anticipated.

Although contemporary artists continued to take up the largest portion of the gallery's changing exhibitions, Schoelkopf's interest in contemporary work was growing more conservative, tending toward a narrower focus on the narrative and allegorical. By 1979 he no longer exhibited contemporary sculpture, admitting to a lack of enthusiasm for the work of any of the current figurative sculptors and a dislike of all contemporary abstract work. In a letter to Lillian Delevoryas, dated March 17, 1982, he confessed, "With age has come a hardening of the aesthetic arteries perhaps. What we have been showing is realism, but getting tighter all the time."

In April 1984 the gallery was moved to 50 West Fifty-seventh Street, and, during the years that followed, the Schoelkopfs pared down the number of contemporary artists they represented, handling only those to whom they felt most strongly committed while continuing to specialize in nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century American painting and sculpture. As the gallery approached its thirtieth anniversary, Schoelkopf's achievements were considerable. He had operated a successful New York gallery for almost three decades, rejuvenated the reputations of several important American artists, and was respected by artists and clients alike for the integrity, intelligence, and humor with which he conducted his business affairs. In 1987 he had been appointed to the board of trustees of the Williamstown Regional Art Conservation Laboratory. By this time he was also a member of the advisory board to the National Academy of Design, and in 1988 he became a co-trustee of the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation.

In March 1990, Robert Schoelkopf was diagnosed with leukemia and underwent a regimen of cancer treatment that resulted in a brief remission by the summer. Schoelkopf returned to work temporarily, but by 1991 his condition had worsened and he died in April of that year. Having known for some time that her husband's prognosis was poor, Laura Jane Schoelkopf had apparently decided that she would not continue the gallery in the event of his death. With the help of the youngest of their two sons, Andrew, she settled final accounts and assisted the gallery's contemporary artists in finding representation elsewhere before closing the business in August 1991.
Provenance:
Twenty-seven linear feet of records were donated to the Archives of American Art by Laura Jane Schoelkopf, Robert Schoelkopf's widow, and the Coe Kerr Gallery in 1991 and 1992. An additional gift of 3.4 linear feet was donated by Laura Jane Schoelkopf in 1996. The collection was reduced slightly during processing.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Robert Schoelkopf Gallery records 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, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Realism in art  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Gallery records
Illustrated letters
Photographs
Citation:
Robert Schoelkopf Gallery records, 1851-1991, bulk 1962-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.robeschg
See more items in:
Robert Schoelkopf Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-robeschg
Online Media:

Lilly Martin Spencer papers

Creator:
Spencer, Lilly Martin, 1822-1902  Search this
Names:
Sorosis (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Avery, Samuel Putnam, 1822-1904  Search this
Ingersoll, Robert Green, 1833-1899  Search this
Sartain, John, 1808-1897  Search this
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, 1815-1902  Search this
Extent:
0.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1828-1966
Summary:
The papers of portrait and genre painter Lilly Martin Spencer, measure 0.9 linear feet and date from 1828-1966. The collection includes biographical material, scattered lists, notes, receipts, and legal documents relating to Spencer's life and work, Spencer's business and family correspondence, printed material, a lithograph, photographs of Spencer and others, and photographs of Spencer's artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of portrait and genre painter Lilly Martin Spencer, measure 0.9 linear feet and date from 1828-1966. The collection includes biographical material, scattered lists, notes, receipts, and legal documents relating to Spencer's life and work, Spencer's business and family correspondence, printed material, a lithograph, photographs of Spencer and others, and photos of Spencer's artwork.

The collection documents Spencer's popularity and success as a painter, her involvement with art associations and civic organizations such as Sorosis, and her personal life as a wife, mother, and breadwinner through correspondence with family, artists including John Sartain and Benjamin John Lossing, dealers including Samuel Putnam Avery, writers and editors such as Robert Green Ingersoll and Fannie Raymond Bitter, and social activists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as four series:

Series 1: Biographical Material and Other Papers, 1853-1959 (0.3 linear feet; Box 1, OV 3)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1828-1966 (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)

Series 3: Printed Material, 1857-1961 (0.2 linear feet; Box 2, OV 3)

Series 4: Photographs, circa 1890-circa 1950 (0.1 linear feet; Box 2)
Biographical / Historical:
New York and Ohio painter Lilly Martin Spencer (1822-1902) was known for her popular portrait paintings and humorous domestic genre scenes.

Spencer was born Angelique Marie Martin in England to French parents, Giles and Angelique Martin, who were followers of the French social critic Charles Fournier. The family came to New York in 1830, moved to Marietta, Ohio, in 1833 and, in 1845, co-founded the communal settlement, Trumbull Phalanx, near Braceville, Ohio. In 1848, after her marriage to Benjamin Spencer at the age of 22, Spencer returned to New York. She achieved much success as a painter and was the main breadwinner for her family while giving birth to thirteen children, seven of whom survived to adulthood. The family moved several times, to Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; Newark, New Jersey; and Highlands and Poughkeepsie, New York.
Related Materials:
The Archives of American Art also has microfilm (reel 132) of the Martin family papers and Campus Martius Museum records regarding Lilly Martin Spencer. Originals are located at the Campus Martius Museum, Ohio Historical Society.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming on reel 131 including family history; biographical material; circa 50 photographs of Spencer and her paintings; M.A. thesis, "Lilly Martin Spencer: American Painter of the Nineteenth Century," by Ann Byrd Schumer; articles about Spencer's life and work, 1959; and a list of paintings owned by her granddaughter, Lillian Spencer Gates. Loaned materials were returned to the donor and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art in 1971 by Lillian Spencer Gates, Spencer's granddaughter.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
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:
Portrait painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Genre painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Genre painters -- Ohio  Search this
Portrait painters -- Ohio  Search this
Topic:
Women painters  Search this
Citation:
Lilly Martin Spencer papers, 1828-1966. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.spenlill
See more items in:
Lilly Martin Spencer papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-spenlill
Online Media:

American Academy in Rome records

Creator:
American Academy in Rome  Search this
Names:
American Academy in Rome  Search this
American School of Architecture in Rome  Search this
American School of Classical Studies in Rome  Search this
Aldrich, Chester Holmes, 1871-1940  Search this
Boring, William, 1859-1937  Search this
Breck, George, 1863-1920  Search this
Dinsmoor, William B.  Search this
Egbert, J. C. (James Chidester), 1859-1948  Search this
Ely, Theo. N.  Search this
Faulkner, Barry, 1881-1966  Search this
Guernsey, Roscoe  Search this
Hewlett, James Monroe  Search this
Kendall, William M.  Search this
La Farge, C. Grant (Christopher Grant), 1862-1938  Search this
Marquand, Allan, 1853-1924  Search this
McKim, Charles Follen, 1847-1909  Search this
Mead, William Rutherford, 1846-1928  Search this
Millet, Francis Davis, 1846-1912  Search this
Morey, Charles Rufus, 1877-1955  Search this
Mowbray, H. Siddons (Harry Siddons), 1858-1928  Search this
Platt, Charles A. (Charles Adams), 1861-1933  Search this
Pope, John Russell, 1874-1937  Search this
Roberts, Laurance P.  Search this
Smith, James Kellum, 1893-1963  Search this
Stevens, Gorham Phillips, 1876-  Search this
Vedder, Elihu, 1836-1923  Search this
Vitale, Ferrucio, 1875-1933  Search this
Ward, John Quincy Adams, 1830-1910  Search this
Extent:
65.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1855-2012
Summary:
The records of the American Academy in Rome measure 65.9 linear feet and date from 1855 to 2012. The collection documents the history of the institution from its inception in 1894 as the American School of Architecture in Rome, through the end of World War II, and chronicles the contributions the academy has made to America's cultural and intellectual development. Nearly one-half of the collection consists of an unprocessed addition received in 2014 containing records that mostly post-date World War II and include correspondence and subject files of officers and executives based in the New York office of American Academy in Rome.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of the American Academy in Rome measure 65.9 linear feet and date from 1855 to 2012. The collection documents the history of the institution from its inception in 1894 as the American School of Architecture in Rome, through the end of World War II, and chronicles the contributions the academy has made to America's cultural and intellectual development. Nearly one-half of the collection consists of an unprocessed addition received in 2014 containing records that mostly post-date World War II and include correspondence and subject files of officers and executives based in the New York office of American Academy in Rome.

Items predating the 1894 founding of the American School of Architecture in Rome are personal papers and memorabilia of individuals associated with the institution.

Series 1: Predecessor Institutions, is composed of the records of the American School of Architecture in Rome, 1894-1898, and the American School of Classical Studies in Rome, 1895-1913. Records of the American School of Architecture in Rome include records of its Managing Committee, correspondence, financial records, and printed matter. Among the Managing Committee's records are notes and correspondence relative to the founding of the institution, minute books and reports; also, legal documents including records concerning its dissolution prior to being reorganized as the American Academy in Rome. Correspondence is mostly that of Vice President Charles F. McKim who handled administrative matters. Financial records include capital stock certificates, invoices and receipts. Printed matter consists of scholarship competition announcements.

Records of the American School of Classical Studies in Rome include records of its Managing Committee, Committee on Fellowships, publications, printed matter, and treasurers' records. The Managing Committee's records consist of the proposed resolution concerning its merger with the American Academy in Rome. Committee on Fellowship records are comprised of correspondence, reports, and fellowship applications. Publications records include correspondence and invoices. Printed matter includes general information, annual reports of the Managing Committee and Director, annual reports of the Committee on Medieval and Renaissance Studies, fellowship applications and examination questions, and the proposed consolidation agreement. Treasurers' records include the files of Alex. Bell and Willard V. King. Bell's sparse records consist of a budget, receipts for salary payments, an invoice, canceled checks, and correspondence. King's files, while more substantial than those that survive from Bell's tenure, are quite incomplete. They include correspondence, banking records, budgets and financial statements, investment records, invoices, and receipts for salaries and expenses.

Series 2: Board of Trustees Records, is comprised of legal documents, minutes, and reports; records of Trustee committees; records of officers; and records of individual Trustees. Legal documents, 1897-1926 and undated, consist of by-laws and amendments, certificate of incorporation, and constitution and amendments. Minutes and reports of the Board of Trustees, 1897-1947 and 1957, including those of its annual meetings, are carbon copies rather than the official minute books, and are incomplete. Reports of officers are incomplete, as well. Also included are reports of Officers'/Trustees' visits to Rome, and reports of the Director and Secretary in Rome submitted to the Board of Trustees.

Records of Trustee committees, 1905-1946 and undated, consist of reports and/or minutes arranged alphabetically by committee; these, too are incomplete, with many committees represented by a single report. Committees represented are: Building Committee, Carter Memorial Committee, Endowment Committee, Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Library Committee, McKim Memorial Committee, Nominating Committee, Committee on Publications. Committee on the School of Classical Studies records consist of its own minutes and reports, reports of its Advisory Council and the Jury on Classical Fellowships. Committee on the School of Classical Studies also include reports of officers and staff of the School of Classical Studies to the Committee on the School of Classical Studies as follows: Director, Professor in Charge, Annual Professor, Director of the Summer Session, Professor of Archaeology, Curator of the Museum, Editor, Librarian, and Committee on the Welfare of Women Students. Committee on the School of Fine Arts records consist of its own minutes and reports, reports of its Special Committee on the Plan and Expense of a Department of Music in the School of Fine Arts, and report of Fine Arts Program, Triptych Project with the Citizens Committee for the Army and Navy, Inc.; also, reports of officers and staff of the School of Fine Arts to the Committee on the School of Fine Arts as follows: Director, Professor in Charge, Associate in Charge, Annual Professor, Professor in Charge of the Department of Musical Composition. In addition, there are minutes and/or reports of the Committee of Twelve and Subcommittee of Five and the Special Committee on Villa Aurelia.

Records of Officers. 1898-1957 and undated, consist mainly of correspondence files and reports, with large numbers of transcriptions and carbon copies. Included are records of: Presidents Charles F. McKim, William R. Mead, Charles A. Platt, John Russell Pope, and James Kellum Smith; Vice Presidents Theodore N. Ely, George B. McClellan, and Henry James; Secretaries H. Siddons Mowbray (Secretary/Treasurer), Frank D. Millet, C. Grant La Farge, William B. Dinsmoor, and H. Richardson Pratt; and Treasurers William R. Mead, William A. Boring, Leon Fraser, and Lindsay Bradford Office files of President Mead, Secretaries Millet and La Farge, and Treasurer Boring are the most complete; files of other individuals, the Vice Presidents in particular, are often quite sparse.

Records of individual Trustees, 1902-1946 and undated, consist of material relating to official Academy business that was created or maintained by each in his capacity as trustee. (Note: many of these individuals also served as officers or staff of the Academy, and their records documenting those functions will be found in the appropriate series.) Included in this subseries are the records of: Chester H. Aldrich, Gilmore D. Clarke, James C. Egbert, Barry Faulkner, Allan C. Johnson, William M. Kendall, C. Grant La Farge, Edward P. Mellon, Charles Dyer Norton, Charles A. Platt, John Russell Pope, Edward K. Rand, John C. Rolfe, James Kellum Smith, S. Breck Trowbridge, Ferruccio Vitale, John Quincy Adams Ward, Andrew F. West, and William L. Westerman. These records tend to be sparse; files maintained by James C. Egbert, Barry Faulkner, Allan C. Johnson, and Ferruccio Vitale are notable exceptions.

Series 3: New York Office Records, consists of records of staff, rosters, printed matter, photographs, personal papers, Association of Alumni of the American Academy in Rome, and miscellaneous records.

Records of staff, 1919-1950 and undated, include the office files of Executive Secretaries Roscoe Guersney, Meriwether Stuart, and Mary T. Williams; Librarian George K. Boyce; and Endowment Fund Campaign Secretaries Phillilps B. Robinson and Edgar I. Williams.

The rosters, 1895-1939 and undated, are printed forms completed by fellows and students, with occasional attachments (usually correspondence or photographs). Included are the rosters of the School of Fine Arts, School of Classical Studies, and School of Classical Studies Summer Sessions.

Printed matter, 1905-[1981?] and undated, has been classified as Academy produced and produced by others. Items produced by the Academy, 1905-[1981?], include general information including act of incorporation and by-laws, fundraising brochure, constitution, Directory of Fellows and Residents, histories of the institution, newsletter of the Director, and printed items relating to special events. Printed matter specifically relating to the School of Classical Studies includes annual announcements, the consolidation agreement, a directory, fellowship announcements and applications, lecture announcements, newsletters, and brochures about summer sessions. School of Fine Arts printed matter includes annual announcements, concert programs, exhibition checklists and catalogs, fellowship announcements and application forms, history, and newsletters.

Printed matter produced by others, 1905-1940 and undated, consists of three scrapbooks of news clippings and photographs compiled by the American Academy in Rome, extensive clipping files, and articles from miscellaneous publications. All of these items are about the American Academy in Rome, or by or about individuals associated with the institution. Also included is a poster for Leave Courses offered at the Academy for U. S. servicemen.

Photographs, 1891-1941 and undated, are organized into the categories of works of art, people, buildings, places, events, and miscellaneous. Works of art are by visiting students and fellows, Frank D. Millet, collaborative problems, Rome Prize Competitions in Architecture, Rome Prize Competitions in Landscape Architecture, and Prix de Rome Competition exhibitions. Photographs of people are both of individuals and groups; among the groups are summer school students and fellowship winners.

Buildings depicted are American Academy properties. Among them are the "New Building," including interior and exterior construction views; studios; and Villas Aurelia, Mirafiore, and Richardson. Also included is a group of photographs of Academy architecture students measuring buildings in Rome and Florence. Places pictured are views of the Academy property and surrounding areas.

Photographs of events include cricket games, Thanksgiving and Fourth of July dinners, Architectural League exhibition, and inauguration of the Manship Fountain. Miscellaneous photographs are of an architectural drawing for a proposed building.

Personal Papers, Memorabilia, and Ephemera, 1855-1923 an undated, were donated to the American Academy in Rome or otherwise left on its premises. None are official records generated by the institution. Included are: Ernest Lewis' photograph album/scrapbook; Allan Marquand's papers; Charles F. McKim's memorabilia, photographs, printed matter, and artifacts; Charles R. Morey's correspondence; and Elihu Vedder's Bible.

Records of the Association of the Alumni of the American Academy in Rome, 1913-1945 and undated), consist of a small number of scattered records including correspondence, fellows' war/government service information (compiled by Sidney Waugh), membership lists, and a newsletter.

Miscellaneous records, 1899-1926 and undated, are writings and architectural records. Writings consist of published and unpublished manuscript material about the American Academy in Rome and its history, and article by H. Siddons Mowbray advising on ornamentation, and text and illustrations for the Art and Archaeology issue on the Academy. Also included are fragments of unidentified letters. Architectural records [oversize] include property and floor plans of Villas Aurora, Chiaraviglio, Ferrari, and Ludovisi.

Series 4: Rome Office Records, consist of records of staff and personal papers. Records of staff, 1903-1947 and undated, include the office files of Directors H. Siddons Mowbray, George Breck, Jesse Benedict Carter, Gorham Phillips Stevens, James Monroe Hewlett, Chester H. Aldrich, Amey Aldrich [Acting Director, very briefly, perhaps unofficially], Charles R. Morey, and Laurance P. Roberts; and records of two members of the School of Fine Arts faculty, Frank P. Fairbanks, Professor of Fine Arts, and Felix Lamond, Professor of Music. Records of Carter, Stevens, Hewlett, and Aldrich appear to be fairly complete; records of early directors are sparse; those of Morey and Roberts appear to be missing significant portions; and those of Professors Fairbanks and Lamond consist of a few scattered items.

Also surviving are the personal papers of Director Gorham Phillips Stevens, 1912-1931 and undated), consisting of correspondence, financial records, and documentation of professional and charitable activities.

Series 5: Unprocessed Addition to the American Academy in Rome Records was received in 2014 and consists of 31.6 linear feet of the New York office's records for officers, directors, and executives.
Arrangement:
It was obvious that before they came to the Archives of American Art the records had been rearranged more than once, and in such a way that materials from many different departments had been intermingled. In keeping with archival theory and practice, the records were organized to reflect the structure and operation of the institution that created the records, making them more understandable and accessible to a wide variety of researchers.

In general, the records of each officer and staff member are arranged alphabetically, with general correspondence preceding the alphabetical sequence; arrangement within each file is chronological, unless noted otherwise.

Records of the American Academy in Rome are organized into five major series. Each series, except series 5, is divided into several subseries, with the arrangement described in detail in the series descriptions.

Series 1: Predecessor Institutions, 1894-1913 (box 1; 0.88 linear ft.; Reels 5749-5750)

Series 2: Board of Trustees Records, 1897-1957, undated (boxes 1-17, 35, 37; 15.25 linear ft.; Reels 5750-5777)

Series 3: New York Office, 1855-circa 1981, undated (boxes 17-32, 36; 15 linear ft.; 5777-5795)

Series 4: Rome Office, 1903-1943, undated (boxes 32-34; 3 linear ft.; 5795-5800)

Series 5: Unprocessed Addition to the American Academy in Rome Records, 1933-2002 (boxes 35-103; 31.6 linear ft.)
Historical Note:
While in Chicago to advise and work on the fine arts section of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, architects Charles F. McKim, Daniel Burnham, and Richard Howland Hunt, painters John La Farge and Frank Millet, and sculptors Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and Daniel Chester French, among others, met regularly. From their collaborative experience and discussions came the idea for an American school for artists in Europe. Charles F. McKim was especially enthusiastic. He strongly believed that collaborative experience should be available to future American artists, and perceived a real need for an American school in Europe--preferably in Rome, the very best place to study art, in his opinion.

By March of the following year, McKim was busy devising plans for the school and persuading like-minded architects and artists to assist. He proposed to finance the school by convincing institutions with traveling scholarships in the arts to send those students to Rome. Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, and the Rotch Scholarship fund readily agreed to the scheme, and in ensuing years many others followed suit. In October, 1894, the American School of Architecture in Rome opened temporary quarters in the Palazzo Torlonia. The school consisted of its Director, Austin Lord, three fellows, and a visiting student; its "library" contained but one volume.

A move to the larger, more suitable Villa Aurora occurred in July 1895. Rent from two subtenants (the newly established American School of Classical Studies in Rome and the British and American Archaeological Society Library in Rome), along with a personal contribution from McKim, made this financially feasible.

The American School of Architecture in Rome was incorporated in the State of New York, 1895, and 10 shares of capital stock were issued. Despite substantial fundraising efforts in Chicago, New York, and Boston, severe financial problems continued. The American School of Classical Studies in Rome vacated the Villa Aurora in 1896--and with it went a sizeable portion of the School of Architecture's income. McKim frequently made up the deficit from his own pocket.

Eventually, it was decided that the American School of Architecture in Rome must be reorganized along the lines of the French Academy and that national sponsorship needed to be obtained through an act of Congress. In June of 1897, the American School of Architecture in Rome voted to dissolve itself and create the American Academy in Rome. The new institution would assume all assets and obligations, fellowships in painting and architecture were to be added to the program, and its Board of Trustees would include architects and artists. The Academy is not a school. Its fellows and visiting students, already professionally trained, go to Rome for further development and for collaboration and association with others. In the words of Director Gorham Phillips Stevens: "The object of the American Academy in Rome is not to afford opportunities for a few individuals to perfect themselves for the practice of their chosen professions. The ideal is to create an atmosphere in which a limited number of carefully selected artists and scholars may develop that synthesis of intellectual culture which will make them worthy to preserve and continue the great traditions of the past in order that the standard of art and literature may be handed on from year to year, constantly strengthened and improved."

Beginning in 1901, bills to make the American Academy in Rome a "national institution" were introduced in Congress on several occasions. A hearing was finally scheduled in 1905, and a revised bill that prohibited government funding and specified that U.S. officials may not be Trustees was signed into law. Serious efforts to create an Endowment Fund and secure better quarters were associated with the movement to obtain status as a national institution. The Academy was successful in meeting all of these objectives. In 1904, the Academy moved to the Villa Mirafiore (also known as Villa Mirafiori), which it soon purchased and renovated. The Endowment Fund raised well over a million dollars. Donors of $100,000 to the Endowment Fund, designated "Founders" of the American Academy in Rome, were: The Carnegie Foundation, Henry C. Frick, Harvard College, Charles F. McKim, J. P. Morgan, Sr., J. P. Morgan, Jr., The Rockefeller Foundation, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., William K. Vanderbilt, and Henry Walters. Other categories of donors were "Incorporators" (a new Act of Incorporation was required at the time the American Academy in Rome was chartered as a national institution) and "Life Members."

The American School of Classical Studies in Rome, which had been established by the Archaeological Society in 1895 and during its first year shared the Villa Aurora with the American School of Architecture in Rome, entered into a consolidation agreement with the American Academy in Rome in 1911. Their merger went into effect on the last day of 1912, and ever since, the American Academy in Rome has consisted of the School of Fine Arts and the School of Classical Studies, administered by a common director. The School of Classical Studies is composed of fellows and visiting scholars who are graduate students, secondary teachers, or professors engaged in research in the areas of archaeology, ancient art, philology, and humanistic studies. Women were a part of the School of Classical Studies from its beginning, but were not permitted to participate in the School of Fine Arts until well after World War II. Beginning in 1923, the School of Classical Studies instituted Summer Sessions which appealed to secondary teachers, and attracted an enrollment that was largely female.

Originally, the School of Fine Arts offered fellowships in architecture, painting, and sculpture. Fellowships in landscape architecture were added in 1915; in 1920, a Department of Music was established, and along with it fellowships in musical composition. Fellowships in art history were established in 1947. Unmarried men under age 30 were eligible to compete for the fine arts fellowships awarded annually (except for landscape architecture, awarded every third year); the duration of fellowships ranged from one to three years at various points in the institution's history. In residence along with fellows of the American Academy in Rome, might be holders of various traveling scholarships: the McKim Fellowship, the Columbia Traveling Scholarship, the Perkins Scholarship, the Robinson Traveling Scholarship (Harvard), the Rotch Scholarship, the Julia Appleton Scholarship, the Traveling Scholarship and Stewardson Memorial Scholarship (University of Pennsylvania), the Cresson Scholarship (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts), the Drexel Institute Traveling Scholarship, the Lazarus Scholarship (Metropolitan Museum of Art), the Lowell Scholarship (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and the Rinehart Scholarship (Peabody Institute, Baltimore). Visiting students, who remained for a much briefer period than fellows or recipients of various traveling scholarships, were admitted to all lectures and granted use the library, but resided elsewhere. The Academy opened an Atelier in downtown Rome for visiting students in 1927, which operated until financial considerations forced its discontinuation seven years later.

As the merger was being planned, J. P. Morgan, Sr., who was interested in both the American Academy in Rome and the American School of Classical Studies in Rome, began buying properties on the Janiculum, adjacent to Villa Aureilia. Villa Aurelia, built on the summit of the Janiculum in 1650, had been bequeathed to the American Academy in Rome in 1909 by Clara Jessup Heyland. Complications surrounding the gift of Villa Aurelia--including the will being contested by Mrs. Heyland's brother, and problems with unsettled tax assessments--were overcome in the interest of acquiring the outstanding building and its extensive grounds. Not long before his death in 1913, Morgan donated his neighboring land, and the American Academy in Rome continued to expand its Janiculum holdings through purchases and gifts from others. Morgan also agreed to provide a loan for construction of a new building. This building, designed by McKim, Mead, and White and known as the Main Building or Academy Building, opened in 1915; it served as the fellows' residence and work area, and included room for the library, offices, and space for exhibitions and other public events.

During World War I, the American Academy in Rome managed to remain open, although no new fellows arrived during the war years and the number of resident fellows and staff dwindled considerably. Most who remained were involved in some type of civilian war work, often with the Red Cross. In fact, Villa Aurelia was rented by the Red Cross in Italy for office space, and the Main Building was offered as a convalescent hospital, but the war ended before it could be put to that use.

After Italy declared war on the United States in 1941, the American Academy in Rome closed for the remainder of World War II. Those who had been awarded fellowships in classics just prior to the Academy's closing were given the option of using their stipends for study at home or waiting until conditions permitted travel to Rome. A very reduced staff stayed to care for the property and continue library cataloguing, coping with often severe wartime shortages of food and fuel. In addition, there were financial hardships. When bank accounts of enemy aliens were frozen and it was no longer possible to transfer funds from the United States, the Swiss Legation and Vatican arranged for loans to keep the Academy and its staff afloat. Funds that would have been awarded to new fellows during this period were put to use in other ways. In 1943, the American Academy in Rome made a grant to the Citizen's Committee for the Army and Navy, Inc. for competitions to award commissions to artists and art students throughout the country, funding more than 100 triptychs for chapels, as well as murals, medals, and sculpture. Seniors in American colleges and universities were eligible to compete for several scholarships for graduate work in classical studies awarded by the American Academy in Rome.

In 1945, the Academy was the site of Leave Courses on various aspects of Italian culture offered to servicemen. From the end of the war until the Academy reopened at the start of the 1946/47 academic year, G.I. Fellowships were offered to discharged soldiers wishing to study at the Academy, making the institution eligible to receive surplus equipment and rations. During this time intensive planning was underway for administrative changes and new programs.

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1893 -- While in Chicago to collaborate on the fine arts section for the World's Columbian Exposition, architects Charles F. McKim, Daniel Burnham, Richard Howland Hunt, painters John La Farge, and Sculptors Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and Daniel Chester French, among others, met regularly and from their collaborative experience and discussions came the idea for an American school in Europe.

1894 -- American School of Architecture in Rome opened in temporary quarters at the Palazzo Torlonia with Austin Lord, Director, three fellows, and a visiting student.

1895 -- Villa Aurora leased with 2 subtenants, the American School of Classical Studies and the British and American Archaeological Society Library in Rome American School of Architecture incorporated and 10 shares of capital stock issued (2 each to McKim and Hunt, and 1 to Burnham, Kendall, Schermerhorn, Boring, Garland, and Dill) McKim visits Rome.

1896 -- Metropolitan Museum of Art, administrator of Jacob H. Lazarus Scholarship for the study of mural painting, agrees to send the winner to Rome American School of Classical Studies in Rome vacates Villa Aurora.

1897 -- American School of Architecture in Rome dissolved and reorganized as the American Academy in Rome; the assets (including the lease on Villa Aurora) of the American School of Architecture in Rome were transferred and its program expanded to include fellowships in painting and sculpture Samuel A. B. Abbott appointed first Director Rome Prize discontinued (for 9 years) due to lack of funds.

1898 -- Incorporated in New York State; trustees begin to focus on raising an endowment.

1904 -- Move to Villa Mirafiore (also known as Villa Mirafiori); occupied until 1914.

1905 -- Chartered by the Congress of the United States; a bill signed by President Roosevelt made the American Academy in Rome a national institution (receiving no government funding and barring U.S. officials from acting as Trustees).

1906 -- Purchase of Villa Mirafiore finalized; renovations begun.

1909 -- Villa Aurelia bequeathed to the Academy by Clara Jessup Heyland (used until 1932); there were protracted problems surrounding the acquisition of the property including a brother who contested the will and unsettled taxes.

1911 -- School of Classical Studies in Rome (established by the Archaeological Institute of America in 1895) and the American Academy in Rome announce their consolidation [the merger became effective on the final day of 1912].

1912 -- Lands on the Janiculum adjacent to Villa Aurelia, recently acquired by J. Pierpont Morgan, Sr., transferred to the American Academy in Rome.

1913 -- American Academy in Rome now consists of the School of Fine Arts and the School of Classical Studies. New York office moves to the Architect's Building, 101 Park Ave., remaining at this location until 1973. By this date, largely through the generosity of J. Pierpont Morgan, Sr., nearly all of the land bounded by Via Angelo Masina, Via Giacomo Medici, Via Pietro Riselli, and the Aurelian Wall on the Janiculum had been purchased and many improvements made to the properties near the Villa Aurelia. Construction begins on the new Academy building designed by McKim, Mead, and White and situated on the grounds of Villa Aurelia; financed through a loan from J. Pierpont Morgan, Sr. (after Morgan Sr.'s death, his son offered to cancel the loan at an amount equal to funds raised by the Academy for the purpose).

1915 -- First Fellowship in Landscape Architecture established; opening of new Academy building housing the fellows' residential quarters, work areas, library, offices, and spaces for public programs.

1917 -- Villa Aurelia rented to the Red Cross for office space, and the new Main building was slated to become a convalescent hospital, but the war ended before it could be put to use.

1919 -- New York office reorganized by Roscoe Guernsey, executive secretary; sale of Villa Mirafiore; Academic Council established in Rome.

1920 -- Department of Music and Fellowship in Musical Composition established.

1923 -- School of Classical Studies establishes summer sessions, largely attended by teachers.

1926 -- Second Fellowship in Landscape Architecture funded by Garden Club of America (later permanently endowed).

1927 -- Academy opens an Atelier in downtown Rome, providing studios for visiting students (operated until 1934).

1929 -- First Thomas Spencer Jerome lecturer appointed.

1941 -- Academy closes for duration of World War II; a skeletal staff remain behind to care for the property and continue library cataloguing; Italy declares war on the United States.

1942 -- After transfer of funds from the U.S. proved impossible and enemy aliens were prohibited from withdrawing their own funds from Italian banks, the Swiss Legation and Vatican offered assistance to the Academy by providing loans.

1943 -- Academy grant to Citizen's Committee for the Army and Navy, Inc., funded hundreds of triptychs; murals, medals, and sculptures also commissioned Academy awards scholarships in classical studies at American colleges and universities.

1945 -- "Leave courses," held at the Academy, consisting mainly of lectures by distinguished scholars still in Rome, instituted for U.S. servicemen.

1946 -- Regular program resumes at the start of the academic year.

1947 -- Fellowship in the History of Art established.

1965 -- Loan of printed matter for microfilming by the Archives of American Art (reels ITRO 2-3 and 11-13).

1973 -- New York office moves to American Federation of Arts building, 41 East 65th St. (until 1993).

1982 -- Gift of New York office records to the Archives of American Art.

1990 -- Gift of Rome office records to the Archives of American Art.

1993 -- New York office moves to Metropolitan Club, 7 East 60th St.
Related Material:
Papers of a number of former fellows, trustees, and other individuals associated with the American Academy in Rome are among the holdings of the Archives of American Art.

Chaloner Prize Foundation records, 1915-1974 (microfilm reels 5664-5669) were received with the American Academy in Rome records. They have been arranged and described as a separate collection.

Valentine, Lucia and Alan Valentine. The American Academy in Rome, 1894-1969. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1973.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reels ITRO 2-3, and ITRO 11-13) including annual reports, exhibition catalogues, a history of the American Academy in Rome, the American Academy in Rome at the World's Fair, and the Golden Gate Exposition and newsletter. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and can be found at the American Academy in Rome, Italy. This material is not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The material on reels ITRO 2-3 and ITRO 11-13 were lent to the Archives of American Art for microfilming by the American Academy in Rome in 1965. Records of predecessor institutions, the Board of Trustees, and the New York office, including photographs and personal papers, were donated in 1982 by the Academy president, Calvin G. Rand. In 1990, Rand also gifted the Rome office records and the personal documents of Gorham Phillips Stevens. An addition of New York office records was donated in 2014 by the Academy director, Adele Chatfield-Taylor.
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 American Academy in Rome records 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:
Architecture -- Study and teaching  Search this
Architecture, Classical -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art schools -- Italy -- Rome  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
American Academy in Rome records, 1855-2012. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.ameracar
See more items in:
American Academy in Rome records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-ameracar
Online Media:

The Zorach Family papers

Creator:
Zorach Family  Search this
Names:
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Brooklyn Museum  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Ipcar, Dahlov Zorach, 1917-  Search this
Newman, Arnold, 1918-2006  Search this
Partridge, Roi, 1888-1984  Search this
Zorach, Marguerite, 1887-1968  Search this
Zorach, Tessim  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
4.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Prints
Articles
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Notes
Writings
Date:
1900-1987
Summary:
The Zorach Family papers measure 4.4 linear feet and consist of materials relating to the lives and careers of sculptor and painter William Zorach, his wife painter and weaver Marguerite, and their children, painter and multi-media artist Dahlov Ipcar and collector and art dealer Tessim Zorach. The bulk of the papers consists of letters to Tessim regarding his parent's artwork. Additional materials include scattered letters to William Zorach; writings and notes by William, Marguerite, and Tessim; a sketchbook and drawings by William; prints by Marguerite; Marguerite's scrapbook; printed materials; and photographs of the Zorach family and of William Zorach in his studio and at work.
Scope and Content Note:
The Zorach Family papers measure 4.4 linear feet and consist of materials relating to the lives and careers of sculptor and painter William Zorach, his wife painter and weaver Marguerite, and their children, painter and multi-media artist Dahlov Ipcar and collector and art dealer Tessim Zorach. The bulk of the papers consists of letters to Tessim regarding his parent's artwork. Additional materials include scattered letters to William Zorach; writings and notes by William, Marguerite, and Tessim; a sketchbook and drawings by William; prints by Marguerite; Marguerite's scrapbook; printed materials; and photographs of the Zorach family and of William Zorach in his studio and at work.

The majority of correspondence is between Tessim Zorach and various museums and galleries concerning exhibitions and donations of his parents' works of art. There are scattered letters to William Zorach among the correspondence. Business records consist of materials relating to the Collection of the Zorach Children, including lists of works of art by the Zorach's, a file relating to an exhibition of Zorach artwork at the Brooklyn Museum, and photographs of works of art considered for donation.

Writings and Notes include a typescript of an article written by Marguerite Zorach, writings by William Zorach, a typescript of Young Poems by William and Marguerite, as well as articles written by others about the Zorachs. Artwork by Marguerite Zorach includes two prints and a tracing. Also found is one sketchbook, and additional drawings by William Zorach. There is one unsigned lithograph.

The majority of exhibition announcements, catalogs, and clippings concern William and Marguerite Zorach although there are two announcements for Dahlov Ipcar. There is one scrapbook of clippings about Marguerite.

The papers include photographs of Marguerite and William Zorach, their parents, baby photos of Tessim and Dahlov, family pictures of the Zorachs, and of Marguerite and William in their studios. There are several folders of William Zorach working in his studios and additional photos of him carving a relief sculpture and a sculpture for the Southwest Bank. Most of these photographs contain detailed annotations written by William Zorach about the work. There is one folder of photographs of William in France in 1910-1911, including one of Zorach in Roi Partridge's studio. There is one photograph of Zorach taken by Ansel Adams in Yosemite, a photo of Zorach working by Arnold Newman, and several taken by Imogen Cunnigham.

Other photographs are of works of art, most of which depict William's works.

Artifacts include Marguerite's batik tools and approximately fifty commercially made printing blocks.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Information, circa 1907-1969 (Box 1, 6; 3 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1922-1982 (Box 1-2; 1.75 linear feet)

Series 3: Business Records, 1967-1971, circa 1960s-1970s (Box 2-3; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings and Notes, circa 1930s-1973, 1987 (Box 3; 8 folders)

Series 5: Artworks, 1900-circa 1920s (Box 3, 6; 12 folders)

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1922-1953 (Box 3; 1 folder)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1912-1982 (Box 3; 0.25 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, 1908-1966 (Box 3-5; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 9: Artifacts, circa 1910s, circa 1950s (Box 4; 0.5 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
William Zorach (1887-1966) was a modernist painter and sculptor working primarily in New York city, along with his wife Marguerite (1887-1968) who worked as a fauvist painter, printmaker, and textile artist. Their children were painter Dahlov Ipcar (1917-) and art collector Tessim Zorach (1915-1995.)

Born in Lithuania, William Zorach immigrated to the United States where his family settled in Cleveland, Ohio. An early interest in art led to a printmaking apprenticeship. He then moved to New York City and enrolled in the National Academy of Design where he studied painting and drawing. In 1910, Zorach traveled to Paris to study and where he met his wife Marguerite Thompson at the La Palette art school. Marguerite grew up in Fresno, California and studied art at Stanford University. Both artists were heavily influenced by the fauvist and cubist art movements.

Returning to America, Marguerite and William married and both continued to create and experiment with varied media. Their paintings were featured in the 1913 New York City Armory Show and they are credited with being among the first artists to introduce European modernist styles to American modernism. The Zorachs were very close both as a couple and as working active artists.

In the 1920s, Marguerite began to experiment with textiles and created large, fine art tapestries and hooked rugs. Also, she used batik dying techniques on fabrics. William also expanded his genre by creating direct sculpture in 1918, which would become his primary medium.

In 1915, William and Marguerite started a family with their son, Tessim. Two years later, their daughter Dahlov was born. The Zorachs divided the year and lived in New York City, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. In 1923, the family bought a farm on Georgetown Island, Maine where they lived, worked, and entertained friends.

Dahlov and Tessim were exposed to art from an early age. Dahlov showed artistic promise as a child and her parents supported her creativity by allowing her to express herself without formal training. Dahlov pursued painting and later became an illustrator for children's books. Additionally, she wrote fantasy novels and short stories. Dahlov married Adolf Ipcar in 1936. Like the rest of his family, Tessim Zorach developed an interest of art and along with his wife Peggy, he amassed a large private collection of ancient to modern art.

William and Marguerite continued to sculpt and paint until their deaths in 1966 and 1968, respectively.

Together, Dahlov and Tessim established the Collection of the Zorach Children which coordinated donations of their parents' art to many museums throughout the United States and the world. The artwork of both artists is found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Delaware Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Farnsworth Art Museum, Portland Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Philips Collection, and educational institutions such as Colby College, University of Vermont, Williams College, Bowdoin College, and the University of Virginia. In addition William has works associated with many public buildings, among them: Radio City Music Hall, New York City Municipal Court, the U.S. Post Office in Washington D.C. as well as Farleigh Dickinson University.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art holds the Dahlov Ipcar papers, 1906-1997. Also found is one oral history interview with William Zorach conducted by by John D. Morse on April 2, 1959 and an oral history interview with Dahlov Ipcar conducted by Robert F. Brown on November 13, 1979.

The bulk of William Zorach's papers are held by the Library of Congress.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming on reels NY59-1-NY59-4 and NY59-19. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and are now held by the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division. This material is not described in the collection container inventory or finding aid.
Provenance:
William Zorach lent papers for microfilming to the Archives of American Art in 1959. Tessim Zorach donated materials between 1976-1987.
Restrictions:
Use of originals requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Zorach Family 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.
Occupation:
Weavers  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artist couples  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Prints
Articles
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Notes
Writings
Citation:
The Zorach Family papers, 1900-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.zorazora
See more items in:
The Zorach Family papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-zorazora

Benedict Tatti papers

Creator:
Tatti, Benedict, 1917-1993  Search this
Names:
American Medallic Sculpture Association  Search this
American Numismatic Association  Search this
Anthology Film Archives  Search this
Audubon Artists (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Galerie Claude Bernard  Search this
Mercer Arts Center (Organization: New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Roko Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Canfield, Jane  Search this
Goodrich, Lloyd, 1897-1987  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Slobodkin, Louis, 1903-  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
1.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Notes
Awards
Lists
Christmas cards
Photographs
Designs
Sketches
Date:
1936-2011
bulk 1945-1993
Summary:
The papers of New York sculptor, painter, educator, and video artist, Benedict Tatti (1917-1993) measure 1.8 linear feet and date from 1936-2011, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1945-1993. Papers consist of biographical material, correspondence, project files, subject files, exhibition files, writings, notes, and lists, printed materials, and photographs. Exhibition files and printed material, such as catalogues and checklists provide an overview of Tatti's activities as a sculptor and video artist. Also, photographs of artwork are a rich source of provenance-related information on Tatti's sculptures.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of New York sculptor, painter, educator, and video artist, Benedict Tatti (1917-1993) measure 1.8 linear feet and date from 1936-2011, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1945-1993. Papers consist of biographical material, correspondence, project files, subject files, exhibition files, writings, notes, and lists, printed materials, and photographs. Exhibition files and printed material, such as catalogues and checklists provide an overview of Tatti's activities as a sculptor and video artist. Also, photographs of artwork are a rich source of provenance-related information on Tatti's sculptures.

Biographical materials include curriculum vitae, Who's Who in American Art, memberships, and awards. Correspondence is primarily from colleagues, dealers, collectors, and representatives of museums, galleries, and arts organizations. There are a few outgoing letters from Benedict Tatti, including a handmade holiday card. Among the notable correspondents are Jane Canfield, Lloyd Goodrich, Louis Slobodkin, and William Zorach. Also found is a small portion of Adele Tatti's correspondence relating to her late husband's artwork.

Project files contain Tatti's commissions for Eutectic-Castolin Institute, Staten Island Community College, Statue of Liberty Restoration, and the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts; application proposals to Creative Artists Public Service program (CAPS); and the artist's invention of the rewind reel adapter. Subject files include Tatti's memberships and activities in professional associations, e.g., American Medallic Sculpture Association, American Numismatic Society, and Audubon Artists; Tatti's Artist-in-Residence proposals for the Television Lab, WNET 13; and his involvement in educational video presentations. Exhibition files consist of scattered materials on Tatti's shows at the Anthology Film Archives; Burr Galleries; Galerie Claude Bernard; The Kitchen, Mercer Arts Gallery; Northeast Harbor Gallery; and Roko Gallery.

Writings, notes, and lists include writings by Benedict Tatti; writings about Benedict Tatti, including a statement on the artist by Isamu Noguchi; and lists compiled by Adele Tatti relating to her late husband's work. Artwork contains Tatti's sketch of a sculpture for the Northeast Harbor Museum and sketches of medal designs. Printed material consists of announcements, brochures, invitations, exhibition catalogues and checklists, clippings, periodicals, newsletters, reproductions, other printed matter, and monographs. Photographs include black and white prints of portrait shots of Benedict Tatti, Tatti in his studio and with others, video equipment and Tatti's video art; also found are color photographs of Tatti's sculptures and design maquettes.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged as 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1936-1993 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1945-2008 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 3: Project Files, 1966-2005 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 4: Subject Files, circa 1950s-2008 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 5: Exhibition Files, 1945-1992 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 6: Writings, Notes, and Lists, circa 1940s-2009 (Box 1; 4 folders)

Series 7: Artwork, 1970-circa 1990s (Box 1; 3 folders)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1937-1976 (Boxes 1-2; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 9: Photographs (circa 1936-1970s), circa 1964-2010 (Box 3; 0.4 linear feet)
Biographical/Historical note:
Benedict Tatti (1917-1993) worked in New York as a sculptor, painter, educator, and video artist.

Born in New York in 1917, Tatti began his art education at Haaren High School. He continued his studies at the Roerich Museum with Louis Slobodkin, the Art Students League with William Zorach and Ossip Zadkine, and the Leonardo da Vinci School of Art under Attillio Piccirelli. Later in his career, he attended the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts. During World War II, Tatti served in the United States Army Air Force, where he spent three years assigned to variety of projects. In 1948, Benedict Tatti married Adele Rosenberg in New York City.

Throughout his career, Tatti continuously experimented with various media. From 1952-1963, Tatti executed sculptural models of architectural and consumer products for the industrial designers, Raymond Loewy Associates; later he became a color consultant for the firm. In the 1960s, influenced by the Abstract Expressionists, Tatti turned from carving directly in wood and stone to creating assemblage sculptures, using bronze metal and other industrial materials. During this period, Tatti spent summers on Monhegan Island in Maine, where he developed his water coloring techniques. In 1963, Tatti was hired to teach sculpture at the High School of Art and Design in New York, a position that he held for fifteen years.

In the 1970s, Tatti, with no previous background in video work developed technology for video imaging. He became an associate member of the Kitchen at the Mercer Arts Center exhibiting his video sculptures along with other early innovators of this new art form. In 1975, he invented a rewind reel adapter device. Despite health problems, Tatti continued to work and exhibit into the 1980s. He assisted his brother, Alexander Tatti and his nephew, Steven Tatti on the restoration of the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island, which was completed in 1985.

Benedict Tatti received solo and group exhibitions at museums and galleries in the United States and abroad, including the Burr Gallery, Claude Bernard Galleries, Metropolitan Museum of Art, under the Artists for Victory Program, Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, Northeast Gallery, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Roko Gallery. Also, Tatti's work was regularly featured in annual exhibitions of several arts organizations: American Society of Contemporary Artists, Annual Avant Garde Festival, Audubon Artists, Brooklyn Society of Artists, and Painters and Sculptors Society of New Jersey. His awards included the National Soldier Art Competition at the National Gallery of Art (1945); Artist-in-Residence, National Center of Experiments TV, San Francisco, California, (1969); and the Creative Artists Public Service (CAPS), (1972). Tatti's artwork is in the permanent collections of the American Numismatic Society, Art Students League, Dumbarton Oaks, Monhegan Museum, Smithsonian Institution, and the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts.

Benedict Tatti died on July 30, 1993.
Provenance:
The Benedict Tatti papers were donated by Adele Tatti, widow of Benedict Tatti, in 2010.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Benedict Tatti 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.
Occupation:
Video artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Notes
Awards
Lists
Christmas cards
Photographs
Designs
Sketches
Citation:
Benedict Tatti, 1936-2011, bulk 1945-1993. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.tattbene
See more items in:
Benedict Tatti papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-tattbene

Douglas Volk and Leonard Wells Volk papers

Creator:
Volk, Leonard Wells, 1828-1895  Search this
Volk, Douglas , 1856-1935  Search this
Names:
Chicago Academy of Design  Search this
Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts (France)  Search this
Sabatos Industries  Search this
Adler, Felix, 1851-1933  Search this
Albert, King of the Belgians, I, 1875-1934 -- Photographs  Search this
Benson, Eugene, 1837-1908  Search this
Bridge, Marion Volk  Search this
Brush, George de Forest, 1855-1941  Search this
Chase, William Merritt, 1849-1916 -- Photographs  Search this
Chubb, Percival, 1860-1960  Search this
Daingerfield, Elliott, 1859-1932  Search this
Douglas, Stephen Arnold, 1813-1861  Search this
Gilbert, Cass, 1859-1934  Search this
Gérôme, Jean Léon, 1824-1904  Search this
Hale, Philip Leslie, 1865-1931 -- Photographs  Search this
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865  Search this
Lloyd George, David, 1863-1945  Search this
Pershing, John J. (John Joseph), 1860-1948 -- Photographs  Search this
Volk, Gerome  Search this
Volk, Marion Larrabee, 1859-1925  Search this
Volk, Wendell  Search this
Weir, Julian Alden, 1852-1919  Search this
von Rydingsvaard, Karl  Search this
Extent:
12.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Sketchbooks
Paintings
Photographs
Sketches
Place:
Sculptors -- Maine
Date:
circa 1858-1965
2008
bulk 1870-1935
Summary:
The papers of painter and teacher Douglas Volk (1856-1935) and his father, sculptor Leonard Wells Volk (1828-1895), measure 12.4 linear feet and date from circa 1858-1965, 2008, with the bulk of the material dating from circa 1870-1935. Douglas Volk's papers document his life and career through biographical material, family and professional correspondence, writings and notes, diaries and journals, financial records, printed material, scrapbooks, artwork and sketchbooks, and photographs of the artist, his family, friends, and artwork. The papers also provide documentation of the formation and operations of the Sabatos Handicraft Society established with Marion Volk from the Volk's summer home, Hewnoaks, in Center Lovell, Maine. Scattered documentation of the life and work of Leonard Wells Volk, is found in biographical material, land records, letters, memoirs, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter and teacher Douglas Volk (1856-1935) and his father, sculptor Leonard Wells Volk (1828-1895), measure 12.4 linear feet and date from circa 1858-1965, 2008, with the bulk of the material dating from circa 1870-1935. Douglas Volk's papers document his life and career through biographical material, family and professional correspondence, writings and notes, diaries and journals, financial records, printed material, scrapbooks, artwork and sketchbooks, and photographs of the artist, his family, friends, and artwork. The papers also provide documentation of the formation and operations of the Sabatos Handicraft Society established with Marion Volk from the Volk's summer home, Hewnoaks, in Center Lovell, Maine. Scattered documentation of the life and work of Leonard Wells Volk, is found in biographical material, land records, letters, memoirs, and photographs.

Douglas Volk's papers form the bulk of the collection and document all stages of his life from his first visits to Europe during his teenage years, until his death. Biographical material includes address books, biographical notes, genealogical records of Volk's family, and a warranty deed for land purchased by Marion Volk in Center Lovell, Maine, in 1904.

Family correspondence is primarily between Douglas and Marion throughout their courtship and marriage, but also includes letters from other family members including daughter Marion Volk Bridge and sons Wendell and Gerome Volk. General correspondence is with colleagues, art galleries, societies, institutions and museums, schools and colleges, government agencies, and others. Also found are letters from artists including George de Forest Brush, Elliott Daingerfield, Cass Gilbert, Philip Leslie Hale, Swedish woodcarver Karl von Rydingsvard, and J. Alden Weir; and friends Felix Adler and Percival Chubb.

Douglas Volk's writings and notes are on art, art instruction for children, and the significance and influence of his father's work, particularly Leonard Volk's Lincoln life mask, and include drafts of his monograph "Art Instruction in Public Schools."

Diaries and journals record details of Volk's early art education in Europe, including his friendships with Eugene Benson and George de Forest Brush and others, his time spent studying under Jean-Léon Gérôme at the École des Beaux Arts, his appointment by the National Art Committee to paint portraits of World War I era politicians and military figures, and his Lincoln portrait painted just prior to Volk's death.

Financial records document day-to-day routine expense, as well as sales of artwork and other art-related transactions.

Printed material and a scrapbook of clippings and letters include press coverage of Douglas Volk's career from the early 1900s to 1918. An additional scrapbook provides documentation of the Sabatos Handicraft Society, including a copy of one of only three known editions of the society's publication The Fire Fly. Artwork includes sketches, two small oil paintings, and fifteen sketchbooks of Douglas Volk.

Photographs include portraits taken at various stages of Volk's career, family photographs, photographs of the main house at Hewnoaks and additional buildings, photographs of several artists including William Merritt Chase and Karl von Rydinsgsvard, photographs of world leaders including David Lloyd George, King Albert of Belgium, and General John J. Pershing, and photographs of artwork.

The papers of Leonard Wells Volk include seven volumes of his hand-written memoirs which document his relationship with Stephen A. Douglas, his first meeting with Lincoln, and his involvement with the Chicago Academy of Design. Also found are three letters including one written to Douglas Volk in 1887, and a memorandum related to the value of Leonard Wells Volk's Lincoln and Douglas statues at the Illinois State House. Photographs include three of Leonard Wells Volk, photographs of other family members including his wife Emily, photos of houses and woodland scenes, and photos of artwork.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 2 series.

Series 1: Douglas Volk Papers, circa 1870-1965, 2008 (11.85 linear feet; Boxes 1-12, 15-16, OVs 13-14)

Series 2: Leonard Wells Volk Papers, circa 1858-circa 1930 (0.45 linear feet; Boxes 11-12)
Biographical / Historical:
Chicago sculptor Leonard Wells Volk (1828-1895) created one of only two life masks of Abraham Lincoln. His son, painter and teacher Douglas Volk (1856-1935), was known for his figure and portrait paintings. Douglas Volk and his wife Marion Larrabee Volk established the Sabatos Handicraft Society, producing homespun woolen rugs and textiles from their summer home in Center Lovell, Maine.

Leonard Wells Volk was raised in New York State and Massachusetts, before moving to St. Louis to learn modeling and drawing. Around 1852 he married Emily Clarissa King Barlow, a cousin of Senator Stephen A. Douglas. Douglas took an interest in Volk's career and helped finance his trip to Rome and Florence between 1855 and 1857, where Volk studied art. On returning from Europe Volk settled in Chicago, opening a studio there and establishing himself as a leader in art circles and a founder of the Chicago Academy of Design. He served as president of the Academy (later the School of the Art Institute of Chicago) for eight years. Volk recorded his first meeting with Lincoln during the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates, and the subsequent 1860 sittings with Lincoln for the life mask, hands, and bust, in his memoirs. The mask served as a model for many sculptors who made later portraits of Lincoln. Volk's other important works include the Rock Island County Soldier's Monument in Rochester, New York (1869), statues of Lincoln and Douglas for the Illinois Statehouse (1876), a bust of Douglas, and the Douglas Tomb monument (1881) in Chicago.

Douglas Volk was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in 1856. His artistic education began in his teens when he traveled to Europe with his family. In the early 1870s he lived in Rome and Venice, spending time with his friends George de Forest Brush and J. Alden Weir. He moved to Paris in 1873 where he studied at the École des Beaux Arts with Jean-Léon Gérôme, and exhibited his first picture, In Brittany, at the 1875 Paris Salon.

In 1879 Volk returned to the United States and accepted a teaching position at Cooper Union. He was elected to the Society of American Artists in 1880 and married Marion Larrabee in 1881. In 1883 Volk became a founder of the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts and was appointed the first president of the subsequent Minneapolis School of Fine Arts in 1886, a position he held until 1893. During his time in Minneapolis, Volk purchased a summer studio and retreat in Osceola, Wisconsin, and he and Marion had four children: Leonard (1882-1891), Wendell (1884-1953), Marion (1888-1973) and Gerome (1890-1959). In 1893 Volk returned to New York and accepted a position at the Art Students League, where he taught from 1893-1898, and also resumed his post at Cooper Union. He became interested in innovative ways to teach art and art history to children, and in 1895 the National Academy of Design printed his essay "A Plea for Art in the Public Schools," in its annual exhibition catalog. He was elected an associate of the Academy in 1898, becoming a full academician in 1899.

In 1898, looking to provide the family with a summer retreat, Marion Volk purchased property with a friend in Center Lovell, Maine, an area already enjoyed by the couple's friends, George de Forest Brush and Percival Chubb. The property was divided in 1901 and Marion added to her half creating a lot of approximately twenty-five acres. The Volks renovated the house, which they named Hewnoaks, and eventually built four more cottages and a studio for Douglas Volk on the property. During this period Marion Volk was working with handwoven wool on traditional area looms using fruit and vegetable hand-dyes and designs based on motifs from Native American art. In 1902 the Volks held the founding meeting of the Sabatos Handicraft Society at Hewnoaks, and the property became the hub of a Center Lovell community effort to produce rugs, textiles, and other handicrafts using traditional methods. Daughter Marion worked with her mother, and son Wendell, a printmaker and woodcaver, operated the Hewn Beam Press, printing pamphlets and a newsletter entitled the Fire Fly: A Periodical of Fearless Endeavour. Swedish-born wood carver Karl von Rydingsvard offered classes on wood carving at Hewnoaks, assisted by Wendell Volk.

Douglas Volk worked to make the Hewnoaks handicraft movement a success, but focused primarily on his own painting. The Maine woods provided endless inspiration and the setting for many of his paintings and murals, which primarily depicted romanticized historical subjects in Colonial America and reflected his traditional academic training. One of his best known works, The Boy with the Arrow (1903), a portrait of his son Leonard "Leo" Volk who died at the age of eight, is now in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Volk taught at the National Academy of Design from 1910-1917. He served as recording secretary and then on the council for the organization from 1910-1919. His acclaimed intimate portraits of friends and acquaintances, including Felix Adler (1914) and William Macbeth (1917), were painted during this period. In 1919 Volk was one of a group of artists commissioned by the National Art Committee to paint major figures from World War I. He subsequently painted portraits of King Albert of Belgium, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, and General John J. Pershing, and recorded his meetings and sittings with the three men in his journals.

For the last fifteen years of his life Volk, using his father's life mask, painted a series of portraits of Abraham Lincoln, one of which hangs in the Lincoln Bedroom at The White House.

At least fifteen years prior to her death in 1925, Marion Volk's involvement in handicrafts at Hewnoaks declined, while Douglas Volk continued to focus on his own work. Wendell Volk's career in civil engineering took precedence over his interest in weaving and woodcarving and both he and his brother Gerome moved West in 1909. Following Douglas Volk's death in Fryeburg, Maine in 1935, Wendell Volk and his wife Jessie, also an artist, ultimately took possession of Hewnoaks. Wendell died in 1953, but the property was eventually bequeathed by Jessie Volk to the University of Maine and now operates as an artist colony.
Separated Materials:
Volumes 1, 3, 6-7, 9, and 10 of Leonard Volk's memoirs form part of the Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana in the Library of Congress.

The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reel 4280) including correspondence of Leonard Volk and photographs of his artwork. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The George Arents Research Library, Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York first lent material for microfilming in 1989. Most of the material was then donated in 2004–2005 by Jessie J. Volk, the daughter-in-law of Douglas Volk, who also bequeathed the Volk estate including additional Volk papers to the University of Maine. In 2006, University officials arranged for an auction of much of the property of the estate including the remaining family papers. The Volk Family estate auction was conducted by Cyr Auction Co., in Gray, Maine, on July 19, 2006. Several individuals purchased parts of the papers at that auction and subsequently donated them to the Archives. Those donors are: David Wright, who acquired the 1875 journal and Brush letters and donated them to the Archives in 2006; Dr. Christine Isabelle Oaklander, who purchased the account book, 1873–1875, and donated it to the Archives in honor of Judith Ellen Throm in 2007, and also donated additional letters and a photograph in 2008; and Mary K. and John F. McGuigan Jr., who purchased correspondence (1120 letters), speeches, lectures, articles, checks, check stubs and miscellaneous items and donated them to the Archives in 2015. In 2007, the University of Maine Foundation via Amos Orcutt donated the 1934 journal and 60 photographs.

John F. McGuigan Jr. and Mary K. McGuigan have purchased and donated additional archival materials to the Archives, including the Mary K. McGuigan and John F. McGuigan Jr. artists' letters collection, and 69 letters now among the Sylvester Rosa Koehler papers.

In 2007, the University of Maine Foundation via Amos Orcutt donated the 1934 journal and 60 photographs that were part of the Volk Family estate, but not included in the June 19, 2006 auction.

In 2019 Dr. Christine Isabelle Oaklander donated additional material purchased at auction, primarily photographs and some printed material.
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 Douglas Volk and Leonard Wells Volk 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.
Occupation:
Painters -- Maine  Search this
Topic:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art teachers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Sketchbooks
Paintings
Photographs
Sketches
Citation:
Douglas Volk and Leonard Wells Volk papers, circa 1858-1965, 2008, bulk circa 1870-1935. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.volkleon
See more items in:
Douglas Volk and Leonard Wells Volk papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-volkleon
Online Media:

Sears Gallagher papers

Creator:
Gallagher, Sears, 1869-1955  Search this
Extent:
1.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Date:
circa 1882-2010
Summary:
The papers of draftsman, printmaker, and illustrator, Sears Gallagher measure 1.1 linear feet and date from circa 1882-2010. The collection consists of biographical information including awards and a scholarly biography; correspondence, primarily professional in nature, documenting the placement of works; professional files that document the management of studio practices including the printmaking process and the distribution and sale of prints; scrapbooks chronicling Gallagher's professional and family history in the form of clippings, photographs, and correspondence; printed material including clippings and commercial prints of watercolors; photographs including those of the artist and his studio; and artwork including numerous drawings on paper and sketchbooks documenting key moments of travel and artistic production.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of draftsman, printmaker, and illustrator, Sears Gallagher measure 1.1 linear feet and date from circa 1882-2010. The collection consists of biographical information including awards and a scholarly biography; correspondence, primarily professional in nature, documenting the placement of works; professional files that document the management of studio practices including the printmaking process and the distribution and sale of prints; scrapbooks chronicling Gallagher's professional and family history in the form of clippings, photographs, and correspondence; printed material including clippings and commercial prints of watercolors; photographs including those of the artist and his studio; and artwork including numerous drawings on paper and sketchbooks documenting key moments of travel and artistic production.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in seven series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1915-2010 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1907-1929 (0.1 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, circa 1910-1939 (0.1 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 4: Scrapbooks, circa 1894-1938 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 5: Printed Material, circa 1910-1940s (0.1 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 6: Photographic Material, circa 1900-2000 (0.1 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1880-1939 (0.3 linear feet; Box 1, OV2)
Biographical / Historical:
Sears Gallagher (1869-1955) was a draftsman, printmaker, and illustrator born in Boston. After displaying considerable artistic talent in drawing as a child, Gallagher went on to study with the Italian-born Boston-based painter Tommaso Juglaris (1844–1925) from 1887 to 1889. Shortly after marrying Charlotte Dodge in 1895 the couple embarked for Paris where Gallagher pursued further artistic training at the Academie Julian. Gallagher's style evolved with an influence of the French Impressionists, and two of his watercolors were featured in the 1896 Paris Salon. Sears Gallagher achieved considerable popular success thanks to the sales and publishing of his prints, and he exhibited regularly in Boston with occasional shows in New York City until the 1940s. Gallagher was a founder of the Monhegan art colony in Maine, which is the setting of many of his popular works.
Provenance:
The Sears Gallagher papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2018 by Anne Burr Czepiel, granddaughter of Sears Gallagher.
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 Sears Gallagher 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.
Occupation:
Draftsmen (artists) -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Illustrators--Massachusetts--Boston  Search this
Printmakers--Massachusetts--Boston  Search this
Topic:
Artists' studios--Photographs  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Sears Gallagher Papers, circa 1882-2010. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.gallsear
See more items in:
Sears Gallagher papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-gallsear

Oral history interview with Stanley H. Witmeyer

Interviewee:
Witmeyer, Stanley Herbert, 1913-2011  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Extent:
3 Items (sound files, digital, wav file)
30 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1985 June 22
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Stanley H. Witmeyer conducted 1985 June 22, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Witmeyer speaks of his childhood in Palmyra, Pennsylvania and moving to Rochester, New York at the age of nine; attending Edison Tech High School; his devotion to painting and basketball in high school; receiving a basketball scholarship to Syracuse University but deciding instead to attend the Mechanics Institute in Rochester (now the Rochester Institute of Technology); taking his first job with the L.M. Berry Company (then part of the Rochester Telephone Company); getting an offer from Eastman Kodak Company to play basketball for their professional league; quitting the team to attend Buffalo State University to study arts education; taking a job in Cuba, New York as an arts administrator in the public school system; teaching art in grades K-12 in Cuba, New York; receiving a scholarship to attend the Charles Woodbury School in Maine; receiving a scholarship to attend graduate school at Syracuse University, but leaving after a semester after getting drafted into the army during World War II; serving with the 30th Battalion in the mapping division in Hawaii; returning to Syracause University after the war to finish his MFA in design; joining RIT as an instructor in 1946; becoming the director of RIT's school of art and design in 1952.
Biographical / Historical:
Stanley Herbert Witmeyer (1913-2011) was a painter and art administrator of Fairport, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 35 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are 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.
Restrictions:
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Arts administrators -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.witmey85
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-witmey85

Oral history interview with Neil Welliver

Creator:
Welliver, Neil  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Fischbach Gallery  Search this
Marlborough Gallery  Search this
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts  Search this
Philadelphia Museum College of Art -- Students  Search this
Stable Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
University of Pennsylvania. Graduate School of Fine Arts -- Faculty  Search this
Yale University. School of Art and Architecture -- Faculty  Search this
Yale University. School of Art and Architecture -- Students  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Kahn, Louis I., 1901-1974  Search this
Kramer, Hilton  Search this
Marburger, Aladar  Search this
Porter, Fairfield  Search this
Ward, Eleanor, 1912-1984  Search this
Extent:
2 Sound cassettes (Sound recording (2 hr., 8 min.), analog)
45 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound cassettes
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
1996 November 14
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Neil Welliver conducted 1996 November 14, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art, in Welliver's home in Lincolnville, Maine.
Welliver talks about his childhood in Pennsylvania; his self-education; his marriage to a fashion illustrator; attending the Philadelphia Museum College of Art (now University of the Arts), receiving a BFA in 1953; teaching art in a public school; attending the Yale School of Art (MFA 1955) and teachers there; going to Maine; teaching at Yale (1955-1965); teaching at the University of Pennsylvania (1966-1989) at the graduate level. He recalls architect Louis Kahn at Yale and then at Pennsylvania; his various New York dealers from the 1960s, including Eleanor Ward at Stable Gallery, Aladar Marburger at Fischbach Gallery, and Pierre Lefraie at Marlborough Gallery; various art world friends, including Hilton Kramer, Clement Greenberg, and Fairfield Porter; and receiving an honorary doctorate of fine arts at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1996.
Biographical / Historical:
Neil Welliver (1929-2005) was a painter and teacher in Lincolnville, Maine.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 8 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.
Occupation:
Painters -- Maine -- Interviews  Search this
Art dealers  Search this
Topic:
Artists as teachers  Search this
Art teachers -- Maine -- Interviews  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.welliv96
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-welliv96

Oral history interview with William Thon

Interviewee:
Thon, William, 1906-2000  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
American Academy in Rome  Search this
Midtown Galleries (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Gruskin, Alan D. (Alan Daniel), 1904-1970  Search this
Gruskin, Mary J.  Search this
Extent:
52 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1992 December 15-16
Scope and Contents:
An interview of William Thon conducted 1992 December 15-16, by Robert Brown for the Archives of American Art, at the artist's home at Port Clyde, Maine. Thon discusses his childhood and education; early exhibitions; service in the Navy during World War II; being represented by Midtown Galleries from 1943 on; his dealers Alan and Mary Gruskin; moving to Maine; the importance to his art of Europe and his time spent at the American Academy in Rome; his painting technique; and his watercolors.
Biographical / Historical:
William Thon (1906-2000) was a painter from New York, N.Y. and Port Clyde, Maine. Studied at the Art Students League. Served as a trustee and artist in residence at the American Academy in Rome.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 5 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. Funding for this interview provided by John W. Payson.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Painters -- Maine -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Watercolorists -- Maine -- Interviews  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Watercolor painting, American -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.thon92
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-thon92

William Thon papers

Creator:
Thon, William, 1906-2000  Search this
Names:
Midtown Galleries (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Extent:
7.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketchbooks
Place:
Maine -- Description and views
Date:
1925-2001
Scope and Contents:
Biographical information; correspondence; financial records; sketchbooks; printed material, including exhibition announcements and catalogs; photographs of Thon and his artwork; awards and medals regarding Thon's career as a painter. Among the correspondents are Thon's dealer, Alan Ruskin of Midtown Galleries, and artists Mildred Burrage, Emily Genauer, Lloyd Goodrich, Andrew Wyeth and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, watercolorist; Port Clyde, Me; b. 1906. d. 2000. Thon served as a trustee and artist in residence at the American Academy in Rome.
Provenance:
Donated 1999 by William and Helen Thon, in 2002 and 2004 by William and Helen Thon via Thon estate and in 2004 by the Portland Museum of Art via Daniel O'Leary, Director.
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:
Painters -- Maine  Search this
Watercolorists -- Maine  Search this
Landscape painters -- Maine  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Identifier:
AAA.thonwill
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-thonwill

Stanley Twardowicz papers

Creator:
Twardowicz, Stanley, 1917-  Search this
Names:
Contemporary Arts (Gallery)  Search this
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Ohio State Fair  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
Dodson, Lillian  Search this
Kerouac, Jack, 1922-1969  Search this
Lichtenstein, Dorothy  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-1997 -- Photographs  Search this
Nicosi, Gerald  Search this
Olitski, Jules, 1922-2007  Search this
Parker, Raymond, 1922- -- Photographs  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965 -- Photographs  Search this
Verzyl, Kim Greer  Search this
Extent:
1.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Video recordings
Resumes
Drawings
Photographs
Sound recordings
Scrapbooks
Awards
Memoirs
Theses
Date:
1942-2009
Summary:
The papers of painter and photographer Stanley Twardowicz measure 1.1 linear feet and date from 1942-2009, with the bulk of the papers dating from 1942-1981. The papers contain biographical material, scrapbooks, letters, printed material, photographs, and audio and video recordings regarding the career of Stanley Twardowicz as a painter and photographer.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter and photographer Stanley Twardowicz measure 1.1 linear feet and date from 1942-2009, with the bulk of the papers dating from 1942-1981. The papers contain biographical material, scrapbooks, letters, writings, printed material, photographs, and audio and video recordings regarding the career of Stanley Twardowicz as a painter and photographer.

Biographical material consists of various curriculum vitae, a list of exhibitions and awards from 1942-1954, and typed excerpts from reviews of Twardowicz's one-man shows at Contemporary Arts Gallery during 1951.

Writings include an unpublished hand-written 70 page memoir by Twardowicz entitled "A Life with No Tears" covering the artist's early life through 1970, a master's thesis "Stanley Twardowicz, Tracing the Roots of an American Modernist" by Kim Greer Verzyl written in 1978, and a 2008 writing by Gerald Nicoisa which describes his relationship with Twardowicz.

Scrapbooks are two disbound volumes organized by years. They contain the artist's collection of exhibition announcements, catalogs, and lists; press clippings; letters advising of awards and fellowships; and Ohio State Fair ribbons for excellence in fine art.

Printed materials and related items consist of chronological files that retain their original order. Found are printed materials relating to exhibitions, letters, and audio visual materials. Of particular interest is the 1956 letter advising Twardowicz that he has been awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in creative painting.

Photographs include pictures of the artist and ones taken by Twardowicz. Twardowicz's photographs are of Roy Lichtenstein, David Smith, Jules Olitski, Roy Parker, Mike Kanemitsu, Betty Parsons, Lillian Dodson (the artist's wife), and Jack Kerouac. There also is a photograph by Dorothy Lichtenstein of Twardowicz, Parker, Dodson and Roy Lichtenstein and casual snapshots of the artist and friends and family.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 5 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1951-2008 (Box 1; 1 folder)

Series 2: Writings, 1951-2008 (Box 1; 0.1 linear ft.)

Series 3: Scrapbooks, 1942-1951 (Box 1; 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 4: Printed Material and Related Items, 1946-2009 (Box 1; 0V 2; 0.6 linear ft.)

Series 5: Photographs, circa 1960-1979 (Box 1; 3 folders)
Biographical Note:
Stanley Twardowicz (1917-2008) was a painter, photographer and teacher. He is associated with the 1950's Abstract Expressionists of the Cedar Tavern in Greenwich Village, New York and with Beat Generation poet Jack Kerouac.

Twardowicz was born Stanley Jon Leginsky in July, 1917, but took his godfather's surname at age 20 when he married. After working at various jobs, in 1940 Twardowicz enrolled in Detroit's Meinzinger's Art School.

In 1946 Twardowicz was awarded a scholarship to the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, his first exposure to a creative arts community. There he met Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Jack Levine and Philip Guston. Through his associations at Skowhegan, Twardowicz obtained a teaching position at Ohio State University. He taught there until 1951, becoming friends with fellow instructor, Roy Lichtenstein. Twardowicz married (Ruth) Ann Mandel in 1949 and they lived in an artists' community near Guadalajara, Mexico. Twardowicz then travelled in Europe, his work edging towards an expressionist technique and mood. By 1953 Twardowicz painted in a fully abstract manner.

Upon his return to the States, Twardowicz frequented the Cedar Tavern in Greenwich Village, New York, where he met and was deeply influenced by Abstract Expressionists such as Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline and Jackson Pollock. During this time he had one-man shows and participated in group shows at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He was represented in the Museum of Modern Art's travelling exhibition "Young American Painters."

In 1956 Twardowicz received a Guggenheim Fellowship in creative painting and moved to Northport, Long Island, where he befriended area artists Jules Olitski and George Grosz. Between 1958 and 1970 the Peridot Gallery in New York presented annual one-man shows of Twardowicz's work. Twardowicz also participated in numerous major group shows at institutions such as the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Twardowicz began his long teaching career at Hofstra University in 1964, where he met his third wife, Lillian Dodson, a fellow artist. Twardowicz's career as a photographer also prospered. Edward Streichen, then Director of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, selected six of Twardowicz's photographs for the Museum's permanent collection. In June, 1967 Tardowicz took photographs of Jack Kerouac in his Lowell, Massachusetts home, which became the subject of an art book portfolio called Stashou and Yasho.

During the 1990's there was renewed interest in Twardowicz's work with a show at Mitchell Algus' Gallery in Soho, New York City. In 2001, the Phoenix Art Museum celebrated Twardowicz's contributions as a Color Field painter with a retrospective exhibition "Moving Color."

Twardowicz died on June 12, 2008 in Northport, Long Island.
Provenance:
The papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2010 by Lillian Dodson, widow of Stanley Twardowicz.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Stanley Twardowicz papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. The donor, Lillian Dodson, has retained copyright to materials created by Twardowicz. Archives of American Art has been given a non-exclusive license to reproduce and display. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Topic:
Photographers -- New York (State)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Video recordings
Resumes
Drawings
Photographs
Sound recordings
Scrapbooks
Awards
Memoirs
Theses
Citation:
Stanley Twardowicz papers, 1942-2009, bulk 1942-1981. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.twarstan
See more items in:
Stanley Twardowicz papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-twarstan

Reuben Tam papers

Creator:
Tam, Reuben  Search this
Names:
Alan Gallery (Charles Alan)  Search this
Brooklyn Museum of Art  Search this
Coe Kerr Gallery  Search this
Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Andrews, Dorothy, 1918-2008  Search this
Kienbusch, William, 1914-1980  Search this
Nesjar, Carl, 1920-  Search this
Solomon, Hyde, 1911-  Search this
Extent:
9.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketchbooks
Sound recordings
Poems
Drafts (documents)
Photographs
Prints
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Watercolors
Drawings
Date:
1931-2006
Summary:
The papers of landscape painter and educator Reuben Tam measure 9.2 linear feet and date from 1931 to 2006. The papers document his career as a painter in New York, Maine, and Hawaii through biographical material; correspondence with family, friends, art organizations, schools, and galleries; diaries, poetry, and other writings; exhibition catalogs, news clippings, other printed material; photographs; artwork, including seventeen sketchbooks; and eight scrapbooks.

There is a 1.1 linear foot unprocessed addition to the collection donated in 2020 that includes 34 sketchbooks, circa 1940-1974, by Tam from his time in New York, Hawaii, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, Alaska and Canada.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of landscape painter and educator Reuben Tam measure 9.2 linear feet and date from 1931 to 2006. The papers document his career as a painter in New York, Maine, and Hawaii through biographical material; correspondence with family, friends, art organizations, schools, and galleries; diaries, poetry, and other writings; exhibition catalogs, news clippings, other printed material; photographs; artwork, including seventeen sketchbooks; and eight scrapbooks. There is a 1.1 linear foot unprocessed addition to the collection donated in 2020 that includes 34 sketchbooks, circa 1940-1974, by Tam from his time in New York, Hawaii, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, Alaska and Canada.

Biographical material includes school documents, records of his tenure as an instructor at the Brooklyn Museum of Art School, artwork consignment and sales records, and slides and accompanying audio cassette recording of the "Reuben Tam Show" about his work as an artist on Monhegan Island, Maine.

Correspondence is with family, fellow artists, including William Kienbusch and Hyde Solomon, as well as art organizations, schools, and museums, such as Brooklyn Museum of Art School, Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Maine Coast Artists group, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Also found is correspondence with the three galleries which represented his work: Downtown Gallery, Alan Gallery, and Coe Kerr Gallery.

The collection includes five bound diaries as well as diary entries written by Reuben Tam on loose sheets of paper, primarily documenting the 1940s. Other writings include drafts of poetry, one notebook, miscellaneous notes, and essays by others.

Printed material consists of school publications, exhibition catalogs and announcements for solo and group shows, brochures, flyers, magazines, bulletins, and news clippings. Eight scrapbooks found in this collection also include newspaper clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, as well as event invitations, membership cards, and letters, documenting 40 years of Reuben Tam's career.

Photographs are of Reuben Tam, Tam with friends and family, and artwork. One photograph album contains photographs from Tam's visits to Maine from 1946 to 1948, and includes photographs of fellow artists Hyde Solomon, Carl Nesjar, Dorothy Andrews, and William Kienbusch. Artwork in the collection includes prints, drawings, and watercolors as well as seventeen large sketchbooks documenting the coastal landscape of Monhegan Island, Maine.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1934-1993 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1931-2006 (Box 1-4; 3.5 linear feet)

Series 3: Diaries, 1932-1974 (Box 4-5; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings, 1939-1987 (Box 5; 7 folders)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1935-1997 (Box 5-6, 9; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1930-1990 (Box 6-7, 9; 1.0 linear foot)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1936-1975 (Box 7, 9-10, OV 11; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 8: Scrapbooks, 1938-1978 (Box 7-8; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 9: Unprocessed Addition, circa 1940-1974 (Box 12, OV13; 1.1 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Reuben Tam (1916-1991) was a landscape painter and educator in New York, Maine, and Hawaii. Tam was born in Kapaa, Hawaii, in 1916. He received a degree in education in 1937 from the University of Hawaii and was briefly a public school teacher before attending graduate courses at the California School of Fine Arts. In 1941 he moved to New York and took courses in art history and philosophy at the New School for Social Research and Columbia University. Tam became affiliated with the Downtown Gallery in 1945 and was a prolific exhibitor in national and regional shows, winning critical praise as an abstract landscape painter. In 1948 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and first exhibited in the National Academy's annual exhibition in 1947.

Tam was an instructor at the Brooklyn Museum of Art School from 1946 to 1974. While there he taught advanced studies in painting and was chairman of the graduate painting department. He also served as a visiting professor at Oregon State University, Haystack, and Queens College, CUNY.

Beginning in 1948, Tam and his wife, Geraldine, spent summers at their home and studio on Monhegan Island, Maine. Tam's work was deeply influenced by coastal landscapes both in Maine and in his native Hawaii. In 1981 he and his wife moved back to Kapaa, Hawaii, where he continued to paint and exhibit his new works until his death in 1991.
Related Materials:
Reuben Tam papers, 1958-1966, are also located at Syracuse University.
Provenance:
Scrapbooks were lent for microfilming in 1970 by Reuben Tam and were subsequently donated in 2009 along with additional papers by Geraldine King Tam, Reuben Tam's widow. 34 additional sketchbooks were donated in 2020 by the Geraldine King Tam Trust, via Cindy King, trustee and niece of Geraldine King Tam.
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 Reuben Tam 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.
Occupation:
Painters -- Maine  Search this
Painters -- Hawaii  Search this
Topic:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Educators -- Hawaii  Search this
Educators -- Maine  Search this
Educators -- New York (State)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Sound recordings
Poems
Drafts (documents)
Photographs
Prints
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Watercolors
Drawings
Citation:
Reuben Tam papers, 1931-2006. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.tamreub
See more items in:
Reuben Tam papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-tamreub
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Dahlov Ipcar

Interviewee:
Ipcar, Dahlov Zorach, 1917-  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Zorach, Marguerite, 1887-1968  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound tape reel (Sound recording, 5 in.)
46 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound tape reels
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1979 Nov. 13
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Dahlov Ipcar conducted 1979 Nov. 13, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Mrs. Ipcar reflects on life in New York and Maine and her preference for the country life in Maine. She talks of the influence of her mother and her art. She recalls life during the Depression and the very minimal way of life she and her husband Adolph Ipcar had. She also talks about the changes in her life and becoming first an illustrator of children's books and eventually an author and illustrator of books for children and adults.
Biographical / Historical:
Dahlov Zorach Ipcar (1917- ) is a painter and illustrator from Bath, Me. Ipcar's parents are Marguerite and William Zorach.
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.
Occupation:
Painters -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Women artists -- United States -- Interviews  Search this
Illustrators -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.ipcar79
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-ipcar79

Fairfield Porter papers

Creator:
Porter, Fairfield  Search this
Names:
Hirschl & Adler Galleries  Search this
Tibor de Nagy Gallery  Search this
Brainard, Joe, 1942-  Search this
Burkhardt, Rudy  Search this
Button, John, 1929-1982  Search this
Day, Lucien B., 1916-  Search this
Downes, Rackstraw  Search this
Elmslie, Kenward  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Frielicher, Jane  Search this
Giardelli, Arthur  Search this
Guest, Barbara  Search this
Hartl, Léon, 1889-  Search this
Hess, Thomas B.  Search this
Katz, Alex, 1927-  Search this
Koch, Kenneth, 1925-  Search this
Laning, Edward  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-1997  Search this
Morse, Carl  Search this
Myers, John Bernard  Search this
O'Hara, Frank, 1926-1966  Search this
Padgett, Ron  Search this
Porter, Ruth W., 1875-1942  Search this
Rivers, Larry, 1925-  Search this
Schloss, Edith  Search this
Schuyler, James  Search this
Shapiro, David, 1947-  Search this
Stankiewicz, Richard, 1922-  Search this
Vasilieff, Nicholas  Search this
Extent:
9.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Travel diaries
Sketches
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Date:
1888-2001
bulk 1924-1975
Summary:
The papers of New York-based painter, lithographer, art critic, and poet Fairfield Porter measure 9.3 linear feet and date from 1888 to 2001, with the bulk of material dating from 1924 to 1975. Papers document Porter's life and career through correspondence, writings, business records, printed materials, photographs, and artwork.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of New York-based painter, lithographer, art critic, and poet Fairfield Porter measure 9.3 linear feet and date from 1888 to 2001, with the bulk of material dating from 1924 to 1975. The collection includes a biographical chronology; certificates, awards, and diplomas; letters to Fairfield and Anne Porter; scattered outgoing correspondence; and reviews, essays, notes, poems, and translations written by Porter and others. Among the writings are poetry manuscripts written by several New York School Poets including Frank O'Hara, James Schuyler, and Kenneth Koch. Also found are gallery records, inventories and appraisals, financial records, exhibition catalogs, clippings, posters, and records of Anne Porter's efforts to place his collection and document and publish his work after his death. Photographs of Porter, his homes, and his family are also present, as well as sketchbooks, loose sketches, and drawings spanning his entire career.

Significant correspondence is present from the Porters' many poet friends, including Kenneth Koch, James Schuyler, Ron Padgett, Kenward Elmslie, Barbara Guest, Carl Morse, David Shapiro, and others. Among the letters are poetry manuscripts by Koch, Morse, Schuyler, Padgett, and Shapiro. Some letters are actually written in verse, especially those from Kenneth Koch.

Artists with letters in the collection include Joe Brainard, Rudy Burkhardt, John Button, Lucien Day, Rackstraw Downes, Philip Evergood, Jane Frielicher, Arthur Giardelli, Leon Hartl, Alex Katz, Edward Laning, Roy Lichtenstein, Larry Rivers, Richard Stankiewicz, Nicolas Vasilieff, among others. Other art world figures represented include John Bernard Myers, curator at the Tibor de Nagy gallery (New York), and Tom Hess, editor of ArtNews. Artwork found within the correspondence includes an illustrated letter from Ron Padgett and an original print on a holiday card by Edith Schloss.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into the following nine series. See the series descriptions below for more information about the content of each series.

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1916-1975 (Box 1 and 11; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1918-1996 (Boxes 1-2; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings by Fairfield Porter, 1924-1975 (Box 2; 0.6)

Series 4: Writings by Others, 1888-1992 (Boxes 2-3; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 5: Personal Business Records, 1944-1996 (Boxes 3-4; 1 linear foot)

Series 6: Anne Porter's Posthumous Projects, 1980-1988 (Box 4; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 7: Printed Materials, 1934-2001 (Boxes 4-6 and 11; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1880-1990 (Boxes 6 and 11; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 9: Artwork, 1918-1975 (Boxes 7-10 and 12-17; 2.2 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Fairfield Porter was born near Chicago in 1907, the fourth of five children of James and Ruth Furness Porter. His father was an architect, his mother a poet from a literary family, and Porter grew up in an environment where art and literature were highly valued. His father designed the family homes in Winnetka, Illinois and on Great Spruce Head Island, an island in Maine that he purchased for the family in 1912. Fairfield Porter spent summers there from the age of six, and views of the island, its structures, and neighboring towns were the subjects of many paintings.

Porter attended Harvard from 1924 to 1928, studying fine art with Arthur Pope and philosophy with Alfred North Whitehead. After graduating from Harvard, Porter moved to New York City and took studio classes at the Art Students League from 1928 until 1930, studying with Boardman Robinson and Thomas Hart Benton, and immersing himself in the art and radical politics of Greenwich Village. In the 1940s, he studied at Parson's School of Design with art restorer Jacques Maroger, adopting the Maroger recipe for an oil medium in his own painting.

To further his education as an artist, Porter traveled to Europe in 1931, where he spent time with expatriate art theorist Bernard Berenson and his circle. When he returned to New York, he allied himself with progressive, socialist organizations, and like many of his contemporaries, worked at creating socially relevant art. He did artwork for the John Reed Club, a communist group; taught drawing classes for Rebel Arts, a socialist arts organization; wrote for their magazine, Arise!; and created a mural for the Queens branch of the Socialist Party. Living in the Chicago area for several years in the 1930s, he illustrated chapbooks for the socialist poet John Wheelwright's Poems for a Dime and Poems for Two Bits series. Porter's financial contributions to the radical Chicago publication Living Marxism kept it afloat for several years.

In 1932, Porter married Anne Channing, a poet from Boston, and they settled in New York. The Porters had five children, and their first son, born in 1934, suffered from a severe form of autism. In the next decade, they had two more sons, and spent three years in Porter's hometown of Winnetka, where he had his first solo exhibition of paintings. When they returned to New York in 1939, the Porters became friends with Edwin Denby, Rudy Burkhardt, and Elaine and Willem de Kooning. Porter became an earnest admirer of Willem de Kooning's artwork and was among the first to review and purchase it.

In 1949, the Porters moved to the small, seaside town of Southampton, New York. Their two daughters were born in 1950 and 1956. Like the family home on Great Spruce Head Island, Southampton became the setting of many of Porter's paintings. In fact, almost all of his mature paintings depict family homes, surrounding landscapes, family members, and friends. Porter was an individualistic painter who embraced figurative art in the late 1940s and 1950s, when abstract expressionism was the prevailing aesthetic trend. Porter once made a comment that his commitment to figurative painting was made just to spite art critic Clement Greenberg, a respected critic and ideologue who had championed abstract expressionism and denigrated realism as passé.

Porter established his reputation as a painter and as a writer in the 1950s. John Bernard Myers of the vanguard Tibor de Nagy gallery gave Porter his first New York exhibition in 1951 and represented him for the next twenty years. That same year Tom Hess, editor of ArtNews, hired Porter to write art features and reviews. Porter went on to contribute to ArtNews until 1967 and also became art editor for The Nation beginning in 1959, the same year his article on Willem de Kooning won the Longview Foundation Award in art criticism. As a critic, Porter visited countless galleries and studios, and he gained a reputation for writing about art with the understanding and vested interest of an artist, and with the same independence from fashionable ideas that he demonstrated in his artwork.

The 1950s and 1960s were prolific years for Porter's writing and art, and saw the development of his critical ideas and the maturation of his painting. Porter enjoyed an elder status among a circle of younger artists such as Jane Freilicher, Larry Rivers, and Alex Katz, and their many poet friends, now known as the New York School of Poetry: Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery, James Schuyler, Kenneth Koch, Barbara Guest, and others. Porter himself wrote poetry and was published in the 1950s, sometimes alongside poems by his wife, who had been publishing poetry since the 1930s (twice in the vanguard Chicago journal, Poetry). The Porters' correspondence is laced with poems they and their friends sent back and forth, often about and dedicated to each other.

Besides his annual exhibitions at Tibor de Nagy and later Hirschl and Adler Galleries, Porter exhibited regularly at the Whitney, and had one-man exhibitions at many museums including the Rhode Island School of Design (1959), The University of Alabama (1963), Cleveland Museum of Art (his first retrospective, 1966), Trinity College (1967), the Parrish Art Museum (1971), the Maryland Institute of Art (1973), and the 1968 Venice Biennale. He also had residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (1964) and Amherst College (1969). Porter died in 1975 at age 68. A full-scale retrospective of his artwork was held at the Boston Museum of Fine Art, Boston in 1983, and a study center and permanent home for his artwork was established at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton through a donation made by Anne Porter. A posthumous collection of his poems was published by Tibor de Nagy Editions in 1985, and a catalogue raisonnée, edited by Joan Ludman, was published in 2001.

This biography relies heavily on information found in Justin Spring's biography of Porter, Fairfield Porter: A Life in Art (Yale University Press, 2000).
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art holds an oral history of Fairfield Porter conducted by Paul Cummings in 1968.
Provenance:
The papers of Fairfield Porter were given to the Archives of American Art by the artist's wife, Anne Porter, in five separate accessions between 1977 and 1997.
Restrictions:
The bulk of this collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website. Use of material not digitized requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Fairfield Porter 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.
Occupation:
Art critics -- New York (State) -- Southampton  Search this
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Southampton  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Poets  Search this
Lithographers -- New York (State)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Travel diaries
Sketches
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Citation:
Fairfield Porter papers, 1888-2001 (bulk 1924-1975). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.portfair
See more items in:
Fairfield Porter papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-portfair
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Stanley H. Witmeyer, 1985 June 22

Interviewee:
Witmeyer, Stanley Herbert, 1913-2011  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12885
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212123
AAA_collcode_witmey85
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212123
Online Media:

Oral history interview with William Thon, 1992 December 15-16

Interviewee:
Thon, William, 1906-2000  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F  Search this
Subject:
Gruskin, Alan D. (Alan Daniel)  Search this
Gruskin, Mary J.  Search this
American Academy in Rome  Search this
Midtown Galleries (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Watercolorists -- Maine -- Interviews  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Watercolor painting, American -- 20th century  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12542
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215160
AAA_collcode_thon92
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_215160
Online Media:

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