An oral history interview with Peter and Paula Lunder conducted 2017 October 19-20, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art and the Center for the History of Collecting in America at the Frick Art Reference Library of The Frick Collection, at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.
Mr. and Ms. Lunder discuss their time living in Waterville and Dexter, Maine and Mr. Lunder's work as a partner at the Dexter Shoe Company; their exposures to art and culture while growing up in Boston and Chicago; their initial interests in art collecting and the shift of their focus from European art to American art; their associations with Hugh Gourley and other directors and curators at the Colby College Museum of Art; the relationships they made with fellow art collectors, museum curators, art dealers and gallery owners while growing their collection and when working on finding a home for their collection; their relationship with the former director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum Betsy Broun; Mr. Lunder's initial interest in Southwestern art and the development of their collection to include a wide range of American art; and Mr. Lunder's partial ownership of the Boston Red Sox beginning in 1977. Mr. and Ms. Lunder also describe living part-time in Florida and their patronage of the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach; their desire to endow their collection to a Northeast regional museum in Maine; their belief in the importance of art conservation and their focus on having the collection be used for teaching; Ms. Lunder's work as a volunteer docent at the Colby Art Museum; and their work with the Clark Art Institute to support a place for art conservation in the region. Mr. and Ms. Lunder also recall Max Stern; Jere Abbott; Bro Adams; Thomas Colville; Margaret MacDonald; Sharon Corwin; Ann and Gil Maurer; Alice Walton as well as Jay Cantor; Seelye Bixler; Michael Greenbaum; George Gurney; Cy Twombly; Stephen Hannock; Doug Baxter; Christa Gaehde; and Michael Conforti, among others.
Biographical / Historical:
Peter Lunder (1933-) and Paula Lunder (1934- ) are art collectors and philanthropists in Boston, Massachusetts. James McElhinney (1952- ) is a painter and educator of New York, New York.
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.
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Interviews Search this
Philanthropists -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Interviews Search this
Funding for this interview was provided by Barbara Fleischman.
The papers of art historian Gabriella De Ferrari measure 7.7 linear feet and 0.012 GB and date from 1931-2011, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1975-2011. The collection provides an overview of her activities as an arts administrator, writer, and philanthropist through biographical materials, correspondence, interviews, extensive writings and notes, subject files, printed and digital material, scrapbooks, and photographs.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of art historian Gabriella De Ferrari measure 7.7 linear feet and 0.012 GB and date from 1931-2011, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1975-2011. The collection provides an overview of her activities as an arts administrator, writer, and a philanthropist through biographical materials, correspondence, interviews, extensive writings and notes, subject files, printed and digital material, scrapbooks, and photographs.
Correspondence with artists, academic administrators, museum directors, curators, literary agents, editors, and publishers is primarily of a social nature, e.g., thank you notes, invitations, and congratulatory letters. Letters include references to De Ferrari's professional activities from circa 1975-circa 2006. There are illustrated letters and handmade birthday cards by De Ferrari, family, and friends. Among the correspondents are Michael Brenson, James Cuno, Francine Du Plessix Gray, Agnes Gund, Alex and Ada Katz, Sol and Carol Lewitt, and Glen Seator.
Writings and notes primarily document Gabriella De Ferrari's career as an author and include numerous drafts and annotated versions of her novels, short stories, memoir, and articles. Subject files include materials chronicling De Ferrari's activities at the Busch-Reisinger Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and the Pan-American Society of New England. Also documented is her service as a Board of Trustees member, consultant, and advisor to major educational, corporate, and cultural institutions, including the New School University, United Technologies, Inc., and the Wadsworth Atheneum, among others. Interviews of De Ferrari are found on six sound cassettes. Additional audio cassettes and one videocassette are found within her writings.
Photographs are of Gabriella De Ferrari, family members, friends, and colleagues, including Michael Brenson, Leo Castelli, Agnes Gund, Martin Segal, Ingrid Sischy, Sol Lewitt, among others.
The collection is arranged as 8 series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1947-2003 (Boxes 1, 9; 0.3 linear feet, ER01; 0.001 GB)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1964-2011 (Boxes 1-2; 1.3 linear feet, ER02; 0.001 GB)
Series 3: Interviews, 1990-1996 (Box 2; 3 folders)
Series 4: Writings and Notes, 1950-2010 (Boxes 3-6; 3.6 linear feet, ER03-ER10; 0.011 GB)
Series 5: Subject Files, 1953-2008 (Boxes 6-7; 1 linear feet, ER11; 0.001 GB)
Series 6: Printed Material, 1961-2011 (Box 7; 0.8 linear feet)
Series 7: Scrapbooks, 1974-1981 (Box 9; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 8: Photographs, 1931-circa 2010 (Box 8, 0.4 linear feet)
Art historian Gabriella De Ferrari (1941-) has lived and worked in Boston, Massachusetts and New York City.
Born in Tacna, Peru to Italian parents, De Ferrari graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Saint Louis University in Missouri in 1963. She went on to receive a Master of Arts from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University in 1966, and in 1981, she earned a Masters of Art in Fine Arts from Harvard University. De Ferrari has held administrative and curatorial positions at major museums and art organizations. At the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, she was curator of exhibitions before becoming the Director of the Institute in 1975. From 1978-1982, De Ferrari was Assistant Director of Curatorial Affairs and Programs at the Fogg Museum and the Busch-Reisinger Museum, where her responsibilities included exhibition programs for twentieth century art and coordinating programs for corporate and public fundraising. In 1989, De Ferrari moved to New York City, where she established herself as a freelance writer. In 1990, her novel, A Cloud on Sand received a Barnes and Noble Discover Award. Gringa Latina, De Ferrari's memoir about her experience living in two cultures was published in 1994.
She has served on the Boards of Trustees and on the advisory committees of many leading institutions, including Colby College, City University Graduate Center Foundation, Harvard University Museum, the New School, and the Wadsworth Atheneum. From 2000-2006, she was the philanthropic advisor to the chairman and CEO of United Technologies Corporation. In 1996, De Ferrari was awarded the New School Medal for Distinguished Service, and in 2008, she received an Honorary Doctorate in Letters from Colby College.
Gabriella De Ferrari continues to reside in New York City.
The papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Gabriella De Ferrari, in 2011.
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Arts administrators -- Massachusetts -- Boston Search this
Arts administrators -- New York (State) -- New York Search this